Bang On: Firefox, you're kind of ugly

We're all taught as kids that we should never judge a book by its cover. If you weren't, then you should have a talk with your parents. I'm going to choose to ignore this valuable lesson, though, and say the following for everyone to read: Firefox, you're kind of ugly.

I have three browsers installed on my system. I mostly use the Firefox nightly builds for my day to day browsing, but I also have Internet Explorer for random compatibility issues and Chrome for fulfilling my inner-geek's desire to tinker. I wish I could say that I also have Opera and Safari installed, but Opera tends to annoy me and Safari just runs like a dog. I'd apologize to the Opera and Safari fans that may read this, but they're just browsers, guys.

Anyway, Internet Explorer 8 (beta) looks as native as can be in Vista. Microsoft followed its own interface guidelines very well and created a browser that blends into Vista beautifully. Chrome, while not following the standards, is also very nice to look at with added animations that really spruce up the presentation and increase the initial wow factor. Then, we have the "ugo" of the group, Firefox. It's the only one to use a window menu, still. The default theme, even if you download an extension and remove the menu, looks like a cheap knock off of a Vista minded theme. It takes the Vista blue menu color and applies it to all of the toolbars at the top of the window. It just doesn't look right.

Right away, I know what you are probably mumbling to yourself. I bet some of you are even half way through typing out a reply lambasting me for forgetting the fact that Firefox lets me (and any other users) choose from a wide variety of third party skins so I can make it aesthetically more compatible with my own personal tastes. I tried that. I tried my hand at a few themes including a very nice Chrome theme. The Chrome theme, one that makes Firefox look almost identical to Google's little browser, actually slowed down performance of Firefox by a noticeable degree. Sorry, but I want the best of both worlds because I'm simply selfish like that. It has to look good and perform well or it just doesn't count.

If you're still not following me, allow me to compare the three browsers in question to girls you would see in your every day ventures. Internet Explorer is a pretty nice looking girl who's slowly, but surely, improving her life. She can be a little ditzy at times, but she's good enough to get the job done. Chrome is that gorgeous co-worker who amazes people with her beauty, but loses them with her lack of talent. She can do the basics well, but there's nothing special beyond that. Firefox is the plain Jane girl. She's not much to look at, especially when standing next to the other two, but she makes up for her lack of physical beauty with a nice amount of intelligence and the ability to adapt and grow with you. Of course, in public, you may deny that you even know her or, before going out, encourage her to throw on a few pounds of make-up to cover up your shame.

Before you beat me with sticks for insulting your favorite browser or collect as an angry mob and storm my apartment with torches because I'm being sexist, you have to understand that I like Firefox. I wouldn't use it if I didn't like it. I'm just not blind enough to lie to myself and say it looks good, at all. Sure, the Mac version is nice enough looking, but the Vista version is just horrendously ugly. There's too much blue to be tolerable. There needs to be some kind of differentiation between the various aspects of the browser window and, overall, less bulk. Internet Explorer and Chrome have both proven that the window menu is no longer needed, so that should go first. Once that's kaput, let's color up that address bar with a new, sleeker design. Nothing gaudy is needed, just something simple like the other guys are wearing these days.

The guys at Mozilla can fix this. If they can manage to make a browser that makes a sizable dent in Internet Explorer's market share, they can surely make that piece of software look somewhat presentable. There are hundreds of talented artists out there who contribute to open source projects all of the time. How about some of them get hired? You don't need to buy stock in Revlon or Versace to make that girl look good. You just need to get her out of her ten year old sweats and into something a little more modern and respectable. If you don't do it for her, do it for me, please. Until that happens, though, I hate to say it, but, Firefox, you're kind of ugly.

"Bang On" is a regularly occurring column written by Christopher Vendemio. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Neowin.net

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

iRumor: quad-core and new dual-core iMacs due within weeks

Next Story

Microsoft finishing up Wave 3 of Windows Live

149 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Right on point. FF3 on vista and ubuntu looks absolutely UGLY. And you need like 3-4 extensions to make it look somewhat acceptable. However, IE8 is a GUI mess on windows7. Too many things. So I'd give the crown to chrome.

