Hackers resurrect NCSA Mosaic

March 9, 2010 | 12:51

Tags: #browser #firefox #github #internet-explorer #marc-andreessen #vintage-computing #web

Companies: #ncsa #open-source

If you fancy taking a step back in time - or if you're Johnny-come-lately looking to find out just what the previous generation had to put up with - then perhaps you'd like to try one of the first web browsers ever created?

The source code for NCSA Mosaic 2.7 - Marc Andreessen's browser which became the basis for Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, and would eventually become Mozilla Firefox - has been uploaded to source-code sharing site GitHub by user Alan Dipert.

Linux users capable of compiling programs from source are free to download the package and learn just what the early days of the web looked like circa 1993.

According to Webmonkey, the package runs surprisingly well on modern Linux systems, and the few niggles that exist - such as poor support for PNG format graphics - are busily being patched out by GitHub community members.

The Mosaic browser is the precursor to most modern graphical web browsers, and a piece of history. While being able to run it on your modern system might not have any practical purpose, it's an exercise in digital archeology for anyone interested in the birth of the web as we know it today.

Just don't try doing your Internet banking on it.

Are you impressed by the efforts made to port the Mosaic brower, or could the coders behind the project have found something better to do with their time? What browser did you use when you first got on to the web? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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