What does your browser say about you? (2009 edition)

Long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I posted the infamous article titled “What does your browser say about you?”. It got like 400 comments, got me on Digg, Reddit and crashed my server at least twice. Every once in a while I still get comments on it but these days they are mostly among the lines of:

“Dude, Firefox 2.0 is ancient! What about Chrome and IE8?”

Well, the point is that it was not ancient when I wrote that post. Back then it was cutting edge. But we came a long way since then and so I decided to post a short update to that post.

Of course there is really no point for me to update the entry for Lynx or Dillo because not much has changed for those apps. In fact, a lot of the browsers on that old list sort of faded into obscurity. For example IE overlays such as Maxthon became obsolete around the time IE7 introduced tabbed browsing. Others such as Netscape or AOL browser are hardly even around anymore. So in this post I will mainly concentrate on the leading browsers. You know, the ones that actually support modern standards and have large user bases. Oh, and Lynx.

firefox_icon Firefox

You are not sure why people complain about Internet Explorer so much. It is a perfectly serviceable tool for downloading Firefox on a new windows machine. You have tried different browsers but you feel they are all vastly inferior to FF. Flock does too much, Chrome does too little, Safari is to fancy and etc… Its not like these browsers have better features anyway. At least not for long. Any cool, worthwhile and innovative feature will be either added in the next Firefox release, or has already been replicated in the form of an extension.

Every time you switch browsers you are amazed at how different the web looks. Your favorite websites are covered with banners, useful AJAX based features are gone… Then you realize that other browsers don’t actually have Adblock, Greasemonkey and Stylish extensions that you rely on. You also get annoyed when you try to test your websites in other browsers since they don’t have access to the full version of Firebug.

Seeing how there is an extension for everything out there, you can’t imagine ever needing another browser.

ie5 IE5

Kill yourself.

google-chrome-icon Google Chrome

You love Google Chrome because as everything made by the big G it is fast, sleek and stable. Now you can check your Gmail and Google Reader feeds and Google calendar in style as you edit your Google Docs in a separate tab, chat in Google Talk, get your directions from Google Maps and build applications for Google App Engine. You are not really concerned that Google probably knows more about your personal interests, hopes, dreams and desires than your own mother. After all, their motto is “don’t be evil” right?

Also, the tear-off tabs were awesome killer feature until Firefox totally copied them. Still, your browser runs every tab as a separate instance so there is really no way for one website to crash the whole browser… Until one does, that is – but that happens rarely.

ie-6-icon IE6

There are two possibilities here:

  1. You are using a locked down company computer – in which case, WTF are you doing reading this? Go back to work you lazy bum! Also, your sysadmin is either lazy or stupid. Or both.
  2. You are to stupid to live and/or you enjoy ruining the internet for all of us. In addition your machine belongs to at least 17 botnets and you pick up new trojans daily. You often wonder why your internet is so slow but you are definitely not going to install some shady “Fox Fire” or “Intranet Explore 8” whatever that is. It’s probably a virus or something.

    I hope you fall into a ditch, break your ass and die all alone as punishment.

ie8icon1 IE7

As a rule you don’t use Windows Update. You are probably running Vista in it’s original, pre-SP1 shape and form. Your computer it is infected by 5 billion viruses and trojans making it barely usable. You heard that there is a newer version of Internet Explorer out there but you don’t care. You don’t like change. Finally, you assume that your computer is so slow because someone told you that Vista sucks. I mean, yes – it does, but it doesn’t suck that much. Your computer is slow because you are running outdated browser on an un-patched OS. And I’m not going to help you with that because you are ruining internet for everybody.

ie8icon1 IE8

You are one of the few windows users who do know how to use Windows Update. Hell, you might have even went out of your way and downloaded IE8 yourself though I doubt it. No, seriously – most people clever enough to know what a browser is know better than to use IE. But you might just be a loyal Microsoft customer who simply likes the new browser for all of it’s “innovative” features. Someone told you that IE8 is actually pretty standards compliant, but of course you don’t know what that is. You would probably be pretty proud that your browser of choice passes the ACID2 test but you don’t know what that is.

Also, I might actually consider helping you to remove all these nasty trojans from your machine since for once you are not actually ruining the internet for us.

opera-icon-redux Opera

You really don’t give a fuck that both IE8 and Firefox 3 can pass ACID 2 test nowadays. ACID 2 test is like so 3 years ago. Now it’s all about ACID 3 and non of these upstart browsers can render that one properly.

Yeah, Google Chrome sort of took over the “fastest browser” niche these days but Opera still kicks ass. It’s fast, sleek and has lot’s of unique features. Besides, all of those other browsers have their keyboard shortcuts ass-backwards.

