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Mozilla versus Mozilla Firebird

After Joel's lauding of the Firebird browser I gave it a go, and honestly I just don't get what the big deal is. While I'm a long time Opera fan, the little utility "Stroke It" (unfortunate name, but it's a brilliant way to bring mouse gestures to all Windows apps. http://www.tcbmi.com/strokeit/) plus many improvements in the Mozilla browser, I have been giving Mozilla (the main branch browser) more runtime on my PC so I am fairly accustomed to it, and there were two things that immediately became apparent with the Firebird branch:

-Firebird renders FAR slower than the main branch Mozilla. Perhaps this is just perception, but even using the mouse wheel and scrolling down there is a night and day difference between Firebird and Mozilla. Neither of them is as fast as Opera (IMHO).

-Firebird takes forever to start up. What is with that startup time? I've wondered if maybe I've had a misfire click it takes so long some times.

-It simply seems less polished. Get Mozilla and the Orbit 3+1 theme with the StrokeIt utility and you have a great little browser.

Someone might come in and proclaim that this is all crazy and Firebird is X times better than the vanilla Mozilla, and if so I'd love to hear why. What's the big deal? As it is I've deleted the Firebird brnach because I simply don't see the point.

Jimmy Chongagongableep
Saturday, June 07, 2003

I can't say I know why we're getting different results, but I'd place startup speed in this order, from fastest to slowest:

1. IE
2. Firebird/Opera
3. Main Mozilla build (until firebird replaces it...)

Once these browsers start up, I have not noticed significant performance differences between all of these.  I've run all of these on my crappy little dino of a desktop.  Firebird is my default browser, but I take it YMMV.

P Lioi
Saturday, June 07, 2003

I've been using Opera for a couple of years, and like it, despite its memory leaks and so-so support for JavaScript

Frederic Faure
Saturday, June 07, 2003

Interesting. I've found Firebird to start faster than both Opera and regular Mozilla (without the preloader).

I've had to add assorted extensions to Firebird to get to the useability I've grown accustomed to with Opera and Mozilla.

I've seen assorted non-reproduceable bugs that demonstrate its v0.6 status. But even these haven't kept me from replacing Opera with Firebird as my main browser.

It seems that experiences vary quite a bit with it.

Chris
Sunday, June 08, 2003

People are finjding it more compelling to switch to Firebird from Moz.  Joel just happened to hit his personal tipping point.  For you, that might be later when Firebird replaces Moz.

anon
Sunday, June 08, 2003

How about NetCaptor ( http://www.NetCaptor.com )?

It's a very good browser with tabs, has lots of features, and is based on the IE rendering engine, so all the sites work well.

It is, in my opinion, what IE should have been, if MS didn't stop developing it.

Mr. Q
Sunday, June 08, 2003

I jump from browser to browser on a fairly regular basis, mostly because few browsers seem to do everything I want them to..

Here's my take on it, for what its worth..

Netscape : a hog.. dont bother with it, its dead.. although some people I know still insist on using it

IE : I used this from the 5.0 days, switched over from Netscape 4.x because it (Netscape) was crashing regularly.. Upgraded to 6.0, still use it occasionally.. (of course, with a good adblocker)

Opera: Used this for a while in the 3.0 (or was it 4.0) days.. used to be blindingly fast, still is (7.x), but has now developed the distressing habit of crashing regularly on some pages.. Javascript and flash support seem flaky.. and I am in the minority when I say I absolutely detest mouse gestures.. I prefer keyboard shortcuts (Opera is awesome this way)

Netcaptor: Used this for AGES.. Absolutely awesome. Tabbed browsing (I got hooked with Netcaptor) and some adblocking.. small, fast, lightweight.. lots of nice things about it.. but its IE underneath.. and there are limits to what you can do with IE..

Phoenix: Nice browser.. downloaded it instead of the main Mozilla because its a smaller download and I already have a good mail client, IRC client and download manager, thank you very much.. Crashes sometimes, but typeahead find and radial context menus had me hooked, instantly..

