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What are the best Browsers and Why?

IE, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla Etc.

     

RobbieD

12:35 am on Aug 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just wanted to know what everyone's favorite browser is and why?

Sinner_G

12:07 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Web_Footed_Newbie, the question was which browser is best and yes, most webmasters (and all other people who know better) use Opera, Mozilla or one of the other 'small' browsers when they surf for themselves. Doesn't mean we don't have at least one version of IE and Netscape on our machines. Testing has to be done in these also (unfortunately).

kyr01

9:26 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



And the worst part is that, since you cannot install more than one version of IE on a single machine, you usually end up with several machines each one with a different version of IE, just to be sure that 94% of users will see your site right...
That is also the point in your life where you find browsing with Opera or Firebird a refreshing experience...

hartlandcat

9:55 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



for some resason I have been using netscpe 6 quite a lot lately.

Netscape 6? What ARE you thinking? Seriously, you want to upgrade to Netscape 7 right now.

For surfing I tend to use conquiror a lot

Good. I love Konqueror.

But, most of the time, I use... Mozilla Firebird!

I'm currently in the middle of making a blog website -- I've used translucent PNG div backgrounds and fixed positioning -- as a result, it looks seriously bad in IE.

MonkeeSage

9:57 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Most of the respondents to this thread are using Opera/firebird/mozilla, but 90% or more internet users are using IE

I'm guessing that this conservative figure was gleened from MSDN's unbiased reporting or similar? 90%?!? Not even 90% of all internet users are on an x86 or Win32 OS...

Jordan

woodman

9:57 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm guessing that this conservative figure was gleened from MSDN's unbiased reporting or similar? 90%?!? Not even 90% of all internet users are on an x86 or Win32 OS...

I've used the stats at thecounter.com to justify my browser testing decisions in the past. Which suggests there's only 3% of non Win32!

I guess it would be good if a site like google could look at their logs for browsers used and publish the results. Be a lot more impartial.

txbakers

4:22 am on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hands Down IE is the best.

Before the boos start and the tomatos fly....

Opera, Mozilla and Netscape still do not handle scripting and CSS the same was as IE. (Notice I didn't say "handle it as well as IE").

Since we all can agree that IE is the DOMINANT browser in the market place, (whether or not anyone claims to like it), it stands to reason that any extra work coding around for Netscape, Op or Moz is a waste of time for the small percentage of people who will see it.

For complex web-applications, and I mean very complex - heavily scripted lots of logic, etc., it makes sense to code for the dominant market.

Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, et al, need to emulate IE so that their interpretation of scripts and tags will works as it does in IE. Then, in order to make themselves different, they can include the cute features like F12 in Opera and the mouse movements.

But until the lesser browsers work exactly like IE, I recommend IE to all my clients, and suggest they use nothing else.

Does my stuff work in Netscape and Opera? Yes. But I don't lose sleep if one day it doesn't. I spent way too much time two years ago making sure my application worked correctly in Netscape 4.79. It was more productive to tell my users to use IE. Not one balked.

MonkeeSage

5:18 am on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



NN6+ / Moz1.0+ UI is built almost entirely from XUL (XHTML w/ XBL bindings and widgets, using XSL transformations, ruled by CSS2, and entirely driven by JavaScript in conjunction with wrapped X-Platform Components (XPCOM) (C \ C++ objects)). Talk about a complex web page with lots of scripting and logic--that's exactly what 90% of the UI is!

Ps. I like Mozilla....and did I mention that I like Mozilla? :)

Cf. http:*//mozilla.org/why/support.html
^^ Why Mozilla is good for webdevs

Jordan

hartlandcat

7:30 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



But until the lesser browsers work exactly like IE, I recommend IE to all my clients, and suggest they use nothing else.

Um, I think you'll find that the general point behind Mozilla is to be a standards compliant browser, not one that allows all the buggy code that IE does.

For complex web-applications, and I mean very complex - heavily scripted lots of logic, etc., it makes sense to code for the dominant market.

Yeah, but it also makes sense to make sure that your web-applications don't "require" IE -- some people use OSs where IE cannot be installed, Linux being the most significant.

