Re-evaluating Firefox

I’ve used Firefox daily, since it was an early Phoenix release. On Windows it was pretty much either that or IE, and we all know that’s a no-brainer. Firefox followed me faithfully when I switched to using a Mac and I still think it’s a great browser. But…


Since OS X is so impressive and useful, It makes sense to take advantage of what’s available. Things like integrated spellchecking, text services and all of the loveliness that is Cocoa. It occurred to me that Firefox misses on most of these. It’s time to take a look at what else is available. Safari is pretty good, but I just can’t get used to the brushed metal-ness of it. What I’m interested in is OmniWeb.  It’s not free, but that’s never been the deciding factor for me anyway. After about 15 minutes of the demo, I know a few things.

  • It’s slower than Firefox. Not significantly, but noticeably.

  • Graphic Tabs. The little “tab” thumbnails are great. The ability to select a tab visually is one of those “Doh!” things.

  • Real OS X widgets. Yes children, you can navigate web forms, including select (popup) elements with the keyboard. No more filling out a form, stop! grab the mouse, select the state from a popup, and move on. Love this.

  • Integration with OS X services. Selecting text and pushing it into DevonTHINK with a single keystroke is the way to do research.

  • Some Javascript doesn’t seem to work very well. The nifty calendar thingy I’ve been using for web apps, for one. Hope this doesn’t become too common.

Another 15 minutes will probably reveal even more. The good/bad ratio remains to be seen.