[Firefox] .. It's the only one to use a window menu, still.

hehe that's why i cannot stand IE... Chrome slighty better but not much.

Sorry for not replying right away, should of posted a link from the start.
And ya, thanks Ambroos for this wonderful tutorial, and cpenner for posting the link. I don't think Firefox good look any better

After all this talk about browsers.. I went and installed Google Chrome. it actually looks good with the aero. Its sucks in Win XP. hmmm but yeah I still think Firefox is my browser!!

Marshalus said,
@Smashing Pumpkin, please feel free to submit your suggestions as articles for news content. I would love for our members to be as supportive to you in the expression of your writing as you our towards our staff. Oh, wait...

Editorial & opinion is a completely acceptable form of news. It doesn't always have to be "hard fact" that gets posted. When you have contributed as much to the site as Chris (bangbang023) then you've earned the right to utilize Neowin as a forum to voice your opinion when it related to technology.

If you have a problem with the content being posted please feel free to :
1) Not read it
2) Not read it
3) Read it and perhaps open your mind to some new ideas

Thanks!

@Marshalus And Chris

I apologise for being an ar$e earlier, I don't know what came over me.
Hopefully you'll both read this comment as well.

Sorry,
Richard.

I tend to care about application look and feel but not too much when it comes to browser unless it looks like a 10 yo open source application from the time open source devs did not care about UI.

I use Firefox when i develop cause the plug-ins are awesome (Firebug, Web toolbar, ColorZilla, ...). For everyday use i tend to prefer a browser with a small UI. I think Chrome does a very good job on this department. I think IE 7 UI is great but not something i would really want over Firefox under XP. Don't know about Vista thought.

Firefox has some cool features like the save tab and quit. Unless i'm mistaken this is a feature Ie 7 doesn't have (could be wrong don't use IE7 a lot). Also i really dislike the search box of IE 7 they could improve on that a lot. As for Opera i must agree its UI is really not that great but it's by far the fastest browser to render javascript/data heavy web page. Not useful for end user but can be useful for a dev (ie rendering a tab with lot of lines from a db before the pagination is done).

Wait, so why is having a window menu a big deal? I don't know about you guys but I use mine very frequently. And I'll pass on this since it's your point of view, but I am pretty sure that there is that large number of 'normal internet citizens' (ones that are not so geeky) that do prefer the menu.

I'd say you should compare Firefox with IE7, which was a complete disgusting theme! I also don't see why you compare a beta version of IE with firefox. I guess it'd be a whole different story if both the web browsers would be in their beta versions.

And I guess the only only reason why IE 8 BETA looks a lot better right now is because they probably realized how ugly IE7 looked. And I guess a majority of the population on here would agree that ffx beats IE 7.

Seriously, how often do you REALLY use the menu-bar?
I've talked to a lot of people who turned the menu back on in explorer for vista and IE7 just because they are used to have it there. But they never use it anyway. It just makes them feel out of control without it.
Give one example of something you have to do at least once every day in the menu-bar.

The things you do often you should know your hot keys for and if you have to do something you don't do frequently it doesn't hurt to press alt to make the menu temporary visible.

Window menu-bars not only looks bad but is also a waste of vertical space, which is very valuable on laptops-displays that often only are 800px high(less on netbooks?).


btw, the IE 8 theme looks exactly like IE7 apart from some different menu-items to the right. And imo that isn't too bad, unless you have the window-menu visible of course

uh, from what i see, IE 8 looks different than IE 7 in some aspects which makes IE look in my opinion a lot better.

and i use the bookmark and tools menu very frequent!
i do use my hot keys but to a certain extent, but for the rest of the job - i need the menu

Another great column, bangbang023! Thank you. I love to read and discuss these.

