Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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360 words

I am not a fan of Firefox. Not because it’s a bad browser - apart from the inline-block-debacle, it’s actually quite good in my opinion, but because it integrates poorly with the rest of my computer. Things you take for granted like automatic bookmarks for people in your address book or simple Rendezvous Bonjour bookmarks don’t exist, neither does indexing of your search history with Spotlight which I started finding rather useful.

But admittedly those could be considered minor points. The one that infuriates me most is a different one, in fact: Firefox loves updating its plugins when I start it. As I only use it once a fortnight or so, there’s bound to be some update available. And instead of just doing this quietly and in the background while I begin surfing the web (or, more realistically, checking whether some page looks good in Firefox), I am prompted about that every single time and Firefox quite likes restarting itself after that.

As the plugins themselves aren’t large the updating tends to be quick, but the real problem is that Firefox decides it can destroy whatever information I already passed to it via AppleEvents in the initial launch. Hence, when I launch Firefox from Safari’s ‘Open Page With Firefox’ menu item, Firefox will have forgotten about the URL Safari passed it. So I’m sitting there with a nicely updated web browser. But the only thing I launched the application for, viewing a very specific web page, did not happen. Many will brush this away as a minor point, but to me it feels like a major FAIL. And that’s a major FAIL about every single time I launch the application. All because they care more for their technicalities than for their users.

But actually I wanted to write something positive about the application. Firefox 3’s search bar may be a bit overdone but it’s quite nice and could almost be considered convenient. What I like best about it , though, is the little bookmark star it contain. It gives me a very lazy way to add bookmarks for pages along with feedback whether I already bookmarked them.

Star icon in Firefox bookmarks

Me likes.

November 18, 2008, 0:39


Comment by Flux: User icon

Hi, it seems you are talking about extensions, not plugins? If so, you can disable the automatic update of extensions in Firefox’s “Advanced” preference panel.

November 21, 2008, 19:04

Comment by ssp: User icon

That may be true, but it’s hardly my point. Updates aren’t bad per se. In fact they may be vital security wise. Thus it’s even more important to make them as painless as possible. It should be easy and painless to the ‘right’ thing.

November 21, 2008, 20:01

Comment by Flux: User icon

On restart, Firefox is always restoring my session, I have never had any sort of problem with this at all.

If that’s not the case for you, you can check for updates manually. It’s not as if you were actually using Firefox to browse the web on a regular basis.

November 21, 2008, 23:34

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