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Why Browsers Matter More Than Ever. March 2010. Presenters. Abigail Bornstein Hardware Mobile technologies abornste@ccsf.edu. Maura Devlin-Clancy Web Development Web 2.0 mclancy@ccsf.edu. Computer Networking & Information Technology Department, City College of San Francisco.

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Why browsers matter more than ever

Why Browsers MatterMore Than Ever

March 2010


Abigail Bornstein HardwareMobile technologiesabornste@ccsf.edu

Maura Devlin-ClancyWeb DevelopmentWeb 2.0mclancy@ccsf.edu

Computer Networking & Information Technology Department, City College of San Francisco

Companion website
Companion Website

  • http://sites.google.com/site/whybrowsersmatter/

A little history
A little history


A little history1
A little history

  • 1992-93: First GUI Web Browsers

  • Very first GUI? Mosaic Web Browser

    • Student Marc Andreessen, NCSA and Univ. of Illinois

    • Could display text and images on the same page, hyperlinks

  • 1994: Netscape

    • Mosaic Killer = Mozilla

  • 1997: Internet Explorer released with Windows '98

  • 1998: Netscape becomes open source; co. sold to AOL

  • 1998: Mozilla project begins

  • 2002: Apple develops WebKit

  • 2003: Apple introduces Safari 1.0

  • 2004: Firefox 1.0 released

What is a web browser
What is a web browser?

  • Software for viewing files on the part of the Internet known as the Web

  • Client software

    • runs on a device connected to a network, in this case, the Internet

  • Communicates with Web server

    • a computer that makes certain files available to web browsers

Internet explorer
Internet Explorer

  • Current version: IE8 – released 2009

    • Version matter

    • On the menu bar, go to Help > About

  • IE8 14.3%, IE7 11.7%, IE6 10.2%

    • As of Jan. 2010

  • Microsoft pushes updates through Window Updates – user decides

  • All browsers use a rendering engine

    • Examples: Trident, Gecko, WebKit, Presto

    • Trident = Internet Explorer

Internet explorer1
Internet Explorer

  • IE8:

  • Compatibility View

    • Web standards

  • Accelerators

  • Security Improvements

    • InPrivate browsing and blocking


  • Browser by Mozilla

  • Open source

  • Rendering engine: Gecko (Netscape  Firefox)

  • Current version: Firefox 3.6

  • Market share 46.3%

    • As of January 2010

  • Mozilla pushes out updates, user decides

  • Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux

  • Firefox1

    • Instant Web Site ID

      • More Information button…

    • Anti-Malware

      • Browser giveswarning messagebased on list of attack-sites

    • Anti-Phishing

      • Sends update of web forgery sites 48 times in a day, so if you try to visit a fraudulent site that’s pretending to be a site you trust (like your bank), browser stops you.


    • Browser by Google

    • Released September 2008

    • Version 4 released in January 2010

    • "Built to support web applications and to search with speed and stability”

    • Windows XP with Service Pack 2+, Vista, Win7

    • Beta version for Mac released Dec ’09

    • WebKit = Safari, Chrome, S60


    Source:Chrome Comichttp://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/


    • Security

      • Incognito mode

      • Sites accessed via https:// are not indexed

      • Phishing and malware protection

    2009 worldwide handset makers basic feature phones smartphones sold

    Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2010

    2009 Worldwide Handset MakersBasic, Feature Phones & Smartphones Sold

    TOTAL: 1.13 Billion

    Shrunk 5% from 2008

    WW Population: 6.7 B in 2008

    According to gartner
    According to Gartner….

