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A common sense guide to the Internet...

Web Browsers 1

Of the the main web browsers for MS-Windows, Google's Chrome has the largest user base followed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer/Edge.

The Open Source application Firefox is an excellent standards compliant web browser available for Win/Mac/Linux. Firefox uses the Gecko rendering engine to produce its pages and is supported by the Mozilla Foundation. The aim is to create an efficient, secure and standards compliant web browser that can be used across multiple operating systems.

There are other browsers available but some features are not supported consistently across the various browser versions.

HTML... CSS, Tables and Frames

All Web pages use the same format, called HTML, for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML has gone through several development stages. Version 5.0 is implemented at the moment.

Not all browsers interpret HTML in the same way. Microsoft in particular with Internet Explorer has, in the past, had the least compliance with the HTML standard. Today Internet Explorer has been phased out in favour of Edge which is based on the same technology that Google Chrome uses.

You should be able to read most Web pages with an older browser, but any pages that use newer features may not display correctly and could be unintelligible.

Extending Browser Functions

The functions of a Web browser can be extended and added to using various technologies.

Java Applications

Java is a general purpose, cross platform programming language designed for compactness and simplicity, making it well suited for use on the World Wide Web.

Java Applets are capable of doing a diverse range of things... from producing trivial animation effects to enabling secure online banking.

After a legal battle with Sun Microsystems, the developer of Java, over extensions it wanted to make to the language, Microsoft decided not to support Java in newer versions of Internet Explorer. The extensions to the language proposed by Microsoft would only be usable on Windows based machines, effectively undermining the cross platform basis of the Java language.


Plug-ins for web browsers is "old tech" and no longer used.

Plug-ins were pieces of add-on software that extended the functions of the Web browser. A commonly used plugin was Flash for multimedia display.

As well as plugins, Microsoft used an alternative proprietary technology called ActiveX to provide enhancements  for Internet Explorer.

Get a Web Browser

The Mozilla Foundation - http://www.mozilla.org/

Firefox - All Languages - https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/

SeaMonkey is the all-in-one application containing a web browser, a mail and newsgroups client, an HTML editor, web development tools, and an IRC chat client.

The SeaMonkey Project - http://www.seamonkey-project.org/

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