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[P]
Mozilla Firebird Primer for Windows Users

By Tex Bigballs in Op-Ed
Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 08:06:46 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

Chances are pretty good that if you're reading this right now, you're using an internet browser. But are you using the best one? According to Google, one of the internet's most visited sites, Microsoft Internet Explorer is far and away the most popular browser, and its lead only continues to grow. But does that necessarily mean that it's the best browser?

Microsoft thinks so. In fact, they're so confident that they decided to discontinue any new versions of Internet Explorer until their new operating system (Longhorn) is released. Don't worry, though. Longhorn is scheduled to ship sometime in late 2005. And assuming you have the patience to wait that long, you'll have to pay for Microsoft's brand new operating system in order to enjoy any new features of MSIE 7.0. Unlike before, MSIE will no longer be offered as a free standalone download.

If you're like most people, the browser is one of your most frequently used applications. So do you really want to wait almost two years to see any innovation and new features? If not, then I strongly suggest checking out Mozilla Firebird.


So why switch?

Even now there are a ton of reasons, and since development on Firebird is very active, expect tons more in the future.

Pop-up blocking - Firebird blocks dreaded pop-ups "out-of-the-box" Its default behavior is to place an icon on the status bar alerting you that it has blocked a pop-up. Clicking it allows you to whitelist domains that should be allowed to use pop-up windows, if you need them. To be fair, Microsoft recently announced that Internet Explorer will finally support pop-up blocking in Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Search on Navigation toolbar - Among the coolest features of Firebird is a small separate prompt on the navigation toolbar solely for the purpose of search queries. It defaults to Google, but you can add your own. After adding other engines, you can conveniently select them from a drop down list. Popular add-in-engines include sites like Ebay, The Internet Movie Database or Dictionary.com. Hundreds of engines are available, even one for Kuro5hin, though it won't really do anything until comment search is fixed. *ahem*

Tabbed browsing - Firebird supports tabbed browsing, which essentially allows you to load separate internet pages using only one application window. The primary benefit to this is that the Windows taskbar doesn't get as cluttered. The tabs are also more descriptive and more easily accessible than alt-tabbing or clicking the taskbar to switch pages, especially if you have many other applications open. Another brilliant feature of Firebird is to simultaneously open all sites in a bookmark (favorites) group in separate tabs, with just one click.

Download window - New with version 0.8, all downloads in Firebird are sent to a a single dedicated window. This single window is shared by all files currently being downloaded, and can be closed without stopping them. It also keeps track of previously downloaded files, making it much easier to track them down if you've forgotten where you've placed them.

Type-Ahead Find - Somewhat of an esoteric feature, type-ahead find (keyboard shortcut: /) allows you to dynamically search for a string in a page, typing one letter at a time. So, for example, if you type "b-a-n" it may find the word "ban". And if you type another "a", it may find "banana". Who knows, this feature may be useful for people who aren't entirely confident of their spelling. Additionally, you won't have to type any more than the minimum needed to find what you're looking for. Type-Ahead Link Finding is also supported (keyboard shortcut: ' - single quote) This could be useful for people on laptops who would prefer to follow links by typing, rather than fuss with the pointer. The status of the search is shown at the bottom on the status bar, and ESC ends either of these searches in progress.

Themes - Firebird supports theming, and there is already a small collection to choose from. This is a screenshot of the theme I'm using right now, and shows you what you can expect. (Also featured in that screenshot is the download window previously mentioned) One caveat to themes is that occasionally newer versions of Firebird don't support older themes, and that can be frustrating if you've grown attached to a theme that you can no longer use because you've upgraded.

Extensions - Firebird supports something called extensions, which allow nifty changes to its features, or in some cases, completely new features. For example, in the previous screenshot an extension called CuteMenus is featured, which allows you to have small icons in Firebird's pop-up menus. Another powerful extension I've grown fond of is AdBlock. Taking the blocking of annoying ads one step further, adblock allows you to block images based on domain (allowing wildcards or regexps) A nicer feature though, is that AdBlock will allow you to block Flash animations, or temporarily disable all flash on a page. The current list of extensions for Firebird are too numerous to mention, so finding other good ones is an exercise left up to the reader.

Security - Though Firebird may not necessarily be any more inherently secure than Internet Explorer, the fact that the vast majority of people use MSIE makes it a much more attractive target for people exploiting bugs and security flaws. Additionally, Microsoft has become lax on fixing MSIE's security flaws. They've even gone as far as suggesting that users manually type in URLs (rather than clicking) to ensure security.

It's Completely Free! - Last, but not least, Firebird is completely free, and open source. It is also neither adware, nor spyware. Though if you choose to, you may donate to the project.

These are just a few of the more obvious features that Firebird offers. Though, either through curious clicking, or through word-of-mouth, the Firebird user is certain to stumble upon many other useful features. This page does a nice job of describing features in more detail, along with supplying some good screenshots.

Installing Firebird 0.8 on Win32

So if you've read this far, you're probably ready to dump MSIE and give Firebird a try. At the time of this article, the last milestone release of Firebird is 0.7, which unfortunately had a problem rendering pages too wide for the screen. Thus, I don't recommend running 0.7.

Until 0.8 is actually released, I suggest downloading one of the nightly builds (FTP) and going with that. Right now I'm using the January 24th build of 0.8 which seems pretty solid so far, which I obtained from here.

I definitely do not recommend using Firebird for any actual work, since it's still in pre-release, and stability is obviously not guaranteed. I recommend MSIE for anything work-related, and switch to Firebird for casual browsing. Truthfully, Firebird has crashed on me several times, though this doesn't happen often. And then again, I have seen MSIE 6.0 crash more than once as well.

Currently, they're working on an installer for Firebird, and I would expect that when 0.8 is released, it will have an automatic installer. Should you download a build without an installer, it will probably come in an archive (self-extracting or plain ZIP) of a single root folder with a name of "Mozilla" or "MozillaFirebird". For the sake of simplicity, I would extract that folder to C:\ Then using the file explorer, you can switch to the newly created Firebird directory, and double-click on MozillaFirebird.exe to start Firebird for the first time.

After that, it will then ask you if you want to make it the default browser. Even if you aren't sure at this point, you should still say "Yes" because if you change your mind, you can run MSIE again. MSIE will then ask you if you want to make it the default browser, and you can say "Yes" if Firebird doesn't appeal to you. Otherwise, you should tell MSIE not to be the default browser. You can also untick the box to always check to make sure MSIE is the default browser, so that it doesn't continually hound you everytime you need to use it.

If you would like to have MozillaFirebird's icon on the desktop or the start menu, you can right-click drag it from the explorer folder and copy it as a shortcut. Again, all of this will probably be handled automatically by the 0.8 installer, and if you're not used to doing these things with Windows XP you may want to wait for the actual milestone release.

Finally to download new themes or extensions for Firebird, you can usually install them directly from the browser. The bookmarks for the extensions page and themes page are already set up and accessible from the Bookmarks item on the menu bar.

Installing Flashplayer 7.0 for Firebird

Though strictly not required, and often times not wanted, it's pretty much essential to have the browser support Flash. If you see a blue puzzle piece on a site, it could be because you don't have Flash installed. Flash does not come with Firebird.

The best way to install it is to either click on the puzzle piece when you see it, or just go directly to Macromedia's site After downloading it, double-click on it, and install it to the plugins subdirectory of the Firebird directory. So if you installed Firebird into C:\MozillaFirebird, then install Flash in C:\MozillaFirebird\plugins. Restart Firebird and Flash should be working again.

Conclusion

MSIE 6.0 is a fine internet browser and usually does an adequate job for most people, just like your average toaster does a pretty good job at turning bread into toast. However, Microsoft has grown complacent with their tremendous lead in browser market share with MSIE 6.0. From discontinuing free future updates, to dragging their feet on fixing security holes Microsoft has determined that simply adequate is good enough.

But for those more-savvy internet users who demand a little more, I heartily recommend giving Mozilla Firebird a try.

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Poll
Firebird?
o I tried it, like it, and still use it. 54%
o I tried it, didn't like it, and switched back to MSIE. 3%
o I tried it, didn't like it, and use Opera. 5%
o I tried it, didn't like it, and use plain Mozilla 6%
o I tried it, didn't like it, and use something else. 2%
o I heard about Firebird, but haven't tried it. 1%
o I didn't know about Firebird, but will try it. 0%
o I'm happy with MSIE. 0%
o I'm happy with Opera. 7%
o I'm happy with plain Mozilla 12%
o Other (write-in) 4%

Votes: 167
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Google
o According to Google
o decided to discontinue any new versions
o scheduled to ship sometime in late 2005.
o Mozilla Firebird.
o finally support
o add your own.
o small collection
o the theme
o previous screenshot
o CuteMenus
o AdBlock.
o regexps)
o current list of extensions
o suggesting that users manually type in URLs
o adware
o spyware
o donate
o This page
o nightly builds (FTP)
o here
o extensions page
o themes page
o Macromedia 's site
o security
o holes
o Mozilla Firebird
o Also by Tex Bigballs


Display: Sort:
Mozilla Firebird Primer for Windows Users | 233 comments (195 topical, 38 editorial, 4 hidden)
I stick with the Mozilla point releases (2.60 / 5) (#2)
by Worker Bee on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:03:44 PM EST

And as such, Mozilla never crashes on me.  It even handles upgrades well.  The install from 1.5 to 1.6 required nothing of me to make it remember my email, IRC, and web settings.

I use the browser, mail client (junk mail filtering is awesome), and IRC client.  There's no reason for me to use Firebird.  I don't know why anyone does -- it offers nothing that Mozilla doesn't offer aside from really small silly things.

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

Fair enough (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:15:48 PM EST

I never really liked the idea, nor did I see the point, of bundling the browser with the mail client, and all that nonsense. But if that appeals to you, then more power to you.

[ Parent ]
Two reasons (none / 0) (#94)
by Garc on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 01:29:39 PM EST

There's a couple reasons that I use Firebird instead of Mozilla.

  1. Speed - firebird is sooooo fast
  2. Keyboard shortcuts - I'ts so nice to be able to type in kuro5hin, then press shift-control-enter, and have the browser go to www.kuro5hin.org
  3. Mouse gestures - These might work in Mozilla now, I don't know, but I didn't have any luck finding/working them last I tried.

Speaking of mouse gestures, I'd recommend the all-in-one gestures, although the options page is/was broken. Another extension one shouldn't live without is the tabbrowser extension, which allows drag/drop tab reordering.

regards,
garc
--
Tomorrow is going to be wonderful because tonight I do not understand anything. -- Niels Bohr
[ Parent ]

Fast?!? (none / 0) (#166)
by ThePlague on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:27:51 PM EST

I just retried Mozilla about a week ago (try it every few years to see if "it's there" yet), and also tested out Firebird. I noticed both were considerably slower than IE. Granted, tabbed browsing is a "killer extension", but one can get that with IE by using Crazy Browser. Fast, works like a charm, and I've never seen it crash.

[ Parent ]
Firebird slower than IE? (none / 0) (#174)
by bhtooefr on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:47:01 PM EST

I'll give you Moz, but Firebird is faster than IE, from what I've seen. Now, it does delay on page rendering, and it's not an elegant delay (I forget how to disable it), but the browser itself is almost as responsive as Opera.
I'm too lazy to put my sig here. Go to /., fool.
[ Parent ]
Speed up page rendering (none / 0) (#222)
by Garc on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 06:45:03 PM EST

Tips & Tricks For Firebird. Some very cool useful hacks in there.

regards,
garc
--
Tomorrow is going to be wonderful because tonight I do not understand anything. -- Niels Bohr
[ Parent ]

Sort of true... (none / 0) (#205)
by Lord Fly on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 10:20:06 AM EST

however, you did have to reinstall flash.
I am no longer the person you have come to know and love. I am now controlled by an asshole.
[ Parent ]
+1FP my organization AL QUEDA uses Mozilla / nt (1.50 / 12) (#3)
by Usama bin Laden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:05:52 PM EST


----------

Weep like a woman, son, for that which you could not defend as a man.
- Moorish King Boabdil's mother
Good to hear, brother. May I ask which OS? (nt) (none / 0) (#144)
by arvindn on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:43:22 AM EST



So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]
The Axis of Evil uses (none / 0) (#150)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:26:43 AM EST

Evil Entity Linux, of course.

[ Parent ]
What about Mozilla? (2.83 / 6) (#7)
by El Volio on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:20:05 PM EST

Everything you've listed is a feature of Mozilla, too. And Mozilla is stable. Firebird crashes on me frequently (both under Linux and Windows), and there are a ton of niggling little UI bugs and unnecessary changes (like moving the preferences selection from Edit to Tools). Memory usage under the two is similar — just because Mozilla can use various components doesn't mean that they're all resident at the same time.

That said, I'm always glad to see users encouraged to move from IE to a decent browser.

As I said before (none / 1) (#8)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:26:01 PM EST

I don't really like the idea of grouping the browser and the mail client together. If you want a browser, download Firebird. If you want a mail client, download Thunderbird. If you want a mail client and a browser, download Firebird and Thunderbird.

As far as stability goes, I can definitely tell you that in my opinion Firebird is pretty stable. Compared to Mozilla, I wouldn't know.

Anyway, if people are using Mozilla or Opera and are happy, I don't have a problem with that. It's the people that run MSIE 6.0 who are losing out. And if you want to get these people to switch, then you would probably have an easier time just giving them a new browser then telling them "here's a new browser, and oh by the way.. here's also a replacement for outlook and outlook express"

[ Parent ]

Don't have to have both (none / 2) (#11)
by El Volio on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:37:52 PM EST

I run Mozilla and don't have the mail client installed (granted, on Linux, not Windows). And even on Windows where I do have it installed, I don't use it (grumble grumble stupid Lotus Notes requirement) and it doesn't affect me. Anyway, I've gotten several people to switch to Mozilla and the fact that it has a client hasn't been a problem. If they don't want to replace theirs, then they don't. If they decide they would like to see what Mozilla could do for their mail (e.g. Bayesian filtering), then they give it a shot.

But we're in agreement: just switch away from IE! As long as everything is standards-compliant (and, in my preference, Free software), then everybody wins.

[ Parent ]

Firebird stability? (none / 1) (#176)
by bhtooefr on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:55:39 PM EST

I've found Firebird to crash on some pages (grab a Damn Small Linux ISO, get Firebird on it, and go to AnandTech, and try to navigate around). Thunderbird is one of the best e-mail clients, if you don't like Opera's M2 (I'm getting used to it). I've gotten to the point where a site that "requires IE" usually doesn't get my visit any more (not hard - I don't even have a Windows box with a net connection that's easy to get to). I found Opera to be a good browser at v6.05, and switched to 7.00b1 as soon as it came out. By 7.00 final came out, I was hooked. I tried both Moz and MozFirebird, but still preferred Opera (and I prefer IE to Moz - yes, I think Moz is that bad). This is being typed on 7.23, and I'm considering switching to 7.50p1.
I'm too lazy to put my sig here. Go to /., fool.
[ Parent ]
Well opera is fine and all (none / 1) (#177)
by Tex Bigballs on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 03:02:56 PM EST

but as I said, I'd rather support the free alternative rather than a browser I'd have to pay for. I could have written basically the same article, advocating Opera rather than Firebird, but I never would have since it would basically be an advertisement (even if I weren't personally getting any richer off it)

Anyway the whole point of the article was to try to sway MSIE users on Windows, which are probably 95% of the users (counting non-logged in users) on the site. If people like Opera, Mozilla, or whatever else, then they should stick with that.

