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Why We Love Firefox, and Why We Hate It 665

Posted by Soulskill
from the numbers-at-the-end-of-it dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Conceivably Tech: "Admit it. You are in a love-hate relationship with Firefox. Either Mozilla gets Firefox right and you are jumping up and down, or Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor Chrome. Mozilla's passionate user base keeps Firefox dangling between constant ups and downs, which is a good thing, as long as Mozilla is going up. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now. Mozilla's market share has been slipping again at a significant pace. There has been some discussion and finger-pointing, and it seems that the rapid release process has to take the blame this time. Are we right to blame the rapid release process?" What do you find most annoying or gratifying about Firefox these days?
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Why We Love Firefox, and Why We Hate It

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  • Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schwit1 (797399) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:07PM (#40879651)

    The problem is not rapid release unless Mozilla is forcing upgrades upon users.

    • by Nemyst (1383049) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:08PM (#40879667) Homepage

      Funny thing is, most people who ditch Firefox move on to Chrome, which has a rapid release cycle with automatic and hidden updates.

      • by ClintJCL (264898) <[clintjcl+slashdot] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:11PM (#40879705) Homepage Journal
        The main difference being that those updates don't tend to kill your plugins like they do in firefox.
        • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

          by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:30PM (#40879885) Homepage
          Firefox fixed that problem ages ago.
          • by ClintJCL (264898) <[clintjcl+slashdot] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:31PM (#40879903) Homepage Journal
            It wasn't fixed when I left for Chrome about 6 months ago. I guess I'm not sure how long "ages" is for you.
            • by equex (747231) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:36PM (#40879947) Homepage
              I'm pretty sure the word 'age' in IT measures the time from when someone switched from something to something else and then notifying you about it. Some sort of temporal penis length.
          • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by thsths (31372) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:49PM (#40880587)

            > Firefox fixed that problem ages ago.

            No, unfortunately not. They applied some kind of ugly clutch, but not a proper fix (such as a stable properly versioned API)...

          • by icebike (68054) * on Saturday August 04, 2012 @07:20PM (#40881645)

            Firefox fixed that problem ages ago.

            No, they didn't.
            They just made it easier to blame the plugin writers due to Mozilla's incessant API tweaking.

        • by UltraZelda64 (2309504) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:40PM (#40879989)

          Plus, Chrome's UI seems more set in stone. Firefox's did seem that way until some time after Google introduced their competing product, but then Mozilla thought it would be a brilliant idea to fuck with the UI to the point where not only the interface but now the release cycle tries to mimic Chrome as closely as possible. Mozilla's browser still feels like it's in a constant, never-ending state of flux, and Mozilla is still trying fucking with the UI, making me dread every new "version" of Firefox that is released.

          Although I didn't really care for Chrome's interface to begin with (and still don't), at least it's stable and not in a constant state of change, so I've been contemplating switching to it. The problem is, I will be missing out on a lot of things I'm used to, especially many of Firefox's extensions.

          Now we've got Google's Chrome which is catching up on the deal-breaking extensions it still somewhat lacks but seemingly faster at handling javascript-heavy pages, and Mozilla's Chrome wannabe tripping all over itself to be even more like the real thing. AdBlock Plus is now working (as a testing release) for Chrome, so that's one major thing not holding me back any longer. I have no idea what the status of NoScript on Chrome is, but that's the other major thing holding me back.

          I also don't like how in Chrome to access the bookmarks menu you have to click a button all the way over to the right, makes a mess when you start going through your nested menus having to move the mouse right, left, right just to navigate, but oh well... Mozilla has done a hell of a lot to make their browser a miserable pain in the ass to work with while making it probably more bloated than the Mozilla Suite before it (its whole reason for existence to begin with), so they're even.

          As Chrome continues to improve and Mozilla's morphing rip-off continues to struggle with its identity by copying Chrome poorly, I imagine a time that I might switch completely. Never would've expected to say this back when Firefox was itself, after all, I hated the Chrome layout. But now... that's all changed. Now I'm just waiting for a good time to jump ship, when it's good and ready.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cpu6502 (1960974)

            I hate Chrome. Every time I open a tab, it open 1 or 2 more processes. Pretty soon all these processes are fighting with one another to get HDD access, and the whole think freezes up 1 minute each time.

            Firefox runs better.
            And yes it's annoying that Firefox (and IE) is trying to copy chome UI. Firefox (and IE) should have its own personality, not clone somebody else.

            • by Zantetsuken (935350) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:33PM (#40880887) Homepage
              Seems like somebody should try and actually make their response to this... actually useful and constructive?

              The separate processes for each tab is EXACTLY what makes Chrome superior.

