Simon Griffee

Don’t Boycott Firefox Because of Brendan Eich

3 April 2014 · 2 minute read

Update: Brendan Eich has stepped down from his role as Mozilla CEO. Bravo. The right thing to do, and this becomes a positive message from Mozilla.

My friend Margo recently put forth the following questions:

Should I give up Firefox? What should I use instead?

The first question regards Mozilla’s current political crisis and whether we should stop using Mozilla’s Firefox web browser because of it. I keep changing my mind about whether Brendan Eich should resign, but lets wait before abandoning the rest of Mozilla, including Firefox. There are a lot of great people working on great things for us all there. Also, the guy wrote JavaScript. Should we stop using it because of limitations in his moral judgment?

Chromium icon.

To answer the second question, an alternative to Firefox is Chromium, the open source code-base for Chrome without Google and Adobe’s added proprietary stuff. Download a stable, ready-to-install build for Macs here.

Another alternative which is also a great way to test a website’s usability is to use the text-only command-line browser Lynx. Here’s how to install it in Linux or OS X (you can find the version of the latest stable release at http://lynx.isc.org/):

:::bash
mkdir /usr/local/src
cd /usr/local/src
curl -O http://lynx.isc.org/lynx2.8.8/lynx2.8.8.tar.gz
tar -xzvf lynx2.8.8.tar.gz
cd lynx2-8-8
./configure --mandir=/usr/share/man
make
sudo make install

Then, to visit a website:

:::bash
lynx hypertexthero.com

This is what this article looks like in Lynx:

Chromium icon.

Sticking With Firefox

I use a lot of web browsers for my work and will continue to use Firefox as my main one, for now. This is the beauty of free software. We, the people, can choose.

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