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Ninth Anniversary of Firefox 1.0 Release

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the time-flies dept.

Firefox 153

Nine years ago today, Firefox 1.0 was released. Mozilla writes "Mozilla created Firefox to be an amazingly fun, safe, and fast Web browser that embodies the values of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online. In the nine years since we first launched Firefox, we have moved and shaped the Web into the most valuable public resource of our time." The first release of the little project to write a lighter alternative to Seamonkey is a bit over a year older.

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153 comments

Nine, eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377565)

Well, at least we can celebrate the first years. Before the new versioning system and adding everything but your mom's dong instead of letting addons do the work.

Re:Nine, eh? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#45377685)

Well, at least we can celebrate the first years. Before the new versioning system and adding everything but your mom's dong instead of letting addons do the work.

It's worse than that. With every new version, useful features are changed or removed and people are being forced to use more and more extensions to regain functionality that has been ripped out. Which leads to the current ridiculous situation:

-- You have to depend on some random person to create the extensions you need
-- You have to hope that the random person continues to update the extension so that it works with future versions of Firefox
-- Or you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to write extensions yourself just so you can restore functionality that never should have been removed in the first place
-- Installing too many extensions is well known to cause performance and/or stability problems with Firefox.

Re:Nine, eh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377707)

Installing too many extensions is well known to cause performance and/or stability problems with Firefox.

And Mozilla will gladly use that little fact against you as they claim it is then your fault, that their browser is bug-free, and that you should use it without any extensions if you want any kind of support whatsoever.

--UZ64

Re:Nine, eh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378135)

Yes, that's exactly what they do. I believe you entirely, because every time I've reported a bug, they've completely ignored it and Firefox has been consistently getting slower and buggier over the years. That's because I'm living on bizarro earth.

Look, Firefox doesn't need your help to die a slow death. Stop lying through your teeth already. It's painful to see this kind of childish nonsense get upvoted because like it's the truth. Even I, who've had some painful experiences with Firefox, am not so petty and vindictive that I have to pretend that Mozilla don't care.

Re:Nine, eh? (4, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 9 months ago | (#45377837)

Installing too many extensions is well known to cause performance and/or stability problems with Firefox.

Having too many extensions does not cause performance/stability problems. Individual, poorly written extensions do, when they leak memory.

Every time Firefox comes up as a topic on /., people say they want it simpler and smaller, and follow the newest trends young browser projects bring. It's ridiculous to expect it to not change the UI at the same time.

-- You have to hope that the random person continues to update the extension so that it works with future versions of Firefox

Firefox extensions don't need to be updated by the developer for future versions.

-- You have to depend on some random person to create the extensions you need

If that is true, then there are not enough people that have your problem, and are happy with the change Firefox devs introduced.

Re:Nine, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378829)

If that is true, then there are not enough people that have your problem, and are happy with the change Firefox devs introduced.

"Fuck you," explained the Mozilla developer.

Re:Nine, eh? (2)

NoMaster (142776) | about 9 months ago | (#45380641)

Every time Firefox comes up as a topic on /., people say they want it simpler and smaller, and follow the newest trends young browser projects bring.

I agree, it's easy to find examples where the majority on people in a /. discussion are wanting the first two.

But, Mr. Mozilla Developer, can you point to any examples where the majority of people in a /. discussion are wanting the third?

I suspect you might have a lot of trouble with that - which is why I'm just going to sit back and consider the Mozilla developers in general to be an out-of-touch autocratic cabal, and you specifically to be a liar, until there's evidence to the contrary.

It's a self-correcting problem. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377877)

Take a look at these numerous different measures of browser usage shares: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_share#Historical_usage_share [wikipedia.org]

The most obvious trend concerning Firefox is the steady downward slide in its usage share. It has gone from over 30% of the market back in 2010 to down near 15% these days.

Firefox 4.0 was released in March of 2011, although it was obvious before then that bad decisions were being made, and would continue to be made. This is when people in the know moved on to other browsers, followed by stragglers.

The decline is very much due to how they've treated their users like absolute rubbish. They've focused on stupid UI changes, adding useless features and functionality that nobody wants, and removing very critical functionality that many users depend on, all while ignoring the pleas of the community to fix some very major issues like Firefox's slow performance and unbelievable memory usage.

People aren't dumb. They know when they're getting shit upon, and they'll deal with it. That's why they've mainly moved to Chrome. It may have a shitty UI, but at least it's fast, at least it doesn't use far too much memory, and at least Google manages to not piss off most users with each release.

When a product loses 50% of its usage share over just a few years, it'll most likely become a dead product within a few more. I hate to say it, but Firefox is on its way out. The numbers show it, and there's nothing being done to reverse this trend.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (4, Insightful)

Ark42 (522144) | about 9 months ago | (#45378067)

The decline is solely from Chrome becoming mainstream and Google advertising it on their site, where lots of mom and pop Firefox users probably "accidentally" switch to Chrome because of some warning or advertisement from Google.

The reality is both Chrome and Firefox are great browsers, and only a tiny fraction of people are upset with the changes from version to version. Generally, most of us should just be happy that people are NOT using IE6 anymore.

