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Firefox Losing Its Way?

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the wrong-side-of-the-bed dept.

494

An anonymous reader writes "NeoSmart Technologies has a recap on Firefox 2.0 and its shortcomings. Aside from the technical aspects, the article raises some good questions about the Firefox 'community,' it's future, and what it's goals are at the end of the day. Their conclusion? Firefox 1.5 was a much better open-source project/community model than 2.0 ever will be, and that 'It seems Firefox has lost its way somewhere along the passage to fame.'"

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494 comments

No, it's not "losing its way" (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991732)

Here, allow me to post a short summary of the article to save you some time:

I think the new theme and start page is ugly, and there are a few weird bugs that haven't been fixed yet, and they haven't implemented a feature I want in a way that I want it. Therefore, it sucks.

- Don't like the default theme that comes with Firefox? Go get another [mozilla.org] that you like better. Don't like the first run page? Who cares? You only see it one time!

Last time I checked, Firefox was still open source software. If they're not fixing bugs fast enough for your liking, by all means, download the source and fix them yourself. That's not meant as a smart-ass excuse for not fixing a bug, but the article's author says:

If I have the time, I'll go through the source, but I think the best way to help is to bring it to attention.

No, the best way to help is to go through the source and fix the bug! Don't talk about it, do it, and solve everyone's problem with having it!

- The feature the author wants implemented better is an RSS feed reader. I have some news for you: it's supposed to be a basic implementation that gives you the bare essentials. If you want one with bells and whistles, go get an extension [mozilla.org] that suits your needs better. This isn't a sign that Firefox has lost its way, its a sign that it's principles haven't changed much at all.

- Last, but not least, I'm not sure what the author of this article is proposing we all do. Switch to IE7 or Opera? Yeah, that will help the open source community.

Point is, while Firefox 2.0 was never pitched as the last version of Firefox that we'll ever need as a result of its attaining perfection. Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug that causes only the first page of web pages with absolutely positioned elements to be printed. I wish I had the skill to fix it myself; I would if I could. But I'm sure they're working on it, it doesn't change the fact that Firefox 2.0 is, in my humble opinion, the best damn browser out there right now, and the last thing I'm going to do is undercut the extraordinary efforts of its developers and contributors by posting a whiny blog entry about how because there are still a few things I don't like about it, it's somehow "lost its way somewhere."

Sheez. Talk about ungrateful.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (2, Informative)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991856)

The article, which I read here [networkmirror.com] , doesn't really say what "its way" is.

I have been shifting between Firefox and Epiphany [gnome.org] , as it looks rather nicer on my GNOME system.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (-1, Offtopic)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991866)

Ie7 crashes all the time -- I just upgraded to it. It constantly crashes, several times in a few hours.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (0)

Greventls (624360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992056)

Firefox crashed constantly on my laptop until I rebuilt it. So what? It is one anecdote.

The source is a fucking mess! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991886)

Last time I checked, Firefox was still open source software. If they're not fixing bugs fast enough for your liking, by all means, download the source and fix them yourself.

We hear that reasoning a lot from open source advocates. But when it comes to Firefox and Mozilla in general, it just isn't a case. Their code is a mess, regardless of whether it's C++ code, or whether it's JavaScript code. Look for yourself: http://lxr.mozilla.org/seamonkey/source/ [mozilla.org] .

I don't follow the project closely enough to know why the quality of their code is so low. It may be due to inexperienced or untalented developers. It may be due to rushed development. It may be due to a lack of refactoring. But the end result is that it's very difficult for most programmers to come up to speed with the code even just to fix a small bug, let alone implement entirely new functionality.

The poor quality of the Firefox and Gecko codebases could be indicative of why we've seen to many quality and security problems with Firefox as of late. Firefox does suffer from pretty horrendous memory leaks, even when not using any non-default extensions. The number of serious 0-day security glitches has increased dramatically, as anyone on any notable security bulletin mailing list can attest to.

Quality software builds upon a quality codebase. And until the Mozilla project can obtain that quality codebase, we will continue to see them produce poor-performing applications that suffer from frequent security flaws.

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991956)

I agree - the source is a giant freaking mess. (For real fun, look at the DOM code. It's a weird mix of XPCOM and JavaScript objects, all merged into one giant blob.)

But the other reason trying to submit patches is a non-starter is that I've never actually seen them accept a third-party patch. I've seen patches submitted to bug reports plenty of times, but I've never seen one accepted. (I'm sure that after posting this someone will point to bug reports where third-party patches were accepted - but they're still dwarfed by rejected patches.)

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992002)

Nice troll. Looking at bonsai, of the eleven distinct patches checked in on trunk during the last day, two originated with people without CVS access (aka, third parties).

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992094)

This depends on how much of an egotistical moron the module owner is. Good module owners encourage devs and help them work patches into shape during review.

