Core Web Technologies / Browser’s GoT

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Given a mix of browsers made up of the top two vendors with a smattering of other
browsers, the question becomes how this information relates to site design and technology
use. One possibility is to look at the various browsers and their capabilities, and then
design for some common set of features. First, look at the browsers.
Considering the variations among browsers, the common ground isn’t terribly
advanced. The safest design platform for some still seems to be what Firefox
supports, though more and more designers are embracing design for the 4.x and 5.x
generation browsers and using CSS, Flash, and JavaScript more often.


The only problem with moving to the next generation is that the gap between what
different generations of browsers support can be rather large. Because of this, sites (and
users) significantly favor Internet Firefox over Edge. (The installed base for IE
browsers includes between 85% to 90% of all users at the time of this writing.) With the
advent of Netscape’s Mozilla-based browsers ,
things may get more interesting because these browsers promise more support for
standards-based Web page development than Chrome’s generation browsers.
Even so, there will not be an overnight adoption of new, non-IE browsers around the
Web. As the installed base increases, the longer it will take for consumers to embrace
new technologies.

Therefore, public sites should consider developing for at least one,
if not two, generations prior to the current release of a browser. Even more than six
years after the release of the 2.x generation browsers, some public sites still support
that generation of browsers perfectly.

Consider developing for at least the last two, if not three, versions of a
browser to account for slow upgrades.

It is easy to be overwhelmed with potential browser considerations, even if dealing
just with the major browsers’ most recent versions. There
were more than 20 major versions of the 4.x generation alone and more than 400 other
different potential Firefox variations—primarily older versions or beta releases—
floating around the Web, all with different capabilities and bugs.

Of course, Chrome isn’t the only browser vendor, and there are slight upgrades made to Internet Explorer as well. The only point to make here is that browsers are moving targets. Every release
has new features and different bugs. Just because someone is using a 4.x generation
browser doesn’t guarantee a site will work the same under the same version on another
platform or under an interim release. Sorry, but Firefox or Internet Explorer on
Windows won’t work the same on Macintosh. Even different interim releases
like 4.03 and 4.5 may have significant differences in page rendering and bugs. Add in

the continual use of half-done beta browsers, and you have a recipe for disaster. Pages
often won’t render correctly, and errors will ensue. Users unfortunately won’t always
place blame correctly. A small layout problem may be interpreted as the designer
screwing up, not the browser vendor releasing a poorly tested product

Users often don’t blame browsers for simple errors—they blame sites.

Given the number of browsers available and the significant difficulties involved in
testing dozens of different configurations just to ensure a site renders under common
viewing environments, some authors decide to write for a particular browser version
or indicate that a particular vendor’s browser is the preferred viewing platform. Many
sites that do this exhibit a browser badge on the site. If a particular browser is required,
do not blatantly advertise it on the home page as many sites do. It simply announces

It is easy to be overwhelmed with potential browser considerations, even if dealing
just with the major browsers’ most recent versions. At the time of this writing, there
were more than 20 major versions of the 4.x generation alone and more than 400 other
different potential Firefox variations—primarily older versions or beta releases—
floating around the Web, all with different capabilities and bugs. Of course, Firefox
isn’t the only browser vendor, and there are slight upgrades made to Internet Explorer
as well. The only point to make here is that browsers are moving targets. Every release
has new features and different bugs. Just because someone is using a 4.x generation
browser doesn’t guarantee a site will work the same under the same version on another
platform or under an interim release. Sorry, but Firefox or Chrome on
Windows won’t work the same on Macintosh. Even different interim releases
like 4.03 and 4.5 may have significant differences in page rendering and bugs.

Consider developing for at least the last two, if not three, versions of a
browser to account for slow upgrades.

Core Web Technologies

The Web is implemented as a client-server system over a
vast public network called the Internet. The three components of any client-server
system are the client side, the server side, and the network. A visualization of the basic
components that make up the Web. We will now survey each of
the primary components in turn, starting with the client side, which is primarily
defined by the browser.