Sunday, 27 October 2013

What is a Web Browser?

I was more than a little relieved when I saw this you tube clip, realising I am not alone in not really understanding what the difference is between a browser and a search engine. 

So what is a web browser anyway?

A browser is software program for your computer to give you access to the internet.

To help us understand a little better this is what it actually does......
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and the various protocols that made it possible. One of these protocols is Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML
HTML is a system that makes it possible to insert instructions on how a page should be displayed when opened in a web browser. 
A web browser opens an HTML document, image, video, music etc and displays it according to its HTML instructions included in the page. The browser is programmed to read these instructions to determine how the content of the page should be displayed.
There are many types of browsers but they all transfer hypertext. Different browsers have been programmed to interpret the instructions included in the HTML source document differently from one another. This is why we get different searches in different browsers and have trouble opening the same website in a different browser.

Browser features include
  • Go back to the first page you started on the internet which is called Home.
  • Book your favorite websites
  • Print content you find interesting on web pages
  • Check your web history, like the websites you visited in the past
You can go forward and backwards to see the previous sites you viewed
sourced from:

But what about Google Chrome...(its the one I use)

  • Customize Chrome with Web apps, themes, and extensions to suit your needs
  • Chrome is also one of the most secure browsers because it is sandboxed preventing malware plug ins reaching your computer
  • Chrome runs tabs as a separate processes--so if one of them crashes, the entire browser doesn't go down with it
  • Chrome will offer to translate a webpage that is in a different language for you. 
  • Chrome has its own built in app store

This link you what browser you are currently using and options you may like to investigate this site:
So what is a search engine?
A search engine is a website that helps you find information on the web.
There are hundreds of search engines with different features and strengths, but they all do the following:
  1. Search the web for commonly used terms.
  2. Store the results of this search in an index.
  3. A user can then use the search engine to search the index.
NOTE: A search engine is not really searching the entire web. Instead, the search engine creates its own constantly updated list of sites, called an index.
Search engines use automated software programs called “spiders” to search through all the pages stored on the World Wide Web. These spiders visit web page after web page, and copy all the content into their own database – the index.
Each search engine programs its spiders differently, but the most common criteria are:
  • How frequently is a word used? That is often a good indication of the topic of a page.
  • Where in the page is the word? Words in a heading or near the top are usually a better indication of the topic than words near the end of the document.

    The search engine will attempt to sort pages in order of importance, matched to the words you typed into the search bar. This is why word order matters.

    Different search engines have different criteria. This means that the same search may have quite different results depending on which search engine is used

Still confused??
Watch this.....

Or check out my slide show for a presentation at your school

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