This thread was started at allusion’s suggestion, since browser talk/debate/discussion/dissing is happening all over the forums. Let’s use this thread to talk about the fact that Firebird is poised to be the best browser available. 🙂 Okay, we can talk about other browsers too, if you insist.
Please, let’s keep it civil and fun. We’re all friends here–let’s keep it that way!
Topic 1 – Browsers as a design tool
Firebird and Mozilla have the Web Developer Toolbar, which is chock full of helpful tools and utilities for aspiring webbies and experts alike. Chris Pederick is the author of the tool. It has saved me all kinds of headaches thanks to its ability to outline block level elements on my page. I can literally see the structure of those elements, and see which of them is goofed up. You can also see what ID and CLASS has been assigned to elements, so if that one bit of text is not displaying like it should, this tool will help you realise you assigned the wrong class. Very slick.
I was an IE user for years, but switched to Mozilla over the past few months and really like it. 🙂
Also, the latest preview introduces RSS aggregator and an IRC client built in. It’s still <4 megs in size. For the irc client download mozilla and for RSS, download another extension.
I am still calm. 🙂
I know people who swear by Opera, but I can’t deal with the ad-panel myself. Now I’m used to Firebird, I find the interface of every other browser unbearably slow and clunky. (Though this could be because my four-year-old laptop is itself on the slow and clunky side)
I have used all kinds of browsers in the past 10 years. I personally have come to like Mozilla and all of its’ siblings(which include Firebird and Camino) the best. Mozilla is mature, the interface is simple and very functional without being overbearing and there are no ads to contend with. Being a Mozilla beta tester and a fringe Mozilla hacker (very very small amount of code) I agree that Mozilla can be a little buggy, but it works well. There is a huge community of people willing to help and development is fast and furious (much like WordPress actually)! It is quite annoying when important webpages are coded exclusively for IE and I have to switch to it to get those pages to work.
Outside of the Mozilla family, I have used Opera, myIE and a couple of others that faded away quickly. Opera is very nice indeed, but I dont want to pay for my browser. There is often the arguement made that we pay for every other software, then why are we so quick to assume that a good browser will be free? Well because good browsers are available for free and thats the way the industry (and the users) have been thinking and will continue to think. That does not mean that some people will not pay for their browsers, it simply means that many of us refuse to. Browser tools are abundant and are being developed for every browser (except IE) So most newer browsers will have (or will soon have) a similar set of tools/plug-ins.
One browser that in my opinion, really grabs the right combination of IE, Opera and Mozilla is Safari. Safari is very very user friendly(has the coolest browsing features), is extremely fast (almost as fast as Mozilla) and most programming tricks work on Safari (a combo of almost everything Mozilla and IE) . Safari is a descendant of Konqueror from KDE fame, albeit the kernel has been tweaked (it was just a starting point) by Apple. Though a nice browser, Safari has its share of weaknesses which include shaky page rendering is some cases and it is somewhat less configurable than Camino (and of course, is only available for the Mac).
At the end of this post, I would like to add that my opinion along with the others on this thread touting Opera or Mozilla should be taken with a grain of salt. Every user should try as many browsers as they can and choose the one that they like the best and best suits their needs. I still use as many browsers as I can, but no browser completely suits all my needs, yet. 😛
Agreed, LL…. I’ve used IE, NS(4-6), Mozi and FB. So far, I like Mozi and FB. Haven’t had the opportunity to try Safari, but I would welcome the chance if I could. Each will have their own opinion. So, if you don’t try to stuff your fav browser down my throat, I won’t attemp to do the same to you. I think this discussion should be intelligent, reasoned, and respectable. It should not turn into a browser flaming war. That would simply be counter productive.
I think I was not going aboard. I just gave the basic advantage of Opera over Moz. Features and footprint. My opinion gives Opera the highest preference. 🙂
I might go voilent, if I had to talk about Internet Explorer though… LMAO.
Mozilla is good, but Opera IMHO kicks some serious ass. 😉
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again here. I’m not at all well-versed in Opera. I’ve only started it up a few times to check a site for problems. My primary “issue” with Opera was in opening it for the first time…I felt totally overwhelmed by everything that was in front of me. I am not a casual Internet or computer user. I use the Internet everyday as part of my work, and I have been on the Internet from the time when my employer had Mosiac installed as a browser–the early 90s. That is my only knock against it–the GUI is overkill. Since I started in to doing my own site, I have realised that browsers are more than, well, “browsers.” I have several installed, and I regularly check my site and others in them all. However, the one that is the simplest, and most straightforward to me, is Firebird, and that is the one that I am most comfortable with, so when I design, I work with it. I have enough stuff going on with learning things like WordPress, along with PHP and MySQL, etc., without having to learn a browser as well.
I will say this–one evening I will fire up Opera, and will work on my site. The reality, however, is that whether I prefer A over B or C or D, I need them all if I really want to create something that is accessible to most. As much as I may shun IE, for example, around 80% of the world uses it exclusively, so, I better make sure that I can produce a page that won’t break in the various flavours of IE.
I agree, NM…I’ve been using Firebird for several months now and love it (and the Web Developer tools, as you pointed out, have been indispensable.) I’ve also downloaded Opera (mostly to see what Sushubh was always frothing about), but despite whatever else it may have going for it, I *hate* the interface and the ads, and therefore choose not to use it, except for occasionally checking my site layout. FB ‘feels’ light, responsive, and quick, plus I like the minimalist interface. To each his/her own.
That’s good news. They must have asked some non-Opera users why they aren’t using Opera. That’s a good move on their part. It’s also good that they realise that like everything online it seems, a product or service must continue to innovate, to evolve, otherwise they are not seen as leaders, or even competitors, for that matter.
I will certainly take a more detailed look at Opera 7.5 when its available.
Just a quick note: I did download the new Opera 7.5 RC 1, and it has a much improved interface (and no ads, but maybe that’s because it’s a RC?) Anyway, it looks much better than 7, not so cluttered. Think I’ll stick with FB though…just one of those de gustibus non est disputandum thangs. 😉
I really like the Web Developer Toolbar thing… chait.net has gotten complex enough in the layout of divs and such that being able to toggle on/off the blocks is a truly indispensible feature.
I’ve used IE as my browser for years on the PC, and lately Safari on the Mac. I’ve only just recently started shifting to using Firebird more frequently. I’ll have to look at O7.5 to see if it improves things over the 7.2 releases… I’ve used opera on and off in the past, but recently while working on my site, I’ve found it to be the browser most giving me trouble with my layouts. That’s not to say necessarily that IT is doing things wrong, just that whatever >I< am doing in CSS, it doesn’t render the way I expect. 😉
My download of 7.50 RC1 has ads…
And what normally is seen as clutter, i watch them as features! My opinion obviously…
Though they are trying to make it a simple browser at first look.
I am using the RC1 with my own custom settings. 🙂
And I can actually understand it’s IRC chat client (as compared to ChatZilla) and the new RSS aggregator though in nascent stage works pretty nicely…
My mantra for Opera:
You get everything in the default installation. No one is forcing you to use everything…
And Opera forums are actually helpful. Mozilla ones were blah. 😀
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