Chrome vs. Firefox

Firefox is great.  I've been a fan for a long time and it was my exclusive browser for years.  However, I've recently noticed more crashes and instability and I decided to try an alternative.  I installed Chrome a while ago but it has sat mostly dormant on my drive.  A week ago I decide to make the switch.

First, this isn't really a fair comparison.  My Firefox profile has years of bloat and plugins.  Comparing this to a pristine Chrome install is certainly not Apples to Apples.  But that said...

Chrome's model of one process per tab seems to be much more solid than Firefox's single process approach.  I have not had a single crash or general 'Not Responding' issue with Chrome.  However, I have noticed that switching to tabs that I have not used recently often triggered a delay and furious disk activity.  It is a trade off, but I think the Chrome approach is preferable.

Search - I'm used to hitting the / key and typing to search within a page.  It is Ctrl-F in Chrome.  Ctrl-F is probably more consistent with other apps, but muscle memory is tough to change.

File Downloads - I'm used to using a plugin on Firefox (Download Statusbar) and I like the Firefox plugin better than the Chrome default.  Specifically I like the ability to pause, resume, and copy a download URL.  

The Chrome window itself is very googley, and by that I mean sparse. There is no status bar, only a link display when you select or hover hypertext.  There is no title bar and so far I have not added any new toolbars.  I really like the ability to move tabs into their own window or a separate window.

The one feature I miss the most is the ability to create shortcut bookmarks to search functions.  For Wikipedia and IMDB, I have shortcuts created so that I can type 'imdb start trek' in the address bar or 'wiki Star Trek' and it will take me to the search result page.  I'm not sure if you can do this in Chrome but if you can I have not found it yet.

I also find that Chrome's built in spell checker is inconsistent.  It does not seem to work at all in Blogger's edit box, but in other cases it works fine.  Obviously this is annoying.

There are a lot of similarities and it is obvious the Chrome team set out to build a 'better Firefox', as opposed to a radical new approach.  The bottom line is that both browsers work well and either could serve as my default.  For now though, I'm going to continue the Chrome experiment.

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