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Chrome vs Firefox

Friday, March 20, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named car.gifJust read this opinion piece that says that Chrome is much faster than Firefox and that Firefox "lost the plot" and is going in the wrong direction and pretty soon Firefox will die, having been killed by Chrome.  Permalink to this paragraph

I use Firefox, I've tried Chrome, and it looks nice, but I can't switch to it because: Permalink to this paragraph

1. It isn't available for the Mac, and while I do use Windows, my primary environment is Mac. Permalink to this paragraph

2. It doesn't run Firefox plug-ins. There are a few must-have plug-ins that I can't live without. Permalink to this paragraph

3. Probably it's missing other features I depend on in Firefox but I haven't spent enough time running it to find out. Permalink to this paragraph

Okay now to "lost the plot" -- what is Firefox doing? I can't quite figure it out. They do a lot of releases, every time I get a new one it takes me to a page where it says it's the safest way to browse the web. Safety is important, I had forgotten how important until I had a machine get infected a short while back. But what else? I've noticed the latest version of Firefox is pretty crashy. That's not good.  Permalink to this paragraph

The last thing I want to do is to use Google's browser, I already depend too heavily on them. So there's a lot of resistance here to switching from Firefox.  Permalink to this paragraph

And I know, as a software developer, that apps start slowing down when they implement all the features they need to be competitive. It's conceivable that the great performance of Chrome is due to the fact that it hasn't matched Firefox in features. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named vespa.jpgOn the other hand, Firefox hasn't shipped a feature that I care about in a long time. Permalink to this paragraph

However, neither has Chrome. It's an amazingly boring app for something reconceived from the bottom-up, as they claim it is. Not even one user-facing great new feature? How long has it been since any browser shipped a feature that made a difference to users? Not just safety, which is important as I said, but something fun and empowering?? Permalink to this paragraph

I think we're at a point where everyone has lost the plot. We're so concerned with malware and who's killing who, we forgot to move forward in interesting and fun ways. Or am I missing something.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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