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  1. #1
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    What's the fuss about firefox?

    Hi all,
    I am probably going to get some stick about this, but I just don't get the hoohar about firefox. I use Internet Explorer 6 and yes, it crashes from time to time BUT SO DOES FIREFOX! and it does it more!

    I understand peoples reluctance to use Microsoft for reasons of global domination (not to mention it has more holes than a string vest on Brighton beach in summer) but it is pretty damn reliable.

    I am currently trialing Advanced Browser to see if it just me or my machine, if anyone has any recommendations I would be happy to hear them....


    SpikeZ
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard maartenvr's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I had Firefox installed a while back, but to me it was just not as useful as IE. Sure, it has a lof of add ons etc. But I am sticking with IE! Why would I give something up that works well for me!
    Maarten

  3. #3
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    WooHoo I am not alone!!!
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  4. #4
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    You switch to FireFox, because:
    1. You don't want adware, spyware, malware, or whatever, installed on your computer without your consent.
    2. You want a faster browser.
    3. You want a more lightweight browser.
    4. You want tabbed browsing.
    5. You want good security settings.
    6. You want more privacy options.
    7. You want more features.
    8. You want extensions.
    And so on...
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict danfran's Avatar
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    I think the main thrill about Firefox is that the whole wide world gets to "start over" with a new browser. -"Do things the right way, for once." And one that's not so bulky, fat, and slow... -You seen how big IE is nowadays? sheesh! I want to download a browser, not an OS!

    On the other hand, yeah, it's tough to beat all of the work M$ has put into IE. I still use IE, admittedly, but as soon as Firefox is 100% developer friendly, Netscape has burned and died, well, I'll be happy..


    Spencer... I see yer point. Firefox will probably just join the never-ending threads of the browser matrix!

  6. #6
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    I agree with some of the things you say Spencer but what I would really like is a browser that does good security, lightweight fast with no frills.
    I don't care if it has a billion and one features/extras/ extentions that make the buttons change colour in 36 million ways when I roll over it!

    Adware and spyware are taken care of via third party spyware destroyers.

    I will give you tabbed browsing, that is handy!


    I want an efficient, no frills browser to browse with. Is that so hard?
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    www.opera.com

    Opera is better than Internet Explorer and Firefox IMO. If you think that all software should be free or open source then you should probably avoid downloading it as you'll be wasting your time (it's ad-supported.) It's features compare with, and sometimes far exceed, Firefox's (and you need about 25 extensions to get it remotely close to Opera's functionality.) It comes with tabbed browsing (it's actually multi-document browsing, which is more powerful,) popup blocking, IRC, RSS (news feeds,) M2 (mail,) etc.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru Nick Carlson's Avatar
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    I use firefox because I can browse 15 pages/sites withough having 15 new windows open.

    I use it because it's basically immune to all that crazy adware, virus, evil-javascript, etc crap.

    I also use it because it runs faster on my computer that IE.

    It's also CLEAN!!! I'm a minimalist at heart, and firefox is a minimized browser. It covers all the necessities without adding any other crap in there.
    ncarlson.net - a programmer's dystopia

  9. #9
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ
    ...but what I would really like is a browser that does good security...
    That's FireFox for you. Since installing FireFox about seven months ago I have had a drastic reduce of spyware and so forth on my computer. It's basically down to none. Also, I remember there was an exploit for FireFox a few months ago, but it was repaired within hours and the automatic update system updated my browser within minutes. That sort of procedure doesn't happen with Internet Explorer.
    + Carbonmade - Easiest way to display and manage your portfolio.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard maartenvr's Avatar
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    IE is fast enough for me. How much faster can you get then clicking the button and the window being opened right after you blink once?

    And about this spyware and adware being a problem, it is all about what you install and where you go. You have to be careful with any browser. And if anything gets through, I ran run Norton and adaware weekly, and at least once a month "Hijack This" My PC is always as good as new!
    Maarten

  11. #11
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    Let's not forget that FireFox is a much more compliant browser than IE. By compliant, I mean that the rendering engine closely adheres to the W3C's recommendations. As a developer, that's a very important learning tool at your disposal. It gives you a forum to put standards compliant coding techniques into action. Even if you still end up supporting IE for 99% of your viewers I believe it helps you better understand the code you write.

