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Firefox vs. IE

  1. Apr 8, 2005 #1


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    OK, it's time we have a thread dedicated to this (with apologies to those who use Safari or Opera or whatever). Who prefers Firefox, who prefers IE, and why? Sorry if this is a bit cliched by now, but it keeps popping up and I'd like to get a definitive read on the matter. (yes Monique, I'm looking at you. :wink:)

    I know there was recently a thread about who uses what browsers, but here I'm more interested the two heavyweights, and particularly why people prefer one over the other. From what I've seen, it seems that most people who use IE just use it because they haven't had incentive to try anything else. I was in that boat up until a few months ago, when annoying Java problems forced me to switch (O, serendipity!). IE doesn't seem to offer anything Firefox doesn't, whereas Firefox offers a lot more than IE. So why in the world would anyone use IE, except habit?

    Put me down for Firefox for two main reasons (yep, you probably know what they are already).

    First, I love that I can customize the browser's functionality with extensions. I can know what the weather's like, control my mp3 player from the browser, zoom in on images without having to download them and use a separate graphics program, save notes on what I'm reading without having to use notepad and keep temporary text files hanging around all the time, highlight a street address and click "Map It!" in the context menu to instantly find its location on a map, highlight a word and use the context menu to instantly look it up in a dictionary search, and much much more! Extensions widen the scope of what the browser can do and make various kinds of searches much easier and faster.

    Second, tabbed browsing. I can open a whole bunch of web pages while only having to use one browser window. This makes it so much easier to navigate multiple pages at once, especially for numbers exceeding 3 or 4. No longer do I have to worry about the menu bar at the bottom of the screen filling up with tiny buttons for 10 different pages (or worse, have them all compress into one pull-down type menu), and it's also a lot easier to switch between pages and keep track of what page is where. It's much more efficient, and I'm not compelled to stop looking at a certain page because the clunky interface of having to use a separate window gets in the way of what I want to do.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2005
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  3. Apr 8, 2005 #2
    I think you pretty much have it.

    People use IE because it is what comes with their computer. If firefox came with their computer they would use firefox. The only people who use Firefox are what I would call educated internet users, while Joe Schmoe uses IE.

    I personally use firefox because I:
    -Love tabbed browsing (w/o it I would probably not be able to live)
    -Love the whole adblocking thing (not the extension, but the way you can block out 99% of adds by adding some css, not that the adblock extension is bad)
    -Love my mouse gestures
    -Love the limitless customization
    -I, too, love the weather and music player controls.

    Hands down firefox rocks. And MS knows it too, they are now working on an IE 7 beta, which they probably would have not been working one had fx not risen up.

    ~30 million people use firefox. In my mind that is huge. That is 30 million people who went out of their way to stop using IE.
  4. Apr 8, 2005 #3


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    I used to try a lot of new things with computers, but I'm becoming a creature of habit. I really need to try firefox though...
  5. Apr 8, 2005 #4


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    I use IE, simply because it's guaranteed to be installed on every computer I use (home, work, work). I don't get to choose the software installed on my primary work computer, and certainly not any of the computers I use when I go out on site. It's easier to use the same browser all the time than one at home and a different one at work.
  6. Apr 8, 2005 #5


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    Okay, I saw a few of you discussing this the other day, and I have no idea what it is...what are mouse gestures?

    I don't use firefox or IE (I'm of the "too lazy to install a browser that didn't come pre-installed on my computer" camp). I stick with Safari. I used to use IE, but it got all wacky with the last upgrade I did, and I decided to see what this other browser on my computer was all about. I think if Safari wasn't pre-installed, I'd have been motivated enough to start trying out other browsers when I switched. But, I hate clutter on my screen (for example, right now I have 5 or 6 pdf's saved on my desktop and they are an eyesore that I need to move to a proper folder), so anything with a nice clean look will keep me happy.

    Why do you need the weather on your browser window? Is it so hard to look out the clear glass window to the great outdoors? That's how I know the weather. :tongue:
  7. Apr 8, 2005 #6
    I wouldn't use firefox on a mac. The mac firefox developers, I'm sorry to say, didn't integrate FF that well. Keyboard commands are very different (ie going back in history isn't accomplished by hitting the delete key). Camino is a better frontend for the gecko(firefox internet engine) engine on macs. Camino works great and is just as fast as Safari. http://caminobrowser.org/

    Mouse gestures are commands that are executed by moving the mouse in a certain pattern(ie you can make back through history a N pattern so when you move the mouse in that pattern the browser goes back through your history).
  8. Apr 8, 2005 #7
    I use Mozilla Suite (similar to Firefox) because of its overwhelming support of the latest W3C and ECMAscript standards, and noninvasiveness (lack of popups and the security-challenged ActiveX protocol). The freely available W3C standards combined with javascript/java are pretty much on their way to replacing arbitrary binary formats like Flash with simple XML applications like SVG/SMIL making the web and web publishing much more open and cohesive.
    I only use IE for the Windows Update ActiveX control.
  9. Apr 8, 2005 #8


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    Good to know. I think I'll stick with Safari for now.

