Buy the Community, Not the Product

Now that Internet Explorer 7.0 is final, the browser wars can begin again in earnest. It's clear that users should upgrade, because IE6 is so ancient. Security concerns alone compel an upgrade. But should IE6 users upgrade to IE7, or should they choose an alternative?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Very interesting and sounds true.

I believe nevertheless that there are plenty of developer doing some funky stuff for IE7.

One thing missing is a central place for them to share there work. Clearly under CNET management IE Add-Ons will get nowhere: takes ages for an entry to be accepted and even longer for a version update. I am talking from experience with Inline Search.

A second point is that Windows developer seem to lack the ethic of there OS counterpart (maybe I am deluded). One example: a guy contacted us when we released RC1 of Inline Search stating he was an individual willing to put something personal together to include a Maxthon feature into IE7. We happily helped him only to discover that he was actualy doing something professional. Had he be straightforward in the first place I believe we would have helped him anyway. Now we look at every request for help suspiciously.

We are kind of trying to put something together with EIforge it is still very much early stages but if you want to check it out:

I just did a google search for IE plugins and ran across Foxie. I haven’t tried any of them, but it does appear that there is a small number of plugins available from the IE community.

Nevermind, read the wiki entry on Foxie:

Do not install it.

The central place to share IE plugins is:

Provided by microsoft.

FYI, Firefox is releaseing version 2.0 on Oct 24.
Main new features are built in spelling, anti-phish, and improved tabs.

By the time you made that comment, FireFox 2 had already been released. :wink:

You summed up perfectly how I approach many products I’ve chosen but which other people feel are inferior. I use Windows not Linux or Mac. Because it’s a better product? No, because there’s MUCH more attainable user friendly software. Likewise, my next mp3 player purchase will be an iPod, because there are so many 3rd party products for it and communities troubleshooting it.

I reboot my work machine rarely, and I literally always have at least one browser instance running.

In the past, Jeff, you talked about how firefox never releases memory under these circumstances:

I’m curious if you’re still having that problem.

Very good post, I agree with it a lot. However in my life I find that much software I use I don’t use because of the community, but because it is written at a higher quality then other software. I suppose that is why I use a Mac, I don’t have to deal with the disjointed windows experience (But I support it daily) and Linux is even more disjointed in the GUI. (Granted the command line is VERY nice and I enjoy that)

Windows has a lot more random bits of software for it, but there are so many places I have to look in order to find a setting that it easily frustrates me. Not only that but the amount of bugs in the OS also frustrates me.

Linux on the other hand largely makes up for all the GUI shortcomings by having an awesome community. And the sheer amount of software tools on linux is mind blowing. It might not be easy to use, but that doesn’t matter because somebody somewhere knows how to use it and can tell me how.

It’s been a while since I heard someone reasoning abou browsers instead of being a fan from hell and calling everyone else an idiot. I very much agree with dinah and bought my ipod instead of a (maybe) superior zen because i couldn’t even get a carrying case for it. But I bet we’re about to watch a bunch of firefox groupies and anti-ms fans post something like "Firefox rules, #$$#“3 Microsoft” anyway… as I was saying…
“Firefox rules” :slight_smile:

Maxthon has a flash blocker built in :slight_smile: that lays over your IE install.

I recently decided to give Opera a fair try recently. For the most part there is very little difference between my experience with Opera and Firefox. I don’t use any of the extra features it offers me. However, I do use plugins Firefox has that Opera doesn’t, and the most important thing is that Firefox is more familiar to me. Opera has lot’s of tiny bits that are different, the biggest for me being scrolling.
There’s nothing wrong with having the choice, the trouble comes when people don’t realise it’s a choice and seem to think they are right. As long as it renders fine and you’re pretty much secure, who cares?

I couldn’t agree more with your points. I’ve been an IE user for a long time. But recently firefox is gaining much usage :slight_smile:
Mostly due to the fact that I don’t need to C++ to write a plug in for firefox.

I think IE7 has better support for css than firefox currently has. At least for what I’m doing with it.

FYI, Firefox is releaseing version 2.0 on Oct 24.

Main new features are built in spelling, anti-phish, and improved tabs.

For the anti-phishing instead of taking the Microsoft appoach of sending the URL you are visiting to a microsoft site, firefox will download a list in the background and check your URL vs that. Will be interesting how well this works; while it does offer better privacy if that list gets large it could take some time to download.

The improved tabs is mostly stuff that you can get right now with add-in. It includes some things such as remembering what your tabs where at when the OS crashes or you do a shutdown, improved looks, and better management.

The reason IE continues to dominate (and will likely continue to) is that MegaCorps refuse to give up their embrace, extend, extinguish IE extensions (non-standard standards) in their sites. Both intra- and inter-net. Until one of those gorillas accepts FireFox as its default, M$ will continue to win. I didn’t follow IE7 very closely, but wasn’t there talk of more e,e,e? One way or the other, are there additional e,e,e in IE7? Did M$ adopt standards they’ve ignore previously (I very much doubt it, but one never knows)?

I’m going to chime in here since I spent quite a bit of this weekend writing drunken emails to my friends and family convincing them to switch to Firefox 2.

I have to say that Firefox 2 RC3 is by far the best browser I have ever used, and has so many well thought out usability improvements, I couldn’t imagine anything better.

On the flip side, I downloaded installed and tried to force myself to use the release of IE 7. It started out with nothing but aggravation. Two crashes and a thrashing computer before I finally got the home page open. Then I had to answer a list of useless questions to try and configure the browser.

Don’t get me wrong, I think IE 7 is a huge step in the right direction, but it’s just too little, too late. Microsoft is now stuck in the “catch-up” game that is going to make it nearly impossible to come up with any real innovations Firefox hasn’t already implemented. Everything is going to be a half-baked solution to try and make the claim “IE does that”.

The extension model will continue to increase Firefox’s market share and word of mouth may be the IE killer. Firefox rules because it just works. Even the RC is extremely stable and even if it crashes (usually my fault), you can recover right from where you were at.

There is no way that I can live without a browser that has mouse gestures. I loose my mind every time I’m on someone else’s machine.

So, community = plugins ? And buggy plugins using scripts ??

NO thanks !

I’ve been a Firefox user for the past few years. I used the Firefox 2 beta for a few months. Then I tried Opera 9, and it’s not even a contest. Opera FTW.

There’s another difference between add-ins in C and add-ins in script: security. Given that speed really isn’t of the essence in an add-in, I would have thought that C is probably the worst possible language to choose in this context: every add-in is a potential buffer over-run vulnerability. Scripts can be carefully managed by some sort of run-time to control their behaviour.

Well, I’m still rather sour about how Microshaft Internet Explorer decided to pull a fast one on Netscape by integrating their browser into their operating system. But I guess I can let go of that now. =)

Fact is that Microsoft has been waiting too long to update their own browser. They’ve been off galovanting around, while other browsers have been busy updating their software periodically, like any other normal piece of software. What Microsoft has given us is too little, too late. I believe that Firefox is superior browser in many ways. And while there might be advantages by using IE7, I still believe the pros of Firefox outweight those of IE7.

  1. Firefox typically loads webpages much faster.
  2. Firefox is more secure.
  3. Firefox is open-source, as this blog suggests, giving a community to build up its strength.

And I see now that IE7 has tabbed browsing. Although had Microsoft gotten to this earlier they would’ve kept some of their users. I personally recommend Firefox to everyone out there.