    I agree that on a Windows box FireFox is sluggish. I can't honestly say that there is a faster browser, IMO, on Windows than IE. Which is unfortunate, because it means that IE will continue to dominate with proprietary features and non-standard implementations of XHTML, CSS, etc.

  12. #12
    Internet Toughguy Kevin Boss's Avatar
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    I use it for the tabbed browsing & the web developer addon

    I tried Opera (fresh install, no mods/changes done) for about 2 weeks and it crashed more often than Firefox did in the last 6 months. I really wanted to like Opera, I mean M2 & continuing from the last session were very nice features, but it just did not prove to be very reliable.

  13. #13
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    There's a reason why FireFox is growing in popularity much faster then Opera and is stealing users from IE: it's got something for just about everybody and yet is quite simple.

    It's got a clean user-friendly interface that's great for newbies and those of us that don't like clutter (Opera UI has always been poor and they don't seem to want to address that)

    It doesn't come with bloated features I don't want from my browser (Opera is only missing a kitchen sink but I do hear they have that planned for Opera 9)

    It's extrememly customizeable (not gonna find that with IE and it does it much better then Opera. Hard to beat the extensions feature.)

    It's as secure as a browser is gonna get these days (It's not perfect, but no piece of software is)

    It offers me great webdeveloper tools (I don't think Opera or IE compare in this regard)

    It's updated regularly so I won't have the "it's been four years and counting since they've improved it" problem (*cough *cough IE)

    It's standards compliant and offers excellent CSS and DOM support which gives me a better Internet experience (sorry again IE).

    It's free. I don't have to buy a new OS to get the latest version and I don't have to pay $40 or suffer through ad banners. Especially when there are alternatives at least as good as it available.

    It's cross-platform. I can migrate my profile to my linux box which will always run the sam eversion. Ahh, my bookmarks and preferences always at my finger tips no matter what computer I am using.

    Auto-update rules. Newbies (i.e. most of the people I have switched to FireFox) can stay up-to-date with the latest software and patches without having to go through the hassle of download an installer. That way I don't have to worry about getting spam from my uncle Harry who didn't patch his software. (Opera doesn't have a feature like this).

    Geeks can tweak it to a whole other level (about: config). What geek doesn't like tweaking?

    People just like it better. I tried to switch people over to Opera when Mozilla was just a baby and nobody would stick with it. People just don't like it. FireFox is the opposite. People are sticking with it because it feels good to them. Sounds easy to blow off but it helps to explain why if you view the W3Schools stats you'll see Opera stagnant and FireFox exploding in popularity.

    Now it's understandable that not everyone likes it. Nothing, except maybe for sex, makes everyone happy. But FireFox is the best browser available today and that's why it is so popular.

    (oh, and IE crashes; FireFox crashes, and Opera Crashes)

    Edit:

    I only did this because I haven't made a really long post in a while.

  14. #14
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    It's got a clean user-friendly interface that's great for newbies and those of us that don't like clutter (Opera UI has always been poor and they don't seem to want to address that)
    Actually, the default UI in Opera 8 isn't all that cluttered. I kind of like it .
    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    It doesn't come with bloated features I don't want from my browser (Opera is only missing a kitchen sink but I do hear they have that planned for Opera 9)
    Yet it's still a smaller download than Firefox, even with all the "bloat".
    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    It offers me great webdeveloper tools (I don't think Opera or IE compare in this regard)
    Opera is pretty good too. They have had small-screen rendering/handheld mode for a long time, and are now doing medium-screen rendering ("Fit to Window Width" in the Opera 8 View menu, basically making any page a fluid width). It also comes with a great set of stylesheets and other tools for testing various bits of your markup (like the "disable tables" function).
    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    Geeks can tweak it to a whole other level (about: config). What geek doesn't like tweaking?
    Opera has .ini files for tweaking too.

