I Hate Firefox!

Yes, I really do (yes, I’m talking about the web browser, not the movie). And yet I use it every day. There are things that I like about Firefox – plugins like Aardvark, Firebug and Web developer, for example – but as a whole, I think it’s a lousy web browser.

Take its text rendering, for example. Since the primary purpose of a web browser is to get text on the screen, you’d think they’d have that right. But no, apparently version 2.0 is still too early to expect decent text rendering. Compare these two snaps:

Firefox Safari
Code in Firefox Code in Safari

How has Firefox managed to screw up the fixed-pitch text so badly? It’s just plain illegible! I have absolutely know idea, but however they really should have fixed this kind of thing before version 1.0 – not left it in at 2.0. How about italic text. Maybe they could get that right:

Firefox Safari
Italic text in Firefox Italic text in Safari
Selected italic text in Firefox Selected italic text in Safari

Once again, Safari has rendered it beautifully, but Firefox looks like it’s using a synthetic oblique style, the way System 6 used to when you didn’t have an italic version of the font available – it’s most noticeable in the capital S. And then when you select the text, some of the last italic letter gets cut off. Come on, this is pretty basic stuff, guys!

On the topic of selection, Firefox won’t use Mac conventions in handling double-click and drag. It’s supposed to select whole words, but Firefox selects just one whole word. The same goes for triple-click and drag for lines. (Yes, I know Safari’s selection behaviour isn’t quite standard, and there’s no excuse for that, either.) And speaking of things being non-standard, why can’t Firefox use standard OS widgets? For example, the drop-down menus from items on the bookmark bar don’t respond to clicks in the same way as regular menus (items with submenus, in particular). The controls on forms just look like horrible Windows wannabes:

Firefox Safari
Forms in Firefox Forms in Safari

Safari is more usable, too. In Firefox’s bookmarks window, why can’t I drag object from the tree view in the left-hand pane? Why can’t I rename or edit a link in-place, rather than clicking the Properties or Rename button? Speaking of which, why are there two buttons, when both of them bring up exactly the same sheet, with exactly the same text field selected? And on the topic of bookmarks, when I try to drag the URL to the bookmarks bar, Firefox puts a tooltip in the way to thwart my efforts:

Evil tooltip in Firefox

When you have lots of tabs on the same site, Safari cuts off any common prefix it can find in the titles, so you have more chance of knowing which is which:

Firefox Firefox tab bar
Safari Safari tab bar

And on top of this, there are the small things. Like ripping a YouTube video, for example – in Safari, you can easily find it in the activity window, and hold option and double-click. Firefox won’t use the system-wide spelling dictionaries. Firefox takes longer to launch.

So if I hate it, why do I use it? First of all, on Linux and Windows there’s no meaningful competition. On the Mac, Safari has three flaws that are too bad to live with: it can’t deal with table cells spanning multiple rows in XHTML (although it can in regular HTML – this mystifies me), it doesn’t deal with character entities correctly in XHTML and it gives you the spinning pinwheel of death far too often.

This entry was posted on Sunday, 19 August, 2007 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Internet, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 responses to “I Hate Firefox!”

carl says:

Firefox is a movie?

vastheman says:

Yes, it’s a typical cold war movie from 1982 involving Clint Eastwood stealing the ultimate military jet (with a thought-controlled weapons system no less!) from Soviet Russia. It feels like watching a WWII propaganda film – the Soviet officers are portrayed as being pure evil, and Eastwood is the all-American hero, infiltrating their ranks, killing a few soldiers and making off with the secret technology. http://imdb.com/title/tt0083943/

ritesh_w says:

So happy to know that people hate fire fox. :)))))) I TOOOOO 😀
Firefox lovers please kindly read:
1. http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=firefox+sucks&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
2. http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=i+hate+firefox&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
Long live opera, I also like IE a little bit. BUT I HATE FIREFOX…. 😀

Joshua Issac says:

I don’t like Firefox too much either, because of the ‘loyal’ Firefox fans going on about Internet Explorer’s bugs and vulnerabilities and how it is the worst browser ever and should be blocked. I would have switched to Firefox several months ago but the cries of the Firefox fans and their obsessions (yeah, [ http://www.mouserunner.com/Mozilla_and_Firefox_Games.html ], [ http://skiphappens.com/archives/000151.html {God chooses Firefox}] and stupid campaigns like ‘Firefox: Take the sidewalk back’) put me off an extinguished permanently any chance of me switching to Firefox (as my primary browser) and me recommending it to anyone. It’s ironic that I’m using Firefox at this very moment [20:42, Tuesday 06 May 2008] but Internet Explorer remains my favourite browser, even after the interface cannibalisation in IE7.

vastheman says:

Oh man, that’s just disturbing. I didn’t know people took browser obsession to that level. Those Firefox games are an embarrassment to humanity they’re so bad. And I thought Linux nerds had problems!

debra says:

Firefox?? um..mine is falling apart..ever since i downloaded the newer version…what happened to the back and forward buttons? i don’t know? then i added them ..and then they were gone again and i can’t add them..now my navigator bar/browser is gone..WTH? HATE IT! unfortunately when i click on a link from my email it uses Firefox..sigh.. hate it..and Opera…well..it just makes me type in my email and password all over again even when i click “remember” are there any other one’s besides Safari?

fornetti says:

I do not believe this

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