another browser down
… and more choices to make.
More than 20 years since I coded my first page from scratch, for rendering in browsers on the world wide web. Naturally quite a few things have changed since then, and most of what have survived all those years of internet-aging has done so in name only. The browser landscape is pretty crowded, and nothing really stands out.
Lucky me for not having to code around individual browsers' quirks and bugs anymore – what works in one of the latest pretty much works the same in all later generation browsers, but slightly sad that there are so few uniquely built browsers left to choose between.
Fact: browser engines are hard to build and maintain … nostalgia doesn't pay bills … and superficial branding sells.
While I find such arguments acceptable as seen from browser vendors' points of view, they have to be really good at adorning and polishing software surfaces to turn me into a frequent user of any browser in particular. The most insignificant blemish may make me turn my back to any of them, regardless of how much they shine.
And then we have those that try to shape and/or control what and how to do anything. No need for me to argue why I drop those I am not comfortable with for whatever reason, and only keep others around for (very restricted) testing.
a power-user's preferences
My preferences haven't changed all that much over the years, but browsers have, and while I don't care much about which
browsers anyone else renders mine and others' web pages in, I care a lot about the details in the browsers and other
software layers I myself use for rendering anything in and through.
For those interested: my preferences as they stand today, and any day, can be found in my browser support page. Listings on that page are updated whenever I see the need, and find time.
Clearly those (more or less) superficial differences between browsers matter more now that all
uniqueness is gone and all browsers are built around and draw most of their functionality from one or another variant of
the same, few, basic engines.
These days any piece of software may be ditched because one doesn't like the very thought of pimples on a junior developer's grandmother's face, so it really does not take much either way when it comes to choosing main browser for personal use.
updating a power-user's toolbox
Just to mention it; nostalgia is not one of my weaknesses either, and I feel no loyalty to any big or small names and brands when it comes to software or hardware, or much else for that matter. Either they deliver what I want, or I will look elsewhere.
As a long time happy user of Opera on Presto, Opera on Chromium/Blink (as of 2013) was somewhat of a disappointment, and it is still too weak when it comes to user-interface options and security. As of 2021 Opera is just another Chromium based browser I personally have no need or use for.
Vivaldi, also on Chromium/Blink, is now my preferred web browser, and baseline in web design. Vivaldi is not quite up to the task in every respect yet, but it is inching closer with every new version-release – ver: 3.5 as of this writing in January 2021. Maybe Vivaldi will keep its present position on my devices for a while – later versions indicate that it has more than a fair chance.
Pretty much any browser on latest versions of the Chromium/Blink
or Gecko engines would do as baseline for visual design, maybe apart from Google
Chrome which still shows some peculiar rendering of its own that I have no need for
while building up designs or adding content.
That I also expect browsers for general use to (at least pretend to) handle opening of a hundred or more tabs without showing serious weaknesses or gobbling up too much local memory, is a given. Most candidates have fallen off the list long before that expectation is met, while Vivaldi is still running fine.
another day, another browser?
I have no insider information about tomorrows' browsers, and see no need to know all that much in advance either.
Whatever any one of them turns into, the basic handling will stay the same across browser-land for quite some time. None of the
major and serious ones can afford to fall very far behind the others.
Who knows what they manage to add of potentially useful file-handling and features in browsers in the future, but if anything really useful pops up in one, the others are sure to follow.
As before; much can change in a year or two. So, I'll just wait, and watch…
last rev: 07.may.2021