Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CIL2012: Greg Notess talking about browsers

Didn't get notes for first few minutes which contained statistics on browsers in the U.S. and overseas.  Some browsers are more popular in different countries.
  • Why use more than one browser?
  • Stay flexible
  • Get to know what your users see
  • Different search results
    • One logged in, one not
    • Does being logged in change your search results?
    • Keep personal browsing separate from professional.
  • Ad block on one
    • You may be surprised how pervasive ads are on some sites, if you are used to using ad blocking
  • See all content
    • Some sites have an ax to grind.  Some create sites that won't work in a specific browser.  (Web of Science has this problem.  Been fixed.)  Others create content to work only in a specific browser.
Current state of the browsers:
  • IE 9
  • Firefox 11
  • Google Chrome 17 (if Google doesn't update in the next 5 minutes!)
  • Apple Safari 5.1
  • Opera 11.6
Mobile browsers - lots and lots:
  • Preinstalled vs. available in the app store
  • Google makes Chrome and the Android browser, and they work differently.
  • Larger window space...which means....
  • Fewer visible browser functions
  • Combination of functions - one "icon" may do a combination of things
  • Remember last open tabs/windows
 Branding on the browsers has gotten smaller.  Must pay attention to know which is which.

Realizing that these changes will make it more difficult on library trainers.

Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer has a "compatibility view" button.  Can be useful if something doesn't display correctly.

IE has developer tools (F12), which can be useful. 

IE allows for sites to be pinned to the Windows task bar (bottom of the screen).

Rapidly releasing new versions because Google is.  Eight (8) versions in about 12 months. 
Some of the features became more IE-like.
You can "pin" a tab. 
Tab groupings
Firefox sync - syncing bookmarks and tabs across computers

Reputation for being fast, but is the reputation deserved?
Being optimized for what you do on Google.
Pin tabs

There is a Windows version of Safari.  Might want to download to see how it works.  Doesn't work as well on Windows.
Get a "reader" viewer of content.

Navigation has basically remained the same across browsers.

Tools - will be different in each browser (try pressing ALT key).
  • Check the top menu.
Search box
  • The Omni-box - can use the address box to search
  • You can add different search engines to your browser
  • Add a keyword for this search... - I hadn't noticed that feature.  Right click in a search box to see it.
Home page - Check to see what features are available to you.

Mobile devices and tablets
  • Navigation varies
  • Search options more limited
  • Default browser
  • Browsers on unusual devices
  • iPad has a function to add a web page to your "reading list"
If you are on a tablet computer, Google search will display differently.

For anyone library staff member, who helps people with Internet browsers, Greg Notess (@notess) has covered a ton of stuff that you need to know.

Why is the same company releasing different browsers for different devices (e.g., Google?  Could be problems with internal communications.  Could be influenced by the technology on the device.

He suspect that the Android browser may merge with Chrome.

Firefox no longer supports the Google toolbar, because Google doesn't allow Firefox to.
  • The Google toolbar is a downloadable toolbar and not the Google toolbar that is available in your Google account.  This causes user confusion.  Where does the web page end and the browser begin?
You can add other search engines to your browsers, including browsers like Blekko that are new and may not be known to your users.

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