The debate as to which web browser will come installed by default on Ubuntu 13.10 continues.
Discussion on switching from the current default ‘Firefox’ to the webkit-based* ‘Chromium’ were first raised at the Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit (vUDS) back in May.
Continuing that discussion in a post to the Ubuntu Desktop Mailing List Canonical’s Jason Warner writes:
“In the past few weeks I’ve seen quite a few articles and comments on the possible switch, and in light of those I’d like to focus this discussion a few ways.
1. This is NOT about which browser is better.
2. This is NOT about which browser has more features or X, Y or Z feature.
3. Openness and freedom are still part of our core values. However I’d rather not turn this thread into a “who is more open/free” debate.
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?”
Quality, stability and user experience as highlighted by Warner as important points for consideration.
We conducted a vote a while back. The results gave a win for those who favoured Firefox as default (57%) compared those who favoured Chromium (43%).
Slim split, and hardly decisive.
Psrt of the rationale that started talk on switching was that idea that more people are using Chrome(ium) than Firefox in general.
Judging by visits to this site from Linux users for the last 30 days Firefox still rules the roost with 50.9% to Chrome’s (including Chromium) 46.8%. Opera and minor webkit using browser (Web, Midori, Rekonq) make up the remaining scraps.
Is Firefox winning because it has the convenience factor of being pre-installed? Could be. What this stat certainly shows is that almost 50% of users go out of their way to use something that isn’t the default.
As of yet no decision has been taken, but Warner himself states that he is ‘still leaning towards Chromium’.
Of course, the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter which browser comes by default. Both will remain available to install from the Ubuntu Software Centre (albeit Chromium has, up until recently, been poorly maintained).
*Now a webkit fork
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