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The Features That Make Each Web Browser Unique 132

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-a-boring-monday dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers a look at 13 promising features unique to one browser. From Chrome's support for SPDY, to IE9's emphasis on energy efficiency, to Firefox Sync, browser vendors are working hard to establish any edge that might attract more users to their stack of code. And while speed and HTML5 compatibility remain key in the battle of the Web browsers, unique features often point the way forward. 'Given the pace of browser updates these days, don't be surprised to find the best of the bunch being copied by competitors soon,' Wayner writes. 'After all, yesterday's browser bells and whistles are today's must-have features.'"
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The Features That Make Each Web Browser Unique

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  • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:35AM (#36000726)
    It made me find the actual article and that is apparently 4 pages.

    Again thank you
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday May 02, 2011 @11:51AM (#36001552)

      Thank you for linking to print page It made me find the actual article and that is apparently 4 pages.

      This is interesting in an article about unique browser features. Maybe a better article would go through features rarely known about. Like in Safari you can click the "reader" button in the URL bar and it consolidates multi-page articles in to a single page including the images. There is a Firefox extension called "repagination" to do the same thing. Given how much I see people complaining about multi-page articles, it would have been nice for this article to have covered this.

      Similarly, Safari and some Firefox plug-ins allow the user to grab the corner of text input boxes and resize them, which is an indispensable feature once you've used it, but was also overlooked in this article.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        > Similarly, Safari and some Firefox plug-ins

        I think FF4 does that by default without plugins. At least it does for me on Linux.

        • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

          Same here (Windows). As of Firefox 4.0 it's a standard feature.

        • I think FF4 does that by default without plugins. At least it does for me on Linux.

          Funny. My plug-in became incompatible when I upgraded to 4, but 4 added the feature anyway, so I never noticed. I'm glad they finally got around to rolling it into the core application. It is certainly one of those things that benefits all users and should be a default feature.

  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:35AM (#36000730) Journal

    Is IE9's touted energy efficiency really a feature that sets it apart from the other browsers? It really feels like Microsoft was reaching pretty hard when they released that data, much of which only showed that IE9 was only marginally more energy efficient on many of the tests than Firefox.

    • by PmanAce (1679902)
      Except IE9 will run smoothly on Windows Phones soon and well Firefox won't in Android for example.
      • That's not really a fair comparison. How well does IE9 run on Android phones? Or firefox on WM phones?

      • by hedwards (940851)

        To add the the ACs point, I use Firefox on my Nexus One, it's not like perfect, but it runs pretty well at this point, and certainly better than whatever crap it is that they bundled with Android. I get my tabs and everything is works fine. There are still some issues, but the progress has been just astonishing since I first installed it.

    • by QilessQi (2044624)

      Even TFA says that they only claim it's more efficient:

      "Here, Microsoft is leading the way, claiming that IE9 is the most energy-efficient browser. Of course, there's no easy way to test this assertion, even with an electrical meter because the computer could be burning electricity on some background task."

      So why did they even bother putting it in there?

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday May 02, 2011 @02:42PM (#36003544)

      The entire article is garbage. It lists Songbird as a browser (when its really a media player using firefox's Gecko), it implies that other browsers dont have Jumplists on Win7 (hint, Chrome and--i think-- firefox both do), lists "email" as a unique feature of Opera, when Firefox came out of a project that had email et al, Firefox 4s sync is HARDLY unique in an arena with Chrome (and I assume safari and Opera have it as well), and Im pretty sure IE9 has a separate process per tab-- not just chrome.

      Seriously, none of these are unique, except perhaps Opera's turbo caching and Chrome's SPDY-- and its a bit too early to tell if SPDY is going to take off.

  • User Agent (Score:2, Informative)

    by fermion (181285)
    The one I use the most is
    Safari 5: Easy user agent alterations

    While most modern web sites do not check for user agent, at least not to prevent access, there are a few that still are loyal to MS, so block non-IE browsers from accessing content. In a perfect world we could just all ignore these sites and let them fail, but unfortunately most of these sites are corporate and so much deal with them to keep our jobs. I was sad to discover that most browsers had removed this functionality, and that Safari

    • Re:User Agent (Score:5, Informative)

      by ledow (319597) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:46AM (#36000846) Homepage

      Opera's had that for ages. Literally 4, 5 or maybe even 6 "major" versions.

