Tag Archives: Web Browser

IE: Sucking Hard Since Version 5

This code (extracted from a javascript file) works in every major browser except IE (including IE8):

          'frameWidth' : 500,
          'frameHeight' : 465,
          'hideOnContentClick' : false,
          'centerOnScroll' : true,

This is the fix:

          'frameWidth' : 500,
          'frameHeight' : 465,
          'hideOnContentClick' : false,
          'centerOnScroll' : true

See the difference? Yeah, neither did I. The difference is the last comma in the argument list.

That’s 3 consecutive major versions of IE that have been absolutely crap.  Why anyone continues to use IE is beyond me.  IE: sucking hard since version 5.

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Camino 1.5 Released!

Many of you know that my browser of choice on OS X is Camino. Camino is the Gecko rendering engine (the same base as Firefox, Seamonkey, and others) aqua-fied to run as a antive Mac app. While Firefox runs well on Mac, it still uses XUL to draw its widgets, so it doesn’t really fit in with the look and feel of real Mac apps.

Enter Camino, which not only looks and feels like Mac, but tastes like it too by behaving like a real Mac app. Aqua widgets, proper alert boxes, a prefs panel that fits the theme. Camino is a fantastic browser and runs extremely well and is very stable. And today they release 1.5 – a pretty major milestone – and reveal their new website.

Congrats to the Camino team.

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No Regrets

I moved to Opera browser on Windows sometime ago, and I have no regrets. Apparently, most Opera users agree.

Nothing feels as perfect as Camino on my Mac, but it’s seriously lacking in the developer department. No javascript console, no web developer tools, no draggable tabs. Hopefully by 2.0 this will be ironed out.

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Did I Call This or What??

You might suggest that I was writing about something that isn’t a very far fetched suggestion, but I think I was writing about something I had not seen suggested elsewhere ever when I said that Apple should release Safari for Windows. And then today, Mary Jo Foley, former Microsoft Watch columnist, suggests that the Mozilla Foundation seems to believe that Safari for Windows is coming.

If Apple ports Cocoa to Windows (like they obviously have done with at least a subset of Carbon in order to run Quicktime and iTunes), they can introduce all sorts of Mac software for Windows which could very keenly familiarize Windows users with the Mac experience to help lure potential switchers, people who might be close to considering a new computer and having to face a learning curve with Vista anyway.

In other words, this is great news. I’m firmly on Opera right now, but if Safari for Windows came out, you never know…

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That’s More Like It!

This is much more like it. I’m three days into my experiment. After 9.5 hours running today, this is what Opera 9.1 looks like. I am currently downloading three SHN files all greater than 30MB.

Opera 9.1
Click picture for a larger view

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Take Three: Enter Opera

Using Flock was kind of a long shot. Flock is based on Gecko, like Firefox, which has given me a lot of problems. Flock served me well at first, but then starting gobbling up RAM. So, I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed it down, for me, to XUL and extensions.

I’m not sure exactly what’s to blame for the specific problems I have: other programs on the computer? a single bad extension? I don’t know, but whatever it was, it was present in FF1.5, FF2, and Flock. And each had their own set of extensions installed. It’s not a core Gecko problem, because, as I showed before, Camino doesn’t have the same problem.

So, at the urging of Nate, who, I guess, also spends some time at his computer, I decided to go for a full time ride at Opera.

I don’t require THAT much from a computer: mainly, it has to be able to sustain my browser requirements. And those are tough, because I expect to be able to open 10-15 tabs and still have the browser function without (a) eating up greater than 200MB of RAM, (2) eating up > 10% of the CPU for more than a few seconds, and (third) locking up the browser or worse, the entire system. Enough use of Gmail, Flickr, or other AJAX apps and my Windows Gecko/XUL browsers toast themselves and everything around them. So I’m giving Opera a go.

The only crappy thing is that there’s no way to import form cookies, form history, cookie block list, ad-block filters, or history. And that sucks, because it’s going to take me a long time to rebuild that.

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Darn it! Something Bigger May Be Wrong Here

I switched to Flock, and you know what? I dig it! It’s really nice, and it’s got some great features to boot!

However – this is after a day’s work. Know what else slowly swallowed my RAM? Firefox.


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Goodbye, Firefox. Hello Flock.

