Browser choice

I’ll freely admit this.

I’m a sucker when I read stories like this.


As you can see from my Launcher, I have a few of them installed on this computer.

Somehow, the Ubuntu web browser didn’t make the story.  As well as ….

Like most people of my age and experience, my first web browsing experience might well have been with the Lynx browser.  After all, the web was all about accessing information and text was enough.  A picture within a web page was just a luxury and when you’re connected at 2,400 baud, it was a way to slow down the experience.  How far we’ve come since then.  Mosaic, Netscape, Epiphany, …

Of course, that’s ancient history.  When Internet Explorer and faster internet connections came along, things changed and compatibility with web design became an issue.  I can recall having to have both Internet Explorer and Firefox on the computer so that when I published to the web, the results looked the same regardless of the browser.  Who knew that this was just the beginning?

Now, we have so many good choices.  As you’ll find if you read stories like this, Google’s Chrome browser is emerging as the clear leader.  Internet Explorer is still hanging on because businesses have so much invested in legacy technology that they can’t afford to have their users move to anything else.  Firefox even has an extension that will allow it to work like Internet Explorer.  We sure love our historical software.

It’s a shame because Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, is a much nicer and more modern browsing experience.  As you know, it’s not “done” yet – extensions support will make a huge difference, I suspect.  But, is any Browser ever “done”?

There was a time when I thought that I could write my own browser.  It was in the Lynx days and, after all, the internet is just driven by text characters.  I quickly got over that.  

Every now and again, I’ll download a package from open source repositories just to read some code.  It’s a confirmation that there are so many smarter people than me.  I would be totally lost if I ever thought that I could compile my own customised browser these days.  Hats off to those who are building based upon the Chromium code.  Then, there’s the testing to be done.  Of course, mere mortals can’t do that sort of thing.

The real nerdy thing, for me, happens on Page 3 where the browsers are put to the benchmark testing.  Now, to this end user, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an Octane rating of 23812 and one of 22840.  But, it does contribute to my own personal learning.  It does make you wonder what the one feature is that Opera lacks that Chrome and Vivaldi have!

First, I’ll do some research just to find the testing suite that is used for the specifications.  Reading about the testing tools and what they measure is fascinating reading.  Admittedly, it falls into the category of “where will you ever use this?”

But, secondly, I like to run some of the tests on my own computer to see how I stack up.  At present, I have Firefox for Macintosh running.  My results are close to the 20913 in the report but not there.  Now, I’m sure that the testers will run their tests on the best of equipment with the browser set for the best optimization.  I’ll bet they don’t have the extensions/addons to the browser that I do!  It really is a confirmation that poor performance is self-inflicted.

All in all, though, it’s great reading and learning.  Keep these stories coming.

How about you?  What’s your browser of choice?  Do you experiment with a number of them or have you adopted your favourite like an old pair of shoes and stick with it.  Or, as I mentioned yesterday, has the browser of choice been determined for you?

I always thought that a browser smackdown at a conference between people who really know their browser would be interesting to see.  At least, I would be in the audience.

1 thought on “Browser choice

  1. I use Chrome and Edge. Edge mostly and Chrome is the first thing I shut down if I’m doing a lot of other things. It eats memory like the Cookie Monster eats cookies. I use Chrome mostly for some Google products (several things I am doing require Google Docs) and the Feedly add on. As Google stuff get better with Edge I use Chrome less and less. I just don’t see much difference between browsers in performance and the memory that Chrome takes up effects the rest of the system.


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