    • by Verdatum (1257828)
      Opera has this feature too...or at least it used to. Back in Opera 3 days, when websites had never heard of Opera, I found it hugely useful.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Firefox does it with plugins. Is it really that big a deal to go get a plugin to change the user agent?

      • Firefox does it with plugins. Is it really that big a deal to go get a plugin to change the user agent?

        No, but it's far easier when it's already built in.

        • by bunratty (545641)
          Firefox doesn't have it built in because the vast majority of users never need it. Nearly all sites work with Firefox's default user agent string.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          And I find firefox would be easier if it came with vimperator by default. Both of these are things the average user will never need or want.

      • Yes. I hate plugins, they break regularly, especially with major releases, and they can be a security risk.

        I'm not 100% against them per se, but, if a browser has a specific functionnality built-in, while another requires a plug-in... I'll tend to use the full-featured browser, instead of the plugin-crutched one. In firefox's case, the situation used to be very extreme, with plugins needed for almost any interesting feature that was standard in Opera (synch, mouse gestures...). I tried Ffox a handful of tim

        • by Cogita (1119237)

          Yes. I hate plugins, they break regularly, especially with major releases, and they can be a security risk.

          I'm not 100% against them per se, but, if a browser has a specific functionnality built-in, while another requires a plug-in... I'll tend to use the full-featured browser, instead of the plugin-crutched one. In firefox's case, the situation used to be very extreme, with plugins needed for almost any interesting feature that was standard in Opera (synch, mouse gestures...). I tried Ffox a handful of times, and always gave it up due to incessant plugin updates, or plain broken plugins.

          This was the issue I had with IE. It used to try to do everything, and as a result did nothing well, including your standard browsing. I preferred firefox where if I wanted so specific functionality, I could add it, but I knew the base functionality would work and work well. It's part of my problem with ff atm, it feels bloated and slow, which is why I use chromium.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Which leads to bloat. Certain things like greasemonkey, noscript and flashblock make more sense as add ons than they do in the browser proper. The bigger issue is that they haven't finished their extension sandboxing yet and that they make stupid decisions like taking away the status bar without really considering that most users have the space for them, and that it could easily be enabled/disabled from a configuration menu. I'd be curious as to who thought it was a good idea to make that text appear in the

          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            Then why is it that Opera runs significantly better on low memory systems than Firefox-with-no-extension does?

            Now, add extensions to Firefox. Its horrible in low-memory scenarios because *it* is the bloated one. The fact that Firefox sometimes uses significantly less memory when there is actually gobs of memory available is also evidence of a problem with Firefox.
          • by Kyrall (1840136)

            I'd be curious as to who thought it was a good idea to make that text appear in the URL bar when you're hovering over a link. Thankfully they did end up backing down on that.

            I actually had just started warming to the hover-url-in-address-bar feature when the next beta version removed it. It took me a fair while to start looking for addresses back at the bottom of the screen again. Come to think of it, it does kind-of make sense to have all URLs in the address bar.

    • Re:User Agent (Score:5, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:58AM (#36000960)

      >>>so block non-IE browsers from accessing content.

      These sites don't actually "block" the content - they are just poorly programmed. For example I cannot access Youtube Mail from Mozilla's SeaMonkey or Opera's opera, because the idiot web programmer didn't recognize the browser as "IE" or "FF" and simply didn't send the HTML (or javascript). He made the stupid assumption that the browser was incapable of displaying youtube. Either that or he was lazy.

      >>>Safari was pretty much the only one that had it build in

      Opera has had user agent strings since the early 2000s. You can set it as Opera, or Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox, or IE/opera, or FF/opera.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I wouldn't blame the programmer for that, that's more a result of the fragmented nature of browsers. The people designing these sites aren't necessarily paid to test every possible browser version and type, I remember back years ago when people would have a hard time getting approval to test for Firefox.

