I hate Firefox...again

Wednesday 22nd February, 2006
Currently 20mins into a web conference with a supplier who begged 'please don't mention my name'.

The conference hasn't actually started yet because he's one of these people that thinks Firefox is great. Naturally, the conference website doesn't work with his browser properly and he had to start again with IE but even then, as Firefox was default browser, the plugins don't work.

So I've wasted nearly half an hour now, just because Firefox has limited support on the net. Why must people use these things???

  1. 1) Stuart McIntyre Said: (22/02/2006 13:49:11 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Hmm where shall we start...








    etc. etc. etc. For a bright guy Ben, you do ask some odd questions!

  2. 2) Ben Rose Said: (22/02/2006 14:03:29 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Security - Firefox has also been prone to security issues, check Bugtraq. In this respect MSIE is more of a target.

    Tabs - Available in IE (with Avant Browser bolt-on) long before Firefox was conceived. Also, the tab implementation in AB is far better.

    Extensibility - Also available in IE. Avant Browser and Google Toolbar are examples of this.

    Cross-platform - You can only use one OS at a time.

    Speed - I've didn't notice any significant performance benefits when I tested Firefox. In fact it was slower in many cases. Maybe it performs better on slower hardware or something. The only speed advantage comes from Ad blocking, also available in Avant Browser and other 3rd party tools for IE. Firefox is particularly slow when you have to close it and open IE to make a website work.

    Non-ActiveX - And I care because? Oh yeah, many of my websites depend on activex. The web designers fault I know, but as long as I need it, I need a browser that support it.

    Reliability - Never ever ever had any reliability issues with IE. I use IE with an uptime of weeks without a reboot. I don't that some people have crashes in IE, but I don't believe it's an IE problem directly...more an issue with their OS install that is displaying in IE.

    On a good OS install, IE is rock solid and I see no reason for Firefox at all.

  3. 3) Colman Carpenter Said: (22/02/2006 14:28:54 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Maybe this is the best solution ? { Link }

    But to me the real issue is not that this guy is using Firefox, but that the site in question doesn't support it. Have a rant at them, not the people who make a valid choice to use an alternative browser. Anyway, what if the guy had made a (perfectly valid) choice to run Linux or Mac OS X ?

    Go on, tell us which plugins were causing the issue. If it's ActiveX then serves you right for using a website that requires it :)


    P.S. Firefox wins the extensibility argument hands down ;)

  4. 4) Ben Rose Said: (22/02/2006 14:40:09 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    So let me get this right. The best solution is to download an unsupported 3rd party browser and then add on a 3rd party plug-in. Neither of which comply with our IT security policy. Is this really a solution? No.

    The site in question was WebEx, probably the leading web conferencing site. I use it because it works better than all the others I've tried (sametime/MS Live).

    No idea why it wouldn't work in Firefox and I don't care, not my problem...just my wasted time. It still wouldn't work when he switched to IE as the plugin kept trying to spawn in his default Firefox browser.

    Amusingly the guy switched to his Mac and it worked first time...Safari browser. Again, the OS default. Good job he didn't have Firefox on there too.

    Your friend in the article you linked is spot on. I'll switch browser if and when it will do what the old one does. Until then, it's no use to me whatsoever.

    It's like Linux...great in principle but useless in practice for many functions. In my case it won't play games and won't run my browser of choice.

    No doubt it's my the fault of all my games, they should have supported Linux the moment it was release..sigh.

  5. 5) Colman Carpenter Said: (22/02/2006 14:56:03 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    No-one's asking you to download Firefox, and having had a look at the Webex site, Firefox is not on the list of supported browsers in Windows, so your supplier should have checked that first.

    I still think you're off target in having a go at Firefox, though. Why blame it when your supplier was using an unsupported setup ? Blame Webex for not supporting it, or your supplier for not having an alternative solution (even I do that). Anyway, it's not difficult to change your default browser.

    As for my friend, have a look in the mirror mate ;) Remember, though, that the attraction to many people is that Firefox does many things that vanilla IE doesn't. And it there really much difference between you wrappling AvantBrowser around IE, and me wrapping Firefox around it ?


  6. 6) Ben Rose Said: (22/02/2006 15:32:48 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    The fact is that firefox doesn't do everything a browser needs to on a daily basis. If Firefox wants to compete it's needs to do everything IE does and then improve on it.

