The current concept of "internet browsing" means that a computer connects to a network server, gets some content files, renders and then shows them. Add a little user interaction (form filling, or simple link selection), and this is "the web". Every new technology (ASP, Java, Flash, etc) does add nothing new, except raising the number and the complexness of advertisements you can see on a single page.
While the initial HTML specifications did not make any weird assumption about screen sizes and imaging capabilities of the browsers, today almost any web site assumes fast screen rendering and high resolutions. Long pages need a fast scrolling operation, fast font rendering and image drawing. I would call it over-sized approach.
This approach is such a "de facto" standard that the WML stuff was brain-damaged by the idea of converting HTML pages to WML "on the fly", resulting in a excessively heavy WAP browsing mechanism. A WAP-enabled phone device has to get long WAP text pages, full of weird tags, useless comments and texts, then interpret it on its 8-bit processor and show it on a 64×40 pixel display...
And I didn't even mention the deepest hate for optimization by software, hardware and networking creators...! This means that an HTML browser for a low-powered machine (and/or featuring a "low" resolution) is just an extreme programming exercise, mainly made of acrobatic jumps between decent speed and next-to-indecent simulation of "supercomputer" features.
If you not yet frustrated, just remember that almost any web site is made to be "browsed", not "read". The web sites are almost all "aspect-oriented": very little contents shown up in highly colored and highly framed pages.
In my country we say "one doesn't need a cannon to kill an ant": using a computing power of two ZX Spectrums, a man walked on the Moon. Why today you need Gigahertz & Gigabytes machines to write a letter and browse some network content?
Why today you must wait 120 to 240 seconds to get the machine up, running, operating system loaded, and wordprocessor loaded and ready to accept input? This is not different from machines of late 70's, but they had less than 33,000 bytes (32kb or less!) of total memory and eight inch 80-100k floppies!
The time of "computer pioneers" ended in early 80's, when hardware began to be cheaper than optimization of the software. Today, you won't even remotely think to enhance a software: "just add more RAM", "just buy a bigger disk", "just upgrade to a faster processor", "just consider a new graphics card".
And, paradoxically, this is the time when only the worst class of software products (directly or indirectly "Mi***So**" branded), the one which features the greatest resource-wasting, are sold with every new computer hardware (why every 6-12-18 months you are in extreme need to upgrade your hardware, or you won't be able to upgrade your software? why can't you buy a notebook without any pre-installed operating system? why have you to pay for an operating system you won't ever use?).
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