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Avant Browser vs. Firefox

Discuss various technical topics not related to Mozilla.
lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 12:16 pm

EDIT: People looking to switch from Avant to Firefox can read over my long past on page 12 of this thread for nearly all of the solutions and suggestions found in this very long, complex thread: nicely compressed for your viewing pleasure! It should make your work in migrating from Avant to Firefox much easier... Enjoy!

I tried Firefox and didn't like it as much as Avant Browser so I went back to Avant. By the time I'm writing this, though, I haven't used Firefox in a while so I may be just forgetting some features of Firefox, but here's why I like Avant Browser better:

1. Address bar quick searches. Setting up quick searches (similar to Google deskbar customized searches) are very nice. I use them constantly.
2. Address bar URL aliases. gg for google, yh for yahoo, wc for wincustomize, etc. 'Nuff said.
3. Hold shift when clicking a link, it opens it in a new tab automatically.
4. Optional blocking of pictures, video, java, javascript, even flash.
5. Great popup blocker and ad blocker that lets you customize how ads are blocked - even simply right-click the ad and add it to the blacklist, it's blocked from then on.
6. Fully customize the toolbars, even which items appear on the menubar!
7. Support for the google toolbar. Hurray!
8. I prefer the way it handles bookmarks/favorites to the way Firefox does.

Rebuttal?
Last edited by lukeprog on May 11th, 2004, 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

monk
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 12:32 pm

ALL your feature requests are possible with Firefox and even much more / better things.
Admittedly some are not built-in from start, but require looking on the Firefox extension page.

Without extensions, Firefox is just a lean, fast, useful surf board.
With extensions, it surpasses all other browsers in richness of features and customizability!

The most important extension to install is "Tabbrowser Extensions". Here you can customize a zillion things, e.g. which sort of click opens a link in a new tab. I find simply middle-clicking for opening a new tab the most comfortable way (especially on those pages where I need my left hand for other things :-)))))

Best Wishes,
Monk

My Yute
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 12:32 pm

1. Can be done using the keyword property in each bookmark, replacing %s with the search string.
2. Can be done using the keyword property in each bookmark.
3. I think that's control in firefox. Shift saves it to disk.
4. Install prefbar, adblock, or toolbar enhancements extension.
5. Yup we have that.
6. Yup u can do that as well
7. Sorry, there's an alternative extension for mozilla called the google bar but it's not from google. Dunno how different they are tho.
8. I tink there's some work being done on this.

Looks like a good reason to switch back :-d as avant browser still has the IE security holes and Firefox pretty much has all your features.

lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 12:44 pm

Mmmm... perhaps I'll try Firefox again and install some extensions.
- Luke
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lukeprog.2ya.com

lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 1:22 pm

Ugh. Installed the recommended extensions and I still can't stand the way Firefox handles things.

1. I tried that, Yute. It's not what I'm talking about. I want to be able to type, for example, "r matrix" into the address bar to have it search rottentomatoes.com for "matrix" - if I've already set that up in the prefs menu. Or am I misunderstanding what you've suggested?
2. Just like #1, I don't want these to be tied to bookmarks - I don't have or want bookmarks for most of my quicksearches (strangely enough).
3. This is indeed possible in Tabbrowser Extensions, thanks.
4. Also possible with extensions, thanks.
5. The adblock extension is okay, but did not have a context menu for quickly adding things to the block list. Also, did not seem to have a "default" filter like Avant does for blocking a huge number of ads right off the bat. The popup blocker, though, did perform just as well at popuptest.com as Avant.
6. I didn't see any option for customizing the menubar... where is that?
7. Yep, tried 2 different google-esque toolbars, they aren't nearly as good (or attractive), but oh well.
8. Yeah, we'll see if they'll improve the bookmark system.