Although personally, Chrome has not kept up with important CSS3 features nearly as well as Firefox, and now IE10 and IE11 have passed Chrome in my book. I mean, something as BASIC as linear gradients you'd expect to work in all modern browsers, but only Firefox and IE10+ can get it right. See bug 41756 - http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=41756#c71 [google.com]

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378903)

Thats right, keep your head buried in the sand and blame everyone else. I've recently logged two bugs for Firefox, both of which make the browser unusable for the company I work for. It has been several months and no-one has contacted me about them. we tried several workarounds and then decided we would move onto something else, which we are in the process of. We won't be returning to Firefox.

It has put a rather sour taste in our mouth as we would like to use other Open Source applications, but if this is the level of support we can expect, we can't afford to.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (2)

siride (974284) | about 9 months ago | (#45379351)

Chrome is becoming a bloated piece of shit too. It used to start up quickly and load pages quickly. That's going out the window in my experience. They are also starting to have bugs that never resolve, or take a long time to resolve. One that's been bothering me recently is that YouTube videos playing in other tabs skip when you do pretty much anything in another tab. It's 2013 and it can't play sound properly under a modicum of load. Ridiculous.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45378121)

I must point out that Chrome doesn't beat Firefox in memory usage. I just swapped from a Linux Mint Debian installation, in which I used Firefox primarily, to a Sabayon Linux installation, in which I use Chrome primarily. Similar configurations, similar extensions, similar page load - very similar memory usage. I suppose that anyone could do that same test for themselves, and different people would get different results. Someone who loads a butt-ton load of Java apps in their browser may find that brand Z works better, while someone who gloms onto every Flash app will find that brand Y works best, while the other dude who runs a stripped down version with no extensions enabled finds that brand X is bestest and fastest.

For MY purposes, it actually seems that Firefox may have a very slight edge on Chrome for memory usage, but I'd have to do some double checking before I committed myself to that statement.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (4, Informative)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 9 months ago | (#45378789)

I'd say waaaaaay beyond a slight edge thanks to the memshrink project.
https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/category/memshrink/ [mozilla.org]

Old measurements. Situation keeps improving. Latest 2 or 3 firefox versions use smart loading/unloading of large images on image heavy web pages, for example.
http://www.itworld.com/sites/default/files/figure3_browserfootprint.jpg [itworld.com]

Personally, on my chromebook, Chrome used 615MiB w/ 2 tabs open (crosh and a blank tab) while Firefox in Crouton used 385MiB with 18 tabs open, and that was after I had cycled through all the tabs to make sure they hadn't been unloaded.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#45379321)

I must point out that Chrome doesn't beat Firefox in memory usage. I just swapped from a Linux Mint Debian installation, in which I used Firefox primarily, to a Sabayon Linux installation, in which I use Chrome primarily. Similar configurations, similar extensions, similar page load - very similar memory usage. I suppose that anyone could do that same test for themselves, and different people would get different results. Someone who loads a butt-ton load of Java apps in their browser may find that brand Z works better, while someone who gloms onto every Flash app will find that brand Y works best, while the other dude who runs a stripped down version with no extensions enabled finds that brand X is bestest and fastest.

For MY purposes, it actually seems that Firefox may have a very slight edge on Chrome for memory usage, but I'd have to do some double checking before I committed myself to that statement.

You know Firefox 24 is a big improvement over 4 but you know what? No one cares after what they did. Compare IE as an example?

IE is a great browser now! No really. IE 11 supports HTML 5, CSS 3, hardware acceleration and low latency javascript that rivals both Chrome and Firefox. I tested it as snappy.

But does anyone on slashdot care? NOPE!

They remember IE 6 and some of us geeks who have suffered through developing old IE pages and removed malware last decade from silverhaired users who do not know what a browser is who think that blue E standard for E-internet have made up our minds. IE SUX! I will not try it again yada yada.

Same is true with Norton AV, and even Windows 7 (XP diehards tried Vista and are scared of change now). Firefox is no different.

The mindshare is lost regardless of the fact that Firefox 24 is a much much better browser than the horrible 4.0. Once you lose that trust with some bad products it is hard to get back.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379599)

When MS open source IE and port it to Linux I might care about it. I don't run Windows, why should I care about a Windows-only browser?

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379677)

Does IE11 have Adblock Edge, NoScript, Greasemonkey, Ghostery, or HTTPS Everywhere? Does it have any extensions?

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379851)

It does have adblock. You can also configure it to do HTTPS everywhere too.

I am not saying I use outside of testing. But my point is for Grandma it is usable but no one cares as to what happened in the past.

Firefox needs to recover its image if it is all possible. People remember the old and refuse to go back syndrome.

Re: It's a self-correcting problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378381)

It sounds like you are still complaining about Firefox from 2 years ago. Modern Firefox uses half the memory of Chrome with multiple tabs open. Just look up some benchmarks.

Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378865)

This is precisely the kind of whining that shows that we don't deserve a product like Firefox. A feature I don't want gets added in? Surely nobody wanted it! They removed a feature that I use? Surely it's because they're out to get me!

You people whine like there's no tomorrow. In the meantime Internet Explorer changes it's UI in every release and keeps adding features "nobody wants" but their share keeps climbing. In the meantime Chrome makes boneheaded mistakes and invents tons of stuff that only a few businesses care about, and they're the saviors of the Internet.