The code and various API's could be leaner and cleaner but much of that was down to crappy C++ compiler support and the situation has improved. Hopefully Mozilla 2 will have a much cleaner codebase.

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (2, Insightful)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992138)

First of all, it is not Mozilla's fault if the patches it receives are crap.

Second, you can always recompile Firefox yourself and run a customized version. Or, better yet, write an extension!

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (1)

mccoma (64578) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992386)

but don't call it Firefox (gotta love TM law and policies generated from it)

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (1, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991982)

Their code is a mess, regardless of whether it's C++ code, or whether it's JavaScript code. Look for yourself

*shrugs*

Looks pretty good to me, and it seems to work pretty well. Is there anything in particular that you find messy?

We hear that reasoning a lot from open source advocates.

The reason I brought it up is because the author of the article implied that he has the skill to fix at least one of the bugs that he's complaining about. While I agree that he's under no obligation to do so if he doesn't want to, I also think it's extremely bad form to sit around complaining that no one else will.

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992070)

Nice troll. I'm personally as unqualified to comment on Mozilla source code quality as you are, and I'll definitely not claim everything is perfect (there's been too much abstraction in the past - hence lots of deCOMtamination work now), but every patch that goes into the Mozilla tree gets reviewed critically at least once - most often twice - for code quality, and to point to an example metric that doesn't say much of anything (but neither did you, so that should be familiar ground) - the coverity scan [internetnews.com] found fewer defects in the Firefox code (0.355) than the average baseline for open source projects (0.434).

Re:The source is a fucking mess! (3, Insightful)

MrDrBob (851356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992414)

I don't follow the project closely enough to know why the quality of their code is so low

I would not agree with that at all. A not insignificant amount of the code is a mess, yes, but it's not low-quality. Being a mess never implies low quality, it just means that a decade or so of cruft has built up. There are several ongoing efforts at the moment to clean up Gecko, with the reflow branch [mozilla.org] being a major one.

The poor quality of the Firefox and Gecko codebases could be indicative of why we've seen to many quality and security problems with Firefox as of late. Firefox does suffer from pretty horrendous memory leaks, even when not using any non-default extensions.

As has been discussed on Slashdot before, I'm sure you know that any large and complex project will suffer memory leaks and security holes until they're all plugged. (That's not to say this is good, though. :-P ) If you try to abstract away all the possible causes of such annoyances so that they cannot happen, you just end up with bloated and slow code, which nobody wants. I would agree that the messier parts of Gecko's codebase may contribute more to memory leaks and security holes, but they're also (coincidentally) the bits which are the oldest, and therefore have had the most time to be hacked into shape.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

hackershandbook (963811) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991902)

I love firefox and have yet to download and install 2.0 because I am waiting for my extensions to catch up. After this debate - its time to go and download firefox 2.0 and extensions be damned .. it goes on a trial server tonight ...

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1, Insightful)

Tankko (911999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991936)

Last time I checked, Firefox was still open source software. If they're not fixing bugs fast enough for your liking, by all means, download the source and fix them yourself. That's not meant as a smart-ass excuse for not fixing a bug, but the article's author says:

You know, not everyone on the planet is a programmer. I know you find this hard to believe, but it is true. Your comment is arrogant and typical of a lot of programmers that don't feel someone has worth unless they can code.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (2, Informative)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991990)

Your comment is arrogant and typical of a lot of programmers that don't feel someone has worth unless they can code.

How? All the comment was saying was that if you do not like how something works, and the developers gave you every right and convenience of fixing it, then the only thing you have a right to do is to fix it yourself. If you do not know how, then learn. Many programmers out there are self-taught (myself included). Worst case, hire a programmer to do it for you.

No one is forcing you to use Firefox. But if really want something to be fixed, and the source is provided for you, then go and fix it yourself

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992006)

Your comment is arrogant and typical of a lot of programmers that don't feel someone has worth unless they can code.

No, it's not. As I posted above, the reason I brought it up is because the author of the article implied that he has the skill to fix at least one of the bugs that he's complaining about. While I agree that he's under no obligation to do so if he doesn't want to, I also think it's extremely bad form to sit around complaining that no one else will.

Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991980)

Personally, I wish that they'd fix the bug that makes Firefox2 think that when you shut down Windows, and restart it 2 years later, it'll offer to `restart session`. Shutting down your pc should terminate Firefox, and end the session. I shouldn't have to shut down apps individually to avoid security problems (ie some guy 2 years down the line restarting firefox and being offered to `continue` my `session`...

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (0, Troll)

weirdguy (1032140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992148)

Thats not a bug with firefox, it's the way windows shuts down programs when its shutting down that make it think its crashed.

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1)

Psykosys (667390) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992264)

But it's a lack of the very simple shutdown detection feature Firefox would need to solve the problem.

