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 a fair chance.

Pretty much any browser on latest versions of the Chromium/​Blink or Gecko engines would do as base­line for 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…

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 25.jan.2021
last rev: 10.feb.2021



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