Firefox

**** Disclaimer : Please do inform me if you think the things I say may not be accurate – I’m not perfect. I have tried to do my research, but I cannot say that everything is true. ****

What happens when a serious bug is found in Firefox? Everyone is shocked and there is a frenzy to patch up browsers and so on. But what happens when a bug is found in Internet Explorer? It’s just ‘another bug’, among hundreds which have been found before that. Reasons why to switch from Internet Explorer –

– Internet Explorer has not received any proper update in the past 4 years – IE6.0 came out in 2001. The support for web standards is weak, CSS bugs, no PNG alpha transparency support, so on. Causes web developers like me to have to write IE-specific code just so that it displays correctly. (As for the debatable XHTML, IE does not have any support for it, so I have to convert my XHTML to HTML to serve it to IE). Don’t even start talking about people using FrontPage to code.

– No tabbed browsing. If you have not tried tabbed browsing, you just have to try it for yourself. Instead of having 6 different browsers open at the same time, you just have one window with 6 tabs on it!

– IE is built so deeply into the system. If you disable IE, you might break your computer. Now what happens if some bug in the code happens to break your IE? What happens to your computer? (I don’t know, haven’t had that happen to me before)

– ActiveX controls. Okay, SP2 has improved things a bit (although I don’t use SP2). Having these activeX controls allows websites to install software in your computer, possibly giving them access to your computer.

– If you’re doing web development, it’s the worst browser to test it on. You might not notice about a hundred errors you made in your code, because IE just messes it up.

Why then to people use IE? I guess it’s because it comes bundled with the system. They may not know that alternatives actually exist out there.

There are some IE-“shell” browsers like Maxthon (MyIE2) which use the IE rendering engine but having different features. Sure, I’d say they’re definitely better than IE by itself. Unfortunately, the IE specific code using

does not seem to have any effect in these browsers. So, those IE hacks do not take effect and the page ends up rendering wrongly. Anyone any solutions?

I personally use Firefox. I think it’s a great browser. Sure, it’s had its share of bugs (not as great as IE, though, obviously), so why do I like it?

  • Free, Open source
  • Cross-platform (I can run Firefox on my linux partition(s), I can’t say that I can do that with IE)
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • More secure
  • It’s not Microsoft!
  • Extensions/Plugins
    • Adblock, blocks all those pesky adverts on the web
    • Gmail notifier. Tells me when I get new mail
    • LiveHTTP headers + Header Monitor. Tells me detailed information on the HTTP headers and server info
    • WebDeveloper Extension – Great tool for web developers!
    • SessionSaver – Saves my previous browsing session so I don’t have to worry if the computer crashes, my session is saved!
    • SwitchProxy Tool – For someone who has to use a proxy server at one moment and none at another, this is a great tool. Switches proxy in less than a second
    • Dictionary Tooltip – Just double click the word and I get the definition
    • Safe surfing with the NoScript extension
    • Plus much more!

That’s just some of the reason why I use firefox. Try out typing about:config in your firefox address bar to see just how much you can customize it!

Some other links –
Why Switch to Firefox?
101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot.
13 Reasons To Use Firefox Over IE
Why you should Dump Internet Explorer
Demos of IE bugs

Firefox contains a few bugs, but they are solved pretty quick. IE users have to wait until the release of IE7 (At last, PNG and CSS proper support, but I don’t know the details and whether they have fixed *all* the bugs), which, unfortunately, I will not be switching to. As far as I know, it has no support for Linux (never had, I should say), Mac, Win2k, WinXPSP1, and since I don’t use SP2, I guess I’ll just be contented with my Firefox.

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