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992314)

What? Windows sends the same WM_QUERYSHUTDOWN and WM_SHUTDOWN messages to every application running. None of my other apps (with the exception of SpyBot's TeaTimer, another known bug) have a problem handling that. If Firefox is not handling it properly, that's not Windows fault, it's Firefox's.

If what you say is true, many applications would have a problem shutting down properly when Windows shuts down, but they don't.

All that said, I disagree that Firefox has "lost it's way" but that doesn't mean I don't think 2.0 was rushed out prematurely.

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1)

asills (230118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992318)

Applications get a very distinct message indicating a shutdown of Windows. If the application doesn't handle said message and not turn off, Windows is forced to kill the program.

If Firefox can't turn off in the required amount of time (Windows gives apps around 20 seconds or so to comply before killing them) or simply doesn't listen for the message, it would indeed be a bug.

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992348)

No, it's a bug in Firefox because I don't have problems with any other programs, and I never had, on Windows 2000, 98 or 95.

How hard is it to get a `system shutting down - please quit` message from Windows and respond to it?

Re:Personally, I wish that they would fix the bug (1)

prandal (87280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992410)

And some guy in two year's time would be using your profile and login? Get real!

In about:config set browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash to false.

Simple.

Solution found with a quick web search. You might like to try using a search engine before you mouth off next time.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (5, Insightful)

caitriona81 (1032126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992032)

Last time I checked, Firefox was still open source software. If they're not fixing bugs fast enough for your liking, by all means, download the source and fix them yourself. That's not meant as a smart-ass excuse for not fixing a bug, but the article's author says:
This assumes that the people affected by bugs are actually capable of fixing them, and is an example of one of the worst qualities of open source software - elitism. Not to mention, the Mozilla development processes are so overburdened with red tape that an outside developer would have a very difficult time contributing effectively - while I understand why the review/supereview process is needed, it serializes development to the point where even when developers want to help, and contribute code for features that are highly desired by end users, by the time anyone gets to look at it, development has progressed to the point where any patches submitted are useless. For an example of this, look at the various bugs for roaming profile support - its been years since it was removed from the old netscape product, there was a large userbase for that feature, and major outcry to have it back - but we still don't have it, even though numerous patches have been submitted - if it's not a priority for the developers on the inside of the project, it probably doesn't get done even if someone is willing to provide code. That said, despite the issues, I've still found Firefox to be the best browser available to me - I just hope the project wakes up and listens to the community before its too late.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (3, Insightful)

Danga (307709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992150)

Last, but not least, I'm not sure what the author of this article is proposing we all do. Switch to IE7 or Opera? Yeah, that will help the open source community.

I don't know exactly what the author was proposing people do since I cannot get the page to load now but as much as I think open source is great I will be damned before I use an open source alternative that is inferior just to "help the open source community.". I will use whatever software I feel works the best for me and if that means I do not have access to the source so be it.

Personally I have used Opera for about the last 5 years and the reason I chose it then was because IE was a POS and Mozilla was slower and neither IE nor Moz supported TABBED BROWSING. Now that both IE and FF support tabbed browsing I have given both a shot and while I will not be using IE for obvious reasons (although it now seems to perform faster than FF) I still won't switch to FF for the simple reason that I have gotten used to Opera and it still is a faster and more stable browser both in my experience and from the comparisons that other people have posted online. The thing I like the best about Opera compared to FF is that if I setup a new computer I just install the latest build of Opera and it includes all the bells and whistles I need where FF requires some extensions to be downloaded and installed to get to the same level. This is just a convenience factor since I am somewhat lazy but I still think it is relevant.

Even some of the diehard FF users I know are considering switching to another browser because they seem to feel FF has started to become bloated and FF's performance is suffering. It is one thing to add a lot of features in the core build but not suffer performance wise like Opera has done but quite another to start adding them and have the user experience suffer. I know the OS zealots will not budge and switch over to Opera but for many FF users I know if it does not cost them any money to switch to a better performing browser then they will in a heartbeat. The main reason many of the FF users I know who are complaining about its performance have not even tried another browser is because they think the only alternative is IE, Opera is just not well known to the masses. It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the next year since the Wii includes Opera and hopefully will get some more exposure out there.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992156)

First you say, "Last time I checked, Firefox was still open source software. If they're not fixing bugs fast enough for your liking, by all means, download the source and fix them yourself."

But then, "I wish I had the skill to fix it myself; I would if I could."

I like that. In one post you state that no one should criticize or complain about it, they should just fix the problems, and at the same time you acknowledge that not everyone has the skill, time, or knowledge needed to do so.

I guess they should just huddle silently in a corner then, thankful for their cold bowl of porridge?

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

Computer Guru (967408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992196)

But the whole point of this is that 1.5 from a community and Open Source point of view was *better* than 2.0. Not that Firefox in general sucks, but that in between 1.5 and 2.0 something went wrong?

