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Web browser
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{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2012}}File:Web browser usage share, May 2017.svg|thumb|Usage share of web browsers as of 2017 according to StatCounterStatCounter{{Internet}}A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web. Each individual web page, image, and video is identified by a distinct Uniform Resource Locator (URL), enabling browsers to retrieve these resources from a web server and display them on the user's device.A web browser is not the same thing as a search engine, though the two are often confused.WEB,weblink What is a Browser?, 2009-04-30, Google (on YouTube), Less than 8% of people who were interviewed on this day knew what a browser was., WEB,weblink No-Judgment Digital Definitions: Internet, Search Engine, Browser, 2017-10-11, Mozilla, Let’s start by breaking down the differences between internet, search engine, and browser. Lots of us get these three things confused with each other., For a user, a search engine is just a website, such as google.com, that stores searchable data about other websites. But to connect to a website's server and display its web pages, a user needs to have a web browser installed on their device.WEB,weblink Difference Between Search Engine and Browser, As of March 2019, more than 4.3 billion people are web browser users, around 55% of the world’s population.  Their success is in part caused by their flexibility, due to their Turing-complete execution and powerful graphic capabilities.WEB,weblink World Internet Users Statistics and 2019 World Population Stats, www.internetworldstats.com, 2019-04-21, The most popular browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge.

History

The first web browser, called WorldWideWeb, was created in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.WEB,weblink Tim Berners-Lee: WorldWideWeb, the first Web client, W3.org, 2011-12-07, He then recruited Nicola Pellow to write the Line Mode Browser, which displayed web pages on dumb terminals; it was released in 1991.BOOK, How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web, Gillies, James; Cailliau, R., Oxford University Press, 2000, 0192862073, 6, File:NPellow.jpg|thumb|200px|Nicola Pellow and Tim Berners-Lee in their office at CERNCERN File:Marc Andreessen.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Marc AndreessenMarc Andreessen1993 was a landmark year with the release of Mosaic, credited as "the world's first popular browser".NEWS,weblink Bloomberg Game Changers: Marc Andreessen, Bloomberg, 17 March 2011, 2011-12-07, Its innovative graphical interface made the World Wide Web system easy to use and thus more accessible to the average person. This, in turn, sparked the Internet boom of the 1990s when the Web grew at a very rapid rate. Marc Andreessen, the leader of the Mosaic team, soon started his own company, Netscape, which released the Mosaic-influenced Netscape Navigator in 1994. Navigator quickly became the most popular browser.WEB,weblink The Evolution of the Web Browsers, Enzer, Larry, August 31, 2018, Monmouth Web Developers, August 31, 2018, Microsoft debuted Internet Explorer in 1995, leading to a browser war with Netscape. Microsoft was able to gain a dominant position for two reasons: it bundled Internet Explorer with its popular Microsoft Windows operating system and did so as freeware with no restrictions on usage. Eventually the market share of Internet Explorer peaked at over 95% in 2002.WEB,weblink Mozilla Firefox Internet Browser Market Share Gains to 7.4%, Search Engine Journal, 24 November 2004, 2011-12-07, File:WorldWideWeb FSF GNU.png|thumb|WorldWideWebWorldWideWebIn 1998, desperate to remain competitive, Netscape launched what would become the Mozilla Foundation to create a new browser using the open source software model. This work evolved into Firefox, first released by Mozilla in 2004. Firefox reached a 28% market share in 2011.WEB,weblink StatCounter Global Stats – Browser, OS, Search Engine including Mobile Usage Share, 2 May 2015, Apple released its Safari browser in 2003. It remains the dominant browser on Apple platforms, though it never became a factor elsewhere.The last major entrant to the browser market was Google. Its Chrome browser, which debuted in 2008, has been a huge success. It steadily took market share from Internet Explorer and became the most popular browser in 2012.WEB,weblink Internet Explorer usage to plummet below 50 percent by mid-2012, 3 September 2011, 4 September 2011, WEB,weblink StatCounter Global Stats – Browser, OS, Search Engine including Mobile Usage Share, 2 May 2015, Chrome has remained dominant ever since.In terms of technology, browsers have greatly expanded their HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and multimedia capabilities since the 1990s. One reason has been to enable more sophisticated websites, such as web applications. Another factor is the significant increase of broadband connectivity, which enables people to access data-intensive web content, such as YouTube streaming, that was not possible during the era of dial-up modems.

Function

The purpose of a web browser is to fetch information resources from the Web and display them on a user's device.This process begins when the user inputs a URL, such as weblink, into the browser. Virtually all URLs on the Web start with either http: or https: which means the browser will retrieve them with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In the case of https:, the communication between the browser and the web server is encrypted for the purposes of security and privacy. Another URL prefix is file: which is used to display local files already stored on the user's device.Once a web page has been retrieved, the browser's rendering engine displays it on the user's device. This includes image and video formats supported by the browser.Web pages usually contain hyperlinks to other pages and resources. Each link contains a URL, and when it is clicked, the browser navigates to the new resource. Thus the process of bringing content to the user begins again.

