[Zagreus] Zag's alternative browser tour: Mozilla rocks, Opera sux

edited November 2001 in General Discussion

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    I got sick enough of the IE/Netscape suckitude of late that I went looking at alternatives. Some quick impressions:

    Mozilla: pretty good. Has all the kewl features you can find in the big name browsers, without some of the crap. I really love tabs. Seems more stable than the alternatives (RealAudio doesn't crash my system within Mozilla, which I can't say for either IE or Netscape). A little slow, but otherwise this is my new favorite.

    Opera: oh man, where do I start? Incompatible with major sites -- the Mac client doesn't interface properly with Yahoo Mail, so you can never get the server to accept your password. ESPN.com is a beaut: the site flashes on and off inside the window, as if the entire page was enclosed in a blink tag. Annoying Javascript warnings that you can't disable. Graphics displaying on top of text. Headlines displaying on top of text. Text displaying beyond the borders of windows. It's a complete friggin' mess, and is only marginally faster than the alternatives.

    I was reading through opera.mac on Usenet, and someone else complained about the display of ESPN. The response, if you can call it that, is that there's non-standard HTML at that site. Tough friggin' luck, that's no excuse for failing to render a page that every alternative browser handles easily.

    Anyone know of browser alternatives besides these two that I should try?

    Zag/Mark
  • edited December 1969
    OmniWeb 4.0.5 if you have MacOS X [nt]


  • edited December 1969
    [b]ICab[/b]

    [quote]
    I got sick enough of the IE/Netscape suckitude of late that I
    went looking at alternatives. Some quick impressions:

    [/quote]
    Mind mentioned the problems with MacIE, if that's what you're commenting about here? I use it as my default and love it. Only area it sucks in is rendering long-ass tables, but otherwise, it's rock solid for me.

    I gave up on Netscape long ago. Mozilla I'd be interested in but not just yet.

    You should give iCab for the Mac a whirl:

    http://www.icab-soft.de/download.html

    Several of my clients prefer it over MacIE, but still need MacIE for certain secure sites, etc. It's a close contender, really close, in my own 'browser race' scorecard.

    Good to see you stretching your writing muscles, sounds like you're enjoying yourself!

    - Free / Miguel

    [url=http://bs.bungie.org/]Bungie Sightings[/url]
  • edited December 1969
    Re: ICab

    Mind mentioned the problems with MacIE, if that's what you're
    commenting about here? I use it as my default and love it. Only
    area it sucks in is rendering long-ass tables, but otherwise,
    it's rock solid for me.

    I was bitching about it on the "wink" board recently ... the gist of it was memory problems and related fallout. IE 4.5 was OK, but increasingly was being rejected by servers. So I reinstalled 5.1, and then remembered why I had de-installed it in the first place: I was constantly getting out of memory errors, even with 160 megs installed, even with only one window open, even after I adjusted the memory settings. Ignoring the warning was perilous since screen freezes were common. It wasn't stable enough for plugin use; listening to RealAudio football broadcasts, for instance, was simply out of the question, since there was no way I'd get through a three hour game before the browser crashed. I have none of these problems under different browsers, by the way.

    Slow I can handle, but unstable? Forget it.

    Zag/Mark
  • edited December 1969
    Mozilla... IE...

    I see those as the only two options.

    IE: Basic browser, not strong anywhere, just fair.

    Mozilla, crappy as all hell interface and application. But it's backend is quite nice and standardized. (I think the best bet is an alternative interface that uses Gecko, like Galeon does on Linux)

    iCab: Not bad, wonderful browser for 2 years ago. But it's non-support of stylesheets is inexcusable IMO. But worth watching if they ever get around to adding it.

    OmniWeb: Same boat really. Except it's interface and application is a dream to work in. But it doesn't support CSS worth a shit, so I can't use it.

    Overall, I still use IE because I just can't get used to the interface of Mozilla. Right now I'm kinda wishing OmniWeb would just dump thier backend and put in Gecko. It'd get them lightyears beyond what they have now, and a dream browser.

    Barring that, a "clone" like Galeon is the best bet.

    image
  • edited December 1969
    Not really a serious suggestion, but interesting...

    See how the "other" half lives with the MSNTV emulator. Surprisingly enough, Yahoo! Personals at one time had MORE WebTV users than Macintosh users!!! That has declined recently for various reasions, one of which being our redesigned site is less WebTV-friendly.

    _/ C


    WebTV Viewer
  • edited December 1969
    Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Aren't they effectively the same?

    I tried mozilla for about ten seconds before I decided its UI sucked too much posterior for me to continue using it.

    _/ C


    WebTV Viewer
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Aren't they effectively the same?

