IE, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla and more?

Written By: Loring A. Windblad

This compilation of information is Copyright March 2005 by Ziff Davis, all the posting subscribers, http://www.organicgreens.us, and Loring Windblad. This article may be freely copied and used on other web sites only if it is copied complete with all links, credits and text, including this header, intact and unchanged including such minor irrelevancies as misspellings and typos they should be left intact as is because this was clipboarded from the original ZD Forum Postings. Note: All windy0068 postings are by the author, Loring A. Windblad.

Microsoft doesn’t have to conform.
The reality here is that MS still has the giant’s share of the browser market. All new windows PC’s are shipped with IE. They can come up with a broken, standards non-compliant browser and that’s what people will use.

This has in fact led to the adoption of non-W3C standards by other browsers such as mozilla. Opera can scream all they want but it will not make a big impact on IE.

Btw, I’m a long time opera user and this browser really rocks.
Posted by: kraterz Posted on: 03/17/05

If you ask John Carroll

He will say “Why don’t the OTHER browsers have support for M$-only web standards?”. With the proliferation of M$ development tools, many websites use FrontPage for their design. The resultant web page is full of non-standard M$-isms, which render fine in IE – and nothing else.

If M$ were to make IE7 W3C compliant, and then NOT change FrontPage, then this acid2 stuff is all for naught. IE7 would work on ALL webpages, while Firefox and Opera would still look crappy on FrontPage-designed websites.
Posted by: Roger Ramjet Posted on: 03/17/05

Opera will still have a particular advantage….
In a word, speed, particularly for older systems.

I won’t use IE anymore unless I have to.

Firefox is good. But I’ve started to notice that, particularly on older machines, it tends to get a little sluggish. I’ll admit though that I haven’t looked into optimizing the configuration, so perhaps that’s where my problem lies.

Firefox says the requirements are:
233MHz CPU (500 or greater recommended)
64MB RAM (128MB or greater recommended)

Yes, I do have some older systems. On 2 machines, both 500MHz, one with 192MB RAM and one with 128MB RAM, there’s an occasional tendency here and there for Firefox to slow down. Not much, but every once in a while I notice a bit of sluggishness rendering.

I tend to nitpick, though.

On my dad’s machine, 400MHz, and only 64MB of RAM, it’s worse. Notably so. If you get more than 2 or 3 tabs open, it definitely takes a hit. On the other hand, my wife’s 266 MHz system with 128 MB RAM handles Firefox notably better.

With my dad’s machine, I switched to Opera 7.53, and let me tell you, speed-wise, it’s like night and day compared to with Firefox.

This isn’t a knock on Firefox really, it’s a good product. But there are probably more old machines out there that are being used, or can still be used, than you might imagine. I don’t think that just because they’re old they should automatically be relegated to the landfill.

Anyway, the fact that Opera works so well, and so fast, on machines with older hardware (only requires a Pentium chip, and 16MB RAM . . or 166MHz and 32MB RAM if using Java), definitely gives it a market.

Might be a niche market . . but hey, if I already know at least two people who can benefit from it, then there’s something to be considered.

Ok, that was kind of rambling. The point is that having two free browsers that follow standards isn’t necessarily enough to drive Opera out of business.

In a way, I’d like to see Firefox work toward increasing its speed and other improvements such that the minimum and recommended requirements become less than they currently are. I highly doubt Internet Explorer will even try in that regard.
Posted by: jvahabzadeh Posted on: 03/17/05

Why ??? Are we all clones?
Why can’t microsoft do what they feel like doing?

Does GM make the exact same car as honda?

Are Dells the same thinkpads

Why is there not one Database?