              While my desktop is a 4x core Phenom 2 w/ 4GB of RAM, my laptop that mostly sits around (as I have not needed to refresh it since I don't really need a laptop right now) is a Gateway ultra-light from 2006 - Core Solo ULV (1st gen Core series, single core, 1.3GHz) w/ 1GB of RAM.

              I have a minimalist Debian installation on it running Openbox, WICD, and Chrome - not much else, so that it keeps resources free for actually using it. Chrome runs great, the only thing that chokes it up is if I try to load anything with Flash video (Youtube, etc) and generally I can open as many tabs as I want. And when it does freeze, the browser GUI is still useable to close whatever page does have a flash video loaded.

              Firefox 3.x (that was the last time I had Firefox on that system, about 1.5 years ago?) would choke up just from loading 5 or more tabs - without flash on them. Whats worse, is that on Firefox, when it did freeze, it took the whole interface down with it. There are reasons that Firefox and everybody else is trying to play catch-up to Chrome and include process isolation.

              Also, most web-browsers tend to access web-pages - on the internet... the HDD is really only used for caching pages (and images, etc on them) locally. Why would you think that

              ...all these processes are fighting with one another to get HDD access

              need massive amounts of HDD I/O at all? And how did this even get marked "insightful"?

              I see so many comments on articles about Chrome (not just on this one article either) about "I'm not going to switch just to jump on the Chrome bandwagon!" - its not about jumping on any bandwagon, its that at the moment (and for the past few years now) Chrome really is a better experience.

            • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Aranykai (1053846) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (resnogls)> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:55PM (#40881053)

              So the sum of the parts is somehow more than the total?

              Not to be rude, but it sounds like you need more memory. I just opened two dozen tabs in quick succession and all the chrome processes combined never hit the disk for more than 1Mbps.

          • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

            by PixetaledPikachu (1007305) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:07PM (#40880243)

            Plus, Chrome's UI seems more set in stone. Firefox's did seem that way until some time after Google introduced their competing product, but then Mozilla thought it would be a brilliant idea to fuck with the UI to the point where not only the interface but now the release cycle tries to mimic Chrome as closely as possible. Mozilla's browser still feels like it's in a constant, never-ending state of flux, and Mozilla is still trying fucking with the UI, making me dread every new "version" of Firefox that is released.

            The default UI yes, but if you have a customized UI, version updates will keep your customization from one release to another. I've been using this [googleusercontent.com] scheme for about one year on the nightly version which is automatically updated by firefox PPA channel. It also works on the current stable version.

          • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Shining Celebi (853093) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:12PM (#40880289) Homepage

            This is the biggest problem Mozilla has. They listen to everybody and everything, and so they can't win because surprise, people don't agree.

            People were pushing hard for Firefox to have a more minimalist UI like Chrome. Mozilla acquiesced. Then all the people who use their browser as a tool and not a lifestyle got a big surprise when the update came down the pipeline and got irritated about it.

            People are pushing hard for Firefox to update more often - this was probably legitimate, since it was taking a year plus between releases. They did. Then another group of people got irate about rapid releases.

            People were pushing hard for Firefox to reduce memory usage. Mozilla reduced Firefox's memory usage. Now people complain that Firefox is a bit slower and uses more CPU because less is cached in memory.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:29PM (#40880867)

              Hrm - sounds good but I think you mised the point. Nobody complains about a upgrade from 3.6.0 to 3.6.1 that leaves all plugins intact and just fixes bugs or adds new features. Unfortunately this is not what Mozilla is doing. Every new "major" release offers less new stuff than the previous one and to be honest, when I went from 12 to 15, I really couldn't put my finger on a single thing that the new version did better. Some things were different - but different is not better if it doesn't bring you benefits.

            • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:30PM (#40880873) Journal

              As far as I'm concerned, Firefox has a one-two punch that still makes it the best browser despite a series of dumb changes, like that "awesomebar" crap. But Firebug and its family of extensions are better than anything else for testing your web development, and AdBlock for Firefox has no equal, and those two pieces of functionality mean an awful lot.

              As long as these things remai true, the sites I build will always work and look best in Firefox.

            • by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @06:05PM (#40881119) Homepage Journal

              The big problem is that Firefox's feature releases, UI changes, bug fixes and security updates all go out in the same constant release cycle... so every time it gets updated, plugins break, new security holes are opened, UI elements change/vanish/are moved around etc.

              So for anyone wanting to just get stuff done, Firefox has become a royal pain. For enterprise environments wanting to use it, it just can't be trusted to continuously function as expected anymore. The versions that have the features that work with the enterprise workflow don't have the security patches required to keep it secure.

            • People were pushing hard for Firefox to reduce memory usage. Mozilla reduced Firefox's memory usage. Now people complain that Firefox is a bit slower and uses more CPU because less is cached in memory.