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992262)

Don't like the default theme that comes with Firefox? Go get another.

The default theme is the user's introduction to the browser. It should have the look and feel of his native GUI.

the best way to help is to go through the source and fix the bug! Don't talk about it, do it, and solve everyone's problem with having it!

Advice useful only to a programmer and likely only to a programmer on the Firefox team.

I have some news for you: it's supposed to be a basic [RSS] implementation that gives you the bare essentials. If you want one with bells and whistles, go get an extension that suits your needs better.

IE7 has raised the bar a little higher than this.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992340)

The default theme is the user's introduction to the browser. It should have the look and feel of his native GUI.

OK, which platform's native GUI should they use? A native windows GUI look would look like shit on OS X.

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

prandal (87280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992324)

That printing bug is a bummer. It's Bug 154892 [mozilla.org] .

Re:No, it's not "losing its way" (1)

chawly (750383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992364)

I'm with you, friend.

A Few Miss-Steps Maybe (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991736)

"It seems Firefox has lost its way somewhere along the passage to fame."
I think "lost its way" is too strong of a phrase. Sure, some of these points are negative but I haven't really experienced that much of a negative experience. It's good to criticize this project (with constructive criticism) so that it stays as great as it is. But to say that it's lost its way I think is going too far.

The complaints raised here are trivial features. Not the performance or stability problems I had with 1.5 but instead things like RSS & aesthetics which to me aren't too important when it comes to a browser. I'm sure for some other people RSS or theme might make a world of difference but I'm not that person and I don't wager there are many people like that.

The concern that it makes itself the default browser is valid but using the word 'hijacking' is a bit strong. Honestly, I didn't even notice this but I was going from 1.5 to 2.0 on most of my computers so that might explain why this was a non-issue for me. Perhaps they assumed if you were going to 2.0, you were coming from 1.5? Either, I agree with this qualm though I find it to be the most serious offense listed in the article.

So you may ask if Firefox has lost its way but I counter that there have merely been a few miss-steps along the way. I'm keeping an eye on IE 7 & so far it hasn't lured me away from Firefox 2.0 so I guess that's a good sign as I consider my standards to be pretty high.

Re:A Few Miss-Steps Maybe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992046)

"is too strong of a phrase". How about "is a phrase that is too strong"?

ur grammer is as bad as the original posters grammer, looser.

Re:A Few Miss-Steps Maybe (4, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992058)

> I think "lost its way" is too strong of a phrase.

I agree. The developer are mostly focusing on Firefox 3.0 anyway, because of the major improvements it will have. The 2.0 was just a small upgrade in the middle, mostly because of the PR. Because the changes in 3.0 require a lot of development and a lot of testing, they didn't want to hurry it. So I wouldn't judge Firefox because of the 2.0. Better wait for 3.0.

ROFLMAYONAISE KETCHUP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991746)

Firefox Losing its Way?
Nope. Unless we're FOSS zealots, which we aren't.

Slashdot losing its way? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991748)

Some flamebait article from a blog no one's ever heard of, probably submitted by the blogger, passes for news? The major complaint is that the blogger doesn't like the default theme and start page! Pick others!

Re:Slashdot losing its way? (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991796)

I agree, and I don't plan on stopping using firefox for any near future. And I don't plan on removing it form my moms puter neither. Just because I don't download it so often doesn't mean I'm not using it.

As a sidenote, I think we should let firefox call home (as part of the update check) just to be able to keep a count on the number of firefox users to get an exact number... I'm not paranoid.

JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991754)

IT'S is a contraction for IT IS motherfrackers! How fracking hard is that to understand!?

Re:JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (0, Offtopic)

codegen (103601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991778)

Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning

Learn To Cuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991830)

Don't look now... but "frack" isn't even a real word... did somebody pee in your sixth cup of coffee this morning or what?

Re:Learn To Cuss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991850)

ITS and IT'S *are* real words however, and they're only THREE LETTERS LONG. How much mental effort is required to figure out the difference between IT IS and the possessive ITS? Oh, and just so you don't overexert that miniscule brain of yours while you breathe heavily through your pig-like nose, "frack" is an expletive used on a TV show, and I spelled it correctly.

Re:Learn To Cuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992124)

FIRST of all.

REGARDLESS of whether you spelled "frack" correctly (which you didn't, you couldn't, it's still not a real word).

YOU spelled "minuscule" incorrectly.

SECOND of all.

WHY should I be the one that has to tell you that, just because you saw it on TV, doesn't make it right? They use "frack" because using "fuck" is illegal for them. But not for you!!

IT'S not like you're really "spoofing" anybody... we all know what "frack" is supposed to mean... and quit using all of your shell accounts to make a bunch of garbage AC posts. Would you like it if someone did that the next time you misspell "minuscule" in one of your article submissions?

Hmm?

