Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Battle of the Browsers - Firefox 3 Vs Internet Explorer 8



Right, I know there's probably a zillion blogs with posts like this by now but I thought I might as well make it a zillion and one and chime in with my own opinions on this.

Starting first with Firefox 3, well, let's be honest I'm not bothered with all those intensive acid tests and all that, I just want to know which is better and more enjoyable to use and those of you in the know already know which one that is but anyway...

First impression of Firefox 3? Wow that back button is ugly!
Seriously, I'm not a fan of the big fugly back button at all, but tbh, that's about the only thing I've got a problem with. Firefox 3 is just great. I love it, basically, because it's, well, it's Firefox. I got all my toolbars and stuff right back up and running during installation, and, with no muckin' about, went ahead and browsed in delight. Checked a number of pages, including a few of my own, and they all looked wonderful. Another thing I like about it is the new-look FTP browsing. So Firefox 3- very happy.

And so now we come from the swift and wily fox to the fat dumb Big Mac-eating lummox from Seattle. What you thought I was going to leave my prejudices aside for this? Not a bit of it! I'd been hearing for months about how IE8 was going to be standards compliant and a whole new direction for Microsoft and blah blah blah. And now, as I suspected it would be, that whole spiel is bollocks, and IE8, too, is absolute and utter bollocks.

First off, when I launched the thing, I had to go through the same 20 questions you have to go through with Internet Explorer 7. No I don't want to enable Windows Live whatever it says, no I don't want to enable your enhanced security claptrap, no I don't want to set my search to your lame-duck search engine or my default anything to any of your never-ending multitude of pointless services and I sure as hell don't want to make this overbloated, RAM-guzzling jalopy my default browser.

When I finally got going I decided, ok, lets just get a few sites up, so I started opening tabs. Unlike Firefox or Opera, though, when I opened the tabs I was given the now-standard "OMFG YOU'VE OPENED A TAB!" message. I'm used to just going Ctrl & T and then typing/pasting in URLs. But with IE I've to delete "About:tabs" from the address bar first, which is really annoying slows the whole thing up. Anyway, I soldiered on and opened up a few sites and I have to say it didn't look very standards compliant to me and still borked pages to beat the band. The way it rendered the fonts, I found, was very Safari-ish, very heavy, and, I found, hard on the eyes. It still had issues with spacing, breaks, headers, etc. and seemed to have serious issues with Javascript. When I went to view a page with an embedded Google Map, it rendered the map and then the map began to extend outward over the entire page. It was as though the browser was possessed. I decided to open another tab and search Google to see what the problem was and then, just before the results popped up, the entire thing collapsed in on itself. Send Error Report? No, I don't think so. I can't tell you how glad I am I used a guinea pig PC and not my main workstation.

Yeah, I know, IE8's a beta, but from what I've seen I'm far from impressed and, let's be honest, everything M$ release is a beta anyway. Hence the reason I'm still using Windows XP. And hence the reason I won't be touching IE8 with 10em bargepole.

No if you want to browse the web there's really one one undisputed King of Browsers and that's still Firefox by a long, LONG way.

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2 comments:

Briongloid said...

Actually a 2nd annoyance with Firefox 3 is the address bar auto complete dropdown menu. To turn it off follow the instructions here:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/06/19/disable-and-remove-bookmarks-favorites-pages-in-tabs-and-last-visited-sites-from-firefox-3-url-location-address-bar/

Kampanye Damai said...

I'm still for FireFox ;)