I was very disappointed with Firefox 3's interface and have mine look exactly like Windows Explorer, complete with glass.

Firefox works Great! When I'm looking at a Browser, I don't want to have sex with it, so I don't care what it looks like, I just want it to work. Now, when I'm looking at a girl.... well that's a different story. Comparing a browser to a girl makes no sense to me. Firefox looks great, and it works. Nuff said!

A browser is a freakin' browser... I don't give a crap what it looks like. As long as it's functional, fast and stable... that's all that matters.

excalpius said,
Some of us demand more. Fair enough?

It's called being overly fussy. I'm not saying you have to put up with something ugly, but Firefox isn't bad compared to a lot of other applications.

eg. Ever tried Pidgin? Man that's a boring-looking app. Even though it can be themed to a limited degree, it's still very spartan. And yet people use it all the time.

How can a browser "look" like Windows, when Windows doesn't have a standard look? There is no such thing as a Windows look, because every Dick, Tom, and Harry who makes Windows apps makes it with a different UI.
And you're right, Firefox on Mac is really nice looking.

bangbang023 said,
There is a UI standard for Windows. Many developers don't adhere to the rules, but they do exist.

This is the most funniest joke i have ever heard!!!!

Seriously, Microsoft is a DICK when you talk about UI, and in general about the word "standard", Microsoft can break (and they did it) their very own standard.

For example:

Yes, it is a microsoft product, in fact it is part of Office 2007 and you can't see the stupid ribbon bar (luckily).

bangbang023 said,
There is a UI standard for Windows. Many developers don't adhere to the rules, but they do exist.

They're called Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines, found here. Microsoft never actually followed its own recommendations to full extent.

I happen to dislike Chrome atm because it lacks features I need, but I do like parts of its UI. I also agree that Firefox's default interface is ugly. I use skins though and have found NOIA extreme in black to be my best fit atm but I do change it from time to time. I move the toolbars around a little from the default as well.
So with some changing Firefox has a good setup for me, but not everyone knows how to do it (even though its not that difficult, many don't really bother to learn now)
So for me with skinning the interface isn't as big a deal, the features are more important and for that I still with FF.

The trick is to fool the everyday user.

Take for instance trains. New trains Class 185's have graced the north of the UK for a year or so now. The company also took cover of some older stock, Class 170's.

However, after a bit of paint, they look (to the joe user) like the new 185's. The insides have been matched to the newer trains, so people will think they are travelling on the newer train.

If Firefox aimed to make their browser fit in (VERY WELL) with Windows then more users would use it I would think.

I totally agree with you, I've felt this way since it was Phoenix. I expected that by the 1.0 release they'd have a nice theme put together, and surely now that we're looking towards 3.1 you'd think that the UI would have been overhauled by now, but unfortunately I've been disappointed with every release. However, using the latest nightly with the Chromifox 2 theme and the Total ReChrome extension it's looking pretty nice.

With a little Stylish, Glasser and Personal Menu it can look pretty sexy IMO - blends perfectly well with Win7 and Vista. But I do agree they need to improve the default UI as most normal users won't know or won't bother to customize it to look nice, hence, hurting adoption to a certain degree...


Edit: Sorry for the initial huge screen shot... re-sized to fit

bangbang023 said,
That does look nice, but, as you said, that's not something the average Joe can do.

Then the average Joe can quit his bitching because the average Joe who's not bright enough to install addons probably can't install Firefox either...

Old screenshot, but still with FF3.

Only difference now is that the menu names are condensed into a single drop down menu.

