Home > Mozilla, Gecko > Firefox News Tidbits Firefox News Tidbits Submitted by Rahul Sundaram 2005-01-05 Mozilla, Gecko 68 Comments WSJ’s Mossberg reviews Firefox. PC World thinks Firefox gives bloatware-haters hope. A not-quite-reliable, but interesting, claim that IE’s share has lost 30% of the browser market. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 68 Comments 2005-01-05 5:30 pm I’ve noticed most computer-obsessed people like gamers, programmers and hardware gurus have mostly switched (that i know). I still use IE on my windows box just because it comes with windows. What do I use for security? firefox. I think once firefox gets extremely popular people will start to target it as they have targeted IE.. but patches will probably be faster. Microsoft should just cobrand firefox and use it, it would cut there costs, oh wait- all they care about is their status-quo.. not cutting their bottom line. I also thought that was one of the bad things about microsoft, they have declined over the past years and investors know it. 2005-01-05 5:40 pm I’ve still not been able to remove IE completly, for one I still need IE windows updates, I’ve not managed to get firefox to work with microsofts update centre. Also one very annoying limitation of firefox is the inability to print an image directly from the right-click popup menu. It’s actually quicker to fire up IE, copy/paste the url from firefox and print in one step from IE than have to save the image, load it into an image viewer and print it! 2005-01-05 5:46 pm Look at : http://www.browsermonitor.com/ A whole different picture. Where’s the truth ? Where are surveys with some reliable market shares of Browser and OS ? I’m just interested … 2005-01-05 5:46 pm What’s wrong with ‘right click’ – ‘view image’ Then choosing ‘print’ from the menu ? 2005-01-05 6:02 pm @Omega It’s not reliable. The numbers will vary greatly depending on the site stating the statistics and how they are gathered. Since no single entity can find out which browser each induvidual person on the internet is using it is unlikely that there will ever be reliable numbers for browser share, only speculation and educated guesses. 2005-01-05 6:02 pm You can completely elimenate IE using IERadicator (free utilities). or xplite. Advantage – you won’t have any IE components (and outlook if you wish)- so better virus protection. The proble is that some programs REQUIRE IE :-((((. 2005-01-05 6:08 pm most things that sound to good to be true is often not completly true. I would like to know what they base numbers like that on. 2005-01-05 6:23 pm It took a while, but I managed to persuade 80% of my family to use Mozilla or Firefox (the last one is especially stubborn, but oh well). One response, “pages really do display faster than with IE”. Tabbed browsing was a big hit, too. Just keep the word-of-mouth campaign going, and standards-breaking IE will be shown some modesty, once again. 2005-01-05 6:25 pm Use it, too. The goal is to reduce IE’s market share by whatever means people find satisfactory. 2005-01-05 6:25 pm http://www.browsermonitor.com/ These look like Web Server “hits” instead of “unique visitors” (admittedly this is unconfirmed). IE “hits” the server many times more than any other browser on a typical visit. It really inflates their stats, and is misleading for people who are not looking carefully enough. 2005-01-05 6:29 pm It’s a very hard thing to keep track of. Both of those statisctics could be accurate. How, you say? Demographics. Some websites ( say porn or a gaming website ) are certainly looked at by more home users. While news sites, and standard resources are looked at by office machines, or those at educational institutions. And, there are all different kinds of reasons for statistical problems. Firefox can identify itself as IE if you install one of the plugins. Some people set this in their browser to avoid problems with IE-only sites. Also, proxies that cache pages and serve them to local networks have an effect on these stats. All that being said, I think Firefox is making big headway. I think it’s a good trend, and will lead to more open/cross-platform standards on the web. -b 2005-01-05 6:47 pm Tyr, Snowflake likes doing things the hard way. 2005-01-05 6:53 pm Firefox *is* bloatware compared to the lighter, faster, more-featureful Opera. I fail to see how it’s giving bloatware-haters hope. 2005-01-05 7:07 pm “Firefox *is* bloatware compared to the lighter, faster, more-featureful Opera. I fail to see how it’s giving bloatware-haters hope. ” well, FireFox is free, and Opera is not. cheers anyweb. 2005-01-05 7:16 pm I’ve not managed to get firefox to work with microsofts update centre.