Let's go with Firefox by default

Julien Lavergne gilir at ubuntu.com
Mon Jun 10 21:47:36 UTC 2013


I was going to prepare a long thread with advantages / disadvantages
between Firefox and Chromium, but let's make it a bit short :-)

If I am lazy, the logical choose is to keep Chromium, because Ubuntu
(Canonical) already decided to switch to it. So, much of the work from
Ubuntu will go to Chromium instead of Firefox. However, many arguments
is are favour of Firefox in our case :
- Good behaviour on old hardware : thanks to your tests, Firefox seems
to behave well on old hardware. I also saw it on my own testing
system. It's difficult to say if 1 is better than another one, but a 1
tab use of Firefox seems a bit better, and many users still use only 1
tab :-)
- PowerPC support : Firefox support is still limited, but Firefox
exists on powerpc. No need to advertise the fact that we have 2
different browsers.
- Even if Chromium is open source, it's still very close to Chrome and
Google. In a politic view, it's better to have a product managed by a
foundation (still, they have a lot of money from Google ...).
- Customization support : You can add bookmarks and other
customization to Firefox. Chromium doesn't have it (yet ?). There is
also (still ?) a module to install flash support.
- No "It's dead Jim" bug. It may be fixed in the future, but I'm not
sure it will be critical enough for Canonical to but a lot of effort
to fix it. It mostly affects us only, not Ubuntu.
- Quick update of new upstream versions (I hope it will be the same
without Canonical support).
- The next big UI update will be great ! (I know, it's not a real argument :-))

Still, Chromium has advantages :
- Canonical support (it's my main concern about the switch).
- Native webapp (I didn't find a way to launch webapp in Firefox).
- Many apps in the Marketplace (the Mozilla one is still young).

I still think that the difference between the 2 are not so big, and I
would like to make easy to switch from one to another, so everyone
will be happy.

If people have concern about this switch, it's time to speak :-) I
don't plan to come with this discuss again for 14.04 (except, if there
is a big problem using Firefox during 13.10).

Julien Lavergne

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