Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Firefox to Chrome?

You know you're a geek when you decide to make a post about switching web browsers....

With the release of Chrome 10 I'd decided to give it another go. For the last few years I've been a big advocate of Firefox, but the sheer 'cleanliness' and speed of Chrome can not be denied. Until now I'd always found little things with Chrome that kept me from truly falling in love with it. Until a recent release it didn't display my InfoAgent page correctly, taking a dislike to the table intensive layout. I even went so far as haxing up a new pure css based layout just so I could use Chrome for a while, as my InfoAgent page is where I launch virtually all my web surfing from. A few releases back Google decided to be a little more flexible on table layouts and the original version of the page worked again. Side stepping this complaint.

Over my years of Firefox use I'd collected a number of extensions which I now couldn't live with out. Over time, almost all of these (or similar addons) have become available for Chrome; Diigo, Readability, Adblock. However there still isn't versions of the Photobucket uploader (important for me since this is how I collect images to be displayed here on fuzzy's logic) and TabMixPlus.

I was then left with a dislike of the fact that I couldn't move the tab bar from the top of the Chrome window to the bottom, where I'm used to it being. I started using TabMixPlus for Firefox before Firefox ever added native support for tabbed browsing, and the habit was hard to break. It just makes sense to me.... I use a windows manager at the bottom of the screen, surely managing browsing tabs from the bottom of the browser is the logical place. If nothing else, to simply avoid racking up mouse miles. TabMixPlus also added a number of features such as always opening new tabs when I search or type an address into the address bar. Chrome doesn't natively allow this, but there is the alt+enter hotkey to do the same. It'll take me a while to remember to do this every time and I really don't understand why I can't just set an option to make this the default behaviour....

On the Photobucket front, I've found that another similar image collection site does have an uploader addon for Chrome, so I'm now testing Image Spark out. If I don't find any compelling reason not to make the switch from Photobucket to Image Spark I'll continue to consider a permanent switch from Firefox to Chrome. I'll also continue looking for ways to gain more control over Chrome's tab system. Stay tuned for updates on this incredibly interesting topic!