First of all, if you’re some kind of Firefox fanboy of either or any gender, where were you when Mozilla was at a similar stage of development? Why weren’t you using it then? Why are you pretending that history never happened?

Why are you acting like Moz isn’t at version 1.7, while your little baby is merely a little baby at 1.0 “preview” level?

Why do you think your piddling little arriviste browser, which does nothing but browse, is really better than a mature product that browses, slices, and dices? Why, exactly? Because Moz takes up more disc space and RAM? Disc space is inconsequential, and at this moment, under OS X, Moz and its many windows and tabs use 6% of my system resources and 12.9% of my RAM. I have a gig of RAM; double that usage wouldn’t matter. If you want a system hog, look at Microsoft Word.

Mozilla has simply been thought out and tested more. It is, in short, better.

  1. Moz handles multiple logins (as at Gmail) with no problem. It drops down a sheet and lists the most-recently-used ID at top. It fills in the userID and password and I can simply tab and press Return to log in. The Firefox dialogue box that handles the initial choice to save or ignore login details is primitive (it looks like a bad Soviet clone), and I can’t use the keyboard. Apparently the only way to select a login if you have multiple userIDs is to begin typing one, down-arrow onto its autocompletion, and watch as Firefox then finally fills in your password.
  2. I haven’t maxed out tabs in a single window in Moz, but I’ve done it lots of times in Firefox, which, incidentally, doesn’t even bother to tell you there are tabs to the right of the last one visible. (Moz just piles them up until they become illegible; that’s less bad, but it’s sub-optimal; we need stacks of tabs or at least Safari’s » indicator.)
  3. I can use Command-I to find information about a document, like the URL of a popup window. You may have wondered how I can directly link you to such documents; it’s a piece of cake.
  4. I can File Bookmarks easily. I only ever skip the step in the case of a bookmark I expect to locate solely by searching. Every other bookmark I categorize and sort into a folder. There’s no reason not to.
  5. I can Google from the address field. Why should I have to select another field? I get this wrong every time in Firefox (and Safari).
  6. link elements are supported. As I am one of the few authors to use them, I’m hardly keen on using a browser that ignores them completely.
  7. The downloads window lets me launch the resulting file easier than in Firefox.
  8. Firefox for Macintosh ignores 20-year-old Macintosh conventions regarding up- and down-arrow keys in text fields (to move to the beginning and end, respectively). It also ignores Home and End. In short, you’re stuck doing a lot of backspacing.
  9. I can select any style defined in a document. Firefox users cannot.
  10. Mozilla is a marginally-less-absurd name than Firefox.
  11. Mozilla accessibility compliance is noticeably better than Firefox’s, though still not great. Among many other things, if you really need to read a long description, you can (right-click on the image).

Futher, I resent the fact that useful plug-ins are now developed exclusively for Firefox instead of being written for both the parent and the child of the Mozilla Project. Quit pretending that whatever came before your preferred program has simply ceased to exist – and has ceased to be used.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.10.13 20:42. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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