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Firefox Browser Usage and Support Forum

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FireFox Burning Brightly
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 1:57 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Large mainstream US daily papers get into the FireFox act:

[usatoday.com...]

People can replace nearly all the major programs on a Windows PC with "safer, less expensive open-source alternatives,"

 

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:08 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

But IE is under heavy criticism for being riddled with security flaws, allowing pop-up ads, spyware, and viruses to infect computers.
- USAToday.

Firefox has prevented this site from opening a popup window.
- Firefox whilst visiting USAToday.com

Great news though, some serious media attention for Firefox, for the webmaster: 10% of the market is not IE based - no excuses for not producing multi-browser compatible valid code... unless you are Wells-Fargo of course. The independent webmaster is usually well ahead of the coporates on this.

[edited by: gethan at 2:09 pm (utc) on Feb. 4, 2005]

Trax

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:08 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can without a single doubt agree to that.
I'm glad to see that mainstream media is bringing this msg out to the average joe.

mincklerstraat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:14 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Little lamb, who made thee?

B - i - l - l!

brakkar

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:15 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm getting tired about this firefox propaganda.

I switched back to MSIE with a plugin that adds all the functionality I want.

Firefox takes time to open, does a poor job opening java applet with the sun stuff, is incompatible with some sites, certainly does not render the page more fast, and is not prone to exploit only because it is much less used than MSIE. Actually, with over 90% of the market, and thus 90% of hackers working to exploit it, MSIE does a relative good job.

Hanu

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:32 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Firefox takes time to open,
Not for me. Equally fast or faster.

>does a poor job opening java applet with the sun stuff,
Not for me either. It just doesn't support Java applets that are MS-JVM specific. But even MS has stripped the MS-JVM from its IE deployments.

>is incompatible with some sites,
Which browser isn't?

>certainly does not render the page more fast,
I agree. But as fast as IE is good enough for me.

>and is not prone to exploit only because it is much less used than MSIE. Actually, with over 90% of the market, and thus 90% of hackers working to exploit it, MSIE does a relative good job
I agree.

twinsrul

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:35 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

brakkar, I am with you 100%. To me, FireFox is nothing special. IE is fine as long as your protect yourself with patches, pop-up blockers, ect. and use your head while surfing online.

kila_m

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:39 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really like firefox but it much slower for me as well.. and I hate it when you associate it with .htm files and it takes much longer to load the main program compared to IE.

elektrodish

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 2:42 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been trying hard to get my parents to use Firefox only to save me the headache of removing spyware and other nonsense when I visit them!

chadmg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:03 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

As a webmaster, I promote the upgrading of browsers simply because I can write smaller, more efficient code that renders properly and has more functionality with a newer browser. As a user I'm happy that I never have to worry about myself or anyone else who uses my computer infecting it with spyware. I'm an Opera user and I just can't deal without the functionality that Opera provides. I find myself constantly trying to use the Back mouse gesture whenever I have to use IE only to get the right-click context menu.

Personally I wish Firefox would release a special self-updating version of it's browser. So for the slow computer users out there, they (or their IT department) can install that version and always have the latest version. And then for those of us who know what we're doing and prefer to only upgrade when we want, can install the regular version, or just turn auto-update off. Other applications can update themselves, why can't a browser? It's like 2005 already. :)

Firefox takes time to open

About the same as IE.

does a poor job opening java applet with the sun stuff

I've never had a problem.

is incompatible with some sites

This is a problem. My biggest problems is that I can't use Gmail on Opera, although I can on Firefox. Also, I run into problems on some sites when they have poorly coded javascript that do not realize that if the year is less than 1900 they have to add 1900 or else the year shows up as 105. This is a rare problem but it prohibits me from using Opera or Firefox on an obscure site I use to pay off my college loans. Otherwise I have no problems whatsoever. Either browser can pose as IE, so those old websites with bad browser checking scripts that say if you are IE go on otherwise tough luck don't trip you up.

In fact, a lot of sites are hindered by IE. You'd be amazed to check out some sites (like css empowered sites) in a modern browser and see all the things you are missing. It's like those Netscape 4 users who don't know the web looks different in other browsers.

certainly does not render the page more fast

Actually it does.

and is not prone to exploit only because it is much less used than MSIE. Actually, with over 90% of the market, and thus 90% of hackers working to exploit it, MSIE does a relative good job.

I agree with you here... somewhat. Alternative browsers aren't tied in to the OS like IE is, and therefore are more secure. I belive the same thing about Macs though. IF Macs were the dominant OS, we'd be hearing about a lot more Mac exploits.

JonR28

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:05 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

My computer is fast enough so i don't notice a slowness....