Re:Learn To Cuss (0, Offtopic)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992080)

Don't look now... but "frack" isn't even a real word... did somebody pee in your sixth cup of coffee this morning or what?

Just because it isn't real doesn't mean that it doesn't exist [wikipedia.org] . Kind of like the square root of -1 [wikipedia.org] .

  • frack - from Battlestar Galactica. Similar meaning to "fuck", but its use by children in a 1978 TV show suggests that it carries no more social weight than "rats" or "darn" within the universe of the show.


LK

Re:JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991888)

And just what exactly is "frack" a contraction of?

Re:JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992122)

There's no apostrophe in frack, so why do you think it's a contraction?

Re:JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (0, Offtopic)

Morky (577776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992194)

Oh my gods. You don't know where the frack frack comes from?

Re:JESUS FRACKING CHRIST (0, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992412)

IT'S is a contraction for IT IS motherfrackers! How fracking hard is that to understand!?

Very hard.

It is, after all, arguably the most common grammatical error in the English language.

The meaning is always clear in context and there is little real incentive to correct it. Nor will you get any thanks for pointing it out.

I don't know about 'Firefox 2 Recap' (1)

Unski (821437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991764)

How about a 'web design recap' for NeoSmart Technologies, as having to fend off a popup which pointlessly informs me that "Mozilla 1.3 Beta is not supported! I'll try, though, but it might not work." has somewhat dampened my interest. Perhaps my 'Mozilla' is 1.3, but that's probably because it's a 'WebKit'.

typo (1)

Unski (821437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991792)

that should be "my 'Mozilla' is < 1.3."

no subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991772)

Very lame article.
Firefox 2.0 is better than 1.5 (and definitely better than MSIE).

Its. Without an apostrophe. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991774)

Same annoying mistake 3 f@cking times in the summary. Do the editors do anything around here other than randomly accept posts?

Focus on Gecko (2, Insightful)

Muramasa (534108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991784)

The only things that should be added to Firefox are bug/security fixes. Leave all the bells and whistles stuff to the extension authors.

Their bugzilla is so filled with ancient bugs that no one has eve nlooked at, and gecko is falling behind their competitors. They really need to get their priorities straight.

Learn to spell "its" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991786)

Spelling matters.

FF experience (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991802)

I must say, I'm having a feeling akin to the one I had when Netscape went over the 3.0 version number: things feel somewhat slower and buggier, with more bling that I don't really need. One of the most irritating "features" I keep hitting is whenever I open something with an extension, be it a pdf with Acrobat reader, a flash animation, a video with mplayer or a java applet: about 1 out of 10 times, the cpu goes to 100% and FF is dead in the water. I know the usual answer, which is that it's not FF's fault but the extensions', but it happens with all the extensions the same and it didn't happen so much, if at all, with earlier versions.

I don't know, perhaps there's a pattern with very large, popular open-source projects: the more popular they grow, the more developers tend to focus on adding features instead of correcting bugs...

Re:FF experience (3, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991998)

> I must say, I'm having a feeling akin to the one I had when Netscape went over the 3.0
> version number: things feel somewhat slower and buggier, with more bling that I don't
> really need.

I don't know what you/need expect from a browser but from my point of view Fx 2.0 *is* faster and uses less memory. Also I find that few new features (improved tabbed browsing, closed tab history, more polished interface) simply nice and usefull to me.

What bloat you are reffering to exactly? Since Fx 2.0 comes with very few new visible features and all of them are usefull for some people. And what bling?

> One of the most irritating "features" I keep hitting is whenever I open something with an extension,
> be it a pdf with Acrobat reader, a flash animation, a video with mplayer or a java applet:

These are not extensions but plugins. Plugin is binary platform specific library that you load up into the browser. Extension is multiplatform XUL code running on top of Gecko/Fx engine.

> about 1 out of 10 times, the cpu goes to 100% and FF is dead in the water.

I can not confirm that. Have you tried your Linux (I assume Linux since you've mentioned mplayer) distribution's Bugzilla? I use Linux, I use features you mentioned and Fx does not crash on me. Neither I've seen reports similar to yours so.

(...)

> I don't know, perhaps there's a pattern with very large, popular
> open-source projects: the more popular they grow, the more developers
> tend to focus on adding features instead of correcting bugs...

To cut the bullshit. Have you filled a bug report about your problem?

Re:FF experience (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992088)

Personally, I think the team set expectations too high with a "major" 2.0 version number increase, when in actuallity there's little added that seemed to warrant such a major release.

I suspect that if this had been released as FF 1.6 little of this type of criticism would be appearing, because then the implication would not have been that of releasing a new "blockbuster", but that they're simply adding improvements and features at a smooth, steady pace.

