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Dec.2004 - At some point I thought the 'BROWSER WARS' were over, but now I think they have just gone underground ;=(( The media has perhaps got sick of trying to explain this quite technical question. But it is certainly still going on, in a very real way.

Pick an interesting, animated site, and try several different browser to view the same page. Interestingly, in some cases, what 'disappears' is some advertisement. Or try this very simple test file. You should see two alien (green) saucers, one should be buzzing around. If it is NOT, then that browser does not support some level of DOM, DHTML, javascript.

This motion, some call it animation, of the saucer image is achieved in java script by directly manipulating the position of the image object in the DOM document. The trouble comes when you have to get a 'reference' to this object. In this particular case the 'moving' object is initialised by the code lines - 

<div id="picid" style= "position:absolute; visibility:visible;left:0px; top:0px; z-index:-1" >
<font color=
"#FF0000" ><img src="alien.gif" border="0" width="50" height="50" alt="alien.gif image" ></font>

This should place the GIF image up, in the top left of the window. That is at (x,y) 0,0, and it has an ID of "picid". Later, to move the image, this 'object' must be addressed, but how to get a 'reference' to the object, in a cross-browser way? Only then can you dynamically, through a timer call back, alter its position in the window. 

If it is NOT visible in the first place, and/or does not move, then GET ANOTHER BROWSER. You are missing some of the excitement, and developments on the web ;=)) There are quite a few 'free' browsers, not including those that are 'bundled' with the operating system, like Windows, with Internet Explorer, and MSN Explorer.

Typing browser into a Yahoo search recently yielded over 100 million hits. One of the early finds is an 'advocacy' type group at , with their logoab8.gif image logo ... I certainly agree with a lot that I have read there ... check it out.

Some browser downloads can be had from , , , ... , actually a great list is/was available at , namely :-

If you are a windows user, then try the free Mozilla Firefox, where 'Favourites' become 'Bookmarks' in MAC terminology. You gain some understanding of what your friends with a MAC see.  If you feel like trying something a little 'different', try - - a freeware web browser, with an interesting tabbed window approach. Under the hood, I think it is Microsoft Internet Explorer technology, but it stretches the GUI in certain ways ...

The 'big' portal type 'providers', like AOL and MSN also tend to have their own browser as part of their software suite, and often they blur the difference between a 'browser' and 'email client' functions ... sort of, as you click on a 'link' in the email you are reading, the contents of that window 'change' to display the contents of the URL ... This is all to do with the 'container' functions ...

So, in the present WWW, where W3C is still pressing for the whole world to agree, conform, and comply with a global Document Object Model (DOM), browsing, is a mixed bag. And, of course, this whole discussion depends on your definition of a 'browser' ... while it has had the simple meaning of a book worm, crawling over page after page, in the local library, for a long time, the web lexical context is very new.

You may note that 2004 is the 10th anniversary of the founding of the World Wide Web Consortium, and next year will be the 10th anniversary of my web presence. Only this year I closed my original CompuServe site, in their 'ourworld' server, in preference to this domain hosted site, so I have followed through it all ... and enjoyed it all ...


A browser is a piece of communication software ... it 'communicates' with the server you put in the address line ... the default is a HTTP GET from the domain given ... if the address, and the page exists, and if you have the permissions, or it is a globally readable item ... that is on the WWW ... then the server returns HTML data, which may contains scripts, like VBScript, javascript ... this HTML data can be generated by server processes, like ASP, php, perl, ... etc ... here is a digital clock in java ...

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