Tag: Firefox

Firefox 2 and IE7

It’s still early, but by this fall, Firefox 2.0 should be out. Right now you can download the alpha release, known as Bon Echo. Not to be outdone though, Microsoft has their most anticipated IE 7 beta release available for download. I decided to download and setup both on my WindowsXP laptop which is only an 850MHz machine with 256MB of memory.

Although both IE7 and Bon Echo have new rendering engine changes, primarily the most apparant feature that you will notice is the interface changes. Bon Echo which will become Firefox 2.0, has a much cleaner interface. For example the Tools menu no longer lists Extensions and Themes, but uses the term Add-ons for both. Bringing up the Add-ons option shows a new multi-tab interface for installing and managing Themes and Extensions. IE7 changes are evident right away, in that Microsoft has changed the toolbar and enlarged icons, which is reminiscent of Apple’s iTunes interface.

Although I use Firefox and Safari about 65% of the day, I still use IE6 for at least a third of my daily browsing. Initial impressions were that Bon Echo felt faster and nicer to use than Firefox 1.5. Even if the improvements are not much, the experience was overall better than the current release. For IE7, the results were a bit mixed. I found the interface hard to get use to and initially I kept wanting to re-enable missing icons that I seem to remember using in IE6. After a while, I got used to the IE7 interface and it did not bother me as much. The anti-phishing features of both browsers are a good idea for everyone, so definitely upgrading to these browsers in the future will be a must.

I still think that robust password management should be added to all browsers. Right now Firefox does a good job of storing your information for sites, but what we really need is a universal secure management system. Like most people, I seriously have too many passwords, security phrases, and numbers to remember. Apple’s Keychain is perhaps the best OS level answer to secure password management, but I have to actually open it up and use it for when I want to save something directly. It would be nice if browsers featured a secure information storage system that would allow you to save anything from the browser. Perhaps a popup that would allow you to enter three fields of criteria and let you save to an encrypted database. Lastly it would be great if it was open platform, so any computer could open the file from the browser, as long as you knew the master password. Like I said Keychain, but with a better interface.

Filed under: FirefoxTagged with: , , , , ,

WebDeveloper Toolbars II

Last month I wrote about how useful I found the Firefox Extention Web Developer, and how even Microsoft had gotten into the act with their own IE Web Developer toolbar, which was still in beta (and which was just updated on 10/31/2005). This time around I’ll point out that Apple’s Safari and Opera have web developer tools of their own.

Opera 8-9:

Web Developer Toolbar & Menu are based loosely on Chris Perderick’s Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox, and adds more features and references. You must install both the Web Developer Toolbar and Web Developer Menu. There is also a Micro Web Developer Toolbar with less features.


In Safari’s case, I can’t find an actual toolbar, but Safari WebAdditions is a plugin which adds a menu. Safari WebAdditions enables disabling (hiding) images, showing table structure, blocking level elements (divs, paragraphs, forms), displaying diverse image properties (size, path) and links. Les Nie has made separate versions for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4. You can download Safari WebAdditions from Les Nie’s Download Page.

Part 1 of Web Developer Toolbars covered Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

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