Thursday, July 29, 2010

Has Firefox finally "jumped the shark"?

When Mozilla first brought out Firefox it seemed such a clean, simple browser program. Quick, intuitive, fully functional for the casual user. All-in-all an ideal time-saving alternative to the blunderbuss that had grown from the original IE.

Over the years Firefox has gradually morphed into numerous "new and improved" versions - probably to either keep up with the Jones or preempt the Jones from trying to improve their product. The problem is that each "improvement" has seemed to make the browser harder to use, taken longer to load and less stable to browse. Today, each day - running on Vista with plenty of guts and glory - it takes five to eight minutes to initially load - IF it doesn't need to "upgrade" something or other. The last time I counted there are 23 add-on's and features on my update screen roster, though not each one populates the screen every time - thankfully. But this is turning into a serious chunk of time.

And now it looks like they have finally "jumped the shark". For the last eight months three out of five times I close out a Firefox window the program becomes unstable and stops responding - forever, apparently, if I had that much time left to hang around - which being on social security I don't. So once again, after all these years, control-alt-delete are my new best friends. If it weren't for that nice Task Manager program it would be re-bootsville five to ten times a day.

In that same length of time I've upgraded Firefox to the newest, slickest, "bestus" version each time its been offered, but whatever is causing the slow loading and unstable close outs has apparently not been new, slick or best enough for the mavens at Mozilla to mingle with their upgrades.

All of this would be merely a minor problem if Firefox or Mozilla had some type of support system old folk like me could use. They don't. They have "user forums" for everything. Have you ever tried to figure out how to get on the proper user forum to ask a question that won't get you laughed off the planet? No, I thought not. I regularly get kicked off City-Data Forums by moderators and I've never cussed or used a dirty word on them, once. It's just that going to a forum with a problem seems as sensible as driving all the way across town to the Walmart when a laundry load is ready to run through the dryer. Walmart might help, eventually, but the best solution is waiting for me just 3 feet away.

So unless "Firefox Lite" debuts in the next few days it looks like I'll once again be shopping around the browser store for something simple, clean and intuitive. But not Firefox.

UPDATE: This afternoon (7/31) loaded Opera, tried it out a couple of hours, uninstalled Firefox, re-booted and reopened Opera - and my screens have never been faster and simpler. At last a lite browser that doesn't slow me down.


49erDweet said...

Thank you, Zheng Meiyu, for your sage advice. I am always careful of how wide I live, but your words are duly appreciated.

sdcougar said...

As I was reading your post, I kept wanting to say, "You need Opera!"