Honestly what I think is, yeah if it not broken why fix it? yes it lacks the good looks, but honestly, would you prefer performance or looks? Also true is that its time they refreshed the look.

nice article overall... i like his example's he said when comparing the browsers to girls. lol

but i do have some slight disagreement with the article about where he said "Firefox look's bad"... cause sure it aint the fanciest looking browser but it's default look is 'good enough' for 'practical use'! (i.e. it gets straight to the point), which goes along way in my book. (i never cared to much for IE7's interface, i always preferred IE6's more which is basically what Firefox v3 resembles. although i guess im getting a little more used to IE7's look cause im running Vista now... but like i say i rarely use IE at all anymore since i started using Firefox.)

for the record im a fan of Firefox. i been using it since a little prior to v1.0 as my 'browser of choice' and it's unlikely ill change browsers anytime soon especially cause of it's add-on i use which are 'adblock plus' and 'tabscroller' cause i cant really live without 'tabscroller' once i got used to it as it makes your browsing experience 'noticeably' more efficient once you get used to it. but only catch is tabscroller will only really benefit you if you tend to have multiple tabs open most of the time otherwise it's not worth using. but since i generally have multiple tabs open often it's a big benefit for me personally.

Firefox is a great browser with a tremendous amount of customizeability. It's my browser of choice because of this. I can't argue though that by default it is rather ugly, but the features easily make up for this... I've tried a number of themes as well, and though they do help make Firefox easier to look at, they do definitely slow down performance a great deal... I don't know what Mozilla has planned for 4.0, but they usually rework the UI in each major release, so hopefully it will be a nice improvement. There is definitely a lot of potential there.

:)

I use XP with the Royale Remixed theme (dark+shine = greatness) and the default chrome in Firefox. It doesn't bother me a bit because most of the time, the chrome is out of the way. The browser has a purpose, and I use it for that purpose...clicking the Stumble button. :D

Kidding aside, I'll simply say one thing to those who would trash this article: people have a right to an opinion. If you don't like it, you could always go back to the military where opinions are worth.... Well, they're not worth anything there, especially during boot camp. *shudder* Rain....sooo....c-c-c-cold-d-d-d-d..... *shudder*

:P

surikanta said,

It's definitely minimalistic...though it feels too crowded for my tastes. I usually have at least two toolbars (Navigation and StumbleUpon or Navigation and Web Developer, and this configuration varies from profile to profile) and then the tab bar. My menu bar is hidden just like yours, and my search box is not present because I use search keywords from the AwesomeBar. ^_^

bangbang023 said,
I tried something similar with the default theme in Fx, but the blue from the poorly colored toolbar still kills it.

you know that's a matter of personal taste, right?

bangbang023 said,
I'm sure you'll learn to cope with the pain of having a column on the front page.

Oh, well maybe I could have personal opinion posted on front page Neowin news... I can see the articles now:

I personally think that the Playstation Home has nicer sound effects than the New Xbox Experience.
I personally think that Open office looks nicer than the latest Microsoft Office.
I personally think that Biro pens are better than fountain pens.

Oh the possibilities!

You do realize that editorial content is an acceptable form of content for a news publication, right?

Get off your high horse. No one forced you to click the link.

@Smashing Pumpkin, please feel free to submit your suggestions as articles for news content. I would love for our members to be as supportive to you in the expression of your writing as you our towards our staff. Oh, wait...

Editorial & opinion is a completely acceptable form of news. It doesn't always have to be "hard fact" that gets posted. When you have contributed as much to the site as Chris (bangbang023) then you've earned the right to utilize Neowin as a forum to voice your opinion when it related to technology.

If you have a problem with the content being posted please feel free to :
1) Not read it
2) Not read it
3) Read it and perhaps open your mind to some new ideas

Thanks!

For the second time . . . it's called an "eidtorial." Newspapers have a lot of them.

How old are you?

LTD said,
For the second time . . . it's called an "eidtorial." Newspapers have a lot of them.

How old are you?

For the eleventh time . . . it's called an "editorial."

How old are you? :P

I have to agree - Firefox is one hell of an Ugly browser.

I use IE8 on Vista and think the UI is just right - nice and minimal, so I can see more of the website rather than the browser.

