Ivor O’Connor

November 14, 2009

Firefox to Chrome Switch

Filed under: CHROME, Firefox — Tags: — ioconnor @ 5:25 pm

I spent time on firefox irc channels this week, reachable via http://irc.mozilla.org/, only to become disgusted. They were completely clueless about using html5 to access sqlite databases. Not only clueless but hostile to the idea of ever using a browser as an application’s front-end. Then there was the lack of documentation on their development sites. Lots of stubs to be completed at future dates does not count as documentation. Because their servers are so incredibly slow it takes time to navigate through their pages to discover the details are merely placeholders. Plus the fact their irc channels were not reachable via common irc networks gave me an overall feeling Firefox has slipped. Badly. So since Firefox has lost its way I installed Chrome. Chrome comes with support for accessing local sqlite files which Firefox developers don’t even want to.

´╗┐http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-chromium-google-chrome-in-ubuntu-using-deb-package.html is where I started. The instructions were remarkably good. Chrome seems to run fine on Ubuntu and Vista. I’m writing this post from Chrome. I’ll give myself a few weeks of getting familiar with Chrome…

Google Chrome adds additional JavaScript functionality through Gears. Gears is bundled with every Chrome install, adding new features to the web browser faster than previous plugins. The Gears libraries include support for new local cache structures, local databases, location data, background tasks, and file handling. Chrome boosts the available Gears footprint for web developers, including Google’s own apps such as Google Reader and Google Docs (and my blog). The current Gears code included in Chrome replicates V8 and sqlite code already present in the browser, a bolt-on that will hopefully be integrated in the near future.



So Gears is built in to Chrome like I had heard. Unlike Firefox the documentation looks good and exists here.

This all seems very Microsoft like. Taking over a market by buying out the best programmers and throwing lots of money around. Unfortunately the free alternative, Firefox, is in need of direction. Maybe Firefox will rise from the dead again but I suspect they will take years to regroup.



  1. Chrome has imported all my passwords successfully. It’s truly amazing how well it has done this.
  2. Chrome is magnitudes faster than Firefox. I had thought some sites were just slow but apparently it’s the javascript or rendering engine in Firefox that makes them so slow. With Google’s Chrome these sites are almost rendered in real time.


  1. Printing sucks. You’ll need to pull up whatever you want to print with Firefox and print from within Firefox. Problems with printing are:
    1. The keystorkes “ALT-f p” do not bring up the print panel. Instead the right mouse key is used taking your hands away from the keyboard. A minor problem but irritating.
    2. The print looks totally different, ugly, and incorrect with various lines that are not in the displayed version blotting out the output. If you don’t mind the stuff that’s printed which should not be printed it’s ok.
    3. The print out does not stop at the pages specified in the form. So specifying pages 1-2 will get you everything and then some since the print outs are bad. So trying to get just the current page of what I normally print out got me three pages. (Though there were only two pages to print!)

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.