Why Google Chrome is my Web Browser of choice.

Just so that everyone knows my current Web browser of choice is Google Chrome. As a software developer I feel Chrome is leading the pack with new capabilities, features, performance and frequent invisible release cycles. It is also now the best and easiest browser to write extensions for.

It appears to me that Firefox (which was my browser of choice) is loosing its edge. Firefox Extensions have always been hard to write and hark back to it’s Netscape days, which seems like a lifetime ago, yet little has changed. And even though certain improvements were made with how extensions are packaged in FF V4, I was unable to get this to work with the updated Surfulater Extension. Comments on the Mozilla bugs repository indicated the issue I faced was known and should be addressed one day. I was left quite unimpressed. From reading Mozilla PR material I get the impression they feel a need to follow Google Chrome, instead of carving out their own ground.

I’ll mention two aspects of Chrome I find invaluable. First the unified Address and Search bar, one place to type whatever I’m interested in. Another is the Session Buddy Extension which keeps track of the multiple Chrome Browser windows I have open, their size and position and all of the Tabs open in each Window.

One big pet hate with Firefox is the obtrusive update process for new releases and extension updates. Oh and how new releases frequently break extensions, which in turn forces developers to do work they shouldn’t have to and probably don’t want to. Glad I got that of my chest. 😉

The final comment I’ll make about Google Chrome and this is a very big one for many developers, is that it uses the Webkit Browser Engine. The reason this is so important is that Webkit is used as the core for the Web Browsers in all Apple iPhone and Google Android phones. In other words in 90+ percent of all smart phones. It is also used in the Apple Safari Web Browser.

For developers writing Web Applications it is so, so much easier to focus ones efforts on a single browser engine, especially one that is moving ahead so rapidly in adopting the many important new HTML 5 capabilities. Oh and Chromes built-in Javascript Debugger is a truly wonderful thing.

These are some of the reasons why my Web Browser of choice is now Google Chrome.

Have a great week everyone.

11 Replies to “Why Google Chrome is my Web Browser of choice.”

  1. Why Avant Browser is my Web Browser of choice: Use less Memory and release Memory clearly,of course fast as it always.
    Don’t like chrome any way~

  2. Avant Browser is based on IE. Neither IE, nor Avant have Extensions, which in itself is a show stopper for me. Avant was good in its day, however that day has long ago passed.

    Further IE is and has always been behind with HTML standards. Widespread HTML5 adoption is critical for all Browsers.


  3. OK Neville, you have won me over with what you have said about Chrome, as I have often seen the problem with Firefox Add-ons or updates breaking things and Firefox doesn’t appear to have any uninstall feature that allows you to roll back updates one at a time in order of their installation, at least not that i have found. which means going into depth to find just what broke and why.

    But I do have one question about surfulater that I’m wondring about: does it (surfulater) also save the cookies that might have been associated with a webpage that has been saved?

    For instance say I want to keep an actual copy of my software order (and not just a screenshot) will it do that?

    When I typed in cookies the Surfulater engine on your main page came up a blank.

  4. Hi Denis,
    Surfulater doesn’t do anything re. saving cookies set by Web sites.

    The best way to capture secure pages (https) is to select the content of interest and then use the Surfulater Clipboard Hotkeys. This copies the content directly from the page, bypassing any issues that could occur by accessing the actual web page. See the Help Topic: “Capturing Content from other Applications” for details.

    You can also Attach a copy of the download file to the Surfulater Article so you have everything in the one place.


  5. I happened upon your program through the good pages of DonationCoder and I must concur that Chrome is ‘right up there’ and like Firefox, the fact a user can have many different Extensions or Add-ons really helps the user to customise their browser.

    Any chance of a special Surfulater discount for DC members?

    Speaking matters Google Chrome I recently found a variant of Chrome called ChromePlus [www.chromeplus.org/] which saves webpages in MHTML format, which Chrome itself hasn’t yet managed to do (and who knows if they ever will do).

