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The good ones

Mozilla Available for all platforms; also the core of Netscape 7, Firebird, Camino (Mac OSX only) and AOL for Mac OSX. It includes a very good email client.

Mozilla Firebird. Available for Mac (OS X only), Windows and Linux. A lighter weight version of Mozilla (no email client), customisable to the user's choice. Very nice.

Netscape 7. Built on the same rendering engine as Mozilla, but no longer being developed as it's been abandoned by AOL, and doesn't have the AOL advertising stuff. Now includes popup blocking, as do all the browsers in this list except Internet Explorer.

Camino. For Mac OS X only. Development seems to have slowed now that Firebird is taking off.

Omniweb. Mac OS 10.2 only. Early versions were rightly slated for being very buggy, version 4.5 (or later) is very good - built on the same codebase as Safari.

Safari For Mac OS 10.2+ only.

Opera. Available for all platforms, a particularly good browser for people with visual or motor impairments.

Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. Very long in the tooth now (March 2000), and showing its bugs compared with the others in this list. No longer available from Microsoft's site.

NB: Microsoft no longer make standalone browsers, so buying the next OS - Longhorn in late 2005 - is the only way to get an upgraded Windows browser. IE5 for the Mac is being left to wither on the vine, but reports of the Mac browser for Microsoft's MSN service, rave about its standards support. Kudos to Microsoft's Tasman team.

I know nothing about the browsers available for Linux apart from the mainstream ones, so haven't mentioned those. If you use Linux, I guess you know all about them anyway! While writing this page, it occurred to me that we Mac users have a lot more choice of modern browsers than Windows users do!

The baddies and oldies

Netscape 4x. The rendering engine in this geriatric browser hasn't been improved since version 4.01 came out in July 1997; all the 'upgrades' since then have only been to improve security and privacy.

iCab. Although this is a modern browser for the Mac and its HTML support is excellent, it fails woefully on the CSS front. My site and many others, including commercial heavyweights like wired.com and espn.com, depend on coding to modern web standards to make sites accessible to everyone, and the lack of CSS support is a shame. It looks like iCab don't have enough people to develop it, which is a real pity as it has some excellent, unique features.


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