Why Does This Page Look Funny?
If these pages are not rendering properly, it is almost certainly due to your browser. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, now would be a good time to consider upgrading to Firefox - a much better browser.
What Makes Firefox So Much better?
Firefox is better for a number of reasons:
- Standards Compliant - Firefox is the most standards compliant mainstream web browser available today.
- Proper Support For XHTML 1.0 - Firefox recognizes and renders
XHTML 1.0 when served properly as MIME type
application/xhtml+xml. IE6 and even IE7 just can't handle it.
- Tabbed Browsing - Sure, IE may have adopted tabbed browsing in their latest installment - but Firefox has been doing tabbed browsing for quite some time already. Firefox has been way ahead of the curve, in this and many other ways.
- Proper support for many CSS functions described by the W3C that are not rendered correctly, or sometimes not rendered at all in IE
- Does Not Support ActiveX - ActiveX is a dangerous thing from a security perspective, and can be used to install virii and trojans on a person's computer when they merely visit a compromised website. Many people have had their computers fall victim to this, unbeknownst to them. With Firefox, this is not a worry.
- Open Source - Firefox is Open Source software, which means nothing about it is hidden ... there are no mysteries about what it is doing or how - or where it stores what on your machine. If you are a programmer, you can open the source code and see exactly what is going on - and make changes if you like. Being open source means that when a bug is discovered, or more functionality is desired, a large group of volunteer developers (many of which are professionals in their own fields) set to work on it and come up with a solution - often times overnight. There is no waiting for the next version or Service Pack as there is with IE - where everything is a proprietary mystery, protected by copyright, wrapped in a riddle.
- More Secure - Firefox is not so much the target of browser hijacking and other malicious "sploits" that the pale little black-hat hackers foist upon the internet to the degree that IE is. When you are online, IE is a target for malicious code - and in case you think you are browsing anonymously - you aren't. Every time you visit a site, your browswer tells on you. It tells what browser and operating system you are using, and what versions. Regular users of IE frequently have to clean their systems of Adware, Spyware, etc. - and regularly check to make sure their browser itself has not been hijacked. This is almost never a problem with Firefox.
- More Stable - Firefox does not crash with nearly the frequency that IE does. When it does crash, it does so much more gracefully - shutting itself down, and leaving the system running. Typically, when IE crashes, it will take Windows down with it - sometimes with the Blue Screen Of Death - sometimes by locking up everything, including the pointing device - requiring a hard reboot and long wait for Windows to scan its disks due to an abnormal shutdown. This is very annoying behavior, and something Windows users have come to expect as part of their day. It need not be so.
- Firefox is on the Rise - Usage share of Internet Explorer 6 has been declining steadily since the introduction of Firefox - as Firefox share has been rising. Choosing the move to Firefox puts you in good company with the growing number of web developers who have discovered the clear advantage of dropping IE in favor of Firefox.
I'm Still Not Convinced ... or I'm Askeered to Try New Things
Perhaps a material example is in order. If you are viewing this page in IE, you are not seeing it as it should be. Download Firefox - its quick and easy - and you don't have to remove IE from your system to do it. You can actually run them both at the same time - which is in fact what I would like you to do here. Download Firefox, install it - and open the homepage for this site in Firefox, right next to the same page in IE. See the difference? Try hovering over the navigation buttons ... and scrolling the screen. Neat, huh? Now see what you are missing? If you are missing things here using IE, you are probably missing them elsewhere as well. Web developers like myself hate IE, and constantly have to write kludges to work around its inadequacies. It is slowing down development of the Web, and there is no good reason for it because Microsoft has plenty of money and programmers - they should have the best browser there is at this point, but they don't - not even close.
Isn't There A Downside?
The only thing about Firefox that could be considered a downside is the fact that its initial load time is slower than for IE. The reason for this is really an illusion. IE only seems to load faster because a good part of it is loaded automatically in the background when your machine is rebooted. You still have to wait for IE to load ... just at a different time. Imagine how much faster your machine would reboot if it weren't shoveling IE code into the system. Hummmm ...