August 6, 2018
I’ve been looking into ways to decrease the amount of Google in my life. I had been using the Chromium Web Browser (the open source version of Google Chrome) but lately I’ve been using Firefox again. The “recent-ish” update to Firefox really did bring a noticable improvement to performance. That very update did upset a lot of people that used many plugins because it brought an end to Firefox’s old plugin system. The old system was more powerful and allowed for more things to be possible but got in the way of performance improvements. Whether or not you think it was worth it likely depends on if you were using a plugin that needed the older and more capable plugin system to function. That Firefox plugins were capable of things that couldn’t be done in Google Chrome was one of the few advantages Firefox had going for it. Now the only reason I can see to favor Firefox is that it isn’t part of the seemingly omni-present Google Corporation. For some people that is enough, but I sure would like to see Firefox come out with more reasons. Browser usage stats for desktop put Chrome at over 60% and still rising. Purely mobile stats are even higher. Having one supremely dominant browser is never good for open standards. I still remember the dark days of 90% Internet Explorer.
When it comes to search, things haven’t gone nearly as well. I have wanted to like DuckDuckGo. A search engine that doesn’t track you is a wonderful thing. There’s no getting around the issue that the search results aren’t as good as Google. I’m not saying DuckDuckGo’s results are bad, just that they aren’t as good. My number one complaint about DuckDuckGo is that it lacks the ability to exclude search results that are older than one year. I’m sure most people aren’t even aware that searching within a given time frame is something search engines can do. Nevertheless, for so many of my searches, if it is older than a year it is probably out of date. DuckDuckGo has a day, week, and month option, so it does have the capability to exclude search results based on time.