The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dr. Google - Or How I Learned To Love Chrome.

Well, not really love...

To say that I coexist with Chrome is more accurate.  Two months ago, I absolutely despised Chrome.  It was a white-hot hatred that transcended the Mortal Plane.  I'm sure such powerful emotions were the trigger to some short bursts of telekinesis around me. 

I've been a Firefox user since the beginning.  I watched as Netscape was publicly executed by Microsoft years ago, and swore I would never again use IE.  Of course, that was only a precursor to my migration to Linux as my one and only OS.

The addons and extensions for Firefox sealed the deal.  Suddenly with a flick of my wrist, I could move the browser page forward or back, up or down.  I could right click and be presented with a multitude of choices to do stuff.  I could change the way Firefox looked, acted and responded.  

It was love at first byte.

Fast forward to this year...Just a few months into the Adobe decision that they would discontinue Linux support...

Roughly the same time frame that Oracle took over Java.

Suddenly, My Firefox Browser began to show wobbly legs and a weak back.    Flash was crashing every time I tried to take a video to full screen, websites like Pogo.com insisted that I needed an updated version of Java...even though I had the latest release from my repositories...

Even manual installation of the very latest via tar.gz didn't satisfy many of the "requirements" for Java.

And yeah...I'm sure there will be comments..."well, it works fine for me..."

Great, then I guess it doesn't suck to be you.

Help forums that span many of the major distros are full of these particular complaints.

And for seemingly no reason, in the middle of any given task, Firefox just poofed out of existence on my monitor.

"Would you like to send a crash report" it asked?

"Uh, you mean like the four dozen I've already sent today?  No thanks."
 
I installed Chrome like I was writing a eulogy.  In comparison, it was much like dancing with a corpse.  Stiff and unyielding, rigor that had set in deeply.  It insisted that the tabs reside on top of my URL bar....

No option for change. 

Some of the cool and nifty addons that were masterpieces in Firefox are akin to a six year old's scrawl in Chrome.  Mouse gestures refuse to work as advertised.   It refused to give me a dedicated search box like the Google Toolbar and my Gmail checker rarely announced new email in anything approaching a timely fashion.

But...It remained in the back of my mind that as Google goes....

So goes the Internet.  

Like it or not, Google is our Internet Overlord.  In many cases, they dictate what we see, hear and experience on the Internet. And in the past, they have intervened for the everyday computer user, protesting outrageous controls and censorship. Living a Google-free existence online is like taking a shower with your clothes on.  At first, I was fairly disgusted with myself for capitulating so quickly to them.  Like a caged animal, I looked feverishly for a way out.

There is no way out.  They have their hook in me.  My work and personal life lives in Googleland, in email and documents.  Our company calendar keeps track of Director's meetings and functions...it keeps me on track regardless of where I am.  Important documents are stored there...part of our three tier backup plan.

I have gotten used to what I consider to be an absence of features in Chrome.  I waste an entire tab on search results instead of being able to use a search box.  The jammed-together tabs and URL bar are an annoyance I live with. I must exert myself greatly to move the cursor to the slide bar to navigate my web pages.....

because it's 2013.  We have two rovers on Mars and Cancer is becoming a maintenance disease.  Information that was formally available to a given few is now open to anyone with access to a computer and internet.  But yet, after all of these accomplishments...

mouse gestures in Chrome still suck.

I'm  seeing a world where Google is not only our vehicle to travel the Information Highway...they may or may not be our toll gates as well.  I've come to live with that.

Because in the end...what good is a browser if it can't do its job?  Eventually, Firefox fails me shortly after a fresh install and I end up installing Chrome anyway.  I no longer include Firefox on Reglue computers.

I haven't learned to love Chrome...but only to coexist with it.  It's the best option available to me at this time.

And Flash, as evil as it is.....

Still works with Chrome.

All-Righty Then...






  

8 comments:

John C said...

Mouse gestures work well in Opera, who do a good job with their Linux releases.

Chrome bundles its own Flash binary which is why it's much less painful than in other browsers.

To Google's credit, they are really pushing for open standards on the web. Hopefully we'll only have to put up with Flash for another four or five years before it dies a long overdue death in favour of HTML5 and its successors.

Paul said...

I use Chrome more and more. I still use Firefox(Iceweasel), but I use Chrome more and more. I'm glad to hear you're doing well Ken. A part of me also believes your stubbornness also was part of your success. I say that with all due respect.

nightflier said...

Haven't gotten quite as far as you yet. Disabled Flash in Firefox and only switch to Chrome when I want to watch a video, which doesn't happen very often.

PV said...

I've also been a user of Mozilla Firefox since version 0.9. I consider myself lucky that Mozilla Firefox has always been good enough for me that I've never needed to consider switching; there are occasions when I do need to use Google Chrome (on other people's computers), and even then I can only just tolerate the experience.

I guess the bigger question though is whether corporate-supported tools will always win out over community-supported tools in the end though. Mozilla Firefox is the only community-supported browser (with help from the Mozilla Foundation, of course) that has enough momentum to be visible to the average user, and even then fewer people are using it than Google Chrome, which to me is a bit worrisome. That said, if nothing else, Mozilla Firefox did its job by shaking up the browser world, making a huge splash, and making the whole scene more competitive and more innovative.
--
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Curt- said...

Like Helios, I've been using Netscape since the stone-age of pulling it by ftp. It was the only browser I used on Linux until Konqueror came along.

I've been using Firefox next to Chrome for a while, for no better reason than that I know Google is tracking absolutely everything. I do not like to be tracked, but just like every packet has a source and destination, and is being tracked by the NSA, there can be no actual privacy on the network.

I don't use gestures, so I don't have that difficulty.

There is no "love" for Chrome. It works, it seems reliable, and at least I don't have a microphone and web cam for it to monitor me in those ways, too.

Ricardo Barberis said...

I'm also an Opera user, it works fine for me and it's a good alternative if you don't mind using a closed source browser.

I never got to switch from Firefox because most of the native Opera features I use are add-ons for Firefox, and I'd have to install and test several add-ons to find one that works like in Opera.

You know what they say about old habits...

Anyway, @Ken: have you tried Chromium? Or another Chromium-based browser like SRWare Iron?

Required Wikipedia link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_(web_browser)#Other_browsers_based_on_Chromium

Cheers

Ken Starks said...

Ricardo Thanks...

Seems that this isn't a firefox-only problem. Opera is now crashing on full page vids as well. Man I hate Flash.....

Stephen Dowe said...

Interesting. I can say, wholeheartedly and without reserve, that Firefox has always been totally reliable for me on Linux. I cannot say the same for Chrome, although it has come on in leaps and bounds over the last year.

But I still think Firefox is the #1 browser on Linux. It is absolutely rock solid.