Happy Birthday Firefox! Tell Mozilla what you think of Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2015

I don't remember when I switched from using Opera to Firefox, but it must have been around the time the browser appeared on the scene.

Firefox was released back in November 2004 and became an overnight success thanks to its speed, customization options and features it shipped with.

The first article about Firefox here on Ghacks dates back to 2005 (the site was launched in 2005) listing ten cool extensions for Firefox 1.5b2 and I have followed the development of the browser closely on a professional and personal level.

In fact, Firefox has been the default browser on all of my systems since that time and while I'm using other browsers as well, there are certain things and features that Firefox offers or supports that others don't.

What those are? First, there is NoScript, the "in my opinion" best security add-on there is for any browser out there. NoScript is not available for any other browser and the extensions that you can get don't support the same level of features.

I do trust Mozilla when it comes to privacy. While I'm aware of certain changes made to the browser in recent time that torpedo the "user privacy first" mantra, it is my firm believe that Mozilla cares about user privacy more than any other browser vendor with a 1% or higher market share.

One simple reason for that is that Mozilla is not conflicted as much as Google, Opera or even Microsoft when it comes to that. Google and Opera for instance make most of their revenue from advertising.

Mozilla made several bad decisions in the past in my opinion but I kept on using the browser. The controversial Australis redesign, deprecation of features, integration of other features like Pocket..

Controversial decisions are made with a higher frequency these days, at least that is how I perceive it, and it is getting to a point where even strong Firefox proponents may call it quits.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every decision that Mozilla makes is bad; far from it. The open-nature of the organization puts everything in the open, and that is certainly one reason why decisions that Mozilla makes are discussed furiously on the Internet whereas users of other browsers see what is new when their browser updates to a new version.

I think that Mozilla does a lot of good, pushing privacy and user rights. When it comes to Firefox, I feel that they have slightly lost touch with the community that made the browser great in the first place.

The enthusiasts who recommended it to their family, friends and colleagues, who tinkered and tweaked, created cool add-ons that no one would have imagined before, who created great full-conversion themes, or contributed code to the project.

Most were ambassadors for Firefox without Mozilla probably even being aware of their existence.

I wish that Mozilla would return to their old ways, listen more to the community and what it wants, and stick to core concepts of the browser that made it great even if it means development overhead.

Now You: Tell Mozilla what you think.

Happy Birthday Firefox! Tell Mozilla what you think of Firefox
Article Name
Happy Birthday Firefox! Tell Mozilla what you think of Firefox
Firefox turned 11 today, time to look back and in the future, and tell Mozilla what you think of the browser.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Jason said on July 19, 2020 at 7:24 am

    I left Chrome to get away from SJW ‘snippets’ or politics slogans. I don’t want to see them in Firefox.

  2. John Wulf said on November 29, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I have been hating firefox for a long time, and this is the last straw.
    Now a legacy add on no longer works thanks to some f’d up update Mozilla did. I am now on version 57 I think and it no longer supports extensions not written in API. Well F me running up a hill sideways.
    Last Straw Mozilla, your dwindling market share has one less user.
    John Andrew Wulf
    CIO Technology Solutions Inc
    Las Vegas NV

  3. tes said on November 16, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Mozilla Firefox was my favorite but when Google Chrome launched, I feel that Chrome is much more faster and stable browser to surf on internet. Firefox updated version hangs everytime and sometime text is not showing smoothly like Chrome smile emoticon

    BTW Happy Birthday Mozilla Firefox

  4. Primo said on November 15, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Firefox was one of those first salvos lobbed towards Microsoft that made the slumbering giant start to stir. By the time they “woke up” the world was a very, very different place!

    Today I still like Firefox, if for nothing else their adherence to the open web for all!

  5. Al said on November 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I started using Firefox back around 3.0. It was my sole browser. I even used it on my phone when Firefox for android first came out. I didn’t care that it wasn’t the fastest, or even always the most dependable. I valed the open sourcing, the encouragement of community participation and responsiveness to individual needs that the add-ons system provided.

    In the last couple of years, there have been some moments that caused me concern but I was still pretty much the stereotypical fan boy.

    Happy Birthday, Firefox, your recent moves against the things that made me love you have finally prompted me to move all the computers on my network to Pale Moon. I may not stay with them–depending on how Vivaldi develops–but it is clear you no longer offer what made you special. Thanks for all the great years, sorry it had to end.

