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Old 08-03-2005   #1
Everyman
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Scroogle no longer recommends Firefox

The Mozilla Foundation announced today that they are reorganizing from a nonprofit to a for-profit, apparently to better exploit the revenues they get from Google.

There is a software connection to Google in Firefox that I really don't like. You may know about the prefetching from the Google search bar. That's bad enough, but at least it can be turned off. This other one I've known about for only a few weeks. If you put your search terms in the location bar, where Firefox normally expects a URL, you perform an automatic "I'm feeling lucky" search after Firefox fetches the top result from Google, and you directly end up on the site provided by Google's link. Another way of putting it is this: if Firefox cannot parse your entry in the location bar into a URL, then it asks Google where it should go.

Believe it or not, a huge percentage of surfers don't know the difference between a location (address) bar and a search bar, so this is not some inconsequential little quirk. It means it's probably twice as important to be number one in Google as you once assumed it was.

This is worse than what Microsoft does in Explorer. Microsoft only does a MSN search preview when it cannot parse your URL. This at least offers the user some further options. No, I'm not a Microsoft shill. I wrote one of the earliest anti-Microsoft essays.

Firefox is selling out to Google, and this new Mozilla Corporation is the last straw. Scroogle can no longer recommend Firefox. See the Scroogle explanation at the bottom of this page.

Last edited by Everyman : 08-03-2005 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-04-2005   #2
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It's good to see that you've caught up, everyman, though not for the same reasons This looks like a good thread to have my little rant without going off-topic so...

The last thing that I want to see is a second popular browser. I do not want to go back to the times when we sometimes had to jump through hoops to make pages display properly across different browsers, and across different versions of different browsers. We even resorted to making different pages for different browsers and different versions. It's been really nice since NS packed it in, and I don't want to return to those bad old days.

I know what people will say - IE isn't totally W3C compliant, whereas Firefox is. But that argument doesn't hold up. IE is the choice of over 90% of Internet users, and, therefore, it is the standard - it sets the standards. It's true that IE doesn't follow the W3C recommendations (not standards) in some ways, but neither does Firefox.

Another argument I've seen is that IE has security issues, whereas Firefox doesn't. That's nonsense. IE has security issues because it is used by over 90% of Internet users, so it's more attractive to would-be attackers - and the issues get fixed as soon as they are found. Those people haven't turned their attention to Firefox yet, because it isn't worth it. Firefox's only security is that nobody is attacking it, but let it become popular and then we'll see how secure or insecure it really is. But, even without any attacks, security issues have been already been found in Firefox.

So, to add my vote, though for different reasons - PhilC does not recommend Firefox.

Last edited by PhilC : 08-04-2005 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 08-04-2005   #3
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still....

regardless of the reason, or whether it will always be so....at the moment Firefox is clearly more secure than IE. Since I switched to it I have had virtually no adware infections from surfing websites. The tabbed browsing is also a handy feature.

sure, if firefox became more popular there would be more attacks, but for now it makes sense to me. I've had more than my share of adware headaches and anything that will help prevent them is pretty much a necessity.

I don't like having to design for multiple browsers either, but I like having my computer hijacked even less.
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Old 08-04-2005   #4
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That's fine as long as FF doesn't grow in useage. Personally, I don't recall ever having an adware problem and I've always used IE. I have IE's auto-update set to on, a free firewall, and I run MS's AntiSpyware and a virus scan with auto-updates every day.

Tabbed browsing may be good, but it's now available in MS's toolbar and will almost certainly be incorporated into their next IE.
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Old 08-04-2005   #5
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Wow, PhilC, you have really taken this thread off topic.

PhilC first:
Using your argument it would stand to reason that IIS would be more secure because it is used less than Apache+Linux, yet IIS is generally considered less secure than the more common and freely available alternative. This gets back the old argument of the open vs. closed source technology. Open vs. closed standards -- despite a huge fud budget from MS and the like, open standards and transparent codes are increasingly become the way of choice.

Everyman:
Turning people to IE isn't much of an alternative. Really, the only usable option one has at this point is to use KHTML based browsers. Or...

Let me suggest, FF is still still available in source form, how about offering a MS build with this feature stripped out? That would at least give MS users an option.
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Old 08-04-2005   #6
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I didn't think I'd gone off-topic. I thought the topic was not recommending Firefox, and that's what I wrote about. I merely gave an additional reason to not recommend it
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Old 08-04-2005   #7
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Scroogle doesn't recommend Google, either. But they do recommend that people scrape their results - a practice I personally consider illegal and/or unethical.

You've made Scroogles reputation part of the point of not recommending FF, but that same reputation puts the recommendation into question, IMO.

At least FF uses the results legally.

Besides, *real* SEO's use Lynx....

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Old 08-15-2005   #8
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On the point of users not knowing the difference between a URL and Search Box, surely this is a reason for integrating with Google? If I'm a newbie and type "Search Engine Watch" in the URL field and it comes back with an error, I would assume that Firefox was broken or doesn't work properly, because IE doesn't do that.

Google's "I'm feeling lucky" option uses the power of G's architecture to determine what it thinks a user is looking for. The majority of people who type keywords into the URL field are looking for a specific website and only know it's name and not it's domain. Google will most probably return the site that the end-user is looking for as #1, so the new feature in Fx simply saves time.

The key difference between IE and Fx on both security and unwanted features, is that Fx is open source. If you don't like the new features on Fx, change the source code and re-release it as your own version. If there's a security issue, a Mozilla developer or nosey coder will probably find it when reading the source code and issue a fix. No one outside of MS can read the full source code of IE from what I know of, so the only people really looking for the holes are the hackers.

Just My Opinion


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