Internet Fundamentals/Web Browsers

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Firefox logo
Internet Explorer 11 logo
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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]

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]

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

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: What is a browser?
  2. YouTube: Browser Basics
  3. YouTube: Browsing in Chrome
  4. YouTube: Getting Started with Firefox
  5. YouTube: Browsing in Internet Explorer 11
  6. YouTube: Customizing Chrome
  7. YouTube: Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars

Student Presentations[edit]

  1. YouTube: Chrome Features

Activities[edit]

  1. Complete the following tutorials:
  2. Install multiple web browsers to compare the different programs:
  3. Practice using web browsers:
  4. Configure browser settings.
    • 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.
    • Firefox
      • Review available resources under Mozilla: Firefox Help Topics.
      • Check Firefox preferences and modify any settings that would improve your Internet experience.
    • Internet Explorer / Edge
      • Review available resources under Microsoft: Internet Explorer Help.
      • Check Internet Explorer settings 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.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • 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]

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]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]