Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Firefox: Don't believe the Hype

Ok, so I had heard all the hype about what a great browser Firefox is and how it's far superior to Internet Explorer, so I downloaded it and decided to try it out. At first, I was pretty impressed. It seemed very customizable with extensions to do just about anything you could want. Mostly, I was impressed with the things it could do that IE could not, such as tabbed browsing, an extension I found to zoon in on images, and things like that. Everything else it seemed to do just about as good as IE, so I decided to stick with it for a while.

The more I used it, the more I found problems with it. First, I like to have my browser out of the way, I want as much of my screen as possible used for the actual content. So in IE, I have my menu, toolbar, address bar and Google Toolbar all on one long row. In Firefox, to get the Google Toolbar (The Google Toolbar is a must have), I had to have a separate toolbar, which took up twice as much room on my screen. Next, I found out that a site I go to (and trust) uses an ActiveX control to display a snapshot document. This obviously did not work with FireFox. Later, I discovered that some of the sites I use for work have links and buttons that either do not display properly or do not work properly when viewed with FireFox. For these problems, I used the view with IE plugin, which worked ok. Next, I had been using a plugin to remove flash content until I clicked on a button to play it. I realized that this blocked too much stuff that I wanted to see, so I tried to disable it, but was unable to find it listed in my extensions. Also, the tabbed browsing was one of the features I liked the most, but no matter what extensions I tried to use or how I configured them, new windows would almost always open in a new window instead of a new tab, which pretty much made the whole thing useless.

Now, I have no doubt that everything I mentioned above that caused me to switch back to IE could be attributed to either poor design of the sites I visit or a poorly programmed/documented extension, and/or I could have fixed some of the issues by configuring things differently, researching more exactly what extensions were the best ones, or whatever. But the point is, I didn't see any reason to do that. Most of the things that I liked better about Firefox than IE were just neat things that made things more fun or interesting but not necessary, but the things I had problems with in FireFox that work fine in IE were things I needed or relied on, and since they work in IE, that's what I'm going to use.

I'm no big fan of Microsoft, and I'm glad so many people seem to have found what they feel is a better browser with Firefox, but for me, it was just too much of a hassle. I'll stick with IE, until Firefox or some other alternative works as well in the real world, without all the hassle.

Posted by


peppermd said...

yeah and the fact it's not really compatible with the stuff we work with really blows. Leah hates firefox because half of her girlie shopping sites aren't compatible with it. It's as though more people are using firefox just because it's cool, and whenever you point out stuff wrong with it, we're just being picky.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, exactly, if you complain about something it doesn't do , all the cool FireFox people tell you why that's something you shouldn't want to do anyway, or that it's the site's fault for being designed wrong, or whatever. So what? I just want it to work, I don't care whose fault it is.

AbandonedHero said...

I personally use Firefox over IE because I believe it's more secure. Many people have said they don't like it because it comes so simple. Well, in response to that, it comes like that so you can customize AS YOU LIKE. Does IE have that ability without paying in security loopholes? I would doubt it. You were likely using the PR version of Firefox, which had it's glitches. If you stick it out with Mozilla, they're bound to make a better browser than Opera, Microsoft, or others. My suggestion is just to be open-minded about the whole thing. I'm not trying to force Firefox down your throat, but it's definitely a good thing to take a look at. You should check out the newest release of Firefox. It's actually a completed release now.

Get 1.0 Here.

John Howard said...

I'm very openminded about these things, and I was using the most current version. It just simply didn't work for all the things I wanted it to do. I wish it did, but it just didn't. As for security, IE is obviously much worse, but with SP2 and a firewall, anti-spyware, adaware and virus programs, I feel like I have enough other security layers to be ok.

AbandonedHero said...

I'm awfully curious, what is it that you couldn't get Firefox to do?

John Howard said...

There are some sites I have to use at work that have links that wouldn't work, and buttons that wouldn't show up. There is a site I use for a fantasy fottball league that uses an ActiveX control. Those were really the only things I couldn't get it to do, but I go to those sites enough that it was a big problem.