Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Nov 2006 14:55 UTC, submitted by bouh
Internet & Networking "How do the latest versions of each browser compare? For this prizefight, we looked at Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft's first new Internet browser since 2001 and Mozilla Firefox 2, Mozilla's update of its popular Firefox 1.5 browser released in November 2005." This will be the last Firefox 2 vs. IE7 article. I promise.
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Open closed tabs
by JCooper on Wed 1st Nov 2006 15:11 UTC
JCooper
Member since:
2005-07-06

While discussing tabbed browsing and "cool" features - I find the History > Recently Closed Tabs menu item incredibly useful in Firefox. I use it when hitting the wrong close button by mistake, when I realise I forgot to check out something on a page after navigating link after link to get there, when I have to send another email via a webmail client after closing it, or when a flash/media plugin causes the page loading to die and I just want to re-open that page.

One of the sorely under-marketed features of tabbed browsing in FF2.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Open closed tabs
by eMagius on Wed 1st Nov 2006 15:29 UTC in reply to "Open closed tabs"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

It is pretty handy. Of course, Opera's had it for years. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Open closed tabs
by Gadget on Wed 1st Nov 2006 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Open closed tabs"
Gadget Member since:
2005-10-21

It is pretty handy. Of course, Opera's had it for years. ;)

If I had a nickel for every time I've said that to someone bragging about their browser or new plugin.
LOL

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Open closed tabs
by bsantos on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open closed tabs"
bsantos Member since:
2006-01-08

"someone bragging about their browser"

Like you just did? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Open closed tabs
by Innova on Wed 1st Nov 2006 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Open closed tabs"
Innova Member since:
2005-09-30

Actually, JCopper initially bragged. If you are hoisting a flame thrower - aim it at the right target.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Open closed tabs
by NotParker on Wed 1st Nov 2006 19:54 UTC in reply to "Open closed tabs"
RE[2]: Open closed tabs
by DeadFishMan on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Open closed tabs"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

That was a nice feature that Maxthon introduced years ago.

Good idea for Firefox to "borrow" it.


If you´re going to poke another browser for borrowing a feature from another browser, at least, get your facts straight: Maxthon most likely borrowed this feature from Opera around version 6 or so. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Open closed tabs
by NotParker on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open closed tabs"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

If you´re going to poke another browser for borrowing a feature from another browser, at least, get your facts straight: Maxthon most likely borrowed this feature from Opera around version 6 or so. ;)

Maybe you are right. But since I rarely ran Opera and I ran Maxthon for years and that feature was always there (in my memory) I can't say Yes or No to you being right.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Open closed tabs
by CowMan on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 03:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Open closed tabs"
CowMan Member since:
2006-09-26

Is this really a problem? The world would be a better place (well, atleast the internets) if some browsers (oh, IE, for example) would 'borrow' a bit more aggressively from those that have done it better.

Of course, if you don't want to wait for your browser to catch up and 'borrow' everything worth having, you could just grab Opera now. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Open closed tabs
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 03:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open closed tabs"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

Hmm. Just thinking to myself here. Forgive me for going a little off-topic.

As we have seen in this thread, unless all ability to read removeable media is suppressed, and all places to which a user can write are closed to the system from executing applications, then a determined user can break a Windows system fairly readily.

Here is how. Let's assume that a user is allowed to read CDs. OK, that user at home gets hold of Windows exploit code, puts that code on to a CD-R, then takes the CD-R to the target Windows machine. The determined user runs the exploit code from the CD-R on the target machine, and uses the exploit to elevate that users own priveledges. Once that is done, any further lockdown of that account can be removed, and all manner of aditional software can be run (and indeed installed) from the CD-R. The target Windows machine can become "owned" ... all it takes is a determined user, and a means to read something from elsewhere.

Edited 2006-11-02 03:18

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Open closed tabs
by NotParker on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 03:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Open closed tabs"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Let's assume that a user is allowed to read CDs. ... blah blah blah.

I'm not sure what your point is since it is relatively easy compromise any PC that you have physical access to.

A real exploit allows you to compromise machines you don't have physical access to.

How about Debian. A user had a non-privledged account on a Debian server. He used a Linux exploit to compromise the server.

Now THAT pointed out how easy it is to compromise a Linux server locked down by the experts who made the distro!

Edited 2006-11-02 03:41

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Open closed tabs
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Open closed tabs"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//since it is relatively easy compromise any PC that you have physical access to//

Minor correction: any Windows PC that you have physical access to.

//How about Debian. A user had a non-privledged account on a Debian server. He used a Linux exploit to compromise the server.//

How about Debian?

Reference? I don't think you have this tale correct.

AFAIK, what happened was that a Debian developer had a user account on a Debian server with a relatively weak password. A hacker gained access to the user account via a "brute force" attack on the password. The system was therefore compromised in that an unauthorised person had gained a user level of access. AFAIK, that is as far as it got.

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Debian_server_hacked/0,13...

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Debian_Linux_sites_hacked...

For both events, the intrusion was detected. The machines taken off-line for about a day, and all software was re-installed as a precaution. AFAIK there was no evidence at all of any data compromise anywhere.

//Now THAT pointed out how easy it is to compromise a Linux server locked down by the experts who made the distro! //

Au contraire, what it showed was that if you can enter the correct username & password, you can log on to a Debian server machine.

PS:
http://www.zdnet.com.au/forums/0,139029293,139263270-120138031o,00....

OK, a little more info there. This says that once on the machine, the hacker did use a (now fixed) exploit to elevate priveledges, but got no further than that.

Edited 2006-11-02 04:13

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Open closed tabs
by NotParker on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 05:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Open closed tabs"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Minor correction: any Windows PC that you have physical access to.

Correction: A PC that doesn't use encryption. Encryption has been available on Windows PC's for years. And bitlocker is an integral part of Vista.

Any other PC can be hacked using a boot CD if you have physical access.

This says that once on the machine, the hacker did use a (now fixed) exploit to elevate priveledges, but got no further than that.

So they say. I don't think the email mentions hacker. It was just a normal user account.

Anyway ... cracking Debian servers seems relatively easy even without physical access.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: Open closed tabs
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 07:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Open closed tabs"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//So they say. I don't think the email mentions hacker. It was just a normal user account.

Anyway ... cracking Debian servers seems relatively easy even without physical access.//

The server was not cracked, it was hacked.

The hack was via a "weak password" attack. This method applies to any server at all, even (shock horror) a Windows server. If you enter the correct combination of username & password, you gain access as that user.

From the description, the Debian people were probably aware of the hacker from the get go. Probably alerted by multiple attempts to login as the same user under a large number of different password attempts.