This is a FREE market if people dont like IE7 then they wont use it

The only reason people stopped using netscape is because they stopped developing it with new features and functions – the market decided not microsoft.
Posted by: tomatolord Posted on: 03/17/05

excellent points!
But, you are using reason, objection, intelligence, and no hatred or zealotry. That is rare and almost unheard of in the zdnet talkbacks…..
Posted by: TechType Posted on: 03/17/05

Hey this is a ZDnet forum, you need more hatrid of MS – sorry M$. They cannot advance, we made the standards in 1999 and they were good enough then, so they are good enough now. No more innovation!
Can’t we all just get along and try to move this society forward. Or am I just being silly.
Posted by: bnordber Posted on: 03/17/05

Yes, you are
… being a little silly. True (universal, accessible for all) innovation would be if IE followed the latest standards, and CSS1 too. (As it is it doesn’t – see http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/complexspiral/glassy.html ) That would allow truly innovative site design.
Posted by: naylor83 Posted on: 03/17/05
Check the above link in IE, Firefox, Opera and Netscape. Its “enlightening”! Windy0068

No, but 2+2=4
So, how’d you like it if some calculators made out that 2+2=4, while some calculator makers decided that, no, 2+2=4.79, and a third calculator manufacturer argued that 2+2 is definately 5.
Posted by: naylor83 Posted on: 03/17/05

Why??? Are we all Clones?
Actually, while we are not all Clones and individuality is to be embraced and promoted when and if at all possible, Automakers follow the guidelines set down by governments. They all look different; they all “meet standards” – see my other post.

Microsoft took the worldwide standards of html and java and created their own. The worldwide standards have not changed to accomodate MS tho MS seems to believe they should. And they continue to operate by their own standards, not the established standards which every one else seems to adhere to.

There is nothing to prevent MS, Firefox, Opera or anyone else from having its individualized browser. There should have been something in place to prevent Microsoft from “flaunting the established world standards” and “going their own different way” by creating their own standards so very different from the ones the rest of the world agreed to and adhered to.
Posted by: windy0068 Posted on: 03/17/05

An odd view of browsing.
Let me suggest some countervailing observations that seem self-evident.

Of course the largest ecosystem surrounding any browser belongs to IE.

Of course damaging that ecosystem to follow the lead of the WC3 cohort would be suicidal.

Of course Opera is in business to make money, which they do by offering a different and better product.

Of course for Opera to abandon what makes them uniquely valuable to build atop FireFox would be ruinous.

Of course the W3C cohort opposes Microsoft, and has left out of its list of standards innovations essential to Microsoft’s future plans.

Of course Microsoft would abandon its future to cede control to its opponents. Particulrly if FireFox is in fact becoming a competing “platform”.

That said, there are obviously ways Microsoft could respond to legitimate concerns; CSS may well be one. But a realistic attitude has to be that IE is a success, not a failure, and can benefit from improvements, not abandonment.
Posted by: Anton Philidor Posted on: 03/17/05

Standards are the bottom level
Implementing full compliance with CSS 2 or 2.1 doesn’t mean that MS can’t have all the other non-standard bells and whistles that they please in IE.

Think of it like a small econo-box car versus a high-end luxury sports car. They can both implement all of the required safety standards, fuel, dimensions, and what not and still be differentiated.

The complaint against MS and IE is that they’re not even bothering to implement the core standards in an effort to force use of their product which they are promoting via a desktop monopoly.
Posted by: Robert Crocker Posted on: 03/17/05

What does the desktop have to do with HTML Standards?
Posted by: TechType Posted on: 03/17/05

MS sets the standard, right?
Isn’t the standard to make all web applications compatible with IE? Has that changed?
Posted by: scott1329 Posted on: 03/17/05

Microsoft meets browser needs
Microsoft ships a file manger with Windows. It meets the basic needs of most users and I think most people would agree it would be difficult to navigate without it. But I use Powerdesk because it is a more robust file manager.

