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I changed my default web browser

9 February 2007 · Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Not that anyone but me really cares.

I’m a web developer. Now, I don’t know if other web developers do this, but I keep three web browsers open at all times.

I don’t mean three web browser windows, either. I mean that I keep Safari, Firefox, and Camino open and available always, usually with more than one window open, all loaded up with boatloads of tabs. Scoff if you will, but I have my reasons.

Used to be that I used Safari as my main development browser (meaning, I would preview pages I was working on there first) as well as my RSS feed reader. Then, I would use Firefox for looking up programming-related information and for more serious debugging using Firebug, LiveHTTPHeaders, or the Web Developer extension. In Camino, I would have My Yahoo! and other articles up in tabs for me to switch to for a quick news fix.

No longer.

I have now switched to using Camino as my main development browser, Firefox for heavy debugging, with Safari pretty much relegated just to being my RSS feed reader.

Why the switch? Of the three, Camino seems the most robust. When I’m working on something, the last thing I need is for the browser to crash. I have been burned this way too many times by Safari. I have never used Firefox for my main development browser (despite its excellent extensions) because it is a resource oinker.

So far, the only real drawback is that Camino performs the worst of the three when I hit a page with any kind of serious Flash on it. It usually swallows up the entirety of my (admittedly measley) G4 PowerBook’s processor. Otherwise, Camino is the browser I count on not to crash, no matter how convoluted the JavaScript on a page, no matter what errors it might encounter while rendering a page.

Sorry, Safari. It makes me sad to say it, but you just don’t pass muster.