Camino vs Firefox
August 11, 2004 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Compare and contrast Camino and Firefox for OSX. What are the key differences? How are they similar? Which would do you prefer?
posted by mhaw to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Their rendering and standards support is identical, I think. Firefox has support for Mozilla themes and extensions. Camino (AFAIK) doesn't. Firefox also seems to have more active development behind it. I'm a big fan of it, and use it interchangeably with Safari.
posted by mkultra at 9:31 AM on August 11, 2004

One mysterious (though insignificant) difference: when I run Firefox, (or Thunderbird) and I use Exposé in "All Windows" mode, an anomalous "phantom window" appears only in the Exposé view, not the normal view. Camino does not have this behavior.

This must be due to the fact that Camino is a Cocoa-based app, while Firefox is Carbon-based.

I use Safari almost exclusively, Firefox sometimes, and Camino very rarely.
posted by funkbrain at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2004

Firefox seems to be under more active development (my subjective read), and lets you take advantage of all the interesting add-on widgets. Camino does not. In a related vein, Firefox is more geek-oriented, with numerous fine-tuning preferences readily available. Camino takes more of its cues from Safari, and presents limited options (though you can mess with its prefs file and get the same results, if you want). Firefox uses annoying non-Macish widgets; Camino uses Mac widgets.

Also, Camino is using native OS X bits to draw the interface "chrome" and Firefox is using cross-platform XUL, so it's a little slower to paint on screen.
posted by adamrice at 10:28 AM on August 11, 2004

It used to bug me that I could not get the latest version automatically for firefox, like I had with camino and caminoknight, but since firefix came out, no more complaints. (actually one small one, sometimes pull-downs in firefox show up in the far upper left corner of the screen for some reason)
posted by milovoo at 10:45 AM on August 11, 2004

Camino seems to be based on the relatively stable -- in terms of the rate of change --- Mozilla trunk. As mentioned, it uses native Aqua chrome, which makes it somewhat faster overall. It doesn't have extensions, the web development tools, or themes, and -- unlike Mozilla trunk itself, and much like Phoenix/Firefox -- hides many of the interesting preferences.

The tab interface in Camino sucks ass through a straw -- it's using leetle itty bitty centered blue buttons -- whereas tabs are useful in Phoenix/Firefox and Mozilla trunk.

If you're not a tab user, or web developer, you probably won't care about the differences beyond personal preference for the appearances.
posted by majick at 11:36 AM on August 11, 2004

This must be due to the fact that Camino is a Cocoa-based app, while Firefox is Carbon-based.

Nah, it's because Camino doesn't use Mozilla's theming engine. Here's the bug report.

Camino seems faster to me, and I don't think any of Firefox's themes look "Aqua enough." So I prefer Camino. Another key difference: Camino is exclusive to OS X, but Firefox is cross-platform. That's why Firefox has many more developers. But since they're both open-source, you could volunteer to help with either ones.
posted by hyperizer at 12:10 PM on August 11, 2004

There is a limit to the number of tabs in a single window with Camino. I don't know the exact number, but I'd guess its around 15. Camino does bookmarks like Safari, which I don't like. There are fewer configuration options for Camino. With Camino it's usually best to use a stable nightly build, and with Firefox to use the latest release. Camino does seem faster and usually easier to use, but I couldn't tell you why. It definitely opens faster.
I have both icons on the dock right next to one another. I choose Camino 80% of the time.
posted by putzface_dickman at 12:53 PM on August 11, 2004

Camino used to use a drawer for bookmarks. I actually liked that a lot better.
posted by hyperizer at 4:50 PM on August 11, 2004

Camino has colour browser buttons that look like ass. So does Firewhatsit, but you can install the groovy graphite ones from 0.8 on it.
posted by bonaldi at 9:16 PM on August 11, 2004

Camino supports the Keychain & Rendezvous, Firefox doesn't (though it uses its own password manager).

Camino has better bookmark handling overall.

All the things everyone else said.

Firefox's extensions are the big selling point (they sure sold me), but you're constantly reminded that this product isn't designed for Mac. Aside from the ugly widgets, keyboard shortcuts often aren't what you expect (like command-delete doesn't work on a bookmark) or else the shortcut behaves differently than you expect (like command-tilde swapping between the current window with the one right behind it, instead of moving the current window to the bottom of the stack). The differences take getting used to.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:13 PM on August 11, 2004

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