Internet is a vast sea of information represented in many formats and stored on many computers. A large portion of the Internet is organized as the World Wide Web which uses hypertext. Web browsers are used to navigate through the information found on the net. They allow us to retrieve the information spread across the Internet and display it using the hypertext mark-up language (HTML).
Examples of Web browsers, among others, include:
- HotJava – it is the Web Browser from Sun Microsystems that enables the display of interactive content on the Web, using the Java language. HotJava is written entirely in Java and demonstrates the capabilities of the Java programming language.
When the Java language was first developed and ported to the Internet, no browsers were available that could run Java applets. Although we can view a Web page that includes Java applets with a regular browser, we will not gain any of Java’s benefits. HotJava is currently available for the SPARC/Solaris platform as well as Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows XP. This browser has nothing special to offer than what most of the other web browsers offer. However, the main draw is that it provides support for the language, thus making the Web more dynamic and interactive.
- Netscape Navigator – it is from Netscape Communications Corporation, is a general purpose browser that can run Java applets. With versions available for Windows 95, NT, Solaris, and Apple Macintosh, Netscape Navigator is one of the most widely used browsers today.
- Internet Explorer – It is another popular browser developed by Microsoft for Windows 95, NT, and XP workstations. Both the Navigator and Explorer use tool bars, icons, menus, and dialog boxes for easy navigation. Explorer uses a just-in-time (JIT) compiler which greatly increases the speed of execution.