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Getting fed up with Firefox


Ok – let’s start of

by saying that I use Firefox every day. It’s my main Web browser when doing

almost everything that doesn’t absolutely require Internet Explorer. I’ve been using Firefox way back since

version 0.6 when it was still called Firebird. I’ve used it on Windows, OS/2 and

Linux. The problem is, the more I use Firefox, the more irritated I’ve become

with it.



First, there’s the

issue of updates. No software is perfect so patches are to be expected. And the

Firefox folks do a great job of making updates available when problems crop up.

Unfortunately, with Firefox that means that you have to reinstall the entire

browser, not just simply apply a patch to fix the problem. In a business

environment where you have to support dozens or hundreds of machines, I don’t

see how that makes it a viable alternative to IE.



Second, Firefox is

slow. No matter what OS or computer I’ve used Firefox on, it’s slow. I

wouldn’t

quite go so far as to call it a bloated pig, but it’s slow. Way slower

than IE. It’s slow to load.

It’s slow to display menus. It’s slow to load Web pages. It’s slow on

fast

machines. It’s even slower on slow machines. I have a very old Compaq

test

machine – a Compaq Presario 5712. With

its blazing 450Mhz PII and 256Mb of RAM, Firefox can be painful. Most

of the

time, it’s easier to just load IE, get to the page you want, and be

gone. Sometimes Firefox takes so long to load, I've thought the mouse

click didn't take, so I click it again only to wind up with multiple

copies of Firefox running.


Third, Firefox is

buggy. I’m not a programmer and haven’t delved into the code, but you don’t

have to be a programmer to be able to identify buggy code. IE has its share of

problems as well, but Firefox is far from perfect. Case in point - there have

been several times where I’ll have a few tabs open and suddenly the entire computer

slows to a crawl. I’ll open up Task Manager, and find that Firefox has consumed

several hundred megabytes of memory and is nailing the CPU at 80 – 90% usage.

It’s gotten to the point that when I’ve noticed the computer is running slow, I

know to go to Task Manager and just kill firefox.exe - everything will be

fine again. I could give other examples

of Firefox bugs – like how it inexplicably closes all of the active Firefox

sessions (whether in tabs or separate windows) at once for no good reason, but I don't want to belabor the point.

Let’s face it – just

because software is open-source doesn’t mean it’s perfect. At the same time,

just because software is created by Microsoft it doesn’t mean that it’s

inherently evil. Firefox still has plenty of lumps in it, and hopefully the next version helps to

iron some of them out. Even through all of that however, I still use Firefox

(except on that old Compaq) because it still beats the pants

off of IE most of the time.

11 comments
russhyy
russhyy

YOU ARE NOT OF THE BODY!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Processor at 97-98%, "Your system is running low on virtual memory," and you can't even cycle through the tabs with --forget the mouse! (Aside: Part of the problem is it's an old A31 with only 256 MB. Corporate got a deal, but skipped the RAM when they upgraded the OS to XP from 2K!) Open Task Manager, kill Firefox, reload and it's fine until the next time. I've been locked up a few times as well, but I've never experienced a spontaneous shutdown. I used to leave Firefox open forever because my call dispatch and corporate email are both web apps. Now I kill Firefox before I suspend the laptop. I've also noticed that if I reboot daily, I don't have nearly as many problems. Edit: I still use FF almost exclusively. The only reason I fire up IE is to update.

jpp
jpp

When Firefox released its first stable rendition I started using it and fell in love with it. Mostly because of the tabs, but also because it could be configured in ways IE could not. But there were always problems that would crop up - freezing the computer, complete crashes, slow ssssllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwww loading - and, yes, it is a pig. It'll eat up processor cycles and RAM like they were peanuts. I went back to IE, tried Avant Browser and Maxthon (both of which use the IE browsing engine). Periodically, I'll re-try Firefox, get a little attached to it, then get frustrated that - for all the builds and releases it's been through - no one has cured its fundamental problems. So, back to IE. There is no doubt in my mind that IE7 is far and away better than Firefox, even though IE7 is not perfect. IE7 is also free - if you happen to own one of microstuff's OS's. When some of Firefox's developers find a way to fix its piggy nature, then - and only then - will I make the jump to Firefox again.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

you are not of a brain. At least not enough of one to disable your Caps Lock key.

jdclyde
jdclyde

the first thing I do in the morning is tell my system to reboot, and then I go get my coffee. Regardless of FF, any windows system runs better on a fresh boot. I have seen the same thing you have. I no longer average 15 open tabs.... I still use FF exclusively. The security of FF over IE will keep me from going back. I would move to something else before going back to IE. At work, I used to have to WASTE about 70% of my time just cleaning infections of virus and malware. Changed to FF and it is about 5% of my time now. Well worth a little slow down.

robo_dev
robo_dev

IE has a big advantage in that half of it's code is part of the OS (home field advantage). With a couple of simple tweaks, FF will load pages much faster for broadband users: 1.Type ?about:config? into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries: network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading. 2. Alter the entries as follows: Set ?network.http.pipelining? to ?true? Set ?network.http.proxy.pipelining? to ?true? Set ?network.http.pipelining.maxrequests? to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once. NOTE: Double click on the entries to toggle false to true 3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it ?nglayout.initialpaint.delay? and set its value to ?0″. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. If you?re using a broadband connection you?ll load pages MUCH faster now.

DanLM
DanLM

I was fed up with FireFox also, and downloaded this. I like it a lot better. But, my major complaint with FireFox was its unstableness(crashed at least once a day for me). FireFox 3 I think has only crashed once sense I started using it. Dan

TheChas
TheChas

Boy, I must be doing something wrong on all of my systems. Firefox is more stable and loads faster than IE. With the exception of Microsoft pages. The only problem I have ever had with Firefox is the few sites that are built around IE only "features". I would have to say that IE 7 crashes for me at least twice as often as Firefox. If you are looking for a very compact browser, you might want to try K-Meleon. Chas

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

having problems with tabs in Firefox freezing things up. Too bad, that browsing with tabs bit is highly useful. But I'm not interested in putting IE7 on my XP machine just for tabs. There is a lot I don't like about IE7.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

He's a fanboy. He's not required to have a brain.

danruth3
danruth3

I agree with you that Firefox is more stable and faster in my experience. In all fairness I have seen the memory leak issue in Firefox, but restarting the browser (while not always convenient) typically clears that up. As far as crashing goes, I think everything crashes once in a while. You might find the "IE Tab" add-on for Firefox helpful for those pesky sites that were designed for IE. I personally don't like to switch between browsers to view a site, but this convenient add-on will render a page as it would for IE in just the click of a button without having to leave Firefox.

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