We are talking a Debian server here. The server has source code for open source applications. This isn't a secret.

So, what you would do in this scenario is watch what your hacker does. He apparently mucks around for a couple of hours trying all sorts of different things, then hits upon an exploit that raises his priveledge.

OK, the Debian people monitoring that see that happen, so they pull the plug on him, and take the system down. In the meantime, he has kindly identified a hole for them to fix, and a user with a weak password for them to fix, which they did.

Edited 2006-11-02 07:26

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Open closed tabs
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open closed tabs"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Is this really a problem? The world would be a better place (well, atleast the internets) if some browsers (oh, IE, for example) would 'borrow' a bit more aggressively from those that have done it better.//

There is of course no borrowed code.

Ideas are open to borrow, unless they are patented and have no prior art.

Some ideas, such as standards like CSS & SVG, we are of course desparate for software authors to borrow and implement into their browsers.

Reply Score: 1

Suprised
by Sphinx on Wed 1st Nov 2006 15:17 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Was expecting the subjective opinion of three zdnet editors but was pleasantly surprised to see a pretty fair apples to apples objective comparison.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Suprised
by eMagius on Wed 1st Nov 2006 15:44 UTC in reply to "Suprised"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

It is a heavily subjective comparison, particularly in defining the "look and community" critereon as "is the browser open-source?", completely ignoring performance in the "security and performance" category, and giving IE7 poor marks on security because IE6 was initally very buggy (while ignoring Mozilla's own spotty record over the last few years).

Moreover, as is usual, the editors assume that Firefox and IE are the only two browsers available. Not that they should have gone into detail on other browsers in a head-to-head test, but pretending that the others don't exist and that Firefox's features were all grand innovations from Mozilla is deceitful at the very least.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Suprised
by Caspian on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Suprised"
Caspian Member since:
2006-01-01

Well, to be fair, most of what I have seen on the IE bug reports are similar to:
"This bug will let the attacker take your entire computer down, without you knowing."

Mozilla is usually:
"We think in the right conditions, and with your consent, the attacker could close the browser."

Mainly because the browser isn't BUILT INTO THE SYSTEM.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Suprised
by eMagius on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Mainly because the browser isn't BUILT INTO THE SYSTEM.

IE7 isn't built into the system.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Suprised
by Caspian on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suprised"
Caspian Member since:
2006-01-01

In windowsXP it is.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Suprised
by dylansmrjones on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suprised"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Oh, it is. Very much indeed. Try IE7 with Windows 2003 Server. You'll see IE7 is still tightly coupled with Windows. That's one of the reasons for the reboot after installation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Suprised
by Shkaba on Wed 1st Nov 2006 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suprised"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

Now I can understand your strange posts in the past. You just don't have a clue, do you? Or is it a poor attempt of a spin off. IE7 was not nuilt into XP, IE6 WAS/IS!! You can think that by removing it through "Add/Remove programs" it would be really removed from the system, but that is not so! After upgrading IE from 6 to 7 you still end up with a browser that is a PART of the OS, not just a normal program as it should be!!

Edited 2006-11-01 19:00

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Suprised
by NotParker on Wed 1st Nov 2006 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Mozilla is usually:
"We think in the right conditions, and with your consent, the attacker could close the browser."


Actually, there are 31 "own the box" security holes in Firefox for 2006 alone.

31 Critical, with the Mozilla definition of critical:

"Critical: Vulnerability can be used to run attacker code and install software, requiring no user interaction beyond normal browsing."

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/known-vulnerabilities.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Suprised
by dylansmrjones on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suprised"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Correct and incorrect, as usual.

An example of a critical vulnerability:
http://www.mozilla.org/security/announce/2006/mfsa2006-64.html
Title: Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.8.0.7)
Impact: Critical

*snip*
Description:
As part of the Firefox 1.5.0.7 release we fixed several bugs to improve the stability of the product. Some of these were crashes that showed evidence of memory corruption and we presume that at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code with enough effort.


Read the word in bold: "presume".
When Mozilla marks something as vulnerable it doesn't mean it can be used to take over the system. It means the Mozilla-devs presume somebody might be capable of using it. Perhaps or perhaps not.

You should really look at things more closely before you start posting.

Fact is, that critical bugs in Windows are critical, while critical bugs with Mozilla software might be critical. And it has to be examined across several OS'es, also meaning it may be more critical on one platform and less critical on another platform.

EDIT: added one missing word.

Edited 2006-11-01 20:48

Reply Score: 5

v RE[5]: Suprised
by NotParker on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Suprised"
RE[6]: Suprised
by dylansmrjones on Wed 1st Nov 2006 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Suprised"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Of course you should take Mozilla at it's word when it labels a bug "critical".

But you should also use Mozilla's definition of "critical". Which you don't.

Microsoft's definition on "critical" is different from the Mozilla definition. You forget to take that into account.

You could also say, if Mozilla's critical bugs are "critical", it leads to Microsoft's critical bugs to be "severe".

Compare it with temperature. One degree in Fahrenheit is a different thing than one degree in Celcius. Two different scales. The same is true for Microsoft vulnerabilities and Mozilla vulnerabilities. Different scales.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Suprised
by NotParker on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Suprised"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

But you should also use Mozilla's definition of "critical". Which you don't.

I did. And posted it. You keep deleting that section when quoting me.

Here it is again:

"Critical: Vulnerability can be used to run attacker code and install software, requiring no user interaction beyond normal browsing."

31 out of the 64 security advisories in 2006 are "Critical".

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/known-vulnerabilities.html

Edited 2006-11-02 01:08

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Suprised
by cyclops on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Suprised"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Look and feel is heavily subjective, although you have 3 people having an opinion. It is common that IE7 does not fit well in Windows XP which I think is quite important. Its also I note quite common to see people not in love with Firefox's new buttons.

It is reasonable to give IE7 poor marks because IE6 was and is a security nightmare, and IE7 is based on the same codebase. Firefox it is true does not have an unblemished record when it comes to security, but compared to Microsoft offers fixes faster, and has less serious vulnerabilities and yet is younger browser. Bugs as you put them are inevitable, its how many you start with, and how quickly you can fix them that counts.

It is true that there are other browsers, but the reality is IE7 and Firefox are *the* main players. To be fair Firefox is lucky to be large enough to be considered against IE7. ~10% of the market is still not a large percentage, even if this means many millions of people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Suprised
by sbenitezb on Wed 1st Nov 2006 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"~10% of the market is still not a large percentage, even if this means many millions of people."

10% is enough to be considered. Look how a lot of big sites have changed their HTML to make it work with Firefox, and how they even promote it.

