“You’ve been tabbed.” –Firefox Facts
We all have our usual and ordinary day at the office. Before finally sitting down on our respective chairs inside our Alcatraz-like prison cells, oh…office cubicles, I mean, and opening our computers to check our e-mails and maybe surfing for a minute or two while sipping your hot brewed coffee (or tea to some)…have it crossed actually our minds where all these stuffs came from? Absolutely, our technology seems to move faster than we think and what you’re staring at right now maybe an obsolete thing tomorrow. Let us not go far in searching for something to ponder on. Look at your internet browser…seems a nice one right? But do you have any single idea or information regarding those? Let’s take the case of the “Firefox” as others would call and prefer it by that name, in particular.
Since the birth of web browsers in 1980s, Firefox has emerged to be one of the most-used and well-preferred browsers amongst a variety. According to Wikipedia, Mozilla Firefox was originally created by Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross as part of an experimental project for a Mozilla project. The following discussions are some interesting facts about our favorite web browser, the Mozilla Firefox.
The Web Browser’s search for identity was quite an adventure, so to speak. Firefox’s original name was Phoenix and because there were trademark issues that arose between our Phoenix and Phoenix Technology, Phoenix was renamed as Firebird. But this change in name again gave rise on some issues with another Firebird – a free database software program. And in order to settle the name issue, its developer Mozilla Organization decided to combine their names thus bearing the Mozilla Firebird name to avoid confusion with the software program.
With the never ending pressure from the database server community, it was finally, on November 9, 2004, that Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox. It was on the same date that version 1.0 was released.
After a series of updates and the usual stability and security fixes that it had undergone, version 2 was released on October 24, 2006. Version 2 of the Mozilla Firefox introduced new features that include the “tabbed browsing”, a session restore, find and search software updates and the GUI (Graphical User Interface). Said version likewise showcased an anti-Phishing (a process of acquiring sensitive information [username, passwords] through the internet) feature. The ever popular Google once made this feature an extension but lately developed their own. December 2007 was the birth of the Firefox Live Chat.
The most noteworthy amongst its version was version 3. It was released on June 2008. Version 3 used Mozilla’s Gecko- a layout engine used in displaying web pages. Said version likewise improved to comply with the existing standards, fixed a handful of bugs and featured a newly-designed download manager. It also had a setting feature where bookmarked pages and recent visited sites (history) are stored.
The Mozilla Corporation, through the excessive efforts of their developers has recently announced their future plans for Firefox. According to their executives, plans of coming up of more user-friendly versions of our favorite browser are already in the study table. Their top honchos stated of having a version of the browser that will be used exclusively for mobile phones (codename: Fennec).
But while waiting on the developments of such versions, it would also be interesting to note some of the feedbacks, ideas and beliefs that Mozilla Firefox has stirred since its birth to the present.
1. There is an on-going belief that “Mozilla” and “Firefox” are the same. And as we discussed a while back, Firefox, adopted its name in 2004. Mozilla on the other hand, is the one that represents the company, Mozilla Corporation which develops both Firefox and the Mozilla Suite. The development of the Mozilla Suite ended in 2005 and is now known as the Sea Monkey;
2. As an open source, the Mozilla Firefox is not entirely free as other would presume. Some of its elements are covered by EULA (End-Users License Agreement);
3. (Now here’s one that I don’t know of…) Firefox’s accepted and preferred abbreviation is Fx and not FF (or spelled as FireFox);
4. Given its popularity in terms of usage, there is no truth that Firefox has System Requirements lower than the Internet Explorer 6. It is the other way around. Firefox requires 128 MB (megabytes) of RAM (Random Acces-Memory) while the Internet explorer will run only on 16 MB of RAM;
5. In terms of memory usage, Firefox versions 2 and 3 uses less memory compared to the Internet Explorer;
6. It is believed that Firefox is “bug” free. The truth is it is just like any other software application that has a lot of problems and bugs;
7. Firefox is stable. Nope. It can be unstable on some issues and sometimes may be needed reinstallation;
8. The fastest web browser is not Firefox but the Opera which is 100% Advertisement-Free;
9. And since we are into speed, it is not true that Firefox version 1 and 2 runs faster than the Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7;
10. Security wise, sorry but the Opera holds the feat of the most secured graphical web browser in the Windows platform.
Also, finance gurus and economists alike would be alarmed because the belief that Firefox gained 25% market share in 2007 is false. It was actually a market share loss of 15%. It was its competitors, the Internet Explorer and the Safari who gained. According to Mozilla’s executives, Firefox only had 12% of the market share in May 2007 and 13% in June 2007. Our web browser also did not performed well in the European scene in 2006 as most of the users were still using the Internet Explorer during that time.
When we talk of vulnerability in terms of software applications and such the like, the phrase means the susceptibility or the amount of strength that one has in terms of hazardous external forces and factors. Such in the case of web browsers, its susceptibility against bugs, viruses and weak factors are mostly questioned by its avid users. Firefox and its users can breathe with ease as Firefox is considered safe from all of those vulnerability harms although some of these remains unpatched as of today. Contrary to the belief that Firefox is more secured than the Internet Explorer, its actually the other way around. And even though there is quite a difference between the two browsers, there are other factors which they commonly share aside from being web browsers, obviously. Some of their common denominators include their respective support for file extensions or extensions. They also both support Inline Search feature.
Additionally, the website Firefacts, listed ten (10) ways and reasons why Mozilla Firefox makes the web a safer place. The following lists some of Firefox’s (the latest version) features that enable web browsing easy and safe:
1. The Firefox has this NoScript plug-in to protect the user from XSS (cross-site scripting-one of browser’s vulnerability problems);
2. The Web of Trust (WOT) feature which enables one to do away with scam visitors and spam mails and other unwanted materials;
3. Our Firefox has a Stealther feature. It keeps your activities such as the pages you’ve been into, your searches and search history, in a “secretive way” (spy-like);
4. The Mozilla Firefox showcases more advanced proxy management feature is in its FoxyProxy;
5. Encrypting woes? Fire Encrypter is a feature of Firefox that can easily get you through the encrypting ones;
6. Sxipper is a feature that takes care of your passwords;
7. Cookies are always an issue, but the CookieCuller feature plug-in of the Firefox takes care of the job;
8. Like the Netscape, Firefox has a Flashblock feature that blocks the loading of anything in Flash content;
9. Trackmenot is a feature of Firefox that enables the user to “privatize” anything from the web pages visited, searches, etc.;
10. Bugmenot feature spares the user the required registration in order to view what is inside or the content.
It is interesting to note on how far web browsers have gone in terms of growth and development. Typical and ordinary users like us would normally ignore these breakthroughs and just move on with our own lives as if nothing had happened. It is quite hard to accept sometimes that societies or groups of individuals right now focus more of the quantity and not the quality of life. We oftentimes forget and set aside tiny, yet important factors that if given enough attention, could change the way we live. It is true that little things do mean a lot. Things around us that we often take for granted. Such as, a simple book, a pen, computer software or, a web browser perhaps. They don’t mean much but some of these little things can really make a difference in our lives.
And by the way, aside from the multiple tabbing that the Firefox is known for and its various color theme designs, did you know that you can play the game of Tetris in Mozilla Firefox?