Thursday, June 26, 2008

Firefox 3.0

You know you're going geeky when you read about a new version of browser software over breakfast in the online version of your newspaper, and you just have to go and get it there and then.

Which is what I've just done with Firefox 3. It looks good, though the changes to the previous versions will no doubt be too numerous and subtle to easily quantify.

It's interesting the way that browser use has evolved socio-culturally. I remember starting my virtual life in the mid 90s (I can be quite precise because Windows 95 was brand new and all the rage), and a geeky friend telling me in a conspiratorial way that MS were out to rule the world, and we should all do our bit by not using IE. He gave me a browser on a floppy called, as I remember it, Agent. The graphics actually showed a cartoon secret agent in his trilby and dark glasses. I can't remember it being much cop. Soon after that, I started using Netscape Navigator.

And then when Firefox appeared, well, it was must-have immediately. It was genuinely, seriously better than IE and has remained ahead throughout both browsers' respective evolutions since then.

The socio-cultural aspect appears if you use a PC at work. Generally, of course they come with standard MS software like IE. And that's what you use because you need to go to an administrator to change it and s/he is too busy doing whatever they do to be bothered and... fuck it, you just go with IE. But that's how you know, that it's not just prejudice, because you need to use IpoxingE all day at work - and it really ISN'T as good as Firefox.

Oh yes, and the version I link to above downloaded (on a slowish connexion) and installed in about five minutes. No need to reboot the whole system, just Firefox itself.