What is a Browser Engine?

Browser Engine

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 web browser engine is typically embedded in web browsers, e-mail clients, on-line help systems or other applications that require the displaying (and editing) of web content.

Have a look some most popular browser engines

Trident

  • Popular Browsers & Applications: Internet Explorer, Avant Browser, Maxathon, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, AOL Browser
  • License: Closed-Source
  • Acid2 Compatible: Yes (in version VI included in Internet Explorer 8)
  • Acid3 Compatible: No
  • Operating Systems: Windows
  • Major Contributors: Microsoft
  • First Released: April 1997

Gecko

  • Popular Browsers & Applications: Firefox, Camino, Flock, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Epiphany, NVU, Netscape, K-Meleon
  • License: Open-Source
  • Acid2 Compatible: Yes
  • Acid3 Compatible: No
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/BSD
  • Major Contributors: Mozilla Corporation, Netscape (originally)
  •  First Released: December 1998

WebKit

  • Popular Browsers & Applications: Safari, Chrome, Adobe AIR, iCab, Epiphany (experimental), Konqueror (KHTML)
  • License: Open-Source
  • Acid2 Compatible: Yes
  • Acid3 Compatible: Yes
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/BSD
  • Major Contributors: WebKit Foundation, Apple, Nokia, Adobe, Google, KDE Team (originally)
  • First Released: January 2003 (forked from KHTML, which was first released in October 2000)

Presto

  • Popular Browsers & Applications: Opera Desktop/Mobile/Mini, Nintendo DS, Wii Internet Channel, Macromedia Dreamweaver MX and above, Adobe CS 2 and above
  • License: Closed-Source
  • Acid2 Compatible: Yes
  • Acid3 Compatible: Yes
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/BSD
  • Major Contributors: Opera Software
  • First Released: November 2002

Usage share of web browsers

Author: Aneesh Sivan
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