Well, I’ve made the jump from Firefox to Flock. I’ve complained about Firefox for long enough, and a few days testing has shown that Flock will serve my needs just fine. I have a few observations though, so keep reading for the details.
Continue reading

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A Final Word on the Firefox Fiasco

So the Mozilla develpers – particularly the Firefox ones – appear to have adopted this stance:

We are going to bring the XML/RSS easy-subscribe feature to a new, wider group who isn’t demanding it yet, with no planned course of action for the people who are currently using it and came to rely upon it. Furthermore, we will leave them with no official way to reproduce the behavior which has been present now in our brower for years.

In short, when the Mozilla team mankes a decison, it’s final, and it appears that they are looking to expand their userbase, even at the expense of the most dedicated users now. So if you choose to have the search engine of your website return RSS for external apps but styled XML for a browser, turns out — you can’t.

It’s been days since I posted on this site about this; the goal was to make sure my new post was not overly dramatic. But here goes: I am now going to be suggesting that Windows users I support use IE7.

Why? Because IE7 is a nice upgrade. It supports most of the features that I think are necessary in a browser. Most people will never use AdBlock or any extensions at all, so that who construct is a non-starter. And it’s much more secure. Firefox, however, has notable memory leaks. IE7 uses far less memory when open for a long period. This is a FIREFOX issue, as you can see, Camino doesn’t have the same problems:

task manager
Firefox, open for ~8 hours

activity monitor
Camino, open for ~38 hours

Lastly, the IE team has done an AMAZING job at responding to their users. I’ve watched the IE blog, and I am really impressed with the level of communication and immersion the devs have. They are patient and appear to take an interested in their users.

The Firefox team, while mostly even tempered and polite, has pretty much given me the push off by suggesting that they know better than I do about how RSS is used in the real world, and therefore, decided that my website should work the way that /they/ want. In fact, they are SO sure of themselves, they won’t even provide me — the webmaster — a way to do what I used to do, even with extra steps. No, consistency is key – my wishes are second to a consistent web experience for someone who is new to the web (and likely won’t even know the term “RSS” until about 2009). Furthermore, the leader of the project himself, Asa Dotzler, posted a “slam” against me in the Firefox newsgroup that perfectly illustrates the point – the developers are missing the idea completely.

They are so focused on catering to the end user that they have decided that that the tech-savvy people, people who made Firefox successful in the first place, are no longer important. So unimportant that when they complain that the browser has changed its behaviors and things no longer work as they have for years, their only responses are “we aim for consistency and ease of use for the end user.”

If Firefox devs can *decide* one day that the trends of use are different than current use or even different than intended when a standard was written, and will make decisions that change the ways the browser behaves with very little notice or upgrade path, how can we invest ourselves in them by using the browser full time? Knowing they could pull the rug out from under us?

To address those who say that IE7 does the same thing, I have two responses:

1. IE /adds/ functionality to RSS. It’s less insulting when I can do things manipulate the data I couldn’t do before. It’s not my preference, but it’s at least a decent response.
2. Much more importantly, IE7 *IS* an aggregator. It will save posts, mark them read, allow you to filter them, track multiple feeds, etc. IE7 is a full feature RSS reader, and a full featured RSS reader can remove style. Firefox just wants to style a feed its own way.

So, am I blowing off Firefox completely? I’m not sure. No doubt I am invested in FF, from both a data standpoint (all my cookies, usernames, passwords, etc) , but also from a user standpoint. I’ve been using it for over 5 years, and it’s home to me. But it certainly looks like the day of switching (probably to Opera) is coming soon.

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More on Firefox

It’s not constructive to constantly rant with no action. So rather than just bitch and moan, I decided to give the Firefox devs the benefit of the doubt and move my complaints to their USENET group as requested.

Here’s the thread. I got a fairly nice response from one of the devs, and then two slightly shorter responses, including one that appears to do nothing more than suggest that since the way I style my feed sucks, it’s pointless to allow people to style threads.

One guy has a great point – if Firefox’s default style didn’t suck, would everyone be happier? Sheesh, hadn’t though about that, but you know what?? I admit, maybe I would be less upset.

I still think the browser behavior is bad, but if they’re going to intercept, at least do it with the same style Microsoft does with IE7.

I have to say, I’m fairly pleased with the Firefox guys’ responses. For a group that probably has to put up with plenty of people bitching about their bugs of choice, they have been pretty civil and well thought out in their responses.

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