Monday, December 03, 2007

Firefox 2.0.11.12.13.14... still a shit-show.

The well-heeled open-sourcerers over at the Firefox Corporation have been releasing ultra-minor updates at a furious pace lately. Just days on the heels of 2.0.10, they shot me 2.0.11. And just minutes after that, my MacBook CPU spiked to >=100%, fans whirring, on a total of 8 open tabs, none of them exotic, in a single window. And the icing on this particular turd-cake: I use a Flash blocker because Adobe can't clean up Macromedia's code enough for it to run properly on a Mac. Yes, I click every single little Flash animation that I actually want to see, and yes, it's a pain, but it generally saves me from force-quitting my browser. So if Firefox blows so hard lately, why do I still use it as my primary browser? One word: Firebug. It's still the best JavaScript developer's tool anywhere... possibly the best client-side web developer's tool, period. The fact that a lot of the dumber webmasters of the universe still don't support Safari is a growing annoyance now that I'm one of the many people browsing via iPhone. Using Firefox as my primary browser was generally a safer bet. And yet, lately, with every expectation that 2.0.12 and 2.0.13 will be buggy as well, But is it buggy enough to make me give up my Firebug? It might be, at least for everyday browsing. I finally got around to AppleScripting command-number shortcuts for tab selection in Safari (a thing Apple, for some reason, doesn't get), so it's really just an acclimation question. Besides, Firefox renders fonts in Ugly-Sans no matter what you do. PS, why am I being so hard on the poor Firefox crew? Because when you make 74 million bucks a year and you're the number-one browser for even semi-clueful people around the world, you can afford to spend on engineering and QA. And you have, frankly, having built that lucrative business on the goodwill and technical help of your users, an obligation to not screw it up.

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