    I tried mozilla for about ten seconds before I decided its UI
    sucked too much posterior for me to continue using it.

    Eh. The interface doesn't bother me. It's not what I'm used to but I can deal with it. To me it's like new car reviews I've read where the guy goes off on how much the dashboard design bothers him -- on the list of things I'd think about when buying a car, that would be ranked pretty low.

    Mostly I've compared Mozilla to IE, and it wins on the basis of roughly equivalent features added to much greater stability. Take my recommendation with a grain of salt, though, since I've never tried NS 6.2 -- every time I've attempted to connect to the download servers (and I've tried many times) it's timed out before the download started.

    I might like iCab except it tends to choke on ESPN.com (not as bad as Opera, but still enough to make the site unnavigable). For a sports junkie like me, that's not acceptable.

    Zag/Mark

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Aren't they effectively the same?

    Technically yes. But the Netscape versions are far behind in the updates. (Netscape puts them through quality control, which slows them down)

    Not that quality control is a bad thing, just that Mozilla has always fixed bugs and added features you'll never get in NS.

    Not to mention all the marketing crap NS adds to the sidebar and such that you won't get with Mozilla.

    image
  • axx
    edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Technically yes. But the Netscape versions are far behind in the
    updates. (Netscape puts them through quality control, which
    slows them down)

    Not that quality control is a bad thing, just that Mozilla has
    always fixed bugs and added features you'll never get in NS.

    Not to mention all the marketing crap NS adds to the sidebar and
    such that you won't get with Mozilla.

    Has mozilla ever put in that javascript/popup/annoying crap killer? That'd be a cool addon especially since Microsoft wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole.

    -ax
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Eh. The interface doesn't bother me. It's not what I'm used to
    but I can deal with it. To me it's like new car reviews I've
    read where the guy goes off on how much the dashboard design
    bothers him -- on the list of things I'd think about when buying
    a car, that would be ranked pretty low.

    I'd agree if there were a great difference in features... but from what I've seen, NS6.2 is rock solid, *and* looks a hell of a lot better than Mozilla. On OS X at least. I'll have to check 'em out on my laptop. There, IE wins by feature parity and a smaller memory footprint. I haven't tried IE6 yet, though; and I need to -- its adoption curve has been amazingly fast. As in probably more IE6 users than netscape users at this point. Bleh.

    _/ C
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Has mozilla ever put in that javascript/popup/annoying crap
    killer? That'd be a cool addon especially since Microsoft
    wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole.

    There are hooks for killing just about all annoying web features in Moz, but not all have UI interfaces yet. Killing cookies and images from hosts do for now. But AFAIK, the popup killer line(s) have to be put in by hand. I don't have a handy reference for it either, since I'm too lazy to do it myself :)

    BTW, those of you that have said the interface sucks rocks, are you using the 'Modern' Moz theme? By default for a long time, the default theme was a NS 4 look-a-like, which does suck rocks. The included Modern theme is what most UI boxes look best with. Around 0.9.1 or 0.9.2 it got a nice overhaul and it has grown on me quite a bit. Also, there are new themes popping up and you can grab them from within the browser (View->Apply Theme->Get New Themes). I railed early on about the custom GUI, especially when that was what seemed to be dragging the speed down. But after using it for over a year now, I can say it's not in my way anymore and using it on at least four different platforms now, I understand why they went this way. No feature is lacking on any of those platforms due to some missing bit in the host OS (like toolbar folders were from Mac NS 4.x for very, very long). But no doubt it takes some getting used to.

    Finally to be fair about Infin's comments about NS adding crap to Moz, there are a few features that are only available in NS right now, most notably the spell checker (ugh). I believe there are some bits that either can't be open sourced licensed or have too restrictive licensing for the Moz releases. There is a hack out there to get the NS spell checking module to work with Moz, but again, I'm to lazy to have tried it ;) I still use Moz though and have since 0.8.5 or so for the reasons Infin outlined.

    image
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    BTW, those of you that have said the interface sucks rocks, are
    you using the 'Modern' Moz theme? By default for a long time,
    the default theme was a NS 4 look-a-like, which does suck rocks.
    The included Modern theme is what most UI boxes look best with.
    Around 0.9.1 or 0.9.2 it got a nice overhaul and it has grown on
    me quite a bit. Also, there are new themes popping up and you
    can grab them from within the browser (View->Apply

    I don't give a rats ass what it looks like. :)

    The reason the interface sucks is that it ignores all the typical mac standards and redoes everything it's own (inferior) way. Nothing works the way it should.

    I just want a standard interface, using the standard Mac widgets. (Again, looks I don't care about, it's just the behavior.)

