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Mozilla The Internet Internet Explorer

PC Magazine Reviews Firefox, Opera 700

Posted by simoniker
from the alt-webber dept.
prostoalex writes "PC Magazine reviews Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 and Opera 7.51, noting: 'Security concerns aren't the only reason to seek an alternative [to Internet Explorer]. IE's slow rendering engine and dearth of privacy features may plant the thought in some iconoclastic minds that it may not be the best browser for everyone.' 4 stars for Firefox and 3.5 for Opera, so looks like a Firefox win, although the editors do point out FF's troubles with DHTML as well as Opera issues with JavaScript."
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PC Magazine Reviews Firefox, Opera

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  • by Atmchicago (555403) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:07PM (#9676975) Homepage

    ...that I should stop running Internet Explorer using wine, and try Firefox?

  • IE User (Score:5, Insightful)

    by enforcer999 (733591) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:08PM (#9676977) Journal
    Out of habit and ignorance, I have used IE for years. I think it is time to make the change to Firefox. Thanks for the article.
    • Re:IE User (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As if the 5 /. headlines a day of pure Firefox lovin' couldn't change your mind.
    • Re:IE User (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:11PM (#9677025)
      Out of habit and ignorance, I have used IE for years

      You have just spoke for a billion people.
    • I was in the same situation as you... so I went to mozilla.org, and downloaded the full package and installed it.

      A week later I realize that Mozilla and Firefox are different... I go "D'OH!" but I'm too lazy to download, uninstall mozilla, and install firefox, import my links, etc.

      So I guess I'll be using Mozilla until years after people point out I should upgrade to whatever...
  • by darth_MALL (657218) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:09PM (#9676994)
    "IE's slow rendering engine "
    Sad but true. The review page has been loading for almost a minute now :(
    • by Neophytus (642863) * on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:18PM (#9677118)
      If there's one thing that I couldn't fault IE on is the fact that it actually displays pages pretty fast.
      • by horza (87255) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:47PM (#9679274) Homepage
        If there's one thing that I couldn't fault IE on is the fact that it actually displays pages pretty fast.

        For me it's far slower than Firefox. And every modern browser has gone backwards in my opinion from the original browsers which had progressive table rendering. I'm sick of waiting for ages for a page to render just because the designer put the whole page in one large table. It's not too difficult, even 10 years ago I've seen complex deeply nested tables rendering progressively in real-time... and this is on 10 year old hardware.

        Phillip.
      • by Jack Zombie (637548) on Monday July 12, 2004 @06:52PM (#9680827)
        To make Firefox render pages faster than IE, start by typing "about:config" in your FireFox address bar. Look for nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set it to 0 (zero).

        The initialpaint.delay is the length of time (in milliseconds) after the server response before the browser begins to paint the page. By default it is 250 milliseconds, and even though by setting it to 0 (like Internet Explorer) makes it _seem_ to display pages faster, it ends up taking more overall time than with the default value.

        You can also make Firefox faster by:

        1.) Setting network.http.pipelining to true
        2.) Setting network.http.proxy.pipelining to true
        3.) Setting network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to a number between 1 and 8

        Enabling the pipelining features allows the browser to make multiple requests to the server at the same time. The "maxrequests" is the maximum number of requests it will send at once. 8 is the maximum Firefox allows it to be, but it may bog down yours, or the server, connection, so it is best to leave these options on their default values.

        More information about these and other tweaks are available at the MozillaZine's Firefox Tuning Thread [mozillazine.org].
  • by shackma2 (685062) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:09PM (#9676997)
    Mozilla, Opera and Firefox, from my unscientific perspective, seem to load web pages quicker than IE, but what really bothers me is how slow the mozilla opera and firefox load times are. I can either get to the web quickly with IE, or wait a while with firefox for a minute page load time diffrence.
    • by elbazo (779536) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:11PM (#9677024)
      That is because IE is part of the OS unlike Opera and Firefox. If you use WinXP or 2003 open the process manager and set the firefox/opera process to realtime, might do the trick.

