The Origin of the Tag

Posted by Stephen Petrey on Friday, September 14, 2018

I love coming across this stuff. I always forget that Marc Andreessen is basically the father of Mosiac, Netscape and plenty of other internet startups through his VC, Andreessen Horowitz.

Here’s Andreessen’s super-duper casual proposal over email, sent on February 25, 1993:

I’d like to propose a new, optional HTML tag:


Required argument is SRC=”url”. 

Lovely. Marc goes forward to say that browsers should support bitmap image filetypes, be flexible and recommends browser behavior when an <img> has been given a non-supported filetype in the src argument:

Browsers should be afforded flexibility as to which image formats they
support. Xbm and Xpm are good ones to support, for example. If a
browser cannot interpret a given format, it can do whatever it wants
instead (X Mosaic will pop up a default bitmap as a placeholder).

Amazing to see how far we’ve come since then.


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