For fifty years, people have dreamt of the concept of a universal database of knowledge - information that would be accessible to people around the world and link easily to other pieces of information so that any user could quickly find the things most important to themselves. It was in the 1960's when this idea was explored further, giving rise to visions of a "docuverse" that people could swim through, revolutionizing all aspects of human-information interaction. Only now has the technology caught up with these dreams, making it possible to implement them on a global scale.
The World-Wide Web is officially described as a "wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents". What the World-Wide Web (WWW, W3) project has done is provide users on computer networks with a consistent means to access a variety of media in a simplified fashion. Using a popular software interface to the Web called Mosaic, the Web project has changed the way people view and create information - it has created the first true global hypermedia network.
The earliest visions of such systems had as their goal the advancement of science and education. Although the World-Wide Web project has the potential to make a significant impact in these areas, it is poised to revolutionize many elements of society, including commerce, politics, and literature.