The browser formerly known as Firebird gets

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 09, 2004

The browser formerly known as Firebird gets an update and a new name: Firefox. Which is also a fighter pilot movie with Clint Eastwood.

Reader comments

NickFeb 09, 2004 at 10:00AM

Gah. Another awful name for this great browser. Get with it Mozilla!

greg.orgFeb 09, 2004 at 11:46AM

If there is ever a firefoxnews.com site, I'd watch out for Rupert Murdoch's lawyers.

Steven GarrityFeb 09, 2004 at 1:14PM

Nick said "Gah. Another awful name for this great browser. Get with it Mozilla!"

Nick - fair enough, I can see why some people wouldn't like the new name - but the bottom line is, naming is HARD!

I criticised the visual aspects of the browser last fall and they put me in charge of some of it - so watch out! ;-)

NickFeb 09, 2004 at 2:08PM

Steven: I have a little more empathy after reading the article on naming. I just don't think "Firefox" rolls off the tongue. It sounds like some high school kid's BBS handle, minus the random capitalization. Yes, the Firefox logo is very cool. But the name appeals to too small a niche: ubernerds. I know "Internet Explorer" doesn't exactly get the blood pumping, but it's built into Windows...who needs branding? Anyway I'll use Firefox no matter what you call it, but my parents might not.

Jordon CooperFeb 09, 2004 at 2:34PM

I have no idea why but the install process took away the back and forward buttons and the scroll bar. I restarted and the same thing, restarted again and the same thing. Click on it by accident and it was working fine. Reminded me of the old config.sys days where doing the same thing occasionally did different things.

vitafloFeb 09, 2004 at 2:45PM

Firefox is also an old Atari arcade game based off the movie. Their only laserdisc game actually, and extremely rare.

jjgFeb 09, 2004 at 2:55PM

To be consistent, they should change Thunderbird's name to "Blue Thunder".

LeaFeb 09, 2004 at 4:20PM

The Blue Thunder of Furinkan High! (Furinkan High... Furinkan High...) Tatewake Kunou. Age: 17.

(those who get my above joke gets 1000 points!)

jkottkeFeb 09, 2004 at 4:47PM

To be consistent, they should change Thunderbird's name to "Blue Thunder".

That's brilliant. Next logical step is "Airwolf" for their next app (RSS reader?).

beerzie boyFeb 09, 2004 at 6:05PM

I'm soaking in it. Firefox rox.

SmartAssFeb 09, 2004 at 6:06PM

What .. no ThunderFox jokes?

Kevin DonahueFeb 09, 2004 at 6:19PM

I had no problems with the Win32 installer. Worked perfect straight from the download

sennanFeb 09, 2004 at 6:37PM

disappearing scrollbars... oh joy.

ChicagoTexFeb 09, 2004 at 6:41PM

I love it, actually--it really is as fast as it claims to be. Quite unfortunately, though, I find myself going back to IE all the time because I don't have the options I normally use (such as the Google toolbar)

margaretFeb 09, 2004 at 7:06PM

chicagotex- there's a googletoolbar extension available for firefox/bird. oh yeah, my scrollbar has disapeared now that i've installed firefox as well. my back and forward buttons still work, as does my scrollwheel, but no scrollbar. scrollbars don't show up in frames of any flavor, either.

ChicagoTexFeb 09, 2004 at 7:19PM

Got it, thanks! It wasn't showing up for some reason. I still have a scrollbar, though.

ChicagoTexFeb 09, 2004 at 7:21PM

(Which is, of course, good--just unsure as to why I have one and other people don't.) Anyway, thanks for the link. It's now my default browser.

Xavier RoyFeb 09, 2004 at 11:10PM

If I remember right, "Firefox" was a novel written by Craig Thomas (not this Craig Thomas). Later on, it was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood. Incidentally, the book had a sequel, FireFox Down. Hope the browser does not follow its literary namesake.

margaretFeb 10, 2004 at 12:11AM

i figured out how to make my scrollbar reappear- maybe this will help other people. it seemed to be a theme problem, so i went to the homesite of my favorite theme and downloaded the new firefox version. I used one from here, but you might find them other places, i don't know. it's worth a try, anyway.

sennanFeb 10, 2004 at 1:32AM

roger that margaret. just discovered that myself.


HarryFeb 10, 2004 at 2:39AM

Do we have to think in Russian to use it?

martinFeb 10, 2004 at 6:43AM

Firefox...hmm, not so bad. Perhaps Moz could roll all the other stuff into it - browser, e-mail, newsgroup client, IRC chat client, HTML editing - and call it Fox Force Five.

ThomasFeb 10, 2004 at 7:36AM

Firefox sounds.. cute and powerful at the same time. And everythings looks like they really stay with that name this time, so I'm all for it. Great logo, too.

dennisFeb 10, 2004 at 9:12AM

Either my site is horribly coded, Firefox has some kind of CSS bugs, or both. Everything looks great in Firebird 0.7 and (gah) IE6, but Firefox gets very persnickety. Frustrating.

TimFeb 10, 2004 at 10:10AM

My first reaction to the new logo (while I understand the fire and the fox imagery) was that it looked like the world was being consumed in some horrible fire. Kind of reminds me of the weird/cool Sherwin-Williams' "Cover The Earth logo...

CoryFeb 10, 2004 at 11:18AM

The browser seems good to me, but the little icon version of the logo looks a little like a tomato.

MikeFeb 10, 2004 at 9:53PM

My first reaction to the logo was that the poor fox is burning up during reentry. I agree with Thomas... the name and logo look great to me.

MickeyFeb 11, 2004 at 11:13AM

Well, aside from the name (which I have no problem with - thank you very much), I think Firefox is GREAT! I admit that I don't immediately find many improvements over Firebird I was just running yesterday, but hey, it works great and it's better than IE. Nice job, Mozilla.

condourFeb 11, 2004 at 7:53PM

is it just me, or do favicons in the bookmarks and toolbars still NOT stay after closing? Argh.

taeFeb 12, 2004 at 10:16AM

thanks margaret. i use the same theme and your link was very helpful.

samFeb 12, 2004 at 12:39PM

I like the new logo. As for the name - well - 'Eh.' But Firebird sucked as a name, too. Even Phoenix was very generic, dull...

BTW re software problems - this version is only 0.8 and it doesn't work very well when installed over an existing profile, either themes or extensions can mess it up. They're supposed to be fixing this on 0.9. I don't use the browser personally, might consider it at 1.0, still with mozilla 1.6 for now though as I like the interface better.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.