Really, Firefox fans need to chill the fuck out and (for lack of a better phrase) check their damn entitlement. You're not the only people in the world, and Firefox isn't dying because they're ignoring you. They're dying because nobody wants to use a browser that even the fans hate. They're dying because they can't compete against three companies with gobs of money. Even Opera couldn't compete, and they weren't a non-profit organization.

It's clear as clear can be that Mozilla cares about its users. It's replaced half their codebase to appease user's addictions to Javascript and fancy special effects that require hardware acceleration. It woke up to their addon RAM problems and in 2 years have become the lowest RAM user of the major browsers.

But do its fans care? No! Because they also removed a fucking checkbox from the UI, because it was causing other people problems. No! Because they couldn't keep moving Firefox forward without dropping some of their lesser-used UI elements and hoping the community will pick up the slack.

Understanding is a precious commodity, and Firefox's own vocal fans are shooting themselves in the foot by pretending that Mozilla has to cater to their whims and their whims only. They cry about Firefox losing marketshare, then cry more when Mozilla works to solve that problem, because suddenly the tiny crowd of people they were catering to (which couldn't sustain them) isn't the only game in town.

In short, you guys suck. I'm glad I'm not using Firefox anymore. I get to hear all sorts of praise for my browser of choice even when it screws up, because its fans understand that shit happens, and don't obsess over the problems. They realize that much more "good" has happened. You guys can't do that. You don't deserve Firefox anymore.

Re:Nine, eh? (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 9 months ago | (#45377999)

what features were removed? I am sure there have been a few, but I used firefox from version 3 to version 19 and didnt notice any features removed (at least once that I used)
I however was getting sick of firefox, and find chrome to be a much better experience (even though they are at version 30 already.. but at least they don't even advertise it)

Re:Nine, eh? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 9 months ago | (#45378247)

UI for Disable Javascript.

You either have to use about:config or NoScript (which you should probably be using anyways).

Re:Nine, eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378331)

the awesombar removed the feature of having a normal behaving urlbar without it doing unwanted things.

The statusbar

The ridiculous versioning numbering removed the functionality of knowing when you were given a security update only, or a functionality breaking / user interface altering update. Before this only happened at major version changes. now it can happen during any random security update. The ESR is a farce. A token version, it is not taken seriously by the developers.

The feature to not have bloat on you system. It just increases the attack vector. Like social API, PDfviewer, webrtc. These are not core browser functionality and should be add-ons. The first security bug in the PDF viewer has already been found (and fixed btw).

The feature of choice. Some settings are removed and can only be set via about:config. not nice, but ok. The problem is that the setting in case is not only removed, but also changed without asking while you update. (disable images, disable javascript, disable tab bar, settings to allow allow javascript to do certain things or not)

Re:Nine, eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378039)

I'm glad that Firefox users are finally seeing that addons aren't consequence-free and utopian concepts. I'm so sick of the smugness.

Maybe now they'll finally stop using Firefox and Firefox can give up and no longer hold the web back. We don't need Firefox anymore. It's antiquated tech that they're desperately trying to modernize, but their users have already spoken: it's too late. Even their loyalists are jumping ship, because addons cannot save a fundamentally broken experience.

Re:Nine, eh? (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 9 months ago | (#45378533)

What is an alternative to a random person? A well-organized corporation? Then we would be still stuck with IE4.

Learning to write code, specifically to write extensions is a good investment.

Firefox is my favorite browser, and I would like to thank the Firefox team and congratulate with the ninth anniversary.

Re:Nine, eh? (1)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45378775)

Try Seamonkey instead... they haven't fucked that up... yet...

Re:Nine, eh? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#45379329)

Wasn't SeaMonkey discontinued in 2009 or something?!

Does it even get security updates? Support HTML 5? I am not a troll here but curious as I thought it was abandonware for quite some time.

Re:Nine, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378933)

It's worse than that. With every new version, useful features are changed or removed and people are being forced to use more and more extensions to regain functionality that has been ripped out. Which leads to the current ridiculous situation:

This is the reality of the browser market. It happened to Netscape. Then Netscape, bloated shitpile it was, ended up usurped by IE. Which in turn became a bloated, bug-ridden shithole, and was replaced by Opera. Which in turn, blahdiblah, FireOHGODWENEEDTOCHANGEOURNAMEALOT. Which in turn, Chrome.

Any browser, no matter how good, no matter how small, no matter how fast... Will eventually become bloated, bug-ridden crap.

Verily - we've been stuck on the current generation forever. It's been far too long since we've had a sleek young browser whose only purpose is to browse the fucking web.

It's time.

Get on it, people.

Re:Nine, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377909)

Because of their new versioning system I have absolutely no interest in installing their upcoming Firefox "26.0". What a shitty number. They should call it Firefox 30.0 and increment by 5.0 from now on.

Re: Nine, eh? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#45378045)

They should use build numbers. Firefox 11,873 anyone?

Chrome Is Better (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377567)

Sorry to say, but Firefox is kind of irrelevant these days.

Re:Chrome Is Better (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377621)

Sorry to say, but Firefox is kind of irrelevant these days.

