Web Browsers’ Evolution History In Later Nineties

Opera – Released first in 1996

Before Opera it was called MultiTorg Opera. It was in version 2.0 Opera was available to general public as shareware and the tag of MultiTorg was removed.

Opera 2.0 was written from scratch and had nothing to do with Mosaic, Netscape or IE. Opera 2.0 supported HTML 3.0 and was able to zoom the full page from 20 percent to 1000 percent. It saved, opened, inserted and restored sessions and could support video.

Opera 3 that released in 1997 was the first version of Omega to support JavaScript. Subsequent updates on 3.x added blocking of pop up, file uploading, plug in support, CSS support and file transfer manager. Opera 4.0 became available in June 2000 after one month Opera 3.62 was released. The updated browser added integrated news and email client to its features. Also it brought along tabbed browsing. The additional features provided were SSL2, CSS1, CSS2, XML and HTML 4.0 support.

Release of version 5 brought with it the mouse gestures introduction which are supported by every browser available now through extensions or natively.

Next version Opera 6 had included better control of pop-up blocking, PNG alpha transparency, Unicode character standard and skin choices. When Microsoft blocked access to anyone not using Internet Explorer then Opera users were unable to connect to MSN.com Along with Opera there were many third party browsers not allowed access. In a press release Opera Software was critical about Microsoft. It stated – Opera is following strict international Internet standards and has been renowned in the world for this. It is matter of Microsoft showing lack of respect for World Wide Web Consortium and putting allegation on others.

A special “bork” version of Opera 7 was released for Windows. Using this version if MSN.com was visited then the page would transform into Swedish Chief’s spoken language. Apart from corporate politics, Opera 7 resulted into faster browsing experience due to Presto layout engine.

Opera 8 was built around the same rendering engine as that of version 7. It added navigation and full voice capability, blocked pop-ups’ notification and weekly automated update checks. The ad banner was completely removed in version 8.5 that happened in September 2005.

Opera 9 released in 2006 is a present day version. Throughout version 9.x development cycle up-gradation of Presto 2.0 to Presto 2.1.1 is done. One of the first browsers to pass Acid2 test was version 9. In this version widgets were introduced.

Grail – Released first in 1995

As per the creator of Grail Guido von Rossum, well known for Python programming language development, one of the main goal to create Grail was to create “hackable” browser for researchers. Grail supported HTML 2 fully and HTML 3.2 partially. It save and print documents. It support bookmarks and history.

Arachne – Released first in 1996

This browser was used to browse web with MS-DOS, OpenDOS and Dr.DOS. Arance was small enough to be taken into 1.44 MB floppy disk. It supported HTML 4.0. It had simple HTML editor, FTP support and WAV player. Additionally it supported SMTP, POP3 and other protocols.

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