Firefox is a very fine browser. It’s full-featured, and it allows for the use of some excellent add-ons. It used to be the fastest browser out there for Windows.
As far as Linux is concerned, Firefox is a sludgy molasses pit. Things have improved a bit since Firefox 2.0, but it’s nowhere near what it should be. This is a shame. It’s more than a shame actually, because I depend on the security of Firefox and some add-ons to make my browsing safe and worry-free.
It’s pretty sad that the Windows version of Firefox runs faster in WINE on a Linux system than the native code does. If it weren’t for the horrible security risks involved with anything Windows, I might do that trick myself on this computer. But no, I need to get something else going here.
I’ve heard that Opera 10.5 is fast. Faster even than Google’s Chrome browser. Google can suck my ass, by the way. I still use their search engine, but I’m staying away from their other products because they’re basically the “Internet Monopoly” company, like Microsoft tried to be.
Opera has a bad reputation to overcome however. It used to be a product you paid for, and it also had an ad-supported free version. Dumb idea. I refused to even read about Opera for a long time because of this. Now, apparently, it’s totally free. Not open source like Firefox, but free to download and use.
This is important here because I would like to give it a try. Seeing as how I’m using Ubuntu 9.04 (Xubuntu 9.04 to be exact, with LXDE), Opera 10.5 is not in my available software pool. I would have to add a certain repository to my sources list and then mess around with what is still basically beta software. I think I might have to just wait a little while. Things might get easier or better.
Firefox could even make a breakthrough in speed with their Linux version, who knows. I would still prefer Firefox over any other browser because of the add-ons. It’s possible to use AdBlock with Opera 10.5, so I’ve heard, but I also use NoScript, Request Policy, and some others that make the way I browse easier or more feature-enhanced.
On my very first PC, a machine with hardly any system resources to play with, Firefox is almost unbearably slow. Since the Linux partition of that machine is only used for browsing/text-to-speech, that’s a bad situation. Firefox has all the same great features on that PC, and I still use AdBlock and NoScript, but everything is SO slow. To make matters worse, Firefox and those add-ons exhaust the RAM memory on that computer so it has to resort to using the hard drive swap space, AKA virtual memory.
So I just tried two different browsers on that computer. I checked out this list, which was linked-to among the first results of a Google search I did. The first one I tried out was Dillo. Sure enough, the program loaded fast. The about:dillo page it loaded first appeared instantaneously. Right away, I encountered a problem. As I folded some freshly laundered sheets, I decided to read that page, so I selected the text and tried to copy that to the clipboard.
Dillo has no “Copy” in the context menu. WTF? Okay, so I figured I’ll just use CTRL+C. Nothing happened. Text could not be copied. Instant fail. Instafail, if you will.
So I uninstalled Dillo and gave Kazehakase a try. I had actually tried out that browser a couple of years ago. It was the default browser when I installed Fluxbuntu on that computer. I didn’t actually use it much, but I had remembered that it used the Gecko rendering engine, which is used by Firefox.
When I opened up Kazehakase, I immediately went to the “preferences” interface. Actually, I never got there because the program crashed when I selected that from the menu. Instafail.
So, I’m back to Firefox. When I get time, I might just mess around with Opera 10.5 on that PC. We shall see. It’s not like I get a lot of time to do anything fun these days.