Chrome is developed by a company whose sole purpose of existence is to spy on people in order to sell more advertising - a lot of it via their browser.

Mozilla is just out to make a browser, email client and other useful tools.

Also, any perceived superiority shall be removed in a release or so - the browser market is just too competitive.

Re:Chrome Is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377663)

Uh yeah, think for a minute --- what large company pays all the bills for Mozilla?

Re:Chrome Is Better (4, Informative)

InTheSwiss (3080759) | about 9 months ago | (#45378475)

The difference is Google pay Mozilla to be number one in the search box and, I believe, when people use the search box whereas Chrome begs you to login with your Google account so it can link every god damn thing you do in your browser with your account. Google didn't make Chrome for any other reason than it gets them more and more data. Same reason they made Android and Google+ and Gmail.

Re:Chrome Is Better (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 9 months ago | (#45377657)

I would agree, but all of a sudden I'm having huge issues with Chrome :(

Tabs becoming unresponsive, mysterious downloads in the background stopping me from quitting, tabs taking ages to close etc etc.

No extensions, no java, no flash.

Re:Chrome Is Better (0)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 9 months ago | (#45377709)

You should try it on OS X and Linux. It is not really worth using apart from in testing.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 9 months ago | (#45377733)

I have no problem with it on OSX.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45378145)

No problems worth talking about here in Linux Land. Chrome compares favorably with Opera and Firefox. There is not a great deal to choose between the three, IMHO.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45378415)

Also Chrome is the only choice on Linux if you want to have a up to date Flash plugin (you can also transfer that plugin into Chromium, although it's a PITA). The old NPAPI Flash plugin (version 11.2) still seems to linger in various distros though (package flashplugin-installer in Ubuntu).

Well, HTML5 video is already working quite well, and seems to have better hardware acceleration. Even YouTube could as well end the long-lasted HTML5 experiment [youtube.com] and just go full HTML5.

Re:Chrome Is Better (3, Informative)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 9 months ago | (#45378831)

Even YouTube could as well end the long-lasted HTML5 experiment [youtube.com] and just go full HTML5.

Google has some lies and secrets here.
Their defacto behavior, which I'll call a "claim" is that you must have flash to play video xyz even in the HTML5 mode. This happens with MOST popular videos because they are monetized (the secret there is that Google's advertisement modules aren't ready in HTML5 yet)

To debunk this, just load an iPad or iPhone and see if you're *ever* forced to suffer even half of the consecuences... when sir Steve Job decided to ignore Flash on mobile. The takeaway is that faking your UA string with a FF extension yields those nice mp4 files without fuss, and I don't recall seeing video ads in player with that variant. The annoying thing is you have to put up with the mobile navigation, AND as of about 9 months ago, clicking a playlist link to with a preordered list of long series of videos (videogame Let's plays) would link you to a standalone vid. When you have about 100 videos and need to continue from #86, it's a major pain to rely on searches and the unreliable sidebar randomly hinting episode #2 or #98 but not #87. I'm pretty sure there's some express secret reason youtube doesn't like you binging^W playing sequential videos.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45378977)

Yep, you are correct. Some months ago I was able to set my UA simply to Internet Explorer 10 and got every video as HTML5. That trick seems to not work anymore though.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 9 months ago | (#45380705)

Yep, you are correct. Some months ago I was able to set my UA simply to Internet Explorer 10 and got every video as HTML5. That trick seems to not work anymore though.

You didn't say if the other UA tricks were tested so...
try an extension with selectable agents and pick Safari for iPad or iPhone. Coupled with adblock, disabling flash and using noscript is closer to my setup and probably confuses their sniffing.
I haven't tested in while

Re:Chrome Is Better (2)

NotBorg (829820) | about 9 months ago | (#45377767)

This is the part where Internet trolls mod each other up and start thinking they're relevant.

Re: Chrome Is Better (5, Interesting)

jemmyw (624065) | about 9 months ago | (#45377805)

No. I used Chrome for a few years there but I got unhappy that it was the only closed source application I was using on a daily basis. So I moved back to Firefox and have found it a good experience. The only gripe I have after 9 months is that the dev tools feel slugish.

I'm even using Firefox on Android and find that better than Chrome.

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45377831)

Chrome Is Better

I think you'll find it's possible for other people to have different opinions to yours and for both of you to be correct. Amazing, eh?

Re:Chrome Is Better (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 9 months ago | (#45377843)

No, it's not.

It keeps Chrome civilized, and feels niches where Chrome is not viable.

In this exact moment, my Atom 330 box remains useful only because FIrefox runs fine on it - I don't know why, but Chrome performs extremely poorly on it.

Re:Chrome Is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378221)

If that's the best case you can make, then I feel ashamed to be a Chrome user, just because I'm associated with the likes of you. Let Firefox have their fun too. Chrome has its issues and has done its share of stupid things.

Chrome these days is only generally better at a few things: the process-tab model (arguably), better performance in some areas, and better integration with Google's services.

Firefox doesn't need our help to die off. It's "fans" are doing a good enough job of that by demanding that it only cater to their narrow whims and stay the same forever, rather than becoming more relevant to a larger userbase.

It'll be hilarious when Firefox finally dies off, and all the people who moved to Seamonkey and Palemoon suddenly have to do all the work themselves. They bitch about having to install a half-dozen UI addons, so I'm sure their brains will implode.

