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The Internet

Beneath the Surface of the World Wide Web 47

This one was sent in byAnt: a rather charming timeline-style history of the World Wide Web from 1989 to the present at W3history.org . It's full of both well-known and little-known facts. Read it in English or German, your choice.
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Beneath the Surface of the World Wide Web

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  • Amen. I can't fathom how somebody would presume to be qualified to design a site about the history of the World Wide Web -- and design it such that it can't even be viewed with Lynx.
  • Support for other browsers will be added.
    Please bear with us - and come back soon!


    Kudos to the creators, my ass.
  • Very very interesting site. However, I emailed them about one thing:

    I tried to see the page with Mozilla M12, and it said I need either NS 3.x/4.x or Redmondian equivalent of thereof.

    So... in order to view the site, I need a historical browser, instead of a browser of the future!

    It's probably just a PR stunt. You know, they probably thought that people come in and just think "damn, another boring museum site!"... and in order to make you to feel the thrills of history and probably nostalgia - to see in what kind of hell the people of yesterday needed to browse the web in, they want you to downgrade!

    Good marketing! =)

  • another successful /. effect.......can't seem to load the site.

    I tend to agree with the earlier poster that said you can't keep up, though really you can't keep up in history regardless....unless you severly narrow the topic so far that the only people that would then care are PhDs. in the field.......

    Sounds like something that would be neat to look at, just as long as the mass media and the general public don't read through it and think that becasue they see the word Apache they should invest their life savings in a company called BuildYourOwnWebServerToPutOnTheMoon.com who just IPO'd and jumped into record territory.

  • Yeah, isn't that sad? "Presentation is more important than content. Screw you if you're blind." This is not the Web the way Tim wanted it. A lot of great features of HTML and HTTP have gone unused because webmasters care only about their sites looking pretty. Interoperability, link maintenance, etc. are seldom considered. (At least W3History does make use of content language negotiation; some multilingual sites don't even bother to do that.)



  • After accessing both the webhistory pages by the .org people and by MS, I come to the conclusion that there ought to be a better way for us, the users, to keep closer tab on those so-called "History Keepers".

    Too many times I find that people likes to "play" with history - that is, they only tell _their_ side of history, and that _their_ version of history supposed to be the one and only valid version - and I do find it disheartening that we have allowed to many history-revisionists to "DO" history for us.

    What is more disheartening is this kind of act is happening on the Net. I mean, look at MS's version... I would not want to discount IE's contribution to the popularity of the Web, but c'mon, IE is not the one and only thing going on.

    But then, who should we blame but ourselves, by allowing the history revisionists to run amok?

    Hopefully, one day, we will have a better way to keep a closer tab on those history revisionists, aka, "History Keepers", and if we find _any_ funny doings, we ought to have the means to make sure TRUE (and hopefully better unbiased versions of) history will eventually prevail.


  • here's an other history/timeline i found while recently searching for digital subscriber line info...

    this timeline of 'of Hypertext History' spans the past five thousand years... and apparently hasn't been update in a while but i find it interesting despite this...

    http://www.robotwisdom.com/web/timeline.html

    -ration8
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 )
    Sorry, but linux has not played a "big role" in the web by any stretch of the imagination. Solaris runs on far more systems than linux for webservers. Where is the praise of Sun?

    the biggest thing Linux has done so far for the web is make web servers a commodity - run on cheap, commercial hardware, and do it well. That's a major accomplishment but it doesn't show in any of the server statistics.. yet.

    Linux is more a social phenomenon than a technical one - most of what linux does other OS' do better - Windows is a better desktop, Solaris / FreeBSD is a better server, BeOS is more multimedia... Linux tries to do all things, but it has succeeded in doing nothing perfectly yet.

    If you want to give linux credit - give it credit for the social phenomenon in the form of the open source / free software duality.

  • Windows has embedding down - OLE. Current CORBA implimentations don't come close. Windows has a decent browser. Let's face it, Netscape's age is showing - I prefer the IE5 rendering engine under windows and use Neoplanet (ie5's UI blows). Linux doesn't have full support for MS Office. Whether you like it or not most businesses depend on MS Office - memos, sales charts, most everything depends on Office. For linux to be a competitor, MS must either port it to linux (not bloody likely) or somebody must reverse-engineer it (thousands of developers needed).

    Further, linux video performance (under X) is lackluster. Unless you have an accelerated X server, your performance will be between 50-75% of windows performance. I have a Matrox Millenium II PCI / 8mb. It's fast... but it's only about 2/3rds the speed of windows - I had to disable alot of animations under e / gnome to make it render reasonably quickly and without glitches.

    Bugs. Gnome 1.0. Need I say more? They've made strides now - but I'm still pissed they called that an initial release when it was still somewhere between alpha and beta. KDE's QT interface has me annoyed because of the patching / licensing issues, but functionally it's stable and reasonably well-featured. Still no embedded support, however... but atleast that Konqueror browser is shaping up to be the next Great Hope for linux.

