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Web Browsers Tutorial for Students

A Web browser tutorial with discussion about Web browsers, types of browsers, Google's new Chrome browser, Mozilla.com's Firefox3 browser, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 Beta, Mosaic, Opera, Lynx, and the Amaya editor/browser of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C.org)... and related links.
Download Chrome Browser from Google.com.

Overview and Editing With Browsers

A Web browser is special software for viewing Web pages and documents on the Internet, or on a network intranet. The two browsers with the current largest Web use are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox from www.mozilla.org. Each of these browsers is available as a free download from the Internet. Safari is popular with the iMac users.

Note to Web Authors

It is possible to use Internet Explorer to edit Web pages on your local computer for uploading to a Web server. It is a good idea for a Web author to view their own Web pages using two or three different browsers to see if the pages render the same way. You may discover differences between one browser and another in the way the Web page is displayed.
NOTE: If you cannot edit a Web page using your browser then read HTML Editors which discusses HTML editors and text editors. First, I would try to download the free versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, and

Downloading Files

Occasionally when you download files from the Internet you will need a utility that can unzip compressed files; however, at other times, the downloaded files will uncompress by double-clicking on the file icon. If a decompression utility is needed, PC users can install WinZip. Computer vendors usually install a Web browser as part of the software that is on the computer when it is sold at a retail outlet. If you build your own computer you may have to download and install a Web browser yourself since it is not usually part of the operating system (yet). Several browsers are available for you to download. Some are listed below, with hypertext links to related sites.

The purpose of this page is to give the reader a starting point for investigating browsers and browser add-ons and plug-ins. An add-on is something that gives a browser additional capabilities other than what was originated programmed for the browser to do, such as playing a musical MIDI file, or viewing video files on the Web.

Search Engines, Browsers, Plug-Ins, and Add-Ons

You will be using search engines  as you investigate additonal information about browsers, browser plug-ins and browser add-ons. The top three search engines are Google, Yahoo.com and MSN.
Please check the Related Links section, below for additional related links about Add-Ons


New Technologies

The technologies for speech-enabled browsers continue under development and some are available now. It will just be a matter of time until speech-enabled browsers become a reality. I have included a small section near the bottom of this page for speech-enabled browsers.

New Version Release of Internet Explorer

Users may download the Beta version of Internet Explorer 8 from the Microsoft Web site. Some like to wait for a later version, not a Beta version. In that case you will want to download a version of Internet Exlorer 7.




Blackberry mobile cellular browser:HTML Internet Browser



Chrome was released for free download from Google. Hitmill.com webmaster decided on a browser test for Chrome, and tried Chrome at ancestry.com with the following problem: When a person search was done the results came up nicely and one the links pointed to a census online at ancestry.com. I could not move the census page up or down, the page locked up and turned purple in color. I was able to exit the ancestry.com Web site without the browser freezing. So, only the page at ancestry.com froze up. This is an issue for the Chrome development team. Chrome Chrome was not able to print a copy of a census report at ancestry.com. (I shall try this test of Chrome again this week). In other features of the browser, I am very impressed and love it.
Here are a few links about the new browser:
  • Features of Chrome
  • Web Developers' FAQ about Chrome Browser (Google.com)
  • Google Chrome: A Developer's Perspective (InfoWorld)
  • How Chrome Changed the Web Overnight (WebMonkey)
  • Google Chrome: The First True Web 2.0 Browser (PC World)
  • A Linux Users Guide to Google Chrome (ITWire.com)
  • Firefox 3

    Firefox 3 is now available for download from mozilla.org. This is a newer, faster browser and any extensions are available for Firefox at mozilla.org. Firefox is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux i686 systems and is currently available in 27 languages. Read more about it at http://www.mozilla.com/.


    Firefox 1.5 and what that was like

    When I downloaded Firefox and installed it on a Windows 98 machine, then on a Windows XP Professional computer, Firefox 1.5.x did not display table bordercolor nor the color of horizontal rules. Table border width was distorted as was the width of the horizontal rules in the <HR> tags. This occurred with Firefox versions 1.0 and 1.5.x I was not able to edit a local Web page from within the browser.
    Firefox was very good at having multiple instances open at the same time for searching, researching. Internet Explorer early versions were very good for editing Web pages on your local machine or thumb drive and saving the code.


    Safari 3.1.2

    Safari 3.1.2
    is the default browser of the Mac OS X operating system by Apple Computer. Safari is fast, easy to use and was a real joy with its faster-loading Web pages and faster browsing. Internet Explorer is also available for the OS X operating system but in tests at home, Internet Explorer was slower-loading and I was unable to edit text on a local HTML page using Internet Explorer for the Mac OS X G4 system and the "View, Source". Hands down, Safari was faster on the Mac G4 OS X machine.
    Mac OS X users and Windows PC users using XP or Vista can download Safari 3.1.2.
    Note: The Mac and iMacs now utilize an Intel processor. Leopard is the current operating system version and Snow Leopard will be next, with hoopla.

