Today, the web seems normal—an everyday part of life and business. When it first arrived, it spread quietly but it changed people’s lives. Adding images quickly made a huge difference.
(upbeat electronic music) - It was kind of amazing because at the time the web wasn't really there. We didn't have this normal human beings using the internet, using the web. Nobody really had heard of this. The internet, of course, had existed for quite some time, but there wasn't an easy way to put information on the internet and get it off, to find information on the internet. There were no search engines at that time either. The idea that Tim Berners Lee had had was it should be really easy.
You should have a really simple server system. - I was working in some great place. Lots and lots of really interesting people, people who came using different computer systems, so it was tricky to find all the information you needed in order to able to build things which would connect to other people's devices. You naturally think there's a virtual documentation system these could all be part of and it wouldn't be very difficult.
Clearly the key to the web was going to be, should be, a virtual system which existed on the top of all these existing systems and allowed you to see them all as though they were all part of one great, big hypertext book. So bingo, your virtual system consists of things converted into hypertext pages and accessed via the internet. - I remember when I was working at the University of Texas at Austin, the very first time that I saw the web and understood what it was.
As I opened up Mosaic, the browser, and realized that I was touching the largest book on the planet, it was exciting and exhilarating and an adventure and we knew it. It didn't feel like work, it felt like a privilege. - Mosaic was a very early web browser, probably the first kind of mass market browser. It started as a side project that Marc Andreessen, he saw Tim Berners Lee's work on the W3 browser and said, he saw Tim Berners Lee's work on the W3 browser and said, "Wow, that looks really cool! "We should do that and we can expand it in a bunch of ways." - It wasn't 'til Mosaic came along that it was really interesting and Netscape where you could actually insert an image into a webpage, and I thought that was kind of cool and that I could actually write an HTML page, which was at that time, a list of links.
- I thought it was good to have hyperlinks really work - I thought it was good to have hyperlinks really work because I knew about sort of ideas about hypermedia and here was a system that was actually accessible and there and deployed. So it seemed like that was going to be the future. It was not going to be some other system that came out of Microsoft or AOL. It was going to be this emerging standard system. - It was years before I met Chris Wilson, and when I first met Chris Wilson, he was the person that I know was starting to implement web standards inside, of all things, Internet Explorer, and I had so much respect for him, and then I realized that he was actually one of the people that originally made Mosaic.
- There were a lot of people anxious to see it, and we were working really hard. We released it and I remember we hit 1000 downloads at a week into after having released it. We hit 1000 downloads. We thought this was incredible that we were getting so many people excited about our software that two college kids had put together in the basement of this building. (upbeat electronic music)
In the film, Matt Griffin knits together a narrative from dozens of conversations with important figures from throughout the web's history. He interviews Tim Berners-Lee, Denise Jacobs, Jeffrey Zeldman, Ethan Marcotte, Chris Wilson, Lyza Danger Gardner, Eric Meyer, Irene Au, Alex Russell, Trent Walton, Val Head, Jonathan Snook, and many more. The result is a series of unique insights about why the web is structured the way it is, why standards matter, how mobile disrupted everything, and why the web isn't done growing.