Archives » June 29th, 2004

June 29, 2004

Reasons I stopped using Firefox 0.9

The new version of Mozilla Firefox, 0.9, is a step backwards in many ways.

  • Links open in a new window, instead of an existing one.

    Now, I’m not talking about links from one web page to another. Tabbed browsing has been around since the first builds of Mozilla that I tried, and I love it. The lettering is getting rubbed off my Ctrl key, I use it so often.

    No, I’m talking about a desktop shortcut, or a link from inside an e-mail. In Firefox 0.8, these links would open into the currently selected tab of whichever Firefox window was active. No problem. Now each one opens a new Firefox window. Wasteful, hateful, horrible. Can’t stand it.

  • Downloads always ask where to be saved to

    There is an option in the Firefox options screen that lets you always save downloaded files to a particular place, such as the desktop. So, in Firefox 0.8, you would right-click on a file download, and choose “Save Link to Disk”. The file would be added to the Download Manager and start downloding without any further clicking. In Firefox 0.9, even if you have that option checked, it still pops up a dialog box asking where you want to save the file to. What a waste of time.

    Plus, most servers limit you to two simultaneous downloads. So if I was downloading multiple files from a site, Firefox 0.8 would stack them all in the Download Manager and handle everything for me. But now, with Firefox 0.9, the dialog box for the third file doesn’t even show up until the first two are done.

  • Winstripe theme isn’t that great.

    I know going after the theme seems like nitpicking, since it’s so easy to change. The new Winstripe theme is a work in progress, and right now it’s pretty ugly. I prefer the Qute theme that came with Firefox 0.8. But—and here’s the deal breaker for me—when you install Qute on 0.9, the icons are twice as big as they are in 0.8. So it’s really not even the same theme.

  • The extensions I use don’t always work.

    They must have changed something about extensions in 0.9. First of all, the link to find new extensions takes you to a different site, Mozilla Update instead of Texturizer. And the two sites have different extensions listed. Most notably, the Link Toolbar that I use hasn’t been updated for 0.9 yet. Neither has Chris Casciano’s PNH Toolbar. I try to install them on 0.9, and sometimes they work, but sometimes they don’t. This, I’ll admit, isn’t the browser’s fault, but the extension developers. But it’s still part of the overall experience, so it’s a minus for me.

    (Digging deeper, it looks like the Web Developer extension has the same functions as the PNH toolbar, plus it’s still being updated.)

So, sad to say, I’m going to have to skip Firefox 0.9 and stick with 0.8 for now. I’ve tried the new release, 0.9.1, as well as the latest nightly builds, and the Winstripe theme looks like it’s coming together a little more. But none of the other problems have been fixed. I’m not going to spend all this time fighting the browser just so I can claim to be using the latest and greatest. Firefox 0.8 does what I want, and 0.9 doesn’t. I’m just hoping that these things will be fixed by the time 1.0 rolls around.