The Original Web Browser Created By Tim Berners-Lee

I’m currently reading a book named Weaving the Web by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. The book explains how the web came to be, and I’ve been periodically looking up people, languages and other elements that the book mentions.

I was interested in how Berners-Lee tried to get other people to understand, let alone get excited about, the possibilities of the World Wide Web as a means of freely sharing and distributing information. He knew that one of the key features he needed was a user-friendly interface…a web browser.

A company in France had a great text editor, but they didn’t want to work with him on developing it for his project unless the European Union would pay for the development time. Over and over again, he ran into a variety of similar road blocks. He ultimately realized that in order to get this whole web thing to take off, he’d have to develop his own browser so that he could use it to demonstrate the World Wide Web in a clear, easy-to-understand manner to his physicist co-workers at CERN.

He envisioning a browser that would allow users to be able to edit documents directly on the web, so his browser was more like a combination of a text editor and a modern browser.

Screenshot of First World Wide Web Browser

Here’s a screenshot of the original World Wide Web browser on a NeXT computer:

Also, I’d like to point out that one of the key moments in getting his project to be accepted was when a kick ass librarian at the Stanford Linear Accelerator in Palo Alto (SLAC) named Louise Addis persuaded her colleague who developed tools for her, to write the program that would allow their server to be the first Web server outside of CERN. She realized that it would be an amazing way to make their huge database of documents available to physicists around the world and it was exactly what Berners-Lee needed to prove to his physicist co-workers that this Web thing would be useful to them.

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