ninth birthday yesterday. Despite not having been a web developer or web enthusiast for nearly as long as that, I have been using Firefox for about eight years since Firefox 1.5 was released and some local enthusiast put up a poster advertising it in my local grocery store. I stumbled upon it by complete accident, and if I hadn't seen that poster, there's a chance I wouldn't have heard of it until several years later.
When Firefox 1.5 was released in 2005, I was 14 years old and mildly interested in the web, but wouldn't have considered myself an enthusiast. At home, I only had access to the computer for an hour or two a day, and my mum was in no way interested in technology. I vividly remember her thinking the new Firefox icon on the desktop was a virus, and demanded the immediate uninstallation of it. Even after explaining what Firefox was, she still insisted it was less secure than IE and wanted me to get rid of it.
I wasn't about to get rid of Firefox that easily, though. After playing with it for an hour, I loved it. It had groundbreaking features like tabs! It let you clear your browsing history selectively and really easily! It was super quick!
Fortunately, young kids have persistence, and I … found a way to conceal my lovely Firefox installation. I think it was by deleting the desktop icon, but my memory's a bit fuzzy. Sorry, mum.
Despite Chrome making massive inroads in the browser market lately, I have still stuck with Firefox as my primary browser the last eight years. Chrome does a lot of things very well, including better use of limited resources (especially on OS X), vastly superior automatic updates, and more evolved native development tools.
So what's in it for Firefox? It gets a lot of flak, but here is why I'm still in love with Firefox after eight years:
And most importantly, my all-time favourite reason:
"My browser is the best, and it’s better than all of yours because it is my browser."
Firefox and its vast addon ecosystem turned me into a web tinkerer. Some of my first CSS knowledge came from wanting to extend the default Adblock Plus rules to include an annoying advert on a forum I frequented. I still have a bookmark stored somewhere that detailed how to horizontally center things in CSS to replace the use of the
Here's to hoping Mozilla won't let that happen, though. Happy birthday, Firefox! Thanks for everything you've done for the web. I'm deeply grateful.