Which Browser Is The Best
It certainly was an interesting end to 2012 for the world of web browsers. Internet Explorer 10 hit the market at the tail end of the year, Google launched Chrome 23 in December, joined by Mozilla's Firefox 17.
Which Browser Is The Best: The Numbers
According to Net Applications, IE currently holds 54.06 percent of the market share for desktop browsers. Firefox comes in at 19.52 percent, followed by Chrome with 19.11 percent. If you compare that to the numbers at the end of 2012, where IE claimed 54.77 percent, Firefox 19.82 percent, and Chrome 18.04 percent, you can see why Mozilla isn't pleased.
Yes, they're currently the number two browser relied upon worldwide to open your shared hosting web page, but they're losing ground to Chrome, which some experts believe will happen this year at some point. But why is this happening in the first place?
Which Browser Is The Best: Ask Jono DiCarlo
Jono DiCarlo is an ex-Mozilla employee who got tired of listening to people he would meet worldwide complain about Firefox as soon as they found out he worked for Mozilla, so he wrote a blog post addressing his thoughts on why he thought this was the case for so many. His answer: Firefox's rapid release schedule.
DiCarlo's blog post, written in July of 2012, paints a picture of executives scrambling to keep up with Google. Says DiCarlo: “We started thinking of everything in terms of the battle against Google Chrome. Oh no, Chrome is doing such-and-such; we'd better do something equivalent or we'll fall behind! We thought we needed a rapid update process like Chrome. We were jealous of their rapid update capability, which let them deploy improvements to users continuously. We had to “catch up” with Chrome's updating capability.”
When the browser updated, some browser extensions (one of the main reasons so many were drawn to Firefox in the first place) stopped working properly, upsetting user after user to the point they relied upon another browser to open your shared hosting web page in. “We didn't do enough to preserve add-on compatibility, making the updates extremely disruptive to people who depended on certain add-ons,” said DiCarlo.
Which Browser Is The Best: If It Ain't Broke
He said that users grow tired of frequent changes to the UI as well. He points out that developers should cut back on the UI changes, waiting until users become comfortable with it first. “Let it remain stable long enough for us to learn it and get good at it. There's no UI better than one you already know, and no UI worse than one you thought you knew but now have to relearn,” he said.
He does point out, however, that updates still need to happen. Occasionally, there will be an issue you must correct or something you want to add. However, he said, “You should make sure the benefit to the users outweighs the pain — either by making the benefit greater, or by making the pain smaller.”
Which Browser Is The Best: Getting Better
At the end of the post, DiCarlo admits things are getting better: “updates require much less manual intervention and add-ons break much less frequently.” However, he feels it's too little, too late and ends his post with “Rapid releases killed Firefox's reputation.”
Which Browser Is The Best: One More Little Problem
Atul, one of his former co-workers at Mozilla addressed DiCarlo's blog post in his own blog post, entitled “Empathy For Software Conservatives.” In it, Atul accuses Mozilla for being somewhat software-elitist.
“What struck me during my time in Mozilla's Mountain View office was a complete lack of empathy for people who might want to “stay where they were” and not upgrade to the latest version of our flagship product. Whenever someone asked a question like, “what if the user wants to stay on the old version of Firefox?” the response was unequivocally that said user must be delusional,” he said.
He dubs them “software conservatives,” and in reading through various comments on blog posts and in forums around the Internet, you see they are everywhere. So many comments like, “I am still running on Firefox 4,” and “If this version stops working out for me, I'll find another version that isn't the newest one.”
It seems that all users are requesting is for Firefox to slow down with updates, possibly make them transparent like Chrome's updates, and not to worry about how popular a browser extension or version is. Give the people what they want, which is often what they've come to know and grown to love.
Have you ever used Firefox to browse the internet? What do you use, and why? Is there anything you would like to add to this discussion? We'd love to hear it!