Coffeehouse Thread

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Favourite Web Browser

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  • User profile image

    jamie wrote:
    IE all the way


    - best windows integration
    - no extra resources ( already starts on boot)
    - will render the most complicated of pages
    - looks the nicest
    - starts the fastest
    - most widest used!

    Nothing that isn't done by Microsoft can really be integrated into Windows.

    IE does use up extra RAM when you load it, even more when you have multiple Windows p. Will only render complicated pages that use IE code or DOM-1 JavaScript - CSS 2 support is poor. If it was as compliant as other browsers, pages will be a lot more complex, but because it isn't developers have to hack their pages for IE (like they did for NS4) and they are not as good as they could be.

    It's only widely used because it is part of Windows - most user do not even know what a browser is. I remember the days when people payed for Netscape and everyone on the web knew what a browser was (1993/4), a 28k modem was very fast then too.

    If users have never tried other browsers and say IE is the best they should try them - some may like Opera, Firefox or Mozilla, others may go back to IE. Some criticize other browser without even trying them though.

    I actually find Firefox much faster than IE (once loaded) - even faster if you get an optimized build. Firefox 0.9 should be at least 3% faster than Firefox 0.8.

  • User profile image

    I started using Firefox as my primary browser about a month ago and haven't looked back.

    Before, I always used IE and hated Netscape/Mozilla ever since trying to develop web applications for Netscape 4.x years ago (it makes me shudder just thinking about it). However, Firefox has more features and performs much faster. Most websites render virtually the same as with IE.

  • User profile image

    It would be interesting to know the browser stats for this site? I'm sure most will use IE but I think a decent percentage may not

  • User profile image

    i have netscape / moz / firefox all installed for testing pages.

    they are all buggy and ugly compared to IE
    ** sorry - my opinion only **

    i also dont get the deal with tabs.. i have my fav sites all in IEs Links bar.. so i switch between sites - but more often than not - i prefer a new window

    I also use Frontpage 2003 ( garlic and silver bullets out now! ) and what you make with it works great in IE - but not usually anywhere else

    ** cue the Web standards! replies..

    Sorry - at 95% IE is the standard
    If it drops to below 60% ill worry about "other standards"

    *** The names Mozzila and firefox are also really really lame.. firefox.. lol

  • User profile image

    RssBandit is my first choice.
    Then I use IE 6 for whatever else.
    Anything else is fuzzy dice.

  • User profile image

    jamie - here is your web standards reply!

    You can still design to standards and have sites work in IE - you just have to be careful with your CSS and JavaScript. IMHO Firefox is the best browser for developing webpages - mostly thanks to Chris Pederick's excellent Web Developer Extension and User Agent Switcher - when sites block you because you are not using IE. Live HTTP Headers and IE View are also good. Why doesn't IE have this and Firefox does (Firefox is also a lot younger than IE)?

    What I don't understand is why people code for IE only. IE supports the W3c DOM and XHTML so why not code to that? i.e. use document.gentElementById instead of document.all; try not to use too many nested tables.

    5% is still a lot of computers and potentially lost customers if your site only works in IE.

    Also, I am sure it is lower than 95% in some countries (China, Brazil, Japan, Korea). It seems the US is most reluctant to try alternatives to Microsoft.

    The big change will be when people decide to move away from Windows 9x - many companies may not be able to afford the cost of updating their PC's and so go with an alternative OS (Redhat, Mandrake, Sun Java Desktop). If that happens IE's share will drop to 75-80%.

  • User profile image

    jamie wrote:

    i also dont get the deal with tabs..

    If you open a new Firefox window, you can browse to your favourites and open an entire folder of shortcuts in tabs, in a single window.  Conversely, if you've been doing some research or something, and you have 10 tabs open, but need to shut down, you can bookmark all the tabs at the same time to a folder.  Very handy!

  • User profile image

    sbc - i agree with everything you said. all of it.  but at the end of the day it just means more of my time for clients who arnt really requesting it.

    i suggest bugging MS to make frontpage and ie standards compatible - then lazy guys like me Wink would just naturally make things work properly - in one go.

    Imagine if you used quark express to do an ad - but only certain magazines could display it.