Wait, a whole long article written on how a browser looks? Uhh, ok...maybe Mac/Apple users will soak this up since they are all about looks. But for a normal user, who the hell cares how it looks just as long as it works? I would take a pinto any day over a Ferrari as long as the Pinto started up every day an drove well.

Functionality should always come above looks. If people are so vane and only in to looks, then they got a problem.

I think the point people are missing and probably one I should have mentioned in article is the fact that, for the average user, any piece of software needs to look good out of the box for mass appeal, in terms of aesthetics. Most people don't have the know how to customize the look of the browser so extensively or even realize that they can.

bangbang023 said,
I think the point people are missing and probably one I should have mentioned in article is the fact that, for the average user, any piece of software needs to look good out of the box for mass appeal, in terms of aesthetics. Most people don't have the know how to customize the look of the browser so extensively or even realize that they can.

I understand exactly what you mean. Great article, it was a good read.

At least the Mac version of Firefox looks good..

..don't hurt me.

Agreed! Most do not know how to customize, well the average user anyway, those on this site for the most part customize a lot! Great article!

I can customize Firefox and it's looks to perfectly suit my needs and it doesn't slow down at all. IE looks terrible and cluttered no matter how I look at it, even if I compare it with a default Firefox. The buttons all over the tabbar being the worst. In fact with the Glasser and custom skin my Firefox blends in better with Windows 7 than IE.


Firefox really needs to integrate better with vista and linux interface. Other than that its the best browser ever!


While the default UI looks bad it's possible to get a realy nice interface with FF. Here is how:
1. Remove the bookmarks-toolbar
2. Set the toolbars to use small icons
3. Remove the menu-bar in your userchrome.css file.

More minimalistic interface is hard to get, it will look like the image ErikJDurwoodII posted above but without the bookmarks-toolbar and without the glass. Even though the glass was a pretty nice addition imo :)

Anyone know why the rounded corners on the favicon is broken in FF on Windows7 btw?

Firefox is easily the most customizable browser in terms of looks. It's default UI is light-years better than IE7, and it fully supports (and encourages) custom themes. For these reason alone, the article is rendered moot.

wahoospa said,
I deliberately did it to see how many smart arses would give me a smart arse reply.

Then you are an ass and no, not a smart one.

So that means Opera and Safari are not girls but gay? :P .... Common, I dont like safari because Apple sucks at porting Mac apps to Windows (iTunes +safari) both suck for me since they go hog memory and greyish theme looks good on Mac OS and not on windows

Now coming to Firefox, my only complaint is they should give all of features of extensions OOTB instead of me installing extensions like for eg: Tab Mix Plus,Paste and Go,Showcase etc... since most of these features are inbuilt in Opera without any addons... but the strong point of Firefox is its huge no of addons/extensions/themes which keep getting updated regularly and new ones are added day to day

I have no problems if Firefox uses too much memory.... because that it is why bought my 4GB RAM

This is news?!

Article Author:
"I like Firefox but it looks like ass"

"Oh and if any of you have a go at me for expressing my opinion by expressing your own, you'll look like fools because I humiliated you in my blog ^_^"

Not that I'm a firefox fanatic, I just think that it's ludicrous that this has been posted in the main news column, HA!

@bangbang023, agreed. I really wish people would complain less about what we put on the front page and more about the content of the article itself. Seriously, if you don't want to read it, that's fine... but other people do.

@Smashing Pumpkin:

Do you understand the idea of a 'column'?

It is not news.

It is generally an article written by a person expressing an opinion and analysing that opinion.

bangbang023's columns are fantastic to read and discuss.

You know, I just use a Firefox add-on called "Glasser" and that satisfies most of the aesthetic qualms I have with the browser.

With very little tweaking, I can get Firefox optimized for my usage parameters. Much more of a chore with all of the other browsers.

That is kind-of the purpose of Firefox... A simple platform to customize to your preference...

Firefox looks like a pile of ass compared to IE8 (native) and Chromes attempt which looks nice on Vista/Win7.

However Opera also looks like a pile of ass in Vista/Win7.

