The Firefox anniversary

Firefox turns 5 today. I'm sure you already knew that, what with it being widely covered industry-wide and all. This has caused me to look back on my own usage of Firefox over the years.

In the beginning, there was Mozilla. And I used it. And it was good. It had a nifty integrated html editor that I used on occasion. And I had used it for many a year.

I noticed the dev-work on Phoenix/Firebird and used it a bit at home on my Linux machine. Never did any serious browsing with it, but I did use it.

And then there was Firefox. When Mozilla announced that they were killing Mozilla-the-browser and replacing it with Firefox, I dutifully switched to that for day to day usage. I believe that was the 1.0.

And then there were the fights. Firefox did things differently than Mozilla did. I tried to take things in stride, but it was hard. Cookie handling was a big pet-peeve of mine (since remedied). The other one is still true.

I flirted with Opera briefly, but it was annoying in different ways. Sad.

And then there was the breakup. Which I blogged about here. You see, I'd learned about SeaMonkey, which is an OpenSource project aimed at bringing the defunct Mozilla-browser into the future. It had the experience I was used to, and worked with most of the Firefox extensions too! What's NOT to like? I was hooked and made the switch. Good by, Firefox! Won't miss you.

And then I moved to openSUSE as my primary desktop. This required a certain amount of Firefox usage simply because that was the 'built in' browser. Mostly I ignored it, since they had SeaMonkey as an option.

And then SeaMonkey started getting stale. The same UI for, like, 5 years gets old. And the little bits where it differed from the IE/FF experience were growing. So I started using FireFox on the side at work, as a way to do things like run my Google apps in a separate browser so I could do all of my other searching without directly associating my search terms with my Google account.

And then Firefox 3.5 came out. And it sucked less. I converted to FF3.5 at home, but still kept with SeaMonkey at work. It still involved some nose-holding in various spots, but I was determined to bull through. I got used to the popularity contest in the drop-down bar. I still miss the way typed in (or pasted in) URLs never show up in that list, but I got used to it.

And then SeaMonkey looked to be in PermaBeta for 2.0. Knowing I am a very small minority of web users by using SeaMonkey (0.58% of viewers of this blog, which is less than the 2.08% of you still using Mozilla), I had doubts about the long term prospects of SM. My Firefox usage ticked up again. And when Opera 10 came out, I gave it a real going over. For work stuff it didn't cut it, but it just might for home use.

And then SeaMonkey 2.0 actually released. Download it now! It integrated some of the more annoying-but-need-to-have features of Firefox (like the SSL handling) but kept the drop-down sort the way I like it. An MRU list.

And that brings me to today. At work Firefox is the browser I keep logged in to Google for various things, and still use SM for all of my other browsing. I find that handy.

And now you know.