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Browser Wars #6: Which browser is your current favorite?

1/1: Browser Wars #6: Which browser is your current favorite?

Camino 249 (5.96%)
Firefox 886 (21.20%)
iCab 20 (0.48%)
Internet Explorer 17 (0.41%)
links or lynx 10 (0.24%)
Mozilla 52 (1.24%)
Netscape 10 (0.24%)
OmniWeb 119 (2.85%)
Opera 81 (1.94%)
Safari 2,693 (64.43%)
Bumper Car 8 (0.19%)
Other 4 (0.10%)
Shiira 27 (0.65%)
SunriseBrowser 4 (0.10%)
Other polls | 4,180 votes | 40 comments

Browser Wars #6: Which browser is your current favorite? | 40 comments | Create New Account
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Past polls update...
Authored by: robg on May 25, '05 03:54:21PM
I run this question occasionally -- I've been trying to do so every six months or so, but as you'll see, it's not always consistent. This is the sixth time we've run the poll; below are the results from the first five polls, shamelessly lifted from my favorite browser blog entry:
  • Feb 2001: OmniWeb (41%), Internet Explorer, iCab. Note that the site was *very* young at this point, and the results were skewed as most of the readers were early OS X adaptors -- hence we all used the only (and best!) native browser of the day.
  • Jul 2002: Internet Explorer (40%), Mozilla, OmniWeb. The site has grown some now, and more typical users are visiting. IE takes the lead.
  • Feb 2003: Safari (59%), Chimera (nee Camino), Internet Explorer. Safari shipped in January, and by early February, it already had nearly 60% of the Hints readership.
  • Feb 2004: Safari (82%), Mozilla, Camino. Total dominance now. IE has vanished, with less than 2% reporting they use it.
  • Oct 2004: Safari (65%), Firefox, Camino. Firefox has emerged and made a pretty serious dent in Safari's domination (Firefox garnered 18% of the votes, which is basically what Safari lost from the prior poll). IE has dropped to 0.9% usage.
There's one new entry this time (Sunrise Browser), which brings the number of (relatively major?) browsers to 14 (links and lynx share a line in the poll). Amazing...

-rob.

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Past polls update...
Authored by: slytle on May 26, '05 08:01:15AM

Rob, it would be interesting to see what your log says. I'd love to compare what people SAY they're using versus what they're ACTUALLY using...


.sly



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Past polls update...
Authored by: Shawn Parr on May 26, '05 11:30:57AM

That could lead to inaccuracy as well as when many people are at work they may be forced to use an XP machine, or a differently configured (for who knows what reasons) Mac.

And I know my web stats software, AWStats, doesn't list the OS and the browser version together. Obviously this is not an issue for IE, but Firefox versions are the same on both platforms so the results would be misleading.

Maybe there is a way to tweak AWStats to put those together, I haven't really investigated it, however if the stats software doesn't do that Rob would have to go through the logs by hand, no fun!



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Past polls update...
Authored by: robg on May 26, '05 11:46:42AM

Even more confusing are the variety of browsers out there, and the RSS readers which enter the fray (as they report as a browser). The actual stats for the site show NetNews Reader and AppleSyndication (I'm guessing that's Tiger's Safari) at the top of the list :).

-rob.



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I use Firefox
Authored by: jimboman on May 25, '05 04:02:37PM

Hello,

I am a Firefox user. I use it both on PC and on Mac.



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I wavered from Safari, but I'm back
Authored by: derPlau on May 25, '05 04:23:04PM

Safari was so slow with JavaScript for a while toward the end of the Panther era, that I switched to Firefox briefly. There are many things I like about Firefox, but the lack of Keychain integration, the Java-y look (even with all the Aqua-fying modifications) and a few other niggling details sent me back to Safari. Now with Safari 2.0, JavaScript seems much faster & I'm much happier.



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Safari
Authored by: jereynolds on May 25, '05 04:50:27PM

I'm always a little surprised to see people say they use Firefox because Safari is slow. My experience has always been the opposite. I don't know much about the rendering speed or any of that, but every build I've used of Firefox (at least a dozen, official and nightlies) has been horrible at what I would think are simple things, like page scrolling, or switching between tabs when I have more than a few open. I think maybe it would be nice if they just gave up on Firefox on OS X and gave the Camino guys some help. I really like Camino, but it just needs something to push it past Safari.

