A Brief History of the Web

In 1994, Tim Berners-Lee listed a few key ingredients needed to make the web a success.

  • enough people having access to a computer
  • those computers needed to be networked together
  • intuitive graphical interfaces
  • cheap enough disk space to keep large amounts of information around and share it with the world.
  • the diverse group of people and technology at CERN
  • Tim BL wrote an earlier hypertext program named Enquire
  • the NeXTCube / NeXTStep environment provided a good GUI programming environment
  • actual useful information (CERN phonebook) accessible via a gateway gave incentive to use the web
  • he posted about it usenet in August 1991, and people responded with feedback, ideas, and code contributions
  • people could experience the web easily by telneting info.CERN.ch which had a text-based browser
  • Pei Wei soon created an X11 browser named ViolaWWW in 1992. Other browsers were created.
  • NCSA saw ViolaWWW and Midas and created Mosaic in 1993 which was supported on Windows, Mac, and X. It was very easy to install, supported inline images, and supported live rendering which made it fast. Marc also quickly fixed bugs that people submitted.

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