Web Browsers



The browser is the most common interface available to the user to access resources from the web, It
the thinnest form of the client possible. A thin client does not need any extra installation on the client
machine as a browser is normally available as part of the O/S (TE is available on Windows, but other
browsers like Chrome or Firefox have to be installed in the system). On the other hand a thick client needs installation on each client. Pure internet architecture for a web-based application is supposed to work on thin clients like the browser.
However, it is not just a line that separates thick vs. thin clients. There are a lot of degrees of states in between. Accordingly we see a lot of extensions in the form of Adobe Flash, Silver light, etc, that enhance the basic functionality. As long as they are standardized, there is little of an issue otherwise, there will be installation headaches. A bit of history on the evolution of today’s browsers helps.

The early generations (Web 1.0?) of web browsers were predominantly text based, so even on low
bandwidth the performance was good. An example of such browsers included Mosaic
although a J2EE application can consist of three or four tiers. J2EE multitier applications are generally
considered to be three-tiered applications because they are distributed over three different locations –
client machines, server machine(s), and the database machines.

Three-tiered applications that run in this way extend the standard two-tiered client and server model by placing a multithreaded application server between the client application and database. Some web applications employ thicker dient technologies that use custom binary code to extend the browser’s built-in capabilities. Examples of such extensions include ActiveX controls, Java Applets, Shockwave, Flash, and Silverlight. These components may be by a suitable browser plug-in, or may involve installing native based

Browser Caches

Caches are meant to increase web speed by reusing information already retrieved. The Browser Cache
has files stored in the temporary internet files folder. The files range from entire web pages to pieces of
information like CSS (CSS will be described in the subsequent chapter) files, media files, etc

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