In order for us to appreciate the state of the Internet today, it is important to have a solid understanding of where web browsers and websites originally came from. For web designers and digital marketing agencies, understanding the history of web pages, and the evolution they have undergone, we can begin to comprehend the drastic changes that were necessary before we could enjoy the internet for what it is today.
The Browser Wars
During what is commonly referred to as the “Browser Wars” early on, Microsoft and Netscape duked it out to see which would rise as the prevailing browser. For a long time the victor appeared to be Netscape. However, when Internet Explorer 4 was introduces, popular opinion quickly shifted. As this browser essentially became a regular feature of Windows computers, it inherited all the more authority among the landscape of browsers. Also, because Windows computers were widely sought out at the time, naturally users were more exposed to Internet Explorer, than its competition.
Since most people at the time, we’re just now beginning to warm up to the idea of personal computers, Internet Explorer was essentially seared into their minds as a search engine. Also, seeing as Microsoft had a much larger budget of disposable income available, than that of its counterpart Netscape, it more efficiently funded its own IE development.
Other Browsers Along The Way
Naturally Netscape made its source code open-source, and it finally landed into the hands Mozilla. As Mozilla underwent many years of development, as a non-profit foundation, it eventually launched Firefox in 2004. Firefox rapidly grew in popularity, as well as its user database. Fast-forward to 2008, and the next heavy-hitter in the browser wars became Google Chrome. With Google Chrome leading the pack currently, Firefox, Internet Explorer, as well as various smaller browsers, have their competition laid out for them.
Today, browsers are much more friendly toward curious users who wish to discover their inner workings. This is because the landscape of browsers currently includes much more open source code then ever before. Open source code allows for us to gauge the inner dynamics of the software we use.
For example, we can now see the programming that lies behind browsers rendering engines. During the early days of web browsers, none of this source code was available to the public. Images and HTML, are some of the tasks that rendering engines are responsible for. They are also useful for summoning the data available within PDF’s. It is unquestionable that what we see today, is the result of the early pioneering and productivity of people like Tim Berners-Lee.
As web browsers have undergone drastic change in development, websites themselves and the careers of web designers have broadened in scope. Within the next few versions of early HTML, web pages were swiftly becoming more capable of displaying visuals along with more savvy blocks of text.