Monday, July 16, 2007

Browser Wars: Epilogue

Going over the various browsers, I was able to discover what features I thought were nice to have, and what didn't mean all that much. No one browser had everything I liked and I really wish there were a way to cherry pick features to come up with a browser that fit me perfectly. So I'm making up this wish list.

First of all, many features are available on all browsers: pop-up blocking, a searchbar, password managers, tabbed browsing, RSS feeds, etc. So the differences is in added features. Also, I don't put much stock in the claims of how fast browsers render pages, since the difference is in fractions of a second and the speed is dependent on many other factors in addition to the browser (like the speed of connection).

However, if Ideal Browser ever comes along (at least, at this point), these are the features I'd like to see in it (Browsers with the features are in parantheses; when I say "Firefox," I also mean "Netscape").
  • Built-in Spellcheck (Firefox)
  • Goes to originating tab when a new tab is closed (Opera, Firefox)
  • Open search page in new tab automatically (none, though Google Toolbar for Firefox & MSIE can do this).
  • "New Tab" button (everything but Safari)
  • MSIE rendering of pages (MSIE, Firefox with add-in). Some pages are just designed for MSIE and require it to work properly.
  • Active notification of new RSS content (Opera). In other words, something tells of of RSS changes without you having the click anything.
  • Add search engines to browser search box (all but Safari).
  • Create search box for specific sites (MSIE, Opera).
  • Speed Dial (Opera)
  • Mouseover thumbnails on tabs (Opera)
  • Rewind/Fast Forward buttons (Opera). "Rewind" goes back to the first page of a site with a click; "Fast Forward" is useful for bulletin boards and moves you from page 1 to page 2, etc.
  • Fit to window (Opera) (Fits wide pages to the size of your browswer window).
  • Add-ins (Firefox, MSIE). Opera has widgets, which are programs that run in conjunction with it, but they have a different function altogether.