Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Firefox

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I just gave the newly released Firefox web browser a try. Apparently this is the next big thing for virus ridden Microsoft users who are aware of that kind of problem or other badnesses of the Microsoft monoculture.

Over here in the Mac monoculture, it looks a bit like a joke, though. A joke with many merits, but still a joke. This starts with the fact that it didn’t manage to copy over any bookmarks from Safari or Camino and finds an early climax in its preferences sheet which sticks to one of the browser windows and can spawn (seemingly randomly) further dialog boxes or other sheets. Add to that the classically broken UI items like popup menus for font selection and so on and see me not impressed.

Is Firefox technically superior to Safari? From what I’ve heard it is. It also feels a bit faster. But why does the extra speed and better technology have to come at the price of a strange UI? Camino does a much better job in this respect, and I have to admit that I still fail to see the point of having Firefox on the Mac, when there’s also Camino which – as far as I can see – gives us the same browsing experience wrapped in a proper Mac interface.

This isn’t to say that Firefox is all bad. I just don’t see its point on the Mac. It seems to be welcome on other platforms (including my office Linux machine, if I ever use it again) and seems to be the most promising candidate yet to break Microsoft’s quasi-monopoly on browsers. But even with that in mind, I completely fail to understand why people want to spend their own money to have newspaper ads for a free web browser. If people are dumb enough to go on using Internet Explorer forever, let them do that and enjoy the consequences.

November 10, 2004, 16:19

Tagged as software.

Comments

Comment by Lee: User icon

Genius… Pure genius.

FireFox blows on Mac.

December 2, 2004, 10:00

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