Moving back to Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox with Quantum Dark theme

Back in the days following the browser wars, there was a new browser that rose from the ashes of Netscape: Mozilla Firefox. I was a massive fan when it first launched. I literally bought the t-shirt. And the umbrella.

But like many, sometime after Firefox 3 or 3.5, I was seduced by the simplicity of Google Chrome and I made the switch.

Recently, however, I have become more aware of and concerned about security and privacy, two things that Mozilla have really been putting in the effort to improve in Firefox over the last few years. I’ve also grown more cynical about Google after they removed their “do no evil” clause from their code of conduct in 2018.

This is obviously an opinionated piece, but Mozilla does provide quite a nice comparison of various features of seven of the most popular browsers currently.

So, this week, after 12 years using Chrome almost exclusively, I made the switch back to Mozilla Firefox. From Firefx v3.5 to v89.

I imported my bookmarks from Google Chrome, logged into Firefox on my Android phone and initiated a synchronised relationship between the two. I have installed my favourite plugins/add-ons and have this gorgeous Quantum Dark theme.

I’m going to give it a go for the next month and see how I get on.

So far, I am really impressed.

Observations

Friday 18 June 2021

I thought I would update this post with any observations that I have during this experiment.

I miss the ability to natively group tabs the way that you can now in Google Chrome. I used that a lot to keep certain collections of tabs together.

I also don’t like the way that Firefox renders Gmail—the internal scrollbars are very intrusive. I spent a little while today trying to restyle them using the Stylish plugin but to no avail.

In terms of speed, rendering pages, and general usability: no problems at all. I actually prefer the tabs in Firefox, and I prefer how it displays when you rip off a tab and move it another monitor.

I am getting used to the inspect source code (developer tools) option not being right at the bottom of the context menu in Firefox, as it is in Chrome.

I miss the JoinTabs plugin in Chrome but I found one with a similar functionality (Merge all windows) which works via the right-click context menu rather than a standalone button on the toolbar.

The experiment continues…

Coding fonts

Screenshot of Source Code Pro on Coding Fonts

Coding Fonts is a fabulous resource from CSS Tricks for selecting alternative fonts for your code editor.

While a few of the fonts are commercial, many are open source and/or free.

In Sublime Text 3, changing the font is as simple as downloading and installing the font then opening Preferences > Settings then adding the following line of code to the right-hand pane (within the file ‘Preferences.sublime-settings — User’):

"font_face": "NAME_OF_FONT",

Save the file and the font updates instantly.

Sorted CSS colours

Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas, right?

Those that know me from a web development perspective know how much I love CSS. Here’s another simple tool to add to my design toolbox.

Sorted CSS Colors [sic] by Mustafa Enes Ertarhanacı is an elegant tool to sort the named CSS colours in a way that shows related colours together. And that’s it.

Continue reading Sorted CSS colours

Transcending CSS Revisited

One of the most influential books I ever read about web development was Jeffrey Zeldman’s ‘blue beanie book’ Designing with Web Standards (2003). It truly changed the way I thought about and practiced web development.

Designing with Web Standards (Voices That Matter): Amazon.co.uk ...

The other book that influenced me a great deal was Andy Clarke’s Transcending CSS (2006)

The great news is that Andy Clarke has made the his updated version Transcending CSS Revisited: The Fine Art of Web Design available online to read for free. Or you can buy a PDF version for offline reading.

SEC digital calendar website is now mobile first

How the new SEC digital calendar website looks on a Google Pixel 2XL smartphone

This week I launched a mobile-first redesign of my SEC digital calendar website which is a resource for the Scottish Episcopal Church to enable anyone to integrate this year’s church calendar and lectionary with their digital calendar (e.g. Google Calendar).

Continue reading SEC digital calendar website is now mobile first