Computers & Society/Semantic Web/Browser

The history of the web browser is of considerable importance for understanding computers and society and how they relate to the semantic web. We will take a look at some of the most popular browsers in use today.

One of the forerunners of these browsers was Netscape Navigator,* a browser that introduced the JavaScript scripting language, which was eventually formulated into a standard now called ECMAscript.

We include the web browser in the major section on the Semantic Web, precisely because major advances in the future will undoubtedly turn the web browser into an application that can access and interpret the semantic web.

Let us look at some of the popular browsers (in alphabetical order):

Google ChromeEdit

The Chrome browser has just been launched by Google.

«To treat Chrome as just another browser, however, would be a mistake. Even in its unfinished state it heralds a radical change in our ideas about what a browser is and what it does... Its become a kind of mini operating system.»[1]

Essentially, Naughton says that the rules of the game have changed — radically! And since Chrome is released as an open source product then browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Safari will all be able to build on it!

Internet ExplorerEdit

This is our shortened name for Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Mozilla FirefoxEdit

The Firefox browser is a free and open source web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation.


The Opera browser is a closed source browser developed by Opera Software ASA.


The Safari browser is a web browser developed by Apple Inc.


  • ^* “...back to 1994/5 when Netscape, the company that brought the first major browser to the market, realised that the software could become the ubiquitous gateway to computing services and began to talk carelessly about the browser replacing the operating system.”[1]


  1. a b Naughton, John (2008-09-07). "Happy birthday, Google — now you can take on the world". The Observer (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2011-03-29.