MozillaZine Reviews Mozilla Firefox 0.8

Thursday February 19th, 2004

Scott I. Remick writes: "PC World has put up a nice review of Firefox 0.8. While mostly positive, it does point to a few shortcomings, such as how the extensions site wasn't able to handle the onslaught right after release, which for 2 days kept the reviewer from accessing the site. He also mentions troubles managing extensions, and the issue of many sites only working with IE (which he admits isn't Firefox's fault)."

#1 Well...

by coldacid

Thursday February 19th, 2004 3:55 PM

I disagree with the statement that Firefox "can't be trusted as your PC's only browser." As it is, I use it and no other, as it is more stable than any other browser that I've ever used (including the old Moz). Also, the author states that "Firefox remains too geeky for non-techies" and yet does not provide anything to detail this, rather going on about the extensions site problem and a failure with Adblock.

Other than that, I'm just fine with the review.

OT here, but it actually seems to me that Firefox is at a polish-debug-and-featurize stage. As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty much complete for a browser.

#3 I agree

by jgl

Thursday February 19th, 2004 4:31 PM

Even though I've "standardized" on it at work (30 users) we always, every day, have to revert back to IE for various web sites. It's not a matter of avoiding those IE only sites. We need them to do business. Many are banking and b2b sites.

#9 Re: I agree

by c960657

Thursday February 19th, 2004 11:14 PM

Did you contact the webmaster of any of these sites and tell them about the problems with their sites?

#16 Re: Re: I agree

by jgl

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:26 AM

Sometimes it's activex controls causing the problem. I have contacted some of them but they have ignored my requests. Why should they bother to make a bunch of coding changes to support a browser that few use. I don't like that but how can they justify the cost of debugging it? It's much cheaper to say "use IE".

#24 Reply

by Malc

Friday February 20th, 2004 9:44 AM

Well, some of those sites won't work with IE on the Mac, especially if they're using Win32 compiled ActiveX controls. They're even less likely to work with Safari, so their comments show their ignorance.

#22 Re: Re: I agree

by jgl

Friday February 20th, 2004 9:12 AM

It just happened again. I needed to log in to activate a citrix license. Firefox won't get me in. EI got me right in. Now I'd love to use firefox but it is unlikely that a large corporation like citrix, who is married to M$ is going to fix the site for Firefox.

#25 Re: Re: Re: I agree

by polidobj

Friday February 20th, 2004 11:29 AM

I see from the mycitrix login page that they do support Netscape 7 or higher. Which is a laugh because Firefox is higher than Netscape 7. Send them another email saying if it works with netscape 7 then it also works with Mozilla too so let me in dammit.

This is not the first time I've seen sites support Netscape 7 but not Mozilla and it really irks me because they are the same browser (actually better with 1.5+ or Firefox). Has anyone tried with the Suite?

So in theory you could get a extension that changes your useragent to netscape 7 and try to get in. or

#27 Re: Re: Re: Re: I agree


Friday February 20th, 2004 1:54 PM

its extentions like those that will never get web pages like that fixed.

#28 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I agree

by polidobj

Friday February 20th, 2004 4:30 PM

Which is why my first suggestion was to email them again. And I said use the Netscape 7's useragent not IE's which isn't as bad. Maybe when Mozilla reaches 2.0 they'll think it's worth supporting because it's a new version (oh wow 2.0!!) when in reality it's just the next milestone release like going from 1.6 to 1.7.

I'm looking forward to the 1.7 / 0.9 release because a bug I stumbled upon (I wasn't the first though) was recently fixed (i tested last nights nightly of firefox to confirm it's fixed) which will allow me to use a new CSS layout which works in IE and Opera. Imagine that something in CSS that works in IE that didn't in Mozilla.

#29 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I agree

by polidobj

Friday February 20th, 2004 4:37 PM

Spoofing Netscape 7's useragent is actually much better than IE's here because the site has been verified to work with a gecko browser (Netscape 7) and your using a gecko browser. Which is unlike using the IE useragent and crossing your fingers and hope they don't use IE specific code that won't work with gecko.

