Dear Firefox devs,
I’ve been using your browser for 10 years or so now – ever since I started to learn about open source software. The difference from IE was amazing – tabs!
Later, the difference became even more profound – Adblock! Firebug! and too many other add-ons to mention – eventually it got to the point where I had to limit the addons I use in order to not clutter and slow things down. Firefox really was the browser for power users.
I had my complaints – the CPU usage always seemed too high, and the memory usage was particularly absurd, but it did everything well.
Chrome happened. It closed the gap somewhat with its built-in developer tools and extensions. The one-process-per-tab idea was a good one. It was fast, and it didn’t require a gigabyte of memory to display one tab, but it just didn’t have the flexibility of firefox, so I could never quite make the switch.
There was one other thing about chrome I didn’t like – it had that sleek, minimalistic, “modern” interface. You know the type: they have pretty curved edges and nice animations for everything, but they tend to not be very configurable.
So it was with sadness that I updated my system the other day, only to see a shiny, chrome-lookalike interface on firefox.
I spent ages trying to turn the add-on bar back on and to remove the button which shows the awful new menu, to no avail.
Eventually I found the classic theme restorer add-on, which makes things sane again, but it’s not exactly awesome: Firefox is now using even more memory and I have yet another add-on installed just so that the interface isn’t terrible.
It seems that firefox is going for a new target demographic: they’ve decided to abandon the power users and go after the crowd who like chrome but think that it’s just too fast and doesn’t use enough memory.
Maybe they could use a new slogan: “Firefox: it’s just like chrome, only slower!”.
Personally, I think that this new demographic might be a limited market. If I wanted to use chrome, I’d…uh… use chrome.
Meanwhile, I wonder what the Opera team have been up to gor the last 5 years…