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Author Topic: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?  (Read 3637 times)

momonan

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How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« on: April 26, 2006, 01:23:22 PM »
With all this talk about Opera 9, I realize I don't have a grasp on why one would use one browser over another.  I read the link mentioned here:  http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=2528.0.   And it helped.

But, it would be so good if some of you who use several browsers -- or have chosen one over the others -- could explain exactly why that is.  Do you like the display?  Do you like the way it allows you to keep several sites available at once?  Do you like the way it handles favorites?  What, exactly, is it?

Any screenshots you can provide would be much appreciated. :-*

When you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning - Catherine Aird
« Last Edit: April 26, 2006, 01:30:56 PM by brotherS »

brotherS

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2006, 01:33:59 PM »
But, it would be so good if some of you who use several browsers -- or have chosen one over the others -- could explain exactly why that is.  Do you like the display?  Do you like the way it allows you to keep several sites available at once?  Do you like the way it handles favorites?  What, exactly, is it?
Well, I'm using IE for the "quick check of something" (with the help of AutoHotkey), and Firefox to do some serious browsing, with GREAT extensions like Mouseless Browsing ( http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=3179.0) etc. etc.

jgpaiva

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2006, 01:42:50 PM »
Hum.. "why" use opera? There are a bit too many features to mention here, but i'll try.
  • Stability - opera crashed about 5 times in about 5 years of use. And when it did, when it came up, the session was exactly as before.
  • Mouse gestures - i love to go through tabs only with mouse buttons
  • Keyboard Shortcuts - i can make a shortcut for absolutelly every function in opera. (and i do make them ;) )
  • Good space management - i have a small screen, so, i need a perfect space management. Opera allows me to have buttons with more than one function (if one action isn't possible, it executes the next one), scale them as small as i like, and place them exactly in the place i like.
  • Button expandability - http://nontroppo.org/wiki/CustomButtons has fantastic buttons, always very usefull
  • Fast and secure - it's the browser i've found to be faster during browsing, and for what i've read, it's the most secure browser (although i don't make that my top priority)

If the reasons above aren't enough, i have yet another one: It looks great!

Here's my screenshot:
Screenshot-06_04_03,19_17_38.jpgHow -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2006, 01:47:17 PM by brotherS »

crono

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 04:02:22 PM »
I'm working as a freelance webdeveloper (frontend and serverside), so I have to check my work in different browser :) In private live I'm using Firefox, because of its great extensions  :-*

Edvard

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2006, 04:52:22 PM »
Internet Explorer was too buggy and full of security holes, so I tried FireFox
FireFox looks real nice, is easy to use out of the box, and has a billion extensions to make it do a billion nifty things. And it runs on linux. BUT... It takes FOREVER to load (except on the new office computer which is a 2.8GHz Pentium D with 1GB of RAM) and Java apps slow it to an absolute crawl, (which I could not find on bugzilla, and googling for "java slows firefox" turned up a scant handful of reports...) so I tried Opera.
Opera is fast and webpages render pretty good. Mind, I haven't been using it for very long, so I've been told I'm going to find a bunch more nice things to say about it. BUT... the interface is cluttered and confusing (give me FITTS'... PLEASE!) and it took me an hour to figure out how to add or remove bars and buttons. So, what am I looking for? Well, if Firefox started faster and had not the issues with Java, it'd be a no brainer. But I keep seeing so much good being said about Opera, and it is free now, so I'm giving it a shot. No idea about Netscape (anybody still using that dinosaur?) Mozilla proper, Maxthon, etc.

allen

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2006, 08:40:00 PM »
I too have several browsers at my disposal for testing web design.  As for chosing one over another for my own personal use, I use Opera primarily because of its multi document interface (not to be confused with tabs -- full screen isn't for me), and complete keyboard-customizability -- I use the keyboard far more than the mouse -- and no other browser even comes close to accomodating this need like Opera.  Obviously there are also other things about it I like -- extensive customizability, speed, stability.  At the end of the day, feature for feature, Opera is the browser that best suits my needs and surfing style.

That said, I don't recommend it for everyone -- to get my dad off IE, for example, I referred him to firefox as it's easier to transition to out of the box and I really didn't  want to hold his hand trying to figure out Opera. :D

JavaJones

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 01:24:59 AM »
I use Opera because it's one of the few pieces of software I've found that is truly *intelligently* designed. Not just well-designed, nicely designed, functionally designed, etc. But truly intelligently designed, IMO.

One immediate example that comes to mind is the incredibly simple but highly effective and useful pop-down thingamajig that shows up when you click on the address bar. Normally I would have a "home" button in my toolbar, taking up space, but it's nicely included in this little drop-down thing. I don't use "home" all *that* often, especially with Opera's built-in address bar searches (another smart feature), but when I do I want it to be quick - faster than a menu, though it doesn't necessarily need a dedicated button. So this works perfectly. It also gives you access to common search functions, most-used sites, etc.

Being able to search functionally with keywords ("g donation coder" typed into the address bar will search Google for "donation coder") is another great example of smart design. Yes, there are plugins for Firefox that do this, but Opera does it natively and very well.

Built-in right-click translation and search is another great, smart thing. Again you can get a FF extension for this, and granted the FF extension will probably be more customizable, but I've never had need for a feature like that isn't covered in what's already in Opera. That IMO is because Opera is, again, *designed intelligently*.

