26 February, 2007

Browser Wars

What is the preference of the UAE's bloggers?

Disclaimer: Ignore this post if you couldn't care less about techie matters.

I recently came across a report on the popularity of browsers, as I debate to myself whether Firefox or Safari is better. As far as I'm concerned IE is out of the running, despite its 79.75% market share. I'm leaning toward Firefox. Anyone using Opera--and is there anything else out there? Oh yeah, there's AOL too.


The Cynic said...

Can you give me some concrete reasons why IE is so inferior to Opera or Firefox?

And I mean real, observable reasons, not techgeek arcania like "kernel-threading efficiency" or some such bunk.

And "because Bill Gates is the devil!!!" isn't a real reson, either

Emirates Mac said...

There's more - what about Shiira or Camino, for example? I love Safari, but it has lousy Javascript support it seems, so my choice is Firefox most of the time, mostly because of all the extensions... sorry addons.

-Lura- said...

of course its FIREFOX....

B.D. said...

some concrete reasons why IE

1) It doesn't have tabbed browsing. I find this extremely convenient. The various window tabs that get loaded at bottom of screen in IE (as do all open windows in Windows) doesn't have the same effect for me.

Slagothor said...

IE 7 has tabbed browsing.

samuraisam said...

IE is just as good as any other browser, it has its disadvantages, it has its advantages.

B.D.: It does have tabbed browsing. Update to IE7. It also has RSS.

When i'm on a mac it's safari 90% of the time because its pretty easy. One thing that annoys me about safari is alternating between tabs using a keyboard shortcut, on a mac its "shift + command + }" whereas on my PC I just need to hit CTRL + tab.

A great browser I used to use was maxthon, it had several features that made it very quick and convenient such as if someone put a text link as opposed to a hyperlink (like www.google.com as opposed to google) you could just highlight the text, click and drag it away and it'd open in a new tab. You could also just open links when you clicked and dragged them (convenient if you're loading a gallery full of 50-60 photographs and you dont want to have to keep on jumping back and forth between the main page and full sized images.

DXBluey said...

You'll probably lynch me - but I'm using Vista, IE7 and Office 2007 and really, really rate them.

A big ease of use and visual appeal progress.

BuJ said...

I'd say:

1: Firefox
2: Safari (close to Firefox, but crashes more!)
3: Opera

856: IE.

SIN said...

I prefer Safari on my Mac because for some reason IE either freezes or crashes on it.

Any theories as to why it happens?

Anonymous said...

I prefer Firefox for its Add-ons.
Try CustomizeGoogle, Download StatusBar, DownThenAll, ForecastFox, PDF Download, Text Complete, Dictionary, Stumbeupon and more. Even I have some addon to save youtube/google videos. You don't have these endless list of feature in IE. I used to used opera, but never liked the adds in it.

Emirates Mac said...

@Sin: What Mac do you have? IE for Mac has not been updated in many years. In fact MS stopped updating it in 2003 I think. So there's no Universal Binary version, for example. It still runs though on my Intel Mac with latest Mac OS X.

Doubleletter said...

I like Opera, but I prefer Firefox for its add-ons, and because it is the best performing browser (in terms of speed & stability) on the Linux platform.

On Windows, at work, I use both Firefox and Opera. I only lower myself to IE for testing websites (I'm a web developer).

I've also used lynx on a console when all else fails ;)

Lirun said...

to be honest - as a mac and pc user - i prefer IE but thats because it displays hebrew fonts and sites the best.. safari seems to slice off entire frames.. but maybe its time i updated my good old G4..

oh no - i feel a bill gates zionist alliance debate coming on hehehe kidding..

Ahmed said...

I prefer Firefox, but IE cannot be ignored. There are sites that run best on IE, Firefox just cannot render them right.

Gautam said...

Firefox works best for me..!!

SIN said...

Emirates Mac, I have a Mac OS X, version 10.3.9 (does that help?)
And no matter what i try, IE works on rare occasions and may allow access to one or two web pages b4 the freeze occurs.

archer14 said...

I've been using Opera for almost 6 years, and it is the fastest browser out there. It's extremely stable (even with over a hundred tabs open) and features an RSS reader too. However, it's not as customizable as Firefox and IE7. IE7 is gaining in popularity - I simply love the new customizable search engine in IE7. I search everything from bittorrent sites and even souq.com without even heading to their main page. IE7 still has problems loading sites such as digg. Open 6 digg pages and IE7 slows to a crawl.

