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The i-Technology Right Stuff

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

Tim Berners-Lee

Brief Description: "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web

Further Details:

In his book Weaving the Web, Berners-Lee tried to answer questions that had been thrown at him again and again ever since - Questions such as "What were you thinking when you invented it?" through "So what do you think of it now?" to "Where is this all going to take us?"

He didn't anticipate, even in 1999 when the book was published, that technologies like HTML, HTTP, and XML would take him just four years later to a knighthood and then to a $1.2 million award from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, known informally as the "Finnish Nobel Prize."

"The original idea of the Web," Berners-Lee has always said, "was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information. The idea was that by writing something together, and as people worked on it, they could iron out misunderstanding."

In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) a not-for-profit forum that aims to lead the Web to its full potential. He became Sir Tim Berners-Lee earlier this year when knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and is due to return to the UK shortly to take up a professorship at the University of Southampton.

"All sorts of things, too long for me to list here, are still out there waiting to be done." Berners-Lee said in his acceptance speech to the Finnish Technology Award Foundation. "There are so many new things to make, limited only by our imagination. And I think it's important for anybody who's going through school or college wondering what to do, to remember that now."

Other SYS-CON stories about Tim Berners-Lee:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Returning As Professor to the UK

Tim Berners-Lee Knighted

Tim Berners-Lee on Java

Tim Berners-Lee Collects Ultimate Technology Accolade

Father of the Web Becomes "Sir Tim"

"Semantic Web" Is Getting Closer and Closer, Says Tim Berners-Lee

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Agility Pays 12/09/04 03:34:19 AM EST

There are bound to be glaring omissions in any list. It would have been good to see a few more names from the 17 developers who met in Feb 2001 to discuss problems in software development and who devised the so-called "Agile Manifesto." I see that Martin Fowler is here but what about Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ron Jeffries, Robert "Uncle bob" Martin, and Dave Thomas - people who have all made substantial contributions to software development?

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