This came from one of our readers. It originated on the site of Regina Web Services.
If Web Browsers Were Cars…
IE6: original VW Beetle: at the time of launch it was the browser. Netscape Navigator was dead, Mozilla Suite was too bloated and slow to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time, development of Firefox as a stand-alone browser had not yet begun, and there was no other legitimate competitor on Windows (Sun Hot Java anyone?). It was unique — ie: didn’t follow CSS web standards — but then again CSS wasn’t popular in the same way it is now. And because IE6 held the overwhelming majority of market share and there was a lack of viable competition MSFT quit innovating (there was also some in-fighting at MSFT between the Trident team (IE) and the Office team which caused development of IE to stall for a few years… oh and they had the Longhorn/Vista debacle in progress). Like the Beetle, IE6 was a great at it’s launch, and like the Beetle, it was never really updated while the competition innovated, hustled, and roared right by them.
IE7: Yugo pickup (okay, there never was such a thing, but bear with me here) – able to render either IE6 native mode or semi-standards-compliant IE7 mode and smart enough to detect which and switch to that mode… except that the auto-detection never worked and the browser locked up in either mode. The worst browser in the IE series since version 3.
IE8: Dodge Neon – surprisingly good for a Microsoft browser when it launched. Well, surprising that MSFT corrected the downward slide and didn’t make a browser that was worse than the previous one as they had with IE7. While an improvement, IE8 was still unstable and prone to schizophrenic performance. Auto-detection of IE-mode and standards-compliant mode still didn’t work (I think it was turned off and defaulted to standards-compliant) but as designers defaulted to writing standards compliance sites IE8 gave the illusion of working more than it was failing.
Firefox: military Humvee - you can attach just about any plug-in or extension, it works on almost every operating system ever created or imagined, handles almost every website (even horribly mis-coded ones), is rugged, not terribly fast but gets the job done almost all the time (and blows up so spectacularly when it does fail that you don’t mind the inconvenience of having to start over). Still the go-to browser for several specialty plug-ins like Firebug, Web Developer, downloading flash videos, and more.
Chrome: Formula One racer – fast, agile, decked out with lots of options (via extensions), but finicky at times which can be really annoying. Never fear though: just wait a couple days and the engineers at Google will release a new version with the annoying parts totally re-coded and rock-solid. A joy to use and mostly stable (though the fade-to-white crashes are rather un-Googlesque and lacking in flair). Probably the best browser available on Windows and Mac OS X at this time.
IE9: Chevy Malibu - it’s finally catching up with the better competition and is a fine browser but missing the bells and whistles of the competition. Nobody is complaining about it though because it’s so much better than previous versions of IE. If you’re a long-suffering user of Internet Explorer then using IE9 for the fist time is like the day your abusive step-father found religion and stopped beating you. Life may not be perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over what it used to be.
Apple Safari: Tesla Roadster – a great browser… but who cares? Same fast, stable, KHTML-derived WebKit rending engine as Chrome but without the extensions ecosystem. On Mac OS X Safari is what IE should have always been: a reliable, no frills web browser that serves up web content and that’s it. On Windows it’s a fish out of water. On Mars. Trying to communicate with the natives in Chinese… what’s the point again?
ntegration or opposition, culture was constructed.”
With the advent of the electronic book, how is this function exercised? How is the authenticity of a text of the Word of God, of the prayers of the Church or the Catechism guaranteed? The written word, guarded by the Church, needs to be transmitted in all of its purity to future generations. Decisive steps are now needed to clarify how to provide this service to the truth in an electronic universe.
I’m still waiting for my Bugatti, Veyron. I’d settle for a browser that did it all and didn’t hog resources.