.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goodbye Opera, hello Firefox

Use the best tool for the job. That's a motto of mine. So I find myself back to using Firefox, this time version 3, in preference to Opera after several years with the Norwegian browser.

Why? The latest update to Opera--9.63--introduced so many bugs with Google products as to make them unuseable. Google Mail wouldn't accept any clicks to the UI, and Google Maps simply stalled on loading with the offer to switch to a "basic" html version. No thanks.

Simple truth is that many javascript-heavy apps, including Facebook which I use heavily, run much faster under Firefox than they do in Opera (at least at the moment). I don't know why for sure, but I suspect that the developers of these apps optimise them more for Firefox than for Opera due to the former's larger market share. There's no doubt that Opera has good competitive performance, including in javascript benchmarks, but it just doesn't hack it on the real web.

At the same time Firefox has come a long way with version 3. Memory usage finally seems reasonable and performance doesn't degrade to a crawl after a day or two, as was the case with version 2. Firefox 3 also requires fewer add-ons to bring the UI up to the standard of Opera--I'm only using Tab Mix Plus to get back to Opera's (much smarter) default behaviour for opening and closing tabs, plus Speed Dial to bring back one of Opera's best features. The Speed Dial add-on is nowhere near as polished as Opera's built-in implementation, with far more complex and confusing "options" to wade through and a rather ugly UI, but it gets the job done.

All is not plain sailing though--Firefox 3's bookmarks manager is just dumb. Add a new bookmark and it vanishes into a "recent bookmarks" folder. I just want a simple list when I click "Bookmarks" in the toolbar! Worse, if you use the bookmarks manager to create a new folder to organise some bookmarks and drag them from the recent bookmarks list to the new folder, the bookmarks are then duplicated in recent bookmarks list--madness! If you want to delete the duplicate, you can't tell which is in the recent bookmarks folder and which is in your new folder. Cue much frustration and loss of bookmarks. Thank goodness for delicious.com!

On a similar note I've also dropped Foxit Reader for Adobe Reader 9. Version 9 of Reader loads far more quickly than 8 ever did (or 7 or 6 for that matter!) and the far better quality of document rendering, scaling, and scrolling makes it much the better choice. Plus I like the direct intergration within Firefox--PDF documents load in Reader in a tab, rather than in a new window in a new app.

Keep an open mind folks, and don't be afraid to switch software--use the best!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?