[–] me551ah link

You missed Webrender.

I switched over the firefox a month ago from chrome. While I had tried doing that a few times over the past few years, i came back to chrome because honestly there was not much difference and chrome just feels like home. This time around I had switched to try out a new tech called 'webrender'. Webrender takes a completely different approach to rendering and compositing, instead of maintainting layers and repainting certain sections it renders and paints content like a game engine.

Chrome can get jerky on a 4k monitor with lots of tabs open, but not firefox . With webrender everything is silky smooth. It's so good that I used hacks to also enable it on my intel laptop ( webrender is currently not supported on integrated graphics by default ) and the result is a browser which feels and works smoother than anything that I have experienced before. Everytime I open chrome now it just feels laggy and slow in comparison.

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[–] nindalf link

Webrender is exactly what I was thinking of when I said

> [Firefox] ... likely will continue to get better.

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[–] ddalex link

Any pointers on how to do it?

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[–] opencl link

Currently webrender only works on nightly builds unless you have NVIDIA hardware on Windows 10 (not considered mature enough on other hardware/platforms yet).

But to enable it you turn on gfx.webrender.all in about:config.

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[–] apetresc link

For NVidia/Win10 users, is it in Stable, or only the beta channel? I have that configuration available but I still don't see the gfx.webrender.all key in about:config.

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[–] cpeterso link

The "gfx.webrender.all" about:config preference to enable WebRender is only available in Firefox Nightly (not Beta or Release channels). The WebRender code exists in Beta and Release and might be randomly enabled for A/B experiments.

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[–] opencl link

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1432515

Going by this bugzilla thread it seems like it should be in stable. But maybe they changed it back.

Though the hardware requirement is actually NVIDIA desktop hardware on Windows 10, i.e. laptops are currently excluded. Which is implemented by checking if your computer has a battery.

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[–] apetresc link

Yup, this is an NVidia GTX 1080Ti on a desktop, should've been fine. Based on the other response it looks like the toggle is only on Nightly in Windows too, they're only doing random A/B tests on the other channels. Too bad.

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[–] dhimes link

A little OT: How do you use nightly? Do you have a cron job that downloads it? Do you download it every day? Do you only occasionally download it? Or is there some other way? I'd love to use it more but last I checked they didn't offer auto-updates to it.

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[–] mrguyorama link

You download the nightly installer from mozilla's website, and then it bugs you to "Restart to update" everyday. I run nightly on many of my systems, but I don't update every day

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[–] dhimes link

OK thanks.

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[–] MrBuddyCasino link

Not yet available on Mac it seems.

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[–] pcwalton link

It's available on Mac via about:config, on nightly. (All caveats about pre-release software apply.)

I've been using WebRender as my daily driver on Mac for months now.

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[–] samat link

I wonder if it is possible to subscribe to something to get an update once it's available in any form on Mac?

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[–] MrBuddyCasino link

There should be a FeatureAlert service that notifies you. People should be able to crowdsource feature requests, and devs would implement the most popular ones.

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[–] feanaro link

- Yes, Firefox does support Containers, which are a very innovative privacy feature allowing you to maintain separate browser sessions (cookies, site preferences, ...) towards different websites inside a single browser instance.[1][2]

[1] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/containers#w_what-are-c... [2] https://www.thechiefmeat.com/guides/containers.html

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[–] SilasX link

- Yes, Firefox dropped support for remapping keys, an integral UX feature that was present in Super Metroid (SNES, 1992).

(Well, that’s not fair, they still support an API for remapping keys that only takes effect after a page tab has loaded.)

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[–] feanaro link

Yes, I'm eagerly waiting for them to support a proper keyboard shortcut API since I'm a former Pentadactyl and present Tridactyl user so I know your pain.

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[–] SilasX link

Ditto! I maintained Pentadactyl compatibility for a while when the dev team pushed breaks and the extension's metadata needed to be updated. You'll love my Hitler parody about my reaction to them breaking unsigned addons, which specifically references Pentadactyl.

"If every addon must be personally signed by Mozilla, why not just shrink-wrap the browser and make me get it from Microsoft at Best Buy?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taGARf8K5J8

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[–] EpicEng link

An almost completely non-discoverable feature which most people won't even understand, let alone use. I think it's awesome as well, but stuff like this doesn't move the needle.