[ Parent ]

Stability (none / 0) (#227)
by 0xA on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 05:09:33 PM EST

I'm using Firebird 0.7 on my Redhat 9 box here at work and I don't have any crashing problems with Anandtech. It is kinda slow to load and it acts kinda screwy until it loads but I think they are doing some really strange stuff with CSS. I find it to be much less of a problem at home where I'm not running RedHat's crapy X11 and kernel config.

I think the problem you are having is either Damn Small Linux or flash. The flash player for Linux can be pretty flaky.

[ Parent ]

Mozilla is slow, no, not slow, it's standing still (none / 0) (#51)
by cbraga on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 05:45:21 PM EST

In my P3 Mozilla takes a good 15-20 seconds to load.

Firebird and thunderbird load in under 4 seconds each. That's reason enough for me.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
[ Parent ]

Firebird's unstable? (none / 0) (#172)
by Arevos on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:02:16 PM EST

Firebird's last crash for me was... Um... A month ago, maybe? Possibly two? I don't have any problems with stability. Though I'm under Linux at the moment.

[ Parent ]
Commentary (1.75 / 4) (#9)
by kitten on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:27:00 PM EST

A big drawback to the "out of the box" install of Firebird is that it isn't memory-resident the way IE is, so most users dislike that that they have to wait for it to load, instead of having it up almost instantly. You can make it be memory-resident and live in the system tray, and while I personally don't bother because I don't want it hogging memory and resources, some people might.

Pop-up blocking - Firebird blocks dreaded pop-ups "out-of-the-box" Its default behavior is to place an icon on the status bar alerting you that it has blocked a pop-up.

Yes, and this is nice. However, AdShield for IE does the same thing and better, and also provides excellent protection against banner ads or anything else you don't want to see. I see maybe 5% of the banner ads out there now, because I've most of the major adservers. So far as I know, nothing like this exists for Firebird or Mozilla, and the fact that IE does it only with a third-party add-on doesn't bother me. The AdBlock extension for Firebird has never quite worked for me, and in any case doesn't seem nearly as effective. It's possible that's user error, but I think I'm all up ons enough to know what I'm doing. Even if the extension works, I don't really see how that's different from using a third-party app like AdShield. It fully integrates with IE the same way an extension does for Firebird.

Search on Navigation toolbar - Among the coolest features of Firebird is a small separate prompt on the navigation toolbar solely for the purpose of search queries.

Personally I find this to be unbelievably annoying but I guess some people like it. Again, though, a Google toolbar does the same thing.

Tabbed browsing - Firebird supports tabbed browsing, which essentially allows you to load separate internet pages using only one application window. The primary benefit to this is that the Windows taskbar doesn't get as cluttered.

I also find this unbelievably annoying. I rarely view more than two or three pages at a time, so I really have no use for tabs. I've never understood the idea of loading up fifty pages in fifty tabs, but some people think that's just groovy, apparently.

But more to the point, I like having each browser in a seperate taskbar pane, so I can quickly pull up the one I want, instead of opening one and flipping through tabs. I find my method much easier.

Anyway, good review of an overall good product, but IE can do most of what Firebird does without much hassle (barring certain things I don't give a damn about, like themes and tabs) so you may want to go into more detail about why someone would want to switch. The security holes are a good mention, but Windows is inherently pretty insecure anyway, and not being a moron helps a lot more than switching browsers.

Also, the unfortunate truth is that there are a lot of sites out there that just don't work with anything but IE. Using Firebird or any other geckospawn exclusively will mangle those pages - this is entirely the fault of the page designer, but the fact remains, so while I encourage giving Firebird a try, users should be advised not to treat it as an IE-killer.

By the way, I don't remember having to do anything fancy when I installed Firebird, and that was some months ago (I don't bother with the nighty builds like some obsessive freaks I could mention but won't). Pretty sure it just came in a self-extracting exe.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Yeah (none / 2) (#12)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:39:13 PM EST

A big drawback to the "out of the box" install of Firebird is that it isn't memory-resident the way IE is, so most users dislike that that they have to wait for it to load, instead of having it up almost instantly. You can make it be memory-resident and live in the system tray, and while I personally don't bother because I don't want it hogging memory and resources, some people might.

I wouldn't know. My rig is pretty quick, and so is the one I use at work. I'm curious to know how slow it loads on say, a Pentium 2 with 64 megs of ram. I think if I had a computer like that, I would probably just run MSIE since, as you said, it's already loaded into memory.

Although Firebird claims to be more efficient rendering pages than MSIE, though I have to wonder how true that is.

However, AdShield for IE does the same thing and better, and also provides excellent protection against banner ads or anything else you don't want to see. I see maybe 5% of the banner ads out there now, because I've most of the major adservers. So far as I know, nothing like this exists for Firebird or Mozilla, and the fact that IE does it only with a third-party add-on doesn't bother me.

Fair enough, though you'll probably always get better results with a specialized third party product than the default feature set. I think that's pretty much generally the case for anything.

Personally I find this to be unbelievably annoying but I guess some people like it. Again, though, a Google toolbar does the same thing.

I never used the google toolbar, but I was under the impression that it used more screen real-estate than the search prompt in firebird. And does the google toolbar let you search anything, or just google?

As far as more features go, the ones I listed in the article are pretty much the ones that I use. Some people use things like Smart Search and so on, which I don't bother with so I didn't put it in there. If I get some editorial suggestions in comments I will stick some extra stuff in there.

By the way you are entirely right about some pages refusing to serve pages to Firebird. There is an extension to spoof the user agent string to MSIE 6.0 but I never got it to work properly. So yeah, I agree that it's always good to have MSIE as a backup.

[ Parent ]

Few points (none / 2) (#16)
by kitten on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:12:34 PM EST

My rig is pretty quick, and so is the one I use at work. I'm curious to know how slow it loads on say, a Pentium 2 with 64 megs of ram. I think if I had a computer like that, I would probably just run MSIE since, as you said, it's already loaded into memory.

I just checked on load time. I'm running a 1.1ghz Athlon with a gig of memory, with a recently-defragged drive, and nothing resource-intensive running. From the moment I clicked "Firebird" until the moment the window came up took about 19 seconds.

IE takes less than one.

Granted, this isn't a state-of-the-art machine, but it's pretty fast. I don't want to wait 20 seconds for a browser to load. Having it memory-resident would make a lot of sense if I used Firebird more often, but I barely use it, so I can't justify having it use up resources. Your mileage may vary.

I never used the google toolbar, but I was under the impression that it used more screen real-estate than the search prompt in firebird.

It takes up the same space as the "Bookmark Toolbar" in Firebird - that is to say, it's a little space underneath the address bar. By the way, I hate the bookmark toolbar, but again that's just personal preferance.

And does the google toolbar let you search anything, or just google?

I.. I don't understand. What do you mean "just google"? Are you implying there's something else, you heretic?

Seriously though, I think it can, but I don't know, as I've never installed it. I find it just as easy to click "home" on my browser and get to Google, than to enter it into a little bar at the top for searching.

You might want to mention some of the annoying defaults that Firebird has, so users aren't caught unaware. For example, "Search As You Type". This obnoxious little feature will take any key you press, say "F", and scroll down the page to the first word or link that it finds beginning with "F". Sometimes I idly tap on keys when I'm reading something, or accidently hit a key, and suddenly I'm halfway across the page. You can turn it off, but it took me a while to figure out what the fuck was happening - it isn't something most people would consider obvious.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Weird (none / 1) (#20)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:24:52 PM EST

I just checked on load time. I'm running a 1.1ghz Athlon with a gig of memory, with a recently-defragged drive, and nothing resource-intensive running. From the moment I clicked "Firebird" until the moment the window came up took about 19 seconds.

Sounds like something else is wrong. 19 seconds seems way too long. An Athlon 1.1 GHz is a decently powerful computer, and hardly less powerful than the Celeron 1.8GHz (512M) I use at work, which loads Firebird in under a second.

I find it just as easy to click "home" on my browser and get to Google, than to enter it into a little bar at the top for searching.

That sounds roughly equivalent to Smart Search where you can type "ggl whatever" (not sure of the exact syntax) in the address bar, and it puts it altogether for you. That would save you from having to type "home" and load the google main page.

You might want to mention some of the annoying defaults that Firebird has, so users aren't caught unaware. For example, "Search As You Type". This obnoxious little feature will take any key you press, say "F", and scroll down the page to the first word or link that it finds beginning with "F". Sometimes I idly tap on keys when I'm reading something, or accidently hit a key, and suddenly I'm halfway across the page. You can turn it off, but it took me a while to figure out what the fuck was happening - it isn't something most people would consider obvious.

Yeah I agree, this is a silly feature that they definitely overhype on their feature page. It seems that it maps to the "/" key. Not sure why, and I was having the same problem until I figured that out.

That said, at least you can break out of it if you hit "ESC" which is probably the natural instinct for most windows users.

[ Parent ]

Okay, just tried it again (none / 1) (#35)
by kitten on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:26:17 PM EST

And this time it took about one second.

When I tested it before, it was the first time I'd opened it since booting, which probably has a lot to do with it -- although if it's residing somewhere in memory waiting to be opened, after I've closed it, I find that unacceptable as well. No application should use resources on the assumption that I'm going to open it again.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Caching (none / 0) (#37)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:30:45 PM EST

No application should use resources on the assumption that I'm going to open it again

Caching is a good thing. Study some CS sometime. You can't put unused memory in the bank.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
It depends (none / 0) (#173)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:10:07 PM EST

If the OS is doing the caching, that's great. If the application is "caching" itself, in the expectation of being used again, then that memory is not available for whatever you are doing.

That said, IE does that, and there's no way to stop it from doing so, and you can disable it in Firebird.

One thing I like about Firebird tabbed browsing is that any subfolder of bookmarks can be opened all at once in tabs. I put my morning news websites into a bookmark folder. In the morning, I open that folder, and hit "Open in Tabs", and all of my sites open. For any story on each page I want to read, I middle click it, and it is put in a tab. If there are no more interesting stories, I close the tab. Eventually, the only tabs left are the stories I want to read.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
That's why... (none / 0) (#169)
by mold on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 01:31:23 PM EST

IE loads so quickly. It's always there in memory, waiting for you to use it.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
IE and caching (none / 1) (#171)
by Arevos on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 01:59:25 PM EST

No application should use resources on the assumption that I'm going to open it again.

That's what IE does; why do you think it loads up so fast? Of course, Microsoft being Microsoft, they don't give you an option to turn this off.

Besides, caching is usually pretty good to have. If you're regularly playing Quake III or some other high-CPU game then I suppose having applications in memory would be a bad thing. If you're just using it for desktop usage, then there's no real reason not to.

Anyway, if Firebird is taking 19 seconds to load up, my guess is that you have a lot of things running in the background anyway, unless your hardware is suspect.

[ Parent ]

Your load time seems strangely high (none / 1) (#21)
by Usama bin Laden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:27:17 PM EST

On my AthlonXP running at 1.53GHz with 768 MB of RAM running Gentoo Linux it literally takes about 1 second. I just tried it several times.
----------

Weep like a woman, son, for that which you could not defend as a man.
- Moorish King Boabdil's mother
[ Parent ]
19 seconds? (none / 0) (#29)
by Tyler Durden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:06:56 PM EST

Holy crap.  I'm running a 1.1Ghz Athlon with 256MB of ram, and it loads in about a second.  I'm still using v0.6.  OS is WinXP Pro.

For example, "Search As You Type". This obnoxious little feature ...

I find that annoying too, but I can see how it would be quite handy.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Kitten, your machine is screwed up... (none / 0) (#52)
by dasunt on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 05:45:36 PM EST

Either you have a dogass slow component, or else something is really, really screwed up.

Since IE starts quickly, I would assume its software.

Don't blame Firebird for having a screwed up machine. On my heavily-loaded Athlon K7 1133mhz/256MB/Win98 machine, it takes 5 seconds for the first time, and about 2 1/2 for the second time (presumably the files are cached then).

On my p166 Laptop/80MB/openBSD, Firebird takes about 50 seconds to load. Congrats. Your computer is only 2 1/2 times faster then a p166 laptop.

What is your idle CPU load? How about idle HDD activity? Something ain't right...



[ Parent ]
Don't jump to conclusions (none / 0) (#217)
by gazbo on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 08:12:46 AM EST

On first load Firebird can take 15-20 seconds to load for me on first load (2 seconds thereafter). So I try loading lots of other apps - Acrobat, Word, Powerpoint, DreamWeaver...none of them come close to Firebird. The slowest I found was DreamWeaver, taking nearly 5 seconds.

Lots of people find Firebird takes ages to load, lots of people find it doesn't. You can't claim the fast times as being indicative of Firebird's greatness, and the slow times of being a bad setup. Maybe it's OS related? You're using 98, I'm using 2k. Maybe there's certain 3rd party software it doesn't play well with?

Fact is, nothing takes as long to load for me as Firebird, so there is clearly some Firebird related problem.

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

A few corrections (none / 2) (#14)
by xutopia on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 01:57:19 PM EST

on this site : http://texturizer.net/firebird/extensions/ you have many extensions you can install for Firebird. Not only are they all free but also open source so you can change them at will.

On the site I sent you there are Page display extensions that do numerous things. One I use is Flash click to play which stops flash movies from playing (you simply have to click on the box where the Flash movie is to play it), there is also a nuke image which keeps track of servers you want to block (although I'm not sure if this behavior isn't default in Firebird, hard to know since these extensions integrate so well).

As for your opinion about tabbed browsing I find it hard to believe that you dislike that feature. Overwhelmingly of all Firebird switchers it is what people liked the most.

[ Parent ]

What's so great about tabs? (none / 3) (#18)
by kitten on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:16:46 PM EST

I ask in all seriousness, because like you, I've noticed that people gush about it when they first use it.

But I've never really seen the point. I'm looking at one, maybe two, maybe three pages at any given time - I don't need tabs to keep track of that, and I don't see the point in loading up fifty seven pages at once, either. If I want to open a link but don't want to interupt my reading, I can "open in new window" and that's just as good. Plus, I dislike the extra screen real estate that the tabs take up. It just bothers me.

Also, like I said, I'd rather have them in the taskbar pane. If I need to switch, I can quickly switch to the exact one I want, instead of opening one browser and flipping through tabs, which I find unbelievably annoying.

I've just never seen what's so all-fired fantastic about tabs.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Why I use tabs (none / 3) (#26)
by Tyler Durden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:59:07 PM EST

I use tabs to expand conversation threads I want to follow.  Load the main discussion page and look at the comments, if a thread looks interesting, I open it in a tab.  It keeps me from having to use the back button all the time.  Same thing applies to doing web searches.

If you're still using a modem to connect (like I am), you can open pages in tabs and keep working through the current page while they're loading up.  

It just seems to be a cleaner interface than having a bunch of windows down in the taskbar.

Agreed that if you're only viewing 2 pages at a time, there is no real need for tabs.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Tabs are temporary windows (none / 1) (#158)
by ramses0 on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:21:16 AM EST

You also have to consider tabs as just temporary windows.  When you are done with the tab, close it.  If you found something interesting in the tab then middle click (open in new tab in background).  You still might end up only having 2-3 windows open at a time, but they will be "rolling", as you close one you will open one or two more.

