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Internet Browser
Episode 4326th June 2022 • Tech Talk with Amit & Rinat • Amit Sarkar & Rinat Malik
00:00:00 00:49:36

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We all use some kind of web browser to access the internet. The simple browser is one of the most important app in our lives right now and we know so little about all its features and functionalities. Its opened by almost everyone to access information over the internet.

In this week's talk, Amit and Rinat talk about Internet Browser, what does it do, what are the most popular web browsers, their features and a lot more!

Transcripts

Rinat Malik:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Tech Talk. A podcast where Amit and I talk about various technology related topics. This week, we're going to talk about Internet browsers. Now, it might seem like a very mundane topic, and we all know about Internet browsers but the vast wealth of knowledge and it will give you a very foundational understanding of how interests work. And a lot of us while using Internet browsers, we don't exactly know what other options are out there. A lot of us are just using Chrome as everyone else's, or Internet Explorer or edge recently. But there are vast wealth of options out there and also there is a lot of knowledge to be to be known to understand the Internet properly. And Internet Browser is a very good starting point. And not just the starting point, but even if you are, you know, seasoned Internet user, you I think you should still understand how internet browsers work because it will give you a very foundational understanding on all of the things to do with it today. So yeah are very excited to talk about Internet browsers and So yeah very excited to talk about Internet browsers. Let's dive right in. Amit, what's your definition of Internet browsers?

Amit Sarkar:

So, browsing has been I think the word browsing has become synonymous with the internet, Internet browsers so early on when the internet was made, I think we talked about it in couple of previous podcasts as well. So when the internet was invented, we were trying to access different files on different machines in a network located far away, maybe in the same country or in a different country, same location, different location, etc. And Internet browser was a way to read some of those files. hosted on those machines. If you look at Microsoft Windows as an operating system, there is something called as file sharing or network sharing, where you can share a Drive like your C drive or D drive, which people might be familiar. So whenever they open windows machine, they go to the C drive where their operating system is installed. And if they buy a laptop, they will go to C drive and they can see their operating system. So when they actually go to the machines and see the C drive, they can actually share it with someone else on the same network. It could be a wired network or a wireless network. And when they share those networks, they can actually read those files from a different machine. So that's sharing. Now suppose you want to read HTML files so that's where the browser comes. You can read HTML file in a notepad but that will be just text. You will not see all the images you will not see the videos you will not see any interactive content, you will just see text or the code or the source code that that people can actually look right click on the webpage and see. So internet browsing and in order to do the internet browsing browsers were invented. I think one of the first browsers was a mosaic and then we had the Netscape Navigator, then Internet Explorer burst in the into the picture, and Microsoft put a lot of effort in making sure that Internet Explorer becomes a dominant web browser because they were shipping it for free with Microsoft Windows operating system that time and Netscape Navigator was trying to reinvent itself but it didn't become that popular. And then Mozilla Firefox erupted on the scene. It was open source, it was much faster, it had lots of new features. And it was just simply much better than Internet Explorer. And after Mozilla Firefox, you had Google Chrome. Google came up with its own browser. And that just completely changed the world. Initially, Firefox was one of the Internet Explorer and Firefox. They were the top browsers in the world. And now Google Chrome dominates to about 70 to 80% of the browsing market, internet browsing market. There are still I mean, you have Android smartphones, where people have Google Chrome by default. If you buy an Android phone, you'll have Google Chrome. If not, if you buy say a Samsung phone, you'll have a Samsung browser, but people normally choose to install either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or some kind of

Rinat Malik:

Samsung browser is also based on Google Chrome as well. Sorry to interrupt.

Amit Sarkar:

Oh, you did. I didn't know that. I thought that Samsung browser is just a different browser.

Rinat Malik:

It’s just Based on Chromium.

