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.