What’s in a browser?

With word that the final version of Internet Explorer 8 may be coming in the next few days, enthusiasts are once again preparing for another salvo in the ongoing browser war. As with most other major browser updates, I’ll probably find myself reevaluating my weapon of choice for surfing the web—especially since IE8 doesn’t look like an embarrassing release for Microsoft.

Like many of you, I’ve gone through a number of web browsers over the years. After Netscape Navigator died a slow and painful death, I reluctantly used Internet Explorer for a number of years—at least until a little-known Mozilla fork named Phoenix came along. I was along for the ride as Phoenix became Firebird, and later Firefox, as we know and love it today.

Beyond its improved security features, Firefox was just so different from IE. Tabs were a breath of fresh air in the stagnant browser market, and a myriad of plug-ins let you make Firefox a far more robust tool than just a basic web page renderer. The status bar could provide email updates, weather forecasts, and more.

Firefox certainly isn’t perfect, though, and over time my tastes changed once again. Extensions could cause crashes, and web pages were becoming less static as JavaScript and Flash gained in popularity. Newer browsers like Chrome turned sites like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter into self-contained desktop applications, putting increased importance on a solid rendering engine and less on what’s around it. Suddenly, I didn’t care about all of those add-ons. All I wanted was a browser that was just that: a browser. 

In recent years, I’ve found myself becoming further and further entrenched in the Safari camp. Like Firefox, Safari isn’t perfect, but I’ve found WebKit to be far and away the superior rendering engine. Not only is it quite rigid with its standards compliance, but it’s fast and versatile enough to power browsers in desktop PCs all the way down to cell phones. Since switching, though, I’ve still kept my eye on subsequent Internet Explorer releases, as well as other alternatives like Opera and Chrome. I might as well keep my options open, right?

What will Internet Explorer 8 be evaluated on when it comes out? Of course, everyone has their own method for judging a browser. Some dive straight for the Acid tests, while others run a volley of Javascript benchmarks. Personally, I take a bit more pragmatic approach. Here’s what I look for:

  • Speed. Whether I’m reading the latest news on TR, checking emails, or arguing on forums, I spend more hours on the web than I do playing games or watching movies—and I want to spend as little time as possible waiting for the computer to catch up. As a result, I want a browser that’s as fast as possible and won’t leave me twiddling my thumbs while a page renders. Benchmarks give numeric comparisons, but in my unscientific research, Safari just proves to be the snappiest browser for the sites I view regularly. Microsoft is touting speed as a big improvement for IE8, so we may get a new champion.
  • Stability. It’s not unusual for me to leave tabs open for hours or even days before finding the time to read them, so I need a browser that won’t crash on me. Chrome might be the perfect browser for me in a few months (thanks in large part to its WebKit rendering engine), but for now, I just don’t find it stable enough. Of course, I have yet to find a completely stable browser, and depending on the number of add-ons you’re rocking, results can vary.
  • Standards compliance. I really don’t care if a browser passes the Acid3 test—I care that it renders my web pages properly and consistently. In the case of Acid benchmarks, I personally haven’t ever found these results to correspond to a browser’s real world usefulness. So, while fanboys are welcome to argue over their Acid scores, I just want my browser to render The Tech Report and Gmail correctly. Anything Gecko- or WebKit-powered gets a pass from me, and I’ve always been wary of IE’s oddball engine that often requires browser-specific hacks. Microsoft has made standards compliance a major focal point in IE8’s development, so perhaps it will finally get things right this time.