Today the web has become an extension of our OS enviorment. Once again Microsoft has provided us with the basics, and of course included for free with the OS. A host of other browsers lurk out there that provide better features, interfaces, etc. Users drive demand – not competitors (no matter the market share). I wonder if it is in Opera’s best interests that a product that is more or less free has the same capabilities as their own product.
Posted by: Kyron Posted on: 03/17/05

Microsoft meets browser needs
AHAH! Now we come to the nitty gritty of another problem with M$ – “Free” browser. Forget it – there’s ain’t no “free lunches” out there anymore. Trust me on this one – the price of IE is “built in” to the “cost of Windows”! This is why Windows has been going up and up and up in price with every iteration of the O/S.

Soooo….you think its free just because it came bundled with your Windows? Forget it….you paid for it with those extra dollars you paid for your O/S.
Posted by: windy0068 Posted on: 03/17/05

Opera might become more popular, too
“What’s ironic about Lie’s challenge is that once Microsoft rises to it, then one of Opera’s big differentiators (standards support) gets wiped out. Can Opera survive two free browsers on the market (Mozilla and Firefox)?”

1) If IE7 were standards-compliant Opera users would have less trouble with sites not being displayed properly.

2) Didn’t you mean “three /standards compliant/ browsers (Mozilla, Firefox and IE)”?? It’s doing fine against the current two, it’s even gaining some I believe.
Posted by: naylor83 Posted on: 03/17/05

Fear and loathing of IE7
Microsoft has blithely “gone its own way” in spite of worldwide standards to the contrary. They developed their own version of html, ignoring the existing worldwide standards; they developed their own version of java script, ignoring the existing worldwide standards; they developed their own – the only – O/S platform going and “integrated into it” a mail program and internet browser which allow instant invasions by hackers and malevolent worms/virus attack, to the detriment of many independent browsers and mail programs which, if used with Windows, still provide some measure of security against virus/worm attacks.

So exactly why, with their track record, should we expect a sane response and effort from MS at this late date?
Posted by: windy0068 Posted on: 03/17/05

W3C compliant
Is it possible the reason Firefox cannot render the pages properly is that those sites are not W3C compliant? If the sites were W3C compliant I would think Firefox, Netscape, Opera and the like would render them correctly however, IE wouldn’t because it isn’t W3C compliant. I run numerous browsers on my system. When all browsers except IE have difficulty with a site that tells me that either the site or IE aren’t W3C compliant.From all my reading I see MS now understands they must be more W3C compliant with the web standards. MS doesn’t make the standard W3C does.
Posted by: RicD Posted on: 03/22/05

Using Mozilla at home with XP and SOPHOS and it works great, never have been invaded. IE explorer XP is safe if it is backed up with SOPHOS or equivalent, and a firewall from Cisco, etc. Otherwise, it is a seive. I know I work with it daily. My company’s internet life expectancy is less than 2 minutes without all the security.
Posted by: Bionator Posted on: 03/22/05

Mozilla? Safe?
Actually, your relatively disgusting M$ IE is not only unsafe to the max, but violates all the principles of Worldwide Internet Standards.

The reason Firefox, Opera, Netscape and other browsers fail to display some pages correctly is that they are all compliant with the International HTML / W3C Standards. As M$ has built a broken, standards non-compliant browser and delivered it “for free” (Hah!) that’s what people use.

They not only contravened the International HTML Standards, CSS 2 and 2.1 standards, but also the Java Script Standards. They then built their “new” non-compliant M$ Standards into Frontpage. Thus, any and all “Frontpage designed” web pages will not display correctly in any browser but IE.

This is why no serious web designer who knows what he is doing uses Front Page for their web design requirements.

Safe? Yes – everyone that is but M$. And they will continue to be safe, unlike M$, until such time as M$ closes the loopholes and separates the Browser / Mail Program from the O/S. It was an idiotic decision to combine them all anyway, integrated into the O/S.
Posted by: windy0068 Posted on: 03/22/0

About the Author

Loring Windblad worked in communications for more than 25 years and has observed first hand the harmful effects of RF radiation in near proximity to both humans and other animals. His latest business endeavor is at: http://www.organicgreens.us

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