    I wouldnt blame us designers.. id blame who makes our tools

    PS - Channel 9 admins - this posting "invalid character error" is really getting annoying..  any progress fixing it?

    then again.. im using IE  lol

  • User profile image

    IMHO Firefox is the best browser for developing webpages

    IMHO - Internet Explorer and your favorite text editor (MSVC is mine) are the best 

    User Agent Switcher - when sites block you because you are not using IE. Live HTTP Headers and IE View are also good.

    Why would I need any of these if I use IE?

    Also, I am sure it is lower than 95% in some countries (China, Brazil, Japan, Korea). It seems the US is most reluctant to try alternatives to Microsoft.

    Outside of the US netscape products are still largely unused. Alternative proprietary browsers specific to language are the only popular alternates. And by popular I mean 1-5% difference from the U.S..

    The big change will be when people decide to move away from Windows 9x - many companies may not be able to afford the cost of updating their PC's and so go with an alternative OS (Redhat, Mandrake, Sun Java Desktop).

    Cost of ownership for these alternative O.S.'s is actually higher than windows products in some cases.  For example:

    RedHat WS - $179.00
    Suzy - $79.00
    Mandrake - $229.00 (recently went bankrupt)
    Java Desktop - Ok, now I know your smoking somthing funny
    WINDOWS XP - $120.00

    Where is the BIG saving buddy!


  • User profile image

    sbc wrote:
    5% is still a lot of computers and potentially lost customers if your site only works in IE.

    I'm sure that everyone wants their web pages to look nice in all browsers. But time is money. That is why alot of people accept 95% as good enough. Also knowing that the remaining 5% is more or less used to the obstacles, and that the site usually isn't totally unusable even for them. When it was 50% IE and 50% Netscape it was a different story. Back then I remember that people first of all made it look good in Netscape, and then fixing it for IE. And the poor Mac users got caught inbetween. Those were the days...

    It's also a matter of what kind of site you build. Maybe it doesn't matter too much if it's just the alignment of the pictures of your dog that show up abit wierd in Firefox. Building a community to discuss Linux and making it IE only on the other hand maybe is a bit foolish.

    (End of silly rant.)

    Oh, yeah, favorite browser: I run IE. I'm assimilated. And happy.



  • User profile image

    lars wrote:

    It's also a matter of what kind of site you build.

    Quite true. Our external site has to be viewable by anyone since we have clients that are Linux or mostly Linux shops. (Marketing made us put a Flash animation on the site but it's an extra feature, not a necessity.) For our internal sites, we don't have to be as picky but I try to be. The only thing I've used on those pages that's IE only are XML data islands on some pages where I'm displaying grid data. On my personal pages, I've tried to stick pretty close to standards so that anyone can view them.

    I think anyone who's used FrontPage 2003 can appreciate tabbed browsing. I wish the FP team should have been 'hijacked' into adding this feature into IE. I think the paradigm they used there is slightly better than the Firefox one.

  • User profile image

    Frontpage 2003 is the best thing to ever happen! it rocks!


    layer pane?

    am i a programmer? no -im a designer - and i can use all this stuff now: its now EASY!

    ive gone from "copying code off other sites" to actually knowing how to make over/on/down interactions - again -

    everytime MS makes things easier - I get to learn more. Thats why your the best

    MS = Kings of Making Fools into Programmers!


  • User profile image

    cerkit wrote:
    RssBandit is my first choice.
    Then I use IE 6 for whatever else.
    Anything else is fuzzy dice.

    And I'm in total agreement here.  RSSBandit is the best open source RSS client there is right now.  You Sharpreader folks should really give it a try.

    That said, who cares about the browser anymore.  AFAIC, it's all in the RSS client.  I surf the web from CrazyBrowser (IE skin job) when I need to use a browser extensively, but otherwise, it's RSSBandit.

  • User profile image

    I use Safari at home, and one of the many Gecko implementations as work, along with IE. My preference is anything but IE. Sure, I know, market share... but if 95% of the prople in the world jumped off a cliff... you know the rest. I'm a web dude, first and foremost. I'ts not only my job to know standards, it's my passion. If IE actually supported the modern standards, fine, but it has never been the best browser in my oppinion, and as of late (last few years) it hasn't progressed at all. That is the problem with dominance, Microsoft dominates the browser, and they no longer need to pour hard earned cash into it. The real problem is, people it's now drifted to server code as well. The default in ASP.Net is IE support, or HTML 3.2, and that's just plain unacceptable. Every browser I use supports Javascript, yet, due to MS's dominance, the runtime doesn't care.

