Chad Perrin: SOB

12 September 2008

Browser Choice: Flock

Filed under: Geek,Mezilla — apotheon @ 02:51

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that I’m generally pretty annoyed with Firefox. If nothing else, my SOB entry Has Firefox jumped the shark? ought to serve as a pretty big hint. My interest in the development of Chrome (as hinted at by my TechRepublic article, What are the security implications for Google Chrome?) might offer some indication of my intent to eventually find a way to get away from Firefox, too.

A while back, a new browser came out: Flock. It’s built on the same codebase as Firefox, but some notable changes have been made in its interface, and it is intended to much more closely integrate with “social” Websites. It’s called “The Social Web Browser” on its own Website, and bills itself as “The Browser for the Modern Web”.

I gave it a try early on. It suffered from some shortcomings and annoyances that frankly annoyed the crap out of me — even more than Firefox did. I went back to Firefox.

A while later, I tried it again. Some things had improved. Others had not. Back to Firefox again.

I’m giving it another try. So far, it seems head-and-shoulders above Firefox for me. It’s a little lighter and a little faster, and even though its built in support for Delicious bookmarks seems to be broken on this install, it supports the same Delicious bookmarks plug-in I was using with Firefox — so all is well on this front.

I’ve (re)found something that will keep me from completely losing my mind until I get a chance to give Google Chrome a more serious try than I currently can (since it’s only available on MS Windows so far and has some show-stopping issues that will have to get fixed before I use Chrome for more than just testing purposes). Finally, I’ve discovered a slightly less odious browser choice than Firefox, in the form of its fork, the Flock browser.

At least, it seems less odious so far. I’m keeping my mind open, though.


  1. I think you have made a correct choice. I’ve tried almost every web browser I can get my hands on, including Google Chrome. I finally decided Flock was the best browser to suit my blogging needs.

    As you correctly stated, it includes a tight and coherent collection of social networks, it’s fast and the interface is not intimidating at all. At this point in time, I would not trade my Flock social browser for any other similar application.

    Soon Flock 2.0 will hit the streets. I just can’t wait to see how good it will be. It’s now in Beta 2, but I don’t like beta software.

    Just my two cents on the subject.

    Comment by Omar Upegui R. — 12 September 2008 @ 03:55

  2. Thanks for commenting, Omar, and welcome to SOB.

    I still have hope for Chrome, once it gets some of the kinks ironed out and sprouts an extension system (and gets ported to a platform I want to use regularly). As things stand, though, there’s not much to recommend some other browser to me instead of Flock 1.x. I haven’t really been following Flock development, and don’t know what’s forthcoming in Flock 2.

    Comment by apotheon — 13 September 2008 @ 12:44

  3. I use Opera, Chad. What are your opinions thereupon?

    Comment by Ole Phat Stu — 13 September 2008 @ 11:07

  4. Off the top of my head, I think some of its interface design decisions are kinda crappy (at least for my purposes), and I just don’t trust closed source software. While it incorporates some of the functionality you can get with extensions in Firefox, it doesn’t incorporate the extension functionality that I use. It also has more rendering issues with various Websites in my experience (though that’s very subjective).

    On the other hand, Opera’s faster and more lightweight than Firefox (or Flock, for that matter), and while Firefox and Flock are open source software, the licensing isn’t quite ideal. In any case, Opera’s a darned sight better than IE, and if it’s what works for you, I say go for it — at least until something with a more significant and comprehensive set of advantages over Opera than Firefox and Flock enters stable release. I currently hope Chrome (or Chromium, really) will be that “something”, in part because of licensing, and in part because of some of the design ideas that went into its development.

    Comment by apotheon — 13 September 2008 @ 11:17

  5. You know, there’s a top scrolling shooter called Chromium. I freakin’ love that game.

    Off topic but your last comment just reminded me of it.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 13 September 2008 @ 05:25

  6. I remember I tried Flock a while (a looong while) ago and had some rendering problems with it… and crashes, lots of crashes. I’m thinking it might be some time to give the little guy another chance since I trust you to be particularly picky about performance (thus I feel that your opinion has weight.)

    I’ll let you know if it dissapoints me horribly or if it’s the next double sided tape (which is man greatest invention after the wheel.)


    Comment by the_blunderbuss — 15 September 2008 @ 11:31

  7. Flock is really a good browser for a person having profiles in many social media websites. its not a must you are a social person to use flock. Flock is based on firefox core so it is good chrome has a long way to cover before competing to firefox.

    Comment by MOin — 16 September 2008 @ 12:26

  8. […] Well . . . so much for my Flock experiment. […]

    Pingback by Chad Perrin: SOB » Web browsers suck. — 18 September 2008 @ 01:12

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