Estimated study time: 3 minutes

Our lives have moved towards the web more and more in the past decades. Where we used to have applications that run on our OS, we now turn to the web for basic needs like:

  • e-mail
  • chat
  • document editing
  • managing our bank accounts
  • shopping
  • video conferencing
  • … and so much more

Perhaps without fully realizing it, browsers play an incredibly important role in our lives, as they enable us to do all these things and more. For some, the browser is the only tool they need and use at all.

No wonder that browsers evolved into comprehensive, powerful platforms; almost like operating systems. In fact, browsers have all the features to create fully-fledged, installable applications. A website (or: browser-based application) can progressively make use of such features, hence the term progressive web applications (PWA).

The life of a developer is gravitating to the web too, with platforms like GitHub, Slack, Gitter, and even online code editors. We, the web developers, rely on browsers to display our works of art. I might be getting a little carried away here, but I hope you get my point by now: browsers are super important, so let’s make sure we fully understand what they are and how they work.

Anatomy of a modern web browser

HTML and CSS rendering

Lenient: allow mistakes

JavaScript engine

Extremely fast JavaScript engine

Password manager

Extensions system

Web developer tools

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