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[–] feanaro link

Yes, the discoverability is definitely a problem, though I think that might be on purpose and that Mozilla might be planning to do something user-facing with the feature. But I disagree it's that hard for users to eventually understand and accept, if presented right. Tabs were also a niche feature once.

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[–] vram22 link

Interesting. I guess it may be possible to use it to be logged into and use different email accounts, e.g. foo@emailservice.com and bar@emailservice.com from the same browser instance. That would be helpful.

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[–] nunodonato link

this is what I am doing now.

Plus, opening facebook? BAM instant new container automagically open for me, to keep facebook in its own walled garden :D

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[–] vram22 link

Ha. Reminds of a quote, vaguely:

In a world without Windows, something something doors (or Gates, or some other permutations of those).

Though I don't remember the quote, I remember it being a good one.

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[–] vram22 link

Maybe: In a world without doors, we won't need Windows or Gates?

:)

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[–] feanaro link

Yes, you can use it for this (I do) and it works very well.

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[–] vram22 link

Good to know, thanks.

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[–] u801e link

Alternatively, you could use a desktop email client like Thunderbird to do that :)

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[–] vram22 link

I guess so. Used them in the past, not for quite a while now. Should give it a try again. Thanks.

In fact, I have friends who use CLI or TUI email clients, like mutt. Never really used those for than a little, somehow, despite being a long-time Unix guy. Should try that out as well. Likely be a lot faster than either desktop or webmail.

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[–] nindalf link

Yes this is why

> Mozilla is still the better browser when it comes to privacy

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[–] squarefoot link

Not just privacy. When Chrome came out it could literally spank Firefox' ass in speed; there was absolutely no contest then. But over time Chrome became bigger and bigger while the folks at Mozilla optimized FF code so that today the latest Firefox can outperform the latest Chrome while still being more trustworthy privacy wise. To me as of today there's not a single reason to use Chrome over Firefox, and users should also avoid using products requiring Chrome; just remember what became of the Internet when web developers started making sites that required IE to work.

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[–] feanaro link

Indeed. There are many more reasons than one for why Firefox is better for privacy though, such as Chrome and even Chromium phoning home by default. Containers deserve a special mention in my opinion since it still isn't a widely known feature and is a very nice idea.

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[–] ishwarn link

I tried this and what I couldn't figure out is: How can I keep my containers separate so that when I click on a link from an external app, it opens in the most recently active container? Similar to multiple profiles in Chrome. I couldn't figure this out and feels like a dealbreaker with the browser behaviors I've adopted.

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[–] synotna link

Tabs open using the container they were opened from

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[–] basch link

I use both firefox and chrome. Chrome does have user profiles, and I can have multiple open at once. Separate cookies but ALSO separate extensions.

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[–] JasoonS link

Separate browsers too, for me it's just super unpractical to always have to open a new browser window just to open facebook, personal email, work slack etc.

Tree tabs then makes its super convenient to navigate between these worlds.

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[–] CWuestefeld link

I know I'm nowhere near the mainstream, but lack of tree tabs is the showstopper for me with Chrome.

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[–] feanaro link

You may not have been suggesting otherwise, but in case you're not aware, Firefox also has user profiles and can have multiple open at once.

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[–] basch link

not so much by default. first you have to launch firefox with a special flag. if firefox is your default browser, and your session started by clicking a link in a different program, youd have to close your browser and click the right shortcut.

unless I am mistaken and -no-remote isnt required anymore.

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[–] QuantumGood link

I love how profiles make separate extensions a feature. I can keep useful-but-rarely used extensions in a separate browser profile instead of installing/uninstalling/deciding re: extensions.

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[–] Double_a_92 link

Not by default though. You need to install the "Multi-Account Containers" addon if you want to activate it.

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[–] feanaro link

The container functionality is built-in since it's a pretty pervasive mechanism, but yes, there is no default UI for it currently shipped. There are other interfaces to it besides Multi-account Containers, such as Temporary Containers[1][2], Facebook Container[3] and Google Container[4].

[1]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/temporary-con...

[2]: https://github.com/stoically/temporary-containers

[3]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-cont...

[4]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-contai...

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[–] weinzierl link

> - Yes, Mozilla has made missteps with Pocket and Mr. Robot.

