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Thoughts on Firefox

Posted Sep 22, 2004 in Browsers.

Now that I've had time to get used to the Preview Release of Firefox 1.0, I have changed what I think about the browser, and about how I think it should develop in the future.

By any measure, Firefox is a great web browser. It is now fast, stable, and intuitive. I think it is cool that something that is obviously supposed to be a no-frills browser, can still give a rich, user-friendly browsing experience. Because of this, I feel that what I said about the loss of the stylesheet switcher was probably wrong.

Firefox must be a pure browser. Stylesheet switchers, feed readers, and other such things should be extensions, rather than part of the main release. I think that the Firefox development team should have a browser that only does what the browser is meant to do - be the best browser in the world. Besides that, they should have a number of “official” extensions available that, when taken together, provide the full featureset of the Mozilla Navigator in a Firefox-friendly way. The stylesheet switcher should be one of those (and it worked just fine before!) extensions, along with the feed reader. The rest of the extensions can remain as third-party extensions - most of which are geeky add-ons that won't be taken up by the mainstream.

One more thing. The default theme is still awful. In trying to fit in with various operating system themes, it has managed to work with none of them.

Comments

  1. Gravatar

    You know the style switcher was enabled again, do you?

    Posted by Anne on Sep 22, 2004.

  2. Gravatar

    I noticed that it made it into the View menu, but I really liked that convenient little icon which said "play with me."

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Sep 22, 2004.

  3. Gravatar

    I completely agree Simon. They need to make the browser as fast as possible and as easy to use as possible. Like I commented on your original post, I think the RSS button needs to be completely removed and made an extension (or disabled by default).

    As far as themes go, I found http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/8556668/

    It's not the most gorgeous theme but it's a little cleaner.

    Posted by Stephan Segraves on Sep 22, 2004.

  4. Gravatar

    I seem to remember something about the CSS 2.1 spec requiring a browser to allow the user to turn off stylesheets and switch to alternate ones (if given)....but I could be wrong, since I haven't read the specs in a few months.

    Posted by Devon on Sep 22, 2004.

  5. Gravatar

    Devon, I think this might be what you're thinking of:

    http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/present/styles.html#h-14.3.1

    Posted by Ethan on Sep 28, 2004.