The World-Wide Web (also known as The Web, WWW, and W3) was first conceived of by CERN, the European Lab for Particle Physics, in 1989. Essentially, the Web is an internationally standardized method of retrieving information over the Internet. Before the birth of the Web, computer users were forced to download text, sounds, visuals, and all other forms of electronic data with a variety of complex and confusing software. The Web, however, offers access to information in the form of a graphic user interface, often refered to as a GUI. This GUI presents data on-screen in the form of icons, text, and other symbols you can click onto and download instantly. With the assistance of of GUI browsing program such as Mosaic, NetScape or Lynx, a person can connect to an information source and visualize and therefore download the data within that source.
Need an example of what this is all about? You're looking at one right now. Let's say you're interested in the World-Wide Web standard used allow all users to access information in a similar way. Well, that standard is known as Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, and if you want more information on it, you just click onto the words as you have throughout this document, and your browser will instantly connect you to the CERN information server in Switzerland. The Web lets you do just that - access information which can be stacked within other hypertext documents (this is known as nesting) with the click of a mouse. Instead of downloading information by typing in archaic codes and difficult file names, you can point and click and navigate through the information as you please.