These are forgivable in my opinion. At least this steps are somehow understandable.

What I‘m really miffed about is their partnership with Cliqz. If Google is the devil then Cliqz is Beelzebub. I don‘t understand what they were thinking...

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[–] ahel link

Support for Cliqz integrated functions in Firefox is ending. If you would like to continue using Cliqz, please install the free Cliqz add-on.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cliqz-recommendations-f...

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[–] ohthehugemanate link

Er... You mean Cliqz, the privacy focused fork of Firefox, with a locally hosted search engine and special crowd sourced Anti-Tracking magic, that experiments with zero-knowledge, locally hosted advertising as a revenue model?

There must be another cliqz? Or are there some skeletons in the closet I should know about? Beelzebub to Google's devil is pretty strong for the people that own ghostery...

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[–] mparramon link

can you elaborate?

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[–] Yoric link

Mozilla has been experimenting for years with ways to lead users to what they want to read without going through a search engine. This is both an attempt to improve user experience, an attempt to workaround Google's search quasi-monopoly and an attempt to find alternate revenue sources that would guarantee Mozilla's independence from Google.

And yes, the difference between this and ads is paper-thin – just like the difference between search and ads is paper-thin – so it's easy to get things wrong.

One of these experiments was through a German start-up called Cliqz, in which Mozilla invested in early stage. For a small fraction of German users, Firefox used the Cliqz engine as an implementation of this recommendation engine: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cliqz-recommendations-f...

For these users, lots of private data was sent to Cliqz (pretty much the data that Chrome sends to Google). Cliqz is open-source and there were contracts between Cliqz and Mozilla to legally guarantee user's privacy, but I do not know/remember the details. Also, I seem to remember that the default Cliqz settings in the experiment were set to minimal privacy, which wasn't very good.

The experiment didn't last long, in part because of privacy concerns, but some people were (understandably) unhappy about this, including most Firefox devs.

(I may be missing some details, I haven't followed this closely)

More details here: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/74yo19/cliqz_and_m...

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[–] piotrkubisa link

> For these users, lots of private data was sent to Cliqz (pretty much the data that Chrome sends to Google).

This. I don't get it why people point out on and on the same three mistakes that Firefox team made in the past. In case of Cliqz, I guess they want to say: "I am not going to use Firefox, because it sends browsing history to Cliqz". Isn't that a bit weird? I agree, that was a mistake and Firefox does not have crystal-clear history, but in case of Google Chrome I am not really sure how Google collect, enrich and manage my data.

Personally, I can only notice two advantages of using Google Chrome over Firefox these days: a developer console and it is "faster" to develop websites targeting only one browser. I think I just got used to dev-console in Chrome, with each release the new developer console in Firefox is way better. About the second, it still doesn't matter much, because we have also mobile browsers, which also takes a lot of our precious time during development. Is there are any other unique selling point of Chrome which I've missed?

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[–] weinzierl link

Cliqz is a company that primarily provides a Firefox based browser with privacy-oriented changes.

Their slogan is „The no-compromise browser. Cliqz gives you relevant search results and does not leak your private data.”

Sounds good on the surface, but what they really mean with „does not leak” is leak to Google. The Cliqz browser sends every keystroke in real-time to some supposedly Cliqz owned AWS instances. I verified that myself with Wireshark. They outright lie about this in their Transparency Cockpit: ”Telemetry data do not contain any information about queries, search results or visited URLs.”

Now Cliqz is owned by Hubert Burda Media one of Germany‘s largest media groups. Honi soit quit mal y pense.

I wrote a comment about this about a year ago[1] and also one about their relationship with Ghostery[2] more recently.

Hubert Burda Media is also one of the primary drivers behind EU link tax and upload filter legislation.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15427992#15428104

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17159497#17161135

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[–] freehunter link

>Honi soit quit mal y pense

Is that considered well known enough to drop without a translation?

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[–] xenophonf link

It's notable enough to make it into the English Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honi_soit_qui_mal_y_pense

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[–] vrazj link

For some time last year, the Mozilla Corporation made it so a fraction of Firefox users got their entire browsing activity siphoned to a third party company, Cliqz, so they could bundle ads in the browser: https://blog.mozilla.org/press-uk/2017/10/06/testing-cliqz-i...

