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This is why I use Firebird (Which once was Phoenix, and is a browser-only version of Mozilla):

The primary reason, and the thing that stops me from going back to IE even if I ever had the option, is tabbed browsing. It sounds so very minor, but the ability to middle-click on a link so it loads in the background on a new tab changes the way you use the web, it really does. Also, because they are tabs and not windows, you don’t have fifty things on the task-bar too, having to be closed one by one. Also, if you have a set of tabs open you can bookmark the lot of them as one group.

The extensions.

The extension system is the main reason of Firebird over Mozilla traditional, it enables you to install all these little things that someone thought were cool and wrote. For example, these are the extensions I’m currently using:

Download Statusbar

adds a bar at the bottom of your window with the status of all your current downloads in it. Automagically goes away when it’s empty.

Firebird Icons

Turns the Firebird extensions into cool flame-based ones instead of the dull Mozilla ones.


Adds functionality to every link as follows: Given the URL “http://www.aquarionics.com/journal/2003/07/07/Interview_Meme_redux”, you get the options:

  • http://www.aquarionics.com/journal/2003/07/07/
  • http://www.aquarionics.com/journal/2003/07/
  • http://www.aquarionics.com/journal/2003/
  • http://www.aquarionics.com/journal/
  • http://www.aquarionics.com/
  • ftp://ftp.aquarionics.com/
  • http://aquarionics.com/

    Giving you the ability to get to any level of the site below you.


    Gives you a menu per page allowing you to:

  • Open all links in tabs or windows
  • Open all links in selection as new tabs or windows
  • Open all picture links in tabs or windows
  • Open all picture links in selection as new tabs or windows
  • Open all picture links in one tab

…and so on. allowing you to drag-select a whole load of links and open them at once, so they load in the background while you read. (This is good for, for example, blogrolls, lists of webcomics, galleries…)

Live HTTP Headers

Headers the server sent. Useful for developers 🙂


Allows the user to modify Firebird’s view-source functions, so you can view source in your text editor. Also allows you to edit any given text-area in your text editor, and change settings for mail, ftp and download links.

Tab Browser Extensions & Tab Browser Extensions Extra Prefs

Extensive upgrades to the tab system, including grouped tabs (by colour), ability to drag and drop tag order, close all other tabs, close tabs to the right of this one etc.

User Agent Switcher

Feeds sites differant agent strings so that sites which prejustice against Mozilla/Firebird users for no apparent reason can be accessed.

Web Development Toolbar

A whole new toolbar that gives you touch-of-a-button access to things like disabling all stylesheets, images, javascript and java. Resizing the browser to standard resolutions, validating, viewing contents of cookies etc.

So, there we have it, a selection of cool things for Firebird.

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