The Evolution of the Browser: Firefox 30

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Firefox 30

The Browser has been with us for quite a while now and is now considered an integral piece of our computing experience. We have also seen a dramatic evolution in the capability of the browser from that of just a simple presentatuion vehicle to what it is now and that’s a full fledged application delivery vehicle.

HTML with add-ons such as flash player provided this dynamic environment. Today, the most advanced browsers are HTML5 enabled and provide embedded in them the capability to deliver a multimedia experience but in a more rational way. For a detailed description of this standard and its evolution from HTML4 see this Wiki. The long and the short of this is that we as users have at our hands, as second nature to us, the tool that provides a rich internet experience.

The Favouring

The favourite

Through time three browsers have evolved as really the three browsers one would consider for the Mac of which we probably have our favourite. They are:

  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

Since all the browsers really in the end provided similar if not the exact same capabilities what differentiated are loyalty to one browser over the other was:

  • the interface
  • speed

For many, regardless of speed they might go with a browser such as Safari due to its interface even through Chrome would have defined a speed advantage. However, the speed advantage of any browser one over the other is narrowing to the point from a users perspective its not perceptible.

That then leaves the interface as the defining piece that creates our loyalty. We might stick with Safari as that interface is the most well known for a Mac user and therfore the most familiar. It leads to a sense of comfort using it.

New Factors to Consider

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Firefox 30 has just been release and not to a great deal of fanfare but there should have been. This browser comes with some impressive capabilities that are becoming all too important on our wild west of the internet. Always a popular browser amongst the Mac faithful it began to be outshone by the likes of Chrome around the speed issue. Also Chrome defined some interesting interface rules that grabbed people’s attention.

Firefox 30 though goes the mile to redefine both beautifully in an open environment that shines where it comes to protecting people’s privacy something Google’s Chrome has been very remiss in doing. Let it not be understated that our information is our private information only for our use except unless we knowingly decide to let it be used in other ways. Google’s Chrome is very suspect for pilfering our private information for Google’s gain.

The Equal in Speed but Beautiful in Design

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Firefox has been designed with a beautiful interface. On the speed front it is just as fast as the other two. Yet Firefox comes with a commitment from the Mozilla foundation for openness and the protection of your private information.

Here is a browser that’s interface has been designed to be wondeful to look at but extremely practical to use. They have paid attention to layout and to the fine touches around interactive design. The layout is very practical in function and form. Personally, I find the speed of this browser to be fast but I love its design. Mozilla has paid extensive attention the interface and the user interaction with its elements. It is highly refined in such a way to differentiate itself well from the competition.

With speed being equal to the others and the interface being in many ways superior is this enough to make someone want to leave their well known browser behind. Perhaps but there are a couple other factors to consider carefully.

Respect for Openness and Privacy

Privacy

Our privacy seems at jeopardy to some degree where it comes to the internet. It is all too common to hear that Google has been using our data for their ends. This is simply unacceptable.

Mozilla is committed wholeheartedly to our privacy and providing that in an open environment. That is their code is not closed but is open. For this reason and especially where it comes to the commitment to privacy switching of your browser is well warranted,

You are not giving anything up. This browser is a delight to use with some very well thought through interface elements. It is fast and nimble yet laid out i think quite nicely. Their commitment to privacy is enough in this wild wild west of the internet to get me to change.

Openness, Privacy, Speed and Beauty

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Finally, I would say in this release of Firefox we’ve got some differentiation around browsers. However, the lack of respect to the privacy of our information is of concern to many. Here we have a browser that provides:

  • openness
  • privacy
  • speed
  • beauty

This is a win win scenario where we can go back to safely using our browser as this new wild west decries. Finally, in the browser wars there is a differentiation again but in this case the most significant differentiation is along a line near and dear to our heart!

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