WorldWideWeb (original CERN browser) Recreation

CERN has a nice working recreation of the original web browser, including a functional NeXt UI in the browser. This had been in alpha last year and is apparently now complete.

(Click the “Launch WorldWideWeb” button at the top right for the full experience.)


This is very cool. I have a vague recollection of the first time my colleagues and I connected to the Cern site via http – we didn’t have NeXT machines, we were using a text-based browser, like lynx or something very similar to it, in text windows on our SparcStation computers. Mid-1990s.

Another fun memory I have, from the mid-to-late 1990s, was installing new Sun workstations for students and post-docs in the office, and actually debating with our supervisor as to whether we should install a web browser or not as part of the software suite. As I recall, one of the “pro” arguments was that, besides potentially-frivolous http, it was also a convenient way to get to the beloved FTP archive at the Washington University at St. Louis, and various other more serious resources.


I was never aware of the fact that the first browser could also be used to create web pages! Not sure how I could have missed that - but I did. So, just select a title bar of a document (i.e. its path) and then highlight the text in your web page you want to be a link, and choose the right option and you have created a web page with a hyperlink. And you can edit web pages… and save the edited version locally.
I feel that modern browsers are missing something :slight_smile:

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Notably, Netscape Navigator had an editing tool as well. (Or was this just the Gold edition?)

It’s so long ago that I used Netscape Navigator that I can’t remember if I used an editing tool - it may be that it was only in the Gold edition, but I can’t even remember if I had that version. The last thing I remember from Netscape Navigator was when the source was released, in a heavily and quickly updated version, as the first Mozilla (I think it wasn’t even called that yet), and I compiled it on my 16MB i486 66MHz Linux box, with 128MB of swap. That took a couple of days…

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I can’t remember, too. I had the Gold edition installed for some tool I never used (probably to be able too support others) and this may have well been the editor. However, since Netscape included an e-mail client with HTML capabilities, it required a built-in HTML editor anyway. I’m not sure how this went on with the sole Navigator vs. Communicator suite (Navigator + mail/IMAP + groups + chat + video/VoIP client – these were quite all-purpose packages) split in version 4, since I had always the Communicator, which still had the editor (at least, there was a menu item for this :slight_smile:).

BTW, this may be the appropriate thread to feature the original Netscape site (then Mosaic Communications Corporation, still awaiting to be renamed after their top product), which is still online:

And here’s a bookmarklet for the proper gray default backgrounds:

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