Re:Chrome Is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379405)

I have to disagree; personally, I don't understand why so many people like Chrome. I find it to be very unstable, quirky, and buggy. Bugs that are so obviously bugs and are difficult to ignore still exist years after being reported. In theory I love the browser, so every time a new version comes out I give it a shot, and we're at version 30 now and I'm still disappointed that it still feels like an alpha or beta, not a final release.

In all of the years I've used Firefox (since 2004) I think I may have reported one or two bugs, and they were obscure bugs that were easy to ignore. Only one is still oustanding. I've reported close to 10 bugs in Chrome and most still aren't fixed.

Take one of the latest updates for example. Now whenever I scroll on a page I see a checkerboard pattern as the page loads. Seriously?

Firefox might not be the most minimalistic browser out there, or have the snappiest user interface, but it's by far the most stable browser with the best set of standard features and extensibility.

don't care. (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45377575)

phoenix was where it was at.

it all started going downhill after politics and marketing departments of mozilla got involved.

the 1.0 release was pretty much meaningless milestone in the big picture for the project. imho phoenix 0.2 should be the release to celebrate if any.

Re:don't care. (4, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | about 9 months ago | (#45377609)

Phoenix 0.2 was amazing for its day, but what we should really be celebrating is how the web was freed from the curse of "this site works in IE only". And that happened after Phoenix became Firefox.

Re:don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377675)

So we should be celebrating Firefox 0.8?

Re:don't care. (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 9 months ago | (#45378941)

So we should be celebrating Firefox 0.8?

Whatever. The early version numbers were little known, and when I came on board the browser was around 0.8 or 0.9 already.
I recall having tried the predecessor, plain old "Mozilla browser" around 1.2 and wasn't expecting of my first trial of phoenix. Yet it was good enough to wean me off of Opera.
Things were fine for a while, but by version 2.0 I was already preferring to install 0.9 to get around the sluggishness and large memory consumption of new builds on my single core PC. That was before I used extensions, even. Today, the browser never starts under 100MB even after their "on-demand" loading was implemented to lazily get around the real problems of their memory model. Under heavy work usage, FF will blow up to 1GB. It can't get any bigger because enterprises still won't comfortably deploy more 64 bit windows on our 64 bit machines. That leads to the theoretical 4GB ceiling going down to 3GB. Combined with bare essentials like antivirus, Outlook.exe and java-based VPN software, ram gets pinched so hard that Firefox just quits.

I never understood why they can't copy 15-year old practices and just give you a warning that memory is low. If it weren't for built-in tab sessions, what would this FF world have come to?

Re:don't care. (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45377691)

Yep. The youngsters won't remember that, and some of the not-so-young have forgotten it. If Firefox disappeared tomorrow, and we never saw another release, it would have served it's primary purpose. We would still have four major browsers available, all largely "standards compliant", along with a number of less popular browsers. Firefox changed the landscape, dramatically.

I can't even remember which milestone I started on now, but it seemed to take FOREVER for 1.0 to come out. I guess it's close to a decade since I grabbed my first copy of Firefox now. To lazy to look up the dates for all the point.whatever releases.

Re:don't care. (4, Insightful)

linebackn (131821) | about 9 months ago | (#45377813)

Yep. The youngsters won't remember that, and some of the not-so-young have forgotten it. If Firefox disappeared tomorrow, and we never saw another release, it would have served it's primary purpose.

This.
People may not realize it, but we came dangerously close to a world where Microsoft Internet Explorer was the only accepted web browser. If Mozilla and Firefox had not gained popularity, it is quite probable that IE would have dominated enough market share to push out all other browsers. And nobody would bother creating sites that worked in anything else. Furthermore this would have virtually killed any OSes that Microsoft didn't feel like supporting with IE.

As is is now, we have several open source browsers that are ported to many different OSes, and no dignified web site would even think of only supporting one browser.

Mozilla did great but the battle is elsewhere (3, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 9 months ago | (#45380269)

> we came dangerously close to a world where Microsoft
> Internet Explorer was the only accepted web browser.

We dodged that bullet but now we're heading to a world where facebook.com plus a small few other sites are the internet.

It's not Mozilla's fault but, as Stallman says, freedom is about controlling your computing on your computer, so it's a real problem that a lot of computing is being done on Facebook's servers.

(That said, it would be useful if Mozilla Firefox did more to make its users aware of what free software is - such as putting a clearer link in the menu or in the About dialogue box.)

Re:don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378717)

Four? How about TWO: Chrome (Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.) and Trident (Internet Explorer). Everything else is re-branded duplicates of those.

Re:don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379659)

Google forked Webkit earlier this year, it now calls its fork Blink. While Webkit and Blink may be quite similar at the moment, they will diverge over time. Not to mention that Google has been using its own Javascript engine for a long time (I think since they started working on Chrome, but I'm not sure about that) and Javascript handling is a major part of a modern web browser, so it isn't fair to call Chrome and Safari the same browser just because they both (until recently) use the same rendering engine.

Re:don't care. (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 9 months ago | (#45377713)

Truth. Back then websites were typically written for IE5 or 6 and sometimes Netscape 4. Writing web pages to standards was for activist nerds, because at that point IE's market share was around 90%.

