When Google Chrome came out a few years ago my curiosity was piqued and I gave it a try. I’m a fan of most of the Google line of products (Gmail, Google Reader, etc) and thought this should be a half decent browser. It was built out of WebKit after all (the same open-source layout engine that is the foundation of the Safari browser). Well I was sadly disappointed and didn’t give it another look until about a year later. By then it was definitely better and was giving Safari a run for it’s money. But it still couldn’t quite match up to Firefox at the time. How times have changed.
One of the biggest issues for me with Google Chrome was that, though it was fast, it didn’t always behave correctly with every website I went to. Like Safari, it would have some issues with some site formats. One such site was WordPress.com. Firefox was able to render every website with no such problems. Its only problem, as has always been the case, was that it was sometimes sluggish. Especially if you used a lot of extensions. Because of this sluggish issue I would keep my extensions to a minimum and only used what I considered were essential.
While I kept plowing and waiting through the load times of web pages when navigating with Firefox, Chrome was quietly, and constantly, updating itself. Currently Firefox is now up to version 9.0.1; whereas Google Chrome is up to 16.0.912.63 in, at most, 3 years time. Chrome no longer seems to have those compatibility issues with websites and it’s still super fast when compared to Firefox (I’ve done the last few blog posts with Google Chrome with absolutely no problems). Chrome has also gotten extensions. Though Google’s library isn’t as extensive as Mozilla’s they have the same ones that I use on Firefox and they haven’t affected the speed or efficiency of Chrome. I now find myself using Google Chrome more than ever before and Firefox has become a bit of an afterthought.
I usually don’t feel any loyalty ties with technology. I switch from PC and Apple without a thought except for what’s most convenient for me at the time. But with Mozilla, I feel like I’m letting them down. Firefox is built by a nonprofit organization that cares about a free and open Internet. They run a lot of programs to help steer the new generation to using the Internet in a lot of exciting new ways. They even have red pandas on webcam!
Do I abandon the cause of the everyman to use a browser that’s made by big corporation? Is the speed of Chrome enough for me to forgo my ideals because of the convenience of shaving seconds of load time? Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this. I don’t know. I haven’t removed Firefox from my dock but I’m using Chrome to write up this post. Make of that what you will.