Saturday, 20 November 2004

Firefox takes first place

Firefox public release was only weeks old, but it is picking up browser share - at least in the "geek" community. This stat recognised its audience bias and hence cannot represent a general public.

I recommend Fablusi v2 users to use Firefox. Firefox is about 4 times faster in loading the extensive client-side javascripts and about 16 times faster in performing computational intensive tasks (such as score statistics).

There are some differences in the implementation of Javascript in Firefox and IE6 (windows). One of main difference is Firefox allows the declaration of a variable without specifying the value while IE6 will throw an error. E.g. var s; is allowed in Firefox, but not in IE. The eval statement (which is depreciated by the spec, but unfortunately, I still find that I used quite a bit) is erratic in IE too.

On the other hand, Firefox is quite lose in terms of the terminating semicolon in statements where as IE is much stricter. In this sense, IE is better!

There may be a memory leak in Firefox. As I develop my scripts using Firefox as a debugger, I found its memory foot-print increases gradually. But, the debugger environment in Firefox is so much better (especially if you have installed the Verkman debugger) that I use Firefox as the main debugger.

As an e-learning developer, I would like to see Firefox takes up a larger browser share - but that also means our life is a bit complicated that we need to check our codes in other browser environment. My strategy is code to the standards (Firefox) and make work-around when the code breaks in IE6. This strategy seems to be working for me quite well so far.

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