Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 21:36 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
Internet & Networking Now this is a subject sure to cause some discussion among all of you. LifeHacker's Adam Pash is arguing that Chrome has overtaken Firefox as the browser of choice for what he calls 'power users'; polls among LifeHacker's readership indeed seem to confirm just that. He also gives a number of reasons as to why this is the case.
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RE: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 23:05 UTC in reply to "Tabs on top"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I switched to Chrome as soon as they released the Linux beta for one reason: It puts the tabs on top (as in, they can be accessed with the mouse at the top of the screen). This is a huge usability advantage as shown by Fitt's law. I never really noticed a difference in speed or anything else. Yes, I know there is an extension to do this in Firefox, but it is slow and interacts poorly with window managers. If Firefox gets real support for this, then I will definitely switch back.


Firefox 4 puts tabs on top by default (it can be changed back if you like). Firefox 4's Jaegermonkey javascript engine will just about match Chrome's V8 javascript engine, and Firefox 4 will support hardware accelerated page rendering and compositing, which will outperform Chrome's rendering speeds by many times over.

Firefox 4 should match Chrome for usability, and beat it handily for overall speed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Tabs on top
by panzi on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 23:12 in reply to "RE: Tabs on top"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

Firefox 4's Jaegermonkey javascript engine will just about match Chrome's V8 javascript engine, and Firefox 4 will support hardware accelerated page rendering and compositing, which will outperform Chrome's rendering speeds by many times over.

I believe it when I see it. Don't get me wrong, I really hope this will be the case but judging from some nightlies I really do not have much hope in that. I have to try a fresh nightly, though. Oh and I use Firefox. I only use Chrome when some site is just to horrible slow with Firefox (e.g. when browsing a very long archive on tumblr Firefox sometimes gets so slow it needs >15 seconds to react after each click).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 23:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Firefox 4's Jaegermonkey javascript engine will just about match Chrome's V8 javascript engine, and Firefox 4 will support hardware accelerated page rendering and compositing, which will outperform Chrome's rendering speeds by many times over.
I believe it when I see it. Don't get me wrong, I really hope this will be the case but judging from some nightlies I really do not have much hope in that. I have to try a fresh nightly, though. Oh and I use Firefox. I only use Chrome when some site is just to horrible slow with Firefox (e.g. when browsing a very long archive on tumblr Firefox sometimes gets so slow it needs >15 seconds to react after each click). "

The nightlies are sometimes a bit of pot luck, in that it is possible to get regressions.

I run the latest Chrome and Firefox 4 nightlies side by side on the same system each and every day. Some days Chrome is way faster, and other days (depending on the nigthly build), there is no perceptible difference in speed at all.

As it always has done, from an end user point of view, Firefox and its extensions still maintains an appreciable edge in functionality over Chrome, no matter the speed.

Also, if you are running Linux, you might consider running Chromium instead of Chrome, since Chromium does not send any of your browsing metrics type of data back to Google as Chrome does.

Finally, because different browsers optimise javascript differently, so speed comparisons can easily go different ways. For example ... the V8 javascript benchmark is called "V8" because it is actually named after Chrome's javascript engine. If you want another benchmark that isn't set up to show off the performance of Chrome's V8 javascript engine in particular, here is a new one that you might trial:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mozilla_releases_the_kraken_a_...
http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2010/09/14/release-the-kraken-2/
http://krakenbenchmark.mozilla.com/index.html

Lies, damn lies and statistics, after all, can be made to say whatever one would like them to say.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Tabs on top
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 23:15 in reply to "RE: Tabs on top"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I try the FF4 test releases. I still find FF4 slow, especially responsiveness-wise, Chrome kicks every other browser's ass. Launching Chrome is instant, FF4 - not so much. FF4's interface is still the same monstrosity, just prettied up. It's nowhere near as fast as Chrome. FF has too much baggage.

As for loading pages:

arewefastyet.com/

Says it all. Still a long way to go.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by Erunno on Fri 24th Sep 2010 09:04 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

As for loading pages:

arewefastyet.com/


This has nothing to do with how fast pages load, it's just a couple of synthetic JavaScript benchmarks. During IE8 and IE9 development the IE team released a couple of interesting articles about the complexity of loading a web page. Hint: It's not just dependent on JavaScript execution speed. Depending on the site it can be rather minuscule compared to layouting, rendering, marshaling and unmarshaling of data, etc. A lot of speed issues get attributed to JS these days even if they have nothing to do with it. That's why some sites load faster (subjectively) in Firefox as Chrome is by no means leader in every aspect.

As for why I stay with Firefox for the time being:

-AwesomeBar. Omnibar is no competition for it. I don't need Google search as often as quickly pulling some sites I know from history or bookmarks. Bookmark tagging has completely changed the way how I organize my bookmarks, especially the ones which do not clearly fit into a single category (thus making a hierarchical folder organization rather painful).

-History sync between my computers. Having (mostly) the same history is a boon for a seamless browsing experience. Password sync is also only a partially solved problem on Chrome as extensions can't access the native store and have to use their own stores thus binding me to the extension/service.

-Privacy: True third-party cookie blocking (not some half-assed one like Safari, IE and Chrome), referrer spoofing, easy Flash cookie management (aka LSOs), overriding maximum age of cookies (against those 20+ years cookies), etc.

