There are many places one can begin, but for me the first step in the journey is my internet browser. For various reasons (not least because we still use it at work) I’ve stuck with IE6. I played with version 1 of Firefox, but the performance was terrible and it used to lock up on me all the time, so I never went back.Step 1 in re-factoring my life is getting a latest release browser. To that end I’m (as much as possible) using Firefox V3 (currently RC1). Where RC1 doesn’t work, I’m falling back to Firefox 2. Why? Well beyond the obvious things like tabs etc., when compared to IE6:
- It’s faster! That’s right, browsers like all applications improve in speed and memory usage with each release. Unlike the olden days of the internet, where processing all happened on the server, now a lot of the underlying technologies that deliver that Web 2.0 experience happen on your PC client. A fast browser makes for a better experience.
- Plug-in support and extensibility. If you’re on IE6 still and use del.icio.us, try this one simple step. Download Firefox 2, and install the del.icio.us bookmark tools. Game over IE6.
- A lot of the new release software I’m working with is written by developers who use Firefox. I shouldn’t forget our users who are stuck with IE6 for various reasons, BUT particularly with beta software, I get a better first look experience with Firefox.
- I hadn’t realised until I started using Firefox V2+ again, how many sites now don’t render properly in IE6. When you’re writing a consumer focussed application, support for IE7+ and Firefox2+ is the minimum it seems. If you’re looking at this site (http://binaryplex.com), it doesn’t render properly for IE6 — you have to use Firefox2 or IE7 to get the proper experience.
So here it is, step one for re-factoring your life:
Step 1: Get a better browser