The browser landscape has changed significantly during the past decade. There was little choice 10 years ago — you needed to develop and test your code in IE (or Netscape 4 if you were really unlucky). Then Firefox became the developer’s weapon of choice 5 years ago: it offered the best debugging tools and prompted the rise of Web2.0 applications.
Today, the situation has vastly improved and you lucky developers are spoiled for choice:
- Firefox still has the widest range of tools and web development add-ons.
- Safari and Chrome offer the webkit inspector and, if that’s not enough, decent extensions are appearing in Google’s browser (watch out for a series of Chrome extension articles on SitePoint soon).
- Finally, IE8 provides capable Developer Tools and some add-ons which may help your coding efforts.
But which is the most widely-used web development browser in 2010? I suspect Firefox will retain the crown, but Chrome’s popularity is increasing rapidly. Others swear by Opera. Does it makes sense to use IE if you’re developing corporate intranet applications?
Please cast your vote on the SitePoint home page and leave your comments below. Which browser makes your daily development duties more bearable?
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.