WIT, the first WWWBoard ever

Have you ever wondered what was the first forum software? A bit of history for Christmas, that's our present.

The first forum software (at this period a forum software was called a WWWBoard) was developed by the W3 consortium in 1994 and it was named WIT, which stands for W3 Interactive Talk. It was developed in about 3 days, and was mainly used for technical discussions at the W3. The main goal of its implementation was an attempt for consortium to look for a more convenient way of discussing, to maybe replace (or improve) newsgroups and mailing lists. You can notice this aim is about to be achieved with more modern forum softwares.

The WIT website still exists, even if it is no more available, which means we can't propose you a live demonstration of this software (I see some people crying Wink.

The funny part is that it was made using the classical HTML <table> markup, which could explain why the layout was the most used in the 12 next years. Fortunately, this is slowly disappearing, and the W3C worked a lot in order to deprecate this way of building websites.

About WIT, it seems it disappeared from the official W3.org Archives in late 1997. It was previously available at the following URL: http://www.w3.org/Discussion and you could in fact find some hints of its life from 1995 to 1997 (don't click too fast, these Discussion folders are empty.

This discovery makes us updating the Forum Softwares Timeline, which now starts back in 1994.

By the way, Merry Christmas from the FSR Team!

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Comments (1)

That really depends on how

That really depends on how you define "forum software". I was using BBSs back in 1984 that were essentially forums. And then there's usenet which goes back pretty far as well.

Michelle

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