I just read an interesting article over at Wired that essentially asks “Is Firefox Getting Bloated?” The article compares Firefox to SeaMonkey. I was a Mozilla browser user well before it was named “SeaMonkey”, and well before Firefox 1.0 was released. During that time, I really came to despise the bloat in the application. Firefox was an incredible breath of fresh air when it was released: light-weight and responsive.
Personally, I feel that Firefox still exhibits both qualities. But I can see the argument made by the Wired article. Additional features, some of which many users may not actually care about, are creeping into the code base. Built-in support for microformats (something that I still don’t fully understand) is coming in Firefox 3.0. Do users really need this? Mozilla apparently thinks so. Many users may disagree.
There are certainly areas where Firefox could improve (in-browser support for both Java applets and PDF files are horrible). But I think Firefox is in great shape now. One thing I know for certain is that I’m never going back to Internet Explorer. (Side Note: I recently installed IE 7 on my work laptop … man, is it horrible.)
What do you think? Is Firefox too bloated? Too lean? Just right?