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Browser Wars: Why did you choose yours?

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Seeing as there is a lot of chat as of recent, in regards to which is the best browser, I would love to know which features of each browser you like the best, and why, and also how you use those features to your full advantage.

This would certainly make for an interesting debate and hopefully give some insightful comments in regards to each browser.

To me a browser must have a few capabilities.

A: It must be able to be extended. I am not talking about loading up thousands of extensions, but a few that have proven useful or provide me my desired way of operating. Chrome is there now and I am just waiting on the roboform extension to give me back my full RF Toolbar. Extensions are a must if you want a truly personal browsing experience. Some browsers allow endless customization of the UI, but that is not enough for me. I must be able to extend a browser if the developer has not added something I find useful.

B: It must be fast. No, I am not talking about in benchmark times when rendering Java, AJAX, various CSS scripts and activex controls all at once. I am talking overall speed. UI Responsiveness, switching between tabs, and load time. I do not care to switch browsers because one is .3ms faster at AJAX rendering. I want overall experience. That is something which cannot be measured in a benchmark that matters to me.

C: The browser must be easy to install and uninstall. IE does not register when it comes to this category as it is part of windows and thus requires neither. That is not a plus or a minus to me as IE stays out of the way unless I request it (or some poorly coded application launches IE despite my default browser choice).

All that said, those are the major players in my criteria for a browser. Right now, I am using firefox. 3.6 improved on speed and memory usage but memory usage is not that important to me. I do not have 4GB of ram to let it sit there doing nothing. I have it so applications can use it. Chrome uses a bit more ram and more processes but in the end it results in a smoother experience from my perspective. One tab crashing does not crash the entire browser, just that tabs process. Chrome is missing one thing and I will gladly swap over and that is the roboform extension. I am thinking about even going with the bookmarklet, but that is just far too different for me to operate with so I am playing around with it now. So, in the end, chrome is my preferred browser but I am using FF until I can get chrome to do what I want it to do.

Might want to change CHOSE to CHOOSE ;-)

Might want to change CHOSE to CHOOSE ;-)

--- End quote ---

LoL, never noticed that, cheers :P

I chose Firefox (Phoenix back then) because it was sort of the "successor" to my beloved Netscape Navigator. I played with some IE-based browsers before, but they all were rather instable and working with them was like patchwork. Opera could never convince me, and I never needed a built-in mail client, so Fx was doing fine. Now it is not that "light" anymore but extensible. Even the Chrome people are importing Firefox' add-ons now, so, obviously, it is innovative enough.

- Used Opera for years and loved it for its broad customizability and cross-platform consistency.
- Then I switched to Firefox because of its wondrous extensibility.
- But then came Chrome and it's all that and fast.

Google created Chrome (and Gears) to provide rich client-side support for web-based apps. Virtually every Firefox extension can be ported to Chrome and you can run Greasemonkey scripts in it without an extension. I also like how (in Linux) it allows you to hide/show the title bar. The status bar floats temporarily. And it can be skinned to one's tastes. Doesn't handle large number of tabs like Opera does, but that's in large part because each tab is sandboxed. When a site freezes, only the tab need be closed, as the rest of the browser is fine.

Some extensions are invaluable, such as AutoPatchwork that allows you to scroll through multiple page articles, forums, jumps; Personalized Web that allows you to specify rules for fonts, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to customize a website on the fly.

They're not unique, but they sure make browsing a lot easier. For now, my choice is Chrome until something better comes along. I've no allegiance to browsers like I do text editors.


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