Safari_Icon Safari

You are a mac user… Or you are one of those sad Windows people who suffer from a Mac envy. You know who I’m talking about – folks who buy a discount Dell and then use Window Blinds or other styling tool to make their Vista look just like OSX.

Does anyone else use that browser? I don’t know. Not that it’s a bad browser. It was the first one to successfully pass ACID 3 test. Not only that, but it’s Webkit engine is used by myriad of other browsers – namely Konquerror and Google Chrome. And these other browsers tend to stick out like a sore thumb on a Mac.

flock_icon-400-4001 Flock

You keep telling people that Flock is not just a fork of Firefox with some web 2.0 and social networking extensions grafted in, but they won’t listen. Screw them then. You know damn well that your browser is better – perfectly engineered to integrate itself with the myriad of social media and content generation platforms.

lynx icon Lynx, Links, etc…

Graphics are overrated. Who needs them. You browse the web for content, not for flashy designs and lolcat pictures. You use Mutt for email, Midnight Commander to manage your files, vim as your text editor. If a website contains a captcha you download it using feh, and display it in the framebuffer. Hell, you don’t even have X installed on your primary machine – you are that awesome.

Of course X is installed on your backup laptop which you use to go on youtube and to download pr0n but no one has to know that.

chromium icon Chromium

You are essentially like the average Chromium user but lazy. In a good way. You are to lazy to actually deal with the Windows bullshit so you run Linux. To lazy to compile stuff or fuck with RPM’s so you run Debian. To lazy to download Chrome so you run Chromium that’s available via apt.

konquerror icon Konquerror

You firmly believe that carpet should match the drapes and that the browser should match the desktop environment. Also, for some reason you like browsers that double up as file managers – you know, like IE did back in the day. Then again Konquerror is webkit based so it has to be fairly decent. All that hard work done by Google and Apple trickles down to your browser slowly but surely.

ephiphany icon Epiphany

You firmly believe that carpet should match the drapes and that the browser should match the desktop environment. Besides, Ephiphany is gecko based so it has to be fairly decent. All that hard work done by Mozilla foundation trickles down to your browser slowly but surely.

seamonkey icon Seamonkey

You fondly remember the days when a web browser used to have a built in calendar, email client, HTML editor and some other useful tools. Those were the good days. You don’t care for the newfangled fast loading browsers the youngsters use these days. Also, you don’t like when kids are anywhere near your lawn.

Kazehakase icon Kazehakase

You don’t tell people about your browser of choice in person. You have learned a long time ago that they will ask you to spell the name, and that’s just not possible. You just send them a link. In casual conversations you refer to your browser as “that browser” or kazehe-something-or-other.

But hey! It’s Gecko based, lean, mean, infrequently updated and seemingly abandoned. Um… That last part is not so good, but it’s still a decent browser.

Yes, yes. I know I ignored your favorite browser. Chances are it is irrelevant, and/or it hasn’t really changed much since the last post. And if I totally miss-characterized a group of users and made you mad, please remember that posting “fag” in the comments does not count as constructive criticism. Other than that, feel free add suggestions and/or your own descriptions for users of other browsers.

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22 Responses to What does your browser say about you? (2009 edition)

  1. ST/op DENMARK Mozilla Linux Terminalist says:

    OMG! You did it again! Usually I read you blog in my feed reader, but I’ll make an exception today, just to see if that plugin of yours identifies Chromium as such!

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  2. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Keeping up with the times I see? Your second para on FF described me perfectly!

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  3. Sam Weston UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    This is a pretty awesome post to say the least. I’m guessing you’re a firefox user. I do <3 my extensions and could never use anything else, regardless of how much faster it is. Plus it runs on Linux, Windows and Mac so I'll never have any problems if I decide to change platform :) Oh and yes, IE5, IE6 and probably IE7 users should go and fall into a deep ravine somewhere.

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  4. ST/op DENMARK Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    Sorry, it was Prism. This is Chromium… No way to tell the difference when the “chrome” is stripped off!

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  5. crprod UNITED STATES Camino Mac OS says:

    For lots of users that I support, IE8 breaks web apps that work in IE7 and never launch in FF.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Mart:

    Heh, it described me perfectly too – that’s honestly how I feel whenever I jump ship. Though Chrome is pretty decent when you just need to “download that one thing real fast” because it loads in about half the time Firefox does. :)

    @ ST/op:

    Btw, why Chromium rather than Linux release of Chrome? Is there a benefit to it? The linux port e is coming along very nicely now as it should considering it will be at the core of Chrome OS UI. Though I’m guessing most of that work trickles back to Chromium anyway.

