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Introduction to How Firefox Works RRS feed

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  • Introduction to How Firefox Works
    Friday, March 16, 2007 1:29 PM

Answers

  • A Web browser is sort of like the tires on your car. You don't really give them much daily thought, but without them, you're not going anywhere. The second something goes wrong, you definitely notice.

    Chances are, you're reading this article on Internet Explorer. It's the browser that comes already installed on Windows operating systems; most people use Windows, and most Windows users don't give a second thought to which browser they're using. In fact, many people aren't aware that they have an option at all.

    Options are out there, however -- some people call them "alternative browsers," and one of them has been steadily chipping away at Internet Explorer's dominance. It's called Firefox. From its origins as an offshoot of the once popular Netscape browser, Firefox is building a growing legion of dedicated users who spread their enthusiasm by word of mouth (or blog).

    In this article, we'll find out what makes Firefox different, what it can do and what effect an open-source browser might have on the Internet landscape.

    Streamlined
    -----------
    Firefox is a relatively simple application without a lot of extra features and plugins included that many users won't need. This keeps the file size small, and it means that Firefox will run well even on older computers without using up a lot of system resources. Firefox proponents claim it's also more resistant to crashing.

    The easiest way to learn about Firefox is to go ahead and download it (it's free). You can find it at the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. If you're hesitant to install and learn to use a new program, rest assured that Firefox looks and acts very similar to Internet Explorer and most other Web browsers. There's even a feature for IE users that lists the expressions you're familiar with and tells you the corresponding Firefox names for those functions.

    At the top of the screen, you'll find a bar for typing in Web addresses, a small search panel and a row of buttons -- the typical tools for common Web-surfing activities. Forward, back, home, reload and stop can all be found in this basic setup. These buttons, like just about everything else in Firefox, are fully customizable. You can rearrange them, get rid of some of them or add new ones.

    firefox toolbar

    Now, if Firefox is so similar to Internet Explorer, why bother switching? There are quite a few reasons, but the most important for many users is security.

    There is much debate over the security of Web browsers, stemming mainly from Internet Explorer's vulnerability as a common target for hackers and virus writers. Microsoft regularly releases patches and updates to fix security holes in Internet Explorer that might allow someone to install malicious software or steal information from a computer. Firefox has not been the focus of hackers so far, but that doesn't mean it's inherently safer. For now, Firefox is enjoying a reprieve from viruses and hackers primarily because, compared to the widespread use of Internet Explorer, it is relatively small-time. Hackers haven't bothered exploiting Firefox yet, because the low yield means it wouldn't be worth their efforts. If Firefox ever achieves dominance among Web browsers, that can be expected to change. See the Firefox Security section to learn more.

    Firefox Features and Extensions
    Firefox comes with a few useful features that set it apart from Internet Explorer 6 -- so useful, in fact, that Microsoft included a lot of them in Internet Explorer 7 (released in October 2006). One of the most noticeable is tabbed browsing. If you are browsing in Internet Explorer 6, and you want to visit a new Web site while keeping your current one open, you have to open a completely new browser window. Intensive Web surfing can result in browser windows cluttering up your taskbar and dragging on system resources. Firefox solves that by allowing sites to open in separate tabs within the same browser window. Instead of switching between browser windows, a user can change between two or more different sites by clicking on the tabs that appear just below the toolbar in Firefox.

    Firefox also has a built-in pop-up blocker. This prevents annoying ads from popping up in front of the browser window. You can configure it to let you know when pop-ups are blocked and to allow certain pop-ups from certain sites. This lets you enable pop-ups that are useful windows as opposed to unwanted ads.

    One feature of Firefox that is vital to some users is that it is a cross-platform application. That means that Firefox works under several different operating systems, not just Windows. For now, all versions of Windows from 98 and up are supported (as well as Windows 95, though it's a bit more difficult), along with Mac OS X and Linux.

    There's another notable Firefox feature that might be the coolest. It's like when someone asks you what you'd wish for if you could only have one wish, and you say, "I'd wish for unlimited wishes." Firefox extensions mean the browser has an almost unlimited number of features, with new ones being created every day. Still, the program remains fairly small, because users only add the extensions they want to use.

    extensions manager
    All of the extensions that have been added to Firefox show up in the Extensions Manager, which allows them to be configured or uninstalled easily.

    Junior high school students probably don't need stock market tickers, while people doing serious research don't necessarily need an MP3 player built into their browser. If there's a feature from another browser that you really like, chances are someone has made an extension so that it can be included in Firefox.

