Friday, June 12, 2009

You May Think I'm Crazy, But I Know I Am

- Safari vs Opera vs Internet Explorer -

Welcome to part two of me critiqueing various Web browsers.

First of all, I need to correct a few things from yesterday's post.

Google Chrome does in fact have addons and themes. However, they are not supported by Google and are also not easy to install.

Today I went into the About Google Chrome thing in the menu and found out that there was an update available. This whole time, I had been expecting Chrome to find out when it had been updated and tell me about it. I mean, software that doesn't use Internet connectivity at all can do it, so surely a Web browser from a Web-based company can, right? I guess not. Anyway, the newest version of Chrome does, in fact, have the option to remove sites from the Most Visited list. You still can't add or make any sites permanent, but this is a definite improvement.

Anyway, other browsers. The new Safari is great. The Most Visited issues present in Chrome don't exist here, since you can mark sites as permanently on the list, or block them from the list. You can also have up to 24 sites on the list, rather than the nine that Chrome limits you to. It starts out with a list of commonly visited sites, so there's a good chance that some of your favorite sites will already be on the page at installation. Bookmarking in Safari is also just as easy as it is in Chrome.

Additionally, you can drag tabs into new windows and from one window to another, but I couldn't find a way to drag a window with only one tab into a second window. Annoying, but not too much of a problem. It also contains full page zooming, rather than the text zooming that most browsers have. It lacks some of the cooler features of Chrome, and if there are themes and addons available, I wasn't able to find them. Also, I couldn't figure out how to add Wowhead as a search engine. (Or add any search engines, for that matter.)

You can get third-party addons and skins, but Apple warns against it.

All-in-all, it's a good browser, but I'd stick with either Chrome or Firefox.

Opera! Not a very popular browser, but it has some cool features. Their version of Most Visited is called Speed Dial, and you manually add in the sites you want. The automation of Chrome and Safari is nice, but Opera's fully customizable system is great, too. You can drag tabs between windows, but if you drag the last tab out of a window, you end up with a blank window that should have just closed itself.

Skins are easily available from Tools -> Appearance, and addons are available from Widgets -> Add Widgets on the menu bar. (Opera users will notice that I'm not using the default skin in the screenshot.)

A major issue I had with Opera was adding search engines to the search bar. I tried adding Wowhead, but despite my technical prowess, I was unable to get it to work. When I typed anything in and hit Enter, nothing happened. At all. There's probably some way to get it to work, but it should be far simpler than it is.

One awesome feature that Opera has that I wish other browsers would mimic is that when you mouseover a tab, instead of simply displaying the full title, it shows a thumbnail image of the current content of the tab. There are probably addons in Firefox that do this, but I would really like for this to be standard.

Ah, Internet Explorer. For too long, you were the most common Web browser. Your lack of security measures and non-conformity to Web standards caused many a headache for professionals and casual computer users alike. Little has changed. Yeah, it's definitely better, but it's still probably the most insecure browser there is, simply because it's the most targeted by those evil spyware people. Microsoft hasn't even attempted to keep their browser up-to-date feature-wise, which really isn't that surprising considering that it's free, and they don't spend many resources on venues that don't pay out. That's good business, but still...


Sunday is puppy day.

-- Pawn --

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