Let’s hear it for Firefox

I finally ditched Opera in favour of Mozilla Firefox and (about two weeks later) I can definitely say it’s absolutely fantastic. Earlier Mozilla versions have always seemed too slow and clunky for me, but Firefox is definitely up to speed, looks good, and works well.

I’m particularly impressed by the extensions mechanism… I’d heard that Mozilla was not so much a browser as a platform upon which programs (e.g. browsers) can be written, and that seems to be borne out here. From what’s available, it seems that it’s fairly straightforward to write extensions which range from fairly trivial UI tweaks (e.g. close tab with double-click) to complex apps in their own right (e.g. the Sage RSS aggregator, or the Mozilla Calendar extension). This wide range (and the fact that these things seem – mostly – to work), speaks to me of good design.

Annoyances:

Seems to be a bug in the Linux version (or at least mine), where the fabulous add search engines feature, allowing me to have a single box in my address bar which can do google, wikipedia, imdb, etc., etc. searches, doesn’t work. I can go through the motions to add searches, but nothing happens. Works in Windows. Bah. Like the question of whether the Pope is a Catholic, I’m looking into it. (Update: fix here, namely change permissions of /usr/X11R6/lib/firefox/lib/mozilla-1.6/searchplugins/ .)

The window giving me a view of which extensions I’ve all ready installed is horrendously slow. No idea why, but this seems to be one part of Firefox which has inherited the speed problems I used to see everywhere on Mozilla. It just takes forever to scroll, basically.

Not many annoyances.

Some groovy tips: a whole thread of tips here, which included a pointer to a load more tips on texturizer.net, including one of my wishlist items: remove the close button from the tab bar (since it’s redundant). Change the width of the Search Bar – yay!

So yeah, Firefox. It’s good.

PS: Oh, except that I really miss Opera’s wand feature (for automatically filling in userids, passwords, etc.). Nothing I’ve seen so far in Firebird comes close.