Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 9th Jul 2006 01:32 UTC, submitted by Tom H.
Mozilla & Gecko clones "Recently, I have been pondering why is Firefox so darn popular? This is a question that I honestly ask myself sometimes, often while browsing the web from within the browser itself. The real trick is that there are so many different ways to answer this." More of the editorial here. Additionally, the first set of release candidates for Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 have been posted to the Mozilla FTP of nightly releases.
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Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 01:47 UTC
sappyvcv
Member since:
2005-07-06

These reasons will cover both casual users and geeks:
1) Advertising. Spreadfirefox, NYT ad, word of mouth
2) No learning curve. Familiar enough to IE users and kept simple
3) Extensions
4) Timing. It was in a maturing stage when people were getting fed up with IE security, or lack thereof.

Edited 2006-07-09 01:48

Reply Score: 5

RE: Easy answer
by Janizary on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:11 UTC in reply to "Easy answer"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

I have to disagree with you, Firefox has gotten as popular as it is because it was free and not Internet Explorer - if Opera were suddenly open sourced Firefox would be used only by the people who develop it because it is truly a wretched thing. Really all Firefox has going for it is that it isn't Internet Explorer.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

First, my 4th point covered "not IE".

Second, being free was a small factor, though important.

Third, Opera is already "free", open source means NOTHING to most users when it comes to choosing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Easy answer
by Janizary on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Easy answer"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

And I am telling you maturity has nothing to do with it and that the Opera browser had an advertisement on the header for years making it not free, it was an advertisement.

Mozilla has been around forever in it's various forms and it has been just as ready for use as Firefox is now, it's just as IE-like as any Netscape's first or last release.

The adverts didn't help, the word of mouth barely helped, the key, the only key to the other browsers being in any way popular is that they don't suck as hard as Internet Explorer and it didn't cost money to get it. People were not getting massive numbers of virii through Firefox and it didn't take a dime.

Not being tied into the core of the operating system, where a bug there means a bug through the entire system is why Firefox is generally construed as more "secure" than IE, not it's maturity, not it's flawless codebase. Firefox is buggy too, it's bugs just aren't as immediately exploitable for direct access to the computer it's running on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Easy answer"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Maturity as in IT WAS READY FOR MAINSTREAM.

You can't take those reasons individually, but together.

The adverts DID help. They helped get people talking about it and helped word of mouth.

We're talking about why it's POPULAR. Not why it's better.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Easy answer
by Coxy on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Easy answer"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

I use a computer everyday (with IE) and have never seen these 'adverts'. I don't know of anyone who has, the only people who know or have seen these adverts seem to be geeks trying to inform other geeks...

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Easy answer
by Get a Life on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Easy answer"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

There was a large ad in the NYT in 2004 that had some further buzz about it on the Internet. There have probably been other advertisements in other newspapers since then, and the like. When I look through newspapers or magazines I don't even look at the ads so rather than relying on my recollection you could use Google or something if you care about the particulars.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Easy answer"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Advertising includes word of mouth.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Easy answer
by WorknMan on Sun 9th Jul 2006 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I have to disagree with you, Firefox has gotten as popular as it is because it was free and not Internet Explorer - if Opera were suddenly open sourced Firefox would be used only by the people who develop it because it is truly a wretched thing.

Who gives a rat's ass if it's open source or not? I thought the whole point of open source was to keep from being locked in. E.g. - people keep telling me that it's about open standards not open source. The Opera web browser reads HTML and is as standards compliant as anything ... how the hell are you going to get locked in that way?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Easy answer
by HappyGod on Mon 10th Jul 2006 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

I have to disagree with you, Firefox has gotten as popular as it is because it was free and not Internet Explorer - if Opera were suddenly open sourced Firefox would be used only by the people who develop it because it is truly a wretched thing. Really all Firefox has going for it is that it isn't Internet Explorer.

This is an over-simplification. While it is true that a major reason people might look elsewhere for a browser are IE shortcomings, that does not explain why they would choose Firefox over Opera. Not the reason why Opera continues to lag behind Firefox even now that it is free.

Firefox was and is extensible! Opera was not (it is now, but support for its extensions are nowhere near those of Firefox). Firefox already has the fan-base so whether Opera's new extensions put it back in the running remains to be seen.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Easy answer
by FlipmodePlaya on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:13 UTC in reply to "Easy answer"
FlipmodePlaya Member since:
2005-11-24

From the article: 'Firefox is not bloated. Both Netscape Navigator and Mozilla Suite are quite bloated. This by itself likely presented enough of a challenge on people running machines that may not have done all that well with running such a bloated program.'

I hate to post this without some statistics to offer, but are Seamonkey and Firefox not very similar in size and memory usage, despite the fact that Seamonkey offers far, far more features? Perhaps he refers to the interface, though the fact that he mentions 'machines' belies that...

Also, when he heralds this new era of 'choice', why is there no mention of Opera, Konqueror, Safari, et al? Perhaps no one of them provides all the aspects of Firefox about which he raves (cross-platform, OSS, easily extensible, etc.), but surely they at least deserve a link...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I assume you're replying to my "simple" point.

Firefox is simple in the fact that it hides a lot from the user, kept the interface simple and made it an easy transition from IE.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Easy answer
by CVDpr on Sun 9th Jul 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Easy answer"
CVDpr Member since:
2005-10-17

The interface of ie7 its more simple

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Easy answer
by Janizary on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Indeed, delving further into the Firefox not being bloated and ugly bit, what does the man think extensions are? A majority of the people I know that use it run with at least 10 extensions, minimum - does this not make Firefox bigger and more bloaty?

Or is because these are not being officially developed within Firefox suddenly make the memory they take up not get used by Firefox?

Also, when comparing Opera and Firefox, running on the same machine, despite Firefox being "smaller", Opera loads up faster and and renders faster than this more popular browser, I have never understood how they managed that with Firefox.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Easy answer
by rayiner on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Easy answer"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

What's an extension?

Seriously, though, almost every single person I know uses Firefox, and I don't know anybody who uses an extension.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Easy answer
by Beta on Sun 9th Jul 2006 10:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Easy answer"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, if you don't need them, that's OKÖ

Web developers have the odd extension to help them hack, leechers use extensions to rape sites (downthemall!), advanced users have them to tell them the weather, new email, PR, etc, and finally ego-maniacs have the del.icio.us, digg, technorati etc tools at their disposal. Last but not least, it gives google an easy way to offer more tools to willing users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Easy answer
by Get a Life on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Easy answer"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

I use 21 extensions. Now you know someone that uses an extension.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Easy answer
by Robocoastie on Mon 10th Jul 2006 13:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Easy answer"
Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

actually I bet every one of the firefox users you know is using an extension. The search engine choices to the right of the url bar is just one type of extension. For that matter your logic makes no sense. How can you know that your friends aren't using an extension if you don't know what one is?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Easy answer
by axilmar on Mon 10th Jul 2006 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Easy answer"
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20


A majority of the people I know that use it run with at least 10 extensions, minimum


Wow...the majority of people I know use Firefox without extensions, including me.

