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How Internet Browsers War Made internet better

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

The early internet

In the year 1990 scientists were using the early Internet to list their different research papers, and you would have a long list, each paper independent of the other.

HTML 1 at that time gave you ways that you could read a paper, and right within the text, link to another exciting physics paper. Because the audience of HTML at that time didn't care about things such as color, images, or anything that wasn't science related, and that was the key. HTML was intended to work across any platform. And in order to do this you really had to avoid things such as special fonts or different colors or anything that was more about layout than content.


In 1993 Mosaic emerged as the first graphical browser. And what that means is that there was a first browser to introduce the idea of images and when that happened, there was a lot of debate among the research community as to whether this was a good thing. The early internet users really wanted to keep it simple content based, let everyone access it. But the innovators were saying no. People like pictures, they like layout. They like that even as much as they like the content. So, there is a big battle between how the Internet should evolve from that point. So after Mosaic emerged, the use of the Internet just absolutely exploded, and more and more people were using it for commercial means, instead of just for doing research.

Mosaic had challengers though, in the form of Netscape, Internet Explorer and other browsers. This was the start of what we call the browser wars.


Each of these browsers decided that they wanted to create these proprietary tags, tags that would only work on their browser. Some of the examples were marquee, where you could have scrolling text, or blink which would only work on some of the browsers and not others. Other tags were proprietary, they worked on any browser, but they went against the original direction of HTML. They were tags such as font or center, for centering your text or background color.



This may not sound like a bad thing, but some computers didn't have the access, didn't have the ability to have all the different colors that other computers might have. And this led to some ugly looking pages. That also led to the origination of what we call the best viewed on messages. When you went to a site you almost immediately told which browser you should really view the site on. Otherwise, you weren't going to get the optimal experience. We all in a way suffer from browser wars, or best viewed on images today. Many times, when you go to a page, you'll see that you can't access the full content if you're on your phone, unless you click on a link to the full website. So how did this happen? How did we get to the point where different browsers weren't agreeing on the different roles that HTML should play? This comes back to the idea that no one runs the Internet or the Web. However, some groups have taken a more proactive role to try to help standardize what's going on out there. The first is the Internet Engineering Task Force, they really focus on the idea of how the different networks should collaborate and how they should work together.

The World Wide Web Consortium instead deals with HTML and the evolution of HTML, they want to know what kinds of tags the browsers should and should not support. Finally, one of the newest groups, The Web Accessibility Initiative, they want to make sure, that no matter how people are accessing the web, they have the same ability to view the content.



Which Browser is the best?

Google Chrome

· Search from the address bar

· Thumbnails of your top sites

· Private browsing “One box for everything”

· Optimized for G Suite [Google Apps] *

· Role in world domination?

Safari

· Blazing Performance

· Elegant user interface

· Easy bookmarks

· Pop-up blocking

· Tabbed browsing

· SnapBack

· Forms autofill

· Built-in RSS

· Resizable text areas

· Private browsing

· Security

· HTML5

· iPhone

Firefox

· Tabbed browsing

· Session saving

· Themes

· Extensions

· One-click bookmarking

· Phishing protection

· Search suggestions

· Smart location bar

· Smart keywords

· Open source

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