    The fact is that most users don't use Firefox and most websites don't support it, although many work with it. Firefox users regularly have to close their browser and re-open the site in IE to work with certain websites. This is counter-productive.

    I know Firefox has attractive functionality to some people, but if the core needs are missing then it's just not good enough.

    is "there really much difference between you wrappling AvantBrowser around IE, and me wrapping Firefox around it ?


    Yes...you're not wrapping Firefox around IE...you're replacing it. That's why it doesn't work properly.

    The only thing Firefox does better is open Blogsphere websites...but don't get me started on that.

  7. 7) Colman Carpenter Said: (22/02/2006 15:47:23 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    When I said 'wrapping Firefox around IE' I was referring to the IE Tab extension that allows a Firefox user to open a website in IE within a Firefox tab. In that sense there is not much difference between using Firefox with IE and using AvantBrowser with IE.

    I'm intrigued about your 'firefox doesn't do everything a browser needs to on a daily basis' statement. Can you elaborate on what IE does that Firefox doesn't, or are you just referring to the less than full support on all websites ?

    BTW, the Blogsphere-hosted sites used standard CSS & HTML, interpreted correctly by Firefox. IE interprets it incorrectly :)


  8. 8) Ben Rose Said: (22/02/2006 15:59:07 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    When I wrap avant browser around IE it works first time. When you wrap IE around firefox it works second time, using a 3rd party plug-in. You also, presumably, lose all the benefits of Firefox so may as well not be using it.

    Firefox doesn't do everything - well, today it's WebEx. Yes, I'm referring to the less than full support on websites. Firefox is like a car running on electric. It works, it works just great but then you realise you can't use it everywhere. In fact, most places won't charge it. So you break down and have to switch to your petrol car.

    I said don't get me started on Blogsphere. Out the box it doesn't work properly in IE...period.

    I guess at the end of the day, I just can't stand things that don't work as they should.

  9. 9) Richard Schwartz Said: (22/02/2006 17:06:05 GMT) Gravatar Image
    re "it’s needs to do everything IE does and then improve on it."

    Sometimes, Ben, improving on it requires not doing it! Sometimes, "it" is the problem.

    Since switching my kids over to Firefox, the spyware problem on their machine has finally been dealt with. The reason: because Firefox doesn't do the things that IE does that let in the intruders. Yes, Firefox has had a few vulnerabilities -- there's no perfectly secure software anywhere, but so far the vulnerabilities in Firefox have been fixed faster than IE's vulnerabilities and they've been exploted a lot less.

    And BTW: there is ActiveX support in Firefox through a plugin, for those who really want it.

  10. 10) Esther Said: (22/02/2006 21:01:57 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again


    The fact is that most users don't use Firefox and most websites don't support it, although many work with it. Firefox users regularly have to close their browser and re-open the site in IE to work with certain websites. This is counter-productive.


    It may be counter-productive, Ben, but if everyone took your path, and just used IE all the time because it's the easiest thing to do, where is the incentive for developers to start writing standards-compliant code? The path of least resistance is not always the way to go.

    And FYI, we use WebEx as our corporate conferencing solution, and it works just fine in Firefox, even though Sametime conferencing doesn't.

  11. 11) Ports Said: (23/02/2006 00:10:19 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Ben - can't you see that the reason IE has improved is because Firefox has reintroduced some competition into the browser market and Microsoft has had to respond. Prior to Firefox IE was in limbo after it defeated Netscape Navigator.

  12. 12) Josef Said: (23/02/2006 15:02:59 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Just FYI: we did some extensive web survey for one of our clients here (that's Czech Republic, Europe) and Firefow was just above 20% in those rougly 20 000 responses. So there definitely must be something that attracts people...

    And these were not the general geek crowd, this was a bank service survey aimed at general public.

    But anyway - variety makes the web a helthier place, when hackers can't count on everyone having the same standard IE6.

    Web developers really should make sure their web pages (and their web applications) work with at least the two major browsers (that's IE and FF) and even better if they work with Opera and Safari.

    On a sidenote: maybe something other was broken on that problematic PC.

  13. 13) Colman Carpenter Said: (06/03/2006 15:13:55 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    @8 - "I guess at the end of the day, I just can't stand things that don't work as they should."

    So does that apply to IE, seeing as though you have to use AvantBrowser to improve its functionality to a point comparable to Firefox ?

