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Apology Issued To Mozilla

For those who read my post in your RSS reader, and then came to my blog in hopes to comment, you will notice the post removed. For those of you who are frequent readers of my blog, and have been reading for a while, you have probably noticed that I do this on occasion. Here's my problem: I'm extremely passionate about technology and various products, and as such, I tend to act without thinking. I certainly have no intention of spreading FUD, especially via the Ubuntu Planet. This is an ongoing lesson that I keep learning over and over, and yet I don't seem to get the hint. Thus, the reason for this, and other posts.

Mozilla- I apologize for rushing to conclusions before making an intellectual and educated decision about the post regarding blocking bugs in the browser. I should have followed up on more research, formulating a more educated decision before posting. I have no excuse, other than my lazy nature to argue while building on a sandy foundation. Even though I may not agree with how the development of Firefox, or Gecko, is progressing, I was out of line with that post. Please accept my apology.

I do hope, however, that you take a closer look at the code, maybe even with the stringent attitude that the OpenBSD team has towards its OpenBSD operating system, and stabilize the browser. My experience has been that Firefox has been unreliable since version 1.5, progressively getting worse. While the delay of Firefox 3 may be improving the code base, I worry that the browser is getting bloated and unstable. Please take these criticisms seriously, as they are coming from a fan who loves the product, but is looking at either running Konqueror or Epiphany on my Ubuntu machine as a replacement. I would love to see Firefox completely displace Internet Explorer in the market, but at this point, I'm beginning to have my doubts.


{ 7 } Comments

  1. Asa Dotzler | February 1, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Hey Aaron, thanks for the updated story here. We're very hard at work making Firefox 3 not only the best Firefox yet, but the best browser on the planet. While I'm obviously a partisan, I think we're already there with the latest builds and will be well ahead of the pack in terms of stability, memory usage, performance, and usability by the time we ship (two more betas to go, the next one just about a week away).

    If you want to get a taste of how things are progressing, I suggest grabbing the latest snapshot or compiling from a recent (yesterday or newer) source pull/drop. It really is kicking much ass -- going back to previous versions feels like trying to type with mittens on.

    In the end, the proof is in the pudding and I hope it'll be obvious by the shipping Firefox 3 that we've put more effort into all the right places and done more work to take care of the most neglected areas. We're already over two years of dedicated development making this release and I think we've covered all of the areas where we received feedback requesting/demanding improvement.

    Thanks again for updating the post.

    - A

  2. Aitortxu | February 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    For me (OSX-Intel) Firefox 3 (as of Beta2 and with "Proto" Theme) is *the* *best* *Firefox* *yet*; really fast and with a decent memory footprint.

    Keep up the good work and keep improving Firefox.


  3. Maxo | February 1, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see you take responsibility for the first post. I think most of us the interwebs have a bad tendency of reading one story and just running with it.
    On FF3, being subscribed to Planet Mozilla I see the developers actively pursuing bloat and memory management with top priority. My personal experience with FF3b3 has been very positive and I think will be in fixing some long standing problems that have been going on since 1.5, as you pointed out.
    The usability UI improvements, better memory management, and better integration with GTK+ in Linux is really making FF3 something to be very excited about.

  4. Ante Karamatic | February 1, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    While FFX has some improvments in third version, I agree with Aaron. For example, new location bar is almost unusable, on Linux at least (it steals focus - Ctrl+L is unusable if mouse is bellow the location bar). This is why I gave up on FFX3betas.

    Aaron, Midori shows some ambition. It uses webkit rendering engine and is very good and stable for such a young product.

    I wish all the best to the Mozilla team. True, sometimes I hate them cause Linux users were the people that did promotion of their product and now we are on the back seat of the car. But, most of the time, they are on the right track 🙂

  5. tacone | February 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I really think that you are absolutely right. Firefox on a small computer (512mb - not so small if you think about it) it's a bloat and really makes your life harder.
    Even after buying a new computer at home, I experience this at home, and all my colleagues agree fully.
    Here we are, they say they will fix many memory leaks for 3.0, but they said the very same for 2.0. Despite that, we notice a big degrade from 1.5 to 2.0.

    Shipping early won't hurt so much, since they have an internet automated upgrade in place, but they really should sit down and fix the bugs, even if it means reorganize the code.

    While I understand the reasons of your apologies, you're right, so right. If it was for their nice plugin architecture and the strong plugin community (i.e. firebug), I'd already have switched.

    Cheers, Stefano

  6. xabbott | February 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    While I appreciate this post, I still don't understand many of the criticisms. You mention stability and bloat but not anything specific. These vague words that can be applied to many big projects.

    If you are going to "worry" about it getting bloated and unstable. Run FF3 and give some solid feedback.

  7. Dirk Gently | February 3, 2008 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I think comments about Firefox 2 memory leaks are pretty well known and got worse with subsequent updates. I still use firefox (well, Epiphany mostly now) and its a great browser. Not sure what happened in the development cycle in 2.0* but I am really excited to try 3.0 soon.

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