Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

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scarecrovv
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Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:13 pm UTC

Yesterday I was trying out an alpha version of an internal web page at the company where I work, which in a few months will be critical to how I do my job. I noticed that it didn't work in Firefox, but did work in Chrome. When I reported this as a bug I was thunderstruck by the response from the web developers: they have absolutely no interest in supporting anything other than Chrome, and they think that Firefox in particular is terrible. I argued in vain for what felt like 30 minutes and then indignantly went off to look up the latest browser usage statistics to support my argument, which I was confident would show roughly the following breakdown: Firefox 40%, Chrome 20%, IE 20%, Safari 10%, Other 10%. I was again shocked to discover the reality: Chrome 50%, IE 20%, Firefox 15%, Safari 10%, Other 5%. I also found that the Internet consensus was that Chrome was technically superior to all others, and that Firefox was lacking in innovation and had a terrible codebase.

Did Chrome win the browser war while I wasn't looking? How? I was aware that the followers of Mammon were trembling as had been foretold to us by The Book of Mozilla, but I assumed that this was because the Beast Reborn had conquered the world, propelled by the din of a million keyboards. My impression of Chrome was that it was a blatant power grab by Google and that it was ultimately doomed due to its inflexible user interface and lack of plugins. In particular, when I last tried Vimium several years ago I found it grossly incomplete compared to Pentadactyl (a plugin I absolutely adore). I have also heard complaints about Chrome's address bar behaving obnoxiously in all sorts of ways - in particular by sending input to Google rather than the DNS system if it doesn't begin with "http://", "https://", or "www.".

What happened? Is it time for me to give up everything that made Firefox great and settle for a locked down browser controlled by Google, who seem to be gradually abandoning their "Don't be evil" motto? Does Chrome have redeeming qualities to which I have been blind? If I can't convince the web developers at my company should I fork the particular page that I'll soon need for my job and maintain a separate branch that supports Firefox? Please help me, I'm having an emotional crisis here.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Flumble » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:10 pm UTC

I think you missed out on the part when smartphones and tablets became shipped with Android, a.k.a. Google Java Linux. Once you have one of the best browsers (in this case Chrome), there's basically no incentive to switch to another of the best browsers. :wink:

Chrome is almost as extensible as and has loads more extensions than Firefox nowadays and both support a ton of w3c draft features.


scarecrovv wrote:I have also heard complaints about Chrome's address bar behaving obnoxiously in all sorts of ways - in particular by sending input to Google rather than the DNS system if it doesn't begin with "http://", "https://", or "www.".

Call it obnoxious if you will (I know I do!), but to the average person it's great that everything you type is immediately matched to the thing you probably mean. By the way, Firefox does this too by default: when I want to access a computer on the subnet, it's often instantly interpreted as a keyword or the computer is inaccessible and then it's interpreted as a keyword.

If you need a Chrome-compatible browser that's not Chrome, your best bet is to use Chromium.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby karhell » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:06 am UTC

Glad to see I'm not the only one bothered by the rising chrome monopoly. In my book, web devs unwilling to support firefox are just lazy devs.
I mean, unwilling to support severely outdated browsers is one thing, but "Nope, chrome only" reminds me nastily of the time where whole websites required IE6.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

scarecrovv wrote:I have also heard complaints about Chrome's address bar behaving obnoxiously in all sorts of ways - in particular by sending input to Google rather than the DNS system if it doesn't begin with "http://", "https://", or "www.".

Chrome's address bar is the reason I can never switch to another browser. It's just way too good compared to everything else.

What you're pointing out here is that if you type something that doesn't look like a URL into the address bar*, Chrome will interpret your request as a search instead. The default search engine is Google, obviously, but it can be changed in the settings. I use Wikipedia as my default search engine (and my friends end up hilariously confused). But Chrome will also automatically recognize any other search engines you use, and "search engine" in this case includes site-wide searches. When Chrome later suggests a completion for that website, you can press tab and the address bar will switch to a search bar for that particular search engine. You can also manually define shortcuts for search engines instead of using the autosuggestion. Also, if you want to search for a URL, you can type "? url" to force a search instead of address lookup.