      Baz
      • by D4Vr4nt (615027) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:20PM (#9677158) Homepage
        The brutal part about IE being part of the OS is that people seem to be retarded about opening/closing their web browser.

        I've heard that Moz loads too slow all the time... Waaaaa.. It's not as fast as IE.

        Why don't people just realize that once you open your web browser you should just leave it open?! Why are you even on your computer? :P

        Anyways.. back to my point. People will keep using IE simply because it's there, and the convience of being one of the fastest loading applications in Windows (oh wait.. I forgot about Calc.exe).

        Oh.. And most people can't wrap their heads around tabbed browsing (or see the point of it). But tell them it blocks popups then they get excited.
      • by spectecjr (31235) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:54PM (#9677587) Homepage
        That is because IE is part of the OS unlike Opera and Firefox. If you use WinXP or 2003 open the process manager and set the firefox/opera process to realtime, might do the trick.

        1. IE is a set of components that provide HTML rendering support for the OS. It is not loaded with Windows.

        2. Setting Firefox/Opera to realtime will cause other system functions to slow to a crawl and/or possibly crash.

        3. Mozilla and Firefox can be loaded exceptionally fast on Windows. It's very simple. DO NOT install QuickLaunch, but allow the Mozilla build process to correctly bind and rebase its DLLs. When it's done, you'll have a version of Mozilla which loads AS FAST AS Internet Explorer.

        If the dll binding procedure did not make it into the Mozilla installer, that explains why people are still seeing it launch slowly.

        This crap about "IE runs faster because it's part of the OS" is a myth propounded by people who really just don't know anything about how Windows loads processes and DLLs. Any time you have an app that loads slower than its competitors, consider this:

        1) Is it loading ALL of its DLLs into memory at startup? Or does it dynamically load them as needed? (The latter is faster).

        2) Is it loading a lot of potentially unnecessary COM components at startup instead of as needed? (As needed is faster).

        3) Are its DLLs rebased correctly so that they don't need to be fixedup by the Application Launcher when they load? Does it have a clean memory map? (Most non-Microsoft apps do NOT take this step - which is fully documented in MSDN - which means that their load times will be 10 to 20 times longer than apps which DO rebase their DLLs).

        4) Are its DLLs bound at install-time? Binding DLLs reduces the time necessary to load and patch the import/export table of processes and DLLs, by pre-patching the import/export table and attaching a signature to it to catch if the external DLLs change. (Most non-Microsoft apps Do NOT take this step - which again is fully documented in MSDN - which means that their load times will be another 4 to 7 times longer than apps which DO bind their DLLs).

        Sloppy development practices lead to sloppy performance.
        • by SimplexO (537908) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:23PM (#9678924) Homepage
          IEHTML is loaded in the OS to display lots of things (folders, icons, your desktop, etc). It's part of the windows shell. The IE application just loads up the browser chrome, and uses the preloaded IEHTML to display websites.

          Firefox (the quickest-launching of the Mozilla line) has to load up gecko, the rendering engine, each time a process starts. It's browser chrome is just some JavaScript, CSS and the data to be displayed (XUL), which is displayed using gecko. If your shell were to run on top of the GRE, and Firefox were allowed to share that GRE, it would load up almost instantly -- seconds before an IE that wasn't halfway loaded into memory.

          Who would load up faster, Firefox or IE when both were forced to load everything from scratch? I don't know. It doesn't matter though. Fx loads fast enough for me now.
    • by mopslik (688435) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:17PM (#9677100)

      I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here.

      Mozilla, Opera and Firefox ... seem to load web pages quicker than IE.
      I can either get to the web quickly with IE, or wait a while with firefox for a minute page load time diffrence.

