Class 14 - Browser // Dawn of the mosaic-eating monster
RFC as koan
- L. Masinter, RFC 2324 Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol (HTCPCP/1.0) (April 1 1998)
Emulator as koan
- “Browser wars”
- our primary portal to the web
- What are the pros and cons of having a single dominant web platform?
- How did this “Browser War” change how we interact with the web today?
Episodes: - S4E7 “Who Needs a Guy” [cw: death], S4E8 “Goodwill”, S4E9 “Search”
Earlier episodes feature characters working to develop their own browser, but for the most part, the series stays out of this industry while focusing on web search. But the fight over becoming the dominant software for web browsing was an intense one, with its own tumultuous and dramatic history. This time period involves the rise of Mosaic, sort of a “World War I” a few years before the all-out brawl between Internet Explorer, Netscape, and everyone else. And they’ve been religious wars, bigger than just browsers. They involved the altruistic fight for software freedoms versus free market capitalism, and signifying more than just visuals and methods of rendering CSS.
Similar to Search, we now have a very small Browser ecosystem, with Google Chromium dominating the market and powering not just Chrome, but other browsers and desktop applications.
- Brian McCullough, Internet History Podcast 173. Netscape’s Rosanne Siino (June 2018)
- Janelle Brown, From beta to bonafide (Sept 1999)
- Denise Caruso, Netscape’s decision to give away code could alter the software industry (Feb 1998)
- Laura Lemay, Consider the Source (April 1998)
- Project Code Rush - The Beginnings of Netscape / Mozilla Documentary
- Scott Rosenberg, 21st: Microsoft to world: Remove our browser and your system will crash (Dec 1997)
- Scott Rosenberg, Microsoft’s Halloween scare (Nov 1998)