              Er, no. People were complaining that Firefox leaked and wasted memory. Now they've been actively working to understand and reduce memory usage and Firefox is faster and less of a memory hog. They aren't just turning down cache sizes, they aren't trying to change the behaviour of Firefox at all. They're fixing everything from "clown shoes" memory allocations and heavily fragmented javascript containers to misbehaving addons that leak handles.

          • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:26PM (#40880831) Journal
            If you are on Windows try Pale Moon [palemoon.org] which has forked away from FF as of V12 because they too grew tired of UI changes. it also has the SSE flags set at compile so its snappier than FF. if you decide instead to go to the Chrome side I'd suggest Comodo Dragon [comodo.com] which is Chrome without the phone home.
            • by jlebar (1904578) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @06:23PM (#40881267) Homepage

              If you are on Windows try Pale Moon [palemoon.org] which has forked away from FF as of V12 because they too grew tired of UI changes.

              Firefox is currently at version 14. If you're using Firefox 12, you're using software with known security vulnerabilities.

              It's not clear to me that the Pale Moon guys have actually forked Firefox at version 12; it may just be that they haven't upgraded to the latest version yet. But I seriously doubt that Pale Moon has backported every security fix from FF13 and FF14, and if not, it's insecure.

              If you don't like the possibility of getting UI changes every six weeks, use Firefox ESR, or, for that matter, use IE. But you're not doing yourself any favors by running an insecure web browser.

              it also has the SSE flags set at compile so its snappier than FF

              I can't find the benchmarks on the Pale Moon site anymore, but I looked at them some time ago, and didn't observe that it offered any significant performance improvements. I doubt you'll be able to observe a performance difference due to anything other than the placebo effect.

              • Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

                by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @07:05PM (#40881549) Journal

                Noooo it is NOT having "security vulnerabilities" because the Pale Moon devs are fixing holes and porting patches themselves so that is not a problem, and they have already said in their forum they are sticking with the V12 UI because they don't like what the Moz roadmap looks like. Isn't that the point of FOSS? If you don't like the direction you can fork? Well that is what they did, they forked.

                And you can make any "placebo" claims that you want, I've seen with my own eyes the difference on an Athlon X2 I keep at the shop. FF is a little piggy core hog while Pale Moon isn't slamming the shit out of the cores. Most likely that is because PM is using the SSE flags so its using the parts of the core that FF never touches, but in any case FF sucks major ass on older chips like Pentium Ds and Athlon X2s while PM is snappy.

          • by gerf (532474)
            I agree, the UI needs to settle down. I loved the mobile version until they forced the supposedly "awesome" bar to be always-on. a developer recently said it's gotten crazy as well. http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/07/firefox-developer-everybody-hates-firefox-updates/ [webmonkey.com] I've used FF since it was Phoenix, but now I'm trying out Chrome, Dolphin, and Opera.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Volante3192 (953645)

      You mean like how Chrome is currently at version 21? Did you even know Chrome updated?

    • by Fuzzums (250400)

      Not even that. Frequent upgrades are not bad as long as you know what you get.
      If it's bug fixes. Please, upgrade me.
      But breaking plugins (I miss my beloved mouse gestures) and changing the gui every time. That sux.

    • Yeah and moving to Chrome fixes that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:07PM (#40879653)

    Get separate processes already.

  • Flash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Naatach (574111) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:08PM (#40879665)
    I know it's Adobe's fail, but Flash is still everywhere. When the browser locks up on Flash sites, it is annoying.
    • Re:Flash (Score:5, Informative)

      by Volante3192 (953645) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:12PM (#40879717)

      Kill 'plugin-container.exe' if you're using Firefox. You have to reload the page to get flash working, but the rest of Firefox is unaffected.

      • Within the past year, I started getting flash crashes on Firefox. I think it was the 'plugin-container' update. Flash is quite unstable anymore.
        • To add; on windows, after invoking ff my system locks up (meaning COMPLETELY unresponsive, for at least 5 minutes (yes, FIVE minutes, if not longer), until it finishes doing whatever it does.) I've tried sitting on the problem through two unpdates. After the second without any change to the problem I switched to chrome, which I dislike compared to my previous experience with ff. But to date, I still use chrome on Windows. On linux I never had a problem. The current version of linux ff runs like it always di
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:09PM (#40879685)

    I used Mozilla back when Mozilla was a browser.

    Then Phoenix came along, and I started using that. Much more lightweight. At some point it got renamed to Firebird. Later on, it became Firefox. All was well. It was a great browser.

    Then at some point in the past, I dunno, 3 years, these UI people (who probably know fuckall about software engineering) got their grubby fingers into the project and started rearranging the entire user interface. A user interface that had looked THE EXACT SAME FOR THE BETTER PART OF A DECADE.

