This article is about the first web browser. For the distributed hypertext system, see World Wide Web.

Template:Infobox Software WorldWideWeb was the world's first web browser and WYSIWYG HTML editor. It was introduced on February 26, 1991, by Tim Berners-Lee, and ran on the NeXTSTEP platform. It was later renamed Nexus to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web, also created by Berners-Lee.

WorldWideWeb was the first program which used not only the common File Transfer Protocol but also the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, invented by Berners-Lee in 1989. It was, at the time it was written, the only way to view the Web.



Berners-Lee wrote WorldWideWeb in Objective-C on a NeXT computer during the second half of 1990. He was working for CERN at this time, simultaneously writing the first web server, called httpd, as well as various other bits of related software. The first successful build was completed on Christmas Day, 1990, and successive builds circulated among Berners-Lee's colleagues at CERN before being released to the public (by way of Internet newsgroups) in August 1991. By this time several others, including Bernd Pollermann, Jean-François Groff, and graduate student Nicola Pellow (who wrote the line-mode browser, later to become libwww) were involved in the project.

By 1993, other browsers, such as NCSA/Mosaic, had replaced the WorldWideWeb program. Those involved in its creation had by then moved on to other tasks, such as defining standards and guidelines for the further development of the World Wide Web - e.g. the HTML language, various communication protocols, and so on.

Several versions of WorldWideWeb are still available to download from's browser archive (

Technical information

Since WorldWideWeb was developed on and for the NeXTSTEP platform, the program used many of NeXTSTEP's components - WorldWideWeb's layout engine was built around NeXTSTEP's Text class.


WorldWideWeb was capable of displaying basic style sheets, downloading and opening any file type supported by the NeXT system (which included PostScript, movies, sounds, and so on), browsing newsgroups, and spellchecking. At first, images were displayed in separate windows, until NeXTSTEP's Text class supported Image objects. Editing pages remotely was not yet possible, as the HTTP PUT method had not yet been implemented.


WorldWideWeb's navigation panel contained Next and Previous buttons that would automatically navigate to the next or previous link on the last page visited, i.e., if one navigated to a page from a table of links, the Previous button would cause the browser to load the next page in the table. This was initially useful because most pages were headed by such a table of links; however, as the World Wide Web grew, the convention was dropped, as were these buttons from later web browsers.

See also

External links

id:WorldWideWeb it:Nexus pl:WorldWideWeb pt:WorldWideWeb (navegador)


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