Tag Archives: Firefox

Goodbye Firefox?

The Horror

I still have my t-shirts. I’m not sure how they’ve held up over so many years, especially with how frequently I have worn them – one for Firefox, one for Thunderbird – both from the official Mozilla store.

Image representing Firefox
Image via CrunchBase

I’m fairly certain I’ve been using Firefox since 1.x, and perhaps even before. I jumped ship from Internet Explorer as quickly as possible and having been a long-time fan of Netscape Navigator, Firefox with its relations to Netscape was appealing to me.

Today I did something that I’ve seen coming for a long time now. I’m not sure if it will stick – but I’ve done it.

  • I exported my bookmarks from Firefox into an HTML file (I probably have several thousand, carefully categorized).
  • I imported my bookmarks from the HTML file into Google Chrome (it looks like they came over without a hitch).
  • I closed the almost-always-running instance of Firefox.
  • I unpinned Firefox from my Windows taskbar.

Now I sit┬ástand in front of my computer, the monitor flashing its warm blue glow, my fingers typing on the keyboard as if nothing has changed, and yet something has changed – something significant. For over five years now a large portion of my life and work has occurred via the Firefox browser, and now, now it is no more.

What Happened?

Firefox’s bloat over time was a big hassle for many – but I held onto Firefox through all of that. The slow release cycles compared to Google’s Chrome drove others crazy, but I held on through that.

What finally drove me (several years ago) to begin using Chrome for at least a significant portion of my web activities was the profiles – something that Firefox never really was able to handle well, as far as I know, still can’t. I have different “personas” on the web – they are all me (Dave Mackey) and I don’t pretend to be different people, but I operate for different functions. I am the personal me, I was the corporate me, I am the techie me, and I am the pastor me. Each of these personas was best served by a separate profile. With thousands of links organized into categories, it was too confusing to try and keep track of everything all mashed into one profile – so now, my ministry links are in my ministry profile, my personal links are in my personal profile, and so on.

Any Hope of Reconciliation?

Sure there is. I have never used Chrome as my 100% primary browser. Up to this point I’ve primarily used Chrome for web app (GMail, Facebook, Calendar, Asana, Keep) and have used Firefox for browsing and discovery (e.g. StumbleUpon, Digg, RSS, Zakta). There may be issues that arise when I use Chrome for everything that weren’t present when I used it for only these app’ish purposes…but I sort of doubt it.

Still, there is hope for reconciliation in my relationship with Firefox. Why? Because, quite honestly, I don’t trust Google. No, I’m not paranoid. Yes, I let them collect all sorts of info. about me and use it to target their advertising at me. I’m not worried about that – I’m worried about commitment. Google has axed far too many products or twisted them beyond recognition to be entirely trusted. I now Google Reader is the latest example, but there have been so many others – anyone remember their attempt with wikified search? Or how about that note taking application – what was it called?

So, Google, here is your word of warning: I’m watching you. Customer acquisition isn’t the whole game, to win customer loyalty you need to be loyal too, and you’ve fumbled quite a few times in this area!

Firefox Add-Ons.

I have a Firefox t-shirt from ohh, so long ago[1], I’ve been using Firefox for so many years[2]. Today I’ve compiled a list of add-ons which I believe are useful/interesting for Firefox. I have not used all of these – those that I currently use have a ** by them and those which I have used in the past but am not currently using have a * by them.

I must admit, I’m really thinking about moving from Firefox to Google Chrome entirely. It has taken me a long time – but I’m seriously considering it. Right now the biggest thing that keeps bringing me back to Firefox is its bookmark management – it is easily and significantly superior to that included in Chrome.

It saddens me that at some point Mozilla dropped the ball with Firefox and we all watched as Chrome gained market share and Firefox seemed to be doing nothing. Mozilla seems to be rectifying this situation now – but it may be too late. The addition of a PDF reader to the browser was a slick move, but probably not enough.

Well, I’m not really here to talk about whether Firefox or Chrome is a better browser – that is another topic for another day…

Bookmarks

Speed

Tabs

Commerce

Social Media

Curation/Discovery

Security/Ad Blocking

Downloads

Development

Email

Translation

Customize

Productivity

Other

IRC

RSS

  1. [1]Yes, I also have a Thunderbird t-shirt from the same time period.
  2. [2]Yet, I’m also old enough to remember before there was a Firefox, when IE dominated the landscape, and Netscape was the main alternative browser, but even it had basically died.