I spent way too much time two years ago making sure my application worked correctly in Netscape 4.79. It was more productive to tell my users to use IE.

I don't understand how what you did 2 years ago has to do with this discussion now. Netscape has changed alot since version 4.7.

ServMe

8:40 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Mozilla as my main brower (has been for few years now), Firebird was recently installed.

IE6 is still on my system for testing and because some people still only code "for the majority", often including all kinds of IE only "tricks". If I happen to stumble upon a site that doesn't suport my browser and I need the info pretty bad, I switch to IE, and leave a comment for the creator.

I've seen some (business) sites change their way of operating after a nice and positive mail was send to them explaining the problems their site had when viewed in alternative browers.

txbakers

9:15 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I don't understand how what you did 2 years ago has to do with this discussion now. Netscape has changed alot since version 4.7.

Yes it has. It has lost further market share, created a waste of diskspace with version 6, and finally caught up to standards with version 7, just in time for AOL to pull the plug on it.

Um, I think you'll find that the general point behind Mozilla is to be a standards compliant browser, not one that allows all the buggy code that IE does.

I wish people would realize that IE is the deFacto standard, despite what some people in Switzerland think.

IE owns the market, therefore, they own the standard. For any other office suite of applications to be useful in the business place today, they have to work with Excel,Word, etc. The same should be true for browsers. Opera, Mozilla, etc are fine, but they should have the same functionality as IE and handle scripting, CSS, etc the same way.

TheWhippinpost

9:26 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



MyIE2, the future of the desktop...IMO of course ;)

hartlandcat

9:38 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, I'm afraid I stand by the W3C. Although users of other browsers are in the minority, it is a minority large enough to worry about. What do you say to people that are using an OS on which IE cannot be installed?

txbakers

9:42 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



What do you say to people that are using an OS on which IE cannot be installed?

I haven't run into that problem yet. When I do, I'll tell them to get a copy of IE.

Linux has made great inroads in the server market, but I still don't know of anyone in my geek circle that actually uses it for a desktop/day-to-day/business OS.

killroy

9:44 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



RE teh comment above... IE doesn't even handle content the same as IE, of all different ways of doing things, versions of IE cover most of them ;)

I go with Mozilla, now if they'd jsut fix the code. The memory foot print is abhorrent and the swapping behaviour terrible. After a few days of work, when I click hte mozilla window in the morning to continue readign on my 20-30 tabbed pages my computer freezes for 2 digits seconds while it unwraps itself again, and that's on 512MB RAM which, excuse me, ought to be enough for web browsing and reading text.

SN

hartlandcat

9:49 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I use Linux.

hartlandcat

10:00 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What do you mean by a "copy of IE" --- generally speaking, it is not possible to use a browser with IE's engine on Linux, although there is a workaround. This workaround involves paying for StarOffice (which there is no real point in doing because OpenOffice is virtually the same), downloading pages, opening them in the StarOffice WYSIWYG editor and then pressing whatever you press to preview the page in browser... or something like that. Anyhow, it's rather complicated and long windedm and isn't really worth doing.

TheWhippinpost

10:10 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Lemme guess, this is turning into the monthly browser-slagging thread?!

txbakers

10:14 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I go with Mozilla, now if they'd jsut fix the code. The memory foot print is abhorrent and the swapping behaviour terrible. After a few days of work, when I click hte mozilla window in the morning to continue readign on my 20-30 tabbed pages my computer freezes for 2 digits seconds while it unwraps itself again, and that's on 512MB RAM which, excuse me, ought to be enough for web browsing and reading text.

Which is my point exactly. IE works. Mozilla might work. When a user who is knowledgable says "if they'd just fix the code" it should be a flag.

As to the few-very few-people who actually use Linux as a desktop machine, I guess they'll have to use whatever browser they use. I'm not going to use sleep coding for that one person. I'd rather refund the money.

And yes, it's the monthly "my browser is better than yours" thread. Just like the monthly "Which WYSIWYG editor should I use" over in HTML.

