MosaicGeneral: Main page Hypertext History Browser History Browser Timeline
Browsers: Internet Explorer Mosaic Netscape Opera
Web Editors: Frontpage Dreamweaver
Platforms Macintosh: 68K, Power Mac
PC: Win95, 3.X, NT [Intel, Mips, PPC, Alpha]
Unix: AIX, Alpha, HP-UX, IRIX, MIPS, SunOS
Mosaic is the oldest of the three reviewed browsers. It is THE popular pioneer in the GUI browser market and one of the main ingredients in the initial overwhelming success of the World Wide Web. It is also the basis for many other popular browsers. It is produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which licenses its code under the name of Spyglass. The releases of Mosaic have been characterized by multiple pre-releases over extended periods of time. The 2.0 version time span occurred over almost 2 years; a time span which saw the greatest changes in the browser market thus far. Version
There are occasional extreme differences in both timeline and HTML capability between platforms for identical Mosaic release versions. The early Unix versions of Mosaic, for example, were developed well before most of the other platforms, and Unix/VMS version numbers have differed significantly from other platform counterparts. Early work on Mosaic 3.0 was completed only on the Macintosh platform, which added features such as frames. Many of these features did not make it into the later final release of the 3.0 version. No More
NCSA announced in January, 1997 that it was halting development of the Mosaic browser in order to concentrate on other activities. Coverage of what the historical Mosaic versions supported will remain on these pages, as it provides an important benchmark against which other browsers developed. The final Mosaic release is 3.0
Version Released Features
1.0 Nov. 1993 This was the first official release of Mosaic. The HTML 2.0 specification did not exist at this point, and many capabilities found in that specification are noticeably absent in this version of the browser.
2.0A1 Jan. 1994 The first Alpha Release of Mosaic 2.0 was the first major browser to support HTML Forms. 2.0A2 Feb. 1994 Alpha 2 of Mosaic 2.0. This release added correct usage of the TEXTAREA element. 2.0A3 Apr. 1994 Alpha 3 of Mosaic 2.0 added support for the STRONG and EM elements. 2.0A8 Dec. 1994 The Alpha 8 release heralded the first major browser to support HTML 3 tables and several HTML 3 Character style elements. 2.0B1 Mar. 1995 The first Beta release of Mosaic 2 added support for custom form submission buttons as well as the XMP element. 2.0B4 Apr. 1995 The Beta 4 release added alignment attributes to the Heading and P elements. 2.0FB Jul. 1995 The last Beta Release of Mosaic 2 added support for many of the Netscape 1.1 extensions to BODY, HR, and CENTER. 2.0 Oct. 1995 The final release of Mosaic 2.0 added some belated support for several standard HTML 2.0 elements including many of the virtual character styles, the BASE element and the Image ALT attribute. It also added a new media element called SOUND as well as support for Internet Explorer's BGSound element. 2.1 Jan. 1996 An update release to add support for Client-Side Image Maps
3.0B2 Apr. 1996 Currently only available for the Macintosh platform, this was meant to be a preview of features that would be appearing in the 3.0 releases for all platforms. 3.0B4 Sep. 1996 Still Macintosh only, this version and Beta 3 add no new HTML functionality, just bug fixes. 3.0 Jan. 1997 Now available for most platforms, this release backs away from the features found in the earlier Macintosh 3.0 betas. The previous rudimentary frames capability and other improvements are lost in this, the FINAL release of Mosaic from NCSA. The only significant HTML change in this release over 2.0 versions is improvement of table functionality (finally allowing for nested tables.)
Note: This page is modified from Browser History: Mosaic.