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Really Trying to Make the Switch
Help me break my IE habit...

 12:35 am on Jul 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just can't seem to do it! I like the status quo, and have to much else going on to adapt to the learning curve. I want my toolbars JUST like they are, but none of the security holes.

Any advice on switching? I think I'm deciding on firefox (though opera is a close second). I'm still hooked on those pretty green pixels, and "blogger" button of the G toolbar...is there any hope for me?

My other biggest frustrations seem to be managing my favorites, and the "links" bar that I use VERY often for quick access.



 1:02 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Been using the firefox since last week. So far, I think I like it *better* than IE in many ways. Working on a company wide rollout at the work to be IE free maybe next week. Also plan on checking out firebird when I get the time. What a difference a week makes.


 1:21 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Any advice on switching?

First, I have used Opera as my primary browser since 1997. I started because it was so much faster than IE and used a fraction of the system resources that Netscape did.

I've used Mozilla a bit, but I never liked it. See, this is a case of bad branding. It was slow, crash and ridden when they first released and it still feels that way (even though it isn't all any more, but that early branding sticks ya know...).

So, I'm not the one to ask about the diffs between moz and Opera, but, the big benefits of Opera over IE right now are:

Stereo browsing:
- multi doc browsing. You never wait for pages. Just shift-control them into the background and continue reading in the foreground. It is hard to mono-browse with IE every again.

- Although Opera has had about 7 to 10 security faults (compared to over 500 for ie), there has never been a known opera security exploit found in the wild.
- Turn off referral bugs in 2 clicks (f11, click) to turn off referrers.
- Turn off nasty flash ads with 2 clicks.
- Turn off nasty java ads with 2 click.

- Do anything you want with any toolbar around Opera. The ease and utility of configuration is unmatched in the browsing world.
- Keyboard. only Opera allows you to completely redefine the keyboard and menu systems.
- Search. "g keyword" to search google from any window.
- mouse gestures. can't live without them any more. nothing speeds surfing faster.
- notes - awesome to have a multidoc notepad at your disposal.
- spell cheeekgin for edit boxes (now only if I could remember to use it ;-)
- sessions. remember right where you left off.
- bookmark branches. Open an entire horde of pages in one click. (I have 42 news site pages open right now).

All-in-all, I think it is hands down the best browser on the net today.


 1:42 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ive used IE, opera and netscape in the past. Downloaded moz 1.7 last week (love it!)


 2:08 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Been on FF for a few months now.

A few extensions that are WAY handy that no-one has mentione:

Adding other search engines to the search bar. (Wikkipedia and IMDB are fantastic for rapid trivia answers).

The Paranoia Button: Click, brings up a selection of all the cached information, frag what you don't want the next person to sit down at your machine knowing about (I think it's listed as Kiosk or xKiosk - One of those two just frags all info automatically, the other lets you choose what gets fragged.)

Password Generator: Really cool. I like this one.


 2:11 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

grel: best practice.... NO ONE else uses one's machine! I realize that's not possible for everyone, but I AM one of the lucky ones: my husband doesn't "do" computers....


 2:16 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Switched to Opera because of recomendation from someones post here on WW.
That was about 3 weeks ago and I love it.
I do miss the green bar.

What would be the advantage to switching to FF?


 2:34 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

vkaryl: Heheh, true, I actually have a seperate "Guest" login for the computer with very limited access to things. But I like the idea of being able to whipe all the caches at will. Call me paranoid.

While I was reading through this, a friend IMed me, wanting to know how to get rid of Cool Web Search. I was feeling kinda lazy, so instead of going through the whole rigamarole, I told her to download FireFox and forget that IE exists. She did, she's been playing with it for all of a half an hour, and she's already totally sold on it.


 2:41 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

grel - smart lady.... actually, I believe it was YOUR accolade a couple of months back which sold ME on FF....


 2:46 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have not read the whole thread so pardon if this is redundant. No choice is needed. IE has the Google ToolBar and there is as yet no adequate substitute on FF. I need the toolbar for pr schmoozing and blogging.

Making FF the default and using it most of the time is what I'm doing. But whenever the need arises, there's wounded old IE.

Shields Up, Be Clean, AVG Pro and ZoneAlarm pro team up with FF to give a reasonably secure feeling. Cheers, S


 3:10 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like Opera - just the lack of support for table borders etc is the bit that annoys me.