*yawn*

hartlandcat

10:17 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe about 0.4% of people use Linux, 60% of which use some form of Mozilla browser, and most of the rest use the latest version of Konqueror, which makes most pages work just fine.

gph

10:54 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I wish people would realize that IE is the deFacto standard

In the short term I agree. However, like anything else, in a few years browsers won't all be running from big desktop boxes. Who's going to fire up a cpu if they can grab the portable? Will auto manufactures let themselves be controlled by MS?

In the short term IE is boss. In the long term I doubt desktop computers will dominate. With that in mind, the W3C is the only viable option.

Farix

10:56 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just because it's popular doesn't make it the best.

Opera, Mozilla and Netscape still do not handle scripting and CSS the same was as IE. (Notice I didn't say "handle it as well as IE").

Please explain by "handle it as well?" Do you mean they don't replicate the scripting/CSS bugs that are known to be present in IE? And why should other browsers replicate those bugs instead of squashing them?

But until the lesser browsers work exactly like IE, I recommend IE to all my clients, and suggest they use nothing else.

Then you are making a big problem even worse. IE development is dead! We will not see any bug fixes for at least the next three years -- a long time in the IT industry. So why would you recommend a browser with a dead development cycle when there are other browsers that do not have the bugs of found in IE and also have active development cycles.

I wish people would realize that IE is the deFacto standard, despite what some people in Switzerland think.

Microsoft recognizes the W3C as the standards body for HTML and XHTML. In fact, MS has been a member of the W3C for several years -- even if they can't create a browser that can support those standards.

in the business place today, they have to work with Excel,Word, etc.

No they don't. There are plenty of options available to them, WordPerfect, Lotus 123, Star/OpenOffice. And all of these applications can import/export to the other's format with little problem. MS Office may dominate today -- like WordPerfect use the dominate wordprocesser and Lotus 123 the dominate spreadsheet -- but that doesn't mean that businesses have no choices nor that Office will continue to dominate in the future.

Linux has made great inroads in the server market, but I still don't know of anyone in my geek circle that actually uses it for a desktop/day-to-day/business OS.

Then you don't know any geeks. do you?

When a user who is knowledgable says "if they'd just fix the code" it should be a flag.

Yes, the webmaster of the site doesn't know what he or she is doing.

txbakers

11:14 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Do you mean they don't replicate the scripting/CSS bugs that are known to be present in IE?

There are scripting and CSS differences that are not bugs, but which are handled differently by NN, OP, and IE. Many times I've had to recode something that worked just fine in IE but didn't in NN due to the way the browser handles the scripting.

It's like mice. There are hundreds of brands available, and all do essentially the same thing - point at the screen. Some have wheels, some have optical, some have a myriad of buttons, some have no cords. But they all work the same. I don't have to worry what mouse my customer has.

It's like the telephone. All telephones work the same way becuase AT&T had a monopoly for years and created the standard. Today all phones connect to all others and the features are different. I don't have to worry what phone my customer has.

Browsers should be the same - all should interpret the code the same way and include various features to make one different from the other.

And I know plenty of geeks, all who play with Linux as a server product, but none who use it for their day to day computing.

So, which is *best*? Well, that's subjective isn't it. I prefer IE. Others don't.

Farix

11:32 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There are scripting and CSS differences that are not bugs, but which are handled differently by NN, OP, and IE. Many times I've had to recode something that worked just fine in IE but didn't in NN due to the way the browser handles the scripting.

You still haven't explained these "script differences". Are you taking about things such as IE's box model bug? (Which they have corrected, somewhat.)

It's like the telephone. All telephones work the same way becuase AT&T had a monopoly for years and created the standard. Today all phones connect to all others and the features are different. I don't have to worry what phone my customer has.

That is because a common standard was created and everyone agreed to support that standard. TCP/IP was also established as the standard internet communications suite. Even Microsoft didn't go off creating it's own version of TCP/IP. Yet IE doesn't support the agreed upon HTML standards no matter how many ways you try to slice the pie.

Browsers should be the same - all should interpret the code the same way and include various features to make one different from the other.

And that is why we have the W3C. They set the browser standards. It up to the browser makers, such as Microsoft, to code to those standards instead of going off on their own direction and not fixing known rendering bugs. It is that exact same attitude that is part of the reason Netscape is no longer the de-Facto browser.

killroy

11:43 pm on Aug 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hehe I'm suggesting for Mozilla to be fixed, because I've given up hope on IE :) It's jsut scary every time one of em pops up cos soem other IE product is hardwired (outlook, excel) to pop it up.

