World Wide Web (WWW) (2023)

World Wide Web (WWW) (1)


World-Wide Web (also called WWW or W3) is a hypertext-based information system. Any word in a hypertext document can be specified as a pointer to a different hypertext document where more information pertaining to that word can be found. The reader can open the second document by selecting the word (using different methods depending on the interface; in a mouse based system, a user would probably place the mouse over the word and click the mouse button); only the part of the linked document which contains relevant information will be displayed.

The second document may itself contain links to further documents. The reader need not know where the referenced documents are, because they will be obtained and presented as they are needed.

World-Wide Web uses hypertext over the Internet: the linked documents may be located at different Internet sites. WWW can handle different text formats and different methods of organizing information.

The World-Wide Web also provides access to many of the other tools described in this guide, and is becoming widely used as the major means of access to Internet resources.

Special index documents have been created in the WWW information space and these can be searched for given keyword(s). The result is a new document which contains links to documents selected from the index.

If you were reading this document on a hypertext system, instead of this all too short explanation about hypertext, you would have a selectable pointer to a complete hypertext information web with examples and more pointers to other definitions. For instance, in the first document you might read:

The WorldWideWeb (W3) is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge. It is an initiative started at "CERN", now with many participants. It has a body of software, and a set of protocols and conventions. W3 uses "hypertext" and multimedia techniques to make the web easy for anyone to roam browse, and contribute to.

Selecting hypertext would display the following explanation for you:

(Video) What is the world wide web? - Twila Camp


Hypertext is text which is not constrained to be linear. Hypertext is text which contains "links" to other texts. The term was coined by "Ted Nelson" around 1965 (see "History").

HyperMedia is a term used for hypertext which is not constrained to be text: it can include graphics, video and "sound", for example. Apparently Ted Nelson was the first to use this term too.

Then you could learn more about links and Ted Nelson. The links in WWW are not confined to text only, so the term hypermedia is more accurate - for example, the link to Ted Nelson might point to a file containing a picture of Ted Nelson. The picture would be displayed on your screen, if your computer had a suitable screen and an image viewer.

Who can use WORLD-WIDE WEB?

You must be on the international TCP/IP network (the Internet) in order to use a client on your computer to access WWW. If you are on the Internet, but don't have a WWW client on your computer, you can still enter the World-Wide Web because several sites offer public interactive access to WWW clients (see the Remote clients section under How to get to World-Wide Web below).

If you have e-mail access only, or if you are not on the Internet, then you can not fully exploit the vast potential of WWW. However, a mail-robot is available at the address: which gives e-mail access to WWW-accessible files. (see E-mail access section under How to get to World-Wide Web below).

How to get to WORLD-WIDE WEB

Users access the World-Wide Web facilities via a client called a browser, which provides transparent access to the WWW servers. If a local WWW client is not available on your computer, you may use a client at a remote site: this can be an easy way to start using WWW.

Local clients

Use of a local client is encouraged since it will provide better performance and better response time than a remote client.

Public domain clients for accessing WWW servers are available for: Macintosh, MS-DOS, VMS, VM/CMS, MVS, NeXT, Unix, X-Windows. All these platforms support a simple line mode browser. In addition, graphical clients are available for: Macintosh, Windows, X-Windows, NeXT and Unix. See the list of freely available client software in Appendix A.

Remote clients

To access a remote WWW client, telnet to the client site. If you are new to WWW, you should telnet to No login is needed for this, and you will immediately enter the WWW line mode browser.

(Video) Tim Berners-Lee: How This Guy Invented the World Wide Web 30 Years Ago

Some publicly accessible clients have been locally developed. Most remote clients are at sites with WWW servers holding information on specific areas. Telnet to the client site, and at the login: prompt enter www; no password is needed. The following remote client sites are available:

+------------------------------------------------------------------+| || Site Country Server Specialization || |+------------------------------------------------------------------+| Finland || Israel Environment || Switzerland (CERN) High-energy physics || USA Law || USA History || USA |+------------------------------------------------------------------+
Using CERN as the entry point you will find information about WWW itself, with an overview of the Web and a catalogue of the databases sorted by subject.

