Geeks With Blogs
Scott Kuhl Warning: I may have no idea what I am talking about!

image I was checking Google Reader this morning when I came across a post by Download Squad entitled Firefox's popularity is repeating Microsoft's dominating mistakes all over again.

But when I click through the link all I get is a single comment: "I don't even know where to begin on a rebuttal for this one..."

Did Download Squad get a bunch of backlash and take it down?  Or is this just a temporary bug?  If anyone else has the full article in their feed reader or browser cache, please post the content in comments.  Or just let me know when click the link above if the article is back up.

Here is the partial article from Google Reader:

It's fairly inarguable that Firefox needs to exist. Going back just a few years ago to when Mozilla introduced what would quickly become their flagship browser, much of the internet was in the equivalent of the digital dark ages. Netscape was struggling along after Internet Explorer had successfully derailed its efforts years ago, but even IE was suffering from a stagnating development process and an industry that was trying to move forward with efforts in standards and compatibility. Sure, Opera was always on the outer fringes, but its market share hasn't really seen much of the leap that its devoted following believes it deserves.

Along comes Firefox in 2004, and everything changes. Netscape drops even farther off the list of many a user, and Internet Explorer begins slowly, but steadily, losing market share to the open source Mozilla alternative that opened up the public's eye to the wonders of extensions and add-ons. It is at this moment in time, however, when Firefox also began to slowly replace Internet Explorer as a dominant and, in some ways, proprietary force on the web.

In 2007, Firefox certainly hasn't destroyed IE's market share, but it sure has made a dent. While that's a positive thing in the name of choice and the triumph of good software, Firefox has quite possibly made a negative impact on the development of web sites and software when viewed in the context of accessibility. Think about it: before Firefox, most websites were not only 'optimized' for IE, you pretty much had to view them in IE if you wanted to see anything more than the equivalent of an unfinished jigsaw puzzle blown apart with a shotgun. Even though it could be argued that web design standards have come quite a ways since then (and they certainly have), the damage done from Firefox's wild popularity among the tech savvy (and even not-so-savvy) primarily lies in this new frontier of web apps and services.

Update: It's back up with a new url (date changed).  And the comments are mostly, shall we say, harsh.

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 1:11 AM Software | Back to top

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