Now that Firefox supports private and regular browsing in the same session, I've moved back to using Firefox as my main browser. Unfortunately, I have some issues, though they're minor:
- I don't care for the new download panel. Previously, there was a window that had a button that cleared download history. The panel has no such button. Instead, you have to either remember the keyboard shortcut to open the download section of the Library (Ctrl+J, memorable because there's a "J" in "Download") or click that down-pointing arrow and click "Show All Downloads". Often, it's just quicker to click the down-pointing arrow, right-clicking and removing individual downloads that way, as they finish. (I made a mock-up [the only picture on this entry] showing how the features I'd like to have might look in the download panel.) That leads me to the next point...
- The only way to not keep your download history is to not keep any history. Alternatively, you can set the browser to clear download history when you close the browser, except you would have to close the browser a lot.
- This one is the same complaint I had before switching away originally: RAM usage. Closing tabs does not improve the memory usage. The Chromium-based browser I used for private browsing had many processes, one for each tab, one for each extension, one parent process, processes for plug-ins, etc. Closing a tab that you did lots of browsing in would generally close a process, reclaiming memory. The good thing about that model is that you can reclaim memory, with the downside being it took fewer tabs to hit absurd levels of memory usage. Firefox is slower to get high in memory use, but once it gets there, it stays there.
- This may or may not be a Firefox complaint: The functionality included in the Firebug is not built-in. I'm assuming there's a good reason for that. Firebug itself makes things extremely slow whenever it's running, making even local pages take longer to load than remote pages...on a 56K. Also, it randomly opens up their website; it's great that they have a website, but that doesn't mean I want to look at it all the time.
- Personas don't show up in Private Browsing mode. Since that's where I spend most of my time, I don't see my persona most of the time. (Personas are those themes that are basically just graphic files for the top and bottom of the browser and some coloring information to keep the various buttons from disappearing on dark backgrounds.)
I guess since that's fairly negative, I'll mention some good things:
- It looks like Firefox on Windows is going to get H.264 video, and AAC (MP4/M4A) and MP3 audio support for the HTML5 video and audio tags. That feature drops in the next version to be released in just over a week. The caveat: it only works on Windows 7-8.
- Also coming out in the next version is the ability to have scoped stylesheets. Instead of having to put your stylesheets at the top of a document and have it apply to the entire document, you can put them in the middle and have it only apply to a small portion of the document.
- Something I missed while not using Firefox as my primary browser was the degree of customization available. There are tons of Personas. There are also tons of add-ons. The Chrome themes seemed to be limited to Angry Birds and My Little Pony. I also had a hard time installing extensions because they made the process so secure, no one can install anything. Firefox's extension install process is as fast as you can download (and sometimes restart).
Well, that's it for this entry...I'm off to bed.