Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
The Internet

10 Years of the World Wide Web 525

NCSA Mosaic was first released ten years ago today (oh, I guess you could mark time from the 1.0 release, but who's counting), marking the first milestone in the evolution of the graphical World Wide Web. HTTP was originally developed between 1989-1991, but didn't take off until there was a useful browser which could display inline images. You can still download old versions of Mosaic from So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

10 Years of the World Wide Web

Comments Filter:
  • by E1ven ( 50485 ) <e1ven.e1ven@com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:31PM (#5512106) Homepage
    Wow.. After downloading and looking at "NCSA MOSIAC FOR MS WINDOWS" it's amazing how LITTLE the browser has changed..

    All major innovations, such as URL bar, Forward/Back buttons, reload and home buttons, as well as bookmarks are allready in place. It even has a Search bar!

    90% of the "features" of a browser haven't changed in the last 10 years.. It really makes you wonder how often people re-think an interface, or if they just use and evolve what they are used to.

    I'm honestly curious, what major innovations have we seen?
    Snapback [Apple Safari]
    Tabbed browsing, and related enhancements (such as Open a group of tabs) [Mozilla, etc]


    One other feature I found interesting is that in NCSA Mosaic, there was a "annotate" function.. Presumably this let people add to a page, if the server were set properly, almost like a WIKI situation?
    Did anyone ever work with this?

    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:36PM (#5512167) Homepage
      I'm honestly curious, what major innovations have we seen?

      The DOM. Basically, the browser itself is now scriptable and the page can interact via Javascript or anything else aware of the DOM. Although a result of evolving document standards, that's actually a browser feature since the processing for it has to be done locally.

      We also have the mobile browsers on phones/PDAs with auto-resizing etc.

      Beyond that, I'd pretty much agree with you. If it's not broken...


    • I couldn't agree more.

      Even down to the spinning globe that Mosaic had, plus the very useful "clone window" button.

      I think the innovations have happened at the back-end: the move away from static content to dynamically generated on-the-fly content.

    • by L0stb0Y ( 108220 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:37PM (#5512177) Journal
      With as little the browser has changed, its amazing how much code-bloat there is in the new browsers of today (ok, not counting Opera, etc...)

      Lots of the "improvements" (I use the term loosely) are in the form of supported formats/scripts, plugins, handling of international character sets, etc...

      AND a ton of CRAP. BUT- just for fun, have you tried surfing using Lynx lately? It just doesn't fly anymore. Just like if you tried the original Mosaic, you'd lose quite a bit (or at least lots of pages would work).

      But yeah, as far as design, and apparent usability to the user, the browser hasn't changed much.

      • by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:04PM (#5512472)
        BUT- just for fun, have you tried surfing using Lynx lately?

        I use it quite a bit for network programming because it is easier to control than a normal browser in that it doesn't do *anything* automatically - it won't even follow redirects unless you allow it explicitly. This is a very useful feature if you are trying to closely follow interactions with a web site.

        I agree with you in that Lynx just doesn't cut the mustard for ordinary surfing (that's not really what it's designed to do). I just don't want folks to get the idea that it's outdated or otherwise useless.

        I love lynx.
      • by You're All Wrong ( 573825 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:06PM (#5512494)
        The two most commonly used browsers on my systems are lynx (my girlfriend's browser of choice) and w3m (my browser of choice).
        Only when we're desperate do we resort to Opera, and only when completely desperate (need to view a flash) do we crank up Netscape 4.7.

        I use the internet as a library, a resource for information. 99% of the sites I go to can be browsed perfectly as plain text. Keeps it quick, keeps it easy.

        So it may not be powered flight any more, but text-mode browsing is still a nice glide most of the time.

    • The problem with coming up with a new design interface is that it is VERY risky. What if the consumer doesn't like it? What if it is harder to use thatn predicted?

      Innovation is wonderful, it is also VERY expensive. Why reinvent the wheel? Its a tried and true way of doing things. If you are going to innovate, make it worth while.

      Just my humble opinion,
    • How about:

      Keyword based bookmarks - Epiphany. Very few people have tried this yet, because Ephy isn't stable, but they look like a pretty interesting departure from the normal heirarchy based bookmarks

      Autocomplete? Perhaps not that innovative, but still.