Only way to resolve Firefox looking terrible is to install glasser. However the less addons using memory the better, so I seriously hope the Firefox team uses glass soon.

I completely agree. Firefox definitely needs to update its UI. I really like the UI of IE8 RC1 too, and it integrates perfectly with Vista's UI.

I agree that Firefox doesn't look very neat, or modern, by default, but that doesn't bother me much because it has theme support and there's at least a handful of great themes.

I bet most of the Firefox developer team are unix geeks and console all the way, so don't expect them to know what UI design is and what message it brings to the users.

Internet Explorer is a pretty nice looking girl who's slowly, but surely, improving her life. She can be a little ditzy at times, but she's good enough to get the job done.

Also, she has herpes.

I'll agree that very rarely does a Firefox theme actually look good. I've installed a lot of them. The one theme though i've always seemed to go back to is the default theme. While the default theme may look out of place it doesn't burn the eyes.

I use the Glasser extension and a userstyle called "FF£+Glasser Vista OS Integration".

It makes Firefox integrate very nicely with Windows Vista, you should try it :)

Unless you are talking about the Mac version, in which case, the default theme doesn't look as bad.

wack camifox or kempelton on your firefox and it blends in fine. otherwise use all the aero style themes and whatnot and it blends in fine then. The point to firefox is customization what they offer from the plate is perfectly fine for it to do its job but if you don't like it or anything you can just customize it.

As for IE8... it has to be the most jammed packed full user interface i've seen in a while which is also slower then customized firefox by default. The way it works is more important then looks for the most part and unfortunately firefox beats IE8 there hands down. Chrome is a whole different story.

Yes, Chrome is a whole different story indeed. I've been a Firefox user for some years now, but I can certainly see myself jumping ship once that addon ability becomes available, along with some decent addons.

Totally agree, there's something about it I just don't like looking at all day. I have the GrApple Uno/Safari theme installed and it just blends into osx the way it should.

furby said,
Totally agree, there's something about it I just don't like looking at all day. I have the GrApple Uno/Safari theme installed and it just blends into osx the way it should.

Wow, thank you so much for that! Using GrApple Yummy for nightly builds right now. Amazing!

On the Mac, the skin looks out of place.

The "sharp" skin, while not native, looks great on Windows. For a better native experience, I believe they're working on that for version 10.

Agreed. I use Opera as my main browser because of its efficiency and seamless out-of-the-box experience, but I sure wish it looked better. Hopefully they'll hire some competent GUI designer for Opera 10.

Opera's hired Jon Hicks (who made the Firefox logo) to redo the GUI. He's a big mac user and has complained about Opera on macs so there should especially be improvements there.

That was a great article, finally a neowin article that I didn't have to cringe about all of the bad grammar. Good job!

Marshalus said,
@jzetterman, you're always welcome to submit your own

Chillax. You can't take personal offense every time there is a critic. You lose credibility.

It's the same with the writer of the article. He apologized so much to Firefox fans during the article I started to wonder if even he believed what he was writing. Have some balls or don't write.

@Eis, I wasn't taking personal offense. Just pointing out that jzetterman has a problem with our "bad grammar" then he's welcome to submit his own articles and allow the membership to launch both overt and subtle attacks against him. Nothing personal.

Have a prize from me as well:

"Most pointless article on Neowin in a long time"

If you don't like how it looks, don't use it rather than whine about how bad it supposedly looks. Or, use something like Glasser etc.

Personally, I use Opera - whose default appearance leaves much to be desired, but it has lots of skins avaiable which you can colourise to your heart's content on top of it to tailor it to your desires.

The only browser that gives me the willies is that IE junk.

I have the same 3 browsers and tend to use them all at different times. At the least, whenever I install firefox on vista or 7, first addons i grab are hidemenubar and glasser. huge help in the looks department i find.

one thing that drives me nuts about firefox as opposed to IE or chrome, is opening a link in a new tab. firefox always adds it to the end of all the current open tabs, instead of right next to the tab your currently in.. i like how IE8 took it a step further and groups the tabs using colour

You can get addons that allow tabs to be opened next to the current tab. Tab Mix Plus is the addon I'm using at the moment that achieves this, altho there are others that do a similiar job without as many features.

