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What is the appeal of Firefox now?

Posted: 22nd February 2012 01:16

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Sorry if this just ends up as a big moan post, but what exactly is the appeal of Firefox now?

At one time, it might have been the quickest browser around but now it just seems to be a resource hog (regularly using at least 1GB of memory), crashes often and isn't particularly fast anymore. It's tabbed browsing is probably the most annoying part though; what's the point in saving the tabs after each session when it decides it doesn't want to bother reloading the tabs when you reopen the browser every other time?

BLEK!!
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Posted: 22nd February 2012 02:32

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We've had similar discussions, up to and including not advocating Firefox as CoN's browser of choice any more. While we haven't taken that step as yet, I kind of feel your pain. However, I will say that it's been a memory hog really since day one, so I guess I've made my peace with that part. With regards to the loss of tabs, I haven't actually had that problem in a few versions now.

My current biggest gripe is that on my 64-bit machine, the plugin container (or Flash Player, not sure which) crashes constantly, pretty much any time I close a tab that has run Flash - which, admittedly, isn't often as I use Flashblock mostly everywhere.

I would say, to answer your main question, that the appeal is almost the same as what IE's was many years ago; it's the best known alternative to the standard. Or that's my guess, anyway; people who don't know much ask someone who knows better what they should be using, and odds are right now that answer is Firefox. In five years it will probably be Chrome. For me, the appeal is that I still have a suite of plugins that I use on all of my machines, and I simply have no desire to try to find similar ones for a new browser. The amount of time I spend in Firebug alone for work, for freelance, for CoN is staggering, and I just don't like Chrome's alternative quite as much, for instance.

Heck, I don't even mind too much if people use IE any more, as long as it's IE9. IE9 is a surprisingly nice browser as current standards go.

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Posted: 22nd February 2012 06:40

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Cetra
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I don't know if this is true, but it did come from a computer professor. He said that IE was more dangerous if you run it on a Windows operating system, because of some reason I can't remember actually (had something to do with attaching itself to deeper internal memory, so viruses could go deeper into the systems). I'm not sure, because I never really took his advice, but is there some truth to that?

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Posted: 22nd February 2012 18:28

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I have never had a problem with Firefox and I've used it for a loooong time now. It provides everything I want in a browser. No point in changing a habit without a reason to.
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Posted: 22nd February 2012 19:13

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Quote (BlitzSage @ 22nd February 2012 01:40)
I don't know if this is true, but it did come from a computer professor. He said that IE was more dangerous if you run it on a Windows operating system, because of some reason I can't remember actually (had something to do with attaching itself to deeper internal memory, so viruses could go deeper into the systems). I'm not sure, because I never really took his advice, but is there some truth to that?

That might have been the case a long time ago, but I wouldn't think it would be the case with more recent IEs or Windows releases; the browser has become less integrated to the OS since Windows XP, I seem to recall. Since most of the bad stuff you can get from browsing the web now isn't browser-dependent, if you're going to get bad stuff, you're going to get it from doing something stupid, not because you're using IE. Also, if you're running IE on a non-Windows system, you're either running a browser that hasn't been updated in ten years, or you're a wizard. smile.gif

Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong, and if you can do it without being a jerk about it, natch. I'd never claim to be a computer security expert, so I could be a little wrong in the details.

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Posted: 22nd February 2012 21:21

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Treasure Hunter
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Quote
At one time, it might have been the quickest browser around but now it just seems to be a resource hog (regularly using at least 1GB of memory), crashes often and isn't particularly fast anymore.

I'm getting back to using Firefox after having all of those problems with Google Chrome on my netbook. Whenever I open a lot of pages in one session, it leaves a long list of processes in the Task Manager that slows down everything on my computer if I've been on the internet for a long time or have been looking up a lot of pages. The final straw was a problem with the Shockwave Flash plug-in that caused the plug-in to crash whenever I closed a YouTube tab, which was especially irritating since most of the time I buffer several videos at once at my local library and watch them at home, and the plug-in crashing meant that I was unable to watch the videos. I haven't had that problem with Firefox (although I rarely close the window until I've watched every video, out of paranoia XD).

Firefox starts up slower on my netbook, but doesn't start to slow down after prolonged usage like Chrome does. I use Firefox when I'm on the internet for long periods or when I'm loading a lot of web pages or videos to watch at home, and Chrome when I'm doing quick work or need the little bit of extra screen space. I don't use Internet Explorer since I'm more used to FF and Chrome now, but I've tried IE9 and found that while it took up too much screen space for my tastes, the new version works very well in comparison to the newest versions of other browsers.