      Pages load faster in M/O/Ff, but they're a minute slower in M/O/Ff? I think what you're getting at is this...

      but what really bothers me is how slow the mozilla opera and firefox load times are

      If you're talking about clicking on the IE icon vs. clicking the M/O/Ff icon, and having the application pop up ready to roll, then keep in mind that IE loads on boot. That way, it gives you the impression of loading faster.

      • I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here.

        Mozilla, Opera and Firefox ... seem to load web pages quicker than IE.
        I can either get to the web quickly with IE, or wait a while with firefox for a minute page load time diffrence.

        Pages load faster in M/O/Ff, but they're a minute slower in M/O/Ff? I think what you're getting at is this...


        I believe he meant minute[minoot](as in small amout of time). Not minute(as in 60 seconds).

        Mozilla, Opera and Firefox ... seem to load web pages quicker than IE.
        I can eit
  • User-Agent stats? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:10PM (#9677002) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone been tracking Firefox/Mozilla in the User-Agent stats for a large site to see if it is truly pulling browsershare from IE? The last mention we had from the Slashdot admins was that Slashdot was 90% Internet Explorer, is this on the decline? Are these stats publicly available?
    • Re:User-Agent stats? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:12PM (#9677031)
      our site [coattails.net] was roughly 95% internet explorer 4 months back...we've started plugging firefox fairly often(has to be repeated - people that use IE are too slow to get it the first time, no?) and it's now at 30.3% moz/firefox users.
    • User-Agent stats are pretty much meaningless for Firefox, unless you include pages that say "This page only supports Mozilla Firefox" in the statistic -- many people browse using firefox with the UA set to IE so they can access the sites that would otherwise lock them out.
      • by Goyuix (698012) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:19PM (#9677131) Homepage
        I doubt this is the case - I would venture to say those that are smart enough to change the User Agent string appropriately, are also smart enough to set it back when not needed so web stats are collected properly. Particularly with the explosive growth seen over the last few days/weeks - there are a lot of people using it now that I am sure don't have a clue how to change the user agent string.

        Not to mention Sun's Java plugin complains to no end that Firefox initialized it but the User Agent is set to IE... that reminder keeps me honest as well.
    • Re:User-Agent stats? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:18PM (#9677116) Homepage Journal
      Has anyone been tracking Firefox/Mozilla in the User-Agent stats for a large site to see if it is truly pulling browsershare from IE?

      Well, when I linked to a little-viewed page on my site [littlecutie.net] (during a discussion of poker, really!), the stats showed a surprising number of non-IE visitors. It seemed to be about half IE, half Opera, Mozilla, and the like. An awful lot of visitors weren't using Windows, either.

      That means either 1) Slashdot visitors use alternate browsers and OS's, or 2) Slashdot visitors like to modify their browsers' User-Agent strings. With this crowd, I'd think both are equally likely.
    • by JollyGreenLlama (795396) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:19PM (#9677126)
      I would move that a diagnosis of IE vs. Mozilla on a site like Slashdot might not be the best test of marketshare. Many people access Slashdot from the office, where they are more likely to use IE because it is part of the base software package. Many workplaces, like mine, have rules against downloading and running software other than what has been installed on the system by the sysadmin.
    • Re:User-Agent stats? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Grey Ninja (739021)
      Just from one website catering to web developers of course, but here's some stats [w3schools.com]. It shows general trends at the very least. There was also a poll about it on gamefaqs.com a while ago, and about 20% of people claimed to be using Mozilla, or a variant of it.
    • Re:User-Agent stats? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SLot (82781) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:22PM (#9677185) Homepage Journal
      While not a large site (5000-10000 hits per month) , I'm seeing 1.6, 1.4 & 1.7 mozilla references in the top ten user-agents for the first time in two years. To go from no instances to three of the top 10 in one month made me happy.
    • Re:User-Agent stats? (Score:5, Informative)

      by prockcore (543967) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:59PM (#9677670)
      Has anyone been tracking Firefox/Mozilla in the User-Agent stats for a large site to see if it is truly pulling browsershare from IE?

