Greg·Wolanski —designer

We are one Firefox away from a monopoly

The fact that Microsoft is abandoning the engine of its web browser for Chromium and that we’re being threatened with a monopoly on the web browser market I learned from a blog post by Jeremy Keith.

“It’s not a big deal, websites tested mainly on Google Chrome still work 100% flawlessly on Firefox, there’s nothing to worry about” – at least that’s what I thought.

I decided to install Firefox and check how my website is rendered in it. The home page was fine, the page about my experience was OK, the page about the book… oh, man.

The book cover was rendered in a completely different place in Firefox than in Google Chrome.

I fixed the problem with the image and decided to see what a few other websites I visit look like on Firefox.

A surprisingly large portion of the websites I checked contained elements that looked a bit off and worked not as fantastically as in Google Chrome. It was evident that no one had tested them on Firefox for more than two minutes.

It disturbed me.

It bothered me so much that I started using Firefox every day in my private life.

I also started asking my family, friends, and people at work about the web browsers they use.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but I’m afraid of a monopoly on the web browser market.

I thought web standards would protect us from a situation like that of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, but I found out for myself that they don’t.

Many people I know are shying away from taking care of accessibility. I don’t feel like making my one text today about accessibility or about ignoring it could change anything. I have a feeling that my one text today… should be about Firefox.

I have been using Firefox for a month now, and this topic has also been bothering me for a month.

What would need to happen for me to feel like it’s the right time to write about Firefox? That’s what I thought before. My thought today: The right time to write about Firefox was yesterday. Or last week. Or even several months ago. This situation with Firefox and the threat of a monopoly didn’t happen overnight.

I work as a designer. I’m not a web developer by trade. I don’t feel like the best person to say “hey people, let’s test our products on Firefox.” Yet, the fear of a monopoly makes me feel compelled to write these words – even if they only reach one person who installs Firefox and test their products on it.

Hey people, let’s test our products on Firefox.

I joined Team Firefox. Will you join me?

January 2019