>> Nor will you. In my experience (firefox, opera, netscape) it *only* works with IE. 2005-01-05 7:31 pm I removed IE years ago and never updated my Windows, no need apparently because I’ve never had any problems with Windows that only an update would be able to resolve. Just try it, you can always install IE later on, if you FEEL the need (not that there will be any). 2005-01-05 7:31 pm Did you try any any link on that browsermonitor… nothing worked… there is no date whatsoever… for sure I would not call that a reliable source. For the article in question, to respond to Andre4s about where does he get those numbers, well if you READ his article, he is explaining himself on what does he based his results. He is talking about his own traffic… nothing to argue there. Now for the world wide evaluation of Firefox usage, the question remains open. 2005-01-05 7:31 pm I use firefox half of the time on my pc’s. I haven’t put it on my mac yet. Has anyone used the mac version of firefox? Does it work better or as good as Safari? Firefox works great on my pc’s. 2005-01-05 7:37 pm “I use firefox half of the time on my pc’s. I haven’t put it on my mac yet. Has anyone used the mac version of firefox? Does it work better or as good as Safari? ” i did for a week or so and found it the same as firefox on pc version except for the UI changes of course. its as good as safari if not better for me 2005-01-05 7:59 pm I like firefox, but it is unstable for me on several computers. After opening multile tabs/ windows firefox will use 100% of cpu power. I thought that 1.0pr was more stable so I reinstalled and it seemed to be better. However, I found that it was using around 50% cpu. I switched back to mozilla proper and have had no problems what so ever. I am surprised that firefox was released in its current state, though I look forward to when it is updated. Now I know why mepis has avoided firefox. 2005-01-05 8:16 pm Somebody needs to modify the user agent extension on Firefox so you can automatically switch the user agent to IE for some sites, and have it automatically switch back when you leave those sites. This should increase the number of Firefox hits in the user agent string. As it stands now, if I visit sites often where I need to switch the user agent to IE, I’m not going to manually switch them back every time I leave – that’s just too much work. Thus, it’s going to appear to most websites that track browser use that I’m actually using IE. 2005-01-05 8:18 pm opera trolls like you will fail to see how firefox is better because you already paid for it>> The only copy of Opera I ever paid for is the one at home on my primary desktop. (Although that may change if I decide to keep Ubuntu on my Pismo). At home I have Camino and at work I have Firefox. I *still* choose to use Opera. I use Camino and Firefox only for those (occasional) sites that don’t play well with “The Big O.” For me, it’s simply the best internet experience. 2005-01-05 8:22 pm @spaceboy29 I used camino when I had my mac *been about 2 years since though* but even then I liked it better than safari. I know that safari has under gone updates and the like and I don’t know if safari still suffers from some of the rendering problems I had with the khtml engine but camino was there to pick up the slack (that and I’m not a big fan of the bushed metal look that safari had) 2005-01-05 9:13 pm I’ve been using only Firefox on my clean installed XP. It’s been 3 months and Ad-Aware finds no (zero) spyware! 2005-01-05 9:14 pm Firefox works just as well as Safari does on my iBook, but given that Safari has most of the same features and security benefits, I don’t use it as much. On my PC laptop, I only use Firefox and I consider IE to be the “Windows Update Program.” 2005-01-05 9:21 pm For all its faults, you can hardly call IE bloated. Indeed, one of the biggest complaints about it is its *lack* of features, not an over-abundance of them. 2005-01-05 9:24 pm I use Firefox on my Windows box at work and I have never needed to go to the Windows Update site. I just enabled the auto update feature in Win 2000 and it downloads and installs the patches automatically. I am not too sure if that feature uses IE, but at least I don’t have to use it anymore. 2005-01-05 9:31 pm “For all its faults, you can hardly call IE bloated” oh yes you can. look at the size 2005-01-05 9:43 pm Sites dealing with IT afairs are not good measure. Number of hits might depend on the site content. If some site is microsoft hostile, it is likely that there will be less IE. Of course the oposite is to be expected too, on microsoft friendly sites there will be less Firefox, especially from non-windows platforms. About the Opera, that browser had allways a bit strange user interface. I have tried it for a period of time, but never got used to it. It is, somehow, too strange. 