People want a simple web browser to do their business and browse sites...the rest of the available stuff are out there for 'advanced' users.

When a program covers 90% of what people need, people won't switch to another product even if that product is superior.

IE up to version 6 has some big problems, mainly with security. The easy fix to the problem is a 5 MB download which is a few clicks away...other than that, why should one care about how fast a browser zooms or other petit details?

Edited 2006-07-10 08:54

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Easy answer
by chemical_scum on Sun 9th Jul 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Easy answer"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Seamonkey and Firefox not very similar in size and memory usage, despite the fact that Seamonkey offers far, far more features?

I just recently just did a comparison after installing Seamonkey on Ubuntu. It in fact uses less memory than Firefox and feels more responsive.

I still use Firefox as my primary browser though, I have been using it since Pheonix 0.5 when I switched from Galeon so its a long time since the Mozilla suite was my primary browser and I feel more at home in Firefox. The same applies to Opera which is a lighter more responsive browser than Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Easy answer
by miles on Sun 9th Jul 2006 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Easy answer"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

Firefox's slowness isn't always the problem of Firefox. It can be really fast and responsive (again, it depends of your system memory and processor, so for some, Opera might be faster).

Ubuntu's Firefox is suffering from a known bug - but official Firefox from mozilla repositories, as Seamonkey, aren't affected.

It's just a shame due to some distros misconfiguration, Firefox gets a bad reputation.

For more information, see https://launchpad.net/products/firefox/+bug/32561

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Easy answer
by RGCook on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:54 UTC in reply to "Easy answer"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

Add security to your list.

I simply love how clean it is. How it looks, works, the extensions and themes. It is extremely "comfortable" to use. If that makes sense. I am so completely sold on it, that even when I try the new Opera or IE7, I just can't stand not having Firefox. I am a normal, healthy male. I think. I just love Firefox!

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Easy answer
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Easy answer"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Well yeah. I thought my 4th point kind of implied security, though subtley. It was more secure, that's all that mattered.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Easy answer
by Gone fishing on Sun 9th Jul 2006 06:27 UTC in reply to "Easy answer"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

CWS was the last straw with IE for me.

Firefoxes small size made it a viable download on a dialup - although I think I got it first on a magazine CD. (Being on a magazine CDs is a very handy way of getting software to the punters). Iíve used Opera in the past but the banner add put me off and on my small (at the time) monitor took up too much of the screen.

Firefox just worked for me Ė maybe now Opera doesnít have the ads Iíll try it again.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Easy answer
by re_re on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:27 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

>if Opera were suddenly open sourced Firefox would be used only by the people who develop it because it is truly a wretched thing.<

Opera is not opensource however it is free as in beer and 99.9% of users don't care if something is open source as long as it is free (beer) and it works.

Edit: my bad, I didn't read the rest of the posts.

Edited 2006-07-09 02:29

Reply Score: 2

Some thoughts
by remerico on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:28 UTC
remerico
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know myself. Maybe because it just works? I tried using Opera but I can't seem to get used to it.

I agree to the learning curve thing. First time users will become comfortable with it after a few minutes of use. I learned about this when my less computer-savvy friends started using Firefox.

Most average people don't really care much about Firefox being open source -- as long as they have a reliable alternative browser then everything is okay.

Opera needs more word-of-mouth advertising before people start to notice that they have another option other than Firefox.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some thoughts
by l3v1 on Sun 9th Jul 2006 05:27 UTC in reply to "Some thoughts"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Opera needs more word-of-mouth advertising before people start to notice that they have another option other than Firefox.

Everyone just seems to forget that Opera has not been free forever. The company made money, had money, and again, they were/are a company, with resources. So, please, don't tell me that they as a company did not advertise their own product. Firefox got one commercial advertising, and suddenly you start telling that Firefox is more popular because advertising ? Oh pllleeeease.

Reply Score: 3

re
by amp306 on Sun 9th Jul 2006 02:36 UTC
amp306
Member since:
2006-03-06

I use firefox because of the tabs. Now i know people will say but wait, Opera and IE7 have tabs too! Opera looks to me way to busy and cluttered, and i want to use it more but i find that i just keep going back to firefox. On to IE7, it isn't and option to me on Windows 2000, and even when i have used it on an XP system i don't really like it, the tabs don't feel as good as firefox's, and i find that it loads pages really slow, and i actually prefer IE6 to it, its alot simpler.

Thats my 2 cents.

Reply Score: 1

RE: re
by manjabes on Sun 9th Jul 2006 08:38 UTC in reply to "re"
manjabes Member since:
2005-08-27

Opera looks to me way to busy and cluttered,

Oh come on already!! Opera makes it EXTREMELY simple to hide ANYTHING but the individual items from the menu bar so the "interface clutter" is no argument at all. IF you really tried to use it then you would have noticed it and accustomed the UI to what you have become used to. But this looks just like another "i fired up Opera, it looked ugly, f--k it, FF is better, Opera sucks etc." rant.

Now, if you'd really want to give Opera a chance then I suggest you right click on, say the address bar, select "Customize" from the menu and have a look at what was thrown at you. However, if you'd rather not bother with it then don't replicate your stupid "opera==bloat==ugly==whatever" type of BS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: re
by Get a Life on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: re"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

If you want to see an example of a rant, read your post. If you want to see someone expressing an opinion see the post you're replying to.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: re
by maxmg on Sun 9th Jul 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE: re"
maxmg Member since:
2006-02-26

Oh come on already!! Opera makes it EXTREMELY simple to hide ANYTHING but the individual items from the menu bar so the "interface clutter" is no argument at all. IF you really tried to use it then you would have noticed it and accustomed the UI to what you have become used to. But this looks just like another "i fired up Opera, it looked ugly, f--k it, FF is better, Opera sucks etc." rant.

The opinion that opera is too cluttered, as standard, is a perfectly valid observation, and one that might well account for why it has not been taken up as widely as it perhaps merits. Of course its appearance can be changed, but that isn't the point. Its default appearance, which is presumably how the developers want us to view it, was always terrible if you were using a small screen. First impressions count, and attitudes like yours are hardly going to help people overcome those first impressions.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: re
by eMagius on Sun 9th Jul 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Clutter?

