Claim Victory in the Browser War

Claim Victory in the Browser War

Crazy Like a Fox on Fire: Firefox

 

Up from of the ashes of Netscape’s Navigator browser, the Mozilla Foundation and its Firefox browser (free) escaped certain homogenization in Netscape’s sale to AOL and emerged as a solid No. 2 contender to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the rekindled browser wars. (Backstory: Microsoft previously announced its intentions to abandon the standalone Internet Explorer at version 6.x, originally released in 2002, keeping IE7 intertwined with and exclusive to the Vista OS. Well, the company has since rejiggered that plan, now offering IE7 as a standalone product for folks using other versions of Windows. Combined, the two versions of IE own 57.3 percent of the overall browser market, compared to Firefox’s 33.7 percent and Safari’s 1.5 percent. Keep an eye on how Safari for PC fares in the fray by checking Browser Statistics at W3Schools.)

 

Even on the Mac side, Firefox has a loyal following of folks who either hate Safari, have a soft spot for Mozilla’s formidable Gecko engine and its Netscape-ian roots, or simply find Firefox the most nimble and multiplatform-savvy browser available. In these days of biplatform users, suddenly Apple releasing Safari on Windows seems even smarter than it did a mere two paragraphs ago. Dang.

 

Firefox deserves props for its extensible architecture, which enables developers and users to customize it eight ways from bath day without mucking up the app’s core functionality or geeking out with raw source code and compilers (unless they want to). If you want a browser that lets you add no end of site-specific widgets and other conveniences to it, give Firefox a try and load up on accessories at addons.mozilla.org.

 

Like this friendly chicken, Firefox will do just about anything you want it to do.

 

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It Ain't Over Till We See the Price Tag: Opera

For everyday use, we gave up on Opera’s browser years ago during the first browser wars, when Opera for the Mac was looking like never-to-materialize vaporware, and the company was charging money for its product. These days, Opera Software has shifted gears, now selling a mobile version of Opera for smartphones and apparently giving away the desktop version, although there’s a $29 Premium Support plan if you want help getting your bookmarks imported.

 

Opera (free with ads, $29 for Premium Support) has some cool, unexpected features too (and some that are just unexpected and oddball). The Zoom tool lets you instantly scale a site up to 1,000 percent of its native size, which comes in handy for Web developers, vision-impaired surfers, and, perhaps, obsessive eBay shoppers, but not many normal folk. Meanwhile, the Speed Dial pane shows thumbnails of your nine favorite sites, so you can jump to one simply by clicking the bookmark link - er, Speed Dial button. Ridiculousness aside, Opera has some good features for Web designers and aspiring developers, such as multiple view styles (View > Styles) which you can use to view and debug pages with specific elements disabled - CSS Positioning, HTML tables, or properly alt-tagged images, for example.

 

Opera's Speed Dial feature strikes us as silly, but the zoom and other custom view options are handy, especially for aspiring Web heads.

 

More...

 

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Anonymous

I often had a problem with Safari 2 just bogging down after a few hours of browsing. Switched to Shiira and haven't looked back. It's not perfect but it gets me where I want to go.

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Jerry South

I use Camino for general browsing because it has a nicer looking interface and it's noticeably faster than Safari. It also will allow you to select download folders on the fly, rather than having to set it in preferences. That is very clumsy for Safari.

However, the MacLife writer did not know about or mention any problems with Camino. It happens that if you use your browser to do your online banking, and you try to print your bank statement, it will only print the first page. This is a known error with Camino. I was told it was a failing of the Gecko browser engine? Can anyone verify that?

So I use Camino for everything on the web but my online banking print statements, and for these, I use Safari. I leave them both in the dock.

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macmansan

I LIKE EM ALL, BUT I USE FIREFOX THE MOST WHICH I GUESS WOULD BE THE BEST BUT I ALSO LIKE FLOCK ... THEY HAVE ALOT OF GREAT STUFF I FIND USEFUL AND IF FIREFOX WOULD HAVE EM THEN THAT WOULD SEAL THE DEAL ..

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erich13

To me, there of several features that are extremely appealing... http://lilurl.org/m516uib

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Anonymous

Hmmm I don't know about that. I can't access my bank account informationm, I get an error everytime I try to log in with Safari 3.

Some would say I should get a different bank or they should update, but I say that Safari should be able to connect. Safari 2 does.

For the record I use Camino, I have found it to be the best all around.

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Jerry South

I can print only one page of my bank statement using Camino. I have to use Safari 2 for that one job. How about you? I heard it's a failure in the Gecko browser engine that Camino is built on. ???

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Dave Barnes

Firefox is the best.

Yes, the font rendering sucks.

But, it has AdBlockPlus and the Developers Toolbar.
For me, there are no adverts on this website.
For me, as a web developer, the developers toolbar is extremely useful.

Also, I like having my bookmarks in a menu on the left.

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Dave Barnes

"Creative Suite 3 installer stops with a blank "Installer Alert" dialog box (Mac OS)"

http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb402337&sliceId=1

In plain English: you must use Safari 2 if you plan on using Adobe CS3.

Oops.

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Anonymous

Niko, nice job! We miss you! (Hey, MacLife staff, why did you let him escape!?) Good information. I had never heard of "SplitBrowser" or "Googalizer" Thanks Mr. Cousmartcougeekcouinfovanis!!

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