Log et al – Peter Curd

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Firefox gets down with the natives

By pcurd

Firefox 3, due out “soon”, is at a conundrum.  Do they want to maintain a familiar look and feel across borders or go native on each platform?

News.com covers the story nicely.

Personally I agree that fitting in to the host system is a good idea – it makes for easier integration and one could argue shorter learning times but as a user of three separate operating systems (Windows, Ubuntu and OSX)  I like that Firefox looks the same on all of them.  I use Google Browser Sync to keep my bookmarks up to date, del.icio.us (and it’s firefox addon) for the rest and don’t have to worry about it.  I use Firefox far more than any other application – can’t imagine my day to day life without it.

I’m probably bias – in fact I am – because I don’t like the look of Safari or of IE so I naturally want Firefox to look like Firefox.  I don’t use Opera because I don’t know how it works and because I’m afraid it won’t do what I want.  I know Firefox will but that isn’t the reason I use it.  Something about it feels right.

I’m writing this on a machine without Firefox (need to put Portable Apps Firefox on the network!) and I feel icky inside.  It’s a browser with tabbing so I’m able to survive having 20 web pages open without clogging up the OS but it just doesn’t feel right. I can’t bring myself to think of using Firefox and having it look.. like this.  It’s just wrong. 

So I would definately definately keep Firefox looking as it does – or at least ship the current default skin as an option.  I guess that’s the great thing about open software -if I don’t like it, I don’t have to lump it.

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