Would you still use the internet if web browsers didn't exist?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by mrsir2009, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    *Not sure where to post this, and this section is the best place I could find. Mods, please move it to another venue if there is a better place it could go*

    Anyway...: Would you still use the internet if web browsers didn't exist? This means you could only use the internet for stuff such as:

    •Software updates.

    •Streaming/updates for certain apps.

    •Multiplayer games that you have a copy of on your hard disk.

    ---

    Would you still pay for and/or use the internet? I probably would but I'd buy a smaller internet plan.
     
  2. brijazz macrumors 6502

    brijazz

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #2
    Would you still use roads if cars didn't exist? That means that you could only use the roads for:

    1) trekking across the country by foot in case of zombie apocalypse
    2) playing the world's biggest game of road hockey
    3) landing airplanes in emergencies
     
  3. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #3
    Before web browsers you had apps that connected you to central chat servers, central databases, central etc...

    As Apple says now: "There was an App for that"

    Basically, a web browser is just one way of accessing central servers for a wide variety of uses. Without web browsers there'd still be specialized apps to access services on the internet.
     
  4. mrsir2009 thread starter macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    No, my question is more like: Would you use cars if roads didn't exist.

    A web browser it not the only way to connect to the internet. There are MANY other ways and uses for the internet if browsers didn't exist. People used the internet before web browsers became popular. They had chat applications that connected to the internet, weather apps that connected to the internet etc... Because back then the internet was too slow for browsers that had to load everything every single time. Apps that connect to the internet use less bandwidth because only certain elements need to be streamed.

    iVoid gets it :)
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #5
    I think I could get along with USENET and EMail, along with some BBS.

    TEG
     
  6. mrsir2009 thread starter macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  7. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #7
    +1 for the Road Hockey ... I see cars disappearing before Web browsers :cool:
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #8
    Hit up the Terminal app on your mac.

    When the prompt comes up, type one of the following:

    man talk
    man telnet
    man ssh
    man ftp
    man sftp
    man scp

    Want to talk to someone? talk <user>@domain
    Connect to another server? telnet <site>, ssh <site>
    Download files? ftp <site>, sftp <site>

    Before web browsers, there was Gopher.

    Want to chat to more than one person? IRC.

    Read news? Too many USENET clients out there.

    There was more life out there on the 'net well before Web browsers came up; all the browsers did was just make it full of eye candy and easy for the masses... both a good and bad thing.

    BL.
     
  9. mrsir2009 thread starter macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    I think both will be around for a very long time :)
     
  10. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #10
    What counts as a web browser? Mail.app and iTunes can display HTML. What about those?
     
  11. mrsir2009 thread starter macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    A web browser is an application that allows you to freely surf the internet using URLs that are typed in manually. You can bookmark pages, and go anywhere on the internet in a web browser.

    I wouldn't class iTunes as a web browser as you cannot freely surf the internet and there is not a URL bar that you can use to access any site you want.

    On a side note, I made a web browser once in RealBASIC. It was pretty easy, and it was snappy, fast and stripped down to the raw elements that make a web browser a web browser :) All it was was a big blank resizable window with a URL bar at the top where you could type WWW addresses, and a "GO" button. The browser could only display HTML and had no scripts telling you if it was loading, or if there was an error. If you typed a URL wrong or your computer wasn't connected to the internet, nothing happened. And when you pressed "GO" nothing happened until the entire page loaded, then it all just "appeared" on the screen :p
     
  12. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #12
    Technically, that is incorrect.

    You use a browser to go anywhere on the world wide web. (hence the www. in front of most web hosts home pages)

    The internet is bigger than the WWW and encompasses many, many more systems and devices that you can't browse with a web browser.

    Granted, some web browsers have other features built in to access other parts of the internet, but NO device or software will get you to every part of the internet.

    [/end nitpicky explanation]
     
  13. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #13
    I well remember vnews back in the 80s that got us to usenet, clarinet news and the wild wild west of the usenet groups. It was a fun time. Text was king, graphics... you mean those cool ascii graphics that people created...
     
