My Week with Firefox is Over

I’ve had a very interesting week working with and getting used to Firefox, a quite capable new browser for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows, but I’m throwing in the towel after having posted a bunch of bug reports. The biggest problem? When I click on URLs in other applications they’re sent to Firefox, but it doesn’t actually open the window. Since I receive a lot of Web links in email messages and through applications like NetNewsWire, I am slowly going bonkers trying to deal with this problem.

Further, I am not impressed with the way that Firefox handles themes on Mac OS X: most of the themes (and yes, they’re all “Mac OS X themes”) didn’t work, or seemed to fundamentally change behaviors like tossing all the favicon icons for the items in my bookmark favorites bar. Even those that were supposed to change the background color of the toolbars couldn’t overcome the “pinstripe” theme, so if I’m on a Web page that’s white, there’s no seam or separation between the toolbars and the content. Not good. Why I can’t resize the address and search boxes to meet my needs is unclear – I’m not going to create and then muck about in a .css preference file – and the lack of a pop-up search history proved more of a frustration than I expected. Oh, and did I mention that it doesn’t work with Google’s Adsense site or hotmail?

Finally, a few good things. Firefox is fast, it’s attractive overall, there are some very nice configuration options, and it’s free and runs on all the major operating systems I use. It’s not even one major rev away from being the browser I can come back to, just a minor one with a raft of bug fixes. But there are just enough problems that I’m switching back to Safari again.

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