This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

September 16, 2010

How browsers work, or don't work

In order to surf the internet, you need to use a browser. A browser is a free piece of software that interprets HTML code and displays pages on your computer. There are many browsers out there, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome, to name just a few.

When your browser visits a web page, it reads the code and translates it for you. For example, if it sees "#039", you see the color blue. It also reads all of the rest of the information, including the position of elements on the page, and that sort of thing. If it does its job well, pages display and work correctly. If it doesn't, pages display incorrectly, and sometimes the page malfunctions and the browser crashes.

Oddly enough, Internet Explorer, the browser that is most widely used, does the poorest job of interpreting code, and it has done so for years. Web designers have had to create "hacks" (special code) to make the pages work for Internet Explorer. Hopes were high that the latest version would work better, but it has been a disappointment. And at this rate, it doesn't seem that Internet Explorer will ever work. That's the bad news.

The good news is that you don't have to use Internet Explorer. Browsers are free, and they all work on Windows. If you prefer, you can use Safari (and no, you don't need a Mac), or Opera, or Chrome. My personal favorite is Firefox. I started using it this year and it is everything that browser should be.

To get any of these browsers, just Google the name, go to their site, and click free download. All of them work on both Windows and Macintosh, except, of course, Internet Explorer.

If you would like to learn Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Dreamweaver, please contact me. I do personal on-site training sessions in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area.

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