    Then I entered this painful stage of Firefox use, where every time I'd upgrade it, I'd have to fuck around trying to get it to look and act like the browser I'd been using for years. Eventually I realized that they were trying to make it look like Chrome. Then it started wanting me to upgrade it every week. Fuck that. I use a browser to do work, I know for a lot of people the browser is mostly a toy. But I need my tools to be stable, reliable, and behave consistently and predictably.

    So I switched to Chrome. Haven't looked back.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As noted before, you do realize that Chrome is even worse in terms of frequency of updates, right? You just don't see it happening.

    • by AuMatar (183847) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:54PM (#40880111)

      Try SeaMonkey, the old Mozilla suite. It's stable, no frequent updates, no GUI changes every 2 weeks, and actually uses less memory than Firefox. The Firefox UI devs are obviously pretty god damn bad.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:10PM (#40879689)

    I don't love or hate Firefox. I just appreciate it for what it's done, what it's represented, and the fact that it's STILL relevant and sharping the web, even in the face of gigantic corporations like Google, Apple, and Microsoft trying to wring the web in their own directions.

    As a browser, it's just one of the good ones.. which is exactly the way I like it. I like having multiple good browsers available, in case one of them can't do something. And Firefox is the all-rounder that does what I need it to when all the cooler new browsers fail.

  • My love-hate (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Lode (1290856) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:11PM (#40879703)

    Love: It can browse the web (yeah!). It's multiplatform. It's well maintained. It's up to date with the latest standards. The "3D View" feature in Inspect Element. The many good plugins.

    Hate: A single tab can hang the whole browser. No convenient way to view an image with the wrong MIME type in the browser anyway. Too little and dumbed down settings. No more status bar. Still no good debugging tools, and the plugin Firebug is unhandy and annoying. The weird branding thing they do that caused Archlinux to not call it Firefox but various other lame names in the past (are they for open source or what?). No more innovation (why not try things like multiple tab groups or so instead of "innovating" by removing stuff from the interface?). The Android version sometimes crashes and once made the whole phone reboot after a crash.

    I'm probably missing many things :)

    • Oh yeah, I missed one: its slowness.

      • I'd like to move away from Firefox due to it's slowness, but NoScript and Adblock are the main reasons I stay with it.

        There's a bunch of other useful plugins and some are ported to Chrome, but I've not found a NoScript replacement yet.
        • by bhcompy (1877290)
          There won't be one exactly like it.. a long while back there was a dev posting somewhere that stated that Chromium doesn't have the hooks the FF does for NoScript to be implemented the way it is. Regardless, FF has it now and it works. I'm not a fan of FF, but I'm a fan of NoScript more than Ghostery, NotScript, and whatever other stuff is available on Chrome/Chromium that attempts to duplicate NoScript.
          • by jkflying (2190798) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @03:53AM (#40884641)

            Yup, even AdBlock is crippled in Chrome. In FF it actually blocks the browser from fetching the ad, in Chrome it just stops it from being displayed, so if somebody decides to stick in a 100000x1000000.tiff Chrome will still go and download the entire thing, while FF won't even try. This makes it harder for the site to tell if you are blocking their ads, but easier to track you.

    • Still no good debugging tools

      This might sound like a troll within this particular discussion, but it's not - I use IE for script debugging. Its interface is quicker to use than both Firebug and Chrome. I was surprised myself, but then MS is generally fairly good when it comes to coding tools. I tried debugging in Chrome and though it was quicker it felt more awkward than Firebug. IE's debug panel works best for me. Perhaps give that a try.

  • by mkraft (200694) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:11PM (#40879707)

    This article states that Firefox's user base is shrinking by "significant" numbers and that there are more Chrome users than Firefox users.

    The following article claims Firefox's user base is growing and that there are more Firefox users than Chrome users:
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/firefox-continues-to-gain-as-internet-explorer-chrome-slide/ [arstechnica.com]

    How can both be right?

    • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:56PM (#40880135)

      There are two main webstats providers - statcounter, and Net Marketshare. TFA uses the former, Ars Technica uses the latter.

      Statcounter uses 3 million + sites; net marketshare 40,000.
      Statcounter counts total page views, net marketshare counts unique visits per site per user per day.
      Statcounter doesn't weight their stats, net marketshare does by country, using rather elderly CIA stats IIRC.