Firefox is the only browser with a UI I like, Chrome is so baren, and Safari, IE7 + is just wierd, Opera is cluttered. And of course you can customize it.

minimal is the new UI theme all the guys should use. Love Chrome, but hate it at the moment for the missing features...

Great assessment! I also agree that it seems to be very hard to achieve a good looking browser that is tolerable to use. I have switched from Firefox (in fact do not use any more because of its inability to perform) to Google's Chrome, much faster than Firefox and is much faster than IE7.

I still use IE, but IE8 - it is faster than IE7. I loved Firefox at the beginning, but in the end, may the best browser win!

exotoxic said,
maxthon has the best looking interface out of the box.


I have to agree I've got two browsers installed on my pc IE8 and maxthon and after trying out Firefox, Opera and Chrome for a few months I still end up back to using maxthon as it's what I'm used to, I like the layout, it's quick and I really like the alias function for webpages which saves time.

insomniac9 said,
I have to agree I've got two browsers installed on my pc IE8 and maxthon and after trying out Firefox, Opera and Chrome for a few months I still end up back to using maxthon as it's what I'm used to, I like the layout, it's quick and I really like the alias function for webpages which saves time.

maxthon does look good, but its stuck in my mind that IE is evil and therefor anythin based on it is evil..personal bias

i rather like opera..but it still is disfunctional on sites and some sites that require right clicks you can make it work..but then the right click menu appears each time so thats annoying as heck

firefox is still my main browser, because of ad blocking(when on a vpn its nice to save some bandwidth)..and it just works on all the sites i use

chromes good to, but i think its in need of some more features before i use it..but its going to be amazing i think

i think alot of us have forgotten a browser is just a browser, alot of ppl expect more cause of all the extensions in firefox..when really u just wanna see web pages..im guilty of this to ive got my Winamp controls everythin in mine

Neoauld said,
maxthon does look good, but its stuck in my mind that IE is evil and therefor anythin based on it is evil...


Neoauld, I share your bias, but just for accuracy's sake, here are the facts about Maxthon and Internet Explorer.

I hear a lot of comments that indicate some people think Maxthon is just a skin for IE. The truth is that Maxthon shares only one element with IE, Trident, the same engine that IE uses to display the HTML pages they retrieve. This gives Maxthon the advantage of being able to display accurately the vast majority of pages still written, hly or wrongly, to work with I.E.

But everything else about Maxthon--its use of tabs, security and anti-ad features, downloads, foreign language translatons, navigation by gesture, aliases or hotkeys, tabs you can use in a single group, spell checker, tab tools, file sniffer, screen capture, split-screen viewing, and, among dozens of other smart, time-saving features, its own skins and a library of 1,400 plug-ins. Oh, and that also includes its latest improvement, The Isolator, which runs each tab on a separate thread so that if one tab crashes, it doesn't take down other tabs or the whole program.

But enough. You get the idea. Give Maxthon 2 a try. Sometimes evil has its better points.

Full disclosure : I work for Maxtion as a PR consultant.



ron@ronwhite.com said,
I hear a lot of comments that indicate some people think Maxthon is just a skin for IE. The truth is that Maxthon shares only one element with IE, Trident, the same engine that IE uses to display the HTML pages they retrieve. This gives Maxthon the advantage of being able to display accurately the vast majority of pages still written, hly or wrongly, to work with I.E.

That's actually the number one reason why I can't be bothered with Maxthon. Trident, even in IE8, is nowhere even close to Webkit, Presto or Gecko. It doesn't support CSS3 much at all whereas the others are quickly implementing full support. Trident still renders lots of things wrong and causes developers to implement hacks to work around the problems. I'd be very interested to try Maxthon if it used Webkit for example.

