Why Firefox?

Its been a while since the most-awaited Firefox 3 was released. Too much hype surrounded its release and also the world record ‘Download Day’. Was it all worth the hype? Is the record really worth some applause? Let’s see.

After building up huge hype, Mozilla Foundation must have prepared for it. The release itself was deferred by 45 minutes (approximately) and when it took place, the Firefox website choked with the amount of traffic it received. Unfortunately, there were no load balancing techniques employed to share the load between different servers, and surprisingly, there were no mirrors for download. Every Firefox package was downloaded from the same server. Of course, the download speed plunged downwards! Thankfully, the server did not breakdown. When the changes to the website were going on, the changes were made in real-time. I mean, I could see the logo of Firefox 3, but the version number at the download button was still 2.x. It was fixed quickly though, and the website was finally put together. It was almost one hour after the release that I managed to download a copy for myself.

Coming to the browser, the installation was simple (as always) and the loading time had decreased drastically, almost as much as Mozilla claimed. It takes far lesser memory now, and handles AJAX applications well – noticed how quickly GMail loads? Bookmarking was redefined, and organizing the bookmarks became easier and simple. The address bar, searches through your bookmark list as you type and lets you choose the site if you have bookmarked it earlier. A lighter side to this feature is that it promises keyboards with a better lifetime. I wont be going through the features anymore, if you are reading this, you are probably doing it on Firefox 3 and have experienced the features (or bugs perhaps) – you can even go to the site to check them out again if you feel like.

At first, I could not find a downside to the browser, but the crash occurred a couple of weeks later. All my addons started acting weird and the themes wont work! It was nightmarish. I had to create a new profile (using the profile manager) to fix it, and re-download all my addons and configure them again.

Now for the real deal: Firefox still is the best browser out there. And if you are using any other browser, its only a matter of time until you’ll change. Why?

1. Faster – This is the most controversial feature of firefox. Internet Explorer claims to load faster than Firefox. Of course it does; its running on Windows ain’t it? If you could, why not install IE on Linux and see the difference?

2. Addons – The biggest and celebrated feature of Firefox is its extensibility. There are numerous addons for a multitude of user proficiency – novices to experts.

3. Safer – Firefox is undoubtedly the safest browser. Install a few more addons (which I discuss later) and you’ll make it much safer!

Give a little more importance to the box you view the web through. 🙂

I’ll follow up with another post on how to make your firefox installation safer and how to troubleshoot problems and recover from crashes.

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Federer loses; Nadal equals record!

Federer Vs Nadal It was yet another sensational final that took place at the French Open today. As was expected, he masters met again to fight it out for the supremacy over clay. With the win over Federer here, Nadal equalled the record of Bjorn Borg for the most number of consecutive French Open titles won by an individual – four.

Nadal began the match with an aggressive stance which he held onto throughout the entire match. I’ve always known Nadal’s best strength as his backhand return across the court. I was pretty much impressed with his forehand shots as well. He restrained from getting to the nets – he did so on only three or four occasions. As usual, he was his athletic best; running all over the court and springing onto the ball and firing strong returns at Federer. He won comprehensively in 3 straight sets (6-1 6-3 6-0) never giving Federer an upper hand all through the game. By equaling the world record, Rafael Nadal yet again proclaimed himself as the King of Clay.

As for Roger Federer, it was definitely not the day he would have ever dreamed on waking up to. Everything went against him today. He had a massive 40+ unforced errors by the end of the match as compared to Nadal’s 5 or 6. I have never seen Roger Federer being vanquished at tennis in straight sets, without winning a single break point. For all the Federer fans (including me) this was an extraordinarily disappointing performance by a man who is always expected to win! He seemed stumped, sluggish and his shots lacked the intensity with which he always played. His strategy of playing closer to the nets proved costly, not-to-mention a lot of unlucky net shots landing outside the court. He plunged into pressure from the beginning of set two, and never looked like winning. From then on, it was Nadal’s show.

The match got over in less than two hours and Nadal winning in straight sets, dampened the much awaited fight between the masters. Not much to say about the match; but for Federer the defeats at clay will haunt him for years to come.