Monday 25 June 2007

Browser Wars: Pshaw! I Use Camino, iCab and Shiira

Some might find this funny, but you know, it’s the truth.

Outside of specific testing and tools issues, which of course must be done for a wide variety of browsers, here’s where I’m at with my personal browser relationships.

I met Camino about 1.5 years ago and it’s been my primary browser ever since. Except for a few rendering oogies, I’ve rarely if ever had a serious problem with it. It’s fast, it’s Gecko, it’s Mac.

And then I found iCab. I love that screaming browser. Lightweight, standards savvy and silly enough for a silly girl. It’s just so fast.

Not long ago I met Shiira. Some people say it’s much like Safari, I don’t agree. Shiira is a curious browser that I hope continues growing. I like it because it’s fast, has some intriguing UI features and also has a dashboard widget that makes it very easy for me to quickly browse a site.

So, as a W3C Invited Expert, a Microsoft consultant and a fan of open source, I have to say: These are my browsers and I believe they are each best of breed.

What’s your browser and why?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 14:45 | Comments (90)

Comments (90)

  1. Sometimes Opera is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes. I love it for so many reasons. Some afore-unmentioned features which are indispensible are: A built-in screen-reader; Pagination detection – you need only to press forward or use a shortcut/mouse gesture for forward to go to the next page in a set; E-mail and RSS feeds are treated the same, so a search returns messages from both.

    It baffles me that Opera doesn’t have a lareger market share. It seems the main factors contributing to their lack are rumours (you have to pay or there is a banner ad; it isn’t very secure; etc.) and old-school sites that use browser-sniffing to exclude their Opera-using audience. Hopefully time will ameliorate these injustices and Opera will recieve the market share it deserves.

  2. SeaMonkey (what used to be Mozilla), because no other browser better accommodates the way _I_ want to use it, and it’s still Gecko.

  3. I use Opera for browsing because it is soooo much better than the rest 😉 , and Firefox for development. IE only gets used for testing and hair pulling.

    One drawback to using Opera is that some web apps do not work correctly.

  4. Molly, I think that each of your choices is Mac-only. What about portability? Or, to ask a related question, if you had to use Windows, what browser would you use?

  5. Well… I use beautiful Safari 3. It’s the fastest, the best, and the most beautiful browser out their. Why use others when you have the the best browser out their. What’s the problem with it? Can someone answer this question?

  6. Primary: Firefox with firebug, web developer et al I use a number of different machines and OSs. The tools are good and it does not matter if I am on a mac, windows or linux box.

    Secondary: Pocket Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile 5 in one column mode. The first version of pocket IE I hated, I almost bought Opera Mobile, but I upgraded my phone ROM, got an updated version of pocket IE, switched it to one column mode and never got round to getting Opera Mobile. Do have Opera Mini for those sites that Pocket IE does not handle.

  7. re: Mac v. PC – I use a MBP and run windows XP, windows vista and ubuntu in Parallels. So I play around with a lot of browsers. On Windows, I like Opera and Firefox, for all the reasons (and then some) cited in this discussion.

    I’m on the road a lot, the MBP seems the most reasonable choice to do multi-platform testing. It’s not great for running most apps outside the Mac OS, so that’s where I spend most of my time. I use other browsers all the time for testing and so on, but do my browsing and interactions primarily with Camino, and Shiira Mini on the Dashboard.

  8. Funny multi-browser-world on a mac, but if you live on windows, the only browser, that works for me is Firefox. I don’t like Opera very much, but i can’t tell really why… and I’m really looking forward to a working Safari for Windows machines; even if it’s not the fastest browser – that’s a brilliant pr myth for me – respect mr. jobs.

  9. Hey, it’s not a myth. Why don’t you run benchmark test on windows by youself and the what’s faster? So anyone would like to answer my question?

  10. Now I am not fighting but I am just asking that, I just don’t understand what’s the problem with Safari 3. It’s on Windows and Mac. It’s a Leopard feature. The fastest browser in the world-go run benchmark tests by yourself and see the results with own eyes. It’s on iPhone. It has the best UI. Renders text beautiful on LCDs. It’s beautiful. And it’s made by Apple. By the way, I am a web designer and developer, and also creating Web Applications; I know really well about most of the browsers out their.

  11. Umair–

    Apple’s entry into the Windows browser market is interesting. Apple has the identical strength of brand awareness as Microsoft. If Apple takes security seriously [they just may — beta 3.0 to beta 3.01 in two days to correct uncovered security flaws] and they merchandise the browser correctly, Safari for Windows could very get pulled through distribution as a browser for the general public. Vis á vis, no other browser may be better positioned to take on IE.

  12. Molly likes me

  13. @umair: i run a german version of windows. safari actually can’t render heading-tags and causes many reproduceable crashes on german windows – so it’s not of any use. it’s not beta-status it’s like a pre-alpha to me. and: don’t ever rely on benchmarks, primarily if it’s about safari:

    don’t get me wrong – i’m really looking forward to a WORKING safari on windows – even if it’s not faster than other browsers.

