Geek alert: Andreessen suggests new tag

I can’t remember where I came across this. For some reason I think it was on FriendFeed, but now I can’t recall who posted it (if it was you, let me know and I will give you a shout out — Update: It was FriendFeed intern Dan Hsaio, who got it from Philipp Lenssen). In any case, it is right off the geek-o-meter, but I felt compelled to take note of it anyway, in part because it illustrates just how far things have come in a relatively short space of time — just 15 years or so. Now, we’re worried about how things will render on our iPhones with their multi-touch interface, or how many video clips we can pack into the gigabytes of memory we have, or if the Ajax and Flash on a website is annoying or useful.

In 1993, Marc Andreessen — who was then working on a little piece of software called Mosaic while working at the NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign — suggested a new tag that could be used in HTML: the IMG tag, which could be used to (wow!) display an image on a page. Bonus points if you follow the thread: Tim Berners-Lee, who has since been knighted by the Queen for his contributions to technology by effectively inventing what we now know as the World Wide Web, doesn’t seem to like Andreessen’s suggestion much. He says he’d much rather use the existing HREF tag and put image attributes in it.

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