The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a great resource for looking at the history of a website. The Wayback Machine crawls the web and keeps a snapshot of a domain or website and it allows you to easily compare different snapshots. Using the Wayback Machine is like looking at the different digital archeological layers of a website’s design.
Using the Wayback Machine, I was able to dig up the original webpage hosted on google.com, yahoo.com, and facebook.com.
First Google Webpage
The first record webpage hosted at google.com is simple page with two links. The first link, Google Search Engine Prototype points to google.stanford.edu. The second link points to another version of the search engine at alpha.google.com.
Google’s Website Nov 11, 1998
The first archive webpage at google.com that resembles a search engine was recorded on December 2, 1998.
Google’s Website Dec 11, 1998
First Yahoo Webpage
The earliest archived webpage from yahoo.com was saved on October 17, 1996.
Yahoo’s Website Oct 20, 1996
First Facebook Webpage
Facebook uses a robots.txt that doesn’t allow the Wayback Machine to crawl the site and as such there are no achieved versions of the site.
Facebook Hates Robots
For this RubyConf2006 session, the history of Ruby was broken down into five periods which include pre-history, ancient age, middle age, modern age, and contemporary.
The pre-history of Ruby was dated circa 1993 and it is an age of myth and epic legends which only Matz and his friends know. According to the speaker, Masayoshi Takahashi, Ruby was baptized before it was born, that is to say, before any code had been written. According to Masayoshi-san, a normal name would lead to a normal language, a great name would make a great language. But in a bizarro world, Ruby could have been known as Coral. The name Coral was proposed in a chat session between Matz and an early contributor. But I feel that a rose in any other name would still smell as sweet and that a Ruby in any other name would still bring joy to program.
The ancient age of the Ruby programming language was carbon dated to 1995. At this time, Ruby 0.95 was available to the public, that is Japanese netnews users. At this time the ruby-list ML was launched with the first email: ruby-0.95 test failed.