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[–] aceshades link

What was the misstep with Pocket? I've been loving it since I discovered it thru Firefox.

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[–] akerro link

Pocket used to be 3rd party for a moment, later Mozilla integrated it in Firefox and enabled integration for everyone by default. Some people didn't like it, but others love it. Pocket now belongs to Mozilla and is covered with the same privacy policy as other products and services from Mozilla (GDPR compliant before GDPR was a thing). There are plans to open-source Pocket the same way Firefox-sync is open-source and can be self-hosted. Some people just still think that browser is a stand-alone app that works without 3rd party code or integrations, they just never inspected network traffic of Firefox or any other browser.

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[–] AsyncAwait link

It's just some people don't like it's bundled in by default. Seems really as a non-issue, especially since now Mozilla owns the service.

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[–] SamWhited link

It's still an issue because you can't uninstall it, it's hard to disable completely (and on Mobile the option is buried in various menus and hard to find), and they're removing RSS/Atom feed support which would be fine if it was just to split more things out into addons like they claim, but then they're encouraging that you use Pocket instead. Mozilla encouraging the use of their own proprietary service over an open standard is unacceptable and against their mission, and yet I still have to have Pocket pop up and show me ads every time I reinstall my browser until I can figure out how to stop it from downloading random stories about things.

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[–] pseudalopex link

Mozilla was developing a private Reading List feature based on Firefox Sync when they suddenly replaced it with Pocket. At the time, Pocket was a third party with a business model that included data mining. Mozilla owns Pocket now, but it still requires users to give up some of their privacy.

Mozilla employees denied for months that Pocket paid for the integration. Eventually it came out that there was a referral deal.

Mozilla acquired Pocket in early 2017 and said they would release the source code. That still hasn't happened.

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[–] vrazj link

That's cool. And? I use a lot of addons. Should they all be bundled because many people happen to love them too?

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[–] AsyncAwait link

To be fair, Mozilla now owns Pocket. It's not just some random extension. Chrome comes preinstalled with YouTube, Gmail etc. too. It's a bit of cross-property promotion and to be fair, Pocket is indeed quite useful.

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[–] peteretep link

> To be fair, Mozilla now owns Pocket. It's not just some random extension.

My understanding is that at the time it was foist in users it was very much just some random extension, tho

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[–] AsyncAwait link

They did not own it from the start, but they did have a special privacy agreement with Pocket regarding user data. Also, the acquisition was a result of user feedback, something Google would likely ignore.

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[–] Shorel link

If you own a Kobo, it is even more useful.

In fact, I switched to Firefox because of the pocket integration, not the other way around.

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[–] bryanrasmussen link

Chrome has better security unless you want to keep yourself secure from prying by Google.

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[–] ballooney link

Would someone who actually _knows_ the answer (I know this will not deter the HN-reckon but worth a try) be able to comment on if/why this security gap exists?

Is it something fundamental to the different design choices, is it just which has had more test/resources thrown at it, and is the closing of the gap practical and/or on a roadmap?

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[–] Yoric link

The Chrome multiprocess isolation model is really good. Firefox devs have known this for ages (heck, there were demos of a version of Firefox 3.x with a similar model), but could not actually land this model for two reasons:

- it would break all old-style extensions and users were unhappy about that;

- it takes looooots of memory and users were unhappy about that, too.

Now that Firefox has dropped all old-style extensions, there's large focus on reducing memory footprint, to allow moving to this model without costing as much memory as Chrome.

There are still a few kinks to fix, but this new isolation model should hopefully land within a few months.

Also, all sorts of security improvements are much easier now that Firefox dropped old-style extensions. Also, switching many developments to Rust makes new code much, much safer.

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[–] andrewl-hn link

Also, Firefox isolates the browser UI and Web content into separate processes now. So that all the code you download from the internet doesn't run in the browser process. Same is with plugins.

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[–] Santosh83 link

A browser written in Rust (which is probably Firefox's long term goal) should blow Chrome out of the water in terms of security, despite the massive efforts invested in that regard by Google to prop up Chrome's C++ code base.

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[–] chris_wot link

Would it really though? Sure, there are definitely things about Rust that make coding more secure, but surely that it only one part of security?

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[–] Yoric link

Indeed, that's only one part of security. But it's a pretty big one!