      I work for a newspaper.. we don't do technology news so the people visiting our site are strictly Joe Blow. (Same dudes who read our paper).

      Here are our top browsers for July:

      68% IE 6.0
      6.2% AOL (IE)
      4.3% Mozilla/Firefox
      4% IE 5.5
      4% Netscape 7
      2% Safari

      all the others are webtv, opera, konq, etc

      I don't know why they count Gecko based browsers separate from Netscape 7.. it's just something Omniture does.
  • Ingrained attitudes (Score:5, Informative)

    by robogun (466062) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:10PM (#9677010)
    From the review of Mozilla/Firefox:
    CONS: Default installation doesn't include many functions; you have to download additional features via the Extensions Manager. Will not load ActiveX and VBScript; this prevents certain kinds of attacks, but also disables the normal functions of some sites.


    Those are PROs if I ever saw one. Drive-by software installs and buggy Active-X is the reason I spend ten hours a month cleaning up computers of friends and family. WHo subseqently receive Mozilla and are forbidden to run IE except for Windows Update forevermore, on pain of no more free computer work.

    • by gid13 (620803) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:15PM (#9677073)
      Yeah even the extensions thing is beautiful. Anyone know why Winamp is still so popular? Plugins. If you're willing to put a little searching time in, you can make it work exactly how you want it to, no matter how picky you are. Extensions are THE way to go if you want to browse the web on YOUR terms rather than MS's.

      For reference, I highly recommend the following extensions: Adblock, Flashblock, Googlebar, Context Search, Mycroft (pick and choose these though), All-in-one Gestures, and Tabbrowser Extensions. Wonderful stuff.
    • by mikeswi (658619) * on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:42PM (#9678340) Homepage Journal
      Does PC Mag not "fact check" their articles? Something as simple as a google search would have shown them that ActiveX is an optional plug-in. In my results for firefox activex, the site of the person who develops the plugin is listed 2nd among 47,000 hits. If they have a burning desire to use ActiveX, they can do so.

      That said, I would never recommend that anyone use that plugin. That's like being rescued from a burning building and setting fire to the ambulance on your way to the hospital.
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:13PM (#9677036) Homepage
    Interesting note here:
    Default
    installation doesn't include many functions; you have to download additional features via the Extensions Manager. Will not load ActiveX and VBScript; this prevents certain kinds of attacks, but also disables the normal functions of some sites.

    Emphasis mine.

    Now explain this? It's got boatloads more functionality (find as you type, tabbed browsing, popup blocker, livemarks [0.9+], etc etc.)... but it 'doesn't include many functions'.

    Now how does IE rank? Please don't tell me feature rich. That's like calling is secure. :-D
    • Now explain this? It's got boatloads more functionality (find as you type, tabbed browsing, popup blocker, livemarks [0.9+], etc etc.)... but it 'doesn't include many functions'.

      PC Magazine is really just a Windows mouthpiece. They have to pull their punches. You didn't think they'd put all that Microsoft ad revenue at risk did you?

  • Last Straw (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thung226 (648591) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:13PM (#9677038)
    Considering I'd give IE a 0.5/5.0, there's no debate. The point is to use either of these before you use IE. The failure to patch IE after the Russian hacking debacle was the last straw. All users at my work are now on Firefox or Opera.

    Also, I have a lot of "non-techie" friends. You should see the amount of adware/spyware littered on these computers. It makes me sick, and it's all IE's fault (pop-up > get scared > *click* > install > forget > go back to "pop-up"... go to site > install under users' radar > repeat... I'm sick of it). IE sucks.

    • Re:Last Straw (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anita Coney (648748)
      I use Firefox on my system. My wife uses IE. I recently ran a spyware scan on both. Can you guess which computer was infected?

