There’s an interesting online book just out that explains all those things about browsers and the web that the average person doesn’t know they don’t know. But Slaw readers — who mostly know what they don’t know, right? — should take a look at “20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web” anyway; they might learn a thing or two, and more important they’ll see what can be accomplished simply with HTML5, the new, coming standard — and no plugins. And who knows, you might just find yourself one day having to explain cookies or DNS to a senior partner, and the book could come in handy.
It’s a product of the Google Chrome team, and though it clearly has as part of its aim the promotion of that great browser, it deals quite fairly with all the browsers that are out there. Thing is, if you’re using a less than up-to-date browser — as well you may be if you’re inside a firm’s firm embrace — when you go to the book URL, you’ll be told that your browser can’t display it. So you might have to wait until you’re home, where your browser is just back of the cutting edge, surely.
Be sure to check out the extras, such as the search function and the ability to switch to a dark background. The layout, page turning, and the animations likely won’t please everyone: it’s not necessarily the best way to present text; but think of it as a demonstration tool, a demonstration of the fairly important changes that lie behind the scenes and that will make the web experience even faster. This isn’t the place to go into them, but if you’re curious about what’s coming, you might take a look at another online book, Dive Into HTML5, which introduces you to that set of standards one small step at a time, until before you know it, like that proverbial frog, you’re changed.