    I think the playing field is pretty level between Opera and Firefox. The big killer for most people is the advertising in Opera, or coughing up $40. While I personally use Firefox more often than any other browser, my Opera use has grown even more since the release of Opera 8 beta. I think lots of people will be surprised at O8.

  15. #15
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I haven't peeked at Opera 8 yet, anyone care to share their insight on the major changes/differences/improvements?

  16. #16
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Here's the Opera 8 changelog

    edit: and for the lazy among us
    * Improved user interface
    o More workspace in the default setup.
    o Cleaner menu setup and dynamic display of messaging features.
    o Notification of blocked pop-ups.
    o Simple retrieval of closed pages and blocked pop-ups.
    o New start bar gives easy access to useful features.
    * Voice functionality is available for Windows 2000 and XP.
    * "Fit to window width" feature removes the horizontal scrollbar.
    * "Fit to page width" feature improves printing.
    * Enhanced RSS newsfeed reader is available without activating e-mail client.
    * Support for XMLHttpRequest; Gmail Web mail is fully supported.
    * Implemented automated weekly check for updated versions.

  17. #17
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Here's the Opera 8 changelog

    edit: and for the lazy among us
    They addressed half of my issues with them!

  18. #18
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    They addressed half of my issues with them!
    That's why I had to step in and speak up. I'm not the world's biggest Opera advocate but I have to give credit where it's due. I think O8 will definitely get them some more loyal users.

  19. #19
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I'm glad, too. The more alternative to IE the better.

    I really gave Opera a serious try a couple of times but it never was quite what I wanted. I'll have to check out the new beta and see how different it really is. I'm pretty darn smitten with FF so I doubt I'll switch but you can never have too many browsers that you like.

  20. #20
    King of da Wackos Nintendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer F.
    [*]You want a faster browser.
    Faster my *BEEP*. You know a browser su*** when you have to change settings just to TRY to keep it from being as slow as a slug.

    The only reason I use it is because Google is too stupid to make a toolbar with PR for da Macintosh.
    ...

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot csmarshal's Avatar
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    All i have to say-......Tabbed Browsing..

  22. #22
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nintendo
    Faster my *BEEP*. You know a browser su*** when you have to change settings just to TRY to keep it from being as slow as a slug.
    I can't vouch for FF on Macs, but all of the browsers on my Windows box (IE, FF, and Opera) tend to operate at about the same speed. Opera has a slight edge when I go back and forth in history, but pulling new pages down doesn't make a significant difference.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    I tried Opera (fresh install, no mods/changes done) for about 2 weeks and it crashed more often than Firefox did in the last 6 months. I really wanted to like Opera, I mean M2 & continuing from the last session were very nice features, but it just did not prove to be very reliable.
    The previous Opera versions were very crash-prone and you can probably find many of my complaints on their forums (using the same username.) The Opera 8.0 Beta has been rock-solid for me. I reported an application crash that only 1 person out of a million would ever encounter and they fixed it in about 2 weeks so you can imagine how seriously they're taking the more popular crashes! In fact, I don't recall having a single crash since I've been using the Opera 8.0 Beta (and I only experienced one crash, the 1 in a million crash, in Opera 7.54 Beta 4.) If you haven't tried out the Opera 8.0 beta then you definately should, the majority of crashes that I've seen in Opera have been fixed.

    I haven't peeked at Opera 8 yet, anyone care to share their insight on the major changes/differences/improvements?
    Along with Vinnie's link, there have been numerous other changes as well. Do a search for "Opera 7.6" in this forum and you'll see a couple of posts from me which lists most of the changes before 8.0 Beta (8.0 Beta could be described as 7.6 Preview 5.) Maybe they have fixed more than half of your problems...

