The tech press needs to complain more about the deterioration of the Firefox browser and make something happen before everyone runs to Chrome. I personally do not like Chrome and I wonder about its appeal.
Firefox crashes all the time, and by all the time, I mean daily. This is especially true when you are on some idiotic page that has Flash animation spread all over its content and adverts. In fact, videos don't even play on the Firefox browser for me recently, and I've talked to other people who have this same problem. I've reinstalled the browser from scratch and they still won't play. I assume this is some temporary situation that will be resolved. In the meantime, I use Chrome to watch videos.
It's Firefox's incessant crashing that really bothers me, though. I'll be in the middle of something and – BOOM! – all of the browsers shut down, leaving me with a message that it unexpectedly quit. Really? I hadn’t noticed.
This grievance is more and more common. Click here to see just one of many complaints sent to Mozilla begging for help.
Then, when I reboot the browser, I get the "Well, this is embarrassing..." message. It asks if I want to restore the tabs and windows. Suddenly, two or three browsers light up and begin to grab the pages in the various tabs. Since it reloads everything exactly the way it was, including whatever offensive page shut it down, can someone please explain to me why it simply does not crash again?
That leads me to wonder, why did it crash in the first place? There is never any rhyme or reason to the initial crash.
So what's going on here? Obviously Firefox's maintenance crew has changed and we may be witnessing the natural death of an open source project. In other words, we'll all be using Chrome sooner rather than later.
Firefox has always been a dark horse in the battle against Internet Explorer, which has its own problems. Over time, everyone who knew anything moved to Firefox. It was always stable and responsive. Not so much anymore. Chrome is more stable and noticeably faster. And while everyone wants to blame Flash, which creates all sorts of issues and has to die sooner rather than later, it doesn't seem to crash Chrome or IE.
Hopefully there will be a new crash-proof release of Firefox built from scratch, but somehow I don’t think this is going to happen. I say this because, again, it may simply be the way open source works. It has a life. It is an arc. The arc may be long or short, but it is there. I have not seen a list of open source projects that have come and gone, but I'm now certain they all had an arc of some sort.
If this is true, it also means that Linux must die someday, although its arc appears to be quite long. Generally speaking, many of these projects manage to fork over and over again to keep them going longer than you'd expect. This, from what I can tell, never really happened to Firefox. There were no major disputes among the developers. It has even happened with OpenOffice and the folks from LibreOffice.
Maybe now is the time for Firefox to fork. Whatever the case, something needs to happen, and happen fast, or Mozilla’s browser will be a goner.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012-2013 Ziff Davis, Inc