As a web-developer, I often end up working on several different browsers during the day, so I know all about their various strengths and weaknesses. When I started out in this job, I was mostly dealing with Internet Explorer 6 (or
IE6 for short). Later, I used IE7 and Mozilla Firefox.
With time, I realised all versions of IE have a certain quirkiness about them. When comparing them to the various other browsers, I began to accept a general rule of thumb: Internet Explorer is crap, so I just have get used to adding specific CSS files for use with this particular browser family.
Until IE9 came out this was very much the case, but for me that release was a definite game changer and now everyone’s running tests, trying to prove which browser is better, faster, smarter etc.
If you take Paul Rouget, for example, then it appears that IE9 is a very poor performer: Paul Rouget test (Twitter: @paulrouget)
But when I tested the HTML5 game on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and IE9, the best performances came with both Chrome and IE9. Try it yourself!
And another thing: Firefox still use their own Moz-style boxes while IE9 uses W3C standard CSS3. So the burning question is: why is there all this nonsense about IE9? Don’t get me wrong: I still wouldn’t advocate using IE9, but for me as a web-developer, life is slowly getting a little better and a little easier. Microsoft’s latest work is actually really good and although I doubt it will ever be my everyday browser, I have to (begrudgingly) admit the latest version of Internet Explorer works very well!
Update: Just tested on Firefox 4 and – hey, they fixed all things I mention here!!! there is no need for annoying -moz-special-rules and it shows rounded corners even for images! WELL DONE! And speed! What a speed!!!
One final thought on all this: what really surprised me was how some CSS3 stuff that doesn’t work with Firefox works perfectly well on IE9. For example: I added for this image the following CSS style: border-radius:10px; and it worked, but it DIDN’T work with Firefox. Weird, eh? (of course, it works in Chrome without annoying -webkit)
So basically, these are the conclusions I’ve come to:
Firefox is still best browser for web developers, with Firebug and tons of useful plugins. So it is the best for work. For browsing, Chrome wins out as speed is the most important factor. For your parents, IE is IdEal and the best version yet. I hate to say it, but after all these years I feel Firefox is getting tired and is
simply not progressing like the other browsers anymore …
All this is written just before the FF4 is out, so I am going to test it soon!!!
There is good article about browser performance: