Web Browser

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What is a web browser?

A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. Text and images on a Web page can contain hyperlinks to other Web pages at the same or different website. Web browsers allow a user to quickly and easily access information provided on many Web pages at many websites by traversing these links. Web browsers format HTML information for display, so the appearance of a Web page may differ between browsers.

Some of the Web browsers currently available for personal computers include Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Konqueror, Opera, Flock, Internet Explorer, Epiphany, K-Meleon and AOL Explorer.[2] Web browsers are the most commonly used type of HTTP user agent. Although browsers are typically used to access the World Wide Web, they can also be used to access information provided by Web servers in private networks or content in file systems.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 History
* 2 Protocols and standards
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links

[edit] History

Main article: History of the web browser

The history of the web browser dates back to late 1980s when a variety technologies laid the foundation for the first web browser, the WorldWideWeb, by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, which brought together a variety of existing and new software and hardware technologies.

[edit] Protocols and standards

Web browsers communicate with Web servers primarily using HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) to fetch webpages. HTTP allows Web browsers to submit information to Web servers as well as fetch Web pages from them. The most commonly used HTTP is HTTP/1.1, which is fully defined in RFC 2616. HTTP/1.1 has its own required standards that Internet Explorer does not fully support, but most other current-generation Web browsers do.

Pages are located by means of a URL (uniform resource locator, RFC 1738 ), which is treated as an address, beginning with http: for HTTP access. Many browsers also support a variety of other URL types and their corresponding protocols, such as gopher: for Gopher (a hierarchical hyperlinking protocol), ftp: for FTP (file transfer protocol), rtsp: for RTSP (real-time streaming protocol), and https: for HTTPS (an SSL encrypted version of HTTP).

The file format for a Web page is usually HTML (hyper-text markup language) and is identified in the HTTP protocol using a MIME content type. Most browsers natively support a variety of formats in addition to HTML, such as the JPEG, PNG and GIF image formats, and can be extended to support more through the use of plugins. The combination of HTTP content type and URL protocol specification allows Web page designers to embed images, animations, video, sound, and streaming media into a Web page, or to make them accessible through the Web page.

Early Web browsers supported only a very simple version of HTML. The rapid development of proprietary Web browsers led to the development of non-standard dialects of HTML, leading to problems with Web interoperability. Modern Web browsers support a combination of standards- and defacto-based HTML and XHTML, which should display in the same way across all browsers. No browser fully supports HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.x or CSS 2.1 yet. Currently many sites are designed using WYSIWYG HTML generation programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage. Microsoft FrontPage often generates non-standard HTML by default, hindering the work of the W3C in developing standards, specifically with XHTML and CSS (cascading style sheets, used for page layout). Dreamweaver and other more modern Microsoft HTML development tools such as Microsoft Expression Web and Microsoft Visual Studio conform to the W3C standards.

Some of the more popular browsers include additional components to support Usenet news, IRC (Internet relay chat), and e-mail. Protocols supported may include NNTP (network news transfer protocol), SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), IMAP (Internet message access protocol), and POP (post office protocol). These browsers are often referred to as Internet suites or application suites rather than merely Web browsers.

[edit] See also

* History of the Internet
* Timeline of web browsers
* Mobile browser
* Usage share of web browsers
* Comparison of web browsers
* List of web browsers
* Browser wars
* Acid3

[edit] References

1. ^ Stewart, William. "Web Browser History". Retrieved on 2008-02-02.
2. ^ Browser Market Share for Q1 2008. Market Share by Net Applications.com.

[edit] External links
Look up Web browser in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* Popular Web browsers other than IE for MS-Windows
* evolt.org - Browser Archive
* Macintosh Web Browsers
* Viewable with Any Browser: Campaign

[show]
v • d • e
Web browsers (list, comparison, usage share, timeline)
Trident-based
AOL Explorer · Avant Browser · Enigma Browser · Maxthon · SlimBrowser · NeoPlanet · NetCaptor · Netscape Browser 8 · Internet Explorer (4 to 8) · iRider · Smart Bro · Sleipnir · Tencent Traveler · UltraBrowser
Gecko-based
AT&T Pogo · Beonex Communicator · Camino · Conkeror · DocZilla · Epiphany · Flock · Galeon · K-Meleon · K-Ninja · Kazehakase · Madfox · Minimo · Mozilla · Mozilla Firefox · Netscape (6 to 9) · SeaMonkey · Skipstone · Sleipnir · Songbird · XeroBank Browser
KHTML and WebKit-based
ABrowse · Arora · iCab · Epiphany · Konqueror · Midori · OmniWeb · Safari · Skipstone · Shiira · Swift
Presto-based
Opera · Nintendo DS Browser · Internet Channel
Java-based
HotJava · Lobo · Opera Mini · X-Smiles · UCWEB
Tasman-based
Internet Explorer 5 for Mac · MSN for Mac OS X
Text-based
Alynx · edbrowse · ELinks · Links · Lynx · Net-Tamer · w3m · WebbIE
Mobile browser
Blazer · Deepfish · Doris · Internet Explorer Mobile · jB5 Mobile Browser · JOCA · Minimo · NetFront · Obigo Browser · Opera Mobile · Pixo · PlayStation Portable web browser · S60 web browser · ThunderHawk · Webby Mobile · WinWAP
Other
3B · abaco · Amaya · Arachne · AWeb · Charon · Dillo · Emacs/W3 · IBrowse · Mothra · NetPositive · NetSurf · Oregano · Sleipnir · Tkhtml · VMS Mosaic · Voyager
[show]
v • d • e
Early Web Browsers (up to 1996)
1991
WorldWideWeb (Nexus)
1992
ViolaWWW · Erwise · MidasWWW · MacWWW (Samba) · Libwww Line-mode
1993
NCSA Mosaic · Cello · Lynx (2.0) · Arena
1994
IBM WebExplorer · Netscape Navigator · MicroMind SlipKnot (1.0) · TradeWave MacWeb · IBrowse · Navipress · Argo · Minuet · Internet in a Box · Spyglass Mosaic
1995
Internet Explorer 1.0 · Netscape Navigator 2.0 · OmniWeb · WebRouser · Sun WebRunner (HotJava) · Grail · Internet Explorer 2 · Delrina Cyberjack
1996
Arachne 1.0 · Internet Explorer 3.0 · Netscape Navigator 3.0 · Opera Software Opera · Oracle PowerBrowser · Apple Cyberdog · INRIA Amaya (.9) · AWeb · VaporWare Voyager
Related
Browser wars · HyperCard · Gopher · E-mail · Web page · Viewdata · Teletext · Videotex · X.25 · Aliweb · ASCII · HyperText Markup Language · HyTelnet · Virtual Reality Markup Language · File Transfer Protocol · TELNET · NLS · NCSA Telnet · UUCP · Usenet · ARPANET · BITNET · Prodigy · CompuServe · World Wide Web · Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog · 3D Markup Language for Web
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser"
Categories: Web browsers
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