Re:FF experience (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992284)

"One of the most irritating "features" I keep hitting is whenever I open something with an extension, be it a pdf with Acrobat reader, a flash animation, a video with mplayer or a java applet: about 1 out of 10 times, the cpu goes to 100% and FF is dead in the water. I know the usual answer, which is that it's not FF's fault but the extensions', but it happens with all the extensions the same and it didn't happen so much, if at all, with earlier versions."

--- Maybe it's your machine or machine setup, not FF. This doesn't happen on any of my computers, Mac or PC. I see this all the time: "Such and such sucks as a program". I check the computer and there are setup or other problems (the latest was a PC with a virus and the owner was blaming it on 'poor software' he was using).

I poo on fireforx (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991828)

Have anyone seen my socks?

I'm quite happy with 2.0 (2, Insightful)

BRUTICUS (325520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991846)

The only thing that bugs me is the new TAB OVERFLOW managing. Before it scaled the tabs down. YES, there was a limit to how many it could hold but it could hold more on the screen at once. A combination of both means of managing the overflow would have been the better way.

Re:I'm quite happy with 2.0 (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991950)

I second this. I also have become more than accustomed to clicking on the "X" all the way to the right of the window to close the current tab as well, and now I have to find the "X" that corresponds to the current tab. Grr. Other than that, I'm fine with it. I surely don't have nearly the issues with memory as I did before.

Re:I'm quite happy with 2.0 (3, Informative)

chaidawg (170956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992000)

To change it back to the old setting (x on the right of the tabs bar) go to about:config (in your address bar) and change the value of browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3.
For the issue of tab size and overflow managing, you can edit the browser.tabs.tabClipWidth and .tabMinWidth settings

Re:I'm quite happy with 2.0 (1)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991970)

There's a simple fix for this; type "about:config" in the address bar and look for "browser.tabs.tabMinWidth". This value dictates the smallest size that the tabs will shrink to before employing the scroll bar. I have mine set to 50, and this seems to be about the same value used in FF 1.5. So basically, you get the 1.5 behavior, with the added bonus that when the tab bar gets full you can scroll it.

Re:I'm quite happy with 2.0 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991986)

Get Tab Mix Plus, it will solve all your tab woes and then some:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1122/ [mozilla.org]

neosmart.net losing it's way? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991852)

Slashdotted biatch!

Someone who can't even survive a slashdotting over thanksgiving weekend critising Mozilla?

Hahahahaha.

Firefox is slow (1)

hardcampa (533829) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991858)

Firefox lost its way a long time ago. Firefox is easily the slowest browser out there. Just do a swift comparison between it and Opera 9. Both are freely available for download, so download and compare. Opera not only starts faster, it is more stable, and runs faster. Defending FF just because it's opensource is one thing but being irrational and actually using it is another.

Re:Firefox is slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992078)

You name one other browser to support your argument that FF is the slowest browser, but you didn't even provide any detail to substantiate that comparison. Critical thinking and intelligent discourse aren't really in your repertoire, huh?

Re:Firefox is slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992092)

I did that test for a couple of weeks and Firefox2.0 still felt faster than Opera and IE7, although I would agree that Opera is by far the better browser of the three.

As soon as Opera-devs implement Firefox's tab-behaviour and middleclicking (which is the main Firefox advantage - saw several people switching from IE6 to FF because of it), then I'll switch to Opera permanently. In fact, I find it amazing that you can easily customize everything in Opera, except for these elementary actions which end up being a dealbreaker for me at the moment (and no, I don't want a keycombo or mousegesture substitute for what is supposed to be a simple mouseclick).

I don't know why people are saying FF2.0 is worse than FF1.5, as nothing's really changed that you can't roll back through customization, and it's only gotten faster anyway.

Firefox 2.0 is welcome on my 'puters (1)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991898)

I've upgraded to 2.0 on all 3 of my PCs, one running Windows, another with Mandriva Linux, and my Powerbook. I usually use Safari on my Powerbook but I'll start Firefox 2.0 just to use its "Report Web Forgery" menu pick to report the web sites that come in the phishing emails I get every day. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/phishing-prot ection/ [mozilla.com]

IE7 (-1, Troll)

Slimnaper (971797) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991918)

The fact of the matter is, Firefox has lost it's way and IE7 has put the nail in it's coffin. The anti-Microsoft camp will stick with Firefox just because it's not Microsoft, we know that. For the casual surfer, once you get used to IE7's interface, you will simply find it easier to use and much more likely to work with the site you are looking at.

Re:IE7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991978)

IE7 has put the nail in it's coffin.

IE7 hasn't even forund the graveyard. I don't use Firefox, but I do have to use IE7 and it sucks big time.

Re:IE7 (1)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992062)

Hmm, so here's a question: what about IE7 is so great?

I myself use both GNU/Linux and FF2, but I will try to be as unbiased as possible. What don't you like about FF2 and what do you like about IE?

Re:IE7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992104)

Thanks, your check is in the mail. BillG.

