browser : Java Glossary


giraffe browsing  browser
A browser is a program to surf the web and run Java Applets. Most of them are quite poor at printing accurate renderings of the screen. One way around this is to use FastStone capture and print that.
Best Browsers Engaging the Java Console in Your Browser
Terminology DOM
Performance launching a browser
Detecting Which Browser Browsing Locally from Hard Disk
Browser Bugs Learning More
Setting Default Font Links

Best Browsers

Please select one of these modern browsers to download and install free.
Click the corresponding browser icon to download the latest free browser software, or click the browser name for more information.
FirefoxFirefox51.0.1with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE (Java Runtime Environment). No longer suppoorts Java Applets. Most widely supported next to IE. Many add-ins. Very fast rendering. Weak on table rendering. Best for printing. Fairly slow to start up. Often stalls on first page from a new site. Must hit reload. 9% market share. Firefox properly balances two-column layouts. None of the other browsers do.
Google ChromeGoogle Chrome53.0.2785.92with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. Dropped support for Java Applets. Good for YouTube. Frequently automatically updated. Has no edit source button. Slow starting when it fiddles with a proxy. Poor downloading — it hides the fact it is doing so in the bottom left corner. Often downloads without you asking. Handles foreign language sites particularly well since it integrates with Google Translate by automatically translating. Best for interacting with Google. BrowserMark rates this as the fastest browser. Good for ecommerce. Can’t print white writing on a black background. 53% market share.
IE11IE1111.0.9600.17501with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. Now works with Java Applets. Some websites will work with no other browser, though many work on everything but this eccentric browser. 10% market share.
SeaMonkeySeaMonkey2.46with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. Similar to Firefox, with integrated Email. No longer supports Java Applets.
SafariSafari5.1.7with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. For both Macs and PCs. No longer supports Java. Apple has dropped support for the PC version. Freezes. Simple and stripped down. 12% market share.
AvantAvant2016:17with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. It is a fast browser, especially at starting up. Has problems with JavaScript. Excellent at rendering and printing tables. It uses the Firefox or Chrome rendering engine. In theory it should handle Java, but I can’t get it to work.
OperaOpera43.0.2442.806with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. It no longer its own rendering engine, which was its main advantage. It uses Chrome. It no longer supports Java Applets.No longer lets you configure your own editor. No bookmarks. Implements SPDY for faster communication. In Turbo mode, caches pages in encrypted compressed form. 6% market share.
EdgeEdge25.10586.0.0with the Java 1.8.0_121 JRE. Stripped down browser without features. It does not support Java or any other plug-in.
Get JavaOracle’s Java1.8.0_121JRE


Browser Terminology
Internet Explorer Firefox Opera
Internet Options Options Preferences
Temporary Internet Files Cache Cache
Favorites Bookmarks Bookmarks
Address Bar Location Bar Address Bar
Refresh Reload Reload
Links Bar Bookmarks Toolbar Bookmarks Panel
Copy Shortcut Copy Link Location Copy Link Address
Save Target As Save Link As Save Target As
RSS (not supported) Live Bookmark Feed


There are three things you can do to make your browser run faster:

Detecting Which Browser


Browser Bugs

All the browsers have bugs. I don’t pretend to provide a definitive list here. However, these are the bugs in each browser that I find most annoying.

There is no common format for bookmarks. You can import/export bookmarks only between a fairly small subset of all browsers. Reinstalling losses you bookmarks. Switching browsers loses your bookmarks. OS (Operating System) crashes lose your bookmarks. The best stratgy is to maintain your bookmarks as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files. Then they will work for any browser, and they are easy to back up. You can also maintain them with bulk search/replace tools and link checkers.

Opera: ignores <col format settings for table columns. Ignores CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) max-width property. Does not support CSS overflow to permit scrolling tables. Can’t access a printer to print a selection in Vista.

Firefox: Does not display borders on Applets. Ignores <col class and alignment settings for table columns.

Mozilla: Does not display borders on Applets.

SeaMonkey: draws boxes needlessly around links that consist of an image plus text.

Internet Explorer: does not render *.png image files with transparent backgrounds properly. In the latest update of IE (Internet Explorer), it won’t render Applets unless you click on them. This makes Applets like CurrCon which displays all the prices on a page in your local currency useless. This is just another part of Microsoft’s dirty war against Java.

Report bugs to the vendors in their support forums. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Officially, browsers are not supposed to support <col class= command out of some idiotic prissiness. Some browsers support it anyway out of common sense.