Re:don't care. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45378263)

funny thing is that I don't remember having any such problems with phoenix. everything worked or the things that didn't work were irrelevant.

granted that I didn't have to use any intranet web apps or such...

Re:don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377623)

Politics, marketing, and a lot of funding from google.

Seamonkey - Smaller, Faster, Less Memory, Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377897)

Seamonkey
-Download Size 20mb
-Browser, Mail, News, IRC
-Feature Rich
-Fully Customizable Interface
-Lower Memory Use

Firefox
-Download Size 31.2mb (Aurora, Firefox uses stub installer, but was over 30mb)
-Browser
-"Streamlined" Cut Down Feature Set (With more features cut all the time)
-Fully Customizable Interface
-Higher Memory Use (I have seen 50% more memory used than Seamonkey with same pages loaded)

xdog xturd (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 9 months ago | (#45377581)

Today my dog released a turd on your doorstep.

Re:xdog xturd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45379847)

The Linux version is xturd86.

Nine years of Firefux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377597)

and, like Internet Exploder and Fuckle Chrap, uses ninety times the fucking memory. Just use a text based browser like Lynx instead, uses almost no memory or processor resources and is virtually invulnerable to malware.

Re:Nine years of Firefux (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 9 months ago | (#45377653)

To be fair, my computer now has ninety times more memory than it did 9 years ago. well that may not be true, but Lynx is not invulnerable to malware, it is just not worth exploiting.

Re:Nine years of Firefux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377697)

Yep, the Lynx html parser is supposedly riddled with bugs, but nobody really cares.

Re:Nine years of Firefux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377699)

Lynx is not invulnerable to malware

or ascii goatse :(

Re:Nine years of Firefux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45380211)

Really? How the fuck is Lynx not invulnerable to malware? Does it run Java? Does it run extensions? Fuck no, it doesn't even run Javascript so how the fuck can it run or become infected with malware?

Re:Nine years of Firefux (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45377715)

Text based browsers are great, when that's all you need or want. We can bemoan the waste and bloat on the internet, but at the same time, all of us like a pretty browser with some bells and whistled. Of course, "pretty" is in the eye of the beholder, but for most of us "pretty" is something more than a mostly blank with simple print. The solution seems to be, install your favorite (or least despised, as the case may be) and tweak it to your liking.

Re:Nine years of Firefux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377997)

This is why I use Opera for day to day browsing. I've got it setup to load pages with everything off, Javascript, CSS, graphics, and display text in a font that suits my eyes best. It acts very much like Lynx, but if I want to, I can turn on styling and graphics with a couple of key presses / mouse clicks, and see how perty or ugly a site is.

Good side effects: I can click on most links without fear, knowing that even if the page is full of ads or other bloat, they won't get loaded unless I choose to, much easier to read those forums with 2-line messages surrounded by huge avatars and graphical signatures.

For media-heavy sites like YouTube, I just start Firefox... Nothing forces people to use one single browser for everything.

Re:Nine years of Firefux (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45378345)

and, like Internet Exploder and Fuckle Chrap...

It's at this point when I begin to tune out the geek.

Just use a text based browser like Lynx instead, uses almost no memory or processor resources and is virtually invulnerable to malware.

Accessibility makes the case for Lynx. Extreme constraints on bandwidth makes the case for Lynx. Cekkular

and it's hungrier and more sluggish than ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377625)

keep up the good work, gentlemen.

wtf happened... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377627)

to that 'lean' browser of yesteryear?

Re:wtf happened... (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#45377661)

to that 'lean' browser of yesteryear?

Exactly.

The problem isn't just that Firefox is bloated and full of unnecessary crap. Even worse, they keep changing or removing existing features that are actually useful. Every new version now brings more pointless changes that make Firefox just a little bit worse. And no matter how much users complain about all the constant pointless tinkering and the nonstop treadmill of unnecessary changes, the response from Mozilla is always the same. A thinly veiled Fuck You We Don't Care What You Think.

Re:wtf happened... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377821)

Have to wonder if they even use their own browser

Re:wtf happened... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377879)

to that 'lean' browser of yesteryear?

Exactly.

The problem isn't just that Firefox is bloated and full of unnecessary crap. Even worse, they keep changing or removing existing features that are actually useful. Every new version now brings more pointless changes that make Firefox just a little bit worse. And no matter how much users complain about all the constant pointless tinkering and the nonstop treadmill of unnecessary changes, the response from Mozilla is always the same. A thinly veiled Fuck You We Don't Care What You Think.

Their response is more along the lines of if you don't like you can customize it anyway you like. My Firefox is functionally and aesthetically pretty similar to Firefox 2.0. A clean install a of Firefox uses less than 100mb of RAM when first launched. It was very close second to chrome in Benchmarks [tomshardware.com] . There are enough plugins out there you can get the functionality/aesthetics you want. It just might require a bit of tinkering on your part.

Re:wtf happened... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378503)

A clean install a of Firefox uses less than 100mb of RAM when first launched

Was this supposed to make Firefox look good? Chrome takes 60MB on load on my system (not that I use Chrome). What annoys me the most about Firefox is how not all memory it uses shows up next to firefox.exe in Task Manager.

