Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chrome Revisited

In my first serious test of Mac Chrome back in August, 2010, it came up short compared to other popular web browsers. But Chrome has been evolving fast. And since Firefox 4.0 was just released, it seemed like the right time to run another informal comparison.

What a difference. Chrome has become more stable, faster, and has made huge strides in available and useful plugins. The plugin gap with Firefox was a glaring issue last time. As a web developer, Firefox was indispensable with the Firebug plugin, letting you drill into the CSS and JavaScript acting on individual DOM components. Chrome now has native developer tools that rival Firebug. I am also fond of the Awesome Screenshot plugin that allows you to capture and annotate a web page from within the browser.

While I have found Firefox 4.0 a nice improvement in looks and rendering speed, I have also found it leaks memory, more so on Windows than Linux or Mac. I can rarely make it through a day without the Windows version locking up. That may be an artifact of the slew of plugins I am running and not the Firefox core.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been using Chrome as my primary browser on all platforms and have been very pleased. Competition is a great thing and I am excited to see browsers evolving again after what seemed like a long period of stagnation.