Appendix A. Other Web Browsers
I love Firefox, and I hope I've shown you enough
reasons in this book that you now love Firefox too. I also love my
dog Libby, but I still have to occasionally
time away from
her; in the same way, I use Firefox for the vast majority of my
web-browsing needs, but not exclusively. Sometimes I just want a
change of pace, sometimes (increasingly rarely) I run up against a
web site that just doesn't work right in Firefox, and sometimes
Firefox is acting kinda wonky due to some new extension I've
installed or new trick I've tried. During those times, I look to
Just say no (when you
I still avoid IE like the plague, unless I
must use it. This almost always means just one site:
Microsoft's Windows Update, which forces victims to use Internet
major web browser available todayto
install security updates on their computers!
In the rest of this appendix, I'll look at some
important web browsers that you should know about. Not all of them
run on Windows, and this is often a good thing, as it allows them
to focus on the strengths of the operating systems on which they've
I can't cover every browser available today, as
that would make this appendix the same length as the rest of the
book. The following are some browsers I'm
going to cover. Feel free to check them
out if you're interested:
source browser sponsored by the World
Wide Web Consortium (W3C), this is both a web page viewer and a
web-authoring tool. It tends to
new web technologies
before most other browsers, which is not surprising, since the W3C
is the source of the specifications for most of those technologies.
Unfortunately, Amaya is an incredibly ugly browser that
most web pages a bit strangely. As a demonstration tool, it's
great; as a daily web browser, forget it.
The web browser built into the painfully
ubiquitous AOL client software is really just Internet Explorera
dumbed-down, reduced-functionality Internet Explorer, but IE
nonetheless. Yes, even though AOL has owned Netscape for over half
, its software still depends on its biggest rival for its
web-browsing engine. Amazing...but then, AOL never ceases to
This browser is just a fancy GUI on top of IE.
You get all the underlying problems of IElousy security and anemic
support for standards, principallywith a pretty shell. Not a big
enough improvement to
its use, in my opinion.
In the same way that Avant is just IE with a
pretty interface, Epiphany is Gecko, the rendering engine that
Firefox and Mozilla, with an interface designed for Linux
users who use the GNOME GUI. Translation for Windows, Mac OS, and
Linux KDE users: if you'd like a totally bare-bones browser with no
interesting features, or if you like browsing like it's 1996,
you'll love Epiphany.
See Epiphanythe GNOME team has deprecated
development of Galeon in favor of the above browser. Galeon is
still under development, but its future is a bit
Although this German-created browser for Mac OS
has some interesting features,
error reporting for
incorrectly coded web pages, it's in use by only a tiny fraction of
K-Meleon is Epiphany for Windows users: a
bare-bones shell around Gecko. If you want utter simplicity and few
features, try out K-Meleon.
I discussed Mozilla at length in Chapter
1Chapter 1. It's not bad, but it's a big program, with a web
browser, email program, address book, web page editor, and more. If
you want a complete suite of programs, Mozilla may be perfect for
you; if you want a lean, mean, extensible web browser, Firefox is a
MyIE2, now Maxthon
Another IE frontend shell. See Avant.
Netscape Navigator 4
An ancient and
browserbuggy, unstable, and
with very poor support for basic web standards. No one should be
using Netscape 4 in this day and age.
Based on beta versions of Mozilla, this one
should be avoided. Besides its bugginess, it's also heavily
AOL-ized, with built-in links to AOL, AOL bookmarks, AOL Instant
Messenger, and more.
Netscape 7 isn't bad, if you have to use itAOL
has removed a lot of the junk that was in the way in previous
versions, and also improved the interface. Interestingly, at the
time of this writing AOL is working on a new version of
Netscape...to be based on Firefox! (See
Now that those are out of the way, let's look at
some web browsers that are worth your attention. There's a big,
beautiful world of web browsers out there, and these are some of
the shining lights!