This is an amazing feature, because it means that every search engine you've ever used is an autosuggestion and tab away. For example, here are some of the searches I use, and the prefix I usually type for them (the prefixes are not special, except the they are sufficient to trigger the autosuggest):

Default: Wikipedia
def: Wiktionary (manually defined)
goo: Google
you: Youtube
maps: Google maps
wiki: TF2 wiki (wiki.teamfortress.com)
bulb: Bulbapedia
net: Nethack wiki
ssb: Smash wiki


* Chrome does not require "http://", "https://", or "www." prefixes to recognize a URL. If you type anything like example.com, example.org, etc. it will recognize that this is probably a URL based on the TLD. It has some trouble with the newer TLDs that it doesn't know about though.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:30 am UTC

Firefox has had the put-a-prefix-on-your-address-to-search thing for a while... longer than it's had the just-type-something-that-isn't-a-url-to-search thing.

And I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I prefer it that way... I'm not a fan of the computer trying to fuzzily guess what I mean in a freeform field, I want to be able to explicitly tell it what I want, and be able to predict what it'll do in all cases. I want it to work so that if I type "kittens wearing hats" into the address bar, it complains that it isn't a valid url, but if I type "g kittens wearing hats" then it launches into Google, because that's a shortcut I specifically set up. I don't want it guessing "Oh, that doesn't look like a URL, I'll search for it instead", and I don't want it guessing "oh, that prefix sounds like a search engine I saw once, I'll send you there"... just the keywords I've specifically created, thanks.

That's how I have my Firefox set up... but I never could get Chrome to work like that... if you typed random text in the address bar it was going to send you to a search engine, all you could do was pick which one... and I couldn't figure out a way to manage the keyword prefixes, or add your own custom ones, it was just whichever search engines you had installed could be pulled up by their appropriate names (controlled by whoever build the search engine, not you). I looked into this a long time ago (when Chrome was pretty new) and maybe it's changed since then, but I haven't bothered to look.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby EvanED » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:32 am UTC

phlip wrote:I looked into this a long time ago (when Chrome was pretty new) and maybe it's changed since then, but I haven't bothered to look.
You have been able to do this in Chrome for a while as well; right click on a field, pick "add as search engine", and fill in the keyword you want.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:06 am UTC

Sure, but can I do things like add a keyword to "http://svn-server/trac/changeset/%s" so I can type "r 12345" in the browser and jump straight to a revision in version control? Or other such things that aren't specially-designated "search engines"? Or is the only way to do it by finding the search field in the wild so I can right-click on it and add it from there?

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby WanderingLinguist » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:13 am UTC

phlip wrote:Sure, but can I do things like add a keyword to "http://svn-server/trac/changeset/%s" so I can type "r 12345" in the browser and jump straight to a revision in version control? Or other such things that aren't specially-designated "search engines"?


I just tried it, and yes you can. And it is awesome.

And I like your idea... I just made shortcuts for our issue tracking and version control systems.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:22 am UTC

OK, neat, that's good to know.

That and Vimperator are basically the two things holding me on Firefox these days... Vrome just isn't as good (or at least wasn't when I tried it however many years ago...) Everything else (like my massive list of Greasemonkey scripts) I'm sure I could port over or find an equivalent for... or just aren't that important...

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:16 pm UTC

phlip wrote:Firefox has had the put-a-prefix-on-your-address-to-search thing for a while... longer than it's had the just-type-something-that-isn't-a-url-to-search thing.

And I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I prefer it that way... I'm not a fan of the computer trying to fuzzily guess what I mean in a freeform field, I want to be able to explicitly tell it what I want, and be able to predict what it'll do in all cases. I want it to work so that if I type "kittens wearing hats" into the address bar, it complains that it isn't a valid url, but if I type "g kittens wearing hats" then it launches into Google, because that's a shortcut I specifically set up. I don't want it guessing "Oh, that doesn't look like a URL, I'll search for it instead", and I don't want it guessing "oh, that prefix sounds like a search engine I saw once, I'll send you there"... just the keywords I've specifically created, thanks.