Default Opera layout:
http://www.opera.com/img/products/desktop/screenshots/myopera.jpg

It's more or less the same as the year+ old Opera 8, actually:
http://www.opera.com/docs/screenshots/800/01/

That's no more cluttered than Firefox's default or even IE's default (except for tabs/pages support, obviously).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: re
by maxmg on Sun 9th Jul 2006 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: re"
maxmg Member since:
2006-02-26

Oh, I agree it has certailny got better these days, to the point where it is comparable with most other browsers, but in the old 'with adverts' opera there was definitely far too little of the window actually dedicated to displaying the page (by default).

(That screen shot of opera 8 bears no relation to the default layout I found under linux a couple of years ago: there shuold be adverts, too many horizontal regions with little purpose, and if I recall correctly the URL bar wasn't in the same horizontal portion as the controls. As it is I like opera, but that doesn't stop the other person's opinion they formed of some version of Opera being valid.)

Edited 2006-07-09 19:49

Reply Score: 2

...
by Mitarai on Sun 9th Jul 2006 03:21 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

Is simple and does the job prety well, I don't need all the extra features Opera have.

Reply Score: 2

Firefox is becoming a joke again
by DjLizard on Sun 9th Jul 2006 03:22 UTC
DjLizard
Member since:
2006-06-28

Yes, this is kind of troll-ish, but I wonder why it's so popular myself. It's pretty bad, actually. It's really sluggish, isn't even fully standards compliant (wasn't that the original intention?) and the bugs and regressions that keep popping up are atrocious. I can't copy text, use the scroll wheel or arrow keys to navigate a page, or type in an edit box any more without something unintended happening, or nothing happening at all. I have to minimize and maximize the window to "fix" this bug each time it occurs (which is quite frequently).

These bugs have been present for months. I guess we'll just have to wait for 1.5.0.5 (or use horrible nightly builds) before these usability issues will be addressed. And hey, maybe Firefox 5.0 will finally pass the Acid2 test (at which point there will be an Acid4 test).

Reply Score: 4

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I've used Firefox since the 0.5 days and have never had these problems with it. Sure it was quite crashy, and occasionally I have a few crashes here and there (on Windows) but it's pretty rock stable on Linux.

I could never get used to using Opera before (haven't tried it in years though, but since I use Gnome in Linux, I just use Firefox everywhere). Maybe if Opera made a GTK version, I'd probably want to use it more.

The fact is, Firefox is a fantastic replacement for IE. Adblock and Mouse Gestures just rule, along with the tabs.

Reply Score: 5

RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

I've actually found firefox to be buggy and slow as hell on gnome compared to windows. On windows it's the ducks nuts, but in linux it's a dog with 3 legs ;) Maybe XUL just doesn't play nice with Gnome, I dunno?

Reply Score: 2

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't copy text, use the scroll wheel or arrow keys to navigate a page, or type in an edit box any more without something unintended happening, or nothing happening at all. I have to minimize and maximize the window to "fix" this bug each time it occurs

You may dismiss my comment, but I've been using Firefox since its first releases, on many machines, on win and linux, also trying nightly builds quite frequently. The things you say there, I never saw them happening. If it's that severe, please consider filing a proper bugreport so that it can be fixed.

Reply Score: 3

rhetoric.sendmemoney Member since:
2006-01-22

Yep, same here. 5 different machines, 3 OS's and little to no crashes with Firefox. Actually, come to think of it, I can't even remember a single crash or error since 1.5x.

I just love testimonials.

Reply Score: 2

DjLizard Member since:
2006-06-28

The things you say there, I never saw them happening. If it's that severe, please consider filing a proper bugreport so that it can be fixed.

These bugs have been there since stable 1.5.0.2 I believe, and they've already known about them. The entire internet knows about them already. Filing bug reports will only get them closed as dupes. They are waiting before including them in the stable tree. I suppose the fixes are slated for 1.5.0.5. They were supposed to go into 1.5.0.4 (or so I heard), but 1.5.0.4 ended up being an emergency security update or some such thing.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Throw me in the same group; all I've seen is nonstop bugginess in regards to running it on MacOS X; the constant hanging, quirky behaviour with the widgets, heck, one night the whole gui froze, and when I tried to change tabs nothing occured.

For me, as a Mac user, I can't be bothered using it; MacOS X is treated like a second class citizen when it comes to quality, stability, and integration with MacOS X - there is this 'can't be stuffed' attitude when it comes to using native widgets for forms, a 'can't be stuffed' when it comes to fixing bugs relating to MacOS X issues.

For me, the only viable alternative to Safari is Opera, and be it not completely perfect, but its a damn site more reliable than my experience with Firefox.

How this relates back to the article; Firefox is a Windows and Linux application; on any other platform, its shithouse because of the above 'don't give a toss' attitude that Firefox developers have to platforms that site outside their zone of interest/fetish.

Reply Score: 5

PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

I like Safari too, but if you find Firefox OS X integration lacking, try Camino, which uses the same engine but native widgets & windows (as opposed to a skin). I consider it a close second to Safari and use it for the occasional KHTML-incompatible page.

http://www.caminobrowser.org/

Also, there are two very useful utilities that you may want to try: CamiTools & CaminIcon, which among other Camino-related stuff can be found at:

http://pimpmycamino.com/

I use and highly recommend the Camino Graphite iconset, with toolbar icons set to small size (they are full size in the screenshot):
http://pimpmycamino.com/themes/camino-graphite/

So, if you want Firefox' engine but with a good looking, fast & native interface & webpage widgets, look no further than Camino.

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I would use it, but it lacks the spell checking in forms feature which is available on both Opera and Safari. Maybe once Camino get those features, I might migrate accross, but until then, there are too many issues that need addressing before I am willing to migrate.

Reply Score: 1

tiiim Member since:
2005-09-02

Agreed Firefox for the mac is buggy and its a memory hog. It can be so furstrating that "one of the fastest browsers and snappiest" can sometimes hang when you open it or load a page. I really really hope they fix this memory issue in the new build. Im currently using it but at this rate I will be back over to safari. Sure it may not have the best rendering engine but for getting things done its 10/10.

