Back to Firefox, so long Chrome
So here I am 6 months later, installing Firefox 4 and transferring all the bookmarks to it from Chrome. I switched to Chrome half a year ago (or maybe even more) when Firefox 3 became so slow and bloated I could not take it anymore. Chrome seemed like a refreshing drink after a boxing match; me vs. Firefox 3, where Firefox 3 was punching me in the face over and over again.
Few days ago, as we were doing a site for a client, I saw the site in HTML/CSS coding state at one of our coders. He was using Firefox 4. Then I went back to my computer just to see if the site is looking OK in my Chrome. Shazam, the ugly-stick hit me in the head.
Here is a small test platform for you to test out the difference in rendering. It is a pure CSS example, with no images. Visit it with Firefox and Chrome and see what happens.
Here is a screenshot so you can compare, just in case:
You would have to be blind not to notice the difference. Firefox has much smoother shadows and gradients, Chrome just slaps them on screen. I guess it is a typical Google engineering thinking – “let’s just make it work, no need to make it pretty”.
You could argue now that this is a Webkit “feature” but A-HA! No it is not! If you open the same test page in Safari, you will notice that Safari renders shadows, both outer and inset, much smoother (still not as smooth as Firefox). It seems that the folks in Mozilla did something exquisite this time considering rendering.
I have checked all the usual pages I go to, from Wunderlist and all sorts of news sites, to Facebook & web Twitter clients, and the difference is obvious. Firefox makes stuff look pretty. Paired with the fact that it is blazing fast, has smooth scrolling with scrollbar ease as it approaches bottom/top, it is good bye Chrome, hello my dear old friend Firefox. I missed you. Do not bloat too much this time, you silly you.
You could say now “who cares, these are too small issues”, but I say “I care”. It is those little polished details that separate good looking website from great looking one. If we developers are moving away from using images to using CSS-only technique to accomplish something, this quality of rendering means a lot. From time to time such differences force us to fall back to using images for buttons (for example) instead of doing it all in CSS. And that matters.