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A web browser engine , (sometimes called layout engine or rendering engine ), is a software component that takes marked up content (such as HTML , XML , image files, etc.) and formatting information (such as CSS , XSL , etc.) and displays the formatted content on the screen. It "paints" on the content area of a window, which is displayed on a monitor or a printer . A layout engine is typically embedded in web browsers , e-mail clients , e-book readers , on-line help systems or other applications that require the displaying (and editing) of web content.
Usage share as of Q2 2009 [ dated info ] by percent of layout engines/web browsers The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of layout engines . While these are mainly used in web browsers, they are also used in email clients for rendering HTML email , and used to render EPUB e-books, for example. This article is not all-inclusive or necessarily up to date—please see individual "Comparison of layout engine" articles for detailed comparisons of HTML5 feature support, CSS feature support, and the like. Unless otherwise specified in footnotes, comparisons are based on the stable versions without any add-ons, extensions or external programs.
The following is a list of notable web browsers . Timeline representing the history of various web browsers. [ edit ] Historical
WebKit is a layout engine software designed to allow web browsers to render web pages . It powers the Apple Safari and Google Chrome browsers. Opera has announced that their browser will also move to use it. [ 4 ] As of November 2012 it has the most market share of any layout engine at over 40% of the browser market share [ 5 ] —ahead of both the Trident engine used by Internet Explorer , and the Gecko engine used by Firefox .
Flock was a web browser that specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0 facilities built into its user interface . [ 3 ] Earlier versions of Flock used the Gecko HTML rendering engine by Mozilla . Version 2.6.2, released in July 2010, was the last version based on Mozilla Firefox. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] Starting with version 3, Flock was based on Chromium and so used the WebKit rendering engine. [ 6 ] [ 7 ] Flock was available as a free download, and supported Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms (previously also Linux ). Support for Flock was discontinued in April 2011. A year later in April 2012 the old Flock website was back and carried a vague indication that the project might be resurrected, inviting readers to add themselves to a mailing list to receive future news. [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ]
Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. and included with the Mac OS X and iOS operating systems. First released as a public beta on January 7, 2003 [ 2 ] on the company's OS X operating system , it became Apple's default browser beginning with Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther". Safari is also the native browser for iOS. A version of Safari for the Microsoft Windows operating system was first released on June 11, 2007, [ 3 ] and supported Windows XP Service Pack 2/3, Windows Vista , and Windows 7 , [ 4 ] but it is no longer promoted or updated. [ 5 ] Safari 5.1.7 is the last version available for Windows PC. [ 6 ] According to Net Applications , Safari accounted for 62.17 percent of mobile web browsing traffic and 5.43 percent of desktop traffic in October 2011, giving a combined market share of 8.72 percent. [ 7 ] [ edit ] History and development
Google Chrome is a freeware web browser [ 7 ] developed by Google that uses the WebKit layout engine . It was released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows on September 2, 2008, and as a stable public release on December 11, 2008.
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Rockmelt is a proprietary social media web browser developed by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria . The project is backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen . [ 2 ] Rockmelt integrates a technique for surfing the web that focuses on Google Search and social media , in particular Facebook and Twitter . [ 3 ] Although the browser was launched in private beta on November 8, 2010 [ 4 ] for desktop, it is not currently supported on the PC or Mac due to work on the iPad and other mobile releases.
Gecko is a free and open source layout engine used in many applications developed by Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation (notably the Firefox web browser), as well as in many other open source software projects. It is designed to support open Internet standards , and is used by different applications to display web pages and, in some cases, an application's user interface itself (by rendering XUL ). Gecko offers a rich programming API that makes it suitable for a wide variety of roles in Internet-enabled applications, such as web browsers , content presentation, and client/server . [ 4 ] Gecko is written in C++ and is cross-platform , and runs on various operating systems including BSDs , Linux , Mac OS X , Solaris , OS/2 , AIX , OpenVMS , and Microsoft Windows .
Trident (also known as MSHTML ) is the name of the layout engine for the Microsoft Windows version of Internet Explorer . It was first introduced with the release of Internet Explorer version 4.0 in October 1997; it has been steadily upgraded and remains in use today. For versions 7 and 8 of Internet Explorer, Microsoft made significant changes to the Trident layout engine to improve compliance with web standards and add support for new technologies. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] With version 9 of Internet Explorer, Microsoft intends to comply with many modern web standards, and also intends to significantly update the layout engine to be more competitive and modern compared to other current layout engines. [ citation needed ] [ edit ] Use in software development Trident was designed as a software component to allow software developers to easily add web browsing functionality to their own applications.