Camino runs rings around Firefox


Today for a quick break from studies and work I decided once again to download the latest Mozilla Firefox for Mac and install it, and once again after half an hour it was wiped off my drive. Fact is, I've been spoiled completely by Camino.

Camino Firefox

It's no secret to anyone that Firefox is slow on Mac. In a time where virtually every other Mac app has been written to use the Cocoa widgets or even Qt, Firefox (and unfortunately Thunderbird) still use the OS 9 era throwback Carbon widgets which really shows. The graphics and user interface in Firefox look tired and outdated, whereas the graphics and user interface on Camino look polished… and damn it Camino looks like a real Mac app.

Firefox Camino Comparison

Those complaints aside though, using Firefox today on Mac reminded me once again why I stopped using it: the scroll speed is abysmal. Despite the fact I have a MacBook Pro which you can use the two finger motion on the touch pad to scroll I still prefer to use the keyboard arrow keys, and using these there's a noticeable lag. I'd guess that Firefox scrolls at almost half the speed that both Camino or Safari do.

Not to mention the fact that Firefox on idle with one tab open somehow manages to use so much more RAM than Camino (or even Safari) do:

Firefox, Camino, Safari RAM comparison

According to Wikipedia Gecko 1.9 will support native Cocoa widgets which should close this gap, then I'll be able to use all the wicked Firefox plugins. Until then, I'll continue using Camino, as I have for years.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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