Dear Firefox: Please forgive me

Dear Firefox:

When we met three years ago, I thought: This is it, the browser I've been waiting for. I've found my life partner. So I dumped Internet Explorer faster than you can say “unrecoverable system error” and we moved in together. Sure, we had our ups and downs over the years, but overall it was great. Really.

Then, last September, Google Chrome came into my life. I admit I was totally infatuated.

She was sweet. Good looking, easy, and uncomplicated, just the way I like them. And she had something extra, something indefinable. Call it the Google magic. Whatever it was, I was hooked.

We went everywhere together. Sometimes I'd have 20 or 30 tabs open at once. She was a free spirit, and nimble as hell. I loved the cute little button that let me quickly open new tabs and the way she showed me thumbnails of my favorite sites; I didn't even have to ask. And if I needed a little private time, no problem – she'd open an incognito window for me and quietly step away.

I thought it would be a three-day fling. I never imagined we'd move in together.

But when you showed up, it got ugly. She hated it when another browser came into the room. And not just you; Safari, Flock, Opera, even IE during those desperate moments when a Web site just insisted on it. My system would freeze tight and I'd have to crawl under my desk and yank the power cord. It was humiliating.

So I made a difficult decision. I made Chrome my default. I committed.

Things went great for a while. Then they began to change. Chrome became moody and unstable. She didn't like the scroll wheel on my mouse. She refused to save my Web pages as text files. She couldn't remember my log-ons and passwords, no matter how many times I wrote them down for her.

And -- I don't know how to put this delicately – she stopped putting out. Sometimes video would play, sometimes it wouldn't. Yet the same Web video displayed just fine when I came back to you.

I tried to tell myself that Chrome's just a beta, she'll grow out of it, give her time. Then I looked at her older sisters, Gmail and Froogle. And her brother Lively, may he rest in peace. Train wrecks, the lot of them. I guess that's just how it is when rich parents spoil their kids.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry. I've been a cad, and I know it. But I'll do anything to make it right. I'll contribute to the Mozilla Foundation. I'll take down that poster of Larry and Sergey dressed as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Whatever you want. Name it and it's yours.

Please. Will you forgive me? I want to come home.

When not on bended knee for Firefox, Dan Tynan tends his blogs, Culture Crash and Tynan on Tech.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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