Today, AOL Time-Warner announced that it was halting further development of the Netscape web browser. It's hard to believe it has been fourteen years since Mosaic was born at NCSA, with Netscape following shortly thereafter. Sic transit gloria mundi.
I remember the day I first saw Mosaic, just after it was completed at Illinois. I had two immediate reactions. First, this was cool, way cool! Second, that it was a simpler interface to anonymous FTP, for people who could not spell anonymous!
I was right on both counts, but I completely missed the significance of what was about to happen. The world was about to change, economically, socially and culturally due to the web and Mosaic. The full effects have not yet been felt.
Looking back, some of you may not realize that there was a time when the Mosaic home page at NCSA announced each new web site, as the developers submitted news of their joining the web. The net was a smaller place then.
As a former director of NCSA, I am very proud of what happened there and at Illinois. (To be clear, Mosaic was developed on the watch of my predecessor as NCSA director, Larry Smarr.) There was something in the air then, for the Eudora email client was developed by Illinois Computing Services Organization (CSO) just down the hall from my computer sceince office in the Digital Computer Laboratory (DCL).
Here's to the Mosaic and Netscape teams. They started something amazing.