It’s Episode Twenty-six of Season Eight of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson is back with Laura Cowen, Martin Wimpress, and Alan Pope!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
In this week’s show:
- We chat about Firefox and Chrome and whether Firefox’s new changes will turn it around.
- We go over your feedback, including a list of the apps we discussed in our Ubuntu Phone review a few episodes ago (you can find them all in the uApp Explorer):
- Telegram – encrypted instant messaging like WhatsApp
- Seshat – reading Kindle ebooks
- Notes – writing notes; syncs with Evernote
- uDropCabin – basic mobile client for Dropbox
- Also, here’s the list of links about Mint MATE:
- We have a command line love, hstr) from Chris.
- We chat about getting LibreOffice working on the Ubuntu Phone, watching frankly amazing TV, going on holiday and eating a lot of pierogi (but not bringing any back for us), and listening to the Third World Linux podcast.
That’s all for this week, please send your comments and suggestions to: [email protected]
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Another great show. So you, on the other side of the pond, don’t know what West-Wing is?
Glad to hear that Ubuntu Mate is 3rd World certified.
Firefox’s killer feature for me is grouped tabs. It keeps my millions of open tabs manageable. Plus the only tabs it will load on startup are the pinned ones.
Generally I only use Chrome for Google’s services or sites that insist on still using flash for videos.
With Chromium you can watch Netflix and use Flash at least on Arch.
It just doesn’t come by default with support for it.
My browser of choice is Chromium atm.
Mainly because of the synchronisation between devices.
I do a lot of “research” on the go and have at times 20-30 tabs open on the phone which I then would like to have available on the computer. This works most of the time really well.
It’s also quite nice to have the ability to launch sites in a separate window so that you don’t have the GUI of Chromium.
I do this with Play Music, WhatsApp, TTRSS, my Webmail and Netflix.
I tried Firefox many times (and still do whenever there’s an interesting update) because I wouldn’t have a problem ditching another Google product.
However the IMO bad performance (especially video), non-working Netflix and the missing device synchronisation are the main reasons why I’m still using Chromium.
In addition the Android app was quite uncomfortable to use as a lefty.
Reaching the tabs button in the upper right corner from the left side over a six inch screen is quite a challenge.
Lastly the whole thing needs IMO a face lift, both the desktop and the Android version feel a bit clunky and outdated to use.
Interesting to hear that popey have more crashing issues with Firefox than Chrome as I use both since “forever” and I do have a lots of tabs open but in contrast to Chrome I can count on one hand how many times this year Firefox crashed on me (to be exact two times – one of them being my own fault, when Firefox ask to be restarted it really does need to be restarted). Also I had never experienced issue of a corrupt profile. I’m also not much of a extension user (except NoScript in Firefox).
As much of my issues (Chrome crashing and Firefox being sluggish and memory hungry) got quite better with latest versions I intend to keep and use both.
BTW, if your banking site uses Java or you learned to love iDRAC (or insert_your_favorite_plugin_that_uses_npapi) then Chrome, as of current stable 45, is a no go.
Interesting discussion about Firefox vs. Chrome. Alan’s experience of Firefox sounds pretty dire. Except for a few brief tries with Chrome, I’ve been browsing with Firefox since 2007 and have never had the kinds of problems he described, although he seems to have different use cases (sounded like complicated developer stuff). I use an ad-blocker, so maybe that prevents the crashes caused by adverts?
I was particularly interested in what you said about Chrome’s advantage of running a separate process for each tab and about how it might affect performance. I’m a computer technician and a lot of my customers use Chrome as their default browser (usually because it’s been bundled with other ex gratia software which they’ve downloaded from the Internet and they haven’t checked the installation options), so I use it when working on their machines. As you know, when Chrome was first released, there was a period when Firefox seemed to lag behind quite a lot. However, since then, Mozilla seems to have really pushed forward with Firefox development and, a few years ago, it seemed like it came on par. One thing I’ve noticed is that Firefox uses less RAM than Chrome. On desktop computers with 1 or 2 GB, Firefox runs much better than Chrome (both on Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 8). Admittedly, modern machines will have more RAM than this, but it still indicates Firefox’s better memory efficiency.
Overall, my two cents is that Chrome seems to be ahead in some aspects, while Firefox seems to be ahead in others, but neither is clearly technically superior. I’d rather not send lots of personal data to Google and, given Firefox’s FOSS and privacy-respecting nature, I choose Firefox. (By similar assessment, I choose Ubuntu over OS X, but that’s another subject.)
Sorry about the long post. Hope this doesn’t count as an essay. 🙂
I think my browser usage is similar to Martin’s. I use Chromium as a streaming media player and Firefox for everything else (like Nebucatnetzer mentioned, it is possible to install the Widevine module from Chome into Chromium so that Netflix works; the Arch chromium-widevine package shows how to do this). Alan’s crashing problems puzzle me because I don’t have any issues with Firefox but it sounds like he has tried a lot of configurations to get around them without success.
Mark mentioned the newer Add-on SDK for Firefox in the discussion of XUL deprecation. The SDK provides a limited API for interfacing with Firefox through various modules and then has one module (called “chrome”) that provides access to the XUL and thus everything that older XUL add-ons can do. I don’t have hard numbers but my impression is that a lot of the Firefox add-ons built with the SDK use the chrome module and so will still be affected by XUL deprecation even though the SDK will continue to be “supported” (“supported” likely means supported other than the chrome module and supported in maintenance mode without new features before being phased out in favor of WebExtensions some time in the future).
The WebExtensions announcement disappointed me because it seemed like Mozilla was taking away a lot the customizability that I liked, but since that announcement they have taken some steps to indicate that WebExtensions will be compatible with Chrome’s API but provide additional API’s to enable many of the features currently available with XUL but not with Chrome extensions, so we have to wait and see how it turns out. Having a proper extension API with the ability to limit access to various internals would be a lot more sane the current model where every add-on has access to basically every part of Firefox. On the other hand, I am sympathetic to the argument that a well-defined API will limit add-on innovation because add-on developers will have to advocate for new API’s before building add-ons that use new features rather than the current model where everything is accessible. With recent security issues like the pdf.js vulnerability and the Bugzilla hack, it’s hard to criticize Mozilla for taking steps to harden Firefox security.
I agree, Firefox has rarely ever crashed on me. On the other hand I have constant crashes in Chrome. I also find my older computers have no problem with firefox, while chrome causes them to freeze . Firefox is my first choice, I use chrome when to view Netflix and that’s about it.
Oh, I don’t want to forget to say that Ubuntu Mate is my favorite Ubuntu flavor.
I’m an Ubuntu mate fanboy.
Hi Guys _Thanks for the show. Re FF vs Chrome: My main box is a desktop where I find Chrome takes much longer to come up. I prefer FF, but had problems with Facebook when I couldn’t make comments also active maps would blank so I couldn’t control them. These problems were not so with Chrome. However, I’ve just discovered that turning off the hardware acceleration on FF cured the problems.
I only use Windows for the ABBYY OCR app. Linux OCR apps don’t have the functionality.
As others have mentioned Chrome is a memory hog. I have loaded 10 random tabs in both Firefox (956.9 MiB) and Chrome (1.8 GiB). Memory usage calculated by, https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pixelb/ps_mem/master/ps_mem.py