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Communications of the ACM


The Success of the Web: A Triumph of the Amateurs

www keys, illustration

Credit: Jiri Hera

The World Wide Web was created during a fervent time for computing, approximately 30 years ago. Back then, the Internet had manifested itself as a global network and it was going beyond its original borders, penetrating both corporate and residential domains. The idea of personal computers had grown for over a decade and it was then consolidating with consumers. Just the right time for a unifying killer app: the Web.

Thirty years later, the success of the Web is unquestionable. It has been growing exponentially in size since its introduction in 1989. It is at the heart of the current retail practices and, more generally, of the corporate world. The Web is so prominent as an Inter-networked application that often the term "Internet" is improperly used to refer to the Web.


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