I'm addicted to the extensions.

addicted to Adblock
addicted to that right click a word and dictionary.com it
addicted to the ability to search ebay.com from the top left
addicted to Colorzilla
addicted to the webmaster toolbar
addicted to FoxyVoice (sometimes I don't feel like reading)
addicted to the Weather Extension (who needs that weather.com adware crap)
addicted to tabs
addicted to the Latest Headlines RSS in the bookmarks folder (now I only read BBC)

True story bout the weather extension: I was sitting in my room browsing the internet and it pops up and says "Your Town: Light Rain" and I looked outside.... no rain. and I was thinking "maybe wrong zip". Not two seconds later, having sat back down, I hear the 'pit-patter' of rain beginning. AMAZING

dom86

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:06 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, with over 90% of the market, and thus 90% of hackers working to exploit it, MSIE does a relative good job.

I kind of agree with this

----

I like FireFox. I use it to make sure any web pages I make, display ok on the browser.

I just cant get out of IE but to be honest I don't really want to, because I do think its a good browser really! JUST PROTECT YOUR Computer(s)

dom86

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:08 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

By the way the BBC have been going on about FireFox for ages

BBC NEWS Technology [news.bbc.co.uk]

runner

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:18 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I use firefox to visit these forums, The "Post" button does not show up. Weird...

GerBot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:29 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, with over 90% of the market, and thus 90% of hackers working to exploit it, MSIE does a relative good job

agree totally.
Give firefox 90% of the market and watch how fast spyware pulls it apart.

The effort follows the market and the money!

Just like the search engines, gigablast might have reasonable results even better in some cases but as soon as they get any real user volumes the SEO community will pull them apart.

Philosopher

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:37 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

not sure why that would be as it works perfectly for me.

As to Firefox, vs. IE, for me it's a no-brainer. I switched to Firefox about 7 months ago and have bairly touched IE since.

The extensions are awesome. The security is FAR better than IE because it's not part of the OS.

It can take a bit longer to load than IE, but that is no surprise. IE is part of the OS so it's basically always running. Firefox actually has to be loaded into memory. Anway, I have a browser window open 95% of my day so I only have to initially load it once. NO biggie. ;)

chicagohh

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:40 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use FF as my default browser, but it does have one very annoying problem - the back button quits working on my install of FF on a regular basis.

On my PC it is not any faster than IE - sometimes slower depending on what it is being asked to do.

dcrombie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:41 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

<RANT>
This argument of "market share ==> virii/exploits/hackers" is a load of FUD. Just look at the web server market where Apache has 60%+ market share yet all the virus attacks are against IIS with 20-30% of the market.

The reasons that M$ software gets hacked are:

1) it's several orders of magnitude easier;
2) exploiting any application on Windows gives you a good chance of taking over the entire OS;
3) the majority of Windows users are ignorant on security and don't apply patches; and lastly
4) market share - better ROI.

</RANT>

grelmar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 3:59 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Market Share = Exploits:

Tend to agree, but with two caveates:

1. Because IE is so strictly tied to the OS, it creates a straight pipe into a serious vulnerability anytime someone can exploit it. Having the browser detached from the OS is a layer of security for the PC as a whole.

2. Spend some time skulking around the seemier areas of the net, and you'll realise that there is currently a big race on to exploit FF. Because FF is in the news so much lately, a lot of the high end hackers are working hard at creating not only a proof of concept, but releasing something "in the wild", for the bragging rights of being first. A lot of these people are motivated by vanity. Being the first to release a FF browser hijack would gain whoever did it some instant headlines and credibility in those circles.

As for all the rest:

Well, I've been using FF for over a year now, and there's simply no going back. But that's just my personal preference. Some people, I've moved over to FF. Others, I've left well enough alone because based on their level of computer expertise, comfort levels with software they know, etc., for them, IE remains the better product. FF still has some glitches. They're glitches I'm more than willing to tolerate for the benefits of the software. For some, the reverse would be true.

On the 6 sites I'm babysitting right now, strangely enough, a "get FireFox" button seems to have crept on the pages.

Weird, must be some kind of virus.;)

Hanu

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 4:12 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)


2. Spend some time skulking around the seemier areas of the net, and you'll realise that there is currently a big race on to exploit FF. Because FF is in the news so much lately, a lot of the high end hackers are working hard at creating not only a proof of concept, but releasing something "in the wild", for the bragging rights of being first. A lot of these people are motivated by vanity. Being the first to release a FF browser hijack would gain whoever did it some instant headlines and credibility in those circles.

Good point, grelmar.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 4:20 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was seriously considering getting FF until I heard the news that killed my willingness from thereonafter -- G$ got involved. FF made the foolish decision to add G$'s useless search to the FF browser, and then G$ conveniently "hired" someone from FF.

