A lunch of ideas

Jean-François Groff dropped by to see us at CERN today and check in on the project. Jean-François worked at the lab from 1991 and was part of the early WWW team, notably working on the code library that was made available to developers wishing to build web browsers and servers on various platforms.

Over lunch he shared a whole raft of ideas, anecdotes, stories, and leads for us to follow. For instance: 

  • Wasn't it a shame that the vast majority of people first experienced the web as a passive, read-only medium?
  • Searching WWW code for references to '2784' will unearth the oldest versions. This was the port number that was used before port 80 was assigned to web traffic - and did we know that 2784 was chosen because it was the last four digits of Tim's parents' phone number?
  • Isn't it crazy that it is still easier to transmit a video over the web than it is to send money? He's working on this, by the way.
  • The team working on this restoration project is bigger than the one that originally built the web!

Jean-François has so many great stories relating to the birth of the web that we'd love to share here. We asked him if we could clone his brain, or download it somehow. He politely declined, but did offer to share some information via posts on this blog. We look forward to hearing more from him over the coming weeks…

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