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Old 09-11-2019, 08:04 PM   #6842 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aerohead
The first web-browser,MOSAIC, was created at the publicly-funded,National Center for Supercomputing Applications,and became what you know as 'Netscape'.
What an inspiring piece of history. First Tim Berners-Lee, at CERN, open-sourced the protocol, and then
...even though Netscape was a company, Netscape Navigator was freely available. It was therefore one of the first examples of viral distribution, whereby people were encouraged to download a program and pass it on to their friends and colleagues. Netscape was able to do this because it hoped thereby to establish its browser as the de facto standard for both ordinary and business users, and then to sell support to the latter.

In other words, Netscape was one of the first to adopt on a massive scale the business model used today by most open source companies: give away the code, and make money on services.
But then the company began to stumble. The rise of of the free Apache Web server, and the fact that Microsoft was giving away its own Internet Information Server (IIS) with Windows NT, severely stunted sales of Netscape's overpriced servers. Things went from bad to worse when Microsoft finally woke up to the importance of the Internet and began aggressively pushing its Internet Explorer browser, which was free for everyone, not just end-users, until Netscape began to lose its critically-important market dominance.
Desperate situations call for desperate measures, and in this case it was decided to release most of the Netscape Navigator code as open source (not all, since some was licensed from other parties).
I remember it being like a ship headed for the rocks and they throw a message in a bottle overboard.
hallucination: uncontrolled perception
perception: controlled hallucination
Anil Seth

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