    Need I go on? My list is a mile long... Windows *is* better as a desktop, although I hate to admit that. What I will tell you is that I find my e / gnome combination sufficient for my daily work... namely scripting the backend to my webpages and cranking out code. If I wanted to use linux at work... I'd be in sore shape though.

  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Thursday December 30, 1999 @07:35AM (#1432261)

    Great timeline, but it's all wrong! Here's the right one:


    1999 - Al Gore invents internet
    2000 - World ends.
  • Pretty nicely designed page, kudos to the creators.

    Its interesting to see that the first versions of Mosaic were only available for unix - this allowed many hobbyists, such as myself, a window onto this new world, while alot of people (windows people, still using Win3.1 at the time, and probably more still still using DOS) were left out. Boy how times have changed - with linux/unix people being left out of the internet with the use of proprietary protocols and native binaries (phear activeX).

    Now we're coming full circle. Unix grew up with the internet in the beginning, anb the internet gave free Unixes (*BSD, Linux) life. It was quite fitting that Mosaic was only unix at the time. Now we've come back to popularizing unix/Linux via the net. Hopefully it will culminate in unix dominating the net once again.

    One thing that is missing in this timeline is the milestones of Linux and the *BSDs that follow along side Netscape/Mosaic. Remember the internet was run overwhelmingly on Unix (and some VMS) and the behind the scenes of the web were the servers - overwhelmingly run on unix. NCSA and Cern were unix only, and of course Apache grew out of NCSA as we all know. It wasn even available for Windows until a few years ago, and it has dominated the web server arena since soon after its creation.

    THe fact that most tools for the back end of the web were for Unix and that Linux was around, and free, and you got all the source code is extremely important in the ISP area which got everyone online. I dont even know if there's really an ISP I've ever heard of that did ALL of its operations ONLY on M$ products. The fact that Unix was behind the scenes for most of the net, which is where the web lives is something pretty major to overlook.

    The number of ISPs that grew up on Linux and *BSD only is HUGE, and they contributed to the web's growth and development hugely by throwing so many users online. (Perhaps us oldskulers ('87 for me ) should curse them? :)

    Math
  • It came up just fine, although slow. It's 19 hops away from me, so that could be a reason...
  • Hopefully it will culminate in unix dominating the net once again.

    So you figure in a few years we'll be listening to users of Windows, PalmOS, BeOS, etc. bitch about all the web sites that are optimized for Konqueror/depend on ELF binaries/whatever, and whine about the Web discriminating against users of non-Unix platforms?

    I surely hope not. First of all, because Unix sucks. It does. I'm not joking. Of course, it sucks much less than any given flavour of Windows. But it sucks nonetheless. Again, I'm serious: Unix is at best useable, and still nowhere near being worthy of the adjective "good". So in one way or the other, forcing people to use Unix if they want to have the complete Net experience is about as bad as doing the same with Windows.

    What we want is not a Net dominated by Unix. It's an open Net, free of platform boundaries. Bitch as much as you want about Java (I know I do), it's definitely a step in the right direction. So I hope that in a few years an user can access any piece of information he wants, whether he's on a Beowulf cluster, on a workstation, or on an Internet-enabled toaster.
  • the Web is moving faster than anyone can keep up. So you can never have a total history.

    This is true regardless of the area you are trying to chronicle. There are 6E9 people in the world right now. A chronicle of any individual life would fill bookshelves. Any abstraction of these lives is limited. If you choose to limit your abstractio to a certain small area (like the technology of the WWW), you are obviously missing WAY more than you are including. All knowedge is incomplete.
  • Linux...it doesn't show in any of the server statistics

    Pure bullshit!
    According to the counter at leb.net (please refer to a posting on slashdot around april 1999) Linux accounts for 31% of all servers "running the Internet" (WWW, FTP and News). Linux is the number one operating system right now. Linux plus FreeBSD account for more than half of all servers... what should I tell more?

    I remember when in 1994 70% of all Webservers were run on Sun-boxes, the rest was HP-UX, SGI, AIX and e few others. MS-Windows wasn't even on the horizon back then.

    Please ask again: who wrote the Internet history?
    Unix = Internet: Sun some years ago, Linux today.

    :-)
    ms

  • moo
  • This is nice, but the problem is that the Web is moving faster than anyone can keep up.
    So you can never have a total history.
    We can only see and remember the biggest things that happen.
  • It won't work, even if I specifically check "Identify as Mozilla 3.0".
  • Doesn't work with Mozilla M12, either.


  • Does it contain the first occurrance of the slashdot effect?
  • For those who care (anyone? anyone?) there is a Microsoft Web history [microsoft.com] linked from their main page. Aww, isn't that special...
  • So I finally get through to the site, only to be told to download Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. I guess the history of the Web includes the exclusion of alternatives to bloatware.
  • It's nice to see that he's got a good sense of humour. Linus v2.0 :)
  • % telnet www.w3history.org 80
    Trying 151.196.211.136...
    telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused
  • Windows is the best desktop?

