Those of us who’ve been working on a Mac for a while know that installing software is usually a very simple process.
Except for more complex programs that need access to parts of the OS (and ask for an administrator password), usually it’s just a matter of drag and drop.
Which is what confused one recent Windows switcher when trying to add Firefox to their machine.
My friend contacted me on iChat because he was having difficulty installing the just-released Firefox 3.0. He had downloaded the disk image and mounted it, but was then stuck. He knew he had to copy the program to his hard drive, but he couldn’t really see how to do that. “What’s so tough?,” you’re thinking. “Just drag-and-drop the application to the folder.”
This is the instruction that confused him.
I suppose if you were used to the convoluted installation process for most Windows software, that kind of simplicity might just throw you.
In his regular Thursday feature, Post tech columnist Rob Pegoraro does a first-look review of Firefox 3.
After a couple of days using the new version of the already excellent browser, I’m pretty happy with the increased speed and the fact that it doesn’t seem to choke on certain sites nearly as much as it used to.
I suppose the new security features are nice, although I’ve never had any trouble steering away from suspicious sites.
However, there’s one item in the Firefox feature set highlighted by Pegoraro that puzzles me.
If, however, you’re a bookmark-tending type, Firefox 3 can help you make more sense of your Web favorites. You can tag them for easier reference, then sort through to see which ones you visit most and which ones collect dust.
Bookmarks? Saving a list of sites to a single computer really doesn’t make much sense anymore.
But having enough of them that you’d need to tag them for “easier reference” indicates that local bookmarking is probably the wrong tool for the job.
Especially if you consider that there are plenty of reliable web-based applications like del.icio.us that allow tagging, as well as sharing, and generally other do a much better job than any browser could.
The Big Monopoly in Redmond is working on the next iteration of their Internet Explorer web browser and actually seems to be trying to make it follow web standards.
However, if tests using the beta version are any indication, IE 8 may just break the web. Or at least large numbers of sites.
Microsoft was initially concerned that defaulting to standards compliance mode would “break the web”–that is, make a significant proportion of web pages render so badly as to be unusable–and experiences with beta 1 have provided some justification for the company’s concerns. Microsoft is appealing to web developers to fix their web pages, but the unfortunate reality is that the owners of many websites will be unwilling to foot the bill for those fixes to be made.
The problem, of course, is that web developers have had to build into their code compensation for the quirks in the way that IE insists on rendering the pages.
That’s what happens when 90% of web users are viewing your pages using a defective piece of software.
Of course, that 90% has dropped to something like 70% and is likely to drop further since Firefox 3 will be released on Tuesday, giving web users one more great reason to abandon IE.
Now, if I could just convince the folks in our IT department to approve Firefox for use in our district. And certain people in other departments to dump Netscape!