It is also great for shopping.  Find a list of items (on ebay or amazon), see picture?  click picture (middle click) and it will be ready and waiting for you.  When you are done "window shopping" close that search results window and start clicking through each tab, closing the ones that you decided you don't want.  All in all, very effective.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great ju
[
Parent ]

Well, (none / 3) (#63)
by yo mamma on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:44:49 PM EST

I guess some people can handle multiple lanes on the Infromation Superhighway and some can't. I use tabs because my high-powered intellect can juggle more than 2-3 pages at once. I admit that not everyone is capable of handling so much information at once, but I don't see why you have to drag us all down to your remedial level.

I mean, it's not like I ever use Chinese language support, but you don't see me complaining about it.

--
TRAPPED IN A SIG FACTORY PLEASE SEND HELP
[ Parent ]

I use tabs to cut down on download time (none / 2) (#83)
by QuantumG on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 03:09:52 AM EST

Of course, the first thing I did when I got Mozilla was engage "Load links in the background" which means when I right click on a link and select "Open Link in New Tab" (or just middle click) it creates a new tab for me and starts loading the page. I can do this 5 or 6 times, continuing to read down the page as I go. Then I can go and have a look at all those freshly loaded tabs I just started. It also means I don't have to remember all the links I wanted to follow on the page I was reading and I don't have to read the page again to select just the links I want to follow after I'm finished reading.

You could well be the kind of person who never clicks "Open Link in a New Window" so you'd never know the annoyance of being interrupted by a window popping up over the page you are trying to read.

But none of this matters because for you to experience how much better tabbed browsing is you'd actually have to try something different and clearly you're not the kind of person who does that. Microsoft could ship a pile a dog shit with your copy of XP and call it "salsa" and you'd happily dip your corn chips in it.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

Tabs and K5 (none / 3) (#127)
by Belgand on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:06:35 PM EST

Tabs are one of my absolute favorite features. Take K5 for instance. I look at the main page and see 1, 2, 3, 4 articles I want to read. So I load each in a new tab and then work my way through them in turn. Easy, simple, clean. Like another poster mentioned I  want my links to load in the background.

The same goes for when I'm reading something and it links off somewhere else. Often I want to finish reading the article I'm on, then follow the link when I'm done. With tabs by the time I finish with the article the link is loaded and waiting for me.

Searches are greatly enhanced by tabs as are all forms of research. The ability to have 5-8 pages easily open at the same time and swap around between them simply without a cluttered taskbar (or even worse, those cascading all-in-one buttons) is a nice feature.

I use tabs when I'm reading livejournal or slashdot or any other site that has comments that are available on a seperate page so that I can go, read the the comments, and then go back without losing my place.

Finally I like tabs because I dislike the way new windows open these days. They want to load with an offset from the current window when I would prefer them to load directly on top of the same window (or even better, behind it) as I have my desktop space rather tightly regimented. A big mess of overlapping, cascaded pages is ugly and a pain in the ass when I have to manually move them back on top of each other. Tabs don't have that problem at all.

Ultimately a small part of it is about personal preference, a small part is about browsing behavior, and a small part is about what you're doing online. Tabs work wonderfully for some people and I guess some people don't see the point. Personally I can't live without them.

[ Parent ]

Commentary on commentary (none / 0) (#24)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 02:52:04 PM EST

A big drawback to the "out of the box" install of Firebird is that it isn't memory-resident the way IE is, so most users dislike that that they have to wait for it to load, instead of having it up almost instantly. You can make it be memory-resident and live in the system tray, and while I personally don't bother because I don't want it hogging memory and resources, some people might

I just timed starting Firebird on my machine (2.6 Linux kernel, blackbox window manager) - it took under 2 seconds. It's not the first time I ran Firebird since I booted so I'm sure that had an effect, but it's hardly a big deal to set it to load on startup, which would be the equivalent of Windows loading IE modules at startup.

Yes, and this is nice. However, AdShield for IE does the same thing and better, and also provides excellent protection against banner ads or anything else you don't want to see. I see maybe 5% of the banner ads out there now, because I've most of the major adservers. So far as I know, nothing like this exists for Firebird or Mozilla, and the fact that IE does it only with a third-party add-on doesn't bother me. The AdBlock extension for Firebird has never quite worked for me, and in any case doesn't seem nearly as effective

AdBlock works fine for me - I don't see banner ads at all (or 90% of other ads ), and for flash animations, I see a button that you can click if you want to see it, otherwise you don't. AdBlock is great.

I also find this unbelievably annoying. I rarely view more than two or three pages at a time, so I really have no use for tabs. I've never understood the idea of loading up fifty pages in fifty tabs, but some people think that's just groovy, apparently

Yes, I think tabs are groovy. All depends on the way you use your browser I guess.

Anyway, good review of an overall good product, but IE can do most of what Firebird does without much hassle (barring certain things I don't give a damn about, like themes and tabs)

So IE can do most of what Firebird can do...except for the things that IE can't do. And even that is incorrect, I have to use IE at work. No, it can't do most of what Firebird can do. Not even close. There's a Firebird extension to do about anything you can think of, mouse gestures being my latest favorite.

Also, the unfortunate truth is that there are a lot of sites out there that just don't work with anything but IE

Maybe. I haven't run across many of them. Sometimes I have to adjust preferences to get a site to work (allow a site to open pop-ups, for example, which you can do in Firebird on a site-by-site basis), but there aren't any sites I use at work in IE that don't work now in Firebird. I no longer have a machine at home capable of running Windows, and I don't miss it.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Spyware is the reason to replace IE (none / 1) (#50)
by dasunt on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 05:21:17 PM EST

I also find this unbelievably annoying. I rarely view more than two or three pages at a time, so I really have no use for tabs. I've never understood the idea of loading up fifty pages in fifty tabs, but some people think that's just groovy, apparently.

Tab vs New Window is a matter of personal preference. I like to open tangents (links) on one webpage in tabs. If I need to, I can keep another window open for a different topic.

...why someone would want to switch. The security holes are a good mention, but Windows is inherently pretty insecure anyway, and not being a moron helps a lot more than switching browsers.

Spyware is a hell of a reason to switch. IE (although getting better) still has several holes open where malignent websites can install whatever they want.

I'm not sure about you, but I'd rather not have the new.net clones decide to replace my TCP/IP networking. While the quality of Microsoft's code has been questioned, Microsoft's networking seems to be able to renew its IP address, instead of giving me an 'operation attempted on a non-socket' error. Even though its not a hard fix, its a pain-in-the-ass.

The new generation of spy-ware is beginning to scare me. I saw a VX2.internet derivative the other day that Spybot Search&Destroy, Adaware, and Norton 2k4 could not successfully remove without it immediately reinstalling itself. The solution would either be picking through each and every process that is running with several 3rd-party users, or reinstalling windows. Yippie!

Sure, Windows does have huge security problems, but the vector of choice for spyware is IE. By replacing IE, spyware problems are reduced.



[ Parent ]
Tabbed browsing (none / 0) (#170)
by Arevos on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 01:50:38 PM EST

A big drawback to the "out of the box" install of Firebird is that it isn't memory-resident the way IE is, so most users dislike that that they have to wait for it to load, instead of having it up almost instantly. You can make it be memory-resident and live in the system tray, and while I personally don't bother because I don't want it hogging memory and resources, some people might.

Soooo... What's the problem? With IE, most of it stays in memory whether you like it or not. With Firebird, you get the choice of either. Are you saying that Firebird should by default be memory-resident?

I also find this unbelievably annoying. I rarely view more than two or three pages at a time, so I really have no use for tabs. I've never understood the idea of loading up fifty pages in fifty tabs, but some people think that's just groovy, apparently.

People use tabs not because they're groovy, or cool, but because they find them incredibly useful. Certainly whenever I'm forced use IE, I'm continually irritated so much by the lack of that feature.

If I'm browsing /., or Kuro5hin, or some other news site, tabs are a godsend. I can pick out the stories I want, and have them load up as tabs in the background. The same with google results. With IE, that's possible to do with separate windows, but my task bar is usually cluttered with other things, and you don't get the same convenient at-a-glance view.

I usually have anywhere between 5 to 20 tabs up at anyone time. Usually some point at forums, others at news sites, others at google searches and still others that are the results of google searches.

I haven't used IE in so long that I'd have to actually go back and look at it to pick out all the bits I don't like. But I find tabbed browsing so, so useful it's hard to manage without. In fact, you're the only person I've heard of who doesn't like tabbed browsing :)

The other thing I like about Firebird is that it's far more customisable than IE is. Whilst the average home user probably won't care, I can do almost whatever I want with the interface. Firebird and Mozilla are, to me, so, so much better than IE that using IE is just a hassle.

[ Parent ]

Can it actually display anything? (2.75 / 3) (#31)
by godix on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:12:11 PM EST

A couple years ago I tried most browsers avalable for windows. At the end I decided that they all suck in different ways but IE was the best of a bad lot. I've run into plenty of pages that other browsers couldn't display but the only pages I've run into that IE couldn't display were specifically designed to do nothing except break IE. You can blame web designers for the stupidity of 'designed for IE' or you can blame MS for screwing with standards but the simple fact is that IE can display the most pages and that's all I want my browser to do.

Besides, your first two points to switching are already solved with googles toolbar and the others basically boil down to 'we do the same thing as IE but slightly differently' rather than being an actual improvement.

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi

The google toolbar is fine (3.00 / 3) (#34)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:19:29 PM EST

if all you want to do is search google. The nice thing about the search field in Firebird is that you can search any site with it, adding additional engines as you need them.

I admit blocking pop ups isn't really a great feature anymore, but hey.

As far as being able to render pages correctly, yeah Firebird is fine. A lot of development has happened since you used it a couple years ago.

[ Parent ]

Pages not rendering (none / 1) (#46)
by Tyler Durden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 04:05:36 PM EST

I haven't noticed any pages that don't render acceptably with Firebird.  I even use it with Outlook Web Access.. it displays the page differently from IE, but it looks fine and works fine.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 1) (#167)
by zerblat on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:34:43 PM EST

A couple of years ago is a pretty long time ago. A lot has change since then. The thing is, everyone tests their webpages with IE on Windows to make sure the look okay, so it isn't strange that you never see pages that look wierd in IE.

OTOH, it's not very hard to make webpages that IE renders incorrectly -- especially if you use CSS layout or transparent PNGs.

[ Parent ]

Firebird is good (none / 2) (#39)
by Tyler Durden on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:33:13 PM EST

I've been using Firebird for about 6 months now I guess.  Before that I was using Mozilla primarily.  I think it's great.  Fast loading, clean UI, stable.  My favorite thing is the popup blocking (I don't know if Mozilla has this now or not).  And, since I don't have the flash plugin, I don't have to put up with all the flash ads either (I think someone else mentioned a plugin that fixes that annoyance).  

Also, 6MB for Firebird, vs. 12MB for Mozilla.  If you're on dial-up, it matters.

Security is exactly why I don't use IE.
And as for Opera, what the hell were they thinking?  Who would pay for a web browser?  Same people that pay for a Linux distro instead of downloading one?

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie

Paying (none / 2) (#116)
by smallstepforman on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 09:44:48 PM EST

People who use one of the many features Opera is famous for and cannot be found anywhere else. Like useful keyboard shortcuts. A working back/forward button. Speed. Bookmark handling. Custom CSS. Graphic resize when text resize. Numerous other things which Mozilla/Firebird still lacks.

Opera is the most useful browser for everyday power user usage. For casual Joe and Mom, Firebird is just fine. Hence, no need to shell $39. But for power users like myself, I like the features Opera has, and dont object to paying $39 for what is my most used application. Its a bargain at that price.

[ Parent ]

Opera - nice runner up IMO. (none / 0) (#229)
by acebone on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 05:58:13 PM EST

Opera is certainly useful, but where'd you get the MOST bit ?

Back/Forward works fine in Firebird ?

Keyboard shortcuts seems fairly usable to me in Firebird (I hardly ever touch the mouse) ?

Resizing images with text is exactly what I DON'T like in Opera, they should have an option to turn off the resizing of images (do they ?)

Custom CSS - it's in firebird too isn't it ?

As for the numerous other things - hmm... dunno what they are.

It doesn't render as nicely as Firebird.

Javascript/DHTML is no fun in Opera, only hurdles.

So to me Opera is the 'not-quite-but-almost-as-good' browser that you have to pay for (or face sacrificing browser real estate to a banner). Makes Firebird a real easy choice IMO.

--------- Je suis un étranger en tranché
[ Parent ]

Yes, Firebird kicks ass. (2.75 / 4) (#44)
by fae on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 03:55:05 PM EST

Firebird is fast, it's stable, it's small, and it works.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
Some features Mozilla DOESN'T support. (1.13 / 23) (#53)
by tkatchev on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 05:56:39 PM EST

Just a quick, non-exhaustive list:

  • Speed above the "molasses" setting.
  • Being non-bloated.
  • A codebase that doesn't involve proactively enabling the "spaghetti" technology.
  • A consistent, non-broken user interface that allows incredibly advanced things, like, for example, changing fonts.
  • Supporting complex, international languages other than American.
  • Not crashing lots.

But other than that, I totally agree. Tabbed browsing is like totally k-rad.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

FUD (3.00 / 4) (#56)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 07:07:15 PM EST

Speed above the "molasses" setting.

Once Firebird loads, it's as fast or faster then IE. If you want it to load faster, set it to load at startup, which is basically what IE does. Have you even used Firebird?

Being non-bloated.

Download for Firebird on Windows: 6MB. Download of IE on Windows: Between 11 and 75MB, average of 25MB. Have you ever installed Firebird?

A codebase that doesn't involve proactively enabling the "spaghetti" technology.

If I had any idea what this meant I would respond to it.

A consistent, non-broken user interface that allows incredibly advanced things, like, for example, changing fonts.

On 0.7, it's Tools->Options->Web Features->Fonts and Colors. Do you really have problems figuring these things out? What's Microsoft charge for a support call? Send me 75 bucks and we'll call it even. Again, have you ever used Firebird?

Supporting complex, international languages other than American.

I don't use web sites in other languages, but just for fun I went to the Chinese government home page and it seems to work just fine. Can you give me an example of a foreign character set page that didn't work for you in Firebird, if in fact you have used a recent version?

Not crashing lots.

Haven't had any problem with Firebird 0.7, although obviously it is beta. IE crashes all the time on the machines I am forced to use it on. If Firebird was a person, you'ld be in danger of a slander lawsuit.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Reply. (1.09 / 11) (#59)
by tkatchev on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 07:51:32 PM EST

1: No it isn't.

2: Don't know about Microsoft, but I personally would be ashamed to show code like that to the public.

3: Same as #2.

4: Except it is broken by design and doesn't work.

5: You know, little things like Unicode and other non-latin1 character sets. And no, visiting a Chinese site for half a second doesn't mean you "tested" localisation support and that it now "works".

6: IE is fairly stable. More stable than Mozilla. (Though it is true that Mozilla is still in early beta and needs some slack.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

greetings from the year 2004 (3.00 / 6) (#62)
by calimehtar on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:14:43 PM EST

the browser you remember is something like Mozilla milestone 13, circa 2000. Try it again.