When Linux hits 10% it will be considered too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Suprised
by Kroc on Wed 1st Nov 2006 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You obviously don't run a business. My Firefox users are first class citizens. I get e-mails about it. Alternative browser users matter more now then they ever have before. Either support them or find an increasing slice of your revenue walk away from you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Suprised
by steviant on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
steviant Member since:
2006-01-11

For my money, neither Firefox nor IE7 look particularly "XP-like". So they both score a big fat zero in platform integration with the most dominant platform.

What's good about Firefox though, is it's ability to adopt add-ons and themes that can bring the level of platform integration I want.

For instance, on Linux I use Gnomestripe which adopts theme elements and icons from the Gnome theme in use. On XP with visual styles I use Qute, in XP 'classic' or Win2k, I use the standard theme with small icons, and on Mac I use grapple eos pro theme.

Other aspects of platform integration (scrolling through opened tabs ala Gnome & KDE, emboldening text on the focussed tab etc.) can be provided through extensions like Tab Mix Plus.

So, in conclusion. Firefox + hours of tweaking obscure settings + lots of extensions = browser that looks and feels like it belongs in whatever operating system I'm using at the time.

Basically, both browsers get a "must try harder" report card from me, but Firefox gets extra points for being more accomodating of my point-of-view.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Suprised
by joerstad on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Suprised"
joerstad Member since:
2006-01-03

I totally agree with you about: "editors assume that Firefox and IE are the only two browsers available"

In my opinion Opera is a far more better browser than both IE and FF. As an Opera user I'm getting tired of being told "old" news, not that Opera has invented all the good stuff but most of it we've allready had for years as standard.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Suprised
by Caspian on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
Caspian Member since:
2006-01-01

Why do people do this? Every time there is Y vs X browser, people always come in with a third, or fourth browser that they love and wonder why they aren't reviewing that also.


It's about as bad as when someone is reviewing a ford and a Chevy, and someone comes in and says "but Toyota makes cars also! Why aren't they reviewing that?"


Simple answer is, there are way, WAY too many to review, and this is what they chose. Live with it, or don't, and stop complaining.

Edited 2006-11-01 17:15

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Suprised
by mark_in_rdjbrasil on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suprised"
mark_in_rdjbrasil Member since:
2005-11-30

this is totally irrelevant to the subject of browsers, but in the world of drummers there are always discussions about mike portnoy of dream theater or neil peart of rush, which is the better drummer ??? i guess there will always be some snot-nosed person wanting to drag their particular favorite into the discussion, whether they understand the technical issues or not. by the way, i am dedicated to ff 2.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Suprised
by dylansmrjones on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suprised"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

And some of us decide to try out Opera only to find it quite unintegrated with the OS, no matter which OS you're running.

Firefox feels more Windows'ish 1.x/2.0 than Opera 9.02 (despite the latter one being wonderfully fast).

Opera feels very alien in my eyes, while K-Meleon due to it's extensive use of Win32 API feels much more native. So does IE7 with a few tweaks.

I've tried Opera on and off for the last 8 years and it has never been installed for long.

Perhaps I'm not the only one to have it that way with Opera.

Reply Score: 1

Performance
by RMSe17 on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:30 UTC
RMSe17
Member since:
2006-03-06

They didn't really mention performance issues in the performance tab. Or the tab management in the tabs section.

Under moderately heavy use of tabs (Say, 20+ tabs) IE7 starts choking.

Firefox 2 remains fast.

But, Firefox 1.5 still manages to fit all the tabs on one screen, by making them small, as opposed to Firefox2 which forces you to slide through the tabs.


My machine is a P4-2.4Ghz with 1Gb of RAM.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Performance
by mym6 on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "Performance"
mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

My thoughts exactly. I was surprised they didn't bash FF for the new tabs layout. I actually don't like the close button on each tab and found having the close button on the right side far more useful. I typically browse forums by middle clicking each topic I want to read, read them and then quickly close the set when I'm done. The new tabbing setup really slows me down. It's the only thing I don't like about the new FF and I'm sure there is an extension out there to bring back the old setup, I just haven't looked.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Performance
by edogawaconan on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Performance"
edogawaconan Member since:
2006-10-10

Middle-clicking the tabs will save your time...
and I prefer the new tab system. I'm having difficulty looking for correct tab after opening many tabs in the old version

Edited 2006-11-01 17:10

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Performance
by steviant on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Performance"
steviant Member since:
2006-01-11

You can set the tab overflow to behave more like older versions of Firefox by tweaking the option browser.tabs.tabMinWidth in about:config.

1) Type about:config in the location bar
2) Type tabmin in the filter bar
3) Double click on browser.tabs.tabMinWidth
4) Set it to a lower value (50 seems about right)

You can rid yourself of the close buttons on each tab using a similar method:

1) Type about:config in the location bar
2) Type closebutton in the filter bar
3) Double click on browser.tabs.closeButtons
4) Set it to 0 (zero) for no close buttons
or
4) Set it to 2 for a close button only on the focussed tab.

Sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to bring back the old close button at the end of the tab bar without an extension.

The changes will only affect new browser windows. Afterwards Firefox will squeeze in a lot more tabs before bringing up the scroll arrows at either end of the tab bar.

Edited 2006-11-01 21:57

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Performance
by speedbuggy on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Performance"
speedbuggy Member since:
2006-11-01

"Sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to bring back the old close button at the end of the tab bar without an extension. "
"4) Set it to 0 (zero) for no close buttons
or
4) Set it to 2 for a close button only on the focussed tab. "


Try changing 4) to 3 should bring back the right close button.

3) Double click on browser.tabs.tabMinWidth

Setting minWidth to 20 works pretty nicely for me. 20 tabs in a 1280x1024 window and no scroll bars.
Only using 68M of RAM now with 20 tabs thats an impressive upgrade.

Edited 2006-11-02 07:28

Reply Score: 1

RE: Performance
by stare on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:18 UTC in reply to "Performance"
stare Member since:
2005-07-06

But, Firefox 1.5 still manages to fit all the tabs on one screen, by making them small, as opposed to Firefox2 which forces you to slide through the tabs.

Tab Mix Plus extension has this feature.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Performance
by cerbie on Wed 1st Nov 2006 22:22 UTC in reply to "Performance"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

FF2 makes tabs small, too. I set mine to 24px as soon as I got too many tabs on. But, being Gnome-ish, there's not a GUI option for it.

Now, the side-ways scrolling does suck. Lukcily there's a new Tab Mix Plus, so we can get rows. Do the FF devs know how long Opera has done that?

If you want to change it w/o getting an extension, it's
browser.tabs.tabMinWidth
But for some reason, it defaults to 100px in 2.0. In about:config, just filter with "tab" for some other handy options, too.

