Saturday, March 29, 2008

on camino vs. firefox.

I've recently switched from my old Dell laptop to a MacBook. I'm pretty happy with the switch (not least of all because my old computer couldn't survive at all without being plugged in and my MacBook's battery life is really good) but I'm not on the Mac train yet. To me, it's just another computer, albeit with a few new things to learn.

(As a sidenote here, for the company that's supposed to be all about easing the transition, making things work really simply, I've had some bad experiences with Mac. My iPod and MacBook both worked just fine, as expected, but when I recently converted to the iPhone, I had tremendous trouble setting it up. I'll chalk that up more to AT&T but I just recently bought a Time Capsule, to keep all my music backed up and it's been nigh-impossible to set up. Not that this has anything to do with this post, but I just wanted to complain for a little bit.)

Anyway, the main question of the night is this: for anyone out there who loves their Mac, which browser do you use? Why? I've been on Firefox since about day one of getting this new MacBook, but I've been reading up on Camino lately and I'm a little confused. It seems very much the same to me. When the fanboys talk about things loading faster, or graphics rendering better, they look the same to me, the speed appears the same. So I don't really get it.

Does it make a difference for a semi-casual web browser? I like the search engine functionality of Firefox and from what I've read neither Camino nor Safari (which I haven't even touched on yet, but should be mentioned as some of the Mac diehards mention it in the same breath, or even as better than, both of the others) offers that option, but what are the other things that I should be taking into consideration? I look at the same old websites, watch some YouTube videos every once in a while, but I mainly use my computer as a writing tool: blogging, e-mail, papers for school, etc. With the new purchase of the Time Capsule, I'm hoping to use every computer that I own as a media device, obviously including this one, but that's pretty secondary to me; there are very few times that I'm without my iPod.

Regardless, which browser do you use and why? And which should I use?

7 comments:

Katrina said...

so... first, thank you for the card - i like it!
second, welcome to the world of mac.
third, to answer your question... i am a firefox user through and through. maybe its because i was a pc user for so many years, but i simply enjoy firefox. admittedly, i havent played with camino... i haven't seen the need.

much love
the oregonian in pgh

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Brando said...

For you being not the computer nerd, I don't think it will matter for you so long as the images come up all pretty and videos play. By the way Firefox has taken a huge lead in the most used browser. Which is cool cause it's home brewed, but bad because virii go for the most damage. But if you look at the list, camino doesn't even register and safari is a piss off 2%. If it's been working, don't change it unless compelled by some overwhelming personal advantage.

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mrgccc3 said...

I've been using Mac for about 5 years now and I see a huge difference in browser speed. For one the old versions of Firfox had a memory leak, pretty much meaning that the longer you used the browser for the more memory it consumed. Sort of similar to a handful of crappy IE problems. Anyways on my powerbook (before what you have) Camino works much faster and I don't have the lag I usually experience with Firefox. However, the new Firefox browsers seem to have been able to come over that hump, fixing the leak. I can tell the difference.

Enjoy.

M

James said...

I have been using Firefox seince they first released it m any years ago and I like it a lot, but I have just started to use Camino since Firefox 3 came out as they are some places where bits of sites don't work well. eg www.mycokereards.com. Also I have found that Camino loads a lot faster and doesn't crash as much when you have lots of tabs open.

weirdkid said...

I recently had a bad experience with Safari -- some bad AJAX code on ebay while setting my shipping policy threw me into a black hole. Chatted with ebay support about why they don't support Safari anymore and they of course had no idea what I was talking about, so I tried FireFox and it worked where Safari choked.

Score 1 point for Firefox. I didn't try with Camino, though.

Camino is nice (I use it for testing web sites), but it really just seems to me to be FireFox with a better Mac wrapper. It was more relevant when the mozilla guys weren't doing much for the Mac, but that's changing.

I think you have to look under the covers at the rendering engines to understand any real differences, i.e. webkit vs. gecko is really the source any true differences.

But for most people, this stuff doesn't matter. Just use whatever works best for you.

Matt
Weird Kid Software
Makers of Emailchemy -- the universal email conversion tool
http://www.weirdkid.com

C. Taylor said...

Camino and Firefox use the same rendering engine, so they do a lot of things very similarly; the difference is Firefox is a port (albeit a very good one these days) and Camino is native, which speeds up some things, and makes others look better. However, Firefox has extensions, and it's looking more and more native all the time, so the need for Camino (much as I love it, and hate to say this) is shrinking. Whoever told you Camino was incapable of search engine customization is full of crap, though.