More Shiny than Useful

Yesterday I ran across a blot on the statistics of usage of various browsers by the Linux community. [Link] The numbers for Chrome/Chromium are up significantly in the last year.

This struck something close to a resonance since I have been using Chrome/Chromium for about that length of time. That is, I started out with Chrome and then when I could get Chromium via a repository, I switched. I am still using FireFox, so the resonance is in the nature of a comparison of how I use the two browsers. FireFox is my default browser. I experimented with Chromium as the default for a couple of weeks and switched back without a glance.

This is not to say that Chromium is not without its merits. It is, manifestly, faster, but a penalty is paid for that speed. In particular, in about 0.1 of the web pages I load on Chromium, I either have to put up with failure to load elements, or take the time to copy the URL over to FireFox. I can rationalize this if I continue to think of Chromium as an early beta, but given the figures in the blot cited, suspicion that it is just plain buggy have to now be considered.

Add-ins have proliferated in the last couple of months, including many of those I use consistently, like UberNote and ScribeFire, SendLink and a URL compactor. Unfortunately, none of these work adequately well. I have tried to rationalize that Chrome/Chromium is based on a different model than FireFox, but after struggling with a lack of desired – known – functionality, I have to entertain the hypothesis that these add-ins simply do not work the way I need them to work. All of them! The probability that all four do not work well enough is very low, indicating something in the nature of a deterministic limitation.

So bottom line, Chrome/Chromium is all right for recreational browsing, but not for serious endeavor. So the next question is whether the statistics of Chrome/Chromium use indicate the fraction of frivolity among nerds?

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