That's how I have my Firefox set up... but I never could get Chrome to work like that... if you typed random text in the address bar it was going to send you to a search engine, all you could do was pick which one... and I couldn't figure out a way to manage the keyword prefixes, or add your own custom ones, it was just whichever search engines you had installed could be pulled up by their appropriate names (controlled by whoever build the search engine, not you). I looked into this a long time ago (when Chrome was pretty new) and maybe it's changed since then, but I haven't bothered to look.

Having to set all of them up manually would be huge hassle. You can set things manually, but I've only done it a couple times. Also, Chrome doesn't simply look for prefixes. You use tab to convert an autosuggestion into a search. For example, if I type "goo<tab>ball" I will get a Google search for ball, but if I type "goo ball" I will get a Wikipedia (my default) search for "goo ball". The only exception here is if the first word exactly matches a search keyword, so if I type "google.com ball" I will get a Google search. Honestly, I wish I could turn that off, space is ambiguous and tab does the same thing but better and unambiguously.

I didn't know that Firefox had searches like that though. But is that only from the search bar, or does it work in the URL bar?

phlip wrote:Sure, but can I do things like add a keyword to "http://svn-server/trac/changeset/%s" so I can type "r 12345" in the browser and jump straight to a revision in version control? Or other such things that aren't specially-designated "search engines"? Or is the only way to do it by finding the search field in the wild so I can right-click on it and add it from there?

Settings > Manage search engines.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Qaanol » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

Derek wrote:This is an amazing feature, because it means that every search engine you've ever used is an autosuggestion and tab away. For example, here are some of the searches I use, and the prefix I usually type for them (the prefixes are not special, except the they are sufficient to trigger the autosuggest):

Default: Wikipedia
def: Wiktionary (manually defined)
goo: Google
you: Youtube
maps: Google maps
wiki: TF2 wiki (wiki.teamfortress.com)
bulb: Bulbapedia
net: Nethack wiki
ssb: Smash wiki

Pshaw, three-letter prefixes? That is way too much typing for me.

…here’s what I have in Chrome:

a: Amazon
at: alternativeto.net
c: Craigslist
d: Dictionary.com
e (or eo): etymonline.com
eb: eBay
g: Google
hw: Hourly weather forecast
i: Google Images
m: gatherer.wizards.com
mw: Merriam-Webster
o: oeis.org
s: Google Scholar
t (or th): Thesaurus.com
w: Wikipedia
wa: WolframAlpha
y (or yt): Youtube

Another neat aspect of this feature in Chrome is that you can use it without any wildcards to create shortcuts to websites. For example, I have “xf” set to “http://forums.xkcd.com/” so I can just type xf and hit return to go directly to the xkcd forums.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Dthen » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

I would use Chromium over Firefox, but ever since Opera became rubbish, I've been a Firefox refugee because due to Chrome/Chromium's security stuff it doesn't let allow plugins to interact with the new tab page. That means no mouse gestures on the new tab page. I am too used to mouse gestures to ever stop using them, so that's a dealbreaker for me. Everything else on Chrome/Chromium I can just about twerk to my liking, though I do wish it were more configurable like Opera used to be before it tried to pretend to be Chrome. Hopefully when Vivaldi is finished it will fill the void left by Opera's untimely death.

I miss Opera.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Derek » Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:53 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Pshaw, three-letter prefixes? That is way too much typing for me.

Most of them will work with one or two letters, but my habit is usually to type three. Also all of those shortcuts are just the result of autosuggest, except def which I manually created.

Another neat aspect of this feature in Chrome is that you can use it without any wildcards to create shortcuts to websites. For example, I have “xf” set to “http://forums.xkcd.com/” so I can just type xf and hit return to go directly to the xkcd forums.

I never thought about using it like that. Again, I usually rely on autosuggest for this sort of thing. "for" for xkcd forums, "tea" for TF2 website, "re" for reddit (actually goes straight to /r/smashbros).

