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Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition by Patrick Killelea

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Types of Browsers

There are a lot of browsers, but only a few are widely used. See http://www.boutell.com/openfaq/browsers/ for a comprehensive list and http://www.cen.uiuc.edu/bstats/latest.html for statistics on market share. The following browsers are distinguished either by their market share or their features.

Netscape

Netscape Navigator, usually just called “Netscape,” was the first commercial browser, but it has been losing ground to Internet Explorer. Netscape 4 was a major overhaul of Netscape 3, and Netscape 6 has a complete rewrite of Netscape 4, incorporating the new “Gecko” rendering engine. Netscape 1.0 and later versions all have persistent connection ability, but use it via a Connection:Keep-Alive header rather than as part of a full implementation of HTTP 1.1. See Chapter 15 for more about HTTP. Netscape exists as native code for Linux, Solaris, Macintosh, Windows, and many other platforms.

There is an annoying bug in the Netscape 4 implementation for Windows that causes Netscape to reload the current page when the browser or window is resized. It’s a performance problem if the page is noncacheable, because the user may get a page, resize the window to read it better, and then find he has to wait to get it again.

Netscape 6 has better performance than Netscape 4 and is smaller. Netscape 6 includes support for the Document Object Model (DOM), which allows many new kinds of dynamic content. Netscape 6 does not include Java as part of the standard installation, ...

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