Firefox is an Abomination – Unfortunately

Well I suppose it had to happen.

It was all going so well, good memory management, it was fast and had great addons. It was a no brainer to use Firefox as my default browser.

Version 3 was better than Version 2, this is how software evolution was supposed to be.

And the only reason I still had Internet Explorer on my machine was that I needed  it to test my websites.

Chrome was good and fast, but Firefox had all those great addons: FootieFox for my Football scores, WHOIS tools, ScribeFire for writing my blog posts and the best of the lot FireBug.

Alas, since 3.6.8 was released my Firefox utopia has been shattered.

It has gotten to the point that I have had to shift to Chrome. Had to, not wanted to.

The memory leaks were so bad, that after coming back from being away from my desk for half a day, Firefox was consuming over 1gb of memory, for only 4 tabs!

It got to the point where I was rebooting 3 times a day to maintain any speed.

Luckily, since I have moved to Chrome, my work experience is much better, the speed is back and I found that there was an extension for Chrome called Firebug Lite, I am Saved!

If Mozilla sort out the memory problems, I may go back. But the major problems need some serious tweaks.

Have you found your favourite Browser or other software made by non monoply (Microsoft, Adobe) etc has succumbed to bloat and decreasing performance?

Have they gotten lazy as market share has risen?

IE6, What Do We Do About It?

Kick it to the Kerb?

That would be nice, as most web designers have come unstuck when a nice design fails spectacularly in IE6.

But unfortunately, there are still lots of people (over 30% in most cases) that are still using it, that is too large a number to upset with messages about compatibility and the like.

Some new designs from template makers will not work properly in Internet Explorer 6 and they provide warnings and encourage users to upgrade.

If you target corporate users, this is not a wise choice as some will still use IE6 across their organisation and IT are not keen to roll out IE7 or 8.

I have even recently visited a primary school that is still using IE6 in all of it’s classrooms.

For designers, testing in multiple browser brands involves installing the different browsers and testing as you go, however, my suite of browsers include:

  • IE8
  • Firefox 3
  • Firefox 2
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera 9
  • Opera 10

Notice that some browsers allow multiple versions to be installed simultaneously. This is a great thing for testing.

However, you can only install one version of IE, (there is a hacked version that allows older ones as well, but that seems a bit scary)

Recently, I found out about BrowserLab from Adobe, (Thanks @kalena) it is a great tool that lets you test browsers online without having to install them on your machine.

You enter the address of the site you want to test and the browsers you want to test on, and let it do it’s magic, you get presented with an image of what the result is for each browser.

Here is a list of all browsers:

  • Firefox 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 under XP
  • Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0 under XP
  • Chrome 3.0 under XP
  • Safari 3.0 and 4.0 under OSX
  • Firefox 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 under OSX

Having Safari and Firefox under OSX is great too. No Opera yet, but I assume they will appear in time.

Good to see a useful resource hitting the web.

Do you have any web resources that you “must have”, let me know in the comments.

HTML 5 – The future looks bright

HTML 4 has been around for many years, and it looks like the newest incarnation HTML5 is going to make some serious changes to the way the web works.

Here is a video for those who are interested (it is over an hour long, and targetted at a technical audience, but very informative)

Here are some Highlights:

  • Offline Storage including offline database storage
  • Adding video will be as simple as adding an image to a webpage
  • Forms will be much simpler, yet complete (things like calendars for dates etc)
  • Geolocation API’s so you can get the location of a mobile device via the browser
  • Drag and Drop
  • Better interaction with the Operating System
  • Canvas, being able to generate images dynamically

So there are plenty of cool things coming. Alreadt Google Chrome, Safari and a few other browsers (including iphone and android mobile devices) are already handling HTML5. However, there are not many websites that are written in HTML5 to take advantage of this.

Older versions of Internet Explorer (version 6 and older) won’t work as it is too old and one fight will be getting people to upgrade their browser so they can access these new features

We may be building dual websites for a while!