San Francisco, California

Switchin’ to Firefox

After reading a few posts about browser diversity I realized that I need to put my money where my mouth is and make the switch to Firefox. And so, despite my initial hesitation, that’s what I did last week and actually I’m loving everything so far. There’s a few things about the DevTools that are in fact a big improvement over Chrome, at least for the type of development I’m doing. And that’s without mentioning the security aspect of things.

The switch was in part inspired by what Andy had to say about browsers recently:

I’ll say it bluntly: we must support Firefox. We can’t, as a community allow this browser engine monopoly. We must use Firefox as our main dev browsers; we must encourage our friends and families to use it, too.

Yes, it’s not perfect, nor are Mozilla, but we can help them to develop and grow by using Firefox and reporting issues that we find. If we just use and build for Chromium, which is looking likely (cough Internet Explorer monopoly cough), then Firefox will fall away and we will then have just one major engine left. I don’t ever want to see that.

And the switch was especially inspired by what Jeremy wrote just the other day too:

There’s just no sugar-coating this. I’m sure the decision makes sound business sense for Microsoft, but it’s not good for the health of the web.

Very soon, the vast majority of browsers will have an engine that’s either Blink or its cousin, WebKit. That may seem like good news for developers when it comes to testing, but trust me, it’s a sucky situation of innovation and agreement. Instead of a diverse browser ecosystem, we’re going to end up with incest and inbreeding.

There’s one shining exception though. Firefox. That browser was originally created to combat the seemingly unstoppable monopolistic power of Internet Explorer. Now that Microsoft are no longer in the rendering engine game, Firefox is once again the only thing standing in the way of a complete monopoly.

If you care about the health of the web then you owe it to yourself to explore Firefox and make the jump away from Chromium. We need a diverse web with as many browser engines as we can get.