Saturday, July 26, 2008

Firefox Woes

I've been a Firefox user for quite some time now, using it through several updated versions. Most people I know who use it rave about it, while simultaneously trashing Internet Explorer.

At first, I agreed with such people, but I've been having several quirky problems with Firefox that have lasted through several of the most recent updates. I also bought a new computer last year with the latest version of IE included, and I've not had any problems with that.

The problems I'm having with Firefox appear and disappear unexpectedly for no apparent rhyme nor reason. The most common problems are:

  • I'm on dialup, and if I happen to get tossed offline while viewing pages in Firefox, I must close the browser and re-open it again in order to be able to continue using the pages I was viewing. If I try to make comments, refresh, or click on another page, it won't respond, and I'll see "Stopped" at the left bottom corner of the page. This doesn't happen in IE -- I can just pick up where I left off without closing and re-opening the browser.
  • A recurring problem happens on message boards, where Firefox will not recognize text editing buttons in message board response boxes. That is, the bold, underline, italic, quote, and other buttons will not work when I click on them, but I have to add the code manually. This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough, and without warning, to be annoying.
  • When I get the above problem on message boards, Firefox will also not recognize paragraph breaks and it will render several paragraphs as one unbroken block of text. These two problems are so annoying, that I just use IE when I want to make comments on message boards.
  • Another on-again, off-again problem is that on every single one of the blog systems I use (Blog City, Blogger, Vox, and EFX2) Firefox will either not display the text editing features in the text boxes or they will be unclickable, thus unusable. Again, I'm composing in IE more and more.
  • Yet another on-again, off-again problem is with Gmail. Though I can sometimes view Gmail normally with Firefox, more often than not, I have to view it in "Basic HTML", which does not allow the user to use all of Gmail's features. More recently, I'm getting errors more often when using Gmail in Firefox.

These are the most common, ongoing annoyances I've had in the last year or so using Firefox. Note that none of these problems occur when using Internet Explorer.

I'd be curious to hear if other Firefox users are having the same problems that I'm having and if they're turning back to IE more and more.


Eclectablog said...

I haven't really noticed these problems but I rarely use IE so I may not even realize that there are things I'm not seeing. I don't have the issues you describe with the paragraphs, though. You should post these on Firefox's bug report board.

Jay said...

Do you leave Firefox on permanently, and just put your computer to sleep? I've noticed it doesn't like that - it likes to be shut down and restarted regularly so it can clear whatever garbage it hangs onto. I'm not an expert though, so that's pretty much my only offering - except I'd never go back to IE.

Phil said...

I have loved Firefox for a while, but the later versions have been a bit problematic. I use Firefox at work with some web based apps and it crashes about 3 times a week.

If you don't like the way FF shows some web pages, try this plug in called IE Tabs: