Saturday 24 August 2002

Finally, a decent browser

Strange that I made Mozilla my primary browser on the day Dorothea Salo wrote:

This is the new, not-improved-enough-yet Caveat Lector. Not guaranteed to look right on anything but Mozilla yet; more testing this evening.

Browser usage for on 24 Aug 2000I stuck with IE6 because I thought it was important to see my site as a majority of web users do. (As the stats reveal, so do lots of my visitors: just over 74% for IE versions 5 and 6.). But yesterday morning I finally got sick of IE6’s starting a separate 10-20MB process for every window I opened. How is it possible for an application to be such a memory hog? Time to switch. I briefly considered Opera but thought I’d give Mozilla a spin first. I’m glad I did. What a marvellous browser! (Or is it just that I haven’t yet discovered Mozilla’s dark side?)

Why didn’t anyone tell me about Mozilla? I had it on both my desktop and notebook computers, but only to test that my weblog rendered properly. It wasn’t until I’d installed Linux and started using Mozilla that I thought about trying it on Windows.

What do I like? Tabbed browsing. Cookie management (although I have AdSubtract too). Tabbed browsing. Bookmarks. Built-in Google search. Tabbed browsing. Text zoom. And boy doesn’t it load pages fast! IE is a joke by comparison.

Speaking of which, AKMA’s new CSS-based design loads about a zillion times faster now. Looks clean and elegant too. Congratulations to AKMA for diving into CSS (and to Dorothea on her great job). Should we call this one a Salover?

I’m sure there must be lots of other great Mozilla features I haven’t yet discovered. Hopefully you’ll let me know what I’ve missed. (I assume that the 20% figure for Netscape 5 represents mainly Mozilla users.)

Oh, I just discovered that I can’t add a last minute URL from the Movable Type Edit Entry screen (those widgets only work in IE). Hardly the end of the world.

Update. While implementing the suggestions left in the comments (blocking ad images, stopping animations from looping, and stopping popups, popunders, window resizing & moving), I discovered that a window of tabs can be saved as a group bookmark. How cool is that? Now I can open Mozilla, click on the bookmark, and have eight sites open, each in their own tab.

One other question: is Mozilla immune to the security problems that plague IE? Or are the people who write these exploits less inclined to target browsers like Mozilla because of their smaller market share?



Find a page with a big fat ad on it. (Not hard, these days.) Right-click on big fat ad. Select "Block images from this server".

Enjoy. I sure do.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 24 August 2002 at 12:52 AM

Under Preferences, Privacy & Security -> Images -> Animated images should loop: Never is a small tweak I love.

Posted by: Mark Paschal on 24 August 2002 at 03:04 AM

I'm sure you will be happy to find under Advanced > Scripts and Plugins, the ability to stop popups, popunders, window resizing and moving.

Posted by: Bob Dobbs on 24 August 2002 at 03:53 AM

All implemented -- difficult to say which gave me the most pleasure. Thanks!

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 24 August 2002 at 09:07 AM

As far as security goes, Mozilla has a great record compared to IE. The last security hole I remember in Moz was fixed before 1.0.

The list of unpatched vulnerabilities in IE is impressive.

The way IE is built leaves the way in for more holes. It's built as part of the OS, so a hole in the OS can easily become a hole in the browser. This is, of course, an amazinly over-simplified view of things, but you get the point. ;-)

Posted by: Patrick Berry on 26 August 2002 at 01:23 AM

Mozilla, in general, has fewer holes than IE. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that holes are any less horrible -- the GreyMagic hole ( which allowed browsing of local files in Moz was pretty much identical to the IE hole that the greymagic people discovered, and is Rather Nasty -- but the development model means that holes get fixed quicker and in the open. I use Mozilla exclusively at home and for most of the stuff at work (despite us being an MS shop -- I fall back to IE5.5 for testing), and I'm pretty much entirely happy with it.

Incidentally, I felt this sudden rush of annoyance that I've ben using Moz since about v0.7 and you've been using it five minutes, and yet I didn't know about the "bookmark as group" feature. And then I thought, wow, great, there's still so much to discover (and tried to avoid feeling childish). Thanks! I shall be using that in future.

Posted by: sil on 27 August 2002 at 08:28 AM

Here's one you may already know about, sil: if you have a wheel mouse, you can set it up to open a URL in a new tab by clicking on the wheel (it's under Preferences > Navigator > Tabbed Browsing).

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 27 August 2002 at 11:08 PM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour