Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And each being at the end of its screen

Yesterday I did something I have been thinking every once in a while: switching from Firefox to another browser. This happened after reading an long article by Firefox developer Jono DiCarlo, discussing why "everybody hates Firefox updates". For some reason the original article is no longer available (server is out of service), but for example Forbes is quoting from it.

I have used quite a lot of different browsers, for example Camino, OmniWeb, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, and during the last few years, Firefox. But slowly I have become more and more dissatisfied with Firefox, it just seems to get more and more obfuscated all the time.

So yesterday I did something I thought I would never do, namely I downloaded Google Chrome, imported bookmarks from Firefox, and started using it. And I have been positively surprised, as Chrome seems to be speedier, easier to use, and so far very reliable. Some things are a bit different, but most things that matter work the same as with Firefox. Even the bookmark shortcuts (or whatever they were called in Firefox) work the same in Chrome.

Of the two Firefox extensions which I rely on I have managed to get one working, the other is still for some reason not working right. AdBlock, a necessity, is working fine, and I even paid for it, and thus I can escape the ads which plague Internet Explorer, for example.

However, not everything is fine, as I haven't yet managed to get the 1Password browser extension to work in Chrome, but I hope to get this sorted out. The extension is forever connecting to the helper application, and this seems to be something other users are also encountering, so maybe a fix is soon available.

It is remarkable how important the browser has become - it is only the mail application which I use (almost) as much as the browser. And then (much less used) follow the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Reader, Apple Aperture, etc.

It used to be rather different earlier, I used a lot more applications on the local computer, but quite a lot of that work ("information management" etc.) has now moved to the net: Flickr, Blogger, Google Reader, etc. And this change will probably increase even further.

I rode the bicycle today, going along the Ring I road, then along river Vantaanjoki, and then making a roundabout route back home, altogether 32 km. Later I went swimming with the children, and even though it was windy and the day was cool, at +20 °C, the water was still relatively warm and it was nice to be swimming. And the wind kept mosquitoes away.

(Posting title is from the poem Fairy Tales from the Web by Ish Klein.)


Cedric Canard said...

Interesting. I started using Chrome from day 1 but in the last few months I have become quite frustrated with it. I am finding it slow and unstable. I have removed a lot of add-ons but it hasn't made a difference. It is also extremely memory hungry. These days I find that no one browser does everything well. IE9 is the fastest for me but has a few problems with google sites. So I tend to use both Chrome and IE9. I'm looking forward to IE10 but I won't hold my breath.

Thinking about browsers I wonder if there is much of a future for them. I find myself using them less and less while I use apps more and more. But who knows.

Juha Haataja said...

@Cedric: Well, apparently I'm far behind the curve, as apps are a bit of a rarity for me. My phone is a Nokia E7, with which I haven't really got into apps (except for trying out Angry Birds...), and I don't have an iPad or such.

But maybe it is so that the apps are the revenge of the applications, and the browser is on the losing side. But at least for now Chrome seems to work all right.