Saturday, 8 June 2013

Ubuntu May Replace Firefox with Chromium

Ubuntu May Replace Firefox with Chromium

It seems that the long cooperation between Linux users and Firefox is over, because the developers of Ubuntu are now talking about dropping the browser and switching to Chromium. Of course, the Linux users will still be able to run Firefox, but it won’t be the default browser. The reason for switching to Chromium is that the Ubuntu Touch stack is being powered mainly by Chromium/WebKit and they now have a vested interest in its success.

Apparently, it wasn’t a random choice. Some felt that information migration from Firefox is not that obvious, extensions cannot migrate between browsers, and the main important thing is that Chromium is not supported on all architectures. The experts pointed out that Chromium doesn’t work with the Orca screen reader and doesn't integrate well for accessibility reasons. Moreover, the browser has no native PDF plug-in, and Chromium is claimed to have worse performance under memory pressure. Finally, the experts also expressed concerns about differences with WebApps in Chromium.

However, Chromium at the moment provides a better user experience for the desktop and actually surpasses Firefox in its features and performance. Therefore, it isn’t a unilateral change. Currently, Ubuntu developers are going to have a discussion on an Ubuntu mailing list to solicit a more broad range of feedback on switching between the browsers.

As far as Firefox is concerned, it can be considered just another sign that it’s slowly falling from grace with the IT community. Increasingly, various message boards became filled with numerous complaints that Firefox has evolved into a so-called “bloated resource chewing monster”. Originally, its existence was to provide a better alternative to Internet Explorer, but it grew into a “memory hogging CPU killer”, hijacking the entire PC resources and “crawling along at the slowest pace” if you use more than 4-5 tabs. In addition, Firefox also doesn’t want to give back memory even after it’s shut down.



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