Back to Firefox

After a good while (I can’t search my Twitter stream) on Chrome I’m switching back to Firefox as my primary browser, and actually uninstalled Chrome. Why? I was getting the “Oh snap” failure page all the time, even on Google’s own Youtube! The only support I was pointed to was this page, and when I followed the instructions there when I restarted Chrome everything was gone. The sentence “copy the relevant files from the “Backup User Data” folder to your new “User Data” folder.” is useless when you consider the folder has 50+ files to sort through and I wasn’t sure which one was causing my previous problems. So back to Firefox, and thanks to Xmarks all of my stuff is there. I’m also using this persona which is pretty sweet. The feature I missed most on Chrome was lame: the ability to click and hold a folder then release on a bookmark I wanted to open. On Chrome you have to click twice. It bugged me. Now back on Firefox I feel like the browser has a large head.

52 thoughts on “Back to Firefox

  1. I’ve actually had the opposite experience with Chrome — where Firefox would be sluggish and hog memory like no other, Chrome seems to be lightweight, responsive, and with just enough features to keep me happy.

    Unfortunately neither seem to have an official 64-bit version for Windows (specifically Windows 7), though Google may be confused.

  2. It’s really a matter of taste, computer architecture and software stability.

    There’s far too many variables here, for me, on my computer and OS chrome moves like I want it.

    I twitch if I click on something and it doesn’t happen that second. Sometimes it locks up, true, but it never takes up half my ram and CPU like firefox seams to do every so often.

    Plus it seams like firefox always needs to update something and in order to do so I have to restart my browser.

    I do find it weird that on google’s webmaster tools website they have a page-speed plug-in for Firefox.

    Opera on the other hand is awesome fast, but it’s foreign to me, I want to like it it just doesn’t feel right, even though I know for a fact most new browser version will have copied some graphical aspects or functionality from it .

    So to conclude , I run all the browsers I can when I need to. If Chrome clocks up, i’ll switch to Opera, if I need to play with firebug for the pagespeed plugin or YSlow i’ll run firefox.

    1. I agree with you on the Firefox points,
      it gobbles up memory and CPU.
      I’m loving Opera too, and I’m starting
      to get more and more comfortable with it.
      Learning that control- enter is the way
      to insert your stored passwords into login pages made it ten times more pleasurable for me.

  3. I have personally tried Chrome a few times – originally when it was first released and a couple of times after that. For some reason or another, I kept falling back to FireFox and (*gasp*) IE.

    I was just not very impressed overall with Chrome enough to keep it on my system. FireFox, and even IE, just works more for me than Chrome has been able to. Not a huge loss, really.

  4. I am just guessing but the Flash plugin might be the one to blame here.

    I don’t have Flash on my Chrome but use the IE Tab extension so if I need to watch a video inside Chrome, I can open it in an IE Tab.

    1. I was getting some weird notices from Flash, like it was trying to access a domain or something. But I had never modifying any Flash settings, and Firefox runs Flash just fine with no problems.

      1. Firefox flash plugin and chrome’s are very different at least on mac. Firefox will use 40% CPU while playing a youtube video while chrome would use 100%

        You can try chrome with any of the flash blocking extensions.

  5. Safari for me. Firefox is too darn slow. And it’s not a question of computing power. It seems slow on 8 Xeon cores of 64-bit kerneled dual-SSD goodness. It’s still a development stalwart, but for daily browsing I crave clean UI and raw speed.

  6. if you`re on the trunk with firefox you should try the new hardware rendering feature.. its great if the computer has power ;)

  7. Chrome Browser on my MacBook Pro for me, it’s fast. Cannot wait for Chrome OS built computer in shops. If I use Firefox it’s only because of Firebug (current 1.5.2) plugin. The page mentioned appeared only one time in my case. Anyway interesting.

  8. Firefox is my favorite browser by far and the Personas are just an additional plus. From a developer standpoint I do like Safari as well and have to use all the other browsers out there every once in a while. Been working with Opera a lot lately and couldn’t find out why people love this thing.

