it’s all about the accessories

A few weeks ago I wrote a weak criticism of FireFox and basically wrote it off as a fad. I was kindof disappointed with the way I sounded. My self imposed techno credentials demand that I speak with authority on a topic like this and I don’t think the original post was up to that standard. So it was good timing that the 1.5 release came out and I decided that I ought to live in Firefox world for a while so I could be specific with my cheers and jeers.

Since I was starting fresh on my main workstation (previous Firefox installs were always in VM environments) I figured the slate was clean and it would prove to be a valid test of what a new user would go through. First of all, several of my day-to-day application sites did not work properly and I had to install one of those tools that lets you open a tab up using the IE rendering engine. But once you get started with those extensions you can’t stop and you wonder what you did before. It has crashed 5 6 7 many times on me, which had only happened once in my memory with IE 6.

On last count I had 18 extensions loaded and a handful of GreaseMonkey scripts as well. The good news is I’m a total FireFox power user now. I have tweaked and tuned, extended and embraced. The bad news is I’m going to specifically suggest that most folks probably don’t want to use it just yet. There are simply too many sites in my “use IE tab” rendering list to say that it is ready for average users. The problem there too is that of the sites that are in that list, they are some of the most important ones I use: my bank, my bill payment service, SharePoint, etc.

I feel almost the same way about FireFox that I do about my iPod. They frustrate me, and I don’t really want to support the companies behind it, but that’s where the accessories are. And accessories, an ecosystem of developers, products and new ideas, just can’t be denied.

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