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[–] tinus_hn link

Definitely, it prevents the buffer overflow style of exploits but there’s also a lot of leaks in how all the DOM objects interact.

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[–] Paul-ish link

It seems unlikely that FF will ever be completely written in Rust. More likely that new bits that get added are Rust, and many of the old bits stay C++.

If FF gets rewritten in Rust, it will be a decades long effort.

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[–] pietroglyph link

I would just add that Mozilla also targets security critical portions with Rust rewrites. You don't necessarily need 100% Rust to be secure (if you have the right security model).

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[–] SilasX link

Google doesn’t have military grade static analysis that rejects anything that could allow buffer overflow attacks?

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[–] Rusky link

No, they don't, because such a thing cannot exist for C++. Any attempt would basically recreate Rust, or something equivalently incompatible with existing C++ codebases.

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[–] mehrdadn link

I know of at least one design choice that resulted in Chrome preferring security vs. Firefox preferring privacy: when exactly to persist HSTS information. https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/02/02/anatomy-of-a-bro...

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] SamWhited link

In some ways. This is the same browser that doesn't (or "didn't"? It's been a while since I've looked) do CLR-based certificate revocation checks because Google didn't like the standard, but will black list specific revoked test certificates to make it look like they do (Verisign had a test site for a while with a revoked cert). To be fair, they are right: CLRs are sometimes huge and downloading them is a pain, but they're still the standard and Chrome decided it didn't want to use them.

So then OCSP comes along and everything will be fine now, right? Nope, Chrome doesn't (or, again, "didn't", they might have fixed this since I last looked, but that doesn't make it any better) let you do any sort strict revocation checking, so if the OCSP response failed and a response wasn't pinned, Chrome would happily let you in without bothering to check revocation (Firefox does this by default too, annoyingly, but it does have a strict mode).

Even if these things have been fixed, Chrome's general attitude towards web standards and security is to run away and not bother when they don't get their way, so even if you're not already skeptical of blanket claims that they're "more secure", which is a meaningless thing to say, there is evidence that their attitude towards web security might make them less so.

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[–] nindalf link

Updated to mention "malware"

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[–] 153791098c link

Ungoogled-chromium exists you know..

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[–] tomc1985 link

"- No, you can't just "fork Chromium" if you don't like the way Google is running the project. Web developers will still make their website work well with whatever Google releases, regardless of standards."

Hah, even compiling Chromium takes a huge amount of effort and a workday or so of time. Don't think I'd want to go spelunking through that codebase

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[–] jolmg link

I would imagine that compiling Firefox is just as difficult.

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[–] sometimesijust link

Firefox is much easier and faster to compile but still complicated enough that you need to follow their build guide. Chromium is held back by Google's overzealous build systems that assume everything is built on a unified build server and permanently cached somewhere on their corporate network which results in actual build times being unoptimized.

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[–] cztomsik link

Firefox is moving to rust, and for example adding webrender to your project is just few dependencies away, so I'd expect building firefox will only get easier, unlike to google projects where everything is built with their custom tool

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[–] artichokeheart link

> No, the argument "Chrome will be the new IE if you don't use Firefox" doesn't matter to most users

But it should and advocates can make it matter to users, just like they did when Phoenix was the cure for the made for IE blues

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[–] csdreamer7 link

I have never been able to move over to Chrome. Chrome always synces my bookmarks out of place. My bookmarks are how I get things done and run on muscle memory. Because of this I have been a loyal FF user for decades. I tried Chrome again last year and bookmarks still sync out of order. It boggles my mind that Google never fixed this or just isn't a problem for people (do people care?).

As an FF user for decades, esp on Linux, the experience was really poor before the Quantum upgrade. Yes, we lost a lot of plugins, but some of those plugins existed because of FF's legacy code and we are better for it being gone. FF now runs very smooth and uses so much less memory. I actually had Chrome use up all the memory on my 16 gig laptop... it was first for me since I use it so little.

The one thing Chrome does really well is profiles. I have one profile for work, that reopens all pages that were last open. And other for personal viewing in which I don't care. FF's multi account is a plugin and... it's okay for managing multiple social media accounts from one domain, but not good for separating work and play.

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[–] chucksmash link

I think you're referring to Containers. If so, you can always fallback to separate Firefox profiles (run `firefox -p` to open the profiles menu iirc) if Containers aren't flexible enough for you.

