Found this article on Wikipedia today that shows the release dates of some of the major web browsers out there. I did my bit to reorganize the table a lil, but more work needs to be done for some of the perhaps less known browsers.

But what I found most cool was this picture, which shows a timeline for all web browsers. If you can't see the picture, you must not be using a cool browser like Opera, Firefox or Safari. I won't ask you "why not"... But you can still see the picture at this link, just not as clearly. More web geek discussion ahead ...

I can't verify the accuracy of this timeline, and it seems pretty recent (a couple weeks ago), but in general I do trust some of the articles I read on Wikipedia because there are enough zealots out there to usually keep people honest. Go ahead, call me naive...

It's really amazing to me to see some of web browser history here.

For instance, of all the major browsers out there, only a few (Opera, Konqueror, OmniWeb and iCab) are not ultimately derived from other browsers. IE and all Gecko-flavour have Mosaic somewhere in the past. I guess I knew that somewhere deep in my brain, but this timeline really makes that clear.

I still remember trying out Mosaic for the first time on one of our Unix workstations in the university computer labs. Ah, the days of the <blink> tag. And I still remember a professor making us write our own hypertext-like markup language, browser and interpreter in Fortran. But without a mouse, it sucked. Yes, WatFor87 to be exact... I think that was in 1993.

I'm not sure how accurate it is to say that all the Gecko-derived browsers are "forks" exactly of the Mozilla Suite since Firefox, Camino, SeaMonkey all use the common Gecko codebase and continue to contribute back to it, but I guess the visual picture is the best way I can think of how to draw it. Maybe I have a misunderstanding here though, feel free to correct my sorry ass.

I wonder what was merged from Konqueror and OmniWeb to create Safari? I understood that KHTML and KSVG were used as starting points, but unsure about OmniWeb... What were Mac users browsing the web with when MacIE support ended and Safari had not been released?

Hey, it's also amazing to me that this huge image is only 21k, that all but one of the major browsers can view it, and that I can edit the image with a text editor, but I've tooted SVG's horn on this blog before 😉

§380 · June 22, 2007 · Firefox, Opera, Safari, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · · [Print]

3 Comments to “Timeline Of Web Browsers”

  1. Mike says:

    You’ve tooted SVG before and rightfully so. After all, it is the future. Moving on to bigger and better things, Opera 9.5 has “superior” SVG support, I have high hopes for it and I want to see a complete test of it’s capabilities soon after it’s released in beta form on here!

  2. troyb says:

    Regarding your question about Safar and OmniWebi. Once Apple had WebKit which is based off of KHTML OmniWeb adopted the page rendering and javascript libraries from WebKit. So that’s a fork off of Safari into OmniWeb, not the other way around. As of 5.5 OmniWeb is based fully off of WebKit and shares largly the same code base (we still use a custom version but the changes are minimal to support some extra features).

  3. @troyb: Ah, so the fork is the other way (i.e. OmniWeb 5.x is based off of WebKit, not the other way around. Maybe we need some directional arrows in that diagram…