As for FireFox, I somehow find it quite slow on my system, ain't sure why -- IE is the only browser which works fine and is my personal preference. Maybe because I've been using it for more than 5 years - glad I found this thread though, now I'm somewhat convinced that FireFox is a valid alternative.



 3:48 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just so you know there's a google toolbar PR hack for both Mozilla and Firefox.

The developer just set up a new site for it, so you can't find it in search quite yet - but it is the same guy who made the mac / linux version not too long ago.


 3:52 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I switched to FF last week. So far so good. Like many of you, I was getting tired of IE and the security problems. However, I still like Outlook Express better. So I'm using Outlook Express for email and FF for the browser.


 4:15 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Change is good.


 4:17 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

so why are all my css sites wonky in firefox, and fine in IE and NN?


 4:31 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Because of Quirks mode.


 4:50 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

The old sysadmin in me advises all you recent Firefox adopters to BACK UP YOUR BOOKMARKS on a regular basis.

Sorry, but it still has a tendency to lose them. Also, if you gotoedit them, you may see blank lines, which, if you delete them, delete all your bookmarks. No need to understandit.. just back 'em up as you should anyway.

Been using Firefox for years - thru all it's incarnations, and Thunderbird since it was released.... no regrets.


 5:21 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are alot of good plugins and other tips mentioned in the FireFox 0.9 release thread here:

My favorite plugins include:
1. Flash Block (replaces flash with icon so only play if you want it to)
2. More Options ("things they left out" lets you set animated gifs to play just once)
3. Web Developer (its like 1000 bookmarklets/favlets in one)
4. User Agent Switcher
5. Live HTTP Headers
6. Adblock
7. TextZoom (saves text zoom level permanently)
8. PrefButtons (lets you add many more toolbar buttons)
9. CuteMenus
10. Linky
11. Launchy
12. ChromeEdit
13. IE View (launch current page into IE)
14. BugMeNot

Top two setting changes upon install:
1. Turn on Pipelining
2. Turn off Referers

So far my only somewhat major complaint about FireFox is that the least used bookmarks don't auto-hide like IE does. A minor complaint would be that you cannot put multiple toolbars on the same line.


 6:07 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Turn off Referers

I've heard this mentioned a few times recently.

What are the reasons/advantages to this?


 6:11 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Turn off Referers
I've heard this mentioned a few times recently.
What are the reasons/advantages to this?

Privacy and security.
It prevents the website you visit from seeing the URL you came from.

For example if your username and even worse, your password is in the URL you came from (ie. an internal company database) it's going to be in the logs for the new website. Some evil websites will harvest this data. Others out of ignorance will publish their most recent refers and give this data away to anyone as it ends up archived in Google [google.com].


 8:01 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

For example if your username and even worse, your password is in the URL you came from (ie. an internal company database) it's going to be in the logs for the new website. Some evil websites will harvest this data. Others out of ignorance will publish their most recent refers and give this data away to anyone as it ends up archived in Google.

And - what's even worse: some greedy webmaster might use this information to find out which keywords have been used on a Search Engine. Lets hope everybody strips out referer information - then we can switch to PPC and forget about SEO ....



 9:30 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just discovery the open source Checky extension [checky.sourceforge.net] which keeps dozens of code/html/css validators handy.


 11:01 am on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

FF. Fast. Cool. Love it.

IE is (reluctantly)fired up for checking compatibility and the occasional "IE only" feature. Gathering cobwebs already...


 12:01 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

There was a US TV ad for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 package which used the musical theme of the "Confutatis Maledictis" from Mozart's Requiem.

"Where do you want to go today?" is the cheery line on the screen.

Meanwhile, the chorus sings "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis," which may answer the question for some.

It translates as, "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."


 12:31 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well I'm a died-in-the-wool Opera 7.5 user now, and I could go on about that.

However I still have to keep IE around because some big corporate websites that I need to visit for utility bills or medical insurance information still insist on allowing only IE or Netscape using visitors to enter.


 12:40 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Initially, a while back, I found Mozilla great fun to surf with, but was reluctant to move permanently away from IE6. Part of the reason was it contained all my Favorites. But gradually I found myself using IE less and less until the point came to say to myself "I might as well make it my default browser!".

The key reason for switching was to stop pop-ups. Then I found all the other cool things Mozilla could offer, like tabbed browsing and blocking annoying adverts.

