Firefox and Me: Part 2

See part 1.

Firefox 0.9

Firefox 0.9The 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.

Firefox Advocacy 

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.

EvobarDeveloping 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. 

Towards 2.0

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.

2 thoughts on “Firefox and Me: Part 2

  1. Nice writeup. Apparantly, Firefox 2 is to be released at 17:00 pacific time so we should be able to download it tomorrow (01:00 BST).

    Bummer. I didn’t realise they gave out coins – says something about how involved I was. Although I only used your Evolution extension once (which was to look through the source code to look for ‘uberpenguin’ references ) you did a pretty good job and, I think, played a significant role in creating what Evolution is today. Your CV is looking pretty damn good.

  2. The other week my girlfriend decided to move over to Firefox of her own accord after having to use it every time she came over. She likes the tabbing features and the easy to use themes. I didn’t have to make her move to firefox it was just simply that IE no longer did the job.

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