Today’s Linux Experience – Choosing a Web Browser [2]

Last week I wrote about choosing a browser for Linux. Today I put my thoughts into effect and set up Firefox Developer by importing bookmarks from Opera into it and syncing them. However it hasn’t taken long to discover problems with using Firefox for all the stuff I used Opera for.
First problem is for pasting images from the Clipboard into a Facebook post. Out of the box FFDE does not allow you to do this. Each time I had to save the snapshot to a disk file and then add the photo from the the file.
Second problem: although FFDE was quite usable at work on Lubuntu, a lot of problems developed when I tried to use it at home. I would keep seeing messages about scripts slowing down webpages, and then when one web page was slow to load, none of the other tabs would be visible while this was happening.
It may be the case that this is some kind of issue with Mint rather than FFDE in general, however I haven’t noticed problems with FFDE on this system before. I am puzzled by these situations, but overall what this adds up to is I can’t recommend Firefox as a viable replacement for these proprietary browsers just now.
The problem is that Mozilla has failed to keep up with the pace set by the proprietary browsers, particularly Chrome, and millions of users have voted with their feet. Having fallen off the pace, Mozilla now seems unable to regain the lead they once had. It’s a long time since I seriously used Firefox for anything other than some undemanding situations where knowing it wasn’t leaking data to a vendor was the most important consideration. It is still my browser of choice for installing on servers, and does get used as a “spare” browser quite often in work and home situations (I tend to have dedicated Opera and Chrome to specific tasks, each with its own set of synchronised bookmarks customised to that set of tasks). 
FFDE has been good as a work browser with its own bookmark set as well, with undemanding web pages that don’t take up a lot of resources. It seems, in a nutshell, that there is a tradeoff between FFDE’s resource usage efficiency and performance. In other words you don’t get something for nothing. The much vaunted memory usage efficiency that Mozilla touts as an advantage for FFDE means it doesn’t always perform very well. On the other hand I have seen exceptional performance from FFDE when dealing with large numbers of thumbnails on Tumblr picture blogs, and on test it was able to handle hundreds of tabs open at a time displaying images without missing any of them. Regular Firefox, under the same circumstances, would have dropped quite a few thumbnails. So it seems FFDE electrolysis is good for some things, but still has a long way to go before it has excellent all-round performance.