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Favourite Browser Features

21 Apr

>Here’s an overview of what I appreciate in a browser. This table only considers browsers available on Mac OS X, since that’s my desktop environment. Note that most of this is very subjective, it’s just my personal preferences.

In Firefox, I’ve installed the following add-ons:

  • Web Developer
  • Firebug
  • Google Page Speed

The bold items are my favourites.

Firefox 3.0 Safari 4.0 Opera 10 (beta)
Startup time Pretty bad Very good Very good
Ability to immediately edit the address in the address bar after startup OK Bad: there is a delay OK
Shows plain XML in a nice tree Yes No Yes
Recognizes a port number, even when no protocol (e.g. “http”) is specified Yes Yes Yes
OS X look-and-feel Nice Nice Not very nice
New tab page Fast, but empty Top sites: useful and very attractive Speed dial, quite nice
Search Google from address bar Yes No Yes
Find in page Toolbar at bottom is OK, but far from optimal Result highlighting: very nice and polished Bad: separate dialog window
Progress of downloads visible in OS (e.g. in Stacks) No Yes No
Web development tools Combination of Firebug, Web Developer and Google Page Speed works like a charm “Inspect Element” is very nice and integrated Developer tool is not very intuitive
Login form autocompletion Excellent, supporting multiple accounts OK OK
Browser can be configured to have just one window with tabs, even when a link is pressed in an external application Yes Yes Yes
Link targets can show in a tooltip (e.g. at the window bottom, like Google Chrome) and do not require a status bar to display No No No
Activity monitor No Yes No
Number of clicks in the address bar needed to select all text One Three One
Prompt to store login details Unobtrusive and non-blocking bar at the top Blocking dialog window (very bad) Obtrusive dialog window, but non-blocking
Supported by XMarks Yes Officially only Safari 3 is supported, but in practice it works with version 4 No

Updated on June 9, 2009, for Safari 4 final release and Opera 10.00 beta. Updated and added criteria.

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Posted by on 21 April 2009 in firefox, opera, safari

 

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