I think I’ve finally made the switch to Firefox at the office. I had been using good old Mozilla forever, but since I installed a new machine, figured it might be time to switch. I’ve been using Firefox on Windows, and my old Wallstreet for a long time (and now on Fedora too!)
Firefox is definitely a polished app. As someone who has been using Mozilla forever, you can see how avoiding bloat and being restrictive to what goes into the browser has paid off. The result is not a crippled piece of software, but an elegantly crafted browser that is ideal for most web users. With the addition of extensions, Firefox can pretty much be made to do what you want it to do, so everyone should be happy. (Except Microsoft and the IE folks…)
I think other open-source projects could learn a lot from studying Firefox and Mozilla. One of the things I tend to look for in an application is a good plugin/extension system. jEdit has a really nice plugin system, as well as a good plugin manager, which is one of the reasons I really like it, and like Firefox, it provides a solid core as the basic text editor, and through the use of plugins can be extended to fit the need of the individual user.
I’ve also installed Thunderbird 0.6 and wow! It looks incredible on Mac OS X, and functions just as well. I think the Mozilla products are really starting to grow up.
Of course all of the Firefox/Thunderbird/Mozilla success took years to accomplish, and I have to give great credit to the people who thought far enough ahead to build a platform upon which to build applications, rather than just building applications… Yay…