It's worse than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378519)

Mozilla/firefox has been perverted, corrupted.

"You can haz many many $$. Just insert some more tracking hooks for, you know, advertising and whatnot. Here, take a look at dis nifty spec for etags." [Wink-wink. Jingles the coins in the pocket.]

Re:wtf happened... (1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 9 months ago | (#45379095)

My most recent Firefox experience was finding out that they broke their own Jetpack AddOn API, making it impossible to build an AddOn that works in both Firefox 17 and Firefox 24.

That wouldn't normally be a big deal, but 17 and 24 are both LTS versions-- meaning our client was moving directly from one to the other! And it was impossible for us to make a single .xpi that supported both!

Mozilla's a clown college now, I can only assume any real software engineer with talent has long since moved on.

Re:wtf happened... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378743)

It's still the same lean browser as always. Memory usage is likely the least of all major browsers, performance is actually getting quite close to Chrome's, and it's even competitive in terms of the size of the source code, binary downloads, and so on. Hell, if you're pining for a leaner UI, that's coming in Australis.

mo7d uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377631)

Baby take my to download the obs&essed - giive

Firefox is not a browser (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377641)

It's an updater.

Last good version. (1.5) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377655)

FF1.5 was and still is the only good version.

After that it went downhill with them adding crap features, bloating the hell out of the browser and breaking the API EVERY SINGLE GOD DAMN TIME. THEY STILL DO THIS NOW. LEARN WHAT AN API IS YOU MORONS, APIS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BREAK, THAT IS THEIR POINT!
I gave up caring about their nonsense when Chromium became stable enough. (v0.3, still on my desktop for some reason)

I still have one installed, webdev, etc.
The only thing I mainly use it for is for a couple extensions that are not on Chromium, such as mass downloader or interception of data.
It is an absolute chore dealing with their crap all the time. No wonder every damn developer has left for other browsers. Thanks Mozilla, not only did you ruin your browser you went against your original aim, to create competition. You shot yourself in the foot so much that everyone abandoned you. Genius.

Re:Last good version. (1.5) (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 9 months ago | (#45377731)

Pfft. Firefox 2.0.0.x was pretty good, it was with 3.x that it got slower and I eventually switched to Chrome for better speed.

Re:Last good version. (1.5) (2)

Lisias (447563) | about 9 months ago | (#45377907)

On the other hand, that API issue is serious.

For a lot of time, I were using Firefox instead of Chrome because of my NetBanking plugin. Chrome was a bit faster than Firefox at that time, but not that faster - and I enjoyed my Firefox add-ons.

And then, suddenly, Mozilla start to spit new versions in a crazy way, and my NetBanking stop working after every single new (sub)version of Firefox. Hell by hell, I decided Chrome's "hell" was a bit more worthy - at least, I got some faster renderings and the Google's account syncing. Little time after, my NetBanking plugin for Chrome became more stable than the Firefox version, and the rest is history.

Re:Last good version. (1.5) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378113)

2 was by far the slowest Firefox in history. It also had that annoying misfeature where it grabbed all the memory in the system expecting that it could dole it out to other application as needed.

3 had an enormous speed boost over that, and it's been getting steadily better since then. HOWEVER, the for the last few versions having Firebug running causes serious slowdowns. That will be fixed in time, but until then I strongly recommend disabling it and using the (excellent) build-in dev tools.

Lost its way (2, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | about 9 months ago | (#45377775)

They got off track when the goals stopped being about speed, standards, stability and security.

At that point it became just another app.

Re:Lost its way (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378635)

If that was true, they wouldn't have rewritten their Javascript engine twice, been obsessing about hardware acceleration, wouldn't have bothered to make it the browser using the least amount of RAM after being the one that used the most two years ago, etc. They haven't even finished implementing HTML5 yet because they're so focused on performance, including threading the browser and efforts to improve their DOM engine's performance that won't pay off for at least another year at this rate.

In the face of those facts, I don't think it's necessary to point out how silly your argument sounds. Firefox has a lot of issues, so you really don't have to go out of your way to lie like that.

I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45377811)

Almost every new iteration of FF removes or detrimentally alters a feature that people use and rely on.

It's really starting to piss me off as I have to find extensions or workarounds to replace the functions they keep taking away.

The most recent annoyance is to the find-in-page function, before it was well laid out and I had absolutely no issues with it, but now it's ruined, the close bar X button has been moved from immediately left of the search box to the right edge of the bar which is really far away on a widescreen display, the search next/prev boxes have been reversed and no longer have Next and Previous words on them which makes them a smaller target for your mouse pointer, and the Highlight All and Match Case buttons have also been moved to the right edge of the bar.

Seriously Mozilla, what the fuck?

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (2)

jez9999 (618189) | about 9 months ago | (#45378069)

Yep. Switch to SeaMonkey.

By the way, I'm working on a patch to make fork SeaMonkey's find bar code back to the old find bar so it's no longer reliant on the stuff in /toolkit/. Time will tell whether it gets accepted.

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378449)

Why switch to seamonkey when there is palemoon?

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 9 months ago | (#45378781)

Palemoon's OK but being Windows only it's not quite right for me. I'd probably use it over Firefox if SeaMonkey wasn't available, except on Linux obviously.