It all boils down to personal preference. Chrome is what I'm most used to, but there's plenty of features in Firefox that Chrome lacks, plus a more standard menu layout.

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Posted: 23rd February 2012 04:02

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Google ran a helluva ad when they introduced Chrome. Seems fitting for the thread, look at this!
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Posted: 23rd February 2012 09:43
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After having the update to 10 break the address bar, I'm having equally serious reservations about sticking with FF, especially when Chrome was noticeably quicker in loading browsers when last I checked it out. Really it's just laziness that keeps me loyal.

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Posted: 24th February 2012 06:12

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Master Tonberry
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I still haven't updated Firefox in a while.

On the other hand, I've started using Opera. And I sometimes even use IE as a backup browser for when I need another browser instance.

I refuse to use Chrome because I don't like giving Google a greater market share of browser usage.

Would love to see a Windows version of Epiphany...

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Posted: 24th February 2012 07:00

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I've used Firefox, IE, Safari and Chrome but I'm sticking with Firefox for one very good reason: it has the best ad blocker that I'm aware of. For some reason I couldn't get Chrome's to work as effectively. Almost all of my TV, sport and film comes from my laptop and having adverts cut out entirely is amazing. After seeing this thread I went back to Chrome and the obnoxious adverts sicked onto nearly every site is unbearable. Also popups were totally cut out in Firefox so seeing them again on Chrome was a little... tacky? Like I said, I couldn't get Chrome's to work as well, but if it is possible to cut out everything like on Firefox (including streaming video adverts at the beginning, middle and end e.g. YouTube) I'd maybe consider Chrome a better browser. For now I can't not use Firefox for this reason. It's clean.

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Posted: 24th February 2012 16:06

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One thing I would like to see in Firefox? A proper x64 version that comes straight from the Mozilla team. I think if they do that, and do it right, and it doesn't break all of the plugins, that it would do quite a bit to restore some of the luster to the package as a whole. I read somewhere that Firefox 12 will have a x64 executable, but since 11 is just now in beta, it seems like there's a while to go before x64 is a good option.

GMH: Epiphany is a Webkit browser. I'm not sure you're getting all that much from it that you wouldn't get from Chrome or Safari, except for the fact that apparently you hate Chrome and Safari for Windows is just generally disgusting (and Epiphany from what I can tell has a very minimalist UI).

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Posted: 24th February 2012 17:59

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Master Tonberry
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Well, the reason I need multiple browsers is because I sometimes want to have simultaneous multiple logins to a site. For example, I want to see more than one GMail account at once, without linking them (for privacy reasons). Epiphany, from when I used it on Ubuntu, seems to be a pretty simple browser with a classic-style interface (i.e. menubar, navigation bar, status bar, etc.) that I can use for various purposes.

Back on topic, I continue using Firefox mostly because I'm used to the classical interface that it gives me and because I have various plugins that do stuff I like. I'm not a fan of the new IE interface, nor the menubarless style that Chrome/Opera/new Firefox do. Now, I know that newer versions of Firefox have lots of plugins that do this stuff too, but I'm too lazy to actually update. Oh, and partly because updating is almost unavoidably a one-way street; it's hard to install a separate instance of Firefox and test it out first.

That said, I'm starting to feel some pressure to update to a more recent version of Firefox, mostly thanks to websites exhibiting unintended behavior.

Firefox is not a perfect browser. As you noted, the plugin container crashes rather often, and it is a huge freakin' memory hog. But so far, it's generally working for me.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 24th February 2012 18:03

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Posted: 26th February 2012 19:03

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Firefox is still my browser of choice, but my biggest problem with it is how it opens PDF documents. It doesn't open them inside the browser like IE does, instead asking me whether I want to save it or open it as a temp file. The other problem I have is that when I save a download from Firefox, I can't seem to choose the directory to which it downloads. There is one default download location and it downloads everything to there - usually my desktop which results in unnecessary clutter. This is more of a problem at work, but it's also a pain on my home computer. Maybe I'm just missing something, and if someone can explain how to solve this it would be appreciated.
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Posted: 26th February 2012 21:37

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I'm another "I use FF because of the plugins" guy. FIrebug still seems like the best option out there for its sort of thing, and FF's addon repository is huge and easy to use. I use Chrome almost as much, though, when I'm simply 'surfing'.
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Posted: 27th February 2012 01:15

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Quote
At one time, it might have been the quickest browser around but now it just seems to be a resource hog (regularly using at least 1GB of memory), crashes often and isn't particularly fast anymore. It's tabbed browsing is probably the most annoying part though; what's the point in saving the tabs after each session when it decides it doesn't want to bother reloading the tabs when you reopen the browser every other time?

