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WorldWideWeb: the first web browser

Last Edit: 10/01/17

The WorldWideWeb was the first web browser developed for the World Wide Web. The WorldWideWeb browser was developed in 1990, and the first release of the browser was circulated on the 25th of December, 1990. The WorldWideWeb was a browser-editor: it was capable of "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editing. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, was also the developer of the WorldWideWeb browser. The first ever web server was Berners-Lee's NeXT computer, and Berners-Lee also used this computer to write the code for the WorldWideWeb browser.

Tim Berners-Lee uploaded the following screenshot - at the URL provided below - to give an overall of how the GUI of the WorldWideWeb browser looked.


A screenshot, uploaded by Berners-Lee, to show modern web users how the first ever web browser looked like.

What should be noted, however, is the above image is a working example of the WorldWideWeb browser in 1993. The original version of the browser was grey scale; it looked identical to the above image, but it featured no colours. Nicola Pellow, a CERN employee and a member of the CERN WWW Project, was instrumental in porting the WorldWideWeb browser, so that it could be used on a range of computer platforms. The ported browser was named the: Line Mode Browser

In 1991, the source code of the WorldWideWeb browser was released into the public domain. This enabled other developers to create web browsers. By 1994, the World Wide Web was an established Internet service, and, alongside Email, was one of the Internet's most popular services. The WorldWideWeb browser was discontinued in 1994: due to the success and popularity of subsequent browsers, like Mosaic. The WorldWideWeb browser was also renamed to Nexus: due to it's name being similar to the name of the overall system it was developed for.