Trying to conceptualize browsers and the internet can be a daunting thing. The hardest part to deal with is the browser and all the flavors of them that are out there. To think of dealing with a browser I like to think of the story of the painter.
Now this painter is the best in the land and everyone wants to see his work. But there is one condition they have to have the materials ready for him when he arrives. He doesn’t carry any brushes or canvases you see. So off he goes to the various noble’s villas and when he arrives he uses the materials they have waiting for him. Sometimes he has exactly what he needs and other times they may be missing a color or the stool is missing or he only has small brushes but he endures and produces amazing work that impress the millions with his talent.
But then he arrives at a noble’s villa and they don’t have canvas, they have paper. So he makes do and does beautiful sketches and renderings and maybe even a water color. But it is not as amazing as the oil color work he arrived to make. He continues traveling and comes to another villa and this one has forgotten any material to work on so they have him paint on the wall. The work is exquisite but seems to small for so large an area. He travels on and comes to another villa where the noble insists he has the best colors, and they are amazing, but they are slightly different shades than what the painter is used to but he makes do and mixes the colors till they match what he knows and again produces amazing oil paintings to amaze and delight. And so his life goes adapting to each new nobles set of materials and doing the best job he can with what he has.
This story is also the story of the web page. Like the painter it has to arrive at a browser and try to create the image it was instructed to create with the materials available. Like each villa each browser has its set of materials, in the form of languages, that a web page has to use to create an image. The biggest problem the web page has is even when it finds the language it doesn’t always have the full set of that language. And in many cases, just like the variations on a shade, there are variations of a language (IE, Safari, Chrome and so on all treat the languages different) even worse is that some languages are broken. which is why there are so many versions of each browser (they have to keep fixing the worst breaks)
Like the painter, choices have to be made as to what is the minimal set of materials that it will find acceptable before politely tell them to get better materials. But in setting this minimum it means preparing increasingly inferior images to render. Or worse having to prepare many variations just in case it runs into inferior materials, which only makes people who have all the right material frustrated as they wait for the painter to remember which is the right painting he should be doing with the material at hand.
Trying to conceptualize browsers and the internet can be a daunting thing. The hardest part to deal with is the browser and all the flavors of them that are out there. To think of dealing with a browser I like to think of the story of the painter.
Now this painter is the best in the land and everyone wants to see his work. But there is one condition they have to have the materials ready for him when he arrives. He doesn’t carry any brushes or canvases you see. So off he goes to the various noble’s villas and when he arrives he uses the materials they have waiting for him. Sometimes he has exactly what he needs and other times they may be missing a color or the stool is missing or he only has small brushes but he endures and produces amazing work that impress the millions with his talent.
But then he arrives at a noble’s villa and they don’t have canvas, they have paper. So he makes do and does beautiful sketches and renderings and maybe even a water color. But it is not as amazing as the oil color work he arrived to make. He continues traveling and comes to another villa and this one has forgotten any material to work on so they have him paint on the wall. The work is exquisite but seems to small for so large an area. He travels on and comes to another villa where the noble insists he has the best colors, and they are amazing, but they are slightly different shades than what the painter is used to but he makes do and mixes the colors till they match what he knows and again produces amazing oil paintings to amaze and delight. And so his life goes adapting to each new nobles set of materials and doing the best job he can with what he has.
This story is also the story of the web page. Like the painter it has to arrive at a browser and try to create the image it was instructed to create with the materials available. Like each villa each browser has its set of materials, in the form of languages, that a web page has to use to create an image. The biggest problem the web page has is even when it finds the language it doesn’t always have the full set of that language. And in many cases, just like the variations on a shade, there are variations of a language (IE, Safari, Chrome and so on all treat the languages different) even worse is that some languages are broken. which is why there are so many versions of each browser (they have to keep fixing the worst breaks)
Like the painter, choices have to be made as to what is the minimal set of materials that it will find acceptable before politely tell them to get better materials. But in setting this minimum it means preparing increasingly inferior images to render. Or worse having to prepare many variations just in case it runs into inferior materials, which only makes people who have all the right material frustrated as they wait for the painter to remember which is the right painting he should be doing with the material at hand.