Lately I’ve switched back from Chrome to Firefox. Before Chrome, I used Firefox, Conkeror, I’ve tried Qutebrowser, some text-based browsers like eww and w3m, and… yeah, you get the picture. Seems like I’m never fully happy with any browser. To be honest, I’m not happy with the concept of browser in general, but web browsing is integral part of personal computation, like it or not.

In this post, I’ve described my browser setup using sandboxing and a host of browser add-ons, and it was working out quite nicely. The reason I switched to Chrome in the first place was because I couldn’t figure out how to make a decent, narrowing tab search on Firefox, and to map it conveniently to Emacs-style C-x b. For Chrome, there was the excellent add-on Vimium, which provides that, and while the name suggest Vim-style keyboard control, it can be configured to resemble more Emacs. Then, later I found out that a port to Firefox, VimiumFF exists, but I kept on using Chrome because of its other virtues, namely its super smooth operation. The UI is really, really fast. That’s something I’ll surely be missing out.

What exactly was the problem with Chrome then? It was the external editor setup, Emacs edit-server and the add-on Edit with Emacs. I was experiencing strange timeout. Chrome just cut off the connection every now and then, and the edit-server buffers were just hanging unresponsive. With Firefox, there seems to be no such problem. That was it, this time.

So now I’m back to Firefox, at least for today. VimiumFF works okay even though it claims to experimental, but for sure it is much slower compared to Vimium on Chrome. On Chrome, the link hinting is almost instant on any page, while on Firefox, it might take 1-2 seconds to finish on pages like Reddit. And my machine is pretty powerful.

In the long run, I’m sure Qutebrowser will be the correct solution to the Browser Problem. The day Qutebrowser provides more fine-grained control over the page resources (think of uMatrix), I’m happy to throw away Firefox. And trust me, I won’t be missing WebExtensions.

Oh, what is the Browser Problem? I want the browser to behave like Emacs buffer, simple as that. And needless to say, I want it to be secure, and able to deal effectively with JavaScript and other harmful side effects of the web. I still haven’t found a perfect solution to this, so the search goes on.