Lecture 2: Notes

The ‘web’ is not the same thing as the ‘Internet’! Here’s a page which credits the inventions and shows the timeline of technologies.

In 1993 the Mosaic browser was the first graphical browser (following some text-based browsers like Lynx). Microsoft then introduced Internet Explorer and started on their journey to be hated by every web developer on the planet by ignorantly (at best) or willfully (at worst) undermining the specifications by adding their own proprietary features. Netscape Navigator was an evolution of the Mosaic browser and, in the end, the loser in the browser wars of the 1990s.

Mozilla Firefox was launched by some of the Netscape Navigator developers and was instigated as a standards-based browser partly as a response to the issues with IE.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded in 1994 and administers the web technologies standards.

The modern (graphical) browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Apple Safari are all attempting to be standards compliant, but none acheive it perfectly.

Currently Firefox and Chrome are winning the browser wars (being the most standards-compliant).

Web Technologies

The three main strands of web technology are HTML, CSS and ECMA Script (JavaScript).

  • HTML is HyperText Mark-up Language and is used to mark up text (it grew, with many iterations, from publishers mark-up languages).
  • CSS is Cascading Style Sheets and is used to style the marked-up HTML (introduced in 1998, built on ideas from HÃ¥kon Wium Lie from Opera).
  • JavaScript is a programming language that easily interacts with HTML and allows for interactivity on a page.

Interesting developments:

http://microformats.org

http://rdfa.info

HTML5 introduces some new semantic tags that divide up the content more and allow the browser to ‘understand’ the human mark-up.

CSS

  1. Browser default (often negated by a reset)
  2. External sytle sheets (via <link> tags)
  3. Internal style sheets (via <style> tags)
  4. Inline styles (via style or class attributes in html elements)

The last declaration wins (this is the cascade..).

JavaScript
The legend tells that Brendan Eich developed JavaScript in 10 days – he also supported Proposition 8 in California and it took around 10 days for him to resign

JavaScript is procedural compared to the declarative HTML and CSS. JavaScript is a programming language and allows interactivity on your web pages.

There are lots of frameworks and libraries available for JavaScript:

  • React
  • Angular
  • jQuery
  • MooTools
  • Prototype
  • three.js
  • … and many more!

Things to research:

  • Look at the ‘load’ event – trigger the JavaScript after the page has loaded.
  • Multiple ways to specify colours in CSS.

References

Please find all references here.

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