    • Innovations I like (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lewp ( 95638 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512296) Journal
      • Automatic form fill - Saves you lots of time filling out the same info over and over again on a thousand different websites.
      • Location bar autocomplete - Not only does it speed up typing out those long URLs, it also serves as kind of a quick-and-dirty history menu.
      • Bookmark key words - My personal favorite. I love the ability to type "g monkeys" in the location bar and have Google search the web for monkeys. I have these things set up for everything: IMDb, CDDB, RFCs,, and probably two dozen more. Gives you the power of having fifty different search boxes, without cluttering up your interface. I won't even consider a browser that doesn't have this feature, though I think they all do now.
      • Mouse gestures - I don't use them very often because I prefer radial context menus, but I know people who can't live without them. Very cool.
      • by Dman33 ( 110217 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:10PM (#5512514)
        Mouse gestures - I don't use them very often because I prefer radial context menus, but I know people who can't live without them. Very cool.

        I live and dye by mine. I cannot stand switching to other browsers and catching myself doing a mouse gesture that does nothing. I find it really helpful when doing research and I am hopping from one page to another. Very nice addition to your list cuz that is just what I was thinking of.
    • by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:54PM (#5512384)
      • Javascript (followed by ECMA script)
      • The document object model
      • PNG support
      • Frames support
      • Embedable multimedia
      • Plugin support
      • Cookies
      • HTTPS Support
      • Cascading Style Sheets
      • XHTML Translations
      • XML Support
      • Themes
      • Integrated Mail and News
      • (imperfect) W3C Standards support

      I could go on, but you get the point. Browsers have progressed tremendously in the last 10 years, but mostly in ways that are not immediately visible to a layman - the progress has mostly been in enabling support for various things, although significant progress has also been made in design and usability.

      • by bashibazouk ( 582054 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:20PM (#5512599) Journal
        In other words, in 10 years we've gone from functional to annoying.

        That's progress for you.

      • by aallan ( 68633 ) <alasdair@babilim.[ ]uk ['co.' in gap]> on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:29PM (#5512690) Homepage
        Javascript (followed by ECMA script)

        Mot an unmixed blessing...

        The document object model

        Good point.

        PNG support

        Not exactly a major achievement.

        Frames support

        Actually, I think frames were one of the worst things that got done to the HTML standard, the concept bends the web paradigm.

        Embedable multimedia

        If you mean Flash, then I really disagree. Flash is the worst thing to happen to the web. Flash entirely breaks the web paradigm.

        If you mean embedable movies (and stuff), I'm not convinced I agree here either, it restricts the user with respect to the applications they use and alot of teh time make it frustratingly hard to actually download the content ratehr than watch it "online".

        Plugin support

        True, alhtough haven't Microsoft now gotten rid of this in their latest generation of browsers? Don't know for sure as I haven't used IE in several years.


        Cookies were a half decent idea, we needed to do something to get persistant states, but they've been used for evil and now must die.

        HTTPS Support

        Hardly an inovation, enrypting something isn't innovative.

        Cascading Style Sheets

        The best thing to the web in years, just wish all the browsers would finally support it in the same way.

        XHTML Translations


        XML Support

        Well, okay, but its not really fully supported yet, is it?


        Ho hum...

        Integrated Mail and News

        Bad, clunky and graphical. Why would you want to read news or mail inside a GUI? They're fundamentally text based media?

        Personally my life has become much easier now my mail server auto-rejects all HTML formatted email before I see it. HTML email is an abomination...

        (imperfect) W3C Standards support

        Surely that shoul have been at the top of the list? Standards support should come before everything else. If we don't have standards, its bloody hard for software to tak to other bits of software, let alone to humans.

        Browsers have progressed tremendously in the last 10 years, but mostly in ways that are not immediately visible to a layman...

        I think what people are commenting on is that its been fairly slow incremental change, the sort of paradigm shifts that occured early on in teh webs life haven't occured again. For instance I'm sure alot of people (including me) are wondering why the Semantic Web never really took off...

        That said the - the progress has mostly been in enabling support for various things, although significant progress has also been made in design and usability.

        Right, incremental changes. I think that the GRID might shake things up a bit in the next couple of years, although since I'm working of GRID-enabled stuff I might have a somewhat skewed view of whats going on...

    • by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:55PM (#5512389)
      There was actually a recent article on nooface [] about a Wired interview [] with Marc Andreesen about what he would do differently if he had to redesign the browser from scratch. Basically things like the Back and Forward buttons weren't supposed to be a permanent part of the interface.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'd say that the root question here is not "What will the web look like in 10 years?", but "How much bandwidth will users have available to them in 10 years?"