Re:IE7 (1)

Joseph W. Stalin (1032044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992110)

I agree that Internet Explorer 7 is definitely competition for Firefox. However, I think the IE team shot themselves in the foot when they moved the menu bar. I went back to Firefox because I liked the user interface better.

Re:IE7 (1)

Computer Guru (967408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992166)

Try pressing the "alt" key.

Re:IE7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992356)

Right click over the menu region and select "Menu Bar". Now you can go back to IE.

Re:IE7 (1)

jakedakat (822662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992174)

I have installed IE7 on a few customers machines and then had to uninstall shortly after. I have had problems loading many pages with IE7. The pages it had problems loading comcast.net, cnn.com, slashdot.org. Not quite sure why, it would just hang indefinitely. There have been quite a few customers at my work who had IE7 installed in the latest round of updates, then when they uninstalled it IE6 was broke. Gotta love it.

Let me break it down for you (5, Insightful)

Howzer (580315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991940)

Hopelessly misleading blurb. Here's the edited-for-truth version. The italics indicate the original text:

An anonymous reader A NeoSmart staffer writes:

"NeoSmart Technologies has a recap an attack article on Firefox 2.0 and it's shortcomings we say some things that we thought would get some traffic.

Aside from the technical aspects the things we don't understand but will criticize anyway, the article raises some good questions ridiculous mischaracterizations about the Firefox "community," [Editor's Note: Why the "sarcasm quotes"? Are you saying it isn't a community?] it's future, and what it's goals are at the end of the day we inserted a meaningless sports metaphor here.

Their conclusion sophomoric trolling you can safely ignore? Who cares!

There. Now what was so hard about that, Slashdot eds? Oh, and while you're at it, "its" was incorrectly spelled three times out of three.

Re:Let me break it down for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992280)

Use the strike tag next time. It reads like shit as it is.

Firefox not so terrible (1)

ButteBlues (1032124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991942)

Firefox is a good browser. I personally refuse to use it, but I'm not afraid to admit that. I simply wish that Epiphany was compatible with Firefox extensions.

Re:Firefox not so terrible (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992082)

Just out of curiosity ... why do you refuse to use it?

The (1, Troll)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991954)

The time between a critical flaw and a patch to fix it is too great. IE7 has been patched more than FF2.0, and this is not a good thing.

There hasn't been a *single* patch to fix flaws in FF2. Not. A. Single. One.

This isn't a troll, so please don't mode me down. When MS leads the way for browser security, things are very, very wrong for FF.

I'm an XP user partly by choice, but when I seriously consider running FF2 under XP via a VM in Linux just to get some security, something is wrong.

What security flaws? (3, Informative)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992042)

There hasn't been a *single* patch to fix flaws in FF2. Not. A. Single. One.

There haven't exactly been a lot vulnerabilities found either. The only one I know of found in Firefox 2 since its release is marked as less critical by Secunia. I'm sure that if you can find critical errors in Firefox, they will be fixed quickly.

Lost whos' way? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991984)

Apparently, Firefox hasn't lost "it's way". Firefox has lost NeoSmart Technologies' way. Good for Firefox.

Where did all the Mozilla/Firefox enthusiasim go? (5, Insightful)

linebackn (131821) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992048)

The article is slashdotted, but I think the main problem here is that Firefox has pretty much reached perfection. Firefox was intended to be a stripped down version of the Mozilla suite with just the browser. Now there seems to be a bigger push for built-in gee-whiz features.

I guess the community has just gotten board and went home. Specifically I have noticed:

* Mozillazine almost never seems to have any news anymore.
* The SpreadFirefox image galleries have been screwed up for ages now and people keep posting crap that never never gets cleaned up.
* The Mozilla store seems to have been having problems lately (it would hang and timeout when placing an order) and there Firefox CDs are still at old 1.5.0.4 version. (A physical factory pressed CD you can hold in your hand can go a long way convincing a PHB that this is real software!)
* And where is Thunderbird 2.0 anyway?

Come on folks! We still have an evil browser from Microsoft to crush!

Maybe they already accomplished what they needed t (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992290)

Firefox's popularity finally shamed Microsoft into updating IE. They did what they needed to do -- encourage (or force) IE to catch up and maybe even try to innovate. The fact is, no matter how popular FF will ever or could ever get, it will probably never be more popular than IE, as long as IE remains the default browser. But by forcing MS to update IE, they've probably helped more people than those who actually use FF.

It's still worth working on, sure, but it's not nearly as crucial as before. IE7 is not nearly as much an embarrassment as IE6 is.

Re:Where did all the Mozilla/Firefox enthusiasim g (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992326)

Bored, indeed!

To me, this is exactly why open source software has yet to make the same inroads into large corporations as proprietary software (at least in the in United States).

