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Tuesday · November 29 2005

Firefox 1.5 is out.
What browser are you using now? I'm sincerely curious.

Archived: Techie » November 2005
What you had to say:
November 29 2005

1.5. But, only because a couple months ago I switched to the nightly builds version with automatic updates. Otherwise, I'd probably still be on 1.07. You may wonder why a non-geek person such as myself would switch to nightly builds. At the time I made the switch, I'm sure I had a reason. But, it escapes me now. I totally love Firefox.

November 30 2005

1.5. Automatic updates are huge. I can't tell you how much this browser has helped slow the "come fix my computer, it's running really slow and there are lots of pop-ups" requests from family members. Now I can just get them 1.5 and know it will stay up to date. Tab re-ordering is pretty sweet too =)

November 30 2005

1.07
Looks like I've got some catching up to do.

November 30 2005

1.07
Anybody else noticing that it's getting slow to load pages? Or is this just my work connection? Also, have you noticed popups starting to sneak through?

At home I've been using Maxthon - only b/c it was installed when I bought the machine - anybody else heard of it?

November 30 2005

I've heard of Maxthon. A guy I know converted from FF to Maxthon, but I don't know what improvements it has over FF.

The slow loading pages are more likely due to some proxy or low bandwith at work. Compare with a different browser.

As for the popups, try the AdBlock extension. That took care of all sorts of banner ads, Flash popups, and other annoying junk.

Btw, I'm using 1.07, but I'm switching over to 1.5. For anyone who has switched, did all of your installed extensions move over no problem?

Internet Explorer folks can speak up too. This isn't a firing squad. I'm just interested to see.

November 30 2005

Just downloaded 1.5 and it went pretty smoothly. Bloglines toolbar and the skin theme were outdated, but Firefox helped find updates for each (although the skin didn't work, which brings me to my question: what skin do y'all use? I was using Brushed but just switched to Aquatint as Brushed isn't compatible with 1.5; to me most of those skins are pretty horrid). Browsing through the skins, Mozilla's page is pretty slow, but other pages seem to be OK.

November 30 2005

I am still at 1.0.7 but upgrading to 1.5 today. Right now in fact.

November 30 2005

Just switched to the Black Japan theme from Aquatint which had some bugs (right-click menus would appear in the upper left corner of the window, not next to the mouse, for example) and other legibility/aesthetic problems. I wish Firefox's default skin was better, then I wouldn't fret over this.

November 30 2005

It looks like Inspect Element isn't compatable (although DOM Inspector and Web Developer update OK).

November 30 2005

Ok, I will be the totally un-geek one and ask what's the big deal. I work at a company that sells software and I use IE (and I don't know what version it is). I am constantly trying to answer client's questions about what browser version is supported by which software release and it seems like a big mess. IE always works with our software and I haven't had any problems otherwise. Why do I need to switch?

November 30 2005

Opera for Max OSX. I paid for an earlier version of Opera last year and found it useless, but when they gave it away this year I downloaded it again and have been using it as my browser of choice since. The bookmarks feature is a little cumbersome but as a whole it's a slick little browser. Grab it if they're still offering it for free.

November 30 2005

Anneke, I didn't ask because I was trying to get anyone to switch. I was curious as to what browser people use and why they use it.

I can't give you an unbiased answer that you have to objectively accept. You're not wrong for using IE. It may serve your needs just fine and that's fine. But there is a better alternative that makes browsing the web easier, more customized to you, and more efficient. The best comparison I can make for you is TiVo, because I know you were an early and happy adopter of TiVo.

People would ask, "I can watch regular TV and it works just fine for me and my uncomplicated TV-watching life. I'm not a TV power user. Why should I get a TiVo?" I don't know exactly how you answered, but I remember hearing, "Once you switch, you'll see. You just can't go back."

TV with commercials and without the ability to pause, save, and rewind...like Internet Explorer...sucks.

***
BG, I downloaded Opera and I liked it. I don't think I liked it enough to switch away from the customization I have with Firefox, however. There are certain extensions of Firefox that are must-haves for web development, imo.

***
Schrags, ditto on no requests from my dad anymore for getting rid of his spyware. Using IE, he had like 30,000 spyware related things we cleaned off. Since switching, he's had none everytime I have checked.

***
Dan, I need Inspect Element back soon. Hopefully, that will get updated.

November 30 2005

One extension that's no long supported is the calendar. However, Mozilla came out with Sunbird, a stand-alone calendar program. For those of us who don't have Outlook or something similar, it is really nice.

They're working on a new version which is still in alpha and quite buggy. Scroll down to older versions on the download page and download 0.2:

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/

December 01 2005

Jason, I wasn't asking about switching because I doubted you could come up with a good reason, I was asking becasue I know there are good reasons and I just don't know what they are. Obviously everyone on this list has moved on, and I know lots of people I work with use something else. Like those commercial-watchers, I'm sure I'm having problems that I didn't know could be fixed. I don't know what they are! Like 'spyware things,' - that sounds bad, but do I have them? What would be different if I didn't?

December 01 2005

Sorry, Anneke, I misunderstood why you were asking. I thought it was more of a rhetorical "why switch? IE is fine for me." But anyway.

Here are my reasons why I like Firefox from a practical, user standpoint. I have many others from a philosophical/web developer viewpoint, but you guys don't care about those.

1. Tabbed browsing. Most every modern browser except IE has the ability to let you keep multiple pages open in the same window in different tabs. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you try it, but it's really nice.

2. Better integrated search and find toolbars

3. Built in pop-up control. It's not perfect, but it's far better than what you get in vanilla IE.

4. Live bookmarks. This is great for news headlines. If the news source has an RSS feed, there's a little orange icon that means you can make it a live bookmark. It looks like a bookmark, but updates automatically with the latest items in the feed. It's much easier to demonstrate this than to explain it; it's like a mini news aggregator.

5. Extensions. This is the big one. Pretty much anything you can think of that you'd like in a web browswer, someone has written an extension for. Everyone has their favorites. I could list a bunch, but my 2 favorites by far are...

a. An extension that saves my browsing session. Say I have a FF window open with 8 different tabs, 4 are the main ones I always keep open, and 4 are some news stories I want to read later. Then it's time to go home. Come back the next day, reboot, load up FF, and the state of my browser window is exactly as I left it. I automatically closed a tab on accident? It's in my list of recently closed tabs.

b. An extension that lets me download all files of a certain type on a page to a folder in one click. I don't have to right click-Save As 15 different .mp3 files to save them. I set up an mp3 filter, browse to one of the mp3 blogs I like, right click once, and zap, I have them all in a couple minutes while I'm browsing something else or away from the PC. I grab lots of music off mp3 blogs and this tool makes it effortless.

If you don't know about spyware, I suggest downloading Microsoft's anti-spyware tool or Ad-Aware Personal Editon. They're both free and will scan your machine for spyware and malware. These are small programs you could have that are sending out personal information about you that's on your pc, passwords, etc. Bad stuff, you don't want them around and IE (especially if you're not dilligent about keeping up to date with the latest security patches) is the #1 way these things get on your machine.

© 2005 Jason Keglovitz