Barq’s has bite; Firefox wimpers

2 06 2009

First off, I was a fan of the Opera web browser.  Then Google’s Chrome came out, and I converted to it.  Firefox?

I never really liked it.

Tunderbird, tabbed browsing, extensions, yap yap, moo, moo, quack.  Whatever.  Firefox’s tabbed browsing paled in comparison to that of Opera.  It’s just peachy now, but they really missed the target a few times until Firefox 3 came out.  It was like no matter how many options I put a check on to make it never open new windows for things, it would inevitably do it anyway, at some point during a casual browsing session.  And in terms of extensions, I think Chrome got the better idea: why make a browser that lacks features?  Why not just program the damn functionality into the damn browser in the first place?  At least Opera figured that one out.  Firefox still needs to restart after changing just about everything I try to do when setting it up for first use, and can’t figure out how to stop molesting me about extension updates that never actually matter.  (Seriously, either the ‘glasser’ extension works, or it doesn’t– stop halting the browser startup in order to flag me down about an extension that already does its job.) Even the Beta 4 for Firefox is 40% larger than it’s rival Opera release.  And why can’t they just stick to valid CSS directives?  Why must they make up crap that only works on Firefox?  Some say it’s in the name of theming the browser itself (since the browser UI is built on Javascript and CSS), but I think it’s also because the folks piloting FF aren’t any better than those at IE at following standards than those of their choice.

.. *ahem*..

But now Chrome came along and took everybody’s best ideas and flat out did them better.  Classic Google move, to jump-start an open source project to kick Microsoft between the legs (again (and again (and again, for kicks))).  Opera’s “Speed Dial”.  Opera’s ease of reopening closed tabs (and their history).  Firefox’s extension “Firebug” and whatever else the guy named the sub-extensions to debug Javascript.  IE’s (supposed) simplicity of interface (which isn’t simple at all, anymore).  Opera’s refusal to support website-dictated toolbars, that you never wanted in the first place.  Firefox’s open-source foundational idea, and Firefox’s integrated spellchecker (whose sucks really bad at guessing the correct word sometimes).  Opera’s ability to simply duplicate the current tab.

But today I’m trying to tap into my personal Microsoft TechNet account, and for some reason IE can’t figure out how to launch a download with their “FTM” (File Transfer Manager) successfully.  I finally found some knowledge-base article that mentions in passing that 64-bit IE won’t work with the ActiveX controls required to launch manager.

Well, Chrome is IE’s younger bastard step brother that does everything better, except when sabvotaged by MS directly, so Chrome doesn’t work with TechNet’s initiated downloads, either.

So I concede to go get Firefox (grumble grumble, at least Beta 4 is better than vanilla version 3.0.x), and am appauled at the download speed I’m getting.  I started off with a whopping 4k per second, and it only went downhill from there.  After pleaing for a speedup for a good minute or two, I decided to speedtest against an Opera download:

Are you serious?

Are you serious?

Of course, this has absolutely no reflection on the quality of the browser itself, but… why.. must it be so crappy?  It’s unreal.  Nobody’s web server should be dishing out a download speed more suitable for measurement in bits.  I sell my wireless connection to 3 other apartments of 2 people each, and so these speeds aren’t top-noch anyway.  And even if I’m going through a slow mirror on that download for FF, … why on earth is it allowed to be on the list of mirrors (of which I didn’t get to choose) with speeds like that?

This is crap loaded onto the top of the existing pile, in my mind, so take it as you will.

I just needed to let the world know that Firefox is not the answer to *everybody*’s prayer for a better world.  I’ve been happier with broken hardware, and reading about Windows shell extention programming (which are sometimes very closely related…)

PS – Some really good short videos about Chrome.  No other browser can compare, because Chrome doesn’t concern itself with just being mediocre at everything.  If you don’t like it, you probably haven’t really used it long enough or hard enough, or something goofy happened to you (like on my 64-bit desktop, Chrome doesn’t seem to cooperate, while on my 64-bit laptop, it works wonders).