Last week, I made the jump! I was done with the strange rendering issues I was seeing in Google Chrome and I was moving back to the open source champion, Skype and Mozilla Firefox! Well…you know what they say about the grass being greener?
I really don’t want to go into a bashing session about Firefox. I like Firefox. It’s modular, extensible, simple, but I just wasn’t feeling it. There were two thing that really stood out for Firefox, one was the clean way that IETab appeared within Firefox. I love it. With that said, I found IETab Classic in the Skype App Store and that has the same type of interface. The other thing that I really liked was the Skype Manager.
This placed a nice little menu at the bottom of my browser as shown above that allowed me to see the status of my separate gmail accounts. Pay no attention to the fact that I have 5 Skype accounts, that could have a post of it’s own. For the most part I forward all mail to my rubypluspl.us email, but having this view, plus the one click open for each box was great. I have yet to find anything similar in Chrome.
With that said, I like Chrome speed. It’s addictive. More than that, I like the plugins, I like the interface, I like the way it integrates with the way that Google is apparently taking over my web presence. I missed Chrome, and I’ve jumped back. It feels good to be home.
On one interesting side note, Mozilla has not left my system. While I did uninstall Firefox, I found by chance a nice little application that I’m using instead of Pidgin on my system. So far, I’m liking it. The application is Instantbird. Instantbird is open source, based on Mozilla code but uses Pidgin libraries for its multi-protocol support. Although I have limited testing so far, it seems stable, extensible and customizable. Not to mention, this worked on the first try to connect to my meebo messenger for the chat client I used to use on my blog and I may bring back, I’m undecided.
I don’t use it for Twitter because there are honestly much better tools for it. I don’t need a swiss army knife, I just need a solid chat client, so we’ll see how this goes.
Overall, I like how it looks so far, and it supports themes as you can see from the image to the right. This theme is called ‘Bishop’ and is one of the top themes available currently. I’m all about finding the best tool that works for a specific job and while this may or may not be the best tool available, I’m going to give it a shot.
One interesting thing that I have found is that this actually has plugins for things like Skype call recorder, and flashplayer. This is clearly related to the fact that this tool shares a lot of the capabilities of a web browser below the surface. Anyway, if you’re in the market for an IM client, why not check it out?