I don't remember when I switched from using Opera to Firefox, but it must have been around the time the browser appeared on the scene.
Firefox was released back in November 2004 and became an overnight success thanks to its speed, customization options and features it shipped with.
The first article about Firefox here on Ghacks dates back to 2005 (the site was launched in 2005) listing ten cool extensions for Firefox 1.5b2 and I have followed the development of the browser closely on a professional and personal level.
In fact, Firefox has been the default browser on all of my systems since that time and while I'm using other browsers as well, there are certain things and features that Firefox offers or supports that others don't.
What those are? First, there is NoScript, the "in my opinion" best security add-on there is for any browser out there. NoScript is not available for any other browser and the extensions that you can get don't support the same level of features.
I do trust Mozilla when it comes to privacy. While I'm aware of certain changes made to the browser in recent time that torpedo the "user privacy first" mantra, it is my firm believe that Mozilla cares about user privacy more than any other browser vendor with a 1% or higher market share.
One simple reason for that is that Mozilla is not conflicted as much as Google, Opera or even Microsoft when it comes to that. Google and Opera for instance make most of their revenue from advertising.
Mozilla made several bad decisions in the past in my opinion but I kept on using the browser. The controversial Australis redesign, deprecation of features, integration of other features like Pocket..
Controversial decisions are made with a higher frequency these days, at least that is how I perceive it, and it is getting to a point where even strong Firefox proponents may call it quits.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every decision that Mozilla makes is bad; far from it. The open-nature of the organization puts everything in the open, and that is certainly one reason why decisions that Mozilla makes are discussed furiously on the Internet whereas users of other browsers see what is new when their browser updates to a new version.
I think that Mozilla does a lot of good, pushing privacy and user rights. When it comes to Firefox, I feel that they have slightly lost touch with the community that made the browser great in the first place.
The enthusiasts who recommended it to their family, friends and colleagues, who tinkered and tweaked, created cool add-ons that no one would have imagined before, who created great full-conversion themes, or contributed code to the project.
Most were ambassadors for Firefox without Mozilla probably even being aware of their existence.
I wish that Mozilla would return to their old ways, listen more to the community and what it wants, and stick to core concepts of the browser that made it great even if it means development overhead.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.