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For your entertainment Six Two CEO, Aaron Taylor, thought he’d take a little trip down memory lane, celebrate 30 magnificent years of the World Wide Web by taking the first ever web browser out for a test drive
SPOILER: We have come a long way in 30 years.
If you want to try it out for yourself, head on over to the CERN 2019 #WorldWideWeb Rebuild website at https://worldwideweb.cern.ch/
Thanks to the guys and gals over at CERN for putting this together during their epic hackathon.
Extra special thanks to Tim Berners Lee for, y’know, inventing the Web and stuff…
Enjoy Aaron’s nerdy rants
So today I thought we’d take a little bit of a trip down memory lane and celebrate 30 glorious, incredible years of the World Wide Web.
So this is yes this is a little bit different from the kind of normal stuff because I just thought, hey do you know what I’m gonna geek out on this and show you guys a really cool thing that, that some super smart guys over at CERN, which is a place where Tim Berners-Lee was working when he created invented literally invented the World Wide Web. and as a kind of as a way of celebrating this, the guys over at CERN had a week-long hackathon to recreate the very first World Wide Web browser called World Wide Web. Yes I know these guys absolutely nailed it with their with their product naming.
In the interest of science, I and also good user experience and user interface and all of that sort of stuff, I am now going to try and browse the modern web in the old web, it’s a little bit inception because they’ve written it as a webbrowser application so I’m gonna be using a web browser in a web browser and that makes me think that the first website that I should look up is.
I don’t know is another web browser web site maybe. I’ll see if I can get on to Google Chrome. All right, let’s do this. Launch World Wide Web, click. And I have not got a clue what is going on here. Welcome to the universe of hypertext, for those who don’t know is the HT in HTML. You heard it here first.
All right how to proceed, references to other information are represented like this, double-click on it to jump to related information. All right I’m gonna double click on that and nothing has happened ok. All right so I’ve got a menu up here, info panel. Ooh HyperMedia Browser/editor, hypertext text which is not constrained to be linear, nice a like that. That sounds like a sci-fi book.
Right navigate, this obviously this was a time before the search engine because like the web had literally just been invented so no one really, no one could really search it and I don’t really know how much there was to search for but let’s go let’s give Google a try. HTTPS, I wonder if it supports that google.co.uk opens showing source, now let’s open.
That is, that is interesting that is, that it’s German that’s oh ok let’s see if we can get English. Hey, no that’s still German. What, ooh well this yeah that is really really weird. Why Google should be showing in German who knows. Oh look here’s my search
bar. What should I search for, I’m gonna search for Google Chrome. I think that’s the search bar, I mean there’s it looks like you can edit. Hello world.
So apparently in the original World Wide Web you could just edit pages through your browser, that’s pretty cool but also like totally impractical. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to actually search in this.
I’m guessing this is well clearly saying you know, what are cookies. Let me see if I can get anywhere else from there, oh cool Google Account help, again turn cookies on or off, learn how. I wonder if you can do if I can do like if you’ve ever played the game on Wikipedia where you do I think it’s like six clicks to Jesus.
I wonder if I can get to the Google Chrome web site just by using links. I have no search engine. I have no power. I have no knowledge or information although it’s there I just need to know where to go. Fix problems alright learn how to change more cookie settings into.
Oh oopsie Google, Google 404 tisk tisk tisk. Let’s see what wikipedia is like. I guess this is like an exercise in accessibility as well because I imagine this is quite similar to the kind of experience that you know visually impaired people have and people that need to use kind of screen readers and things like that.
Let’s see en.wikipedia.org, this should be like the new test. Does your website stand up to 1993 standards. Absolutely not. Wikipedia yeah this is a little better, you know we’ve seem to have a kind of rudimentary two column layout. Is this can I resize this, if I can resize the window it’d be cool to see if this is like the original responsive design. Obviously this was all at a time before mobile first but this to me is like you know it’s not the best layout and like that in the news and today’s article, you know it’s a bit skewith but on the whole it’s like actually quite useable.
From today’s featured article, lets go and see it’s gonna learn about John Adams. Yes or you pop up back there right you were just loading, okay cool yeah. Excellent like this is, I mean the references might be ah the jump links even work you know where you jump to the references that’s pretty cool I like that. I guess another cool thing about this is it probably doesn’t support cookies and actually if you if you wanted to go on to like I don’t know a lot of like you know the kind of newspaper websites or anything like TechCrunch like places with loads and loads of adverts this is kind of like the original ad blocker because it literally cannot understand what ads are actually trying to do with a page.
I wonder if yeah no you can’t do anything about the text size, oh yeah well I’m not doing that yet but yeah this is a, this is quite interesting and like the whole kind of interface I seem to have a huge amount of options here. Save all edited windows document miniature rise, yeah now we’re talking. What happens when I do that, absolutely nothing. I want to miniaturize John Adams, John Adams miniaturize and no.
I guess on the whole you know for me especially kind of in this line of work, it’s really cool to like see where this stuff actually started and you kind of get a sense of like the ethos. You know this was sharing knowledge in a pretty pure form in just text and creating these kind of semantic links between documents it’s you know all of the terminology that’s still with us today.
Yeah if you wanna try this out you can literally go to, if you google CERN 2019 World Wide Web rebuild or go to worldwideweb.cern.ch and yeah it’s worth just kind of going and having a little look around and you know seeing how far we’ve come.
So yeah anyway hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane, this little browse down memory lane. I’m Aaron Taylor and when I’m not helping you make better decisions and have better conversations when you’re buying a website and actually doing stuff like this, geeking out on internet history. Until next time.
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