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  7. Max ITALY Google Chrome Linux says:

    Just for fun:

    Chromium – You’re a Linux user, completely apt-get upgrade addicted. Get a life!

    Konqueror – You think that your browser of choice should reflect the DE; sometimes you use firefox, but no one has to know it.

    Epiphany – Same as konqueror, different DE

    Seamonkey – You are nostalgic about Mozilla good old times

    No browser at all – Wow, you certainly have a lot of work to do!!

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  8. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Max:

    LOL. When I get home I will try to find the right icons, and add these to the main post. :)

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  9. LOL, nice article XD

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  10. Johannes GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Wow, seems gou got even more offensive that last time ;-) Anyway, thanks for the laugh!

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  11. Barnabyh UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla SeaMonkey Linux says:

    Had a good laugh, thanks for that. How about Midori- you like FF ‘s interface but want to be different so you rather put up slightly less functionality and plugins but get more speed, sort of half way between FF and Google-Chrome.


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  12. ST/op DENMARK Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Luke Maciak: Well, Chrome is based on Chromium, so Chromium may be a bit more cutting edge ;)
    I’ve been using it since it’s been out, and didn’t bother switching to another (possibly more buggy) release. Chromium is basically an unbranded Chrome anyway.

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  13. ST/op DENMARK Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    Oh, and BTW: I tried posting from my netbook with Midori on Kuki Linux, but got blocked by WP-SpamFree:
    “Your location has been identified as part of a reported spam network. Comments have been disabled to prevent spam.”
    No problems with Chromium/Karmic on my main rig (using same IP) though…

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  14. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I sometimes fire up IE (7) to see how the web looks without Adblock and NoScript (or because a website requires that I do so…), and I am amazed at what people can put up with using browsers that don’t contain these two features. I like to think that they are committing a selfless sacrifice, so that bloggers, websites owners, free hosts and huge corporations actually get money from all these little banners that remain hidden to my eyes. As a compensation, I miss out on very important security alerts, offers for highly efficient antivirus to solve them, online gambling, cool emoticons and other fun and completely secure things.

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  15. Jereme Kramer UNITED STATES Kazehakase Fedora Linux says:

    When I stopped using Opera, I was surprised at exactly how many ads the internet had. I was also surprised that I ever waited forever and a day just for my browser to open. For now I use Kazehakase, but if Midori ever stabilizes, I’ll jump ship just to have adblock back. Of course, I keep FF around for when a website bawks at my choice of browser and I’m too lazy to change my useragent string. And DownThemAll.

    I was actually surprised that Midori didn’t make your post — I thought it had a decent amount of popularity, and it passes acid3.

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  16. mitch CANADA Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Nice article, made me laugh. Just thought I’d point out two things though:

    1. Konqueror is still (by default) KHTML and not WebKit.

    2. Epiphany recently switched from Gecko to WebKit.


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  17. Shrinivas Kudva INDIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    A very nice and amusing post :) Your predictions of the user’s personalities seems to be spot on! I am a Firefox addict too. The net seems a different place without it :( My favorite feature is Add-ons. No Fox should be without it! :)

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  18. SapientIdiot UNITED STATES Mozilla Linux says:

    This is probably a good place to point out that Iron, is a chromium based web browser with out all of google’s helpful tracking features, for those of us who are paranoid but sill like google.


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  19. ST/op DENMARK Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    To lazy to download Chrome so you run Chromium that’s available via apt.

    Well, the Chromium available in apt is not the browser! It’s an arcade space shooter! The browser needs to be downloaded as deb or installed from PPA for daily builds (and subsequently updated via apt…).

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  20. Pranav Shah UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Luke –

    I remember the earlier post on browsers, back in the day. That was the post that made me subscribe to your blog in the first place. good work with the blog, keep it up! That post was such a superlative in awesome that like all sequels this one although awesome doesnt quite cut it without the previous ones! That one made me laugh, this one makes me just look at the browser scene.

    Any readers who have read the previous post on browsers share the same opinion?

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  21. ST/op DENMARK Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @Pranav Shah:
    You mean like “What does your browser say about you – the sequel”?
    Well, wait for “The Revenge of What does your browser say about you” !

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  22. Vanity Vertigo UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    There’s always uzbl, the new browser that embodies the Unix philosophy. It started by Archers and it’s trickling down to other distros now. It uses Webkit and the interface/keybindings are whatever you decide they should be. Basically if you’re using dwm, awesome, or some other tiling window manager you’re probably already running it.

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