Newsflash: Camino is fast!

Nowadays I use Firefox for most of my regular browsing. I do this for two reasons: 1) because I work on it and 2) it has RSS support, which is a feature I have totally fallen in love with. I can’t wait until I have time to add RSS support to Camino, though first I’ll have to convince Mike that its a good feature to have.

For about a week or two after I started using Firefox, I didn’t use Camino at all, for anything. But then I added it back to my dock and started using it again occasionally for a reason I never would have guessed – its really fast!

When I want to look at a website quickly (or maybe some local HTML documentation) and I don’t already have a web browser open, I hate waiting for Firefox to launch. Its launch time on the Mac is pretty damned slow compared to other similar-sized applications. Camino launches almost immediately for me, in less than one dock bounce. Its even faster than Safari. Furthermore, once Camino has launched, its UI is responsive almost immediately (unlike Firefox’s UI, which has a small delay), and pages load really quickly (Firefox is pretty fast in this respect, but it’s not as fast as Camino by a fairly large margin, IMHO). For the record, I use my own builds of Camino, which are pretty much the same as recent nightly builds. Your mileage my vary, especially if you are using an 0.8.x release. I should also note that once Firefox is fired up and ready to go, its speed deficit is not usually noticeable and features such as RSS support allow me to complete by browsing tasks in much less time overall.

Its nice to suddenly notice a really great aspect of Camino. I guess I took the speed for granted when I used it all the time and had little to compare it to. This realization has also made making Firefox launch faster a higher priority for me. I’d say it is one of Firefox’s biggest problems at the moment.

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11 Responses to Newsflash: Camino is fast!

  1. Michael Genzuk says:

    Josh, I agree with you on three issues. First and foremost Camino does appear to be faster than both Firefox and Safari. This being said I too am a big fan of RSS support as operationalized in Firefox for Mac. I have previously written and requested the inclusion of the RSS feature in Camino, but Mike P. voiced a strong opinion it would not be seen in Camino. I hope that you have better luck in convincing him to add it to our beloved Camino. If you need any support with your case let me know.

    Now for Firefox. . . without a doubt it is slower that the other two browsers on the Mac platform. That being said there is something that is more complelling about Firefox than any of the other available browsers. If you can bring the launch time and the page load times up to speed on Firefox you have a great chance to lead the Mac browser race.

    Thanks for your efforts and your regular posts that keep us updated on the exciting developments on the Mac side of Mozilla. Please keep up the great work.

  2. Sandy Smith says:

    Definitely Camino is faster, and has been for a while. Someone told me about a comparison (done by Macworld?) that claimed Safari was faster, and I am not sure why. It launches fairly quickly, but in any complex HTML, Camino spanks it fairly handily.

    Especially in any long, complex tables, Camino really shines.

    Firefox isn’t bad on rendering, but the rest of the UI is so slow that it’s still somewhat painful to use. At work the only reason I use it is for the plugins: Google Pagerank, BugMeNot, and of course the Web Developer plugin. Also, the password handling is a little better.

    But at home, for more typical browsing, Camino is my default. The only reason I switch from it is if I’m doing web development at home or I want to take advantage of Safari’s always-on spellchecking.

    Otherwise, Camino launches fast enough and is much better about UI and complex HTML rendering.

  3. Mike says:

    I actually paid for a copy of OmniWeb (bundle w/ OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle) and while it has some neat features (the best is the amount of per-site control it gives you over things like cookies, etc., even for HTTPS sites, something that an ad-blocking proxy like Privoxy won’t give you) it is intolerably slow compared to Camino. Don’t use Safari because i hate the metal, but it’s also pretty sluggish. Firefox doesn’t look Mac-like enough for me, plus I have a heavy investment in passwords stored on my KeyChain.

    Speaking of, why can’t Camino use the same passwords stored in the Keychain as Safari/OmniWeb?

  4. ned says:

    I started using Camino back around .1-.2 (when it was still called Chimera). Ever since Safari hit, I’ve been using it as my default browser and picking up a Camino build every once in a while just to check it out. The builds I’ve been using the past few months have been quite impressive, and the recent G3 optimized nightly builds made me realize that Camino is flat out faster than Safari. Not only that, the integration and feature set are kicking ass too. Every once in a while, I’ll change my default browser to Camino for a few days, and while i still go back to Safari for some reason, i have a feeling that one day soon, Camino will stay there for good.

    As for the RSS feature, i think the best approach would be to automatically detect feeds like FireFox does and provide an icon at the bottom right hand corner too, but have it send the URL to your preferred RSS aggregator. This keeps everybody happy: for the purists, there’s still no extra bloat, and for the RSS fiends (i’m in this category), feed addition is as easy as pie.

  5. Jon Hicks says:

    I agree, camino is probably the fastest browser on my mac, but it doesn’t (yet) have the features I look for. I spend most of my time between Safari and Omniweb. Presumably more features mean less speed though?

    RSS would change my mind about Camino. Please convince Mike that integration is good!

  6. Josh Aas says:

    I don’t mean to bombard Mike with email by suggesting this, but if you want RSS support you should let him know be sending email to the Camino feedback email address:

    caminofeedback@mozilla.org

  7. No newsflash for those of us in the forums; we’ve been saying that for some time now to the lost souls and trolls who stop by. :-)

    I don’t really “get” RSS, but if what’s involved is only what ned suggests, I don’t see why every browser shouldn’t have that sort of integration….

  8. daniel. says:

    Mike mentioned the Fx theme. I don’t understand why they dropped the original Pinstripe. I’m using Seamonkey now, because it runs all the extensions I need plus there is Pinstripe also for the new versions: http://kmgerich.com/pinstripe/beta/install.php.

  9. Michael Genzuk says:

    Below is a copy of the note I have forwarded to Mike Pinkerton via the caminofeedback@mozilla.org mail address:

    Mike, in the past I have requested support for RSS in Camino. You have made a compelling case against this notion with arguments for keeping Camino lean and the plethora of third party RSS programs available. I want to re-state my request for integrated RSS support in Camino as exists in Firefox. I have come to love the RSS feature and it is the only feature that keeps me from making Camino my default browser. Please re-consider, it is simply more convenient and cleaner to have it integrated in the browser itself.

    Thanks for your re-consideration.

  10. Terence Tan says:

    I use Firefox on my Mac at home, but now Camino intruiges me, so I’ll give that a whirl. With startup time, though… I’m not sure how representative this is of users in general, but I just keep Firefox open all the time (with about 30 tabs spread amongst 4 windows, natch).

  11. Oh, Michael, please donít use the “it is the only feature that keeps me from” argument! People always say that! Iím sure you can think of a better one :).

    ~Grauw

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