    Where do all these extensions come from? They're a product of Firefox's open source nature (see What does "open source" mean?). Not only is the code to Firefox available for examination and use, but Firefox provides developer tools for free to anyone who wants to create an extension.

     

    Friday, March 16, 2007 1:32 PM
  • A Web browser is sort of like the tires on your car. You don't really give them much daily thought, but without them, you're not going anywhere. The second something goes wrong, you definitely notice.

    Chances are, you're reading this article on Internet Explorer. It's the browser that comes already installed on Windows operating systems; most people use Windows, and most Windows users don't give a second thought to which browser they're using. In fact, many people aren't aware that they have an option at all.

    Options are out there, however -- some people call them "alternative browsers," and one of them has been steadily chipping away at Internet Explorer's dominance. It's called Firefox. From its origins as an offshoot of the once popular Netscape browser, Firefox is building a growing legion of dedicated users who spread their enthusiasm by word of mouth (or blog).

    In this article, we'll find out what makes Firefox different, what it can do and what effect an open-source browser might have on the Internet landscape.

    Streamlined
    -----------
    Firefox is a relatively simple application without a lot of extra features and plugins included that many users won't need. This keeps the file size small, and it means that Firefox will run well even on older computers without using up a lot of system resources. Firefox proponents claim it's also more resistant to crashing.

    The easiest way to learn about Firefox is to go ahead and download it (it's free). You can find it at the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. If you're hesitant to install and learn to use a new program, rest assured that Firefox looks and acts very similar to Internet Explorer and most other Web browsers. There's even a feature for IE users that lists the expressions you're familiar with and tells you the corresponding Firefox names for those functions.

    At the top of the screen, you'll find a bar for typing in Web addresses, a small search panel and a row of buttons -- the typical tools for common Web-surfing activities. Forward, back, home, reload and stop can all be found in this basic setup. These buttons, like just about everything else in Firefox, are fully customizable. You can rearrange them, get rid of some of them or add new ones.

    firefox toolbar

    Now, if Firefox is so similar to Internet Explorer, why bother switching? There are quite a few reasons, but the most important for many users is security.

    There is much debate over the security of Web browsers, stemming mainly from Internet Explorer's vulnerability as a common target for hackers and virus writers. Microsoft regularly releases patches and updates to fix security holes in Internet Explorer that might allow someone to install malicious software or steal information from a computer. Firefox has not been the focus of hackers so far, but that doesn't mean it's inherently safer. For now, Firefox is enjoying a reprieve from viruses and hackers primarily because, compared to the widespread use of Internet Explorer, it is relatively small-time. Hackers haven't bothered exploiting Firefox yet, because the low yield means it wouldn't be worth their efforts. If Firefox ever achieves dominance among Web browsers, that can be expected to change. See the Firefox Security section to learn more.

    Firefox Features and Extensions
    Firefox comes with a few useful features that set it apart from Internet Explorer 6 -- so useful, in fact, that Microsoft included a lot of them in Internet Explorer 7 (released in October 2006). One of the most noticeable is tabbed browsing. If you are browsing in Internet Explorer 6, and you want to visit a new Web site while keeping your current one open, you have to open a completely new browser window. Intensive Web surfing can result in browser windows cluttering up your taskbar and dragging on system resources. Firefox solves that by allowing sites to open in separate tabs within the same browser window. Instead of switching between browser windows, a user can change between two or more different sites by clicking on the tabs that appear just below the toolbar in Firefox.

    Firefox also has a built-in pop-up blocker. This prevents annoying ads from popping up in front of the browser window. You can configure it to let you know when pop-ups are blocked and to allow certain pop-ups from certain sites. This lets you enable pop-ups that are useful windows as opposed to unwanted ads.

    One feature of Firefox that is vital to some users is that it is a cross-platform application. That means that Firefox works under several different operating systems, not just Windows. For now, all versions of Windows from 98 and up are supported (as well as Windows 95, though it's a bit more difficult), along with Mac OS X and Linux.

    There's another notable Firefox feature that might be the coolest. It's like when someone asks you what you'd wish for if you could only have one wish, and you say, "I'd wish for unlimited wishes." Firefox extensions mean the browser has an almost unlimited number of features, with new ones being created every day. Still, the program remains fairly small, because users only add the extensions they want to use.

    extensions manager
    All of the extensions that have been added to Firefox show up in the Extensions Manager, which allows them to be configured or uninstalled easily.