E-mail access

You can obtain WWW files via mail to using a SEND command. The SEND command returns the document with the given WWW address, subject to certain restrictions. Hypertext documents are formatted to 72 character width, with links numbered. A separate list at the end of the file gives the document-addresses of the related documents. A good file to start with would be:

Note that, despite the name listserv in the address of this mailrobot, it is not a LISTSERV server.A note of caution from the WWW developers and maintainers:As the robot gives potential mail access to a *vast* amount of information, we must emphasise that the service should not be abused.

Examples of appropriate use would be:

  • Accessing any information about W3 itself;
  • Accessing any CERN and/or physics-related or network development related information;

Examples of INappropriate use would be:

  • Attempting to retrieve binaries or tar files or anything more than directory listings or short ASCII files from FTP archive sites;
  • Reading Usenet newsgroups which your site doesn't receive;
  • Repeated automatic use.

There is currently a 1000 line limit on any returned file. We don't want to overload other people's mail relays or our server. We reserve the right to withdraw the service at any time. We are currently monitoring all use of the server, so your reading will not initially enjoy privacy.


The W3 team at CERN (


The line mode browser:

The line mode browser is a simple user interface: references are shown as a number in square brackets next to each referenced word. Type the number and hit the RETURN key to follow a reference. For example, here is the beginning of the Subject Catalogue on the CERN server:

The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Subject Catalogue


This is a distributed subject catalogue. See also arrangement byservice type[1], and other subject catalogues of network information[2].

(Video) PRO8L3M - World Wide Web

Mail to maintainers of the specified subject or to add pointers to this list, or if you would like to contribute to administration of a subject area.

See also how to put your data on the web[3]

  • Aeronautics Mailing list archive index[4]. See also NASA
  • LaRC[5]
  • Agriculture See Agricultural info[6], Almanac mail servers[7] the Agricultural Genome[8] (National Agricultural Library, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Archaeology[9] Separate list
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics[10]
  • Separate list.
  • 1-64, Back, for more, Quit, or Help:

To access WWW with the line mode browser, type: www. The default first document will appear on your screen. From this point, you should be able to navigate through the WWW universe by reading the text and following the instructions at the bottom of the screen. If you want to start with a document other than the default, or if you want to change some other aspect of the usual interaction, a number of command line parameters and options are available. The full format of the www command to invoke the line mode browser is:

+---------------------------------------------------------------+| || www [options] [docaddress] [keyword>] || |+---------------------------------------------------------------+

where: docaddress is the hypertext address of the document at which you want to start browsing.keyword the supplied keyword(s) are used to query the index specified by docaddress. A list of matching entries is displayed. Multiple keywords are separated by blanks.

Options are:

  • -n non-interactive mode. The document is formatted and displayed to the screen. Pages are delimited with form feed characters (FF).
  • -listrefs adds a list of the addresses of all document references to the end. Non-interactive mode only.
  • -pn sets the page length to n lines. Without a number, makes the page length infinite. Default is 24.
  • -wn sets the page width to n columns. The default is 78, 79 or 80 depending on the system.
  • -na hides references in the text. Useful when printing out the document .
  • -version displays the version number of the software.

The following commands are available when using a line mode browser either as a local client or as a remote client. Some are disabled when not applicable (e.g. Find is enabled only when the current document is an index). CAPITAL letters indicate acceptable abbreviation; angle brackets ([]) indicate an optional parameter.

  • Help gives a list of available commands depending on the context, and the hypertext address of the current document.
  • Manual displays the on-line manual.
  • Quit exits WWW.
  • number type in one of the numbers shown in [] and hit the RETURN key to follow the link associated to the reference.
  • RETURN hit the RETURN key to display the next page of the current document (without a reference number).
  • Up, Down scrolls up or down one page in the current document.
  • Top, BOttom goes to the top or the bottom of the current document.
  • Back, HOme goes back to the first document you were reading.
  • Next, Previous goes to the next or previous document in the list of pointers from the document that led to the current one.
  • List gives a numbered list of the links from the current document. To follow a link, type in the number.
  • Recall if number is omitted, gives a numbered list of the documents you have visited.
  • To display one specific document, re-issue the command with number.
  • (Find) keyword queries the current index with the supplied keyword(s). A list of matching entries is displayed with possible links to further details. Find can be omitted if the first keyword does not conflict with another WWW command. Multiple keywords are separated by blanks.
  • Go docaddress goes to the document represented by the given hypertext address, which is interpreted relative to the current document.