2005-01-05 9:51 pm “Firefox *is* bloatware compared to the lighter, faster, more-featureful Opera. I fail to see how it’s giving bloatware-haters hope.” It’s user interface bloat that people are running from. Opera’s mass of features hurts it in this regard, just as it hurts the Mozilla suite. And yet, Firefox avoids the techie backlash against dumbed down products by offering extensions. As far as I can tell, I can get Firefox to have almost every feature Opera sports (and a few cool functions Opera doesn’t), but the important thing is that they won’t be cluttering up the place if I don’t want them. The Preferences window in Opera 8beta looks …formidible to me, someone who feels very comfortable with technology. I can’t imagine how terrifying it would look to your perverbial grandma archetype. 2005-01-05 10:34 pm Regarding the “browsermonitor” page, two things jump out- 1. The page is copyrighted 2002 2. The links on the page lead to “aspectgroup.co.uk” (some 404), and none lead back. 3. Firefox isn’t even listed! I think this data is old, and may have been questionable even in 2002. 2005-01-05 11:02 pm To be honest if it were not for bad web design, that utilizes OCX controls instead of a scripted backend IE would be all but eliminated. Not trying to flame, just my opinion. /2cents 2005-01-05 11:42 pm activx and stuff like asp/php/jsp are two completely different things. activex is similar to java applets, and in a more general way flash, as in it allows for an application embeded in a webpage. while this is wildly unnessicary for most sites your average person visits, its vital to more complex web apps. i work on a webbased enterprise erp/production tracking system, and while we try to avoid that kind of thing like the plague, sometimes you just cant get around it. ie works fine on corporate intranets, however its not suitable for the internet. when i do general tech support for friends family, i alwas tell them i will clean up ie related problems for them once. if they choose to not listen to me and keep using it, they are wasting their time and mine for no real reason. 2005-01-06 12:01 am IMO, %30 is just a dream. Firefox has a chance to gain maybe only %10 of the users until the end of 2005. i do not think most of the end users will switch. this is more like a fashion think. if google lets say promote firefox somehow, maybe the numbers like %30 can be a reality in the long run.. 2005-01-06 1:05 am Firefox *is* bloatware compared to the lighter, faster, more-featureful Opera. I fail to see how it’s giving bloatware-haters hope. I second that. I left Firefox for Opera, and it rocks! I think version 8 is going to be even better. Regarding these stats, it doesn’t make sense. People are exagerating, and all the hype around alternate browsers especially Firefox doesn’t proove these figures. If I show you my stats, it’s a lot different. Why don’t they give spreadfirefox.com’s stats and say that IE now has 44% market share? I think the Mozilla Suite is a lot better than FIrefox, but unfortunately it hasn’t had the same hype. Firefox is a simple browser for the masses. Beside the tabs and pop up blocker, I don’t see much difference from IE, really, same problems of speed, etc… Bah! Let’s see how long this hype lasts 2005-01-06 1:16 am I use Firefox, and I have to agree that its bare-bones configuration IS slow and bloated, and has some serious stability issues, which gets worse when you start adding extensions. But I still use it, it’s a personal choice; but I certainly won’t recommend it to anyone else. 2005-01-06 1:35 am Jan/2005: IE6 + IE5 = 69.9% Mozilla + Firefox = 22.8% Opera7 = 2.1% Netscape4 + Netscape7 = 1.4% http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp 2005-01-06 1:42 am I use Firefox for browsing all websites, though I have noticed that it grabs quite a lot of memory. Why is that ? I also noticed that it has increased processor time as compared to previous incarnations ? What gives ? The developers should optimize it for better performance and less resources. 