I’ve been a big fan of Firefox since practically the beginning, back when it was called Phoenix or Firebird. I like the way Firefox does things. It’s feature rich and the UI is well thought out. Sadly, lately, for me Firefox has become unusable.
I’m currently running Firefox 184.108.40.206 on three Linux distributions: Vector Linux 5.1, Fedora Core 5, and Xubuntu Dapper 6.06. On all three the browser crashes frequently on all sorts of web sites seemingly at random. I’ve had it happen on a diverse variety of sites, generally fairly complex ones, ranging from eBay to the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahranot. There is one website, one I use all the time, that will always cause Firefox to crash: Yahoo! Mail. Any attempt to read mail on the Yahoo! website generates a crash. Yes, the Mozilla Quality Feedback Agent pops up and yes, I dutifully send in my report. I’ve talked to friends who run Firefox on Windows and it’s stable on that platform, even on Yahoo! Mail. On Linux, however, it is totally unstable to the point of unusable. This wasn’t true of the 1.0.x releases but has been the case, and has seemingly gotten worse, with each 1.5.x release.
The net result is that I find myself using either Opera or Konqueror. They work just fine. Other browsers based on Mozilla’s gecko engine do not. Flock crashes the same way Firefox does while Epiphany and Seamonkey just hang. It’s frequent enough and annoying enough that I’ve all but abandoned all of these browsers.
So… what is going on? Is Mozilla working on this? Do they still care about us relatively few Linux folk or is a stable Windows platform good enough for them?