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
IE is a ridiculous liberal myth. (none / 2) (#65)
by ubernostrum on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:55:45 PM EST

Seriously. "Internet Explorer" doesn't exist. Go to Microsoft's website at microsoft.com and you'll see it was all just a big hoax perpetrated on decent, hard-working Americans by spineless liberal commie terrorist fuckwits like yourself.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
For gods sake, get with the times already (none / 0) (#108)
by godix on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 05:24:37 PM EST

They are better ways to hide redirects than what you did. Which really doesn't matter because the site you linked to no longer exists. Come on, if you're going to troll you gotta keep up with this type of thing.

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi
[ Parent ]
Nope. (2.75 / 4) (#67)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:56:59 PM EST

1. Yes, it is.

2. Actually, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Microsoft is afraid to show it's code to the public.

3. Same as 2.

4. Works fine for me. Again, as soon as I receive the $75 for my first support post, I will be glad to help you get your little font all set up the way you want it.

5. Again, I don't often visit foreign language sites. You made a specific claim. I went to a site that was obviously using non-latin1 character sets, and it works fine. Since you made the complaint, I asked you specifically for a page that would not work in Firebird due to character set issues. I'm still waiting, you're still whining.

6. IE is almost as stable as the space shuttle, in my experience. YMMV.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Dork. (1.12 / 8) (#85)
by tkatchev on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 06:12:12 AM EST

You can chose to simply ignore these problems and hope they go away.

But it won't help the 98% of the world's population for whom Mozilla is simply inusable. Yes, IE sucks, but it has the unbeatable competitive advantage of being usable without your eyes popping out of your head.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#192)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:49:34 PM EST

What's this crap about it being unusable? I find it more user friendly than IE if anything. Care to give examples?

[ Parent ]
unicode (none / 0) (#146)
by bloat on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:55:20 AM EST

Unicode works fine - I use mozilla 1.5 and Firebird 0.7 all day everyday to develop a multilinugal web application that uses UTF-8 as well as three different ISO-8859 character sets (1, 2 and 7).

Here's a good page for testing UTF-8 functionality. Of course, success levels willl depend on your system's fonts as well as your browser's capabilities.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
your features list (1.60 / 5) (#54)
by reklaw on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 06:08:20 PM EST

Pop-up blocking - Numerous programs are available for IE that can do this quickly and easily, as well as provide a multitude of other features. The Google Toolbar is probably the best.

Search on Navigation toolbar - Google Toolbar does this too...

Tabbed browsing - Uh, yeah, woo. So the open pages appear below the browser's toolbar instead of on the taskbar. Why is this considered such a great feature? IE does the same. Additionally, if you've got lots of pages open, Windows XP will collapse them into only one taskbar button for you, from which you can select which window you want to open. MDI is dead -- get over it.

Download window - I don't want a single download window, that sucks. Status windows for each window are much better. If you seriously have trouble remembering where you saved things then you probably shouldn't be attempting to install a new browser.

Themes - IE supports theming -- in fact, you can take its whole engine and use it in a browser of your very own (see: Crazy Browser, MyIE2). IE also supports toolbar backgrounds and you could probably skin it easily enough using something like WindowBlinds if that's really your thing.

Extensions - I'm sure you'll find many, many more extensions available for IE than for Firebird, both freely and commercially. As the world's most popular browser, it makes sense that people will develop any web browsing extension available for it. IE is the standard.

Firebird often crashes, and it's slow. It doesn't work with every page you'll come across, unlike IE which obviously will (because they were designed for it). Firebird's UI is clunky and non-standard (on Windows at least), as it doesn't use the normal Windows toolset. IE, by contrast, is snappy, simple and standardised.
-

Well (none / 0) (#55)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 06:45:56 PM EST

I admit pop up blocking isn't really a huge deal these days, and the fact is that after MSIE 6.0 gets pop-up blocking in SP2 they'll probably start to phase it out anyway.

Google toolbar lets you search google. Mozilla Firebird's search bar lets you search multiple sites. Plus from the screenshots I've seen Firebird's search seems to take up much less space.

Tabbed browsing? Don't like it, don't use it. Yes, XP will collapse separate windows into one button. So if I want to switch pages (with tabbed browsing) I just click one tab. If you want to switch pages, you have to click the group button, and then click which window you want. The first way is more convenient. Plus it's redundant to list the application name several times on the taskbar buttons.

Download window. If having a separate window for each download makes you feel better then so be it. Personally, I think it just adds needless clutter.

Extensions? More extensions for IE. Plz provide links k thx.

As for firebird crashing, being slow, and all that other FUD I have to wonder if you've ever actually tried it.

[ Parent ]

I will admit... (none / 0) (#61)
by reklaw on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 07:58:35 PM EST

...that Firebird has a few things going for it -- the tabbed browsing and search-anywhere functions can save small amounts of time, for example. What annoys me is that these are used to preach switching to Firebird as if IE is the worst browser in the universe and Firebird is the best. The differences are really quite minor.

Oh, and of course I've tried it. I don't use it because it's slower to load up, occasionally incompatible and buggy. The bookmarks toolbar and downloads sidebar annoy me immensely, and the UI has that hard-to-explain "treacle" feel, especially on the menus. FUD seems to be a word invented by open-source freaks to describe people who evaluate their beloved software objectively instead of mindlessly advocating it.
-
[ Parent ]

In my article (none / 0) (#71)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 09:07:38 PM EST

I said that MSIE 6.0 is a fine browser, and I stand by that statement. I just think that Firebird is a superior browser, and that at least they have a commitment to improve themselves, while Microsoft has decided to sit on the sidelines and watch.

As far as the rest of it goes, sure it's a matter of taste. I don't really think there's much in the way of incompatibility and bugginess, but if stability  is of paramount importance then I'd stick with MSIE for the time being. And if the interface to MSIE suits you better then by all means use it.

[ Parent ]

Obviously you have a different browsing style (none / 2) (#73)
by damiam on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 09:10:03 PM EST

than many people. What's awesome about tabbed browsing is that you can go down a page and middle-click links, and they'll load in a background tab. I can browse k5 and open all the interesting stories, diaries, and sidebar links without having to click the link, look at it, return to the original page, click another link, etc. There was a time when I didn't understand why tabbed browsing was so great, but once you get used to it, you'll never go back.

Anyway, for one reason not to use IE, look at this. That's the kind of crap that IE allows.

[ Parent ]

Slower to load? (none / 0) (#106)
by fridgemagnet on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 05:11:40 PM EST

I can honestly say I've never experienced that. They both load in double-quick time for me.

---
"bugler of incongruity"


[ Parent ]
Firebird vs. IE (none / 0) (#179)
by Arevos on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 03:28:52 PM EST

Pop-up blocking - Numerous programs are available for IE that can do this quickly and easily, as well as provide a multitude of other features. The Google Toolbar is probably the best.

Search on Navigation toolbar - Google Toolbar does this too...

You're probably correct there. IE does have pop-up blocking through third-party software.

Tabbed browsing - Uh, yeah, woo. So the open pages appear below the browser's toolbar instead of on the taskbar. Why is this considered such a great feature? IE does the same. Additionally, if you've got lots of pages open, Windows XP will collapse them into only one taskbar button for you, from which you can select which window you want to open. MDI is dead -- get over it.

Thank you for your informed opinion. I've tried taskbar collapsing, and it just isn't the same as a tab-bar. I find tabs much, much, much better; so much so, that I can't use IE without growling in frustration every-so-often.

It's tricky to explain why tabbing is so good. Certainly everyone I know adores the feature. Let me try and point out the benefits.

Generally, it's much more convenient. I can see what windows I have open, their page titles, and their favicons. With IE, all the windows are cluttered up on the task bar. It's far easier to find a tab you want than it is to find an IE window you want. I shouldn't have to spend a good few seconds searching out which one of the minute IE's in the taskbar I want. With tabs, it all there right in front of me.

The whole collapsing into a task bar entity thing is even worse. It's a poor substitute for tabbing. For one, you can't see what's there at a glance; you have to click first. For another, you have to click twice to select, which takes more time. And third, it's a lot smaller and more fiddly.

The final argument is that I, and everyone else who uses tabbed browsing, uses it because they say it's much better. After using Firebird and Mozilla for so long, IE's lack of tabbing is physically painful.

Download window - I don't want a single download window, that sucks. Status windows for each window are much better. If you seriously have trouble remembering where you saved things then you probably shouldn't be attempting to install a new browser.

Your opinion, not everyones. Having all your downloads in a single place makes it easy to keep track of things. And as for remembering where you saved things, perhaps that's just because you don't download a lot. If you have several thousand files in a selection of download directories, then even if labelled and neatly sorted, it's still tricky to keep track.

Themes - IE supports theming -- in fact, you can take its whole engine and use it in a browser of your very own (see: Crazy Browser, MyIE2). IE also supports toolbar backgrounds and you could probably skin it easily enough using something like WindowBlinds if that's really your thing.

That all said, IE isn't as customisable as Mozilla or Firebird. You can literally reprogram the whole interface using XML and javascript. This isn't of much use to average users, but it is nice for coders. And, as well, it means that extensions are trivial to make.

Furthermore, custom CSS can be implemented over the top of pages, so you can pick and choose what's displayed, and what's not. So far, it's been pretty good at getting rid of ads, but the potential for the technology is, well, very impressive.

Extensions - I'm sure you'll find many, many more extensions available for IE than for Firebird, both freely and commercially. As the world's most popular browser, it makes sense that people will develop any web browsing extension available for it. IE is the standard.

I'm fairly sure it would be a closer run thing than you think. Firebird and Mozilla are far, far, far, far easier to extend than IE is. That's a fact. So there are a hell of a lot of extensions availiable.

Firebird currently has 151 extensions. Can you name that many for IE? I'm not talking about plugins, I'm talking about applications like the Google toolbar. Personally, I think IE actually has much less extensions than Firebird.

Firebird often crashes, and it's slow.

Often crashes? Firebird crashes for me less than 10 times a year. I can't remember the last time it crashed, and I certainly know it hasn't crashed so far this year.

As for slow, well, if you set Firebird up to be memory resident, like IE, then it's pretty nippy, and there certainly isn't a real noticable difference. IE is fast because Windows keeps most of its components loaded up in memory.

It doesn't work with every page you'll come across, unlike IE which obviously will (because they were designed for it).

I find that 99.9% of the web works fine in Firebird. Besides, you can't really blame Firebird for not beign able to parse HTML written by an idiot. Firebird interprets standard HTML. Web pages that will only display for IE are unfortunately written by morons. There's not a lot Firebird can do about that.

In fact, Firebird renders HTML far better than IE does. As far as I'm aware, IE doesn't even support the HTML 3.0 standard correctly, let along HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0, CSS1 or CSS2.

Anyway, that issue aside, I find that the 0.1% of badly designed sites that can't be displayed in Firebird as worth the extra features and stability that Mozilla brings. If a page is so fucked up it can't display in anything but IE, then I rarely need to visit that page anyway.

Firebird's UI is clunky and non-standard (on Windows at least), as it doesn't use the normal Windows toolset.

Huh? Firebird DOES use the native Windows GUI toolkit. I think you're thinking of Mozilla, not Mozilla Firebird.

I personally don't like IE. As an occassional web designer, IE irritates me so much. I create a page of standard, simple, HTML. Every other browser renders it cheerfully. IE, of course, has a really really bad rendering system, and can't accurately render standard HTML. So my current development cycle goes as follows:

  1. Create HTML.
  2. Check it validates as standard HTML.
  3. Note happily it works in Firebird and Opera and (to a lesser extent) Konquerer/Safari.
  4. Note that IE can't render standard HTML, and curse repeatedly.
  5. Fiddle the settings around for the next few hours until IE renders it properly.
IE is a really, really bad browser. I find the lack of features in it irritating when I browse the net, but it's nothing compared to how bad it is at rendering standards.

Or look at it another way; if IE wasn't the dominant browser, then web page technology would be far, far in advance. IE doesn't even suppose CSS1 right, let alone the niftiness that is CSS2. Nor does it support standard DHTML, instead having it's own way of doing it. If it supported all the features in other browsers, web designers wouldn't be constrained as much.

[ Parent ]

Engine Reuse (none / 0) (#184)
by asret on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:41:16 PM EST

Just thought I would mention the Avant Browser. As you mentioned you can take the engine from IE and use it in your own browser. Avant does this, and offers many of the features touted in Firebird.

It could be worth a look if anyone wants tabbed browsing, but prefers the IE rendering engine.

http://www.avantbrowser.com/


Be happy. You're cute when you smile.
[ Parent ]
Re: your features list (none / 0) (#188)
by ko on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 07:37:14 PM EST

Hi, I'm new here. Those are your trolls ? They're weak :)


[ Parent ]
A few questions on features (2.75 / 4) (#57)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 07:17:37 PM EST

Downloading: can it resume downloads? Worst flaw in IE / Windows Explorer right there. Woops, internet connection lost or computer crashed at 49.99/50mb? Start all over again. You lose. Does Mozilla have resume? Further, can it do download acceleration?

Will "themes" allow you to alter font, text color, and background color of all webpages to a standard you dictate? Or will I be forced to remain ignorant for the rest of my life of what is written on webpages with red text on black background?

Does Mozilla allow you to turn off / kill embedded midis? Does it automatically kill BLINK tags, or is there at LEAST an option? Can it allow you to kill other embedded objects you might occasionally like to do without, like java classes or shockwave flash movies?

What control over cookies does Mozilla give you? Can you build an accept/deny server list? Can you conveniently manage and delete cookies? When you tell Mozilla to delete something, does it really do it or does it lie like IE?

Can Mozilla be used as a local filesystem browser, or is it internet-only? Does it have an FTP browser like IE, or not?

Is Mozilla vulnerable to webpages that use html commands to reset your homepage? Will it block these attempts from working? Does it offer a convenient way to view the source of a loaded webpage?

Is Mozilla vulnerable to link redirects? Is it vulnerable to that asshole javascript that denies right click functionality?

See, currently I'm using The Proxomitron and Cookie Pal to edit html and manage my cookies, but it would be nice if I could find one program that could eliminate all the web's nastiness and put control of it back into my hands.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Sorry, you lose, try again. (1.06 / 15) (#60)
by tkatchev on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 07:54:19 PM EST

Mozilla doesn't support changing the 7.6 pt Times Roman font they graciously provided you with as default.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I don't see any Times Roman. (none / 0) (#97)
by i on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 02:11:03 PM EST

7.6 pt or otherwise. You're probably talking about some other Mozilla.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
Seriously, when did you last use mozilla? (none / 0) (#216)
by ocelotbob on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 06:59:26 AM EST

I've been using Mozilla as my default browser for years now, and the first thing I've done whenever setting up the browser on a new system has been to adjust the default font to 12pt Sans-Serif.

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...
--soylentdas
[ Parent ]

A few answers on features. (3.00 / 3) (#64)
by ubernostrum on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:46:23 PM EST

Downloading: can it resume downloads?

By default, I don't think so. However, a quick browse through the active projects on mozdev.org would probably turn up something with that functionality, and if all else fails GetRight is available as a Moz plugin.

Will "themes" allow you to alter font, text color, and background color of all webpages to a standard you dictate?

