Tuesday, November 09, 2010

browser wars update and bad reporting

A couple of months I switched from FireFox to Chrome. My initial complaints were all from getting used to a slightly different UI. Now that I've gotten over the difference in bookmark UI and the combined address bar and search bar, I have replaced the cons with the really nasty performance issues that I am now all too familiar with. I've also updated IE to reflect IE 9. Note that there are no more rankings. They all are inadequate in covering certain basics.


Why I like it:

  • Great extension support – notably AdBlock Plus and xMarks
  • I like how I can dock my bookmarks. It’s a great way to make the screen narrower (in other words, more readable) while making good use of that space.
  • It works.
  • The URL autofill is great.
  • BlackSheep extension and HTTPSeverywhere extensions make me feel safer.

Why I hate it:

  • It’s slow. Ridiculously slow to open, and then if I leave it open for more than two days (on my work computers, for example, or when I put my home computer on standby), it gobbles up enormous amount of memory. I really want a better #1.


Why I use it:

  • It opens up really fast. If I just turned on my computer and I don’t need to access my bookmarks and I’m doing basic browsing, I’ll just use Chrome. This only happens on my desktop at home.
  • Good extension support. It now has AdBlock and xMarks. Finally.
  • Address bar search is "good enough" for finding certain bookmarks, but still not as good as Firefox.
  • Google Voice integration is nice.

Why I hate it:

  • Occasionally just hangs for 10 seconds and then comes back to life
  • Has huge performance issues with managing tabs. Specifically, when opening multiple windows at once (like when checking NFL box scores or reading news off TechMeme in the morning) and also when closing multiple windows sequentially.
  • Address bar is absolutely terrible at quickly prioritizing and displaying autocomplete candidates. Sometimes it would be faster to just type in the entire URL.
  • Address bar doesn't let me delete autocomplete entries like FireFox.
  • Auto-complete results take precedence over what I type. If I have "www.knowyourmeme.com" in my history and I want to go to "www.kno.com", I should be able to type in "kno" followed by Ctrl+Enter to get there. That should *not* take me to knowyourmeme. That's why I'm pressing the Control key!
  • The bookmarks UI is terrible for using bookmarks.
  • Fanboys who think that Chrome is fast. It just isn't.


Why I use it:

  • Best browser for the iPhone.

Why I hate it:

  • On the PC it’s installs itself whenever anything Apple needs to be updated. DOJ should get on it, because it’s not cool to have a new version of QuickTime, Safari, Bonjour, and whatever crap installed every time I upgrade iTunes (which is now a beast).
  • Weird keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl-T, Ctrl-Tab, Ctrl-L, Ctrl-E, Ctrl-W. Thanks.

Internet Explorer 9

Why I use it:

  • Work. Intranet sites.
  • The only browser I have that can open multiple tabs in sequence without lagging substantially. YES! I can now open all the box scores for last weekend's NFL games without getting my browser to hang.
  • It’s a good second browser if I want to be logged in using different accounts for different services (like Facebook, e-mail, etc.). Any browser can do this, but I have IE installed on all my PCs so it’s the default.
  • Sometimes it's just up.

Why I hate it:

  • Like Chrome, hangs on the closing of multiple tabs. Ugh.
  • No extension support, therefore no AdBlock.
  • Bad for going to intranet sites since it assumes that if there is no http:// prefix you want to do a search.

On to bad reporting rewards for the morning:
  • Robert Scoble On Twezr. Good demo, but your questions are horrible. If I got a nickel for every time he asked about some weirdo fringe scenario that no real people care about, I'd be able to buy lunch.
  • Mary Pilon of the WSJ on mobile and "spending." The headline has nothing to do with the data, and in fact the update posted at the end basically says that the headline is wrong. Fix it, dumbass, or just withdraw the entire story.