Amit Sarkar:

Okay, maybe, maybe. Good. Good to know that. So yeah, so Google Chrome. And then Microsoft was trying to compete with Firefox, but because Chrome became into the picture, they had to now compete with Chrome. So they were trying to reinvent and reinvent and they ultimately came up with Internet Explorer 11. And that's where the buck stopped, and they came up with Microsoft Edge. Now Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, which is an open source version of Google Chrome. So Chromium is the main base version on which Google Chrome is based and brave browser is based, Vivaldi is based, Microsoft Edge is based on. So these are a couple of browsers which are based on the Chromium engine. So anyways, so that's the whole gamut of internet browsing. Experience. And that's what browsers are for basically, to go to a website. But browsers do a lot of other things, which I'm excited to talk about in this topic in this talk.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for the history. It's really good way to sort of see what was and what it is right now. And a lot of you guys have probably also seen various memes that used to go around in you know, comparing chrome with Internet Explorer, how slow Internet Explorer is and I've enjoyed some of those as well. And there was not only memes, but there was I remember there was an actual study where it was found that people who are used and not right now because right now majority of people are using Chrome, but there was a point where a study was done, but people who are using Chrome are set to be more successful in their career, and just overall more successful in life. But that no, that might be misleading, because that was you know, as we probably touched upon in our previous episodes, that there are there is such a thing as causation and correlation in statistics and that was a that was more of a correlation because usually people who are naturally the kind of person who takes initiative are also the kind of person who would go out there, do the research, and then go and download Chrome. So it's not like just if you use Chrome, you'll be because of using Chrome you will be more successful but usually the people who are destined to be successful will take more initiative doesn't just go with the flow, but does their own research, etc. They're the ones who would also end up downloading Chrome. So that was an interesting research, which I you know, I was quite amused by and also I'm sad to say that I was quite late. adopter to Chrome. Because I always tried to give the benefit of doubt to the to the store brand or whatever comes in the box and Internet Explorer came with the box and he had some integration with other things. Some of those were like back in the old days people, some of you will know about MSN Messenger, and various other Microsoft products. They integrated well with Internet Explorer. So I took a long time while knowing Chrome is the faster browser. I took a long time to transition from Internet Explorer to Chrome. But once I've like really seen Chrome and I've done some tests in my own computer, it's just it's just so it was at the time and I think even now, it just is so much faster than you know. It's noticeably faster. So yeah, it was it was a very easy decision when it came to it. So yeah, then I moved on to chrome and then Chrome provides a lot of other benefits that Internet Explorer at the time, just didn't because they can have your Google account set up and backed up and you know your favourites and everything can be transferred in different disk devices. So all of these things and now they're also expanding more with more extensions and also you know, Password Manager, etc, etc. So, so yeah, I mean, back in the old days, I used to, you know, I transitioned from Internet Explorer to Chrome quite late because there was a lot of, there was a lot of integration from Microsoft products. With Internet Explorer. But when I did the comparison, it was you know, difference was like night and day, Chrome was like so much faster. And then it came with so many other benefits as well. No, it was quite an easy decision for me to move to chrome and yeah, since then, I've used Chrome and I've also explored various other ones that are out there like the ones you mentioned, mentioned Firefox, and recently in Brave browser, which was built you know,

Rinat Malik:

