About a month ago, my colleague Mike shared a fascinating read, browser speed reports on LifeHacker, and in the article it overtly stated that Opera 11.51 had taken the title as speediest browser.
Like a lot of people I suspect, I have pretty much stuck with the same browser for a number of years; that browser being Mozilla Firefox. On occasion, I have trialled both Opera and Chrome at various points, but never really gave either of them a real chance as I always had my trusty FF to revert back to.
[Although interestingly, as an Iphone user I have remained with Safari for all my mobile browsing needs, simply because I have never really had the need to switch.]
After a few "heated" discussions in the office regarding browser of choice, it became very clear that techies hold their browser choice dearly and will argue the merits of their personal set-up until every aspect has been fully exhausted.
And this is what has got me thinking... if people really will argue the merits of other browsers so passionately, perhaps I am being too stubborn. Or perhaps it's just laziness?
Perhaps I should really give the other browsers a fair shot. To date, my excuses tend to be my beloved extensions that I have come to love and fear life without, namely; Firebug, Web Developer Toolbar and Screengrab - all of which, have been too good to sacrifice.
Admittedly, Chrome has very similar extensions now - and quite likely, more that I haven't even tried.
I guess I have always felt safe in the gold Fox's hands, but I admit that such loyalty has meant that I have missed out on the wide and varied browser experiences available; after all, variety is the spice of life!
Now, I believe that more than ever and I'm ready to embrace the other tools out there...
I am lucky enough that Clock has purchased me a brand spanking new MacBook Air (see 'Tools for the Job' section on Kos' blog post "The Web Agency Boilerplate") and I really have reaped the rewards, having previously spent 15+ years of my life on Windows/PC set-up, I absolute adore my laptop - it has forced me to question my original working practices and social use of the computer.
Thus, I fundamentally believe that my perfect browser would be a pure mix of all the browsers, therefore giving me the following benefits:
- Speed (Opera as per the Lifehacker article)
- Safety (Never knowingly compromised on any of them)
- Add ons (Firefox and Chrome win for me)
- Menu layout (all fine except IE)
- Look and feel (Chrome and Firefox win for me)
Menu layout seems an odd criteria choice you might think - but I often find myself wanting to be able to guess where the menu options will be, and to be able to get it right within a few clicks. IE's menu layout has always infuriated me, not always finding the advanced option within a few guesses. It sounds petty, but when you spend your life on a browser these small things become big time wasters.
With this article in mind, I am going to try switching to Chrome for a month, then Opera and see/document what I find out.
Let me know your favourite browser is and why...And stay tuned to find out how I get on!
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