        The proper solution for that is to have a test suite that can make such determinations, unfortunately things are rarely that simple and I have a feeling that such an undertaking would be rather involved. Whi

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>The people designing these sites aren't necessarily paid to test every possible browser version and type

          They don't have to.
          Just push HTML 4 or 5 compliant data, and Seamonkey and Opera will render it just fine. There's no reason for a site like mail.yahoo.com to refuse to send the information.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, blame the programmer. It is bad practice to do anything related to the user string, as it goes against the concept of progressive enhancement/graceful degradation. The proper approach would have been to encapsulate any code that was "iffy" for support on alternative browsers with a construct like this:

          if (navigator.geolocation){
          navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(...);
          } else { // Don't show the geolocate button
          }

          This allows for support of fancy features in browsers that

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      I found it utterly bizarre that they highlighted this for Safari, when the Safari Reader feature, which pulls multipage articles down into one single readable page is *far* more interesting and unique.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Except the original article is spread over 4 pages, so someone's editor probably removed that bit on account of not losing advertising monies.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      I find this interesting as most of the situations where I would use a user-agent switcher I find that they implemented the JavaScript "navigator.AppName" function which identifies browsers independently of their user-agent string. Changing the user-agent has never once helped me work around website problems.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:43AM (#36000808)

    per usual. Opera Software innovates (tabs, spell-checking, syncing of bookmarks, turbo compression) and others copy.

    >>>There was a time when Mozilla combined the email program with the browser, but it stopped this integration long ago.

    No. Not really. Look at Mozilla SeaMonkey (direct descendent of Netscape Navigator/Communicator). It includes not just email, but also Usenet newsgroups, relay chat, and a composer.

    >>>Safari 5: Easy user agent alterations

    Opera has had this for years, allowing users to display sites as Internet Explorer or Firefox-compliant.

    • >>>Safari 5: Easy user agent alterations

      Opera has had this for years, allowing users to display sites as Internet Explorer or Firefox-compliant.

      I agree. I think Opera had this 10 years ago or something. Seriously.

    • pera Software innovates (tabs, spell-checking, syncing of bookmarks, turbo compression) and others copy.

      Everyone copies from everyone. Tabs were in Omniweb (albeit with a slightly different implementation) in 1999. Spell checking should be implemented at the OS level and rolled out as a service to apps (as OS X does). Re-implementing it for every app is idiotic architectural design. Numerous browsers on OS X had spellchecking before Opera (since 2000) and they have grammar checking as well. Admittedly, Opera can't do a lot about the fact that OS's have failed to step up and implement spellchecking as a servic

      • by keefus_a (567615)
        The OP had it wrong when he/she mentioned that Firefox copied Opera, as that is not the point. The actual issue is that the article is supposed to point out "unique" features in each browser and "Sync" is most certainly NOT unique to Firefox. It doesn't really matter who did it first in this case. The shame is that Opera's "Unite" feature does so much more than just keeping bookmarks in sync across devices, yet it didn't get a mention.
    • by praxis (19962)

      Yes, Opera did it first but there is a difference. The encryption key Firefox uses is not stored on the central server and is client-side only.

    • Chrome's sync not only syncs all settings and bookmarks, but extensions and THEIR settings as well. I can download Chrome on any new PC and log into my Google account, and have everything exactly as my home PC, in seconds.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And so the size of browsers increases, until they all become unusable bloatware.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:46AM (#36000854)

    So long as its reliable, easy to use and isn't full of security holes I doubt many people give a damn about their web browser. Can you imagine an entire article about the relative merits of ftp or telnet clients? All most people want is for their browser to render pages properly. End of. If a new standard comes out and web sites use it then yes, browser should support it. Otherwise, apart from the browser developers themselves and a few fanbois, does anyone really care?

    • As importantly, does anyone care about browser speed? Most computers these days run 3D FPS games without batting an eyelid, the focus by chrome in particular on stripping off things to make it "faster" isn't going be noticed by anyone. Speed hasn't mattered since the 90s, so how it would be "key" is anyone's guess.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:47AM (#36000858)

    The rest of the browsers lack decent plugins that can remake the whole browser experience. You can turn it into a ten foot browser for your living room or make it easy to use for a sysadmin with vimperator.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I second that.
      Never without Adblocking, Trackerblocking, Flashblocking.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I love how Chrome is the browser that gets the credit for coming up with the multiprocess model within the browser. I know that history is also revisionist, but it was Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 that first demonstrated to the multiprocess model in March 2008, almost six months before Google's first public preview. I'm sure someone is going to point out that IE doesn't isolate per tab (and neither does Chrome necessarily), but the model is the same, as are many of the implementation details.

