Why I’m switching back to Firefox … eventually

When Firefox first came out, I immediately jumped all over it. It was so much better than IE, it worked so well, had new features, and Internet Explorer had become stale, old, and, dare I say it, uncool, even for a browser.

Over time, though, I switched back to Internet Explorer. With IE7, everything I liked about Firefox was now in IE as well, and of course the convenience of IE being already installed on a system, and it’s quick speedy startup factored in a bit. The thing that really drove me away from Firefox, though, was the loading time in earlier versions of Firefox 2.

 It took me forever to open the darn program. It just would not open, period. It took ridiculously long, and used a whole lot more memory than IE. These problems have since been fixed, but there has not been a compelling reason to switch back.

Wait, scratch that, the compelling reason to have it co-installed on my machine was Firebug. There is a sort of half-assed version of this on IE, which is nice for general inspecting of items and quick CSS edits, but I really like the Javascript editor and debugger. Really cool.

But, with Firefox 3 beta versions out now, I gave it a shot. It’s neat. It’s quick. It’s zippy, and it’s really snazzy. Finally, lots more new features that are nice looking, function well, and are unique to the browser. Exactly the reason I switched to Firefox in the first place!

It seems that Firefox is not becoming stale as IE once did. I do hope that IE8 will come out and wow us with something – a great new interface, new functionality, or ideally both, with compliance issues fixed – but it looks like once Firefox 3 is finalized I might switch!

 I will not switch yet, though. Why? It’s buggy. Believe it or not, I managed, on a friends machine, to get two instances of the same version of Firefox (beta 3) running the same website to render it incorrectly. One window correctly passed the acid2 test. The other didn’t. Consistently. So somehow, in a browser, the same program interpretted the same page differently. For this reason, I will not be switching until the beta tests are over.

But I look forward to the day I can.