I hate Firefox with a passion - it's just all hype and really isn't as fast as Opera is. I have tried every new build of Firefox - but as far as the fastest 'page loader' is - its Opera. And yeah, I hate the extension thingy.

samuraisam said...

On the topic of browsers, I should also recommend a piece of software called "Ad Muncher" I've been using it for a fair while, and the speed improvement from missing ads (particularly those of the flash variety) is astounding. I liked the software so much I actually paid for it.

According to the statistics kept by the software it has blocked 157,840 ads since I installed it, saving approximately 1,233 MB of bandwidth

B.D. said...

These comments help. It's nice to see there is so much diversity among us, instead of all following the pack. For those who are primarily Mac users, MS gave up on us when it decided to stop updating it's IE Mac browsers, so we've had little choice but to give up on IE. From the comments here it would seem that Mac users make up a much larger proportion of the UAE blogging community than exists in the general population.

fellow atheist said...

the cynic,

IE7 is fine. I don't use it because I prefer FireFox. There are several things that FireFox has which IE doesn't:
1. Plugins and add-ons available for firefox.
2. Spellchecker in forms (highlights misspelled words) -- that's huge!

Of course the reason why IE is hated by the techies is not about Bill Gates being evil or whatever. The primary reason is that developing standards-compliant sites that also work under IE is a true nightmare. IE has a mind of its own.. and if you want to comply to standards, you have to go through so many work-arounds to make sure that the majority of your site's visitors who will be using IE can view it as intended.

As a user, you shouldn't have to give a rat's ass about that, should you?

D said...

I have both IE and Firefox...but prefer Firefox...

nzm said...

On a PC:
I've been a longtime user of Netscape and can't seem to wean myself off it!

My IE7 browser is slooooow in comparison.

Firefox is ok - much like Netscape but some of the functions are in the "wrong" places when I'm used to Netscape. I use it solely for when I'm in my Blogger account.

On a Mac:
Prefer Firefox to Safari for the same reasons as Emirates Mac gave above.

secretdubai said...

I prefer Safari because there is something a little "snappier" about it than Firefox, but I do find that Safari crashes more. And also that sites that don't work on Safari often work on Firefox.

But frankly any site that doesn't work properly on all three of those browsers, for Mac, Windows and Linux, has been shittily, lazily coded. There is absolutely no excuse for not bothering to cross-platformise a website.

Believe it or not - I still occasionally stumble across sites that refuse to work with anything except IE on a Mac - a five-year-old, obsolete piece of software!

I went through a phase before OSX of using icab quite a lot. I've also tried various things such as Camino and Opera, but nothing really compared to FF and Safari.

On a PC it is Firefox no question. I loathe IE. Big deal that they have finally got tabs in IE7 - it took them how many years to implement a feature that was on all other major browsers for ages?

The other issue is that the more people use non-IE browsers, the more designers will be forced to cross-platformise websites. This is really important for us Mac people and for Linux people, who will never have an IE7 option.

marwan said...

Browser geeks.

poo said...

lynx, Konqueror, & FF

CG said...

For speed - Opera
For extra functions - Firefox
For crashing - IE
For total frustration - IE7

Keefieboy said...

Wearing my web developer's hat, I have to say I am neutral. There is no perfect browser. I doubt that there ever will be.

I hate IE because it misinterprets the CSS attribute 'margin'. I love it because it is quite forgiving of sloppy code.

I hate FireFox because if you omit 'px' after a width or height specification it pretends not to know what you mean. I love it because it's not made by Microsoft and lots of people are using it.

I hate all Gecko-based browsers because they will not allow colouring of scrollbars. I hate the W3C for saying that scrollbars are part of the browser 'chrome' and therefore should not be changeable, completely forgetting that scrollbars can appear on textareas and divs within a page and therefore should be under the control of the designer.

Safari has some remarkable quirks that are too techie to go into here.

At the end of the day, all browsers are a pain in the arse. Clients and users think that the Internet is like TV - a web page will look the same on any combination of computer and browser. In theory, yes. But I cannot begin to tell you how much time we waste in making sure that our sites look reasonably similar on the most popular browsers.

As for IE on the Mac, that is a total travesty. It was not designed by Microsoft, they bought it in. It's a total dog. We won't even attempt to get anything to work on it!

Samawel said...

I typically stick to Firefox, Flock and Opera, unless I have no choice but to use IE(6 or 7) as I am now.

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