    • Feature phones and smartphones will overtake PCs as the most common devices used for Web access sometime during the next three years

    • 50% of browsing is done on mobile devices

    Why browsers matter more than ever


    portable and

    watered down

    Netbook w/ Atom CPU

    Smartbook & Tablet

    w/ ARM CPU

    Expanded and more powerful


    Netbook vs smartbook tablets
    Netbook vs. Smartbook/Tablets

    Linux/Android & ARM (RISC)

    Microsoft & Intel (CISC)

    Webkit one rendering engine
    WebKit: One rendering engine

    • GNU Lesser General Public License

    • Originally designed by Apple starting in 2002 and announced with the introduction of Safari at MacWorld in 2003

      • Further developed by individuals from Nokia, Google, Bitstream, and others

    • Easier development because fewer lines of code, uses less memory, and standards compliant

    Webkit gains traction outside of apple
    WebKit Gains TractionOutside of Apple

    • Web Browser for S60

      • Nokia, Samsung, LG, and other Symbian S60 phones

    • Google’s Chrome browser

    • Palm’s WebOS browser for the Pre

    • Android mobile phones

    • RIM’s BlackBerry – acquires Torch Mobile (8/09) to redo the BlackBerry browser using WebKit

    Smartphones not using webkit
    SmartPhones not using WebKit

    • WebKit:5 of the 6 big Smartphone platforms

      • Apple, Android, Nokia, Palm, RIM

    • Who isn’t using WebKit?

      • Microsoft, which accounts for 6% of the smartphones shipped in 2009

    Mobile browsers
    Mobile Browsers

    • Apple’s Safari

      • strong reviews

      • lacks Flash support but Apple may be looking to HTML 5

    • Google’s Android browser

      • does a nice job

      • could try Dolphin

    Mobile browsers1
    Mobile Browsers

    • BlackBerry’s browser

      • characterized as slow and unappealing

      • could try Opera Mini or BOLT for speed

    Image source: Appboy blog

    Mobile browsers2
    Mobile Browsers

    • Window’s Internet Explorer and Symbian’s S60 browser – considered clunky

      • could try Opera Mobile

      • could try Opera Mini or Skyfire



    • Dominates the alternative browser space

    • Presto engine located on the server

    • Phones have less of a CPU burden

    • Great for feature phones

    Streaming video

    Why this matters
    Why this matters

    • Modern websites do more than display HTML pages with images and hyperlinks

    • More and more important transactions happen in the browser

    Changes in computer habits
    Changes in Computer Habits

    • Web 1.0  Web 2.0

      • From a private, individual experience to a social, community experience

      • User-generated content: "We" are the Web:you, me, our students, the world

    • Desktop  Mobile Device

      • From tethered to the desk to portable and always on

    • Desktop Applications  Internet as platform

      • where do applications run on a computer?

      • where do web applications run?

      • From customizing your operating system to customizing your browser

      • Cloud Computing

    Benefits of web based apps
    Benefits of web-based apps

    • Portability

    • Mobility

    • Collaboration

    • Updates and bug fixes

    • Search

    • Central administration

    Concerns @ web based apps
    Concerns @ web-based apps

    • Reliable access

    • Security

    • Privacy

    • Ownership and Intellectual Property

    Google tos
    Google TOS

    "By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google reserves the right to syndicate Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services and use that Content in connection with any service offered by Google..."

    • Security

    • Privacy

    • Intellectual Property


    Productivity Apps

    • Google Docs

    • Zoho.com

    • Ether Pad: http://etherpad.com/

    • Office 2010 Live

      Desktop OS vs. Web OS

    • OS runs in the browser instead of on the client

    • Browsers themselves become more OS-like

      PC environment existing totally in the browser

    • Desktop, file storage, and applications

    • http://g.ho.st


    • Scripting language that runs in the browser

    • Doesn't have to be compiled

    • Doesn't need plug-ins

    • Doesn't require special software to write

    • JavaScript course assignment example


    • "JavaScript engine”

      • important difference among browsers

    • JavaScript vs. Flash

    • Monster


    • Browser Talk


    • Balls


      Source: Chrome Experiments: http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

    Just remember
    Just Remember…

    • A good browser can make up fora poor network but a poor browsing experience will always be lousy even on a good network

    Companion website1
    Companion Website

    • http://sites.google.com/site/whybrowsersmatter/

    • Links to references shown during presentation, alternate browsers, and related resources.