Camino is a great browser but hasnt click with me yet, I guess having a built in RSS feeder etc is what hits it with firefox and Safari, unless anybody knows a tool to add built in RSS to Camino? Camino doesnt appear to suffer from the same bad memory allocation as firefox. No get me wrong the fox is a great browser just the OS X version needs a lot of working doing it. I really do hope they fix those issues in the new build or I will be switching to something else.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed Firefox for the mac is buggy and its a memory hog. It can be so furstrating that "one of the fastest browsers and snappiest" can sometimes hang when you open it or load a page. I really really hope they fix this memory issue in the new build. Im currently using it but at this rate I will be back over to safari. Sure it may not have the best rendering engine but for getting things done its 10/10.

*nods head in agreement* I've been following the latest Safari builds from the webkit site, and quite frankly, the progress made by Apple is awesome; ksvg being integrated, improved CSS support, improved rendering in terms of HTML, improved javascript support, even for the weird Microsoft extensions used in the US Robotics router configuration web interface.

Camino is a great browser but hasnt click with me yet, I guess having a built in RSS feeder etc is what hits it with firefox and Safari, unless anybody knows a tool to add built in RSS to Camino? Camino doesnt appear to suffer from the same bad memory allocation as firefox. No get me wrong the fox is a great browser just the OS X version needs a lot of working doing it. I really do hope they fix those issues in the new build or I will be switching to something else.

The problem I have is the Camino is the lack of spell checker (which is available on Safari and Opera) and the problems when rendering/scrolling through heavily graphic intensive websites.

I don't blame the Camino developers though; it seems absolutely stupid to me that Mozilla Foundation are wasting time with trying to get Firefox to work on MacOS X, when quite frankly, they would be better off improving Camino and simply dropping Firefox for MacOS X.

Reply Score: 2

tiiim Member since:
2005-09-02

"I don't blame the Camino developers though; it seems absolutely stupid to me that Mozilla Foundation are wasting time with trying to get Firefox to work on MacOS X, when quite frankly, they would be better off improving Camino and simply dropping Firefox for MacOS X."

Now that is proberly the most sensible comment I read so far. It does seem stupid when firefox for the mac is poor and when they have a perfectly good up and coming browser. I think firefox is so multi-platform that they loose each platform individual uniqueness which im sure all of us and know that one thing we like to improve on our OSes. But its true the Mac OS X version was behind for ages. Im currenly tying this in safari and havent used it for a few weeks, but man its great to be on a great browser i forgot how brilliant it is. Now if only they can get rid of the brush metal look in 10.5...

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Now that is proberly the most sensible comment I read so far. It does seem stupid when firefox for the mac is poor and when they have a perfectly good up and coming browser. I think firefox is so multi-platform that they loose each platform individual uniqueness which im sure all of us and know that one thing we like to improve on our OSes. But its true the Mac OS X version was behind for ages. Im currenly tying this in safari and havent used it for a few weeks, but man its great to be on a great browser i forgot how brilliant it is. Now if only they can get rid of the brush metal look in 10.5...

*kaiwai nods so hard, his neck hurts* Hence, I could never quite understand the whole purpose of developing Firefox using XUL, given its bloatedness when it came to wanting to produce a nice small and compact memory consuming browser.

I understand the whole purpose of XUL, for webservices (its original idea), but why not create interfaces using native widgets from the ground up, then hook into gecko, and only use XUL when webpages required it? which then leads onto the issue of integration with the operating system which you raised; ultimately, when you create an abstration for multiplatformness, what you ultimately give up firstly is good integration with the underlying operating system and with that, it results in a product that never fully exploits the features in the host operating system.

Firefox seems to be the epitome of the multiplatform goals taken to the absolute extreme when they would have been better off from day one to create simply a set of core libraries on which people could develop a graphic user interface for; the MacOS X using Cocoa, *NIX using Qt or Gtk, and the Win32 developers either using MFC, Winforms2 or Qt (which is available free in the 4.x series IIRC).

As for the brushed metal look, I would say, given by the moves in their iLife product, they're going to phase out the metal look in favour of the more straight lines, 'curved metal surface' look which is now on use in iTunes etc.

Reply Score: 2

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

"on any other platform, its shithouse because of the above 'don't give a toss' attitude that Firefox developers have to platforms that site outside their zone of interest/fetish."

Well, if they spent their time on yet more operating systems, would they ever improve the engine, fix bugs, etc?

What's the cut off point for O/Ss - What makes Mac so much better than BeOS/SkyOS/OS2 in deserving mozilla developer time?
You've already got Camino, its a native port, if you want Firefox improved for Mac, go contribute; It seems more like a mac developer "don't give a toss" attitude.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

What's the cut off point for O/Ss - What makes Mac so much better than BeOS/SkyOS/OS2 in deserving mozilla developer time?

How about the fact that they've hyped the fact that Mozilla Foundation now has a 'dedicated Mac guru' and yet, not a damn thing has been done in that particular area; which begs to quesiton, what was the whole point of it anyway?

Reply Score: 2

RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

It's not just mac, it's obvious they put more effort into the windows version, it's not so hot on Linux either compared to windows!

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not just mac, it's obvious they put more effort into the windows version, it's not so hot on Linux either compared to windows!

Compare the *NIX to the MacOS X version, and the *NIX version comes out 200x's better than the MacOS X version; atleast you have some sort of resemblance of integration and consistancy with the user interface - the MacOS X doesn't have anything!

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hehe, you know why? Because the mozilla clan know that the Mac "people" will somehow find a reason why Sucfari sorry, Safari is better than Firefox because the giver of all that is computer nirvana, Apple, gave Safari to the people, and it was good. Every other browser shall kneel down before it. The next day was a day of rest. This would be the day when people of Apple world asked for a serious attempt at VoIP and VC....but missed out.

Ah, yes, hit a raw nerved with the 'waaa waa waa waaa' Firefox fanboys who are still pissed off that Netscape got its ass handed to them on a platter and beaten in the browser market.

I would use Firefox if Mozilla Foundation spent as much time as they're currently doing with their Linux and Windows ports. Right now, MacOS X version seems to be "if it compiles, ship it!"

Reply Score: 3

moving from Firefox to seamonkey
by buff on Sun 9th Jul 2006 04:12 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

I used to use Firefox a lot and then when a stable version of Seamonkey came out I switched back. Besides the extensions, there is very little in terms of browsing between Firefox and Seamonkey. There are actually some advantages to use Seamoneky over Firefox since you only run one application and one Gecko Runtime. Running Firefox and Thunderbird together actually takes more memory. I initially missed extensions but I found some bookmarklets that gave me back some of the features I needed.

