Document and share the line-mode browser experience

The line-mode browser was a text-based browser that could be used by simple terminals: recreate the experience of using it

LMB hack days: Martin Akolo Chiteri

An interview with hack days participant Martin Akolo Chiteri. 

Martin Akolo Chiteri at the CERN hack days (Image: Anna Pantelia/CERN)

Name: Martin Akolo Chiteri
Nationality: Kenyan
Travelled from: Nairobi, Kenya
Profession: Freelance web developer

LMB hack days: Kimberly Blessing

An interview with Kimberly Blessing at the CERN line-mode browser hack days. 

Kimberly Blessing

Name: Kimberly Blessing
Nationality: USA
Travelled from: Philadelphia
Profession: Director of Web Development for Think Brownstone

LMB hack days: Jeremy Keith

An interview with line-mode browser hack day participant Jeremy Keith.

Jeremy Keith at the line-mode browser hack days. The IBM terminal is displaying a version of the first website from 1991 through line-mode browser (Image: Dan Noyes/CERN)

Name: Jeremy Keith
Nationality: Irish
Travelled from: Brighton, UK
Profession: Front-end web developer at design agency Clearleft

LMB hack days: Craig Mod

An interview with line-mode browser hack day participant Craig Mod.

Craig Mod at the line-mode browser hack days at CERN (Image: Anna Pantelia/CERN)

Name: Craig Mod
Nationality: USA
Travelled from: San Francisco
Profession: Writer and publisher. Works with web technology for 16 years

Can you recompile the line-mode browser?

We want the developers who are coming to CERN to create a line-mode browser emulator to get their hands on the real thing. We are working to set up an old-school terminal or computer to run the browser natively with local files. We would also like to recompile the browser to work on modern operating systems so that every developer can have a copy on their machines for test.

Line-mode browser dev days at CERN

CERN wants to bring the line-mode browser experience back to life so that people can step back in time and relive what it was like to browse the web in the very early days. No images, no colours, no clicking – just content. An unimpressive medium to a modern audience, the line-mode browser is nevertheless one of the key cultural assets associated with the story of how the web began.

LiveCode line-mode browser?

I just spent an enjoyable morning with Robert Cailliau, looking at options for recreating the line-mode browser experience. He turned up at my office with a very rough, but working, prototype  that he had put together himself using LiveCode.

Robert Cailliau cobbling together a line-mode browser

Line-mode browser viewport size

From talking to Robert Cailliau today:

The line-mode browser had a 80 x 24 character screen. The bottom line was used for text input, so the display size was 80 x 23 characters.

Subscribe to Document and share the line-mode browser experience

You are here