      Basically, their measurements aren't measuring the same thing. I think weighting by country is a fairly large error, especially as the CIA internet usage stats aren't exactly up to date at times; for example, they don't include substantial chinese mobile device traffic, so can rather drastically weight the stats towards desktop users - and given china is a big holdout of old versions of IE on the desktop, and the substantial size of china's population, that kind of weighting will likely show IE usage higher than it is, which does fit one of the differences. Aditionally, unique visitors is hard to measure, and can also give misleading statistics - if a work user browses a single page at work on their elderly stock IE browser (say, checks the headlines), but then catches up on the same site at home and reads a ton of pages from chrome or their ipad, net marketshare would count that as 50-50 usage between IE and chrome or safari; in reality, they're using their home browser much more, which stat counter would reflect.

      The downside of statcounter's approach is when a browser inflates their page views; for example, the chrome 'pre-fetch' default option was thought to drastically inflate its marketshare, because it was silently fetching pages in the background, most of which weren't ever viewed. Statscounter now correct for that, and it affected chrome's share by a fraction of 1%, so in the end wasn't a large factor.

      While both use plenty large enough samples to be statistically valid, they still have to be representative samples of a very diverse population of browsers and users. I can't help but think a much larger sample is more likely to be representative.

      Overall, while both measures have flaws, I think statcounters methods give a closer approximation to real usage than net marketplace does. That said, I certainly wouldn't use the data from either to two decimal places worth of accuracy on month to month drifts, as many sites (such as ars technica) do - the variation is just not measured that precisely to draw the kind of conclusions that the media often do.

      What can be said is that IE's share is steadily shrinking other than the odd blip, while chrome and firefox have been the primary beneficiaries on the desktop of that - firefox is fairly static or shrinking, chrome is growing. Whether they're neck and neck, or chrome is ahead depends upon your stats. No matter how you measure, IE is below 50%. Safari is the big beast in mobile browsing by a long way.

      Mor than that is rather hard to say with any great reliability.

  • Compared to chrome, it's slower (on my laptop), and it takes more ram. Which is automatic turn off for me. Like playing fps game at 15 frames per second. Screw that.

    On the other hand, when site is bringing my chrome down, i fire up firefox... and it works. Softlayers virtual server order page was the latest to cause problems for my chrome.

  • I love Firefox, but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:12PM (#40879723) Homepage

    I don't use it.

    I was using NCSA Mosaic on Unix machines and loving it.

    Later, I was using Netscape.

    Then I was using IE when it was the only stable browser around.

    At about that time, I started using the Firefox alphas (wasn't called Firefox then). It crashed early and often.

    Later, when it became stable, it was really stable. It was the only browser I used on XP, other than testing in IE.

    Of course, I'll always continue to love it. But these days, it's just too slow. It "greys" out all the time. Chrome never does that. And launching a new window is instantaneous in Chrome. Not so for FF. Not to mention always show "Well, this is a little embarrassing, we can't load all your tabs" when it restarts.

    This is on the latest Ubuntu on a late-model laptop. YMMV esp. on Windows.

    The point being Chrome is the most used browser (for me), and Firefox is the browser emeritus.

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Yeah, same here :P

      Firefox (well, "Iceweasel" on Debian) is still ostensibly my "primary" browser, since I still sort of maintain my main set of bookmarks there. Not that I really maintain my set of bookmarks anymore.

      Silly enough, I started using Chrome because it reacted much faster on Mafia Wars (I long since kicked the habit and any other Zynga-like "games", but kept the browser). I also sort of enjoy the right-click menu working properly on Google maps.

      I want to support Firefox for being there when we

  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:13PM (#40879725) Homepage

    Plenty of upgrades have had pure windows-centric upgrades. For example, background updating of the user profile, an update service for windows, windows-specific UI, a plenty of others.

    I find it annoying that there's some versions bring almost no changes to the browser itself, but bring plenty to windows-integrations, sometimes even to compensate for the OS's lackings. Meanwhile, I have an OS that has already solved many of those issues, and to me, firefox X.Y has not a single change.

  • Admit it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:13PM (#40879727)

    Admit it... you hate when articles start with "admit it", as if all potential readers are of one mind. I frankly don't love Firefox, or hate it, or even think about it. Browser's are about as valuable to me as a hammer or a chair. One is pretty much like another. I'll use the one that feels most comfortable to me, and waste no further thought on it.

    • Re:Admit it... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:04PM (#40880199)

      Most importantly, going back 10 years, the fact that we CAN drop our web browser and just fire up a different vendor's browser, and have it render up web pages every bit as well is a huge improvement.

      10 years ago we were bitching that IE6 sucked, but we have no choice, people were designing to it and Netscape couldn't handle that content. Now we're complaining that Firefox has fallen behind, but there's Chrome, Safari and (if you're desparate) IE9. I assume that Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Apple pay a lot of attention to the usage of their browser, and looking at the shift in market. They will correct issues, while we, the users, can choose the browser that works best.

