What's all this about then...
A GUI (usually pronounced GOO-ee) is a Graphical (rather than purely textual) User Interface to a computer. As you read this, you are looking at the GUI or graphical user interface of your particular Web browser. The term came into existence because the first interactive user interfaces to computers were not graphical. Green text on a black background was as exciting as it got, so we've come along way very quickly, thank goodness for technology...
Not only has technology made great strides but the WWW has developed into one of the world's phenomena.
Here's a potted history of the World Wide Web showing the key milestones of Internet development:
1957 - The USSR launch SPUTNIK the first orbiting craft and in response the US forms ARPA(Advanced Research Projects Agency) within the Department of Defence.
1962 - US Air Force commission the RAND Organisiation to report on methods that would ensure its maintenance of defence and offence measures after a Soviet attack. RAND'S Paul Baron proposed a networked system that sent packages of data electronically form one computer to another. In the event of computer site being disabled, all other sites would contain copies of the lost data.
1968 - Universities California (UCLA), Santa Barbara, Utah and Stanford are linked to the ARAP Honeywell Mainframe establishing the first Network. This network was christened Apart.
1972 - Barons idea of sending electronic data has developed into email and ARAPNet uses this technology to link 400 users, principally defence and government sites.
1973 - The ARAPNet is extended to include key UK sites and the term INTERNET is used by Vint Clef and Bob Kahn when discussing their proposed use of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
1976 - Dr Robert Metcalfe develops Ethernet, a coaxial cable that allows electronic data to move very quickly. Ethernet continues to be used today within local area networks (LAN's). US position a satellite to receive and reflect data and the Net becomes more widely used in Europe.
1980 - The Net is extended within the US Universities for access to research and information.
1983 - US Military withdraw from ARAPNet as security to their systems is becoming increasingly under threat. Military use is transferred to their own secure systems.
1984 - Use of the Net extends to 1000 users all using UNIX based systems.
1987 - The growth of the PC and the use of a modem allowed access to the Net, although with a multitude of users using different operating systems it was not to prove compatible. The original page formatting software that reassembled the electronically submitted data(MOSAIC) was becoming limited but still used.
1989 - Freeness is introduced by OHIO State University in Cleveland allowing free access to the Internet.
1992 - Great advances in satellite communications and rapid growth within the PC market allow users from around the world, access. The archaic MOSAIC is unable to support the graphics that are now available on applications and a greater degree of uniformity of access is needed to ensure that different architecture and platforms can access. The World Wide Web is born.
1993 - The wide use of the WWW overtakes all other forms of use
1994 - MOSAIC is further developed to be a multi platform and application supporting software and is relaunched by SUN Systems as Netscape Navigator.
1995 - Various companies (CompuServe, AOL etc.) offer online connection services whereby, for a subscription, users can access their server and through them gain links to the WWW. Microsoft includes their version of a Web Browser, Internet Explorer (IE). Universal prototcols are established to provide common access and file handling devices to allow for ease of use. HTML is supported by mini applications that can be included using CGI.
1997 - Commercial users have grown substantially and businesses are conducting £billions worth of trade requiring access to databases and programming develops to keep up with demand.
1998 - Internet Service Providers are opening in their hundreds to accommodate the rapid rise in use. Modem speeds increase to 33 kilobytes of information sent per second. Micorsofts Internet Explorer version 4.0 is released after Netscape drops it's US Court case against them.
1999 - The internet is regularly used by 100 million people, a figure that is expected to double within the next few years. XML is released as the follow up language to HTML and reflects the increased empowerment of the browsers. Internet Explorer version 5.0 is released and becomes an integral part of the MS Windows 98 operating system. Ecommerce and Internet databases are becoming the norm, with an estimated $50 billion of trade anticipated in the coming years. Web pages become much more complex with software developments.
2000 - A new millenium dawns and the WWW continues to grow at a staggering rate.