Browser Colgroup Support
browser version col class
col align
HTML5 entities
Chrome 53.0.2785.92
Firefox 51.0.1
Opera 43.0.2442.806
SeaMonkey 2.46
Safari 5.1.7
Avant 2017:3
Edge 25,10586.0.0
IE 11 11.0.9600.17239
IE 10 10.02.9200.16521
IE 9 9.0.8112.16421
IE 8 8.0.7601.17514
IE 7 7.0.6000

Those browsers marked with an x all have a bug. They will not render <col class="xxxx">s correctly. The ones with a tick render it correctly. The Opera people say this is a feature not a bug. The language lawyers claim the W3 spec says that the browser is supposed to ignore the color attribute from the <col class. Logically, I think the <col styles should apply to the entire column, but not to <th rows. In addition Firefox, SeaMonkey, Safari and Flock also ignore the <col align attribute. Opera and IE render it properly.

Firefox, SeaMonkey and Opera support almost all the HTML5 entities. Chrome and Safari support many of them.

Colgroup Test
  Style Test Alignment Test
On Every row style alignment
Using Colgroup style alignment

If both cells in the left hand Style Test column are the same colour, then your browser (the one you are using now to view this page) supports <col class=.

If both cells in the right hand Alignment Test column right-align, then your browser supports <col align= correctly.

Dreamweaver lets you apply a css style to all rows individually. Last revised/verified: 2017-02-08

Setting Default Font

You can set choose fonts style and colours to use for default when a web page does not specify them. You might do this to increase the size to make the text more visible, or to support Esperanto accented characters.


Every browser has some major failing. To get my work done I have to use a different browser for different purposes, but each browser puts the basic controls: home, back, close, reload in different places. This leaves me forever all thumbs. The problem would not exist if there were a standard layout a standard, any standard, or if it were configurable (by the theme creator or the user) or if browsers did not have big holes in their usability so you could use just one.

If HTML were a compact, preparsed binary format, that would eliminate nearly all of the malformed HTML in the universe. That would also mean it would be much likely if a document were tested on only one browser, it would render properly on all of them, or at least most of them. As a side effect it would download twice as fast and render more quickly.

Engaging the Java Console in Your Browser

If you are in a browser you have to enable to console before you can see it. Avant and Chrome do not support Java, or more precisely, their support does not work. Safari does support the Java console. Browsers no longer have menu-items to engage and disengage the console. You do it in the Java Control Panel.

Windows: Engaging the Console

Last revised/verified: 2012-03-06
  1. On Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32 and W10-64, click Programs.
  2. Double click Java.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Click + Java console.
  5. Click Show Console.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click File.
  8. Click Close.

Mac OS Leopard Engaging the Console

Last revised/verified: 2012-03-06

In Mac OS Leopard, you also have to enable the console on the Java Preferences Application.

  1. Applications
  2. Utilities
  3. Java Preferences Application.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Click Show Console.
  6. Restart your browser.
Finally, to make the console visible:
  1. Click Tools.
  2. Click Sun Java console.

DOM (Document Object Model)

It is possible for Java Applets to get out and peek at the web page document surrounding them in Java 1.4+. Another technique is to have JavaScript dynamically generate <applet <param tags. You can also have Java call JavaScript functions to let you get data from froms and insert data into forms.

Browsing Locally From Hard Disk

Why would you want to view a website from your local hard disk?

If you want to view *.html files on your local hard disk, an ordinary browser will do. You start your browsing session with a local filename e.g. J:\mindprod\jgloss\jdk.html of a file url e.g. file:///E:/mindprod/jgloss/jgloss.html. From there all the links are relative.

There are a few catches. The website does to work quite the same as it would on the web:

Perhaps some day there will a configuration file to give the browser some hints about the local mirror. It would contain the name of the root directory, the extension ⇒ MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type table, the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the web version… The configuration file is like configuring a very stripped down server implemented by the browser.

Then instead of those wretched ../../jgloss/jdk.html relative links, you could use links of the form /jgloss/jdk.html which are relative to the root of the website, in your markup. The link to a file would be identical no matter where on the website it occurred.

If you want your local copy to behave more realistically as it would on the web, you have to install a static webserver such as Tomcat. It runs on your local PC (Personal Computer) and talks only to you. This fairly complicated, almost identical to configuring and running a server on the web.

Learning More

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