Web Browser Grand Prix 4: Firefox 4 Goes Final

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simontay1984

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There's still that REALLY annoying bug in firefox where it stops responding for a couple of seconds every so often (can vary between every 10 secs to every minute, but seems to be completely random).
It's especially annoying when scrolling down a page.

Also, Flickr's really slow but i'm not sure whether thats their servers or FFx. When going back to a page, it seems like FFx is redownloading instead of reading from the cache.
 

PudgyChicken

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Well IE9 can't get a perfect score on the acid test. Oh, and there's that other issue of people not using it. Because it sucks. Which can be attributed to the fact that it's a Microsoft product :D
 
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Thanks Firefox, Chrome for making Microsoft update IE... now back to IE, oh wait, where is firebug for IE?
 
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While IE9 might be the winner of this test, IE9 is not a browser most pc users will use, as most of the MicroSoft Operating Systems are not W7. I have always preferred a non IE browser, and I like the changes in FireFox 4.
 
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At the end of the day, the best browser is the best one for the job at hand for you personally. I use Firefox for building and developing web sites, thanks to its numerous indispensable add-ons, and for general browsing I use Chrome. I still respect Opera, having used it since version 3. I generally don't touch IE or Safari unless I have to.

Does anyone else get upset that Opera is often ignored in browser wars, yet the other browsers take ideas from it?
 
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I've been using Firefox 4, for the past two weeks now for me for this edition really sucks!My opinion has nothing to do with speed, reliability, or the strength of the browser. The real problems for me is what it doesn't have any more! Gone are two tools, that I used all the time. The first one is the big "X", just in case something took forever to load I could dump it. Also missing and greatly used, was the "recycle or try again arrow". Nestled among those little items, was the little "home key" now that's totally at the end of the browser. Yes it's nice to have the ability to open up 40 tabs or bookmarks at one time, Firefox continues to do that. But I for one definitely would not have upgraded, Firefox number 3 to 4 and I don't recommend it to anyone.
 

GTA Rocks

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Opera beats em all, with firefox coming closest. :kaola:

Opera used to lack some essentials, like browser extensions and a proper debugger but that's history now that 11.01 is released.
It features the ability to have User Javascipt, which is capable of storing data cross domain.... :whistle:

I'm a bit of a Web Dev, and Opera won my heart early on after I discovered that IE and Firefox rendered things differently, and that Firefox was right.
Previously, I was IE only since it must be right if it comes from Microsoft. :fou:
 

assafbt

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Adam, WBGP is largely a speed test, therefore your own results clearly show that IE cannot win it. As I said, your classifications for "also strong" and for "winner" are usually browsers that were neck to neck in a benchmark. However your classification for "weak" usually notes a browser that was way behind in a benchmark you did. So for the overall speed champ, a lot of "weak" rankings, would be much more of a minus than a lot of "wins" would be of a plus. i.e. for the overall speed usage experience, the weak spots would be more noticeable than the spots where the browser inched forward in a neck to neck race and won a bench, as "win" and "strong" are almost ties many times. So, gathering an equal amount of "win"+"strong" as ff4, but much more "weak" than ff4, I asked - how could it win? You thought that I meant that ff4 should have been the winner, but in fact that is not what I meant, ff4 is a wonderful browser, but most ff4 lovers (including myself) would consider it to be "fast enough" for its features, and not the speed champ. I used ff4 for that reason as the example why IE cannot be shown as the champ, in other words if IE's results look bad next to a browser like ff4 that is not geared to be the fastest, than the winner should have been someone else from your line up, that third browser, you know, that browser that just happened to take all the other browser speed championships that came to light the past two weeks on the web.
 

jdublu

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[citation][nom]andy5174[/nom]You apparently don't know how to configure TabMixPlus properly...Chrome is fast and has the best UI but much worse than Firefox in terms of tab options.[/citation]

Who said anything about me using TabMixPlus? I mentioned highlighted features are the same as built in Chrome options. One should assume that I did a quick search on what is offered in TabMixPlus.
 

