Browser Battles & The Perfect BrowserJune 25, 2009
Internet Explorer 8
No matter how much people might hate the brand IE, IE 8 is a good browser, it’s not right up there IMO but it is by no means a bad browser, pretty much all commercial & business websites are supported by IE, it is the browser that is available out-of-the-box in the most widely used OS (sorry Europeans). It CANNOT be avoided by developers.
Accelerators: I love them. They make browsing so much more easier, the most used Accelerator by me is the ‘Search’.
Web Slices: Mentioned a lot, implemented by a few, this is a neat feature to have. Don’t really know why it didn’t take off.
Tab Isolation & Session Management: The tab isolation & Session Management in IE works better than Chrome. This comes after using both these browsers for a sufficient amount of time.
Incorporates Windows 7 Superbar features: This is a neat feature, wherein if you have multiple tabs open, you can browse through them as if they were multiple windows.
Easy on resources
Syncs with Live Mail (desktop): Being a user of Live Mail for my RSS dose this is amazing.
No Download Manager: 8 versions done, yet somehow a download manager hasn’t made it into IE.
No rounded corners: From what I’ve heard this is because of Redmond not implementing some CSS/HTML feature or whatever. But it sucks not to have rounded corners.
A bit slow: This is true, IE is slow when it comes to loading pages. Note that I mentioned loading pages, IE does extremely good in responding to Ajax components like Videos & notifications in Facebook. Also, when opening a new tab, the ‘loading’ that comes for a noticeable time is irritating.
Inefficient Crash Recovery: Lets just say that my experience with IE’s Crash Recovery hasn’t been very positive.
Plugins: Unfortunately as widespread as it maybe developers haven’t really bothered with creating useful plugins for it which is definitely a dampener.
Chrome is a nice browser in a lot of aspects & responsiveness is not one of them, for me it lags a lot when browsing Ajax heavy websites. It freezes itself for a couple of seconds & then comes back to life, which essentially makes for a horrible browsing experience. I love the way Chrome shows the status bar.
Clean interface: This probably is Chrome’s USP.
Easy on resources
Tabs on top: It’s not that you can’t get used to it, tabs on top make navigating tabs a bit more of a work (On a laptop with such small trackpads it is an annoyance.) Not to mention it’s difficult to drag & snap your Chrome windows in Windows 7 because of this. In general you can conclude that I hate tabs on top.
Can’t re-open recently closed tab
Response time: Here is where benchmarks don’t matter. Chrome decides to take small 10 second breaks every time I want to right click a link or I open a new tab. It does so on its own with no specific pattern. It just keeps on doing this. AND IT’S ANNOYING! It’s what I would call Browsing #FAIL! This might not be happening to every Chrome-user & that’s why I said, benchmarks don’t make or break browsers.
Plugins: As far as I’m concerned, they don’t exist. On a recommendation I tried installing a plugin it wanted me to switch to the Dev-Mode, Chrome kept on crashing every 15 minutes. IE’s got better plugin support than this!
No RSS Support
Being an iTunes user not by choice but by compulsion, I thought Apple can’t code for Windows or they simply don’t want to write efficient code on Windows, but with Safari 4, I’m impressed. I love Safari 4 as a matter of fact it’s my default browser these days.
Top Sites & History: The Cover-Flow display of Top Sites & History is so much more elegant as compared to Opera or Chrome. I simply browse my History for kicks in Safari 4.
Response Time: Much better than Chrome & Firefox on par with IE (this is ajax component loading on various sites.)
Incorporates Windows 7 Superbar features: Neither Chrome nor Firefox (add-on needed) make use of Windows 7’s Superbar features where you can browse through tabs like windows. Though I miss Jumplists, it’s still a lot better.
Address bar won’t search
No Tab Isolation
Can’t re-open recently closed tab: Sucks all the way. (Draft issue.)
Weird behavior with links: For some reason Safari 4 has an advanced annoying algo which opens some links in a new window & some in new tabs even though I’ve set the default to open new tabs.
Ah! Firefox the loved-by-all-but-is-still-a-crappy-browser.
Don’t be surprised I’ve been a Firefox user from 2.xx times, loved a lot of features that it has only to dump it since version 3 which is nothing less than bloatware. Hoping that 3.5 brings me back to it.
Plugins & Themes: This is a huge reason to use Firefox, you can find plugins to do anything that you want, a huge developer community & an equally good repository backend. But then again it works against the browser as well, too many plugins spoil the broth.
Across platforms: This makes you feel at home when you’re playing with some other OS.
Smart Location Bar
Resource hungry: The only reason I left Firefox was for the insane amount of RAM it consumed, even 2 tabs would clock over 200k which is outrageous.
Response time: Unlike Chrome’s behavior (which freezes for a couple of seconds), Firefox takes ages & I mean a really long time on first start, not to mention that if you were to minimize the windows & restore it after a couple of minutes, you can go make yourself some good juice for Firefox will freeze your machine for a good 5 minutes.
No Tab Isolation
As good as implementing Windows 7’s features in the browser is, I haven’t held it against those who don’t ‘coz I’m expecting to see that in the near future.
All said & done about the browsers that I’ve found worth using & mentioning, here’s what my ideal browser would have:
- Memory consumption like that of IE 8
- Cover Flow
- Crash Recovery Console with session management & Tab Isolation
- Windows like access to User Profiles
- Nothing to do with Firefox or Chrome’s code thereby avoid any performance issues
- Firefox like community support for gazillion add-ons
- Chrome like status bar
- Syncs with Live Mail & is a RSS reader by itself
- A Download Manager
- Multi-platform support
- Sync bookmarks to cloud (yeah, that other browser does it.)
PS: Opera what?