Goodbye Dear Old Friend

It’s a sad day really, one that I’ve been putting off for quite a while with denial, argument and massive amount of excuses. Something this near and dear to my heart took a long time for me to finally come around and make a change and realize when the end is here. So I bid Firefox goodbye, I will remember only the happy days and the fun days when you saved me from IE6 and gave me an amazing web experience.

The amazing web experience with Firefox didn’t go away all at once, no no, it was slowly chipped away with upgrade after upgrade until what I was left with was a slow, lumbering browser with tendencies to crap itself and hog resources. I tried to justify it, I have too many browser windows open, or my addons are causing those issues, not my dear Firefox. But that niggling feeling in the back of my head wouldn’t go away.

It really wasn’t until Chrome was released that I started to see the light. Even IE8 seems better to me now then Firefox, which really is saying something as IE6 so soured me on IE that I would rather program in BASIC my entire life then use any IE. When I first made the switch to Firefox almost no sites would render correctly or even accept Firefox in. Banking sites wouldn’t work with it and other web applications I used were IE only. Moving back and forth between IE6 and Firefox endeared me even more to it.

In multiple runs of the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark Chrome was fairly faster then Firefox, with Chrome in the 400ms to 500ms range and Firefox in the 800ms to 900ms range. This was the brand new Firefox 3.6 against Chrome on my work desktop and my home desktop. No these weren’t fresh installs of Windows and browsers with no addons, because that’s not where I use browsers or view the web. Firefox has 2 addon’s installed and Chrome had 3.

In addition to just raw JavaScript speed Google Chrome also starts up much faster then Firefox and isn’t prone fits of crashing that Firefox is. At least a couple of times a week I have to kill a hidden Firefox.exe process because Firefox won’t open complaining of another instance running.

But Chrome isn’t the only choice. I’ve tried and liked Opera before, but this was at a time when Firefox was still chugging along well, and a co-worker is really liking the new Opera experience. But really those are the only two other choices left opposed to IE8 and Firefox.

It’s been a good 5 year or so run with Firefox, but I’m not seeing things getting better. Update after update my experience with Firefox gets worse and worse and eventually it will just be the new version of IE6 with less security holes. Not at all a fitting end for the browser that showed the world how great the web can truly be.

About: Shawn Jackson

I’ve spent the last 18 years in the world of Information Technology on both the IT and Development sides of the aisle. I’m currently a Software Engineer for Paylocity. In addition to working at Paylocity, I’m also the Founder of Resgrid, a cloud services company dedicated to providing logistics and management solutions to first responder organizations, volunteer and career fire departments, EMS, ambulance services, search and rescue, public safety, HAZMAT and others.