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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Browser shoot-out. Firefox gets blasted.

Browser shoot-out. Firefox gets blasted.
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Jul 13, 2006, 05:04 PM
 
" FireFox is a great browser — if you’re using Windows or Linux, that is. On a Mac, you have Safari, WebKit, and OmniWeb to choose from, which are not only more Mac-like, but also faster and more efficient. "

http://macintalk.com/index.php?id=136

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Jul 13, 2006, 05:41 PM
 
whats wronge with camino?
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 06:04 PM
 
Fact: Browsers reviews are even worse than "console wars"
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 06:50 PM
 
Its true, Firefox is excellent on windows, but on a mac its like going back in time.
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 08:09 PM
 
Cool to see OW come out on the top of the rendering heap. As a 5.5 sneaky peek user, I can say that it's really, really fast. Bummer they failed to mention OW's freakin' huge feature set, as that's the real selling point of the browser.
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Jul 13, 2006, 08:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by gambo
whats wronge with camino?
Well… "Cons: It uses Gecko, which performs horribly on Mac OS X."
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Jul 13, 2006, 08:35 PM
 
I think Camino is fast. I use Firefox though. Nothing is as bad as Safari or IE.
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 08:43 PM
 
Is OmniWeb free?
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Jul 13, 2006, 09:00 PM
 
As noted in the article, no.
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Jul 13, 2006, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
"On a Mac, you have Safari, WebKit, and OmniWeb to choose from, which are not only more Mac-like, but also faster and more efficient. "
Maybe it's just the quote that reads strangely, but Safari uses WebKit, and so does OmniWeb. Neither of those browsers are a replacement for Firefox. The only real replacement for Firefox is Camino, since it puts a prettier face on the Firefox engine. And most people around here already know about all of that.

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Jul 13, 2006, 09:51 PM
 
in my personal experience, FireFox is much faster than Safari. Especially for things like Google Maps where Safari slows to a crawl and FireFox speeds right through it (on a 2GHz iMac G5)

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Jul 13, 2006, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac
Maybe it's just the quote that reads strangely, but Safari uses WebKit, and so does OmniWeb. Neither of those browsers are a replacement for Firefox. The only real replacement for Firefox is Camino, since it puts a prettier face on the Firefox engine. And most people around here already know about all of that.
In the nightly builds of Safari, Apple names the application "WebKit", sort of like how the Firefox nightlies are called "DeerPark."

Still, it seems kind of odd to include it in a comparison of browsers. It's the same browser! It's just a slightly newer (and probably buggier) build.

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Jul 13, 2006, 10:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
In the nightly builds of Safari, Apple names the application "WebKit", sort of like how the Firefox nightlies are called "DeerPark."

Still, it seems kind of odd to include it in a comparison of browsers. It's the same browser! It's just a slightly newer (and probably buggier) build.
About a year newer, actually. I'd guess they wanted to have a recent webkit engine to compare to OW5.5, which also uses recent webkit builds.
     
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Jul 13, 2006, 11:48 PM
 
What a crock. Gecko-based browsers perform just fine for 99% of the world, and no other browser offers the same extensibility as Firefox.
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 09:28 AM
 
Gotta say... on Intel Firefox blows Safari away in speed. Sometimes I'll start Safari on accident and go to web sites.. then I think... "Why is my computer loading pages slow"... Well not slow.. nothing is slow about safari, Firefox is just faster.
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 10:48 AM
 
It seems like either WebKit or Gecko is faster and the other one is horribly slow, depending on who you ask.

Obviously there's some subjectivity going on. I don't notice all that much of a speed difference between the two on my Mac, frankly.

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Jul 14, 2006, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by wataru
What a crock. Gecko-based browsers perform just fine for 99% of the world, and no other browser offers the same extensibility as Firefox.
That's pretty much what they say, except they note that its performance on OS X is somewhat worse than its performance on other platforms. That does seem to be true. Running Firefox under Linux on my 1 GHz G4 tower feels much smoother than running it under OS X on the same computer. And it locks up a lot less.
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Jul 14, 2006, 02:13 PM
 
That's interesting. I wonder if that's really Firefox, though, and not a difference in Linux's multitasking or something like that.
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by wataru
What a crock. Gecko-based browsers perform just fine for 99% of the world, and no other browser offers the same extensibility as Firefox.
But fonts look rubbish in Firefox, especially the windows version. As all I do on the internet is read things I need the fonts to look as good as everything else in osx.
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by wataru
What a crock. Gecko-based browsers perform just fine for 99% of the world, and no other browser offers the same extensibility as Firefox.
The same 99% that are using windows and the story clearly points out that Firefox is great on windows?

