This website works best on Firefox. • AdvantagesGet it


Table of Contents


Introduction
UI Customisation
Extension buttons
Profile resets
Lots of tabs
Why Chrome is better

Introduction

I wrote this page to list the various advantages I've found that Firefox has over the Chromium web browser as well as it's forks (the most notable being Google Chrome). None of this is to say that Firefox is perfect or that Chromium has no advantages itself. With that out of the way, here are the benefits you get from Firefox that Chromium and Google Chrome do not have. Note that this page is currently a work-in-progress.


Note that despite Chromium and Google Chrome being two different web browsers technically and the latter being a fork of the former, they are very close to being the same. As a result, I use either name to refer to both of them collectively throughout this essay.


Finally, if you were brought here by the notice at the top of some of my webpages, I have noticed that some of my website's pages look a little bit different when comparing how they look on Firefox and Chrome. Since I use Firefox as my main web browser, I designed it to look the way it does on Firefox. I don't have the time or inclination to figure out how to make the site look identical on other browsers.


UI Customisation

Summary: Firefox gives you more control than Chrome over the UI.

Take a look at the section of the browser UI below the tabs that holds the AwesomeBar/Omnibar. In Firefox, every single item in that line except for the menu and overflow buttons can be moved anywhere or even removed. It is highly customisable.

Conversely, Chromium offers no such customisation. The only things in this section that you can change are buttons that are added by extensions. You can't hide or even move any of the built-in UI. You can only move extension buttons within the extension area to the right of the Omnibar. Nowhere outside it.


Extension buttons

Summary: Firefox gives you more options than Chrome for hiding extension buttons.

As a continuation of the above section, what you can do with buttons added by extensions is better on Firefox than Chrome. The same control Firefox offers above to the UI arrangement also applies to any buttons added by extensions. For any button present (extension or built-in), you can do one of three things: Place it in the main UI, place it in the overflow menu or completely hide it.

Conversely, Chrome does not offer the third option at all. Or the second for built-in buttons. Instead, if you don't want an extension's button visible in the main UI, you have to place it in the overflow menu. If you don't want the button there either, then too bad.


Profile resets

Summary: Chrome resets your profile much more often than Firefox.

On startup, Chrome seems to do some checks on the environment it is running in. If the browser doesn't like what it sees, it resets your profile back to default. The problem is that this check is extremely strict. To the point that moving the browser to another PC you own or even reinstalling your OS on the same PC triggers a reset. If you haven't got Chrome set up to sync your profile, you've just lost everything with no warning. In one case, I personally lost all of my progress in a Javascript game because Chrome decided to reset my profile after reinstalling the OS on a Linux PC that had become unbootable.

Firefox does not do anything like this. You can move your Firefox profile to other PCs without any complaints from the browser. In fact, I've never had Firefox reset my profile without specifically asking it to.


Lots of tabs

Summary: Firefox handles lots of tabs much better.

When you open lots of tabs, the way each browser handles all those tabs is different. On Firefox, the browser enforces a minimum width that the tabs can't be smaller than. This ensures that no matter how many tabs you have open, you will always be able to see at least the website's favicon and the first few letters of it's title. Once the number of tabs with this minimum width becomes wider than the width of the tab area, new tabs get placed out of sight on the right. Once you have out of sight tabs, the entire tab bar can be scrolled left and right using either the mouse scroll wheel, trackpad scroll gesture or the UI arrows to the left and right of the tabs.

Chrome does not have such an enforcement. It tries to make all of your tabs visible at once and does not provide any way of scrolling the tab bar. As a result, the more tabs you open, the thinner each tab gets until the only thing you can see is the website's favicon. More serious, however, is that once you have opened a certain number of tabs (around 108 if maximised on my 1080p laptop screen) any new tab opened pushes the right-most tabs off the tab bar and they get completely hidden. The only way to bring them back is to close enough visible tabs.


Containers

Summary: Firefox has Multi-Account Containers.


Something different: Why Chrome is better

As a counterpoint to the above, these are the advantages I've found that Chrome has over Firefox. They are not enough to stop me from using Firefox as my main browser but I do keep a copy of Chrome on my PC for these edge cases.


Better printing interface

Chrome has a customised printing interface that offers a lot of options to customise what gets sent to the printer. Conversely, Firefox's printer interface is simply the default interface that the OS and printer driver offers. A Chrome user also has access to this default interface as an option on the print interface, if they need it.




Valid CSS!

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