See part 1.
The release of Firefox 0.9 in June 2004 was an interesting release for me.
Firefox 0.9 replaced the old beautiful Qute theme with the new Winstripe theme, a theme which a lot of the community didn’t like. I wasn’t a big fan of it either, and I downloaded the Qute theme.
Additionally, Firefox 0.9 kept crashing on my computer. I can’t remember what the problem was, but Firefox 0.9 got me a lot more involved in Mozilla – I posted a few bugs on Bugzilla, contributed to Mozillazine discussions, etc.
The migration tool in Firefox 0.9 made it a ton easier for people to migrate from Internet Explorer; this was one of the main things which stopped me initially from switching to Firefox.
Version 0.10, a preview released finally aimed at end users was released in September 2004.
Around that time, Spread Firefox was launched. I was quite active in promoting Firefox back then – I found an excuse to add a Firefox button to every website I was involved in. This was sometimes done indirectly by developing an enhanced XUL version of the website, or with Evolution, a Firefox toolbar. Or just making sites look nicer on Firefox by adding opacities and -moz-border-radiuses.
Developing the Evolution Toolbar was a really interesting experience in playing around with some of the Mozilla APIs, XUL, etc. It managed to convert quite a lot of players to Firefox and caused the browser share to go from something like 5% Firefox to 90% Firefox. In the long run, it probably brought more Firefox users to Evolution than Evolution users to Firefox.
I was one of the most active members on Spread Firefox and I got offered one of the 25 million download commemorative coins. Unfortunately, I signed up to SFX with an old Hotmail account and never read the e-mail until after the deadline had passed.
Since the release of 1.0, I’ve been a lot less active in promoting Firefox because it’s already getting quite a bit of attention around the internet and has a decent market share of around 15%. Spread Firefox seems to have died out a bit.
Since 1.0, I’ve been keeping track of Mozilla developments through The Burning Edge and occasionally downloaded nightlies to play around with new features.
Firefox has definitely come a long way. A few weeks ago, I sent out links to a website which only worked in IE to a few friends, expecting that they’d use IE. A lot of them came back to me wondering why it didn’t work. That really made me realise how far Firefox had come; normal people were now downloading and using Firefox of their own accord. They didn’t need people to tell them why.
With Firebird, it was a struggle to convince webmasters to support alternative browsers and web users to surf with Firebird. Firebird started out as a snowball. Firefox has been picking up speed and snow ever since and is now an avalanche and a powerful force on the web.
I look forward to the release of Firefox 2.0 later today.