doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Web Browsers

As I look up and down the launcher, I see four browsers ready to go on this computer.  (Running Ubuntu)

  • Chromium
  • Epiphany
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome

That’s certainly not a complete list.  Check out this post for alternatives.

My browser as I create this post – Firefox.  It comes as the default browser to Ubuntu and, while I’ve tried the others, it just seems to be the best actor.  I’ve become used to its extensions and I really like the Puny Weakling theme.  I guess in the big scheme of things, I’ve always been a fan of Firefox and the way that it handles things.

If I were to reboot this computer and load Windows, Firefox would be there but the default browser is Google Chrome.  If I were to grab my Macintosh, the default would be Google Chrome as well.  Why the difference?  I wish that I could point to some great technological reason but I can’t.  I think it all has to do with the extensions that are installed in each.  Plus, the little Android in the top right corner has a frown that keeps me on task.


In terms of browsers, I’m the ultimate hoarder, I guess.  I should mention that there are a couple of Operas on Windows and Macintosh and who knows what else got me interested at one time.

Right out of the box, though, Windows wants to make Internet Explorer the default.  Macintosh wants to make Safari its default.  There’s really not a problem with these browsers these days.  They just keep getting better.  And, they had darn well better be the default browser for each platform.  After all, they’re crafted by Microsoft and Apple.  They should be the best that each of those companies can produce.

Which brings me back to Ubuntu.  It doesn’t create its own browser.  In fact, it has the choice of the field and all that is available.  Conceivably, they could have worked on a port with the others if they opened up their source.  With all that is available, they have chosen Firefox.  There were rumblings that this might change this October and yet, the news is that “Firefox To Remain Default Browser in Ubuntu 13.10“.

In an internet world where applications and placement are bought and sold, what does this say about the quality of the browser?  Will the debate continue on to release 14.04?

What browser do you choose to use?  Why?  Do you have a particular brand loyalty or does it even matter to you these days?  For students, how important is it for them to know that there are choices, there are proprietary and open source alternatives?


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

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