like, the main base of it is from Chrome, but it enabled, if you knew our benefits, like, you know, more privacy and also, if you use it you get you gain brave coins. So there were quite a few other some of these cool new technological advantages there. So yeah, I would recommend our audience to try brave browser as well. It's actually, they made it really easy to switch from Chrome to brave. It will import all of your chrome data into brave and you will get all the benefits of Chrome in your browser, which, you know, some would say is better looking and then there is obviously Opera, Edge and Firefox were already there are some benefits of using different browsers that you know, some people might not think about like for example, if you have multiple if you have multiple accounts, and you use cookies or whatever you want to stay signed in in your Gmail or Facebook, etc. And you don't want to sign out of Facebook and sign back in with different credentials every time when you want to switch your accounts. Not just Facebook, you might have Two Gmail accounts to Hotmail accounts, etc. For example, I have a personal Hotmail or Microsoft account and I have a professional Microsoft account which is for my job and other you know, professional communication. So for that, now, I use Firefox as a secondary browser. So my personal Microsoft email is always logged in in Chrome, but my professional Microsoft email is always locked in, in Firefox, so I don't have to always log in separately or switch and you know, do that hassle. And then again, if you do like some other passive income, kind of things like Amazon and you will open to different Amazon accounts, we can also do the same with that so there are there are benefits of using multiple browsers. You know, one of these that you may not have thought of, is that you know, the signing in part the your account credentials are saved in Vault and you can just easily switch between or simultaneously be logged into two different accounts to two different browsers. So that's, that's a benefit that you could think of using in future.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I mean, normally what I do is if I want to test a URL, and if it's not working, I just tried to open it in a different browser, because a different browser means the cookies are not stored. And you can still open it and check whether it's actually a network issue or cookie issue, etc. So your multiple browsers definitely helps. But going back to the fundamentals, I think you covered a very important point like Internet Explorer was default. And it was being sold with Windows. So a lot of people actually started using that and Internet Explorer became very huge. It had a very huge market. Share because of that, and Microsoft then had to fight a lot of antitrust cases. And Internet Explorer was then I mean, it is still very popular but then once Firefox came into the picture, people started flocking towards Firefox. And I think the main advantage of Firefox because I use Firefox in my college days was that Firefox allowed tabs, so you could open multiple websites in the single window. So normally, Internet Explorer didn't allow you to do that initially, after a certain I think, Internet Explorer five or six it allowed tabbed browsing, where you could open multiple tabs in the same window. So for people who are very young, who have not used Internet Explorer as the old versions. In order to open multiple websites, you have to open multiple windows of Internet Explorer, it used to be come up very huge pain of managing those different windows and seeing what is opened where. And Internet Explorer also didn't have any popup blockers you could not turn on and off anything. You could not add any extensions, etc. So it was just been and sometimes the websites also didn't render correctly on Internet Explorer. So with Firefox in the game, what happened is you could attach extensions, you could modify JavaScript, you could block pop ups, you could do many things. You could have games, you could have offline apps, you could have many things. And Mozilla Firefox had its own store where you could download the extensions. It came up with the concept of profiles where you could maintain your profile. Then you could save your bookmarks and if you go to a new machine, then you can log into your profile and you will get all the bookmarks to your new to your new machine. So that was a game changer. And then when Chrome came, Chrome was basically much faster than Firefox. Firefox used to be the fastest, but Chrome was much faster. Now Chrome has a lot of issues because Chrome has become very huge. It has a lot of features. So it takes a lot of memory. So sometimes when you have multiple tabs open in Chrome, it takes up a huge amount of memory and it makes a computer system very slow. So Chrome is now I mean, not a market leader in terms of browsers. It still has a huge share. But I wouldn't say it's the best browser at the moment. There are better browsers in the market if you want to use. I personally use Chrome because I have a Google account. And it's easy to just maintain it. But

Amit Sarkar:

it's not that you your Google account will work only on Chrome. It will work on any chromium based browser because they all use Google. So if you have Google account logged in into your Chrome, you can actually use a Google account to log in into Brave, Vivaldi, Edge etc. And even Microsoft. Sorry Mozilla Firefox is also experimenting with now within the nightly build with the Chromium engine. So if it shifts to that, then even like Mozilla Firefox, you would be able to log in using your Chrome. So that's a good advantage. Now, apart from opening websites, browsers do a lot of other things. So browsers have to fetch the website and render it on your webpage. And every browser has a different rendering engine. You might have heard of Gecko. You might have heard of WebKit. And there are many other rendering engines and each browsers use a different rendering engine chromium based browsers I think they use WebKit or something. I'm not too sure, but they use. Gecko I think is used by Mozilla. And Safari has its own rendering engine. And Safari is the only browser that's coming by, by default with OSX. Any Apple operating system, iPhones, iPads, and the iOS iPad, your IMAX they all come with Safari engine by default and Windows. It comes with Edge and Internet Explorer 11 Now that's the highest level highest version of Internet Explorer that's currently being shipped. Linux will not come with any browser. So depending upon the flavour of Linux that you install, it can have either Firefox or chromium it will not have Chrome it will have chromium or you can just download an open source version of any browser. And so these are just the browsers that render the websites and each rendering engine gets a rating like okay, how there is a test I think that is an acid test which tells if the website has actually correctly rendered the if the browser has correctly rendered the website, on your browser, and that test is actually bench. It's it sets a benchmark about how good a browser is against the standards. And apart from that, browsers, it saves your bookmarks. So you can do a lot of I have a lot of bookmarks. I have a lot of bookmarks. They're all saved in my profile. So if I moved to a new machine, if I log in anywhere, I just get all my bookmarks and bookmark means saved websites or websites you visit again and again. And you don't want to type the URL, you just want to click something. So bookmarks are an easy way to

