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What was it like to surf the web in 1990? Find out with WorldWideWeb, the first web browser in history

27 mayo, 2021

This March marks 30 years since Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989, published an information management proposal at CERN that would end, as we all know, leading to the creation of the World Wide Web.

Celebrating this milestone, the heads of the European Organization for Nuclear Research have decided to bring back the first web browser in history, WorldWideWeb. An application created in 1990 for a NeXT machine from the headquarters of this scientific institution located on the outskirts of Geneva (Switzerland).

WorldWideWeb, the first web browser in history, was actually an application created in 1990 for a CERN NeXT machine.

The resurrected browser, accessible from worldwideweb.cern.ch/browser/, loads directly into our current browsers. The objective of it? Offer today’s users the experience of living the humble origins of a transformative technology as the web has been and continues to be today.

Worldwideweb Google Chrome 2019 03 08 18 03 01 Genbeta in the WorldWideWeb browser.

Google and Facebook join Tim Berners-Lee's latest initiative: making the internet a basic right

At the time of the launch of this initiative, last month, both the information page and the browser itself suffered temporary service interruptions as explained a few weeks ago by our colleagues from Engadget.

At the time of writing, we can seamlessly test WorldWideWeb and get an idea of ​​what it was like to sail three decades ago.

We can access current websites from Document > Open from full document reference

We can try to access any website by accessing the menu Document > Open from full document reference and pasting the URL in question. It is curious, without a doubt, to see websites as complex as this may be – in terms of design and profusion of images – reduced to simple plain text.

To find out what other things we can do with the first browser, we leave you with its instructions and an interesting explanation about its reason for being.