    :eek: Hmm...guess that's not for me! I'm the sort of person who sits around playing with the mouse when I'm reading stuff. That could get dangerous. :rofl:
  10. Apr 8, 2005 #9
    I use mouse gestures because I have no icons in my firefox (to save space, I have everything on one bar) MB, I have my mouse gestures setup so that I have to hold right click down to active them (which is the standard afaik). For example, if I hold right click down and move my mouse left that is back, and if I move my mouse right that is forward. Also I have it setup so that if I hold left click and press right click I go to the next tab, etc. It is extremely useful and a great time (and space) saver.

    edit... this is what I mean by space saver : http://img34.exs.cx/img34/3307/fxscreenshot14oj.png
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2005
  11. Apr 8, 2005 #10
    Yup firefox is the best one I've used by far.
    Mainly for all the reasons the others gave as well as being able to drag your most important bookmarks onto the toolbar below the address bar.
  12. Apr 8, 2005 #11
    Well I have been using FireFox, lot of neat stuff like everyone has said. However recently I have been having problem after problem with FX. I have mentioned one of them in another thread I started last night(which suddenly disappeared when I started right this for not apparent reason) others include closing all of FX windows but not having the FX process closes ever, JavaScript working intermittently, I have reinstalled FX 4 times with in the last 5 days(not clean install with new profile) because FX will simply stoped working, and different combinations of extensions and FX 1.02 seem to be at the root of all of this.

    FX also loads pictures of any kind much slower then IE for some reasons, and still I am having a hard time going back to IE. There is a good chance I will too at this rate if IE 7 has tabbed browsering and a good interface.

    Windows XP
    Athlon 3500 64
    FireFox 1.02
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2005
  13. Apr 8, 2005 #12
    What extensions do you have installed Davorak?

    You should also try posting your problem at the great mozillazine forums: http://forums.mozillazine.org/
  14. Apr 8, 2005 #13
    This may be when the page's author unknowingly mixes Jscript (Microsoft's take on the standard ECMAscript language) with javascript, which IE handles fine. The author may also be using outdated javascript (referring to objects by namespace or layers instead of the W3C DOM) or still trying to use browser detection when they should be using object detection. You can alert the page author to these discrepancies if an error is generated in Firefox's javascript console (under the Tools menu if you chose to install Web Development Tools).
  15. Apr 8, 2005 #14
    I will do a clean install and if I have problems again I will post them at http://forums.mozillazine.org.
    Extensions I have:?
    web Developer 0.9.3
    Download Manager Tweak 0.6.3
    Tab Mix 0.1.4
    Flat Bookmark Editing 0.7
    Image Zoom 0.1.7
    Mouse Gestures 1.0
    Adblock v.5 d2 * nightly 39
  16. Apr 8, 2005 #15
    firefox tabs, nough said.
  17. Apr 8, 2005 #16
    If you're having problems with image loading then drop image zoom(I thought something like that was incorporated into firefox already). The other problem looks like a cache issue. Have you tried running with no extensions yet? Have you verified all of your extensions are compatible with the current version of firefox?
  18. Apr 8, 2005 #17
    Adblock was recently decide not to be compatible with 1.0.2, all of the problems have described existed with or with out adblock installed. An old version Switchproxy was listed as sometimes causing FX to freeze, while my problems have continued after I have uninstalled Switchproxy, I have not completed a clean install. I am going to do that in a moment.

    I noticed the image loading being slower then IE from the first time I installed FX and is not an extension based problem. Possibly caused by my 64 bit processor? I know there are builds optimized for 64 bit, but I have yet to try them.
  19. Apr 8, 2005 #18
    64-bit builds are for 64-bit operating systems. Microsoft has not yet released the final release version of WinXP 64, so there's a wait unless you want to try a 64-bit Linux OS.
    I've got an Athlon64, but Gecko (the rendering engine behind Mozilla and Netscape browsers) doesn't render images slower than IE for me on this end.
  20. Apr 8, 2005 #19


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    You can move folders there too; If you don't have space, you can put all of your other bookmarks in one main folder.
    Yeah, Firefox rocks.
  21. Apr 8, 2005 #20
    Using IE is like having sex in a 3rd world bordello without a condom.

    So, i'll stick with Firefox.
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