Tag - browser

The 3 happiest words in the English language

What are the three happiest words in the English language?

  • I love you?
  • Please marry me?
  • Won the lottery?
  • Big pay hike?
  • You’ve been dieting?

I had to think of this recently as I as finding all kinds of bugs in Google Maps.

It was about 6 or 7 years ago. I ran up to my boss’ office in Bellingham WA. He was the VP of Operations & Finance, I was Technology Solutions Manager. I had been fiddling with browser dependencies for our new product ordering and configuration engine, and our devs had been stumped. Internet Explorer was the problem: impossible to please.

We finally got it running right, and before I told my boss I asked him a question: “What are the three happiest words in the English language?”

Since we had been working so long and so hard on this one issues, the three I was thinking of were: “works in IE.”

He looked up from the work on his desk – he always had stacks and stacks piled in various places around his office – and said “Not my problem.”

We shared a laugh, and then I told him what were at that very particular moment in time and space my three favorites.

Ever since then, “not my problem” has ranked up there as a wonderful phrase in my lexicon.

Turns out the mobile web is just … the web

Russell Beattie should stand up tall and proud. The Yahoo! alum gave up a secure job (well, sorta secure) and a steady paycheck to tread the uncertain waters of the startup life, and unfortunately was sucked down.

He developed Mowser, a mobile web browser for small-screen mobile devices (OK, that’s a fancy phrase for cell phones). Mowser made big fat web sites small and lean for tiny screens and narrow pipes. (Example: check out Sparkplug9 in all its Mowser glory.)

But then iPhone showed us that the future of the mobile web was … err … the web. Not some “baby internet,” in His Steveness’ words, but the real internet. In your pocket. On your phone. On your iPod. And those of us who had tried to scrunch the web down onto our 2″ screens jumped up and said Amen.

Here’s how Russell says it:

The argument up to now has been simply that there are roughly 3 billion phones out there, and that when these phones get on the Internet, their vast numbers will outweigh PCs and tilt the market towards mobile as the primary web device. The problem is that these billions of users *haven’t* gotten on the Internet, and they won’t until the experience is better and access to the web is barrier-free – and that means better devices and “full browsers”. Let’s face it, you really aren’t going to spend any real time or effort browsing the web on your mobile phone unless you’re using Opera Mini, or have a smart phone with a decent browser – as any other option is a waste of time, effort and money. Users recognize this, and have made it very clear they won’t be using the “Mobile Web” as a substitute for better browsers, rather they’ll just stay away completely.

I can’t agree more … as unfortunate as it is for someone who’s sunk his life savings into making the web work in miniature.

In any case, he’s now looking for a job.

Someone will benefit by having him on-board. Not only is he new media savvy, he’s just spent his life savings figuring out what doesn’t work. Some smart company is going to be the beneficiary of that hard-won wisdom as he starts building what does.

. . .
. . .

More analysis, insight, and general reportage:

ReadWriteWeb sort of agrees
Last 100 disagrees
Mobile Marketing Watch might want to buy Mowser
Another one hits the deadpool
Venture Chronicles thinks the mobile model is wrong
Larry Dignan at ZDNet mostly agrees

If Apple's website doesn't work on Safari, what will …

apple websiteYou would think that Apple would ensure that it’s website works on Safari, the browser Apple created. So why is it that 9 times out of 10, when I go to check out the new MacBook Air commercial, it doesn’t play?

(And yes, I’m as up to date as 10.4 gets: Mac OS X 10.4.11, Safari version 3.0.4, latest version of QuickTime, high-speed connection to the internet, etc. etc.)


Even odder that: occasionally, it does.

Firefox rocks

Wow wow wow.It’s been about a year – an eternity in web terms – since I’ve seriously tried Firefox. I’ve been using Safari: it just has better aesthetics, and up till now has been significantly faster.However, I’ve just updated, and wow … Firefox launch time is a quarter what it used to be on Mac OS X.Dunno yet if it’ll be the one, but it’s going to get another long look from me.[ update ]Holy mother, the typography has improved on Firefox. Unbelievable. Poor typography – letters that looked like marching ants – was one of the reasons I could not live with Firefox (or Flock) a year or so ago.

I wanted to do this 7 years ago …

Smart article on changing your browser’s useragent to gain access to pay sites:

Ever wondered why Google returned search results that lead to sites that require a registration? How did Google index the site without a registration? Many sites want their site indexed in Google to receive more hits, so they allow Googlebots in. Because of this reason we can take advantage of this. All we have to do is disguise ourself as a Googlebot and many sites will let us in without registration.

I was planning to do exactly that with an online learning site I built in 2000, but the feature got lost on the cutting room floor …

Apple on speed?

Since when is speed the most important factor in a browser’s performance?

Safari 3 is the fastest browser running on Windows, rendering web pages up to twice as fast as IE 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2, based on the industry standard iBench tests.

Like others, I was a little underwhelmed by Apple’s WWDC conference. Safari for Windows was a surprise, but not the kind of wow I was hoping for. The big thing that is bugging me, though, is selling a browser on speed. Maybe that’s just because I’m a Mac user, but is IE or Firefox slow for most PC users? Do they feel slow?

I haven’t heard that from any of my friends who use PCs.

My only guess is that the average non-technical PC users junks up his PC (and his browser) with all kinds of plug-ins and toolbars – which could make IE feel slow. Safari will win that comparison simply by virtue of not being compatible with anyone’s toolbar.

But I doubt anyone on a reasonably modern PC with a fairly clean IE install is terribly worried about browser speed. I just don’t see it.