  • User profile image

    It doesn't have to take longer developing to standards - you could use Dreamweaver / GoLive which can produce XHTML.
    If you do design to standards (or at least make clean HTML/CSS) is that the pages are far more likely to work in the future.

    That is what standards are for - write code a certain way and any compliant system will be OK with the code.

    It also looks much better on a CV - people are more likely to hire someone who says they design to standards and so the pages work across multiple platforms and systems.

    Also, in the UK the law is that all webpages have to be accessible (which means if the site does not work on other platforms or can not be used very well by people who have disabilities then you could get into real trouble).

    Microsoft does realise they have to work to standards - Whidbey is meant to generate code that is XHTML compliant, and .NET 2 is section 508 compliant (which 1.1 is not). There could be potential problems with sites that do not comply with those standards.

    With Novell, IBM, Sun, Dell and HP now into Linux it would be dangerous to not try to get your pages working for Mozilla/Firefox/Konqueror/Safari etc.

    I think those who like IE will never change their mind - although what would happen if a browser was made that looked and behaved like IE, but used Gecko/KHTML?

    It doesn't have to take longer to develop to standards - just keep a library of html templates, javascript snippets and CSS stylesheets. You could also use a content management system (or design your own)

    It really depends on the client - if they want IE only code so be it. However more are becoming aware of standards and some require them to be adhered to - if they don't they could potentially be sued.

    surferdude - where did you get those prices? Isn't the XP price for XP Home? Also you can only use it on one PC - the others you can make copies of and use on as many PC's as you like AFAIK.

    Mandrake is free to download and has far more features than XP. The Mandrake pack I think you are referring to consists of 8 CD's a DVD and two manuals - pretty good value. And you can also make copies and use on as many PC's as you like. It is really the equivalent of 2003 Server and XP Pro. As many programs are Open Source you can do what you like with them - change code, distribute to friends.

    Mandrake are not bankrupt (as of Mar 30th)

    You also OWN the software (perhaps not Sun JD) - they are not encumbered by license which restrict their use and distribution.

    Also I am not talking about Netscape - that died as soon as AOL signed the agreement with Microsoft. However they do still use the rendering engine for Compuserve and on Macs. I'm talking about Linux/Mac alternative Windows browsers - which more and more people are starting to use.

    For those who wish to try Linux (at least before you criticize it), try Knoppix - it is a LiveCD that is fully featured and allows you to try Linux without installing it (you don't even need a hard drive) - you may want to try 3.4 when it comes out. 128MB RAM recommended (will work with less though). Downloadable via bittorrent or you can order it if you do not have a CD burner. 2GB worth of software on one CD.

  • User profile image

    - most widest used!

    So ... ?
    Ok (will render the most complicated of pages) ~95% of all web pages
    are made for IE, but it tells more about pages' makers than browser.

    I don't hate IE or so, but I think it's a lot "mentally healthier" use
    another browser. Web is for everyone, not only for Windows/IE (XAML etc.)

  • User profile image

    always IE, because its compatitable with all the web sites.

  • User profile image

    SBC - go check out the fees and cost of ownership. Most commercial Linux packages have significant cost of ownership. Take into account what a typical corporation is going to purchase when installing a particular OS on 500 desktops.. you are going to be hard pressed to find a package that significantly undercuts Windows pricing. For a good example, take a look at SUSE's basic corporate desktop offering. (You have to read the fine print my friend.)
    "SUSE LINUX Desktop may be installed on every machine for which a separate maintenance agreement was closed."

    ".. the individual components are subject to licenses that limit the deployment to one machine."

    "Maintenance Program SUSE LINUX Desktop for up to 5 workstations - $598.00"

    The assumption that an OS is completely free simply because it's based on open source software is incorrect. Companies that purchase operating systems need more than just source code to roll out a new version of their chosen desktop environment, and the companies that sell OSS to them need to make a profit. In the end, your precious OSS is going to succumb to capitalist pressure for these circumstances. (for the most part, it already has from looking at the cost of the latest corporate Linux offerings.)
    Now don't take this the wrong way. I'm not against OSS. In fact, I've developed OSS software and offer a couple free software packages myself. (Not under the GPL, but under the BSD license) I believe free software, when driven by philanthropic interests, for promoting new standards, is a "good thing". 

    - surferdude

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