Required Reading
Prof. Dr. Style Vernacular Web 3 by Olia Lialina

How did the World Wide Web look before this Internet boom, before it became a riot for star backgrounds, bouncing envelopes and under construction signs?

Well, in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee went live with the first web page TheProject.html located inside the hypertext/WWW/ folder on a computer called "nxoc01" at CERN. Neither him, nor any of his colleagues made an effort to preserve this first version. The only thing we know is the URL and the way the first page ever looked in november 1992. That's early enough, still half a year before the Mosaic browser would be released and people outside of CERN would start to make their pages.

It is difficult to estimate how many pages created in 1993-1994 made it into the new millennium in their primordial way. If you manage to find something that was put online that time, it would in the best case display a 1995-1996 skin, like the Russian Space Science Internet -- redesigns clearly shaped by the then-new Netspace browser.

But there is a way to find pages that live for ever in 1993. To present them to the new students I look for "Prof. Dr." in Google.


Note: This essay is the third in the series "Vernacular Web" - be sure to read "Vernacular Web 2" and "A Vernacular Web."