I adopted Mozilla’s venerable browser Firefox back in early 2007 and have been using it religiously ever since [still true today].
Not only did Firefox sport tabbed browsing, which Internet Explorer lacked at that time, but it got rave reviews and was supposedly more secure; not to mention it just seemed cooler.
The browser even impressed the people at the IEEE [they helped standardize the different Wi-Fi versions, among many other things computer and electronics related], who wrote an article about it and one of its main creators, Blake Ross, in the November 2006 issue of their magazine Spectrum (read it here: The Firefox Kid).
I was instantly hooked, and ended up writing my own paper on it for a basic web site administration college class I was taking in early 2007. Internet Explorer saw action only when I ran across the occasional website that did not display or load right in Firefox.
Then they released version 4, supposedly the “best one yet.”
After using Firefox 4 for a while I actually rolled back to Firefox version 3.6, and I’ll tell you why I did it. [That was in spring 2011; right now I’m using their latest version–version 24!]
The browser seemed slow, bloated, and buggy.
I actually had it freeze on me several times right before I threw in the towel and switched back to 3.6 [now running version 24].
Not only that, but I quickly noticed after upgrading that sometimes Firefox would not remember my user names on websites [believe it or not, I still have this problem on some sites, even on ones whose code doesn’t forbid that kind of thing] (usually it would bring up the user name or log in name as soon as I started to type the first few characters).
Closing the browser and re-opening it would fix the problem, but only temporarily. Call me lazy, but I have more log-ins on more websites than I care to admit [or can remember] and having to type [email protected] every time I visit them is a bummer.
I also had issues with online banking log-in (this actually started with 3.6 I think), where if I waited for more than 24 hours between log-ins, I would have to answer the security question and click the “remember this computer” radio button each time [this has since been fixed].
Just for kicks, I did an experiment and tried using IE. This was not an issue.
Despite two calls to my bank’s IT department and my own efforts at checking settings, cookies, etc the problem never did get corrected.
One of the things that made Firefox great was that it WORKED and it WORKED WELL.
I keep hoping that these issues (and issues others are also having–just type Firefox 4 slow and buggy into a search engine) get corrected with their next revision as they plan to kill version 3.6 soon.
I’m not really sure what Blake Ross is up to these days, but I sure hope someone fixes this great browser soon before it loses its greatness.