    Maybe you should check out the MacOS, which has had many of the features of the windows desktop for several years.

    The MacOS, especially under MacOS 8+ provides a much better desktop environment than either windows, GNOME or KDE. Microsoft's big problem is (still) their complete failure to understand user interface design, something that Apple's designers have had down pat for years (close boxes on the left side of the window, anyone?)

    I'm not trying to evangelise the Macintosh here, but I have used GNOME, KDE, Windows (3x and 4x) and the MacOS and the one I find the most usable has always been the MacOS.

    I really couldn't care less about how stable it is, my Mac hardly ever crashes if I'm not trying to be stupid (ie running lots of extensions, old applications etc, which are the major causes of Macintosh instability.) And virtual memory can go shove itself for all I care...

    For those interested, I have a Macintosh Centris 660av, and an Intel Pentium 100-based system running Red Hat 6, with KDE as my desktop (GNOME sucks ass IMHO)

    'Bring out the GIMP'
  • Where the heck this get a score of 2?

    "Well: I think Windows sucks. It does. I'm not joking either. Of course it's much prettier than Unix. But it sucks nonetheless. I'm serious (take my word for it!). It's nowhere near being worthey of the adjective 'good.' ... blah blah blah."

    (point: speaking from emotion only wastes peoples time)

    What Unix does do, which Windows can't, is provide a _stable_ and _open_ basis to further develop the Net upon. That is where the internet originated from. As soon Commercialism (Windows et all) was added, it became about "beauty" and "money", stability, and innovation set aside. Commercialism doesn't care about furthering the Net, it's simply a race to see who can get richest the fastest. Unix isn't about that. And that is why I think the Net would benifit from moving back to the traditional "unix mentality".

    Who ever said anything about /discriminating/ agains non-Unix users? Who ever said anything about the web being optimized/dependant on ELF binaries? The origional post sure didn't. I infact don't think you could be more off. It's not a battle against OS's (and your /opinions/ about them), it's about which is able to benefit the Net as a whole the most.

    Free Unix/Linux do with no questions asked.
  • How does Slashdot handle the Slashdot effect? [slashdot.org]
  • Let's see-- they forgot

    Prospero
    Gopher
    comp.archives (thanks Ed Vielmetti!)
    WAIS (Brenden Kehoe)
    Usenet in general
    WHOIS

    Anything else anyone can think of?
  • I was talking with a friend about this last night. There is no style history of the net. With television you can pull out a videotape that you made in 1980 and make fun of the hairstyles and the ads and compare the 'feel' with today's television. With the internet it isn't possible to sit down and have a browsing experience from 1994 when ads where not jumping off the screen at you, words flashed mercilessly and java made tic-tac-toe fun again.

    Does anybody know of a site that is more than just screen shots or timelines of the web that you can explore 'historic' sites?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday December 30, 1999 @08:36AM (#1432281) Homepage
    Yes! They have it right! A big page with "Loading - please wait..." appears, and for a long, long time, nothing happens. Now that's a good history of the World Wide Web.
  • This site really bugged me. First, they decide to use IE and NS to the exclusion of EVERY OTHER BROWSER. Sigh. And god knows we need JavaScript to do everything (Hey! Why not make a it a self-installing Windows program and be done with it?). Nearly every other site manages to present their content in an appealing way without excluding the little guys.



    Right now, as we speak, I'm typing this message on my BeOS computer, as my Windows computer with Opera, IE, and NS defrags itself, so, uhm, even if I downloaded both of those browsers, it wouldn't make much of a difference.



    Bleh.
  • You messed it up too... 1999 - Al Gore invents internet 1999 - Intel makes you trackable with P3 2000 - World ends.
  • If you don't already, start taking snapshots of your site every week or month or whatever it takes to record its evolution. I have a series of screen shots of the lotus.com home page (my previous employer) from early in 94 when they first got on the Web through several major revisions into late this year -- and you can almost sense the changes happening on the rest of the Web as it evolves from text on a gray background, to an overly heavy graphic page, to a news-style page, to its current format. BTW I can't get to the link in this story right now, either... go /.! A .sig free post.
  • Just think, the coder who did w3history.org spent a lot of time writing a Javascript browser identification routine that tries really hard to spot my Opera browser, yet ends up denying me access to the site, telling me that they will add support for me "soon".

    And all I needed was frame and Javascript support :-)

    I guess simple HTML compliancy is a little passé these days.

    Shouldn't there be a system with Network Solutions (who are generally very keen on blocking sites when controversy strikes) to de-register cool domain names when operated by the clueless?

    (Oh, oh, oh ... was that end-of-year sarcasm? :-)

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

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