Mozilla and Firebird: Same as Phoenix, I also like the fact that you can customize the layout (I dont have any buttons, more screen space to the content, I just have the address bar, status bar and the content), and XUL (starting to write some useful apps with it now).. Other extensions simply rock too (I like the TBE a lot, so I can customize the context menus)

Can it get better ? sure.. Using Mozilla crashes a lot more often than IE ever did, its slower than IE for me, uses up more memory.. Arguably, the adblocking in Mozilla isnt useful, because I already run an adblocker. Why I still use it over IE is because its customizable.. and I dont mind paying a small price in memory and speed to be able to tweak appearances and be able to make the browser fit 'just-so'.. something that I cant do with Opera.. (also, Opera routinely sucks down 100% CPU when its rendering several pages at once.. Firebird is a lot better in that respect)

deja vu
Monday, June 09, 2003

Your scrolling speed issue in Firebird might just be the "smooth scrolling" feature. Try turning it off.

Fred2000
Monday, June 09, 2003

I find Netscape better than IE for three things:

Tabbed browsing

Ability to resize text

color coding in view source

The third is minor and could piossibly be fixed. The other two are not.

I have Mozilla with Linux but have problems with the fonts not being clear, though maybe that's a problem of the window manager.

Still like to know why people say it's dead.

Stephen Jones
Monday, June 09, 2003

Tabbed browsing is easy to get in IE by using one of the third party replacement frames -- NetCaptor, MyIE, and CrazyBrowser are three that I know of.  I personally have been using MyIE since the recent big thread here about Firebird.  Firebird wasn't worth it given (a) 30 second startup time, and (b) inability to properly display pages that work in IE (this could be because IE is more forgiving or does things differently but as an end user, 'why' doesn't really matter to me). 

I'm not sure what you mean by the ability to resize text.  I can resize text using the Fonts menu or using Ctrl + Mouse Wheel.  If you're talking about circumstances where the web page designer specifically breaks the ability to resize text (such as the topics list here) then, yes, that's annoying but it's more of an issue with the web page designer than with the browser.  If it's that important to be able to resize text, you can override font settings (such as size) using the Internet Options control panel.  If you don't wish to do that, it's trivial to write an extension that'll replace the fixed size fonts with relative size fonts on a given page.

Syntax highlighting can be accomplished by associating the "HTML editor" option with an editor that does HTML syntax highlighting.

SomeBody
Monday, June 09, 2003

I want to try Firebird, but every time I install it (daily build or last milestone) my machine just hangs trying to resolve mozilla.org when Firebird starts. I have to kill MozillaFirebird.exe using the Windows Task Manager. :-( 

I have no problems using Mozilla 1.2 on the same machine. Which Mozilla branch is Firebird based on: 1.2, 1.3, or 1.4?

runtime
Monday, June 09, 2003

Nobody else noticed that Mozilla Firebird is in version 0.6 and the windows download is 6.66mb? Firebird is the browser of the devil!!!

I think that's reason enough to download it.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, June 09, 2003

Keyboard navigation, and bookmarks are a dream in Firebird, they actually work. Also, I love the multipage home page load.

It is sooo usable.

WW
Monday, June 09, 2003

Firebird loads pages FAR faster than Mozilla or IE for me. I haven't tried Opera for several years.

The point with Firebird is that being freed from the Mozilla suite and having the toolkit more cleanly separated from the application, it can progress much faster. So if you don't like todays build.....

fool for python
Thursday, June 12, 2003

Opera 7.23 works OK, but sometimes can´t display some pages very well. Then, i prefer FireFox 0.8 (ex-FireBird).

But i think Opera is faster, and has a better user interface and options/functions, than Firefox.

IE6 works fine, but it has too many risks, if we talk about security. That´s why i don´t use it. ´cause I prefer not to get any troubles.

both, Opera and Firefox, has problems to display any multimedia things very well, oftenly. Then, i use IE, just for a while, for some video or some other streaming media thing.

Sergio (from Buenos Aires)
Friday, April 16, 2004

Firefox (fka Firebird) with the Noia 2.0 extreme theme is the better of browsers compared to IE (standard Bill Gates - years behind) and My IE2 (some bad graphic seams and kind of like Thanksgiving dinner...more than anyone needs and leaves one with a bloated feeling!).  Just right.

Ted Zeck
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

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