Reply Score: 1

This review is lame in the extreme.
by MollyC on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:47 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Opera is better than either FF or IE, IMO. IE still lacks a download manager (and who knows why, Mac IE had a download manager in 1996), which is one of my pet peeves against it. FF has a download manager, but it sucks compared to Opera's.

Regarding this "review", I agree with Ed Bott (he references the cnet.com URL for the review, which uses the cliched "prizefight" metaphor, but it's the same review - http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6656808-1.html?tag=hed).

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1527

"Worst. Review. Ever.

Published October 28, 2006 by Ed Bott

CNET is serving up perhaps the stupidest PC software review ever written, a comparison of IE7 and Firefox 2.

It encompasses just about every eye-rolling, groan-inducing, focus-on-the-trivial, big-picture-missing flaw I’ve ever seen in the PC review format. The comments from the three “judges” reflect a depth of analysis that is measured in submicron thicknesses. And I give the whole piece extra lameness points for the cringe-worthy prizefight metaphor, which was tired when I first read it in a comparison of IE5 and Netscape back in 19-frickin-99.

Follow the link if you must, but only if you first swear a solemn oath not to blame me when you get to the end and say, “My God, that was a colossal waste of time.”

(Full disclosure: I write for ZDNet, which is a subsidiary of CNET. But thankfully, I had nothing to do with this mess.)

… On the plus side, at least it’s short."

Reply Score: 0

Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

Ok, I admit I was aware that Firefox 2 and IE 7 had been released, but I just didn't bother trying them. Firefox 1.5 does such a great job and is so comfortable to use, I just don't really care to upgrade. It just works. Firefox 1.5 won my heart and loyalty, and browsers are again boring. I guess when I install a new system, I will get the latest Firefox, but until then, I don't care. Anyone else feel the same?

Reply Score: 3

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I fully agree.
The only thing semi missing is spell checker (I use ViewSourceWith + gvim to spell check my posts in both Linux and Windows) and most of the other 2.0 features can be achieved using extensions. (TabMixPlus, TabCatalog, FlashGot, etc)

I most likely upgrade to 2.0 when Fedora's -devel RPMs are released (I'll
'back-port' them to FC5 and FC6), but at least for now, I'm pretty satisfied.

If all goes well, FC7 should include FF 3.0... Now that's looking like a major
upgrade!

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 1

pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I definitely prefer FF 1.5 with Tab Mix Plus over 2.0, as there is no way of making it work the way I want it. In that regard, 2.0 is a step back IMO. The versions of TMP I tried with 2.0 so far had issues.

Reply Score: 1

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

... Give FF 2.0 (and TMP) some time.
In a couple of weeks both should be rock solid.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 1

signals Member since:
2005-07-08

Firefox 1.5 does such a great job and is so comfortable to use, I just don't really care to upgrade.

I have to admit, I thought the same thing when FF2 was released. But after a week or so, curiosity got the best of me and I downloaded it.

Honestly, the changes are pretty slight. (At least the changes I notice in day-to-day use.) I barely notice that I'm on a new version. The tabs now work like they should (close box on each tab) so I don't need the tab extension I was using, and the buttons have slightly different graphics by default, but otherwise, it's still FF.

Otherwise, all of my extensions work. All of the habits I developed in 1.5 still work in 2.0. There honestly isn't really anything in FF2 that annoys me.

After using it for a while, I don't see any reason to go back to 1.5. In fact, I just deleted my 1.5 install yesterday.

Reply Score: 2

Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

"After using it for a while, I don't see any reason to go back to 1.5. In fact, I just deleted my 1.5 install yesterday."

Well, I have no doubt there is no reason to go back to 1.5 if you are already on 2.0. My problem is that 1.5 works so good that I can't even bother myself to go to the Firefox page, download the new version, and then install it. I know it is free. I know it takes all but 3 minutes to do it. And I know I probably spent more time posting this than it would to upgrade to the newer version. But I just can't get myself to do it since it just seems so meaningless to do so. I just have no desire to change something I am already very content with. Maybe I will bother when 1.5 reaches EOL.

Reply Score: 2

Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

I would say that there are a few good arguments for this release to have been version 1.75 instead of 2.0. There just don't seem to be nearly as many updates/upgrades for this to be considered a full version upgrade.

I wouldn't say that FF2 wasn't worth my time installing it though. Other than extensions that might not work with the new version (which isn't a problem for me), the sum of the improvements add up to a nice upgrade that was worth seconds of my time.

I think that your perspective is quite reasonable even if it's not mine. What irritates me is when people whine so much about third party developers not upgrading extensions as though it has anything to do with Mozilla. As you have stated, FF1.5 works just fine if you have a reason to stay with it.

Reply Score: 1

Who cares????
by eantoranz on Wed 1st Nov 2006 16:50 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

[sarcasm]
who cares about Firefox? After 25 years+ of use, TCO of IE will be much better than firefox. I bet!
[/sarcasm]

Reply Score: 4

I think both
by ronaldst on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:17 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

new browsers suck.

FF1.5 was faster than FF2. It locks up frequently and is a pain.

IE7's interface is weird. And there is something wrong with the tabs. Add a tab and it gets slow.

Reply Score: 1

You better promise that!
by Ben Jao Ming on Wed 1st Nov 2006 17:42 UTC
Ben Jao Ming
Member since:
2005-07-26

This will be the last Firefox 2 vs. IE7 article. I promise.

I'd say this could be the worst FF vs IE article ever...

But I would though like to emphasize that browsers are the most used software out there, so all the hype and dumb-talk is pretty justified.

I just switched from FF to Epiphany. I can only recommend that, if you already run a GTK-environment..

Reply Score: 2

RE: You better promise that!
by gilboa on Wed 1st Nov 2006 18:09 UTC in reply to "You better promise that!"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I just switched from FF to Epiphany. I can only recommend that, if you already run a GTK-environment...

It may be a matter of personal taste, but I'm a bit surprised by your suggestion.
In the past two days I tried the latest epiphany (FC6, 2.6.16) on my 9 y/o laptop (a 256MB beast that uses XFCE to conserve memory) and I was -far- from being impressed:
While Epiphany does start (a bit) faster and does eat less memory (~2MB less), it's by-far, feature starved compared to FF 1.5. (with or w/o extensions)
E.g. Epiphany has -very- limited cookie control; -very- limited tab management (especially if you add TabMixPlus to the 'mix'.); primitive pop-up window management; minuted extension library; etc.

