As a web developer Firefox and it’s great selection of developer addons has been my bowser of choice for several years. Until recently that is.
So what has changed?
Well, Firefox has changed. A few months ago I upgraded to FF4.0 and that’s when the trouble started. FF has always been notorious for having a large memory footprint, and suffering from memory leaks, but when it started to run slower and slower, I began to get concerned. I have an elderly (4 years) laptop with 2Gb RAM running Win 7 Ultimate. My first thoughts were that it was the hardware, but Chrome was running OK. Then FF started to freeze up, and then started to crash several times a day. I could not find any problem resolution on the FF support forums. So for me Firefox became unusable as a developer platform.
Chrome plus Addons
I’m now using Chrome and it is lightning fast and stable. It has an array of addons that enable me to do everything I could do in Firefox. I’m just sad that Firefox seems to have lost its way.
Will I ever change back?
Maybe. FF has been facing increasing competition from new browsers like Chrome, and the FF user base seems to have plateaued out. It is still the second most popular browser, but that won’t last if they don’t sort out the problems. Luckily Mozilla seem to be taking this on board, and have ramped up the speed of the development cycle, with new versions 5,6 and 7 on the near horizon. They are also putting special effort into to sorting out the memory issues. Not before time, I say.
I wish them well, because I would like to use Firefox again. But only if it is better than Chrome.