This post is going to be a rant about my disappointment at the latest versions of Firefox.
Firefox has been my core browser for quite a few years but the latest 3.5.x and 3.6.x versions have been a disappointment for me.
I use a self-assembled PC running Windows XP SP2 with AVG 9 (free) and ZoneAlarm firewall (free). I have never had any problems with Firefox 3.0.17 and previous versions. So when newer versions came out I was enthusiastic about upgrading in order to enjoy the promise of better security and speedier page renderings.
Boy, was I in for a shock. Most of the pages I requested failed to load; pressing reload several times sometimes achieved results, though some images and elements were still missing. I would say that failure rate was over 60% on first attempt to load anything. Even when pages did load (which was a rarity), the loading / rendering time was extremely long, in fact much worse than Firefox 3.0.17. So no speed performance improvement for me.
Doing what most would do in my situation, I goggled to see if there were any quick fixes. This meant upgrading to FF 3.6 to try these fixes, encounter failure, downgrade back to FF 3.0.17 to check for more solutions and complain on MozillaZine (see relevant thread)
Below are just some of the “fixes” I have tried – none did any good for me.
- Disabled / removed add-ons
- Cleared cache
- Disabled IPv6
- Created a new Firefox profile
- Disabled AVG LinkScanner and Safe Search extension
- Tried shutting off ZoneAlarm
I don’t claim to be an IT guy – I’m just enthusiastic about PC and stuff. But then I am also quite sure I’m more knowledgeable about these things than many. Mozilla just cannot expect the common user to go clear caches, muck around with anti-virus and firewall settings or mess around with about:config settings. A solid program ought to just run on upgrade. If it can’t then perhaps it isn’t ready for release.
Originally I preferred Firefox over Chrome because of its extensibility with add-ons. Now I am really having second thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, this failure to upgrade might push me to change over to using Chrome as my default browser, especially since Chrome has many of the extensions I use in Firefox.