Default Browser Follow-up

Abral abral at
Fri Jun 28 01:00:55 UTC 2013

Even if I think openness and freedom should be the main reason why 
Ubuntu should have Firefox by default, I won't talk about this here.

This is a non comprehensive list of "non-philosophical" reasons:

1) Firefox is a lot more familiar than Chromium for Linux users. It's 
always been the default and it's the default in almost all the 
distributions. Most of the people that don't prefer Firefox are using 
Chrome, and not Chromium.

2) Firefox has a built-in PDF reader.

3) Firefox is better integrated with GNOME.

4) Firefox is going to support GStreamer soon 

5) Firefox is going to support GTK3 soon 

6) Firefox has made a great effort to hunt down responsiveness issues, 
seen in pauses and jank. They have made significant improvements seen 
both in current releases as well as current nightlies, with more on the way.

7) When it comes to JavaScript performance, there is no clear winner. In 
some tests, Firefox is faster. In other tests, Chromium is faster.

8) Mozilla is working on a project called OpenWebApps, that looks 
similar to Unity webapps. You could reuse Firefox code to make Unity 
webapps run in chromeless windows.

9) Firefox supports more architectures.

10) Firefox is more customizable than Chromium.

11) Firefox memory usage is a lot better than Chromium's and has 
improved even more in the latest releases (that would be shipped with 
Saucy), for example see

12) Mozilla is working on some cross-platform technologies that could 
benefit Linux users. For example, Shumway (that is a replacement for 
Flash), pdf.js (a pdf reader written in JavaScript), asm.js (that could 
enable interesting applications and games to run on every platform, so 
also on Linux).

13) There's good support for Firefox in Ubuntu. There are some (or, at 
least, one) Canonical developers that are experienced with the Firefox 
code base and are working on it 

14) About web developers, I think it's a matter of taste. Firefox has 
good web developer tools, and Chromium has good web developer tools too. 
Firefox has also the addon Firebug, that is one of the most used by web 

15) Firefox has smooth scrolling, some people are used to it and 
wouldn't like the worse Chromium's scrolling experience.

16) There are other Linux distributions developers that are working on 
Firefox. Canonical would benefit from it for free.

I can't see any reason why you should switch to Chromium.
The responsiveness issues that Chow Loong Jin was talking about have 
been mitigated a lot in the latest releases and will continue to improve 
(there are some projects to improve this, like there was a project to 
improve memory usage).
The GLES issue that Oliver Grawert was talking about will be likely 
fixed soon enough, see They're considering 
switching to EGL instead of GLX.
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