Amit Sarkar:

tell the browser that okay, this is the URL that you frequently visit and you want to save it with this name. And if you open the browser again, you can just click on it and it can take you there. Browsers have also become very smart. So they save your passwords so you don't have to remember them. So like Rinat said, you can have your Facebook or Google account logged in and you don't have to log in again and again, they save those passwords. You can decide not to save them. It's up to you. So browsers give you that option. They save the history as well, any website that you visit, they save that history. So you don't have to remember which website you visited ages back. If your browser crashes, it can recover from it. It can restore all those web pages. So history is very important. Bookmarks are important. Chrome has its own apps chrome store, where you can download extensions similar to what you could do on Mozilla Firefox. And because the browsers like brave Vivaldi, they are all chromium based, they have access to the Google Chrome Store. So you can download whatever extensions you download on Google Chrome. You can download it for the other browsers, Safari as a different thing because it's OS X, and it's very limited to Apple products. So that's why we don't want to discuss Safari. But yeah, that's again different browser and it's managed separately. Apart from that you can manage your theme. So you can have a dark mode. You can have a light mode, you can have different colours, you can hide or unhide buttons that you don't want. If you want a very clean look, you can do that. And there are many other things that you can do with a browser you can change the settings, you can read files, you can actually open files inside a browser, you can open an HTML page. So suppose you write a code in HTML and you want to see how it renders you can open it in your web browser. If you want to access your router, your router installed in your home, you can access its admin page through your web browser. If you want to read a PDF file, you can do that if you want to read. If you want to open a scalable vector graphics or dot SVG file, you can open it in your browser. So browsers do a lot of things that we are actually not aware of. They store our passwords but they also store addresses. They also store credit card details. So they are quite powerful in way that they manage a lot of things. And that's why these browsers are not very light they have a big installation size, but then they can auto update as well. So if there is a problem with some things that they can auto update. Recently, what has happened is loads of websites are now going with HTTPS. HTTP Secure Protocol. So that means you will see a lock symbol every time you visit a website in the address bar, and you can actually see that it's a secure website. And that means that it I mean, the certificates are well established well reputed. And they are known to everywhere, so if a website is unsecure, the browser's will not allow you to open them and there are extensions that block popups so it will not allow pop ups. So suppose you have ADD lot of advertisements etc. You can block that you can block cookies. So cookies are basically files that are stored on your machine or within your browser to help the browser remember what you have done. And based on that it can recommend so it basically creates a profile of you every time you visit a website, the website, and every website has its own cookies. And they remember basically what you've done what you've seen what you've logged in, and they store that information in those cookies. The cookies are stored in your machine. So when you visit those websites again, it retrieves the information from the cookies and then it displays the content. Of course GDPR came into picture so there's a lot of controversy related to that because now websites have to show you a pop ups every time you go to a website there you have to say accept, accept cookies, accept saving data, etc. So it's a huge hassle. So yeah, there's so many things that the browser's can do today that it's incredible. I mean, it looks like a very simple topic, just to talk about Internet browsers, but they are doing a lot of things in the backend.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, absolutely. And this is this is actually a very good point where I actually want to explore this this idea of what browsers are and you know, this this this question might think, you know, my feel like you're we're going back to the very basic but the way I kind of think about it in my head, I feel that's actually quite interesting, because I remember, like, when I was in school and studying mathematics, and you know, we in sixth grade, we started learning about algebra. And you know, the complex higher mathematics and stuff. And then when I got to 10th grade only then I came to know about set and I thought that set is such a like a easy topic. But I also like, introduced me to very various like, sort of fundamental things about mathematics. I mean, not all additions or multiplications are the same. You know, if set theory introduced me that you know, you know, Numbers and Non-Numbers can also be in the same set and they can be added and multiplied differently. Now, this is completely different, you know, topic from what I'm going to talk about in terms of browser but what the reason I brought this up is, a lot of the times we go very advanced in terms of usage or off the topic, but sometimes the foundational understanding is so important, so critical and sometimes actually more complex that you actually have to wait until you're an expert and then understand what's actually going on, on that very basic level. And with Internet browser, I feel like that that's kind of true in a way because we know how to use internet browser we go to Chrome, Google stuff. We go to different websites, and we do you know we do various complex stuff like we pay online, we do shopping and all of these things. But to understand browsers in a way that is very foundational so that, you know, to do that you kind of need more of a technical expertise, and I only got that when I started designing websites from the back end. Then I realised what's actually happening in the front end because before that, I thought, okay, there is calm, there is different software's and you know, you just go to the same website from whichever browser you're using. But actually, now if you think about it, in this way, that there are data that's being hosted. So there are data that's being hosted from a hosting site, or you know, someone's computer or someone's, you know, mainframe supercomputer where some company are hosting, and that data can be represented to you in many different ways. And what browser is doing is catering that data from that hosting site, getting that data in a format, which is which is can be different codes like HTML, JavaScript, and then it's also getting the contents like audio video or picture files, and then it knows how through the html code and CSS etc