Depends on what you mean by "themes." You can change the appearance of the browser's controls (the chrome) with what are commonly called "themes" for Mozilla and Firebird. If you want to dictate page appearance, Mozilla allows you to create a user stylesheet which can override any styling on any page, at your discretion. For example, you could insert the following rule into your user stylesheet, and blinking text would go away forever:

blink {text-decoration: none;}

Eric Meyer's CSS Anarchist's Cookbook is a good place to get an idea of what user stylesheets can do for you, and if you don't feel like writing your own you can always just copy and paste from Eric's (or grab a copy of mine; it blocks <blink> as well as most standard banner ads) and follow the instructions at texturizer.net to put the stylesheet into use).

What control over cookies does Mozilla give you?

Mozilla and its kin support a wide range of cookie-control settings. You can allow all cookies, deny all cookies, or allow/deny on a per-site basis. I personally prefer the combination of "accept all" and "warn before accepting a cookie"; this causes Mozilla to prompt me before it accepts a cookie, and I can choose to allow the cookie, deny it, or deny all cookies from that server. Mozilla also has splendid cookie-management; you can edit the list of blocked/allowed sites and delete cookies from a handy dialog.

Can Mozilla be used as a local filesystem browser, or is it internet-only? Does it have an FTP browser like IE, or not?

While I rarely use it for this, Mozilla can indeed browse FTP sites and your filesystem.

Is Mozilla vulnerable to webpages that use html commands to reset your homepage? Will it block these attempts from working? Does it offer a convenient way to view the source of a loaded webpage?

As far as I know, the scripting methods that change your home page are IE-specific. Viewing source is as easy as View->Page Source or Ctrl+U in most Mozilla variants (Galeon places the "View Source" item in the File Menu, though, for some strange reason).

Is Mozilla vulnerable to link redirects? Is it vulnerable to that asshole javascript that denies right click functionality?

What do you mean by "link redirects"? If you're talking about all the bullshit in IE that disguises the real URL of a link, then Mozilla is not vulnerable except for one long-standing bug where URLs are sometimes incorrectly displayed in the status bar (though they are never incorrectly displayed in the address bar). If you mean the standard HTTP 301 redirect, then Mozilla is "vulnerable," but that's a part of the HTTP spec, not a bug. Ditto <meta> tags which cause a change of location. The "disable right-click" scripts seem to be a sometime affair; some are written using IE-specific methods, but either way Mozilla allows you to easily disable JavaScript temporarily in order to bypass such idiocy.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Answers (2.75 / 4) (#68)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 09:00:44 PM EST

Downloading: can it resume downloads? Worst flaw in IE / Windows Explorer right there. Woops, internet connection lost or computer crashed at 49.99/50mb? Start all over again. You lose. Does Mozilla have resume? Further, can it do download acceleration?

I tried downloading the Far Cry demo on nvidia's website. I exited the browser 3.5 megs into the dl, restarted and tried downloading again and it resumed at 3.5 megs. So yes, it seems as it does support resuming downloads although the server probably has to support it also.

Download accelerator is proprietary I think, and no Firebird doesn't support that. The future is probably bittorrent anyway.

Will "themes" allow you to alter font, text color, and background color of all webpages to a standard you dictate? Or will I be forced to remain ignorant for the rest of my life of what is written on webpages with red text on black background?

I think you can, but not sure on this... never tried it or had a reason to.

Does Mozilla allow you to turn off / kill embedded midis? Does it automatically kill BLINK tags, or is there at LEAST an option? Can it allow you to kill other embedded objects you might occasionally like to do without, like java classes or shockwave flash movies?

Embedded midis-not sure
Blink tags-yes you can, but you have to edit a text file in your profiles directory. I admit this is a bit of a pain in the ass.
Kill embedded objects-As I said in the article the adblocker extension will let you temporarily disable flash. Not too sure about that other stuff.

What control over cookies does Mozilla give you? Can you build an accept/deny server list? Can you conveniently manage and delete cookies? When you tell Mozilla to delete something, does it really do it or does it lie like IE?

Yes, you can have it prompt you everytime a server offers you a cookie, and then whitelist cookie domains, etc. Personally, I find this a pain in the ass, since everytime you visit a site you are offered a ton of cookies. But if you need it, Firebird has pretty good cookie management, afaik.

Can Mozilla be used as a local filesystem browser, or is it internet-only? Does it have an FTP browser like IE, or not?

Yeah, but it's pretty ugly and barebones. Yes, it supports FTP.

Is Mozilla vulnerable to webpages that use html commands to reset your homepage? Will it block these attempts from working? Does it offer a convenient way to view the source of a loaded webpage?

Not sure about the home page hijacking. I am pretty sure it won't allow it, but not absolutely sure. Firebird allow source viewing, in the browser, with syntax highlighting. Which is very nice.

Is Mozilla vulnerable to link redirects? Is it vulnerable to that asshole javascript that denies right click functionality?

Wow that's a good question. I wish I knew a page that had either of those so I could try it. My guess would be no, though.

See, currently I'm using The Proxomitron and Cookie Pal to edit html and manage my cookies, but it would be nice if I could find one program that could eliminate all the web's nastiness and put control of it back into my hands.

Yeah, proximitron is nice, and I used it for awhile but I kind of gave up on it after I got firebird. Although, if you want total ad-free browsing and absolutely no nonsense, then I would keep Proximitron. Keep in mind you can still use Proximitron with firebird, too.

As far as cookies go, I really don't sweat them too much so I really couldn't give you any advice on that.

[ Parent ]

Answers (2.85 / 7) (#69)
by damiam on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 09:01:45 PM EST

Note that I'm referring to Firebird here. Vanilla Mozilla may be slightly different.

Downloading: can it resume downloads?

You can pause/resume a download as it downloads, but not resume a completely canceled download. However, it's good enough for modem users - just click pause when you disconnect, and resume when you reconnect.

Will "themes" allow you to alter font, text color, and background color of all webpages to a standard you dictate?

Themes in Firebird affect only the browser itself. You can force it to use your preferred fonts and colors, though.

Does Mozilla allow you to turn off / kill embedded midis? Does it automatically kill BLINK tags, or is there at LEAST an option? Can it allow you to kill other embedded objects you might occasionally like to do without, like java classes or shockwave flash movies?

You cannot kill embedded midis, although you can not install whatever plugin they use in the first place. You can kill BLINK tags (it's a hidden option - go to about:config and change browser.blink_allowed). I don't know about Java, but there's a Flash click-to-play extension.

What control over cookies does Mozilla give you? Can you build an accept/deny server list? Can you conveniently manage and delete cookies? When you tell Mozilla to delete something, does it really do it or does it lie like IE?

You can build accept/deny lists, and delete arbitrary cookies. It seems to work for me, I don't know what you mean about IE "lying".

Can Mozilla be used as a local filesystem browser, or is it internet-only? Does it have an FTP browser like IE, or not?

It can access the local filesystem, but it's not a file manager. You can't manipulate files or launch programs. You can browse FTP sites, but read-only: not in the file manager way that IE provides.

Is Mozilla vulnerable to webpages that use html commands to reset your homepage? Will it block these attempts from working? Does it offer a convenient way to view the source of a loaded webpage?

No, yes, and yes. It does reload the page when it displays the source, so CGI stuff doesn't always work right. However, the source view is syntax-highlighted and much nicer than IE's Notepad.

Is Mozilla vulnerable to link redirects? Is it vulnerable to that asshole javascript that denies right click functionality?

It follows standard HTTP, <meta>, and Javascript redirects, if that's what you mean. 95% of right-click-denying scripts don't work, but I've come across a few that do.

[ Parent ]

A few corrections (none / 2) (#131)
by abulafia on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:39:22 PM EST

You cannot kill embedded midis, although you can not install whatever plugin they use in the first place. You can kill BLINK tags (it's a hidden option - go to about:config and change browser.blink_allowed). I don't know about Java, but there's a Flash click-to-play extension.

Tweaking your user CSS file can do all this and more, but it does take some work (it isn't hard, but if you're not technically inclined, you probably won't try it.)

You can build accept/deny lists, and delete arbitrary cookies. It seems to work for me, I don't know what you mean about IE "lying".

I think they mean that various bugs/design choices/whatever you want to call them cause IE to not actually remove files when "clear cache" or whatever it is called is selected.
The answer is that Mozilla and I think Firebird (I could be wrong on FB) manage the disk and the memory cache separately, and when you tell it to clear them, it actually does.

It follows standard HTTP, <meta>, and Javascript redirects, if that's what you mean. 95% of right-click-denying scripts don't work, but I've come across a few that do.

There are also extensions that allow more control over Javascript, and again, for the advanced user, configuration options allow very fine grained control over what JS is allowed and not allowed to do.



[ Parent ]

Taking control (none / 2) (#109)
by swr on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 06:42:46 PM EST

For killing annoying stuff (flash, java, colours, etc) there are bookmarklets you can use, most of which work with IE too. And someone else posted a link to the "flash click-to-play" extension, which works pretty well (flash is the most common thing for me to zap).

Cookie control is very good. I uncheck the "enable cookies" checkbox, then under "exceptions" I set the sites that I want to allow cookies for. Does exactly what I want.



[ Parent ]
Installer (3.00 / 3) (#66)
by j1mmy on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 08:56:01 PM EST

There's an installer available for users in the windows world. It registers the browser with the system so plugins know how to install themselves without you finding the plugin directory for them.

i still use IE (2.60 / 5) (#70)
by MechaA on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 09:06:44 PM EST

because I really can't find a practical reason to switch.

I know about all the security holes -- but in four or five years I don't recall ever once getting any sort of spyware or adware or virus, and I check frequently...so I can overlook them.

I realize it's not going to be updated any further unless I get Longhorn, but I plan to get Longhorn (unless DRM really does become that much more draconian -- that -does- scare me), so that's okay, because my browser works fine right now.

I guess that's the crux of it -- my browser works fine right now.  Pages are designed for IE, my operating system is designed for IE, and I'm used to IE, so unless I encounter a problem with the thing, I just don't feel a need to change.  I feel sort of dumb, because I'm a techy sort of guy -- I program, and play with Linux, and all that, and all my friends use Firebird -- but there it is.

k24anson on K5: Imagine fifty, sixty year old men and women still playing with their genitals like ten year olds!

Perhaps you'd be surprised (none / 1) (#175)
by Arevos on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:52:57 PM EST

I mean, whilst your browser works fine the way it is, how do you know you're not going to like Firebird better? A horse-driven plough worked fine at tending a field. Why did people switch to mechanised machinary? Of course, the jump to Firebird is hardly that great, but Firebird is a more advanced browser in many ways than IE.

You may, of course, find you don't like it. But if so, you've really lost nothing. Go in with an open mind, use it for a week or so, experiment with tabbed browsing a bit and make up your own mind on it.

Now I'm used to Firebird and Mozilla, I find I can't really go back to IE. Now I've seen what they're like, IE just seems so, well, terrible in comparison. The lack of tabbing alone makes me grind my teeth in frustration, every time I come across a system with only IE installed.

[ Parent ]

Tabbed Browsing (none / 1) (#186)
by Lagged2Death on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 06:00:34 PM EST

Tabbed browsing alone makes it worthwhile. It doesn't really sound like such an innovation, but once you've tried it, you may wonder how you ever managed without it. I can't stress that strongly enough. Set it up so that middle-click opens a link in a new tab in the background, and you'll be hooked forever.

Also very neat is the fact that bookmarks are stored in an HTML page - meaning you can set your home page to your bookmark list. Nifty.

I also feel that Mozilla 1.5 crashes less often than MSIE6.x. That may or may not apply to Firebird, of course.

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]

I only skimmed your article, (1.25 / 8) (#74)
by rmg on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 11:19:13 PM EST

But I didn't notice any mention of Firebird's most salient feature -- you can select links by typing a few letters rather than using a mouse. This is significantly faster and easier, in my opinion.

Also, there's a pretty nice plugin that adds an extra google bar with a variety of features (I would guess more than the "Google Bar" from internet explorer -- it's pretty extensive) and new options to your right click menu including searching for backwards links and such. It also has an extension that lets you save and load form input. Great for crapflooding.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Google bar for Mozilla-based browsers (none / 0) (#80)
by swr on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 12:18:44 AM EST

May as well provide a link: Googlebar home page

If you've running Firebird (or other offspring of Mozilla) right now, you can install the googlebar directly by clicking here: Googlebar installer

I'm not sure I like the fact that the one-click install capability exists, with only a confirmation dialog to stop it. Lots of Outlook viruses have spread that way, and I suspect a lot of spyware and other crap gets downloaded by IE and installed that way. I don't see any way to disable it in Firebird either, though I seem to recall seeing such an option in Mozilla.



[ Parent ]
To be honest (none / 0) (#89)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:38:07 AM EST

I really wasn't able to find any practical use for the type-ahead link finder. Firebird's site lists it as an "accessibility feature" and makes the case that it would be good for browsing on a laptop. I guess that's true, but I doubt too many people would find it a useful feature.

I don't see the point of the Google bar if you run Firebird, but I guess if you're in love with google you can download the google toolbar extension and then disable the in-browser search prompt. I wouldn't really recommend that to anyone though, since it would just (unnecessarily imho) take up more room.

[ Parent ]

type-ahead use (none / 0) (#90)
by danharan on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:56:36 AM EST

It's incredibly useful for navigating technical documentation. Looking up Java APIs, I only have to type the class I'm looking for, instead of scrolling to find it.

[ Parent ]
Okay what the hell, I added it. -nt (none / 0) (#92)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:17:51 AM EST



[ Parent ]
You don't have to press "/" (none / 0) (#101)
by rmg on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 03:30:02 PM EST

To find links.

I'm beginning to think you've never even used Firebird.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

I downloaded Mozilla Firebird (2.75 / 3) (#76)
by qpt on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 11:33:14 PM EST

A few hours ago, and I actually like it OK. I have one complaint at this point, though.

The mouse wheel scrolls pages slower than in IE -- too slow, really. Is there a way to fix this?

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

I had a problem like this once. (1.75 / 4) (#79)
by rmg on Sat Jan 31, 2004 at 11:37:54 PM EST

Ended up having to edit my XF86Config file.

Good luck.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Yes (3.00 / 6) (#86)
by interjay on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 07:57:57 AM EST

Type about:config into the address bar. Double-click the parameter mousewheel.withnokey.sysnumlines and set the value to false. Then set the value of mousewheel.withnokey.numlines to the number of lines to scroll each time.

Also go to tools->options->advanced and make sure smooth-scrolling is off.

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 1) (#122)
by qpt on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:28:50 PM EST

That worked perfectly.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Flash (2.75 / 3) (#95)
by IHCOYC on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 02:02:36 PM EST

I would recommend that you not install Macromedia Flash, at least not until the browser supports a similar function that gives you the chance to "disallow Flash images from this site," even as it allows you to refuse to load images from a particular site.

Flash exists anymore mostly to serve up annoyances. If there's a flash animation I actually want to see, there's always the opportunity to load the page in IE. I prefer to keep Mozilla clean of Flash, so that what I get is in fact that puzzle piece.
--
Popoculus nauta sum; Popoculus nauta sum.
Ad finem pugnabo: spinaciam edo! Popoculus nauta sum!
--- Horace

Use Flash click to view (3.00 / 6) (#98)
by interjay on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 02:29:56 PM EST

Just install Flash click to view. It replaces all flash objects with a button. If you click it the flash object plays normally.

[ Parent ]
Nice work, Tex! (2.50 / 6) (#96)
by eSolutions on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 02:07:01 PM EST

Web browser reviews are next-to-impossible to find on the internet. Thanks for filling a much-needed void.