Spoofing is not what we want to do which why I'd only advocate it if you're spoofing one gecko for another.

#23 Re: Re: I agree

by jgl

Friday February 20th, 2004 9:20 AM

It just happened again. I needed to log in to activate a citrix license. Firefox won't get me in. EI got me right in. Now I'd love to use firefox but it is unlikely that a large corporation like citrix, who is married to M$ is going to fix the site for Firefox.

#7 Yeah, Firefox is better than Mozilla 1.6.

by DP3_001

Thursday February 19th, 2004 8:26 PM

Not all my IE bookmarks would go into Mozilla 1.6 after I installed it. Also, it's Print Preview feature would sometimes, instead of opening in a seperate window, display its contents into the main browser window, forcing me to close the browser & restart it just to get it working again. I've never had this problem with Firefox 0.8 at all ... which is weird. Technically, it's still an "experimental" program. Odd how, even in that state, it still kicks other browser's asses. Even Mozilla 1.6's.

BTW: The review was just fine to me.

#19 Re: Yeah, Firefox is better than Mozilla 1.6.

by neilparks1

Friday February 20th, 2004 7:28 AM

The Print Preview in Firefox has its quirks. Press F5 while in Print Preview to see one of them.

When previewing a page of multiple frames, or a page with inline graphics that cross the boundary of a printed page, what you see is definitely NOT what you'll get!

#26 A quirk ... caused by a bad profile

by DP3_001

Friday February 20th, 2004 1:39 PM

Just for the hell of it, I deleted my profile & created a new one. Problem solved. I still stand by my original message, though. It's still weird to have a "technology preview" work the first time around, and a "stable" program only do so after a TON of tweaking.

#2 New Extension Server

by Ben_Goodger

Thursday February 19th, 2004 4:01 PM

For the curious, by 0.9 we plan to have a new extension scheme designed to offer more stability for users and flexibility for extension authors. This will interface with an all new extension site hosted by that should benefit from Mozilla's larger bandwidth capabilities for much improved availability. We are working on this right now.

#4 Re: New Extension Server

by hcgtv

Thursday February 19th, 2004 5:55 PM

Ben, that's great to hear, more bandwidth.

#10 Re: New Extension Server

by peterlairo

Thursday February 19th, 2004 11:47 PM

Ben, regarding the "new extension scheme", what do you mean by "more stability for users and flexibility for extension authors"? Could you please provide a bullet list or some specific bugs please?

Also, please try to keep the layout of the for the extensions selection. It is FAR better than the layout. I would suggest to add a "compatible with firefox vesion(s): ...", and a small screenshot of how the extension looks like. ;-)

PS. For the MZ login (to add this comment), does anyone else have the password field on the 2nd line, and take the entire width of the 2nd line?

#15 Re: Re: New Extension Server

by jgraham

Friday February 20th, 2004 3:27 AM

More to the point, what are the requirements for getting an extension hosted on All extensions that are hosted on should be held to the same quality standards as other code avaliable from; which suggests rather extensive QA (extensions must work with an arbitary combination of other hosted extensions) and code review. Unfortunately, that's a big task (code review especially) and I'm not sure that there are lots of people who are willing to step up and put the effort in. On the other hand, if no one does this, could we end up with an extension being distributed via which installs a keylogger into the browser?

On the theme of security and extensions, are there plans to sign extensions avaliable from As many email viruses and spyware programs demonstrate, people aren't afraid to click on random links on the internet and let software be installed. In this way, Mozilla programs are just as vunerable to spyware and other nasties as IE is via ActiveX (obviously if IE have holes that allow unprompted installation of extensions that's worse). Perhaps the default firefox configuration should only allow code signed by to be installed? Then if companies require internal extensions, they can add their own certificate to the list of those accepted. Is there a better solution?

