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How I Work :: 2021 Browser Edition

I’ve been surfing the web for almost 30 years and gone through many browsers in that time. I’ve tried configuring them, writing extensions & themes and evaluating them for personal use. In the future I might go more in-depth on my choices, but by way of introduction (to myself, and this site) — here’s a snapshot of how I work with browsers, y rather convoluted way of surfing the Internet.

Chromium Chromium-based browser

Google’s open source browser is ubiquitous. It powers something like 99% of the web (that’s a made-up statistic that may or may not be true). As the engine for many different browsers, this can lead to some interesting trade-offs.

  • It’s by far the most used, so it’s a de facto requirement for any development efforts.
  • I really enjoy Chromium dev-tools.
  • I don’t want to be too deep in the Google eco-system, so if I can avoid Chrome, I will. (Yes, they currently have my email, calendar and maps — but I don’t have to make it easy for them).
  • The less extensions I have to install the better.

For this reason Vivaldi is my chromium browser of choice. It has fantastic tab-management, configuration and even gestures available out of the box in addition to the other tools I need (e.g. profiles, extensions, etc.)

I use a different profile for work, gmail, and personal.

firefox Firefox Developer Edition

My first browser was Netscape Navigator and I have always been rooting for it. When Mozilla spun off of Netscape I tried to use it, but it wasn’t until Phoenix (early version of Firefox) came along that I really loved it. I’ve gone away and returned many times as features have improved or stagnated.

Today, I really enjoy the container feature to sandbox almost every open tab into mini/temporary profiles. And it’s very snappy these days too. Firefox serves as a great daily driver (and is my default browser).

 Finicky

The last browser that I use on a daily basis is Finicky. This is a macos-only application (although there are comparable Windows/Linux options available) to route links to different browsers. If I click on a link in a different application (e.g. slack) it uses a series of filters to decide if it should open the Vivaldi work profile, or send it to Firefox.

Other Browsers

Every so often, I retry different browsers to see if something has changed — if they’re faster or better than what I’m currently using — great! So I have a rotating cast of secondary browsers making guest appearances on my systems. Google Chrome, Chrome Canary, Chromium, Safari, and Brave to name a few. Even other esoteric ones few might have heard of (like Browserosaurus). (Sidenote: I still need to give Edge a closer look, but as it shares the Chromium engine, I haven’t felt a need to kick the tires).

If you have seen a new or interesting browser let me know, there’s always room for another one.

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