Reply Score: 5

RE:Why is Firefox So Darn Popular?
by TusharG on Sun 9th Jul 2006 04:13 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

From my point of view its
1. Ease of use
2. Main reason to switch from IE is less security problems
3. Fredom to configure/tweak browser according to my style and needs
4. Theme/Extension support
5. Brings everyone together... involves all type of people from around the glob and shares their plugins/extensions/themes , creats more belongingness

Reply Score: 4

Schmeggma Member since:
2006-01-14

3. Fredom to configure/tweak browser according to my style and needs
As an Opera user I find Firefox extremely restrictive in this respect. The UI is difficult to get how I like it - for example I can't figure out how to hide the menu and the toolbar icons take up too much space, and I can't seem to put them where I want. ctrl + mwheel for (text only) page zoom is backwards and I can't seem to change that to the more logical setting I'm used to. (If anyone knows a way to fix these things sans extentions, please let me know.)

I was trying to configure plugins recently, and there are no options to set the plugin path etc. In fact the preferences dialog is sparse and has very little on it I actually want to change.


FF seems to meet your needs, but I think you'd have the same (more?) freedom to configure Opera to your liking, whereas I (for one) can't configure FF to mine.

Perhaps the majority of people have basic needs, or perhaps they don't realise what they're missing because IE didn't have it, and that new fangled Fox their friend recommended doesn't have it


Also as an Opera user, extentions seem pointless. Opera (is lighter to start off with and) can already do everything I want it to without me having to add extra little peices of bloat, or waste my time looking for them.

(I've tried using FF on a few occasions when I haven't had access to Opera, and it's never a pleasent experience. In Windows I actually prefer IE to FF - if it doesn't want do what I want, what's the point in using a slower browser? In KDE, FF edges out over Konqueror though.)

Reply Score: 3

Popular and good
by deathshadow on Sun 9th Jul 2006 04:32 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Often have nothing to do with each-other; ESPECIALLY where technology is concerned. Betamax WAS a superior format for video, VHS won... The lions share of internet users use IE every day - despite it being a security nightmare.

Firefox is another example of this. It quickly became a 'media darling' by being first to market with a VIABLE alternative; part of that viability - and one people often miss, is the sub 5 meg download size putting it within reach of dailup users. At the time Mozilla was what? 16-20 megs and flaky as hell... (Not e that Mozilla has shed some weight too since then) for all Firefox's buggyness, it was rock solid stable compared to the dysfunctional wreck that was Mozilla at the time.

Personally, I've never REALLY been able to use Firefox for more than a week without wanting to throw the computer across the room. Memory leaks (that apparantly aren't leaks, they're 'features'), broken script timers, and a tasking model that was about as predictable as a epileptic juggler, quickly sent me running for alternatives - ANY alternative to what was supposed to be... the alternative? On Windows, it sent me screaming back to IE, and on other platforms KHTML and it's kine... well, they /failed/ MISERABLY, but were still a better choice than FF. THEN I went to deal with reporting the problems to bugzilla - and if ANYTHING will skew ones opinion AGAINST firefox, bugzilla is it.

It's media darling status during these issues if anything drove my dislike for it to outright hatred... All this praise being heaped on it where on no less than twenty different machines and four different operating systems I couldn't even browse for 20 minutes without it locking up so bad it had to be killed... did very little to improve my opinion of it - that I could use it on peoples machines who said it was fine and lock it up... well, makes me wonder what's so different about my browsing habits.

... and it certainly did get hyped above and beyond what it delivered... I do not recommend that steaming pile of open sores to anyone anymore.

I tell you, when Opera 8.5 became free I was cheering from the rafters - MORE so when I found out it actually WORKED... WELL... ON ALL PLATFORMS.

But, it was there at the right place, at the right time, and caught the eyes of the right people, elevating it to being backed with the same religious ferver you see for most other open source projects... and like most of those open source projects, above and beyond the recognition it deserves.

Reply Score: 4

v re: Popular and good
by Onetrack on Sun 9th Jul 2006 04:50 UTC
RE: re: Popular and good
by l3v1 on Sun 9th Jul 2006 05:35 UTC in reply to "re: Popular and good"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

adblocking

Yes ! That is one of my reasons too, but thing is, most users who try and/or use Firefox, don't even know that blocking ads is so easy. Moreover, many people don't even think it can be done, let alone it taking only a few clicks of effort. When asked, most people will tell you they use Firefox because of tabs and security, they don't have a clue about the dozens of minor and major things that can make one's browsing a better experience.

Reply Score: 3

RE: re: Popular and good
by BluenoseJake on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:54 UTC in reply to "re: Popular and good"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

So tell me, if somebody built a bridge, and it fell down and injured you in the process, do you think you would have a right to complain? Thought so. So give this guy his moment to complain about something that has given him problems, this is a public forum, and he is on topic, so STFU

Reply Score: 0

Maybe the split personaility helps...
by Lu-Tze on Sun 9th Jul 2006 04:57 UTC
Lu-Tze
Member since:
2006-01-10

I feel firefox is popular because it can be made as complex using as one wants while keeping the default setup simple.

I know that many of the features provided by extensions are there in Opera by default but that makes it difficult for many users to find what they want easily.

What I see most frequently is some early adopter (read "geek") tries out Firefox, likes it and gets immersed in it and recommends it to others, who use the default setup happily due to its simplicity. The they come across some feature they need as the early adopter if Firefox can do that. And the early adopter hooks them with the appropriate extension. e.g. in our university, so many people got hooked onto Firefox because of the SwitchProxy extension, since it provides a dropmenu on the toolbar to change proxies - very, very useful when you are working from home and need to use the university library proxy to read references. Now a default setting in any other browser can't emulate this because this would be an unnecessary complication most users don't need. As a result, proxy changes are buried in most browsers, e.g. 7 clicks in IE7b3.

Similarly, most users probably can't live without just a couple of extensions but which two extensions those are might vary depending on how you interact with the net.

Reply Score: 2

How popular is it?
by Cloudy on Sun 9th Jul 2006 05:27 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm curious. Does anyone here have reliable stats on how popular firefox is?

Reply Score: 1

Main popularity reason
by Punktyras on Sun 9th Jul 2006 05:54 UTC
Punktyras
Member since:
2006-01-07

is that it has letter "X" in its name. Seriously. IE and FF has them in their names and they are more popular that others lacking it. Though they are not technologicaly superior or something.
So I do predict Vista's fall and Linux's rise. Hurray:)

Reply Score: 1

There is a more interesting question
by hraq on Sun 9th Jul 2006 05:55 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

The more interesting question that I wish developers to answer is why firefox is horribly slow on linux than on windows, whose mistake is this linux or firefox; as I have seen incredible speed of firefox on Solaris 5.11.x versions and windows XP+SP2.

firefox is more popular because it has an installer to any platform out there + being open source that is the simple answer to the title's question.

