101 Things Mozilla Can Do That IE Can't

Tuesday November 5th, 2002

Rob Hudson writes: "Found this interesting list of 101 things (some more obscure than others) that Mozilla can do that IE can't." The list, by Neil Deakin of XulPlanet, has been doing the rounds for a few days now and is currently ranked in second place on Blogdex.

UPDATE! The list has now been featured on both Slashdot and CNET

#1 I like this one

by metalcrypt

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 5:10 PM

Supports blinking text You can make text blink. This list isn't subjective.

#2 Re: I like this one

by Hendikins

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 5:35 PM

I couldn't help grinning at it, considering it's one of my most hated features :)

#5 RE:

by PsychoCS

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 7:14 PM

Don't worry, most of us hate it.

#11 Re:

by metalcrypt

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 4:17 AM

I know, useless feature - I just like the way they mentioned it in the article.

#3 Finger

by WillyWonka

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 6:28 PM

Why is finger on the list (#90) if it was removed from the builds to probably never return?

"101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot." ... "Giant lizards are cool" <scratches head /> huh?

"Supports JavaScript getters/setters" - and you can override them, causing security holes. w00t!

"40. Properties dialog lets you see info about various tags" - Um, IE can do that too.

"31. Can display search results in sidebar" so can IE

10 and 11 are the same fricken thing.

8 is a sub feature of 7... does it really deserve it's own line?

5 "Sidebar" IE can do... 6 is what IE can't do. "Can add custom panels to sidebar"

k, I'll shut up now :)

#6 Re: Finger

by cplyon

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 7:19 PM

#59 Displays ABBR/ACRONYM titles in tooltips

IE 5.5 and 6 do this too, although by default it's not underlined (but the tooltips appear). The underline can be set in the page's CSS.

#12 Re: Sidebar???

by fletchsod

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:33 AM

IE Support the Sidebar???? I don't see the 2nd window on the left corner for IE at all, with some tabs and so ons.

#22 Re: Re: Sidebar!!!

by zreo2

Thursday November 7th, 2002 2:54 AM

In IE... View->"Explorer Bar" and choose Search...

Why use a sidebar anyway ?

#4 More features

by jesse

Tuesday November 5th, 2002 6:29 PM

More features:

- When a browser window is maximized, the scrollbar is at the right edge of the screen, making it easier to click the scrollbar thumb.

- I can middle-click a link to open the link in a new window (or in a new tab, depending on a pref).

- Frequent releases and nightlies.

- Good support for bookmarklets ( ), including "test styles" and "zap".

- Support for several CSS features that are especially useful for user style sheets ( ), such as max-width, :before, attribute substring selectors, -moz-outline, and XBL. The list mentions these CSS features (61, 64, 66, 67, 51) but doesn't differentiate them from the author-oriented items surrounding them.

Related lists: (Why Mozilla Rules) (Mozilla features useful for porn surfing)

#32 Wishlist?

by omegazine

Monday November 11th, 2002 5:00 PM

Tabs are great -- especially the middle click to open a new tab. But I'd like the ability to right click on a tab and open the page in a new window.

Actually, that would be useful for any page -- an "Open this page in a new window" like you get on the "This Frame" context menu. Sometimes you want more than one window of the current page.

Just a thought..

#7 One more

by ed_welch

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 1:51 AM

Smarter mouse wheel scrolling: The mouse wheel scrolls the window that is below the mouse cursor. In native windows applications it is the window that has focus, which means in IE you have to click on the window that you want to scroll first.

#8 Nope

by tkc

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 2:02 AM

IE lets you choose from 5 "Explorer Bars", a.k.a. sidebars. Wrong on that point.

Supports blinking? NO! PLEASE, NO! *ahem*

#17 Hmm

by locka

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 12:56 PM

Unfortunately IE explorer bars are COM objects which means you must download and execute code to add one, even if all it does is show a weather forecast. Removing them can be hard too when there is no Add/Remove Programs option since it involves poking around the registry.

#23 Re: Hmm

by zreo2

Thursday November 7th, 2002 3:02 AM

You do execute some code in Mozilla also to add a bar. Much less execusion and code though =)

removing plugins for Mozilla is not easy either. This is one(or two) of the bugs that I do hope to get solved soon. But it doesn't seem to be easy to implement:

#9 Erm.

by leafdigital

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 4:06 AM

"Prevents running of executables directly" isn't something Mozilla can do that IE can't. It's something (conveniently running executables) that you *can't* do in Mozilla but you *can* do in IE.

