IBM WebExplorer

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For a later application based on Mozilla Application Suite, or with Microsoft Internet Explorer, see IBM Web Browser.
IBM WebExplorer
Webex.png
OS2 IBM WebExplorer.png
IBM WebExplorer displaying the White House Website
Developer(s) IBM
Initial release 0.91 November 27, 1995; 19 years ago (1995-11-27)
Final release 1.2 / November 25, 1998; 16 years ago (1998-11-25)
Operating system OS/2
Available in English
Type web browser
Website [1]

IBM WebExplorer was an early web browser designed at IBM facilities in the Research Triangle Park for OS/2.

History[edit]

Spanish IBM WebExplorer displaying Wikipedia in 2004

Presented in 1994 with OS/2 Warp (v3), it was hailed as the best browser by Internet Magazine in their November issue[citation needed] and leveraged its position as the only native browser in OS/2 at that time. It was based on the Mosaic web browser and was a coming attraction in The HTML Sourcebook: The Complete Guide to HTML. Almost immediately after the introduction of OS/2 Warp version 3, IBM dismantled the development team and that relegated the WebExplorer to the annals of history. IBM WebExplorer, at that time, was the browser application to beat. OS/2 Warp 4 (1996) included it, but also included a link to download an OS/2 version of Netscape Navigator 2.02, which was late for shipping on CD. IBM had already planned the substitution of WebExplorer.

In 1995, it was added to AIX, IBM's proprietary UNIX platform.[1]

Features[edit]

  • Support for HTML 3.0 (with tables)[2]
  • Usenet reader
  • Some of its parts could be reused in other programs[3] and scripted with Rexx. Some external companies used this capability to offer an enhanced browser with IBM's rendering engine[4]
  • A page could define what the animated throbber should look like. It was implemented through a non-standard <frame> HTML tag. OS/2 users created several animations.[5] The later introduction of web frames leads WebExplorer to confusion on modern pages
  • A presentation mode without visible menu bars
  • A menu option Links collecting all the links in the page. It was used by IBM VoiceType for voice navigation
  • Java applets[6][7]
  • GIF support[2]
  • Proxy authentication[2]
  • Image map[2]

Version history[edit]

There were severals builds released by IBM. IBM released some beta builds and also fixed many bugs in WebExplorer, one beta including support for Java.

Criticism[edit]

The browser doesn't support Frames and the installation of plugins like Java was complicated.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IBM Cruises onto Internet with Security Products & WWW Software SUPERHIGHWAY REPORT HPCwire
  2. ^ a b c d Read me file of the Web Explorer 1.1h.
  3. ^ Under the Scope section. EDM/2 June 1996, Volume 4 Issue 5
  4. ^ WebNav 2.0 added user interface enhancements on WebExplorer rendering.
  5. ^ "hobbes.nmsu.edu". hobbes.nmsu.edu. Archived from the original on Jul 5, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ Amstadt, Steve (December 3, 1996). "Browser Watch – IBM OS/2 Webexplorer News!". Archived from the original on February 9, 1999. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ Nicola Brown; Peter Chen; David Miller; Paul Van Eyk; William E. Weinman (1996). "Designing Web Animation". New Riders Publishing. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ Watson, Dave (July 21, 2001). "A Quick Look at Web Explorer". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Downloads[edit]