HTML and CSS Reference
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processors, to quickly publish research papers. Patent rights and Nobel Prizes
were at stake. In a post to the alt.hypertext newsgroup on August 6, 1991,
which was efectively the Web's birth announcement, Berners-Lee wrote:
he WWW project was started to allow high energy physicists to
share data, news, and documentation. We are very interested in
spreading the web to other areas, and having gateway servers for
other data. Collaborators welcome!
Twenty years later, Berners-Lee is still very much involved in the evolution of
the Web as head of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) . I stress “evolu-
tion” here to point out that, while the Web has transformed society, freeing
us to work and play in a global sea of information, a lot of that happened by
accident. HTML is still a work in progress.
A Bit of Web History
he early Web was text only—without images or colors—and browsers worked
in line mode. In other words, you cursor-keyed your way through page links
sequentially, like browsing on a low-end cell phone. It was not until 1993 that
a graphical browser called Mosaic was made available from the University of
Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Cham-
paign-Urbana, Illinois. Mosaic was easy enough to install and use on Win-
dows, Macintosh, and UNIX computers.
Mosaic was written by a group of graduate students—principally, Marc
Andreessen and Eric Bina. hey built Mosaic because they were excited by the
possibilities of hypertext and were dissatisied by the browsers available at the
time. hey were supposed to be working on their master's projects.
Mosaic was the progenitor of all modern browsers. It displayed
inline images, multiple font families, weights, and styles, and it
supported a pointing device (a mouse). Distribution of the tech-
nology and Mosaic trademarks was managed for the NCSA by the
Spyglass Corporation and was licensed by Microsot, which rewrote the source
code and called it Internet Explorer .
Ater graduating from the University of Illinois, Andreessen teamed up
with Dr. Jim Clark to form Netscape Corporation. Dr. Clark was the former
CEO of Silicon Graphics, Inc., whose sexy, powerful graphics computers/work-
stations revolutionized Hollywood moviemaking. he Netscape Navigator
browser introduced major innovations and became extremely popular because
Netscape Corp. did something quite astounding for the sotware industry at
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