(Yes, I want this feature. Preventing you from running .exe files is awful UI design and doesn't significantly increase security. Having downloaded the file you're clearly going to run the bugger anyway.)

Other than that (and a few other things IE does actually have, plus some I'm doubtful about - is IE really available in fewer languages? I thought Windows was probably available in quite a lot of languages) it's a pretty decent list. I'd be interested to see what IE proponents can come up with in response, and how convincing their list is in relation.


#10 One more

by ed_welch

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 4:10 AM

Come to think about it he left out 3 very important features, that the latest IE doesn't have: works on *all* versions of Windows can be downloaded via a 56kb modem in a reasonable amount of time Developers can embed it into their applications without unreasable distribution restrictions

#13 Text Zoom.....

by fletchsod

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:37 AM

The 101 blah blah... It said anyone can zoom any text, I never knew Mozilla have this feature, so how does it work????

#16 Thanks

by bmacfarland

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:45 AM

[Ctrl] + [=/+] = bigger [Ctrl] + [-/_] = smaller

These can be pressed multiple times to zoom as necessary. I could never go back IE without it. I shrink/enlarge most sites I go to, kind of like a volume switch for a TV.

#18 Thanks!!!!

by fletchsod

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 2:05 PM

Awwww Sweet!!!!!! Looked real good when it is zoomed many time over. Thanks!

#14 Oh please

by johann_p

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:37 AM

I think this is a bit childish. Not everything Mozilla can do and IE not is that important and there are probably a *lot* of things IE can do and Mozilla cannot. If these sum up to more or less than 101 I dont know, but it is not relevant. Mozilla should simply try to continue to implement the good stuff of other browsers, and all of them, while omitting their flaws and security holes. There is still a lot to learn for Mozilla from most of them, and even still from NS4.x. I would like to see a good comparison of features and HTML/CSS support though. And of course the most important advantage/can do of of Mozilla is missing: #1: can use on your favorite platform/OS including Linux!

#15 hmmm

by metalcrypt

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:39 AM

Ever heard of humor? Some people have that. ;)

#24 Erm, multiplatform is #49

by leafdigital

Thursday November 7th, 2002 3:33 AM

and if you think that's the most important advantage, to most users, you're way wrong :) It is very nice for web developers though.


#25 but it should :)

by johann_p

Thursday November 7th, 2002 6:27 AM

thanks for the clarification. But still, it *should* be the most important advantage to *all* user: after all, Windows users should be happy that this is not a Linux-only browser, and vice-versa, and the same for all other combinations :)

#19 #101 rules

by Kovu

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 7:21 PM

101. Giant lizards are cool Much more exciting than a blue e.

#26 Re: #101 rules

by fletchsod

Thursday November 7th, 2002 11:24 AM

Lizard??? Wouldn't that be "Godzilla"?? :-)

#20 Authoring Features

by LPetrazickis

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 8:04 PM

As a half-assed web developer (, I am more interested in Mozilla's exclusive authoring features. Is there a list of those our there?:)

#21 Re: Authoring Features

by asa

Wednesday November 6th, 2002 11:00 PM

There are two that you definitely want to know about. The DOM inspector and Venkman, the JS debugger and profiler. You might also be interested in the advanced features of the Page Info application and other nifty bits like "view selection source". Mozilla's support for advanced javascript bookmarklets many of which are extremely useful for quick tests and checks while developing pages.


#27 What do you think

by jedbro

Thursday November 7th, 2002 11:15 PM

This was mentioned on a security Forum I recuent. What do you think? -------------- Moz is nice from a "users" point of view, but there are MANY MANY things that IE can do that Moz cannot...

It's quite a nice browser (dunno if it is actually *BETTER* than IE, but it suits M$-o-phobes and Linux users). But my god Moz is a bitch to script for, and the DOM is very limited. Furthermore, it is designed to be completely "strict" with HTML and JS code - that makes it incredibly difficult to work with because coders inevitably make errors as the finalise their scripts and pages (and these simply "expolode" in Moz/NS6).

Luckily, IE can do everything that Moz can do in that coding regard (plus about 3,000 other, practical and often essential things in DHTML layouts - eg: determining window width and height, which is impossible in Moz/NS so you can't centre something on the screen! ).

