Switching to Chrome Browser from Firefox

The strip above tells  a good part of the reason this Web Developer is switching. First important note, ye Editor barely bothers to use any Firefox or Chrome extensions/plugins nor Firefox themes – so loyalty is not effected by these important factors in favor of Firefox. But during any  day there is a gravitational pull to the Chrome browser because of the dual purpose URL address and Google Search line. As you can see from the screenshot, the address box is also the Google Search line – this saves time and allows one to change  purpose in a moment.

Another big time saver is the  link bar immediately below. All my favorite and most frequently used sites are here- one click away from use. And its drag and drop simple to edit the link bar – adding, deleting and changing the order of my links. And when you CTL+T to add a new tab, Google shows a rogues gallery of frequently visited sites for one click access to popular places. But Google does not have a group feature so a popular set of sites can be ordered up and loaded quickly – score one for Firefox. But in general Chrome is winning the UI war not just over Firefox but all the  top 5 browsers.

Performance advantage to Google. Again, the latest Firefox 4 has been tested and although much improved in speed; still lacks the quickness of Chrome especially with heavy Web 2.0 pages [for example NextGen Gallery display of dozens of files in WordPress, EXTjs grid with huge 2000++ rows in grid, or video replay using a variety of  video codecs . So  heavy testing and usage of jQuery, Spry, EXTjs, , mootools and other JavaScript frameworks of late clearly shows that the Google V8 engine is still the one to beat. And given the number of ex-Sun Java people who know runtime optimization that Google has hired încluding Java inventor James Gosling, one has to suspect this advantage will continue to accrue to Google. Also the Chrome OS commitment to an only-the-browser approach for all apps means that continuing JavaScript performance improvements will be imperative for Google.

Chrome JavaScript Debugger has gone well beyond Firefox Firebug. With Profiling, Audits, and a simpler jQuery console interface, Chrome Debugger has pulled ahead of Firefox in an area crucial to  web developers – debugging. Firebug is still an add-on/plugin on Firefox, so each update is done separately, but that is just a nuisance factor. The biggest advantage is that the Chrome Debugger is easier to operate and provides a wealth of performance info hard to get in Firebug. Bottom line, for Web development not using Google Chrome with its debugger is giving away too much productivity -in the Chrome browser  just hit CTRL+U [the source code reveal] or  CTRL+SHIFT+J[Chrome Debugger with 8 info panels] or CTL+ESC [for Chrome’s task manager] to see quickly the debugging advantages that Google Chrome Debugger brings to Web development.

HTML5 procrastination [and this is being kind to Mozilla Foundation]. In two crucial areas on HTML5, Web Database and Multi-Touch Screen operations Firefox is holding out for their own solutions. So SQLite as one Web database standard is delayed [why not just let it go ahead and add Mozilla’s Indexed DB when its ready]. Meanwhile there is skirmishes over the important  multi-touch and gestures committee work. HTML5, delayed again to 2014, is shaping up to be a mess over critical new recommendations like multi-touch and Web Database among others. All the browser vendors are responsible but what Mozilla is doing is particularly grating because it allows Microsoft to make even greater mischief.

So my loyalty says stick with Firefox for paving they way during the dark and crude-crass-craven no-updates-to  IE6 years [and don’t get me started on why IE9 is still deficient and a deliberate standards breaker- see ya in 2 years time for the next IE update], but my mouse and fingers keep migrating over to the Chrome browser for speed, ease of use and better debugging.