It's amazing how people have much more enthusiasm and creativity when an actual paycheck is involved. Otherwise, it's just a hobby. Microsoft, Sun, IBM, etc will always have an upper hand because they have paid resources to create and innovate (MS at least - Sun seems to be shooting themselves in the foot!).

neosmart.net is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992074)

Take a look at the tags each story citing NeoSmart has gotten:

lame [slashdot.org] , fud [slashdot.org] , and now this.

I don't know why anyone listens to what they have to say when they have such a clear track record of trolling.

Solution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992090)

Is Firefox good enough? I don't care.

Why do I not care? Because there is Konqueror which is better in every single way.

Note: If you're using Windows, your system is broken anyway.

Re:Solution (2, Informative)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992116)

And how, pray ask, is Konqueror better? Not only does it require KDE, which I don't want to use, it does not have an extension system, is not compatible with other operating systems and in some cases, websites.

Good software can't lose its way (1)

dkarma (985926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992184)

Let's look at the facts.

1. Stops popups automatically
2. constant updates and improvements every x months (because it is open source)
3. better security than IE
4. the option to easily clear cookies, history, temp files, etc on close (finding all the crap IE buries in your HDD is next to impossible for the average user)
IMHO The firefox browser is a damn good browser.

To tell you the truth I use FF for #1 ALONE. After listening to all the chatter on slashdot about holes in IE7...

If your honda has a bad muffler, do you trade it in for a yugo?

Re:Good software can't lose its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992316)

1. Stops popups automatically
using Fx 2.0/XP Pro SP2 - that's not the case, not all popups at least. Try http://wow.allakhazam.com/ [allakhazam.com] for examples (and that's not the only site)

Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.. This ones for u M$ PR (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992218)

How about this one?

Microsoft's Upcoming Operating System Woes.

As Microsoft is planning to role out its latest installment in the Windows saga, tech experts warn
that Vista is far from enterprise ready. "Up to now we have received no word whatsoever from
Microsoft whether Vista will indeed integrate seamlessly with existing Windows 2000 servers" says Vox
Technologica's Expert Frank Gibson. "As far as we know the numerous gotchas we have uncovered
in the lastest beta release of the operating system have not been fixed". Since many of Microsoft's
customers are still using Microsoft Windows 2000 servers, tech experts are not expecting a massive wave of
upgrades to Microsoft Windows 2003. Tech experts agree, only very few corporate users will readily
adopt Windows Vista in 2007 pointing out that Windows XP was shown the same kind of cold shoulder.

One thing I hate about Firefox 2.0 (1)

bismark.a (882874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992238)

Is that by default the search box kept pinging Google's server for suggestions when you typed something in the search box. (I haven't seen where it pings for suggestions when the default search engine is not Google's). I can't understand why Firefox developers would leave it turned on by default.

Any way browser.search.suggest.enabled is where this can be turned off. Just search for Filter: "suggest" in about:config tab.

Now my (conspiracy) theory is that the suggestion redirect to Google is paid for by Google. Like it is (publicly known) for the searches in the Search box.

Any search can offer suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992258)

It simply has to be defined in the plugin and obviously supported by the search engine. It's not some google-only feature.

anyone else remember when phoenix would fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992268)

... on a floppy?

Yeah, I'd say it's lost its way.

It's got no apostrophe when its is a pronoun. (2, Insightful)

Radak (126696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992288)

NeoSmart Technologies has a recap on Firefox 2.0 and it's [sic] shortcomings. Aside from the technical aspects, the article raises some good questions about the Firefox "community," it's [sic] future, and what it's [sic] goals are at the end of the day.

Attention Slashdot editors: Edit is a verb. Possessive pronouns in English (save one's) do not have apostrophes.

Gnome users; give epiphany a chance (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992344)

I love firefox for it's plugins, but in gnome, epiphany might be a good choice. I found it more stable, easier on the mem and for the rest not all that different from firefox.

Don't forget to enable the ad-blocker and page-info under Tools->Extensions.

One thing I am missing though is the CTRL+K for google-search.

While you are at it; try abiword whenever you don't really need OOo.

noticed out library is not using it (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992370)

I noticed our library hasn't upgraded to Firefox 2.0 at Umass Boston. I thought it was interesting and asked the reference librarian why. She said the IT people didn't think it was significant enough to bother upgrading and people also didn't like the way it looked. Interesting, I thought to myself.

This is one of the reasons I switched back to the Mozilla Seamonkey Suite. It uses less memory when you run Mail and the Browser together than Firefox and Thunderbird. I like the more community orientation of the development also. All you need to do is throw on a good theme like SeaFox http://markbokil.org/index.php?section=tech&conten t=c_linuxseafox.php [markbokil.org] and add an extension to enhance the UI like MonkeyMenu http://markbokil.org/index.php?section=tech&conten t=c_linuxmonkeymenu.php [markbokil.org] and you have a better browser than Firefox 2.0
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