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An ex-Mozilla employee's view about Chrome

  sonic0002      2013-07-28 23:09:19      11,809    5

Chrome now becomes the most popular web browser on the planet because it provides excellent user experience. As a general user, we think it's fast and easy to use. How about those who develop web browsers? How do they think about Chrome? Abhinav Sharma ,an ex-Mozilla employee and now Facebook employee, shared his opinion about Chrome.

Mozilla fights an uphill battle given Google's advertising budget and capacity to have some incredibly good engineers and designers work on Chrome. They also came along later when open source was a lot more prevalent and could get off the ground quicker using WebKit.

That said, I think Chrome is a solid product and used it up until I worked at Mozilla at which point I switched because I learnt it was a lot more customizable. I think Firefox is just as stable and fast as Chrome in everyday use. I like the UI for Chrome better - it's more consistent and has been tweaked to 'feel faster.'

Also I think Chrome sync has an easier onboarding experience because it uses your Google account. Meanwhile, Mozilla cares more for the user's privacy and has you use a secondary code for client side encryption that you have to remember or lookup in one of your devices each time you're syncing a new device. In my experience this makes for I slightly worse user experience.

Firefox is a lot easier to customize than Chrome. In my internship at Mozilla I wrote a search engine for history, overhauled the default bookmarking system all with public APIs. Go see some of the labs experiments like home dash to see how flexible an add on can be.

Of course, there's a flip side to that and allowing plugins to do practically anything to the browser means some plugins are badly written code and they bloat or leak memory more than they need to resulting in the user thinking it's the browser's fault. I suspect the decision to keep Chrome's plugins so limited was partially driven from these learnings at Mozilla.

So what do I really think of Chrome? I think it's a solid well rounded product and an excellent example of how taking features away gives you a better product. Google's advertising targets speed, which is by far the first thing most users want in a browser. It makes bloatware much harder, all of which makes it feel faster even though they're neck and neck on the technical benchmarks.

I think Firefox is a solid fast browser which is more extensible than Chrome and comparably fast. I wish Mozilla would target the user experience and product design more as a central part of their strategy.

Actually our feeling about Firefox now is Firefox is just like a heavy machine which equips with all kinds of features and expose them to us as a whole explicitly, while Chrome is one which equips with the necessary ones and builds a nice cover to improve its user experience. This is what Firefox should heads to next.



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踏雁寻花 [Reply]@ 2013-07-29 00:07:20



NorthFacing [Reply]@ 2013-07-29 00:45:47


Jearbilove [Reply]@ 2013-07-29 21:14:17

I think the point that lead Chrome such successful is their design of  UI, it really makes people feel brief and fast

banxi1988 [Reply]@ 2013-07-30 05:48:06


wocao [Reply]@ 2013-07-30 09:38:36



Falling into a trap

By sonic0002