randyshipp

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When figuring a "winner" of a bunch of ranked tests like the "Total Placing" chart on your results, it's not enough to count only the number of first place finishes. Assuming you're giving equal weight to each test (which seems weird, but I can't see where you're weighting anything), then doesn't it make more sense to award five points for a first place finish all the way down to one point for a fifth place finish? Then you find the overall strength. Done on your "Final Placing," this results in Chrome: 119, IE: 117, Firefox: 109, Opera: 103, and Safari: 89. This shows there's not a clear winner. I prefer this method, since I don't want the "winner" to be the browser that got three first places and the rest last place, while another browser gets one first place and the rest second place. Overall, the latter is probably better.
 

steiner666

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Mozilla did a great job with FF4. All the extreme customization and usability of previous versions with a LOT better performance. I really dont care if it's .XX seconds slower at loading a page than another browser when I can do what i need to do on said page a lot faster and easier wwith the addons i use.

 

menhir

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IE can be the fastest web browser ever made but I will not use it,
IE can be most stable web browser ever made but I still not use it,
IE can be the best browser on the world and I will not touch it,

WHY?

IE is made only for one software platform ... Windows. And you know what?
This will kill it in future... there are many other platforms and compatibility between each other will be more and more important...

I like to share my bookmarks , passwords and other things without special addons just easily between each platforms on my mobile phone, PC and laptop..

IE is death before its born..
 

adamovera

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@randyshipp:
The Winner/Strong/Weak table provides weight, and a very basic indication of scale. We stopped relying on placing alone a long time ago. When the WBGP started it was very JavaScript heavy, so with equal weight given to each test the results can easily skew in favor of a browser which excels in a single category. We implemented the Winner table in order to inject a sense of weight. With the Winner table, each type of test is given equal weight, no matter how many tests there are per category. We later expanded the Winner table to include browsers that are weak and then browsers that are also strong (but not the winner) in order to inject a limited sense of scale.

The 5-for-1st, 4-for-2nd, etc. scoring system based on placing tables has the points too close together and doesn't reflect scale or weight in any way. We actually had people veto that very scoring system in the past. Without scale, lackluster performers can actually come ahead of where they should be. The best examples are tests in which 1st and 2nd are far ahead of 3rd, 4th and 5th. Under that point system, the third place finisher still achieves 3 points, even though the actual scale of victory puts it FAR behind. This potentially allows poor performers to coast into higher final scores. Without weight, we're back to allowing whoever can win all the tests in a single test-heavy category to gain an unfair advantage. All of this was discussed after WBGP1&2, and the general consensus was that the 5-1, 4-2, etc. point system is just too simplistic at best, and completely morphs the outcomes at worst. We had many other suggestions for a scoring system, but most were unfathomably complicated, based on completely subjective weighting standards, or too rigid (they simply wouldn't work out because we are always expanding/tweaking the test suite).

That said, I would love to have an accurate and holistic numerical scoring system and I'd be into looking at it again now that the WBGP has grown up a bit. Just remember that the WBGP is always evolving, so any system which hinges on the current test line-up remaining the same, will not work. And I don't just mean new tests, I mean new areas of testing beyond performance, efficiency, and conformance. When the WBGP started it was strictly for performance, we added efficiency and conformance later on, and there is more to look at still - clearly there is a demand for other areas to be included such as security, feature set, UI efficieny, etc. If anyone has a suggestion for somehow to take all those aspects and benchmarks (which use differing measurements and scoring scales) and formulate a mathematical way of achieving an aggregate numerical score which properly reflects scale and weight and is expandable for the future, you've got my undivided attention. If it can be made to work properly, it would be killer - email me at aovera AT bestofmedia.com if you have an idea.