A few other things I noticed:
1. Tabs are big, fat, and ugly in what appears to be the best tabs extension (Tabbrowser Extensions).
2. Is there a way to set the address bar to a default search engine? I type "krip" and I go to http://www.squirrelspinnacle.blogspot.com/ instead of performing some search engine search for "krip" - I type fill, I go to http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Softwa ... rview.html - strange. Also, a very nice feature of Avant is to simply press shift+enter (any button combo would do) after a URL and it will open in a new tab instead of in the current tab. Overall, tabbed browsing (very important) simply isn't executed very well in Firefox, even with extensions.
3. Supposedly, there are quite a few sites that don't display in Mozilla or Netscape browsers, though as I haven't used them extensively because of the above reasons, I haven't run across any myself :-)

Anyway, maybe I'll try Firefox again when it reaches 1.0 and see if tabbed browsing is executed more effectively, along with some of the other features in Avant tha I just can't do without
- Luke
popthoughts.blogsome.com
lukeprog.2ya.com

My Yute
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 1:52 pm

1. Here's the link to use to search rotten tomatoes. As I said before, you have to replace the search time is %s.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/fu ... hp?search=%s

2. http://texturizer.net/firefox/tips.html#beh_search

I hope you stick with it. . .

BenBasson
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 2:11 pm

5. The adblock extension is okay, but did not have a context menu for quickly adding things to the block list.

Er... it should. I have one right here. *Right clicks on My Yute's avatar*, yup... there it is... bottom of the context menu ("Adblock Image").

Tabs are big, fat, and ugly in what appears to be the best tabs extension (Tabbrowser Extensions).

Try a new theme:
http://www.texturizer.net/firefox/themes/

Supposedly, there are quite a few sites that don't display in Mozilla or Netscape browsers, though as I haven't used them extensively because of the above reasons, I haven't run across any myself

I've never come across a site that is unusable due to how it looks in Mozilla. A few blocked me outright, but they were patheticly unimportant and obviously willing to lose anywhere between 2 and 10% of their visitors. You may have to put up with this from time to time, it depends on your browsing habits.

lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 3:06 pm

lol, what site URLs blocked you outright on Mozilla?

I noticed the themes can only be viewed with a Mozilla browser (or at least, not an IE-based one). What's up with that? Is Mozilla taking a Microsoft route and trying to shut out competitors before it even has a decent share of the market? :-)

Perhaps I wasn't clicking on something that Adblock recognized as a possible ad. I think that's what it was.

I don't understand how to set up quick searches via bookmark keywords. I entered the rottentomatoes link into the "keyword" section of a bookmark, now what do I do? And the whole point of a quick search is that the variable part (%s) is whatever you type any given time using it - it makes no sense to make a bookmark to "http://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/full_search.php?search=matrix" - if I wanted to search for another title, I'd have to go in and change the bookmark properties and then click the bookmark? That's silly.

Ah, yes, themes can help making tabs looking a little better, though I wish you didn't have to restart the browser every time you installed a new theme :-)

I also miss my "up one level" button from Avant Browser.

One more thing: in Avant it was very nice to be able to simply hold a button (in Avant's case, it was Shift) when clicking on a bookmark or history item or link, or when pressing enter in the address bar to open the results in a new tab instead of the current tab. I didn't see anything quite like this in any of the tabbed browsing extentions.

However, Firefox does have a few pros for it, despite all the cons:

- Themes are much more powerful than, say, Avant Browser skins.
- Extentions is a cool way to go, and appear slightly easier to develop than plugins (is that correct?). Avant Browser doesn't - even support plugins yet.
- It seems to load pages and the interface just a hair faster than Avant Browser on my machine.

One problem with extensions, though, is that if you try to get all the features you want in the browser via a bunch of different extensions, things quickly get very messy and disorganized and confusing.

Here's hoping that Firefox executes tabbed browsing better, utilizes the address bar more powerfully and flexibly, does bookmarks better, and fixes a few other things.

Of course, so many of these things are 'prefrences', in which case Avant Browser may always be more up my alley, while Firefox is better for others.
- Luke
popthoughts.blogsome.com
lukeprog.2ya.com

BenBasson
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 3:43 pm

lol, what site URLs blocked you outright on Mozilla?

My bank did, as they assumed that as I wasn't on Netscape 4 (4? Hello?) or IE5/6, then I must be in something insecure. They have since changed their policy and browser detection to allow Mozilla.

I noticed the themes can only be viewed with a Mozilla browser (or at least, not an IE-based one).

Uh, I can view the themes ok with IE... obviously you can't download and use them for IE though.

"http://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/full_search.php?search=matrix" - if I wanted to search for another title, I'd have to go in and change the bookmark properties and then click the bookmark?

