Smoothwall Firewall project

Friday 26 June 2009

A funny thing happened on my way to web

I have been testing Firefox 3.5 and Chromium now for a while, and it dawned on me today that I'm using Chromium more and more, even though it is missing some plugins and options. I started to wonder why this might be, given that even in the developers eyes it is a very early release. The plain truth is the speed. I know some sites just don't render properly, like Vaughan-Nichols Linux blog, but I'm prepared to put up with that, because it just flies along. I use it for Gmail, Google reader , Google analytics , my blog, many forums, the BBC and it just works so much faster that I'm prepared to put up with it's foibles.If I do hit an issue I know I can always fall back to Firefox, which is normally the case when I want to watch something with Adobe Flash. This however will disappear the moment Chromium supports Adobe Flash, and we are not now talking many months away from that happening.

The Mozilla community have plenty of time to face the performance issues of Firefox on Linux before either Chromium or Google Chrome are out of the door, but they really are going to have face that daemon ;-)

The issue you see, is that on small power computers like Netbooks, every CPU cycle counts, even more so when the ARM based babies hit the streets, and Chromium with v8 is cutting the mustard now, and I can see many distros. , including the one I help with , Eeebuntu switching to Chromium simply for speed reasons.

I have every confidence that the Mozilla community will step up to the plate and address the issue, as version 3.5 is a big improvement over 3.0, and I it will be interested to see how 3.6 and eventually 4.0 shape up, but they have some real competition now and the Microsoft type complacency just won't be good enough.

If Google delivers on the rumours of a version of Android for the Intel Atom and the ARM processors, then they are going to be pushing Chromium very hard on all platforms, but especially there own, which is Linux at it's heart. The pressure on features like audio, video, Adobe flash, and ogg will be relentless and they have within this development community the talent to deliver these improvements. The pressure to improve these is only going to increase.

These are very interesting browsing times, and the only people to really benefit are the surfers.


Laura said...

I've been using chromium-browser on my desktop, and I find I miss it on my other machines because of how slick the interface is. It just feels so much easier to open a new tab and go somewhere than it does in Firefox

Codfather said...

Yes I agree. It's not just the speed it's also the overall feel of it. As I put in a previous post, I have changed my FF to look and feel as much like Chromium as I can. I have also just started looking at Opera again on Linux, and it has come on massively in the last year, so all the signs are great for Linux choices, at last.