    Where Chrome do

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday May 02, 2011 @11:03AM (#36001020)

      Multiprocess was standard on early unix browsers - you opened a link in a new window it spawned a new process. It was only later that netscape switched to multithreaded presumably so the codebase was easier to port to Windows which as everyone knows has a piss poor process model and still can't even do fork() never mind sophisticated parent-child process interaction.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Multiprocess was also standard on the 1985 Commodore Amigas. Every program spawned a separate process (and sometimes - a whole new screen).

        Multiprocessing was included with the first Amiga-Mosaic browser, but of course was disabled when mosaic was ported to non-multitasking Macs and IBM PCs.

      • That's odd, because one of the advanced settings in early versions of IE was to make each window run in its own process. I found it quite useful while testing things.

        Of course the current version has a much more sophisticated model.

  • And Opera Mail is the quickest, easiest, stablest, safest and all-round lowest impact email client I've ever used. And that's coming from someone who's tried everything from Pegasus Mail through to the Mozilla horridness.

    Search is instant-narrow, even over 8 years of email from multiple POP/IMAP accounts. Tag a message with a label, every similar message gets the label. Want emails with that label to appear in your inbox, or to be pushed out to a seperate "folder" or both? You can choose. Spam filter i

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>integrated Bittorrent like any other download.

      I've never been able to make this work. It opens the file okay, but then just sits there not peering to anybody? I think you're better off with a dedicated Torrent program, rather than the bloated ~200 megabyte Opera, especially since the dedicated programs use far less memory (utorrent fits in less than 10 meg of RAM).

      Note: I'm using a 700megahertz/256meg laptop, so smaller is better for me.

      • It's worked fine for me in the past. Go to opera:config and check the Bittorrent settings. Normally changing the port helps with this.

        In general, I agree and think it'd be better to just have a small program for each type of operation. The point Opera was trying to advertise was that normal users wouldn't have to muck around and install Torrent clients, their downloads would just work.

        Also, I guess it'd be beneficial to useeverything (torrent, email, etc.) Opera offers if you're the type to leave your brows

      • Note: I'm using a 700megahertz/256meg laptop, so smaller is better for me.

        Running Windows 3.11 no doubt. Or was that CP/M?

        Must. Not. Make. Size. Joke.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          Windows XP fits nicely inside 256 megabytes. It's not until you drop below 128 that it experiences hard drive slowing (due to memory swapping).

          >>>The Opera installer is less than 8MB, and the installed size is less than 20MB

          Don't give a damn. ~200MB is how much memory it uses when it's open and running, and that's the stat I care about.

      • rather than the bloated ~200 megabyte Opera

        Um, what? The Opera installer is less than 8MB, and the installed size is less than 20MB. In fact, to check that it was still small, I just downloaded and installed the latest version, v11.10. Universal installer is 7.3MB, full install on an older Windows XP machine is 18.5MB, installed and started up in 17 seconds. Sorry, but it doesn't get much better than that.

  • Opera 11: Email
    There was a time when Mozilla combined the email program with the browser, but it stopped this integration long ago. That era is back again, this time on Opera.

    Disclaimer: I haven't used Opera 11.

    Even though it's not an "official" Mozilla project, you can nonetheless continue to use an integrated web browser and email suite in the form of SeaMonkey -- it's been around for years and years. Hard to see anyone else make grand claims about email functionality.

    http://www.seamonkey-project.org/ [seamonkey-project.org]

    • by lbft (950835)
      Opera's had email inbuilt since Opera 4 in 2000, and the last major update it got was in Opera 10. I don't understand why the article mentions it like it's some new thing.
  • The Android version of Firefox on your phone can suck down all of the bookmarks, history, passwords, and even open tabs. Then when you're back at your desk, you can push back the changes you've made while you're typing on your phone.

    And if you delete or edit a bookmark on on machine, firefox sync will replicate multiple copies! Except when it deletes them all, of course. Essentially its a write-only filesystem which occasionally truncates.

    Every time I've tried it, FF sync has been an absolute nightmare. xmarks, on the other hand, actually works.

