Since it came out, I heard nothing but rants and raves about how great it was, how exciting, how wonderful. I held off installing it in the belief that I was about to reformat my computer any day now, and there was no point installing new software only to have to reinstall it a few days later. After a couple of months, I have all but given up on the possibility of ever reformatting my poor, twisted computer (installing XP on top of Windows ME gave it a few identity crises I'd like to correct as far as profiles go), and I at last gave in and got myself Firefox.
I've been less than delighted with it so far. In fact, I'm uninstalling it today and going back to good old Mozilla 1.6, which I fortunately left intact in case Firefox didn't work out. Which it didn't.
There are a few things about Firefox that are quite nice. I like the more streamlined status bar, the folders sidebar in bookmark manager, the Google search in the location bar (though I never use the location bar, but I would like the feature if I did). I like typing ctrl-L instead of ctrl-shift-L to enter a location. Actually, I think that about does it for things I like.
I don't like the loss of the tabs 1.6 had to hide and show the location bar. I keep it hidden away for browsing, but I like to show it with one click in order to copy a url. In Firefox, you can only toggle it on and off, and to show it I have to go to View -> Toolbars -> Navigation Toolbar.
I don't like the cookies management. You can tell it to either reject or accept all cookies, and you can type in the urls of all exceptions. 1.6 has a feature where it will ask you every time it encounters a new site whether to accept or reject that site's cookies. You can also click a menu option to "accept cookies from this site" or "reject cookies from this site," but no such option exists in Firefox, where you have to manually type it in.
There are some random quirks that annoy me, things 1.6 seemed to do more smoothly. When I click "back," the current page vanishes and then reappears for an instant before changing to the previous page. Every single time I think for that instant that the operation has failed, and there are a couple of times where I click "back" again to compensate.
Every new window I open, though supposedly maximized, is pulled a little ways in on the right side, so that I have to un- and re-maximize to get it fill the screen.
I almost forgot one of the worst things, the one that decided me. Pop-ups. I have had zero problems with 1.6's pop up blockers. I'm never bothered by a single ad, and I only very rarely have to tell it to allow some pop-up that I want. Firefox lets so many ads get through. I find it hard to believe that its blocker could be less effective than its supposedly less advanced predecessor, but it is. It also has a much more clumsy way of alerting you to a block -- 1.6 puts a nice little icon in the status bar, where Firefox puts a big blue band right across the top of the page, cutting the screen down. Infuriating!
Begone, Firefox. Come back when you're better.