    Microsoft Internet Explorer

    Internet Explorer is the browser belonging to Microsoft Corporation. They distribute this browser (free-of-charge) as freeware over the Internet. It is also known as Microsoft Internet Explorer and is abbreviated "MSIE" or "IE". Version 7 is current but version 8 is in Beta 2 release.
    As far as the browsers go, this is the browser I like best when hand coding HTML documents in NotePad and checking the page in this browser. Open the Windows Explorer to locate the HTML document on the local computer you wish to edit. Click/or double click on the Web document to open it in a browser window such as in Internet Explorer then Click on View, Source in the browser menu bar, make an editing change on the local computer's Web page's code document, and hit the F5 key to refresh the Web page. You can toggle the pages back and forth between the viewable Web page and the source code by using Alt + Tab (to toggle the editing pages of the browser and the source code).
    Internet Explorer 8 World-Wide Sites
    Internet Explorer 8 Beta2 for XP Computers in English language download site
    Security TechCenter at Microsoft
    Microsoft Security Bulletin Search
    <-- ======================= -->
    Earlier Versions of this Browser See Intro. to DHTML for technologies supported by the 4.x generation of Microsoft Internet Explorer. The SMIL-Boston draft specification for full multimedia presentation was published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and was also supported in Internet Explorer version 6. With add-Ons a user may now view MP4 streaming video files using this browser. MP3 is supported with Real Player and other audio add-ons.
    Many users are unhappy with security problems associated with Internet Explorer. When using this browser please be sure to get the security patches and any available service packs associated with Internet Explorer... and keep visiting Microsoft to find out when new security patches become available, or sign up for the e-mail notification of security patches and service packs as they become available for Microsoft's various software products.
    ViewLink Overview
    ViewLink was a new feature of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.5 -- a feature of element behaviors that enables you to write fully encapsulated Dynamic HTML (DHTML) behaviors and import them as robust custom elements in a Web page. Viewlinked document content, otherwise known as the document fragment, renders and behaves as regular HTML content in the main Web page. Either binary DHTML behaviors or scripted HTML Component (HTC) can be used to implement an element behavior with a viewlink, but this overview focuses primarily on the use of viewlink in scripted HTC files.
    OLD BROWSERS and software storage: Many earlier Microsoft Internet Explorer Download Sites are no longer available, such as IE5. When you download any zipped file from Microsoft, and before you click on the file icon to decompress or unzip the file, SAVE IT as a copy, in a different location such as on a CD-R disk, or on a Zip drive disk or other external storage. The reason you want a compressed copy of the file is so that the program can be restored in the event of a hard-drive catastrophe. Microsoft does not publicly archive back versions of browsers for download from their Web site, unless they are doing so from a URL not known to us. The Microsoft site is not always easy to navigate or to find what you want.
    Prior Versions: Many programmers and developers need back-version availability (such as for using Visual Studio 6.0). I prefer the MSIE browser version 5.2.x on my personal computer since it is compatible with the .dll files of Visual Studio 6.0. MSIE v. 5.2 shipped with Visual Studio 6.0. Always keep backup files of software (including an extra copy of any browser download) in a secure place that is cool and dry. Consider having two backup copies of important software so that one copy can be stored in a separate building, a bank safety deposit box, or at home or work.



    AOL Navigator

    Netscape Navigator was a browser which was created by Mark Andreesen and his team for Netscape Communications Corporation which Mr. Andreesen co-founded. Navigator was distributed over the Web as freeware, and free downloads are still available to AOL users. Netscape Navigator was acquired by AOL.COM. Their newer versions still had some proprietary features and did not support all of the features of CSS-P, CSS, and DHTML.
    Last I checked, all of my links for this browser came up with 404 errors for "File Not Found". I still keep a copy of Netscape Navigator on a disk. I not longer use this browser. Newer technologies were not supported, such as the CSS-P, a technology incorportated into the coined phrase of DHTML for Dynamic HTML, a marketing term at one time used by Netscape and Microsoft to describe the features in their version 4 browsers.




    Opera Software is the Norwegian developer of the Opera Browser. This browser had a US "registration fee" of $35.00> Now you can try Opera (free) for several operating systems, including for Windows, Mac, Linux, OS/2, symbian OS. This software takes up very little space on the hard drive in comparison to Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Read about the features of this browser and additional information about Opera in the links below.
    Additional Information about Opera Browser



    NCSA Mosaic

    NCSA Mosaic is a client browser that was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champain. It was one of the earliest graphical user interface (GUI) browsers. The NCSA Mosaic for X developers were Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen. The NCSA Mosaic Web sites at ncsa.uiuc.edu are no longer available... not one of the previous links nor download sites is working.
    [NCSA Mosaic sites no longer available... archive no longer available]




    Mozilla at a Glance
    Mozilla Tutorial
    Mozilla is open source code so this tutorial for programmers is about how to use and configure the browser.



    What is Amaya?
    The Amaya editor/browser is a browser/authoring tool available for downloading from W3C.org. It is used to demonstrate and test many of the new developments in Web protocols and data formats. Given the very fast moving nature of Web technology, Amaya has a central role to play. It is versatile and extensible and is available for the following operating systems: Windows:NT/2000/XP (formerly also 95,98); Mac OS X; Linux: Mandrake, Redhat, SUSE; and Debian.
    Amaya is a free browser available for downloading from the Amaya site at W3C.
    Lynx Sources and Resources A text- and Lynx-based DOS web browser
    Bobcat, Lynx-Based DOS Web Browser (scroll down the page to this section.
    Jigsaw is the counterpart of Amaya, but for the server side. It is open source.
    Jigsaw Known Bugs



    Speech-Enabled Browsers

    The technologies for speech-enabled browsers are under development and some are available now. It will be just a matter of time until speech-enabled browsers become available to end-users. The links in this section are for further study.
    W3C Voice Browser Activity
    Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
    VoiceXML for speech-activated information retrieval
    XML Gives voice to new speech apps

    A Markup Language for Talking Browsers?
    SALTy New Browser Enables Speech Apps



Web Authoring: Accessibility and Browser Compatibility

In additon to the Web authoring links below, be sure to read about the technologies of XHTML (you can make Web pages for hand-held devices) and XML.



Internet Explorer 8, Beta version

We shall be downing this and reporting, shortly. Give us a week...
Today is 3 Sep 2008.


Related Links


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Updated 4 February 2009
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