I couldn't even do my work with IE. Not worse or slower, simply not at all. I work with around 30-50 pages open at all times with reboots around once in 30 days and browser restarts about once in 10 days (because of the mozilla memory leaks). You show me a machine running 30-50 IE browsers CONTINUOUSLY for 10-30 days ANd have them accessible and usable.

Ok, Ok, I'm harking on the tabbing, but it alone is reason enough. Well, and I've never had an ad in my face with mozilla. ;)

Now let's not get started on standards compliance. It's obvious MS doesn't care enough (come on guys it's not THAT hard to make a good browser... mozilla did it) And now it seams MS hardly even cares about making a browser at all.

So it's not really a question about the details, but about hte big picture... does IE have the same kinde of long-term steam as an OpenSource project can have?

SN

RobbieD

12:19 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



WOW, what have I started? ;)

Thanks for all the great suggestions though...

TheWhippinpost

12:39 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



come on guys it's not THAT hard to make a good browser... mozilla did it
What year was that?...and how long have the present standards been in "force"?

If it was that easy then why has it taken any of them to get it right?

Jeez, I've gone and got meself dragged in haven't I!

Oh, and BTW, there are plenty of IE-based browsers that do tabbed.

txbakers

12:50 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



That is because a common standard was created and everyone agreed to support that standard. It up to the browser makers, such as Microsoft, to code to those standards instead of going off on their own direction and not fixing known rendering bugs.

I disagree. The reason we have a common standard in telephones is because AT&T was a monopoly for some many years, other vendors, makers, and phone companies had to adapt to that standard.

It is up to the browser makers to make money and provide a product. It is not their responsibility to enforce standards created by some bureaucratic non-profit agency.

Microsoft set the standard, and the other browsers need to match their functionality.

As to the differences in scripting, the most obvious difference is in how the events are handled. Netscape (pre 7) used the route down method of handling events, while IE used the Bubble-up approach. Plus, certain basic events like onClick only work in certain Netscape elements and in certain areas. IE allows for onClick in more places.

The differences pre NN7 are too many to list individually.

Say, does anyone use neoplanet anymore?

tedster

1:06 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Microsoft set the standard, and the other browsers need to match their functionality.

Isn't that a bit revisionist in some areas? For instance, Netscape created frames, javascript and many other parts of what browsers now are expected to handle. Microsoft had to play catch-up.

I think most of the issues with IE are due to two facts:
1) IE6 is now getting a bit long in the tooth.
2) Microsoft is intent on developing a browser as an application platform - that's a lot more than a basic browser needs to be.

I have hopes that the new IE, whenever it arrives, will support more standards and use the established W3C recommendations for user agents. Then the application platform stuff can be added on top if they choose.

[edited by: tedster at 8:19 am (utc) on Aug. 11, 2003]

txbakers

1:11 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have hopes that the new IE, whenever it arrives, will support more standards and use the established W3C recommendations for user agents. Then the application platform stuff can be added on top if they choose

Me too. If all browsers treated the DOM the same way, and HTML the same way, etc., then it's the features added to it which will make for a "better" browser.

MonkeeSage

2:29 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



So this is what we need to do--throw away CSS2 & 3, throw away XHTML / XML / XSLT--go back to CSS1 and HTML 4? Isn't that about the long and short of saying "IE is the standard"?

If you want a browser that will render pages from 3 years ago, IE is the way to go, but if you want a browser that will render the pages that people are creating today, you'll need something else--namely a browser that is industry standards compliant (like Mozilla or Opera or even Konquerer).

Also, there are a couple problems with claiming that IE is a standard / is the most used browser:

1. Just because alot of people use a software, doesn't turn it into good software (nor does it make it a generally agreed upon industry standard, rather a practical standard).

2. The main reason so many do use IE is NOT because they have weighed it's merits and believe it is the best software choice--it's simply because it ships with Windows OS(!) and average joe user doesn't understand that there is even a difference between one browser and another (most think the differences are purely aesthetic judging from my own experiences).

Jordan

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