      If the majority of users are still stuck on small-pipe modems in 10 years, most web content will look much like it does now. If instead most users have at least cable/dsl bandwidth (or more, insert your fave buzzword here), then web site designers will be more likely to create content that takes advantage of higher bandwidth. When high-bandwidth is
    • I forsee three possibilities assuming no major wars or global-level disasters:

      One - A task force to regulate web use is created in the face of "international terrorism" and "protecting children" that tries to limit use of the worst porn and shady financial transactions. This system is easily abused is constantly fought over in Congress as the religious Republicans try to use it to apply Christian morality to the nation and the socialist (non-moderate) Democrats try to build it into a system laden with "po
    • This is actually a major point and I thought, deserved much more discussion that some lame me-too stuff like 'I was one of those in '92 and I had this text based browser and look at how things have changed now and i can't believe it'.

      The significant point is that the whole of the Net has never undergone a paradigm shift. Take the browser (Ok, things get more user-friendly, the stuff on the web gets more colourful as u get more bandwidth, but what else did u expect?) or the protocols - there has been no rev
      • by Surak ( 18578 ) <[surak] [at] []> on Friday March 14, 2003 @02:45PM (#5513374) Homepage Journal
        Any more reasons anyone?

        Yeah, you just said it:

        We are still using a fairly simple protocol like TCP and an even more simple protocol like HTTP on top for most of our file transfers.

        It's because rather than depsite that that the Internet has grown into such a behemoth.

        Simple protocols like TCP/IP and HTTP are easy to implement, can be implemented on a wide range of devices, and don't break very easily (most of the time these protocols are 'broken', it is due to poor implementation rather than the design of the protocol itself.)

      • Check out this site [] and links from there. Basically, the idea presented is that the net is scalable and useful because it IS simple (or "stupid")...
  • 2013 (Score:5, Funny)

    by genka ( 148122 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:33PM (#5512122) Homepage Journal

    So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

    I do not know and will not know. I will be in jail for stealing AOL/TW revenue by using an illegal 3D pop-up-down-sideways blocker.
  • by Ant2 ( 252143 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:33PM (#5512127)
    ...mostly ones and zeros
    • Re:I predict... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by H3lm3t ( 209860 )
      • ...mostly ones and zeros

      Actually, this can be quite wrong. With quantumcomputing becoming clearer and closer, we might be facing (what was it?) 16 positions in stead of just 'on' and 'off'.
  • by wizzy403 ( 303479 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:34PM (#5512141) has an article [] up today asking what would have happened if Netscape had won the browser wars.
    • Is the war really over?
    • by B3ryllium ( 571199 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:42PM (#5512249) Homepage
      Everyone would be forced to eat at Taco Bell.
    • WHAT!?!?! (Score:5, Funny)

      by thoolie ( 442789 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:42PM (#5512254)
      Netscape LOST!?!?
      • Seriously though, I think we're really starting to see a come-back with the Mozilla/Netscape/Phoenix/Chimera projects. I have turned on a lot of people onto Phoenix in Win32, and they really like it. Be sure to spread the word.

        For me, I think this is because of a lack of additional features being added to IE. If IE had tabbed browsing, helpful searching features, and good pop-up blocking/whitelisting, I'd probably still be using it. Of course, supporting anything open source and not-Microsoft is always a g
    • I'm with the camp of "not a damn thing". If broadband (512k up/512k down) reached 99.999% of the worlds internet users, we could talk about the substitution of the OS with a browserOS that runs remote apps on a central server for the end user everywhere, but it hasn't happened, plus, where are you gonna put your pr0n and mp3z if you just have a "browsing device", not on a central server that could be hacked/stolen/subpeona'ed before deletion. Hmmm, user jsmith has and N
    • That article is pretty stupid. For example, the author states that if Netscape won, MS would be out of business. Huh? If Netscape won, everyone would be using Netscape . . . on Windows XP, instead of IE on XP. MS would still be around. IE provides no revenue to MS, so I don't see how killing IE would kill MS.

      Also, the author states that we'd all be using on-line apps instead of an OS. That is more BS. Until everyone has broadband, it is more efficient to use programs that load off-line.

    • by Drakin ( 415182 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:34PM (#5512732)
      I actually think if Netscape had won, there would be a great deal less choice than there is now.

      Think about it. if netscape had won, crushing IE and becoming dominat, what would stop them from switching back to a for pay software company, actually making money of their product...

      And people don't like to pay for new versions too often... so, there'd be fewer innovations, far less growth of the product... just patches.

      Oh sure, there'd be better adherance to standards, but think of the loss the OSS community would suffer it it hadn't been for the development of Mozilla, born from netscapes collapse.

