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Bye Firefox

Photo by Garrrett LeSage

Love, without any reason. Leave, with a good reason.

Last week, I made my decision to switch from Firefox to Chromium. Although it’s not my first time trying to ditch Firefox, I’m quite sure this time it would be the last time. As I’m a reasonable person, therefore, I put my thoughts in this post with the reason why I made my decision.

A pressure from outside

I didn’t really remember since when I started to use Firefox, I always have it as my main browser. Back to the old good day, Firefox relies on its lightweight and fast speed amazing the world. No doubt it was the best browser. Nowadays, it is still one of the most popular browsers but definitely not top one. Many statics show it dramatically lost users here [1] and here [2]. It’s disappointed to see the number of Firefox users keep shrinking. During the decline in 2015, Firefox tops IE & Edge browser market share for the first time. It was especially ironic.

Is Firefox not good enough? It’s probably good enough. But its competitors are better. I ran some performance tests, like JetStream, Octane 2.0, Speedometer on Firefox v52 and Chromium v56 with my Linux desktop. Chromium wins them all and beats Firefox easily. Besides that, personally I prefer Chromium built-in devtool and Postman is a huge +1.

These facts become a pressure from outside that weighs on Firefox. Once you run behind others, and you put all the effort to catch up. What people will see is that you’re following the same path, which others did already. It’s damn sad.

A reason of love

When one performs obviously better than another, why I should keep both? Yes I do have a reason, the only reason I feel comfortable to stay with Firefox. Vimperator a Firefox-only add-on which completely changes Firefox interface and turns it to vim-like. It provides me an efficient way to use the browser. I’m totally fascinated by it.

As we all know, this year Firefox will face some big changes. One of them is e10s. Sadly, Vimperator seams won’t support e10s and the site Are we e10s yet? marks Vimperator as incompatible. It’s about time, sooner this November, anyway I will say goodbye to Vimperator, to Firefox. That’s it.

Now I live well with Chromium. There are lots of alternatives to try: Vimium, cVim, Vrome and this interesting idea… I know they are not as powerful as Vimperator. To fit my needs, they’re good enough.

A future of uncertainty

Moz://a really pushes hard to fully rollout Electrolysis functionality this year. The main change like Multiprocess, it will boost performance certainly. But it’s a two-blade sword, Firefox will perhaps become another memory hog. Yes, it’s gonna be like Chrome. Regarding the recent changes, I feel Firefox is different, unfamiliar or lost: Firefox Goes PulseAudio Only, Leaves ALSA Users With No Sound, What’s up with Firefox, the browser that time forgot?, Firefox Add-ons Roadmap for 2017

To make Firefox a better browser, surely there are reasons behind all changes. Maybe it’s me who cannot clearly understand them, who think the future is uncertain, who still believe in Firefox this year would have a new beginning, not the end.

Firefox changed the world before, and now the world is changing Firefox. What does the Fox say?

[1] Browser Market Share Jan 2010 - Feb 2017
[2] W3Schools’ Famous Month-by-Month Browser Statistics