Firefox Turns 5, Now Maybe They’ll Fix Some Things

firefoxMozilla’s Firefox browser turned 5 years old yesterday and there was much celebrating around the Internets. I use Firefox extensively on both the Mac and PC and find that it is a hard habit to break. That said, Google’s Chrome browser keeps impressing me and I keep cheering it on.

Now that Firefox has turned 5 years old and the celebrating is over, perhaps the good folks doing all that work can knuckle down and get us back to some of the reasons we all started using it in the first place. More speed and less bloat would be a happy thing. Firefox is a prime example of good things that go wonky with further innovation. Feature creep seems to be the norm when it comes to software, and it would be wonderful if the makers behind Firefox could address some of that before they turn, say 10.

2 Comments

  1. Adrian

    11/10/2009 at 11:59 pm

    Try Firefox 3.6 – I recently switched to using the nightly builds and I notice a significant speed boost over 3.5.4. I use the nightly tools extension to override compatibility for a few extensions and haven’t experienced any problems. You might want to try it out.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

    Reply

  2. GoodThings2Life

    11/11/2009 at 7:44 am

    I don’t get the complaint… when I install a clean Firefox install, it’s every bit as fast and stable as what I used to have with older versions, and while it’s gained improvements, it’s no more bloated than it really ever was.

    The problem, more often than not, is with extensions that people add to it. I have a very small list of extensions I use, and all of them add something beneficial:

    1. AdBlock Plus — Yes, I run an ad-blocker on MOST sites I visit, because I can’t stand the giant, epileptic-seizure inducing ads they use… or in some cases, I simply don’t like their sponsors. For the sites I like (GBM, JKotR, and a couple others), I add exception rules to leave well enough alone. However, this is also the biggest source of most performance issues with page rendering if filters are too vague.

    2. Feed Sidebar — I have always loved the way Firefox handles RSS feeds, but Feed Sidebar aggregates all those feeds into a sidebar that I can “mark as read” and keep up with the latest headlines.

    3. IE Tab — Let’s me force the IE rendering engine for certain sites like my corporate Outlook Web Access page.

    4. Xmarks — Bookmark Syncing. Something that really should be in all browsers.

    5. Personas — I’ve been using Personas more than regular themes. Less quirky and more attractive.

    6. Personal Menu — Allows me to hide the standard menu bar and replace it with a menu button, so that I can make FF look more like IE7/IE8 UI.

    That’s it. If people stopped adding all these plugins that they don’t need, it really wouldn’t be a problem for them.

    As for the memory footprint… I *used* to have this problem, but haven’t since the 3.5 update, and I agree the 3.6 update is even better.

    Reply

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