Mozilla Firefox

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fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
As I mentioned on anosther thread, I have been using Firefox as my web browser for the past week or so. Before that, I used Opera for about 2 months, and before that I used both MYIE2 and IE.

I have been dissatisfied with IE for two main reasons:
  • Security issues
  • Tabbed Browsing[/list:u]

    IE is so often the object of hackers and other miscreants, especially using ActiveX that it is hard to avoid problems. And the lack of tabbed browsing is a real pain once you have had a tabbed browser. Speed is not an incredible issue for me, but I think that both Opera and Firefox are pretty fast (and FF is probably faster than IE).

    Firefox also has a number of really good add-on features that are really helpful. So does Opera. Let me outline a few of these before the nitty-gritty:

    Opera 7.54: http://www.opera.com/download/

    Advantages:
    1. Tabbed browsing
    2. Great security
    3. Built in email client
    4. Good built-in newsreader: there is nothing else like this that I can find. Other browsers like FF have RSS news feed readers, but they cannot handle the news:// protocol. Opera's is very nice.
    5. Clean interface
    6. Great password/login manager
    7. Mouse GESTURES[/list:eek:]

      Disadvantages:
      1. Not free. If you want to get rid of Opera's banner ads, it is $30.
      2. Yahoo mail and Hotmail have IE only code that makes it impossible to do html formatted email in Opera from those accounts.
      3. Gmail does not support Opera at all.
      4. Opera does not work well at all with BBCode. This is what caused me to finally discard it.[/list:eek:]

        So I went to FF. It is a small footprint, pretty fast, and works well with everything except Yahoo and Hotmail html formatted mail (which I can live with).

        Here are some things that I can do in Firefox using its extensions, beyond just the security/speed issue:
        • Many skins
        • Tabbed browsing (only one window open, but you can have several websites open)
        • A link toolbar that you can put your top 10 or so sites in for easy access
        • A button in the status bar that always tells me if I have email in my Gmail and one click takes me there
        • Control of my music players (MusicMatch, Windows Media Player, etc) in the status bar
        • Google search bar and page rank built in without needing to install Google toolbar
        • Built in Ad blocking and Popup Blocking (although I actually use Ad Muncher because it is so much better than anything else on the market)
        • Ability to reopen closed tabs/windows later in Session
        • Ability to save my Session (say if I am at 4-5 sites and have to go offline, I can save them and when I get back on it will load all of them right away)
        • Ability to add external Application buttons to launch any applications (Adobe, Word, etc) I want from the browser
        • A password manager that remembers login info (better than IE, but not as good as Opera)
        • A toolbar for Bible Gateway that you can type the reference in and it opens the text in a new tab on the Bible Gateway site
        • The ability to create a TinyUrl right from the context (right-click) menu
        • A built in download manager, that is far superior to the old click save as in IE
        • The ability to open links in a third party application (Word, Opera, IE, etc) from the context menu
        • A weather forecaster in the status bar
        • Full integration with 3rd party download managers
        • Mouse Gestures that allow you to go back, forward, open and close pages, etc using your mouse only (right clicking and moving it in a direction)
        • the ability to right click on an email address and open a compose email webpage to your webmail (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and others) without going through the ordinary route
        • The ability to automatically reload a web page or pages at intervals you select
        • A right click dictionary lookup
        • A spell checker
        • The ability to insert BBCode through a right click menu. This is Great! I can edit my posts without even using the BBCode buttons.[/list:u]

          If you want to try this, here is what you do:

          1. Go to http://texturizer.net/firefox/download.html to download the latest version (now 0.9.3)

          2. After you install it, get some Extensions and install them. Take some time and see what will do things you like. I have installed (with a few others):

          All-in-One Gestures
          Tabbrowser Extensions (http://white.sakura.ne.jp/~piro/xul/_tabextensions.html.en)
          BB Code
          Webmail Compose
          Foxy Tunes
          External Application Buttons
          Launchy
          Reload Every
          Tiny Url Creator
          Chrom Edit
          Bible Toolbar
          Dictionary Search
          Gmail Notification
          Google Pagerank
          WeatherFox
          SpellBound

          You can get these (and more) at a couple of sites:
          http://www.extensionsmirror.nl/index.php?showforum=2
          http://update.mozilla.org/extensions/?application=firefox

          3. After you get Chromedit (http://www.extensionsmirror.nl/index.php?showtopic=21), go to Tools->Edit User Files->User.js and paste the following over the "You don't have a user.js" language:
          user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
          user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true);
          user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 8);
          user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5);
          user_pref("plugin.expose_full_path", true);
          user_pref("ui.submenuDelay", 0);

          And then, depending on your computer configuration, cut and paste the following:
          Fast Computer Fast Connection

          user_pref("content.interrupt.parsing", true);
          user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
          user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
          user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
          user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
          user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8);
          user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);

          Fast Computer, Slower Connection
          This configuration is more suited to people without ultra fast connections. We are not talking about dial up connections but slower DSL / Cable connections.


          user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
          user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
          user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
          user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8);
          user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
          user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);

          Fast Computer, Slow Connection
          user_pref("## .enabled$$ .enabledAA .enabled", true);
          user_pref("content.interrupt.parsing", true);
          user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 3000000);
          user_pref("content.maxtextrun", 8191);
          user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
          user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
          user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 32);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 8);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 8);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 4);
          user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
          user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);

          Slow Computer, Fast Connection
          user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 3000000);
          user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5);
          user_pref("content.notify.interval", 1000000);
          user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
          user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 1000000);
          user_pref("content.maxtextrun", 4095);
          user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 1000);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8);
          user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);


          Slow Computer, Slow Connection

          user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
          user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
          user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
          user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
          user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 750);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 32);
          user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 8);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 8);
          user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 4);
          user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);

          It comes from the following site, which in turn summarizes a good deal from the Firefox forums which can be found at http://forums.mozillazine.org/index.php?c=4):
          http://www.tweakfactor.com/articles/tweaks/firefoxtweak/

          I hope that helps.

          [Edited on 12/5/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

Presbyrino

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred,

I had the same experience as well. I can't believe how a company so big as MS and with so many talented programmers could create such a product as IE with such gaping securiry holes. Plus IE has not been updated in a long time. So I made the switch to opera then to FireFox.
I have to say that I really like firefox. It renders html as fast as IE, I like the tabbed browsing and no need to worry about the browser getting infected with adware or hijacking plugins. I was ready to purchase opera, but I never could get used to the opera email client.
So I finally decided to use firefox and thunderbird.
 
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