31 Mar

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29 Mar

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28 Mar

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26 Mar

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25 Mar

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24 Mar

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23 Mar

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22 Mar

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21 Mar

Firefox vs. Chrome

PC World yesterday ran a piece on Chrome and Firefox, comparing the two and essentially Firefox was dead and Chrome was going to win the latest browser battle.

Run Chrome and Firefox side-by-side, and Firefox is embarrassingly slow. It’s not even in the same league. It’s an old man on the running track trying to compete against a sprightly 20-year-old.

I think Firefox has lost the plot.

Personally I think the latest release of both Chrome and Firefox are good and solid releases that build upon what both of the browsers do really well. Chrome has a focus on three main things, speed, security, and getting out of the way. Firefox on the other hand, reliability, speed and extensibility. While both are in my personal and unscientific testing fast, neither is so fast as to make a huge difference towards using one over the other.

Chrome has one limiting thing that keeps me from using it, a lack of extensions. Granted in the some of the latest developer editions, which I am running, there is now support for extensions. However these extensions limit something that I enjoy so much in Firefox, the extensions are currently limited to JavaScript files that are tacked onto each of the pages that you visit. While JavaScript can certainly do a lot of things inside of the browser and such, it can’t make Chrome look different, or interact outside of a particular browser window. That provides a limitation that Firefox extensions don’t have.

At the same time, to quote Dave Winer: “Firefox hasn’t shipped a feature that I care about in a long time.” Indeed what new feature did Firefox ship with lately that I cared about? Nothing, I still and will always recommend Firefox to people and to switch away from IE and even Safari (don’t get me wrong Safari is a good browser, I just don’t like some stuff that it does), but I’m not passionate about either Chrome or Firefox. Granted right when Chrome came out it was really, really fast, and a browser made by Google with Google Gears built in sign me up. Then Firefox released their new JavaScript engine and Chrome and Firefox essentially became the same speed and now, meh.

They are both good browsers, but both have become simply a part of something that I use for hours on end and essentially use to do pretty much everything I do, from my job, to my finances, to heck finding an apartment and buying insurance is done through the web. The only applications I have open in my normal day to day life is Firefox, Chrome, Postbox, iTunes, Pidgin and Twhirl. Notice everything is built for and revolves around the web ultimately in that set, except for iTunes, mainly because music over the web is still a poor experience compared to playing my music.

I want a browser that adheres to standards and is fast and reliable. Both Chrome and Firefox and even Safari provide that, what else does the average person need in a browser?

Someone go and rethink that question for a few months and then I might start caring again.