Given that G$ is now a "do only evil" company, and since the G$ toolbar proved what a Big Brother privacy-invader G$ is (watching your every move on the 'net), and because now G$ has a conflict-of-interest purpose of becoming a Registrar to more eaisly access personal WHOIS contact information, the reason to distrust FF at every level became obvious.

G$ is constantly destroying its brand. So any company foolish enough to associate themselves with that "do only evil" company can not ever be trusted either, including FF.

moltar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 4:27 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

brakkar and twinsrul: I am with you too :)

I like FF, but I am tired of hearing all this buzz about FF. It's just a flipping browser. Enough is enough. I never even did switch to using FF. Just out of spite :P

Another thing that is getting to me are certain members of WW, that reply to any question about IE like "Use FF, it's a better and more secure browser". If you have rendering issues with CSS in IE. The answer is the same, "Oh ya, don't mind IE, just use FF..."

I use Avant Browser. I suggest it to people that prefer IE. It's a different browser, but it uses IE rendering engine. Has tabing (way better than FF), pop up blocker, ad blocker... Basically all the key features. It's pretty fast too!

amznVibe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 4:55 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

One huge difference is with Firefox, the day an exploit is found, it will be fixed by the following day. With Microsoft, no exaggeration, it will be the next MONTH because of their strict patch release schedule. Unacceptable.

In addition, the SEO and web developer tools available with Firefox extensions blow IE out of the water. Not even close, even with favlets for IE. The recent highlighting of "nofollow" links is a classic example - IE can't do it automatically, only through a favlet (bookmarklet).

Only time I fire up IE anymore is to test if a page I just made is rendering correctly. That's about it.

And for those with the Sun Java complaints, Microsoft doesn't support or develop their Java anymore. If you are still using the last MS version, it has known exploits.

20 known UNPATCHED issues in IE:
[secunia.com...]
Check out this doozy:
[secunia.com...]
and this one:
[secunia.com...]

And just to be fair:
5 known UNPATCHED issues in Firefox:
[secunia.com...]
But note that virtually all the Firefox issues can be worked around by setting javascript to not allow changes to the titlebar or statusbar - which IE can't do. Also, none of the issues are marked above level 3 (out of 5).

Speaking of Microsoft patches, February 8th is "celebrate patch day" ;)
[microsoft.com...]

[edited by: amznVibe at 5:54 pm (utc) on Feb. 4, 2005]

Kerrin

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 5:41 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

One small thing I don't like about Firefox, from a webmasters point of view, is the default inclusion of Amazon.com in the top right search box complete with "mozilla-20" affiliate tag.

NickCoons

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 5:43 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure why the "IE seems less secure because it has 90% market share" myth keeps propogating, but I can't imagine that it will stop anytime soon.

The main reason that IE is insecure, and it would be true if it had 5% market share, is because it allows a website to directly install software on your computer without you knowing about it. The popular method is through ActiveX, which XPSP2 has now at least put some basic blocking in place so the user has to specifically click on something to install an ActiveX control.

The second way is much less known to the general public, but is probably the most popular for spyware. It's called Browser Helper Objects, or BHOs. BHOs are intended to be "extensions", such as a toolbar or search bar. However, it's become very easy for a website to install other software that does not show up as a toolbar using the BHO method, and this is how most spyware is installed on a system.

Once you have one of these programs installed, it can basically do anything it wants on your system (since almost everyone runs their Windows computer as the administrator). Running something like AdAware can usually remove these programs, but there's no way to know what this program has done to your system (perhaps installing a backdoor that circumvents your firewall -- easily done), and so the only true method of cleaning this comes from reloading the OS and all applications from scratch.

Microsoft's main priority has always been a user-friendly interface, with security more on the back-burner. And it's true, BHOs make the user interface very easy. If I go to a website that needs a plugin, it just installs it for me. If a website needs a toolbar to function, it just installs it. However, this method assumes that every website on the internet is trustworthy, and that's just not the case. More recently, Microsoft seems to have switched to a more secure mode (this may be true, or it may be on the surface.. who knows at this point). But they'll likely need to rewrite some software from scratch, as sticking bandaid after bandaid on their currently very insecure code-base is not the solution.

I know that intelligent computer users can keep their systems relatively safe by keeping their Windows and IE patches up-to-date, running current antivirus and spyware software, and having a good firewall in place. But why? Why run all of that software that's meant to prevent exploitation of all of your applications when you can instead run applications that have a secure code-base and are written with a mentality that simply doesn't allow those types of exploits?

Firefox does not allow a website to install software on your computer in the background without your knowledge... period. For this simple reason alone, it will never be as insecure and as much of a doorway into the rest of your computer as IE.

moltar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 5:52 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox does not allow a website to install software on your computer in the background without your knowledge... period. For this simple reason alone, it will never be as insecure and as much of a doorway into the rest of your computer as IE.

