A graduate of Oxford University, England, Tim now holds the 3Com Founders chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He directs the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential.
With a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.
Before coming to CERN, Tim worked with Image Computer Systems, of Ferndown, Dorset, England and before that as a principal engineer with Plessey Telecommunications, in Poole, England.
- If you need someone to find something for you about some arbitrary subject (travel agents, or parakeets or whatever), don’t ask me, but try the Virtual Library for example, or your favorite search engine.
- If you want to know how to run a server, or how to edit HTML, check the W3C web or your local bookstore. I’m sorry I can’t answer individual requests for help.
- If you can’t access something on http://www.w3.org , you find bad links from http://www.w3.org pages, or errors in the hypertext please see the webmaster’s documentation..
- If you are doing homework or a school project on the history of the Web then please check my Kid’s questions, or the more general Frequently Asked Questions; and also, by other people: Web FAQ,W3C FAQ, my press FAQ as almost everything I have is there or linked from this page. I am sorry I cannot help with individual projects.
- If you are a member of the press and need clarification or an interview, please mail email@example.com (and Cc me) with details.
- If it is about a possible speaking engagement, see below.
If you have a serious comment on things I have signed, then do email me. I am also always open to discussion with W3C Advisory Committee representatives.
What not to email
Email is safe unless it contains programs. (Data and documents are fine, programs are not). If you send me a program, I will not run it, as it could damage my system and could be a virus.
- Note: Documents for Microsoft word, Excel, and possibly other Office programs tend to execute programs (scripts) in what you would expect to be harmless documents. These can expose my machine to viruses, because these programs do not (it seems) prevent scripts from running within a document when it received by email. Please do not send me Microsoft Office documents.
- If you are sending text, please send it as plain text or HTML. If you use your favorite word process, slide tool, etc, and send it in that program’s format, then you are forcing me install proprietary software on whatever machine I read them on. .
- If your email is sent from Microsoft Outlook, and contains an attachment, I will be more likely to discard it as I understand that a famous series of viruses in 2001 resulted from Outlook’s tendency to execute scripts in email, and used up a huge amount of my and my colleague’s time.
What you can email
- These are all good document standards: Plain text messages, HTML (sometimes called rich text) pages without scripts, Photos (JPEG files, PNG, GIF), SMIL, RDF/XML N3 and so on. All these can be sent as messages or as attachments to messages. I can read them with a variety of software programs, and they cannot contain viruses, unless there is a serious bug in the code I use to read them. If you don’t need anything else, then use plain text.
These are good rules when emailing anyone.
- timbl @ w3.org
- PGP fingerprint
- 8A08 617D A4A7 708B 6824 59C6 363A BF30 9FC3 D57E
- PGP Key
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- 77 Massachusetts Ave.
MIT Room 32-G524
Cambridge MA 02139
- N 42.3633690
- W 71.091796
- +1 (617) 253 5702
- +1 (617) 258 5999
If you want to know what we are working on now, look at the W3C site and check out all the activities at W3C.
Past present and future:
- Slides from some talks
- Design Issues: Technical and philosophical notes on web architecture A series of notes about how the web actually works and how to design new technology.
- Disclosures: Mainspring Communications; Curl Corp, Akamai
Essays and articles in text form
- Japan Prize commemorative lecture on the universality of the Web (2002)
- The future of the Web – LCS 35th anniversary talk transcript
- WWW, UU and I – Unitarian Universalism and the Web (1998/4)
- A one-page personal history of the web (1998/5/7)
- Realizing the full potential of the web (1997/12/3)
- The web: Past, Present and Future (1996)
- The Web; Europe and the US; Harmony and Diversity (1996)
- Hypertext and Our Collective Destiny , (1995)
- Presentation to CDA challenge by CDT et al , 28 Feb 1996
- D.M.Sendall. R.I.P. July 15 1999
- Article about me in NY Times Dec 18 1995
- History of the web: some pointers
- Original proposal for a global hypertext project at CERN (1989)
I do few of these because of pressure of work and the detrimental effects of travel. However, I do enjoy occasionally giving a keynote address. If you have something you seriously think I would be interested in speaking at, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the event, projected audience size and profile, location and date. (Please do not contact mutual friends or family to ask for a favor for your company, as that puts unfair pressure on everyone. Just ask directly.)
If I use slides (I often do not) I use a laptop — currently a Mac running OSX. I do not need audio from the laptop.
If you want to test your video on similar stuff, run a web browser on a recent one of my previous talks.
If you need a photo for publication, please email email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can ask
- The press office at CERN (+41 22 767 6111)
- The MIT Press Office. +1 617 253 2700
If you need an interview for an article, please check the
first, then please use email rather than phone. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org the general PR request line at W3C, rather than Amy van der Hiel (my assistant) or Janet Daly (Head of Communications at W3C) to set up interviews with me or with other W3C staff.
Photos: This, from my original home page, at the WWW Wizards Workshop, Cambridge MA 1993 [photo Steve Putz]. Top of page: in Sheldonian, Oxford [LeFevre communications, 2001.]
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