Documents and Manuals menus in Mosaic going away

Marc Andreessen (
Mon, 26 Jul 93 02:06:46 -0500

I'm strongly considering stripping out the Documents and Manuals menus
of Mosaic for 2.0, and replacing them with hypermedia equivalents on and referenced from the Mosaic home page. Why?

(a) As the information falls out of date or is expanded the interface
wouldn't need to be updated, just the documents, and old Mosaic
versions would continue to work.
(b) Those menus were largely put in there as part of Mosaic's proof of
concept stage, so network pros and others who walk up to Mosaic
for the first time not knowing what it can do will see interesting
and useful things. This is less useful now that it's established
and has a broad and expanding user base, as many users are simply
confused by many of the entries (what's X.500? what does "News
Interface" mean and why can't I get all those groups?)
(c) They are definitely confusing and misleading for people without
pure Internet access.
(d) The various Manual servers may or may not be strictly legal, and
it'd make me feel better if they were out of the interface proper.
(e) Many requests have come in for configuration functionality. I'd
rather discourage that, and rather encourage people to generate
hypermedia documents instead -- better for them for some of the
reasons being listed here, aids use of different browsers and
avoids dependence on Mosaic, and more likely to help grow the Web.
(f) Some requests have come in to simplify the interface, particularly
wrt those two menus, for people who want to present a simple
information browsing environment to people for straightforward
purposes (e.g., tour our library).
(g) Quite a few requests come in for additions to the "Other Home
Pages" menu, and I feel guilty turning them down but don't want to
bloat the menu beyond just a few; I'd rather leave new server
tracking, etc. to the central index of Web servers at CERN +
Mosaic What's New + demo document, so I'd like to get rid of that
submenu altogether.

The Help menu, of course, will stay.

Feedback straight to me, please.


Marc Andreessen
Software Development Group
National Center for Supercomputing Applications