How-To Geek

Browser Engine

The browser (rendering) engine is the software component within a given web browser that renders the HTML code of fetched web pages into a human-readable interface. Competing browser companies will frequently tote the benefits of their rendering engine over a competitor’s rendering engine.

Although there appears to be dozens of various browsers on the market, behind their customized GUIs and other superficial tweaks, the majority of them share common browser engines. The Trident browser engine powers Internet Explorer and dozens of other Windows-based applications that need to call web-browser like functionality. WebKit is the browser engine that underlies both Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers. Gecko is the Mozilla Firefox Engine and also powers the SeaMonkey browser.

One of the benefits of the browser engine remaining essentially separate from the actual browser GUI is that it is very easy to take the browser engine and incorporate it into other applications. Thunderbird, for example, the email suite published by the Mozilla foundation, uses the Gecko engine to render HTML-based emails.

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