The other thing about Palemoon is it all rests on basically one guy who develops it, as far as I can see. I don't know whether it's more or less likely to survive than SeaMonkey but it's risky to throw in with a project that could die any day if the one guy who develops it disappears. :-)

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (1)

Quantum gravity (2576857) | about 9 months ago | (#45378197)

You do realize that you can close the find bar by pressing the Esc key, and that search next/previous is available as F3/shift-F3 or ctrl-G/shift-ctrl-G. It's a matter of taste, but I think the new search bar is an improvement. And that the find bar is now local for a single tab is more logical, IMHO.

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45380165)

You do realize that you can close the find bar by pressing the Esc key

Something which is not obvious at all. What else do you close in FF using the escape key? You sure as hell don't do it for tabs.

and that search next/previous is available as F3/shift-F3 or ctrl-G/shift-ctrl-G.

They used to be the more logical Alt-N/Alt-P for next/prev. Those don't work anymore, and instead we've a weird mishmash of Function key and G with shift and control. Hardly more obious, intuitive, easy or fast.

It's a matter of taste, but I think the new search bar is an improvement.

FF has so many problems that making arbitrary changes to the UI according to taste really shouldn't be what they're focussing on. If there was an objective performance, security or universally agreed usability reason for it great, but there obviously isn't for this so why the hell did they do it and make it a mandatory, un-revertable part of the update?

Re:I wish they'd stop fucking with the layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45380247)

I know I can press Esc to close the search bar, but that only works if the focus is on the bar and not the main browser window. Moving the pointer to the X on the far right is fairly quick & easy with a mouse but not so much with a trackpad on a laptop.
Spreading out the buttons of the bar to the far left & right edges is a monumentally dumb move IMHO.

So many versions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378159)

...and it STILL can't print many web sites correctly.

This is beyond frustrating. I print many web pages to PDFs on a weekly basis for research purposes, and I have to remember which sites (like The Guardian's) never print, as well as check the output of every single attempt so I know when I have to fire up IE to get a readable, complete PDF of a freaking web page.

Here's a hint, Mozilla: If IE does something as simple as printing a web page vastly better than your browser, and it's been that was for several years, then your priorities are severely screwed up.

How about doing some real work on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45378621)

Like adding support for vertical writing for which people have been asking for 10 years, instead of tweaking and tweaking the UI and worrying about version numbers.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=145503

Yes, this bug is older than Firefox 1.0 itself...

"Fun"? (2)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 9 months ago | (#45379453)

Maybe I'm getting hung up on the wrong thing here, but how the fuck do you measure how "fun" a web-browsing experience is? What does that actually mean? What is it that makes Firefox fundamentally more enjoyable during recreational use that, say, Chrome/Opera/Safari/IE/etc. are missing?

I'm fine with the rest of this and happy birthday to Firefox and all, but what is it that actually makes for a "fun" browsing experience, other than the specific websites that I choose to use?

Re:"Fun"? (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 9 months ago | (#45379835)

It's not just you - this is precisely the word that I was coming in here to comment about.

Firefox is still my primary browser, and I still think it's the "most free" and potentially most "featureful" one left (even Chromium is subject to Google's whims and reluctances - as an example, in my case I find it irritating that Firefox has had native .opus support for <audio> tags by default for over a year, while Google only implemented perhaps six months ago...and still has it disabled by default. Apparently they're not turning it on by default until their glacially-paced project to make "webm2" with opus audio is finally finished.)

Mozilla feels like it's turning more an more into a corporation more worried about "market share" than its original mission. Reading about how it's a "fun" browsing experience seems like those commercials of "fun to eat" junk food. It's marketing crap. I fear their "mission" may soon no longer be "promote openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web.[...]so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the Web"[1] but "making the Web the leading platform for the greatest number of users and developers"[2] (i.e. it doesn't matter how open or participatory it is as long as it has the largest number of consumers).

I hope I'm wrong. It's possible I am - Mozilla DID throw quite a bit into development of the opus audio codec, which is the clear winner for performance, quality, AND freedom-of-participation (and seems to have a decent chance to take off as a real standard, despite Google's foot-dragging, Apple's terminal "Doesn't Play Well With Others" problem, and Microsoft's inability to keep up with the times), and they ARE throwing real effort and money into daala to be the video codec equivalent. These are awesome, and perhaps the problem is just that every time they poke their heads out they get shouted at by people who feel changes to the user interface are horrific insults, so they've taken to just listening to each other. ("Hey, General Public, do you think our browser is 'fun'?" "STOP CRAPPING ON ME AAARRGGGHH!!!" "Uh...okay, hey, just everyone who's getting a paycheck from Mozilla, do YOU think our browser is 'fun'?" "Oh, of course! It is the MOST fun, boss!" "Okay, tell marketing to go with that.")

[1] http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/mission/ [mozilla.org]
[2] https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/11/05/mozilla-otoy-and-autodesk-work-to-deliver-high-performance-games-and-applications-on-the-web/ [mozilla.org] (2013-11-09)

I remember using Phoenix 0.9 (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about 9 months ago | (#45380047)

It went from Phoenix to Firebird, then to Firefox
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