    Junior high school students probably don't need stock market tickers, while people doing serious research don't necessarily need an MP3 player built into their browser. If there's a feature from another browser that you really like, chances are someone has made an extension so that it can be included in Firefox.

    Where do all these extensions come from? They're a product of Firefox's open source nature (see What does "open source" mean?). Not only is the code to Firefox available for examination and use, but Firefox provides developer tools for free to anyone who wants to create an extension.

     

    Friday, March 16, 2007 1:32 PM
  • Well sanket you are right that Firefox is better than any other Browser... But its not all true...

    The download manager of firefox is not as good as that of Opera... Opera is even more lighter than Firefox, With great facilities at even low space... Opera even stops almost any malicious scripts, even firefox fails to do that sometime... The download manager os Opera is like DAP, u can eve resume.. there is no such facility in firefox once you close the application... And about the IE Tab, it was working great with me, but once my IE got corrupted, that tab also got corrupted resulting into crashing of firefox,

    Try out opera and you will change your views...  Every browser has some limitations and thatz the reason i use all 3 of them to take advantage of all 3 ;)

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 4:45 AM
  • yea... firefox is really good ..... but Opera is the ultimate browser ..... as varun said i had tough time downloading in Firefox ... i doesnot have resume..... opera has even an integrated torrent search.... but still mozzila rules.....but as a prince... not the king[Opera]!!
    Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:35 AM
  • @both of you, chetan and varun,

     

    thanks for your views. but please have a look at firefox plugins. they're totally free and make firefox the best ever. you can find the best plugins at http://www.mozilla.org/

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 9:49 AM
  •  Sanket_Shah_734609 wrote:

    @both of you, chetan and varun,

     

    thanks for your views. but please have a look at firefox plugins. they're totally free and make firefox the best ever. you can find the best plugins at http://www.mozilla.org/

    Well you too can go and check out opera windgets... they are also too good.. they are as good as plugins in Mozilla.. just use opera for once and you will understand what i m saying... Opera is less in size, light in use, Fast in speed.... but has a very big functionality base... Opera was the pioneer of Tab system, It has an inbuilt Download manager, It has inbuilt chat Massanger, It has inbuilt Mail Manager like outlook.... and many more stuff.....

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 10:53 AM
  • i'll check it out some time. thanks for the views. Wink
    Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:40 PM

All replies

  • A Web browser is sort of like the tires on your car. You don't really give them much daily thought, but without them, you're not going anywhere. The second something goes wrong, you definitely notice.

    Chances are, you're reading this article on Internet Explorer. It's the browser that comes already installed on Windows operating systems; most people use Windows, and most Windows users don't give a second thought to which browser they're using. In fact, many people aren't aware that they have an option at all.

    Options are out there, however -- some people call them "alternative browsers," and one of them has been steadily chipping away at Internet Explorer's dominance. It's called Firefox. From its origins as an offshoot of the once popular Netscape browser, Firefox is building a growing legion of dedicated users who spread their enthusiasm by word of mouth (or blog).

    In this article, we'll find out what makes Firefox different, what it can do and what effect an open-source browser might have on the Internet landscape.

    Streamlined
    -----------
    Firefox is a relatively simple application without a lot of extra features and plugins included that many users won't need. This keeps the file size small, and it means that Firefox will run well even on older computers without using up a lot of system resources. Firefox proponents claim it's also more resistant to crashing.

    The easiest way to learn about Firefox is to go ahead and download it (it's free). You can find it at the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. If you're hesitant to install and learn to use a new program, rest assured that Firefox looks and acts very similar to Internet Explorer and most other Web browsers. There's even a feature for IE users that lists the expressions you're familiar with and tells you the corresponding Firefox names for those functions.

    At the top of the screen, you'll find a bar for typing in Web addresses, a small search panel and a row of buttons -- the typical tools for common Web-surfing activities. Forward, back, home, reload and stop can all be found in this basic setup. These buttons, like just about everything else in Firefox, are fully customizable. You can rearrange them, get rid of some of them or add new ones.

    firefox toolbar

    Now, if Firefox is so similar to Internet Explorer, why bother switching? There are quite a few reasons, but the most important for many users is security.