Reply Score: 1

chris_dk Member since:
2005-07-12

You're right, that is very interesting.

Why is Firefox on linux so slow?

Open a file and it just blocks the UI, etc.

On Windows it is super snappy.

Reply Score: 2

Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Since most GUI applications perform worse on Linux it must be the operating system. Maybe not Linux, the kernel , though but the rest of the system.

Reply Score: 1

hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

But again, why opera 9 is fast enough on linux? I don't think that linux is the cause or at least totally the cause!

Reply Score: 2

monkeyhead Member since:
2005-07-11

I always hear this comment that firefox is slower on linux... which has never matched my personal experience.

My work machine and my home machine are more or less hardware equivelant and I usually notice slightly better startup speeds on my linux box especially after bootup. Once they are running though the firefox on windows and linux perform the same as far as I can tell.

Reply Score: 1

chris_dk Member since:
2005-07-12

Then maybe it is the Ubuntu version?

I used dapper here and it feels slower than on Windows on the same machine.

Reply Score: 1

bubbleguuum Member since:
2006-02-27

Firefox is noticeably slower under Linux. I don't mean launch times but normal usage, tab switching, page rendering. This is probably due that XP is much faster at rendering the desktop, especially text.
I tried Opera 9 in Linux and was shocked to see that tab switching was ultra slow and laggy, much more than firefox which is OK but slower than under win32. I think this is beacuse opera re-renders the page when you change tab while firefox keep it rendered in memory.

Reply Score: 2

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Firefox is noticeably slower under Linux.

In fact it's faster on linux here.
(AMD64 XP3000 2.2GHz)

Reply Score: 2

hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

Please, can you give more details about your linux distro and the firefox version you use? As I have never found your claims true on at least 10 systems I have at home/work. But I will give it a try if you give me more specs about your linux type and firefox verion.

Reply Score: 1

hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

"I don't mean launch times but normal usage, tab switching, page rendering."

I can add changing zoom too. Use Ctrl+Mouse Wheel and try it on firefox 1.5.0.4 and opera 9 final. You will see at least 10x more speed difference. Especially if you move the mouse wheel more faster than one zoom level at once.

Reply Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> I can add changing zoom too. Use Ctrl+Mouse Wheel and try it on firefox 1.5.0.4 and opera 9 final. You will see at least 10x more speed difference. Especially if you move the mouse wheel more faster than one zoom level at once.

I've not had that issue (actually, opera is a HAIR slower), but IN THEORY Opera should be slower than Firefox on this, because Opera DOES MORE - it resizes ALL content... images, fonts, CSS positioning, containers; not just the text like firefox does... In my book making Opera's resize function a *WIN* and Firefox a total /FAIL/ in this department.

Seriously, look at firefox trying to zoom in this site (warning, 1600x1200 WinXP, Cleartype@RGB 1.5, 304k)
http://battletech.hopto.org/images/firefux/FF_Zoom.jpg

and the same level of zoom in Opera. (warning, same setup as above, 411k)
http://battletech.hopto.org/images/firefux/Opera_Zoom.jpg

Frankly, with that difference, Opera can take all the time it wants.

Reply Score: 2

hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

For the pictures you take for osnews, these are not good for comparision, to truely compare between the zoom levels you have to open multiple web sites:
1. filled with text
2. filled with images and text
3. filled with images
4. filled with animations (flash)

and then try to zoom many times on both programs that you compare.

In the previous example "http://battletech.hopto.org/images/firefux/FF_Zoom.jpg" firefox was not able to zoom more than one level, ie you cannot use ctrl+wheel of mouse to quickly zoom in and out (multiple successive Ctrl+ (+))

One might ask why this is a big deal?
Because, you get very slow browsing experience once you run 3 services on the background while you have 10 web pages opened at once, but you don't experience this slowness with opera (opening new tabs, closing opened tabs and reponding to addressbar writting and zooming text larger, switching tabs,.... and more).

Reply Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> firefox was not able to zoom more than one level, ie you cannot use ctrl+wheel of mouse to quickly zoom in and out (multiple successive Ctrl+ (+))

HUH??? I zoomed in 9 or ten 'levels' - and BOTH browsers had more in them... with no issues zooming in or out... What the devil are you talking about? Besides, those screencaps were to illustrate nothing to do with how much you can zoom in/out or the load involved, but the QUALITY of zooming - in that with Opera EVERYTHING gets resized, while Firefox only resizes the text (leaving the site in the same crappy little column down the middle of the screen)

Was anyone out there able to find a coherent thought in hraq's post? Because I'm pretty well stumped by that one.

Reply Score: 1

IMHO...
by xiaokj on Sun 9th Jul 2006 06:36 UTC
xiaokj
Member since:
2005-06-30

I think that it is simply its better reputation and better design. And of course also its netscape roots...

Firstly, people tend to spread the one with the best reputation. In this regard, being open source helps a lot. People also tend to side with community projects.

Secondly, better design. I really just mean the lack of the horrible ads that caused my win98 machine to lack a little. And its really out of place and took up so much of the viewing space... And as a student I can't afford paying for the no-ads version.

Thirdly, netscape had a huge following. When the netscape battlecruiser crashed and spawned the mozilla foundation, the following shifted too. Thus, realistically speaking, mozilla inherited netscape's userbase and had a headstart compared to the others.

In all, these factors count for the word-of-mouth advertising. You simply hear much more of "firefox" than "opera" in peoples' mouth. And don't underestimate its power. Or else propaganda wouldn't have been as important as it is.

Reply Score: 1

Galeon, Epiphany?
by WereCatf on Sun 9th Jul 2006 06:39 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I didn't notice anyone mentioning Galeon or Epiphany here. Sure, I know one can't run them under Windows, but I like them a lot more than Firefox. Both Opera and Firefox has more features, but neither sits well in my Gnome environment. Besides, Opera is too bloated, and Firefox is buggy. I don't know if it very common, but I have found Firefox to be quite unpredictable, which annoys me like hell. For example, there's an option to set it just download everything on my desktop, but why does it work sometimes, but not all the time? It also has crashed on me occasionally. As for the popylarity..Hmm. My brothers prefer Mozilla and my sister uses Galeon or Epiphany, can't remember which one it was. My girlfriend's brothers then again both use Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Galeon, Epiphany?
by eMagius on Sun 9th Jul 2006 15:38 UTC in reply to "Galeon, Epiphany?"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

How is Opera too bloated? It's much smaller and lighter than either of the browsers you mentioned while having much more functionality.

