Of Browser Wars & Plugins

I'm a long-term Firefox user having switched from Opera (it ran beautifully on Sparc Linux!) what feels like decades ago. At the time it was the evangelism that caused me to switch, the idea that making that choice personally could change the iniquitous state of the world (or at least a very small part of it) and between us we did it, the world changed. Now there's other interesting browsers to choose from, I do use Epiphany for a few light-weight tasks when I want a minimal GUI and occasionally I use Chrome just to check it out and coo at the new enhancements and its rapid development. Chrome is faster than Firefox, at least for me, so you'd think it was a no-brainer if it wasn't for one key thing that keeps Firefox ahead .. plugins. Mozilla calls them add-ons and I can't do without them. I'm particularly enamoured of No Script , apart from the unmatched security aspects which I hope I can judge with my reasonable understanding of the subject, it's a splendid ad-blocker as most of them use javascript or flash. It also gives me a grasp of what is actually linked to the page I am on and I like to be aware. In fact maybe too much; another add-on WorldIP shows the ISP, country and AS name of the site that I'm on and the Header Spy add-on is configured to tell me what sort of web-server it is. Does this enhance my browsing security? Not especially, I suppose I can wonder why Slashdot is suddenly hosted in Romania, but that's never happened. Is this a bit too geeky? Yes, of course but who cares? It keeps me entertained.

.. and yes I know Chrome has plugins but it doesn't have anything that goes as deep as No Script, when it does maybe then I'll switch.