And I'm pro-Mozilla

I've been a Netscape and Firefox fan since the browser wars began in 1996. There's been a special place in my heart for this lineage of browser.

Every quarter or so, I try to use Firefox over Chrome. Every quarter, I switch back after a week. I switch back because Firefox is unusable.

My hardware

My desktop machine is a 6 core i7-4930K CPU @ 3.40GHz with 64GB of RAM and the fastest SSD SATA drives around.

My laptops are 2014-era MacBook Pros (13" and 15") each with 16GB of RAM and SSD drives.

My hardware is pretty much top of the line. Nothing should run slowly on this hardware.

But Firefox does.

Firefox hangs

It's pretty easy to get Firefox to hang. Go to and click "open in new tab" on 4 or 5 items and boom... the browser is locked, spinning beach ball locked, for 30 seconds to a minute.

Same thing with NewEgg.

Someplace in JavaScript land, the browser is deadlocking on something and it causes all the browser tabs and the UI to freeze.

Chrome and Safari execute each tab (or tab group) in a separate process, so the worse case is a single tab freezes.

But I can open 20 tabs to Amazon on Safari and Chrome (and Chromium) without a problem. So Firefox is doing something wrong.

If Firefox froze on Joe's Screen Door and badly written JavaScript site, that'd be one thing. But Amazon? Come on, doesn't anyone at Mozilla shop on Amazon or NewEgg?

Firefox messes with settings

For some reason, Firefox always switches to the UK English dictionary. Firefox does this on my Mac and my Linux box. I've disabled every plugin and add-in... and Firefox switches the dictionary setting to UK English. I mean, really? There's no way to stop this or diagnose it?

Yes, my system's settings are all US locale.

Yes, I've forced the setting of the locale and dictionary to US and US English in about:config.

Having something mysteriously change my settings is really freaky.

Firefox is impossible to develop with

I've been doing a lot more single page app development lately. Doing SPA development with Firefox is near impossible.

First, Firefox doesn't honor cache headers, so a bunch of the changing JavaScript doesn't actually get changed.

Second, Firefox doesn't honor manual cache clearing. The only way to actually get Firefox to clear all its caches is to use the Advanced tab, clear all the caches, close all the browser tabs, quit Firefox, do a ps -auxwww, kill -9 the Firefox process, restart Firefox, clear the caches again, quit again, and finally restart.

Third, reloading a page to try something new means 15-30 seconds of beach-ball Firefox locking. This compares with 2-3 second page loads for Safari and Chrome.

Fourth, Firebug is still the same Firebug it was 8 year ago. Meanwhile, Chrome and Safari have much, much better development tools.

I want to use Firefox

I really do. But Firefox is like Navigator 4 and <table>s. In Navigator 4, nesting tables was an O(n^2) issue. The more nesting, the slower the rendering.

I really wish someone at Mozilla would take seriously making Firefox competitive with Chrome and Safari. I'm not talking beating the JavaScript engine by 2%, I'm talking making common tasks like browsing Amazon, setting locale, and doing web development not entirely fail.