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Browser Recommender


Disclaimer

This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

I would like it if I could insert a bit of canned Javascript/Java bubblegum in every web page containing java that did the following:
  1. If the user has one of a list of suitable (as defined by me) browsers fully up to date, it does absolutely nothing.
  2. If the user has an older version of one of the suitable browsers it suggests an upgrade something like this:

    You are using Opera version 5.0. You need to upgrade your browser to use this Applet.

    Opera logo Opera 8.53 with the Java 1.8.0_112 Plug-in. This is the browser I use myself, so it is the one most likely to render correctly.
    Get Java Oracle’s Java 1.5.0_05 Plug-in add on
    Click to download the latest browser software
  3. If the user’s browser is up to date, just suggest a plug-in upgrade.

    You are using Opera version 8.5 with and older Java Plugin 1.4.2. You need to upgrade your plug-in, but the browser is fine as is.

    Get Java Oracle’s Java 1.5.0_05 Plug-in add on
    Click to download the latest browser software
  4. If the user has some other browser, it displays a selection of browsers and suggests updating like this:
    This Applet requires one of the following up-to-date browsers:
    Click the corresponding browser icon to download the latest free browser software, or click the browser name for more information.
    IE11IE1111.0.9600.17501with the Java 1.8.0_112 JRE (Java Runtime Environment). 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.
    Google ChromeGoogle Chrome53.0.2785.92with the Java 1.8.0_112 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.
    FirefoxFirefox50.0.2with the Java 1.8.0_112 JRE. 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.
    SeaMonkeySeaMonkey2.40with the Java 1.8.0_112 JRE. Similar to Firefox, with integrated Email. No longer supports Java Applets.
    SafariSafari5.1.7with the Java 1.8.0_112 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_112 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.
    OperaOpera39.0.2256.71with the Java 1.8.0_112 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_112 JRE. Stripped down browser without features. It does not support Java or any other plug-in.
    Get JavaOracle’s Java1.8.0_112JRE
  5. Surely this deserves to be a task handled once and reused by the whole community.

    It would be nice to just provide a list of suitable browser names and a range of suitable version numbers including + to mean any future version and be done with it.

    This is mainly a project using search engines to scrounge up snippets of code to recognise various browsers, then organising it into a coherent whole. It is likely more JavaScript that Java, but the users of the end product will be grateful Java programmers.


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