Before commenting on this article please note that I wrote it almost 6 months ago when Firefox was on beta release. My opinions on the browser are not so negative these days
I installed Mozilla Firefox (V0.9.3) today to give it a test drive. There's a huge amount of propaganda about the browser amongst techy blogs - but how much of it is accurate?
The Firefox browser loads slower than IE under the same conditions (same PC, no other apps loaded, startup page: http://www.google.co.uk). It's very close, but IE6 has the edge. I assume IE loads faster because it is well integrated with the OS. Creating a new tab in Firefox is instantaneous (as is ctrl-n to open a new IE instance).
Firefox's "Google integration" feature is nowhere near as comprehensive as the Google Toolbar (made by Google as an IE-only addon). There's no search-word find buttons, no page-rank indicator, no search options, no search-term highlighting. These feel like glaring omissions after using the Google Toolbar in IE. There is, however, an unofficial "Google" toolbar available for Firefox that includes most of the features (but no pagerank indicator).
Firefox does not support NTLM authentication, the browser won't load any of our company intranet. Not missing much there, mind you
Just for the record (and indeed, to set the record straight), I am using this journal entry to log any Firefox bugs I find. Such as these, in the first half-hour:
- Back/forward etc buttons have disappeared after installing a theme (see photo).
- Pop-ups not blocked on http://itreviews.co.uk/hardware/hardware.htm
- Wrong favicons displayed on links bar (see photo)
- After switching theme, the pages loaded in the tabs have vanished (see photo) and the tabs cannot be closed. This happened after downloading one theme (the popular "Noia 2") and enabling it.
More UI bugs discovered in 30 mins of Firefox than I've found in the UI of IE6 in 3 years! I hope the Firefox rendering engine is robust enough to make up for it...
[11/08/2004 PM] Now to test performance in an extremely slow-loading site: the stock.xchng is a brilliant free stock photo gallery. Firefox coped terribly with it's poor server performance though - after less than a minute the browser froze with a blank screen and had to be restarted.
After such a disappointing show, I was not surprised to find that 42 bugs have been reported today alone on bugzilla.mozilla.org. Clearly my experience with this browser wasn't an isolated incident.
[12/08/2004 PM] Most critically, I have been made aware of the following major security hole in Firefox
[16/08/2004 PM] Looks like extensions can be just as dodgy as themes
(8 years, 9 months ago)
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