Ubuntu 13.10 Will Most Likely Ditch Firefox for Chromium

A decision hasn't been made yet, but Canonical is hard at work

The debate about the default Internet browser in Ubuntu rages on and it seems that Chromium will most likely replace Firefox.

The proposition to replace Firefox with Chromium has been made during the last vUDS, but a decision was not reached at that time.

This debate has surfaced again, on the Ubuntu development mailing list and most developers are in favor of Chromium.

“What is important, and ultimately should be the deciding factor, is the common end user experience. Which browser, in the common case, will be the best for the general end user? Things I consider relevant to this discussion are quality/stability/robustness, familiarity, ease of use, and overall user experience,” stated Canonical's Jason Warner.

It would be nice to consult the user base about a decision as important as this one. Most likely, like all controversial decisions regarding Ubuntu, it will not be received well by all the community.

Canonical has assured everyone that neither browser is going to be ignored, if the other one is chosen.

“I'd like to reiterate one point: Neither browser is going away. If Chromium is the default, Firefox will continue to be available to those choosing Firefox. Vise versa for Chromium,” also said Jason Warner.

A few other developers have chipped in and the general consensus, at least until now, is that Chromium provides better development tools and it's less prone to hang if one tab has encountered problems.

“I've noticed that Firefox has a tendency to hang when any one tab has heavy Javascript which blocks the browser, whereas in Chromium, only the tab in question would hang. The hangs can get quite frustrating, really. So for overall user experience, -1 to Firefox,” said Canonical's Chow Loong Jin.

Choosing the default Internet browser for an operating system is not an easy decision, but Chromium looks more and more like a real option to Mozilla.

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