    There is much debate over the security of Web browsers, stemming mainly from Internet Explorer's vulnerability as a common target for hackers and virus writers. Microsoft regularly releases patches and updates to fix security holes in Internet Explorer that might allow someone to install malicious software or steal information from a computer. Firefox has not been the focus of hackers so far, but that doesn't mean it's inherently safer. For now, Firefox is enjoying a reprieve from viruses and hackers primarily because, compared to the widespread use of Internet Explorer, it is relatively small-time. Hackers haven't bothered exploiting Firefox yet, because the low yield means it wouldn't be worth their efforts. If Firefox ever achieves dominance among Web browsers, that can be expected to change. See the Firefox Security section to learn more.

    Firefox Features and Extensions
    Firefox comes with a few useful features that set it apart from Internet Explorer 6 -- so useful, in fact, that Microsoft included a lot of them in Internet Explorer 7 (released in October 2006). One of the most noticeable is tabbed browsing. If you are browsing in Internet Explorer 6, and you want to visit a new Web site while keeping your current one open, you have to open a completely new browser window. Intensive Web surfing can result in browser windows cluttering up your taskbar and dragging on system resources. Firefox solves that by allowing sites to open in separate tabs within the same browser window. Instead of switching between browser windows, a user can change between two or more different sites by clicking on the tabs that appear just below the toolbar in Firefox.

    Firefox also has a built-in pop-up blocker. This prevents annoying ads from popping up in front of the browser window. You can configure it to let you know when pop-ups are blocked and to allow certain pop-ups from certain sites. This lets you enable pop-ups that are useful windows as opposed to unwanted ads.

    One feature of Firefox that is vital to some users is that it is a cross-platform application. That means that Firefox works under several different operating systems, not just Windows. For now, all versions of Windows from 98 and up are supported (as well as Windows 95, though it's a bit more difficult), along with Mac OS X and Linux.

    There's another notable Firefox feature that might be the coolest. It's like when someone asks you what you'd wish for if you could only have one wish, and you say, "I'd wish for unlimited wishes." Firefox extensions mean the browser has an almost unlimited number of features, with new ones being created every day. Still, the program remains fairly small, because users only add the extensions they want to use.

    extensions manager
    All of the extensions that have been added to Firefox show up in the Extensions Manager, which allows them to be configured or uninstalled easily.

    Junior high school students probably don't need stock market tickers, while people doing serious research don't necessarily need an MP3 player built into their browser. If there's a feature from another browser that you really like, chances are someone has made an extension so that it can be included in Firefox.

    Where do all these extensions come from? They're a product of Firefox's open source nature (see What does "open source" mean?). Not only is the code to Firefox available for examination and use, but Firefox provides developer tools for free to anyone who wants to create an extension.

     

    Friday, March 16, 2007 1:32 PM
  • A Web browser is sort of like the tires on your car. You don't really give them much daily thought, but without them, you're not going anywhere. The second something goes wrong, you definitely notice.

    Chances are, you're reading this article on Internet Explorer. It's the browser that comes already installed on Windows operating systems; most people use Windows, and most Windows users don't give a second thought to which browser they're using. In fact, many people aren't aware that they have an option at all.

    Options are out there, however -- some people call them "alternative browsers," and one of them has been steadily chipping away at Internet Explorer's dominance. It's called Firefox. From its origins as an offshoot of the once popular Netscape browser, Firefox is building a growing legion of dedicated users who spread their enthusiasm by word of mouth (or blog).

    In this article, we'll find out what makes Firefox different, what it can do and what effect an open-source browser might have on the Internet landscape.

    Streamlined
    -----------
    Firefox is a relatively simple application without a lot of extra features and plugins included that many users won't need. This keeps the file size small, and it means that Firefox will run well even on older computers without using up a lot of system resources. Firefox proponents claim it's also more resistant to crashing.

    The easiest way to learn about Firefox is to go ahead and download it (it's free). You can find it at the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. If you're hesitant to install and learn to use a new program, rest assured that Firefox looks and acts very similar to Internet Explorer and most other Web browsers. There's even a feature for IE users that lists the expressions you're familiar with and tells you the corresponding Firefox names for those functions.

    At the top of the screen, you'll find a bar for typing in Web addresses, a small search panel and a row of buttons -- the typical tools for common Web-surfing activities. Forward, back, home, reload and stop can all be found in this basic setup. These buttons, like just about everything else in Firefox, are fully customizable. You can rearrange them, get rid of some of them or add new ones.

    firefox toolbar

    Now, if Firefox is so similar to Internet Explorer, why bother switching? There are quite a few reasons, but the most important for many users is security.

