so long Firefox, I'm moving on [Sun, 07 Aug 2011 16:02:24 +0000]
I've been using Firefox pretty much from its beginning.
I started using it when I worked at a public library in Charleston, South Carolina. One of our tech guys was really young and into all the new gadgets and technologies. He introduced me to Firefox ... and I believe he even gave me my first Gmail invite.
Around that time I also played around with the actual Mozilla Browser and K-Meleon [http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/], which ran so well on my old Pentium 3 that I was able to use that computer a year or two longer than had I used another, slower browser.
Initially, FF was so much different - and better - than Internet Explorer that I looked past the relentless crashes. Everything crashed back then, so I couldn't hold it against FF.
But now I can. For the last couple of years, I've become increasingly tired of FF's performance - or lack thereof. Crashes, lockups, slow start-ups, etc, etc.
So, I'm moving on.
I'm going with Chrome even though I think the new IE is great. I don't want to use Safari - 'cause I'd rather not directly support Apple (perhaps more on that one day).
... and then, as far as mainstream browsers, there's Opera. It's always been a great, cutting edge browser. But there's always been one little reason I didn't use it.
If I remember, it initially wasn't completely free. If you didn't pay, you had to see ads. I couldn't deal with that, so I moved on.
Subsequent versions of Opera just didn't look and feel like a native Windows application. That didn't work for me either.
But Opera totally rocks now. So why am I not using it? Because there's currently no Xmarks [http://www.xmarks.com/] for Opera. I love Xmarks and if an Opera version comes along, I'll probably move to Opera. Finally.
Back to FF.
I think a lot of us tend to give some applications a free-pass if the program is, er, free. And if it positions itself as the noble, open-source alternative to the big, bad corporate machine ... even better. I certainly can be accused of using FF and some other software more for these idiotic, faux ethical reasons than based on actual performance and productivity metrics. But I just don't have a compelling reason to use FF anymore. And I won't.
ps: here's an interesting post entitled "How Mozilla lost the browser wars again [http://andrewphelps.com/2011/03/how-firefox-lost-the-browser-wars/]".
Update, August 13, 2011: After experiencing some issues where Chrome seemed unable to maintain a steady connection with my DSL service and after realizing (after I wrote the post) that I clearly wanted to use Opera, I did make the switch to Opera. While there's no Xmarks for Opera, there is Opera Link [http://www.opera.com/link/]. Since I'm not really syncing bookmarks across different types of browsers and just wanted a nice bookmarks backup, Opera Link should be fine. BTW, I did have to refer to this video [http://blog.ryankearney.com/2009/08/use-chrome-safari-or-opera-for-netflix-streaming/] to get Netflix streaming working on Opera.