Saturday, July 19, 2003

Mozilla 1.4 Vs. Internet Explorer

OK a very tech-geeky post: I been using the Mozilla browser and email client for quite a few months now; it is now my default browser. I did try using it a year ago but it was really unstable, buggy and really slow but the latest version is a totally different story. For the uninitiated, Mozilla is an open-source web browser/email client software that was created using Netscape's source code after it was released to the public. You can read more about them and download the browserhere.

Anyway Mozilla has a lot of advantages over IE6 , firstly it allows tabbed browsing which means you do not need to open every new explorer window for every new webpage like you have to do in IE, instead you can open them in tabs . It also blocks pop-up windows which you get if you go to porn sites or even sites like geocities which can get really annoying. But lets say u wanna allow a site to display pop-ups , for examples blogs with pop up comment windows, all u have to do is click the exclamation mark at the lower right hand side of the browser and click add in the window that appears and it will allow that site to display pop-ups permanently. You can also search for words on a web page without opening the find window, all you have to do is type "/" and then start typing the word u wanna look for. To find the next occurence of the word just press F3. You can even look for links!

The email client is also vastly superior to Outlook Express. You can filter emails in your Inbox by sender, for example you can display only all emails by a certain friend or even view those that aren't in your address book. You can also color code your emails for example , Red as in urgent or Yellow for tasks to do later. Lastly it has a spam mail control filter that has really helped me with my spam, it filters spam into a separate folder or deletes it, depending on your preference. It has a lot of other message rules and filters as well that you can use to make email management much easier.

The disadvantage is some web pages use IE-specific javascript functions such as scrolling windows which cannot display in the Mozilla browser. And also some sites like do not support streaming videos in non-IE browser. However , this is not a fault of Mozilla but rather the over-reliance of web developers to cater only to IE users. The W3C has definite browser standards that all browsers are recommended to follow but Microsoft created their own additional standards so as to frustrate non-IE users. Also Microsoft has not done any major updates to IE in a long while , probably because they know they are the overwhelming force in the browser market so they probably feel there is no urgent need to improved the browser's functionality.
Anyway do at least try it out alright , its a 13MB download , and hopefully you will love it as much as I do. Oh 1 more thing , unlike IE when it crashes it doesn't bring down the whole desktop with you. But I have yet to see it crash on my Windows XP machine at home, only at work on my Solaris machine.

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