LOL, JC (not really a IE lover) ---- Reading that "101" list a bit further - it was obviously written by a non-IE user. Dunno whether anyone else has found the various errors and silly comments in it... ----------

1. Tabbed browsing Lets you display more than one site in a window using multiple tabs

God knows why *anyone* would want to do tabbed browsing - but if you want to, just install a IE skin (eg: Netcaptor and a multitude of others). -----------

6. Can add custom panels to sidebar Custom sidebars can be implemented in HTML or XUL and can be installed from a remote site without much hassle

I definitely wouldn't want remote sites installing stuff on MY browser... but in IE you can do that kinda stuff, in fact you can alter the whole UI (not just a side bar) by installing stuff from remote sites. Interestingly, this kind of thing has been available for many years in IE : custom toolbars, etc, and don't forget the AOL browser which is exactly the same kinda thing that they are saying is possible with Moz (eeek, horrid thought - but then again, Moz *is* funded by AOL isn't it :-) )

IE can be customised considerably using HTML and other languages (eg: my OpenSelectedURL tool, which modifies the Context Menu). Sidebars are named "Explorer Bars" by M$ and the info on adding them (and other UI stuff) starts from here :

I admit that some things require registry entries, but that is easy to do (even within IE using Jscript or VBscript). -----------

13. Themes Provides two themes by default (Classic and Modern), but others may be installed

Silly comment - See 6. above ------------

30. Can select custom search engine You can select any search engine you wish, not just one that has been chosen for you

You can change that in IE - just use the relevant page on your selected search engine. For example...

I have never even HIT that search button in IE before I went looking. I have the search engines on my Links Bar. But I admit that the IE interface provides no way of altering the default search engine that loads in a side-bar. ----------

31. Can display search results in sidebar When a search is performed, results can be parsed automatically and displayed in the sidebar. You can navigate each found item, without hiding the list.

What the F#? he talking about ? Search results do exactly that in MY version of IE ! ----------

41. Can fill-in complete forms automatically Stores complete forms which can be later be filled in automatically. This is useful if you want to register for something 600 times.

Hmmm - "AutoComplete" is what I remember it is called in IE - it's enabled by default, but can be turned off - In fact, I make sure that it is DISABLED in my browsers, and I also ensure I use the correct code on my web pages so that IE **won't** save form data (irrespective of the users' browser settings)... ummm, I wonder if THAT is possible in Moz ? ----------

59. Displays ABBR/ACRONYM titles in tooltips Content in these tags are displayed with an underline and the titles of various elements are displayed in a tooltip

Ummm - huh ? The correct markup tag is <TITLE> and IE has used this tag (as well as ACRONYM) since version 4 I think ! ----------

73. PNG alpha transparency For making transparent images

Hello - PNG support has been in IE since v4, hasn't it ? But it was buggy for 24bit transparency, was fixed in IE5+ ----------

85. Address field in full screen mode In full screen mode, there is an address bar to navigate to other pages

In IE - hit F11 to go into FullScreen Mode - then R-click the toolbar and select "Address Bar". There is also some other options including a really neat "auto-hide" option. ----------

97. Various security related features Surely you knew Mozilla had better security features?

This is a COMPLETELY ridiculous comment... nobody bothers finding exploits for software that only a TINY proportion of ppl use. EVERYTHING has security flaws. And M$ (for all their problems) at least releases bug and security fixes almost IMMEDIATELY that they are identified - Moz is a LOT slower in repairing these kind of problems.

And futhermore Mozilla is still unable to release a **stable** version some 3 or 4 years after starting work... ---------

100. Bugzilla This is Mozilla's bug tracking system, where you can find information about problems you encounter and can help get them fixed.

Bug tracking system is all well and fine - but when I was involved in testing NS6 / Moz a few years ago there were SO MANY bugs that there was little point in bothering with Bugzilla (it was completely overloaded). Dunno if that has changed, but I know that M$ have a thing called "Knowledge Base" which does exactly the same thing.


That is just a quick analysis I can make, without going into the specific DOM-related comments that the guy made.

Also, I'd like to point out this quote from

"Deakin said he created the list in response to a question posed in a discussion forum about the advantages Mozilla had over IE. But he cautioned against reading too much into his findings, pointing out that it would be trivial for someone to compile a similar list of features IE has that Mozilla doesn't."


My comments are not "knocking" Mozilla - I like the concept of it a lot. But I always take exception when people post silly things like that list - it shows that they have nothing better to do (and note how many people that guy distributed it to - it was not just a simple post, it was almost used propoganda)

#28 A Few Points...

by Canar

Friday November 8th, 2002 12:38 AM

Not sure if you're trolling or not, but there are some errors in your post.

