Zooming way, way out to see how the Internet got to where it is today

Earlier this month, Google launched an online infographic called “The Evolution of the Web.” It’s actually a history of Web browsers—and of the platforms and protocols that have made each successive generation of browsers possible—slightly self-serving on Google’s part, but well worth checking out.

The time line starts in the early 1990s, when HTTP first appeared on the scene. The first browser—does anyone remember Mosaic?—appeared a few years later and was followed almost immediately by Netscape, Opera, and Internet Explorer. You’ll watch HTML, Java, and Flash come into their own, wonder about the long lull that began in the late 1990s, and see the blizzard of activity pick up again just a few years ago, with the introduction of HTML5. And if anything we’ve just said sounds like Greek to you, Google’s infographic will be an excellent cheat sheet or bluffer’s guide. Think of it as an Oceanography 101 seminar for Web surfers who’d like to know (or simply pretend to know) more about their online environment.

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Zooming way, way out to see how the Internet got to where it is today