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Tabbed Browsers

November 24, 2004 12:46 PM PST

I'm trying to settle on which browser I want to use and it's come down to Avant vs. Firefox. I'm a long time Avant user so I feel some loyalty there. I've been occasionally using Firefox since it came out three names ago. It was used to be pretty buggy and didn't render all the sites I went to properly. But now that it is released I find myself using it more and more. Avant on the other hand is built on IE so compatibility is not a problem. Feature per feature they are almost the same now. Firefox has caught up pretty well in recent months. The main difference for me, in my use cases is that Avant has a flash blocker, ad blocker, and uses IE's favorites and is lighter weight, while Firefox has the RSS live folders and is just so hot right now. What do you use?

Comments (8)
J, November 24, 2004 05:18 PM:

You can install a sweet adblocker in one click from here:

Also, with Firefox, you get built in Google toolbar and popup blocker that works better than the google toolbar.

You can customize Firefox in many ways, including how new links are opened from emails. I've never had it quite right in IE, but now when I click on an email link, it opens it in a new tab in the existing browser window. Nice. For full customization, you can type about:config in the URL bar to do more config. I've done some of the tweaks here as well. The main one is:
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
Which causes pages to render much faster. Usually there's a 250ms delay!

Another cool extension uses the Coral Cache to load pages from a dynamically built, P2P cache of popular pages on the web. Very useful if you actually want to read sites once they've been Slashdotted. The plugin (under the Downloads section of the Coral page) simply adds an item to the context menu that lets you load a link out of the coral cache rather than from the actual site.

In general, I feel Avant looks kind of hacked together, while Firefox has more of a clean look. The plugin installation is easy, and even includes a feature to check for updates to plugins.

It's funny there's not even the option of IE -- apparently people DO care about tabbed browsing! The only benefit I see to Avant is that the IE engine is probably already taking up RAM due to Windows Explorer and Outlook/OE. So if you're tight on RAM, it might be an option (in fact, this is why I don't use Firefox on all my machines).

John, November 24, 2004 05:25 PM:

Yeah again most of these features are already supported by Avant. And Avant will still use IE plugins for the most part. I agree the default installed state of Avant looks pretty sad. I have to do some config before I get it the way I like. After that it is clean, In fact my config of firefox and advant both look almost the same from toolbar/ feature point of view. There is another popular IE extender called Maxthon. This used to be called MyIE2 and competes head to head with Avant. As for IE, once you adopt tabbed browsing you can never go back. I'm just trying to decide which is better (for me) to run at work.

J, November 24, 2004 05:35 PM:

Well, try the Adblock plugin and see how you like Firefox. At a minimum, It seems like Firefox is better than IE, and maybe equal to IE+Avant. Either way, it's not looking good for MS. The silly thing is that all MS has to do is add some dumb tabs and they'll be back in the game (with the Google toolbar of course).

When it comes down to it, I want to go with a browser that will come with the features I want (tabs, good privacy controls, built in popup and script blocking). MS just has not looked out for their users, and they must be punished.

John, November 24, 2004 05:37 PM:

Uh, you know I can't comment on that last part.

J, November 24, 2004 05:38 PM:

Oh, also, IE has rendering issues with sites like this one, while the Mozilla engine doesn't. Plus Mozilla is open source and has a sweet language for writing plugins (XUL). That's gotta count for something!? ;-)

Klisch, November 29, 2004 09:39 AM:

I use Avant, but did they really change the search toolbar to Yahoo? It used to be Google a couple revs back. Can I change that?

john, November 29, 2004 10:32 AM:

Yeah you can change it back to Google easy enough, tools, Avant browser options, Search Engine.

GW, November 29, 2004 02:52 PM:

Firefox...and it uses the Google search bar.

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