Revision 545173 of Browser

  • Revision slug: Glossary/Browser
  • Revision title: Browser
  • Revision id: 545173
  • Created:
  • Creator: jswisher
  • Is current revision? No
  • Comment Editorial review; not sure all the history and detail is necessary?

Revision Content

Summary

A web browser is software that helps a user browse the web. Its main purpose is to retrieve and display the documents available on the web, and to allow users to jump from one document to another through hyperlinks.

In depth

A bit of history

The first web browser was build by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 and was first named WorldWideWeb.

The first wildly adopted web browser was Mozaic made by Marc Andreessen in 1993. One year later, he created {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator")}} which gained a big 90% market share one year later.

By the end of the 90's, two web browsers were competing: {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator")}} and {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer")}}. This period between 1996 and 2000 is known as "The Browser War". Finally, with the release of Windows XP and {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer 6")}} by Microsoft and with Netscape acquired by AOL, Microsoft won that war with {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer")}} getting 95% of market share.

A new generation of browsers appears in 2004 with the release of {{Glossary("Mozilla Firefox")}} and the opening of {{Glossary("Apple Safari")}}'s code source. Since some new releases of {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer")}}, and the release of {{Glossary("Google Chrome")}} in 2008 the market tend to be more balanced between those four browsers and the battle now stand on the mobile front.

Usage

At the very basic level, a browser is at the heart of the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}} which means it handle three main functions:

  1. To access resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: To that end, a browser is able to understand {{Glossary("URLs","URL")}} and to use the {{Glossary("HTTP")}} protocol, modern browsers also support {{Glossary("Web Socket")}} and {{Glossary("WebRTC")}} protocols.
  2. To render any resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: This means that a {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}} browser is a runtime environment able to support many web technologies, at minimum, {{Glossary("HTML")}}, {{Glossary("CSS")}} and {{Glossary("JavaScript")}}. It is also able to render images, audio, and video depending on the appropriate {{Glossary("codec")}} it supports. Some browsers also embed support for non {{Glossary("Web Standards","web-standard")}} technologies directly or through a plug-in system.
  3. To surf through resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: This requires a browser to support the notion of {{Glossary("hyperlinks")}} which is a way to turn any regular text from a resource into a link that will tell the browser to open another resource.

After twenty years of evolution, the web browsers has evolved from resources reading software into full execution runtime. Now web pages are more than just plain documents to read, they are autonomous web applications that can be executed by web browsers

Know more

General knowledge

Download a browser

Revision Source

<h2 id="Summary">Summary</h2>
<p>A web browser is software that helps a user browse the web. Its main purpose is to retrieve and display the documents available on the web, and to allow users to jump from one document to another through hyperlinks.</p>
<h2 id="In_depth">In depth</h2>
<h3 id="A_bit_of_history">A bit of history</h3>
<p>The first web browser was build by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 and was first named WorldWideWeb.</p>
<p>The first wildly adopted web browser was Mozaic made by Marc Andreessen in 1993. One year later, he created {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator")}} which gained a big 90% market share one year later.</p>
<p>By the end of the 90's, two web browsers were competing: {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator")}} and {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer")}}. This period between 1996 and 2000 is known as "The Browser War". Finally, with the release of Windows XP and {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer 6")}} by Microsoft and with Netscape acquired by AOL, Microsoft won that war with {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer")}} getting 95% of market share.</p>
<p>A new generation of browsers appears in 2004 with the release of {{Glossary("Mozilla&nbsp;Firefox")}} and the opening of {{Glossary("Apple Safari")}}'s code source. Since some new releases of {{Glossary("Microsoft Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer")}}, and the release of {{Glossary("Google Chrome")}} in 2008 the market tend to be more balanced between those four browsers and the battle now stand on the mobile front.</p>
<h3 id="Usage" style="line-height: 23.999998092651367px;">Usage</h3>
<p>At the very basic level, a browser is at the heart of the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}} which means it handle three main functions:</p>
<ol>
 <li>To access resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: To that end, a browser is able to understand {{Glossary("URLs","URL")}} and to use the {{Glossary("HTTP")}} protocol, modern browsers also support {{Glossary("Web Socket")}} and {{Glossary("WebRTC")}} protocols.</li>
 <li>To render any resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: This means that a {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}} browser is a runtime environment able to support many web technologies, at minimum, {{Glossary("HTML")}}, {{Glossary("CSS")}} and {{Glossary("JavaScript")}}. It is also able to render images, audio, and video depending on the appropriate {{Glossary("codec")}} it supports. Some browsers also embed support for non {{Glossary("Web Standards","web-standard")}} technologies directly or through a plug-in system.</li>
 <li>To surf through resources available on the {{Glossary("World Wide Web","web")}}: This requires a browser to support the notion of {{Glossary("hyperlinks")}} which is a way to turn any regular text from a resource into a link that will tell the browser to open another resource.</li>
</ol>
<p>After twenty years of evolution, the web browsers has evolved from resources reading software into full execution runtime. Now web pages are more than just plain documents to read, they are autonomous web applications that can be executed by web browsers</p>
<h2 id="Know_more">Know more</h2>
<h3 id="General_knowledge">General knowledge</h3>
<ul>
 <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser" rel="external">Web browser on Wikipedia</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://www.evolutionoftheweb.com/" rel="external">The evolution of the web</a></li>
</ul>
<h3 id="Download_a_browser">Download a browser</h3>
<ul>
 <li><a href="http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/features/">Mozilla Firefox</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://www.google.com/chrome/" rel="external">Google Chrome</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/browser-ie" rel="external">Microsoft Internet Explorer</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://www.opera.com/" rel="external">Opera Browser</a></li>
</ul>
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