If I'd seen huge increase, using Epiphany would have made sense on my lumbering laptop - but as it stands, I rather wait two more seconds and get better browsing experience.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 1

RE: You better promise that!
by somebody on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:52 UTC in reply to "You better promise that!"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

I just switched from FF to Epiphany. I can only recommend that, if you already run a GTK-environment..

Did that long ago, but now I'm temporary switching back. As 64-bit user I had a choice.

To go trough all the hassle needed in setting up 32-bit environment inside 64-bit and recompile half of desktop (a job for days not a minute). Or use simpler logic. Use 64-bit environment as default, copy 32-bit browser from mozilla.org, install plugins and surf with the 32-bit FFx2 (a minute job and benefit that desktop still just works and no update smashes against it).

There is just too much hassle to provide complete environment in 64-bit, at least so long as plugins only exist in 32-bit form. But if there is easy way to get what I need and you know it, hey,... I'll be glad to switch back to Epiphany.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: You better promise that!
by sbergman27 on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: You better promise that!"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Use nspluginwrapper. It will allow you to easily run 32 bit plugins in a 64 bit browser.

Reply Score: 1

Firefox annoyances
by ParanoidAndroid on Wed 1st Nov 2006 18:08 UTC
ParanoidAndroid
Member since:
2006-03-26

[sarcasm] What a surprise firefox won! [/sarcasm]
But what about all those firefox annoyances?
- Ctrl+T for a new tab doesn't work when the mouse hovers a pdf or flash
- Typing a / for type-ahead find doesn't work half of time. You first have to click somewhere on the page before it gets the focus to be able to search
- Location bar completion doesn't always work when a page is loading in another tab
- Still sporadically some crazy profile manager pops up.

Of course IE has it shares of problems too.

I'm getting more into konqueror lately. No evil bloated legacy like firefox's netscape-gecko engine

Reply Score: 1

We have a Number of good Choices
by Peter Besenbruch on Wed 1st Nov 2006 19:02 UTC
Peter Besenbruch
Member since:
2006-03-13

I can't say anything about IE7, because I don't run it. Firefox 2, on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. On my 5 machines, it runs more stably, uses less memory, and recovers from crashes nicely.

Negatives:

I miss not being able to ban third party cookies.

Extensions are the blessing and curse of the browser. People often write that Firefox should stabilize the extension interface, so we won't have to wrestle with extension updates. You know, something similar to plug-ins.

I doubt that will ever happen, and I have found that half my extensions were immobilized by Firefox when I upgraded. Reactivating them involved my finding the install.rdf file, and changing the version number. Then the affected extension worked fine. The important stuff (Adblock Plus and Noscript) were updated to work with Firefox 2 before the browser's release.

In short I solved the extension issue easily, because I learned what to do. I'm not afraid of dinking with my system; others will have a harder time of it.

Clumsy printing (in Linux, anyway, still). Yes, it prints, but they tie you up in knots if you want to use a full featured print manager like Kprinter. By default, Firefox offers very few printing controls.

Positives:

Visuals: This is the first time I have actually used the default theme. It actually looks nice, and saves space. It's a little thing, but "nice job" to those who came up with it.

Tabs: I, for one didn't like the excessive shrinkage of the tabs that earlier versions allowed, so I modified prefs.js to stop it. The new system, combining modest shrinkage, with a drop down button, works.

Spell checking: I use it, so it's not bloat. ;)

Crash recovery and closed tab reopening: This feature alone makes the upgrade to version 2 worth it.

Anti-phishing: I haven't run across anything yet. Then again, I do my "phish philtering" in Thunderbird by viewing e-mail as text only.

A final word on other browsers. I use Links, Opera, and Konqueror.

Links: Nice, simple, text based browser that does a better job, in my opinion, than Lynx. Hard to beat if you just want to read.

Opera: What everyone says about Opera's features and speed are all true. It's also nowhere near as buggy as it once was. Still, I've never gotten comfortable with it. I don't much like the interface. It's harder to block ads, and other bad stuff. Still, it's a good browser. If you're a fan of mouse gestures and the "rewind" button, Opera is very good indeed.

Konqueror: Always second tier. The Konqueror of today would match or beat any browser of one to two years ago. Of course, Konqueror isn't a browser, it's a framework for other programs, Web browsing being one of many programs it supports. The other things? I use it as a full featured file manager, FTP client, Samba client, and photo organizer. Yes, it does all these things, and more. In each case there are other programs out there that do a better job. Yes I use it to browse the Web (I like it better than Opera), but for me it won't replace Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

developers?
by juhani on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:06 UTC
juhani
Member since:
2006-07-06

They included only the UI part in the review. The current buzzword is web2.0, now the question is simple: "is it easy enough to make the code working in Firefox 2?" because IE is a must have.

When the local bank Hansapank had problems with firefox2 + smartcard they did not go into emergency state and did not hack it to work, not even a if browser=firefox2 then howtofixmyfirefox2.html Most probably, if the same problem would be with IE, they would have went to emergency and made a quick and dirty fix.

Reply Score: 1

IE7 is NOT integrated into the shell
by NotParker on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:11 UTC
NotParker
Member since:
2006-06-01

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer

"Partly as a result of security enhancements, the browser will be a stand-alone application, rather than integrated with the Windows shell, and it will no longer be capable of acting as a file browser."

Type C: into the address bar with IE, and it opens up an explorer windows instead of browsing the filesystem as IE6 did.

And thats true for IE7 on WIndows 2003 (which I run as my desktop at work).

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

DOH!

Well, IE-technology is still used in the shell, just like it was in Win98 and Win2K/XP.

All that has been done is severing some of the more obvious ties between the browser application and the shell.

But the libraries associated with IE is still used by the OS. Also with IE7.

Codewise the integration is still there - functionality wise the integration has been removed. But it's merely a minor hack.

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Well, IE-technology is still used in the shell, just like it was in Win98 and Win2K/XP.

No. The shell is Explorer. Not Internet Explorer. Those are different applications.

But the libraries associated with IE is still used by the OS.

I would hope so. No browser can execute if the libraries aren't available to the OS.

Who do you think is executing the Firefox libraries if it isn't the OS? Magic fairies?

Edited 2006-11-02 01:09

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You are twisting my words, NotParker.

What I meant is that Windows Explorer and several other applications are utilizing the IE libraries (e.g. Windows Explorer is still using Internet Explorer). That's why IE cannot be removed, and that's why IE is a dependency.

The fact that some functionality has been removed, does not equal the code isn't integrated closely.

IE is still deeply tied to the system. It's just a minor part of the functionality that have been removed. High coupling code wise, and low coupling functionality wise. Approximately the worst way you can code. Low coupling code wise and high coupling functionality wise is the way to go, as BeOS/Haiku, SkyOS and Syllable have proved.