    • Re:Last Straw (Score:3, Interesting)

      Actually, you almost hit on what I think really needs to be done next to really get Mozilla into critical mass area. And that is to do current reviews of IE. For every new review and push towards Mozilla and/or Opera, we need to give everyone the reasons why this is beneficial.

      OTOH, if an unbiased review of IE can produce comparable results, then at the very least, it gives the Mozilla and Opera folks a good idea of where to go next in developing the Uber-browsers. However, I have a hard time believing
  • by blackmonday (607916) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:13PM (#9677051) Homepage
    I install Firefox for everyone I help with PC's, and no one has ever complained or needed additional help to use it. I had one person tell me they need their old bookmarks, but I showed them where you can see IE's imported bookmarks in the menu.

    I'm sure some of you already do this, but for those that don't, next time you're running ad-aware for your non-techie friends, install Firefox, show them the desktop shortcut, and tell them to click on that one for their Internet. They'll thank you for it when they stop getting pop ups and strange home pages and toolbars.

  • by riqnevala (624343) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:14PM (#9677054) Journal
    "Sorry, this browser does not support automated installation of trojans and other malicious applications, please upgrade to MSIE to further risk your computer security"
  • Go Firefox Go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ErikRed1488 (193622) <erikdred1488@netscape.net> on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:17PM (#9677098) Homepage Journal
    Being the resident tech guy in my family and circle of friends, I'm tasked with supporting all their computers. I do it free of charge for my family and work for beer when it comes to friends. With all the malware that infects Windows PCs through Internet Explorer I've been quite busy. I finally decided to install Firefox on all their PCs. As a condition of ongoing support, they must continue to use Firefox. Since I've institued this policy, they far happier with their online experience, no pop-ups, almost no ads (Adblocker rules!), and it's faster. Not only that, but my time supporting their PCs has gone down to almost nothing.

    Now that the Mozilla Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization I think I may have to insist that the family/friends make a little donation.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:18PM (#9677110)
    I guess PC magazine has loss some funding from Microsoft. They seem be being slightly less "Window Is the Best" in their views. And starting to see that there are alternatives and they can be just as good.
  • by Mitleid (734193) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:19PM (#9677133)
    I'm curious; Microsoft has really given up on IE development over the past few years. The last major release was version 6, and that was well over 3 years ago to the best of my recollection. Could it be that MS no longer sees web browsers as a viable resource for their future strategy? I really have no speculation on what they might have up their sleave, but MS hasn't been one to necessarily drop the ball like this. From a security standpoint, one could say they really screwed the pooch, but as far as releasing a snazzy new version or anything to gloss over the problems under the hood, they've kept their hands off.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:41PM (#9677410)
      After noticing that people generally hated web user interfaces, Microsoft started banking on network-distributed fat clients using XAML driving the sales of Longhorn. They deliberately didn't fully implement CSS, DHTML and XHTML because the less featureful web apps are in general, the more demand there will be for XAML applications (which btw, can only be consumed on a Windows machine).

      Microsoft did put the IE features team back together last month as a response to the growing threat of Mozilla - I think they made a critical error in judgement and are now going to have to play catch up to Mozilla until Longhorn comes out. More than that, Microsoft has already started to reevaluate the selling power XAML will have because whether Mozilla beats IE in the next two-three years or vice versa, more sites will capitalize on new browser technology to deliver richer UIs that reduce the need for technologies like XAML.

      Now if Mozilla just gets its act together and gets a strong managed framework backend for XUL....
    • by leperkuhn (634833) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:43PM (#9677425) Homepage Journal
      Well they worked on it till they had a browser monopoly, then due to simple economics, stopped working on it. I believe that is one of the fundamental problems with monopolies, sort of like communism.
    • 1) Microsoft wants to give users an incentive to upgrade in the future. Mozilla Firefox, for example, has a majority of the functionality endusers actually need. There is little incentive to upgrade Mozilla (I'm speaking of the nontechnical majority) apart from things users typically do not understand (security, bugfixes, etc.). If IE were a real competitor for Mozilla, there would be less incentive to upgrade Windows in the future.