But so far the best way to summarize all those 30+ benchmark results is to display an unmolested placing table and juxtapose it against the Winner/Strong/Weak chart. This way does, however, place the emphasis on 1st place victories and 'Winner' as the key deciding factor, which is where I think you and some others have the issue. But keep in mind that in the end we are declaring a winner of a race. Even in a photo-finish, whether the difference comes down to 32 centimeters, 32 milliseconds or 32 FPS, somebody crosses the finish line first, and this way still allows us to see that clearly.

PS - The hypothetical situation you describe does not apply here. To put this in perspective, in order to win WBGP3 IE9 came in first significantly more times than Chrome did to win WBGP1, or Opera to win WBGP2. With the updated benchmark suite which fleshes out areas such as CSS performance, HTML5 hardware accel, and WebGL, IE9's WBGP4 win is now on par with the proportion of Chrome and Opera's previous wins. Also, in this case, IE9 has the most wins and least losses in both the performance and total placing tables.
 

JJF9210

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Ad-ons is the problem you should have to add anything to your browser to make it better. Testing should include ad-blocking/pop up blocking, and browsers on the platforms they're made for. Show comparisons of overall, on their platforms, and no add-pons or plugins and then tell me who the winner is. If you still need a ton of ad-ons to do things like block ads why bother with the browser. I Want a browser that needs no ad-ons and still is far superior to the rest in all aspects!!!!
 

andy5174

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Add-ons were never created for noobs anyway; they are for experienced users who have no problem finding the handy add-ons at all.

BTW, FF4 still has the richest handy features even without any add-ons installed. To me, those features are more important than milliseconds faster speed. IMO, FF4>=Opera>Chrome>IE9 OVERALL (not speed/UI alone).
 

shadowmaster625

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Counting the number of first place finishes is an unacceptable metric. If Firefox wins by 80% in one benchmarks, and loses by 1% in 4 other benchmarks then it is not rational to say that Firefoxlost. You have to look only at the benchmarks that were not close. Just add up all the total scores from all the benchmarks where greater is better, and then separately add up all the total scores from all the benchmarks where lesser is better. Then compare those two sets of numbers to really find which browser is best.
 

randomizer

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How can I be wrong? Do you think I don't know what I'm looking at? I use FF4 and Chrome daily at work.


Er... that is exactly what I want it to do. Display history, not something else. Obviously the first time it's not going to be that useful, but subsequent times that you type the same thing the order will prioritise the site that you visit most often when searching for "ben". That is exactly the behaviour I want. If I go there more often I expect to find it at the top of the list.


Then please tell me what spell I need to cast on the browser to make it behave properly because it wastes precious seconds at work actually having to look through the list for what I'm after ever time (and often never find it because it has dropped off the list). Here's one example:

On my browser at home (or FF4 at work), which I'm typing this from, if I type "salt" the first result is https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/. Excellent! That is exactly what I'm after. I set up a lot of WordPress sites manually, and I use this page a lot (although not much at home, but I don't search "salt" regularly for any other reason). At work when I search for "salt" in Chrome that same result sometimes appears as the first result, sometimes as the last result, and sometimes not at all. Even if I search for "wordpress salt" it occasionally doesn't show up. It's the only page I am ever interested in related to salt, and yet Chrome "intelligently" thinks that I might be after something completely unrelated to my browsing history nearly every time! I had to disable search suggestions to reduce the chances that Chrome would throw my preferred result off the list only to replace it with "sea salt" or something stupid like that.
 
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This is a benchmark, not an sport what if the winner is by a 1% and when loose is by 20% performance, Would not be more accurate to give 100 points to the best ando normalize to it the rest of the results, if it is more is better, and if the benchmark is lower better, using the inverse function 1/x to normalize, after that usinng REAl STATS averaje in % and standard deviation - better one product alway arroun the 80 than one with 100 an 60s with the same average - at least in general.

And this is for this and for any other benchmark.
 

shrapnel_indie

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@adamovera: at the beginning of this article you come off sounding like a whiner. If that isn't you, choose your words with better care. Also if a car in a Gran Prix cannot complete the race/challenge, it gets a DNF and cannot win. if IE9, or any other browser has to skip tests to stay in the competition, either the test should be reserved for the day ALL the big browsers support it, or the browser MUST take a heavy penalty for a DNF in a category (Preferred if the test covers current real-world use.)

