Mozilla Firefox

Formerly known as Phoenix, then Firebird, now Firefox (note capitalization). Firefox 1.0 was released November 9, 2004.

A repackaging of the GeckoEngine from the MozillaBrowser. Some find MozillaFirefox to be "Just Right", and some still think a different (and more widely used) browser is still the best.

The Mozilla Corporation (http://www.mozilla.com/) produces this product. The "product" web page (for end users) is http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ and the "project" web page (for developers) is at http://www.mozilla.org/projects/firefox/.

WikiPedia's article about Firefox provides a nice overview, product history, and comparisons with other browsers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Firefox

An Oct2004 interview with chief designer can be viewed at http://www.zdnet.co.uk/print/?TYPE=story&AT=39170243-39020469t-20000023c

Article about the logo's GraphicDesign: http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/377/branding-firefox

Firefox logo: Firefoxes (red pandas):

To get UserName to work with Firefox cookie blocking, see the UserName page.
How is this thing different from the MozillaBrowser?

Mozilla is normally a suite of tools: browser, email, composer, IRC client. Firefox is just the browser part of that suite, with additional features that everyone seems to like. Some of the "features" are philosophical: MozillaFirefox is meant to be simple, with non-core functionality and options provided by downloadable "extensions" rather than integrated into the product, as happened so often with the MozillaBrowser.

It ditches some features from Mozilla, that you may not use or want, such as:
 <link rel="prev" href="introduction.html" title="Introduction" />
 <link rel="next" href="day_2.html" title="Day 2: Michael" />

It retains many of the most often praised features from the MozillaBrowser: New stuff, over MozillaBrowser: It changed certain things (for the better): It changed certain things to be more like MicrosoftInternetExplorer: Missing but wanted in MozillaFirefox:
Recommended Extensions

http://kb.mozillazine.org/SessionSaver


Comparisons with Other Browsers (not MozillaBrowser)

MozillaFirefox vs MaxthonBrowser

Mozilla vs OperaBrowser

If you want a browser that works out of the box, pick Opera. If you enjoy wasting your time "customizing" something so that it works exactly the same as the other guy's out of the box product, pick Mozilla. If you enjoy the Linux experience of wasting 5-10 hours recovering your stuff because you didn't bother spending 2-3 hours customizing it correctly, then again pick Firefox. Goddamn but I hate this piece of s### single-threaded unreliable software. And you can thank a really useless history feature when you're recovering. And slow as #### too.

Um excuse me, but what happened to posting factual information and not opinion? The above para is worse than opinion it is a bunch of unsupported assertions. I'd really like to know how one justified the idea that Firefox doesn't work out of the box--of course it does and requires no customization to work just fine.

You're obviously comparing Firefox to Internet Exploder and not to Opera. What I'd really like to know is if you're being disingenuous because you're a sick liar or because you really are that stupid. The usual motivation of being paid to screw people over certainly doesn't apply with Firefox.

Just so we're clear, I'm using Firefox with windows. Currently, it's stuck downloading some movie which I unintentionally clicked on (I meant to save it, not view it through the plugin). And of course, since it's single-threaded (a fact made obvious whenever plugins load or I try to open history, and it pauses all rendering for the 30 seconds it takes to do these things) it will keep chugging away at it for the next several hours without my being able to cancel the download or do anything else in firefox.

Either that or, much more likely now after shutting down the network for a substantial amount of time, javascript completely broke firefox's little wee brain with no hope of recovery. Now, firefox isn't always this badly behaved but opera is never this badly behaved.

Note also that I can't kill firefox because that would lose the 50 or so open pages I had built up over a period of weeks. Avoiding this scenario requires an extension I never took the 2 hours to find and find out how to load. This would not happen if I killed opera. As a result, just as I had finally decided to migrate to opera come hell or high water and wipe the firefox plague off my hard drive, firefox decides to act up and I may just lose everything. THAT is your retarded browser that "works just fine" while "requir[ing] no customization". The same retarded browser that doesn't have drag and drop configured by default. The same browser that's got cut working but paste NOT WORKING in bookmarks management. The same browser where it certainly LOOKS like you can drag and drop bookmarks in the bookmark management but THIS DOESN'T ACTUALLY WORK.

Of course, you're going to claim that I'm using the windows version blah blah old version whatever. As if that mattered to anyone. As if there could possibly be any excuse.

