Glossary
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WWW (World Wide Web)

The World Wide Web, commonly known as the Web, is a system of interconnected hypertext documents accessible via the Internet. Using a Web browser, users can click on links (also called hyperlinks) to navigate from one Web page to another.

The origins of the Web date back to 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland, proposed a new way to access information through a system of networked documents. Berners-Lee developed the first Web server, the first browser (called the WorldWideWeb) and the fundamental technologies that still underpin the Web today, such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators).

The history of the Web is characterized by rapid and continuous evolution: in just over 30 years, it has grown from a simple network of textual documents to a multimedia platform rich in images, sound, video, and interactivity, thanks to the introduction of technologies such as CSS, JavaScript, and Flash. Above all, the Web has become an indispensable tool in daily life, used for education, communication, commerce, entertainment and more.

It is important to distinguish the World Wide Web from the Internet. The Internet is a vast network of networks, a hardware infrastructure consisting of servers, cables, satellites and network protocols that enable communication and data exchange between computers around the world. The Web, on the other hand, is one of the services built on this infrastructure, allowing web pages to be viewed and browsed using browsers. Other services that operate on the Internet include e-mail, instant messaging and file sharing. The Web is thus one of many applications that use the Internet as a means of operating and transmitting content. Over the years, the Web has become the most visible and widely used service on the Internet, so much so that the terms “Internet” and “Web” are often used interchangeably, despite their technical distinction.

The evolution of the Web has also led to significant social and cultural changes, influencing the way people interact, share information, and do business.Beyond inevitable critical aspects, however, we can say that the Web has democratized access to information, facilitated the emergence of new forms of communication such as blogs and social media, and made possible e-commerce and online services that we now take for granted.

With the advent of Web 2.0, users have gone from being mere consumers of content to creators, actively participating in the production and sharing of information; this has led to the emergence of platforms such as Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook, which take advantage of user collaboration and sharing.

The history of the Web is also marked by challenges and debates, such as the issues of privacy, data security, net neutrality, and equitable access to digital resources; as the Web continues to grow and develop, these issues remain at the center of public debate, highlighting the Web’s crucial role in modern society and the need for careful management and regulation to ensure its future as an open and globally accessible resource for all. In addition, technological innovation continues to push the boundaries of what is possible on the Web, with the development of emerging technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript frameworks that enhance the interactivity and functionality of Web pages. The growing importance of the mobile Web has led to the need for responsive designs that adapt to a variety of devices and screen sizes.

The Web is also at the center of initiatives such as the Semantic Web, which aims to make data on the Web more easily interpretable by machines, and the Internet of Things (IoT), which extends Web connectivity to physical objects, enabling a new wave of intelligent, interconnected applications.