    There is much debate over the security of Web browsers, stemming mainly from Internet Explorer's vulnerability as a common target for hackers and virus writers. Microsoft regularly releases patches and updates to fix security holes in Internet Explorer that might allow someone to install malicious software or steal information from a computer. Firefox has not been the focus of hackers so far, but that doesn't mean it's inherently safer. For now, Firefox is enjoying a reprieve from viruses and hackers primarily because, compared to the widespread use of Internet Explorer, it is relatively small-time. Hackers haven't bothered exploiting Firefox yet, because the low yield means it wouldn't be worth their efforts. If Firefox ever achieves dominance among Web browsers, that can be expected to change. See the Firefox Security section to learn more.

    Firefox Features and Extensions
    Firefox comes with a few useful features that set it apart from Internet Explorer 6 -- so useful, in fact, that Microsoft included a lot of them in Internet Explorer 7 (released in October 2006). One of the most noticeable is tabbed browsing. If you are browsing in Internet Explorer 6, and you want to visit a new Web site while keeping your current one open, you have to open a completely new browser window. Intensive Web surfing can result in browser windows cluttering up your taskbar and dragging on system resources. Firefox solves that by allowing sites to open in separate tabs within the same browser window. Instead of switching between browser windows, a user can change between two or more different sites by clicking on the tabs that appear just below the toolbar in Firefox.

    Firefox also has a built-in pop-up blocker. This prevents annoying ads from popping up in front of the browser window. You can configure it to let you know when pop-ups are blocked and to allow certain pop-ups from certain sites. This lets you enable pop-ups that are useful windows as opposed to unwanted ads.

    One feature of Firefox that is vital to some users is that it is a cross-platform application. That means that Firefox works under several different operating systems, not just Windows. For now, all versions of Windows from 98 and up are supported (as well as Windows 95, though it's a bit more difficult), along with Mac OS X and Linux.

    There's another notable Firefox feature that might be the coolest. It's like when someone asks you what you'd wish for if you could only have one wish, and you say, "I'd wish for unlimited wishes." Firefox extensions mean the browser has an almost unlimited number of features, with new ones being created every day. Still, the program remains fairly small, because users only add the extensions they want to use.

    extensions manager
    All of the extensions that have been added to Firefox show up in the Extensions Manager, which allows them to be configured or uninstalled easily.

    Junior high school students probably don't need stock market tickers, while people doing serious research don't necessarily need an MP3 player built into their browser. If there's a feature from another browser that you really like, chances are someone has made an extension so that it can be included in Firefox.

    Where do all these extensions come from? They're a product of Firefox's open source nature (see What does "open source" mean?). Not only is the code to Firefox available for examination and use, but Firefox provides developer tools for free to anyone who wants to create an extension.

     

    Friday, March 16, 2007 1:32 PM
  • Well sanket you are right that Firefox is better than any other Browser... But its not all true...

    The download manager of firefox is not as good as that of Opera... Opera is even more lighter than Firefox, With great facilities at even low space... Opera even stops almost any malicious scripts, even firefox fails to do that sometime... The download manager os Opera is like DAP, u can eve resume.. there is no such facility in firefox once you close the application... And about the IE Tab, it was working great with me, but once my IE got corrupted, that tab also got corrupted resulting into crashing of firefox,

    Try out opera and you will change your views...  Every browser has some limitations and thatz the reason i use all 3 of them to take advantage of all 3 ;)

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 4:45 AM
  • yea... firefox is really good ..... but Opera is the ultimate browser ..... as varun said i had tough time downloading in Firefox ... i doesnot have resume..... opera has even an integrated torrent search.... but still mozzila rules.....but as a prince... not the king[Opera]!!
    Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:35 AM
  • @both of you, chetan and varun,

     

    thanks for your views. but please have a look at firefox plugins. they're totally free and make firefox the best ever. you can find the best plugins at http://www.mozilla.org/

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 9:49 AM
  •  Sanket_Shah_734609 wrote:

    @both of you, chetan and varun,

     

    thanks for your views. but please have a look at firefox plugins. they're totally free and make firefox the best ever. you can find the best plugins at http://www.mozilla.org/

    Well you too can go and check out opera windgets... they are also too good.. they are as good as plugins in Mozilla.. just use opera for once and you will understand what i m saying... Opera is less in size, light in use, Fast in speed.... but has a very big functionality base... Opera was the pioneer of Tab system, It has an inbuilt Download manager, It has inbuilt chat Massanger, It has inbuilt Mail Manager like outlook.... and many more stuff.....

    Saturday, March 17, 2007 10:53 AM
  • i'll check it out some time. thanks for the views. Wink
    Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:40 PM