      Mozilla is one of those projects that affects the most number of people... and promotes at least some awareness of the choice that OSS brings to the table... (Linux, while a great bringer of zealots, just doesn't quite cut it with most folks.. getting closer though, getting a lot closer)

      ah well, just pulling "what if's" out of my ass here... I could be compleatly wrong.
  • MOSAIC! (Score:2, Funny)

    Man, I remember back in 1993 I was a sophomore in college. My FIRST experience with the web was Mosaic on a DECstation. I was telling people, this sh*t is way cool... got MUCH better...

    I found p0rn.... ;)
  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:35PM (#5512149)
    It will take forever for the 3d holograms to load over a broadband cable connection. Also, the psychic popup ads will be a real pain....
  • itll be all programs for downloading and creating your very own woman using your biowheel printer.

    Ok, a man can dream, cant he?
  • In 10 more years? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Valiss ( 463641 )
    Maybe we'll get the .web registry to go through.
    • Sure, but WHY?

      Classifications that define something obvious. Oh. http://company.WEB. Well, why didn't you SAY it was a web page.

      .web is almost as annoying as those people who hyperlink the phrase "click here."

  • nongraphical too (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrChuck ( 14227 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:36PM (#5512171)
    When http was spec'd, there were a variety of non-graphical clients out there. Granted it looked like a replacement for gopher, but it had hyperlinks that worked! Ted Nelson's dream, of a sort.

    My NeXT was running web clients in 1991 or 1992. Not much to see, if you didn't put it up.

    Mosaic was a milestone, but it didn't mark the start line.

  • 2013 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:36PM (#5512172) Homepage
    I know what I would like to see in that we are all on internet2 living in a free society however I think what we might actually have is that everyones 10GB fibre optic links which will be saturated by people streaming porn onto the 3d holographic projectors and pop-ups will be sales men who literally pop up.

    Also spam will acount for 99% of all email which will all be in XHTML v9.0 and people will still be trying to get FP on slashdot :)

    • Re:2013 (Score:3, Funny)

      by flippet ( 582344 )

      ...and pop-ups will be sales men who literally pop up.

      Hey, that'd be great! It would be like whack-a-mole with salespeople... pop-up stoppers would no longer come from websites but hardware stores...


  • by 1984 ( 56406 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:36PM (#5512174) fangled and silly. I was 18 when I started using Mosaic at University, and thus it was hip and happening. But now it's all bells and whistles, and everyone went and got themselves in a big damned hurry. And youngsters these days, well...
  • And then about two years later some bozo invented the flash tag and irrevocably ruined the internet for all of eternity.
  • In the begining, my 75mhz 486 dx with the 14.4 modem and win 3.1 (i know, i know......some of you guys had the old 2800baud and how you walked to school bare foot in the snow, up hill........blah blah blah), i would get on the net at home (when we first got the net). We used the local company (they charged by minute after x amount of minutes). Since it was so new, i really couldn't figure out just what i wanted to use it for, and since i was so young, i really didn't know or need to know about the cool thin
  • i'd have to say.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:39PM (#5512210) Journal
    what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

    To the 2003 web surfer, I'd have to guess it's going to be strangley, deafeningly mute of spam and popups and junk in general. And if you casually leaned over and asked the 2013 web surfer where the spam went, I bet they'd go "the whuh?" I'll leave it wide open how I'm supposing something like that could happen...
  • By the way things are going the internet will probably be 80% porn movies and pics, and 19% 3d porn.
  • Everything on eVolt, including the bandwidth-hungry browser archive, is developed and maintained by volunteers. All the servers, bandwidth, etc. is donated or purchased with donations. I hope the high and mighty at /. dope a dime in the cup for the beating those poor servers are about to receive.'s success has brought about costs which our volunteers are unable to meet without your help. None of the volunteers are paid for their work - all money is put to use in providing's services.

  • by grungy ( 634468 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:39PM (#5512217)
    I remember staying in the CS department to work over spring break one year, and watching the guy next to me play with this new thing called 'Yahoo' hosted by Stanford. I thought the idea of getting data by pointing & clicking a mouse would be a fad. What kind of useful stuff was available that way? Any kind of serious-minded person knew that ftp, and maybe gopher, were fully adequate and easier to use.

    Anybody else see "fad" technologies out there now? Anybody have a guess as to which ones will stick?

  • 2013? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slashed Otter ( 638972 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:40PM (#5512220)
    what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

    Television :(
  • Tell me I am not an optimist:

    1) Retinal scan, thumb print and DNA test required for authentication.
    2) Registration and tracking in national and international databases of governments and corporations. This tracks your access point and methods as well as the data you access and networks traversed.
    3) Pay per microsecond based on access to copyright data and use of copyright and patented technologies.
    4) All govenments, corporations and point of sale terminals are based on the technology.
    5) Hardware locked sof
  • The Semantic Web (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HRbnjR ( 12398 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:40PM (#5512223) Homepage

    Well, I won't say for sure, but I think there is a strong chance that the same man largely responsible for the last ten years could play a role in the evolution over the next ten years as well...