      2) Microsoft doesn't want to appear to copy or compete with an open sour
  • Best Quote (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:19PM (#9677145)
    The browser isn't perfect, however. Firefox does not render nonstandard DHTML properly, nor does the Mozilla Organization have any intention of releasing a browser that does.

    Well, good for them!

    Durrrr!
    • Re:Best Quote (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Plutor (2994)
      This is actually a big issue in the development "community". Although the organization itself has resolved its position -- that non-compliant feature support is a slippery slope -- marking bugs as "WONTFIX" or "INVALID" in Bugzilla ends in dozens of duplicate bugs. The fourth most-reported bug [mozilla.org] (bug 25537) is in fact requests for a non-compliant (and MSIE-originating) feature -- alt tags as tooltips.

      This isn't the only one, either. Backslashes in URLs (bug 93197) is another one that comes to mind where M
  • by dhartman (635124) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:19PM (#9677146)
    I have a few clients who had previously insisted on remaining with IE because "it works best with the other Microsoft programs". However, when I removed the latest pile of spyware/adware and insisted that they at least TRY Firefox they had nothing but good things to say. Their 13 year old even says that "Hey dad, this is like waayy faster than IE". There have only been a few sites which 'require' IE (some due to incompetent web page coders who determine on their own that "this page won't render correctly with Mozilla", then block access using Javascript).

    Linux might not be ready for general public acceptance on their desktop, but using Open Source software such as Firefox, Open Office etc is the first step towards that acceptance. If you don't NEED Windows to run a program, it becomes alot easier to switch the underlying OS.

  • by spacerodent (790183) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:21PM (#9677174)
    the only downside to firefox I've found are problems with web sites designed ONLY to work with IE. I've only had the problem with a few web sites and hopfully as firefox gets more well known and excepted people will stop that kind of stupidity.
    • some call the glass half empty, some call it half full. some say that a non-ie browser not working on a website is due to the browser, some say its at the hands of the website developers.
    • ... like User Agent Switcher Extension [myacen.com]. Why on earth would you let a site identify your browser correctly when you can spoof it? If you want to continue to "plug" your use of a non-IE browser, you can always append some explanatory text at the end, like:
      --Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Actually Mozilla Firefox - try it now!)

      The beauty of the FireFox design IS the plugins - you can do this kind of thing.

      Oh, and by the way, there are many other ways to do this, and you can also do it

  • by Christianfreak (100697) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:22PM (#9677191) Homepage Journal
    DHTML is HTML with Javascript. Its just a buzz word, why do these PC magazines keep touting it as the latest and greatest thing???

    The browser isn't perfect, however. Firefox does not render nonstandard DHTML properly, (emphasis mine).

    Hello!! You said it yourselves! NONSTANDARD. Its websites that aren't perfect, not the browser. *head explodes*
  • And from the BBC (Score:4, Informative)

    by driftingAimfully (516201) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:25PM (#9677229)

    The BBC [bbc.co.uk] are running a similar story too:

  • Firefox and DHTML (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mustang Matt (133426) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:26PM (#9677244)
    Firefox doesn't have troubles with DHTML...

    "Firefox does not render nonstandard DHTML properly, nor does the Mozilla Organization have any intention of releasing a browser that does."

    Non-standard DHTML isn't really DHTML is it?
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:27PM (#9677254)
    Before FireFox becomes the target off major exploits. Hopefully Firefox will stand up against it, and the Open source world will respond as fast as expected.
  • Say what?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khendron (225184) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:28PM (#9677274) Homepage
    The browser isn't perfect, however. Firefox does not render nonstandard DHTML properly...

    So it is bad that the browser does not render bad source correctly?

    Granted, the article does go on to mention that this is not Firefox's fault, but they way it is cast as a problem really rubs the wrong way.
    • Re:Say what?! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yeremein (678037)
      No kidding. The fact that Firefox doesn't copy Internet Explorer's bugs can hardly be considered a flaw in Firefox.

