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Firefox 3.5, Don't TEMPT Me

Most lawyers use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers, of some version number. The more moribund, larger firms and reluctant small firms will be on version 6, with others on 7 and 8. Mozilla’s Firefox is a superior Web browser for researchers, from its base feature set to the extensions that you can layer on top to make it more powerful. I have been experimenting with using Microsoft Internet Explorer as my only browser, and trying to determine what its limitations were based on what I knew I could in Firefox. But now the siren song of a new Firefox version is testing my strength, luring me from my self-imposed exile to try some of the newer features. Do I go back?

I’ve documented some of my thoughts about Internet Explorer 8, which is quite a good browser (except for the fact that it faults out 2 or 3 times a day, and while it will not crash the whole browser when a tab fails, it sometimes seems to preemptively crash tabs) considering its malformed predecessors.  But it pales in comparison to Mozilla’s Firefox when it comes to research tools and power.

Rumors are swirling that Firefox 3.5 will drop tomorrow.  I must admit, I’ll be in the queue of millions who’ll be doing their best to download that update.  The new features mostly go beyond anything IE8 is able to handle, cadging concepts from the Google Chrome browser or adding features like private browsing already found in IE.

FWIW, Plone actually works better (for me) in Internet Explorer 8 than it does in Firefox 3, particularly the WYSIWYG editor.  Go figure!

    David Whelan

    I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.