Now, as far as user interfaces go, I think Opera is doing worse than Firefox. I used Opera a lot before FF3 was out because it was faster and had better features but now I see that Opera doesn't integrate well with the operating system on UI looks or even features level (no external RSS reader support for example). They seriously need to overhaul to UI to make it easier to use and less of a "designed by engineers" type thing.

FF3 integrates nicely with XP but I agree that it could look better on Vista/Win7 and OSX. I'm not terribly bothered by the way it looks tho.

I agree. I used Firefox religiously until September 2, 2008. Chrome's minimalistic look and feel just can't be beat right now. I, too, tried to make Firefox look and behave like Chrome, but I was disappointed with the final result; a cheap clone is still a cheap clone. Yeah, I'm superficial, but an app's look and feel is very important to me. Firefox still is my browser of choice when developing and testing a website, and I can't live without Firebug (it beats the hell out of the inspector in Chrome). But for day to day surfing, Chrome it is.

Firebug is the best thing to happen to web development in a long time. Truly makes my life so much easier.

I think Firefox looks way better than IE7 :P. I can't stand the IE7 interface *puke*. Especially in Windows XP...the IE7 interface is plain awful. But it still sucks in Vista.

+1 , i tend to feel the same way overall cause IE6 was 'just right' (interface wise) and they screwed it all up with IE7.

either way though Firefox v3 is the best so i guess it dont matter to much for us anyways lol

ThaCrip said,
+1 , i tend to feel the same way overall cause IE6 was 'just right' (interface wise) and they screwed it all up with IE7.

either way though Firefox v3 is the best so i guess it dont matter to much for us anyways lol

-3, think that puts him down to -1 so that sucks to be him!!!

darkpuma said,
-3, think that puts him down to -1 so that sucks to be him!!! ;)

+3 to nullify your -3, plus another +3 on top of it! :P

If there is a browser that's ugly, it's certainly IE.

I think you're right on target with your assessment. Firefox was fine back in the XP days, when all of the other browsers looked like it does now... but times have changed.

I agree that Firefox was fine back than when it was very popular, however I also believe that the popularity is fading. As you have said Marshalus, times do change.

Many developers still use Windows XP for developing applications and while they think of Windows Vista, they do not care that much about integration but compatibility so their fans don't complain it does not work with Windows Vista. We have reached the point that most Windows XP lovers became Windows Vista users. There are still people that believe Windows XP is the best operating system ever and that Windows Vista sucks, most of those people use Firefox, others use Windows Vista. The others are left in the cold as the developers for Firefox are Windows XP lovers too. They don't look at Windows Vista enough to notice what's hot and what's not, they just care for compatibility. Look at their bloody attempt at revising the UI for Firefox, it really does suck on Windows Vista. I think Firefox is equivalent to Yahoo Messenger 9.

Great article Chris! Always loving your Bang On series - for what it's worth I agree with you. I'm an OS X guy now but previously I'd use Firefox on Vista as my primary combination. The aesthetics of it never particularly disappointed me, I have to say. It does beg the question, how much SHOULD a browser innovate with its UI? Should it not just dedicate maximum space over to the page it tries to render, while shrinking into the background itself? I'd like a browser akin to the 'shy girl in the office' - gets the job done with remarkable efficiency and aptitude but totally and utterly forgettable.

Oh wait. She's called 'Full Screen mode'.

:p

dimithrak said,
so what you are stating is put a bag over her head and screwing the living day lights outta her..lol


Hey some of the shy girls are the most pretty!

Good write and read, but I have no hate for Firefox, or any program really for the way it looks as long as its easy to find what im looking for and is intuitive. Whats with guys wanting things other than girls/cars to be pretty? We are men, it should be gun metal and bbq colored! lol

"Whats with guys wanting things other than girls/cars to be pretty? We are men, it should be gun metal and bbq colored! lol"

LOL +1