I also tried Opera 7 when it first came out, but found it too buggy to use. Because I always test in it though, I kept upgrading to each major new version. Then one day I read the "30 Days to become an Opera lover" tutorial and was surprised how much power was available.

Again, I was reluctant to change from my existing browser, but I tried to use Opera more, discovering many new features as I went along. Gradually I realised that many were simply missing from Mozilla altogether, yet I wanted to rely on them.

Firefox then came along and while I'm impressed by certain aspects of it, compared to Opera it's just seems empty. I know you can download extensions for it, but with Opera there's no need - everything you want (bar Java) is included in less than 4Mb! (The Java version is larger.)

What I did then was install Opera at work and use it as my default browser. I haven't regretted it yet. I did the same at home after being satisfied that this was the best browser for me. Now I only use Mozilla for testing, or for sites that don't work properly in Opera (due to bad browser sniffing).

When I return to IE6 now, I can hardly bear to use it. The lack of tabs is especially annoying.

Here's a brief list of some cool tricks I find make Opera so attractive. (A full list would take up many lines!)

Form-fields: These can be filled in just by right-clicking and selecting words you typed in via a separate menu. No need to manually type my URL any more!

Notes: An absolute killer feature. Type in commonly-used text and simply right-click in a form to access it. I've only recently thought of using notes to add forum quote tags and HTML blockquote tags - both used a lot in posts and comments on websites. No more typing them in full!

You can also grab text from a webpage and save it as a note. Then double-click on the note to go back to that page!

Go to URL: Highlight some text and this will act as if it was a link. Great for pages that list links as plain text.

RSS: The built-in RSS feed reader is great. Click on a relevant link and it adds it for you. New feed posts come in as if they were separate emails, which makes them easy to manage.

Find in page search: Type part of a word and the page finds it instantly for you. Press ENTER to jump between repeated uses of the word. It's amazingly useful. Mozilla has a similar feature but you have to activate it with a special character first, and then it times out after a while.


 12:46 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

For those that wish to talk about why to drop ie, that thread is over here: [webmasterworld.com...]

Please, lets try to stick to topic and help this guy switch from ie to anything else. hehe

christopher w

 1:19 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well - the start of this thread yesterday finally woke me up. Starting last night at around 6PM EST I had each workstation here converted over to Firefox and made it the default for each.

So far - so good - everyone seems to be quite receptive to it.

Me personally - I am loving it...

Side note - I still do miss seeing the PR bar on each page though.


 1:25 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Okay, this thread has convinced me to jump. Just did, version 0.9.1 but am having trouble importing 'Saved Passwords' it crashes out each time. All other imports (apart from Saved Forms, which does the same thing) came through just fine.

Passwords are a big switching cost. Anyone had this problem and solved it?



 1:48 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

One of the main strengths of FireFox, in my opinion, is the ability to edit the user files like user.js and userChrome.css. For instance, I like my toolbars to take as little space as possible. So, I downloaded the Luna theme [intraplanar.net], and added the following to my userChrome.css file:

#urlbar {
font-family: monospace!important;
font-size: 10pt!important;
.tabbrowser-strip {
height: 22px!important;
max-height: 22px!important;
padding: 0;!important;
.tabbrowser {
padding: 0!important;
toolbar {
max-height: 26px!important;
toolbarbutton {
padding: 0px!important;
tab {
height: 20px;
max-height: 20px;
font-size: 8pt;
margin: 1px!important;
padding: 0!important;

Other enhancements are also possible via user.js. One of my favorites is to switch address bar searching to a normal Google search instead of "I'm Feeling Lucky."

// Change to normal Google search:
user_pref("keyword.URL", "http://www.google.com/search?btnG=Google+Search&q=");


 1:48 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had the same problem under Win2000, but not with XP. Try importing them individually.

There is also a neat extension called Sort Bookmarks, which will put the Bookmarks in the same order as IE6 (alpabetically for me). It is better than the "Manage Bookmarks"



 2:04 pm on Jul 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi wellzy,

Thanks for the input. However, I am on XP and I did import them individually. Initially I let the install do it all automatically but the original install hung. I removed the whole program using the XP Control Panel and started from scratch, leaving the import out. I then tackled them individually once Firefox was up and running and it is just those two that crash the program.


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