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I got rid of Vivaldi browser for Google Chrome

About a year ago, I switched from Firefox to Vivaldi. This week, I decided to get rid of Vivaldi and replaced with Google Chrome. In this post, I'm going to outline the reasons why I got rid of it.

Before, I switched to Vivaldi because Firefox was dropping support for XUL/XPCOM extensions and I was using Pentadactyl. In fact, Pentadactyl was the only reason I was using Firefox. It was slow and bloated and a bit unstable, but the extension was making it worth. Since they are dropping support for such extensions, I did not want to use Firefox anymore. So I switched to Vivaldi with Vimium. It's not as great as Firefox plus Pentadactyl. But it's a more customizable version of Google Chrome on which it's based.

But, in that year or so of using Vivaldi, I have had many issues. Some of them were not too bad and there was some workarounds. But they continued to pile up and they did not fix any of them so now, I decided it's too much.

Since the beginning, it always has been slow. It's not really bad, but still noticeable compared to Chrome. Especially opening Vivaldi is pretty bad. This is something I can live with, but they should really do something to make it faster.

The thing that I had the most issues with is multimedia. For instance Youtube (but all the other platforms have the same issues).

The first problem with media is to get a video in fullscreen. Most of the time, when I press the fullscreen button on Youtube, it grays out the screen and I have to press ESC. If I do that around five to ten times, it finally goes fullscreen. It may be because of my multi-monitor setup but Google Chrome has no issues whatsoever with that. It's pretty painful to do, but again I could live for since I don't use full screen a lot.

A second problem I had with media is they were running too fast. I'm not kidding, really too fast, not too slow. The media was running about twice too fast, you could see the seconds going fast on Youtube. I never seen this issue in any other tool, but it was happening at every start of Vivaldi. The fix was to restart Vivaldi every time this happened and the video played normally.

Another problem I had from the beginning is to make all HTML5 videos work. You have to download the binary plugins from Chrome to let Vivaldi play all HTML5 videos. It's not a big deal, but the problem is that they are overwritten after each update of Vivaldi. So you have to do it all the time.

A new media issue I had on the last update of Vivaldi is with Flash. At the beginning it was working even if it was outdated. I just had to confirm to run it with a warning. But, since the last update, I only had the warning that it was outdated. But I could not confirm to use it, the option was not here anymore. And it was still happening after I updated Flash... The only option to run Flash was to use a private navigation window...

And finally, I had another big issue with the last version of Vivaldi as well. The browser keeps crashing on my work computer. It can stay up a few minutes and then crash. The complete interface is not updated. I can still press the tabs and I can see the title of the window change, but the interface does not update. Again, it may come from my special window manager (I use awesome), but it's the only application not working...

With all these issues and especially the last two new problems, I decided it was time to cut the losses. So I reinstalled Google Chrome, transferred my plugins and everything worked like a charm. I still use Vimium to use vim bindings so my usage of the browser does not change. Of course, I don't have the customization that I had with Vivaldi. I would really really like to get rid of the address bar in the browser. I would also like to significantly reduce the size of the tab bar. But I prefer to live without these improvements than with so many bugs. I think Vivaldi is a good idea, but with a terrible implementation.

I also considered qutebrowser as an alternative. But for now it's still missing many features that I don't want to get rid of. So I will stay with Google Chrome for the time being.

What about you ? Do you have any experience with Vivaldi ?


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