Browser Wars with Eric Sink

eric-sink

“Its not just that we didn’t have git, we didn’t have Subversion, and before that we didn’t have CVS. Basically all that we had was RCS.”

Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox–it’s easy to forget that these modern browsers descended from the war between Microsoft and Netscape. Today, we hear from a software engineer who was on the front lines of that war, back in 1992.

Eric Sink was one of the original developers of Spyglass, a browser that was licensed to both Microsoft AND Netscape. If you want to understand why that happened, and what the inside story of the browser wars is, and what the business of selling browser licenses was like in 1992, check out this episode of Software Engineering Daily.

Questions

  • What was going on in the software engineering world in 1992?
  • Why did Spyglass start building a browser?
  • What were the challenging aspects of developing a browser that today we would take for granted?
  • When did the browser war between Netscape and Internet Explorer begin?
  • Was Microsoft really as nefarious or anti-competitive as history makes them out to be?
  • What did the media get wrong about the browser wars?
  • What are you working on lately that gets you excited?

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