[Try trunk builds - they use around 1/3 of the memory that 1.9 branch builds do] Oh, and Firefox uses more RAM to deal with 50 open pages (300 MB oink oink) than Opera uses to deal with 80 (250 MB), and twice as much CPU! Oink oink. And without any open pages, Firefox uses up 3x the amount of RAM as Opera (48 vs 16 MB). <squeal> Oink oink.

Now because I killed firefox, I'll be wasting 3-6 hours trawling through the past 3 weeks of history (not that there's any useful way to tell when anything is) to find the 50 open pages I lost.

Interesting rant, there. My 1.0 pre-release for MacOsx pretty much "works just fine." Stop works. Paste in bookmarks management works. Drag and drop in bookmarks management works. What a shame Mozilla can't get its act together for Windoze. My only complaints are Mozilla broke its MathMl rendering since Mozilla 1.3a in 2002 and hence in Firefox (doh!) and there's no built-in way to enable/disable plugins like Flash and QuickTime (double doh!).

It's a pity these edits aren't timestamped. Last night I had Firefox open in a dozen windows with a total of >300 tabs over all (okay, it needed half a Gig of core and virtual RAM to keep track of them all), but then the machine crashed. Once I'd booted back up and re-established the network connection, I started Firefox and the first thing it did was ask me if I wanted to restore my session. I did, and it opened a dozen windows and populated them with >300 tabs - containing the correct pages. Okay, it took utter yonks to recover, but my bandwidth [i]does[/i] have limits, you know.
Firefox Security

MozillaFirefox does not support ActivexTechnology controls and it is one less thing to worry about. Firefox can be made to support ActivexTechnology controls (on MicrosoftWindows). Frankly, I see no particular difference between ActiveX with authenticode and a plugin except for the poor implementation of embedded ActiveX, such as caching of previous versions of controls, and holes in authenticode. This makes a difference overall, but not in concept. Plugins are also not sandboxed, and are generally not even signed. Now there's XPI, which looks to me to be practically identical to BHO ActiveX controls, except without any authenticode. The "solution" to this has so far been a whitelist, which frankly isn't all that reassuring.

It has been noted MalWare is starting to prepare for Firefox attacks. See http://www.vitalsecurity.org/xpire-splitinfinity-serverhack_malwareinstall-condensed.pdf for an example in there.
Gripes:

Firefox suffers from the backspace-goes-back misfeature. Please consider helping convince the developers to either turn this off or to let users turn it off.

Autocompletion of web addresses is not enabled by default. To turn it on, go to about:config, create a new BooleanValue? called browser.urlbar.autoFill, and set it to "true". (See "Documented Preferences" at http://preferential.mozdev.org/preferences.html or "Customizing Mozilla" at http://www.mozilla.org/unix/customizing.html for other hints.)

The UI also has a weird lack of "bounce", as opposed to NetscapeNavigator or InternetExplorer.
Unclassified Comments Below (and some might apply only to older versions)
I have started to use it, found no trouble in running it parallel to InternetExplorer. Lots of common sites like Hotmail can be accessed without problems. If I do find trouble with this browser later, I can always use the uninstall procedures documented in release notes.

The d/l manager is quite useful if you often do multiple downloads. I sometimes have > 20 downloads going at once. No way I want to flip through individual windows for that! The d/l manager lets me see how they are doing, and if any are hung up I can look for a mirror or.... I have no idea about the stopping d/l thing. I can't think of any reason for closing the view, but I'll try that and see if it screws up. -- AnonymousDonor

I run it very successfully on a P133 with 48Mb RAM under win95 or linux.

I've run it on a P2-333 and found that it is noticeably slower than InternetExplorer. Not enough to make me stop using it, but it is definitely slower to start and use. The benefits outweigh this, IMO, and the speed difference is irrelevant on faster machines.
I've started changing the various users in my household over to Firefox and OperaBrowser, depending on their needs. The amount of InternetExplorer-caused mischief I've had to remediate in the last month has pushed me over the edge. I no longer have any patience with a browser whose biggest recommendation is that "everyone uses it" while it breaks standards and allows the creation of pseudo-standards, all coupled with a particularly infuriating combination of non-configurability and stupid security holes.

Firefox is a real relief from the siege I've been under for several months. I'm hoping the email module (MozillaThunderbird) can do as much in freeing us from the evil MicrosoftOutlook twins.

Funny. InternetExplorer is free. MozillaFirefox is free. I'm not free if I use IE. I am free if I use something like Firefox. I would happily pay money for a browser that doesn't make my system "free" for hijackers.

