On Mirabilis visitors and their web browsers

I don’t look at my web stats very often. Or perhaps it’s better to say I go through phases: forgetting to look at stats for many months at a time, then checking every few days or so, then back to months of ignoring it all. It is interesting to see what the stats software tells me, though — things like how many visitors Mirabilis.ca gets (What a lot of you! Where on earth did you come from?) and what sort of search terms at Google send the highest number of people to this site. (Sorry, we only have so many Roman orgies; not nearly enough to go around.)

One statsy thing that makes me happy is that only a quarter of you still use Internet Explorer; the rest have already found a better browser, like Firefox, say. Excellent.

Now listen, Internet Explorer users. There is a better world just waiting for you! Go try Firefox or Opera, and I bet you’ll never go back. I don’t know how you can bear the web in Internet Explorer.

I am fond of the Opera browser, but I prefer Firefox, because it lets me install add-ons that customize the program in delightful ways.

Anyway. You’re probably wondering what brought this on. It was one stats program, one very fine Zinfandel from the Sonoma Valley, and one New York Times article, namely An Upstart Challenges the Big Web Browsers.

The browser, that porthole onto the broad horizon of the Web, is about to get some fancy new window dressing.

Next month, after three years of development and six months of public testing, Mozilla, the insurgent browser developer that rose from the ashes of Netscape, will release Firefox 3.0. It will feature a few tricks that could change the way people organize and find the sites they visit most frequently. [continue]

Nice to see Firefox is still grabbing headlines.

7 thoughts on “On Mirabilis visitors and their web browsers

  1. Thank you ever so much for promoting Firefox.

    It is indeed interesting how many people are using Firefox over IE. I suppose that Bill Gates is losing his hold.

  2. Some of us use what our employers give us. Some of us are off line at home due to the crass worthlessness of Virgin Media’s so-called help desk.

  3. You’re welcome, James. And Chris — good point. I hadn’t considered that folks at work might not have a choice. I’m a bit dense sometimes.

  4. Mike, these are the Firefox extensions I use.

    First there are the essential ones that remove advertisements and stupid annoyances from web pages for me: AdBlock Plus and FlashBlock. Without these I would not be sane.

    More sanity savers: Faviconize Tab, since I usually have 20 or so tabs open at once. LinkAlert warns me if a link I’m thinking of clicking will open in a new window or do some other stupid thing. BugMeNot lets me bypass the compulsory registration that sites like the New York Times demand.

    Then there’s the British English Dictionary, which I installed with the ThunderBird email program, but it added itself to Firefox, too.

    ReminderFox makes sure I won’t forget to do really important things, even if I’m too dim to look at the calendar and to-do list I should be using.

    I used to use Sage for RSS, but now I use a stand-alone software program instead.

    Finally, there are a few that are probably only of interest to people who write a lot of web pages: Total Validator, Web Development Toolbar, EditCSS, etc.

  5. Wow, zero overlap. That I did not expect. Just as a goof:

    – Download Statusbar (even if you rarely download, this is just a wonderful interface for it.)
    – BlueOrganizer
    – del.icio.us
    – FEBE (extension/personalization backups as I use far too many machines.)
    – Greasemonkey (can’t recommend highly enough.)
    – ScribeFire (posting from the browser, though I only use it occasionally.)
    – Google notebook.
    – Selenium IDE (scripting web site testing.)

    and about a half dozen others.

    Of course as a result FF is a behemoth at several hundred meg of ram with only one tab open. But then, it’s the only thing I use almost as much as xemacs.

  6. I’d consider Firefox if they added user-customized searches like IE has. I use it all the time, particularly for Canadian websites. The canned searches Firefox offers just aren’t good enough.

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