Another example? The history/undo/recently closed pages functionality is *fantastic*. Not only does it allow you to retrieve recently closed pages, but it actually remembers the entire session from when you opened that tab in the first place, *and* its position in the tab order, so you can re-open the tab and actually step backward through how you got to a given page. This may sound kind of extraneous but I've actually found it *tremendously* useful.

One thing that some people might not like but that I think is also cool is that it remembers your *position* on web pages, through reloads and browser sessions. So if I am at the bottom of a forum thread and want to see if there are new posts I simply refresh and it *keeps be at the bottom*. So I don't have to scroll all the way down on a long forum thread. Once I noticed this I immediately liked it. It's even cooler when for example you're reading a long article and have to close your browser. When you open it back up again not only is the page you were reading still there, but the *position* you were at is also there. Intelligent design. :D

As for basic features, which I was surprised to find FF lacking when I decided to migrate from Avant, there is the full-featured Tab support and the automatic session save and retrieve. Opera, like Avant (and unlike a default FF install) is excellent at maintaining your web browsing session and even your place in browsing a web page through a close and reopen cycle. And if you crash (rare) or have a power outtage, etc. (more common :D), Opera still saves your session and all open pages.

Bookmarking is very well handled for the most part, once you get used to not being able to edit directly from the bookmark menu (this *is* a feature I would like, but Opera's full-featured Bookmark editor makes it less necessary). You can sort just about any way you want on many different criteria. It remembers the last bookmark folder you used (unlike IE) so if you want to bookmark many similar sites (as I often do), the process is very quick.

The Magic Wand feature is also something I love. The best implementation of in-browser password saving I've seen - provided you trust its security (I do - I trusted IE even, so that shows how little I am worried about it, lol).

It is also, as many people said, very fast. Going back and forth between pages is quick, going backward in a web browse session is *lightning* fast due to good caching, and the only problem I ever have with that is if I really want a page to reload I have to explicitly do so. But I can also appreciate this as a feature because it doesn't reload unless I *ask* it to.

I find the toolbar customization and other customization functionality to actually be pretty awesome as compared to FF and others, but I will say it is slightly unobvious at first how exactly to use it. Once you get the simple approach it's very easy and fast and powerful.

There are a lot of Opera features I know I don't really utilize, either. Like note taking, which is pretty cool (although I'd want it to be more robust before I got into it - like being able to save website clips). The e-mail app is also supposed to be decent.

I will also say I'm a bit disappointed in the new features they're bringing in Opera 9. Bittorrent for example seems completely extraneous to me. I already have a fantastic Bittorrent client under 200kb that runs with incredible efficiency and has just about every needed feature - uTorrent. But I guess some people wanted it. *shrug* I also don't know what's particularly cool about "widgets", but hopfefully someone will show some cool purposes for it soon. I would have liked to see them implement even more customization functions and perhaps even some kind of easier plugin system (Opera *does* support Netscape API plugins, which is a little-known fact, so more plugins *could* be made for it, it's just not as easy as with FF), and there are a few little niggles I have too that I hope are addressed (my bad for never having reported them). But for the most part Opera 8.53 is great for me already. By far the best browser I've found. I really never find myself missing FF or Avant these days. I could go on and I know I'll remember some Opera features I love that I haven't covered yet, but this is good for now. :D

- Oshyan

Ampa

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 03:09:36 AM »
I use Opera for EVERYTHING (surfing, email, rss, newsgroups, noteclipping) except on infuriatingly dumb sites that are so badly coded that they are only compatible with IE... at which point I heave a heavy sigh, ask myself whether I really need to see the content of said site, and upon occassion resort to using IE itself.

Ampa

jgpaiva

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 05:03:22 AM »
@JavaJones:
Great post! I'm aven more in love with opera now, i already got used to some of the stuff you mentioned, i wasn't even noticing they were a feature ;)
I think that post should even be in the mini-reviews section!  :Thmbsup:

momonan

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 07:33:45 AM »
javajones, thanks for reviving my post -- and for such a great mini-review. :Thmbsup:  All I hoped for, and more.  I've printed out your comments so I can get right to exploring it further.
When you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning - Catherine Aird

urlwolf

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 10:23:35 AM »
Great post javajones. I use opera for all those reasons, plus the mail application (M2) which is absolutely brilliant. Same idea as gmail (search, don't sort) but lots faster since your index is in your own machine and you don't need to do a server transaction to retrieve the results.

And as an RSS reader it's very good too.

JavaJones

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Re: How -- and why -- do you use different browsers?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 12:34:13 PM »
Hehe, thanks guys. Well, I'd love to do a mini review but I definitely don't consider the above to be one. If I were to do it properly I'd surely have to remember some of those other features I love. ;) "Paste and go" is one of them I did remember after posting (also available as an FF extension). I think the bottom line is that FF is great, I love the extensibility, but even assuming Opera and FF started on an equal footing (as far as memory use and speed, which they don't), it would still take far too many extensions for FF to equal the important functionality in Opera. And I don't even think all that functionality *is* available as extensions. Granted however that some functionality I might like is available for FF and not Opera, but that is by far the exception rather than the rule.

As I said in IRC last night I would rather have an app that works fantastically and "right" for me out of the box than one that doesn't but that is highly customizable. Given the choice I'd rather someone else do the work of coming up with an efficient system and if they're good at their jobs (and the Opera folks seem to be), then they'll do it well enough that the majority of people will be well served by it.

In any case I've already got a mini-review of PDF readers on my to-do list. I'll try to do an Opera and/or general browser one soon too.

- Oshyan