The Battle of the Browsers

As soon as Chrome came out, I switched to it, and used it for quite awhile. I still really like it. But I’ve switched back to Firefox recently. Part of it has to do with my primary computer being my laptop. My girlfriend used it most of the time before, so it didn’t have Chrome. Now that it’s got Kubuntu, I don’t have the option. (It also helps that my only internet was tethering my G1 for awhile, and that needs FoxyProxy.) But now that I don’t have it, I find that I really don’t miss it.

One of the things I loved about chrome is that it was lightning fast. Quick to load, quick to load pages, and the default tab was all kinds of awesome. The architecture of it was also awesome. (Each tab has it’s own process, so if something goes down, it doesn’t crash the browser.)

But, I find that I missed the extensions. Quite a bit, actually. Like, I’m writing this from ScribeFire. I’ve also got a weather monitor, and RSS reader, and a twitter client.

Outside of Twitter, this is all stuff I’ve got on my desktop via SuperKaramba. (Think Yahoo Widgets for Linux. Pretty shiny, actually.) But, I find there’s a lot of stuff I just really like having in my browser.

Like Twitter. It’s really nice to have that always-on in my browser. Same deal with the weather. Feedly (RSS Reader) is all kinds of awesome. It’s got a magazine look-and-feel, with all of the instant awesome of the internet.

And I really like having a standalone blog writer. Especially considering I can just open it in a new window, and edit it whenever, even if I’m not online.

This, however, isn’t to say there’s a lot of really neat stuff I’d like to see in Firefox from Chrome.

The main one, and probably one that won’t happen, is the architecture. Have every tab and most extensions run in their own process, so that when I crash a tab with a bad Java applet, I won’t tear down the browser.

The second is the speed. Which I have heard is a major improvement in 3.5, but I still want to see it. Truth be told, I think this is related to the first one.

Third, is I really love the new tab page from Chrome. My 9 favorite web sites, recently closed tabs, and history. Much better than a homepage for me. (Any, well, chrome I’d have on it, I have in my browser normally.)

Fourth is the “one bar” system. It’s easily my favorite feature in chrome, and I still accidentally try to use it in Firefox.

Of course, the big thing with this, is Firefox has full extension support, and chrome does not. Reading above, I’d likely switch back in a heartbeat if Chrome had good extensions for everything I use.

Of course, assuming that Firefox didn’t come out with something else awesome. Which, considering it’s history, is a really bad bet.

It’s going to take quite a bit for Chrome to win me back. It’s likely possible, but it’ll take some doing.


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