Better Browsers?

I’ve been using Firefox for a year now, but I’m kinda irritated by:

  1. Slow launch in general
  2. Slow load/unload of PDF module
  3. General site incompatibilities
  4. Inability to run Active X (which drives many/most web games)

That said, I really like tabbed browsing, and the bookmark management in general in Firefox.

So, I can

  1. Wait for Firefox 1.5 (When will it come out and what will it improve?)
  2. Wait for IE 7 (I heard it was supposed to be out in '05, but I find that doubtful)
  3. Use I.E. 6, but add some plugins to replicate the bookmark/tab features of Firefox.

Anybody got any info/advice?

I never close FireFox.

  1. Slow load/unload of PDF module

True of all browsers, I thought?

  1. General site incompatibilities

I rarely run into this.

  1. Inability to run Active X (which drives many/most web games)

If I need ActiveX, which I rarely do, then I just IE for that site. Basically I use IE when looking at ActiveX games, and then use FF for everything else. I do NOT want ActiveX running by default.

That said, I really like tabbed browsing, and the bookmark management in general in Firefox.

Opera is faster, but has compatibility issues. It’s worth checking out.

There’s an ActiveX plugin for Firefox. (Surprised me too!)

http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm

I found it because Lionhead recommended it to run WMP movies inside of Firefox… and it works.

Phil:

You can try Maxthon or Avant Browser. Both of those are new shells that use the IE rendering engine, so you don’t have any problems with ActiveX or sites that require IE. But they’re totally new shells/apps and give you pretty much all of the big ticket items from Firefox - tabs, good pop-up blocking, etc etc. You’ll want to make sure you have all the security updates for Windows and IE, of course.

I use this for my pdf needs.

Me too. It loads very fast.

Part of the reason I want to make this switch is that when I was doing some testing earlier this week, I saw a lot of differences in how sites and links worked in Firefox and I.E. There were a lot of things broken/not displaying in Firefox that I didn’t even know about ('cause I rarely use I.E.). This applies to both ActiveX and other, unrelated things

As a developer, I feel I should be looking at things in I.E., as it’s how 90% of the public looks at it.

A browser that uses the I.E. rendering engine, but changes everything else, seems a bit scary to me - lots of room for subtle differences/incompatibilites.

My first preference would be to use a solid, supported I.E. 7, if it’ll be out reasonably soon.

My second would be to use IE 6, but add plug-ins or whatever to cover the bookmark/tab gaps.

Firefox 1.5 RC3 is already up, and if that passes muster, will be the final version. They’ve completely rewritten the rendering engine, so give it a whirl.

I switched from opera to firefox with the 1.5 betas. The builtin back/forward cache and support for mousebutton chording in all-in-one gestures did it for me.

They didn’t totally rewrite the rendering engine, by the way, don’t know where that came from.

That’s what the Firefox product manager told me. Damn me for believing him ;-)