On the Browsing Experience

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Mr. Stephen Fry is a Firefox user.

A Firefox user!


Fry writes, “I have many friends who can, so to speak, drive around the web, but who have never thought much about the software vehicle taking them through the traffic.” And he goes on: “IE is pants, pure and simple. Safari is clean, elegant and fast (and now comes in a superb Windows implementation), but Firefox has one advantage: customisability.”

I agree with Fry that Internet Explorer is pants. :cheers:

I agree with Fry that Safari is clean, and it does have an elegant look to it, but I don’t find it particularly fast. And despite the elegant look, it’s, well… I find Safari kludgey to use. Things don’t work they way I expect them to, and it renders fonts strangely. :drunk:

But is Firefox’s customisability really an advantage? 🙄

I find Firefox to be very slow. Its rendering engine isn’t any great shakes. And things like ad-block? That requires an extension. Setting up tabs for frequently visited websites? Why, that’s like… work.

Stephen Fry is the man with the brain the size of Kent. And he’s telling people to use Firefox. Except! There’s a better browser out there. There’s a browser that’s faster and lighter and isn’t IE.

See, I’m an Opera user. :merlin:

I love Opera.

Opera does everything I need to do on the Internet.

Opera is like a high-performance sports car.

Speed Dial does the tab thing that Fry talks about in his column — I have quick links to nine preset websites of my choosing.

Opera’s rendering engine is super-fast.

Opera does “Content Blocking” out of the box. No extensions necessary.

Opera has a built in feed reader. Built-in newsgroup reader. Built-in e-mail client. (Okay, the e-mail client isn’t any great shakes, but it’s there.)

And all in a download half the size of Firefox.

Extensions can be done, as Widgets that run inside Opera. But you don’t actually need them to improve the browsing experience or to make the browser functional.

And the great thing about skinning Opera is that you don’t need to restart the program like you have to with Firefox. If I want a new skin, I can change it on the fly.

For anyone that’s curious, I use Phoenity as my skin, with the Sea color scheme. You don’t expect to use the words “pretty” and “pleasing to the eye” and “comfortable” when describing the “look and feel” of a browser, yet I feel completely comfortable saying that I love the look and feel of my Opera browsing experience.

I don’t know if there’s any personality quirk that one’s choice of browser reveals. I’m not sure what being an Opera user says about me — except that I’m not a sheep, that I strike out in my own direction. :party:

Earth to Mr. Stephen Fry. There’s a better browser than Firefox out there. It’s called Opera. Take that for a test drive sometime. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “On the Browsing Experience

  1. I agree with Fry that Safari is clean, and it does have an elegant look to it, but I don’t find it particularly fast. And despite the elegant look, it’s, well… I find Safari kludgey to use. Things don’t work they way I expect them to, and it renders fonts strangely.

    On Windows, this is true. On Macs, it’s much more responsive, and its font rendering matches the rest of the system.

    Generally, though, I use FF. I’ve tried Opera, albeit not the most recent major version (I think), and… didn’t find it doing anything that Firefox didn’t do. The built-in feed readers, etc… I’m just as happy using Google’s versions thereof, accessible on any computer. And everything I’ve heard says the built-in torrent client is possibly more pants than IE, so I don’t think that will make me switch. 😉

    If it works for you, great, but I’ll be sticking with FF for now. It’s not broken, so why bother? 🙂

  2. I have to agree with Andrew in some respects. I’m a Mac user and Firefox has been my default browser for a while. I like what Opera does and your post here made me give it another try for twenty-four hours. There’s no doubt that on some things it renders pages faster than Firefox, but there appears to be an annoying rendering error when it comes to one of my pages. http://unwrittenbooks.ca/ looks a bit messed up under Opera while it loads fine on Firefox.

    Yes, that’s a matter of HTML and CSS, and I will update the page so that it loads properly on Opera, but I encountered another problem with how it handles Google Maps and a few other pages. Pages with javascript or something else going on in the background tend to slow the experience, and raise my CPU usage quite high.

    Opera is almost there, and it will stay on my harddrive, but ultimately I think I prefer Firefox.

  3. i’m a FF and IE user and think they both are bloated.

    really, i’m just happy to read someone else who writes about what stephen fry says. say THAT fast 3 times!

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