Firefox 2 seemed a godsend for a long while. After dealing with IE for so long, and remembering the bad old days when I preferred IE to NS, I was barely convinced I was an FF1 user before FF2 came out. Godsend or no, it has since worn heavy and slow on my desktop(s). This goes for all platforms. It just plain drags. I love it so, and tend to ignore the slow startup, the occasional slow rendering of pages, the somewhat more frequent memory leaks, the random crashes and inability to properly quit the application simply because it’s the Best with a capital B. It’s the Best for one reason: the plugins extensions.
Like WordPress, Firefox became the powerhouse in market share it is at this point because of the plugins extensions (and getting an early jump on the tabbed browsing trend didn’t hurt).
More bitching and moaning after the jump!
There are a number of other plugs extensions I use (Google Browser Sync, Server Switcher, YSlow, Colorzilla, MeasureIt get the majority of use, though I play with OneClick for WordPress now and then) which at this point do not yet work in Firefox 3, which is currently at Beta 5. Web Dev Toolbar, ScribeFire, Firebug all do. Or do they…?
Firebug has recently seen some leaps forward in version numbers after a long period of inactivity (save for a scarily bad-looking little site for FireClipse). With several versions now vying for my attention, which am I to choose? Currently, I’m running Firebug 1.1.0b11, but I’ve tried 1.2 alpha. Not going there again till it’s in beta. Complete fail. Won’t need to play with ChromeBug unless I ever get round to developing some extensions myself, which I don’t see happening any time soon.
What drove me to write this post, however, wasn’t the terrible experience with Firebug 1.2a. No, it was my burgeoning crush on Firefox 3b that triggered this rant. That’s what bit me tonight.
Firefox 3 runs immensely faster than FF2. Startup time, page load time, JS execution time, all seem much faster. I credit much of this to Mozilla handing off much of the work of the browser to native API for drawing form controls and for similar tasks. FF3 will fill the whole screen of my MacBook when I click the little green button, something FF2 never did, the bastard. FF3 respects my wishes when I ask it to go away, instead of struggling to stay afloat like a drowning cat who just won’t stop mewling no matter how many times I dunk the bag in the frigid water of Quit. Pretty soon I’m just going to have to let the cat out of the bag entirely (except for testing backwards compatibility) and start playing with a new pet.
Anyhow, with all of the good things to say about FF3b, there are a few bad ones. First being that I’m lonely for plugins extensions. I’ve read about an about:config hack for running FF2 plugs extensions untested on FF3 and may try that, we’ll see. Next up, they keep breaking things. I tried upgrading to FF3b5 which came out… I dunno yesterday maybe? and suddenly Firebug ceased doing a damn thing. Retro’d my ass back to beta 4 real quick, tell you what. Tonight I tried connecting my MacBook to my secondary monitor and Firefox 3 just wouldn’t let me drag it to the other screen. What gives?! The mouse cursor simply slid off the top of the app no matter how hard I leaned into the mouse button. FF2 worked just fine.
Enough getting worked up over bull shiz. Time for me to sleep.