    Finally I understand we must all bow to worship the mobile smartphone and ignore legacy platforms, such as everything else with a CPU in it. But... Is there anyone out there with access to O

  • Revisionist history (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Monday May 02, 2011 @11:29AM (#36001336)

    "Before the Internet, there was a collection of nets, like Compuserve, Minitel, MSN, and AOL. Then the 'Inter' prefix was added by linking these nets altogether, and everyone was given the freedom to request information from any computer out there."

    The Internet predates CompuServe, AOL, etc., and wasn't created by linking those walled-garden services together.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Typical kids book report of 2030, assuming our native language remains The Queens English instead of switching to textspeak:

      Before the Intertubes, there was a collection of nets, like PSN, Qriocity, and PS3 netflix streaming. Then the 'Inter' prefix was added by linking these nets altogether, and everyone was given the freedom to request all credit card numbers stored in the playstation network, from any computer out there.

    • "Before the Internet, there was a collection of nets, like Compuserve, Minitel, MSN, and AOL. Then the 'Inter' prefix was added by linking these nets altogether, and everyone was given the freedom to request information from any computer out there."

      The Internet predates CompuServe, AOL, etc., and wasn't created by linking those walled-garden services together.

      It's mostly correct if you think of the internet in terms of its userbase.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      "Before the Internet, there was a collection of nets, like Compuserve, Minitel, MSN, and AOL. Then the 'Inter' prefix was added by linking these nets altogether, and everyone was given the freedom to request information from any computer out there."

      The Internet predates CompuServe, AOL, etc., and wasn't created by linking those walled-garden services together.

      Ya, i had to send the writer of the article an email with links pointing out how wrong that statement was.

      Don't they have fact checkers anymore? Sad part is, you don't have to read far on the wiki's of those to see how wrong the statement is.

  • In this day and age, is it too much to ask that a web browser have a built-in spell checker for filling out web forms? IE still doesn't have one.
    • by Teckla (630646)

      In this day and age, is it too much to ask that a web browser have a built-in spell checker for filling out web forms? IE still doesn't have one.

      Amen to that!

      People use a lot of web based applications these days. A spell checker (and spelling suggestions) built into the browser seems like a no-brainer. Why the IE team continues to neglect such an easy-to-implement but yet invaluable-to-the-user feature is mystifying.

      As of version 9, IE is starting to get interesting again, but missing such basic features still means IE is an undesirable browser.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Be careful what you wish for! I'm trying to switch to Chromium from FF because the memory hogging and CPU spiking in FF 4 is just nuts, but the spelling checker in Chromium based (so far I've tried Chromium and Dragon) is just awful! It seems like no matter how close I get to spelling the actual word it guesses a ton of things NONE of which are even close!

      It reminds me of the old search engine they used on MSN, where you would type and it would guess these horribly wrong attempts, like "De"...uhhh...deviled

      • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

        I'm trying to switch to Chromium from FF because the memory hogging and CPU spiking in FF 4 is just nuts

        Personally I'm just reluctantly putting up with it and hoping they fix the horrible memory leaks soon. FF was eating ~720m of VM this morning when I killed the process and restarted it; it's now back up to 420m. This on a PC that only has 1g of RAM... pre-4.0 didn't have anywhere near these problems. I figure they'll get fixed eventually.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Thank you for posting that, I'm so very damned tired of getting told "it works for me!" when on my nettop with Anvir task manager I can literally sit and type in a simple text box like this and can spike the CPU simply by typing in a bog standard text box.

          I mean seriously WTF FF devs? For me it started getting bad with the 3.6 branch and FF 4 is frankly unusable on anything less than a 2.8Ghz P4 with 1.5Gb of RAM IMHO and that is just insane! I'd hate to see what FF 4 is like on an Atom or netbook, as fra

          • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

            It's just the nature of the update cycle... all the cool features end up being glitchy and buggy. Mainly memory leaks - those seem to be the last to be found and fixed. In the meantime, just restarting it daily is about all I can do. No different than Windows - one version is unstable and poorly interfaced with drivers (ME, Vista) and the subsequent version will have most of those kinks worked out and end up being a mainstay for a good long time (XP, 7 - I hope). With any luck they'll have the memory leakin

      • and I have know need for a stinking spell checker cuz I'm a wizzard and can check spell meself

  • Let's face it, browsers are very complex pieces of software, they have to implement numerous protocols, chase a moving target, attempt to deal sensibly with non-compliant input and provide a decent user experience. And the big names all do a pretty decent job for most people. None of them are perfect yet, though, and given the constantly changing nature of the game, its hard to forsee a time when they could become perfect. I feel quite a lot for the developers of browser software (being a developer myself
    • Yes, browsers are very complicated. And so is programming for them, especially considering the bewildering number of browsers your code has to work for.

