Monday, August 20, 2007

Why the Rabid Anti-Firefox-ism?

The big news in the nerd world today is the site WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com (WFIB). If you haven't already, check out the site. The site says that site owners are blocking Firefox because of the popular extension AdBlockPlus, and since site owners cannot opt-out of having their ads blocked, they've blocked Firefox all together. Hilariously, one of the articles WFIB links to is a paper from a IT-law college class.

Well, that's all fine and dandy. You own your site, and you can do whatever. O'Reillynet.com has a good article detailing why WFIB makes no sense, but whatever. You could check out the article for more info. Or you could check out today's AlertBox article from Jakob Nielsen; he basically says that users ignore advertisements, a fact which makes WFIB even more silly.

But what really shocks me is the anti-Firefox-ism (AF) furvor out there. Just look at these sites (linked to from WFIB):
  • PopularTechnology.net (in a post from 2005) blasts Firefox as a new religion.
  • A Comcast user's site, Optimize Guides, details a list of Firefox myths.
  • A Google search turns up similar viewpoints (though many are individual users posting on forums).

I've seen some Firefox nuts out there; as with pretty much any new technology, people get excited about it. Firefox isn't new, but it's still different enough for people to get excited about. After spending hours every time I was at my parents' house fixing their computer from all the spyware IE downloaded (even with the latest patches), I installed Opera for them to use. It was too different looking, and they rejected it. Then I installed Firefox, and they didn't even notice (I noticed all the time I got to spend with them instead of their computer). I recently recommended it to a developer coworker of mine who had disregarded it out of hand as useless.

So why the venom towards Firefox? Use it or don't use it. But if you use IE and get spyware, don't ask me for help.

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