  14. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #14
    I started using the Internet back in the early 90's. NCSA Mosaic hadn't come out yet. Web-browsing as we know it today was basically non-existent. But we used the Internet heavily. USENET was a big one. FTP to grab files from other universities. IRC. Lots of email. Some folks did lots of MUDs, although I never got into that. Zephyr to chat with a particular person. Gaming with Netrek and Bolo. (Hmm, although IIRC Bolo was probably just local to the university's network.) Gopher to get some info from time to time.

    These days, not having a web browser doesn't preclude any of the activities we use the Internet for, however. For example, there's the normal Facebook web interface. But there's also the Facecbook iPhone app. They accomplish the same thing basically, but one uses HTML and the other is a custom app. So if HTML didn't exist Facebook could just release a client-side renderer that runs on OSX, Windows, Linux, etc.
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    I started in the early 80's on the Internet when it was just for researchers and wasn't commercial. I had the following services:

    1. Email and Mailing Lists
    2. Newsgroups, most popular being on USENET
    3. FTP to get or send files.
    4. Search tools like Archie
    5. Eventually there was Gopher, sort of a list-based HTTP.

    The Internet Movie Database existed as a database file that you downloaded and viewed from a database program.

    What it lacked in quantity it tended to make up in quality since there was no spam or advertising and the Internet hadn't made it to the "unwashed masses".

    Although not the Internet, there was also time-sharing services which had social features like Compuserve, Delphi, The Source, and of course local BBSes and FidoNET.
     
  16. mrsir2009 thread starter macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    Did America online used to be accessed via web browser in the 90s, or was it an application or something?
     
  17. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #17
    America online started as Applelink Personal Edition on macs and as a separate PC service from Quantum. Both were standalone apps at the time (browsers weren't available) and used dialup. After Apple pulled out, AOL was born as a standalone app on macs and PC. Dialup at first, but transitioned to internet connections in the 90's.
     
  18. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #19
    IIRC, AOL is the direct descendant of QuantumLink, which, at the beginning, was a Commodore 64-specific service (I was a member for about a year, but always found that local BBS's had more life in them than the commercial services did.)
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
  20. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #21
    Basically, the Web Browser and the WWW have grown to replace many services that were in use back in the days.

    - web based forums = USENET
    - web based chat = IRC
    - web logs a.k.a. blogs = .plan files that were fingered
    - web based file repositories = FTP

    Not to mention things like the BBSes that were around and we're connected to the Internet proper but had many of the same services. Basically, if Sir Tim-Berners Lee had never bothered to use his NeXT computer to invent this thing we call the WWW, yes, me and many others would still use the Internet for a lot of stuff. The web has just served as a sort of thin client architecture where the browser becomes the only software you need on the client and dynamic web apps give you the necessary views to access the data you want.
     
  21. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    I used internet before WWW existed:

    telnet, usenet, ftp, gophers, B-Boards.

    Those were the days!

    I would use those again too if browsers were to 'suddenly' disappear.
     
  22. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #23
    Well, the World Wide Web is just -one- of the MANY services that run on the Internet - albeit it's the most popular service. But of course I would still be using the Internet even if web browsers didn't exist. Newsgroups and IRC were cool back in the day... :)
     
  23. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
  24. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #25
    The Internet has been around a lot longer than web browsers have been. I should say *graphical* web browsers, because before there was Netscape, there was Lynx.

    Gopher was the "web browsing" of the pre-Netscape days. I used that program a LOT.

    Elm and Pine were two popular e-mail clients (remember that most everything on the Internet was through a UNIX shell back then - they didn't come out with SLIP or PPP until the 90's.)

    And of course the "BBS" of the Internet was USENET...it's still around, but I don't think it's nearly as popular as it once was.

    So if browsers went away tomorrow, we'd still have the Internet, it just wouldn't be quite as user friendly as it is now.
     

Share This Page