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ENQUIRE was an early software project written in the second half of 1980 by Tim Berners-Lee, who went on to create the World Wide Web in 1989. ENQUIRE had some of the same ideas as the Web and the Semantic Web but was different in several important ways. One of them was that it was not supposed to be released to the general public. ENQUIRE was written in the Pascal programming language and implemented on a Norsk Data machine.

According to Berners-Lee (2000), the name was inspired by a book entitled Enquire Within Upon Everything.

Rather than a web site, ENQUIRE was closer to a modern wiki:

  • database, though a closed system (all of the data could be taken as a workable whole)
  • bidirectional hyperlinks (in Wikipedia and MediaWiki, this is approximated by the What links here feature). This bidirectionality allows ideas, notes, etc. to link to each other without the author being aware of this. In a way, they (or, at least, their relationships) get a life of their own.
  • direct editing of the server (like wikis and CMS/blogs)
  • ease of compositing, particularly when it comes to hyperlinking.

See also

External links


Berners-Lee, T. (2000). Weaving the web. The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web. NY: Harper Business.


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