Rinat Malik:

knows how to represent it to you in as a front end display device. And then, you know, once you see that not all browsers displays the same websites in exactly the same way. There are small tweaks and then you realise that different browsers are translating that code differently to represent that information, so basically what browsers are doing, Browsers are a desktop application they're not an Internet application. A browser is something that you download and install as a desktop application, Chrome Brave, Internet Explorer, whichever one you say, and they are and when you open up a browser if your default webpage is not Google, which most of us ours’ is but it just opens a blank screen in so if you if you compare it with any other desktop applications like for example, a photo editor like Photoshop or a video editor, it opens up with an empty slate where you can put your photo to edit or video to edit or whatever. Just like that, a browser opens up in a blank white space which is nothing unless you obviously decide, you know, automate or decide to tell it beforehand that always go to google.com. It will open a blank slate. And that's nothing that means that it hasn't loaded anything from the internet yet. So what browser does is a desktop application which is the job of which is to connect using the internet through different ports used to be 8080. Now with HTTPS, you might be using different ports but there are different ports that you know, that enables these connections of these data transfers between your computer and the rest of the world. Then using that it can go to different hosting platforms or hosting website hosting services and get the data that you queried through this test or application. So we must remember that the browser is a desktop application and in the browsing window, which is you know, at the very top the file edit and you know the usual context menus and then there are some shortcut buttons. Those are part of the desktop application. And then the majority of the screen that it takes up is like a window or is sort of empty slate where this desktop application shows the information that it gets from the internet and displays it to you with you know, according to the code HTML code that it received from that. Host. So that's what it is and once I found out a kind of made me understand the internet a little bit more better and I felt, you know, like a crystallizing clarifying moment where I felt like I understood what's going on a little bit more. So I feel like the other I don't know if everyone has this you know, understanding or idea from ghetto, but it was, for me it was a time when I started designing website then I realised that what am I trying to show and then I realised all of these new ways of thinking. So hopefully some of the audience will also have this new understanding of web browsers and be able to treat browser that way. This really helps me understand what am I seeing on the internet and how to differentiate that

Rinat Malik:

from what's happening in my desktop and what's happening in me on the internet, and if I download something I'm downloading, I'm giving the command in that inside the browser, but it's then bringing that data or that file and saving it in my laptop or computer or whatever. And this made me understand cybersecurity a lot more as well because I could differentiate between what's happening where, before I would, you know, try to sign out of something and not be sure did I actually sign out but the cookie remained, you know, kept my data or whatever. But then I, you know, open the browser again, and then I'm still signed in or, you know, how the data is like sort of segregated between my desktop and the rest of the world. It became a lot more clear with this, with this understanding I had and I wanted the audience to understand this as well because this will give us a better handle on a lot of things like cybersecurity and privacy and just giving you a better understanding of what you're doing on the internet. So yeah, and that's, that's the reason why you could have different browsers like Chrome or Firefox, Edge and have different profiles altogether and they don't know you know, they don't know about each other. For example, you know, if you if you think about privacy, Facebook knows all the other tabs you have open in that same Chrome or whichever browser you have Facebook Open, which is you know, you might think that's quite a quite a serious you know, violation of your privacy if you didn't know that already. But Facebook does collect that kind of data. You know, you have Facebook Open in one tab and then you have I don't know, you know, you're doing some research on BBC or some, you know, Political Research, which might be quite sensitive and then Facebook knows exactly what your interests are from the other tabs you have open but if you had those tabs open a different browser, Facebook wouldn't know.

