Web browsers’ Evolution Since 1991
You require a web browser to surf the web and at present there are many to choose from. If your search is for lean browser then Chrome is the one you require. Internet Explorer has still an edge over the other browsers if you want to make sure that web pages load correctly, its not because of internet explorer having superior standards but rather developers on the web are driven to code the webpages that look best on internet explorer. Firefox has also found its market share more than niche market by providing users the customization that’s endless. Safari of Apple contends to run around everyone else. And then there are Flock which is Firefox based and Avant which is internet explorer based which are browser shells.
Whatever browser you choose for your use to browse the web with, the features that you come across are developed after about two decades of work in browser design. Through the following pages you will be taken through the various browsers developed in the chronological order starting from the first one – WorldWideWeb. The features that made each one unique different from the others and its contribution towards the modern browser development will be discussed.
WorldWideWeb – Released first in 1991
WorldWideWeb is treated as first web browser. It all started in late 1980s in the decade when MTV was launched and Commodore 64 was still strong, that was a period when groundwork of the WorldWideWeb started to eventually develop the browser. WorldWideWeb was introduced officially in 1991 and it could help the internet user to display basic style sheets, theonly way to see the web. The three basic operations were only available on the navigation menu – back, next and previous. The browser served as an editor also. WorldWideWeb was named as Nexus. This was done according to browser’s developer Tim Berners-Lee to clear the confusion between the program and the abstract information space.
Erwise – Released first in 1992
Few online literature treat Mosaic as first graphical point and click browser of the world but in fact Erwise has that distinction. Erwise was developed at Helsinki University of Technology by four Finnish students to work on Unix computers that were running on X Windows System.
Erwise was advanced for its time and had an ability to search words on web pages. If the word was not found in web pages then it would search the internet 12 pages at a time in order to find it. Erwise had the ability to load the multiple pages at a time. In spite of innovation and promise shown by the program, it was not commercialized; the reason given was recession in Finland at that time.
ViolaWWW Released first in 1992
The introduction of ViolaWWW browser was seen by limited audience in the period before Web entered into mainstream. ViolaWWW , one of the earliest browsers was launched in May 1992. The browser written by Pei-Yuan Wei a student of University of California was built for Unix and X Windowing System just like Erwise. The browser had a little audience.