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About me

Which browser should you use?


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

sjhoward.co.uk in IE and FirefoxThis is an interesting question, and one that techies like to debate for hours on end. For the record, I use Firefox with IETab, so that sites that have to use Internet Explorer still can, without needing to bother me. But Firefox isn’t the only browser, and it may not be the best browser for you.

As a webmaster, I’m often pushed in the direction of recommending a browser, whether it’s by pestering you to death through plugins like these, or by incentivising me to point you in the direction of one browser. But, frankly, who am I to say which browser is best for your needs? I don’t even know you!

I think how you want to use the net is up to you. So the philosophy around these parts is to make the site as near to identical as possible whichever browser you might want to use, and also to allow some different methods of access to the site. I’ve just finished the latest little bit of tweaking which now brings the Firefox and IE interpretations of the site design a little closer (the differences now are barely perceptable), and also allows the site to be zoomed more gracefully, so that the fixed-width gives if you want to read at a greater font size.

Of course, the old facilities of listening to the site through the audio links or podcast feed, or even accessing the site via a mobile phone are still available (see the Site Guide for details). And if you like to print a hard copy, go ahead. It will always be formatted for printing automatically. It doesn’t make sense to me for people to worry about whether they’re viewing the ‘Printable Version’ or not. Surely if you’re printing, the printable version is what you’re after – so why put it another click away?

This site is certainly not unique in this kind of design – and, in may ways, this site in particular is far from perfect. But I do wish that more sites would strive to be more openly compatable: Only when they are will the end-user really have full choice of which browser they prefer.

This 873rd post was filed under: Technology.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / August 2019, 7 minutes long

A flying visit to Copenhagen / July 2019, 9 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Some random old posts

Internet platform hegemony and free speech / June 2013, Less than a minute long

Summer Books: Airframe by Michael Crichton / August 2008, 4 minutes long

Wetherspoon pubs to ban smoking / January 2005, Less than a minute long

Tom Harris MP wants to give me a car – with driver! / February 2009, 2 minutes long

Review: The Battle of $9.99 by Andrew Richard Albanese / January 2014, 3 minutes long

The sheer bloody idiocy of medical journals / January 2012, 7 minutes long

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