The One True Browser

For a long time, I believed that Firefox was the One True Browser. And for a long time it was. The competition consisted of IE, Opera, Chrome, and Safari. IE is… well, all web developers know that Microsoft has spent the last few revisions of IE making up for the sins of IE6; sins which have provoked the ire of web developers (myself included) for many years. IE7 supported basic web development tools, but no version of IE to date has supported cross-computer synchronization, and the user interface of IE has always been a pain. Opera has always been fast, but was late to the game with good developer extensions, and has always had some rendering “quirks”. Safari for Windows has traditionally been clunky and slow, which detracts from the experience even though Webkit is a very nice rendering engine. Like Opera, it also lacked good developer extensions at launch. Chrome was promising–very fast, lightweight, fault tolerant, and used the Webkit rendering engine, but its extension pool was initially thin. Firefox has always been a memory hog, but of all browsers it had the most robust developer tools available and a decent rendering engine, which were my primary needs. The FoxMarks/XMarks extension provided browser synchronization between computers, and now that functionality is supported with a Mozilla plugin (I believe this will be a native feature of Firefox 4). A few months ago I started using Chrome at work for a different browsing experience, and it has grown on me. I have been exploring Chrome extensions, which, much to my delight, now include tools that are roughly equivalent to the developer tools I have been using in Firefox. Chrome also supports native bookmark, browsing history, form data, and extension synchronization across computers. It is faster than any other browser I have tried (including IE9 beta), and is just pleasant to use. I don’t know if Firefox 4 will reclaim the coveted title, or if IE9 will actually redeem Microsoft’s tarnished brand. But I hereby announce that Chrome is now the One True Browser. For what that’s worth.