I was baffled when I opened a pdf in Firefox and got a semi-Chrome experience, with the pdf opening directly within the Firefox window. My first impulse was – Wow I have accidentally installed the Acrobat Reader plugin and it’s interface is much cleaner these days. That’s not exactly typical Adobe. So clean is the interface that I couldn’t find any confirmation of what service or plugin I was actually using. I clicked an obvious full-screen icon and was warned that pdf.js wanted to be full screen. Who he?
This HTML5 pdf renderer is part of Firefox. Firefox 19 (yes of course it is) has pdf.js turned on by default. Judging by the comments at the Next Web, this move isn’t overall that popular. It’s certainly jerky, syrupy and buggy.
One thing that mobile tech has shown us is that web apps suck, and native apps rule. This move by Mozilla – passing up good native apps in favour of a web-app-like abstraction layer – seems a backwards step. Jeez, it’s really a shame to see a great project like Firefox crumble up and die. Forget IE, Firefox has been the web, if you had any clue. That seems less and less relevant now, as the bloat creeps in.