I found a three-year-old blog post by Arve Bersvendsen on web browser zealots that, sadly, is just as true today. Only the names have changed (Phoenix to Firefox).

Seriously, I think these people are hurting the fight for standards….In having to choose whether to believe the Operanians or The Mozillians, I believe J. Random User will believe both. He’ll believe the Opera fans when they say “Phoenix [Firefox] sucks”, and he (or she) will also believe Phoenixers who say “Opera stinks”. And so, J. Random sticks with MSIE.

Arve mentioned his earlier post when he weighed in on the Opera splash page download kerfuffle, which is a great example of why I created the Alternative Browser Alliance. Both Mozilla and Opera have stated goals of promoting choice on the web. Both want to unseat the current dominant browser (i.e. IE). Those goals are better accomplished, if not by outright cooperation, at least by civility. As Arve puts it:

Please, instead of wasting all that time on endless flamewars against the “other browser”, spend your time evangelizing the product you actually use!

Also, a big thanks to Rijk for the shout-out on his blog!

Alternative Browser Alliance

8 thoughts on “Browser Zealotry

  1. Arve’s “Zealots” post—the one I first quoted—is dated February 10, 2003. The post on the splash page is from today. I’ll re-position the link to make it a little clearer.

  2. Oh my god. Identity crisis. Another person who posts here with only the first name Daniel. I wonder how often he posts, and how often his entries are confused for mine!!! Geez.

    Errrrr, how often do you get posts on here from people named Daniel? I’ve only commented 2 or 3 times in the last many many months….

  3. Not to worry. The last “Daniel” who posted (aside from the coffee mug question) was you on the Christmas Is Safe post back in November. I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure that one was you at first, since you left no other identifying marks, but I could tell the first commenter here was someone else because he left an email address that wasn’t yours. (Actually he left one that isn’t anyone’s, since it isn’t actually a valid domain name.)

    For future reference, email addresses posted in the comment form aren’t ever revealed on the website. We can see them through the admin interface, and they’re used to pull Gravatars if you have one, but that’s it. (If we still had email notifications for comments available, it would be used there too.)

  4. Came here form Rijk’s blog.

    Great alliance, but seems yet another case when efforts are split apart 🙁
    https://browsehappy.com/ [editor’s note: link updated] – i don’t know who was the 1st, but to be true it does not count at all.

    But instead of unite community, and perhaps engine likу wiki-blog, which would allow to translate page, we see two great static english-only sites 🙁

  5. Browse Happy was definitely first, by about a year, and was part of my inspiration. The sites are aimed at slightly different audiences. Browse Happy is all about getting Internet Explorer users to switch to something else, and they focused on Firefox as the major alternative. (Count the number of testimonials per browser. There’s one for Opera, eight for Firefox, and none for Safari or Mozilla.) The Alternative Browser Alliance is mainly intended to convince people who are already using other browsers to be nice to each other, and maybe even cooperate, instead of tearing each other down. Unfortunately I do think that intent got lost in the “Here’s a bunch of browsers” list.

    On the language front, I got an offer from someone to translate it to French, but it’s been a while and I haven’t heard back.

    Wikifying it might be a good idea, though. Thanks for the suggestion!

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