Extra command available on Unix versions only:

  • Print prints the current document, without the numbered document references. The default print command is lpr, but it may be defined in your local working environment by the variable WWW_PRINT_COMMAND.

Other interfaces:

When using a graphical interface, you access the WWW functions by pressing mouse buttons. Words are highlighted or underlined to indicate where a link exists. To follow a link, click on the word.

The most famous graphical interface is Mosaic, which is the state-of-the-art point and click interface. As a WWW browser, Mosaic displays images and plays sounds, with the help of local utilities. The navigation within the web is intuitive and additional features (mailing feedback, customizing, etc.) are easy to use. Mosaic also provides an interface to the other information systems (WAIS, Gopher, etc.) thus giving access to all Internet resources from a single interface. Implementations for Macintosh, MS-Windows and X-Windows are available for anonymous FTP from in the directory /Web.

A good alternative for users without a graphical environment is Lynx. Lynx is a full screen browser for WWW using arrows and tab keys, cursor addressing and highlighted or numbered links to navigate within the web. Lynx has no image or sound capabilities: any images or sounds are replaced by a tag at display time and the corresponding files can be retrieved separately. Unlike the line mode browser, documents containing embedded images or enhanced document formats (e.g. formulaires) are handled properly by Lynx. A demonstration version of Lynx is available using Telnet to (login as www). Implementations for various Unix flavors and for VMS are available for anonymous FTP from in the directory /pub/WWW/lynx.


WWW gives you access to an information universe. Let's say you want to know how many film versions of The Three Musketeers have been made. You browse The WWW Virtual Library and select Movies:

(Video) It's the World Wide Web

-----------------------------------------------------------------Cardiff's Movie Database Browser.

CARDIFF'S MOVIE DATABASE BROWSER.UK Postal Quiz [1] There's now a way to set permanent[2] links to specific names and titles.Movie title substring searching.[3] (for non-forms browsers) Movie people substring searching.[4] (for non-forms browsers)Lookup titles by genre.[5] (uses plot summary info. 652 titles so far, many more on the way)List my votes[6]. If you've voted for movies, your votes are here.On this day in history..[7](who was born and who died)The rec.arts.movies top 40 films[8] and bottom 40 films.[9]Top 20[10]s of busy people. Famous marriages.[11] 1-18, Up, for more, Quit, or Help: 3

You select Movie titles, and then type three musketeers as keywords:

Movie Info (27/27)Example, to search for movies with the word ``alien'' in their title, type ``alien''.

This will return details on several movies, including AliensNote: if the title begins with A or The, leave it out. If you're determined to include it, then put ', A' or ', The' at the end of the of the substring e.g.Enforcer, TheGauntlet, TheSearching is case insensitive.[1]Rob.H[2] , 1-2, Back, Up, Quit, or Help: three musketeers-----------------------------------------------------------------You find that there have been seven film versions of the story:-----------------------------------------------------------------Movie InfoTITLE SUBSTRINGS.Here are the results from the search for three musketeersThree Musketeers, The (1921)[1]Three Musketeers, The (1933)[2]Three Musketeers, The (1935)[3]Three Musketeers, The (1939)[4]Guide to Network Resource Tools page 23-----------------------------------------------------------------Three Musketeers, The (1948)[5]Three Musketeers, The (1974)[6]Three Musketeers, The (1993)[7]I haven't found the item you wanted ?, why ?[8] Note titles in quotes (") are TV series.[9]Rob.H[10] , 1-10, Back, Up, Quit, or Help: 1-----------------------------------------------------------------You decide to look for more information on the 1921 version:-----------------------------------------------------------------Movie InfoMOVIE DETAILS.THREE MUSKETEERS, THE (1921)1921Cast Leon Barry[1] ......AthosCharles Belcher[2] ......BernajouxNigel De Brulier[3] ......Cardinal RichelieuMarguerite De La Motte[4] ......Constance BonacieuxDouglas Fairbanks[5] ......D'ArtagnanSidney Franklin[6] ......Monsieur BonacieuxThomas Holding[7] ......Duke of BuckinghamBoyd Irwin[8] ......Comte de RochefortBarbara La Marr[9] ......Milady de WinterMary MacLaren[10] ......Queen Anne of AustriaAdolphe Menjou[11] ......Louis XIIIEugene Pallette[12] ......AramisLon Poff[13] ......Father JosephWillis Robards[14] ......Captain de TrevilleGeorge Siegmann[15] ......PorthosCharles Stevens[16] ......Planchet1-37, Back, Up, for more, Quit, or Help: 11-----------------------------------------------------------------