Amit Sarkar:

That's one of the tricks that people apply when they have to book flights, right? If you want to book flights, like Skyscanner, Expedia. They know what you're looking for. And they'll show some increased prices, but if you open a new browser, they'll show a completely different prizes. So a lot of times people they if they tried to search for flights, they tried to use another browser to book the flight, because they might just get the time but they in order to get the cheap prices they will go to another browser and you mentioned a very interesting thing about cybersecurity. I think a lot of websites get hacked. And, and a lot of websites you don't know which are secured which are not secure. So that lock symbol is actually quite important. So if you go to the top address bar, you see the URL that should have a lock symbol. If it has a lock symbol, then it means it's a secure website. If it doesn't have that, then it means it's an unsecured website. And you have to be very careful if you're trying to still visit that website. And browsers now have this capability that they will redirect you to only secure versions of that website and they will not redirect you to unsecure versions. So there is like HTTPS-only mode in browsers. And the security is very important because people get hacked, they get scammed, etc. There are a lot of phishing attacks. So you just click a link and it downloads something on your machine. Rinat, I think you mentioned a very, very important point. It's a desktop application. It's not an internet. It's used to read content hosted on the internet, but in the end, it's a desktop application. So if you download anything it gets downloaded onto your machine. If you if you are actually seeing the page, the page itself is actually getting downloaded on your machine. It's the web pages are stored temporarily and it's displayed. So in case, you don't clear the cache, you don't clear the history when you open the browser. Again. And when you load the page, it will first look at the cache that's downloaded on your machine. Then it will look at the cash that's downloaded in the cache system of the website. And then it will ask the main server to actually send the page so there are different levels at which the websites are cached and, and stored. So it's very important to understand this very simple concept. I think I also never thought about like your browser. You know it but I think you don't think about it loud. That yeah, it's a desktop application. When you open it there is nothing it's not consuming any memory because it has not downloaded any page or images or it's not displaying a YouTube video. It just a blank slate. And then you can actually open some settings and you can do some things. And once you have downloaded the page. The good thing is because the file is now visible on your browser, if you disconnect from the internet, you can still go through that page. You can still read the news. You can still maybe stream some part of the audio or stream some part of the video. And YouTube has this very interesting visual indicator where it shows a grey line where it shows that okay with the video has been downloaded to that quality in your machine and then a red line which indicates where you are in the stream. So if the grey line is completely spanned the length of the video then it means if you disconnect the internet, you can still go through the entire video without being connected to the internet. So that's browsers are so amazing that they can do all these things. And it's incredible, where they have come from, from where we actually started.

Rinat Malik:

Absolutely. And there is another idea also on sort of put it out that yeah, we you know, browsers, what they're doing is they're taking the data from a database you can call it the hosting place a database because they're hosting data, and then they're displaying it in a visually easy to understand way for you, which is because it's made for you to audience to easily understand and doing the thing that you came to the website to do, but a lot of the times we're afraid of API's or you know, as soon as we know about command prompt on in a Windows desktop or terminal or in whichever operating system we get really scared that okay, well I don't know about this or this is like too technical. But if you think about it, API's are doing exactly the same thing that you install another desktop application like postman or similar. And then you query the data you want from this other place somewhere. In the internet, and it returns you the data that you asked for. A browser is doing exactly the same thing. So you shouldn't, you know, to to the audience, you shouldn't really be intimidated with API's because you know, by using browser, you're doing the exact same thing is just visually more appealing. It's made to be visually appealing. So you know, mass users can easily use it. But, you know, in theory, exactly the same thing is happening in API, you're making a query and on, you know, in in relation to a browser, you're pressing a button, and then it's loading a page in API, you're making query and it's loading data that you asked for. And even in command prompt, you know, like when Windows 98 first came, it was still based on the disk operating system or dos. What it is, is, you could go to my computer and then C drive and then new folder or whatever. Or you could go to command prompt and say, you know, cd space and then C drive and then go to this directory, and this is just different ways of visualising, and one is text ways and one is more visual. And obviously, we are visual animals. It's so much easier if there is a if a window looks like a folder and if I double click, I'm gonna enter another folder in the same like in web pages where I click a button and go to this other page, or whatever, but ultimately, the same thing is happening. It's just you're using two different interfaces. So I mean, I'll just ask the audience that don't be intimidated by the interface because the same exact thing is happening. In both cases. It's just two different interfaces. One is probably a little bit difficult to comprehend. But it's not in any other way more complex than then then, you know, the visually easier one. So this is….

