Alan Emtage


The Father of Internet Search

  • In 1989, Barbados-native Alan Emtage created, Archie, the world’s first search engine. A founding member of the Internet Society, Emtage is a recognized expert on Internet policy, having chaired several Internet Engineering Task Force working groups and serving on advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, Library of Congress, and other bodies. He was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2017.

Building a Trusted Future

  • As a computer science graduate student at McGill University, Emtage worked as a systems administrator in the university’s IT department. One of his main tasks was helping faculty and students find software in various FTP archives. Emtage decided to automate the search process so McGill faculty and students could search for the software on their own. He named the program Archie, a play on “archive.” Archie was able to search millions of files located on servers around the world within a few minutes. Within a few months, Archie was responsible for over half of the internet traffic to Canada.
  • As co-chair of IETF’s Uniform resource Identifier working group, Emtage established the standard used on the Internet for Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

I wrote a piece of code that gave birth to a multibillion-dollar industry. I didn't make any money off of it, but I wouldn't change anything.