    The Semantic Web [].

  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:41PM (#5512230) Homepage
    While we may have hit the 10 year mark for Mosaic, we haven't even hit the 9 year mark for the World Wide Web Consortium [], which wasn't founded until October of 1994.

    The first graphical browser I ever used was Mosaic, followed shortly thereafter by Netscape 1.0. This was before the W3 was founded, back in 1993. It's amazing how little the browsers supported back then. No backgrounds, no text colors, no tables, pages looked awful! I remember how blown away I was at the release of Netscape 2.0, which had background support, a stop button, <sub> and <sup> support, LiveScript (which became JavaScript)...and of course the dreaded blink tag.

    Although the general look and feel of the browser has not radically changed in a decade or so, the technologies that browsers support have changed drastically. At this point though, I'm just happy I can browse without using IE. I kind of miss the old days, before popups, before animated gifs, before flash & shockwave.
  • I don't know if this is a prediction or a hopw, but I imagine broadband prices dropping to something affordable - 50 bucks a month cuts a whole lot of people off from the true advantages of the 'net - always on connections, automatic system updates, information on demand, movie trailers and the like. I pay $5 a month now for dialup, I see no reason why cheap broadband isn't too far in the future as well.

  • 2013 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We'll still be using the web to find out the release date for "Duke Nukem Forever".
    • [ ] First Post
    • [ ] Use Linux.
    • [ ] Get a degree.
    • [ ] 3: Profit!!
    • [ ] There's no jobs
    • [x] Duke Nukem Forever reference
    • [ ] In Soviet Russia...

    Gimme karma, bitches.

  • Mosaic was the first web browser I ever used. I used it on what was, if I recall correctly, the first version of Slackware. I thought both things were the second and third neatest things after toast.

    It is interesting to think back to that time and compare it to where we are today. In some ways things have improved and changed dramatically, and in some ways, things are still the same. I am very encouraged by the progress made during the last 10 or so years and I am greatly interested in what the next 10
  • by kill-hup ( 120930 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512300) Homepage
    Anyone else remember those books that were thick directories of popular web/gopher/wais servers to visit? IIRC, they even had a special BBS phone directory in the back. The things were out of date the instant they were printed but, man, those were the days :)

    As useful as the Web has become, I still feel a bit nostalgic for the days when it was ruled by educational institutions, geeks, government agencies and porn. Life without banners....ahhh :)

  • by DAQ42 ( 210845 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512301)
    The current "computer industry" doesn't see the web as an application development enviornment. They see it as an advertising/marketing showplace. Some people (education/individuals/orgs) see it as an information sharing and collecting service (which is what www was supposed to be). However the only new thing that I've seen that made me go "hey, that's pretty nifty, and sort of new" has been the advent of "Web Services" such as XML based applications like Watson and now Sherlock 3 from Apple. Where content is pulled from a source but the source isn't exactly all planned out. It's annoying to have to look at some websites that are just flash animations and pretty fonts that look like scribblings of a demented 4 year old. I want the info, the words that mean something, the movie clip, the data. I don't want your love of the color puce to make me want to retch when I'm trying to look up a flight time, or read and article (web designers, take note, you know who you are, and I hate you because of it).

    We should be using the web more as a resource for storing and retrieving data. Graphics and pretty page layouts are nice and all but if I could, I'd abolish most of it and just look for a summary of the info with a little link saying "Want to know more? Click here..."

    It's the data.
    It's all about the data.
    Information wants to be in your pants.
    In Soviet Russia, the pants are in the hot grits.

  • by Jonathan ( 5011 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512302) Homepage
    The first time I saw Mosaic was August 1993. I couldn't understand why its supporters were so enthusiastic. After all, it was just Gopher with pictures, right? And Gopher was the standard.
  • by gbitten ( 306952 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512310)
    The first browser was called WorldWideWeb, more info where []. His first release was in Christmas 1990. So, the World Wide Web is 12 years old.
  • and I, after a long courtship, will finally be joined in holy matrimony.

    Our children will just seem to pop up out of nowhere, and will all be very friendly and knowledgable. They will even keep track of the places you go, and the things you like.

    Ah, love.

