Firefox

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Firefox
Image:133px-Firefox-logo.svg.png
Current version 22.0
Published by Mozilla, open source MPL/GPL/LGPL/Mozilla EULA
Binary type Intel 32-bit
System requirements Mac OS X 10.6.x and later
512 MB RAM
200 MB free space
Website Firefox

Firefox is a cross-platform, open source web browser developed by the Mozilla Corporation and uses the Gecko layout engine.

Contents

Features

  • Add-ons including extensions, themes, plug-ins, dictionaries, and language packs. Add-ons can be installed/uninstalled, disabled, and have their preferences changed with the built in add-on manager. Firefox will also check add-ons and disable older add-ons that are not compatible with the current version.
  • Automatically updates and installs of new browser versions and add-ons.
  • Customizable search bar, support for adding additional ones and a built in search engine manager (Sherlock or OpenSearch plug-ins)
  • RSS and Atom feeds via Live Bookmarks
  • Inline spellchecker
  • Session restore
  • Click Favicon to view site info
  • Phishing and Malicious website filter
  • Full page zoom
  • Bookmarks manager uses an SQLite database and supports tags and groups. Firefox also has a bookmarks sidebar for quick access to bookmarks and history. Firefox can also import your Safari bookmarks.

Advantages over Safari

Firefox's main advantages over Safari are compatibility and extensibility. Apple currently has no official way of extending Safari to the level that Firefox does, as it only supports WebKit plug-ins such as Flash Player, extensions (since Safari 5), and InputManagers which may be deprecated in future versions of Mac OS X. This extensibility also gives Firefox the advantage of being able to integrate with the websites that the user actually uses by installing add-ons such as a Facebook toolbar, or by installing scripts in Greasemonkey to customize the webpage on the client side, and of course this same extensibility can be used to add extensions that integrate directly with Mac OS X services such as the Dictionary. The extensibility advantage is less of an issue post-Safari 5, when official extensions were introduced. However, the available extensions for Safari are nowhere near as comprehensive as Firefox's add-on collections are. Firefox is also a rapidly updated browser, getting a new major version every 6 weeks. The release cycle for Safari is much slower and much less predictable. This means that new web standards will take longer to be supported in Safari.

Criticisms

Firefox is generally criticized for not having a Mac-like interface and not behaving like a native application due to it's cross platform nature. In Firefox 3 Mozilla attempted to remedy this by adding a native theme to all versions of the browser including the Mac OS X version. Firefox 3 still doesn't behave entirely like a native Mac OS X application, but this can be partially remedied through the use of add-ons.

See Also

Links