This is an archive of the very earliest Web browsers — the true pioneers, the Old Gods, the Ancients:
WorldWideWeb, LineMode, Viola, Erwise, Midas, TkWWW, Samba, Lynx, w3, FineWWW
Steven Johnson profiles Lou Montulli, creator of the cookie, and ponders unintended consequences:
Years ago, the mathematician Edward Lorenz proposed a metaphor to describe how very small elements in a system’s initial conditions can lead to momentous changes over time. Imagining a tornado that ultimately emerges out of the tiny air perturbations caused by the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, Lorenz called it the “butterfly effect.” For better and for worse, Montulli’s cookie may be the most pronounced example of a technological butterfly effect in our time. But instead of a butterfly flapping its wings, it’s a 23-year-old programmer writing a few lines of code to make a shopping cart feature work. Almost three decades later, we’re still riding out the storm that code helped create.
The origins of the blink element are fascinating. To nobody's surprise, alcohol was involved.