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Monday 27 November 2006

Browser wars - your views [Lurks]

Short and sweet, what are you using and why? I was pretty happy with Firefox 1.5 really. It's not noticably as fast as IE but it does the job. Tabbed browsing and some security niggling feelings were why I used it over IE but I'm not a browser zealot. So now we've got something unprecidented, a couple of major revisions to the browsers we most likely use. So what do you used and why.
For me, when FF 2.0 came out I foolishly upgraded off the bat, having seen how long it was in beta I thought it'd be fine. It's not fine. It randomly doesn't start up and when it does this, even killing the dead exes from the task manager doesn't always coax it to start up. It locks up. It uses 100% CPU time, particularly on flash and PDFs. There's stuff I do like. Well, I like the form spell checker. To be honest, that's probably about it but otherwise the stability issues make it more or less useless.
So, IE7 then? The tabs are nice. I like the little blank one you click on. I like opening stuff in a new tab inserts it next to the parent tab. I love the speed of it and it's been rock solid for me. There's only two things I don't like, one is that when I do the toolbar folder bookmarks folders type thing, there's a bit of a fade/delay when hitting them which isn't as quick as FF. I'm also not happy about the fact that when I copy text from HTML tags in a form, IE7 randomly decides what character to start copying from and wont let me begin with < exactly, requirign me to edit every paste by hand. What's that about? Also, I've decided I quite like an in-form spellcheck as per FF although I'd like it with an English dictionary as well.
My options are to try get my bookmarks from FF into IE7 and then bin FF so I stop firing up the damn thing. Or to somehow downgrade to FF 1.5. I think on balance I'd prefer to use IE7 for the speed and because, I assume, FF 1.5 wont be supported forver. I bet I can find a little add-on to in-form spell checking with IE7 also and it's definately useful that those pesky ActiveX controls actually just work in your regular browser rather than having to dig out IE just for those.
So anyway, what about you chaps?


  1. Firefox 2.0. It just works. Seems faster than 1.5, less memory problems. Extensions rule. Love the form spell checker.

  2. I have been using Firefox since its very early betas. Its the best thing since sliced bread. Even very early beta's [windows and mac] were always quite stable. I got everyone I knew to use it, even my mum uses it and knows why she likes it over IE :)
    I upgraded to 2.0 on the first morning it was released on both windows and mac. The only word is rubbish. It randomly locks up all the time, when it does not randomly lock up it will crash to desktop. Added to all of that a fair amount of my extensions did not work.
    Total rubbish, and a huge dissapoitment from a team who have always released a quality product, even in their pre-release beta's. I thought we would see a patch or two out the door at or near the day or release, like we see in the wonderful games industry, but no, several months later, it still sits patchless at version 2.0.
    I also thought about what to do, I installed every browser I could find and went to see which was the best and did what I wanted and all that. But in the end I could not get away from Safari on the Mac and IE7 on windows.
    I have therefore uninstalled Firefox from all of my PC's and Mac's both here in the office and at home. Im using IE7 on Windows and Safari on the Mac.

  3. hmm, I haven't noticed any major issues with FF2 so far. I upgraded the day it came out and all. Perhaps I'm just not a power user like you lot. :P It works just fine for me.

  4. Yep, I'm sure it does work fine for many. And if it just worked, then you'd be laughing. Just needs wider testing and bug reporting I guess. There's a heck of a lot of people complaining about the same issues with FF 2.0 though and as Vagga says, months later no sign of a patch.

  5. I'd upgraded to FF2 at launch but had no issues with stability & was a bit 'meh' about IE7 until I tried it. Can't say I've seen much of a performance improvement but I like the extra screen territory that it provides with the default UI layout. I'll miss some greasemonkey scripts like video downloader & the FF search implementation, but these aren't enough to stop me switching to IE7. From a developer perspective I'd rather have IE too, as stuff just works.

  6. FF 2.0, mainly for Adblock & greasemonkey. The ability to tell IntelliTXT to fuck off is very important to me.