Firefox Hypocrite


Firefox vs. Chrome
The battle is close but for me Chromium wins with a TKO!

Lately I have been feeling guilty because on one hand I am a Mozilla Evangelist working with the Mozilla Rep and WebFWD program trying to further our goals while on the other hand I’m using Google Chrome and loving it.

During OSCON I felt really guilty when I shared with fellow Mozilla Rep Brian King the fact that I did not used Firefox and I even set out to force myself to try to switch to Firefox and ultimately after spending the rest of July running Firefox I came to the conclusion that Firefox in its current state is not the best browser for me although it has plenty of add-ons and a great UI that is totally customizable.

When it comes down to it Google Chrome or Chromium on Ubuntu is capable of loading and rendering web content much faster for me. In the end the most important factor for me is being able to minimize the amount of time it takes me to do any task in my workflow whether it’s booting into Ubuntu, pulling or pushing code or loading a webpage.

Although I have no metrics to share it really does seem like there is an additional two seconds in most page loads on Firefox and often times  Firefox does not seem to be able to render a page or has some sort of issue with HTTP connections.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to make my Firefox experience just as trouble-free and fast at Chromium (Google Chrome) then do not hesitate to comment below but until there is a fool-proof way to do exactly that I will stick with what works best for me.

Notably I still use Thunderbird, Firefox Mobile (Android) and other Mozilla driven products!


  1. markya says

    Indeed Chrome/Chromium is faster. I can vouch for that too. Most of the time there are pages where Chrome really beats Firefox by a wide margin. Despite the boost in speed, I still use Firefox as my primary browser but also use Chrome for development as well. Looking at the list of active connections, when I load a page on Chrome, multiple connections are spawned. With Firefox it’s not the same. Is that why Chrome is faster? I thought that’s an old trick in the book, why is Firefox not using that?

    • ikt123 says

      Yes, syncing is a feature I 100% require, and it’s just a matter of signing into my google account which takes 5 seconds, with firefox there’s something about sync keys and stuff and I quickly cbf. If they set it up so you just had a mozilla account or even an openid and signed into that would be much easier.

      • Ladislav Ezr says

        Well, I still think that this approach is more secure than just telling all your passwords to uncle Google :)
        But something like being able to sync your passwords with U1 account would be nice :)

      • abral says

        Firefox Sync is more secure, your data is encrypted two times, one on your end and one on the Mozilla end.
        So, as the data is encrypted on your end, no one (not even Mozilla) can access your data.

            • ikt123 says

              So you’ve admitted that the product that’s supposed to be as simple as possible isn’t, deliberately, that’s fine, if it works well for you then so much the better, but I’m willing to bet most people would prefer an easier sign on and sync on vs double encryption.

              If this is all a matter of values then the popularity of firefox is under no contention, but it is, popularity is crucial, with no users firefox makes no money, and if it makes no money how will it ‘better the web’?

              I don’t really care either way, when I hated IE5 and 6 I used Opera, firefox was always slow and buggy, then Chrome came out, I no longer use opera and just use firefox as a backup, if firefox stopped tomorrow I’d go back to Opera, so I have nothing to gain out of this conversation, just fyi.

    • Nicholas Skaggs says

      Yes, I switched back a month or so ago and found it refreshing, fast and
      delightful. It’s come a long way since I left, and the add-ons I’ve
      missed I have once more.

    • abral says

      It’s more difficult to setup because you have your data encrypted also on your end. So no one can access your data, not even Mozilla!

  2. epikvision says

    Google Chrome’s syncing feature is definitely top-notch: it’s too convenient whatever machine we’re using. I prefer Firefox because it reads Korean characters well.

  3. Bilal Akhtar says

    The syncing feature was what brought me over to Chrome territory. When using multiple systems, it’s really straightforward to just log into your Google account and see everything sync and change instantly.

    Another reason why many people (including me) use Chrome, is webkit. Far too many websites nowadays are optimized for Webkit (the -webkit CSS extensions are very popular). It’s much faster than gecko too, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

    If Gecko catches up, or Firefox moves over to Webkit, it would become much faster, and I’ll jump ship in a heartbeat.

      • Bilal Akhtar says

        Page loads are definitely faster, Chrome’s V8 JS engine and webkit are the reason for that. But Chrome can get slow if you have too many tabs open since it takes up significantly more RAM than Firefox. This is because Chrome starts a new process for each tab.

        If you have lots of RAM, then Chrome would be faster for you. If you have a shortage of memory (4GB or less), then Firefox will give you better and more consistent performance.

        • abral says

          How can you say that webkit is faster than gecko? Do you have any technical reason for that?
          Instead the JavaScript Engine doesn’t affect too much page load times, it’s just a matter of microseconds.

  4. Ladislav Ezr says

    Have you ever tried FasterFox? That small addon? Before I installed it Chromium was much faster, but know FF wins. So give it a try 😉
    (Or you can edit the about:config manually…)

      • Ladislav Ezr says

        BTW you should be able to install two of them, normal and lite. The lite version is the one without ads after installing (it’s just two screens after browser restart). Other than that, they are the same.
        And be sure to turn on the turbo mode, although it says that you could have problem with it I never had one, not even on slow connection.

  5. abral says

    I can’t see this slowness you’re talking about, and it’s strange for a Mozilla Rep to write such a weird post. You should know that a problem like that is obviously a bug and you should file one or more bugs on bugzilla to get a technical opinion.
    Maybe it’s a known problem with one of your addons or there’s something strange happening with your profile, but the situation you described isn’t common.

    • says

      It doesn’t necessarily mean its a bug Firefox and competiting browsers have different cores and render content some what differently which is why there are differences in content loading among browsers. Further start up times for various browsers also depends on a variety of factors which don’t all suggest a bug.

      • Ladislav Ezr says

        Well, Chrome(ium) have fast start-up only because it’s preloaded in memory…

      • abral says

        It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bug (even if I think it is, because I and many others don’t see these additional two seconds for each page load), but it’s worth to check before writing such a blog post.
        At least this is what I’d have done if I had been you. I never criticize something (above all in public) before actually checking if the criticism is right.
        You could have filed a bug or asked on IRC and you’d probably have an answer to your problem. Remember that, even if the rendering engines are different, there isn’t a so big performance difference in the normal case. Most probably you’re hitting an edge case, and so should communicate the problem to the developers.

  6. abral says

    Ah, if a lifehacker post sais so… It MUST be true, mustn’t it? Please, such tests are ridiculous, far from being technical or scientific. And, FWIW, it’s also an old test.