Camino 1.0.3 vs Firefox 2.0

I have always had Firefox on my computer and used it for development, but it always felt too slow for everyday browsing. So I gave it up for Safari, then I gave Safari up for Camino (a while back I raved about Camino and listed reasons why I switched), Firefox 2.0 was released recently and I started playing around with it yesterday. Well, I just might be switching again. Why?

1. Speed: Firefox 2.0 still felt a bit bloated when loading, but once it’s up it seems faster than the older version. I then did a completely unscientific test by loading the page as simultaneously as I could. I clicked the Firefox(1st) and Camino(2nd) icons in my dock (I put the icons right next to one another to waste less time between the two. To my surprise Firefox won by about five “Mississippis”. I even made sure that ad blocking (built-in with Camino while Firefox uses an extension) was on in both.

2. Reorder tabs: You can drag tabs to reorder them. I often have more than two tabs open at once, and I like to use my keyboard to navigate to the next or previous tab quickly. This comes in very handy when I am developing and comparing static designs with my pages. If I don’t open my tabs in the right order, then I have to click multiple times to get to the tab that I want to see. And when I just want to flip back and forth between two tabs to compare designs, then it becomes annoying. It’s better if the tabs are right next to one another. Camino and Safari do not yet have this feature.

3. Extensions: most of the time I did not miss the Firefox extensions while using Camino. Like I said, I used Firefox for development, so the main extension that I use – the Developer’s Toolbar was ready when I was. But there are other extensions that I have been curious about, so this makes it handy. And although I thought that Camino would have a whole bunch of extensions and themes developed for it, it pales in comparison. So I will look forward to applying all sorts of themes to Firefox again.

4. Close tab buttons: Then there is this little thing where Firefox has caught up with Safari and Camino like close button on the tabs themselves.

5. Suggested searches: In the search toolbar, it does some search suggestion and it work very fast. It seems to get it right half the time.

Firefox is not without annoyances:

1. Different keyboard shortcuts: So far, I have had to add or change keyboard shortcuts to do stuff in the same way across Safari, Camino and Firefox. Although I wanted to just add these new shortcuts to one program (Firefox preferably), Mac OS does not allow you to alter keyboard shortcuts to items that are not in the existing text menu of the application. So far, I have had to change how I navigate from next/previous tabs, load my home page, and open the downloads window. Honestly Firefox developers – what does cmd+J have to do with downloads?

2. Too much chrome: There seems to be too much spacing left for the browser chrome. This is especially evident in the tab area. I could do without the amount of padding above and below the titles in the tabs.

I should have more to say about all of this, but it’s time to do some work.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 1, 2006 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Yippee you’re back! And just as geeky as before!

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