@TH Tech Support/Web Team: FIX THE BLASTED THUMBS UP AND DOWN BUTTONS IN THE FORUMS!!!!! They only work on the article page. I'M TIRED OF GETTING I ALREADY VOTED MESSAGES WHEN I AND THE BUTTONS KNOW I HAVEN'T!

Personally, I'll stick with Opera as my main and FF as my secondary. They're fast enough for me, and what doesn't work in opera, works in FF for me. (WHY do some developers refuse to recognize more than one or two browsers when there is clearly five at the top of the pack?)

Lack of standards and security in IE drove me away... While they may be making headway now that they are listening to SOME of us on those issues, they're not there yet. It's unfortunate that some developers are still stuck on developing around IE6 and all its flaws. Speed isn't king in my book anyway... So all I really want to do is make sure a website looks OK on it, for those who don't know of any other option, don't want to implement any other option, or think speed is king.

Chrome has been surrounded with questions of security, as in Google snooping.... Chromium, where Chrome is created from (and also Open-Source) is the bleeding edge of that tech (and NOT a google product.) It just doesn't interest me though, other than making sure a website looks OK on it.

Apple's offering doesn't really interest me either... so once again it gets placed on the make sure a web page looks OK on it.


Now, reading things over, I see fanboiz attacking from all five sides, and I see the FF people doing the most defense too. I also see browsers that work on OSes as far back as XP. Despite Microsoft singing a dirge for XP (and still hating that there are those who will never give up XP) and urging everyone to abandon it and getting some tech consultants and bloggers to also push for abandonment of XP... It still lives. There should be something that recognizes not only what platform (Mac, Win, Linux/BSD/Unix.) There should be recognition for major version support. i.e. Win 2K, Win XP, Vista, 7... get the idea? What I'm getting at IS use base for the OSes that are currently seen in the wild en-mass... which mean with Windows, starting at XP and then include Vista and 7. Install base needs to be more than just the most current and active release of the OS only. Award points/grade/score accordingly.

As far as weight goes, there has to be some method to measure it, whether it be straight up points or some equation, numeric or alphabetic. Not everyone will be happy with the weights... determine if you must by survey the features people consider the most important (user can only vote 1x based on IP address)... base the importance on the placing in that survey. then develop a weight system that favors and balances the list accordingly.
 

calc-yolatuh

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You totally missed Tab Stacking (Opera 11 and later), in the initial features discussion. It handles very large amounts of tabs better than Firefox Panorama, insofar as I've been using it. And you don't need to summon a 2nd UI to manage these tabs.

You can also bookmark a page (mostly mobile sites) into the sidebar.
 
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> And since the bookmarks bar is affected by the actual bookmarks in the bookmarks bar folder in any other browser, listing them both is somewhat redundant.

As much as I enjoy your WBGP, I think you are very wrong here. This is the one important feature that makes me choose Opera over any other browser. The thing is, I want my bookmarks synchronized, of course, but *explicitly not* the bookmark bar configuration. The bookmark bar is supposed to look different at home than at work. Opera is still the only browser smart enough to understand this, so it should be rated as a big advantage, not as redundant!
 
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FF may be a good solid browser , but opera takes the cake in adding new features... Tab browsing as standard , speed dial , tab stacking , search from address bar , Remove menu bar etc ... all were used by FF users first as extensions (memory hogging ) and added on as features 6 months later .... Yet tab stacking is "NEW" in FF. Wake up and smell the coffee
Firefox(or chrome) + >2 addons + >10 tabs = memory nightmare . My 3Gb ram core i5 is on its knees :( ....
Memory comparisons must take into account this .Also FF Fanboys have 10-20 extensions loaded at any given time ...
IE9 - Wait 2-3 weeks before 10 different critical security flaws emerge ...

Opera link also connects opera mini on java ( read
 
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