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How browsers work
2011 Jun 13
One minute read

Read full article here How browsers work

The browser’s high level structure

The browser’s main components are:

  • The user interface: this includes the address bar, back/forward button, bookmarking menu, etc. Every part of the browser display except the window where you see the requested page.
  • The browser engine: marshals actions between the UI and the rendering engine.
  • The rendering engine : responsible for displaying requested content. For example if the requested content is HTML, the rendering engine parses HTML and CSS, and displays the parsed content on the screen.
  • Networking: for network calls such as HTTP requests, using different implementations for different platform behind a platform-independent interface.
  • UI backend: used for drawing basic widgets like combo boxes and windows. This backend exposes a generic interface that is not platform specific. Underneath it uses operating system user interface methods.
  • JavaScript interpreter. Used to parse and execute JavaScript code.
  • Data storage. This is a persistence layer. The browser may need to save all sorts of data locally, such as cookies. Browsers also support storage mechanisms such as localStorage, IndexedDB, WebSQL and FileSystem.


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