Okay, that headline is a bit misleading because World Wide Web, or W3, is actually older than 19, but on April 30, 1993 it officially entered open-source. That was probably the biggest open source project in history and it was instituted by the “father of the internet”, Tim Berners-Lee while working at CERN in Switzerland.
Berners-Lee, in 1989, wrote the original proposal to use hypertext to “link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will”. When the project was released to the public domain on this day in 1993 the official document announcing it referred to it as “a global computer networked information system” It went on to state that “CERN’s intention in this is to further compatibility, common practices, and standards in networking and computer supported collaboration”.
The original browser, simply called “World Wide Web” is still available for download today. The file size is measured in kilobytes, as opposed to today’s browsers which are many times that size.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is developing its own, private, computer network and web, a la the Internet and World Wide Web. The new computer network web, called the Global Information Grid (GIG) will provide military commanders a “God’s-eye view” of the battle. The GIG will enable real-time digital communication and data dissemination through a familiar technology, similar to the World Wide Web, anytime and anyplace, under any conditions, with requisite security.
Amplifying the GIG’s capabilities is the initiative the DoD’s communications transformation is Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE). According to the Defense Information Systems Agency website, the GIG-BE will create a ubiquitous bandwidth-available environment to improve national security intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control information-sharing. To implement GIG-BE, The program will provide increased bandwidth and diverse physical access to approximately 100 critical sites in the continental United States and in the Pacific and European theaters. These locations will be interconnected via an expanded GIG core. Specifically, GIG-BE will connect key intelligence, command, and operational locations with high bandwidth capability over physically diverse routes, and the vast majority of these locations will be connected by a state-of-the-art optical mesh network design.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the U.S. government would be designing its own secure, stable, and reliable web. What surprised me, once I started researching this topic, is how much detailed data is available on the public web. Maybe I should come out from under my shell more often.
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Defense Acquisition Guidebook (GIG description)
Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion