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The question being asked today is do you prefer Internet Explorer or Firefox? to mark the launch of Firefox v3.

Well I have both installed on this machine, both patched and uptodate but shockingly I'm not in-love with either program. I don't find browsers sexy. OK, so I liked tab's that for me is the single biggest innovation in the last few years but I was using those in IE before Firefox went mainstream.

What about security, what about compatibility and adherence to standards?

Security is important to me but neither Firefox or IE is essentially insecure. Compatibility and adherence to standards on the other hand isn't important to me and isn't to very many I suspect, purely because the overwhelming majority of websites work, people are just not seeing the argument. It's a fact of life that we have to play with the hand we are dealt and not ideals, so adherence to IE being the market leader is going to be more important than adherence to standards naturally, so get over it! If I do see a return to the bad old days of sites only accepting one browser and not the other I will vote with my feet and not use them at all because it's pathetic! There are worthier causes to fight. 

So my answer is ... lets not have another browser war.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:21 PM Main | Back to top


Comments on this post: Internet Explorer or Firefox?

# re: Internet Explorer or Firefox?
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That's the stupidest argument I've ever heard.

Websites work because we have standards, and largely demand compliance. Abandoning them because you don't imminently see a problem is analogous to stopping a course of medication because the symptoms vanish. The problem will come back, and will come back with a vengeance.

Ironically, posting comments to your blog entry fails in Firefox.
Left by ellF on Jun 18, 2008 10:47 PM

# re: Internet Explorer or Firefox?
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How do you know somethings wrong with your car? When it makes a strange noise? A light appears on the dash? Something you can detect?

Same goes for websites. People won't know there is a problem with a website if they can't see it so what does this tell me, that most of the important complance battles have been won already or switched over to technologies that didn't care about browsers.

I'm not seeing the problem coming back. I just see a lot of and sowhat?
Left by Dave Oliver on Jun 18, 2008 11:05 PM

# re: Internet Explorer or Firefox?
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I guess I should take a look at Firefox 3, however on the Mac I've been quite happily using the excellent Omniweb for a while now - liked it so much I actually paid for it!
Left by Richard on Jun 18, 2008 11:24 PM

# re: Internet Explorer or Firefox?
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Thanks Nitin Reddy Katkam! I couldn't have put it better myself!
Left by Dave Oliver on Jun 19, 2008 6:50 AM

# re: Internet Explorer or Firefox?
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Hi Dave
I see exactly where you're coming from, mate. A browser makes an http request across the interweb net thingy, gets the response back and formats it on the screen. That's pretty much it, isn't it? I always think the browser battle thing very anachronistic now.

I have to disagree with 'ellF'. Since when was the web based on standards? Standards were certainly not the mantra of Netscape, bringing out those daft HTML elements (remember that wonderful BLINK tag?). In fact, the reason that most websites only ended up supporting IE was that Netscape was such poor quality. The Australian Taxation Office gave up supporting certain versions of Netscape. Something would not work on 6.0, then it would break on 6.1, work again on 6.21, break again on 6.22. This included HTML, Java, script, CSS. In the end, many people stopped trying to support a browser where the developers obviously couldn't manage source code.

Also, if you were going to introduce a standard, would it be HTML? Of course it wouldn't. No use of arrays for naming and programming, you can't do a POST from a hyperlink without using script. It's just a highly bastardised mess, that organically evolved over the years. This was why so much functionality never made it to the client, and stayed on the server.

You're correct about the security aspect. No application is inherently secure, and neither of the browsers are inherently insecure. The more functionality you want, the more open the tool is to hacking. The biggest problem is users accessing their PCs with admin privileges. If you do this, then anything running on your computer has full access to the Windows directory (or other important bits if you're on a different OS).

The market leader versus standards for development baseline is interesting. I visited a website recently where the formatting wasn't working on IE. After a couple of days, the website piosted a message stating that 'IE was having rendering problems when displaying the site'.

This wasn't actually what was happening, was it? What was really going on was that 60% of users on the internet couldn't access the site. This is something the browser cults just don't get, and unfortunately it can lead to businesses losing money needlessly by sidelining one browser over another.
Left by Chris Seary on Jul 07, 2008 2:37 PM

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