Reply Score: 2

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

What I meant is that Windows Explorer and several other applications are utilizing the IE libraries

Unless you tell Windows to associate .htm files with Firefox or any other application ... even notepad.

Then if you open an .htm file, IE won't be used.

I'm not sure what your point is. If Firefox is on your PC, it just as "coupled" to the OS as IE7 is.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I'm not sure what your point is. If Firefox is on your PC, it just as "coupled" to the OS as IE7 is.//

AFAIK this is not correct. Parts of IE are used throughout Windows to render some elements.

For example, the "My Computer" file manager has a "thumbnail" view and a "filmstrip" view ... AFAIK a component of IE is used to render the images for these views.

It is absolutely certain that the "My Computer" file manager does not use the firefox geko engine to render those thumbnails!

Reply Score: 4

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

For example, the "My Computer" file manager has a "thumbnail" view and a "filmstrip" view ... AFAIK a component of IE is used to render the images for these views.

A compnent of the OS is used by IE and Explorer.

It is absolutely certain that the "My Computer" file manager does not use the firefox geko engine to render those thumbnails!

It is equally certain that Firefox makes OS system calls to work.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You don't even know what "low coupling" and "high coupling" means!? O_o

Reply Score: 1

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

From an interview about IE7 (and IE 8) from zdnet on which you (or someone with your username) commented:

"We (IE) are a set of system DLLs that are used by other parts of the system, so this makes it really hard," Wilson said. "We are trying to figure out how to make IE capable of this in the future."

That seems fairly 'Integrated into the shell' to me

Reply Score: 1

microsoft update
by macisaac on Wed 1st Nov 2006 20:59 UTC
macisaac
Member since:
2005-08-28

I'm actually using ie7 here, and once you get used to the UI oddness of some of it, it's not bad. One big problem though I've experienced (and looking around see others have it as well), is that Windows/Microsoft Update is now abyssmally slow (that is, ran fine under ie6, upgrade to 7 and immediately it takes a ridiculously long time to get working).

At first I thought updating was actually broken, but turns out it's just very, very slow. Tried deleting some foo based on a google search, but still no go.

Reply Score: 1

RE: microsoft update
by dylansmrjones on Wed 1st Nov 2006 21:05 UTC in reply to "microsoft update"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, pretty much opposite for me, though the difference is small.

But I still prefer K-Meleon for anything else than Windows Update (or Microsoft Update).

The UI weirdness in IE7 isn't so bad if you apply a few tweaks. At least the menubar is in the right spot now ;)

The tab function could be faster though. It's a tad slow compared with K-Meleon and FF2 (I use the latter one at college only).

EDIT: Added IE7 in third paragraph to avoid ambiguity.

Edited 2006-11-01 21:07

Reply Score: 1

Group Policies
by Ventajou on Wed 1st Nov 2006 22:44 UTC
Ventajou
Member since:
2006-10-31

No matter how much better Firefox might be, even with the awesome adblock and filterset.g extensions, the lack of group policies support forces me to go against its adoption in my organisation (and at home!).

A firefox user can change the proxy settings to go through some external proxy and avoid the protections you have in place. Which can be a problem when you're trying to keep high school kids away from porn sites while at school or from hogging your bandwidth with youtube!

Moreover, in a managed environment, you can restrict which extensions can run on IE and as long as you don't grant your users local admin rights and have a filtering proxy in place (IPCop is free and can do that), IE is not the security blackhole many would like us to believe.

Give FF group policy support, with the ability to deploy it with specific extensions, and you'll boost its adoption rate in big organisations!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Group Policies
by Shkaba on Wed 1st Nov 2006 23:10 UTC in reply to "Group Policies"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

"A firefox user can change the proxy settings to go through some external proxy and avoid the protections you have in place. Which can be a problem when you're trying to keep high school kids away from porn sites while at school or from hogging your bandwidth with youtube!"

WOW ... those hackers, eh!? Can you just tell me how is it possible to bypass your local proxy server (no matter what browser, ftp client or what not)???

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Group Policies
by Ventajou on Wed 1st Nov 2006 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Group Policies"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

Well if you want your proxy to transparently filter web traffic, you'll set it to port 80 and the https port (don't remember the number but you get the point).

But chances are that you'll want your firewall to leave a number of ports open to outgoing traffic, for example for the users in your organisation who want to access their personal imap/pop accounts, or maybe for some other specific application.

Well it's fairly easy for a geek with enough time on his/her hands to setup a proxy at home that listens to, for example, port 21 (ftp) and use a dyndns account. Then pointing their school/work browser to their home proxy they can freely browse the web.

I haven't even looked at anonymizing proxies which can be found online but I know some people who live in countries which censor the web use them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Group Policies
by Shkaba on Wed 1st Nov 2006 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Group Policies"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

No matter which browser one uses, if you leave open ports and/or relaxed settings on you network, internet connection can be missused. Don't even need a browser for that matter. As for pop/imap, or other, ports that you have to open, use ip filtering. IE gives you no advantages in this field, quite contrary (well actually IE7 is supposed to be better, time will tell)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Group Policies
by Ventajou on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Group Policies"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

In a managed environment, you can set group policies to prevent the user from changing the proxy settings in IE. Also you can prevent them from installing software other than what you provide them with (through SMS or ZenWorks for example).

But if you deploy FireFox, then you have no convenient way, to my best knowledge, of preventing the users from playing with the proxy settings. I agree that most people wouldn't do that, but like I said, a number of our users are high schoolers with a high addiction to sites like myspace.com (they would use Google cache to go to myspace.com)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Group Policies
by Shkaba on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Group Policies"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

I think you are looking at this issue from the wrong perspective. One does not need to "deploy firefox" to introduce a vulnerability in an environment. If somebody is willing enough, and knowledgable enough he can run an executable from a memory stick, pda, cell phone etc, without ever installing anything on a workstation and it does not have to ba a browser. No group policy replaces proper administration of a network and proper setup of the proxy/firewall/router. You just get an illusion of a tightly managed environment. Group policies are usefull for internal administration, to a certain degree. For security issues that involve external communications you should not rely on gp alone, because they are not designed for that purpose.

Edited 2006-11-02 00:30

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Group Policies
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Group Policies"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//If somebody is willing enough, and knowledgable enough he can run an executable from a memory stick, pda, cell phone etc, without ever installing anything on a workstation and it does not have to ba a browser.//

This limitation is, of course, only a Windows limitation.

http://portableapps.com/

Windows will happily run any executable from anywhere, even one which has not been installed on the system or "sanctioned" by the system admin. This doesn't take hardly any knowledge at all, just a visit to the website above is enough.

http://portableapps.com/about/what_is_a_portable_app
"A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer. When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind."

