307 - Epiphany-vs-Firefox–current-status

Firefox and Epiphany. How does one choose between them? They both have features that I like. Firefox has less UI around the web page (at least the way I use it), but Epiphany quite happily uses all the Gnome stuff I’m used to, and like, such as the Save dialog.

(On a side note, I really like the new GTK Save dialog. It just feels far nicer because it is focused towards **saving** your file. I've been using Windows at work and its Save dialog is just not as good. There is no focus to it; it's not clear what is going on. It leaves me longing for a big, bright Save button that I can use, as opposed to a morass of widgets to choose between. I mean, why would I want to use a Save dialog **to copy a file**? I think the Windows Save dialog is a mess that stemmed from the "we can do this, so lets just add it" mentality. **Enough of this ranting already, Mike, get on with it**)

After a few days using them, I think I shall mainly be sticking with Epiphany. This is mainly due to it’s integration with Gnome. It Just Works, as the current buzz-phrase would have it. I don’t have to think whilst using it. It acts like the rest of my desktop. Plus there are a few very minor-looking features that I just can’t get enough of:

  • Epiphany uses the current site’s favicon for its program icon. This is invaluable on multiple desktops as the VWM shows the site’s icon in its little desktop picture.
  • There is a “Download Link” menu entry that just downloads the link; no dialog is shown. It downloads to a downloads folder. This feature alone makes my life easier, I download so much source code and such
  • It follows the Gnome icon theme, so I can guess what an icon does and have a high probability of being correct. Again, less thinking, more working.
  • The bookmarks system Just Works. I’m not sure why, but it seems far quicker to use than any other. Top marks to the Epiphany team for daring to be different.
  • Understandable privacy controls. These always seem to be an after-thought, but Epiphany does them right it would seem, and I can actually use them.
  • Selective text on Right toolbar buttons — gives me a big Back and Home button to aim for, because I am always using them.
  • Drag and drop tabs. Move them around, move them to other windows, make new windows. Another thing that Just Works

I could go on. It’s the small features. Every few days I’ll try something, like dragging a tab to try and make a new window and it just happens. I think it is the level of intuitiveness and consistency with the rest of the desktop (e.g. Gaim does the tab thing too) makes Epiphany my current browser of choice.

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