Dthen wrote:I would use Chromium over Firefox, but ever since Opera became rubbish, I've been a Firefox refugee because due to Chrome/Chromium's security stuff it doesn't let allow plugins to interact with the new tab page. That means no mouse gestures on the new tab page. I am too used to mouse gestures to ever stop using them, so that's a dealbreaker for me. Everything else on Chrome/Chromium I can just about twerk to my liking, though I do wish it were more configurable like Opera used to be before it tried to pretend to be Chrome. Hopefully when Vivaldi is finished it will fill the void left by Opera's untimely death.

You can't modify the new tab page with plugins, but you can replace it. I think some of the replacements support mouse gestures.

This is a point of interest for me because a year or so ago they replaced the new tab page with an awful page that is just a Google search bar and removed the Recently Closed and Other Devices buttons, which I heavily use. So I've been checking every few months for plugins that will restore that old functionality, and I think I finally found one.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby phlip » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:07 am UTC

Derek wrote:I didn't know that Firefox had searches like that though. But is that only from the search bar, or does it work in the URL bar?

I think it's only in the url bar. Dunno if they work in the search bar too, I don't think so. But I have that disabled.

The way it works is you can assign a keyword to a bookmark... so you bookmark a page and give it a keyword, then you can type that keyword in the address bar and it'll take you to that page. The trick is that if you put "%s" in the bookmarked url, then you can type things after the keyword and it'll automatically get plugged into the URL. So I have a bookmark to, say, "http://www.google.com/search?q=%s" with a keyword of "g", then I can type "g stuff and things" and it'll take me to "http://www.google.com/search?q=stuff%20and%20things".

Derek wrote:Honestly, I wish I could turn that off, space is ambiguous and tab does the same thing but better and unambiguously.

It's ambiguous between, to use your example, "goo ball" meaning "search my default search for 'goo ball'" or "search the 'goo' keyword search for 'ball'"... you want to be able to disable the latter option, I want to be able to disable the former. Different strokes, I guess.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:43 am UTC

phlip wrote:
Derek wrote:Honestly, I wish I could turn that off, space is ambiguous and tab does the same thing but better and unambiguously.

It's ambiguous between, to use your example, "goo ball" meaning "search my default search for 'goo ball'" or "search the 'goo' keyword search for 'ball'"... you want to be able to disable the latter option, I want to be able to disable the former. Different strokes, I guess.

But then you can't search your default search for "goo ball".

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby hotaru » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:23 am UTC

Derek wrote:
phlip wrote:
Derek wrote:Honestly, I wish I could turn that off, space is ambiguous and tab does the same thing but better and unambiguously.

It's ambiguous between, to use your example, "goo ball" meaning "search my default search for 'goo ball'" or "search the 'goo' keyword search for 'ball'"... you want to be able to disable the latter option, I want to be able to disable the former. Different strokes, I guess.

But then you can't search your default search for "goo ball".

"?goo ball" uses the default search to search for "goo ball". typing just "goo ball" does different things depending on whether "goo" is defined as a shortcut, but there isn't any ambiguity.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby phlip » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:25 am UTC

Derek wrote:But then you can't search your default search for "goo ball".

When I said "I want to disable the former" I mean the default search, in its entirety.

If I type "ball" in the address bar, I want it to try to go to http://ball/ and then complain if it can't resolve the host. If I type in "goo ball" I want it to complain that isn't a valid URL. I don't want it guessing what I want, I want to tell it what I want... and if what I want is searching Google for "goo ball" that means typing "g goo ball".

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Flumble » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:36 pm UTC

It's unclear for me at this point if you're talking about Firefox or Chrome, but at least here's the method to disable automatic url bar searches in Firefox.


I'm still waiting –in vain– for Firefox to automatically learn search engines. Chrome(ium) has had this for a very long time now and it's utterly awesome that you have to search on a site (mostly wikis) only once, and from then on you can search through the site by tab completion.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby hotaru » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:56 am UTC

Flumble wrote:I'm still waiting –in vain– for Firefox to automatically learn search engines. Chrome(ium) has had this for a very long time now and it's utterly awesome that you have to search on a site (mostly wikis) only once, and from then on you can search through the site by tab completion.

on a lot of sites you don't even have to search once. just visiting the site is enough for chrome to pick it up.
unfortunately, chrome on Android just does the default search thing.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby lalop » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

I switched from Chrome due to this many-years-old bug, that shows no sign of being fixed:

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issu ... ?id=128290

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issu ... ?id=119871

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=311

I'd literally gotten used to shutting my eyes whenever Chrome loaded a page; the transition was just so blinding. When I switched to Firefox, and set a dark background loading page in about:config and stylish (similar measures had not worked in Chrome), it was such a relief to find I no longer had to cater my eyes to my own web browser.

