Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Browsers and more browsers, but which one do I use?

I get the following question a lot, "Which browser should I use - Firefox, Chrome, Safari?"  My response, "Yes."  When I first started working in the technology department for our school district, I was given the opportunity to attend a monthly Tech Integration Group.  This group met to share ideas and discuss questions/issues related to technology integration.  At my first meeting someone made the comment, "I always have 2-3 browsers open when I work.  Who doesn't?"  Of course the room erupted in agreement and if it wouldn't have been obvious, I would have slunk down in my chair because I only used one browser.  Since that time, I've come to understand why people use more than one browser.  For example, anything requiring the support of Java 7, like KeepVid, cannot be opened in Google Chrome because it doesn't support Java 7 at this time.  Some of the online software we purchase for our district works better in one browser over another, like WebKids.  So when I say "Yes" to the which browser question, I mean "Use them all."  Use what works best for what you are trying to accomplish.

What if none of those browsers work well for what you are trying to accomplish?  Then try a new one.  There are loads of browsers available for use on the computer.  Some of them include Opera, Slepnir, SeaMonkey, Flock, Prism, Camino, Stainless and more.  The article, The Ultimate List of Browsers, provides a nice list of browsers, their platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux) and a brief description.  I haven't tried them all myself, but when I start having issues with one of my current 3 browsers I try out something new.  Slepnir has been my most recent trial browser.  So far I've only found one browser that I can't endorse and that is Internet Explorer.  I think this illustration explains it all...

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