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Why am I asking you to use Firefox on a Photography Blog?

The Back-Story

Right now, I’m a semi-professional photographer, apart from taking photographs, I also do some graphic design, advertising design and web design. Over the years, I’ve always had trouble with designing websites because of the complicated tables that people used to use for web design… My print design experiences have led me to think that if I want to move a graphic element to a certain location, all I had do was to place it there… Web design changed all that with its rigid table-based formatting. I had to figure out how to place graphics that I’d created in Photoshop in them and then make it look like the various cells were actually seamless.

New Technologies Makes The World Go Round

Now, I’ve always loved new technologies and this made me experiment with web designing more than once… Each time I ran from the challenge with tail tucked between the legs. Only recently has this changed. A client requested that I work on a website because he liked my print based design. I’m quite aware that there are different usability issues in print and web but I decided to take it up anyway.

So, I started off on the third attempt with renewed vigour. It had been about 2 years since the last failed attempt and I wanted to see what had changed. Almost immediately, I came across CSS based website design. A bit of research and a lot of help from my friends Umesh and Balaji saw me having a much more enjoyable experience this time around.

Personally, I use only Firefox and being new to the web design business, I continued to use it through the building and testing stages of this first website that I was designing. Disaster struck when the client saw the page. He was using Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6) and was seeing a significantly different layout from what I’d designed. What had happened?

A bit more research told me that it was because Internet Explorer interprets the code for CSS and HTML quite differently from the standards that are laid out by the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c). This was causing hell for me.

Why Use Mozilla Firefox

I’ve always used Firefox because I’ve considered it safer… It does not allow pop-ups to open without warning, and has somehow kept the spyware and malware level down compared to what I see on other people’s computers that are using Internet Explorer, now my faith was reaffirmed. Besides, it has cooler things like tab-based browsing, and huge number of add-ons and themes. It’s also easy to move to. You don’t have to worry about exporting your settings from Internet Explorer, Firefox transfers your bookmarks and other settings automatically!

There are always those arguments that IE is the most popular web browser around and so any website should be designed with it in mind. I think that that is a load of rubbish! Why design a website for a flawed browser? One that essentially does not understand what you’re telling it when you speak perfect “web lingo”… Instead, I now have to speak flawed “web” so that this one browser can understand it. There are a lot more reasons why you should NOT be using Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is not the only browser available, there are dozens of other browsers that understand the “web lingo” flawlessly and I urge you to use one of them if you haven’t already… Try Firefox, and I’m sure you’ll see the difference with time and usage. Your computer will have fewer problems with spyware and websites that are designed to standards will display perfectly. Please, don’t make people like me have to type messed up code just because you use Internet Explorer. You’ll make the web a better place by using Firefox or one of the standards compliant web browsers.

2021 Update:

Times have moved on… But you still should not be using Internet Explorer. What’s changed is that Microsoft has also recognised that IE must die. They haven’t said it in as many words, but that’s what it means. Meanwhile, Google Chrome is the new Microsoft Internet Explorer. You should still be using Firefox.

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Published: March 30, 2007 | Last Updated: July 21, 2021

4 thoughts on “Why am I asking you to use Firefox on a Photography Blog?”

  1. The only problem with using Firefox to browse photography based content is its inability to understand embeded ICC profiles in images.

    If the users gamma settings are anything other than the images native gamma, it’ll look wonky in most browsers. The only browser that I now of right now that reads and honors the ICC profiles is Safari. Firefox is slated to have the functionality added at version 3.0

    Be that as it may, I’m also recommending most people use Firefox :-)

  2. I understand your pain, but I design for both firefox and IE despite IE’s lack of compliance with standards. If you’re only designing for Firefox, you’re failing to cater to ~80+% people on the web, not a great idea. My main solution is to design for one set of browsers (say Firefox and Safari), then create a second stylesheet that’s pulled if the user is running IE. Still, it would be nice if Microsoft would finally comply instead of doing things their own way.

    1. Mathew, I do the same, but you do see the pain involved in doing that. Why two stylesheets? Why two skillsets? Why two standards? It just does not make sense to me. That’s why this post. :D Thanks for stopping by.

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