The only complaints I have about Safari are appearance issues. I don't really mind the metal look, but I don't care for the black and white toolbar buttons. But still, out of all the browsers I've tried, Safari is the one I always end up using. Not perfect (I'd like optional OmniWeb-style tabs and a less dull and gray interface) but the best of whats available, at least for me.



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Safari - black & white
Authored by: chris_on_hints on May 26, '05 07:40:37AM

you can 'skin' safari 1.x using "safari masks" and another program i cant remember the name of... i had purple buttons... much nicer!



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Safari - black & white
Authored by: jereynolds on May 27, '05 08:42:02PM

I never heard of Safari Masks, but I have used Safaricon before, and it is an improvement, even though I'm not really crazy about any of the themes available. Only problem is, it just plain doesn't work for me on Safari 2.0.

I hate to say it, but the Opera 8 screenshots look awesome. I mean, besides the tabs being in the wrong place. Maybe I'll give that another try, the last time I checked it out was on Linux around 5 years ago.



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OmniSafari
Authored by: fitzage on May 25, '05 05:20:49PM

While I would love to say OmniWeb, and there are still some things that really rock about OmniWeb, it is currently too sluggish and buggy under Tiger. So now, I am using Safari with Saft (and I was using PithHelmet but Safari kept crashing, so I'll use it again after another update). Even with this excellent combination there are some things I miss that are in OmniWeb:

thumbnail tabs
workspaces (which can sort of be done with tab groups, but it's not the same)
the way you can tell it to open all RSS articles from a feed in tabs

the other key features I want are implemented by Saft:

drag-and-drop tabs
save open windows when you quit.

It's a close race.



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OmniSafari
Authored by: imacusr on May 26, '05 12:08:18AM

I hear you, man. I'm still using OW for my primary browser, but I find that I'm loading Safari more and more when I just want to load one quick webpage or two.

Here's to hoping 5.2 or 6 are zippier under Tiger....



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OmniSafari
Authored by: mysty on May 28, '05 06:38:54AM
Oh yes - you are absolutely right. I love Omniweb's workspaces feature, but even though Safari isnt remembering my tabs, Im using it more and more nowadays.

Don't get me started on what all this browser flipping means for bookmark 'management'....



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Another Enhancement with Saft—Type-Ahead Support
Authored by: dgkanter on May 28, '05 03:42:32PM

Saft also provides type-ahead support to Safari.



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Safari uses the least resources
Authored by: hamarkus on May 25, '05 06:00:21PM

I am still using Mozilla, for various reason, one being that it stores about 100 usernames and passwords, a good number of which I would not be able to remember. Most of them I probably could recover or reset, but some would be lost forever.

However, of all the Mozilla derivates plus Safari, Mozilla uses the most resources. Say you have 10 tabs open, each of them with some flash or other stuff, having these 10 tabs open in Mozilla uses up about 50 to 100% more CPU cycles than having them open in Safari, with Camino and Firefox somewhere in between. Mozilla is often taking up about 20% of my CPU on 1 Ghz G4.



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Safari uses the least resources
Authored by: poenn on May 25, '05 06:21:21PM

Well, you can't "save" me. I am bound to the "One"! :-)

OmniWeb has some flaws but I just can't go back to any other browser, its features, elegance and usability rule so much...
To me it's like the switch from a PC to the Mac!



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Safari gets my vote
Authored by: zeb on May 25, '05 07:39:29PM
I use Safari for almost everything, except when I need to debug some JavaScript or CSS, I use Mozilla with the Web Developer Extention for that.

I too really want the ability to drag and drop tabs.

---
..:: Zeb ::..

zebellis.com

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Safari gets my vote
Authored by: paperwings on May 26, '05 10:30:54AM

Holy carp! (fish with a pope hat) That [web developer extension] is the single coolest thing I've ever seen. Too bad that wasn't available in Safari.



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Safari gets my vote
Authored by: zeb on May 26, '05 02:16:57PM

yeah, I've got to admit though, since Safari 1.3 introduced the JavaScript Console, I'm jumping over to Mozilla less often.

---
..:: Zeb ::..

zebellis.com



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Drag and Drop Tabs! with Saft!
Authored by: zeb on May 26, '05 02:28:21PM
Whoa! I just realized that Saft does add the ability to drag and drop tags in Safari! Great!