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Jul 14, 2006, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by sushiism
But fonts look rubbish in Firefox, especially the windows version. As all I do on the internet is read things I need the fonts to look as good as everything else in osx.
They look fine to me on my iBook.
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
The same 99% that are using windows and the story clearly points out that Firefox is great on windows?
Nice try, but I meant on OS X. Gecko may be slower than WebKit (and that depends entirely on who you ask, apparently) but Firefox is still fast enough for all but the super geeks that must have the biggest ePenis.
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 08:46 PM
 
I don't like the gecko fonts, but nonetheless the gecko based browsers work a lot better with some ticket purchase sites.

Plus there are cache issues using Safari on some sites (like MacNN).

I use Safari most of the time, but fall back to Camino and Flock when necessary. Speed isn't a major issue on current hardware (esp. dual-core Intel Macs).
     
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Jul 14, 2006, 10:38 PM
 
There are some new results for the HTML loading test in the comments now. The best ones are iCab at 179s and IE at 301s.
     
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Jul 15, 2006, 11:49 AM
 
I use Safari and FireFox... and can't hardly tell the difference. They are both nice.
     
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Jul 15, 2006, 11:58 AM
 
After using the OW 5.5 sneakypeeks for a while now, I have definitely found my new favorite browser. Lots of tasty features (including the same features as the few Firefox extensions I actually found useful to me - and "to me" is the important phrase there, as I realize not everybody needs the same feature set), extremely speedy, and feels like a first-class Mac app (because it is). "Mac-like" is just as important to me as speed, and OW is fantastic in that regard.

I had absolutely no problem paying for an OW license. The OmniGroup has done great work, and I feel they deserve every penny they can get from it. Go capitalism.
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Jul 15, 2006, 12:30 PM
 
My wife switched away from Safari to Firefox because Safari gaver her grief on a lot of sites, and Firefox hasn't at all. Firefox also let her block a variety of pop up issues (can you say "Netflix should die?") which Safari was powerless to touch.

As for "more Mac like," all I can say is "hey, it's just a browser, not a religious conversion." I like Firefox on both platforms for its flexibility and functionality, while Safari has seemed "quirky" to me in a lot of ways.

Again, it's just a browser...

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Jul 15, 2006, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by wataru
They look fine to me on my iBook.
Rubbish compared to how amazing the look in Safari...
     
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Jul 16, 2006, 05:55 AM
 
Omni renders with Lucida Grande, therefore, ends up feeling the most "Maclike" on my computer ATM... Now, if they could only render ATSU glyphs properly again... God they make reading glorious.

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Jul 16, 2006, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac
Maybe it's just the quote that reads strangely, but Safari uses WebKit, and so does OmniWeb. Neither of those browsers are a replacement for Firefox. The only real replacement for Firefox is Camino, since it puts a prettier face on the Firefox engine. And most people around here already know about all of that.
WebKit is a part of WebCore, which Safari uses. But WebKit is an open-source project, and nightly builds of Safari are referred to as "WebKit".
( Last edited by Mackie; May 14, 2007 at 01:05 PM. )
     
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Jul 16, 2006, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mackie
WebKit is a part of WebCore
Scratch that, reverse it.
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Jul 16, 2006, 10:35 PM
 
i personally use safari, because it works, because it's fast enough, and apple's incremental autoupdates include critical security updates for it, which means i dont have to hunt them down. what's this issue? it looks nice and it works.. i used to use firefox but the slow load time (not for pages, but for starting up the app) put me off after extended use
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Jul 16, 2006, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by TimmyDee51
Cool to see OW come out on the top of the rendering heap. As a 5.5 sneaky peek user, I can say that it's really, really fast. Bummer they failed to mention OW's freakin' huge feature set, as that's the real selling point of the browser.
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Jul 17, 2006, 08:35 AM
 
Every time I heard someone hype firefox I go and download the newest version and check it out.

Every time it's a crashing dodgy mess.

Always though Safari ran faster than Firefox on my machine.

Looks like I am not the only one that sees the above.

Safari is just plain faster and takes up less resources than Firefox for me.
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 12:49 PM
 
I've NEVER had Firefox crash on any platform. Never. I wonder what's odd about your setup, Kevin, that gives you problems.

And note that most reports show that the Gecko engine is faster than Safari by quite a bit.

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Jul 17, 2006, 01:28 PM
 
I really only see Firefox crash relating to Java issues, but Java is funky on all browsers in my experience.

Maybe people misinterpret the multiple bounce thing Firefox does in certain situations as a crash.
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
I've NEVER had Firefox crash on any platform. Never. I wonder what's odd about your setup, Kevin, that gives you problems.

And note that most reports show that the Gecko engine is faster than Safari by quite a bit.
Gecko on its own or when it is integrated into a Mac browser?