Some browsers offer everything and the kitchen sink, but to be honest, I just don’t need all of that. Here’s what I don’t worry about when evaluating a browser:

  • Add-ons. I touched on this already, but I just want my web browser to surf the Internet. I don’t need it to tell me when my next dentist appointment is, if it’s going to rain tomorrow, or what the time is in Bangladesh. Some Firefox plug-ins like Greasemonkey are quite useful, but I don’t really miss them.
  • Resource consumption. Considering it’s the most-used application on any of my PCs, I really don’t care if my browser is a resource hog. I’m still not a fan of memory leaks, of course, and that can become a serious issue if browsing performance begins to suffer. But if a browser wants to eat up a few hundred megabytes of my 4GB of RAM for a large cache, then I have absolutely no problem with that. After all, RAM is meant to be used, not sit empty. Why people insist on arguing about “bloated” browsers using memory that would otherwise go to waste, I will never understand.
  • Aesthetics. I want a user interface to be functional and efficient—even if it sacrifices visual appeal in reaching those goals. Icons and menus can be ugly, as long as they’re laid out in a sensible fashion. I’ve grown to like tabs embedded in the window’s title bar (a la Chrome and Safari 4) and the status bar has long since lost its usefulness to me. Being able to customize the layout of the toolbars and buttons is also requisite for any browser I use daily.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, increased competition is making the browser market interesting again, and both content producers and consumers stand to benefit. My goal really wasn’t to start a browser superiority argument with this post, but I expect that could happen anyway in the comments section. Some people like Firefox; others are happy to stick with Internet Explorer. Safari is no longer just for Apple users, either, even if some think Chrome offers a superior WebKit experience on Windows. Everyone’s got their own favorite browser, but I’m more interested in what you look for when making your choice. Are you hooked on browser plug-ins, or are you interested in the most lightweight browser possible? Maybe you’re just too set in your ways to bother changing at this point. Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

Comments closed
    • burntham77
    • 11 years ago

    I am a big fan of the Firefox add-on Downthemall. With only a click, I can grab every linked file on a page. This is great for getting pages of sound files, pictures and videos. Granted, there are pages that link not to files but to another page with the file in it, so in those cases, the add-on cannot help, but it’s the first add-on I grab whenever I reinstall Windows.

    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    I see the TR Nazi Police got another thread. We must not question their genius.

    HEIL Kyle Bennett!

    No wait, wrong website. 🙂

    HEIL Scott Wasson!

      • Damage
      • 11 years ago

      No need to be a total jerk. We’ve taken action for a violation of the rules, and we’ve explained our reasons. We are quite free for the most part with our discussions, but we have established limits for various reasons, and we will enforce them. This is not a mystery. You are asked to read the rules when you sign up.

        • Ashbringer
        • 11 years ago

        Technically I’ve been promoting ad block software as well. So you should ban me as well.

          • kvndoom
          • 11 years ago

          The thought balloon over my head says, “…”

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah… gratuitous/Pachy ? That you?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      It’s “heil” (which means “wellness” or “safety”, nothing wrong with that).

      “hile” isn’t pronounced the way you think it is in German.

        • Ashbringer
        • 11 years ago

        I fixed it, thank you.

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t think it’s wrong what they did, at all. If you can’t follow simple rules and then boast about it in the forums, you get what you get.

    • Damage
    • 11 years ago

    I have banned adisor19 for repeatedly promoting ad blocking software in the comments, in direct violation of our rules, and for using such software to rob us of our lifeblood. We have zero obligation to give people a forum to promote such things, and I will enforce this rule further in this thread or elsewhere on the site as I see fit. Do not tempt me, please, folks.

    Adi, email me in two weeks about the possibility of having your ban lifted. We can discuss then. Thanks.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Who am I going to poke for signing his posts? 🙁

        • kvndoom
        • 11 years ago

        Maybe blackinches will post more.

          • Palek
          • 11 years ago

          Hey, I’m still here!

          adi

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      And thus the rule of law smites even the vain.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      You may get backlash for that but as per my posts I think it’s proper. Biting the hand that feeds by promoting ways that ultimately block that hand is stupid.

      • SecretMaster
      • 11 years ago

      This is just further proof that TR is an anti-apple website 😛

      On another note, what about banning him from the facebook page?

