devxlogo

Mosaic

Definition

Mosaic is the name of the first widely-used web browser that revolutionized the Internet by introducing graphical interface. Designed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and released in 1993, Mosaic allowed users to view text and images together on the same page for the first time. Its user-friendly interface laid the groundwork for subsequent browsers and hugely contributed to the rapid growth of the World Wide Web.

Phonetic

The phonetic spelling of “Mosaic” is: /moʊˈzeɪ.ɪk/

Key Takeaways

  1. Mosaic is often credited as being one of the first web browsers to provide a graphical user interface, highly contributing to the popularity of the world wide web.
  2. Developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), including Marc Andreessen, Mosaic was officially released in 1993. It was instrumental in escalating the growth of the commercial web in the 1990s.
  3. Mosaic has left an enduring legacy by being the basis for many later web browsers. Netscape, often seen as the first commercial web browser, was directly based on Mosaic, and the web browser Internet Explorer was indirectly based on it, resulting in enduring influence on the kind and format of content available on the internet.

Importance

Mosaic is a significant term in the field of technology because it refers to the first widely used web browser that helped popularize the World Wide Web. Developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, including Marc Andreessen, at the University of Illinois, Mosaic was released in 1993. It was the first software to provide a user-friendly interface with integrated graphics that could navigate the Internet using a graphical user interface (GUI), which was a revolutionary concept at that time. It laid the foundation for future browsers, contributed greatly to the rapid adoption of the internet, and led to the internet’s profound impact on society and business. Thus, Mosaic is a crucial term associated with the history of Internet development and the evolution of web technology.

Explanation

Mosaic is a crucial web browser in the timeline of internet technology development. Unveiled in 1993 by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Mosaic was one of the earliest web browsers to be developed with a graphical user interface and this pioneering innovation played an imperative role in popularizing the World Wide Web. Its purpose was to make the internet more user-friendly, interactive, and accessible to users by introducing and enabling multimedia interactions, including images, sounds, videos, and text in a seamless browsing environment. Mosaic is extensively used for surfing the internet to retrieve information. Unlike previous text-based browsers, it allowed users to view text and images together on the same page, which dramatically improved the user experience and interaction with web-based content. It also enabled the use of hyperlinks, allowing users to navigate between webpages easily. Despite being overshadowed by subsequent browsers, Mosaic’s groundbreaking features, including user-friendliness and interface simplicity, formed the blueprint for the modern web browsing experience. It essentially revolutionized the way people use the internet by transforming it from a specialized tool for academics and researchers into a medium accessible to the general public.

Examples

1. Mosaic Web Browser: Released in 1993, the Mosaic web browser played a significant role in popularizing the World Wide Web. The key feature of this technology was its ability to display images inline with text instead of displaying them in a separate window. Mosaic’s technology served as the foundation for later web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.2. Mosaic Software in Image Processing: Mosaic technology is often used in the field of image processing. A primary example is Google Earth where satellite or aerial photos are taken at different times and from different angles and are “stitched” together to form a complete image of the Earth’s surface.3. Streaming Mosaics: In the broadcasting industry, Mosaic technology is used in digital television and streaming to provide viewers with a preview of multiple live events simultaneously. Mosaic platforms like Simplestream’s Live-2-VOD or the Red Bee’s Video Mosaic can integrate up to 25 live streams into a single view, enhancing the audience’s browsing and viewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Mosaic in technology?A: Mosaic is a web browser that was popular in the historic period of the internet and was released in 1993 by NCSA. It is often credited with popularizing the World Wide Web.Q: Who developed the Mosaic web browser?A: Mosaic was developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.Q: Why was the Mosaic web browser significant?A: Mosaic is historically significant because it was the first web browser to display images in-line with text instead of displaying images in a separate window, creating a more user-friendly and immersive internet experience. Q: What impact did Mosaic have on the popularity of the internet?A: Mosaic helped to promote the growth of the WWW by providing a more visually appealing and easy-to-navigate internet experience. Its user-friendly approach brought the Internet into the mainstream.Q: Is Mosaic still in use today?A: No, Mosaic is not in use today. However, it laid the groundwork for future browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.Q: What operating systems supported Mosaic?A: Originally, Mosaic was developed for Unix. However, versions were later developed for the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows.Q: What happened to Mosaic?A: Development of Mosaic ceased in 1997. Some of Mosaic’s original authors left NCSA and founded Netscape Communications Corporation, where they developed Netscape Navigator, a direct descendant of Mosaic. Furthermore, Microsoft licensed the technology to create Internet Explorer. Q: Was Mosaic the first web browser?A: No, Mosaic was not the first web browser. The first web browser was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. However, Mosaic was the first web browser to gain significant popularity and usage.

Related Tech Terms

  • Web Browser
  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
  • NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications)
  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
  • HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

Sources for More Information

devxblackblue

About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

devxblackblue

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms