The Brave Programmer - Blogging and coding
Not for the faint hearted
 

Blog Posts From The Brave Programmer

Minimize

The best Browser? Firefox – Internet Explorer – Opera – Safari.

Feb12

Written by:
2009/02/12 08:52 PM RssIcon

Trying to find out which is the best browser is asking to be killed, if asked in the wrong company. It is like asking which is the Best Football Team, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea. Well the answer is simple, it's Liverpool.

But asked in the wrong company will probably get you killed at worst, and at best, you might get off lightly with a painful wedgie. When looking at the browser wars, it might seem simple enough, seeing that IE has the lion  share of the market. But does that make it the best.

There are millions of pages of information and entertainment available online. In order to maximize your Internet experience, you need to have a web browser that has the features and technologies that are appropriate for your operating system and your preferences

However, despite the emotional roller coaster, and the death threats, there are many areas of comparison which can be evaluated from a non biased point of view.

Every web browser is made up of two major components, a rendering engine and a user interface. Selecting the right rendering engine for your needs and matching it with the right user interface for your needs can point you to the right web browser. Like I always say, the best tool for the right job.

The Browsers

  • Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is the dominant player in the browser field with about 65% market share But some say that it sits closer to 80%. Produced by the software giant, Microsoft, its user interface is similar to that offered by Windows Explorer. IE cam access a wide variety of web sites and content. Some valuable features offered by Internet Explorer include pop-up blockers and tabbed browsing capabilities. It’s twp biggest let downs has probably been security issues and non standardisation. Microsoft is working hard to fix these problems as they continue to provide security patches to Internet Explorer users. Although much can be said if Microsoft when it comes to standards or its lack thereof.

  • Mozilla Firefox

Firefox works with just about any operating platform including: Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. For a long time it has offered a great selection of features. Firefox pioneered tabbed browsing. Features include integrated download management, live bookmarking, incremental find using the Firefox toolbar, anti-phishing protection, and a dynamic search system, and probably its biggest feature is add-ons. Firefox is open source software, and there is a vibrant community of developers actively improving the software, and creating Firefox extensions to add new features to the browser. Firefox is rapidly gaining market share, mostly at the expense of Explorer. As of January 2009, Firefox was used by about 21% of all Internet users, an figure which is increasing yearly.

  • Safari

Safari is a browser found on Apple Macintosh systems, but has recently been released for Windows too. Like IE has been integrated into the Mac OS X operating platform. It has many of the same features as Internet Explorer and Firefox, including: QuickTime multimedia technology, a tabbed-browsing interface system, and internet searching tools. Safari uses Google as its main search engine, and it also offers users tools that automatically fill out web-based forms, manage passwords, check spelling, and block pop-ups. Safari is by far the most popular browser for Mac OS X systems. People who use both Windows and Mac systems now have a choice between Safari and Firefox. Both offer a common interface and can share bookmarks. Safari is used by about 8% of all users, which is very similar to the Mac share of the personal computer market.

  • Chrome

Chrome is a relative newcomer to the browser arena, released by Google in September of 2008.Apparently Chrome was built from scratch, and is designed to handle the modern web and all the cool stuff web users want to do, such as video, online games, and web-based applications. The four basic deign pillars of Chrome are Stability, Speed, Security and Simplicity. Chrome is still in beta, and I find it  still a bit buggy. It renders some pages rather strangely where the other browsers have no problem. It is available only on Windows platforms for now.

  • Opera

Opera is another cross-platform browser like Firefox. Some say that this browser is more of an "internet suite" than a simple browser. It provides users with the tools and technology to perform a wide variety of internet related tasks like viewing web pages, searching the Internet, sending and receiving emails, conducting online chats, and even displaying the latest Widgets. Opera was developed with a philosophy of strict adherence to the W3C standards. So some pages may not look the same in Opera as they do in Internet Explorer. But then again IE is not known for strict adherence to W3C standards. Opera is designed to perform well on small systems and low-end computers, and also has integrated features that make it a great choice for people with visual or mobility impairments. Opera also comes in a mobile version, Opera Mini. This free download allows Opera users to access this internet suite on their mobile devices. Other features offered by Opera include: a download manager, tabbed browsing, notes, and a pop-up blocker. Opera has never achieved more than 1% of the browser market.

 

Rendering Engines.

  • Trident

Trident is the rendering engine used by Microsoft Internet Explorer. Trident is also used by Avant Browser and SlimBrowser. Trident is also supported by the Netscape Browser.

  • Gecko

Gecko is the rendering engine used by Mozilla Firefox. Gecko is also utilized by Camino, Epiphany, and K-Meleon. Gecko is also supported by the Netscape Browser.

  • KHTML

KHTML is the rendering engine utilized by Konqueror. KHTML was the base used by Apple to develop the WebCore rendering engine.

