Back to Firefox
2020-12-22 20:49 GMT
Firefox to me, probably: You could not live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me.
I didn’t write about this, but I switched from Firefox to Safari in October. I just switched back this week. It’s almost reached double-digits the number of times I’ve made this switch, one way or another. I sometimes say one of my biggest recurring doubts I have is if I’m using the right browser. I’m only kind of joking.
Why did I switch back this time? Especially with new Big Sur Safari? Here’s a list of tiny things I could not get over.
Reasons Firefox > Safari
- Extensions, especially uBlock Origin. Firefox is the last bastion of true adblocking, since Google's crackdown on adblockers on Chrome (see sidebar) (more technical comment) and Apple and Safari being bad at this since the beginning of time. Other adblockers, which were already more resource intensive than UBO, are selling out to 'acceptable ads' or ads that pay them too, which is pretty funny. I actually bought Wipr, which was better than nothing, but it still failed sometimes on YouTube. You may take issue with the practice of adblocking generally, but I feel fine about my position on this.
- Extensions, especially Distraction Free YouTube. YouTube is so clean with it. You can make the main page look just like Google. Just a search bar. And when you're watching a video, it's just the video and the search bar. No comments or recommendations or anything. Has saved me a lot of time and mental energy.
- Extensions, especially screen time. You can get extensions which block websites forever on Firefox. Safari uses Screen Time, which weirdly has a minimum of 1 minute, so you have to let yourself be able to go on something for at least a minute a day. Very inelegant.
- Extensions, especially Zotero Connectors. I need it to write papers. Wow, Safari really sucks at extensions, and will be far behind for a while even though Big Sur is better.
- Safari's cross site tracking is too powerful, such that I can't tell Yale's 2FA system Duo Mobile to remember me for 90 days. It can't remember me because it can't access another site. This is Duo's fault and not Safari's for sure, but I can't change what 2FA system Yale uses.
- How Firefox does search suggestions is much better. If I start typing and then see a suggestion I like, I can highlight it and keep typing to append to the end of the suggestion. On Safari I have to highlight the suggestion, press the right arrow key to move my cursor to the end of the suggestion, and then type to append. Just highlighting and typing replaces the suggestion instead of appending. Why did I even highlight the suggestion in the first place? Firefox's design choice makes much more sense.
- When I use middle mouse button (or just click the 'x') to close a tab on Firefox, the tabs don't immediately resize. So I can middle click close many tabs in a row because they keep sliding over, and they resize when my cursor leaves the tab bar. Safari instantly resizes tabs, so I have to move my cursor to close many at once.
- On Firefox the bookmarks are left-aligned, on Safari they are centered. On Firefox bookmarks have favicons. This I can probably get used to either way, but I prefer Firefox's way. Centering shifts the position of bookmarks on the bar all the time, which is not the point.
- Apple has many annoying defaults, like weather.com for anything related (like when I search, 'chandler az sunrise time' and Yahoo for stocks. I would rather see Google widgets than these default results, which Firefox gives me.
- Firefox asks if you want to open or save when you download. You can set a default. I'm pretty sure Safari's default is save and open.
Reasons Safari > Firefox, or what caused me to switch in the first place but are no longer enticing reasons
- Better battery life on my Macbook Air.
- It's made by Apple.
- I think it is slightly faster. I can't really tell, but am sometimes annoyed so maybe subconscious.
- Search suggestions are better most of the time, but not all of the time. It suggests from your history better, but also gives you annoying defaults like Yahoo.
- On Safari you can drag the window from pretty much anywhere next to the address bar. On Firefox the tabs take up most of the top bar, so there's very little real estate to just drag the window.