A little corner of the Empire on the web.

27 March, 2003

Telewest Incompetence

Glad to see I'm not the only one having problems with them, I'd hate to think that they were singling out members of the Imperial Galactic Navy Remnants for their customer dis-service, see Telewest Review: "I hate them with a passion reserved only for them!" and of course Incompetence, thy name is Telewest, not forgetting Telewest help desk and organisational incompetence.

26 March, 2003

It's true, I really can't browse with any other web browser any more. I've tried I really have. I've tried to wean myself off Mozilla and its Gecko-powered siblings, but I really can't do it. I know I need to lose this feeling of absolute power and control before it goes to my head, I know I need to watch this feeling of safety and contented happiness and redevelop my healthy sense of paranoia.

What it boils down to is this Mozilla just does what I want it to, what I expect it to and doesn't do anything unexpected or unwanted. I haven't yet found any other browser that creates this euphoric feeling in me.

What brought all this on? I've been spending a bit of time creating an all CSS layout for a web site that I'm redeveloping at the moment. Now one important phase of this is testing the effect in other web browsers.

Installed on this PC I have Mozilla 1.3 (plus a couple of more recent Mozilla nightly builds) , Phoenix 0.5, Opera 6.05 & Interenet Explorer 5.01 SP3. Other PCs within a (long) arm's reach also have Netscape 4.7x, some recent Phoenix nightly builds, Internet Explorer 6.x and Opera 7.03 installed.

I've been spending time flicking between some of these browsers checking what things look like, checking the different pages still hang together and that the end result is still readable and usable in all of the above (even if it looks a bit plain in some of the older browsers).

The big problem is that I'm just so used to Mozilla's features and its many power user features that I just plain have trouble navigating around the web without them any more. I can't count the number oftimes that I've clicked the middle-mouse button over a link in Opera or IE and been surprised when something odd happens (Opera) or nothig at all happens (IE) rather than opening a page into a background tab like my muscle-memory expects.

Or I want to jump straight from a sub-page to its parent whilst the page's nav menu is offscreen, easy in Mozilla (and assuming a well designed web site) you just move the mouse up to the Site Navigation Bar and click the "Up" arrow. No other browser I've seen implements this most useful of features (although I've heard that iCab on the Mac might have a subset of this). (if you can't see the Site Nav Bar in Mozilla then click the View menu and select Show/Hide -> Site Navigation Bar and pick your setting, I use Show Only As Needed).

However the worst problems come with something as simple as dragging and dropping links. Opera just seems to have no concept of drag and dropping links whatsoever, you can't drag into it, and you absolutely can't do any draging for any purpose whatsoever within it. IE scores one better, you can drag links from one window, drop them into another and it opens the linked page, you can also drag from other browsers (such as Moz) into IE, but you can't drag out of IE into other browsers (just other MS apps). Mozilla, of course is the most drag-and-drop friendly letting you drag between windows, to other browsers (as long as they'll accept d'n'd) and from other browsers, you can also drag and drop into most other apps and it does what you expect it to (either pasting the link in plain text apps, pasting hyperlinked text in capable apps).

Last, but by no means least we have to mention Mozilla's stylesheet switcher controls (View menu -> Use Style) I can't over-emphasise just how useful it is to be able to quickly and easily swap betwen two or three different style sheets or even temporarily disable them entirely. (This is available as an XPInstall add-on for Phoenix from the Phoenix Extensions page).

And that's all without going into the major failings of the other browsers, that's a subject for another time!

07 March, 2003

I always love it when someone new discovers and learns to love something that I've loved for ages, and Mozilla is definitely one of those things that I've managed to evangelize friends to in the past.

So it's great to see someone else not only discover and learn to love Mozilla but also write a great page evangelizing Mozilla for bloggers.