Government // Enterprise Architecture
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5/30/2008
10:48 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Firefox Or Flock? Or Both?

With a release candidate of Firefox 3 upon us and the final version set to drop sometime in June, I'm finding myself a bit torn: Do I upgrade to FF3 once it's fully baked, or stay with my current browser?  What makes the dilemma all the tougher is that my current browser isn't Firefox 2 -- well, it is, sort of, but not really.  It's Flock, which serves as great proof of how open

With a release candidate of Firefox 3 upon us and the final version set to drop sometime in June, I'm finding myself a bit torn: Do I upgrade to FF3 once it's fully baked, or stay with my current browser?  What makes the dilemma all the tougher is that my current browser isn't Firefox 2 -- well, it is, sort of, but not really.  It's Flock, which serves as great proof of how open source can allow the creation of excellent derivative products.

Flock bills itself as "the social Web browser" -- a Web client built specifically for organizing and making sense of the plethora of social networking sites out there.  I thought I'd only make modest use of features like that, but one day with it and I switched.  The RSS aggregator on the homepage alone was useful enough all by itself, but there also was the media bar and built-in image uploader, which I've ended up using in lieu of the uploader provided by Flickr for its site.  (I wasn't as impressed with the blog editor, but I do most of my blogging directly through Movable Type's Web interface anyway, so it's no loss.)

What made Flock attractive even before I knew about any of those features was the fact that it's built directly on top of the same Mozilla engine that powers FF2, so the rendering behavior is the same in both browsers.  That said, once FF3 betas started coming out, I tried them out courtesy of their PortableApps editions, which can run side-by-side with other editions of Firefox (including Flock itself) ... and that's where the indecision really hit me.  Firefox 3 ran that much better than 2, even in its betas, that I became tempted to switch back.

The good news is that I might not have to wait very long.  Flock's FAQ about its use of Mozilla and open source states that a move to the version 3 engine is imminent.  I'll be waiting.

(Side note: I've learned my lesson about trying to second-guess the browser when upgrading from one beta version of Firefox to the next.  This time, for FF3's release candidate, I let the program do all of that heavy lifting instead of mucking around manually ... but I made a profile directory backup just in case.)

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