Right now humanity’s most precise experiments are being conducted beneath the border between Switzerland and France. This is the home of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. In the 16‐mile wide ring of its Large Hadron Collider, protons are being smashed together at velocities approaching the speed of light. Our primate species is recreating the conditions from the start of our universe. The LHC is the most complex piece of machinery that has ever been built …
… Enter Tim Berners‐Lee, a computer scientist from England who found himself working at CERN in the 1980s. At the beginning of that decade, he started a personal project to get to grips with managing information. The resulting software was called ENQUIRE, named for a Victorian manual of domestic life called Enquire Within Upon Everything.
By the end of the ’80s, Tim Berners‐Lee was ready to tackle the thorny problem of information management on a larger scale. In order to get buy‐in at CERN, he produced an unassuming document with the title Information Management: A Proposal. Fortunately his supervisor, Mike Sendall, recognised the potential of the idea and gave the go‐ahead by scrawling the words “vague but exciting” across the top of the paper. That proposal would become the World Wide Web.
— Jeremy Keith
The passages above are from a free online book named Resilient Web Design. It was written in December 2016 by Jeremy Keith, a well-respected web developer and author who lives in Brighton, England.
The book is about websites — where they came from, how they work, how they’re built, and where they’re headed. It’s not a technical manual. Nor is it yet another whiney critical essay about the Web. It’s more like a short history book with some philosophy thrown in.
It’s entertaining, wonderfully written, and easy to understand. It should be required reading for anyone who builds websites for a living. Or anybody who uses the Web, for that matter.