Tabbed browsing is much easier to use than multi-window browsing, with far less clutter. I use tabbed browsers to exclusion now.

The remote site installation gives a dialog, a very clear concise one at that, explaining what's going on. IE's installation dialog is much less user-friendly. That, and IE add-ons are compiled, not interpreted. Thus, they pose a much higher security risk than interpreted add-ons via HTML and XUL.

Theme support is central to Mozilla, and not central to IE. So-called "skinned" IE browsers use the IE rendering core, and only mimic the IE user-interface.

Point 41 is available in both browsers, with Moz's feature set being somewhat more easily configured than IE's, with as much flexibility and control.

The correct markup tag is /not/ &lt;TITLE&gt;. There is no HTML TITLE tag, except in the HEAD block. It is ABBR or ACRONYM, neither of which IE supports very well.

IE does not support PNG partial transparency. At all.

Mozilla has a much faster bug-recognition to bug-fix time than IE does. Look at the time it took for MS to respond to Nimda and the like. Mozilla is open-source, thus independent programmers can be certain that a given component is secure.

The latest versions of Mozilla are very stable. I haven't had a Moz crash since before I installed 1.1. IE, at least in my case, now has a higher crash-to-use-time ratio than Mozilla.

And Knowledge Base does not do exactly the same thing. Open Bugzilla in one window, KB in the other. Browse back and forth. A, KB does not post user-submissions, B, KB does not list who is attempting to fix a bug, C, KB does not list patches being worked on for a bug, and so on. That, and KB is very, very slow at posting bugs in IE, and MS is even slower at fixing them.

#33 Re: A Few Points...

by bcortez

Tuesday November 12th, 2002 11:41 AM

To perhaps clarify a bit. He may have meant the TITLE attribute (not tag). The TITLE attribute of every HTML tag is supposed to supply a "tooltip" for the user upon hover. Mozilla does have bugs in it's implementation of this attribute (see Bugzilla Bug #45375).

#29 Re: What do you think

by ndeakin

Friday November 8th, 2002 7:50 AM

>>97. Various security related features Surely you knew Mozilla had better security features?

>>This is a COMPLETELY ridiculous comment... nobody bothers finding exploits for software that only a TINY proportion of ppl use. EVERYTHING has security flaws. And M$ (for all their problems) at least releases bug and security fixes almost IMMEDIATELY that they are identified - Moz is a LOT slower in repairing these kind of problems.

That's funny. The security issue I reported to Mozilla (bug 147754) was fixed in 3 and a half hours. That sounds like "IMMEDIATELY" to me.

Anyway, where in the text "Various security related features. Surely you knew Mozilla had better security features?" did I say I was refering to security bugs?

> and note how many people that guy distributed it to

I mentioned it on my Weblog and responded to a newsgroup posting with it. I didn't send it to anybody else. Things on the Internet distrubute themselves.

/ Neil

#30 What exactly are you talking about...

by laszlo

Friday November 8th, 2002 10:26 AM

...when you say that "the DOM is very limited"? You obviously haven't explored it to its full potential, otherwise you wouldn't say this.

"[...] IE can do everything that Moz can do in that coding regard (plus about 3,000 other, practical and often essential things in DHTML layouts - eg: determining window width and height, which is impossible in Moz/NS so you can't centre something on the screen!)." See above.

"[...] coders inevitably make errors as the finalise their scripts and pages [...]" Erroneous scripts also won't run in IE, so you can't talk about errors in scripts here. I guess you're talking about proprietary extensions. Regarding errors in HTML and/or CSS: Ever heard of the possibility to validate your code? Just take a look at and .

You're obviously a non-developer ;-)

"God knows why *anyone* would want to do tabbed browsing [...]" Ever tried it? Obviously not.

"[...] M$ (for all their problems) at least releases bug and security fixes almost IMMEDIATELY that they are identified - Moz is a LOT slower in repairing these kind of problems." Now this is ridiculous. Do some research, and you'll find about 30 still unfixed security bugs in various IE versions, most of which have been publicly known for months. I wouldn't call this "immediately".

I'm not saying that I totally agree with this "101 things" list - it could have been made the other way round, too. But some of the things you say here are just plain wrong.

#31 Was meant to be a response to jedbro above (n/t)

by laszlo

Friday November 8th, 2002 10:34 AM