      Now, if only browsers were more like virtual machines (virtualbox, vmware, etc.), then life of a webdeveloper would be much simpler.

      Here's why:
      - A webdeveloper could choose his own scripting language (of course, I assume here that the webdeveloper can simply pick a standard open-source scripting language; he does not need to build one himself, but in theory

    • If you met a developer of [the browser you like least] would you rant and rave at him, or just have a friendly chat? :-)

      I'm still pretty upset about IE 6. Probably not a good idea to let me in the same room with any of it's developers.

  • What do you think of the SPDY protocol [chromium.org], listed as Chrome's unique feature?

    Even if it's faster, is it a good idea for the unity of the web Google to have come up with, and push this idea all on their own?

    What would we think if M$ or Compu$erve had come up with their own protocol, to be accessed by their own application program?

    • What would we think if M$ or Compu$erve had come up with their own protocol, to be accessed by their own application program?

      "Have they documented it?"
      "Have they made an open sourced reference implementation?"
      "Is the protocol royalty free?"
      "Is there any indication that they are are going to drop/deemphasize support for previous protocols?"

  • IE9's emphasis on energy efficiency

    .
    IE9 runs only on bloated resource-hungry Windows, yet Microsoft still --- in an effort to find something, anything, positive to say about IE9 --- falls back on the current "energy efficiency" buzzword.

    Funny, in a sad way. How far the once giant has fallen.

  • I commented about this here a couple of months ago, from a theoretical perspective: if the H TML5 spec is ever-evolving, how can you develop for it? How can you have compatibility with a not-final, not-ratified standard?

    The answer, as I feared before and as I now know from experience: you can't. (Note: this is in the context of client-side applications designed to run in the framework of the browser -- and isn't referring to basic HTML tags, rendering, etc. All you "get off my lawn the web is about servi

    • As much as I hate to admit it, Adobe appears to have succeeded in reaching what HTML5 is still striving to attain: write once, for one platform. Run anywhere that platform runs. HTML5 might have a chance to catch up, but I am doubting it.

      Flash has one crucial failing however, due to its proprietary nature - it's larely opaque to automated spidering. That means search engines can't categorise it properly; it's like with image galleries, you're largely reliant on user tagging which will always be of an extremely random (or even malicious) nature. Don't get me wrong, I've helped set up flash applications for intranet deployment, I do appreciate the cross platform power it can bring to the table, but I wouldn't recommend it to be able to stand

      • Well - that depends on your target. I'm not talking about building web sites with it, that's still pretty unforgivable. Rather - using it as an application platform, where you don't even necessarily want to expose your content to the world. Reporting tools, games, proprietary content delivery. For many mind sets, this is quite a possibly a good thing. Content delivered through a custom flash app can't be trivially scraped and displayed elsewhere. (That being said: didn't they make a big deal a couple
    • Some time ago I read a blog article somewhere stating that the current design of the internet is fundamentally flawed. The reason is exactly like you mention here, i.e., the standard is getting too complicated for any browser vendor to follow precisely, resulting in ever-increasing cross-browser headaches for web-developers.

      What we need, and this was mentioned in that blog, is a much lower-level intermediate code which runs on any browser. Even lower-level than Java (i.e., without its own garbage collector)

  • I stick with Safari and Chrome because of the Acid 3 support from WebKit and HTML5 animations support. At least when I view a web page I know it's being rendered properly. Firefox has fallen behind ever since Chrome came out. Safari has always been great. Opera is decent and fast, but I don't like the UI as much as Safari and Chrome. IE9 is not as embarrassing as the previous versions and IE10 might even be respectable (I own a Mac so IE is irrelevant to me), but I'll stick with WebKit based browsers becaus
  • Except that Opera has had sync for nearly three years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_of_the_Opera_web_browser#Opera_Link [wikipedia.org]

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