So I keep ranting about Firefox here, and for good reason: the Mozilla team is going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to driving users to other browsers.
However, try as I might, I simply encounter too many dealbreakers in Chromium.
When I think about it, the last version of Firefox that didn’t drive me crazy with crashing, incompatible add-ons, and stupid UI changes and features removed, it would have to be Firefox 3.6.
I keep forgetting how to do this, so I’m posting this here as much for my own reference as for anyone else’s. This is how to downgrade newer versions of Firefox to 3.6 and keep it that way, at least until things settle down a little, or until another browser comes along that can actually be a viable replacement for it — unlike newer versions of Firefox, sadly. This works with Mint 11, which means it will also work with Ubuntu 11.04.
So in keeping with the direction the devs at Mozilla have been steering the Firefox browser, plans include more feature assassination (of course), this time in the form of obfuscating useful information — arguably the most important information for users of a web browser — in the address bar.
For the last year and some change, I’ve gone from using Opera as my primary browser to using Mozilla Firefox. I have a variety of reasons for this switch, and it was a somewhat gradual one, but as I detailed in a recent post, despite it being my browser of choice, I still feel that it has a lot of shortcomings, and as such, it needs a lot of tweaking out-of-the-box before I find it usable.
So this is a writeup of the things I do to Firefox — in this particular case Firefox 4 — immediately after I install it. It used to be a much shorter list, but these days it’s getting more and more involved, so this writeup is as much for my own purposes, as a checklist of sorts, as it is to share my thoughts with others on how to tweak Firefox 4.
Let’s face it. Browsers suck. In my ongoing search for a browser that meets all my needs, I’ve frequently found myself compromising in one way or another, and while I have good things to say about almost any browser, I can’t say that I “love” any of them.
So this is less of a list of “my favorite browsers”… I don’t have one of those. Instead, I present you with my list of The 5 Browsers That Annoy Me The Least.
I got up this morning and saw this, which led me to a pretty serious WTF moment, all before having my morning coffee.
From the article:
Mozilla’s Director of Firefox, Mike Beltzner confirmed the fact that an x64 flavor of Firefox won’t be added to the existing x86 version, per the 32-bit/64-bit Internet Explorer 8 model.
Firefox users should not despair though. Fact is that Mozilla hasn’t given up on delivering a 64-bit version of Firefox, just not with Firefox 4.0.
This implies that maybe there will be a 64-bit release for Firefox 4.1? Maybe? 4.2? 5.0? Will there be one at all? Ever?
I think that they should probably be a little more open about when there will be, and why there’s a delay.
In my ongoing search for something with which to tinker, I’ve occasionally run across the Midori browser, a fully GTK+2 integrated, WebKit-based browser with a focus on being lightweight and simple.
It had been a while since I gave Midori a try, so I thought that since they had released a few updated versions since my last look, I’d install it and give it a new look, because it seemed to have some promise the last time.
I did most of my testing on my 64-bit Mint 9 laptop, and I installed Midori 0.2.6, which was the version in the repositories. I used it for a week as my primary browser, only resorting to Firefox when I had to do something that I couldn’t get to work in Midori, which is my usual approach to evaluating browsers.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my open source advocacy, I’m still a longtime user of the Opera browser.
However, the past year has been pretty rocky in that respect; Opera 10.10 for Linux was plagued with a lot of bugs, crashes, and performance issues, rendering it practically unusable, even for an Opera fan such as myself, and despite 10.50 being released for other platforms in March, the Linux world was stuck with the problematic 10.10 (and eventually 10.11) release until this week.
Finally, after such a long wait, Opera 10.60 was finally released for all platforms on July 1st, so I was finally able to ditch Firefox and Chrome and go back to my browser of choice.
Or was I?
It’s time for a rant. Those sensitive to ranting should avert their eyes and go read something else today. But for those of you who enjoy such things, read on.
I have brought this up here and there over the past year on The Linux Critic, but I think it’s time I actually just dedicated a full discussion to it.
There’s a disturbing trend that I’ve been running into everywhere for a while now, and I feel that it’s worth a rant. I’m talking about the tendency of developers committing what I consider to be the cardinal sin of software:
Thou shalt not release a new version that has fewer features than the previous version.
This is the kind of thing that spins me up to no end, and I’m seeing it everywhere. It’s time more attention got brought to this problem, because it’s really running rampant.
In my ongoing search to find the perfect browser, I’ve generally stuck to Opera for the past several years, on Windows and on Linux.
I’ve used Firefox of course, but I’ve discussed a number of issues that I’ve had with Firefox over the years, and in my hunt for a great browser, I’ve always found myself going back to Opera.
Well, today, I’m here to report that this situation might well have changed, due to something called Swiftfox.
I know, I’m a Linux guy, and an advocate of Free/Open Source Software.
However, I’m also a user, and I’m a right-tool-for-the-right-job kind of guy. I’m picky as hell about my software, and I think the simple fact that I choose Linux for my day-to-day desktop use says a lot about its ability to meet my needs.
However, I’ve never been in on the big love affair the open source community has with Firefox. Yes, I think it’s great that it’s taken enough market share away from Microsoft to spur them into action — it’s been argued that IE7 and IE8 would never have existed in any form approaching a “modern” browser if it hadn’t been for Firefox pushing them to catch up.
However, like Linux, Firefox needs critics. It may still be better than what Microsoft offers, but it isn’t perfect by a long shot. It doesn’t meet my needs as an end user, which is why I’m still using a closed-source browser as my primary web surfing tool. So why does an open source advocate like myself use Opera instead of Firefox? Read on.