Firefox Rocks

“Brad”: asked me the other day what browser do I use. Got me thingking quite a bit.
I actually like “Maxthon”: an awful lot mainly because it is built on Internet Explorer, so it is very compatible (even Microsoft pages like hotmail, outlook web access) render correctly with it. I’ve had to drop the latest release though because it is buggy. It will often times not exit and then won’t restart. Also about everyone other time, it boots and then runs at 100% CPU utilization spinning along. So it would be Maxthon except the current build 1.1.039 seems to have some terrible bugs.
If i were to choose right now, I’d pick “Firefox”: as my current choice. Its got most of the features of Maxthon and “Opera”:, but its got one huge benefit. Because its an open platform there are all kinds of amazing Extensions.
The 1.0PR release seems very stable and most importantly, very fast.
Here are some of the ones that I love:
* Sage. Wow, this is a very cool blog/Rss reader. Kind of like Bloglines, but because it loads in a sidebar way better. Also, it discovers RSS feeds automatically and it has a really nice layout for looking at lots of RSS entries quickly.
* Lookahead. This is hard to setup and needs a google api key, but basically when you use it, if you do a search, it opens up the top 5 hits in separate tabs, so you can quickly get to them.
* Google Images. A very nice idea, takes the google results and sticks a mini image of the actual web page on the google results page. I’m amazsed at how I can just glance and tell if I’m in the right place.
* Foxytunes. This thing controls installed media players with a set of little icons at the bottom of every window, so you don’t need a separate control application.
* Mouse Gestures. A very cool package that lets you hold the right mouse down and scribble. So that a move to the right holding the right mouse button automatically gives you forward. A great power user feature.
* Tabs. Part of the build in system, the main issue is that unlike Opera, the grouping of tabs doesn’t work super well. I love Opera for this, you have a whole set of web pages open for a say a project studying VOIP, then put all those pages away as a group and go to a page studying the ecommerce market for ebay sellers. I’m amazed at how much time that saves. You can sort of do this with Firefox with the Add to Favorites and save a bunch of tabs, but every save doesn’t update a group, it just creates a new one. Not convenient.
Overall, this shows just how much innovation there is left in the new “core” applications that are personal productivity for most users.

2 responses to “Firefox Rocks”

  1. heather Avatar

    So Rich, when you say, “I actually like Maxthon an awful lot mainly because it is built on Internet Explorer, so it is very compatible (even Microsoft pages like hotmail, outlook web access) render correctly with it.” What you really mean is that Maxthon is NOT a standards compliant browser, just like IE?? πŸ™‚ DOWN WITH NON-STANDARDS COMPLIANT BROWSERS!!!!

  2. a little ludwig goes a long way Avatar

    Like Rich, I am pretty enamored of Firefox right now. The community of addon developers, the ease of installing addons, tabbed browsing — great stuff. It is interesting that browser innovation has been so slow over the last 3-4 years….

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