      In other news, Sun's Java SDK isn't perfect, because it doesn't compile J# code properly. But we're not going to fault Internet Explorer for not rendering CSS1 and PNG files properly; nobody uses those anyway.

  • by StressGuy (472374) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:31PM (#9677304)
    Also used Opera for a while. I really liked Opera, but it did have problems with javascript. Interesting to see that they are still working on that.

    As for Firefox, I still like plain old Mozilla better but looking forward to version 1.0.

    For me, as things stand right now. I like Mozilla the best with Konqueror coming in second.

  • by ironwill96 (736883) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:36PM (#9677364) Homepage Journal
    The only issue I had initially with FireFox and Mozilla is how slow they seem to load picture-heavy sites such as www.cnn.com

    To speed up the load times of all sites add the following to your user.js file (if it doesnt exist - for Windows users, go to the run menu and type: %AppData% and then browse through the Mozilla folder and any sub folders until you get to your profile folder - inside of this create a new text document and call it user.js):

    // This one makes a huge difference. Last value in milliseconds (default is 250)
    user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);

    // Change to normal Google search:
    user_pref("keyword.URL", "http://www.google.com/search?btnG=Google+Search&q =");

    // Instead of annoying error dialog messages, display pages:
    user_pref("browser.xul.error_pages.enabled", true);

    The other two changes are ones i've found useful as well - the second one changes the browser to do a normal Google search from the location bar instead of doing an "I'm Lucky" Google search (this is more useful in Mozilla than FireFox since FireFox comes w/ the Google search bar built in).

    The third change makes Mozilla and FireFox display error pages like IE instead of annoying dialog boxes when an error occurs (such as page not found). This helps a TON when doing tabbed browsing.

    Hope those tips are helpful for everyone else as much as they were for me. For more of them go to http://texturizer.net/firefox/tips.html
  • by freeduke (786783) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:47PM (#9677486) Journal
    would you go any further?

    Instead of using the default Windows software, as you have seen, other applications runs well under windows: Firefox and Opera are cool for browsing, but now that you are on the way to change your mind, give thunderfox a try, it is far better than outlook (or outlook express).

    Then, forget your included windows media player, and try alternatives like BSplayer and others. When you want to edit a picture, use Gimp for windows or replace your illegal copy of Word by OpenOffice.

    And if you enjoy what you are getting, and this new perspective of choices, jump in and join the GNU/Linux community.

  • by Hobophile (602318) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:50PM (#9677525) Homepage
    It's great to see Firefox gaining momentum among regular computer users, but I can't help but feel that it won't fare much better, security wise.

    We've already seen significant security holes in Firefox, and this is with a negligible market share. Once it gets targetted directly, exploits may be just as common as they currently are with Internet Explorer.

    And if that happens, where is the security update infrastructure to ensure everyone gets patched? Microsoft won't integrate Firefox into Automatic Updates. Sure, mailing lists and /. will carry the news of new Firefox security flaws, but will the average user see those announcements?

    The problem with telling users to switch to Firefox for security reasons is that it's usually sold as a permanent fix to the problem, when in all honesty it never will be.

    But the user, having been told that "Firefox is secure", probably won't bother checking the Mozilla site on a regular basis, if ever. Automatic update notification is supposed to be coming in the future, but that does little for anyone who's installed Firefox in the past couple of weeks and doesn't plan to touch it again.

  • On Opera's ad... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Illissius (694708) on Monday July 12, 2004 @02:51PM (#9677550)
    ...just want to point out that it's just a Google text ad in the toolbar. Completely unintrusive, and after two days unnoticeable unless you happen to be bored and want to look at what it's saying (which ranks up there with reloading /. on ways to waste time effortlessly).
  • Mozilla and Hotmail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:07PM (#9677782)
    I recently installed Mozilla, but I still need my hotmail account... Even if Mozilla is set as my main browser and main emailware, when I click a link from an email in my Hotmail inbox, it opens IE... and when I click the "email" button in MSN Messenger, it opens Outlook.