    (Note to Martin, NoScript works just fine on Pale Moon, as do other security add-ons like uBlock and Disconnect)

  6. Desplow said on November 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I’m a happy user since the release day of Firefox 1.0.0 :)

  7. All Things Firefox said on November 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I personally like Australis a lot, and have said so on previous occasions. I don’t think the redesign was necessarily a bad decision, and those who want the old interface back can use Classic Theme Restorer with very low memory overhead.
    I do think that integrating Pocket without an easy way to remove it was (is) a mistake.
    I haven’t been affected that much by feature deprecation (I don’t use full themes or Panorama, to name recent removals) but they are a problem since they eliminate customization abilities and user freedom. However, I can understand the decision to remove them, since they might be unsustainable for the number of people using them. Maybe Mozilla should have make the ESR release a little more available to regular users, although they shouldn’t promote it too much so that the typical user won’t accidentally install it.
    Lastly, Mozilla deserves credit for promoting privacy.

  8. Lestat said on November 11, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you very much Mozilla old for Firefox 1-22 and thank you Mozilla new starting with Firefox 23 for showing me alternative browsers which rescued me from Mozilla new’s Google Chrome clone madness!

  9. Maou said on November 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Happy B-Day Fox!

    Even with the current state of affairs I’ll never switch to Chrome, Firefox is still the King when it comes to customization.

  10. Madis said on November 11, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Happy birthday, Firefox! Didn’t even think you’re that old already.. 
    For the future, please follow those two keywords: focus and completeness.

    First off – focus. Your userbase consists of more enthusiasts than average users. People who *care* what browser they use.
    Therefore you should do changes accordingly.
    I don’t like that I have to use an extension to customize the toolbar the way I want. I do like extensions that install fast, are small and restartless, but do not forget about the bigger ones.
    I understand the change to themes, as long as developers can replicate things in a better way, it’s fine.

    Completeness. It’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it better. Things like omnibox, multiple tab selection and tab muting do work better in Chrome.
    For example, the tab won’t make sound in Chrome after session restore until selected. Simple, yet makes using the browser much more pleasant.
    However, make sure people actually want your additions. I don’t use Hello, Pocket or reading mode, would be great if I could remove those.

    Overall, keep up the good work and win me back!

  11. Emmanuel said on November 11, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Microsoft Edge

  12. Peter said on November 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Browsers are a bit like pets, where 10 years is ancient, maybe not so for a (Pyro)parrot.

  13. Jozsef said on November 10, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe this is an unfortunate but natural life cycle in which the people with healthy enthusiasm for their work are slowly replaced by highly determined ones motivated by ego, in other words, insecurity. They aim to show their superiority by tossing aside everything their predecessors did and chart their own glorious direction, in this case ludicrously dumbing down and aping Chrome, justifying it with excellent sounding logic and statistics that will bamboozle most critics enough to silence them. Presumably when FF is only a historical footnote, they will easily find external places to put the blame as if the world should be enthusiastic for another browser with limited capabilities. (Oh boy, gimme less, I can’t enough of it!)

  14. Paul(us) said on November 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Many happy healthy returns Mozilla Firefox. Hopefully you will find a way in the years to come to no only care less about the numbering cycle of the google browser but also hopefully you will find a way to stay not depended strong.

  15. Max said on November 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Firefox, you were once a great browser. I lived with you daily for nearly nine years, until this summer, when your Chrome-induced madness and suicidal tendencies reached the point of no return. I’m sorry you wouldn’t listen to those trying to save you.

    Fortunately your legacy continues to live on in the form of Pale Moon; long may it continue to do so.

  16. IgHive said on November 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    It’s like celebrating birthday of a kid with cancer. Like a last goodbye.

    1. Jozsef said on November 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      You put it very well. This is a sad time for any but the most casual user.

  17. Mike Harris said on November 10, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    What do I think of Firefox? As it currently stands, it is fairly good. Where it is heading is disaster.

  18. Ben said on November 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Happy birthday kid :)
    Now try to get away from your abusive parents.
    (Yes I know there are forks).

  19. Mohammad Fazil said on November 10, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for this pet fox Mozilla ive been looking after it since i got it and its grown to a giant.Whoever whatever they say about fox just made him/her strong I wish all the very best Happy Birthday for fox.

  20. insanelyapple said on November 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    If I would want to say Mozilla what I think of Firefox now, this post would be immediately removed because of amount of “harsh” words.

    So I’ll keep it short: today, I am really disappointed.

  21. Henk van Setten said on November 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    The best Firefox? Pale Moon.

  22. miles l said on November 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Been using it since it started and never looked back. Run with 45 add-ons and it rocks !

