12 November 2010

Time for a "Turing/Berners-Lee" Day?

On this day, in 1937:

Alan Turing’s paper entitled "On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungs-problem" appeared on November 12, 1937, somewhat contemporaneously with Konrad Zuse’s work on the first of the Z machines in Germany, John Vincent Atanasoff ‘s work on the ABC, George Stibitz’s work on the Bell Telephony relay machine, and Howard Aiken’s on the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.

Later renamed the Turing Machine, this abstract engine provided the fundamental concepts of computers that the other inventors would realise independently. So Turing provided the abstraction that would form the basic theory of computability for several decades, while others provided the pragmatic means of computation.

And on this day a little later, in 1990:

The attached document describes in more detail a Hypertext project.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. It provides a single user-interface to large classes of information (reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line help). We propose a simple scheme incorporating servers already available at CERN.

Maybe we should declare this date the Turing-Berners-Lee Day?

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