There are a lot of reasons to like Firefox 3, and if you watch Planet at all, you’ve seen a lot of folks extolling its virtues. Deb, in particular, has done a great job sharing the joys of the awesomebar and the new security information user interface, among others.
And, yes, those are all very sweet features, and great reasons to like Firefox 3.
But my enthusiasm actually stems from a very different place:
I’m a Mac snob. Seriously.
I’m one of those Mac elitists that Windows users get very annoyed by. From mercilessly mocking their flawed and derivative user interface to taunting them every time they have computer problems to harrassing them over their never-ending battles with malware, I tend to get on their nerves pretty fast.
Now that I’ve stirred up that hornet’s nest and practically guaranteed some cranky comments, I’ll get to the point I was trying to make.
As a Mac snob, I get very frustrated when software doesn’t live up to my snobbish standards. Firefox used to be a real problem for me in this regard. It was like running Windows software on my Mac. It looked wrong, felt wrong, and in some cases acted wrong. When I interviewed for my job at Mozilla, the only uncomfortable moment I had was right after I ranted a bit on this point.
Tip: Complaining about how ugly your prospective employer’s product is is not necessarily a great conversation starter during a job interview.
Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a secret that Firefox was lacking a bit in the sex appeal department on the Mac.
With Firefox 3, that’s all changed. Firefox 3 looks and feels, at long last, like a real, honest-to-goodness Macintosh application. From the native controls in forms and windows to the sleek new skin that blends in seamlessly with the other applications on your Mac, Firefox 3 doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb the way Firefox 2 did.
Whether you like the specifics of how it looks or not (there are folks that don’t like the black-on-grey icons, or the grey background, for example), you can’t argue that it doesn’t look and feel like a real Mac application.
And for me, that’s yet another reason to love Firefox 3.