Right now as I write this blog post, I am using the new Google Chrome beta for the Mac. It doesn’t have extensions yet, is buggy at times, and I’m not completely sold on some of its UI choices. Yet it is a serious contender for winning the majority of my web browsing time.
I have been a user of Mozilla Firefox since the days of Phoenix 0.1 (September 2002) and a user of Mozilla web browsers in general since version M14 way back in March 2000. Which basically means, I haven’t used a Microsoft web browser outside of a random web site and Windows Update since probably early 2000. It also means I haven’t deviated from the Mozilla way of browsing the web since the year 2000.
For nearly 10 years, we were told that Mozilla had to go with this hugely complex UI system that isn’t native so it could realistically get a browser out the door that works on any Operating System with these fancy extensions working as well. It is a remarkable achievement that they have pulled this off. Then there is the fact a web page can bring down the browser. Yes session restore can fix the damage somewhat, but it is no substitute for your web browser crashing and the interrupting of your work flow.
Now I am using what is the first really modern web browser to come out since Firefox (sorry Safari, you may have an awesome rendering engine, but are way too simple and stubborn). Each tab has its own process and if it crashes, so what, my other tabs won’t go down either. This thing is blazing fast on the Mac, faster than Firefox could dream about with its non-native code. It has a UI that actually fits with the Mac and doesn’t look big/bloated (yes I am looking at you Firefox). It’s rendering engine is just as awesome as Safari’s since shares WebKit. Oh and it still manages to have extensions that work across all platforms (soon for the Mac, but I can hold on).
I know the Mozilla project is working hard on Firefox and hopefully it will improve, especially on the Mac. Until then, I think Chrome is calling my name.