    • DancingWind
    • 11 years ago

    Since I like to open LOTS pages in tabs I like how IE opens hyperlinks in new tabs (child tabs) next to parent tab (not at the ned of the tab queue like Opera) and as an added bonus IE8 color codes groups of tabs (TR tab group blue, newsgroups green, abunch of other pages from the same site red etc.) makes really easy to organize loads of websites.
    But i still use Opera 🙂 Love hand gestures .. eventhough I dont use them extensively .. I still mis thme when they are not availbale … and another feature … it opens all last session tabs by default 🙂 all 30+ tabs of them :D.
    If you mix opera ie and chrome i’m sold … ff is not in the mix because I dont use it … frankly somehow i felt more comfterble with Opera (cant remember why exactly I didn’t like it .. but download system was one of them)

      • carburngood
      • 11 years ago

      You do realise you can change Opera’s tab behaviour to be like that of IE’s default behaviour under options right?

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    This is a test : AdBlock Plus.

    Tell me you guys aren’t banning posts because of the mention of THIS FF extension cause that would be just sad.

    Adi

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    What happened to my post ? (37) I don’t recall using any bad language or attacking/insulting anyone.. did i miss something ?

    Adi

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      Lol, looks like the whole thread got wiped out.

    • ztrand
    • 11 years ago

    As a web developer i cant live without the Firebug and Webdeveloper plugins for FF. After that comes speed and standards compliance.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    What’s in an (ideal) browser?

    – Must be blue
    – Must not offer XP-style icons or buttons because they are out of place
    – Should handle tabs like IE7+ does
    – Must offer addon support, but must not force or include any on installation
    – Must offer session restore even in the wildest of cases (on certain unstable systems, Firefox’s restore may simply not kick in – and it takes an unstable system to crash it to begin with)

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    lol what i want in a browswer? lol news must be slow

    IE with MyIE (Maxthon) works just fine…..

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    I currently have 7 browsers installed on OS X. Yes, 7.

    – Firefox 3.1b3
    This is my default browser. I love the multi row tab bar curtesy of TabMix Plus and of course the ad blocking sweetness thanks to Adblock Plus. Without these 2 extensions, FF would be just like any other browser.

    – Seamonkey 2.0 latest alpha
    Before Mozilla foundation decided to can the Mozilla suite, and concentrate on Pheonix/Firefox, i used to use that. To this day, i have to say it was WAY more stable and less glitchy then FF has been to me. I keep an eye on the latest 2.0 version to see how things are going

    – Camino 2.0b2
    Boff.. it’s there just in case. It scrolls better then FF but it doesn’t have multi row tab support and that pretty much is a deal breaker for me.

    – Netscape Navigator last version
    Just because looking at its icon brings back memories of what once was my browser of choice.

    – IE 5.5
    Used it for a while to access the old ass intranet at work. Since we switched to sharepoint, it just sits there in all its PowerPC only glory.

    – Safari 4 beta
    Very snappy and has some nice features BUT no support for multiple tab rows. Whenever someone will make an extension/add on that offers this, i’m leaving FF for good.

    – Opera
    It’s a curiosity for the moment but i do check it out from time to time to see what’s new.

    In conclusion, i’m sticking with FireFox because i can not browse without having 25+ tabs open at the same time and with adds not being blocked. I will definitely switch to a webkit based browser as soon as someone out there will make a multiple row tab implementation for a webkit based browser.

    Adi

      • Kulith
      • 11 years ago

      you need firefox for tabs and a popup blocker….

      if only the other browsers could do that!

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 11 years ago

    I fell in love with Safari 4 until one day I checked CPU usage and it was pegged at 15% with only Gmail open, I don’t care that it sucks up 200 mb of ram but 15% CPU for basic browsing is un-acceptable since I fold on the computer. Back to Firefox for add-ons and Chrome when I don’t need them.

    Of course for those that don’t fold or need 15% go ahead.

    That’s on an e8400 @ 3.5 in case your wondering.

