Well, it happens to all of us - it’s time to eat my words. In my last blog, I wrote that despite Internet Explorer’s numerous security vulnerabilities, I was going to fight rather than switch to an alternative browser like Firefox.
As Roseanna Danna Danna used to say: “Never mind!”
I’ve spent the last week giving Firefox a test drive, and I’m here to tell you that it beats Internet Explorer hands-down. So I’ve decided to make the switch - although not completely, as I’ll explain.
Even putting security vulnerabilities aside, Firefox is a superior browser. It’s not bloated like IE, and it loads sites more quickly. The interface is simpler and cleaner. Its tabbed browsing will be a revelation to those who haven’t used tabs before.
There are some drawbacks, though. An entire industry has sprung up around add-ins for IE, such as the spectacularly useful OnFolio, which lets you save Web pages in a local database, and then quickly search through it. Those kinds of add-ins don’t work with Firefox. Additionally, not all Web sites display properly in Firefox. I’m editor in charge of a number of Web sites, in addition to writing books, and tools I use for the sites don’t always work in Firefox. And, of course, Firefox doesn’t support ActiveX.
You can find workarounds for some problems. Firefox extensions add all kinds of cool functionality to the browser - for example, there’s an extension so that you can use the equivalent of the Google Toolbar, which normally works only in IE. (To find extensions in Firefox, choose Tools –> Extensions. You can also head to the Firefox Extensions Room.) But there are instances where only IE will do.
The upshot? For my normal Web browsing, I’ve made the switch to Firefox. When I need to use ActiveX, OnFolio, or do Web posting for specific sites, I open IE. I wish Firefox could do it all, but for now I’m a two-browser kind of guy.
Which is better, IE or Firefox? Or do you have another favorite browser? Let me know.