It also helped that Firefox extensions were more featureful than their equivalents in Chrome, speaking especially of vimperator/pentadactyl. With Firefox, I don't have to wait for the javascript in a tab to load before starting to use vimperator.

Now, of course, I'm afraid that Mozilla seems to be on the path of removing the features that makes their browser great. I very much hope I won't have to start looking into forks.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby hotaru » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:06 pm UTC

if your monitor is blinding you, the solution is to turn down the brightness, rather than trying to avoid white backgrounds.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:36 pm UTC

Well, unfortunately, if it's a site you need for work and it's run by vile bastard browser-dictators who need the wisdom of Tim Berners-Lee branded into their forehead as a mark of shame, you're kind of stuck (at least until the revolution comes and we can put them up against the wall.) As for me, though, my policy is that if a website refuses to work with the browser I choose to use, it can go fuck itself and I'll take my traffic elsewhere. Though I'm all about Pale Moon these days, it's like Firefox without all the bullshit they've introduced in their attempts to copy Chrome's mistakes.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby hotaru » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:23 pm UTC

my point was that the browser does not change the brightness of your monitor. if a blank white screen blinds you, your monitor is too bright. if your monitor is too bright, then light text on a dark background is just as bad for your eyes as dark text on a light background. you should adjust your monitor so that a blank white screen is no longer painful to look at, and then it won't matter what the browser does.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby lalop » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:57 am UTC

First of all, are you serious?

Hypothetically, if your favorite theme in any particular program would occasionally flash to its opposite color, would you not see that as a problem?

I suspect it would be more than a problem. It might even be a health hazard. And "adjust your color settings so that the two aren't so different" is not a real solution.

That being said:

hotaru wrote:my point was that the browser does not change the brightness of your monitor.


This premise is almost certainly wrong.

A pixel giving off #FFFFFF is brighter than a pixel giving off #000000 (the latter should ideally give out no light, though in practice there is backlight bleed). Hence, a monitor with all pixels showing #FFFFFF gives out much more light than a monitor showing all #000000. This is why people measure and compare the intensities of the two.

Chrome, by briefly changing the color to #FFFFFF, does very much change the brightness as seen by peoples' eyes - which is what matters here.

More info:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/596 ... 243#596243
https://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/ ... of-a-pixel

hotaru wrote:my point was that the browser does not change the brightness of your monitor. if a blank white screen blinds you, your monitor is too bright. if your monitor is too bright, then light text on a dark background is just as bad for your eyes as dark text on a light background.


[Citation needed.] I would very much like to see a study on the health effects of light-on-dark versus dark-on-light themes (both for color-swapped themes and in general).


In any case, your analysis (in addition to the questionable first premise) fails to account for two very important dimensions:

1. Adjustment Time:

Peoples' eyes take time to adjust to different levels of brightness. A person who's been walking outside for a few hours may have gotten used to daylight, but for someone coming out of a darkened room, it could be blinding.

Now consider: a website with a completely dark theme briefly flashes pure white before going back to the dark theme.

(This was a regular occurrence back when I used Chrome.)

Do you see the issue? This is not simply a matter of the "blank white screen" being too bright or not. The transition itself (instantly, from nearly dark to fully bright) is a huge part of the problem.

In other words, the screen regularly flashing white is much worse than the screen merely showing white. Chrome does the former, while your analysis, insofar that it works, only accounts for the latter.


2. There is more than one dark theme.

You seem to have used brightness of a "blank white screen" as a proxy for the brightness of light text. That only makes sense if you assume the light text is being shown at #FFFFFF.