2005-01-06 2:20 am “What’s wrong with ‘right click’ – ‘view image’ Then choosing ‘print’ from the menu ?” You’re right I could but why make me do that extra step, IE doesn’t? I want FFto better then IE in all ways. 2005-01-06 2:26 am “Tyr, Snowflake likes doing things the hard way.” No not really, I just want FF to be better than IE. We develop open source but work under windows. The mentality for windows developers is to make the interface as straight forward as possible, I think this is where linux developers differ. The fact that people here on osnews think that the extra step a user has to take compared to IE is not important speaks volumes on the differences between the two communities. At the end of the day it the attention to detail which make a user’s life that little bit easier is what ultimiately wins the user over. 2005-01-06 2:37 am This is FUD…people don’t realize that IE is loading while Windows is booting, so they click on it, it suddenly opens…of course, that long boot time ought to be somewhere. I use Firefox on 4 computers I have and none had problems, only benefits. Now I’m showing some of those benefits to my colleagues at work. Two have already switched, thanks to anti-pop-up and security. Firefox & Spybot = Killer combo @ Windows systems. 2005-01-06 2:56 am My own statistics show that IE use has declined from about 82% to about 71% in the last 8 months. Most of the IE loss can be directly attributed to Firefox, which has increased from essentially 0 to about 8.5% in the period March – December 2004. KHTML based browsers have posted a small gain as well and made up around 3.5% of the accesses in December. Other Mozilla based browsers (excluding Firefox) and Opera have been steady at around 13% and 2% respectively. These statistics have been generated after excluding access from web robots and only counting access to real content (i.e. excluding access to style sheets and images). A more interesting and surprising observation is the following: We distribute a software package (a Monte Carlo package for the simulation of electrons and photons, not the typical software Joe user would be interested in). Among various installation methods there are self-extracting installation wizards for Windows and Linux. One would assume that Windows users will only download the Windows wizard and Linux users only the Linux wizard, right? Wrong! Out of the 5084 downloads of the Windows installer in the last 12 months 5024 have been from a Windows computer and 60 from Linux. Out of the 1854 downloads of the Linux installer 1387 originated from a Windows computer and 467 from a Linux box! I have 2 possible explanations for this: 1) Some people don’t pay attention, they just download everything they see. If this hypothesis is correct and using the OS statistics (~85% Windows, ~10% Linux), the Windows installer should have been downloaded by 510 Linux users and the Linux installer by 1585 Windows users. Given the actual downloads, the conclusion is that 1387/1585=87% of Windows users and 60/510=12% of Linux users don’t pay attention when they surf the net. 2) More people do their actual work on non-Windows computers than it appears from web statistics (i.e. people work on Linux but use Windows for web surfing). If this hypothesis is correct, the actual fraction of Linux users downloading content from our site is (1387+467)/(5084+1854)=27% instead of the 10% observed in the web logs. 2005-01-06 2:56 am Snowflake: I agree, but it is certainly more work to launch IE in the manner you described, rather than do as Tyr suggested. Maybe you were taking things to an extreme to make a point. Personally, I never print a single image–in fact it seems frivilous. I find the ‘copy image location’ feature to be infinitely more useful–and it is noticeably absent from IE. Opera users: Opera rocks (esp. mouse gestures!), but it did have a few glitches in its support of current standards back when I used it last. It very well made be completely fine now, and I should try it again to see. Opera was my browser of choice until I discovered Firebird (as it was known at the time, now of course it is FireFox), which has had a mouse gestures extension. That, combined with a few rendering failings Opera had at the time (overflow=auto gave it problems, I remember that much. I was willing to overlook those flaws until I found Firebird), cause me to jump ship. 2005-01-06 3:03 am This is FUD…people don’t realize that IE is loading while Windows is booting, so they click on it, it suddenly opens…of course, that long boot time ought to be somewhere. I think when people talk about “performance” they’re talking about a bit more than just the startup time. 2005-01-06 3:15 am ” I think when people talk about “performance” they’re talking about a bit more than just the startup time.” and firefox is so much faster otherwise. so whats your problem? what about security. what about standards compliance. when will IE ever support proper png transparency and css?