Question

What's your favorite web browser—and what was your first web browser?

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namtrok's avatar
almost 3 years ago
Netscape Navigator 1.1 was my first, Chrome Latest Official build is my current

Wow that took me back aways, I had to double-check if it was Netscape Navigator or IE 1, man those were the days!

I found this image helpful:

Browser timeline

which came from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_web_browsers

5 points
steve66319990's avatar
almost 3 years ago
Netscape & Chrome/Firefox

Netscape was my first browser back in the 90s. Nowadays, I really really want to use Firefox. But keep getting pulled back in to using Chrome on the desktop (Chrome is just faster)

However, on the mobile, I use Firefox. Even used Firefox Focus for a while.

5 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @steve66319990 )
almost 3 years ago

FIrefox Focus is really nice—love how it opens the keyboard with the cursor in the address bar automatically.

1 point
brendanciccone's avatar
almost 3 years ago
It depends. 🤷‍♂️

I'm super integrated into the Apple ecosystem, so Safari is pretty much my go-to.

However, I really like the features Firefox and Chrome bring in their own ways, from plugin support to other stuff.

I think my first was Internet Explorer haha.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @brendanciccone )
almost 3 years ago

Firefox Inspect Element seems better (and its element selector more reliable) than Chrome and Safari's, so that's the main reason I keep Firefox around. And on mobile, Firefox Focus makes browsing so fast just by automatically putting the cursor in the address bar and opening the keyboard, I keep it around for quickly Googling stuff.

1 point
AndrewPenry's avatar
almost 3 years ago
First: NCSA Mosaic on Amiga, Current Favorite: Chrome

I'm pretty sure Mosaic was my first, although it may have been Lynx. Prior to all of that I was a heavy gopher user. My first browser I used as a developer was Netscape Navigator Gold. As for Chrome, I use it mainly out of habit. It's quite possible that other browsers would be better for development, but I don't want to retrain.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @AndrewPenry )
almost 3 years ago

Wow, you've used all the major original browsers! Have any screenshots around from your early browser usage?

Netscape Navigator Gold would have been a paid browser, right? Did you buy it in a box?

1 point
AndrewPenry's avatar
@AndrewPenry (replying to @maguay )
almost 3 years ago

Sadly, no screenshots. I'm fairly certain Navigator Gold was in a box with giant gold ship's wheel on it. I feel like it was in the $80-100 range, but I don't have much in the way of records from the 90's.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @AndrewPenry )
almost 3 years ago

That’d be quite the relic if you still had it around. Super cool, thanks for sharing the story!

1 point
awwstn's avatar
almost 3 years ago
AOL Explorer, I think?

The first browser I can distinctly remember using was the one built into AOL, which I just learned was initially called AOL Browser and later changed to AOL Explorer.

Netscape Navigator was definitely the browser I was using when I got really into the internet. Then, I think I used a mix of Firefox and Safari for several years before fully switching to Chrome around 2011.

I've been using Brave for about 6 months...it was an easy transition because it's built on Chromium. I like it, though it hasn't felt like a game-changer in any way.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @awwstn )
almost 3 years ago

That's wild: AOL Explorer had licensed Internet Explorer's Trident engine, so was essentially just a different skin over IE. And now, IE is dead, replaced by Microsoft Edge, which is a fork of Google Chrome which itself is a fork of Apple's Safari which is based of KDE's KHTML code. Turtles all the way down.

1 point
michihuber's avatar
almost 3 years ago
Safari now, Netscape Navigator then

Safari is mostly fine (on occasion, a site is broken), and it syncs bookmarks etc. with iOS. But I use Chrome for Development, because of the dev tools.

3 points
joelfalconer's avatar
almost 3 years ago
Netscape Navigator was my first, and Firefox is my favorite now.

I started using Netscape Navigator in the mid-90s, who knows what version number.

Today I'm using Firefox as my main browser, having recently switched back after a decade or so on Chrome. Still using Chrome for work.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @joelfalconer )
almost 3 years ago

What's keeping you from using Firefox for work?

1 point
joelfalconer's avatar
@joelfalconer (replying to @maguay )
almost 3 years ago

For now I prefer the total separation of Chrome profiles vs the approach of Firefox containers. There are also some work Chrome extensions I need to use.

I also came to the realization today that my first browser was Mosaic - I had forgotten it even existed!

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @joelfalconer )
almost 3 years ago

Ahh that makes sense; Chrome profiles do make it easy to fully split personal/work or even multiple work projects.

Woah that goes way back. Remember what computer you were using it on?

1 point
joelfalconer's avatar
@joelfalconer (replying to @maguay )
almost 3 years ago

Vaguely remember that we had some Macs going into the 90s (Mac Plus or II? and a Mac Portable, which dad used to teach me how to spreadsheet our jogs), then abandoned Apple during the dark years, maybe to an aging 486 followed by a Pentium I custom tower. I'd say it would have to be the Pentium tower!

I spent every waking minute I could on these things but some of the memories are so vague now, it's hard to say for sure.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @joelfalconer )
almost 3 years ago

Haha fun! The first computer I used was my dad's Amegia ... but pretty sure the first browser I used must have been an early version of Netscape on a Windows 95 PC.

1 point
joelfalconer's avatar
@joelfalconer (replying to @maguay )
almost 3 years ago

Ah, old school! We never had an Amega but I am aware of their legendary status in personal computing history. :)

2 points
DanielGenser's avatar
@DanielGenser (via Twitter)
almost 3 years ago
AOL

AOL's built-in browser, then IE6.

3 points
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