    Didn’t recently someone develop a WP toolbar for Firefox? Think I have to make a quick search on this … could be handy.

  9. I commend you on switching back, I’m adverse to the mass-move to Google produce. It can’t be healthy..

  10. I have ditched Safari and switch between Chrome and Firefox although Firefox is my default browser. Firefox 3.6 is pretty snappy for me although it does seem to be a bit of a memory hog (still). That being said, it is a solid browser.

    I switched across to Chrome as my default for a while and my one issue is that the extensions seem to be a little immature. The one example is the Evernote extension which is more of a Web app in Chrome and yet the Firefox clipper clips directly into my Evernote desktop app.

    Chrome is fast and handles some Google sites better than Firefox at times.

  11. So far I have found no decent personas that respect a bookmark bar that uses just favicons for the links.
    I cannot be the only person who has just a row of favicons there and most themes also either remove those or replace them with a generic icon. So what is a very useful feature of the browser and one promoted by Mozilla is rendered useless.

  12. I have all browsers on my dev machine, but for browsing I am using only Opera browser. Sometime I have to use IE because of ActiveX, but for the rest, Opera is great. Now with 10.5 it has a great interface. You should try it out.

  13. Opera FTW

    I’ve used them all, but I’ve always ended up back with Opera. Even when they were ad-supported, they were still the better browser..

    FF and Chrome screw up too often.

  14. Well, on my Win-based laptop it’s Firefox that is the No 1 among web browser. The only trouble seems to be somewhat strange behaviour from time to time: ‘Firefox.exe is already running but is not responding’ stuff really wrecks my head :)

  15. Never had such problems. In fact, it was quite the opposite for me. I switched definitely from FF to Chrome when it started to act strange, requiring me to clean up all cookies from time to time in order to get into some sites (suspiciously, Gmail).

    I missed some FF extensions, but now that chrome has extensions as well, it has become my solid #1.

  16. In my experience with Chrome and Firefox, neither wins in the memory usage. Both consume a lot.

    Chrome is pretty faster in launching,surfing and closing (awesome memory release speed), while FF has more powerful and attractive add-ons. That’s why I keep both.

  17. I’m pretty far on the firefox side of things because of the plug-ins. I’ve got a set that work very well to me. Having said that, there are times when I use Chrome just because it’s so fast…maybe because I don’t have any plug-ins installed :-)

  18. Yeah, I just switched my default browser back to Firefox this morning (just before seeing this post). I admit I normally leave a lot of tabs open at once but my install has been crashing way too much recently for me to trust it at all.

    I have been using Safari for Windows a lot too recently…

  19. Funny… just today I was wrestling with going back to Firefox from Chrome. There is a lot to like in Chrome, but it seems that it is still too early to rely on it. So… back to Firefox for me as well.

  20. Chrome has been wonders for me. Firefox, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. Every session with Firefox was a waste of time.

    1. It was on Windows. I don’t have any recollection of switching channels so I was probably no stable. One of the things that frustrated me is when it would “Oh snap” there was nothing on the page except the link to the help above. If there had been a way to submit the URL or a debug upstream I wouldn’t have felt as bad about it, but because there wasn’t I felt helpless.

      1. I checked with a few folks and it sounds like a corrupted profile, which is something that Chrome could handle better–there’s a bug opened about this.

        The “stealing user focus” stuff sounds like possible side effects of using a debug Flash player, but it definitely makes things more irritating.

        My hunch is that after you made a new profile, if you installed Xmarks again, it would have pulled your bookmarks back in–after that the biggest annoyance is probably losing autocompletion of logins. I think that we’ll improve that help center article to include more explicit instructions. Sorry that you had such a bad experience though.

  21. The frequent “Oh Snap!” failure was due to an unfortunate acid3 bug that’s since been patched. Had you enabled auto updates? You can enable auto updates from the about dialog. This doesn’t seem like a fair review, and more like operator failure.

    1. It might be operator failure, but as the operator that’s the main type of failure I care about. I wasn’t writing a review, just my experience.