#17 Re: Re: Re: New Extension Server

by bhuot

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:40 AM

I would be willing to test extensions. I have a broadband connection and plenty of time. I like installing software on my computer. I am not a programmer but I know quite a bit about web design and computers in general.

#18 Re: Re: Re: Re: New Extension Server

by jgraham

Friday February 20th, 2004 6:34 AM

Yeah, it's not so much the QA part that would be hard (although having people orgnaised enough to make the process work well would be harder), more the code review. Initially, at least, the code review would have to be done by experienced developers. If we're talking Firefox that means one of a very few people. My impression is that people generally feel that code review is a necessary evil, rather than something they'd like to do more of. So I'm having a hard time imagining the few people who are qualified enough to actually do the code review wanting to do it for a significant number of extensions. Moreover what about the legendary Firefox focus on usability? Is there going to be a extension-HIG (Huaman Interface Guidelines) document? Will having a sane UI be a requirement for having an extension hosted by

<cynic>We'll probably end up distributing a great browser and unusable, buggy extensions</cynic>.

Of course, in the long term, one would hope that experienced extension developers would be allowed to do extension reviews for Firefox. However the short term could very well get in the way.

#30 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Extension Server

by bzbarsky

Sunday February 22nd, 2004 4:59 PM

> My impression is that people generally feel that code review is a necessary evil

It is. It's necessary because most people write bad code. The few who don't sometimes still make mistakes. It's a big time-sink, however, and no one likes being forced to spend time on things they would rather not spend time on. ;)

#21 Reply

by napolj2

Friday February 20th, 2004 8:01 AM

On the security issue, is it possible to restrict an unsigned extension's ability to access information, make changes to the chrome, or send out information without the user knowing about it?

#12 Re: New Extension Server

by TuringTest

Friday February 20th, 2004 1:22 AM

An option I would like for the extension is the possibility to vote for the best extensions in the website. That way one could instantly know the "popularity" of each one and, more important, the overall stability, quality and usefullness of each extension before trying to install it.

Where is the official place to place feature request for the webpage?

#20 Re: New Extension Server

by neilparks1

Friday February 20th, 2004 7:33 AM

Flexibility for extension authors? What they need is consistency. Right now, some extensions install to the Profile if you say OK and to the app dir if you say Cancel. Other extensions do exactly the opposite.

#5 Great!

by gflores

Thursday February 19th, 2004 8:07 PM

I was also a little frustrated about the extension site being down the first few days, as I had gotten a few of my friends to download Firefox, but they had trouble accessing the extensions page. No biggie, though. Great news, about Mozilla hosting an extension site. :)

#8 Re: Great!

by MvD

Thursday February 19th, 2004 10:02 PM

How come there isn't a list of extenstion mirrors? When the extenstion site was down I just searched for the extentsion on google and used other sources to download them...

#6 something more

by gflores

Thursday February 19th, 2004 8:10 PM

Ooops for got to mention this, and no edit.. :( What do they mean by this? "you'll prefer to keep safe and stable with IE." IE is less safe and less stable, in my experience, at least. :P

#11 quote

by wvw

Friday February 20th, 2004 12:40 AM

"save and stable with IE" That last scentece really made me laugh. It actually makes a good article almost a bad one. For everybody I 'converted', security and stability are very important reasons to use Firefox... (ok, ok apart from all supurb other features, but I don't think I have to tell that in this forum). I really wonder why an IT-journalist can write this (I am one myself).

#13 Re: quote

by TuringTest

Friday February 20th, 2004 1:27 AM

I think is well done for the journalist, and good for us Firefox fans, to also report of the perceived baddies of usability. That way people who try it will not suffer a delusion and throw away the whole browser just for a minor nuisance. I wonder if the reported problems in usability are due to heavy use of extensions, which are really not that much stable.

#14 Re: Re: quote

by TuringTest

Friday February 20th, 2004 1:28 AM

Sorry, I meant "reported problems in stability" 8-)