Browser History


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar blake says:

    Yeah, I used Netscape, then Opera, then Firefox, then Brave. I don’t use FF any more, but after a break I’m back to using Opera. IE has always sucked and Edge seems to suck, too, which is kind of an interesting trick. I use Safari on the Mac but it’s dubious.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to blake says:

      I stayed with Opera v?.? long after their newer versions had been lobotomized for easy use. Then the same folks came out with Vivaldi, so I switched to that for certain applications.

      In long graphics-heavy Disqus threads Chrome is barely functional, eating memory and CPU, but Vivaldi hardly flinches.

      I never use IE for the same reasons as the other folks who never use IE.Report

      • Might as well stick this in here. Several features of the site (such as the relocating comment box and some parts of State of the Discussion) don’t work on IE 11. The root problem is that plugin authors are starting to make regular use of JavaScript features from new versions of the language. (IE 11 supports JavaScript only through ES5, which is ten years old now.) So far as I know, there won’t be any efforts made to restore/maintain IE 11 compatibility.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I am kinda shocked how long it took FF to overcome Edge. Personally, I never use an MS browser, they always strike me as too focused on branding and OS integration, and not enough on usability and interoperability with anything else.Report

  3. At work I use Chrome. At home, I use Firefox. I don’t have the technical skills/knowledge to know which one is actually better. But for a lot of reasons–some complicated, some merely opaque (to me)–Firefox just seems to work better at home than Chrome does, and vice versa at work.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    I tend to use Firefox, but I have found some things (the heinous paperwork for Vanguard I had to fill out just recently) don’t WORK in it, they don’t TELL YOU it doesn’t work in it, and I wouldn’t have figured it out if I didn’t have a guy on the phone walking me through the process when I made a comment about “it seems to be hung up, does it not like Firefox” and he was like, “Oh, no, you probably should be using Chrome for this.”

    I mean, it would be helpful if they’d tell us that upfront. (A few of the things at the edges of BlackBoard – which I use for my classes – seem to work better in Chrome, though again, we were never told that and until recently the default campus browser was one of the Microsoft products, though they looked the other way if you downloaded and used something else.

    I am old enough that I remember Netscape. And Altavista as my preferred search engine.Report

    • Avatar Frank Benlin in reply to fillyjonk says:

      > And Altavista as my preferred search engine

      Are you from Pawnee, Indiana?

      The thing about Google is that when it first came out, it was so superior to anything else that it quickly rose to the top.Report

      • Avatar Blake in reply to Frank Benlin says:

        Is it just me or do all the search engines suck now?Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Blake says:

          Google Scholar ( still seems to not suck. Of course, the set of documents indexed is limited.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Blake says:

          What is the nature of your complaint?Report

          • Avatar blake in reply to Will Truman says:

            Inability to find what I want.

            I mean, that’s the simplicity of it. I could speculate that what I’m given is curated to drive traffic and sales rather than provide me with the information I seek, but when you come down to it, the reason I switched from Altavista to Google is that Google was better at finding what I wanted. This is less and less true.Report

            • Avatar blake in reply to blake says:

              And honestly the other search engines aren’t much better. I think the algorithms are not working but they’re driving commerce so there’s no incentive to change them.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to blake says:

                I kinda get this feeling too… like Google has turned into the Yelp of Search. Sure, it shows me things that are “popular” but shit… have you seen who uses the internet these days?

                I’m sure someone’s working on a properly curated search experience that I can pay for for $24.95/month… and eventually I might just.Report

              • Avatar blake in reply to Marchmaine says:

                It’s a very tempting project which I have mostly avoided tackling.Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Blake says:

          This probably doesn’t get at Blake’s objection, but my complaint about the search engines I’ve used (mostly just yahoo and google…so maybe others are better) is that it’s hard to get to the advanced search feature. I like being able to quickly isolate phrases, etc. I suppose I could try to do a Boolean search, but I have been too busy/lazy to learn how.

          I also don’t like the fact that if I enter, for example, terms x, y, and z into the search. I’ll get results that include x and y, but don’t include z, with an invitation to click if I want all my results to include z. Well, that’s why I entered z as a search term in the first place.

          #first world problemsReport

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Blake says:

          I find it very hard to find reliable information. If I use Google I get stuff I think has been bought and paid for. If I use Duck Duck Go, I get stuff that is related to my search, but is stuff that people searched for that they might not want to be tracked about…

          I think SEO crappified any kind of internet searching.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to fillyjonk says:

      I’m pretty sure it was Altavista that had a ‘refine your search’ page, where it would show you terms that frequently came up alongside the ones you had searched, and you could then choose useful ones to include or exclude.

      So for example I was able to look up a not very well known Canadian band from the 1970s whose name was also the title of an album by a very well known Canadian band from the 1970s, a musical instrument, someone from Greek mythology, a part of a bird’s anatomy, and a disorder of the spine – none of which I had known about but was quickly able to exclude – so I could fairly easily find pages that would otherwise have probably come in about result number 400 if I’d been using a search engine with today’s Google’s features.Report

      • Avatar blake in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Yeah, I think allowing people to consciously refine choices would be a lot better. That’s where my thoughts have gone. Advertisers would tend to end up on the bottom, though, which I’m sure Google doesn’t want. But they used to put your results on the left, and ads on the right, and I think the two things tended to be distinct in terms of activity, versus their new strategy of pretending they’re playing the search straight so they can manipulate you.Report

        • Avatar atomickristin in reply to blake says:

          My personal pet peeve – no “not” button. You could do a lot of weeding yourself if you had a button that could thin out the ranks a little. I spend a massive amount of time looking for things that I know I read in the past, but newer things with similar names have come along to supplant them. :/Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to dragonfrog says:

        yes, I vaguely remember that and I think it was part of why I liked Altavista. It was the one I used in grad school to look up scholarly info online (Google Scholar did not yet exist, nor did JSTOR or any of the journal-article repository sites, which, for those of us in academia, those are one of the great unsung advances in recent years. I give a “shaking my cane at you kids” lecture to my ecology students about how EASY JSTOR is to use compared to things like the old bound-book Biological Abstracts we used to have to use)Report

  5. Avatar Aaron David says:

    I am probably going back to FireFox, as I am trying to drop all Google products. Though I might try some of the other ones mentioned. Not Safari, as Mac’s suck.Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    I am so old that I used the original chimera browser for a while, which predated Netscape Navigator.

    On my desktop I use Firefox. I don’t even try other browsers because I have things set up on Firefox to make substantial changes to almost every page that I download. The same stuff could be done using most of the common browsers, but setting things up would be a noticeable effort.Report

  7. Avatar Frank Benlin says:

    Back when AOL was king, I’m sure people didn’t give their browser a second thought.Report