    Thats why I said I wanted Omniweb, but with the Gecko (Mozilla) backend. :)

    image
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    I just want a standard interface, using the standard Mac
    widgets. (Again, looks I don't care about, it's just the
    behavior.)

    It's a trade-off of UI feature portability vs. native widgets. I got so sick of missing features in Mac NS vs. Win/Linux NS that I'm happy with a standard cross-platform interface. I'm curious what behavior you are finding most non-standard? Maybe it's because I use so many different platforms regularly, but I don't seem to notice much difference in how basic UI's work these days.


    image
  • axx
    edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    It's a trade-off of UI feature portability vs. native widgets. I
    got so sick of missing features in Mac NS vs. Win/Linux NS that
    I'm happy with a standard cross-platform interface. I'm curious
    what behavior you are finding most non-standard? Maybe it's
    because I use so many different platforms regularly, but I don't
    seem to notice much difference in how basic UI's work these
    days.

    Native widgets are faster?
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    It's a trade-off of UI feature portability vs. native widgets. I
    got so sick of missing features in Mac NS vs. Win/Linux NS that
    I'm happy with a standard cross-platform interface. I'm curious
    what behavior you are finding most non-standard? Maybe it's
    because I use so many different platforms regularly, but I don't
    seem to notice much difference in how basic UI's work these
    days.

    Memory footprint. The reason I'll never use Netscape or Mozilla over the alternatives is that all that cross platform nonsense has a huge runtime cost. (4-5x the resident size of IE on OS X, for example).

    I don't want MozillaOS, I want a friggin browser.

    _/ C

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    It's a trade-off of UI feature portability vs. native widgets. I
    got so sick of missing features in Mac NS vs. Win/Linux NS that
    I'm happy with a standard cross-platform interface. I'm curious
    what behavior you are finding most non-standard? Maybe it's
    because I use so many different platforms regularly, but I don't
    seem to notice much difference in how basic UI's work these
    days.

    Well first off, as AX says, native widgets are faster.

    On the bahavior: Popup menus don't autoclose until you click a second time, same with contrextual menus. You can select inactive items in menus (though it doesn't do anything)

    The "triangle factor" in heiracal menus doesn't work either. Works just like crappy Windows. (Try moving to a low item in a sub-menu directly, don't go to the right then down. This works in ANY standard Mac menu. It doesn't in Mozilla.)

    Yes they could fix these. But wasn't the reason they did this to save time? They already had to do a bunch of hacks to get the scrollbars to work right.

    There's other things too, thats all I could think of at the moment since I don't use it much. :)

    image
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Curious: why mozilla over netscape 6.2?

    Well first off, as AX says, native widgets are faster.

    There's no real reason for this, though. On Linux the UI is as fast as any of the other UI's I've used. I suspect it's still not fully optimized yet since there are still bugs to be squashed. The OS X version is noticably slower than any platform I've used it on so far (including OS 9 on the same machine). The speed under Linux at work is now faster than *any* browser I've ever used. It's simply a joy to use.

    How much work they end up doing to bring the plaform speed issues into parity is the same as the tradeoff you mention below to fix minor UI issues. I guess we'll have to wait and see. However, with the custom widgets there's no getting around the memory issue that Carch mentioned. And on a slim machine that could ultimately affect your speed.

    On a completely unrelated note, anyone notice the Acrobat Reader bloat going from version 4 to 5? Holy cow...

    On the bahavior: Popup menus don't autoclose until you click a
    second time, same with contrextual menus. You can select
    inactive items in menus (though it doesn't do anything)

    The "triangle factor" in heiracal menus doesn't work
    either. Works just like crappy Windows. (Try moving to a low
    item in a sub-menu directly, don't go to the right then down.
    This works in ANY standard Mac menu. It doesn't in Mozilla.)

    Yes they could fix these. But wasn't the reason they did this to
    save time? They already had to do a bunch of hacks to get the
    scrollbars to work right.

    There's other things too, thats all I could think of at the
    moment since I don't use it much. :)

    That's cool. I was wondering what you were seeing. I never noticed any of those things except the popup menu click to remove. That's pretty standard on other OS's now so I guess it doesn't bug me.

    image
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Zag's alternative browser tour: Mozilla rocks, Opera sux

    Why should HTML be written to the standard ?

    Hmmmmm..
    Why shood i learned to speek enlish right ?

    Come on...
    The question should be:
    The net is international and platform independent, therefore why are web developers writing code that only works with 1 (or 2) browsers.
    If the standard is no longer valid then update it, otherwise stop it with the IE specific, security hole ridden "feature" use of some web pages.
  • edited December 1969
    Amen! :) [nt] [nt]


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