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Jul 17, 2006, 05:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
I've NEVER had Firefox crash on any platform. Never. I wonder what's odd about your setup, Kevin, that gives you problems.
Nothing odd. Just a regular 1.25mhz G4 with 1gig of RAM.
And note that most reports show that the Gecko engine is faster than Safari by quite a bit.
Not on my computer.
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Jul 17, 2006, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by wataru
I really only see Firefox crash relating to Java issues, but Java is funky on all browsers in my experience.

Maybe people misinterpret the multiple bounce thing Firefox does in certain situations as a crash.
I've never had crashes, but it'll freeze or go into some incredibly buggy state where nothing works right until you quit.
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Jul 17, 2006, 07:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
I've never had crashes, but it'll freeze or go into some incredibly buggy state where nothing works right until you quit.
Maybe I shouldn't have said CRASH, as it just gets unusable till I have to force quit.

So yeah your description describes my experience a bit better.

It reminds me of how IE 5 for OS 9 used to do just that.
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 09:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
I've never had crashes, but it'll freeze or go into some incredibly buggy state where nothing works right until you quit.
Never happens to me on Firefox or Camino.

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Jul 17, 2006, 10:56 PM
 
I can understand why I would maybe want to use something less stable, etc if it had features I needed that say, whatever Apple gave us didn't have.

I LOVE iChat. But alas it can't do the multiple IM protocols thing like Adium.
Adium is a lot more buggy than iChat, but I am willing to deal with that because of the features.

I guess that is how Firefox is with other people. They are willing to deal with the dodgy GUI and oddness to get said features they want.

The problem is Firefox doesn't have an abilities that I want, that Safari and the "Safari Block" plugin doesn't take care of for me.
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:00 PM
 
Safari ain't 100% stable. ie. It doesn't seem any more stable to me than Firefox. If Firefox looked a bit nicer and had better fonts, I'd probably use it (or at least Camino or Flock) all the time.
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
Gecko on its own or when it is integrated into a Mac browser?
Good question. I'll have to look up my sources... I think it was tested as a whole browser in the version 0.7 timeframe, but I may be misremembering.

Here's one reference test of a LOT of Mac browsers. It shows that a lot of browsers are faster than Firefox 1.5, and it looks like Opera 9.0 beats the pants off of just about everybody.

I must have misremembered...

Edit: I should have also mentioned that I like Firefox because it's so much faster on a PC than IE, and it is SO MUCH MORE SECURE than anythign MS ever wrote. I haven't messed with Opera on either platform because it doesn't "look right" to me. Maybe the interface is just evolving and I could get used to it... But I don't think Opera is any more secure (on the PC) than Firefox, so I'm not tempted to switch, at least right now.
( Last edited by ghporter; Jul 17, 2006 at 11:37 PM. )

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Jul 17, 2006, 11:29 PM
 
Safari is more stable for me than Firefox.

And less dodgy too.

I wish Firefox used the Extras.rsrc to draw it's widgets from.

Back when Safari 1.0 was out, I used I think Camino? Because I didn't like Safari as well.

But 2.0 just flies and is stable.

Better than any 2.0 version of a browser I ever used.
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 12:38 AM
 
I am trying out OW 5.5 sp17 now and I am moderately impressed. It has a few bugs to work out regarding tabs and ad-blocking (Ad-blocking is pathetic compared to PithHelmet, Saft or AdBlock for FF), but so far it's looking good.

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Jul 18, 2006, 03:24 AM
 
Why does anyone worry about crashes anymore anyways?

OmniWeb's "Auto save while browsing" is a life saver. Even if it does crash, I just relaunch it, and go on my merry little way almost exactly where I left off.
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 07:29 AM
 
Omni has too big of a footprint IMHO.
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 11:17 AM
 
He should test iCab ( http://www.icab.de/ )as a native macintosh browser. I can guess the reason why he didn't bother.

The version 2.x releases... Well, they were good but.. Anyway.

Version 3 requires OS X 10.1 or higher (yes, .1!) and also shipped for Classic.

I have no clue how a single guy can code a thing like that but it is really worth checking out.

I also invite all OS X 10.4+ and especially Mactel (licensed) users to test Omniweb Sneaky Peek and keep the feedback on. It is really default browser for me now. People, if you run Tiger, there is really no reason (except mission critical workstations) to stay in "final" version. Lets test this thing, provide feedback and in a matter of months, they will make it "final".

I would tell why I buy a commercial browser and also keep testing another commercial one, supporting it but lets not break open source hearts

I think Camino is the one to support when it comes to open source. Not Firefox. We run OS X people...
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 12:40 PM
 
You don't seem to understand: Camino doesn't have extension support. Camino is a side project, not the main focus of Mozilla Org. It is never going to replace Firefox.

I know people care more about their browsers being pretty than being functional, but Firefox can do so much more than any of the other browsers can.
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 12:46 PM
 
Functional in the sense of it slowly loads a page and then completely locks up? That kind of functional?
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