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Open Letter To Mozilla – Please Stop Chasing The Version Rainbow and Fix Your Firefox Web Browser

Firefox

I used toadorethe Firefox web browser. Now all I seem to do is spend time moaning when it hangs for seconds at a time, moves like treacle or worse just crashes on me. Do a search for Firefox sucks and you’ll get back 8,340,000 results, which is incredible for a product that just a few years ago was phenomenally stable and popular.

What happened guys? How could you let a poster child of the open source movement become a Windows 95 clone? Sure, I hear you when you say it’s my plugins, but Chrome runs addons without this problem, so why can’t you? The fact is that Firefox is losing market share month on month to the alternative browsers and a lot of the reason is that people are getting fed up with the unreliability of your product, it’s lack of speed and general naffness.

It seems to my uneducated eye that a lot of this started when the Firefox team started chasing some imaginary upgrade unicorn that said the browser had to be upgraded as fast as possible, no matter that there were bugs which were not fixed in the old version. This upgrade for upgrades’ sake is one of the most unbelievably stupid ideas since the dawn of software development. Again I’m not the only one noticing and complaining.

The fact is the user doesn’t care which version they’re on, as long as the darn thing works. Period. From here it looks as though Mozilla have a bee in their bonnet called Chrome, and they’re focusing on a battle that doesn’t need to be fought. It reminds me very much of the early battles between companies like WordPerfect and Lotus123, which decided to take on Microsoft instead of focusing on their core strengths, and more importantly their users, and as a resultconducted a sort ofdrawn out, painful form of business suicide.

Do me a favour Mozilla, don’t so the same thing, eh? Those of us who have steadfastly remained loyal are finding our patience stretched to breaking point. In fact if it wasn’t for the standout addons like Scrapbook and TabMix Plus, I probably would have gone a while back. But I keep hoping against hope that someone inside Mozilla will wake up, smell the coffee, andrestore the browser we all loved back in the day. Surely it can’t be that hard?

Firefoxcrashed

[Credit]

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • I couldn't agree more. Firefox used to totally dominate and was a refreshing change from IE with innovative features such as tabbed browsing and a wonderful ecosystem of add-ons. Firefox is still my browser of choice; however, with increasing performance and stability issues (such as the dreaded memory leak problem), I find myself turning to Chrome more these days. For example, with multiple tabs open for an extended period of time, I see huge spikes in cpu utilization (up to 30+%) and memory usage in the 1.3GB+ range. (see http://www.bhall.com/2011/11/beginning-of-end-for… for more details). Hopefully the Mozilla team gets their act together and saves Firefox, because, right now, it's in a downward death spiral.

  • Winski

    FireFox has turned into one of the WORST browsers -EVER. I've used Firefox for years, and COMPLETLY abandoned it about 3 months ago because it crashed 10-15 times a day.. UNUSABLE.

    Fix it or yor're done.

  • Disappointed User

    I totally agree with this article. I love Firefox and have always been a staunch supporter, but ever since version 5 and above Firefox freezes and/or crashes constantly. I would like to continue using Firefox, however, I simply won't be able to if these issues aren't fixed soon.

    Firefox what happened? :(

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