Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Open Source Wednesday

This is first in a new series of weekly posts on open source alternatives to corporate software (mostly Microsoft). Through these posts I hope to show die-hard microsoft users that there is better software out there, and it's all free!

This week: Firefox
What it replaces: Microsoft's Internet Explorer

Why it's better: That whole tabbed-browsing thing that IE7 has? Isn't that great? Well Firefox started it! Tabbed browsing changes the way you view the internet, and makes is easier to manage all of the website you have open. But there's more...

Have you ever been doing research on the web, and you finally find the perfect website, and as you are reading the page your browser crashes (Unexpected Error? Of course you didn't expect it!)? Well, if you are using IE you better have a good memory in order to be able to find that page again. But with Firefox, when you reopen the program (this is assuming Firefox ever crashes, which is does rarely) it offers to restore all of the web pages you were viewing when it crashed. No memory of a ten-year-old child needed!

Firefox checks spelling as you type in web forms (like blog post entry boxes). 'Nough said.

Best of all, Firefox allows for the creation of live bookmarks. Now you can just click the bookmark to see what has been updated on your favorite blog or news site, even if you don't subscribe to an RSS reader.

And, the number one reason you should switch to Firefox...

Who would want to use a boring 'e' when you could use a world-savvy fluffy fox?

Compatibility Issues: None! Enough people use it now that web developers ensure their pages can be viewed in Firefox. The little guy can make its way in the big, bad Microsoft world.



Blogger indil said...

Let's also not forget it's biggest strength: plugins. I couldn't live without Adblock and Filterset.G. There are hundreds out there easily downloadable. It's also way more secure than IE. Sadly, Firefox does not currently pass the ACID2 test, meaning it does not render all CSS and thus all web pages correctly. Safari and Opera are the only two browsers that can pass this test.

October 10, 2007 11:16 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Thanks for the pointing out the ACID2 test (which I did not know about). I think by 'compatibility' I wanted to let IE users know that they will still have the same (if not better) experience surfing the web as they have now. Every time I talk with somebody about open source software (especially open source operating systems like Ubuntu), that person is scared that the software won't work or won't be compatible with Windows. It would be nice if eventually everybody switched to an open source operating system (an OS OS?), but until then there is no reason to enjoy great Microsoft alternatives while still using Windows.

October 11, 2007 7:08 AM  

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