Firefox 2 VS IE7 Memory Usage

Someone compared the memory usage of Microsoft and Mozilla's upcoming browser products – IE 7 Beta 2 and Firefox 2 Alpha 1.  

It's certainly not a scientific test but as far as I'm concerned, the results are fairly valid. One thing which is quite surprising is that Firefox actually uses less memory than Internet Explorer. Firefox has acquired a bit of a reputation for being a memory hog by some over the last few months; this test proves that Firefox isn't much worse than IE. 

I wonder if the fact that IE7 is finally separated from Windows Explorer means that Internet Explorer's memory usage will be reported more accurately.

One thing which is worth noting is that the test was carried out with bfcache disabled in Firefox. 

Browser memory usage is certainly worth investigating more. 

IE7 Details

Mezzoblue has some details on what rendering changes there are in the latest copy of IE7.

Apparently all the bugs listed here have been fixed apart from the escaping floats bug. 

Fixed positioning is great. We use this on Evolution so the menu can stay in the same place when the page is scrolled. Works like frames. IE7 introduces this to Internet Explorer.

There's also the ability to have :hover on any element. This is useful when creating "tabs" or on navigation. At the moment, I make the hyperlink fill up the whole div and add :hover onto it. This will probably still be the best solution but :hover on any element is nice.

And proper PNG transparency is great. The chances are every web developer would have wanted this functionality at some point.

Internet Explorer 7 and Local HTML Files

Whilst creating a website design earlier, I decided to take a look at my website in Internet Explorer 7. I copied the URL from the Firefox address bar and pasted it into Internet Explorer's address bar.

Oddly enough, Internet Explorer decided to open the HTML file in my default browser – Firefox. I suspect this is an effect of IE7's new behaviour where it is finally separated from Windows Explorer. Typing C: in the address bar now opens up Windows Explorer rather than displaying it in Internet Explorer.

I actually had an issue with this behaviour when trying to access my school area from home using Internet Explorer (WebDav/Web Folders) and it did a crazy dance.

Bon Echo Alpha 1

More or less everybody has been mentioning Bon Echo Alpha 1 (or Firefox 2.0 Alpha 1) today which can be downloaded from the Mozilla site. It's called Bon Echo and not Firefox because it's not intended for end users but developers.

Still even for developers, I strongly recommend not bothering to try it; there's nothing particularly new or great in it – no big rendering engine changes, barely finished features and small aesthetic changes.

I'd strongly recommend waiting for at least a beta version and ideally a release candidate before trying Bon Echo.

Mike Beltzner writes a bit about Firefox 2.0's aggressive schedule and why this alpha is very unpolished. 

Ugly Websites

Google Blogoscoped points to an article which discusses ugly websites and how having an ugly website can actually improve business.

I was developing a website design last week for a local educational institution – target audience of parents and students. I sat there trying to improve the design and to try and convey a more professional image and really wondered what the whole point was. A more professional website looks less friendly and besides, in the long run, content is king. In the end, I saved myself quite a bit of work 🙂

The success of sites such as eBay and (which lacks much of a design) is probably due to the "ugly" design. eBay's design probably makes it feel more like a marketplace where you can get great deals rather than an upmarket department store such as M&S.

And perhaps that's why I still prefer the current Google design to the Google Redux and Slashdot's design to Digg. 

Windows Live Messenger Open to All

According to, Windows Live Messenger (the next version of MSN Messenger) is now open to all – you don't need an invite to use it on your account. NO, RLY. Open to all 🙂

It seems like the Send Invite menu item has disappeared for beta testers, further confirming this. 

You can download the english version of Windows Live Messenger Beta from Microsoft.

Can't wait for a compatible version of Messenger Plus. 

Firefox 3.0 Beta 2 Released

As Asa Dotzler noted, people love to jump the gun and publish stories about new Firefox versions being released. The blogosphere and sites such as Digg  also means that these stories spread around the internet really fast.

Techcrunch said today that Firefox 2.0 Alpha had been released and the article was referenced by multiple blogs including ZDNet.

And of course, Neowin gaffed big time a few months ago by calling the release of Firefox 1.5 a long time before it was released bragging about their exclusive. 

People on Digg seem to love calling Firefox release dates. At least 4 of them have made the home page before:

Anyway, I'm officially announcing that Firefox 3.0 Beta 2 is going to be released some time around the end of the year. And I announced it first so Digg me!

8Mbps Broadband

If you live in the UK, you may be aware of BT's faster broadband speeds from the end of this month. You'll be able to get up to 8Mbps providing you live close enough to your telephone exchange and your line can handle it.

At the moment, 2Mbps is about the highest you can get. I don't have a problem with 2mbps as even 512kbps was more than adequete for my needs, but it's a free upgrade so why not!

Based on the DSL statistics (attenuation, noise margin, etc.) I believe that I can get around 7.5Mbps. 

BT Broadband won't be doing a bulk upgrade so if you use BT Broadband or BT Yahoo Broadband, you'll have to request an upgrade. It's a free upgrade but you'll have to commit to an additional 12 months.

As I don't really want to commit to another 12 months, does anyone have any suggestions for any other good UK ISPs? It can't be cable and must come through the BT phone line as I don't live in a city which can get LLU 24mbps and there is no way the guys at NTL are going to touch the tarmac outside.

Please let me know about your broadband provider in the comments