    • Tamale
    • 11 years ago

    I feel like mentioning that I just got an EEE 901 and I’ve been trying every browser on it since browsing is the main point of a netbook and there’s really not enough space to justify having several..

    For what it’s worth, chrome is my favorite browser overall, mostly for its speed and pretty much being everything I want in a browser without me having to do anything special to it. The annoying part is hardly any video sites work with it, like hulu or any TV network sites.

    Also, chrome takes up a lot of space for caching and there’s no way to adjust that. Not so good for a netbook with 4gb of space on the primary partition.

    So, I tried to use IE7 for a while, since it’s already there, and I just can’t stand it. It’s slow, it doesn’t render stuff standard-compliant, and I can’t get it to look or work any better than default.

    Firefox 3.0 with the new beta google toolbar and an extension that hides the menu bar is almost perfect for this application. I can look at anything on the web, it’s fast, and I have almost all the screen to work with. The only thing I wish it had was tabs in the title bar, so I could get rid of even one more toolbar.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Hulu works fine on Chrome. I use it watch Dollhouse and the Terminator Every week. *shrug*
      The only site it doesn’t work with is…hmmm…there was one when I first switched, but I can’t remember what it is now. *shrug* Guess it wasn’t one I check every day.

        • Tamale
        • 11 years ago

        weird, maybe I have to update? I thought chrome did that automatically?

        I get big fat “we’re sorry, our site is only supported by IE / Firefox” when I go to hulu or TV sites.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          I’m using 1.0.154.48 here. Granted this is my work laptop, and I watch them on my home one. I can’t remember exactly what version that one is, but I’m assuming it’s the most up-to-date one.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    The only think you need out of a web browser is security! I can live with the other stuff not quite being perfect.

    • Palek
    • 11 years ago

    <obligatory Opera plug>

    Opera had tabs first!

    </obligatory Opera plug>

    Out of curiousity I did a quick search and found out that in fact an IE shell called NetCaptor introduced browser tabs 2 years before Opera did. Nevertheless, I choose to ignore this fact and continue to push my favourite browser.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      Pretty surprising how many things Opera had first (and functional) before anyone else. Too bad their marketing consists of suing Microsoft, and that’s about it.

        • bittermann
        • 11 years ago

        I remember netcaptor. It was way ahead of it’s time. Didn’t Opera purchase it or something and incorparte it in their own browser?

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          Opera? Wasn’t netcaptor a shell over IE like Avant Browser and dependent on the Trident engine?

            • bittermann
            • 11 years ago

            Yup it was a IE shell:

            NetCaptor was an Internet Explorer shell that was in development from 1997 to 2005. As an IE shell, it used the Trident layout engine of Internet Explorer in conjunction with additional programmed features to create an alternate browsing experience with a tab-based interface and an expanded feature set. It was an adware/shareware program, but its developer released a registration key for free public use once development ceased.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    It comes down to extensions for me. Firefox just works or I can grab a high quality extension that makes it work. Now that Firefox is very mainstream the amount of quality extensions is huge and very wide in variety. I’m not even a major extension user but I can’t imagine life without Gmail Notifier. All of my email is now routed through Gmail and it just makes life much easier to me. I also love FireFTP as it does what I need and nothing more.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Funny. I use gmail notifier just fine without FireFox.

        • Skrying
        • 11 years ago

        You’re using the desktop application. I understand fully that it exists but it is not optimum to me. I much rather have a installation of Firefox on my laptop and one on my thumb drive. Sync both using Foxmarks and have all my Internet related needs into one single application. I could use a stand alone FTP client, I could use Google’s desktop application, but it’s simply easier for me to have everything centered around a very robust application like Firefox. I can be a near fully productivity this way on virtually any computer.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          That’s perfectly fine. I figured as much. Myself, I don’t move much beyond my work computer and home computer, so I just have the app installed on both. *shrug*

    • lordT
    • 11 years ago

    I am a web developer and I use a number of extensions under Firefox I really can’t live without.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    You know what’s an annoying trend in ALL of the browsers? The shrinking size of the refresh button. Some browsers have been increasing the size of the ‘back’ button, which is nice, but what the hell? The ‘Refresh’ is easily the 2nd most used function in a browser.