      This "all or nothing" mentality is absolutely insane. We see it with the tablet/smartphone market, people think there's no room for PCs anymore (as if). We're bitching about Firefox because it's fallen into momentary disarray, so it must be about to combust. No, assuming Mozilla wants to keep firefox dominant, they will fix it. It may take a couple years, but they'll fix it. In the mean time we can hop on Chrome or Safari or whatever is happening now, be happy, and this is all good.

  • I've been a local Mozilla user forever.

    I used Mozilla years before Firefox existed. Eventually Phoenix was spawned and it was renamed and eventually became Firefox.

    I used Firefox up until version 6, and the rapid release schedule turned me off.

    So a 10+ year firefox user gone... and I imagine it will continue to lose users with this stupid crap they pulled.

  • by pubwvj (1045960)

    "Admit it. You are in a love-hate relationship with Firefox"

    Uh... no. What a strange idea. It's an inanimate non-object. I don't waste hate on it and I don't love it either. It's a tool that works for what it does. I don't tend to use it unless my usual browser, Safari, has trouble with a web site. But there is no love or hate lost.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      They're describing a love-hate relationship, which by definition means the love/hate goes both ways.
      You may not love or hate Firefox, but Firefox sure loves and/or hates you!

  • by HycoWhit (833923) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:28PM (#40879871)
    Dear Mozilla,

    I tried to keep the love alive. I really did. Always waiting around for you--one can only take your "Not Responding" so many times before my eye begins to wander to the younger, hotter browsers that appreciate me for who I am and still make me feel special. The last straw was when out on the road and you just wouldn't pull up any pages while Dolphin was happily flip-flopping around. Sorry--but I am leaving you and not coming back. You are a great browser and I'm sure you'll find that someone that makes you feel as special as we used to make each other feel. Best of luck--I'll always cherish our time together.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:29PM (#40879879) Homepage Journal
    I find that Firefox, when it updates, invariably breaks my automated testing process with Selenium/WATIR. I always have to keep current release -1 on hand. :-(
  • by heretic108 (454817) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:31PM (#40879895)
    Firefox is the greatest browser, with advanced features to benefit every user at a profound spiritual level:
    * Its memory bloat teaches us to be mindful of our resources, both within the computer, and our use of our resources in everyday outer life.
    * Its slowness helps teach us patience.
    * When the whole browser freezes up from a bit of incompetent CPU-thrashing javascript code running in one tab, it teaches us to be responsible for our own coding decisions and how they affect others.
    * Its slow startup teaches us that wonderful things don't happen instantly, and that we need to lose our attachment to time

    Stay away from Chrome - it feeds the ego by promoting our addiction to instant gratification
  • by heypete (60671) <pete@heypete.com> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:31PM (#40879897) Homepage

    I've been using Firefox for years and I've seen it steadily improve. Sure, there's been some odd UI decisions (FF2 had the URL bar on SSL-secured sites colored yellow which made it obvious when one was visiting a secured site. The next version didn't. Up until recently, SSL-secured sites had a blue "secured" indicator to the left of the URL bar while EV sites had a green indicator. The blue indicator has been removed in FF14 and the green one is less distinct.), but overall the browser has improved.

    At first, the rapid release cycle was annoying but that was mostly because the browser required admin rights on Windows to update. Chrome avoids this by having the update process run under the system account in the background. Newer versions of FF do this as well so updates are considerably less obnoxious and my concerns with the rapid release cycle are eliminated (though I still think the numbering scheme is a bit annoying).

    I've found Firefox to be the most consistently-good browser out there. Recent improvements in JavaScript processing have made Firefox just as fast (if not faster) than Chrome on my system, plug-ins work consistently better than Chrome, and memory usage has gone down significantly in more recent versions.

    Sure, the other browsers (Chrome, Opera, etc.) are pretty good and I really don't have any major complaints about them (though the lack of x.509 client certificate generation in Chrome is problematic; Firefox/NSS has supported this for eons.), but I continue to use Firefox as my primary browser and don't really see any reason to change at this point.

  • Hate the rapid release cycle of Firefox... but I like having No Script... which Chrome does not have...

      in addition I do not trust Google overly much especially since they seem to want to strip away anonymity. While I am certain Google can figure out who I am, I prefer the ability to walk down a digital street without being assailed by them or their government minions all of the time. Firefox does not have that problem in that it is the product of a software developer and not gateway to the revenue stream of a commercial tyrant pretending to be the friendly giant.

      If Google does not want to be evil then it would not love its revenue stream so much and let their browser development team become a true open source project... that is not likely...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:35PM (#40879945)

    Chrome installs invisible shit whenever it wants, watches and records my every move and reports its finding back to the mother ship. Anybody who accepts that kind of thing has had a virtual lobotomy.