… 2005-01-06 3:23 am and firefox is so much faster otherwise. so whats your problem? what about security. what about standards compliance. when will IE ever support proper png transparency and css?… I think they were originally comparing it to Opera, not IE. People saying the reason why Firefox is so damn slow is because IE has the advantage in that it loads with the OS. However, Opera doesn’t load with the OS and is faster than both IE and Firefox. Don’t give me wrong – I’m a Firefox user, but speed is not one of its advantages, at least in comparison to Opera. 2005-01-06 3:43 am rendoring speed in firefox is very fast, usually you have to play with some settings to get the most out of it though. opera does load faster, but on a decent machine firefox loadtime is negligable, so i dont really see why its an issue. 2005-01-06 3:55 am <.02>Browser stats on my blog are as follows (out of the last 10,000 hits, just picked a nice round number): MSIE 6.0 — 7167 hits 5.5 — 118 5.0 — 127 MSIE Total % — 76% Firefox 1.0 — 1245 hits < 1 — 324 Firefox Total % — 17% The next highest percentage is Mozilla with 3%. Unfortunately I don’t have access to archived data right now, but I do know that MSIE has gone from above 90% to 76% since Firefox 1.0 was released. It would also appear (as others have corraborated) that over 95% of MSIE percentage loss is due to Firefox 1.0. It also should be noted that my site is technical in nature, therefore is probably not a good cross section of general internet users, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. < /.02> 2005-01-06 5:51 am “Use it, too. The goal is to reduce IE’s market share by whatever means people find satisfactory. ” What is this, a war to get IE out of the market? Is it because of some silly anti MS thing? Comments like these make me glad to use IE. Never had any security problems either. I’ve used Firefox, but have switched back to IE. By disabling active X, IE isnt all that bad (unless you are an anti Microsoft zealot, which means all things MS are evil and shouldnt be used). I’m telling my buddies to install SP2 and make sure active X is disabled. Lets do what we can get IEs market share back up again. 2005-01-06 8:17 am Have you ever looked at the extensions for Firefox? You should. The is an extension wich makes it possible to directly print or save a picture onmouseover (as in IE). 2005-01-06 10:11 am David, I must say that I really enjoy OSNews very much, but there is one small thing that leaves me a little bit worried. The thing is, I always read the moderated comments, just to see what junk some people can come up with. On more than one occasion I have found comments that has been moderated that just doesn’t seem correct. As an example, I would like to point to the comment about Konquerer. As far as I’m concerned, that post was in no way offensive or off-topic. Would you be so kind as to explain to me why post like that gets moderated. E 2005-01-06 11:27 am Firefox is a tool for idiot geeks who don’t understand that freedom is fundamental, but they think they have the right to install the browser they think is better on everybody’s computer regardless of the fact that people who are not zealots are already used to something else that has their work done. When will Open-Source zealots stop think other people are stupid because they don’t use the same software as them? If IE or Opera works fine for everybody and they’re available at no charge, why should we use Firefox just because it’s the new fashionable browser? There’s a trend on the web that more or less says “Either you use Firefox and you’re a good dog, or you don’t and you’re out”. Gimme a break… 2005-01-06 11:29 am Why has the “Konqueror” comment been moderated down? Doesn’t make sense to me either. 2005-01-06 11:35 am Sadly, you canot remove IE from XP totally, nor with IERadicator, neither with XPLite. All that MSHTML, VBS and Explorer components, which are actually IE components, will stay there. About bloat.Full IE supporting “infrastructure” takes more than 150 MB on disk. ~ 55 for Mozilla, ~15 for Opera (Java exluded). ActiveX. This is not technical term. This is “marketing” term which includes various arbitrary components and features. Most dangerous and explotiable by viruses and hackers part of ActiveX is VBS+WindowsScriptingHost. New version of IE. Ok, they may add FF-like features and even more. People will remigrate back. For some time. But untill MS don’t drop VB(S) support in IE, they are doomed for insecurity. And they cannot drop it, lot of application, inluding corporate ones, are based on that Gates beloved child – (Visual)BASIC. So IE share will drop down again, once people discover, that with newest coolest IE they still are vulnerable. 