Not exactly. You set the URL of the bookmark to http://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/full_search.php?search=%s, then set the keyword to r. Now in the address bar you can type "r matrix" and hit enter.

I wish you didn't have to restart the browser every time you installed a new theme

I think there is a bug filed for changing or fixing this, depending on whether you view it as a bug or an enhancement.

I also miss my "up one level" button from Avant Browser.

EZnav or GoUp might offer something similar.

One more thing: in Avant it was very nice to be able to simply hold a button (in Avant's case, it was Shift) when clicking on a bookmark or history item or link, or when pressing enter in the address bar to open the results in a new tab instead of the current tab.

Holding CTRL should do it.

One problem with extensions, though, is that if you try to get all the features you want in the browser via a bunch of different extensions, things quickly get very messy and disorganized and confusing.

Agreed, let's hope the new extension manager (coming for 0.9) will improve the situation. I also support the idea that small extensions catered to a single job are better than extensions like Tabbrowser Extensions, which add loads and loads of features. It's easier to organise lots of small extensions which are suited to doing one or a few tasks than a few big extensions doing everything.

Regarding adblock. Click the word "Adblock" in the status bar, and you'll be given a list of everything that can be blocked on the current page. Use your arrow key to move through the list, and they'll be indicated by a dotted red square on the page.

slightly easier to develop than plugins (is that correct?).

Yes, as they're written in JavaScript (commonly known among web designers) and XUL (which isn't hard to learn). If I can do it, anyone can do it.

If you're looking for more preferences, type about:config in the location bar and hit enter. There's hundreds.

[ Apocalipsis ]

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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 5:42 pm

You're trying to find stupid reasons to stop using firefox :)....

admit it, firefox is much better than any other browser IN ANY WAY...

and almost all your requests was for almost don't do anything...

Can't you type WIN in the adress bar so wincustomize links appear above!!!????

Can't you rigth click a link and press OPEN IN NEW TAB!!???

My GOD!!!!....
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lynchknot
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 5:48 pm

Avant is IE - 'nuff said.

lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 6:50 pm

No, no Apocalipsis - I'm pointing out things I don't like or haven't found out about Firefox so that nice people like Cusser and My Yute can tell me how to make it work in Firefox, and that's exactly what they have done.

Ah, now I see how to do the quick search thing - that's perfect - except that you have to have a bookmark to do it. Perhaps I'll make a request for moving "quick searches" outside of the bookmark arena. Cuz, I mean, if you do it that way, then clicking the actual bookmark is useless :-) For example, with the above rottentomatoes example, clicking the bookmark then takes you to a rottentomatoes search results for "s" - who wants to go there, especially as a bookmark? Sillly. I'll also request that URL aliases be moved to a different location than bookmark keywords so that you don't have to have a bookmark in order to have an URL alias.

On a link or bookmark, Ctrl+click works, Ctrl+enter doesn't work for opening address bar locations/searches in a new tab.

lukeprog
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 6:52 pm

Oh yeah, and lynchknot; Avant is a shell for IE, which means it has only what is good about IE (the basic page interpretation engine - since most sites are written purposely for IE compatibilty, this is a good thing), and everything else is entirely created by the Avant Developer, Anderson Che. Of course, he purposely made it look similar to IE so that users wouldn't have a hard time navigating it. Of course, Avant has a million usability features that IE does not have.
- Luke
popthoughts.blogsome.com
lukeprog.2ya.com

lynchknot
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 7:03 pm

IE is a bad thing.

laszlo

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Post Posted April 20th, 2004, 7:20 pm

lukeprog wrote:Oh yeah, and lynchknot; Avant is a shell for IE, which means it has only what is good about IE (the basic page interpretation engine - since most sites are written purposely for IE compatibilty, this is a good thing), and everything else is entirely created by the Avant Developer, Anderson Che. Of course, he purposely made it look similar to IE so that users wouldn't have a hard time navigating it. Of course, Avant has a million usability features that IE does not have.

That's exactly wrong. Avant, NetCaptor, MyIE2, SlimBrowser, whatever - they all are just new user interfaces for IE. This means that besides its rendering engine you also get most of its security holes for free, as well as nicely exploitable VBScript and ActiveX. Anyway, do what you want, it's your choice.

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