April 15, 2005
So I've been using the Firefox browser more these days. It's definitely a nice product, and really stands toe to toe with IE, but I do have some gripes...comments or suggestions (ala "that's 'cause you're doing it wrong, dummy!) welcome.
(Thanks to Catherine, who urged me to start using Firefox, and then post stuff here.)
Things Firefox does better than IE
- Tabbed browsing -- didn't "get it" at first, but now I like the "semantic grouping" I can do, multipages without cluttering the taskbar. And ctrl-click opens a window in the background, much better than the shift-click, alt-tab dance I use in IE to open many links off of one page.
- The Ctrl-F find function as a toolbar. It sticks around for searching multiple pages, and has a nice search-as-you-start-typing factor. (IE's inability to pull up what I last unsuccessfully searched for as a default for the next search has always bugged me.)
- Syntax-colored "view source" is better than IE's use of notepad. (Netscape 4.7 had that too.)
- IE has a very usable FTP 2-way client, Firefox has an FTP browser only.
- IE has a better password-remembering system.
- Firefox's Ctrl-F doesn't seem to search input form fields.
- IE's "mouse select jumps to word boundaries" is not perfect but better than Firefox's character based model.
- Ctrl-N in IE brings up a clone of the current window, complete with history. Firefox opens up my startpage...redundant, because I can easily launch it from the start menu.
- Ctrl-T in Firefox opens up a new and utterly blank tab...even more useless thanthe Ctrl-N behavior!
- IE shows undisplayable characters with box placeholders, Firefox uses question marks.
- Tabbing in Firefox doesn't reset the cursor blink cycle, or something, so you don't get instant confirmation that you're typing in the correct box.
- IE has better drag and drop editing of the toolbars, including the "File Edit View" bar. (I like compressing that bar, 5 small buttons, and the address bar all on one line.)
- Ctrl-O in firefox is the normal file open dialog...not as useful as IE's URL-or-file-browse feature.
- I wish Firefox had an option to let each tab have its own close button...often I want to quickly close a bunch of tabs based on their title, but instead I have to switch to each one and close it separately.
- Both have "reuse windows?" (does double clicking an HTML file or clicking a link in a chat program etc open a new window or reuse an existing browser window) a configurable option, but have the "wrong" default of reuse. New browser windows are cheap, and losing my previous place because of a new activity is annoying.