Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Firefox -- what the heck happened?

Once upon a time, an organization called Mozilla came up with a browser designed to challenge Microsoft's putrid Internet Explorer.

And, so, Firefox was born. Life was good. The Firefox browser was small, fast and considerably more secure than Explorer. Early compatibility problems were ironed out and enthusiastic users developed skins to change the look of the browser and add-ons that made Firefox the most customizable browser on the planet.

I've been a Firefox fan for years, in fact. After messing around with Firefox 3 for the past few months, however, I can't help but wonder what the heck happened?

My light, fast browser has been replaced by a resource-hogging monster that is slow and has definite problems with security. I feel like I'm back in the old Internet Explorer days again and that's no good at all. I believed that Firefox 3 just needed to be updated a few times and things would be great again. That doesn't happen -- if anything, updates have made this browser more problematic than the original Firefox 3 that wasn't compatible with a lot of skins and add-ons from previous versions and took forever to load and run.

What on earth got into the folks at Mozilla? How has success encouraged them to develop something that is almost Microsoft-like in its bloat and the annoyance it causes? Will future editions of Firefox actually be worse? Will another company show up and develop a browser that will be everything Firefox used to be -- light, fast and a magnet for community support?

It would appear we're entering a period in which Firefox's failures have strengthened competitors and have caused at least one new browser to be developed. Apple's Safari has gained some fans as of late and let's not forget that a lot of longtime Opera fans are claiming their browser is just the thing for people who feel let down by Firefox (Opera's good stuff -- I've been messing around with it on my PC and it works very well on my Nintendo Wii, too).

Opera and Safari aren't exactly new, of course. One browser that is very new and works amazingly well is Google Chrome. It seems that Google, as part of the company's overall strategy to rule the world, went and put together a very capable browser that's built on the Safari core. Could it be that Google saw a bunch of irate Firefox fans and decided to cater to it?

If someone would have told me two years ago that I'd grow to hate Firefox almost as much as Internet Explorer, I would have said they were nuts. Sadly, that's exactly what's happened. Mozilla has messed around and has revealed a weakness that competitors appear to be exploiting as we speak.

George Stephanopoulos is a fat head and a hack

As anyone who has been paying attention ought to know by now, President Barack Obama went and addressed Congress on Tuesday. He was talking about the economy and how to fix it by throwing money at it.

I'm not going to talk about that as his address has been dissected all over the place. Besides, I've griped about his economic fixes enough and don't feel like doing it again.

No, I'm going to talk about George "Mouthpiece" Stephanopoulos. I was watching a recap of Obama's speech on ABC's Nightline and noticed, as usual, that Mouthpiece was called on to give an analysis of it all.

Has Mouthpiece ever said "I think Obama got it wrong" or "maybe this guy is totally off base" or "what the hell is he talking about?" Has Stephanopoulos ever been seriously critical of Obama at all?

I don't mind him being an obviously biased jerk as he's always been an obviously biased jerk. However, the man hold himself out to be an "independent journalist" and has found a lot of people in the media willing to back him up on that.

Why is it, then, that partisans on Fox News are accused of political whoring and cheerleading, whereas Mouthpiece is assigned a certain level of credibility for doing essentially the same thing?


FishHawk said...

After we were finally allowed and enabled to get a new computer just before Christmas last year, I was anxious to give Firefox a try. For I had heard so many rave reviews of it, but I couldn't get it to cooperate with Blogger when trying to post new articles, for some reason or another.

I then tried Google Chrome, and I just didn't like the look of it, amongst other things. So, I went back to using IE7 after IE8 quickly become a nightmare to me. I suppose I am just not ready to venture forth in a brave new world.

Natural said...

i've had a lot more crashes w/FF in the last few days, but it's still my favorite browser. i won't be giving it up any time soon.

gudipudi said...

to be frank i never faced any problem with firefox nor i am facing now ..... said...

Lately, I have been having problems with Firefox. I'll be in the middle of doing something and all of a sudden, my browser will crash! It is very frustrating, but of all the available options out there, FireFox still seems the best to me.


Eat Well. Live Well.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree FIREFOX SUCKS......

It kept crashing on me so much, that I went back to Internet Explorer and just put the popup blocker on HIGH. And thats what I have been using for a couple months now

Since I really dont care for any of the other browsers

Only time I use FIREFOX is for the ENTRECARD TOOLBAR and to do DROPS thats it... Only time FIRECRAP gets launched.

--- Christopher

lot 2 learn said...

As I sit here by candlelight, still using my I/E 7, I have to admit that fear of change and all the fancy computer stuff keeps me from venturing into FireFox, Google Chrome, or any other strange new browser. I would like to say that I did enjoy the second part of your post. Good luck with your Firefox : )

Stunatra said...

Firefox has gone to complete shit the past year. It is a bloated hog that crashes randomly. I am totally disappointed it in it. But that doesn't mean I'll quit using it...I still like the browser and its plugins...but if it continues to get worse, I guess I will then start looking for another browser. Here's hoping Mozilla get its act together.

The BoBo said...

Well - considering my start with FF was with FF3 - I have nothing to compare it to regarding that. All I know is that my FF is a heckuva lot better than my IE.

I'll keep my eyes on it though!

A Valdese Blogger said...

I'm using Fire Fox for the very first time because of some security problems I was having - I hoped this might help. I'm not used to it at all, and I hope to goodness it doesnt turn out to be a nightmare.

JunkDrawer Kathy said...

I use Firefox and like it way better than IE. However, it takes forever and a day to launch, which is mildly annoying. It could be because I have tons of add-ons installed. Sometimes those can be a source of crashes, btw. So if anyone's having constant crashes, try disabling add-ons and maybe killing ones you don't need at all. Lighter might be better.

Denford said...

I love Chrome. With this, Google have basically anticipated Web 3.0 and this is where Firefox is falling. I, like you , find it extremely slow to load anything.

Chrome, on the other hand, behaves like it is on steroids. Even open new tabs is easier in Chrome than in Firefox.

Definitely Chrome is going to be the standard and I believe we do not have long to wait.

About "Mouthpiece" (I prefer the term Ventrilonquist Dummy, but that is neither here nor there):

History is written by the victors, Churchill once said. So, they also set the standard on who is partisan or not, who is right and who is wrong.

The Germans have lived with that for more than 50 years. The Republicans will only have to stomach it for eight.

The Natural State Hawg said...

FishHawk -- I've not had trouble getting Firefox to cooperate with anything -- it's just so slow getting anything done anymore that it's annoying. I, too, prefer IE7 (when I have to use Explorer, I mean).

Natural -- I still use Firefox quite a bit. However, I'm starting to lean on Chrome more and more...

gudipudi -- Glad to hear it. I wish I could report the same!

Paul -- Now, give Chrome a shot! You might like it...

Christopher -- Heh. I avoid toolbars like the plague. They've always been trouble...

lot 2 learn -- Glad you liked that small observation. I still don't get how Mouthpiece can get away with calling himself objective. He's about as objective as I am.

Candlelight, huh? It takes about two dozen candles to generate the power to run my laptop ;)

Stunatra -- I hope Mozilla improves Firefox, too. I still use the browser, but it's gotten wicked slow over the past year.

The BoBo -- I agree. I absolutely hate having to use IE (and that does get run from time to time out of necessity).

Valdese -- Firefox isn't bad -- when it works right. Good luck!

Kathy -- Mine's pretty light right now...

Denford -- I hope it's not eight years and you are correctly right about who's writing history and defining objectivity.

I'm liking Chrome more and more these days, too...