I could not bear using Chromium for a week as I originally intended. All right, I admit I always intended to go back to Firefox, but the whole exercise didn’t go as planned for various reasons.
The thing is, I have always used Firefox since version 1.0 or so and it has basically become part of my personal life — it’s impossible for me to stay mad at it for too long after all we have been through together.
Nothing of this renders the points I previously raised here any less valid, but I have coped with those annoyances for a good while already — let’s not get too demanding in the usability department here, otherwise I may as well invest a zillion dollars in Apple products right now.
Besides, Chromium insists on taking up preposterous amounts of CPU time in the background every once in a while, even after getting rid of a certain bug with the Linux kernel and leap seconds. Despite all its inefficiencies, I have never seen Firefox indulge in such erratic (and potentially harmful for laptops) behavior like that while idle. I already did my best to diagnose the issue, but I never had that much interest in using Chromium as my primary web browser in the long term anyway. After all, I am a KDE user, which means I like options — the Chromium design philosophy is more or less the antithesis of that, and it shows.
Not to mention that there’s no Chromium add-on providing a Bookmarks menu that looks nice, probably due to the previously mentioned design limitations. It’s also somehow more natural for me to have the Home button at the right end of the toolbar, but this might just be Firefox inculcating habits.
Going back to Firefox, it does seem like resetting its configuration and clearing all of my old web history before March 2012 improved overall performance. In case someone else wants to try resetting their own configuration:
- Backup your profile or the whole
.mozilladirectory (on Linux/X11, no idea about other platforms);
- Go to the
about:supportpage, and choose the Reset Firefox option;
- Follow the instructions on the screen to create a new profile preserving your browsing history, bookmarks, cookies, and saved passwords.
When done, you will be left with an additional copy of your old profile that might or might not still work — I didn’t check this. You can start Firefox with the
-P switch to see the previous profile, and possibly delete it after you are done making sure all the information you need is present in the new one. You will lose all your installed add-ons, their configuration, and your browser preferences; this is pretty much the whole point of the procedure.
I for one had accumulated heaps and heaps of unused or obsolete configuration entries (both from add-ons and old Firefox versions) carried over since late 2008. That can’t possibly be healthy, especially considering that I have tried many, many add-ons and hidden configuration options over the years, and used pretty much all versions since Firefox 3.0.
It’s probably more important to keep the web history under control, though. Older versions of Firefox—if I recall correctly—had a user-visible option in Preferences to limit history to a given amount of time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as of Firefox 13 and it’s all or nothing. Of course, it’s also possible that the current defaults do limit history and there simply isn’t a way to change that limit anymore; so if I ever changed it with a previous version, it would have become inaccessible to me later short of using