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Get info about the Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunicatons, 3rd edition (2001)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

It seems a little ridiculous to define a Web browser since they are as well known as television or radio, so this section contains mostly references to related topics and an extensive list of Web sites that have information on all the Web browsers available. Here are the basic facts about Web browsers:

  • Web browsers run on TCP/IP networks.
  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol that a Web browser uses to access a Web server.

  • HTML is the traditional document formatting (markup) language used to display information inside Web browsers.

  • Hyperlinking is the most unique feature of Web browsers. Users click hyperlinks to move to related Web sites and documents. This is where the term "browser" comes from.

  • Web browsers are considered a "universal front end" for accessing information on almost any server, including Web servers, data base servers, and so on.

  • Web browsers are "containers" that are capable of displaying graphics and video content and running all sorts of applications.

  • Component technologies such as ActiveX and Java were designed to take advantage of the container metaphor of the browser.

  • Plug-ins such as ShockWave give Web browsers additional capabilities (i.e., the ability to display multimedia files and presentations).

Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are by far the most popular Web browsers on the market. They are available for free, and both Microsoft and Netscape have been locked in a feature battle for years. That's good for users and good for advancing Web technologies. But many other Web browsers are available for free. Check the Web sites listed on the related entries page for more information.

In early 1999, Sun released a Java-based browser called the Personal Applications browser. The browser is designed to work in TV set-top boxes and small devices like cell phones. The browser's core requires only 280K of memory. One interesting feature is the ability to click on a hyperlink that dials an associated phone number. A zoom feature lets users zoom in on parts of a Web page that are difficult to see on a small LCD display.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.