I realize that Opera doesn't necessarily mesh well with Gnome, but bloat isn't the issue.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Galeon, Epiphany?
by hraq on Mon 10th Jul 2006 07:38 UTC in reply to "Galeon, Epiphany?"
hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

Both of them are installed on my system but they are not for advanced browsing users, simply they cannot save sessions of a 20 opened tabs. Do you know of any plugins for these browsers and if yes are they stable enough?
That's why not many advanced users mention them, though they are aware of them. Features is the simple answer to your question

Reply Score: 3

RE
by Kroc on Sun 9th Jul 2006 07:57 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Nobody has mentioned the icon ;)
People love the fox. It's got great, fun and exciting branding. Opera's red O is no more exciting than a blue e.

Reply Score: 2

fast install
by evert on Sun 9th Jul 2006 08:02 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

it's easy and fast to install and download

on windows i prefer maxthon (a shell over IE with tabbed browsing, adblock, and so on)
http://www.maxthon.com/

Reply Score: 1

functional
by netpython on Sun 9th Jul 2006 09:12 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

firefox is very functional due to it's modularity (extensions).No other browser allows you to extend it's capabillities the way firefox does with it's extensions.

Reply Score: 2

RE: functional
by Bending Unit on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:24 UTC in reply to "functional"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

That doesn't explain it either becuase few people use extensions. I asked if I should install adblock for a friend but he preferred seeing ads.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: functional
by netpython on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: functional"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

That doesn't explain it either becuase few people use extensions. I asked if I should install adblock for a friend but he preferred seeing ads.

I know,like talking to trees. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: functional
by BluenoseJake on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:57 UTC in reply to "functional"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Actually, there is one other....IE, through Add-ins, the problem is most of the add-ins running on a users computers are crappy toolbars and spyware

Reply Score: 1

Firefox 2.0beta1
by SlackerJack on Sun 9th Jul 2006 10:15 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Has integrated spell checking, under lines wrong spelled words. :-)

I really like Firefox, just seems to jell, Opera 9 uses tons of memory in Linux(don't know why), enjoying Firefox 2.0beta1 right now. Firefox is simple, has what seems a popular name and has proved to work great, it's that simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by Terracotta on Sun 9th Jul 2006 10:41 UTC
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

You won't notice the extra features opera has unless you know them. I think they do a very decent job in delivering a lot of functinoality without it getting in the way when you don't need it. When you first open Opera it has an easy interface with not many extra features, you can change that to a full PIM suite if you'd like. Although I started using firefox from vs 0.8 I'm not happy with it anymore, it is not a leightweight browser anymore, Konqueror and opera load a hell of a lot faster in KDE, than Firefox does in XFCE or GNOME on my machine (just to keep the comparison fair). Plus did I mention that it's default look is really really ugly?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by SlackerJack on Sun 9th Jul 2006 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Well Firefox is not preloaded like Konqueror and still loads in about 3 seconds here. Opera is QT so it will load faster in KDE.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ...
by Schmeggma on Sun 9th Jul 2006 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Schmeggma Member since:
2006-01-14

Konqueror and opera load a hell of a lot faster in KDE, than Firefox does in XFCE or GNOME on my machine (just to keep the comparison fair).

I think he was aware of the qt situation ;)

Reply Score: 1

Well lets look at the alternatives.
by theTSF on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:02 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

Mozillas/Netscape not firefox. Are really huge and expect you to use their email client, and other stuff. Opera interface is kinda screwy compared to the others, and it was just recently free for download without adds. Before you had to buy it or use a version that gave adds. The other ones don't support enough features, do not render properly, look funny or are just plain hard to install.

You can put firefox on most memory sticks pop them in a computer and install it for the user account and take it out. So it works for most Systems and Corprate without out bothering the sysadmins.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ...
by Terracotta on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:07 UTC
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

Well that's why I compared it to Firefox on a GTK desktop, and konqueror isn't preloaded, you can ask it to be preloaded just the same as with firefox. Especially the Opera is QT remark was no point at all, since Firefox is GTK and wel XFCE and GNOME are too...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by SlackerJack on Sun 9th Jul 2006 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Firefox is not preloaded, of course GTK is on GNOME but firefox itself is not. Some distro's like SUSE have Konqueror preloaded in memory, firefox can be preloaded from disk cache since SUSE does use preload for KDE.

xfce don't load gnome stuff by default, there is a option for it which makes some gnome apps load up quicker.

Reply Score: 1

Word of mouth...or keyboard advertising
by bousozoku on Sun 9th Jul 2006 12:00 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Ever since it was Phoenix, I've been trying it, due to word of mouth. It was extremely unstable at that point and it seemed more a mockup at that point, but a lot of people on various forums have been singing the praises of a faster, slimmer browser for years. Apparently the faster, slimmer browser was Opera but it always seemed buggy on sites where I wanted to be. I've seen Firefox users growing in numbers simply because what it doesn't do, can be done by extentions.

Phoenix, Firebird, or Firefox: the extensions have given a lot of extra functionlity, reasonably solid core, and adherance to standards have given me a browser that handles 99 % of sites I visit well. For the other 1 %, I generally use Safari or Shiira.

No browser has 100 % compliance with standards and Internet Explorer-optimised sites wreak havoc with most any browser. Firefox version 1.5 addressed a lot of those sites in quirks-mode. I believe that the Mozilla Organisation contacted various sites' webmasters to resolve the problems, as well.

It's still buggy and it locks up occasionally, especially due to plug-ins on Mac OS X. It seems that, in order to gain rendering speed, it ignores input far too long. The version 2.0 beta is more responsive.

I'd think the fact that Firefox's security issues have been addressed in a reasonable manner has given the browser respect. It's the anti-Internet Explorer in many ways and that's good enough for technical people and their friends and relatives...and their friends and relatives.

Reply Score: 2

Simple...
by Gullible Jones on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:11 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Because it was free, secure, and fast. Remember, around 0.8 and previously it was quite snappy, and it's still more secure than IE, and unlike Opera it wasn't adware at the time. Now it's gotten hugely popular, and some people don't want to change, while others (the geeks) don't feel like they can, because there is a real shortage of good browser engines on the OSS scene - Gecko is portable but slow, KHTML is only used in one browser which requires KDE (and doubles as a file manager), Webcore is developed sloooowwwwly and used in two browsers (one unstable and one proprietary and dead)... And things like Dillo and gLinks are often useless because of their lack of support for web standards. There's Amaya's engine, which supports a lot of stuff, but Amaya's interface is bizarro to those who aren't ubergeeks and it doesn't bother to support CSS!

