Firefox – Will it die on the vine?

21 01 2010

Firefox is my primary browser and has been since version 1 of the browser. Prior to Firefox I used SeaMonkey/Netscape going all the way back to Navigator 1.11. I’m glad to say that I have never used IE as my primary browser of choice, ever.

However I am concerned that Firefox’s days maybe numbered. Here are few facts.

Microsoft Develop IE
Google Develop Chrome
Apple Develop Safari.

Three major software corporations with lots of resources in terms of money and talented staff and all making money hand over fist. I’m not sure how the Mozilla Project can compete with them long-term, as much as I’d like them to. My argument is not technical nor based on merit or intellectual preference, it is commercial.

Prior to Chrome, Mozilla had the backing of Google as the major competitor to IE. I’m not suggesting that Google have or will abandon their cozy relationship with the Mozilla project, however their attention and resources are now divided, clearly they will try and make their Chrome browser and Chrome/Android OS’s work well.

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Fixing a failed update to Firefox in Ubuntu

19 12 2009

The problem

I did a routine update to one of my Ubuntu installations this morning, and lo and behold it failed during the Firefox update. Even after a cold reboot I was unable to start Firefox, it was broken.

Not able to browse the internet from Ubuntu to research the problem and never having had a problem like this before I was left with a conundrum. The update manager didn’t show Firefox as needing an update anymore. Eventually I stumbled on the fix, here it is.

The Fix

Launch Synaptic package manager and type in Firefox in the Quick search box. Find Firefox which should have a green check-box indicating it is installed. Right click the green Read the rest of this entry »





I’m ‘this’ close to switching from Firefox to Chrome

14 12 2009

Firefox is a great browesr, the extensions available make life on the internet so much more convenient and productive. I have *never* used Internet Explorer as my primary browser, prior to Firefox I used Netscape and SeaMonkey. When I see others using IE or Firefox without extensions I cringe. All those ads (Yuk!), no easy way to navigate through page history without moving the mouse plus a click or three. Consider having bookmark syncing across browser types /operating systems. Auto tab opening. We get so spoiled so easily.

Click on image to see larger view

Click on image for larger view.

As great as it is, Firefox is no longer the fastest browser available, it is almost as slow as Internet Explorer IMHO. Google Chrome browser is so much faster, but extensions are not available with Chrome 3 or earlier. Despite the raw speed, the lack of the extra functions I’ve grown accustomed to were missing.Enter Chrome 4.0 Beta with extensions. I checked out the extension capability and lo and behold there are a ton available!! In fact I have found equivalent extensions to my Firefox extensions, minus one I like a lot (Tab Mix Plus). Chrome has some great extensions that are NOT available for Firefox, all the latest extension writing talent appears to have migrated to Chrome. I found a great Twitter client called Metrist, clean easy interface with a count for unread tweets, re-tweet ad replies all in a small package. I also found a Facebook extension called Facebook Cleanup, which allows one to get more space for posts, it changes the page from the default 3 column layout to two column, much neater and more readable!! Oh and Facebook ads are history. I haven’t found a similar cleanup add-on for Firefox.

Chrome is so much faster, both to load initially and render web pages. I can’t find an extension in Chrome that replaces Tab Mix Plus. The feature I love is the automatic opening of tabs when clicking on favorites or URL’s entered into the address bar (once you get used to it, you can’t go back).

Above and to the left are the extensions I use in Firefox 3.5.5, and below to the right those I have installed in Chrome 4 Beta. Once I can find an extension that will open tabs automatically by clicking on favorites or when I manually enter a URL, I’m sold and will most likely switch. The extension ‘action’ appears to be with Google right now.