On Web Browsers

I downloaded Google Chrome a while back and I use it every once in a while to see how certain things look.  I’ve had Internet Explorer 7 for years and Firefox has been my default browser since September of last year.  Today I decided to download Safari and see how that looked and functioned.  I’ve come to the conclusion that they all look basically the same as can be seen by the comparison screen shot below but Firefox functions the best.  Google Chrome and Safari are pretty much identical.  Internet Explorer is slower than all of them and somewhat clunky in comparison.  But in terms of customization Firefox is hands down the best.  It’s very intuitive and can be set up exactly how you want it immediately upon downloading it.  There’s really no learning curve.  I’m sure the same can be accomplished with the others after learning how to access all their features, but that’s really the problem, you have to learn them.  It amazes me that I fought against Firefox for so long seeing as how I like it so much.

I was reading Esteban’s latest offering, which, of course, you should all read as well.


14 thoughts on “On Web Browsers

  1. You know my feelings about Chrome, but I do like Firefox (use it often) and Safari, though I use Safari a bit less. It seems a little slow to load and eats up RAM. I’ve not used IE in years–I have always disliked it. I still have Netscape Navigator on my desktop!

  2. Jason: I thought I read a while back that Netscape was packing it up and quitting. Are you using an older version? And I’m not impressed with Safari anymore than Chrome. They seem exactly the same to me.

  3. Firefox is definitely the way to go still. In the past year it has gotten quite a bit slower and recently started crashing. If this continues I’ll probably start searching for a different browser, or try to optimize Firefox itself. I can hardly stand to use IE8 though, it’s horrible in comparison.

  4. Nick: Yeah, I have an older Netscape. It’s several years old at least! It’s odd that Chrome and Safari perform the same. I have always found Chrome to be much faster.

  5. At least on a Mac, Safari is quite snappy. They use the same HTML engine, so it’s not surprising that they’d have similar performance. I do think they use different javascript engines though, so that would create some differences.

    All of that said, I’m still a firefox guy. I love adblock plus too much to consider any other browser without a similar solution. Zotero is also incredibly handy for managing bibliographic information. Those two plugins keep me tied up to firefox at the moment, though I do like both safari and chrome for performance reasons.

  6. Nathan: I tried IE8 but immediately took it off because it wouldn’t support my Real Player add-ons. Look-wise it actually displayed everything identical to FF which isn’t the case with IE7 (i.e., picture formatting is different between browsers).

    Jason: I haven’t seen a difference in speed yet. Do you have the latest version of Safari?

    Alex: It’s pretty quick on my PC as well. I was thinking about downloading Zotero last night but I don’t know how useful I’ll ultimately find it.

  7. Nick: Yes, on my laptop. To be fair, I haven’t used Safari much lately, so my assessment is based on limited use. Before I discovered Chrome, I used Safari by default.

  8. I haven’t uninstalled IE because it is the easiest way to do Windows updates. I’ve tried workaround with FF but they aren’t as convenient. I also use IE8 to see how my blog looks on that browser, since it’s still the top dog. I just did a quick check to confirm, and as of June 2010, top five browser usage is:

    Internet Explorer = 51%
    Firefox = 31%
    Chrome = 8%
    Safari = 5%
    Opera = 2%

  9. I swore allegiance to Netscape many moons ago, and was utterly faithful to it until it died. Netscape told me to use Firefox upon its demise, so here I am. As for Internet Exploder, I hate it with perfect hatred. I don’t know what a “Chrome” is, or a “Safari.”

    Meanwhile, it’s always bugged me that my template shows up like that, all squeezed to the left side of the browser. Only when I was using a borrowed computer a couple of weeks ago did I see it fill the whole page. It’s probably just a matter of screen width, but I wish I could fix it.

    And heck yeah you should all be reading my every word!

  10. Jason: I’ve used Chrome a bit more than Safari but not much more. They all have their pros and cons but learning curve is really what I’m basing my assessment on. I just think FF is easier than them all to get into initially.

    Nathan: Hmm… which version of Windows are you running? I usually get prompts on my task bar or my start menu when updates are available. I generally choose the “install updates before shutting down” option. And Opera is the worst of them all. I tried it before the last time I reloaded my computer and I didn’t like anything about it.

  11. Esteban: My dad always used Netscape. It was more of an old man’s browser if you ask me. :-P

    I didn’t know that your blog could look any other way. It’s looked like that on every computer I’ve viewed it on.

    And I do read your every word! You’re one of about 3 people that I can say that about.

  12. I am using Win XP, but I install updates manually. I don’t like losing bandwidth when auto-updating applications suddenly kick in and start updating.

  13. Hmm.. I used Netscape since I got a computer.. til version 6 when I switched to Mozilla suite and later to Firefox. However, Firefox was getting slower.. Chrome and Opera have faster engines for using web apps. I’ve been switching between Chrome and Opera but I’m thinking I might go with Opera. It’s pretty nice.

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