    ChromePlus is currently at V1.6.1.0 for Windows (based on Chromium 10.0.648.204)

    There is a Chrome Add-on called SingleFile which does at least give Chrome users some similar benefits and while sadly the files are NOT in MHTML format, according to the blurb “…saved files are compatible with Firefox, Opera, Safari, Konqueror and partially with Internet Explorer 8 (see help page) *without installing any extension*

    All in all i whole heartedly agree with You about Chrome and although i didn’t know it uses the Webkit engine it must be a good thing when as you say it is used to power the vast majority of “smart phones” in the world.

  6. Hi Peter,
    We do offer DC readers a special from time to time. In fact we provided DC with five free copies of Surfulater which they recently gave away at their annual fund raiser. We will offer them a special again at some point down the track.

    AFAIC saving web pages as files to your hard drive has minimal value. All of the important benefits of Surfulater are missing when you take this approach. eg. Organization, tags, adding notes, editing content, search and filters, cross-referencing, everything in a database etc.etc.

    With Chrome being updated so frequently I wouldn’t want to be stuck on some old version. My Chrome is V11 now and V12 is out soon. I have to say the need for a special version of Chrome just to save MHTML sounds very, very odd.


    PS. I did reply to your e-mail the other week.

  7. My regular computer is currently being serviced so I’m writing this on my old computer using the latest “silent update” of Chrome instead of an old version of Firefox that is waiting to be updated. I must admit I am warming up to Chrome. In the past, I found Chrome to have problems displaying sites properly but those issues seem to have disappeared. Whether that’s due to site designers or Chrome itself, I don’t know. There is a lingering worry about Chrome tracking the sites I visit or where I shop and storing it in a database somewhere – I’m probably hypersensitive since the States are busy snooping through our activities and destroying any personal privacy we still have.

    I’m a research junkie, love collecting interesting info, and Surfulater seems perfect for my needs. The price seems a little high to a Yankee, maybe due to currency differences, but it’s certainly not an unreasonable price if it does what it says. I like the direction you foresee Surfulater heading – personal info (financial info, web receipts) stored privately with impersonal info (web articles, research, quotes) stored on the cloud. Hard drives are cheap and it’ll be hard to get me to send info to some outside nethersphere I can’t control (regardless of what Steve Jobs tells me). It takes a little faith to assume that something in the cloud will always be there when you need it. Also there is usually an additional cost for this cloud. While I don’t particularly need a cloud database that is accessible everywhere, I can see there is a market who may find this useful. I only hope you keep a local storage option available.

    So why haven’t I at least downloaded the trial yet? One gripe. Looking through your history it appears version 3 was release somewhere around Oct 2008. For people who currently have Surfulater, they certainly received their $79 worth. I worry, however, there is a version 4.0 on the horizon. If I am unlucky enough to purchase this 91 days before the release I’ll have to pay another 50% to keep the program up to date. This, to me, seems unfair. I’d be much more willing to consider a purchase if I knew I would have at least a year of usage for the price I pay.

  8. @Derek, the way I see apps like Surfulater working is to always have a local copy of the database, plus a copy in the cloud, with the databases all synced to each other. When you don’t have access to the app+local database, you access the cloud instance in a Web Browser on any PC. IMO this is the way forward.

    Re. Surfulater there are no specific plans for a V4 release any time soon. There may not even be a V4 release this year, just more V3.x releases. V4 may even be quite a different beast to what you see now.


  9. As long as we have the option to *not* store in the cloud I could go along with that. I’d like to save a few trees by digitally storing purchase receipts and warranty items for online purchases but I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting anything containing credit card info or other sensitive personal information in the cloud. Privacy and online security are becoming big problems. No one has a vested interest in keeping our data safe. I like the idea of cloud computing but I’m not sure I’ll ever trust cloud storage.

  10. Derek, encryption is the answer to storing sensitive data, especially on someone else’s computer. Most likely all data stored in “the cloud” would be encrypted.


Comments are closed.