Ah the beloved Firefox, hailed as the saviour of the opensource world and browsers alike. I have to admit though, that for the last few months I’ve been an adiment Safari 3 user since I switched to my MacBook last November.
When I was still on Windows I was a devoted Firefox user and barely even touched IE7, let alone IE6. However, when it came to my decision to start saving for the MacBook and Steve Job’s announcement that Safari 3 Beta would be coming to Windows, I hopped on the bandwagon, though, I do have good reasoning. The logic behind my decision was so that I could build up the bookmarks that I had on Firefox as well as getting to grips with how everything worked when it came to D-Day and I went OS X.
So after making the switch to Mac I carried on using Safari 3, though the main reasoning behind using it on Windows – building up a bookmark database to import onto the Mac – backfired. It wouldn’t import. After that little set back I decided to carry on using Safari but I felt the pull of Firefox on my shirt and so I caved in a week or two later and downloaded Firefox 2 as it was then.
I think it’s fair to say the after the suave and smooth look of Safari 3, and it’s Leopard window UI counterparts, the Firefox 2 UI looked dreadful. No, really. Even after themeing it it was still no where near as nice to use or look at as it’s exotic cousin and so I ditched Firefox and landed back on my Safari where I stayed until, again, I felt the need for Firefox in it’s current incarnation as Firefox 3 Beta.
Unfortunately, it still looked… crap. And so after another mediocre fling with Miss F. I ended back on Safari.
So let’s skip forward until last night (yes, this doesn’t make it a very in-depth review but the sentiment’s there) and a little post on Lifehacker about the new features in Firefox 3 (now Release Candidate 1 incidentally) and how they make numerous plug-ins for Firefox 2 redundant and so, again, I decided to give it just one little last try.
And boy am I glad I did. The interface now actually exceeds that of Safari, it really is very nice. I especially like the new bookmarks bar aswell as the redesigned, Leaoprd-esque buttons and colouring. Another, slightly bizzarre I admit, feature I like is the rounded URL and Google Search box’s, Safari has the rounded search box but the URL box is just plain old square; what a let down.
And so now that I’m on Firefox I can finally take advantage of the raft of plug-ins and features that Safari didn’t support and also return to the fabulous auto-complete search term in the Google search box, the Safari plug-in that I had to use to get a familiar function, Inquisitor, was no where near as nice or accurate to use.
I also love the bookmarks sidebar. The full screen method of Safari is no where near as nice to use and who needs to see an entire page of book marks anyway, being a list, they tend to go down rather than across but that’s just my preference.
So that concludes my little round-up of my Firefox experiences over the past 6 months or so, I hope it was enjoybale to read and maybe some of you may make the jump to the much improved Firefox 3, RC 1. 🙂