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Firefox 4.0 – FAIL

The new Firefox 4.0 rolled out recently. First impressions was that it looked eerily similar. In fact, out of the box, it looked just like my Opera installation. It has the application menu button in the top left, tabs go across from there, with the navigation buttons and address bar contained within the tab.

It was quick, loading most sites that I visit almost as quickly as my Kindle can turn pages. The use of graphics acceleration, even on XP (see Microsoft? It can be done if you really wanted to). I used FF4.0 for roughly 30 minutes.

And then I un-installed Firefox. Three words I thought I’d never utter: I un-installed Firefox.

So what happened? Put simply, Firefox was ignoring settings I had painstakingly  (not really, but I tinkered with the config to get the original effect) set. I use Firefox not only as a browsing tool, but a communication tool. That means not only do I have multiple tabs open, but I often have various windows open. And that’s where Firefox 4.0 failed me.

Often I open these other windows, then close the main one. Later I might come back and open a new window for something. When I open a new instance of Firefox, I expect to get a new window, with the homepage loaded up. That’s what the settings are set to, and I even had gone into the config area to make sure that when it recovers from a crash it doesn’t try to open the same sites I had open at the time of the crash (I had a site that caused a loop because it crashed the browser, and when it re-opened, it would open the faulty site, causing it to crash… well, you can figure out how that went).

To my dismay, I found out that as long as I had those other windows open, when I opened a new browser window, it would RELOAD EVERYTHING I HAD from the previous session. That means if I had 10 tabs open when I closed Firefox… it would re-open ALL 10 of those tabs/sites. Once I discovered this, and rechecking the settings and configuration, and unable to find a reason for this behavior, I decided that this was unacceptable to me and promptly gave Firefox 4.0 my stamp of “FAIL” and un-installed it.

Mind you, this is my experience with it.  It just so happens that it doesn’t fit my needs. Other than it trying to restore my pages when I re-open it, I thought it was quite good. The other down side is that, at least on the surface, it looks just like all the other browsers (except IE) out there. Most of the advances are under the hood with the graphics acceleration, and the support for HTML5 (what the heck is a Bieber?)

It’s good, it’s quick – even on the machine I was using it on, which isn’t exactly top of the line or known to be a speed demon. Again, it just no longer fit my needs. And so Firefox and I parted ways. Unfortunately, IE is now what I use. As unreliable as it can be, it’s predictably unreliable.

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Categories: Technology
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