Sep 4, 2008

[Browsers] Why I Still Need Firefox

Mozilla Firefox IconImage via Wikipedia As you know by now, Google has come up with its own browser called Google Chrome, and it's pretty slick. It's not quite the perfect browser yet, but I have gone as far as setting it as my default since the speed benefits alone are just insane.

Yet despite that, I still have Firefox active on my system and am still using it. As with all beta products, Google Chrome still has some geeky needs that Chrome is just ready to fulfill. Here are some of my reasons for still using Firefox with all its bells and whistles.

Blogging - Writing these Geeky Guide entries isn't exactly easy and every little bit that helps me blog better counts. I tried using the Flock browser for a time since it claimed to be the more social browser with lots of blogging options, but it never really worked for me personally so I quickly abandoned that. What did work great for me was the Firefox extension Zemanta, which is just so convenient to use and helps me save time in terms of adding relevant links to my entries. Thus I continue to blog for the Geeky Guide using Firefox in roder to ensure I still have access to Zemanta. Plus I don't get unusual behaviors when navigating Photobucket, where I store a lot of my images.

Facebook Apps - I'm not that heavy a Facebook App user. In fact if you do check out my profile, it'll look pretty spare compared to most other geeky Facebook users out there. I don't quite know why - I guess I got sick of all the vampires and stuff. Despite that, I still have a few more passive games that I do like playing like Mousehunt and My Heroes Ability, both of which don't operate correctly when using Google Chrome. Others have reported side errors when tagging photos or commenting on content, so I guess Firefox needs to stick around a bit for this.

Remember the Milk - Firefox has really spoiled me when it comes to my favorite to-do list application, Remember the Milk or RTM. One of the best things about RTM is its many integration options with Google services like Gmail and Google Calendar. Of course for certain aspects like the Gmail sidebar to work, you need to install an extension to overlay RTM's sidebar when viewing Gmail. While Google Chrome still doesn't support extensions, I guess I have to load my to-do lists manually using Chrome or by going back to Firefox to have them side-by-side with my email.

Extensions in General - While it was possible to live without extensions before, after using Firefox for so long it's rather hard to understand how we could even do that. I control Winamp exclusively through FoxyTunes these days and of course it's been ages since I've last seen advertising because of AdBlock Plus. Then there's my favored social bookmarking-ish service, StumbleUpon, which remain a favored way of passing the time and looking for new things to blog about. Until Google Chrome adds in extension support, I guess I'll have to live a more minimalist life in terms of my browsing activities as well.

Then again, I still have Firefox has a pretty robust, albeit slower, backup browser. Oh joy.

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  1. One other fun fact that I learned last night has to do with autosaving text. I will normally save a post as a draft after a couple of hundred words and Movabletype will also do an autosave (provided you are connected to the internet).

    I spent a couple of hours working on a post last night hit 'publish', realized my server was offline and when I hit back to go back to the form 75% of the 2000+ word entry was gone, never to be recovered. Firefox (and Flock) will save every bit of it. I've even killed Flock through Task Manager and when I opened a new window it STILL had most of the entered text for me.

    If I were just going to be browsing I would probably stick with Chrome but as long as I actually need my browser to get work done I'll be sticking with Flock and Firefox.

  2. Oh yeah - I had yet to mention auto-saving. Thanks for the reminder, Richard.