History of Internet and WWW:
The Roads and Crossroads
by Gregory R. Gromov
The Page 2 of the 9
Road #2. Europe to USA: Internet at CERN
Stage is Set - early 1980's.
To my knowledge, the first time any "Internet Protocol"
was used at CERN was during the second phase of the STELLA Satellite Communication
Project, from 1981-83, when a satellite channel was used to link remote segments
of two early local area networks (namely "CERNET", running between CERN and Pisa,
and a Cambridge Ring network running between CERN and Rutherford Laboratory). This
was certainly inspired by the ARPA IP model, known to the Italian members of the
STELLA collaboration (CNUCE, Pisa) who had ARPA connections...
In August, 1984 I wrote a proposal to the SW Group Leader, Les Robertson,
for the establishment of a pilot project to install and evaluate TCP/IP protocols
on some key non-Unix machines at CERN including the central IBM-VM mainframe and
a VAX VMS system....
By 1990 CERN had become the largest Internet site in Europe
and this fact, as mentioned above, positively influenced the acceptance and spread
of Internet techniques both in Europe and elsewhere...
The Web Materializes.
key result of all these happenings was that by 1989 CERN's Internet facility was
ready to become the medium within which Tim Berners-Lee would create the World Wide
Web with a truly visionary idea. In fact an entire culture had developed at CERN
around "distributed computing", and Tim had himself contributed in the area of Remote
Procedure Call (RPC), thereby mastering several of the tools that he needed to synthesize
the Web such as software portability techniques and network and socket programming.
But there were many other details too, like how simple it had become to configure
a state of the art workstation for Internet use (in this case Tim's NeXT machine
which he showed me while he was setting it up in his office), and how once on the
Internet it was possible to attract collaborators to contribute effort where that
was lacking at CERN.
By Ben M. Segal / CERN PDP-NS / April, 1995