While I’m writing, I figured I’d extoll the glories of the Mozilla project’s Firefox web browser. I use it exclusively at home, and nearly so at work – the time sheet system requires IE.
Now, as anti-Microsoft as I am, I wouldn’t be writing about Firefox in this manner if it was merely an alternative. I’m writing this (and using it) because I’ve really found it to be a superior product. Here are some of the mighty strengths:
1. Tabbed browsing – allows you to have multiple pages open in the same window, on seperate tabs. May not sound like a vast improvement over multiple windows, but a) when you get used to it, you can’t live without it, because b) it makes keeping related pages together a snap, among other things.
2. Excellent pop-up blocking – easier to manage than IE’s new joint, I feel.
3. The powerful support of open-source software. Whether the security vulnerabilities are fewer because of a smaller user base or not, when problems do arise they’re tackled quickly – big or small. That’s because rather than a profit-driven firm trying to convey an image of reliability, we have a group around the world dedicated to creating/maintaining/using software that actually works well.
4. Extensions – wow, I just discovered this recently, and it has the potential to be extraordinarily powerful. Here’s an example: I installed an extension called Adblock, only 70k in size. This allows me to block on the page advertisements, be they from Google or otherwise. This is pretty serious, because it allows me to see many of my favorite pages without flashing, bandwidth eating advertisements.
I know several friends who have already switched, and I know Valerie pretty much uses it all the time on our home computer without any complaints or difficulty switching.
I figure the more people that try to spread the news about Firefox, the bigger dent we can make in the boys of Redmond. And once one piece of open-source software starts to make an impact, more people will be accepting of others that come after, like the exciting Open Office project. Check it out, you won’t regret it.