Looking back at the World-Wide-Web | WisCommunity

Looking back at the World-Wide-Web

February 20, 2019 - 11:06am
WIscommunity in CERN browser

This brings back memories.  Many many years ago in what seems like another lifetime, I was the head of the UNIX administration team at FERMILAB. We had I believe the 3rd website in the United States. Life was much simpler then - web browsers such as they were only showed text. Links were new and exotic. I remember one day Tim Berners-Lee was visiting the lab from CERN and we had a talk about a lot of different things, one of which was this new World Wide Web thing he was working on.  I told him I was not at all sure that it could get any traction - he didn't seem too sure either, but he had the vision to have faith and I did not. This is probably why he is now Sir Tim Berners-Lee. And I am here in Downsville running a little website. 

Anyway - CERN has recently released some of the old tools from that era, including a simulation of the original CERN WordWideWeb browser (which was originally written on a NeXT computer - lovely little beasts). You might enjoy taking a look to see what life was like back then. It's fun to see how modern web sites work (or not) when browsed in a browser that doesn't understand most HTML tags and has no concept of CSS.  A quick hint -- You want Document -> Open from Full Document Reference in the menu at the top left - then type in the URL of interest. 

The picture here is what Wis.Community looks like in the CERN WorldWideWeb browser.

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Steve Hanson
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