Not necessarily so. Swapping the traditional text and background color may be the most obvious way to create a dark theme, but it is far from the only one. In fact, none of my dark themes use #FFFFFF as their text color. There are many possible reasons not to choose such a bright shade of white, and I highly doubt I am alone in this.

Thus, the fact that users dislike Chrome's #FFFFFF flashing, does not give you grounds for assuming their dark themes are also too bright. Using tools such as stylish, web themes can be made as dark as the user wants; and it's Chrome that ignores those themes to flash its pure white loading screen.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

Chrome's address bar behavior is no different from its usage-generated speed dial or Google's search page - it's designed to learn to recognize common actions and either prefer them or offer to automate steps. There's zero barrier to entry, no planning required, no memorization, and no chance of a time hole of frivolous customization unless you take extra steps to find it.

Features like that are going to be adopted by a much larger segment of users than anything that requires poking through settings screens, fiddling knobs, and trying to remember how you wired everything up. They're not optimized for fewest keystrokes, but least cognitive load. And it turns out that these features are not only adopted by more users, but more users notice (or don't), like them, and depend on them, and that makes the product more popular when the application's accessible feature set is greater for a majority of users.

Or, you know, why do Windows and Linux now use search and launch instead of a menu? Because while there's no great cognitive barrier to organizing the Start menu, it turns out that people don't bother to do so in practice, and having the computer learn what you mean when you throw some letters at the screen makes a better net experience for the user base overall.

Personally, I'm not going to memorize tokens or manage bookmarks, period. It's like memorizing telephone numbers or something. I also like having a browser (or any application) that can't use drag-and-drop customization as an excuse for shipping a bad interface and expecting users to fix it.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:50 pm UTC

scarecrovv wrote: I have also heard complaints about Chrome's address bar behaving obnoxiously in all sorts of ways - in particular by sending input to Google rather than the DNS system if it doesn't begin with "http://", "https://", or "www.".


You say bug, I say feature.

IE sends that crap to Bing. I'll take google over bing every day. Yes, yes, I'm aware I can set preferences and make specifications for specific searches and stuff, but frankly, as someone who uses a great many devices, that's all a lot of hassle. Chrome works. Firebox ain't bad, but Chrome is fairly clean, and neatly gets the job done. Could I configure another browser to work more or less like Chrome? Sure. But why the hell would I?


If you're gonna only support one browser, Chrome kind of is the obvious choice.

And, given how many browsers and platforms exist out there, you gotta set a "we ain't supporting that" bar SOMEWHERE.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:15 am UTC

If you're gonna support only one browser, you shouldn't be in web design. You should be blacklisted, scourged, sent to live on a desert island, and then fired into the Sun.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:00 am UTC

Yeah, as popular as Chrome has become, as cross-platform as its availability is, and as just fundamentally good a browser it is, it's still absurd to write code that supports only Chrome. Or Firefox, or, God help us, Explorer / Edge or Safari. If your prioritized platforms constitute anything less than, say, 80% of potential users, you're not just being an asshole, you're straight up failing to deliver your product.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Meh. There was a time when IE 6 constituted about 20% of users.

That was what, 2010? When Google dropped support for it?

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby hotaru » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Meh. There was a time when IE 6 constituted about 20% of users.

That was what, 2010? When Google dropped support for it?

and now firefox and IE (all versions) together is only about 20% of users...

Code: Select all

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Flumble » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:22 pm UTC

hotaru wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Meh. There was a time when IE 6 constituted about 20% of users.

That was what, 2010? When Google dropped support for it?

and now firefox and IE (all versions) together is only about 20% of users...

All hail google!

Oh well, there was a time when IE (and netscape before that) had a share of more than 80%; surely google's browser will lose its majority share in the near future, right?

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:47 pm UTC

If something better comes along, maybe? Hard to predict. Pre-Chrome, I certainly wouldn't have predicted Google taking over so completely.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Wildcard » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:21 am UTC

Ironically, for me, Chrome works great for every single website I visit except for...

Google Freaking Maps.

WTF.