  • by scotay ( 195240 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:47PM (#5512316)
    In 2013, webservers will have become conscious and slashdotting will be considered the worst act of cruelty by PETA.
  • YAY!!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by LooseChanj ( 17865 )
    The pornograph is 10 years old! And I think we all know how to celebrate. ;-)
  • by Paul Lamere ( 21149 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:49PM (#5512327) Homepage Journal
    I hope that someone realizes that using "www" with 9 syllables is a silly way to abbreviate "world wide web" with 3.

  • by chunkwhite86 ( 593696 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:49PM (#5512329)
    So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

    It will look like CowboyNeal!!
  • information-access-over-electronic-networks? I'm not sure what that is, but I should probably patent it now just in case it takes off.
  • I still smile... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cliveholloway ( 132299 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:50PM (#5512339) Homepage Journal
    which could display inline images...

    When I remember how excited everybody got with the introducion of the <CENTER> tag

    Every damn page became centered overnight.

    And the day the <BLINK> tag first made an entry, I wanted to go shoot a large hoarde of web "designers".

    Each time a new advance was made, there was always a bunch of people who never learnt the rule - "Just because you can doesn't mean you should".

    I think they design Flash web sites now.

    My prediction is that they'll still be doing whatever the equivalent is in 2013 :)


    cLive ;-)

  • CERN WWW (Score:4, Informative)

    by scriptkiddie ( 28961 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:51PM (#5512342)
    There was a text-based browser before Mosaic, written at CERN and called www. That's the earliest web browser. I even remember using on a shell account in 1992 or so, though an early version of Lynx was available as well.

    In the interests of Internet history, I'd like to see www. It should be able to run fine on a Linux system, as it's a simple line-based program. However, I haven't been able to find a copy, as doesn't go back that far. Does anyone have the source?
  • In 2013, the internet will be too bogged down by spam and porn!
  • Wow been that long? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Com2Kid ( 142006 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:53PM (#5512368) Homepage Journal
    I've only been on the web 8 years but shoot, I remember seeing a ton of changes in just that relatively short time.

    I remember when nobody had pop-up ads, and when the banner ad thing first started. Remember the original link exchange rings? Also remember what kind of sites had them? No reputable site would dare have a banner on it!

    The no frames movement? Hey that one actually succeeded more or less! Of course it helped that frames where outdated by tables and eventually style sheets of various forms, lol!

    I remember when the "Next Big Thing" was VRML. I also remember how buggy the VRML players where. It was crazy, the Japanese did have a few good VRML attractions though.

    Best of all I remember being able to do a web search for *COUGH* not so legal *COUGH* applications and not coming up with a ton of porn sites! Heya imagine that! lol

    Of course I also remember doing insanely complicated regular expression searches just to FIND any data. Search engines sucked to such a large degree back then it wasn't even funny. And there also was not nearly so much information on the Internet, though there tended to be a lot more net culture history around. Anybody else here remember the BERMs VS Nerds thing that was the hot debate topic for the longest time?

    I remember the original incarnation of [] and of (now a squatters domain)

    Send your Cash, Check, or Valuables to:

    Some Homeless Guy New York New York. . . .


    Geocities used to be the somewhat lame but legit web host with domain names that where far to long. was the little known quality free hosting service. was the somewhat smaller competitor to Geocities.

    And Gamespy used to be an APPLICATION not some huge multinational corporation. Hehehehe. Damn that is funny, looking at how far Gamespy has come, LOL! I never even really did like their product! Oh well, hehe. Hey Fragmaster, you rock! :)

    Jeez, then the .com boom hit and everything went down the tube. We all kept on hoping that the "Next Big Thing" would come forth from it and we put up with all the B.S. that the bean counters brought in, always waiting for something new to emerge from these new gigantically funded companies.

    But. . . .


    Same old web, just a ton more banner ads. But hey, now there is a banner ad size standardization group! Some days I think that is all the web ended up getting out of the .com boom. . . .
  • first chatroom (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:53PM (#5512370) Homepage Journal
    Do you remember the first time you were ever in a chat room?

    for me it was like suddenly a moment of transcendance when I first realized what the internet was capable of, and that I could actually directly talk to multiple people all over the world.

    I remember emailing random people just because it was so cool and easy. (Now I'd be arrested for spamming...)

    I wonder what our kids will think of it, having always had it...
  • by joe_fish ( 6037 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:07PM (#5512499) Homepage Journal
    None. That's how much.

    Microsoft has left IE virtually unchanged for quite a while, because they don't need put any effort into it anymore. They have a 70-80% market share that isn't going anywhere quickly so why bother?

