Firefox has been all over the news lately with the release of Firefox 4, the latest version of what was once my eye-opening favorite browser. Lots of browser talk focuses around performance. Every time a new browser version comes out many of the intro paragraphs for reviews mention “OMG FASTTTT!” at least once. Speed is of the essence online, and the browser can have a large impact on that experience. Mozilla is doing something interesting by ranking Add-ons with the Slowest Start-up.
I wasn’t surprised to see Firebug, arguably the most impactful browser add-on in the history of browser Add-ons, but I was surprised to see it tied for first place as the slowest performing Firefox Add-on. I switched to OS X in 2006 and the first thing I noticed was that Firefox felt slower. I asked around and others confirmed that although it was their primary browser, it did in fact feel slower on a Mac.
Time went on, and Web Inspector came about, resulting in Safari finding a home as my default browser, as Firefox continued to grow glacial for me. Then Chrome came out, with a much more rapidly updating Web Inspector, and I haven’t looked back. I far prefer Web Inspector to Firebug now and knowing that it’s built in as opposed to being the slowest Add-on in my arsenal has me all the more comforted by my decision.