Reason number five: Less attitude
I know the reaction most readers are going to have to this post, and that actually has a lot to do with my final reason.
I know, no other open source (end-user related) application has ever stung Microsoft in as big a way as Firefox has. I know, as much as I might gripe about various functionality related aspects of Firefox, it’s STILL better than most other browsers out there (it is… in my list of best browsers in my opinion, Firefox is still my #2 choice). I know, it’s open source, which gives it inherent advantages over my browser of choice.
But it doesn’t meet my needs as well as Opera does, period. I want to love Firefox, but as I had mentioned in my previous four reasons, it has some catchup to do in my book before it can be on the same level as the browser I prefer.
But the very act of criticizing Firefox usually brings a flamestorm of epic proportions, seemingly wherever this is done.
Enough is enough. You can love Firefox, you can use Firefox, you can take it to bed with you and marry it for all I care. That’s great. But don’t be so touchy about it. Like Linux, Firefox NEEDS to have people pointing out its shortcomings and areas in which it can do better.
I don’t want Firefox to simply be “good enough” to take 20%, 30% or even 40% of the browser market share away from Microsoft. I want Firefox to be a great browser, something that can take 90% of the browser market share away from those clueless Redmond flunkies!
But that will never happen with the prevailing attitude. Firefox fanboys and Mozilla developers alike: get over yourselves. There are a lot of things that can be done better, but with that kind of arrogant attitude, those things will never happen.
The developers need to stop responding with “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” to many of these things that get reported again and again, and they need to stop feeling like they know right for everyone when it comes to functionality and browsing the web. If they want to aspire to greater heights, they’re going to have to take a hard look at other products and seek ways to improve.
The fanboys need to realize this as well… not every critic of Firefox is a Microsoft apologist or a luddite. Some of them (like me) are advocates of free and open source software, but are disappointed and frustrated with the current state of affairs in what is swiftly becoming one of the flagship products of that movement. Don’t start a flame war every time someone brings up a real point of contention with the way Firefox is doing things. To do so discourages open discussion about it, and without critics, no project can ever become what it has the potential to become: great.
Take this as you will, folks, it’s just my opinion. But these are my reasons, and I’m stickin’ to ‘em. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m looking forward to Firefox 3.6 to see what kind of progress is made!