You're hooked! You decide to look for more information on Adolphe Menjou, search more titles, find Oscar winners, etc.

Learning more about WORLD-WIDE WEB

World-Wide Web is being developed at CERN (European Particle Physics Laboratory) by the World-Wide Web team led by Tim Berners-Lee. Bug reports, comments, suggestions, etc. should be mailed to:

On-line documentation is available from, for anonymous FTP or using the remote WWW client.

Mailing lists:
To subscribe send a mail to
Usenet newsgroup: comp.infosystems.www

Mosaic is being developed at NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications), Urbana Champain, Illinois, by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina. Bug reports, comments, suggestions, etc. should be mailed to: mosaic@ncsa.uiuc.eduOn-line documentation is available from, for anonymous FTP, or from, using a WWW client.

Lynx is being developed at the University of Kansas by Lou Montulli.On-line documentation is available from, for anonymous FTP, or from, using a WWW client.

Netscape, however, is the clear winner a year or more after this was written. It is the new standard that everyone is forced to write for and has made its inventor the youngest new billionaire for making it accessible to almost everyone. Isn't it nice to know that you don't have to know very much of this FAQ to use the WWW today?

(Video) The World Wide Web: Crash Course Computer Science #30


What is World Wide Web explain? ›

The World Wide Web—commonly referred to as WWW, W3, or the Web—is an interconnected system of public webpages accessible through the Internet. The Web is not the same as the Internet: the Web is one of many applications built on top of the Internet.

What is WWW and example? ›

The World Wide Web -- also known as the web, WWW or W3 -- refers to all the public websites or pages that users can access on their local computers and other devices through the internet. These pages and documents are interconnected by means of hyperlinks that users click on for information.

Who invented the World Wide Web WWW? ›

World Wide Web

What is WWW in HTML? ›

The World Wide Web (WWW) is a network of online content that is formatted in HTML and accessed via HTTP. The term refers to all the interlinked HTML pages that can be accessed over the Internet.

What are the main features of WWW? ›

From the user's point of view, the web consists of a vast, worldwide connection of documents or web pages. Each page may contain links to other pages anywhere in the world. The pages can be retrieved and viewed by using browsers of which internet explorer, Netscape Navigator, Google Chrome, etc are the popular ones.

What is difference between WWW and Internet? ›

The world wide web, or web for short, are the pages you see when you're at a device and you're online. But the internet is the network of connected computers that the web works on, as well as what emails and files travel across.

What are the benefits of the WWW? ›

Advantages of the World Wide Web

The world wide web is one of the services transferred over these networks, You can learn anything for educational purposes, Anyone can get or collect a lot of free information, World wide web facilitates the exchange of huge volumes of data.

What are the two uses of WWW? ›

Uses of internet/WWW:
  • Internet is used for communication.
  • Internet is used for having calls.
  • Getting the information of topic, which we want.
  • Learning. ...
  • Getting News of all things in world.
  • Watching videos and getting information.
  • Accessing WWW sites for our work.
Mar 17, 2019

Is WWW a browser? ›

"World Wide Web" or simple "Web" is the name given to all the resources of internet. The special software or application program with which you can access web is called "Web Browser". Search Engine is an application that allows you to search for content on the web.

