Google Chrome Is The New Phoenix Browser

I remember years back discovering a browser called Phoenix, which later became Firefox. Phoenix was:

...created to combat the perceived software bloat of the Mozilla Suite... ... which integrated features such as IRC, mail and news, and WYSIWYG HTML editing into one software suite.

At the time I loved Phoenix. Version 0.1 is when I think I first found it. It felt like a browser ought to - super light and super fast.

What has happened to Phoenix? It has turned in to Firefox 3.6, which takes an age to load and now looks and feels just like the bloatware Phoenix was trying not to be.

I no longer use Firefox apart from testing and sometimes to I can use the HttpWatch or HTML Tidy plugins. Although, to be honest, I'd try for IE before Firefox. It feels like every time I launch Firefox it has to nag me about some system update or other and I then need and restart it before I can even get started.

Enter Google Chrome. The new Phoenix. It's that same breath of fresh air Phoenix was back then. Super light-feeling, damn quick and updates happen almost without you knowing it.

I just hope Chrome doesn't end up bloated and ugly too.


    • avatar
    • Richard Shergold
    • Tue 26 Oct 2010 03:34 AM

    I agree. I love Chrome and use it all day every day.

    • avatar
    • Dragon Cotterill
    • Tue 26 Oct 2010 04:07 AM

    I'll stick with Opera thank you very much. It had most of the extensions and plugins way before all the others (tabbed browsing, remembered sessions, shared bookmarks etc.). And it's still faster than anything else on the market... though Chrome does come close.

  1. I use Chrome since its launch. And each day is used more ;)

  2. Compared to IE8, Firefox is still way faster and better. Until now there are many things that do not work with Chrome but do work in Firefox. Therefore I will stay with Firefox for now. And FF 4.0 will be faster, too. (But it IS bloated, you are right...)

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Tue 26 Oct 2010 05:21 AM

      When I talked about speed I should have made it clear I was talking about time to start the browser, rather than page rendering speeds. I don't know which of the browsers is quicker in that respect (surely nobody can really tell in general use?!) but I know that I open/close browser windows all the time and only Chrome launces in an instant. The others have a lag I can do without.

      Show the rest of this thread

  3. I know what you mean about fast startup and general feel of speed. Yet I'm still on Opera, which has always felt faster in general usage for me.

    I don't see Chrome ever *feeling* slower, but I do think it has already become slower. However, Google's developers are smart, and have hidden the slow parts in the background - getting the interface up first is their priority.

    Whether that will still work when you have plenty of extensions installed, or whether the address bar (for example) will sit there in a recalcitrant and unmoving manner until everything has started up - well, that will be the test!

    I also used Firefox since it was Pheonix, and it's always been my second browser. It may well shortly become my primary browser, but not because of speed.

    Instead, it'll be my primary browser because of integration with other apps and services. Firefox is the gold standard for integration, and seems set to continue in that role. Chrome is a distant second, IE is an abomination, and Opera is dead last for integration purposes.

    So I suspect that whilst Chrome's feel of speed is tempting, Firefox's greater utility means it will be my next browser...

    • avatar
    • Travis Hiscock
    • Tue 26 Oct 2010 06:51 AM

    Shame Lotus Domino only supports IE, Firefox and Safari.

    Is anyone aware of any iNotes issues with Chrome?

      • avatar
      • Steve Smillie
      • Tue 26 Oct 2010 07:50 AM

      There are a few iNotes issues. A couple I know of (both 8.5.1, probably others):

      - First you need to set a server notes.ini to prevent the warnings about unsupported browser.

      - If your preference is set to prompt whether to save on sending email is sent, the prompt box fails and you can't send the email. Workaround it to change that preference to always save or always not save.

  4. I also only use Firefox for Firebug anymore. I have disabled AutoUpdate which cured the notorious update saga for me (As I only use Firefox for testing security does not matter that much to me).

    There are things I don't like about Chrome. For example that I cannot select the install directory and that I hardly ever know what version I am currently running.

    I hope Yahoo one day will port FoxyTunes to Chrome. I also use Firebug on Firefox a lot. The Mozilla Foundation is getting 60 Mio. $ per year from Google but the contract ends in 2011. It will be interesting if the partnership continues.

    • avatar
    • Ferdy
    • Tue 26 Oct 2010 11:51 AM

    Chrome is definitely the fast kid, but as for startup time I find it to be a non issue. The difference is hardly measurable at my machine. I dont care if it takes .2 secs or .4 secs.

    Although I do prefer Chrome over FF in terms of simplicity, I still mostly use FF because of its plugins, particularly Zend for server-side debugging, Firebug + Yslow + Google Page Speed, some screen capturing tools and others. Together these make for a rich, fast, capable browser.

    • avatar
    • Perttu
    • Wed 27 Oct 2010 04:20 AM

    I too have started using Chrome more and more. Usually it is now my "private" browser at work (for Facebook etc). Firefox becomes too slow after a couple of hours Firebug sessions. Still doing the development in Firefox because of Firebug. Cannot live without.

    Too bad there still are those great extensions for Firefox which I have not found for other browsers. Adblock plus blocks adds properly (yes, there are similar ad blockers for other browsers but not as good as Adblock plus with FF, or is there?) and Sage reads the RSS for me.

    When Chrome has Adblock plus, Firebug and Sage or similar as good alternatives, then I probably could stop using FF.

    • avatar
    • Patrick L
    • Wed 27 Oct 2010 05:04 AM

    I use FF largely because of an extension called 'Rights To Close' which closes the current window or tab if you double right click, it gives me fond memories of Notes every time I use it !

  5. I use Firefox and am satisfied with it.

    As for the load time. Disable all the plugins, and it will get as fast as any other browser.

    1. Exactly! I think many of us in the tech world, who have been already using Firefox for many years, and who have thus collected up a pretty sizable profile worth of extensions, addons, themes, and customizations; we honestly never even get to see just how fast Firefox starts up, when it's installed completely anew. It's actually still very fast.

  6. Chrome is very fast, however the privacy concerns are to much for me so I use firefox. I believe there is a perpetual license that *anything* submitted through Chrome can be used by Google at it's discretion. To much of a trade off.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Sat 30 Oct 2010 01:23 AM

      Are you saying that Google can see all data submitted over HTTP through the Chrome browser? Surely not.

  7. It's not so much about the technical aspect of chrome (and I'm sure the world can see what chrome is exactly doing since I think it is open source...) but the legalise that is attached to chrome is pretty scary:

    "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

    Now in fairness to Google,they've come back and said they are going to change it.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Mon 1 Nov 2010 03:49 AM

      By "the Services" are they referring to their own sites, like for GMail?

      Surely, for example, when I post this comment to this site the HTTP traffic isn't ever sent via Google and they're completely unaware of it!? Otherwise I too would probably ditch the browser.

    • avatar
    • Travis Hiscock
    • Mon 1 Nov 2010 12:06 PM

    Google is a business, they are out to make money (and they sure make a lot). There is only one reason for Chrome to exist, and it's not altruistic. Chrome does not exist for our benefit, only Google's.

    Stick to Firefox.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Mon 1 Nov 2010 05:05 PM

      I'm sure there's some truth in that, but I can't subscribe to your view completely. Not everything a business does is completely profit-driven. Surely.

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