  23. Croatoan said on November 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Martin wrote what Firefox user think (me included)

  24. dan said on November 10, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Dear Firefox: you made a huge mistake when you decided to emulate Chrome. By doing so, you planted the seeds of your own destruction, ensuring a role as merely a shadow of the Google browser. Please return to your roots as the one browser that allows users to take control rather than the other way around. Continuing down your current course means your only legacy will have been to give birth to Pale Moon. Sincerely, dan.

  25. Joker said on November 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Stick a fork in it.

  26. Tom Hawack said on November 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Mozilla, hi and happy Birthday. Ten years already. I’ve never loved or hated you and even less loved to hate you. I reserve feelings for individuals. My thoughts therefor are cold-blooded.

    First thing that comes in mind is the wish you’d explain and detail what is new and modified in updated versions far more than you do with the Release Notes. This should include about:config settings and files in the user’s profile. For instance, impossible to find, even with search engines, what frequencyCap.json and times.json files do in my profile. Until Australis your ‘About:config entries’ pages were always detailed and complete, since they no longer are ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config_entries )

    Generally speaking, please communicate not only with a state of mind reserved to please and encourage the new users but also with the respect and understanding that there are users whom have followed you since sometimes always, who need to know what’s going on and don’t have sometimes the skills to understand the inner debates reserved apparently to your techie community. Again : new/changed/removed entries in about:config and within user’s profile files.

    Also, and related to above, there are settings included or not in Firefox’s Options which are confusing. I have in mind the caches, three of them and the number of relatives which ask me : what does what? :

    Browser Offline Cache (browser.cache.offline.enable) – Browser Offline Storage (dom.indexedDB.enabled) – Browser Dom Storage (dom.storage.enabled) : I’d bet those who can answer immediately are a tiny minority.

    My feeling is that there is a lack of centralized decision-making leading to what seems to be improvisation, new features appearing, disappearing, motivated by what, for what, for who? You’re moving too fast, erratically and, again, if the inner circles of devoted high-skilled techies follow and contribute your code, baseline perceives too many switches and continue to be annoyed — to put it mildly — as well by what they don’t understand than by what they miss (because removed) or disagree (because of added, i.e. ‘Pocket’) : please do EXPLAIN why.

    Firefox is still my default browser but, unless you avoid focusing on new users, communicating to increase your audience when forgetting the requirements to not lose your long-term public, yesterday’s university will become tomorrow’s kindergarten : a platform of newbies who touch’n’go Firefox before moving to a more adequate runway.

    I don’t love browsers, I just use the one that suits me the best. Nothing is eternal. We’re not married are we?

  27. aristofeles said on November 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Happy Bithday! You where a great browser at your time! Thanks for giving us the base for palemoon!

    1. Mike said on November 10, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Ditto to that!

  28. Rick said on November 10, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Firstly, all of Mozilla’s revenue comes from deals with search engines! So your privacy isn’t any better protected from being sold than with the other browsers.

    From TechnologyReview
    In the long run, however, Mozilla’s revenue depends on the Firefox Web browser’s usage. Search-engine companies will pay handsomely for the privilege of being the browser’s default search engine, knowing that if they can collect billions of search requests from Firefox users, those queries will generate a big boost in ad revenue. Google traditionally paid as much as $300 million a year to be Firefox’s default search engine worldwide. Mozilla switched to a more lucrative and diversified strategy last year, splitting privileges regionally among Yahoo, China’s Baidu, and Russia’s Yandex.

    The full article is at: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/537661/firefox-maker-battles-to-save-the-internet-and-itself/

    Usage has plummeted (they never managed to get into the android market) – see the above article for usage stats. Ventures into hardware have been epic failures. This explains why some ‘features’ are now built-in (as you mentioned, Pocket). They get paid for this. It seems they are scrambling to monetize whatever they can.

    Unless they find another direction, I fear Mozilla suffer the fate of …oh what was that popular one long ago.. oh yeah, netscape! Interesting parallels.. big competitors with giant pocketbooks that could distribute their product as a built-in. Microsoft = Explorer / Edge; Google = Android / chromium; Apple = Safari. These guys have the ability to change what the web is, whereas Mozilla can only attempt to keep the proverbial car on the road.

    Putting it together, I have little hope that Mozilla will do the right thing in their attempt to keep going, and ultimately, are destined to become another story of the internet.

  29. Nebulus said on November 10, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Mozilla, go your own way! Don’t clone other browsers (i.e. Chrome), make your own mistakes, correct them and LEARN from them. Don’t give up what makes Firefox great (extensions, for instance). And listen to the users; they might be upset sometimes, but that is not hate, it is fear that their beloved browser might become broken one day. Don’t let that happen!

    Happy birthday, Firefox!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.