Who controls the World Wide Web? ›

No one person, company, organization or government runs the Internet. It is a globally distributed network comprising many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks. It operates without a central governing body with each constituent network setting and enforcing its own policies.

Who owns the World Wide Web? ›

He co-founded (with his then wife-to-be Rosemary Leith) the World Wide Web Foundation. He is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com founder's chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
Tim Berners-Lee.
14 more rows

Who runs the World Wide Web? ›

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor and Director Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C's mission is to lead the Web to its full potential.

What happens when you click WWW? ›

Your browser takes that URL, breaks out the name of the web site, and then uses the Domain Name System (DNS) to get an Internet Protocol (IP) address for the site. Your browser then opens a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection to the web site over IP.

How do we access WWW? ›

Users access the World-Wide Web facilities via a client called a browser, which provides transparent access to the WWW servers. If a local WWW client is not available on your computer, you may use a client at a remote site: this can be an easy way to start using WWW.

How do you access WWW? ›

Step 1 − Launch your web browser. Step 2 − In "Address bar/Location", type the search engine you want to use and press enter. Step 3 − Type the content you want to search in the "search text box" and press enter.

What are 5 facts about the WWW? ›

World wide web turns 30: Facts you didn't know
  • It was invented for scientists. ...
  • It was a 'vague but exciting' idea. ...
  • It is *not* the internet. ...
  • The internet came before the world wide web. ...
  • That's what www stands for. ...
  • The first website went live in 1991. ...
  • It went public in 1993. ...
  • For a website to exist, you need server space.

What are WWW services? ›

A web service is a software system that supports interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically, web Service Definition Language, or WSDL). web services fulfill a specific task or a set of tasks.

Is www still used? ›

Do You Need WWW in URLs? It's actually not necessary to use WWW in URLs. It exists for just one purpose—to identify the web address. This is not the case with other important URL signifiers, such as a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server (ftp) or news server (news).

Is www still used for websites? ›

It's unnecessary. There is no need to include "www" in your website's address. It was a URL prefix added in the early days of the web and caught on by accident.

How is Web 1.0 Web 2.0 and web 3.0 different from each other? ›

Web 1.0 is the "read-only Web," Web 2.0 is the "participative social Web," and Web 3.0 is the "read, write, execute Web." This Web interaction and utilization stage moves users away from centralized platforms like Facebook, Google, or Twitter and towards decentralized, nearly anonymous platforms.

What is WWW advantage and disadvantages? ›

- Facilitates access to different sources of information, which is continuously updated. - It has become the global media. Some disadvantages are: - Danger of overload and excess information. - Efficient information search strategy is required.

What is the impact of WWW? ›

Internet use empowers people by increasing their feelings of security, personal freedom, and influence — all that have a positive effect on happiness and private well-being. The consequence is particularly favorable for people with of lower income, those within the flourishing worlds, and women.

What are WWW applications? ›

A Web application (Web app) is an application program that is stored on a remote server and delivered over the Internet through a browser interface. Web services are Web apps by definition and many, although not all, websites contain Web apps. According to Web.

What is the World Wide Web definition for kids? ›

The internet is a global network of computers all connected together. The world wide web ('www' or 'web' for short) is a collection of webpages found on this global network of computers. Your web browser uses the internet to access the world wide web.

What are the three types of World Wide Web? ›

The program ran on a machine from NeXT, a computer company started by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and included the Web's three main elements—URLs, HTTP, and HTML—which Berners-Lee created. The concept of hypertext existed long before Berners-Lee introduced HTTP and HTML.

Why was the World Wide Web created? ›

The web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. The first website at CERN – and in the world – was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Berners-Lee's NeXT computer.

Is World Wide Web a browser? ›

The WorldWideWeb browser. The first web browser - or browser-editor rather - was called WorldWideWeb as, after all, when it was written in 1990 it was the only way to see the web.

What are the two types of websites? ›

Websites can be divided into two broad categories—static and interactive. Interactive sites are part of the Web 2.0 community of sites and allow for interactivity between the site owner and site visitors or users.


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