etymology (sp?) of "Home Page"

An age-old thread that never dies...

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Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 16:49:28 GMT
From: amc@cs.wustl.edu (Adam M. Costello)
Message-Id: <9606221649.AA04266@siesta.cs.wustl.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Aha, so that's what HTML is! (hahaha)

On Sat, 22 Jun 1996, Melt van Schoor wrote:

> What's the definition of a home page anyway? I've seen it used to
> refer to basically anything...

Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com> replied:

> I think it is not so much that it can refer to anything as it refers
> to different things in different contexts.
> 1) A homepage as the top level 'entrance page'
>  to a web site (http://www.myserver.com/ or
>  http://www.myserviceprovider.com/~myaccount/).  Homepage in this
>  context is the idea of a 'homebase page' or place to begin from and
>  perhaps to return to.
> 2) A homepage as the entire collection of pages on a *personal*
>  web 'sub-site' (http://www.myserviverprovider.com/~myaccount/*).
>  Homepage here is used in the idea of 'My home. My place. My personal
>  space.'

I don't see the distinction you're trying to make.

Long ago, before the term "home page" entered common usage, someone (I
don't know who) suggested that a "home page" was a page that appeared
when you first started your browser, and reappeared when you clicked on
the "Home" button (or equivalent).  Makes sense, yes?  Ideally, a home
page in this sense should contain a variety of useful links pointing all
over the place.

On the other hand, the term "welcome page" was suggested for a page at
the conceptual entrance to a corner of the Web, whether it belonged to
an organization or an individual.  Ideally, it tells what's available
in this area and mainly provides pointers inward, as opposed to a home
page, which provides pointers outward.

I thought these were good terms, and I still use them myself on my own
welcome page <http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~amc/>.  It's a shame this usage
didn't catch on--it makes more sense.

(Sorry this isn't really on-topic for this list, but it's one of my pet


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