  14. So it’s you that uses iCab. I knew I’d find that elusive user eventually …

  15. Opera. Right mouse click menu (copy image to clipboard, etc.), mouse gestures, etc. Works faster than Firefox and eats less resources — and Firefox’s image scroll bug ( ) really kills my old poor machine…

  16. Molly,

    I’m a die-hard Opera user. Have been since Opera 5 came out. As for other browsers, I’ve tried a lot of them, and am currently running IE 7 (installed), as well as IE standalones for 3, 4, 5.01, 5.5 and 6; for Gecko-based browsers I run Netscape 6.2, 7, 8 and 9 (I even have Netscape 4.79, but that’s an antique, and not even a Gecko browser, still nice to have though especially if I need a good scare once in a while) as well as K-Meleon 1.0

    I tried my hand with Flock and other Gecko-based browsers for Windows but could never get used to it, and the lucre-browser wannabies (Maxthon, Deepnet Explorer, Avant “Browser” and so on) just made me want to puke.

    With Safari 3 now available for Windows, I’m hoping that Apple can keep the rendering engine and display the same as the Mac version (people can gripe about the Mac-like interface all they want, as is their right, but I like it since it shows me-to a degree-what my work will look like on the actual Mac installs of Safari).

    And with Konqueror being ported to Windows with KDE 4.0 (or so it seems) testing on other browsers just won’t be necessary, especially if the rendering engines aren’t forked into separate versions.

    I’m going to go ahead and shut up now before I start a flame war on your blog about browser choices.

    Enjoy your day. 🙂

  17. I use Lynx extensively to test sites I design, to ensure they meet accessibility standards.

    And it’s also great for surfing ad-bloated websites.. hey, presto!

    I also use Cello for checking if a project won’t crash for someone with a really, really old machine.

  18. Safari.
    I like the way it formats text. Pages look always slightly nicer in Safari. I am still longing for the beauty of text composed with TeX in a world that has learned since long to accept the compromises of Word as standard.
    Safari is clean and mean and pretty fast. Firefox is what I use for working, but then I want all sorts of weapons on board, like Firebug.
    I always use Safari when I am “just browsing, thanks”.

  19. I prefer lynx, FF (my fav) and IE (that’s no joke: it’s fast and its compatible to all that specials stuff I need at work)… I can not stand opera…

  20. Opera opera opera opera ^_^!!!
    Im italian (sorry for my bad english)… I love Opera, ‘cuz i really love the way u use right-click mouse for browsing. I hope that it will be an OS integrating that feature for browsing the filesystem.

  21. Firefox. Because it is free and open source.

  22. I’ve just dumped FF after 2 years of fandom. Why? The obvious reasons – it’s hideously slow, like wading through treacle, and RAM hungry, locks up constantly with Ajax and javascript, and the text render is just appalling. Xyle Scope makes Firebug redundant, but Developer’s Toolbar is still a draw, so I’ll still use it for local development. Safari looks the nicest – very crisp typography, but it too is lumbering and very slow. Safari 3b is only marginally better than Safari2, but still way to slow to bear. Opera is, I think, good, but no 1PassWd support which renders it useless for me. I’ve just downloaded Camino and I feel like I’m driving a Ferrari – it’s positively zippy! I think it’s the one. I’m off to check out iCab now, you reminded me…

  23. Pingback: Is Firefox Losing Me? | iface thoughts

  24. I’ve dropped Firefox also, As said before it’s slow, and it’s ram and CPU hungry. I’ve tried Shiira, Safari 2 and 3 Beta and, when I found Camino I was in heaven. It’s amazing, the only problem is the tab bug where the pointer goes crazy on tabs.

  25. iCab is still around? I thought it was dying a slow death after Mac OS 9 was replaced by OSX! Back before OSX, Cyberdog was a great internet suite- seemlessly browsing web, fetching email, news and gopher sites! Its a great example of why good software should be open source! And iCab isn’t, and I’m not going to wait to see if it meets the same fate as Cyberdog- same goes for Safari.
    If I use another browser, its because I’m waiting for another firefox release or plug-in.
    Firefox is slow, memory and ram hungry? Buy more RAM!!!

  26. Sometimes Opera is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes. I love it for so many reasons. Some afore-unmentioned features which are indispensible are: A built-in screen-reader; Pagination detection – you need only to press forward or use a shortcut/mouse gesture for forward to go to the next page in a set; E-mail and RSS feeds are treated the same, so a search returns messages from both.

  27. Opera
    I’m using Opera as main browser since version 3.
    From the start I was catched by its speed (rendering, GUI, history navigation), tabs (MDI), full-page-zoom, keyboard shortcuts for disabling images and styles. Also I liked its small installer size.
    Now I can add to all these:
    sessions, ligtweight M2 mail client (with similar to Gmail concept), ability to handle more than 100 tabs w/o crashing and memory leaks for days, news feeds reader integrated in mail client, integrated notes, sessions…

  28. BTW, it’s sad that iCab team decided to stop developing their own engine…
    It was second browser that I like after Opera.

  29. I use firefox because it was easy and load fast compare to the existing browser in my computer.

  30. thankss..
    bilgiler güzel ayrıca 🙂

  31. thanks: teşekkürler

  32. I use a version of firefox (3.0.x) specifically built for the PPC 7450 processor, so it’s very fast and decently memory efficient. Plus I get to use firebug, web developer toolbar, etc. Works good!

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