major online ad networks, and major web sites had started using cookies to pass user data on to advertisers. People concerned about security and privacy began running NoScript and CookieSafe, or similar extensions, as a matter of course.
By the time you had Firefox, NoScript, AdBlock, CookieSafe, FlashBlock, Web Developer, Firebug and GreaseMonkey installed, you had a pretty good browser for web development. You also had a huge heap of code from multiple sources that would crash several times a day, in my experience. Firefox was no longer working for me, and seemed to be getting worse, not better. I tried asking if at least basic script and cookie security could be made part of the core Firefox product, but the developers were uninterested.
And then Google Chrome appeared. It was based on the same WebKit engine built by the KDE team, with contributions from Apple. It was blindingly fast and supported web standards. It was stable, and it ran each tab as a separate process, so that if one page caused a crash you only lost that tab–the rest of the browser kept running.
That’s not all. As of the latest release, Chrome has the equivalent of NoScript and CookieSafe built in. You can turn off scripting and cookies by default, then turn them on only for sites you trust. When you hit a site that tries to set cookies or run scripts but is denied, you get icons in the address bar that you can click, to go to the preferences and adjust its permissions.
In fact, I was basically happy with just Chrome’s built-in functionality, until an Engadget ad for Tivo blasted unasked-for rock music at me. (I hadn’t moused over it or anything.) At that point, I gave in and installed AdBlock for Chrome. Advertisers are their own worst enemies.
So, goodbye Firefox. I’m sorry to do it, really I am. I was never a fan of Netscape Navigator, but Firefox, you were a good friend. I feel like I should take you out back and ruffle your head one last time before I lift up the shotgun and put you out of my misery. Don’t worry, I’ll still dig you up every week or two for compatibility testing. © mathew 2017
© mathew 2017