Average Joes approve any installation anyways. I've seen it happen myself. A website would ask if he/she wants to install this piece of software and users would just click Yes no matter what. Just to get rid of the window, without even reading what it says. So if Average Joes will start using FF, they will confirm any kind of downloads too.

brakkar

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 5:53 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use Avant Browser.

Hi,
I didn't want to quote it in my first message.... but this is also what i'm using and one reason that made me switch back to IE (with the roboform plugin).

What I like most with Avant is, AT LAST, real tab browsing (like in opera), which allows you to resize and manipulate tabs from within the same browser window. Within a click I can have two tabs occupy half of the screen: easy when working from a tab to another, like when comparing a text or copy some information from a tab to a form in another tab....

The only thing I regret from firefox, was the plugin system which was really cool. But when it comes to rendering, java applets and speed.... definitely IE, still.....

Brakkar

CritterNYC

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 7:13 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Average Joes approve any installation anyways. I've seen it happen myself. A website would ask if he/she wants to install this piece of software and users would just click Yes no matter what. Just to get rid of the window, without even reading what it says. So if Average Joes will start using FF, they will confirm any kind of downloads too.

There's a BIG difference between IE and Firefox where software installation is concerned. IE, forever, allowed you to OPEN downloaded EXEs directly from the browser. It also allowed ANY site to install an ActiveX component as long as it was signed. Nearly everywhere spyware app is signed.

Today, Internet Explorer, even on Windows XP SP2, still allows you to RUN an EXE right from the browser when you download it. And it is very easy to accidentally hit RUN or OK if you're typing. All versions of Internet Explorer except XPSP2 also allow ANY website to install an ActiveX component directly. Just a quick click of OK from the user (unless the site uses one of many exploits to install directly). And it is very easy to accidently click OK... say if you are typing something and hit the space bar or enter.

Firefox, on the other hand, makes FAR smarter decisions about how to handle these situations. Firefox DOES NOT let you run an EXE from the browser. You HAVE to save it first. So, you'd need to save and then find and run it. Not something you can accidentally do.

In addition, the spyware losers started trying to auto-install using Firefox' extension XPIs. Mozilla responded by only allowing XPI installations from whitelisted sites (and only mozilla.org and mozdev.org are whitelisted). They also implemented a 3 second countdown timer, so you couldn't accidentally click OK. This cut the spyware folks off at the knees.

Add to all this the fact that Firefox security issues are patched very quickly whereas IE issues languish for months after an exploit is released... and you see why there is less spyware for Firefox AND why there is a big incentive for a hacker to get one in the wild... it's a big challenge and would lead to big bragging rights. I'd wager there's MORE incentive for the high-end hackers due to the bragging rights issue. Getting something into IE is so damn easy that it doesn't really gain a hacker any reputation.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 7:35 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

A couple folks above mentioned already being tired of hearing about FireFox - I think we all better prepare for lots more, because the word has just barely begun to leave the web developer community. We're going to hear more and more from the mainstream press, no doubt about it.

Remember when Google first took off - how the buzz spread until all of a sudden it entered the mainstream, became a verb, characters in movies and TV shows began using it and so on? And today the name Google is everywhere. I'm not "tired of hearing about it" because the name has transformed from buzz to part of the world I live in.

I don't know that a browser name will ever pervade pop culture quite that deeply, but the Google example shows how far things can go. I'll bet that very soon more people will recognize the name FireFox than "Unix".

FireFox - you may not like it much or you may be tired of hearing about it, but it is going to continue to be talked about more and more. And me? I'm still an Opera fan!

MatthewHSE

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 241 posted 8:08 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox takes time to open,

A little longer than IE for me, not much though. It's well-worth the wait in return for better, more efficient browsing.

does a poor job opening java applet with the sun stuff,

I've never noticed this, not to say it doesn't happen for some people though.

is incompatible with some sites,

That's actually putting it backwards. Some sites are incompatible with FireFox. For that matter, some sites are incompatible with IE (or just about any other browser).

certainly does not render the page more fast,

Have you tried speeding it up [webmasterworld.com] at all?

and is not prone to exploit only because it is much less used than MSIE.

Two things wrong with this statement. First, FireFox provides far better security than IE, and will continue to do so, because it's not integrated into the very fibre of the OS. Second, even if lower usage were the only reason FireFox is more secure, what difference does it make? Regardless of the reason, it's still more secure! ;)

Give firefox 90% of the market and watch how fast spyware pulls it apart.

See above - it won't happen like that. Or would anyone care to count whether or not FireFox has even 10% of all total security problems? That's what its market share would seem to indicate, but IE still has way more than its proportionate share of security issues.

This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59 ( [1] 2 > >
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