Settings

Web browsers can typically be configured with a built-in menu. Depending on the browser, the menu may be named Settings, Options, or Preferences.The menu has different types of settings. For example, users can change their home page and default search engine. They also can change default web page colors and fonts. Various network connectivity and privacy settings are also usually available.

Privacy

During the course of browsing, cookies received from various websites are stored by the browser. Some of them contain login credentials or site preferences.WEB, Tracking Cookies: What They Are, and How They Threaten Your Privacy,weblink Tom's Guide, 11 March 2019, However, others are used for tracking user behavior over long periods of time, so browsers typically provide settings for removing cookies when exiting the browser. Finer-grained management of cookies requires a browser extension.WEB, Alternatives to Cookie AutoDelete extension,weblink AlternativeTo, 11 March 2019,

Features

The most popular browsers have a number of features in common. They allow users to set bookmarks and browse in a private mode. They also can be customized with extensions, and some of them provide a sync service.Most browsers have these user interface features:
  • Allow the user to open multiple pages at the same time, either in different browser windows or in different tabs of the same window.
  • Back and forward buttons to go back to the previous page visited or forward to the next one.
  • A refresh or reload button to reload the current page.
  • A stop button to cancel loading the page. (In some browsers, the stop button is merged with the reload button.)
  • A home button to return to the user's home page.
  • An address bar to input the URL of a page and display it.
  • A search bar to input terms into a search engine. (In some browsers, the search bar is merged with the address bar.)
There are also niche browsers with distinct features. One example is text-only browsers that can benefit people with slow Internet connections or those with visual impairments.

Security

Web browsers are installed on almost all computers. As a result, they are popular targets for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities (security holes). Attackers can use these vulnerabilities to steal information, destroy files, and use computers to attack other computers. Common methods to attack browsers include installing Trojan software or spyware. Instead of actively targeting vulnerabilities, attackers often compromise systems passively when a malicious website is visited.WEB,weblink Securing Your Web Browser, www.us-cert.gov, 2019-04-21, Certain browser features contain commonly exploited vulnerabilities. They include: Methods used to secure web browsers and computers in general include keeping browser software updated, installing and using antivirus software, and avoiding malicious content and website-based exploits.    

Market share

File:Browser Market Map June 2015.svg|thumb|Most used web browser by country, as of June 2015.{{Legend|#0B610B|Google Chrome}}{{Legend|#FF8000|Firefox}}{{Legend|#2E2E2E|Safari}}{{Legend|#FFFF00|UC}}{{Legend|#808000|Iron}}{{Legend|#0101DF|Internet Explorer}}{{Legend|#FF0000|Opera}}{{Legend|#800080|Android}}{{Legend|#923939|PhantomPhantom{{bar box
StatCounter November 2018desktop shareHTTP://GS.STATCOUNTER.COM/BROWSER-MARKET-SHARE/DESKTOP/WORLDWIDE/#MONTHLY-201811-201811-BARPUBLISHER=STATCOUNTER, |titlebar=#DDD|width=400px|barwidth=100px |bars={{bar percent|Google Chrome|#A3D3FF|72.38|72.4%}}{{bar percent|Mozilla Firefox|#A3D3FF|9.1|9.1%}}{{bar percent|Internet Explorer|#A3D3FF|5.38|5.4%}}{{bar percent|Safari|#A3D3FF|5.06|5.1%}}{{bar percent|Microsoft Edge|#A3D3FF|4|4.0%}}{{bar percent|Opera|#A3D3FF|2.18|2.2%}}{{bar percent|UC Browser|#A3D3FF|0.55|0.55%}}{{bar percent|Yandex Browser|#A3D3FF|0.39|0.39%}}{{bar percent|Cốc Cốc|#A3D3FF|0.2|0.20%}}{{bar percent|Chromium|#A3D3FF|0.15|0.15%}}{{bar percent|Sogou Explorer|#A3D3FF|0.14|0.14%}}{{bar percent|QQ Browser|#A3D3FF|0.13|0.13%}}{{bar percent|Maxthon|#A3D3FF|0.08|0.08%}}{{bar percent|Mozilla Suite|#A3D3FF|0.05|0.05%}}{{bar percent|Vivaldi|#A3D3FF|0.04|0.04%}}{{bar percent|360 Secure Browser|#A3D3FF|0.02|0.02%}}{{bar percent|Naver Whale|#A3D3FF|0.02|0.02%}}{{bar percent|Pale Moon|#A3D3FF|0.02|0.02%}}{{bar percent|mCent Browser|#A3D3FF|0.02|0.02%}}{{bar percent|SeaMonkey|#A3D3FF|0.01|0.01%}}{{bar percent|Other|#A3D3FF|0.06|0.06%}}{{bar gap|height=11}}}}

See also

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

External links

{{Wikiversity | Web Browser}}
  • {{Commons category-inline|Web browsers}}
{{Web browsers}}{{Early web browsers}}


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