Browser Wars 2005: Firefox v. Safari, Camino, OmniWeb & Shiira

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Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005, 00:52
Category: Software

Firefox’s creator is featured on the cover of Wired magazine this month and I received a lot of good email about my article on dumping the hot upstart Web browser. Many of you emailed me with some good feedback on making Firefox run more reliably. Click through for some great tips on Firefox and other browser alternatives I neglected to mention in my previous piece “Why I May Fire the ‘fox.” Read More…


Firefox’s creator is featured on the cover of Wired magazine this month and I received a lot of good email about my article on dumping the hot upstart Web browser. Many of you emailed me with some good feedback on making Firefox run more reliably Following are some great tips on Firefox and other browser alternatives I neglected to mention in my previous piece “Why I May Fire the ‘fox.”
FF Frozen App –
The temporary fix is to clear the history and page cache. Works every time—and hence a clue to the route source of the problem.
Nightly Builds –
Stick to the milestone (i.e. 1.0) for maximum stability
Blank Screen –
The blank screen issue you mentioned might be due to the Downloads window being open… try closing it first. If all windows are closed but download, the menubar doesn’t work and other problems can happen… such as the email launch to nothing problem. (Roland)
Destructive Windows –
In the advanced section of Firefox preferences, you can change the behavior of what Firefox does when a link is launched from another application.
Use Preferences:Advanced:Tabbed Browsing to set it to open a new window.
Other readers offered other reasons to dump Firefox:
1. Serious security issue. By default if you use the autofill function of Firefox to remember passwords you can go to the Master List in your preferences and see all the passwords in the clear until you set a master password. I would guess most folks don’t realize this and anyone who gets on your Firefox browser could rip your passwords.
2. Up/down arrows behavior in text edit areas… not Mac like! Up at end should take you to the beginning of the line, down at beginning to the end… instead I’m forced to click or use the repeat left/right arrows. It’s downright windows-like
3. 80-90+% cpu usage
4. It renders the PowerPage all messed up. The top background pattern covers the top masthead, other weirdness.
Many of you wrote to us about browser alternatives not mentioned in the previous article:
Camino
The newer versions of Camino (especially nightly builds) are quite nice, and have a gecko core, cocoa wrapper, and lots of expandability (not as much as FireFox’s extensions, though)… (Eric)
Camino does what you want, it can be set to open new URLs in the frontmost tab, is super fast (and aquafied!), and is based on the Mozilla engine. (Andrew)
Camino and download “camino extra prefs (available on VersionTracker.com) and set all external links to open in tabs. I use camino and it is rock solid. It’s a lot like firefox without the XUL UI crap, and with 2 additional features I can’t live without:
The links bar on the top wraps if more links are added then available horiz space. and wheel clicking links opens them in new tabs, even with a bluetooth mouse. (RBoehmer)
OmniWeb.
OmniWeb release 5.1 is very solid and is my browser of choice at home. I am happy to pay the license fee for its style and robustness. (Chucko)
OmniWeb is a great alternative to Safari. It’s built on WebCore, so you get approximately the same layout as Safari. But the power-user features, such as workspaces, are ones that I can’t live without. Give it a try; you may never go back. (Thanks BP!)
Mozilla 1.7.3 has been utterly great for me.(Reader)
Have you followed Shiira? It is based on Web Core and is at an early stage of development, but shows a lot of potential…and has a sidebar, unlike OmniWeb which has many features, but still uses the Safari style of bookmark display and, at present, is not as easy to add bookmarks where you want them. (Thanks RBriscoe!)

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