Amit Sarkar:

it is, It is Yeah, it's interesting that you mentioned it because I mean, API's are also behind a lot of websites. So there is a login API. There is a payment API. And a lot of the websites they are basically static pages and in order to make them dynamic, they use API's. API's are basically application programming interface. And we have talked about it in our other earliest talks that we did I think episode two or three. So if you want to listen to that podcast, please do. But API's are quite powerful. And I think Rinat mentioned a very important aspect that you have a desktop application like postman, or some other API tool where you can actually request for data from the database and it sends it back to you. But the websites are also doing the same. So in order for you to see what kind of requests are going there are intercept tools like burp proxy on which we have another we have done a podcast again. So I think we are all converging now to the basic fundamentals. So basically, what you can do is the request goes from your machine and multiple requests. So whenever you open a Google and a request goes from your machine to Google servers. But before you type a, once you type in the URL, that URL has to be translated into an IP address. So that IP address gets translated by the DNS servers. The DNS servers then know the IP address which is which is like numbers. So they are how to explain it. It's like 1.1.1.1 So it's like four different numbers connected by dots. And the maximum digits they can be is from zero to 255. And there is a specific reason for that because they are in all binary. And once that's translated, the URL the text is translated to numbers by the DNS server. The request is then sent to the cache server and then to the main server. And there are in between there are load balances, etc. And that request then comes back with the response and that response comes back with a error code or a success code. So normally we see 404 Page. 404 means content not found. Okay? So that means you cannot find the content and it's a server error, sorry, maybe a server error or request error. So you have these different types of errors. And, and you think, how am I, How is the browser how does the browser know all these things? So in the background, you can actually see what kind of requests are going. So in Chrome, you have something called as developer tools

Amit Sarkar:

If you press F12 On your keyboard, that's function 12 F(capital) 12. If you press that button on your keyboard, you hit open something called as developer tools. And there if you click on Network, you can't see network, just do a quick Google search. And maybe I'll link a video down in the description. If you click on Network, and then you refresh the page that you're trying to visit. Say you refresh Google, you will see so many different URLs. So Google, when you open Google, the request is not just going to Google it's going to all the advertisers it's going to all the other websites, analytics, etc. that are there on the page. It just takes a few milliseconds to load the entire page, but in that milli-second there are like hundreds of requests going and you can see each individual request and you can see how much time it has taken. What is the payload? Like, what is the size of the file that's being sent and received, etc. And it's very, very fascinating. And in that developer tool, you can also see what is the response? So if the request is sent via this URL, they will show okay, this is the request. It is being sent to this server and these are the content of the request. It is signed by this person it's sent and this date it will have a timestamp. Then you have the response. The response will have a code. The code will tell the browser whether you should display an error or you should display the page. Rinat mentioned about HTML and CSS. So browsers have this rendering engine. If you just show HTML, it will just show you text. CSS gives the format the content the format. So if you see text, right aligned, left aligned to centre aligned, if you see icons in a particular way, that's all CSS, HTML can't do that HTML is all left aligned. In English language, of course. We have to be very careful. So there are there are so many different ways that the browser's are helping improve your productivity on a day-to-day basis and we are oblivious to it. We just think of a Chrome browser or any browser, just a tool to do our jobs quickly. But behind the behind the scenes. There's a lot going on.

Rinat Malik:

Absolutely. And it's actually very fun to think about, but it's also very important to know about, be aware, that awareness that we just talked about, what's the browser is desktop application and it's showing its main content, you know, like in Photoshop you know, you see the main window in here where you edit the photos but then you have all the tools to edit those photos on the side and you know, around you like you know, if you want to, you know, cut copy or drawn etc. Just like that in a browser, you have the main window where you see the website that's being loaded, and that's the that's the part that's, you know, not necessarily down to the desktop application. For example, in Photoshop, if you load a image to edit, that image is not related to Photoshop the rest of application that's a new image that came from outside the desktop Application. Same way in the browser, the website that you're loading that's not related to the browser itself. But then you can use the options provided by the browser to do various things to the page that's just loaded. You can download that page. You can go back forward and you know, various other options that there are.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, yeah, Yeah, absolutely.

