Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 11:52 UK

Berners-Lee 'sorry' for slashes

Tim Berners-Lee, AP
Tim Berners-Lee started the web to help scientists communicate

The forward slashes at the beginning of internet addresses have long annoyed net users and now the man behind them has apologised for using them.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has confessed that the // in a web address were actually "unnecessary".

He told the Times newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes.

"There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time," he said.

He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 20 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause "so much hassle".

His light-hearted apology even had a green angle as he accepted that having to add // to every address had wasted time, printing and paper.

Sir Tim is currently director of the World Wide Web Consortium and he is also working with the UK government to help open up access to government data.



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