---
..:: Zeb ::..

zebellis.com

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Safari 2.0
Authored by: friedguy on May 25, '05 07:47:27PM

Due to the recent release of Safari 2.0, I think that the vast majority have strayed from the use of Firefox. If this poll had been run before Safari 2.0's release I believe that Firefox would have been much closer to Safari's usage. For me however, new or old, I will always use Safari.



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Very funny...
Authored by: JesseGillespie on May 26, '05 02:05:33AM

Okay, now, who's the joker who answered IE?



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Very funny...
Authored by: Shawn Parr on May 26, '05 11:36:54AM

I am in charge of multiple computer labs at a university. You would be amazed how many people sit at a Mac and complain that there is not internet because they can't find IE! Usually some other student laughs out loud at them, then points to the dock and says something like "that's Safari, its the internet but its better" or some such.

I usually politely explain that Safari is the default on the Macs, and it is a much better browser on the Mac platform.

Still I will often go into a lab at night after all have left, and find multiple machines still logged on, all with IE running.

It is an interesting correlation actually, those who simply can not remember to log off also almost 100% use IE under OS X...



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IE Woes
Authored by: lullabud on May 26, '05 01:12:13PM
That is pretty funny. I have similar IE woes, but from mid level exec's at a major communication company. Another company that I do business with programmed an OS X cd that *specifically* calls IE to take the user to their website to finish some registration stuff. If IE isn't installed the App just goes to town eating CPU cycles. What amazes me is that whenever they find a bug in the way IE handles our gear they *require* us to fix it, even though IE has an infinitesimal browser share, but yet I can't get some more important bugs fixed without breaking arms. Some of the bugs flat out aren't fixable, or are a bug in IE itself. Of course, these are the same guys who still want us to be programming new software for Mac OS 9... That said, I was also curious to see who the IE user was. ;-)

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Alias it 4sng
Authored by: jasont on May 28, '05 07:51:13PM

This is why I put an alias of Safari called 'Internet Explorer' in the dock w/ the icon copied to it from ie. Those apps that are going to require IE (Ex: hp's image stuff that barely works) are still going to work, but when you get ppl who think the 'Internet' is an application called Internet Explorer it's worth it to smirk and keep your mouth shut.



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There are some things IE does best
Authored by: Bookman on Jun 01, '05 01:14:35PM

The one thing IE does better than other browsers is handle the printing process. As flawed as IE is, its print preview is still the best, and it's the one browser I tell people to use if they are having trouble printing a Web page in another browser. Almost always does the trick.

I sympathize with the other poster who observed how people will gravitate to IE if it is anywhere in sight on the desktop or in the Dock. I work at a public library, and we've tucked IE into a folder on the dock just to get it out of sight (Camino and Firefox are in the Dock--I can't use Safari, because I prevent the History menu from displaying any sites--the Earlier Today item persists even if the History is zeroed out using various 3rd party tools. I'm aware of the Private Browsing feature of Safari 2.0, but we have Panther here).

Anyway, as much as I'd like to eradicate IE from my Mac browsing life, I find it's still essential for those pages that just won't print in any other browser.

--Books



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Firefox still has an edge
Authored by: Llwybyr on May 26, '05 03:36:58AM

And I say that somewhat regretfully. I do like what Apple is doing with WebKit and Safari is really great in a lot of way. Also, I'm typing this post from Shiira as I give it another spin...

Still, I can't get away from Firefox with its extensions and most importantly, type-ahead find. I could probably live without extensions, but these days type-ahead find is as important as tabs for me. I can't really get along without it and not be annoyed.



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i agree
Authored by: freerangehuman on May 26, '05 09:35:57AM
type-ahead find is now the only firefox feature i miss in safari 2.0. i'm not sure what people mean about drag-and-drop tabs; i recently discovered the safari option to drag text or pictures to the tab bar to open them in new or current tabs, which is pretty useful. and the plug-in i used most in firefox was downloadthemall, which i've mostly replaced in safari using this (from bookmarklets.com) and the ability to copy and paste urls into the download window. nice.

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Firefox still has an edge
Authored by: dschneiderch on Jun 01, '05 12:05:52AM

i've recently found safaristand which has an option for type ahead find although it gets implemented slightly differently. i think i found it on versiontracker. i miss most is extensions (primarily switching tabs with keyboard) and bookmarks in a sidebar. i just went cold turkey to safari from firefox to give it a fair chance and its day 3 and i still can't get used to not having my bookmarks visible... oh well 4 more days



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iCab 3: the return!
Authored by: Herve5 on May 26, '05 06:29:20AM

iCab 3, whose beta version is unfortunately still reserved to registered users, is presently the single browser that passes the Acid2 test ( <http://www.webstandards.org/act/acid2/> ). If your poll lasts a couple weeks more (time for them to go public) this could make some noise...

