Early Browsers

This page will contain screenshots and some commentary from books and myself about various relevant early browsers.

Here's a link to the official page for the first Web browser created by Tim Berners-Lee with screenshots that I may or may not repost here. Note how in his browser, the user does not view one "page" at once but many windows, like the desktop environment. The NoteCards hypertext system(running on a Xerox 1186 workstation) looked similar in this way:


The move to seeing one "page" at a time completely changed the dynamic present and the environment envisioned by creators of hypertext systems, including Tim Berners-Lee. Of course, text-based browsers like Lynx, could only handle one "page" at a time. I wonder how much the look of hypertext systems in this regard was influenced by the constraints of systems. Engelbart's (oN-Line System)NLS, demoed in 1968 developed a windowing system(though it can't be seen from that demo). It would seem that the one-"page" model somehow demotes the vision of hypertext figuratively and literally. Is the Mosaic browser(screenshots(scroll down)) responsible for it?

See Jakob Nielson's History of Hypertext chapter from his 1995 book Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond, which has explanations and screenshots of hypertext systems.

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