I've been a 95% happy Containers user since it was a Test Pilot experiment but there are certainly cases where it's not enough. In my case, not being able to use the mobile device emulator in a container tab was a big pain.

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[–] csdreamer7 link

Those are terrible compared to the easy profile switching that Chrome offers. Containers also don't keep the pages you lasted work on the last time I checked. (If they do please let me know.)

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[–] mixmastamyk link

> FF now runs very smooth and uses so much less memory.

The big memory use fix went out a few years before quantum. Extensions like firebug were leaking memory.

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[–] ekianjo link

> - Yes, Mozilla has made missteps with Pocket and Mr. Robot.

and the removal of RSS support. So much for the champions of the Free Web!

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[–] Yoric link

It was removed because

- pretty much nobody was using it;

- it's pretty easy to reimplement as an extension.

Championing the Free Web is harder if you also need to champion the dead web.

edit "nobody" => "pretty much nobody"

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[–] ekianjo link

> - nobody was using it;

You'll need a source for that, since most Wordpress sites which constitute a HUGE part of the web have pretty much by default rss feeds. It's not because you are not using it that nobody is.

And even you premise was true (which is debatable), it cost absolutely nothing for Firefox to keep a functional RSS reader without putting much effort into it (or instead, you know, putting efforts in pushing ads to people who never wanted them).

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[–] Yoric link

> You'll need a source for that, since most Wordpress sites which constitute a HUGE part of the web have pretty much by default rss feeds. It's not because you are not using it that nobody is.

I'm not making it up. I don't remember the exact details – you'll have to look at the archives of the Mozilla dev-platform mailing list if you want them – but I seem to remember the usage was below 0.001% of users.

I personally read RSS with Thunderbird, which is a much better experience anyway.

> And even you premise was true (which is debatable), it cost absolutely nothing for Firefox to keep a functional RSS reader without putting much effort into it (or instead, you know, putting efforts in pushing ads to people who never wanted them).

It actually does. Every piece of software that you need to maintain is a tax. Paying the tax makes sense if the code is useful, not if it isn't.

Also, frankly, this implementation didn't bring anything to users. It wasn't nice to use. There are much better RSS readers than a browser – starting with RSS WebExtensions.

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[–] tapland link

No. Not literally noone was using it. Just a colloquial 'noone' as in 'noone is using Firefox'.

Additional features that the average user does not want to use or care about creates confusion and a feeling of bloat. An official extension would be nice though.

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[–] cpeterso link

Did users actually consume those WordPress RSS feeds using Firefox? I imagine most RSS users are going to use an RSS reader like Feedly, NewsBlur, or Google Reader (RIP). Those RSS readers don't require users to copy/paste RSS URLs. Users can search feeds by site or topic names.

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[–] unethical_ban link

Was it hard to maintain? Is RSS antithetical to the open Internet?

If the answer to both is no, they should have left it. I wish I could tell my parents to subscribe to some news sites and my website to see updates, so they dont' have to join some kind of mailing list... but I can't, because I'm not going to explain how to configure addons to my 70 year old.

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[–] vrazj link

Pocket is also easy to implement as an extension. In fact, it is an extension. But they bundled it with the browser.

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[–] Yoric link

And most people seem to be very happy about it.

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[–] richjdsmith link

Person here.

Very happy indeed. I discovered Pocket as a result of it being integrated and have been a very happy user ever since.

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[–] AsyncAwait link

It's their own service.

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[–] AnIdiotOnTheNet link

It wasn't when they first did it.

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[–] AsyncAwait link

I am aware. But the difference is Google wouldn't care and Mozilla at least did something, even if it wasn't removing the extension.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] trendia link

And it competed with Pocket.

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[–] Yoric link

Not really. People use Pocket. People don't use RSS in their browser.

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[–] trendia link

Market research indicates that most people actually love RSS.

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[–] scarejunba link

In their browser? Interesting. I would have thought people take the link to a reader/podcast-reader/torrent-app.

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[–] Yoric link

An implementation of RSS baked into the browser?

I'd be surprised. Do you have a source?

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[–] imtringued link

I don't know what intention you had when you posted that link but it clearly disproves that anyone uses the terrible built-in RSS reader in firefox.

