HTML Concepts: Browsing Contexts
Welcome to another episode of HTML Concepts! Today, browsing contexts—what is that?
The starting point should be the HTML specification (as always—this, and not even MDN, is the source of truth). What does it say?
A browsing context is an environment in which
Documentobjects are presented to the user.
This is cryptic, but the specification goes on to clarify:
A tab or window in a web browser typically contains a browsing context, as does an
frames in a frameset.
This sounds fundamental and indeed, the browsing context is a key concept:
A browsing context is where a user agent displays a document—which often is a tab or window, but can also be an iframe or frame. Every browsing context has its own DOM, origin, navigation and history, and also cookies.
That is, every site or app has a and its own browsing context—and that’s why this is such an important, yet also basic concept.
I’m not sure I made a much more complex subject overly simple, or a simple subject overly complex! Please let me know.
I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead—currently manager for Developer Experience at LivePerson—and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!
Maybe this is interesting to you, too:
- Next: Website Optimization Measures, Part XV
- Previous: 0 of the Global Top 100 Websites Use Valid HTML (in 2022)
- More under Web Development, or from 2022
- Most popular posts
Looking for a way to comment? Comments have been disabled, unfortunately.
Get a good look at web development? Try The Web Development Glossary (2020). With explanations and definitions for literally thousands of terms from Web Development and related fields, building on Wikipedia as well as the MDN Web Docs. Available at Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.