Back when I was with the Zendik collective, we actually worked on an early version of Firebird. Except that instead of coding it in Computer Language, we "wrote" Firebird with a precise recipe of peyote and allergy medicine. I remember flying above the ocean after taking it, my feathers bursting into flame when I approached the sun. "I AM FIREBIRD!" I screamed, and then -- as with Google -- all the world's knowledge was mine for the asking. When I woke up, I was licking some guy's ass. Good times.

Write in: (none / 1) (#99)
by guyjin on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 02:53:01 PM EST

Helooooooooo, anyone remember Netscape 7? the latest version of the browser MS wanted to kill in the first place?

(yes, I know, it's just like mozilla, but the netscape name means a lot to me.)
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください

There's a netscape 7? (none / 0) (#107)
by godix on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 05:15:56 PM EST

I'm impressed their corperate offices weren't burnt to the ground and the programers lynched with USB cables by angry geeks after Netscape 6...

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi
[ Parent ]
a name means a lot? (none / 1) (#121)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:12:52 PM EST

thats a pretty superficial outlook.

[ Parent ]
if names are superficial, (none / 0) (#231)
by guyjin on Sat Feb 07, 2004 at 07:31:33 PM EST

you'll have no problem changing yours.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]
A few comments (3.00 / 7) (#103)
by calimehtar on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 03:41:33 PM EST

Security - Firebird does not do VB Script or Active-X, and it doesn't run executables without your permission. One of the biggest reasons IE users end up with their machines cluttered with adware and spyware they didn't want is that IE consistently fails to give adequate warning about software execution and installation. So Firebird does have better security built into it, and it isn't entirely a case of being a less common browser.

Installing flash in Firebird - before flash 7, getting flash running on Firebird was about as difficult as you describe. Flash 7, however, is aware of Firebird and will install itself automatically in the firebird plug-in directory, after asking if you'd like it to. This is in the case where you first install firebird and then flash. (Firebird 0.7, installed from a zip file on a computer which I didn't have admin privileges on.)

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


Thanks (none / 1) (#104)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 04:38:05 PM EST

Actually I wanted to put something like that under the security paragraph but I wasn't sure of it myself. And alas the edit queue timed out so it was pushed to vote.

[ Parent ]
no prob (none / 2) (#105)
by calimehtar on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 04:44:04 PM EST

that's what topical comments are for.

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
I just don't get it (1.31 / 19) (#110)
by Lord Snott on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 06:52:08 PM EST

Talk about preaching to the choir. I think of K5 as a site for discussion, not "me too" posts. For critical thought, and not mindless MS bashing.

First, let me state: I hate using Mozilla and Firebird.

They have no compelling features that would make me want to switch. Mozilla is slow, painfully slow. It's slow to load, slow to respond, slow to display pages, slowslowslow.

Firebird is faster, but unstable. Even when it reaches version 1, there's still no guarantee it'll be as stable as IE.

Tabbed browsing? Gimme a break. MS STOPPED putting everything in one window because the general population found it more convenient to have them separate. I know I do. And maybe for most people here it is more convenient to have tabbed browsing, but the people at this site are not representative of the general population. As I said before, preaching to the choir. Tabbed browsing will NOT help put Mozilla, Firebird, or anything open source on the desktop. MS gives people what they want (except for the pop-up blocking - see below), they don't waste time preaching the virtues of "open-standards", or "freedom", they just give people a product that works. (I didn't say it works great, just better than Mozilla/Firebird for most people).

Pop-up blocking? Easily get that from Google, and it's a lot smaller download, and I don't have to put up with the slowness of Mozilla, or a pre-realease of Firebird.

Themes? What a great way to build inconsistancies. Again, you're preaching to the choir. The people who want this stuff are going to go and find it, most people don't need the hassle.

And in regards to IE aoutomatically launching executable etc - just turn that functionallity off. This is something I really don't understand, the same people who'll go through the motions of installing and configuring third party software in Windows, don't bother to look at the options the existing software already has.

You shoulda posted this article to Slashdot.
Sorry.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

Jesus you're right (3.00 / 12) (#111)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 07:22:51 PM EST

I just wish it wasn't too late to pull my article. Man I feel so embarrassed. I've just reformatted and reinstalled WinXP (don't want to leave any traces of Firebird) and am now using MSIE 6.0. I hope Bill forgives me for straying off the path.

(Now if I can give you some advice, you went a little overboard with the intentional spelling mistakes at the end. I give this one a score of 4/5)

[ Parent ]

Hehehe (none / 3) (#112)
by Lord Snott on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 07:38:13 PM EST

Oops! Those spelling mistakes were not intentional, I guess I just slack towards the end (that, and a little over-enthusiastic).

And for godsakes, DON'T INSTALL XP!! GO BACK TO 2K!!!

Your article was well written, I just thought it was totally unnecessary. People who want to use Mozilla will (I don't like talking about a pre-release like Firebird - it's not ready for widespread installation). If they are passionate enough to download and install it, they don't need a guide that's telling them stuff they already know. Hence my "preaching to the choir" remarks.

And if they're passionate enought to install pre-release software, they probably need a prayer book, not your article ;-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]

Thanks and fair enough (none / 2) (#113)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 07:42:30 PM EST

I took a quick glance at your posting history and thought you might be up to something.

Your point about installing pre-release software is well taken, however unfortunately in the free software open-source world, it takes just about forever before they finally say "Okay here's 1.0" When money isn't on the line, you can afford to sit back and be a perfectionist.

Keep in mind, though, how bad Internet Exploder 1.0 was when it was deemed "ready for release"

[ Parent ]

IE 1.0? (none / 2) (#156)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:14:06 AM EST

a.k.a. NCSA Mosaic?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

MICROS~1 MOSAIC (none / 0) (#202)
by Qwaniton on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 06:57:30 AM EST

Yeah, the "cognitively impaired" edition, with MICROS~1's name slapped on it.

I always liked MSIE 3.0 better than anything since. However, Firebird still trounces IE3 (even when you ignore new standards and old age).


I don't think, therefore I
[ Parent ]
Agreed. (none / 0) (#115)
by Wulfius on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 09:43:53 PM EST

Why run a browser like Firebird and run the web code in an application when you could run it natively in the operating system.

Lets make owning your PC easier for the hackers.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

point-by-point refutation (3.00 / 4) (#118)
by calimehtar on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 09:58:55 PM EST

There's nothing like a pompous point-by-point refutation to push the level of discussion up a notch.

Firebird is unstable - yup. And kuro5hin isn't above being bleeding edge. This ain't your parents' web browser.

Tabbed browsing - yeah, in fact I use tabbed browsing on mac os x, which is redundant since macs have always had made application windows subordinate to the application. It's just a gui gimmick that ends up being addictive. And of course you don't have to use it. The same goes for the 1001 other tiny GUI improvements that have gone into Firebird thanks to community feedback on Bugzilla. These are things that do matter to the average user, at least in the long run.

Pop-up blocking - don't underestimate the power of default installs. This is one feature that people get really excited about the first time they use it. 3rd-party blocking I've seen tends to be clumsy anyway.

Themes - what can I say, you're right.

MSIE security - see my point about the power of default settings. And Microsoft's generously-provided high-low security slider is incredibly dense. Why didn't the designers realize that Active-X was really dangerous while cookies and js are relatively benign? They were hoping to use Active-X to force users of all browsers other than IE off the internet, and what they got instead was the proliferation of search helpers and all those other nasty self-installing trojans.

There are other reasons I prefer Mozilla and Firebird, but that's another post.

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
Well.. it actually is. (none / 0) (#145)
by arcade on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:54:54 AM EST

Firebird is unstable - yup. And kuro5hin isn't above being bleeding edge. This ain't your parents' web browser.

Both my parents prefer Linux to windows, and firebird is their favorite browser. The few times they boot windows, they still use Firebird.

So.. well.. ;-)

--
arcade
[ Parent ]

stability (none / 0) (#139)
by aenima on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 04:19:05 AM EST

Firebird is faster, but unstable. Even when it reaches version 1, there's still no guarantee it'll be as stable as IE.

Currently Firebird is already far mor stable than IE.

[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 3) (#155)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:11:19 AM EST

You forgot about the horribly braindead internationalization support in Mozilla.

Basically, any browser that doesn't support foreign languages out-of-the-box and by default is on the fast track to the trash can.

99% of the world doesn't want anything to do with software that needs to be configured before becoming usable.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#212)
by kjb on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 01:24:21 AM EST

You forgot about the horribly braindead internationalization support in Mozilla.

You keep claiming this, but refuse to provide a single example of it.

I wonder why that is.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

The one thing I couldn't get Firebird to do . . . (2.75 / 3) (#114)
by ZorbaTHut on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 09:43:15 PM EST

I read a lot of webcomics. I read them pretty infrequently, so I tend to bookmark the last one I've read and then go from there when I look at that comic next. Once I'm finished reading that one (usually when I'm caught up) I bookmark the last page again. It always has the same title - the few webcomics that embed the date in the page title are dealt with by deleting the date ;)

IE prompts me to replace the old bookmark, and I hit "yes" (quickly enough that I don't even notice it anymore, it's just a reflex.)

Firebird ends up with two bookmarks with the same name, pointing to different locations.

Is there some way to talk Firebird into overwriting the old bookmark? I realize this is a pretty specific thing, but this is basically the only thing standing in the way of me adopting Firebird permanently. :P

(And no, I have no interest in downloading the source and recompiling it, unless someone can describe exactly where to look to add that feature and exactly what programs I'll need to install to compile it. And even then, it had better not be too many programs :P)

As it turns out (3.00 / 3) (#124)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:34:35 PM EST

the "Favorites" in MSIE are stored as individual files, with the name of the Favorite as the filename. So the browser is unable to store two favorites with identical names.

Firebird stores the bookmarks some other way which allows it to store two favorites with the same sitename.

So essentially, I guess for you MSIE 6's shortcoming is an unintentional feature.

[ Parent ]

Yep (none / 0) (#162)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 10:57:57 AM EST

Pretty much. I'd actually consider Mozilla's implementation more problematical, though - how often do you really want half a dozen favorites, with the exact same name, pointing to different sites?

I think MSIE6's "shortcoming" is much more in line with usability, personally.

[ Parent ]

Yep (none / 0) (#163)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 10:58:59 AM EST

Pretty much. I'd actually consider Mozilla's implementation more problematical, though - how often do you really want half a dozen favorites, with the exact same name, pointing to different sites?

I think MSIE6's "shortcoming" is much more in line with usability, personally.

[ Parent ]

How about... (none / 0) (#194)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:02:05 PM EST

...When you want to bookmark several different pages of a site that happens to have the same title, and you can't be bothered to create a custom name for each bookmark, or even realise that the titles are the same?

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 1) (#208)
by ZorbaTHut on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 03:29:24 PM EST

then your bookmarks won't be wonderfully useful, will they, without some reshuffling?

Anyway, that's what prompts are for. "This is the same as another bookmark. Replace, cancel, add a duplicate name, or rename?"

"Oh, it's the same! I hadn't realized that. I'd better use a new name."

[ Parent ]

Are you a programmer? [nt] (none / 0) (#213)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 01:29:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Re: Are you a programmer? (none / 0) (#218)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 11:18:59 AM EST

Yes, I am. If what you're suggesting is "it's open-source, just do it yourself!" my answer is "no" - Firebird isn't worth it to me, IE is Good Enough and my time is valuable :P

[ Parent ]
Not what I was suggesting... (none / 0) (#220)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 05:37:54 PM EST

What I was suggesting is that since you are a programmer, you have a skewed perspective of how users really use software. And that includes the false idea that users can always be bothered to type a name/description. How oftern have you seen files names like untitled.txt etc?

[ Parent ]
Users (none / 0) (#221)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 05:50:07 PM EST

Well, yeah. I leave a default name for bookmarks 99% of the time too. (And, two weeks ago - before I cleaned up - I had New Folder through New Folder (6) on my desktop, as well as untitled.(txt|png|tga) and (q|x).htm. I know about laziness :P) I *still* see no point to having duplicate bookmark names.

I also trust MS's usability teams a little more than open-source usability teams and anecdotes, honestly. :P

[ Parent ]

Filed (none / 1) (#189)
by jesser on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 07:58:31 PM EST

I filed bug 232916 and referenced this thread. I also found zorbathut: It's really frustrating. I want to use Mozilla when I searched for 'zorbathut google' (???) and I guess I'll comment there too.

[ Parent ]
I read webcomics too (none / 0) (#193)
by jsebrech on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:49:52 PM EST

I read them daily. They're all bookmarked in a single bookmark folder. When I want to read the comics, I just go to the comics folder and select open in tabs. Opens them all up neatly.

No solution here for your problem, but just pointing out that firebird can be a blessing as well as a burden when reading webcomics.

[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#209)
by ZorbaTHut on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 03:30:59 PM EST

I read about 110 different webcomics. I don't really want all of those opening at once, thanks :)

Plus, I prefer reading them in chunks - I've found that one month of Sluggy, once a month, is a lot better than one day of Sluggy once a day.

Trying to read 110 comics daily would be death. Reading a month's worth each of 5 comics daily works quite well.

[ Parent ]

Me too! (none / 2) (#117)
by melia on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 09:54:25 PM EST

Heh, I really like it, and I wouldn't say I was a techie or "tribal geek" type. If you see what I mean. Tabbed browsing is really just a different implementation of what Microsoft is doing with the XP taskbar, where once you open a certain number of windows they sort of get compressed into one. It's very useful to have different "subtasks" grouped like that, and it does make sense to have the grouping done on the taskbar, but the tabs in the browser are a whole lot quicker to access than doing it the Microsoft Way. Being a modem user it makes a lot of difference to be able to load pages in the background and I find it a hassle to use IE now. Perhaps if "Open New Window" opened it behind the active browser...

The little search box in the top right is great too. I never liked the "sidebar" (present in both FB and IE) for anything except quickly accessing the history, since it takes up to much space. Also, the google box doesn't really take anything except a couple of characters off the address bar. Anything larger than said box (such as the toolbar icons) would squash up the address bar - so there's nothing else small enough to fit there and the only option is to leave that space unused, as it is in IE. Essentially, I feel i've gained a feature without losing any real estate.

Finally the type-search thing, I can't remember what it's called. Well, I never thought i'd like that, but once you get used to it it's fantastic and speeds things up no end. I also like the self-contained nature of FB, and of course, the fact that when you erase some data, whether history or cache, it actually gets erased.


Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong

Free desktop plug :-) (none / 1) (#136)
by esrever on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 01:41:28 AM EST

"""
Tabbed browsing is really just a different implementation of what Microsoft is doing with the XP taskbar, where once you open a certain number of windows they sort of get compressed into one.
"""

It's worth noting that various free desktops for Linux have been doing this for some time now, and it's nothing like as good as tabbed browsing.  All those poor IE users ;-)

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]

Don't forget ad blocking. (2.80 / 5) (#120)
by King of Prussia on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:10:02 PM EST

I use firebird with a custom userContent.css and the number of ads that make it through can be counted on one hand (and that's in a day).

Sure it can be used with other browsers too, but there are also a number of plugins that have the same functionality built specifically for Firebird.

