Linked by Kroc Camen on Mon 9th Nov 2009 14:20 UTC
Editorial Hands up if you use Firefox. Have used it? Know about it? Heard of it? 'Sites up and down the World Wide Web today will be celebrating five years of Firefox. When I sat down to write this I worried about having to list the history of its features and landmark events and the news of the past five years. Other sites will be comprehensively doing that, there is nothing I can add to that list that Google can't surmise. Instead I will be telling you what Google does not know, my story of Firefox and what Firefox has meant to all of us.
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Happy Birthday Firefox
by Peter Besenbruch on Mon 9th Nov 2009 18:02 UTC
Peter Besenbruch
Member since:
2006-03-13

I started experimenting in Linux in 2002, got serious about transitioning from Windows in late 2003, so I got to follow the entire development cycle of Firefox. It was around version .8 or .9 that I removed Mozilla and went with its new cousin. Somewhere in the 2 point something release, I noticed Web page rendering had speeded up. In the 3.5 release, Javascript took off.

It's extensions that have been key to my staying there, however. I have used some form of ad blocking since the beginning. Another constant is the use of the theme Classic Compact to maximize screen real estate. Then there are the various security and privacy extensions.

All the while, there have been numerous changes under the hood. Supposedly, Javascript is much faster now, but I don't use Gmail, and Google Maps has always run well. More important for me is that I can now maximize Flash without worrying that I will freeze up my system.

Aside from safety and privacy, what's important? Not raw speed. It's the ability to eliminate too many calls to third party sites, to kill all references to Facebook and all other social bookmarking sites, to eliminate extraneous links and images (avatars are a high priority); it's control that keeps me with Firefox.

I have used Opera since version 3. I have tried and fled from Internet Explorer. Yes, I've even dabbled in Chrome and Chromium, but Firefox is my main browser. It helps keep the Web bearable, and relatively safe and private.

So congratulations to the Mozilla folks. They produced a winner, and they keep building on it.

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