Non-Mozilla browsing options

If you're annoyed enough by this whole Brandon Eich situation, you might consider switching away from Mozilla-provided web browsers completely, and start using Mozilla-based, but independently developed, browsers instead. Here is a small shortlist of some that I've used and found to be pretty good:

WinDOZE

  • Pale Moon: The leading contender for Mozilla-based browsers on the Wintel platforms. It's based on Firefox, but strips out a lot of the redundant code and compile flags that slow down its progenitor. The installation process is identical to Firefox, and most if not all of your add-ons will work with it. Just be aware that if you're doing this in a corporate environment, it is actually somewhat difficult to seamlessly transfer from Firefox to Pale Moon.
  • Chrome: Google's browser may not suit everyone, but it's smaller, faster, and a bit more stable than Firefox. If you don't want a Google-sourced browser but you still want a light, powerful browser, then try Chromium, the open-source alternative (it does compile on Windows platforms).
  • Opera: Probably my least used browser, still a worthy contender. It's light, fast, and easy to use, but it's not nearly as flexible as the others.
LINUX/BSD/OpenSolaris/Any other *NIX system

Since I use Linux at home, and have done for years, I know all of these browsers quite well.
  • Swiftfox: A Firefox build optimised specifically for Linux. Better by far than running Pale Moon under WINE in a Linux installation, quite comparable in performance and speed to the same.
  • Chromium: Fully open-source version of the Chrome browser, for Linux. Fast, stable, easy to use, and with the added benefit of not having Google's paw-marks all over it.
  • Konqueror: The default web browser in Linux distributions that use the KDE desktop environment. (For non-geeks, a "desktop environment" is a set of applications designed to create a graphical user interface, which is essentially what WinDOZE and OS X are.) It's rather more than a web browser, though- you can do a damn sight more with it than any of the other browsers in this list.
Other options can be found here; of those options, I would recommend Midori and Opera if you don't want to use a browser with a specifically Firefox-sourced code base.

Mac OS X

If you're using a Mac... switch to Linux and drop me a line about making your box look and feel like a Mac, but without all the crappy annoying bloatware and Apple's stupid walled-garden mentality behind it, and WITH a tremendously powerful rendering engine to perform some seriously cool graphical tricks. You'll rediscover the joy of computing in the process- trust me on this one, I've done it before and it's immensely good fun. Hell, you can install Linux on Mac hardware and toss out Apple completely in the process.

That said, if you absolutely MUST stick to a Mac, use Safari or use any one of these browsers, except for #5 of course.

Android Mobile Devices

Most Android devices come pre-installed with Chrome, or some skinned/modded version of the same. You aren't stuck with that. A couple of alternatives:
  • Dolphin: Fast, easy to use, packed to the teeth with features. What more could you want?
  • Opera: see above, there is also a mobile version
The REAL Reason to Ditch Mozilla

Some might complain that most browsers that don't originate with Google have Mozilla code bases of some kind. Many non-Firefox browsers, for instance, use Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine in the back-end. It is true that there is no getting away from Mozilla's good work- and there is no reason why one should be a purist about Mozilla's products, either. Mozilla has done a tremendous job giving freedom and openness to the Web, and for that it should rightly be praised.

The point of ditching Mozilla-original products is simple: they have crossed a line that all of us knew existed, but were content to leave untouched. Mozilla has now made it perfectly clear that not only is it legal to fire a man for his private political activities (which, I want to make it very clear, have nothing whatsoever to do with his performance at work), it is valid to do so. They have opened Pandora's box, and for that they deserve whatever they get.

The battle lines are drawn. If conservative bosses and managers now launch pogroms to cleanse their companies and their departments of anyone with liberal affiliations, so be it- because I guarantee you that their liberal counterparts WILL do exactly that to conservatives and libertarians. The one thing that liberals cannot stand is disagreement with their supposedly benevolent and progressive agenda, which is why Brendan Eich had to go, in their eyes.

Choose your side. And choose well.

Steve Morse. Greatest guitarist EVER.

UPDATE: It turns out that there is a way to stop Firefox-derived browsers, like Pale Moon, Swiftfox, and Epic Browser, from showing up as "Firefox" on sites that break down ping activity by browser. A word of caution about this, however: as I discovered this week, if you do switch off the ability of Pale Moon to report itself as Firefox, then you will also potentially break certain cloud-based applications like Google Play Music. This is irritating, to say the least.

Comments

  1. The palemoon.org site says it is "powered by Mozilla" with branding name. What does that mean?

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    1. It means that the underlying code for Pale Moon is the same as the code for Firefox; the developers have simply switched off or modified a lot of the less necessary code and switches. Of course, Google's Chrome browser was originally based on Firefox too. The point of switching to Pale Moon, or a similar Firefox derivative, is not to get rid of all Mozilla-originated code; it is to move away from current Mozilla-sourced products and to show Mozilla that stupid decisions have consequences.

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