Rinat Malik:

So that awareness, I think, is very fun, but also it's really good to be aware of as well and hopefully our audience are going to go away from this talk with a little bit more understanding and awareness of internet altogether, because that's the main outlet that we all use to connect to the internet. Yeah, I said the API and internet browsers are similar in some way. But I'm still not going to start using API to go to Facebook, even though I can get my friend status is in a in a in a JSON format file and look at it in Excel, but I'm not gonna do that. I'm still going to be using Chrome and other browsers to do it because it's just so much more convenient and visually appealing to the way the Internet browsers present us the data that Facebook or any other websites provide. So it's good to be aware of it and hopefully our audience

Amit Sarkar:

So would like to mention something that yeah, it's the browsers are the key to everyday use. And it's very important. One of the things that we have seen recently is that most of the applications are now shifting towards the browser. If you look at most of the desktop, I mean, if you look the amount of applications that you've opened on your desktop, the biggest part of your day to day activities are now inside the browser. Okay, so you use very few desktop applications on a day-to-day basis. And that's actually quite powerful because if you can do everything in the browser then why do you need a powerful machine? Yes. Why? Why do you need like $1,000? Laptop? Yes, that's what Chromebook is. And if you if you want to listen to Chromebook, we have done a podcast on that as well. So please do listen to that podcast and the whole idea is that in the future, you may not have an operating system like Windows or Linux or apple. You will just have a browser and you will do everything that you need to do from the browser, from creating PowerPoint presentations to creating Excel sheets, to editing videos, to creating templates for anything, to writing newsletters to edit files, to translate things. All you did is one browser and that browser will do and you can do everything from inside that browser. And to run that browser. You don't need an very expensive machine. And…..

Rinat Malik:

That's a very, very interesting concept. And again, like you know, for those of you who are, you will want to be a little bit more independent like me, you probably still want to be the old school and try to find Desktop application. But then again, even the I mean, I saw I used to have a PDF editor installed before but now I do all the PDF editing online in free websites in fraction of time. And, you know, in batch mode as well. We even added like 100 images.

Amit Sarkar:

Yes, Multiple files, exactly.

Rinat Malik:

So there are a lot of benefits and I always do the calculation and you know, a lot of the times it wins to do it over a browser rather than having a desktop application buying the licence for it and maintaining it and you know, taking up CPU, etc. So yeah, both are good and now you know, they both have advantages and disadvantages, but we are alone every day we're moving more towards like internet based,

Amit Sarkar:

Even most of the desktop applications now a day, in some way they connect to the internet to verify certain things like even and Microsoft Office, you need to download it from the internet. And then you need to log into connect to your profile and it will verify the subscription based on that you can buy a standalone version but then you will not get any updates. So it's interesting that even some of the desktop applications, they need an internet connection. I mean, of course not all the desktop applications need internet connection and that's why it's good to use. But I think you can listen to music you can watch videos, you can read the news, you can do calculation you can do so many things inside of a browser, that it is incredible. So browsers are one of the first applications that you now open when you start your machine. And that's where you go and do most of the things. And that's why we thought okay, this is a very good topic to talk about today.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, I feel like we didn't even touch upon a few other things that we could have talked about, about browsers. But you know, it's at least gives the audience a basic understanding to go away with and be aware of, of the desktop application that they're using on a day to day basis.

Amit Sarkar:

Absolutely. We have talked about search engines. We have talked about cloud computing, we have talked about Chromebooks, we've talked about API's. We have talked about how to build a website. So we have covered a lot of things related to Internet. And I think the audience if you're really interested in knowing about those subjects, and if you're not heard of those podcasts, please do listen to those podcasts and it and I hope you find them very useful.

Rinat Malik:

Absolutely, absolutely. And do let us know if you have any other topics in mind that you guys would like us to cover our contact details. You know initial places in YouTube and in podcast, hosting site, wherever you're listening from. Thanks again, everyone for listening and tuning in regularly with us. Hope to see you guys again next week.

Amit Sarkar:

Thank you so much, everyone. Bye

Rinat Malik:

Bye.