  22. I recommend Mozilla’s new Weave (you can find it directly in the addons) instead of xmarks…

    Does everything better, does more and is completely private (this is the first time I have opted to sync passwords as well… I didn’t trust xmarks enough for that!)

  23. I use Chrome if I just want to open a browser window really quick to check something and close it again. Firefox is my main production browser, just because I have all my favorite extensions set exactly how I want.

  24. once i use firefox as wordpress client, but i fill it slow, then i transfered to microsoft writer, slow.

    now i installed wordpress at hosting, then ask hosting company open connect to my pc, then i install wordpress in my local pc, and use opera, closed javascript…

    for pure text, this very fast.

  25. I’ve been considering switching from Firefox to Chrome because more and more people around me say it’s their primary browser, but I haven’t been convinced yet.

    By the way, if you want to search your Twitter stream you might want to check out http://snapbird.org – I always use it when I want to find an old tweet of mine.

  26. I’m facing the same problem with you, Matt. Chrome annoyed me to no tomorrow by crashing itself whenever I visit some sites, for example (OMG!) Twitter and sometimes Facebook.

    2 of the world’s most famous social networking site crashes when I use Chrome, how ironic.

  27. I tried Chrome after friends gave rave reviews and just couldn’t do it. It was always locking up and crashing on me. I can’t deal with Firefox, either — too slow and always crashing. The only thing that’s been pretty dependable for me is Safari.

  28. Hey Matt. I use a mac, and tried Chrome. Worked well, I didn’t have problems with a corrupt file, but it lacked the extensions like Alexa and Ping Fire on Firefox. It also felt different. When you use the same browser for years, it’s not easy to switch. To be honest, I don’t really care for Safari. I hate to sound like an old man, but I’m going to hang onto Firefox, until they give me some really great reason to change. What that would be? I don’t know. Good thread, Matt Cutts isn’t missing your posts:)

  29. Matt, a few weeks ago I’ve als switched back from Chrome to Firefox and find myself never looking back. The awesome showed great improvements in speed and it’s unbeatable as well as the rich feature set. The only thing I use Chrome for is for its inspector when coding webs. G.

  30. On the PC side I am 100% Chrome. I can’t stand FF and it’s nasty memory leaks. On the Mac I find myself flip flopping between Chrome and Safari mainly because of 1Password

  31. I am not really sure why folks switch *from* firefox when it’s an open source project and the whole point is that the _community_ makes it better and do whatever we want it to!

  32. Matt,
    I’ve recently switched back to Firefox as well, but due to the excessive RAM usage in Chrome.

    I only had half a dozen to eight extensions installed, and a single window with 10 to 15 tabs open would cause Chrome to eat up 1.5GB or RAM or more… which would in turn spike the pagefile usage and slow the entire system down – simply unacceptable in my eyes!

    Since switching back I’ve missed the fast load times of Chrome, however there is a fix – essentially, the SQLite databases need to be “vacuumed”.

    This site has the instructions http://www.webupd8.org/2009/07/increase-firefox-3-perormance-by.html

    I’ve also come across the “Pale Moon” browser, I know it’s a bit of a strange name, but it’s an optimized build of Firefox with better memory usage.

    http://www.palemoon.org/

    Pale Moon actually uses the favorites, extensions and cache of Firefox. The only issue I’ve found so far is an occasional page rendering issue, but a Shift+Refresh seems to fix it.

    Btw, thanks for WordPress!

    :0)

    1. Interesting. I tried the SQLite vacuuming and it did shave off nearly 10 MB total from my profile’s .sqlite files.

      Startup time is the exact same for me, but the AwesomeBar and general usage is much faster with 17 (wow) add-ons. A lot less hangups.

  33. I’m constantly using FF, Chrome and IE, saves a lot of user-switching. All three of them have their pros and cons, but I definitely agree about the “large head”; also, FF gets very RAM-hungry when you run a couple of extensions… plus it seems that Chrome’s JS engine is a lot faster.

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