I’ve downloaded flock a firefox based web browser. It’s a basically reskinned firefox + some (well integrated) extensions. It aims to coexist with Firefox and not fork it, I suppose it’s vaguely similar to the ubuntu and debian relationship.

The new features include:

  • A blog poster (which I’m writing this from), which is really intuitive, simple and requires no user configuration but currently it’s really buggy, and not usable for serious use.
  • Flickr integration including a new menu bar which shows pictures from flickr – this seems pretty useless to me.
  • Bookmarks being completely del.ico.us based – no persistent local storage, tagging etc. This could give me the push I need to use del.ico.us, it’s currently too much effort in firefox.
  • A pretty cool built in RSS reader that aggregates your RSS subscriptions, I’d use this instead of my current thunderbird RSS reader.
  • The ‘Shelf’, sort of a scrap book where you can collect interesting items and quickly include them in a blog post for example. Which is quite cool, and saves opening up notepad, or using lots of tabs.

The CEO of Flock, Bart Decrem has said that he

hopes to have 100 million users within five years.

Flock, the New Browser on the Block

Which seems to me to be extremely ambitious as most of its advantages over firefox are stuff which don’t appeal to Joe Average – RSS, flickr and blogging. The kind of crowd that already know about firefox, opera, safari and others and those three probably barely have 100million between them.

I can’t see me using Flock as my main browser for a few reasons:

  • I can’t be bothered to import all the data that I have stored up in Firefox, and Flock offers no way of importing.
  • The blog editor is pretty much unusable.
  • I can’t see a way to search from the address bar like is possible by firefoxes ‘keyword’ functionality

It is only a 0.5 “developer” release and as such contains plenty of bugs. Particularly it seems with the blog poster. I filed a bunch: 1345,134613471348 and 1349.

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