    That's why I had to step in and speak up. I'm not the world's biggest Opera advocate but I have to give credit where it's due. I think O8 will definitely get them some more loyal users.
    It definately will! First and foremost, every 'major' release gets hardcore coverage from the media (just like Firefox 1.0 was getting) so you can expect to hear a lot more about Opera once the final is released. They have also gotten millions from Microsoft over a court-case and they've been hiring many more programmers (and this is evident by the fact that they lost profits in the third-quarter of 2004 while they turned a LOT of profit on every other quarter before and after.) They have also started an aggressive marketing campaign for the United States. I was uncertain about the success of it during the 7.54 and 7.6p1 releases because it wasn't exactly "user-friendly" (it was user-friendly but not intuitive like Internet Explorer with it's "Go" button.) However, I have changed my mind about how successful it will be because all of the recent changes have addressed a LOT of issues that normal users would have. Not to mention the fact that 8.0 will include an auto-update feature (there is already an entry in the help menu for it but it doesn't work just yet) and it will include a web accelerator (just like their mobile phone browser does.) Opera 7.54 is the fastest desktop browser available right now and once they offer the accelerator there will be absolutely no confusion as to the fastest browser! The auto-update feature is probably the most-needed feature for corporate environments which is what they're aiming for with their marketing campaign (colleges and universities, banks, etc.) opera Software doubled their desktop userbase since the 7.0 release and the 8.0 release will likely continue that trend, if not surpass it. Oh, there's another feature which will be included in Opera 8.0 but they refuse to tell us (so it must be good!)

    Just a suggestion to webmasters: fixing any Opera compatibility problems in your site now would be a wise idea!

    Faster my *BEEP*. You know a browser su*** when you have to change settings just to TRY to keep it from being as slow as a slug.
    lol, I'd have to agree with you though. Firefox is about the same speed as Internet Explorer with it's default settings, and barely gets faster after tweaking it. If anyone wants a faster browser then they should use Opera, it's the fastest browser currently available and will be much faster in 8.0 with the distributed web accelerator.

    I can't vouch for FF on Macs, but all of the browsers on my Windows box (IE, FF, and Opera) tend to operate at about the same speed. Opera has a slight edge when I go back and forth in history, but pulling new pages down doesn't make a significant difference.
    Yep, Opera is only slightly the fastest browser available right now, but it will be MUCH faster in 8.0 Final

  24. #24
    Internet Toughguy Kevin Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanXplosion
    The previous Opera versions were very crash-prone and you can probably find many of my complaints on their forums (using the same username.) The Opera 8.0 Beta has been rock-solid for me.
    Well I'm posting this reply with Opera 8, and plan on trying it out for a while. No crashes yet

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    It's extrememly customizeable (not gonna find that with IE and it does it much better then Opera. Hard to beat the extensions feature.
    That's debatable because not everyone likes extensions (in fact, many Opera users are also Firefox users but use Opera mainly because it includes the features they want rather than having to download 30 extensions.) I couldn't even tell you how to create an extension for Firefox, I think it's a bit too hard for the average user. Opera provides you with several built-in functions you can use within an INI file to just peice together a new button/menu-item which I think many users would find to be enough. Of course, you can always build an external application (using Borland Delphi, for example) and create a button to launch it. Opera's extensibility isn't near as strong as Firefox's but it doesn't need to be, and I think that's the reason so many people like customizing their browser this way.

    It offers me great webdeveloper tools (I don't think Opera or IE compare in this regard)
    Opera and Firefox offer great web development tools, they simply focus on different aspects of development. Firefox offers web development tools which revolve around JavaScript and SEO with the google PR extension, while Opera focuses on accessibility and multi-platform development (small-screen rendering for mobile phones, voice support for screen-readers, full-screen mode can perform as the "OperaShow" mode which works like a slideshow projector, etc.) I use both browsers to help me with development because they both offer helpful utilities. I can't say that Firefox is better than Opera in this regard, but I can't say the opposite, I think they're fairly balanced when it comes to development utilities.

    Auto-update rules. Newbies (i.e. most of the people I have switched to FireFox) can stay up-to-date with the latest software and patches without having to go through the hassle of download an installer. That way I don't have to worry about getting spam from my uncle Harry who didn't patch his software. (Opera doesn't have a feature like this).
    It will in 8.0 Final. The 8.0 Beta already has the menu option "Check For New Release" in the Help menu.


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