Dear Firefox. It's not me, it's you.Mikey 7 comments
If you had even suggested it a few years ago, I would said you were crazy. The thought of ending my love affair with Firefox would have been too hard to comprehend. Just search this site for Firefox and you'll see just how much I've championed it over the years.
So I never thought this day would come, but here I sit happily composing this article - number 1,182 for me - for the first time in Google Chrome.
What went wrong? You'd have to ask Mozilla for the technical details, but for everyone else like me who in recent times has experienced performance degradation, memory leaks, bug fixes that introduced new bugs and more-often-than-not crashes, I think the answer is obvious - Mozilla shifted priorities.
Let's face it - this should not have happened. Mozilla gave as an awesome browser while Microsoft gave the finger to web standards. They gave us plug-in architecture while Internet Explorer stuck to the same tired old paradigm. They gave us control of the web and our own user experience while Microsoft idly sat by and expected us to put up with the stagnated, featureless, vanilla non-standards compliant piece of garbage they dared call a browser.
But Mozilla did all that in a very short time, a time frame some might say isn't long enough to be considered mature. Where did the blistering speed and reliability go? What could have possibly been more important (security aside) than maintaining the two very aspects of FF that stole so much of IE's market-share and made it so popular in the first place? Only the Mozilla devs can truthfully answer that, and now there is a small but significant revolt (one I never thought I'd be a part of) that is starting to affect Firefox popularity.
Love affair jokes aside, as a web developer this is also bad because although web standards awareness is at an all time high, I now feel like I've taken a giant step back in time to when we managed two browsers just for getting around the Internet. Way back then for me it was Netscape (affectionately called 'Nutscrape') for development and Internet Explorer (affectionately called 'Internet Exploiter') for general surfing. That situation totally sucked, and it sucks more now because it just shouldn't be this way.
You see, Firefox despite it's recent performance issues is still the best web development browser because of the plug-ins it has to make our job easier (not even mentioning all the other plug-ins that make browsing painless). So I won't be getting rid of Firefox for good any time soon as much as I'd like to just use one browser.
Chrome's web developer plug-in offerings in comparison are a far cry from the bliss that is Firebug and the Web Dev Toolbar although it's getting close, but it won't be long before it's on par with FF or surpasses it. When that day arrives you can expect the Firefox market-share to take a nosedive. Oh wait, that's already started to happen.
From this day on I'll be sitting at 'Camp Chrome', eagerly watching it evolve into the monolithic browser it's destined to be. I just hope the devs at Google remember to keep the performance and reliability in check.