Thank You, Firefox!

by chromatic

When I started using Unix seriously in 1998, there weren't a lot of options for getting on the web. I'd happily used Opera on Windows at home, after Netscape's rather disappointing version 4, but Netscape Navigator (and not the whole suite) was clearly the best option when I switched to GNU/Linux full-time at home later that year.

I followed the Mozilla project with interest and finally switched away from NN4 to one of the Mozilla milestones around 0.9.1. This was an improvement, and not only because Mozilla tended to be higher quality but because it supported more sites more effectively.

Firefox didn't impress me when it first arrived. Removing useful features altogether still strikes me as deeply silly. I remember thinking that Firefox's vaunted slimness and lower footprint would go away when I had to install a dozen extensions to get back the features I used every day.

I haven't thought that for years. I switched to Firefox around its 1.0 release and consider it a fine piece of software. Sure, there are problems, but I remember using Netscape 2 betas. Web browsers have come a long way in reliability and utility since then.

Firefox may be my most heavily used application, if you don't count X.org or the command line. It's served me well, and I've recommended it highly to countless others. Thank you to all of the contributors to Firefox and Mozilla's projects. Even ten years ago, I had no idea how valuable this work would be.


6 Comments

Jackson
2007-10-10 07:01:20
Well, I went the other way around. From using netscape, phoenix, firebird, firefox, mozilla etc to almost entirely opera these days on both my unix and windoze machines, since it's extremely fast, small, robust and has all the "extensions" you need to download in firefox such as adblock, noscript, flashblock, fasterfox, etc.
tootie
2007-10-10 08:20:51
My first workstation was a Sun Sparc running OpenLook around 1998. I actually found that the smoothest running browser was Internet Explorer 5. In fact, it ran much smoother than it did in Windows.
rnsanchez
2007-10-10 11:07:28
I'm much happier now using Seamonkey instead of Firefox, especially for Seamonkey being *much* faster than Firefox on my machine. There are other issues that made me go back to the Mozilla suite. So, a big "thank you, Seamonkey!" from me.
Joe Smith
2007-10-18 13:00:55
I entirely agree. I've been working on helping with bug triage on Firefox 3, and the community has been really helpful. Even though I'm pretty new to using Mozilla, it's good to see that many of the people that started using it still find it so useful.
Abhishek
2007-10-20 07:44:17
I think Mozilla has done well by keeping Firefox slim & trim (6.1 MB, I guess was the last download size). Geeks have and will continue to supplement it with Add-Ons/Extensions (and who can forget those awesome themes!).
For the layman who doesn't know all this, the slim version fits in very well.


Thanks,
Abhishek | Mumbai | India

Janina
2008-06-07 21:18:09
i love and use firefox for years now and don´t know something better. i have read at netscape about flock, have someone experience with it? i thank firefox (and all the developers) too, great work, well done job.


Janina | LB Büromöbel | Germany