    IE does not has not moved an inch standards wise since IE 4, so "new" things like XHTML are not supported and only work because IE will support virtually any markup. Just try using a correct XHTML MIME type, or using XHTML DOM (which is read-only in XHTML) or CSS (changes to case rules in XHTML) in IE and it will fail. Mozilla and Opera (and no doubt Konq also) do all the above just fine.

    Maybe they will do tabbed browsing to stop people saying it is behind for features, maybe they will gruddingly to pop-up blockers, or maybe they will just keep the ad revenue from MSN.

    Until MS update IE the web stays looking just as it does now for 70-80% of users, however innovative the rest of the world gets.

  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:11PM (#5512531) Homepage
    By 2013, I *hope* we will do away with browsers. Literally.

    My thought is, the conventional web browser will eventually be replaced by something I like to refer to as a "metabrowser"... In other words, we don't really actively *surf* anymore, but rather, we swim through a series of content-rich pages generated by the browser itself, based on information transparently gathered from actual sources behind the scenes, and appearing in a format that I like to see things in. I don't want to see something prepared in a format someone else likes. I want to see it how I like it.

    How is this going to be accomplished? Well, take Google as a crude engine model. For any particular subject you search for on Google, the top 5 or so pages that Google suggests to you carry (on average) about 40% of the total information payload you're looking for. The sort of searches you embark on have usually been done by hundreds of people before you. If there was a way to earmark at-a-glance how useful a particular piece of information is, then you could begin ranking specific *reigons* of content, not simply the pages themselves. Think of a browser with a highlighter pen. Wherever you go, you can use the highlighter pen to say "this is useful, the rest is crap", and that annotation (as well as the aggregate of other peoples annotations) are stored along with the document. When viewed from this perspective, irrelevant information falls into obscurity while important information rises to the top.

    A metabrowser's task is to compile only that *useful* information, based on those annotations made by others in the past, combined with your own preferences. Think of it as a P2P utility for search parameters. What worked for you is shared amongst thousands of other people. Its not so much the page itself anymore, but what hotspots of that page are useful. Web browsers in 2003 are just machines for extracting the ore out of a mine. I want a device that extracts ore, refines it, and poops out a gold brick within 10 seconds.

    I also see the possibility of "temporal browsing", i.e. you can see what Slashdot looks like today, yesterday, or back on February 19th '06 if you want. Why not? So much data just spills into oblivion for no reason, why not find a way to keep it around? Why not store webpage content the same way frames of a movie are stored, simply as a delta of the last keyframe?

    I want to be able to "drill down" in a webpage to find the origin of a particular piece of information. I don't want to take 31337 h4x0r b0y's word for it.

    Massive amounts of content are meaningless without a proper way of indexing it all. We need to build bindings. Everywhere.

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:26PM (#5512662) Homepage
    That's the same characteristic that many truly brilliant innovations have. Cognoscenti can see some of the prehistory, but still, someone got all the important stuff right, all together, all at once--and everything after that is incrementalism.

    Some other examples: look at Visicalc. All the important ideas were already there. (Well, OK, a few more of them fell into place with Context MBA...)

    Or, for that matter, the graphic user interface as it existed in the 1984 Mac.

    Or, how about adventure games? Not to knock, say, Myst, but Crowther and Woods' original Colossal Cave really gave us an excellent, totally complete, well-implemented example of the genre right out of the starting gate.

    Donning my asbesto suit, I think Microsoft Word falls in the same category. The sad part is that this product has not only not improved, in many ways it has slightly deteriorated... Microsoft has not been a good steward of its own innovation.

    All of these examples make me realize just how LONG it's really been since I've experienced the "Wow!" of new possibilities opening up in front of me...
  • by EricWright ( 16803 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:28PM (#5512678) Journal
    Who is Eric Bina, and why doesn't anyone remember him?
  • by jackjumper ( 307961 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:37PM (#5512762)
    this []

    Be afraid...
  • by Gallenod ( 84385 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:49PM (#5512879)
    1. We'll understand more about how to slice information for the size of the real estate it's displayed on. You'll be able to receive content on everything from your 61" wide-screen TV down to your wristwatch, and the sites you'll visit will know which is which.

    2. More of our lives will be stored and recorded on computers, both at home and on the Web. How we sort this out will define how much privacy we have in the future. If we allow corporations or the government to give us an easy, convenient (or invisible) way of storing our preferences and historical files on their servers, we will sacrifice a significant amount of privacy. If we want privacy, we'll need to find a way (and a will) to store and protect our personal data on our personal computers and still have it accessable remotely for use.

