Stuff I Say

“Why do all browsers suck?”

Posted in internet by 51future on March 17, 2008

I was having a discussion with someone recently about web browsing and we eventually came to the conclusion that there was no great web browser available. Which is strange, I think, considering our dependence on the web these days.


Safari is an interesting little browser. The current stable build in 10.5.2 is anything but, in my opinion. It takes forever for it to render anything– the Apple page especially and it crashes frequently. The last time it crashed (before I removed it from my dock entirely) was incredible. It crashed, automatically restarted, and then crashed on restart upon which it informed me that it needed to “reset” itself, whatever that means.

On the plus side, Safari has limited support of add-on’s through the much debated “Input Managers” (Chax, 1Password, etc.) that sort of hide out in your Library folder and make apps like iChat and Safari do useful things that Apple refuses to implement for whatever reason. You can block ads and autofill password forms in Safari, which makes it usable. I consider it an option. However, at the moment, it’s buggy as hell and not something I depend on.


Next there is Webkit. Webkit is the framework behind Safari and Apple Mail and you can download nightly builds that run in a Safari-esque shell but utilize the newer framework components. There are a number of upsides to this. Webkit builds run in a Safari shell so they work with InputManagers! The latest builds of Webkit also tend to be more stable than Safari itself (in my experience) and much much faster. I personally feel like the newest Webkit builds are still a step ahead of the latest Firefox 3 betas as far as speed is concerned.

The downside to this is that there aren’t as many plugins for Safari and the like as there are for Firefox and that’s a real downer when you’re someone like me who can’t be bothered to utilize the goodness that is, Technorati, Stumbleupon, etc. without a button or toolbar in my browser.

Firefox 2

Then there’s Firefox 2. There are tons of extensions available for Firefox 2. The ones I can’t live without are: Stumbleupon (Toolbar), NoScript, Adblock Plus, Rikaichan, and of course, 1Password.

The problem with Firefox 2 is that it’s slow. As slow as the current stable Safari build. Perhaps slower. Which is fine until you’ve tried Firefox 3 or Opera (which I’m getting to).

Firefox 3

Not much to say here besides the fact that I’d like to see Firefox 3 Release come out sooner than later. Right now only a smattering of add-ons work with the Firefox 3 beta builds and even among the ones that do work there are a lot of bugs in them.

Firefox 3 is fast. Faster than Safari and Firefox 2, and neck and neck with the nightly builds of Webkit. The only faster browser is…


Opera’s speed is nothing short of amazing. You can block ads if you’re willing to put in the time to set up your filtering. See, Opera’s flaw is that they’re too pompous to support extensions, which means that all of those things I said I can’t live without above won’t run on Opera. Ultimately, for this reason alone, even though I believe Opera is the best choice on OS X right now, on my machine, Opera sees very little use.

So why is it that all browsers suck?


One Response

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  1. bonanza said, on August 24, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Opera’s the only browser I’ve found that DOESN’T suck–or at least it sucks so much less than other browsers, if at all. It’s all I’ve used at home for years. Definitely the best user experience for me, and I’ve tried ’em all.

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