Join me on irc.slashnet.org #kuro5hin.org - the official Kuro5hin IRC channel

Advantages Over Mozilla? (none / 2) (#125)
by NeantHumain on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 10:39:09 PM EST

I've been a regular user of Mozilla since about version 1.3, and I don't really see any significant advantages Mozilla FireBird 0.7 (I haven't tried 0.8 yet) has over Mozilla 1.6 or 1.5. Mozilla seems somewhat more polished to me, and they both rely on the same rendering engine anyway.

Can anyone tell me why FireBird is now en vogue among geeks more than Mozilla?


I hate my sig.


Just for me personally (none / 0) (#126)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:01:31 PM EST

I don't see the point of downloading anything more than a browser if all I want is a browser. It's like if you buy a car, they don't thrown in a refrigerator and a washing machine too.

But I've never used regular Mozilla so I can't really say whether I'd like it or not.

[ Parent ]

No need for bundles (3.00 / 4) (#130)
by Belgand on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:16:14 PM EST

I don't use anything in Mozilla expect the browser either. Tried Thunderbird and didn't really like it compared to Eudora (remember back before Outlook was bundled when everyone used Eudora?) and bundling a browser and e-mail client seems just as weird to me as it apparently does to you. The solution is to just download the selective install version of Mozilla and then tell it you only want to install the browser and it fetches and installs just that for you. Likewise you can use any Mozilla installer and get just the browser installed.

Like a lot of other posters I don't use Firebird because as of yet I don't see any real reason to change from Mozilla to a slightly less ready browser. The last time I tried it the speed didn't seem to be any greater than Mozilla and I didn't see any new features that I didn't have (gestures and this link typing thing don't appeal to me and seem minor at best besides). I realize that this isn't aimed at me though. It'll be nice to see what Firebird becomes when it takes over for Mozilla proper though.

[ Parent ]

The home button is in the right place (none / 0) (#160)
by llimllib on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:43:45 AM EST

I mean seriously, that annoys the hell out of me on Mozilla. Enough to switch.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Get this extension (none / 0) (#182)
by gniv on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 04:20:17 PM EST

Home button. It works with most themes. Using this extension, I usually hide the "Personal Toolbar" and set the navigational toolbar with icons only. This way, the header is very lean. BTW, I use the Pinball theme.

[ Parent ]
what a hack (none / 0) (#210)
by llimllib on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 05:09:56 PM EST

It's clearly not hard to write toolbars that are customizable, but the Mozilla developers would rather focus on adding features before fixing the ones that they have. I used that hack when I had Moz, but it's been years and they still haven't fixed the toolbars.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Firebird is faster than Mozilla nt (none / 2) (#132)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:12:14 AM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Hmm.. (none / 0) (#142)
by arvindn on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:28:37 AM EST

This question is often asked, but is difficult to answer since there's no "killer feature" that firebird has and mozilla has, but its lots of little UI improvements that combine to make your browsing experience a lot more smoother and comfortable. You might want to look at this list.

So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]
Speed mainly. (none / 0) (#219)
by Kal on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 12:43:36 PM EST

Mozilla is unusable on the 450mhz Suns I get to play on at work. Firebird runs fairly well though. It is slower than Netscape 4.7, the default browser on the machines, but obviously it's far better.

[ Parent ]
MSIE best browser...bullshit (2.83 / 6) (#128)
by dh003i on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:06:53 PM EST

MS IE has a number of very annoying and cumbersome flaws. Let's start out with the worst one. It does not save information typed into fill-in boxes if you go forward or backwards, or attempt to submit and get a "page not found". If that happens, you're fucked and have to start over again. I can't tell you how many times I've had to retype long comments, when at work, because IE didn't save the fill-in box.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

ummm.. well... uhhh... *scratches head* (2.75 / 3) (#129)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun Feb 01, 2004 at 11:13:35 PM EST

this is one of the few times on K5 that I can remember where a post has rendered me speechless

[ Parent ]
Use text program (none / 0) (#138)
by eclectro on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 03:02:32 AM EST

I too have had that frustration of losing long comments in I.E. Since I have used a text program (wordpad will do) to cut and paste, I have not lost a long comment. Remember the old phrase "save all your work"? I think it applies here very well.

[ Parent ]
If you ask me (none / 0) (#211)
by kjb on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 01:13:20 AM EST

that's a feature, especially when you're typing something into a form that might contain anything sensitive (credit card info, say).

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

I like Firebird (3.00 / 3) (#133)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:25:20 AM EST

I've never had it crash on me like others have reported.

One of my favorite features is the cookie manager that allows you to block cookies from some sites and allow others.  Of course, I'm paranoid.

One problem I do have is a bug with the tabbed browsing.  If you open to many windows, the tabs just go off the right side of the tab bar and are inaccesible.  I hope they fix this on a later release.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Huh? (none / 1) (#141)
by arvindn on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:23:56 AM EST

They're not inaccessible. Hit Ctrl-PgDn.

So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]
My reasons for liking Mozilla/Firebird (3.00 / 6) (#134)
by abulafia on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:34:59 AM EST

This is from the standpoint of someone who does software development, frequently in a web context. I switch between them - I like FB for the leaner interface, but Mozilla for development.

You can't beat Mozilla for web development. The httpliveheaders extension makes it easy to see what's actually going on, cookie control is wonderful, the DOM inspector and Venkman (for JS) are both great.

Contrast this with troubleshooting things in IE, where I habitually run a proxy in debug mode in front of it just to see what's happening on the wire.

I know a lot of folks care more about mob-standards than actual standards, but Gecko is very, very good, standards wise, and is much easier to write to. Given that we've had two large projects recently where we didn't have to worry about supporting IE's bugs and missing standards support, that was a huge win (when we do have to support it, IE support is usually about 10% of the total project cost.). We've changed how we quote projects based on that fact, as there's an emerging group of companies that don't need IE for intranets.

Tabs are something one either loves or hates. Personally, I love them - hit the third mouse button, a reference loads in the background while I keep reading. It is right there to reference when I want it. Semi-nonlinear reading is massively improved by this - rather than interrupting the flow by either moving away, or popping up a new window, references become a simple thing to move to when it is appropriate. If you don't like it, fine; I find I can't live without it now. (I've seen the XP style make-appication-buttons-a-menu trick, and I'm honestly not impressed. As UI for browsers, it is near useless, because the text in the titlebar is insufficient for distinguishing between different pages on the same site, on most sites. Plus, you have to leave your current window, hit a button at almost, but not quite at the bottom, and select from that. If smacking the cursor to the bottom of the screen got you to the button, that would almost be OK, but you have to aim slightly above the screen bottom. I haven't used XP for a while, but I think there's even a delay before the menu appears. Not a natural series of gestures at all, and very different than the haptic of using tabbed browsing.)

Add in control over whether ads display, flash runs, popups appear, who gets cookies, overriding annoying things frequently featured on Geocities sites, and I'm left wondering why anyone runs IE as a primary browser.

I know I'm an anomoly - I do software, I run Linux as my desktop, etc. But damn, every time I use IE for normal browsing, I'm amazed at how broken and annoying the web is.

Just my two cents.



I think you mean (none / 0) (#154)
by calimehtar on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:50:25 AM EST

Livehttpheaders. Thanks for the tip.

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
My reasons for hating Moz Firebird (none / 1) (#135)
by kesuari on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 01:12:53 AM EST

I use X. I therefore expect to find myself running applications that work like X apps. Mozilla Firebird on X tries to be a displaced Windows app. Fine for people who mostly use Windows and occasionally Linux, but not fine the other way around. (e.g. try middle clicking on the scrollbar and watch in vane as nothing happens.)

Whatcha talkin about? (none / 0) (#140)
by arvindn on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:18:20 AM EST

It works perfectly fine for me. My UA is "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007 Firebird/0.7", what's yours?

There are a lot of minor annoyances because of the nonstandard widget set, but absolute-positioning the scrollbar is not one of them.

So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]

Mozilla firebird follows the GTK+ 2 theme for me (none / 0) (#198)
by Trepalium on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 02:28:14 AM EST

That is, of course, unless I install a theme that makes it look like something else. The only thing that doesn't properly match is the fact that Mozilla Firebird will not use three button scroll bars even if the GTK+ style explicitly requests them (which makes using the GTK Qt Theme engine a little difficult). The only thing that doesn't try to use the native widgets is the HTML page rendering area, that uses Windows-like widgets.

[ Parent ]
Works for me (none / 0) (#165)
by zerblat on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:02:07 PM EST

I think it might be a combination of Firebird theming and GTK+ theming. IOW, make sure your Firebird theme uses GTK scrollbars and that your GTK scrollbars behave correctly.

[ Parent ]
Yuck (3.00 / 12) (#137)
by dachshund on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 02:20:38 AM EST

I definitely do not recommend using Firebird for any actual work, since it's still in pre-release, and stability is obviously not guaranteed. I recommend MSIE for anything work-related, and switch to Firebird for casual browsing

No, you should not recommend MSIE. You should recommend Mozilla, the much more stable older cousin of this experimental Firebird thingy. It provides all of the features of Firebird, and it doesn't crash as much. Plus you won't be blasted with popups and possibly malicious exploits, as you would if you used IE.

Crash as much? (none / 0) (#191)
by jsebrech on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:41:15 PM EST

Firebird 0.7 has never, ever, crashed on me. I use it every day, all day, and it just keeps running. Both in windows and in linux. Maybe the problem is that people are using and advocating nightly builds, while nightly builds make no guarantees wrt to stability or functionality.


[ Parent ]
well it crashes X (none / 0) (#214)
by oohp on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 02:22:03 AM EST

It crashes X when I try to visit Wikipedia (as of http://en.wikipedia.org). The binary builds from mozilla.org that is. Both Firebird 0.7 and Mozilla 1.6. I'm running Slackware 9.1. Mozilla 1.4 that ships with it doesn't crash.

[ Parent ]
Windows Printing (none / 0) (#230)
by MicroBerto on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 06:27:46 PM EST

Ever try printing in windows? It's a joke in firebird.

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
One problem with Firebird (none / 2) (#147)
by nebbish on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 06:29:54 AM EST

Is that it messes up the rendering of a lot of CSS pages - it just reads them in a different way to other browsers. Overlapping text seems to be the most common problem.


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

css rendering. (3.00 / 4) (#149)
by variable on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:10:14 AM EST

there are proper ways, and inproper ways to render CSS, Firebird actually does it according to the "RULES" as defined by the W3C (www.w3c.org). IE on the other hand does it *almost* perfect, but is very forgiving to non-standard code. you can leave out details in the CSS code for IE, and it will work fine, but in Firebird, which is more demanding of percision, it won't look quite right. unfortunatly, this means people have to code "correctly" and it can take more time to do that. But, none of this counters your statement, just explains why.

[ Parent ]
I have a web developer friend (none / 1) (#151)
by nebbish on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:29:12 AM EST

Who says Safari is the only browser that renders CSS as it should. Nothing to say that he isn't coding wrong though.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Safari is based on Konqueror (none / 1) (#153)
by israfil on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:47:29 AM EST

... the KDE browser, so if Safari handles CSS right, so should Konqueror.

i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]
Firebird and Safari are equally capable (none / 0) (#228)
by cobra libre on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 05:45:12 PM EST

I doubt that he's "coding wrong," but I don't think that's a very fair statement, either. Both Firebird and Safari do an admirable job of displaying standards-compliant HTML/CSS. The challenge for both browsers is displaying broken HTML/CSS that has been written to work with IE's inferior rendering engine.

[ Parent ]
Software is an art (none / 1) (#148)
by Anonymous Brave on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 07:13:12 AM EST

A piece of art should be shown only when finished. It would have been nice to see Tex Bigballs write this article only when version 1.0 had been released.

He would have spared potential users of a program that's unstable and comes without an installer. Not to mention the amount of text he wrote alerting users of issues derived from the fact that we're facing a development version.

While Mozilla Firebird doesn't reach 1.0, I suggest people to use the current version of Mozilla which, besides being stable (I can't recall the last time it crashed), has all the features mentioned.



OSS and version numbering (none / 2) (#152)
by Alhazred on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:33:31 AM EST

Trust me, the fact that OSS projects often number their releases with sub-1.0 release numbers is mostly a fetish. Firebird is every bit as stable and high quality software as anything Microsoft has ever released.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
Microsoft doesn't write software. (1.00 / 3) (#157)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:19:16 AM EST

They merely package stuff other people write.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

huhhhhh.... (none / 0) (#161)
by Alhazred on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 10:37:00 AM EST

Yeah, and the Earth is flat! lol!

MS's main application is Office, all of which they wrote themselves (and it shows...). The same can be said for every MS OS in anything faintly resembling recent history. The only exceptions to that EVER were DOS 1, which was a slight rewrite of an existing OS, DOS 4.x which was written by IBM but still based on DOS 3.x which MS wrote, and OS/2 which MS wrote part of and ditched and was never really a 'MicroSoft' product. You could argue that some of NT was based on APIs developed for OS/2, but the code was all done in-house.

MS has purchased some apps, and they have licensed a fair amount of tech from other companies, but that hardly qualifies as repackaging other people's stuff. If it does than Linus Torvalds is just distributing someone else's OS. Maybe you should go work for SCO! ;o).
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

No. (1.60 / 5) (#168)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 12:35:43 PM EST

NT is a modernized clone of VMS. Microsoft hired the VMS team that used to work for DEC (porting VMS to new architectures) when DEC started going down the tubes.

Don't know about Office, but fact is that Microsoft never develops anything from scratch. They re-package and update existing, popular software.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Thats a very great stretch (none / 0) (#178)
by Alhazred on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 03:25:47 PM EST

Happens I know something more than nothing about the development of VMS. The guy that was in charge of VMS's kernel (basically a hardware abstraction layer) and a good bit of other VMS architecture went to work for MS and was indeed responsible for a good bit of development on NT 3.x.

At the time MS was anticipating that NT would become heavily used on DEC's then emerging Alpha architecture, and in fact there were Alpha, PowerPC, and MIPS editions of NT. In fact Alpha NT was pretty well supported and rather widely used in the mid to late 90's in certain industry sectors.

It was still an entirely MS product. Trust me, they are VERY 'in-house' with that stuff. At the same time MS has been quite willing to either buy technology from 3rd parties when it proves to be advantageous to them or even shop out development of certain APIs. Even more frequently they have teamed up with ISVs to develop APIs and subsystems (take ODBC as an example, which was developed by a combination of in-house development, purchase of code from Sybase, and an alliance with Oracle).
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Strongly Disagree (none / 0) (#187)
by MyrddinE on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 07:10:52 PM EST

MS creates a ton of code from scratch. They also freely buy and steal ideas from other people that work. In general, the OSS movement is more likely to steal an idea from MS than the other way around... witness the renamed 'Start' buttons on the bottom left of X desktops, projects like Mono, Open Office, and a ton of other 'me-too' apps for Linux.

Please understand... I'm not a MS whore. My servers run Linux, though my desktop is Win. But when you dis MS, pick on them for something they are TRULY at fault for... like monopolistic tactics, encouraging third party developers and then stealing ideas from them to incorporate into Windows, or blind arrogance with regards to standards compliance (or lack therof).

What you're saying just makes you sound petty and ignorant.

[ Parent ]

Not true. (none / 3) (#201)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 05:39:26 AM EST

What about theming and the ugly sidebar they planned for Longhorn?

