I just posted this video demonstration of "Stepping Stone" which was a program I released in 1999 that provided users a way to store web links and then browse through them by simply clicking.
Video demonstration of Stepping Stone
The program was obviously very crude. It worked by placing a strip above a running Internet Explorer session (and only Internet Explorer, it didn't work with Netscape) that contained left and right control buttons. Users navigated by clicking either and thus moving through a stored list of URLs. The process meant users could avoid returning to a Favorites folder each time to move on to the next page, a process which involved multiple clicks and possible repetitive navigation. Stepping Stone was a "one click solution".
Users could build theme files which were sets of URL links and create browsing sessions that focused on one particular topic or routine. For example one theme file could be dedicated to the user's favorite blogs or newspapers. Another could be dedicated to sports or hobby sites.
The tool offered a way for users to build an intimacy with their websites similar to the way they did when they read a morning newspaper in some favorite order (front page first, sports, business, then the comics).
The program circulated awhile but never evolved. My hope in posting this video is that someone will be inspired to reincarnate the program as a web and even mobile app. Efforts that I will strive for myself but fear I will never do as well as many others. It's an excellent, overlooked, concept.
In the video Stepping Stone is running in a virtual XP Windows session; it doesn't seem to work in Windows 10 although I'm fairly sure I remember it working in Vista and Windows 7 and through Internet Explorer 11. The last release was technically buggy in that the program is apparently hardcoded to depend on files from incorrect path ("C:\stepping2"), but that can be resolved by actually creating "C:\stepping2" and copying default.htm , error.log , nospam.htm and stone1.htm from the actual install path which on today's x64 PCs isC:\Program Files (x86)\stepping2 . The program will run after that although the first couple of URLs it hits in the default theme file will be outdated.
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Stepping Stone Demonstration
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