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Berners-Lee touts the Semantic Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has discussed the next stage of the internet's evolution and paid tribute to Google's impact on the web
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Written by Tim Ferguson on

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, recognised as the founding father of the World Wide Web, has claimed the work of companies like Google has made the web a much more powerful tool.

Speaking at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce in London, Berners-Lee said: "Initially there was a huge issue [with the web] that you couldn't find anything. Then of course the Google boys came along. And then of course it changed the web."

He added: "The web is incredibly simple. [It] works as people like their stuff to be read. What the internet did was, people said links aren't important, it's the thing on the other end."

Berners-Lee also discussed how the Semantic Web will form the next stage of the web's evolution, essentially allowing users to collect data together whether it's part of the World Wide Web or not.

He gave the example of combining online bank statements and photos with a desktop calendar, allowing people to work out what they were doing when they took a particular photo.

Summing up the development of the web, Berners-Lee said: "A small number of ideas have a disproportionate impact."

Berners-Lee proposed the World Wide Web in 1989 while working as a software engineer at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland.

The global project created a web of connections to information on the internet using hypertext documents. During the early 1990s, Berners-Lee worked to develop the web, specifying the URL, HTTP and HTML standards.

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