If one has physical access to a Windows machine, and one can read removeable media on that machine, then one can run whatever sowftware one pleases, regardless of what the Windows administrator has tried to restrict.

In contrast, most non-Windows architectures will allow administrators to make a provision so that executables may not be run from removeable media.

Edited 2006-11-02 00:51

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Group Policies
by NotParker on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Group Policies"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

If one has physical access to a Windows machine, and one can read removeable media on that machine, then one can run whatever sowftware one pleases, regardless of what the Windows administrator has tried to restrict.

Most businesses run with regular users as unprivledged minimizing the damage they can do.

"Windows Vista also includes the ability to restrict the use of Universal Serial Bus (USB) keys and other removable storage devices with a corporate computer."

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Group Policies
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Group Policies"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//In a managed environment, you can set group policies to prevent the user from changing the proxy settings in IE. Also you can prevent them from installing software other than what you provide them with (through SMS or ZenWorks for example). //

You can prevent users from installing software on a windows system, but you cannot prevent users from running software on a Windows system unless you make it so that the system cannot read removeable media.

I think what you intended to do with your "group policies" is stop your users from running some applications. Sorry, but you can't do that on a Windows system. Windows doesn't have that capability.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Group Policies
by Ventajou on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Group Policies"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

I agree with you.

My point though was that adding GP support to FF would help speed its adoption in larger organisations where administrators want to be able to easily manage settings on hundreds of systems.

The example I provided was just that, an example.

I definitely do not consider GP as the main tool to keep an environment secure. But it can help prevent users from, whether intentionally or not, messing up a system. There will always be a way to go around security measures, but it's not a reason to make it easier.

In addition, you sometimes have to face financial and/or political reasons as to why you can't simply have a better firewall. Or it could be that the guy in charge of it is just a moron and doesn't get what you're trying to explain. And so you have to do what you can at your level.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Group Policies
by hal2k1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Group Policies"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I definitely do not consider GP as the main tool to keep an environment secure. But it can help prevent users from, whether intentionally or not, messing up a system. There will always be a way to go around security measures, but it's not a reason to make it easier.

In addition, you sometimes have to face financial and/or political reasons as to why you can't simply have a better firewall. Or it could be that the guy in charge of it is just a moron and doesn't get what you're trying to explain. And so you have to do what you can at your level.//

The point is that "group policies" are useless for the purpose to which you are trying to put them. On Windows systems, people are able to run whatever they want to.

The only way to do what you are trying to do is to have a better firewall. Make it so that the ONLY way any machine on your network can get connected to the Internet is through your firewall. Once you have done that, then setting proxies on client machines won't do anything.

Your reason for preferring IE over Firefox is not a valid reason at all.

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: Group Policies
by Ventajou on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Group Policies"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

On Windows systems, people are able to run whatever you will let them run. It is possible to lock down a system so that very little can be done. And all you need for that is actually user permissions and group policies.

I am not talking here about a home network or a small organisation with a dozen systems or so, each managed individually. I am talking about a couple thousand computers.

Group policies are not useless for my purpose because my purpose is to lock down a number of settings to a standard through my organisation. You are focusing on the example I provided but somebody could also accidently (or not) change a setting which prevents them and others from using their browser properly.

Another example is if one of the users who is allowed to install applications on their system downloads the latest acrobat reader which comes with a toolbar. Well with group policies I can prevent that toolbar from running in IE. I can't though prevent someone from installing an extension in FF.

There is no unique solution to network security, otherwise you would simply have one settings screen somewhere with one checkbox saying "make my network secure". Unfortunately it doesn't work like that and one has to adapt their solution to the environment they design it for. This is why you can actually choose which ports your firewall leaves open for example.

Reply Score: 1

Speed issue.
by Ventajou on Wed 1st Nov 2006 22:54 UTC
Ventajou
Member since:
2006-10-31

Another issue I've had just the other day after setting up my "new" PIII 1GHz laptop:
I went to several websites that rely quite a bit on Flash and in FF 1.5 and Opera 9, the Flash was incredibley slow while IE6 and 7 played it very smoothly. I didn't try FF2 though.

Has anybody experienced something similar?

Reply Score: 1

But how do they render HTML?
by KenJackson on Wed 1st Nov 2006 23:28 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

The biggest and most important criteria for any browser is how well it renders, but they didn't mention a thing about that.

I'm using Firefox 2.0, which still doesn't pass the Acid 2 test, http://www.webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html. It may be a while until I can test IE7, so I don't know if it passes or not. (I know some people discount the importance of this test.)

More importantly, Microsoft had said they were going to fix the bugs that all the web developers have learned to deftly work around. Did they? Do any pages break?

I guess the article was intended to be about look and feel, but it seems odd to not even mention the most important issues.

Edited 2006-11-01 23:29

Reply Score: 1

RE: But how do they render HTML?
by hal2k1 on Wed 1st Nov 2006 23:35 UTC in reply to "But how do they render HTML?"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//It may be a while until I can test IE7, so I don't know if it passes or not.//

It doesn't.

http://news.com.com/Next+Explorer+to+fail+Acid+test/2100-1032_3-581...

IE7 is the least compliant browser out of: IE7, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera & Safari.

AFAIK that order I list above is the order of increasing compliance. Only the last 3 on the list pass the acid2 test at this time. Of those listed, only Firefox & Opera are cross-platform browsers at this time.

There are plans to make Konqueror cross-platform.

The code for acid2 compliance for firefox has been done, but it isn't in the official releases yet.

http://www.thinklemon.com/weblog/2006/04/13/firefox-acid2-complianc...

AFAIK there are no plans to make IE compliant.

Edited 2006-11-01 23:52

Reply Score: 1

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

IE7 is the least compliant browser out of: IE7, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera & Safari.

AFAIK that order I list above is the order of increasing compliance.


I'm not sure I'd agree with that ordering - Konqueror/Safari may pass the Acid2 test, but I'd say Firefox is still more compliant because it implements a lot of CSS stuff that KHTML hasn't done yet. Opera is the king, of course, and IE7 is still absolutely horrible. I'm just happy they're improving it, though.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I just tried loading the following page with Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE7:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/ietechcol/cols/dnexpie/cssZ...

Firefox was by far the worst. Scrolling the page produced terrible tearing. Opera was the best - proper rendering and fast scrolling. IE7 was OK - slower scrolling than Opera. Safari was similar to IE7 (maybe a little worse). Firefox sucked, though.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Firefox was by far the worst. Scrolling the page produced terrible tearing. Opera was the best - proper rendering and fast scrolling. IE7 was OK - slower scrolling than Opera. Safari was similar to IE7 (maybe a little worse). Firefox sucked, though.//

Very funny. msdn.microsoft.com

Try this w3c-compliant page with with Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE7:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Svg.svg

IE7 will be the only one where you can't see anything, I'd wager.

