It’s been almost 30 years!
After Tim Berners-Lee developed its protocols in 1990, the WorldWideWeb got off to a slow start. A team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign jumpstarted popular adoption when it released Mosaic 1.0 on 22 April 1993.
Not only would Mosaic be the first cross-platform web browser, it was the first that could display text and images (gif format) inline. The “image” tag is what allowed Mosaic to display an image in the browser.
Mosaic also sported a graphical interface with clickable buttons that let users navigate easily and controls that let users scroll through text with ease. Another innovative feature was the hyper-link. In earlier browsers hypertext links had reference numbers that the user typed in to navigate to the linked document. Hyper-links allowed the user to simply click on a link to retrieve a document.
On 05 July 1993, a New Yorker magazine cartoon showed two dogs at a computer. The larger dog looks at the smaller one and says, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” They would have been using Mosaic!
InfoWorld Magazine named Mosaic its 1993 Product of the Year.
By December 1993, Mosaic would be featured on the front page of the New York Times business section (D1).
Think of it as a map to the buried treasures of the Information Age…
Mosaic’s many passionate proponents hail it as the first “killer app” of network computing–an applications program so different and so obviously useful that it can create a new industry from scratch.
And what a treasure it’s been!
Today Mosaic lives on as Firefox (2002), released after Netscape (1994, purchased by America Online in 1998) and then Mozilla (1998).