Internet Fundamentals/Web Browsers

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A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.[1] This lesson introduces web browsers.

Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:[2][3][4]

  • Identify the functions of Web browsers, and use them to access the World Wide Web and other computer resources.
  • Identify and configure user customization features in Web browsers, including preferences, caching, cookies.
  • Connect to and access the Internet
    • Connect to Internet via existing Internet connection and confirm functionality
    • Open Internet browser and set home page of personal choice by setting Internet options
    • Ensure Internet browser software security
    • Adjust display of the Internet browser to suit personal requirements
    • Modify toolbar to meet user and Internet browser needs
    • Access a particular website, note privacy and other conditions of use, and retrieve data
    • Use socially responsible behaviour when sharing information on the Internet
    • Enter uniform resource locator (URL) in address line of Internet browser
  • Access and use consumer specific sites on the Internet
    • Identify, access and review information specific sites to gain consumer information
    • Identify and use Internet application sites to lodge details and gain access and information
    • Access and use online forms on the Internet
  • Undertake online transactions
    • Access online transaction site
    • Ensure security of transaction site
    • Enter required information into fields on merchant's website
    • Ensure pop-up dialog boxes, prompts or feedback mechanisms are completed
    • Enter, check and make changes to preferred transaction options
    • Complete online transaction
    • Record and archive receipts according to business processes
    • Close down and leave transaction process

Readings[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia: Web browser
  2. Wikipedia: Browser extension

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: What is a browser?
  2. YouTube: Browser Basics
  3. YouTube: Browsing in Chrome
  4. YouTube: Getting Started with Firefox
  5. YouTube: Customizing Chrome
  6. YouTube: Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars

Student Presentations[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: Chrome Features

Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Complete the following tutorials:
  2. Install multiple web browsers to compare the different programs:
  3. Practice using web browsers:
  4. Configure browser settings.
    • Brave
      • Review available resources in the Brave: Brave Help Center.
      • Check Brave settings and advanced settings and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Chrome
      • Review available resources in the Google: Chrome Help Center.
      • Check Chrome settings and advanced settings and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Edge
      • Review available resources under Edge: Settings and Tools.
      • Check Edge settings and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Firefox
      • Review available resources under Mozilla: Firefox Help Topics.
      • Check Firefox preferences and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Opera
      • Review available resources under Opera: Personalize Opera.
      • Check Opera preference settings and modify and settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Safari
      • Review available resources under Apple: Safari Support.
      • Check Safari preferences and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
  5. Configure browser extensions and add-ons.
  6. Compare browser HTML5 compatibility.
    • Review HTML Accessibility and HTML5 Test: How well does your browser support HTML5?. Note the version numbers of the browsers being compared and how well those versions met the HTML5 standard. All browsers have made improvements since the comparisons were made, but the results can be an indicator of how important standards are to a given browser's development team.

Lesson Summary[edit | edit source]

  • A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.[5]
  • The most popular web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (preceded by Internet Explorer), Firefox, Safari, and Opera.[6][7]
  • The primary purpose of a web browser is to bring information resources to the user ("retrieval" or "fetching"), allowing them to view the information ("display", "rendering"), and then access other information ("navigation", "following links").[8]
  • The prefix of the URL, the Uniform Resource Identifier or URI, determines how the URL will be interpreted.[9]
  • The most commonly used kind of URI starts with http: and identifies a resource to be retrieved over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).[10]
  • Many browsers also support a variety of other prefixes, such as https: for HTTPS, ftp: for the File Transfer Protocol, and file: for local files.[11]
  • Prefixes that the web browser cannot directly handle are often handed off to another application entirely. For example, mailto: URIs are usually passed to the user's default e-mail application, and news: URIs are passed to the user's default newsgroup reader.[12]
  • HTML and associated content (image files, formatting information such as CSS, etc.) is passed to the browser's layout engine to be transformed from markup to an interactive document, a process known as "rendering".[13]
  • Most browsers can display images, audio, video, and XML files, and often have plug-ins to support Flash applications and Java applets.[14]
  • All major web browsers allow the user to open multiple information resources at the same time, either in different browser windows or in different tabs of the same window.[15]
  • Major browsers also include pop-up blockers to prevent unwanted windows from "popping up" without the user's consent.[16]
  • Most web browsers can display a list of web pages that the user has bookmarked so that the user can quickly return to them. Bookmarks are also called "Favorites" in Internet Explorer.[17]
  • In addition, all major web browsers have some form of built-in web feed aggregator.[18]
  • Most browsers can be extended via plug-ins, downloadable components that provide additional features.[19]
  • Most major web browsers have common user interface elements:[20]
    • Back and forward buttons to go back to the previous resource and forward respectively.
    • A refresh or reload button to reload the current resource.
    • A stop button to cancel loading the resource. In some browsers, the stop button is merged with the reload button.
    • A home button to return to the user's home page.
    • An address bar to input the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the desired resource and display it.
    • A search bar to input terms into a web search engine. In some browsers, the search bar is merged with the address bar.
    • A status bar to display progress in loading the resource and also the URI of links when the cursor hovers over them, and page zooming capability.
    • The viewport, the visible area of the webpage within the browser window.
    • The ability to view the HTML source for a page.
    • An incremental find features to search within a web page.
  • A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser.[21]
  • Many browsers have an online store that allows users to find extensions and see lists of popular extensions.[22]
  • Browser extensions are used for improving a browser's user interface, security or accessibility, blocking advertisements, and various other features to make browsing the internet easier and more pleasant.[23]
  • Browser extensions have access to everything done by the browser, and can do things like inject ads into web pages, or make "background" HTTP requests to third-party servers. As a result, a malicious browser extension may take action against the interest of the user that installed it.[24]

Key Terms[edit | edit source]

aggregator
A web site or computer software that aggregates a specific type of information from multiple online sources.[25]
ActiveX
An early software framework developed by Microsoft to enhance browser functionality, which was supported only by x86-based computers using Internet Explorer.[26]
bookmark
A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that is stored for later retrieval in any of various storage formats.[27]
browser cache
An information technology for the temporary storage of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag.[28]
CAPTCHA
A type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human.[29]
cookie
A small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user's computer by the user's web browser while the user is browsing.[30]
favorite
See bookmark.
Flash
A multimedia software platform developed by Adobe which used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications and mobile games.[31]
history
The list of web pages a user has visited recently.[32]
home page
The initial or main web page of a website or a browser.[33]
hyperlink
A reference to data that the reader can directly follow either by clicking, tapping, or hovering.[34]
Java applet
A small application which is written in Java or another programming language that compiles to Java bytecode and delivered to users in the form of that bytecode.[35]
mashup
A web page, or web application, that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface.[36]
plug-in
A software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program.[37]
pop-up ad
Online advertising using a new web browser window for display.[38]
proxy server
A computer system or an application that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.[39]
RSS
A type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.[40]
Silverlight
A deprecated application framework developed by Microsoft for writing and running rich Internet applications.[41]
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)
A string of characters used to identify a resource.[42]
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
A reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it.[43]
web feed
A subscription-supporting data format used for providing users with frequently updated content.[44]

Assessments[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]