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WorldWideWeb (adactio.com)
96 points by aaronbrethorst on Feb 18, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

Something that I couldn't find much information on.. How exactly did the editing work? Could I edit a file and then once I'd saved the changes whoever went to the file next would also see my edits?

How did this all work? For me, this is absolutely fascinating and I guess in some ways this reminds me of modern wiki software (especially something like vimwiki that I use daily).

If anyone has some 'technical' resources about how this browser worked, I'd love to read it.

You can literally try it (and read about it) in the emulator itself!

No they can't, it got hugged to death and has been down since.

> Service Unavailable

> The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Plus the demo videos don't work on Firefox in Windows 10, and there's no screenshots or any other form of seeing the demo.

Here's a screenshot [0].

It appears one of the links in the article is wrong.

The correct link is: https://worldwideweb.cern.ch/browser

[0] https://i.imgur.com/E9aTHJz.png

Thanks for the screenshot. The browser itself still 503s.

theoretically it would use PUT requests to save the files to the http server. it seems this wasnt implemented so it saved local .html files

PUT, DELETE, etc were part of HTTP/1.1. The WorldWideWeb browser (later called Nexus) was created during the time of HTTP 0.9 (or rather the versionless HTTP).

I spoke to a few of the people involved in the original 1990s project and one big issue was authentication into servers was way too complex.

The simulation (I wrote the JavaScript for it), writes to local browser storage (IndexedDB), the original WorldWideWeb would write to disk (networked or local).

> Launch WorldWideWeb

Just kept loading and didn't ever deliver the thing I was waiting to see.

Yep, definitely makes me nostalgic for the early web.

I was able to get it to load after a few tries, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it handles the formatting of some of my sites. It seems to do okay with text, though it doesn't seem to support images or form elements; I haven't been able to attempt a login.

For those of you having trouble getting it to load while it's being hugged to death, I took a properly meta screenshot:


I've put a working copy up on https://www.isthe.link/browser/ (I worked on the JavaScript that replicates the browser).

We're (the team) are waiting to hear from the Ops folk at CERN to get the server to stop 503'ing. Until then, you can try it out above.

The source code will be available too once we get the go ahead.

Server should all be back, and surviving HN hugs. No need to use this URL anymore

Great work! Already celebrating at 501? :)

i suppose this is a simulation of the WorldWideWeb browser... i think in very old times you could find this in some linux distros along with another browser with an italian sounding name. i think u can find screenshots in google

wikipedia has it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorldWideWeb#/media/File:World...

> along with another browser with an italian sounding name

Maybe ViolaWWW [1]? That browser invented (it's own) stylesheets [2] and scripting language [3] years before JavaScript and CSS:

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ViolaWWW?wprov=sfla1

[2]: http://viola.org/viola/styles/HTML_sodium.stg

[3]: http://viola.org/viola/vw/inset_talk.v

Viola was the very first web browser I used in late '92 on an HP workstation.

When did links go from "double click to follow" to "single click to follow"?

That was an evolutionary dead end that didn’t persist; since every other browser that followed focused on retrieval and display, not editing, they didn’t need to distinguish between “follow this link” and “open this link for editing.” (To be fair, given the lessons of SGML, there wasn’t any reason to think folks would just open up vi or emacs and start editing markup, so they get a pass on the UX for that one.)

I feel like the beauty and elegance of the original web was the fact that it was just an xml parser linking information.

Now JavaScript is required for everything and we can't get back to that original elegant concept.

Javascript isn't required for everything, and nothing is stopping anyone from writing simple, static sites without it.

The web was always envisioned to have potential beyond just static hyperlinked documents. The belief that everything beyond basic HTML has been a corruption of an ideal rather than evolution is a confabulated view of history, brought on mostly by nostalgia and a frustrated sense of elitism now that the web is as mainstream as any other form of mass media.

Pure static sites are extremely rare.

I dont have an issue with pushing beyond pure html. But js doesn't build on that concept of xml and work along side of it. JS destroys that concept and replaces it with something unique on every site.

I think web assembly is a step in the right direction and the sooner we drop js the better.

I don't think that's entirely fair. Javascript's original intent was to allow scripting the DOM and adding interactivity to the document, which could be considered working alongside it.

I would agree that the scale of its use has been taken too far, but that seems more a complaint about implementation and developer culture than the language itself. Even without Javascript, the design of every site is still potentially unique.

And isn't web assembly a further step in the same direction?

I don't think allowing scripting of the DOM was a great idea personally. The goal of the original web was layout and structure of information and the links between them.

Javascript bulldozes over both the DOM and URL's.

The nice thing about web assembly from what I've read, is that it doesn't allow access to the DOM. It basically creates its own sandbox that is then included on the page.

You can INCLUDE interactivity in the page, but, you can't overwrite the page itself.

Because of this it kind of encourages a progressive web design style. You will design the html/xml first then you will wrap the interactivity within.

This will encourage a separation of concerns between highly interactive, more complicated code, and layout and structuring of documents.

There will be some issues to be overcome and I doubt it will be as ideallyic as I imagine, but I think overall it would be a more sane web being able to select 'disable javascript' without any worries.

Just my 2 cents.

What is this, a simulation of a 503 error?

Looks like a hug of death, if I had to guess.

Have you tried connecting with a dial-up modem from 1989?

High speed X.25 to CERN, surely.

Its so realistic! This is taking me back.

It has been HNed.


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