I was very flattered to be the person to present all his achievements during a gala dinner in the Kongresshaus in Zuerich. It was interesting for me in various different ways.
First I learned a lot of detail about the very beginning of the Web that I did not know before and it was a great opportunity for me to catch up with Robert and talk about old times.
Also I realized that we have a shared passion for standards which is really reflected on his website so we decided that I would not use Apple's Keynote for the presentation (which usually would be my tool of choice), but I would use just a browser and XHTML, CSS (& friends).
Please find the "Directors Cut" of the presentation here, this version contains a number of extra slides as a little bonus.
Just like Roberts personal website it has not been tested with Internet Explorer and works best with Firefox & Safari on a Mac. Either click through the presentation or use the cursors on your keyboard to move through the presentation. In Firefox you may want to hit Shift-Command-F (on a Mac) for a fullscreen experience.
It definitely was a very interesting experience to give a presentation infront of 800 people without keynote as my trusty companion, but I have to say the rendering engines of browsers have come a long way, and it all worked out beautifully.
To give you a little bit of context I thought I'd write down some of the content of my presentation.
Robert and I met about 11 years ago when he was responsible for the public websites of the Cern. As a WCM Vendor we were invited to go and present our technology. I was fully aware of the importance of the Cern relative to the Web's history, but I was not prepared to meet one of the two developers of the Web in that meeting.
After the meeting I was deeply impressed with Roberts insights and went back to the office and googled him, which was when I realized who I had just met. It dawned on me that I had the opportunity to take a deep look into "Web history" that day.
Congratulations to Robert Cailliau, who I think of as a great visionary, but more importantly as a fascinating and charismatic genius who profoundly impacted all our lives.