Posts Tagged ‘web-browser history’

Browsers (3)

Hi folks,

After the very short history of browsers we have presented you in the past 2 “episodes”, today we are going to give you some light tech insights, as promised. Just so you can better understand why a plain modern browser is all you need to use DocuVieware-based web applications, at anytime, from anywhere.

But we need to tell you a word or two about browser plugins first.

When Netscape Navigator browser was first released, it allowed users to view only plain text, hyperlinks and images.
If another file format was to be encountered, the browser would download it and users would open it separately, with the appropriate application able to handle it.
Noticing this fact along with the intuition that the web might soon become universal, some visionaries at Adobe Systems including John Warnock (the CEO), contacted Netscape. They wanted to discuss the idea of a common approach to possibly make Netscape’s browser render Adobe’s document format (the PDF).
To illustrate the concept, 2 programmers at Adobe (Allan Padgett and Eswar Priyadarshan) had developed a proof-of-concept application which was presented in a live demo to the 2 CEOs: Jim Clark of Netscape and John Warnock of Adobe.
The demo was a big success: whenever the browser dealt with a link to a PDF file, it downloaded the PDF and automatically opened it inside its own window, amazingly handling both HTML and PDF formats.
The excited Jim Clark then asked who exactly from Netscape had helped with the browser-side coding.
The shocking answer was that… well… no one from Netscape was actually involved, it’s just Allan Padgett had made a bit of… uh… err…. well…, reverse-engineering on the browser.
But to a minimal extent only, so after the “no-offence-meant-none-taken” moments, both parties agreed that the concept should be properly implemented and released asap.
Apparently, Clark’s initial point of view was that Acrobat Reader’s entire code should be incorporated into Netscape Navigator’s code.
But merging 2 different applications into a single, monobloc application would have implied lots of subsequent issues and costs, for both sides.
So Allan Padgett insisted on his original approach of 2 different applications, each one developed and maintained by its owner, while a minimal common effort would focus just on the ‘contact points’ of the 2 apps.
Reason prevailed, his approach was adopted and this is how the browser-plugins era commenced.
Later on, Netscape provided APIs not only for Adobe’s PDF but for other file formats as well, while Adobe made plugins not just for Netscape Navigator but for all other important browsers that appeared afterwards.

Browsers (2)

Hi folks,


In our previous article we were telling you that the history of browsers is more like a Game of Thrones and that “the Starks” (ie, the Mosaic/Netscape team) were massacred by the House of Microsoft at the Netscape Castle which ended-up by being sold to AOL.
So today we will resume our short story from there and start by telling you that the “Starks” had to flee the castle, of course.
But they re-assembled under the Mozilla Fortification.

During the Netscape-to-Mozilla transition, a bunch of 3 Netscape employees, that is a 14 years old intern named Blake Ross and 2 developers (Dave Hyatt and Joe Hewitt) started yet another browser experiment as, in their opinion, the then-ongoing Mozilla project was blunt (and we discretely skip mentioning their opinion on IE).
Their experiment was a success but its initial name, Phoenix (meant to express the idea of re-birth from the ashes) had to be changed because of trademark issues.
So it became Firebird, a synonym for the Phoenix, but only to face new trademark issues. Therefore, in early 2004 the name changed again to Firefox, this time for good and the experiment became an officially released browser on November 9th, 2004.
And once more, the rest is history.

Mozilla Foundation’s open-source Firefox browser became a worldwide respected browser in all aspects and, despite never reaching the World’s number 1, it constantly enjoyed a very solid reputation.
For a long time it was world’s number 2 (in some countries including Germany being number 1 most popular browser). In 2010 IBM decided to name Firefox its default browser for all its over 400.000 employees, while also recommending it as best-option browser to all its customers.
But how can a Foundation finance maintenance and development of a free product?
Well, with a little “help” from its “friends”, of course.
Among them: the House of Google, which not only provided substantial financial contributions but also provided some development task forces as well.
Basically, a “Firefox + Google = LOVE” kind of relationship.
But love is extremely rare even in a Game of Thrones, let alone in the real-life Browser Wars.
Google secretly started its own browser project too, so by end-2008 the Google Chrome web browser was released.
Which by end-2011 surpassed Firefox and became world’s number 2 browser.
Oh well, “c’est la vie!”

Browsers (1)

Hi folks,

After 3 articles on DocuVieware (this one, this one and this one) you probably know by now that one (and clearly not the only) cool thing about it is that client-side has just one single requirement to provide users with state-of-the-art image/documents viewing, processing and managing:  a browser.
So we thought maybe it’s a good idea to tell you a thing or two about browsers.
During researches made for this article, we found many insipid or inaccurate articles enjoying however lots of views, comments and ‘FB likes’ while a few others, not only interesting but also really funny (like this biblical one) having, helas!, apparently less popularity.
And knowing our readers are smarter, we did our best in putting together some interesting facts in a more distilled approach.

So what’s a browser, anyways? Well, basically it’s the computer program that turns the web’s Matrix of binary data into livable experiences so we can read, hear or watch information.

It’s a rabbit hole of sorts: we hop-in our current informational wish and it pops-out to us whatever we’ve asked for (and also what we didn’t ask for, actually, but that’s another story to tell).

The word “browser” comes from the verb “to browse” of course, which has multiple senses. The sense reserved for humans is “surveying goods for sale in a casual way” while the sense dedicated to animals is the action of “feeding on leaves, twigs or other high-growing vegetation” (quoted texts are taken from the authoritative Oxford Dictionary).
Nevermind, both original senses serve very well the internet-related sense which, although the most recent, it is probably one of the most used terms on Earth for the time being.

The origins of browsers as computer programs can be traced way back and the complete history of their evolution along time is as complicated as counterproductive. So let’s just follow a most simple and logical thread and start by marking 1990 as the first important milestone to mention.