Browsers and stuff

As you know, the world – or at least the Internet – is full of browsers. We’ve seen them come, and we’ve seen them go.  I myself went from trying out Netscape Navigator back in 1996, then sort of tried finding a fave when I got my iMac in 2000, switching between NN and IE; then OS X happened and I went to Safari. As anyone on Safari knows, it can be pain sometimes, because certain apps get messed up, such as Wordpress, which is annoying for a blogger.
So there’s Firefox. I was turned onto FF by a PC friend, but once he showed me the adblocker, I was sold. I mean, damn: a dream come true! No more Flash unless I want it. (As a designer who sometimes makes Flash pages, that gives you some idea…). Also, I switched bank services, and my new bank doesn’t run on Safari, so I had to switch anyway.

I use an iBook G4, and I use FF with WebDev, FireFTP, Performancing (incidentally  how I’m writing this) and a Flickr plugin. Also some music player I never use, but at least I have it. According to most, I shouldn’t even be able to open a page, but I just don’t get it…FF is reasonably fast, and I rarely sense any difference in performance anyway (of course, my broadband is slow-ish) between it and the other browsers.

Also – and this is sacrilege to Mac users – FF is apparently “ugly” because it doesn’t look exactly like Steve Jobs thinks it should, or at least what the Apple zealots think Steve Jobs thinks it should, and so that led to Camino, which is a really nice litte browser, and I prefer it over Safari, though it lacks RSS support (no biggie though: I use Vienna for blog reading anyway).

What I don’t get is the “ugly” bit: I downloaded some pretty nice themes and have a kickass tiny theme that is small by default and frees up my much-need screen are as much as possible. So I don’t get that argument. And Camino looks clunky out of the box, it does. You can customize it as well, but still…

There’s also Opera, of course, which I also like not just from misplaced patriotism for a Norwegian, ergo homegrown (to me) product but because it’s damn good: it’s standards-compliant (FF has yet to pass the Acid Test) and it has neat plugins. and widgets. My favourite bit, however, is its navigation. Great stuff.

If you’re into it, there’s something called Flock, which is a social web browser or something. I dodn’t know what the kids today get up to, but the gist seems to be that it’s like browsing in MySpace; which for me is way too much shit to handle. I have nightmares about a browser with default background setting of spinning skulls and emo logos. I’m sure I’m wrong, but…nah. I won’t go there.

And so I keep returning to FF. FF 3 is not that far away, and from what I understand, there will now be a cocoa engine for Mac users. I’m not sure this means that Camino will be put out to pasture, but I doubt it. After all, Mozilla has several other browsers as well as the flagship.

Still, with FireFox soon on Cocoa steroids, running near-natively on my Mac, I will have found my perfect browser.