Sunday, February 05, 2006

First Impressions of Firefox

After about a year of never being completely happy with Safari, I decided to give Mozilla Firefox a shot. I'm a relatively new Mac user, having purchased an iBook about a year ago. That wasn't my first Mac, but pretty close.

I tried to use the software that came on it as much as possible in order to save money and also to make things less complex. I wanted to spend more time actually using the computer to do some writing rather than playing around with new software all the time. Besides having to install Microsoft Office (sorry, I'm used to using Word), I've used almost exclusively what came with the computer. That includes Safari.

To be honest, Safari isn't a bad browser. It's been fairly reliable once I worked out some of the kinks with the wireless network. The problem is that it is pretty basic. It doesn't seem to have a whole lot of features.

I don't require a ton of bells and whistles in the software that I use most often, though. In fact, I prefer a more utilitarian approach, like Gmail, for instance. The lack of features in Safari isn't that bad. It just makes it boring. Also, there are pages out there that just won't work well with Safari. So after all this time of using Safari, I went ahead and downloaded Firefox.

My first impression of the browser is that it has a much more polished feel to it than Safari. It's obvious that a great deal of work has gone into creating it. It does feel a bit snappier than Safari, as claimed by the creators. I don't know if this is just a feeling or if it actually is measurably quicker. Regardless, it has a pleasingly responsive interface and is nice looking without having any nasty surprises. By nasty surprises, I mean anything that you would expect to be there, but discover to be missing.

For the most part, it's very simple and intuitive. It did take me a little while to figure out the RSS feeds, though. It turns out that all you have to do is click on the little Livefeed icon in the right hand corner of the location or address bar at the top of the window. Once you do that, the bookmark window comes up and you can place the bookmark on a link bar that appears below the location bar. When you click on the new bookmark, a list drops down showing recent posts. Pretty cool, huh?

I'm sure there are plenty of other features, like being able to use plug-ins and extensions, that make Firefox worth checking out, but the Livefeeds, tabbed browsing and active development of the software (unlike Safari, which almost seems like an afterthought) have sold me. I plan on using Firefox as my default browser for now, at least until something better comes along!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*shrug

2/05/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Leigh said...

I use Safari, though I do have Firefox. I haven't had any particular issues with Safari, but perhaps I ought to Firefox more of a workout...

And anonymous shrug if he'she wants, but if he'she really didn't care, he'she would have commented at all...

2/08/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Thanks, Steve. I'm using Firefox all the time now and I've been generally pleased with it. I did have a strange thing happen with it the other day, though. For some reason, none of the textboxes in open tabs would allow me to type into them. I had to restart Firefox to get things working right again. Strange.

2/09/2006 06:03:00 AM  

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