    Is it possible to castrate this annoyance?
  • by Luscious868 (679143) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:34PM (#9678183)
    I've been using Firefox for a few months now and I absolutely love it. The popup blocking is great, tabbed browsing makes working with multiple open web sites easy, find as you type is a real time saver and so is the built in Google search bar. The compact UI is cool as well because more screen realistate is devoted to the website I'm lookking at.

    I can't recommend Firefox highly enough. If you enable Automatic Updates in Windows, there's really no reason to use IE. I've only come across a site or two that required IE in order to display correctly and when it happened I fired off a note to the webmaster.

    If you haven't tried Firefox and are using IE what in the world are you waiting for? The worst that can happen is that you decided you don't like it and uninstall it. When you compare that to just some of the annoying things that can and do happen when running IE (spyware, malware, constant pop-ups, constant security issues, etc) trying Firefox becomes a no brainer.
  • by waspleg (316038) on Monday July 12, 2004 @05:45PM (#9680022) Journal
    Until about a week ago when i was introduced to Firefox. Here I'll give my opinions based on years of browsing and although I've used virtually every browser out there from lynx to safari I primarily use IE and have for the last several years so I will compare Firefox to it. As I've read other posts comparing speed, I find both of them render comparably fast, are compatible with roughly the same media and are basically equal at this level. People complain about the load times compared to IE but I really don't notice it that much, and there is none with tabs, they're very fast. I was skeptical at first and it still has a few annoying things I don't like but they're fewer than what I do so I'll list them first:

    CONS
    1.) you can't just press enter like in IE after entering information eg login/password, searches anything you have to press tab THEN enter.

    2.) it doesn't pass off most wmv files to mplayer2 like it should and does with everything else fine

    3.) why can't i run exes? must it not only second guess me but lock me into a forced download/install/delete cycle when IE lets me just execute after the download is complete trusting me to make the right choice?

    PROS
    1.) easily installed (ctrl-d, i like hte mimiced funcationality as it makes migrating easier for me and i'm lazy) highly functional bookmark toolbar buttons which even show the related website graphic with the associated website such as the green /. i'm looking at right now.

    2.) multiple browser tabs easily opened (ctrl-t), i had heard about these before but i grossly underestimated just how useful these really are until i started using them, never again will i go hunt and peck for the right IE window at the bottom my ever cramped taskbar.

    3.) beautiful and extremely functional themes with details only someone who made it with love would think to include like red/yellow/green status lights for if a tabbed page is loading and separate forward and back list box histories (i'm using nautipolis from the site i found simply by clicking on "get themes")

    4.) extension plug-ins available that flawlessly install, notable examples include a tiny java vm compared to the huge sun download and resource hog, easily done macromedia flash without any bullshit of registering or clicking through 400 pages to install associated with a similar typical IE 3rd party install, these are all seamlessly integrated and the installs are smooth. My personal favorite and most important extension is the adblock extension, which allows me to block source sites for ads with a simple right click and a wildcard.

    5.) built in search and popup blocking, you take these things for granted if you have the google toolbar installed as i did but this takes up less realestate (almost none, a tiny google search thumb in the right corner) and is more functional and the google news button is easily emulated as per the buttons mentioned above.

    Overall Firefox is extremely impressive and I'm rarely impressed and not only is it a lesson to microsoft not to sit on their laurels, in regards to adding actual functionality instead of endless security patches but its really a testament to how free software should be, polished, easy to use, portable and easily added on to by others. It's software products like these that will undermine monopolies and I'm sure htey're not unaware of the threat.

    It's a pity there isn't a few billion dollars to market Firefox with or they would dominate. Even so word of mouth is powerful and it generates a momentum that is difficult to turn back.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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