A Changing Landscape

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The web is a dynamic, ever-changing place. The first web browser, in 1989, did not support colors, images, styling, or scripting. Three decades of evolution driven by market forces, implementation quirks, and the ever-expanding reach of the web then made browsers what they are today. Those forces are as strong as ever. Browsers continue to evolve!

Sooner or later this book will be obsolete—the sooner the better! Whether it is WebAssembly or WebGPU, hardware access or new CSS features, integrated payments or AI assistants, I do expect the browser of the future to play many new and different roles in computing and our lives.

That said, many dedicated, talented engineers have devoted themselves to the web over its first three decades. The structure of the web embeds their ideas, inventions, and taste. Their values and hopes for computing. You and I, dear reader, walk in their footsteps and study their work. If, in a few years, this book is out-dated, I hope those values live on and those hopes are fulfilled.