Whatever happened to …

… Mosaic?

The browser, not the football field in Regina.

If you’re on this one with me, you go way back.


Photo Credit: Kevin Baird Flickr via Compfight cc

Even I, the hoarder of everything digital didn’t have a copy of this anywhere and had to go and look for an image.

I can’t recall if this was my first graphic browser or not. But it absolutely was at least one of the first.

I was a convert from the Lynx web browser which was all text based.  That was back in the mid-90s where speed wasn’t exactly an option.  We had dialup internet access at the time and it was slow, pathetic even, by today’s standards.  When there was an image that you wanted, typically, there was a “Click here” link and you would download it and then open it in another application.

But Mosaic took you away from that drudgery.  Everything just appeared inline in the browser.  It was revolutionary!  There were “buttons” to let you perform actions online.  No longer did you have to learn and remember commands.  The most important button, I recall, was the stop button.  While having graphics inline was a sweet deal, waiting for them to appear often was like sipping the proverbial peanut butter through a straw.

At the time, Mosaic was the browser for me.  There was no question.  But things soon changed with the advent of Netscape Communicator.  I just found it so much more intuitive plus Composer let you create web pages.  As we know, things have exploded since then.  We’d never think of limiting ourselves to the set of features that Mosaic had.  Now we have so many choices – Opera, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Vivaldi, Dolphin, Safari, …

You can read the history here – reportedly over 100 companies licensed the technology, including Microsoft.  If nothing else, you have to be impressed that this browser has a historical plaque.

While we’d never use the software by today’s standards, it absolutely started things rolling.  Would we be where we are today without this piece of innovation?  Who knows?

What brought this back?  Edscoop has a 2017 Time Capsule which lets you vote on influencing people, products, and developments.  I voted for Mosaic in the Development section.

How about your thoughts for a Sunday?

  • Did you ever use the Mosaic browser?
  • What browser do you use today?
  • If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know me pretty well – at least technologically.  Who do you think I voted for in the People category?  the product category?
  • You can take Mosaic, Netscape, and Lynx for a spin here.  In 2017, could you live with a browser like that?

I hope that this takes you back like it did with me.

Please take a moment and share your thoughts by sending a reply below this post.

The complete collection of posts in this series is available here.

Got an idea for a future post?  Add it to this padlet.


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