An early history of the Lynx web browser #VintageComputing

Michael Grobe compiled an early history of the Lynx browser, developed at the University of Kansas.

This is a brief history of the curses-based WWW browser called Lynx, developed within Academic Computing Services at the University of Kansas. It is part of the WWW History Project exploring the origins of Web technology. For more information see

Lynx was developed primarily by Michael Grobe, Charles Rezac and Lou Montulli, and members of the “Internet community” by an iterative process of exploration, interaction, hacking and evaluating.

Prior to becoming a Web browser Lynx was a distributed hypertext browser based on the client/server model with its own intermachine and intradocument link tags. In addition, to support remote database applications, Lynx could serve as a kind of text-based X Window display server.

This document includes excerpts from early Lynx documentation, usually from 1992.

I like to say that we “invented a Web.” Rather than the Web, of course. It seems to me that Tim Berners-Lee defined a much better version than ours, and conversion was comparatively easy, since we had already developed similar ideas.

Tim balanced what was useful with what was do-able in an incredibly elegant way. To me the Web is the “big 3” that Tim “invented”: URL syntax, HTML (choosing a “markup approach”), and HTTP in the context of the Client/Server model.

I note that each of these

  • still works and is in use today,
  • has limitations,
  • can be significantly improved usually only with strenuous effort and limited payoff, and
  • has served as a flexible foundation for many variations on the theme (images, CGI scripting, and applets, new version of HTML, etc.).

Limitations notwithstanding, the platform is clearly extremely powerful and a remarkable piece of software engineering.

You can read the entire history here.

As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 32,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — Pololu’s account of the chip shortage

Wearables — Monster-inspired costuming!

Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New Releases of MicroPython and CircuitPython and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 1/21/2022 Featuring Adafruit 7-Segment LED Matrix Backpack – STEMMA QT / qwiic! (Video)

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.