IE vs Chrome vs Firefox

There are so many browsers out there. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox have been the mainstay on my machine since the begining. More recently, I have also started using Chrome.

With all the different features and approach to user interface design, security, tabbing experience, stability, availability of addons/plug-ins. I feel that these three browsers are pretty much head to head.

There is still one thing that I find misssing in both Chrome and Firefox. The Scroll Bar Right-Click Context Menu.

ย 

Composite image for the scroll bar context menu

Composite image for the vertical and horizontal scroll bar context menus.

[ IE8 + Zune Theme + XP Professional + SP3 ]

For some this small feature may be insignificant compared to the other measures of personal satisfaction. And, by no means I am challenging their opinion. However, at times I keep getting drawn back to IE, simply because this small feature allows me to quickly scroll back to the top of the page.

This context menu for the scroll bars is available throughout the Microsoft products, including the Operating System.

I have another HDD with Ubuntu on it, IE and Chrome are not available there, so sad. But, I am exceptionally happy with Firefox on Ubuntu. I have mentioned in a separate post some of my essential Firefox add-ons, that was for Ubuntu.

Somehow I feel that it would be really fun if Microsoft upped the ante in the Browser Wars and introduced IE8 for Linux also. It’s not that it’s not possible, or Microsoft does not have the man power to do so, neither is Microsoft “afraid”. I think it is more of a numbers game, supporting a team of developers to maintain a free version of IE on non-MS platform. There is no revenue in that.

I would have expected Google to have launched a Linux version though. Perhaps at some future date they might, but it wouldn’t be the same doing it later.

Democracy — What?

What is this thing called Democracy?

The Wikipedia page on Democracy starts off by saying “Democracy is a form of government in which power is held by people under a free electoral system.”

According to the one of the definition (meaning) of Democracy on the Merrium-Webster web site:

Democracy is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

This definition identifies a form of power that is supreme, also identifies that this power is vested in the people. My first question is what kind of power is this? And, if this has been vested in the people then what does it allow the said people to do? Following the identification of power and where it is vested, there is an indication of the ability to “directly or indirectly” exercising it. Equally important is the reference to a “system of representation” and “periodically held free elections”.

All these fancy words are all pretty and all. but, does this not imply that these so called people should have some form of vision.

In my opinion, the ability to first of all have a vision, above and beyond the self, and on top of that, realizing their own capability of making their vision a reality. I think there are two things here that are directly relevant, 1) literacy, and 2) education. These two may at times are considered as the same thing, however, I have come to realize that these two, however related, have slightly different meaning, it may be just a matter of a shade of difference, but the difference is definitely there.

In short I think an illiterate person may be educated however, and a literate person may be uneducated.

If a person is educated, then they have the ability to effectively take part in this thing called — drum roll — Democracy.

In Pakistan, we all speak of literacy rates, and how they are improving. However, I know as a fact that these rates are cooked up. It defines a person to be literate if he or she can read or write their own name. That’s about all that is actually needed to sign legal document, or identify themselves. What more is needed in life? Really?

I hope the sarcasam was not too thick to read through.

Please someone explain something to me. I am totally up to here (slashing sign with my hand near my neck) with trying to figure this one out.

How does this so called brilliant thing called Democracy work in a culture where:

  1. A strong unspoken feudal system is still prevalent.
  2. The executive arm of the law are on the beck and call of their feudal masters.
  3. The law makers and definers are exceptional at protecting their feudal masters.
  4. The majority of the population is indebted to their feudal masters for “favors done onto their ancestors”.

Please explain, why in this democratic country, no one has actually worked towards education of the nation? The simple answer is that, education, leads to awareness, awareness leads to, well, the ability to be more than mere slaves. Education empowers the people to be aware of their rights, which is counter productive to the machinery that is the feudal system.

My Essential Firefox 3 Addons

As far as add-ons are concerned, for any software, I am picky and selective in my choices. Over my experiences since Firefox 1.x I have been trying out a number of add-ons that I use almost on a daily basis.

Here’s a list of my current add-ons:

1. Download Statusbar 0.9.6.4 by Devon Jensen
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/26

2. Fission 1.0.3 by Zeniko
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1951

3. Tabs Open Relative 0.3.3 by John Mellor (Jomel)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1956

4. Toggle Menubar 1.1.0 by vald3m51
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10173

All you are most welcome to share your thoughts, and any suggestions based on these four add-ons are welcome.

Google Chrome on Linux

Before I switched to Ubuntu, I had gotten kinda sorta used to using Google Chrome. I was using three browsers side-by-side. IE 7, Firefox 3 and Chrome.

I have keep hoping to find Chrome for Linux on the Google site, however it keeps telling me that it’s only for XP and Vista.

Bummer.

Having said that, it makes me ask this question. Why has Google not brought out a version for Linux? Google isn’t short on Linux expertise, then why only target Microsoft Platform.

Does Google feel that Linux is not mature enough, unified (in the sense of distributions and code base) enough to be worth the trouble to develop and maintain?

What is it?

Migrating to Linux – Essential Software

Essential Software List for Migrating to Linux

I have been using Ubuntu 8.10 for nearly a month now. It is a big deal for me, being a dedicated Windows (Windoze) user since 1993/1994. Since then from time to time I have tried out various distros, Solaris, Irix, Red Hat were what I experienced during my university days. Later on Fedora, SuSE and Ubuntu. All these never lasted long enough, except now.

