Back on March 22, Mozilla released Firefox 4. I was eager to give it a try, as I’d left Firefox 3 for Chrome very reluctantly.
Why did I leave Firefox in the first place? Mostly because it was becoming a resource hog, and was pretty slow. I’d routinely get the dreaded spinning beach ball while running it. I grew frustrated with it, and eventually switched to Chrome for all browsing needs that didn’t involve getting things into my Zotero library.
I found a lot to like about Chrome. It’s fast and it supports extensions–some of which are very handy for integrating an ereader into my workflow. But I really, really missed having Zotero live in my browser. All too often, I’d end up doing my research in Chrome because of its speed, then copying and pasting URLs into Firefox to move items to my Zotero library. That’s hardly an efficient way to work—though it was admittedly more efficient than trying to do the research in Firefox 3. (True, Zotero has a standalone version that works with Chrome, and it looks very promising, but it’s still in alpha stage. I’m not ready to depend on it just yet.)
What’s made the difference for me is speed. I still find the browser a little slow to start up (perhaps because I’m running ten add-ons?). Once it’s up and running, though, it’s quite speedy. I’m glad to be working with just one browser again. I was even able to find Firefox equivalents for two of my favorite Chrome extensions: Klip.me has Send to Kindle support for Firefox as well as Chrome, Chrome to Paper can be replaced with Instapaper’s own bookmarklet, and Fox to Phone will do the same job as Chrome to Phone.
For now, I’m using Firefox almost exclusively. Hopefully it will continue to perform well.
What about you? Have you given Firefox 4 a try? Is it working well for your purposes? Let us know in the comments.