    Oh, and by the way, wrapping Firefox around IE (NOT the other way around) means you get to keep all the good bits of Firefox whilst catering for those websites that aren't using standard HTML, CSS, etc.

    P.S. Sorry for the delay...catching up on lots of things at the mo' :)

  14. 14) Zohaib Said: (08/03/2006 10:51:11 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    I absolutely agree that firefox is the thing to HATE.

  15. 15) Keith Milner Said: (10/03/2006 23:52:39 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    Sorry Ben, but I have to agree with some of the other, you're pointing your rant in the wrong direction.

    My house is generally a Microsoft Browser free zone, and I get on day-to-day without any problems. hell, I've eve come across sites which work fine in Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Konqueror, but which break in IE.

    I can sort of see your argument about sticking with Windows (although Mac is a fine option, and Linux is better than most think. I know applications where Linux is a lot easier to deal with than Windows or Mac), but browsers are probably the premier example of something which should work to standards, and IE doesn't

    If a website doesn't work with Firefox then, utimately it's because IE is shit, but people still cling to it (and dev tools like Frontpage) because they are ignorant or blinkered to switch to something else.

    (I reckon 70-80% of people I speak to about this don't even know there is an alternative. Those who switch to Firefox are almost always very grateful).

    Also bear in mind that if people had taken your attitude 6 years ago, IE wouldn't exist and we would all be using Netscape. I vividly remember all the complaints about sites which didn't work properly with IE when it had less than 20% of the market.

    If 1 in 5 people are now using Firefox then it must have something going for it.


  16. 16) harkpabst_meliantrop Said: (21/04/2006 22:52:12 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I don’t hate Firefox...still

    Hehe, not only my kids, even my father is using Firefox since quite some time now, and he's 68. Does everything he needs.

    The idea, that a web site had to "support" a browser is plain sick (although not to uncommon). Web sites should obey standards, and that's it. And no, IE is not a standard, by very definition.

  17. 17) George Said: (22/04/2006 12:30:49 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Firefox has had it’s 5 minutes of fame.

    It's time is up - I'm glad that people liked it and it was nice for all of you with other Os's, but let's face it..

    Mac's are now using Intel processors, Macs are now running windows and IE and as for IE iteself, especially due to the recent patent copyright case against them re:embedding of controls; they're going to either become:

    a) more compliant to W3c standards,


    b) Completely ignore them.

    Eitherway Firefox will be obsolete (if you really can't see the wood for the trees on this - read till the end).

    The claims firefox makes about extensibility etc are true - and that's good, but is more for enthusiasts.

    I work with flash media, and website video streaming, chat forums, etc.

    I hate to say it, but my clients don't care about compliance.. your average school, parent, joe bloggs, or teenager looking for online education, entertainment, etc, don't care about compliance, or extensibility -

    they care about a rich and transparrent media experience - Firefox is not down with this -it's for enthusiasts - it actually gets in the way of enjoying the web - especially when it doesn't work for sites.

    I'm not taking sides - just making the point. Firefox perfectly understood the ethos of the internet, which gave it the enthusiasm to dig it's own grave by simply not understanding how people use the internet.

    The only issue now is security. Everyone I know, with microsoft's latest offerings, gets less hassle from IE, with microsoft anti-spamware installed than from firefox.

    And for those of you who just read: Stones- beatles, Oasis- Blur, Windows-Linux, Firefox-IE, I'll recap. Get away from the fence and look at the whole neighbourhood.

    W3c compliance is a good and sound practice for genuine technology enthusiasts. Ostricising typical users from interacting with technology the way they want: doesn't rub. No use telling a consumer the site they get in IE isn't totally compliant - "sorry firefox wont work - it's the site's fault"

    Rest in peace firefox - may your ghost be kept warm by the IT shamans star gazing at the edge of the firewall.

  18. 18) thegnome Said: (15/05/2006 22:16:56 GMT) Gravatar Image
    I hate Firefox...again

    i've read all of the above comments and i have to agree that firefox kicks the shit out of internet explorer. speed wise ie cannot compete with firefox at all and the plugins for firefox are extremely good and they work. it doesn't crash either like ie. ok yes it's got some security issues but compared to ie they're nothing.

    get real and see that firefox kicks ie's arse completely.

    oh and i agree, if the website doesn't support firefox or is W3c compliant then the designer should have his arse kicked!


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