Reply Score: 1

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Did you look at how they coded that page? They set all the spans to "display: none;" and then tied background graphics to all the elements.

That doesn't break the rules (of the Zen Garden contest), but I can't see how it's good design. I wonder if someone researched what particular thing Firefox does the slowest and made a page that purposely makes the most use of it. On most pages, you can safely delay updating the background until everything else is displayed because the background is, well, just background.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//That doesn't break the rules (of the Zen Garden contest), but I can't see how it's good design. I wonder if someone researched what particular thing Firefox does the slowest and made a page that purposely makes the most use of it. On most pages, you can safely delay updating the background until everything else is displayed because the background is, well, just background.//

Even by finding the worst possible scenario for Firefox, Firefox still renders it.

AFAIK, IE7 doesn't render this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Svg.svg
at all.

So you can't play this game on IE7:
http://www.croczilla.com/svg/samples/svgtetris/svgtetris.svg

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I wonder if someone researched what particular thing Firefox does the slowest and made a page that purposely makes the most use of it."

There's no conspiracy or plot involving your "someone researched what ways Firefox sucks and exploited it" theory. That page was designed by MS to show IE7's improvements over IE6 (which totally chokes on that page), not to show Firefox's weaknesses. That Firefox just happens to suck at dealing with the page when compared to Safari, IE7, and Opera is just a bonus as far as MS is concerned. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Peter Besenbruch Member since:
2006-03-13

Given that it's a Microsoft page, I'd be suspicious.

I tried it on Firefox 2, Opera 9, and Konqueror 3.5.5.

Opera had sections of overlapping text, making it unreadable.

Firefox exhibited the tearing while scrolling, but was readable. The spacing was "wrong" with the "So what's this all about" heading.

Konqueror rendered and scrolled flawlessly, until I zoomed the font a little, and then things fell apart. Still, it was more zoom tolerant than Opera.

Edited 2006-11-02 04:18

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Given that it's a Microsoft page, I'd be suspicious.//

Given that it's a Microsoft page, I'd wonder if it was w3c standards compliant.

//Opera had sections of overlapping text, making it unreadable.

Firefox exhibited the tearing while scrolling, but was readable. The spacing was "wrong" with the "So what's this all about" heading.

Konqueror rendered and scrolled flawlessly, until I zoomed the font a little, and then things fell apart. Still, it was more zoom tolerant than Opera.//

What I find interesting is the willingness to comment on how Firefox is slightly slow on rendering a page semingly designed to trip it up, yet there is absolute silence on the topic of the w3c-compliant content that IE7 is unable to render at all.

We can hear the sound of crickets in here when that point is raised.

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"What I find interesting is the willingness to comment on how Firefox is slightly slow on rendering a page semingly designed to trip it up..."

Don't flatter yourself, Firefox advocate (or should I say, Firefox astroturfer??!??!?! LOL (I'm joking, but just pointing out that the "astroturfer" charge that you like to throw around can be used by others against you too)). That page was designed to demonstrate IE7's improvements over IE6; its design had nothing to do with Firefox.


"...yet there is absolute silence on the topic of the w3c-compliant content that IE7 is unable to render at all. We can hear the sound of crickets in here when that point is raised."

Maybe there was silence because nobody read your post yet? Not everyone spends every waking hour reading posts to this site. Regarding your .svg page, I found that Firefox handles it the best, followed by Opera (Opera looks worse because it uses dashed rather than solid lines for the lettering and border of the red "SVG" portion). IE7, as you know, doesn't handle SVG. (I can't comment on Safari, because the version that I have is 1.2.4 because I'm still running Panther, and that version doesn't support .svg.) So you win as far as SVG support is concerned.

BTW, as I write this, the current home page for MSDN (www.msdn.com, which redirects to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx) has two annoucements at the top, "Internet Explorer 7 Language Versions Now Available to Download" and "Windows Vista Application Compatibility Cookbook". Both of those titles are underlined. Firefox is screwing up the underlines, as they appear too far below the text, actually passing through the text on the following line. IE6, Opera, and Safari have no problems at all with the page. What's up with that? (And don't try to say that the page was designed to make FF look bad.)

Edited 2006-11-02 09:42

Reply Score: 2

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

"BTW, as I write this, the current home page for MSDN (www.msdn.com, which redirects to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx) has two annoucements at the top, "Internet Explorer 7 Language Versions Now Available to Download" and "Windows Vista Application Compatibility Cookbook". Both of those titles are underlined. Firefox is screwing up the underlines, as they appear too far below the text, actually passing through the text on the following line. IE6, Opera, and Safari have no problems at all with the page. What's up with that?"

I can report that on Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft, the default browser Konqueror renders this page fine. Firefox 2.0 as you report for some font sizes as one zooms in & out the underline is too low. At no time does it go so low as to pass through the text on the following line.

Possibly due to a weirdness of ASP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspx#ASPX_file_format

A couple of very minor quibbles with firefox rendering compared to IE7's lack of support for web standards. After all, firefox at least does render all these pages.

Edited 2006-11-02 10:59

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

The code for acid2 compliance for firefox has been done, but it isn't in the official releases yet

Yeah ... in an unusable branch that may someday see the light of day. Or not.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It is in the 1.9.x branch which is going to be FF 3.0

It will see the light of day sooner or later. Just like Vista will see the light of day sooner or later (though many years delayed).

The 1.9.x branch is a development branch. If you were a developer it wouldn't be so hard to understand ;)

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

It is in the 1.9.x branch which is going to be FF 3.0

I thought it was in the "experimental" reflow branch that MAY someday get merged into 3.0.

Wikipedia says so.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Okay.
Fits very well with the 1.9.x branch being a development branch. Development branches are per definition experimental.

But from mozilladev it seems quite certain that 1.9.x will become FF 3.0 - but it doesn't always get updated as much as it could/should.

Reply Score: 2

Bun fight
by Lousewort on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 07:16 UTC
Lousewort
Member since:
2006-09-12

Why do these discussions, which are carried out by ostensibly mature adult and intelligent human beings, always seem to end in a bun fight?

We have "NotParker" vs. the world involved in a "is- is not" argument, and a bunch of others who seem unable to conclude whether or not "IE7 is NOT integrated into the shell", and what seems like a large number of side-liners going "ra! ra!"

At least it's entertaining.

Reply Score: 2