Browser Choice

Monday 18th October, 2004
I decided to try out the Firefox Browser that everybody keeps going on about this weekend. Clearly it offered some significant advantages over and above IE and is a bit less of a target for hackers as it has a minority user base.

It's nice, with bit in download manager, tabbed windows etc. which is all well and good but it just didn't get me quite as excited as I expected. I guess if I used plain old vanilla IE I would be really excited and find it an advantage...but I don't. For quite some time now, I've been using Avant Browser. Essentially just a wrapper around IE it added functionality that I really wanted long before Firefox. Ad blocking, pop-up blocking, tabbed windows, auto-refresh have all been second nature to me for quite some time now. Now in V10, support for RSS feeds has been added along with other enhancements.

I guess if I wasn't so accustomed to Avant Browser then Firefox would have felt a bit less of a steep learning curve, the former just seems to give me all the options I need when I need them just by doing a simple right click. Firefox just seemed to bury them all a bit too much for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Microsoft fan, but I do think the IE based browser wins here.

  1. 1) Colman Carpenter Said: (18/10/2004 10:37:37 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Extensions ?

    You've probably looked already, but if not then it's worth checking out the extensions available for Firefox. There might be some stuff there that excites you :)

    Just think, you might end up with something as good or better than Avant Browser and not have to even think about security issues !

  2. 2) Ben Rose Said: (18/10/2004 11:28:58 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Browser Choice

    All I wanted from Firefox was the ability for it to automatically open a new window when I type a URL in the address bar. There's no option anywhere and so it's a non-starter.

  3. 3) Colman Carpenter Said: (18/10/2004 13:30:56 GMT) Gravatar Image
    How about this ?

    Not sure if this does exactly what you want...but it seems like a step in the right direction ?

    { Link }

  4. 4) Ben Rose Said: (18/10/2004 15:05:59 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Browser Choice

    Not bad Colman, but still doesn't fix the address bar issue that drove me mad within minutes. Definitely working well though.

    I guess I need avantbrowser for Firefox :)

    Avantbrowser is to IE, what msgplus is to MSN messenger.

  5. 5) Chris Linfoot Said: (18/10/2004 16:53:33 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Browser Choice

    The reason Firefox works for me and IE doesn't has nothing to do with functionality. It has everything to do with the robustness of the underlying engine. Hardly a day goes by without the arrival of some new malware threat camping on one or a blend of the famous buffer overrun vulnerabilities here. Indeed I think that the days of conventional mass mailing viruses landing in users' inboxes as some directly executable code are now ending. Malware which exploits combinations of vulnerabilities in client and server side software is beginning to take off in a big way. We had a very nasty sample here last week:

    { Link }

    The email appears totally harmless. The payload is delivered by exploiting several vulnerabilities in several different software products, the only one of which under my control is the browser. The solution is unavoidable - change the browser.

  6. 6) Oliver Regelmann Said: (18/10/2004 22:11:02 GMT) Gravatar Image
    New tab instead of new windows

    Ben, hit Alt-Enter after you type the URL in the address bar and you will get this address in a new tab. Not a new window, though.

  7. 7) Colman Carpenter Said: (01/12/2004 08:37:30 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Got it !

    Have a look at this firefox extension.....ultimate control over tabbed browsing :)

    { Link }

    Now tell me why you can't use firefox ;)

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