Saturday, 7 April 2012

Looking for a replacement for Internet Explorer? Look no further.

Ok, so I work for a small company called Hewlett Packard, some of you may have heard of it. Our ticket logging system requires Internet Explorer (IE) in order for it to work correctly (or at all in fact). My browser of choice tends to be Firefox, mainly because of it's extensions and customisability, both of which IE is severely lacking in.

The problem is that all browsers have an engine that runs underneath the GUI (Graphical User Interface) and this engine is used to decipher the code that is sent to your computer from the internet and display it in a nice human form. There are different types of engines that run on different browsers, IE uses Trident, Firefox uses Gecko and Chrome uses WebKit. All render web pages in slightly different ways. There is a really good site called browsershots.org that will compare your site on different browsers and give you a screen shot of what it will look like. HERE is a look to what this blog looks like across all the different browser types.

Anyway, I digress. Our ticketing systems will only run on the Trident engine which means I can't use Ubuntu in work as Trident only runs on Windows (sucks I know). So I'm on my Windows 7 work laptop and I find myself using IE quite a lot as our ticketing system is used extensively by all the engineers. As I said, I loath IE so I started hunting around for other Trident based web browsers. I had a look at a few other browsers that are Trident based like Maxthon, MenuBox and SlimBrowser but none of these had the level of functionality I was looking for - apart from Maxthon which had too much going on and the GUI was far to busy for my liking.

So, a little more time and research went by and I came across Lunascape. It can be installed with all 3 of the engines I mentioned above and you can quickly and easily flip between them. I was only interested in Trident though as I use Firefox for everything else. The GUI is really slick looking and the pages seem to load a lot better in Lunascape than they do in IE (for me anyway). I've been using Lunascape for around a week now and I haven't had any problems with it at all.

I've had to edit the screenshot to remove some information (specifically the tab bar). This is why some parts of it may look strange.

All in all I've found Lunascape to be an excellent alternative to IE, it's no replacement for Firefox or Chrome in my opinion but is far better than IE. So if you have a system that requires IE compatibility or if you just want to try out a new browser - why not give Lunascape a try.

2 comments:

  1. Instead we can use User Agent Switcher, an extension of Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher/

    An in-dept review can be found here http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/impersonate-browsers-user-agent-switcher-firefox/

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    1. I've used the 'agent switcher' before (extension called IETab) but I had a lot of trouble with it when opening popups etc. I find it easier just using a Trident based browser rather than a trident emulator in a gecko browser.

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