    Internet Explorer is and always will be for people who don't mind being manipulated by a giant mega-corp currently run by a fat retard who throws chairs when he doesn't get his way.

    Opera may be great, but I've never needed to bother to try it out, and aren't you supposed to pay for it?

    Firefox runs well, it's free, it has lots of cool bits I can add to personalize it and it's not watching me. What else is there? I don't love it or hate it, but I sure do find it useful without feeling like I'm being used.

    So try this:

    "Admit it, anybody using Chrome or IE has given up thinking or having any self-respect and just does what the machine says like good little bovines."

    • by dingen (958134)

      Opera may be great, but I've never needed to bother to try it out, and aren't you supposed to pay for it?

      Yes, the Opera browser is not free of charge. If you're living before the year 2000. The software was ad-supported for a while, but they dropped that back in 2005. It has been completely free (as in beer of course) ever since.

  • by FlyveHest (105693) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:36PM (#40879949)

    I am a long time FF user, and have done a few extensions as well, and its not really the rapid release cycle that annoys me.

    No, the constant change of the user interface, and decisions chosen by people who don't know anything about me or how I like to use my browser.

    I cannot fathom why, when they change UI, they don't keep the "old" look in, and let existing users change to it, if they like, or stay in the old look, if they like that.

    One of the largest bullet points in FireFox is that you can tailor the browser to your needs, via extensions, but somehow this doesn't extend to the most important part of the browser, or, any program for that sake, namely the UI.

    THIS annoys me to no end.

  • noscript (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:41PM (#40880003)

    having the NoScript add-on in firefox makes it amazing

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:44PM (#40880033) Journal

    Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor Chrome.

    It wasn't a threat.
    Browsers are about as interchangeable as Legos. I wasn't using Firefox because it was "better". I was using it because it is open source and because of Adblock and NoScript. During the FF 4 beta, I decided Chromium's plugins were "good enough" and jumped ship.

  • by PineHall (206441) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:45PM (#40880037)
    The last two months [arstechnica.com] Firefox's browser share has increased according to netmarketshare.com [netmarketshare.com]. Now this article uses StatCounter stats and eyeballing the chart it looks like Firefox's share has been mostly flat since January according to StatCounter. The point being is the slide I believe has stopped or at the worse lessened to next to nothing. The article talks blames the slide on communication and execution. The author likely has a point there, but I think things are no longer as dire as he makes them out to be. Another reason for the slide is Google advertising the Chrome Browser. I think that also has hurt Firefox and there is not much they can do about it. I believe the slide has ended or is ending.
  • by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2.anthonymclin@com> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:47PM (#40880051) Homepage

    Either Mozilla gets Firefox right and you are jumping up and down, or Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor Chrome.

    Or I already did switch to chrome.

    1) Rapid releases... Firefox should have just done rapid releases, or not. Their half-assed approach to "transitioning" towards rapid releases pissed off a lot of their user bases. And they still make a big show about the fact they're updating. Chrome has a simple little indicator that goes away as soon as you restart the browser.

    2) Memory... FF memory bloat was a big deal for a long time. At least where Chrome had memory bloat and windows crashed, it didn't take down the whole browser. Again, FF waited too long to try to implement this.

    3) Dev tools.... Firebug is great. Chrome's built-in tool is just as good. FF's new native inspector is a PITA and it fights with Firebug.

    4) Synchronized Profiles.... Yes FF had it first, but Chrome makes it damn easy to setup and manage.

    5) Security.... Why can't I temporarily accept an a self-signed ssl cert? Why do I have to go through multiple steps to "permanently allow this acception"? Compare this to Chrome's red warning screen with a single click for "I understand the risks".

    6) HTML5 video..... FF's insistance on not doing any video other than Ogg was stupid and shortsided. If you're not going to bundle the codecs, offload the rendering to the OS. That's what the OS is there for after all. Most web video player packages out there will now auto-switch, giving Webkit HTML5 videos whereas FF still gets Flash players.

    7) Retina Display..... I was seriously considering dropping Chrome as my primary browser on my new Mac because of this. The beta channel of Chrome did support it (but that brought other problems). However, the latest release of Chrome stable brings Retina Display support for my everyday browsing. Too bad FF.

    8) Integrated search/address bar...... I know most /.ers hate this, but truthfully I've gotten very very used to it and as a result, I get pissed when I use a mobile browser and forget to use the correct input field to conduct a web search. You're telling the browser to go somewhere. Why do you need multiple always-on inputs to do that? Do you really need the extra input field just so you can specify which underlying destination identification process gets used to handle your request? No. The computer's smarter than that, and simpler UI is better here. This is why so many people type URLs into the Google homepage search field. They don't know why they would use the multiple input fields they're being presented with. Give them 1 field that's smart enough to do both use cases and you make it an easier experience.

