On August 18, 1999, we at evolt.org launched the Browser Archive.
At launch browsers.evolt.org contained 80 different browsers. It started with my personal testing suite built up from 1996, and just kind of went from there.
Adrian has linked back to the original 1999 version of the website over on the Internet Archive. The current version… look kind of dull by comparison. Sigh.
But here, 20 years on, the Browser Archive exists mostly as novelty. A history of when standards were a fight, browsers tried to outdo each other with proprietary features, and users had dozens to choose from.
Today, in an evergreen browser world, individual point releases don’t matter very much. Browser engines matter even less with our WebKit monoculture.
But that novelty hasn’t worn off just yet. There are still plenty of experiments and archeological digs, often driven by web devs of A Certain Age, where we can see how the web might have looked or might look today.
Check out [The IE3 Challenge] for an example of just how far we’ve come. Thankfully, the background music is option.