    No, I *don’t* want to reach over to hit F5… esp. since on a Mac that’s been changed to ‘volume up’ anyway.

    Safari4 is the biggest offender: the refresh button has been “absorbed” by the address bar!

    Can I get a witness?

      • crazybus
      • 11 years ago

      Ctrl/Cmd-R? Come to think of it, between the back/forward buttons on my mouse and keyboard shortuts, I never bring my mouse up to click /[

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      F5 isn’t “volumne up”, you have your keyboard’s F-row set to control hardware, holding Fn will swap to F-functions. Then again, no Mac browser (that I know of) responds to F keys.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        One of my gripes about Mac products in general is the schizophrenic nature of the f-keys. Indeed, holding Fn + F1-F7 does nothing (as it should), but holding Fn + F8-F12 does the exact same thing (in this case, expose (twice), show desktop, show dashboard)as not holding Fn–note that this doesn’t follow how my buttons are labeled.

        What the hell, OS X? Make up your mind on what a Function key is.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          Okay after screwing around in the System Preferences, I was able to get a more sensible layout… except F7 /[

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            what’s the hardware function of F7 on your keyboard? My wife’s Macbook has a different layout than my alumiboard (in my case, F7 is rewind, in hers I think it’s the mirror/span desktop/disable option for dual-displays.

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 11 years ago

            The icon printed on my F7 key looks like two rectangles, one on top of the other. I interpret this symbol to represent “Expose” so I initially set it to that… however since I /[

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            Read your manual. That’s the same symbol as what’s on my wife’s MacBook – it’s for toggling the display. If you never plug in an external display, it’ll never do anything.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            just wanted to add that this icon existed before Expose and has always been for external display switching. The first computer I remember seeing it on was an 867MHz 12″ Powerbook, which came iwth 10.2, and therefore it couldn’t POSSIBLY be used for Expose.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Nope, you can’t.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      Interesting. I remove all buttons from the menu bars in favor of just using my keyboard and having more screen space for the webpage.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        well in safari’s case, to my knowledge, the bar is the same height with and without buttons.

      • Rakhmaninov3
      • 11 years ago

      I second that complaint–I wish there were a separate button for refresh alongside the back/forward buttons in Safari. I’m using it more and more these days and might move over to it as my primary browser…it’s fast, sleek, and I like the way it works.

      The first 3 Safaris sucked compared to Firefox as far as speed was concerned, but 4 is at least on par, at least for how I use it.

      The only real issue I’ve had is chatting in Gmail–the page gets scrambled up sometimes. I think it has to do with the zoom function on my Logitech keyboard, but I don’t use Gchat that much anyway.

      • ilkhan
      • 11 years ago

      Theres a button for refresh? Never noticed it. “left scroll” is mapped to F5, as is top left touchpad tap. Why bother moving the mouse when a simple click is all you need.
      Then again, I also have the menu bar add-in’ed to hide and the super bar / google toolbar (collapsed to JUST the search box) / search box (wikipedia) moved to the bookmark row. So its just bookmark row and tab row. And minimize / back / forward are on the mouse as well.

    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    Back when I was using IE I didn’t think too much about web browsers. Internet Explorer won, and Netscape lost. After all how complicated does a web browser need to be?

    Years later I remember surfing to certain websites that would constantly throw me a virus in IE. Lucky the anti-virus program would catch it, but it happened more often to more websites.

    It got to the point when I had to make a switch. Hearing so much about Firefox I tried it and liked it. The same web sites won’t throw me a virus or throw me tons of pop-ups. Back then Firefox was slower but it was worth it to be able to surf safely.

    Today I still use Firefox for 3 good reasons.