So, I use Firefox (on my MacBook Pro, incidentally) when I need to look at Google Maps, and I use Google Chrome for everything else.

Then at work I use Chrome almost exclusively, and occasionally use IE, when I need to visit a specific company-internal site that uses a "weak ephemeral Diffie-Hellman public key".
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the to

Postby Bloopy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:11 am UTC

I tend to get comfortable in particular software and not change until I'm all but forced to. But on the other hand, I have so few complaints about Firefox that I haven't entertained the idea of switching.

lalop wrote:I switched from Chrome due to this many-years-old bug, that shows no sign of being fixed:

https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issu ... ?id=128290

Without you pointing that out, I might only have noticed it because it affects links opened in a new tab as well. Oddly the Diablo III website is the only page I've experienced it on so far. Is it something to do with pages that take longer to render?

I can just imagine the social media bandwagon forcing a change on the issue. Google Chrome Causes Epilepsy! 5 Ways Google Is Harming Your Unborn Baby!
Last edited by Bloopy on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby Jplus » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:40 pm UTC

Sorry for necromancing.

No, it is not time for you to throw in the towel. That a (near) majority is using something, does not mean you should do the same.

Also, if you are wary of Google's internet monopoly (like me), that should be a reason for you to resist.

That said, if you use Chromium and set your default search engine to something privacy-friendly like DuckDuckGo, I don't think there is any reason to be concerned about Google spying on you through your own browser.
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby NTN » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:38 am UTC

Both are fairly bloated and badly hardware accelerated. Servo from Mozilla seems like it might be a viable alternative soon.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby Zowayix » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:14 pm UTC

I'm personally going to stick with Firefox forever for specifically two reasons:
  • Tab Mix Plus and Tab Groups add-ons
  • Add-ons on mobile
Chrome by design forbids extensions from modifying the tab bar, so if I want 400 tabs open then I have no choice but to watch them get squished into unreadable unusable 1-pixel wide things. In Firefox I can just enable multi-row tabs and have everything I need easily readable and accessible. If I want to organize my tabs into fast-switching visually intuitive groups, I can.

I also have numerous add-ons that I like to use on both desktop and mobile, so if I'm on Chrome and I'm forced to get rid of everything the moment I pick up my phone, it's a jarring experience.

Not to mention Firefox's apparent greater commitment to privacy compared to Chrome, which is big. There's a reason Tor Browser is based off of Firefox rather than Chrome.

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:03 pm UTC

kanz36 wrote:I love Chrome because there's no separated searching box. (FF still has this box available but i can search directly from url box).
However, I could find more interesting add-on from FF, so i sometimes use FF for special purposes. :P

Conversely, I hate it for precisely this reason. I absolutely cannot stand search-from-URL-bar (wish I could get rid of it from FF completely, too - but it doesn't seem to be possible to kill the stupid "use default search when the typed URL is malformed" behavior in any remotely modern version.)
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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby Flumble » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:34 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
kanz36 wrote:I love Chrome because there's no separated searching box. (FF still has this box available but i can search directly from url box).
However, I could find more interesting add-on from FF, so i sometimes use FF for special purposes. :P

Conversely, I hate it for precisely this reason. I absolutely cannot stand search-from-URL-bar (wish I could get rid of it from FF completely, too - but it doesn't seem to be possible to kill the stupid "use default search when the typed URL is malformed" behavior in any remotely modern version.)

Can't you still disable it through keyword.enabled?

kanz36 wrote:I love Chrome because there's no separated searching box. (FF still has this box available but i can search directly from url box).

I love Firefox because I can easily (burger->customize->drag stuff around) remove that redundant search box (and all the other bloat), while rusty users still have their dedicated search box.
Also, you can restrict your search to bookmarks/history/open tabs or whatever with a single character (and a space). Too bad there's still no automatic keyword search though. :(

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Re: Firefox vs. Chrome: Is it time for me to throw in the towel?

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:52 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Can't you still disable it through keyword.enabled?

Well I'll be damned, it does work! Could've sworn it just ignored me last time I tried that. Or maybe I was thinking of one the other dozens of about:config entries they nerfed or removed outright over the years...
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