NCSA Mosaic

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NCSA Mosaic

Screenshot of the NCSA Mosaic browser
Version 2.7 on Linux
Basic data

developer NCSA
Publishing year January 23, 1993 (version 0.5)
Current  version 3.0
(January 1997)
operating system cross-platform
programming language C.
category Web browser
License non-commercial activity, freeware
German speaking No

NCSA Mosaic is a web browser developed in 1993 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) . After the browsers WorldWideWeb (1990), ViolaWWW (1991) and Erwise (1992), it was the fourth of its kind to be able to display embedded elements such as graphics or interactive elements in addition to text. At the end of 1993, there were about 2 million copies of NCSA Mosaic in circulation.


On April 21, 1993, this Internet revolution was announced on the www-talk mailing list with the following words:

Version 2.0 of NCSA Mosaic, a networked information system and a World Wide Web browser for X Window systems is hereby released. "

However, this version was only made available on November 10, 1993.

One day later, on November 11, 1993, version 1.0 was made available for Microsoft Windows.

The development of the NCSA Mosaic was initially a project by the Software Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. The development team was led by Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen . The buttons for the start page and the navigation (forwards / backwards) were taken from the Viola browser, the bookmarks from the Lynx text browser . Images could be displayed in GIF and HDF formats .

Beta versions released in September 1993 for the Unix - Operating Systems SunOS , IRIX , AIX , OSF / 1 , HP-UX and X Window System , for Apple's Macintosh System 7 and for Amiga , Windows NT on DEC Alpha -, PowerPC - and MIPS computers. Versions for x86 hardware and Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 followed.

The company Spyglass was assigned the software to sell. Microsoft acquired a general license in 1994 for $ 2 million. As of 1995, the company paid 98 cents per copy. Up to version 6, Microsoft Internet Explorer carried the note "Based on NCSA Mosaic".

With the onset of the growing popularity of the World Wide Web , web browsers quickly became popular. The name Mosaic briefly became synonymous with web browsers in 1993/1994 .

In 1994 Marc Andreessen left the NCSA team and together with others founded the company Netscape , which developed the Netscape Navigator browser , which quickly replaced the NCSA Mosaic as the leading browser. The development of the NCSA Mosaic was stopped in January 1997 with the release of version 3.0.

On March 8, 2010, Alan Dipert published the code base on GitHub . The license is not specified; reference is only made to the COPYRIGHT file , which contains the 1993 license text. Alan Dipert states that he can compile the source code under Ubuntu 9.10 and has attached a screenshot.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Guido Krüger: Learn Java 1.1: start, use, understand . 1st edition. Addison-Wesley, Bonn 1997, ISBN 3-8273-1299-X ( [accessed December 6, 2019]).
  2. Detlef Borchers: 10 years of Mosaic. In: November 10, 2003, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  3. Detlef Borchers: Happy Birthday: The Mosaic browser is ten years old. In: May 5, 2003, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  4. WWW-Talk Oct-Dec 1993: NCSA Mosaic for X 2.0 available. In: November 10, 1993, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  5. See FOCUS Online (2008)
  6. ^ Wilhelm Janssen: NCSA Mosaic - Software Online Lexicon. In: October 21, 2004, archived from the original on March 26, 2016 ; accessed on December 6, 2019 .
  7. ^ NCSA Mosaic ™. In: Retrieved December 6, 2019 .
  8. GitHub - alandipert / ncsa-mosaic: NCSA Mosaic 2.7. In: Retrieved December 6, 2019 .