  • WebCore

WebCore is the rendering engine used by Apple's Safari browser.

  • Presto

Presto is the rendering engine utilized by the Opera web browser.

The Best Rendering Engine

So then which is the best rendering engine. Only two come out tops. But for very different reasons

  • Rendering Engine Standards Compliance

The Gecko rendering engine is considered the leader as far as compliance with W3C standards is concerned.

  • Rendering Engine Popularity

Microsoft's Trident rendering engine currently dominates the worlds desktop computers. Because of this, a great majority of web pages on the Internet are designed to render correctly under the Trident engine.

Therein lies the problem. Because Trident is not standards compliant, a big percentage of web pages are designed not to be standards compliant either. They are designed to be Microsoft compliant. Some by choice some by necessity. The result of 65% of internet users using Microsoft. Therefore many believe their best bet is to design for the 65% market share/

The question is: Which is more important to you, standards compliance or popularity?

The Best User Interface

User interface is, for the majority, a matter of personal preference. Some browsers can be "skinned" to give them a custom look-and-feel to meet each users preference.

Other web browsers are designed OS platform. Depending on what platform or OS your using, you might be limited for choice. But Firefox is probably still the browser of choice here as well.

While still there is the matter of customization, do you want the ability to have add-ons. Do you want a all-in-one solution. Are you a developer? DO you want developer tools integrated into your browse.

All these types of questions can only be answered by you. Each person has their needs. Some will want more, while some only require the basics.


Browsers by OS

For most Microsoft Windows users, Mozilla Firefox is an excellent choice. Internet Explorer, installed by default, should be kept around for those web pages which are not standards compliant.

On the Macintosh and Unix/Linux, Mozilla Firefox is most likely your best choice in browsers.

Which browser do you use? Which browser do you like and prefer? What are your reason? Drop us a note and let us know.

BTW. There is a neat website that allows you to view your web page in more than 60 different browsers and versions. Check out my Testing your web page in over 60 browsers blog post.

Tags:
Categories:
blog comments powered by Disqus

2 comment(s) so far...


Gravatar

Re: The best Browser? Firefox – Internet Explorer – Opera – Safari.

I use and check with them all. I think Opera and Safari have the best debugging tools for the developer.

Safari is slow to render on a Windows platform, but i still really like its developer tools.

By Greg Neid on  2009/02/15 11:11 PM
Gravatar

Re: The best Browser? Firefox – Internet Explorer – Opera – Safari.

I use and check with them all. I think Opera and Safari have the best debugging tools for the developer.

Safari is slow to render on a Windows platform, but i still really like its developer tools.

By Greg Neid on  2009/02/16 07:57 AM
 
Blog Updates Via E-mail
 Blog Updates Via E-mail
Minimize

Do you want to receive blog updates via e-mail. Then just click on the link below. You will be redirected to Google's feed burner, where you can fill out a form. Supplying your e-mail address.

The subscription is managed entirely by Google's Feedburner. We cannot and do not collect your email address.

Subscribe to The Brave Programmer by Email

Print  
 

 

Latest Comments
 Latest Comments
Minimize
Powered by Disqus

Sign up with Disqus to enjoy a  surprise box of features

Print  
 
Blog Roll
 Blog Roll
Minimize
Print  
 
Categories
 Categories
Minimize
Print  
 
<h1>Search Blogs From The Brave Programmer</h1>
 

Search Blogs From The Brave Programmer

Minimize
Print  
 
Archive
 Archive
Minimize
Archive
<February 2017>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
Monthly
Go
Print  
 
<h1>News Feeds (RSS)</h1>
 

News Feeds (RSS)

Minimize

Mon, 26 May 2014 13:39:24 -0500

Mon, 19 May 2014 13:10:38 -0500

Tue, 13 May 2014 05:00:08 -0500

Mon, 12 May 2014 05:00:43 -0500

Sun, 11 May 2014 05:00:26 -0500

Tue, 06 May 2014 05:00:02 -0500

Mon, 05 May 2014 05:00:34 -0500

Fri, 02 May 2014 05:00:52 -0500

Thu, 01 May 2014 05:00:00 -0500

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:00:38 -0500

Print  
 

Follow robertbravery on Twitter

Blog Engage Blog Forum and Blogging Community, Free Blog Submissions and Blog Traffic, Blog Directory, Article Submissions, Blog Traffic

View Robert Bravery's profile on LinkedIn

Mybyte

 

Robert - Find me on Bloggers.com

Tags
 Tags
Minimize
Print  
 
Contact Us Now
 Contact Us Now
Minimize
 

Email  us now or call us on 082-413-1420,  to host your website.

We design and develop websites. We develop websites that make a difference. We do Dotnetnuke Module development.

Web Masters Around The World
Power By Ringsurf
Print