    #1 Security

    Nothing I hate more then viruses or user information being stolen. Being a World of Warcraft player, I learned just how easy it is. By visiting gold seller websites or even having flash adds load up, you can lose your account info. Firefox has a much better track record over IE when it comes to prevention of losing personal info.

    #2 Add Ons

    Matt doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The best FireFox add-ons are “AdBlock Plus”, and “NoScript”. They’re important to help secure your PC. No web page adds means safer surfing. By having scripts turned off also prevents your info from being sloten. It also gives you control of the websites you visit. The best part is that by disabling ads helps to improve the loading speed of websites drastically, especially against flash based ads.

    #3 Properly displayed web-sites.

    Unfortunately FireFox doesn’t render every website properly. Despite it having a higher Acid3 test then IE, I often find that IE will display nearly every website correctly. Though this might be the websites fault and not the brower itself.

    This is what I don’t care for on web browsers.

    #1 Speed, and I’m serious.

    With PCs today being over 2 Ghz do we really care if the browser is fast? Maybe if you have a Pentium II @400 Mhz you would, and even then maybe not.

    • A_Pickle
    • 11 years ago

    Security. NoScript is quite a handy add-on.

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    For me personally a browser that is fast and has tabs is the most important. I used Opera for years but when chrome came out I switched. Chrome to me feels faster and has all the features I need. The ugly side of chrome is tabs seem to die at random for no reason at all. When the newest version of safari came out I grabbed it. So far it seems to be the best of the bunch for my use.

    • jdaven
    • 11 years ago

    I love it how so many here at TR know all the technical terms and features of everything web browser related. You guys use Opera, Firefox, Sea Monkey, Safari, Chrome, etc. and even IE. You also pick the browser best suited to your browsing styles and aesthetic tastes.

    However, 70% plus of the world that uses IE have no idea what a web browser is. Most probably think the program is named after the only thing they do on the web (e.g. Myspace, Facebook, etc.). It all goes back to the time when most people used AOL and had no idea that the program they were using was made by someone else (note: I do believe AOL had their own browser for a short period of time). I can remember all my friends saying how they browse the web using AOL or Mindspring or “fill in your favorite ISP”. Lol!

    It’s interesting how people will just use whatever is lying in front of their face when it comes to computers but they shop endlessly for the best clothes, food, cars, etc. The funny thing is that they will probably spend more time in front of the computer than driving their car or wearing all those clothes.

    I can’t wait for the time when web browser companies will have to innovate like hell when over 70% of the internet users shop for web browsers like they do for clothes.

      • kvndoom
      • 11 years ago

      It is true what you say. I know many people who name their web browser by what their homepage is. So they call it “Yahoo” or “MSN” or whatever home is set to. Funny in the way that there are people who call any type of soda “Coke.”

      I know some who just call it “Internet.” As in, “let me open the internet and check my email.”

      Tell you what, you take some of the oblivious 70% that you mention, and show them an alternate, customizable browser, and their eyes will open wide like mixing bowls. Some are just floored when they see tabs in use for the first time. When I get visitors and they see how I’ve got Firefox set up, they get gaga and say, “wow, how did you get it to LOOK like that???”

        • jdaven
        • 11 years ago

        You’ve got a deal. I’ll start with my mom. 🙂

      • BobTheBacterium
      • 11 years ago

      When I had the cable internet set up at my place the guy who did the install (who was actually fairly computer literate) wanted to test the internet connection. I have opera both on my quick launch bar and my start menu, but he wound up spending a while looking for ie b/c that was the only browser he knew of!

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    I look for a browser that *[http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95414) which is very, very scary from a security standpoint.

    So it’s FF, Opera really for me. I hope to give Chrome more of a chance after the nasty bugs I experienced are ironed outg{<.<}g

      • Bauxite
      • 11 years ago

      “I look for a browser that lets me control the content exactly as I want to view it.”