Bubbleguuum wrote:

Firefox is noticeably slower under Linux. I don't mean launch times but normal usage, tab switching, page rendering. This is probably due that XP is much faster at rendering the desktop, especially text.
I tried Opera 9 in Linux and was shocked to see that tab switching was ultra slow and laggy, much more than firefox which is OK but slower than under win32. I think this is beacuse opera re-renders the page when you change tab while firefox keep it rendered in memory.


It's because XUL making itself look like GTK is slow. GTK is pretty fast since the release of that new version of Cairo, but Firefox (and Galeon, and Epiphany)are actually using XUL, which is slow as all get out. The problem isn't with GTK or QT, it's with Firefox's graphical toolkit.

(Also, remember that both Opera and Firefox are developed primarily for Windows; that might make part of the difference for Opera. Compare Konqueror, developed for *nix and using the QT toolkit: it's fast and responsive. The Gnome devs really should not have given up on GTKHTML, I think.)

Reply Score: 2

extensions
by Gadrel on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:35 UTC
Gadrel
Member since:
2005-07-06

I use 15 extensions on my main profile (i have 4 fire fox profiles on my desktop) and i have writen 6 extensions (for intranet apps) so, over all, extensions/XUL are the appeal of FireFox/Mozilla/SeaMonkey for me. Like the browser fine, but the stuff you can do to extend it is amazing.

Oh, and the jREX project looks promising - embedding gecko in Java apps.

Thanks to Mozilla/FireFox developers!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: extensions
by Gullible Jones on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:46 UTC in reply to "extensions"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23


Oh, and the jREX project looks promising - embedding gecko in Java apps.


Umm... Holy cow. I hate to say it but that sounds like a waste of memory if ever there was one.

Reply Score: 2

Mozilla performance
by chris_dk on Sun 9th Jul 2006 13:58 UTC
chris_dk
Member since:
2005-07-12
Reminder
by sappyvcv on Sun 9th Jul 2006 14:17 UTC
sappyvcv
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd like to remind everyone that this is about WHY FIREFOX IS MORE POPULAR.

Not why it's better.
Not why you use it.
Not what's so great about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reminder
by KenJackson on Mon 10th Jul 2006 15:30 UTC in reply to "Reminder"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

I'm having difficulty seeing the distinction.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Reminder
by sappyvcv on Mon 10th Jul 2006 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Reminder"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Well that's a shame.

As has been said already, the "better product" does not neccesarily always mean the more popular product. There are other factors involved in popularity.

If you can not see that, then maybe you shouldn't participate in this discussion.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reminder
by KenJackson on Tue 11th Jul 2006 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reminder"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Well if you have to be so snappy, maybe you shouldn't participate.

Actually, just because better isn't always more popular, doesn't mean that better won't become more popular. Better and popular are associated in such a way that my question was reasonable.

If you are concerned that someone will conclude IE must be good because it is so popular--don't. Nobody thinks that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Reminder
by sappyvcv on Tue 11th Jul 2006 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reminder"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

If you are concerned that someone will conclude IE must be good because it is so popular--don't. Nobody thinks that.

Not at all.

Listen, there is a different between better and popular. There are usually different reasons why something is each. Also, usually, the reasons something is popular and the reasons something is better are usually shared, but not completely.

Some people were solely giving reasons that it's "better", and not focusing on why it's popular.

Do you understand now?

Reply Score: 1

Re: Why is Firefox So Darn Popular?
by aGNUstic on Sun 9th Jul 2006 14:39 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Several things: Disatisfaction and Choice.

If a product does not live up to my standards or quality of workmanship, which is extremely high, I will discontinue using it.

There is always a choice of `Where I want to go!` and it is not MS.

Reply Score: 2

Re: Why is Firefox So Darn Popular?
by ssa2204 on Sun 9th Jul 2006 15:54 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

Well Firefox has become popular because it is the anti-IE browser. It came on the scene at just the right time when exploit after exploit was being found in IE. You have to admit that switching from IE sure did help a lot in decreasing the risk of viruses and spyware. I dont know how many people I had to deal with who used IE and got spyware has a result. But, a lot of this has more to do with their own fault. Sadly, it is ignorant to assume that if Firefox became the defacto market leader that it would automatically be the better browser. The main reason IE had so many problems was because it was the top dog, which hackers like to target, and because of course it was from Microsoft.

Realistically in a safe enviroment Firefox was not all that much better. In fact I found it to be extremely less stable than IE.

Even more, here on OSnews.com a while back they had an article on tests done between the major browsers. If anyone has that link please post. The conclusion was that aside from all the hype, Firefox was NOT the most stable, secure, and fastest. In fact it even lost out to IE in a few tests. In summary, Firefox still has a way to go, at least its on the right course.

Reply Score: 3

shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

due to incessant crashes in Firefox especially when I had /. open in one tab. At one point, every time I opened my top 6 sites in separate tabs and went to /. It barfed. This was on XP onlt. the same version with the same tabs on Linux & OS/X never had a hiccup.
Then one day a few OS patches were installed (if only to get rid of that incessant "You have patches ready to install" bubble-up and somehow Firefox was stable once more.
Ironically, Firefox on Windows Server 2003 was always more stable than XP.

Thats my 0.02 ariary worth

Reply Score: 1

MSIE/FF/Opera (personal experience)
by Nalle on Mon 10th Jul 2006 06:16 UTC
Nalle
Member since:
2005-07-06

I changed from FireFox to Opera9 a few weaks ago. No problems whatsoever and just a few peculiarities to get used to. MSIE is not an option, since I do not concider it safe enough for everyday use.

Opera is 100% OK, but still I had to change back in the end - it's FF that's in my fingers so to speak.

When returning to FF, I had to install Mouse Gestures - I had allready got addicted to that one.


Nalle Berg
Mail: http://www.nalle.no/mailme.php?ID=1
Web: http://nalle.no/
./nalle.

Edit things that worked on preview (image) didn't work when submitted.

Edited 2006-07-10 06:18

Reply Score: 1

speed tip
by bubbleguuum on Mon 10th Jul 2006 19:12 UTC
bubbleguuum
Member since:
2006-02-27

Launching firefox with cairo disabled (MOZ_DISABLE_CAIRO=1) and it's much much faster on my distro (PCLinuxOS but ubuntu has this pbm too) !

Reply Score: 1