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Mozilla good, but IE not bad

Letters Grab bag
Fri Jul 23 2004, 20:38

Been using mozilla now for a year, not just switching and trying it and concluding that after using it for a while it beats IE hands down in every way. After using it for a year I can say that I like it but it definitely does not beat IE hands down nor in every way.

Hell, Mike Mozilla can't even save the text zoom between sessions. Although the tab feature is a nice feature opening another window is difficult where if forces you to use profiles and won't just allow you to open a window by clicking on the icon.

The browser doesn't do all it could do to ensure that web pages are rendered correctly for every site. Yeah, the web developers out there could do more but since they DON'T mozilla needs to do more.

Depending on what OS you are using even if you are using Mozilla you are still using features of IE because IE is more than just a broswer. It is far far integrated into the OS and there are even programs that use the browser facilities within their program. The ability of a developer of some 3rd party program to integrate broswer facilities into their apps is a great thing and I don't see Mozilla doing that. If you are using Mozilla on Linux getting java to run properly is not a great positive thing. The experience is rough and doesn't always work every time.

Some of the features such as add-in toolbars such as the google toolbars are sorely lacking. I can't recall my past searches in Mozilla as I can in IE. It is a great feature for me to be able to remember my searches and recall them. I can't get all searches done to my satification before I get tired every time so I may end for the day and it is nice to be able to get back to those searches.

Bookmark organization is nice in Mozilla but it is much nicer in IE.

My point is that there are positives and negatives. IE is nice, aside from the security issues. Feature-wise others are comparable and extremely competent. No reason others shouldn't use them. As for integration and even some of the basic usability features IE can and does beat Mozilla.

I use Linux primarily now, after an extreme amount of effort to get it to work correctly. Software program installation is difficult on linux to say the least. Driver support for linux, as provided by the distro's, is weak and typically implements a subset of the features that a manufacturer could provide. The excuse is that the manufacturer should support linux and it isn't the distro's fault. This is a cop out as the distro's often charge fees or subscriptions some of which (Mandrake is an example) where the cost over 2 years (just to maintain that subscription) is more than it costs to buy XP and run it for those same 2 years and you get a fantastic amount of solid complete drivers for XP that you don't even remotely find on Linux.

Jim Blaich



Toshiba has its opinion, and I have mine. I cannot make Toshiba guarantee 100% faultless LCD panels, but they can't make me buy one either. A CRT has better resolution, better color rendition and uncomparable brightness, along with a much higher refresh rate. Recent LCD panels are getting better, but they have less pixels and are much more expensive.

And, to top it all off, I am told that I would have to pay a higher price for an inherently defective product ? Bollocks. The acceptable number of dead pixels on a brand-new LCD screen is ZERO, period. And if Toshiba can't do it, I can find someone else who can.



Rose tinted spec(ifications)

Dear Mike,

Having just read the article on Internet Explorer being the "best browser in the world", I felt compelled to e-mail you - not to flame you however, or to agree with the sentiments expressed by Scott Stearns. Instead, I thought I'd let you know that Scott does not seem to be the only Microsoft employee wearing the obligatory rose-tinted glasses (although I suspect "blacked-out glasses" might be closer to the truth).

I recently picked up a magazine in work on Irish business. Inside, they had an article on browser wars, and the current state of affairs in the market. Inside this article was a quote from the head of Microsoft Ireland (her name escapes me now), that went something like the following:

"Following the latest security fix, I now feel that Internet Explorer is the most secure browser on the market".

Having stifled a chuckle at this point, I went on to read another of her quotes:

"In terms of features, we also feel that Internet Explorer is the best browser on the market".

Personally, I fail to understand how Microsoft can continue to make such claims, without falling foul of some kind of law. At least in the case of Mr. Scott Stearns, it was only his blog, and not a public magazine article! If I can track down an on-line copy of the article in question, I'll do my best to pass it onto you.

Martin M


Online newspapers crap at reporting news


It seems to me that the printed papers may well have a policy of being laggards with their web sites to keep their printed pages ahead of the web pages, since many give web away for free, and their advertisers are mainly in the printed versions and usually pay by sold circulation. They all lose money on printing costs versus price per copy sold. Now with the uinquirer, all you have is your web ads and a few paid adfree subscriptions. There is no fat belly of print ads to feed on, also none of the associated overheads of print, like proofreaders.

What lies in the future? People will still want news. If driving, it must be audio only, unless we get drive by wire cars and you are able to watch a telly. If driving I think there will be greater use of tellys in trains and busses, in place of a few of the adverts. They may be silent with two screens, one for a picture and one for a crawl of text news. It is quite possible to have one picture/video screen and several different language text crawls. This can be done easily enough with existing tech. Screens can have some ads too.

Small PDA style screens with a simple black and white screen and a long lived battery that will hold news, novels etc are quite doable. They can update intermittently and get enough data in a 15 second train stop to play for a few stations along the way and they will do a running update via RF at each station. You can have many languages, sports, tech etc feeds. They can also have color screens, if battery life can be sacrificed. I can see a screen like that just for transit use. It sits in a charger at home/work and is just used for the trip. Just like papers are used for the trip and often tossed. Of course a business PDA might have more capability. Internet, e-mail, phone, etc, all functions that depends on the degree of quality of the RF link, as some will need a continuous and some can tolerate a slower or intermittent link. I expect a spectrum of these services will appear at varying screen size/resolution/RF continuity etc.

Will papers vanish? not likely, but their growth phase seems to be over. Magazines are smaller now, so are papers.

Bill Jackson


Booting PCs
Peter Stern [Letters, passim. Ed.] seems to be under the impression that his PC will have to boot up every time he turns it on for the next 10 years, and so DVD players will still be popular.

But some laptops already perform TV and audio functions without having to boot up, and this functionality in DVDs is not beyond our wit. Also, at least two contenders exist for non-volatile RAM (MRAM and NRAM) that could replace our current memory chips with something that does not forget where it was when the power goes off.

Of course, there is the chance that some fantastical nanowotsit make make the whole process obsolete in 10 years, but even with existing technologies there is a great deal of change ready to take place.

Vik Olliver
New Zealand


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