-Better extension ecosystem: Chrome may close in in sheer numbers, but a lot of the extensions leave a lot to be desired due to Google's approach to lock down extensions. Nothing compared to Firefox' extension which can remodel pretty much every aspect of the browser.

-Chrome does not scroll down a full page when hitting space but some kind of 8/10. This is driving me nuts because instead of continuing to read a web page at the top I have to find the point where I left of which is distracting.

-Bonus points for Mozilla's clear stance on keeping the web open.

Chrome though really is unmatched at the moment when it comes to interface performance, something I really hope Firefox one day will accomplish as well. They are half-way there with Firefox 4.0 but not yet in the same league as Chrome. Chrome also has a lot of small interface tweaks which makes it instantly pleasant to use. I only realized that when I looked at Mozilla's so-called "papercut issues" (a list of common Firefox annoyances), many which have never been an issue with Chrome from the beginning.

In the end I'm not really sure if power users are leaving Firefox for Chrome or just the easily pleased hipsters. After all, Firefox is a power user's wet dream due to its huge modifiability. It certainly gives more power to me as a user into my hands than Chrome does.

Edited 2010-09-24 09:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Tabs on top
by Zifre on Thu 23rd Sep 2010 23:58 in reply to "RE: Tabs on top"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Firefox 4 puts tabs on top by default (it can be changed back if you like).

You missed the key part: that tabs can be accessed with the mouse at the top of the screen (e.g. like the Mac menu bar). Firefox doesn't do this (at least not on Linux).

Firefox 4's Jaegermonkey javascript engine will just about match Chrome's V8 javascript engine, and Firefox 4 will support hardware accelerated page rendering and compositing, which will outperform Chrome's rendering speeds by many times over.

I doubt they will ever match Chrome's speed in synthetic tests. But I don't really care. I have no complaints about Firefox's speed (of course, faster is always better), and I'll definitely switch back if they give me my precious tabs on top.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Fri 24th Sep 2010 00:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I doubt they will ever match Chrome's speed in synthetic tests. But I don't really care. I have no complaints about Firefox's speed (of course, faster is always better), and I'll definitely switch back if they give me my precious tabs on top.


I too doubt that Firefox's Jaegermonkey javascript engine will ever match Chrome's V8 javascript engine in the V8 javascript benchmark.

But then again, Firefox's Jaegermonkey javascript engine already outperforms Chrome's V8 javascript engine in Mozilla's new Kraken javascript benchmark.

I'll leave it up to the reader to try to figure out why the V8 benchmark is named as it is. The bottom line is that benchmarks are useful for measuring exactly how speedily different browsers run the benchmark ... but they are not necessarily much good for anything else.

Perhaps it might be instructive to look at what the benchmarks are said to be trying to measure.

Edited 2010-09-24 00:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Fri 24th Sep 2010 00:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You missed the key part: that tabs can be accessed with the mouse at the top of the screen (e.g. like the Mac menu bar). Firefox doesn't do this (at least not on Linux).


On Linux, one can always choose a Window style that doesn't have a titlebar of any significant width at all ...

... if you choose such a Window style, then "tabs on top" does exactly what you want, even on Linux.

Alternatively, have you ever run a browser "fullscreen"?

Edited 2010-09-24 00:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Tabs on top
by molnarcs on Fri 24th Sep 2010 06:14 in reply to "RE: Tabs on top"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Firefox 4 should match Chrome for usability, and beat it handily for overall speed.


Take that with a grain of salt, especially since the Firefox guys publish benchmarks comparing their latest code with code released months ago. One has to wonder why... Don't assume - like FF devs do -- that the Chrome devs collectively went on a holiday after the 6.xxx release! Besides, why would I trust a benchmark released by Mozilla itself using their own benchmarking tools over something like peacekeeper, that seems to simulate real world scenarios (social networking, logins, encrypting connections, graphics commonly or not so commonly encountered on webpages, etc.). As it stands now, their new javascript engine must beat the one in FF 3.6 by 250% to become competitive against current stable release of Chrome.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Fri 24th Sep 2010 06:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Take that with a grain of salt, especially since the Firefox guys publish benchmarks comparing their latest code with code released months ago. One has to wonder why... Don't assume - like FF devs do -- that the Chrome devs collectively went on a holiday after the 6.xxx release!


Chrome is contiinuously updated.

Look at this:
arewefastyet.com

The site compares the javascript engines from the very latest Firefox builds with the very latest Chrome and Safari builds.

There are no "released months ago" factors there.

The point stands ... the latest builds of Firefox are closing in on the latest builds of Safari and Chrome ... even for performance on the Safari and Chrome benchmark tests (called sunspider and v8bench).

The latest build of Firefox passed by the latest builds of both Safari and Chrome some time ago on the Firefox benchmark test (which is called Kraken).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Tabs on top
by lemur2 on Fri 24th Sep 2010 06:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Tabs on top"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As it stands now, their new javascript engine must beat the one in FF 3.6 by 250% to become competitive against current stable release of Chrome.


Yes. Quite so.

http://www.webmonkey.com/category/javascript/
The new benchmark indicates that Firefox 4 (with the new JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine) is more than 2.5x faster than the current stable version of Firefox 3.6.


Where is the problem with that?

Edited 2010-09-24 06:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2