I know, some future release of Safari is said to do it too. Just, it's not available while iCab is (to reg. users ;-)

Herve



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Safari & Firefox
Authored by: chris_on_hints on May 26, '05 07:55:34AM

I was using Safari, until Firefox 1.0 came out. The day I was thinking of switching, I found a site that wouldnt load in Safari, and it did load in firefox... So i switched.

But, now that I am on Tiger, I have switched back to Safari (now 2.0) as it is much faster. However, the bookmark menu is still slower in Safari, and the dropdown menus in the bookmark bar are a bit more awkward than in Firefox...

... and no more bookmark synchronisation between computers (i dont have .Mac)



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Mostly Safari
Authored by: Shawn Parr on May 26, '05 11:40:49AM

For general browsing I will use typically just Safari.

Before Safari 2.0 came out, it was heinously slow at loading the blacklist in MT-Blacklist, so I had to use Firefox to work to remove spam from my website.

Safari 2.0 so far performs the same on that list as Firefox does so that is no longer a concern.

On the rare occasions that I am developing a site though I will use both, and even pull out IE 5.2 just to see what happens.



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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: jacobolus on May 26, '05 04:14:04PM
The day Safari gets type-ahead find and Mozilla keywords will be the day I switch from my beloved (but occasionally buggy) Camino nightly builds. Type ahead find, something that the incremental search fans at apple should be all over, makes finding info via a search engine much quicker, because i no longer need to scroll through long documents to find what I'm looking for. I can just start typing it. Mozilla keywords have totally changed the way I use bookmarks and the web. When google search is only a "g my query" away, or when wikipedia is only a "wp interesting article" away, I find myself using them much more. And Camino is so much better written for the Mac platform than Firefox. None of those silly windows button widgets!

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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: hamarkus on May 26, '05 07:21:29PM

Maybe I am old-fashioned but by simply clicking on the browser icon in the Dock (be it Mozilla, Firefox, Camino or Safari) or hitting command-T if the browser is already the active application, I get the Google page and can start to type my search without having to do anything else.

The keyword thing sounds interesting nevertheless. Is it an extension to Mozilla? I cannot seem to find it.



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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: foonie on Jun 03, '05 01:11:26AM

http://www.mozilla.org/docs/end-user/keywords.html

Keywords have been around forever. And now setting them is even easier with Smart Keywords:

http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/smart-keywords



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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: lavar78 on May 26, '05 10:30:38PM

I liked Mozilla keywords, but I prefer using Quicksilver's web search plugin for that functionality. I'm sure the other launchers (LaunchBar and Butler) do something similar.



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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: jacobolus on Jan 11, '06 05:24:30AM

The nice thing is, Quicksilver picks up any mozilla keyword searches I have in my Camino bookmarks, and I can then use them from Quicksilver as well. I have the QS Web Search catalog items disabled, because there are too many of them, and none I'd ever use that I can't just as easily add to Camino.



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Type ahead find; Mozilla keywords
Authored by: n8gray on May 31, '05 07:02:36PM

Type-to-find and search channels for Safari:

http://www.pozytron.com/acidsearch



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Safari
Authored by: barrysharp on May 26, '05 11:48:40PM

I use Safari 99.99% and Firefox ONLY to get at my Cingular mobile account info. Safari meets all of my needs at this time and performs as well if not better than does Firefox. I did try Firefox when it came out and it seemed faster so I used it for awhile. Then for some unknown reason I switched back to Safari - quite likely because I was more familiar with its workings etc. When Safari came out with 10.3.9 Safari's performance improvement was very dramatic for me and so I stay and use Safari still.

Safari get my vote.

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



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User Agent
Authored by: FaceHead on May 27, '05 10:53:12AM

I wonder how these results compare to your useragent logs.

---
Face



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Safari for now.
Authored by: Myrddin on Jun 02, '05 04:30:32PM

I use Safari for now, 'cause I don't like using the GEKO engine to run everything. So why don't use Camino? It doesn't give me the perks that I prefer to have.

if iCab was up to snuff then I would still be using it; iCab was king under pre-X systems.



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