Nope. InternetExplorer is not free (as in beer); you need a Windows license to use it, otherwise it's not legal. Update

If you take the time to install some of the extensions (like MouseGestures, View in IE, QuickNotes, and a fistful of others), it has very a nice array of functions. So far, I'm liking it. Further Update

After a couple attempts at using the 1.0RC (and losing certain vital extensions), the real 1.0 is now out, and all the little anomalies that happened during the 0.8.x -> 0.9.x -> 1.0RC phase seem to have been healed, and everything works again. I notice that they don't seem to be able to leave the shortcut keys alone (Tools/Downloads has changed with each point release) but I trust that they will now have stabilized.

I am officially a happy camper.
serious step up in function (from older versions or from other browsers?)

Other browsers. I still use the OperaBrowser (registered), and others, but Firefox is gaining ground. I'm sure there are browsers I haven't tried (although I'm always willing) but Firefox is nimble and (relatively) stable. I find that when I break it, it's because I'm doing stuff I wouldn't have considered doing with InternetExplorer. Like more than 50 sites open at once in multiple instances. They've still got some work to do on memory management (it's got some leaks), but the design is sound.
Better InformationSecurity, but...

Version 1.04 has patch against very severe JavaScript exposure. See http://informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=163101666
Fox on fire - runs really fast

I have been using FireFox together with the Prebar extension (see http://www.xulplanet.com/downloads/prefbar/) since FireFox 1. It works well, except where ActiveX is mandated (like WindowsUpdate), and some Intranet pages.

I reckon I reduced bandwidth (graphics and Flash defaulted off) and risk (cookie and Javascript on demand only) a lot.

But I can understand companies do not want to switch to MozillaFirefox because users expect to have WebBrowserMissingWidgetWorkArounds, as the alternate AjaxWebApplications is too hard for now.
Version 2.0.0.2 is current and Windows users see GetItFirstFromHere

So where is 1.1, the intermediate release before 1.5? Apparently, it was "renamed" 1.5.
Deer Park - version 1.5 beta news

See an article at http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/printstory.php?news=4002

Will have better support for AjaxWebApplications due to BigBlue (IBM) donated DHTML accessibility technology. See http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3527341

Will have support for ScalableVectorGraphics (Only SVG 1.1 subset supported. see http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/archives/2005/08/svg_interoperation.html)
I love FireFox except for one really REALLY annoying idiocy: when I use the touch-type-search the whole search box disappears after a few seconds and I have to constantly do Alt-E & F to get it back. Why the hell is auto-hide enabled by default and impossible to disable? Does anyone know a setting or extension to leave the search box up till explicitly closed?

Install the Find Toolbar Tweaks addon. It replaces quickfind with something far more useful and also has the option you are talking about.
Spell-Checker Addon

FireFox comes with a rather "dumb" spell-checker. It has trouble finding near matches. Yes, it's better than none, but frustrating because it seems it would be relatively easy to improve by using/adding old-fashioned SoundEx matching to the suggestion list. Vowel differences that trip it up shouldn't. SoundEx has been around almost as long as the Model-T.

Also, it stops working if the text area is too large. The size seems to oddly depend on the CPU speed. I've had the same browser version on different PC's and find the limit at different topic sizes, and the difference seems to be the speed of the PC's CPU.
UI Fiddling Rant

FireFox has been doing some stupid UI things lately, since about version 22. First they made it so you cannot turn off tabbed browsing. You have to download an add-on to get non-tabs now. Then they made it not load certain sites, including youtube, without a message explaining why and/or giving you an override link. An icon on the upper left is supposed to indicate there's an issue, but the work-around was awkward. They've since fixed it, but originally tried to justify it via round-about explanation about a security risk. Fortunately, enough complaints introduced them to reality. Then they mucked with the Find bar (Ctrl-F). Some controls are on the far right, and others on the far left. Their explanation for spreading them out was something about preparing for a future newfangled GUI engine. Who cares about the damned future? Make the current version work. FireFox is being run by people on UI LSD. Anti-kudos for making IE look saner!

On the latest version, 29.0.1, they have decided that I can no longer have the reload button located where I want, but only at the right hand end of the data entry box. I prefer it located next to the back and forward buttons at the other end. It may seem a small thing, but the operations go together for me when working on WikiWiki. -- JohnFletcher

I've gone back to SeaMonkey?. Its UI hasn't changed in a decade.
WikiWikiBugs describes an "extra line-spacing" bug related to MozillaFirefox.
For addons for building up a collection of web references see ZoTero and for a MindMap see VUE (VisualUnderstandingEnvironment).
See: WhyFirefoxIsBlocked

WhatIsHappeningToFirefox ??

CategoryWebBrowser

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