Cannot agree with that one. I am using Firefox since about version 1.5. I often have like 90 tabs opened in it without any major problems. OK, the memory usage goes up to 450 mb sometimes, I must admit. But try opening about 20 tabs in IE and you get into serious performance troubles - I am seeing this twice a week when I am using a comp which is not mine.

The only thing I recognize is with the last updates it seems my comp is very slow even after installing the update, sometimes even a hour or so later on, but it gets - strangefully - fine after some (1-2) days.

Quote
After having the update to 10 break the address bar, I'm having equally serious reservations about sticking with FF, especially when Chrome was noticeably quicker in loading browsers when last I checked it out. Really it's just laziness that keeps me loyal.

Right-click at the menu bar at the very top of firefox, select "tabs at top" (or sth like that) - Does this solve your problem?
Quote
Firefox is still my browser of choice, but my biggest problem with it is how it opens PDF documents. It doesn't open them inside the browser like IE does, instead asking me whether I want to save it or open it as a temp file. The other problem I have is that when I save a download from Firefox, I can't seem to choose the directory to which it downloads. There is one default download location and it downloads everything to there - usually my desktop which results in unnecessary clutter. This is more of a problem at work, but it's also a pain on my home computer. Maybe I'm just missing something, and if someone can explain how to solve this it would be appreciated.

Seems to be the case your PDF-plugin isnt configured properly.
You can try to re-install the PDF-reader, this might solve your problem:
http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Else, try this addon:

https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/pdf-download/

For the download stuff:
Go to firefox preferences.
General.
Downloads -> [X] Ask everytime a download starts.

Or sth like that, using German version of Firefox.

This post has been edited by Bas on 27th February 2012 01:16
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Posted: 27th February 2012 16:20

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Come to think of it, Firefox does annoy me to some extent with more than just being memory-hoggy. When starting up, it takes several seconds of being frozen before it does anything. It works fine thereafter, but this happens for each time I start Firefox anew. Opera doesn't do this, and I'm wondering if updating Firefox will fix this.

Re PDFs: I just have my browser save them rather than opening them, and I like it better that way. They're handled just like any other downloadable file type. I get a lot of extraneous downloads, but I can just Shift+Delete them later.

^ That plugin's only unique function seems to be viewing a PDF as an HTML file. How does that work? I guess it just reads the PDF's text and images and attempts to display them as HTML. Its two other functions are saving PDFs, which can be done simply by changing Firefox's settings, and saving web pages as PDFs, which can be done using PDFCreator (which allows you to do this for all browsers, not just Firefox).

Quote
Cannot agree with that one. I am using Firefox since about version 1.5. I often have like 90 tabs opened in it without any major problems. OK, the memory usage goes up to 450 mb sometimes, I must admit. But try opening about 20 tabs in IE and you get into serious performance troubles - I am seeing this twice a week when I am using a comp which is not mine.

I'm not sure you should be comparing with IE, of all things. That said, I am not a programmer and all I know about IE is that it has a bad reputation and its interface kinda sucks.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 27th February 2012 16:25

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Posted: 27th February 2012 17:10

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First try the other things I suggested about PDF and it's reader.
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Posted: 3rd March 2012 14:06

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I've always used Firefox and lately it has been crashing and not responding alot. I have no idea why but it is getting annoying. I think someone mentioned this already and I'm going to have to agree, their ad blocker is extremely good. I've had 0 annoying adverts bothering me since adding it to FF.

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Posted: 11th May 2012 15:13
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honestly - i don't know.
I use Chrome and i think it's the best. Better than Firfeox, IE or Opera.
I have too use Forefox at work thought and it really bugs me



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Posted: 29th June 2012 14:31
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I use vimprobable2 (Linux only).

Firefox is still the best extensible browser however.

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Posted: 3rd July 2012 11:10

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Without a doubt Google Chrome has become my best friend. It's sweet add-on's help me out a deal. The only thing I dislike of Google and I don't blame them is that they no longer support their Computer Apps for free customers. I was thinking about buying my own site just to get the apps but it would never work cause I'll feel like wasting money I really don't have to spare.

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