The first experience was that Ubuntu is the easiest to install when compared to Fedora and SuSE. It came loaded with a lot of software already. However, Below is a list of what I think are important software, from the point of a Windows user..

  1. Open Office from Sun is a good alternative to Microsoft Office. It supports Office 7 file formats.
  2. OpenProject is a good equivalent for Microsoft Project 2007, allowing the opening and editing of Project 2007 documents.
  3. I was using VLC Player on Windows, and am still using it here.
  4. Pidgin is the almost all-in-one IM messenger, for me it supports Google Talk and Live Messenger protocols.
  5. Skype for Linux is available from their site, I use it for official chit-chat.
  6. aMSN is a Live Messenger clone for Linux, tried it for a little while but then switched to Pidgin.
  7. MonoDevelop is the IDE for developing software over MONO, the port of Microsoft .NET framework.
  8. Deluge bit torrent client I prefer over the pre-packaged Transmission client.
  9. Firefox was my choice of browser on Windows, it still is on Linux.
  10. Evolution mail client I use for connecting to Exchange.
  11. Gimp is a great Image authoring and editing tool I was using on Windows also, it is here on Linux.
  12. {More to Come}

I will keep updating this list as time goes on, or when I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you have any suggestions, please let me know through your comments.

Windows XP/2003 Clone?

Check this out:
http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html

The screen shots here:
http://www.reactos.org/en/tour.html

They claim to aim at NT Kernel level compatibility. They still have a long way to go. It will be interesting. I might try is sometime soon.

๐Ÿ™‚

Windows 8, 9 or 10

Microsoft Windows at the moment is based on a Monolithic architecture. *nix on the other hand are based on the Micro Kernel architecture. Recently I have been thinking what advantages would there be for Windows if it shifted to the Micro Kernel model?

The main advantage I see is that system will become more stable, and less efforts will go into updating it. It should also become more secure.

There are two tricks to this though.

1. The Windows experience we all have become so used to should not change at all.
2. It should still support all software for Vista and Windows 7.

The second part is more complex to handle and perhaps there could be dummy modules/interfaces that redirect application requests to new components under the new model.

Perhaps it is in the Road Map for Windows, I can’t say with certainty.

WebOS by PalmOS – A New way to mobile

I came across this article on the latest product from Palm. These are the same guys who first brought us smartphones that blew the competition out of their shoes.

They have done it again.ย 

The system promises great usability, and the general why-we-are-better sales pitch. ๐Ÿ™‚

What caught my eye was how the system is architected. It is the first truely open platform for mobiles. They call this new platform PR, and it comes with a new operating system called WebOS.

“…ย all the software running on the device is a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.”

It is attractive for me, being a techie and a developer, because, If i want to, I could build my own from scratch, not just theme it. It is something like what Symbian has for mobile phone manufacturers. There is no such distinction. Also, the platform is based almost exclusivly on Open Standards throughout all the development layers.

Only time will tell if it received wide adaptation from the mobile user community. Perhaps it will be a hot-seller for the tech-savy/hobbiest-developer/serious developer demographic.

Google, Google, Google

We remember when Google launched for the general public. We heard it from our friends, “check this search engine out, it’s really cool, very fast, you’ll love it!” I remember when I was relying on MSN Search, and Yahoo Search, and Altavista, and Ask Jeeves, and a plethora of other search engines. Google was really refreshing.

Over time, Google search results have become almost a standard format for all search engines. Everyone wants to be as fast as Google is, and give better results than Google does. Google launched Ad-Words and Ad-Sense, two really effective revenue generating/sharing tools that have evolved over time.

Google didn’t say enough is enough, they pushed the products out. Gmail, we all wanted it, at a time of 1MB storage on Hotmail, we had an email service that gave us 1GB storage, gave us Labels, and gave us Conversation Threads. Again, it was simple, and lightning Fast. Then Google launched Google Talk.

Then Google launched Google Docs, and after launching a great number of applications, we got Google Chrome.

My main questions is.

When will I be able to download the ISO for Google GoOS (Google Operation System) from the Google Apps site?

Microsoft and Windows XP, VISTA and 7

We all have been using XP flavors since it came out, it has matured and become a stable platform. However, we have recently been given VISTA in it’s 5 flavors, and Windows 7 is due to launch sometime this year, or next year (2009/2010).

What happens to people who have switched to VISTA? Is this not a very short time Microsoft is giving to people between OS upgrades? Is it actually going to be worth it to switch to a new version of Windows.

I am using an old Dell laptop, the XP Professional I have is running perfect on it. I have successfully installed VISTA Ultimate (just for testing) on it, though it does not run the AERO theme. I didn’t understand that concept. Why couldn’t I get the Aero theme, because my Display adapter is too old. But hey, I was using the classic look anyways so that doesn’t matter.

Recently I also tried Windows 7 Beta, Build 7000. It was alright, again, no fancy shmancy themes that I could get. Thought the Task Bar was interesting, features was pretty alright. Had serious driver issues, and stability issues. Perhaps the stability issue was because of not having proper drivers.

Where is Windows trying to take it’s operating systems. I completely agree, user experience is a must, however, to what extent should this be the driving force for any product. When does “User Experience” start hindering “System Functionality”.

Will I be shifting to Windows 7 anytime soon? In short, No I will not shift to a Windows 7 or Windows VISTA. Windows XP Professional SP3 suites my needs perfectly.