2005-01-06 2:23 pm What is this, a war to get IE out of the market? No, just to even the playing field. Is it because of some silly anti MS thing? For me, it’s not about politics. I think IE is a terrible browser compared to the competition, and the IE ‘shell’ browsers are only slightly better. The more people are using non-IE web browsers, the more web authors will have to code their websites according to standards and not just something that works in IE. Hence, the people that don’t want to use IE won’t have to. 2005-01-06 5:07 pm My blog is doing about 30,000 hits a day right now and I’m showing 5% going to Firefox. Check out the stats here… http://www.sitemeter.com/default.asp?action=stats&site=s12crackhous… 2005-01-06 7:56 pm yeah, thats pretty much it. the big draw to working on mozilla is that microsoft treats its web devs and everyone on other operating systems like garbage, and its pretty much in charge of the defacto web standards. there are many, many, many things that are broken in ie, but instead of people not using them, and thus forcing ms to fix it, people code around, or even for them and what we get is the state the web is in today, where shoddy code is pretty much everywhere and no real way to reverse the trend. standards should never, ever, ever, ever be controlled by one company. 2005-01-06 8:26 pm >Have you ever looked at the extensions for Firefox? >You should. The is an extension wich makes it possible to >directly print or save a picture onmouseover (as in IE). I have, and I tried to look for one can could print directly but it won’t install. Also I’ve installed other extensions in the past and they made firefox unstable, one has to be carefuly which extensions to download. I think something as basic as direct printing should not be in an extension, no matter how cute the idea of extensions are 2005-01-06 8:29 pm >Snowflake: I agree, but it is certainly more work to launch >IE in the manner you described, rather than do as Tyr >suggested. Maybe you were taking things to an extreme to make >a point. Personally, I never print a single image–in fact it >seems frivilous. I find the ‘copy image location’ feature to >be infinitely more useful–and it is noticeably absent from >IE. I agree with you, I was being devil’s advocate to an extent, however, I don’t understand why there is resistance to make things work as soothly as possible. As an example of just printing out a single image, on map quest, sometimes I just want to print out the map (even from the print page) and nothing else. Choice is imporant. IE has it, why can’t FF? 2005-01-06 10:32 pm The more people are using non-IE web browsers, the more web authors will have to code their websites according to standards and not just something that works in IE. Hence, the people that don’t want to use IE won’t have to. No. If you look at web design forums, people optimize now their web sites for IE and Firefox only. I’m out of luck, I use none of these craps. 2005-01-06 10:45 pm About bloat.Full IE supporting “infrastructure” takes more than 150 MB on disk. I’m curious as to how you determined this figure. 2005-01-07 3:21 am Try this news website http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/? And see how firefox goes crazy trying to display a flash plugin. This really sucks big time…after all this hype i installed firefox and it really disappointed me. Please now tell me its the mistake of website or macromedia or blah…like i care…it works fine in IE. This is premier indian news site and i read it daily. Whats the point of firefox if it chokes like this. 2005-01-07 4:32 am Anybody notice this… “But Microsoft hasn’t made any important functional improvements in Internet Explorer for years…” “The only visible feature added to IE recently: a pop-up ad blocker, which arrived long after other browsers had one…” Huh? Is this guy an idiot? 2005-01-07 5:05 am My Firefox did not go crazy on that link, so it must have been something else. 2005-01-07 9:36 am Did a small flash pop-up appear in the middle of the screen? Once it appears the pop-up keeps on trying to refresh it. You cant close it or do anything wiht it…making the webpage unreadable. 2005-01-07 10:52 am Sorry, no pop-ups at all appeared with me. 2005-01-07 11:09 am After disabling the pop-up blocker, I did see a pop-up ad from a bank, but it isn’t made with Flash and it didn’t make my Firefox go crazy or behave strangely in any other way…in fact the pop-up disappeared by itself after a while and never came back!? 2005-01-07 12:57 pm first off, get adblock. secondly, you proved my point. the only reason garbage like that exists is because microsoft, not the w3c controls web standards.