Internet Web Browsers these days are about as varied and unique as the many auto builders were at the turn of the 20th century.
Seems that to one extent or the other, everyone has got their hands into what they think is the best when it comes down to building a safe and functioning web browser.
I predict that in 2010, security in so many ways, will give way to speed and flexibility, as both Microsoft and Mozilla discover that speed is essential to the end user. The end user doesn’t understand all of the patch/security issues. All they care about is how fast, or painfully slow their browsers are.
I recently had a bit of time on my hands, and being the history buff that I am, I took it upon myself to reacquaint myself with internet web browsers, both old and new.
My first stop down memory lane brought me to .. Browser Archive.
It is indeed a fun place to mess around in, because the archive has listed, nearly every known internet web browser there is or ever was,
In the archive you’ll find the likes of Mosaic, Arcweb, Ncompass, Omniweb, and a whole host of others that you have never heard of, or just plain forgotten about.
I’ve used, or have experienced many of the browsers in the archive, at one point in time or the other, and if memory serves me correctly, some were great, and others were, well, not so great. At any rate, I might suggest you take a good long stroll down memory lane, and check out some of the browsers of the internet yesteryear.
Today’s modern browsers have all got their own quirks. I say this because it wasn’t until recently I actually took the time to use the ones I could find.
I used each of these browsers for a period of time in order to maximize the experience. I used these browsers with all of the defaults set, like a regular internet user would. I also threw the concerns for any potential browser security out the window and used them all as they were set up to function, out of the box.
What I found was the top two, Internet Explorer, and Firefox, had a range of issues, that included various hang-ups, crashes, and freezes .. the problems mostly occurred on social networking sites that used java scripting and flash extensively.
The only browser that actually handled the heavily scripted and cluttered social networking sites well, was Opera.
Flock, though built on the Firefox base, actually outperformed Firefox both in speed and rendering when it came to sites like Myspace and Youtube .. another surprise, but then again, maybe not, as Flock is built with social networking in mind.
Avant, Safari, and Maxthon all brought up the rear. I especially liked Safari because of it’s very simple look and feel.
I don’t think the end user cares much for things like css3, or html5 .. all they care about is whether or not the site loads quickly, and once loaded … can they see it?
Microsoft and Mozilla have been so off into this security thing lately, that I’m afraid it is degrading the overall performance of their products.
Speed is what it’s been all about all along, and the browsers of today aren’t even in the least, speedy. We chose speed over all else. The days of 28k connections are all but just a fleeting memory now, as broadband comes into it’s own.
Broadband does a really good job of hiding the internet browser bloat that runs rampant online these days.
Internet browsers, by and large, are no different that the cars and trucks people buy. Some are built for the highway, while yet others, are built for the off road. Browsers are no different than this.
Mozilla fanboys that jump up and declare another browser inferior to their beloved Firefox is just plain stupid IMO.
If you wrote all of the web browsers exactly the same way, to do the same exact things .. what sense would there be in having a brand?
Up until recently, Firefox and Internet Explorer complimented each other by their differences .. now, it appears, that we are seeing both browsers tripping over many of the same things.
End users didn’t care that Microsoft took shortcuts .. as long as the pages viewed, the end user was happy.
Web developers liked Firefox because it was dodgy and difficult. The fact that earlier versions of Firefox viewed the web so oddly was an open challenge to developers, and they took Mozilla to some new heights as a result.
The issues with regard to speed will, in the end, I feel, give other, faster and fairly competent browsers like Flock, Opera, and Avant, a leg up in the industry.
In the end, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve found the two, Opera, and Flock, to be the winners out of the list above.
Sure, I’ll still use Firefox and Internet Explorer .. for testing page builds. The others, I’ll be using for general internet surfing and social networking.