      Exactly, and can anyone with a straight face say they trust MS to ever deliver on that bullet point? Even if they were to get a noscript clone, you know it would be filled with default “allows” and similar hogwash that is exploitable.

      With my multi-tab browsing style, I really can’t remember the last time I was waiting more than a second for something to load. Typically I’m starting to read something while my dozen other favorite pages tabs finish loading, which doesn’t take long. When I see interesting links halfway down an article, I right click open it in another tab and keep reading. In a good article I might end up with 3 or 4 already loaded links in the next tabs.

      The only times I think I might be waiting for the browser is multi page articles, which are split that way for ad serving anyways. The brief load times there really don’t register to me…its web browsing, not first person shooter rendering.

    • Firestarter
    • 11 years ago

    I found myself switching back from Chrome to Firefox. I love the snappiness of Chrome, but I found the behavior of the address bar lacking compared to the Firefox address bar. It just didn’t work well with the keywords that I used to search. Considering how often I find myself using the address bar in Firefox, I just couldn’t adapt to a browser without it.

    If IE8 doesn’t have a similar feature, it’s as good as dead to me.

    edit: I forgot to mention: I would very much like to be able to browse without flash for all but a few sites. Flash distracts and sometimes significantly reduces battery life (go ahead and test it!).

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      With FF, Get flashblock (flash only) or noscript (almost all scripting elements) , and whitelist only those sites you wish to see flash ong{<.<}g

        • titan
        • 11 years ago

        I might actually have to do that on my Linux box.

        The Flash ads here on TR don’t slow my system, but there are plenty of other sites that will slow my system to a crawl. It’s inexplicable because in Windows, I don’t have the same issue with the same sites.

        I wish Flash wasn’t so popular to use for ads. Whatever happened to using animated GIFs?

          • kvndoom
          • 11 years ago

          TR staff will take CPU-heavy Flush ads out of their rotation, if they are notified. They’ve been doing that for years, ever since the market went to primarily Flush for banner ads. And yes, I miss gif files too. Some sites I’ve seen make me damn glad I’m not epileptic (granted, I’m glad for that anyway).

          That’s why I keep Task Manager open all the time, and some sites get the ABP treatment and some (like this one) don’t.

      • phez
      • 11 years ago

      Bookmarks were the deal breaker for me for Chrome. Seriously, a toolbar to store bookmarks? It didn’t work in FF, it doesn’t work here either. I agree with the ‘quicklink’ methodology but lets be serious here, we visit alot of sites and we need something like a dropdown list (or similar) to organize everything.

      I understand you can access everything from the folder button on the end of the toolbar but god damn, I don’t want to waste an entire toolbar like that for just one button. Its the very reason I hated the switch to IE7/8, and am now using Firefox.

      Firefox’s layout is the exact same marvel that IE6 was – clean, concise, no wasted space – and I pray to god they don’t do an UI overhaul to change any of this.

      Chrome that ‘looks’ like FF would be heaven for me.

        • Tamale
        • 11 years ago

        Have you tried relying on chrome’s ability to remember what sites you frequent? It’s auto-completion in the address bar is astounding. Much faster than trying to click the site you want out of a big list.

          • phez
          • 11 years ago

          All browsers can do this so its moot point. That, and I’m not going to bother to remember every url in my bookmarks list :p

          • derFunkenstein
          • 11 years ago

          yeah, I don’t use bookmarks at all anymore. The Awesome Bar in Firefox and the new address bar in Safari 4 take out the need for them.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    Important things to me:

    Dark themes
    ABP (the extension that must not be named)
    NoScript

    That’s about all I really need for my internet experience. I’ve been using Mozilla since the early days of Phoenix (back when you could run it out of a .zip file), and nothing I have tried has yet to make me consider switching.

    After all the computers I had to work on that were raped by IE6’s lack of anything remotely resembling security, I refuse to even give consideration to any version of it anymore, present of future.

    And besides, I’m resistant to change. If it works for me, I’m not one to f— with it.

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