    9) Tabs..... Contrary to what /.ers moaned about... if the content of the field changes with the click of a tab, then the field should be within the tab, not outside of it. This is UI 101. FF fought against this and /.ers screamed bloody murder when they finally switched behaviors. Safari "solves" this by drawing their tabs inverted so that the address bar is within the tab and the viewing window is sperate. IE puts a tiny address bar next to the tab strip. Chrome is by far the right UI here.

    10) Speaking of tabs.... And the dragging tabs off into new windows is still kludgy from a UI standpoint. Look at how Chrome does this compared to FF. As soon as my cursor moves the tab away from the strip, I get a new window. FF waits until I drop the tab, giving me a preview instead that looks like I'm dragging an image out of the browser, not moving a tab to a window.

    Firefox was great. Mozilla offered a superior product for quite some time. They reminded everyone that there was still a lot of room for growth and improvement in the browser market. They forced MS to begin seriously developing IE again. Competition is a good thing in that it challenges all players to do better. But today? Meh... the Mozilla team is no longer top

  • The quality problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:48PM (#40880063) Homepage

    Firefox suffers from an antiquated code base. It's single-thread, and the project to make it multi-thread failed. [lawrencemandel.com] There are two interpretive systems inside - Javascript and XUL - and they aren't on good speaking terms. There are two plug-in systems, "classic" and "Jetpack", and the teams for those sometimes don't seem to be on speaking terms. The number of open bugs keeps creeping up, and much bug-closing is "developer in denial", not an actual fix. Startup is slow, and, at times, shutdown is even slower.

    Then came the frantic release cycle, which didn't help.

  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:52PM (#40880093)

    When debugging a web page, there's nothing I like better than the Firebug plugin.

  • by Mortimer82 (746766) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:01PM (#40880177)

    It's not just about features, it's just that it feels like Google properly thought about every aspect of functionality of their chrome for the browser. For example, it took ages for Firefox to implement that tabs don't resize themselves after closing until after you move the mouse away. And even now, the drag handle for the Firefox window is only on the window title area and you still can't use the unused tab area as a window drag handle, where on Chrome it works fine. It's these tiny little details that I really appreciate about Chrome.

    That being said, I still love Firefox's awesome bar, works better than Chrome's default address bar by a long shot, if I recall there is a Chrome extension which works the same, I may look into that, but it's not a deal breaker for me.

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:07PM (#40880717)

    I write software myself. But the web browser is too much like an operating system. I use it too much. It should do what it does and do it well. I felt like I was drowning in version numbers. What broke the camels back is when they defaulted to a chrome style UI. Too much change in the primary interface. I don't remember there being a choice on the installation screen or there being a couple year transition. It actually motivated me to use chrome since it seemed to change less. I already had it installed, I just felt more motivated to move on.

    The problem with Mozilla is that they are focusing on one product "Firefox" for web browsing too much. I liked it when they started gutting Firefox and putting things into extensions and addons. But that was mostly behind the scenes. When it came to changing the UI they should have forked the product.

    My opinion is the Mozilla foundation should be developing multiple backends and multiple frontends and half a dozen browsers. They should have competing visions. It's open source and there is no one right answer for everyone. Some people like lots of change and a faster pace and others just want it to work and to get work done. It shouldn't be one product. The reality is they can do both and people can install both. And let me be specific, I don't want "stable" releases, I want actual different products. I don't want versions, I want vision, direction, and philosophy. And then I want to choose what works for me.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:14PM (#40880775) Homepage

    Firefox itself seems pretty decent these days. The biggest and ugliest problem is the extreme sluggishness of its most popular add-ons. I don't think I'd want to live without Firebug and AdBlock, but these two are huge performance hogs and I almost think they should be absorbed into the main codebase, rather than being sandboxed and crippled in their current incarnation.

    A clean install of Firefox loads instantly, just like Chrome and IE9. As soon as I load those two add-ons, it starts taking 2-3 seconds to launch, pages often freeze up due to the repetitive and redundant DOM swizzling. This over-reliance on Javascript-based functionality leads to really sloppy performance and sometimes massive memory leaks. Right this second, with only two tabs open, Firefox is guzzling 450mb of memory. Chrome uses 1/10th of that to display the same content, with the same add-on functionality.

    I've been holding out for a long time, but Chrome is starting to lure me over. I don't like being at the mercy of Google's totalitarian whims, but Firefox' idealism is wearing thin unless some real programmers get in there and clean things up. For the average user, Chrome is a clear winner simply because it's faster.

  • The plugins are no longer broken by updates and memory wastage is going down, those were my two big complaints...

Forty two.

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