Both are obviously inspired by similar OSS projects.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

They wrote office themselves huh? (none / 0) (#190)
by jsebrech on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 08:38:19 PM EST

They didn't write the original versions of powerpoint or frontpage. They did write word and excel themselves. I seem to remember they didn't write the original version of access either, but google isn't backing me up on this, so I'll assume my memory is mistaken.

[ Parent ]
Re: They wrote office themselves huh? (none / 0) (#223)
by Colonol_Panic on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 07:44:53 PM EST

Don't forget Visio

Here's my DeCSS mirror. Where's Yours?
[ Parent ]
Opera (none / 2) (#159)
by the wanderer on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 09:23:58 AM EST

There's only one thing you list that isn't in Opera: the "Extensions". On the other hand, if you were to list the number of features opera has, you would be able to list much that isn't in Firebird. That's mainly why i prefer Opera over Firebird.


» david, the Lost Boy
» the Written Pixel

So it's Opera.... (none / 1) (#164)
by divinus on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 11:34:02 AM EST


So it's Opera with a more responsive search key?

How does it rate on the memory footprint and processor usage? That's what I want to know. A list of features that other browsers also have isn't that useful..

Mozilla pared down (none / 0) (#183)
by tassach on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 04:21:46 PM EST

Since I don't use Opera, I can't compare firebird to it. Firebird is pretty reasonable in memory and CPU usage. It does take noticable longer to start up initially than MSIE, but other than that it's very lightwight, especially compared to Mozilla. Once it's running it's performance is indistinguishable from IE even on my Athlon/550. I use it almost exclusivly now. The only exception are some brain-dead sites that are intentionally crippled to be MSIE-only that I can't currently avoid visiting. Basically the only time I run IE is when I'm paying bills.


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Firebird extensions (none / 0) (#185)
by Repton on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 05:54:55 PM EST

I use Firebird under both Windows and Linux. I don't think it has ever crashed for me under Windows, but it does sometimes under Linux (in fact, it is capable of locking up my desktop completely...).

However, that is not the point of this post :-)

I want to highlight the two most useful Firebird extensions that I have found: tabbrowser extensions and easyGestures.

Tabbrowser extensions increase the tab functionality. In particular, they let me specify that only I am allowed to open new windows. So if any page wants to open a new window, they will instead open a new tab, and that new tab will open in the background. This solved what had been a very annoying problem.

Tabbrowser extensions also let you middle-click on bookmarks to open them in a new tab.

easyGestures is a configurable pie menu. With a pie menu, I right-click and drag, anywhere on the page I am viewing, and it runs a command. The click-and-drag is a very small gesture --- just a single click (no need to hold the button down) whilst moving the mouse in the right direction (there are 8 directions). In my case, the commands I commonly use are forward, back, next tab, previous tab, reload, and close tab. Considering that I can open links in new tabs by middle-clicking, this means I can do much of my webbrowsing without much mouse movement.

If you're one of the people here who thinks tabs are stupid and IE is best, I don't expect to have changed your mind about anything. But if you like Firebird and don't use these, give them a go.


--
Repton.
They say that only an experienced wizard can do the tengu shuffle..

Ok, so now what? (none / 0) (#195)
by godix on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 11:07:38 PM EST

Hey bigballs, if you're still reading this I got a question. Now that out of sheer boredom I've downloaded and installed Firebird what should I do? There's plenty of plugins mentioned to try out (in fact it was adblocker that prompted me to give firebird a try) but what else do you suggest? Any default settings that should probably be changed?

I also got a couple specific questions, by now I'm firmly in the habit on hitting CTRL-N when I want a new IE window. One of the 'benifits' of firebird is supposed to be tabbed browsing, so what's the shortcut to open a new tab? The other question might be a little complex, I previously used IEs zones to control what's going on. K5 and other sites I regularly use and somewhat trust would be thrown in the trusted catagory while everything else went into the 'don't run shit from here' site. Is that type of site by site trust level avalable in Firebird and if so how?

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi

new tab (none / 0) (#197)
by blakdogg on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 11:37:08 PM EST

Ctrl-T
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
I only run two extensions (none / 0) (#204)
by Tex Bigballs on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 08:40:50 AM EST

The first is Adblock which you're already using.

The second is one called "Tabbrowser Extensions". It does a couple cool things like put progress meters in the tabs when you're loading them. It will also have you confirm that you want to close Firebird when you have more than one tab open (this can be a problem for tab noobs) If you install this one, install the lite mode when it asks, not the full features.

I used to use Leech, which allows you to download all images off a site with one click. (Kind of like wget built into the browser) This works okay for porn off websites. It will automatically "click" on all the thumbnails and load every image into tabs.

To be honest, though I wouldn't download any extension that hasn't been last updated before 2004.

[ Parent ]

Give it a try... (none / 1) (#196)
by MrBond on Mon Feb 02, 2004 at 11:34:39 PM EST

I notice a fair amount of you are still complaining about how firebird is worse than IE.  So let me run them down for you.

Google search and popup blocking -- yeah, these can be added to IE with an addon.  But that toolbar takes up additional screen real estate to be there, which doesn't happen on Firebird.  Your search engine isn't limited to Google either.  If you like IMDB, Yahoo, AlltheWeb, or whatever, visit the Mycroft project to add other search engines to it.

In addition, the address bar and search bar have really useful shortcuts you can use to access them.  CTRL-L selects the address bar, CTRL-K selects the search field.  Intensely useful if you  don't want to reach for that mouse.

Don't like using tabbed browsing?  Then don't use it.  It's a big selling point with Mozilla, but it's certainly not going to force you to use it.  I find it really useful for grouping a set of pages together.  Say, for example, one window will contain a couple of tabs, such as a bunch of product reviews or something, while another window (mozilla mixes MDI/SDI) can hold a bunch of CNN articles, while another can hold your general browsing tabs.

Flash ads can be blocked using the Flash click-to-view extension.  Flash objects are replaced with a grey "click to view" dialog, so you don't see them animate or anything.  This keeps the page flow right, while also letting you view a useful flash if you want to (whether one exists is your problem :) ).

Type-ahead-find is good too, although you need to figure out how you can put it use.  One example I've found is if you're looking at a long page of links/text, and you're looking for something specific.  Say, the Java docs and you want to find the page on "String," type 'string' and it jumps to the first link it finds with that word in it.  CTRL-G advances to the next link.  Another example: the tldp HOWTO index page (http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/howtos.html).  Instead of scrolling to "kernel," just type it.

Themes: as most of you recognized, wholly unimportant.  But the XUL aspect of Mozilla means that you can have themes without adding much overhead or requiring you to change your programs (like myie2 would)

Extensions: http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/  Take a look at a somewhat complete collection over there.  Remember, all of those are 3rd party contributed and free (and generally OSS too)

For those of you complaining about Mozilla and Firebird being slow, let me ask you: when was the last time you tried it?  The nature of Gecko means that it is constantly evolving, and that means continual speed improvements too.  And I also ask, how fast is your computer?  I haven't noticed a speed issue on any computer above 700MHz, and that's only because I don't have a computer below that and don't remember what Mozilla was like.  Sure, if you've got a 300MHz K6-2, it might not perform optimally.  But then again, neither will lots of other things too.  Mozilla has a little more operating overhead than Firebird does too, which is part of the reason Firebird exists.

The same goes for stability.  I haven't had firebird crash in ages.  Of course, the risk is always there (and even heightened if you use nightlies).

I've also yet to see a single page in a long time that actually requires IE to look right (both as a result of efforts on the Gecko core and web developers), except for the obvious microoft page.

On a more ideological note, downloading and using Mozilla or Firebird actively means a vote in support of web standards, as you represent another user with a standards compliant browser (which IE does not qualify well under).

For those of you with questions about Mozilla, I recommend you download it and try it out yourself.  Unlike a Windows Update or IE update, it makes no major system changes, and is even distributable as a single ZIP archive.  There's almost no risk in downloading it and trying it.  Almost anything you do with Mozilla can be undone with little difficulty.  Questions are welcome at the newsgroups, staffed with volunteers. http://www.mozilla.org/support/

Where's the logic here? (none / 1) (#199)
by Jugalator on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 02:37:58 AM EST

"Truthfully, Firebird has crashed on me several times, though this doesn't happen often. And then again, I have seen MSIE 6.0 crash more than once as well." So can you once again tell us why Firebird isn't a choice as least as good as IE, and why you definitely not recommend using it? It's not like it has as many known security flaws as IE or that it crash more. So why not? Yes, it's not in version 1.0 yet, but that's just a number. Besides that, what's an actual reason to stay away from it?

It may just be me personally (none / 0) (#203)
by Tex Bigballs on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 08:25:00 AM EST

but I've had Firebird 0.7/0.8+(pr) crash on me more than MSIE 6. Mind you, it still crashes very rarely. The wording warning/disclaimer might have been a little too much, though. Keep in mind I was trying to come across in the article like a relatively unbiased and open-minded user, not a raving slashdot open source fanboy.

[ Parent ]
Why FB is cool (none / 1) (#200)
by syzme on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 02:47:12 AM EST

I use FB with both Windows and Mandrake.

If there is one single thing I like about the browser, its that its user interface is very intuitive. Every other browser I've tried, I've found there is always something I'm fighting.

With FB, everything works exactly the way I want it to. Configuration options are _very_ well organized, and are extremely easy to use, yet do everything I want. Unlike with Netscape, tabs work the way which feels natural. Bookmarks are intuitive as well.

On both boxes I have another browser installed in addition to FB, because every now and again it messes some page up. This happens seldomly, however, and the cost of this isn't enough to outweigh the browser's numerous benefits.

actually (none / 1) (#215)
by sic on Wed Feb 04, 2004 at 05:45:37 AM EST

It's the programmers who don't follow W3C specs that mess up the web pages, not Mozilla/Firebird...

[ Parent ]
What I HATE about Firebird (none / 1) (#224)
by fluxion on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 01:04:03 AM EST

Look I like Firebird. I really like Moz, but FB is good too. But there is one thing that annoys the crap out of me about it.

When you go to add a bookmark it uses the IE method of bringing up a dinky dialog and then scroll to find the appropriate folder. Braindead. IE has the worst UI mechanism for saving bookmarks. The absolutely best one I've seen and sorely miss is the one that Konqueror uses. To file a bookmark in the correct fold you just click on the bookmarks go down the list to your fold and find that each folder has two options on the bottom ... create a new folder or add a bookmark. This makes saving bookmarks so easy whereas in IE/FB if I want a new folder I have to close down the dialog and open up the edit bookmarks , then exit that and go back to the add bookmark dialog and then find the folder ... geeeeees!

Apart from that I do like FB and am using it right now. And no I've never had it crash on me.


[ Parent ]

search, middle click+tabs rocks (none / 1) (#206)
by davros4269 on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 10:33:30 AM EST

My favorite feature is the ability to middle click on a link and have that page open in a new tab, without that tab getting focus! I love being able to middle click on several links and get to them when I'm ready. I use that feature here at K5. I open a page to 'user comments' and then middle click on responses I wish to read. I think you meed one of the tab browser extensions for this, I'm not sure. I use that feature at slashdot also, and often users give groovy links, so I end up with oodles of tabs to read at my leisure. If I run out of time, I bookmark the set.

That is a very cool feature as well, I can open a set of tabs for Python, for example. 6 pages open at the same time, the tutorial, the ref. manual, examples, and so forth.

Others have mentioned MyCroft, etc., but out of the box, it features an alternative way to search. You just type a short search "key" and then what you want to find. For example, in the address bar:

google janet jackson nude breast superbowl

This isn't limited to just google:

dict necesary

And you aren't limited to the built in search keys either:

imdb Donnie Darko

Adding them is as simple as placing a bookmark to the search in a special bookmark folder and adding the key - any of the built in searches can serve as templates.

Yes, I know, there is already a google bar, but I find that I like to see my whole search, there isn't much room for the google bar over on the side and I also don't like the IE method of taking more vertical space. Faster than I can click and hit a drop down, I can just type a simple key and I've got what I need. I'm sure most of us here can type at least 30wpm, typing the keys easily becomes second nature and IMO, beats half the screen devoted to various blanks and such for various search engines.

I primarily use Linux but other boxes in the house have Windows, it works fine on both platforms.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.

The Microsoft IE URL-spoof exploit (none / 0) (#207)
by John Thompson on Tue Feb 03, 2004 at 12:27:30 PM EST

OK, I just installed the latest 02-Feb-04 critical security update on my wife's Win machine. This purports to fix the infamous URL-spoofing exploit that obscures complete URLs.

Does it work? Well, kind of. Going to the exploit test site shows that the full URL is indeed now displayed in the URL bar. Clicking on the link no longer directs you to another Secunia page with a microsoft.com URL, instead giving an error message:

The page cannot be displayed

The page you are looking for might have been removed or had its name changed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please try the following:

Open the www.microsoft.com@secunia.com home page, and then look for links to the information you want.

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

If you still cannot open the page, click the Internet Explorer Search button to look for similar sites.

Internet Explorer

But wait! There's more! The status bar display still shows the spoofed truncated URL, so it isn't completely fixed yet.

This puts IE on the same level as Firebird-0.7 with respect to this exploit. This is an improvement over the unpatched IE, but hardly enough to convince me that IE is in any respect better than Firebird.



Firebird is great (none / 0) (#225)
by proch on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 05:22:04 AM EST

I tried it and i like it! To use another browser then IE ist obviously a good idea. I don´t like to argue around and think there are good alternatives for free (mozilla etc.) but here are my personal reasons why i stuck to firebird: Very easy extension handling and there are some very cute like Needle Search . Using extension i was able to modify the handling of cookies etc. to fit best to my needs. If you lare interested take a close look to the extension site and i am shure you will find some you like to use! That´s it. Firebird GO GO GO

The Extensions I Use: (none / 1) (#226)
by entranced on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 05:46:51 AM EST

The sheer number of Firebird extensions can be overwhelming, so I'll help a little. I only use four extensions myself, and the only one that I highly recommend is Session Saver.

It remembers all your loaded tabs. So if you exit Firebird, and restart it, everything reloads what you had before. If it crashes, if your computer crashes, whatever, everything is back when you reload Firebird.

Great for someone like me who always has 10+ tabs open.

For those curious what the other 3 extensions I use are:

xKiosk - paranoia toolbar button, erases cookies/history/cache/everything in one click
SmartSearch - access your keyworded shortcuts from the context mouse menu
Tabbrowser Preferences - ensure all windows open as new tabs rather than new windows, etc.


"You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." ~John Morley

Windows XP (none / 0) (#233)
by YelM3 on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 03:38:58 PM EST

....is so ugly. I am always momentarily shocked when I see a screenshot. It reminds me of those Mattel Barbie/Hotwheels PCs that you could buy at Toys 'R' Us a few years ago....

Doofus (none / 0) (#234)
by findelmundo on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:58:32 PM EST

Not that you're wrong, but the screenshot had virtually no elements of XP included, unless you're counting the shadows...all those puffy sticker looking icons are part of the theme that the author uses with firebird, not XP.

[ Parent ]
windows xp (none / 0) (#235)
by soart on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:13:30 PM EST

If you would like to have MozillaFirebird's icon on the desktop or the start menu, you can right-click drag it from the explorer folder and copy it as a shortcut. Again, all of this will probably be handled automatically by the 0.8 installer, and if you're not used to doing these things with Windows XP you may want to wait for the actual milestone release.
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Mozilla Firebird Primer for Windows Users | 233 comments (195 topical, 38 editorial, 4 hidden)
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