Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Browser to Rule Them All

Throughout my career of working in web development I've run through the gamut of different browser incarnations.  From Mosaic to IE 8 I've managed to use and design for numerous browser versions over the years.  I used to be an IE hater and adopted the early versions of Netscape.  Slowly over time as a developer, I realized that IE seemed to display HTML styling in a more sensible manner than Netscape and I was sold on IE until Firefox arrived.  Firefox did a great job of rendering HTML and also integrated with third party plugins.  I personally think that both browsers create too much overhead with add-ins, toolbars and widgets that bog down the overall browsing experience.  I just want to navigate the web with my browser.  That's it.  I don't need an integrated MP3 player or address book or a weather widget.  In my opinion a browser should just be a browser.

With a very minimal UI and browsing experience, Google's Chrome browser was launched last year and I've been using it ever since as my primary browser.  Early-on a lot of sites did not look good in Chrome or wouldn't function properly.  For those sites I would switch back to IE to access properly.  Over the last few months though, these problem sites now work fine in Chrome either due to re-coding efforts by the webmasters to properly style for Chrome or due to the fact that Chrome updates the browser automatically with the latest stable version.  Besides being able to add tabs as all browsers do nowadays, Chrome offers an internal task manager so you can see how much memory each individual tab is using.  On the task manager screen there is even a link to "stats for nerds" so us web geeks can get even more behind-the-scenes info. 

Now Chrome is not that easy to design for right now since most of my clients want to focus on IE mainly and support Firefox as well.  Hopefully Chrome gains more of a market share in the upcoming years and starts to be considered as a major player in the browser wars.  I'd love to see Chrome eventually overtake IE as the top browser but that probably won't happen until Google decides to make a better OS than Windows (doesn't seem to be that difficult of a task).  If you haven't tried chrome yet, give it a test spin.  Less is more when it comes to the browsing experience and Chrome is the way to go.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Beat it NERD!!!!