    3. We will be forced to have a "digital identity" to participate in the mainstream cyberworld in much the same way that you need a picture ID to buy beer. There will still be places that will allow anonymity, but commercial and other "official" transactions will increasingly require something like PKI based on common standards. Of course, dependency on this raises the spectre of identity theft (or erasure) at a level never seen to date, so we must ensure that we still have "human" ways of verifying who we are.

    4. Either:

    a. Microsoft will have taken over the Internet and are our bases will belong to them, or...

    b. Microsoft will have been made obsolete by open standards and formats.

    Pick one. I know my preference.
  • by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:52PM (#5512905) Homepage
    [sinner@localhost sinner]$ telnet 80
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.0

  • by per unit analyzer ( 240753 ) <EngineerZ AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:59PM (#5512973)
    The funniest thing I remember about being at NCSA at the time Mosaic was released is that I seem to recall Larry Smarr referring to Mosaic as "the next NCSA Telnet."

    At the time, NCSA Telnet had been the Center's big contribution to the Internet and a huge one at that. In the mid-'80s before NCSA Telnet, no one had dreamed of using a PC or Mac to directly access resources (like supercomputers) on the 'Net... It just wasn't done. MIT's PC/IP came out about the same time but I don't think it saw nearly same distribution as NCSA Telnet in the early years... NCSA Telnet was the client almost everyone used on "little machines."

    Now ten years later, how many folks know what NCSA Telnet was, let alone recall it's impact? Talk about differences in scale...


  • Coincidence? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by glh ( 14273 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @02:17PM (#5513124) Homepage Journal
    This is the 10th year birthday of the web using a decent tool-- but it is also Einstien's birthday (14 March, 1879), google has a cool einstien image.

    Is that a cool coincidence or what? Must be something special about March 14th.
    Here's an interesting site [] of other events that happened today in history. Among them I found the following interesting:


    1958 RIAA (Recording Industry Association of American)is created and certifies 1st gold record (Perry Como's Catch A Falling Star)

    1950 FBI's "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" program begins

    1967 JFK's body moved from temporary grave to a permanent memorial
    1971 The Rolling Stones leave England for France to escape taxes
    1995 1st time 13 people in space
    1997 President Clinton trips & tears up his knee requiring surgery

  • The child has grown (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @02:23PM (#5513170) Homepage Journal
    ... but still far from mature.

    It could grow in width, reaching everywhere with appliances, internet enabled dispositives, ipv6 addresses even for your pencil, all enabled to access by voice, touch(for screens and things like that) and maybe more. I don't think that in 10 year we'll have holographic screens for clocks, a la Final Fantasy or Spy Kids 2, but is a nice goal.

    It could grow in depth. Have a big amount of content, but is still far from having "everything" know by man, in every language, in every media.

    And it could grow mature in other ways, being more self consistent, more consolidated. I think that will not be so far something that give a consolidated view of the web, something like data warehousing do for complex databases, but for the more complex database of all.

    Directories like yahoo did a first step, so the same did the first search engines. Google advanced a bit more, consilidating a bit the web giving weight to more linked things. But there still a lot of work to do in that direction, something that answer my mostly free form questions not giving me a collection of links that could talk about what I'm searching for, but an answer, something really like the old oracle, but for now and mostly for real.

    The last part is what I see more probable for the next years, still a lot needs to be developed, but there is a more or less clear path to reach it, search engines already have a big chunk of the www to start, and some legislation maybe will be needed (extractind data from web pages for that of things will be very similar to screen scraping).

    Of course, all of this could happen if nothing avoid this, like war, global economic problems, patents and IP in general don't put obstacles, famine, diseases, extintion levels events or Microsoft.

  • by eyefish ( 324893 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @02:49PM (#5513403)
    I still remember the very first time I saw Mosaic: I was at a computer lab and a friend just told me about this "cool" thing that just came out. Needless to say, me being a geek and all, it took me only 5 minutes later to create my first web page (back then, HTML was *ultra* simple). I also vividly remember saying to my friend "this is the future of the Internet".

    I actually remember that at one point it was possible to view *ALL* the websites on the planet (tell that to the younger generation today!), and how every single day was very exciting to discover new things (the birth of yahoo, altavista, ebay, and amazon come to mind).

    That day I saw mosaic is on my list of days I could never forget, like the challenger explossion, the berlin wall coming down, the wall trade center attacks, and recently the columbia tragedy...

  • MOSAIC was NOT 1st (Score:3, Interesting)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:23PM (#5517179) Journal
    that is wrong there was violla and even tin burns-lee's own NEXT browser.
    MOSAIC was promoted as the 1st graphical browser but that is factually wrong. I wasnt even the first major browser. Mosaic came years after the WWW

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's