The History of the Web, Volume I
The History of the Web, Volume I
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The History of the Web, Volume I

Last updated on 2019-01-02

About the Book

The History of the Web is a newsletter I write each week. It is the culmination of years and years of research, endless reams of notes, and a deep passion for the World Wide Web distilled down to an interesting new story plucked from the web's past each week. It's been an incredible (and unexpected) journey, and something I'm extremely proud of.

Over the past two years, I've written about sixty entries. All of them have now been compiled into this book, Volume I. Buried inside you'll find fascinating narrative threads from the web's history, starting all the way from the beginning and straight on through to the very first browsers, the emergence of web design, to the evolving landscape of our online world. You can learn all about:

  • Why we use the img tag instead of the image tag
  • The very first search engine (hint, it's not Google!)
  • The communities of people that stand at the heart of the World Wide Web

When I originally sent these out, they were in what amounts to an essentially random order, retelling each story as I uncovered it in my research. For this book, though, I wanted to do something special. So I went all the way back to the beginning and rearranged each chapter in chronological order. Now you can experience history as it was meant to be, as a living, breathing, evolving story.

If you're reading this, you love the web like I do. And if you do love the web, I guarantee you'll love the tidbits hidden throughout this book. You might even learn a thing or two.

About the Author

Jay Hoffmann
Jay Hoffmann

Developer by day, historian by night. Created The History of the Web, a weekly newsletter all about the web's past.

Table of Contents

  • The Web’s First (And Second) Browser
  • What the Web Could Have Been
  • The Importance of Being on Usenet
  • A Brief History of Hypertext
  • One of The Web’s First Photos
  • The Origin of the IMG Tag
  • How We Searched Before Search
  • The Window at the Cafe
  • An Ode to Geocities
  • Salon, Slate, and a History of the Tricky Business of Publishing Online
  • Discovering the True Meaning of the Web
  • The Books That Shaped How We Learn About the Web
  • Why Batman Forever is so Important for the Web
  • The History of Rewriting PHP
  • A Sense of Community: From Newgrounds to MLKSHK
  • eBay, API’s, and the Connected Web
  • The Web After Suck
  • The Online World of High Taste and Rock Music
  • Putting Web Accessibility First
  • Tables for Layout? Absurd.
  • A Moment In Time with Editors
  • When Rotuma Came to the Web
  • A Look Back at the History of CSS
  • The HTML Tags Everybody Hated
  • Pixel Art Finds Its Home on the Web
  • Browser Wars Part 1: When Netscape Met Microsoft
  • Browser Wars Part 2: How the Web Was Won
  • How Dreamweaver Got Its Name
  • GoTo: The Forgotten Search Engine
  • A Short History of WaSP and Why Web Standards Matter
  • Your Privacy Policy Doesn’t Mean A Thing; Regulating Privacy on the Web
  • How We Got the Favicon
  • Before There Were Smartphones, There Was I-Mode
  • RSS: A Well Formed Log Entry
  • The Winding Tale of Neopets
  • Technocratic Panic at the Millennium and the Real Threat Beneath the Code
  • SOAP And REST At Odds
  • Wikipedia: The Story of Collective Knowledge
  • Dreaming Big on the Open Web
  • Finding Our Digital Identities: A History of Social Media
  • The Evolution of Blogging
  • The Day(s) The Web Fought Back
  • Archiving the Web
  • The Decade-Long Path to Web Fonts
  • 15 Years of WordPress
  • The Rise of CSS
  • Year of A List Apart
  • What Happens When Yahoo Acquires You
  • The Many Faces (And Names) of Mozilla
  • A Tale of Two Standards
  • The Power of the Pixel
  • Reddit v. Digg: A Difference in Approach
  • A Mini Browser for the Masses
  • Making a Framework for the Web
  • The Unlikely Pioneers of the Early Web
  • Purple, Obama, and Single Serving Websites
  • Almost (Standards) Doesn’t Count
  • The (Mostly) Complete History of Layout on the Web Part 1: Liquid Cool
  • The (Mostly) Complete History of Layout on the Web Part 2: Responsive Design
  • The Beginning of Black Girls Code
  • Getting to the Picture Element
  • Flash And Its History On The Web

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