Firefox lessons for the Java world

Get Firefox!A long time ago Internet Explorer had a competitor. However over the past few years, it has been IE all the way. Netscape’s share dropped sharply and although Opera is a very good browser it never became a serious IE competitor. Mozilla Firefox hopes to compete with the IE giant and win! 

The Firefox browser is growing at a rapid pace and is consistently pulling market share from IE. Check this report:  Internet Explorer Losing Market Share

IndicThreads.com has already got requests from 9 different versions of Firefox. About 8% of all hits are coming from Firefox. 

The community support for Firefox is exceptional. Obscure sites are flashing Spread Firefox banners and blogs across sections have only good things to say about Firefox. To know how you can support Firefox, check SpreadFireFox.com.

To download Firefox follow this link >> Get Firefox!

On noticing this widespread Firefox support across the open source community, my initial reaction was "Ok. Almost everybody who loves open source hates Microsoft and so Firefox is just serving as a medium to get back at Microsoft. Supporting Firefox just seems to be the cool thing to do". I did not really believe that Firefox was so good that it could kill IE.

That’s why I was a little slow to check out Firefox. But once I got it going, I was really impressed. Firefox has all that you need. Like the Java IDE platforms Eclipse and NetBeans, Firefox also has this concept of extensions. Check https://update.mozilla.org/extensions/. This means that new functionality will get added at a pace that Microsoft cannot match. Firefox is fast, the interface is clean and actually I can’t think of any significant negatives. Unlike many open source s/w, the installation is also very simple. What more can you ask for?

I have converted. I still use IE and Opera but Firefox is now my preferred browser. I feel a little sorry for Opera because if Opera had become totally free (no ads) and had the community support that Firefox is getting today it could have been as big as Firefox long time back. Opera is an awesome browser (if only the free version was ad free) and I hope it becomes completely free very soon. Anyway, who is going to buy Opera if they have a free open source and cross platform alternative to IE.

After my good experience with Firefox, I also tried out ThunderBird and SunBird. http://www.mozilla.org/products/. ThunderBird is a mail client while Sunbird is a calendar application. Outlook Express and Outlook better watch out. Sunbird is still in an experimental stage but once it get ready for production and integrates well with ThunderBird, SunBird and ThunderBird together should be a super combination that can not only match Outlook Express but also give Outlook a run for its money.

So what does this mean for the Java developer community? Browser compatibility is of course a bigger concern now as your app will have to work at least on IE, Netscape and FireFox. But not just that because it also shows the Java community that it is possible to compete with Microsoft even without a big company name behind the product or a big marketing budget. The users have to relate with the product and promote it as if it was their own creation. Linux already did that in the OS space and Firefox is now doing it in the browser space.

Its true that Java has survived and competed well with Microsoft for many years now but for it to continue to thrive and compete, it also needs to learn from success stories like the FireFox one. Can Java do a FireFox and grab even more market share from Microsoft in the application development space?

>> Get Firefox!

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The IndicThreads Content Team posts news about the latest and greatest in software development as well as content from IndicThreads' conferences and events. Track us social media @IndicThreads. Stay tuned!
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The IndicThreads Content Team posts news about the latest and greatest in software development as well as content from IndicThreads' conferences and events. Track us social media @IndicThreads. Stay tuned!

  • Noname

    new 1.5 is excellent speed and user friendly
    happy to use it. 🙂

  • dumbjavacoder

    It Rocks. Check it out. I Love the [B]Tabbed Browsing[/B] feature.

  • nirmalkumar

    Before firefox I was using the heavyweigt Mozilla and I have a hang of it. Some of the features Mozilla has are capturing HTML form data and re-fill from the memory, a user friendly Password manager and a very effective popup blocker for the nasty popups. Firefox has virtually taken all the goods of Mozilla and re-architechured its look and feel very close to IE to address a larger user-base. So firefox is all set for some fireworks now:)

  • Guest

    Harshad,
    May we reprint your excellent blog entry at sys-con.com/java, with your byline of course – and a brief Author Bio, if you could ping one over to me

    (or we could just use this:

    Harshad Oak, formerly with i-flex Solutions (Pune, India), has now moved to Cognizant Technology Solutions (Pune, India). He holds a Masters in computer management and is a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java2 platform. His primary area of expertise is Web application development using MVC pattern based Java frameworks, JSP, Servlets, EJB, XML, XSL, and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) based development.
    ….

    We do this from time to time when we stumble over a good blog. What say?


    Jeremy Geelan
    Editor-in-Chief, sys-con.com
    Group Publisher, SYS-CON Media
    http://sys-con.com

    email: jeremy@sys-con.com

  • Guest

    Just download an extension for mouse gestures, then:

    http://update.mozilla.org/extensions/showlist.php?category=Mouse%20Gestures

    :grin

  • Guest

    Without a doubt the single most useful feature of Opera for me is mouse gestures. Until Firefox supports Opera like mouse gestures I’m not moving.

  • Guest

    Wait for a few days before you download Firefox. Firefox 1.0 releases on the 9th of Nov!