The Firefox Problem


Now I've been using Internet Explorer since forever so any Firefox hooligan should probably turn away now. I'll try to keep things as objective as possible though. And in all fairness, browser preference is a matter of what one is used to, really! If I was forced to use, say, Chrome from now on because it was the default browser at work, then in no time I would be used to it's ugly skin.

How many times does a webdeveloper search for answers because something b0rks in one of the target browsers and how many times do you see the "works in explorer but not in firefox but firefox does it correct"? Honestly, I'm getting a bit tired of the whole thing.

Right now I'm developing a website for a course I had to take. To make the time spent not entirely useless I decided to create a showcase website for my portfolio. That way I could ensure myself I'd deliver a proper website, not something thrown together just to pass the assignment.

So far IE reigns in it's peculiarities, hands down. The cssFloat bug, several alignment bugs, iframes that can't be edited and (now) radio buttons that can't be DOMmed. Yes, explorer certainly has it's problems. And that's just what I encountered during _this_ project.

But that doesn't mean Firefox is in the clear! For example, when looking through some docs, I noticed that from 3.1 onwards, insertChild no longer allows the script tag. Yeah, like that won't break a lot of ajax sites... When looking a bit further, somebody referred to a certain bug as the reason. But to view that bug you needed certain rights.

So no, Firefox certainly isn't the answer we're looking for. In all fairness Safari looks like the best bet for now. If only I could shake of it's (imo) ugly Chromish skin.

One can only hope that all of this will eventually lead to something good. I mean, look at the state of webdevelopment four years ago and look at it now. A lot has improved.

I suspect that the next generation of browsers (IE 8, FF 3, Opera 10(?), Safari 4, Chrome 1.5 (or whatever)) will eventually lead to more stability on the web and that in five years we will actually be able to rely on DOM methods, standards and proper implementations.

I do wonder though how long it will take until we can have perfect horizontal and vertical centering, when we can change the dimensions of an inline element as if it were block (and not having to resort to floating a block element), custom fonts, etc... There really are a few crucial tools that seem to be missing from the basic tools of the developer.

When you look at it, the web is truly a young environment that has a lot to learn.