Here, just take a look at the first response:

>Literally 99.99% of Firefox users did not use the built in RSS support[1].

>I love RSS! I also never used the built in Firefox RSS support because it was not very good. Mozilla also compiled a helpful list of alternative RSS readers for the 0.01% of users that used this feature and made it easy to export your feed list[2].

>[1] https://www.gijsk.com/blog/2018/10/firefox-removes-core-prod...

>[2] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/feed-reader-replacement...

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[–] Yoric link

Ok, so you're just trolling. Too bad.

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[–] xfitm3 link

Is the misstep with Pocket including it in the browser?

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[–] nindalf link

Yes. I like Pocket, but I can't see why it shouldn't be an extension that can be removed.

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[–] Yoric link

Intellectually, I agree, but

- it actually doesn't hurt;

- market research indicates that most people actually love it.

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[–] opencl link

Literally 99.99% of Firefox users did not use the built in RSS support[1].

I love RSS! I also never used the built in Firefox RSS support because it was not very good. Mozilla also compiled a helpful list of alternative RSS readers for the 0.01% of users that used this feature and made it easy to export your feed list[2].

[1] https://www.gijsk.com/blog/2018/10/firefox-removes-core-prod...

[2] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/feed-reader-replacement...

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[–] lagadu link

Market research, in this particular case adoption rate, also indicates that people love giving all their privacy away to google.

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[–] Yoric link

Good point. But Pocket isn't harmful, especially if you don't use it. In the worst case, it makes the Firefox installer a few kb larger, that's about it.

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[–] hnaccy link

It leaks information about my browsing history.

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[–] Karunamon link

The same could be said of the RSS support.

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[–] Yoric link

True. The big difference is that users use Pocket but didn't use RSS.

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[–] tjoff link

A lot of people have a really strong negative perception of pocket. That should be enough to be able to remove it.

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[–] Karunamon link

Meaning the nontechnical set of users that don't go out of their way to disable telemetry, at least...

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[–] dao- link

If you disable telemetry, Mozilla won't know about you. If you want Mozilla to cater for you, don't disable telemetry?

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[–] ekianjo link

Telemetry should never be enabled by default without consent. Its a dark pattern.

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[–] TheGrumpyBrit link

These "missteps" are the reason I don't use Firefox. With Chrome, I know Google are watching. But I also know only Google are watching. They're not bundling irremovable third party apps in with the browser, or installing extensions without my consent, or sending my entire browsing history to another third party.

Mozilla have done all these things, and when called out on it, they don't seem to realise they've done anything wrong. That crosses the line from naive to actively malicious.

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[–] mixmastamyk link

They definitely have a few bad apples in management.

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[–] Elhana link

Market research show that noone used RSS/legacy addons/all the other customization options, yet Firefox market share somehow plummeted after they removed all of it.

Literally everything I liked about Firefox is gone, so I have no reason not to use Chrome instead anymore. They are mostly the same, Firefox is just uglier than Chrome now and I can't change that anymore.

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[–] chris_wot link

Neither does RSS. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't Pocket developed outside of the main Mozilla tree?

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[–] Yoric link

I don't remember the current status. It's probably developed outside of the main Mozilla tree, as a number of other features.

But the big difference is that people actually use it.

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[–] TheKIngofBelAir link

> Yes, neither does Chrome (doesn't support dark mode on macOS)

Yet, this will change though

https://9to5google.com/2018/09/21/google-chrome-macos-dark-m...

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[–] sfink link

Wow. That is a surprisingly complete and useful summary of the usual discussion. Thank you.

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[–] glogla link

> - Yes, it is slow/resource heavy on certain Macs with non-default resolutions. Yes, Mozilla is working on a fix.

On some of them. I use Mac with non-default resolution and I have no issues.

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[–] nindalf link

Which is why I said "on certain Macs". From my anecdotal experience, I've never had a problem with Firefox on macOS with any resolution.

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[–] zerkten link

I have a problem in this area and it has prevented me from moving back to Firefox. If I run Firefox on my 13" MBPr with the panel resolution (Scaled->More Space) then the battery usage goes through the roof. I'm following https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404042 and hope this issue gets fixed soon. It seems that Apple changes may have made this issue more apparent to users in general.

I can obviously follow Bugzilla, but does Mozilla have anyone working this from more of a support angle and provide high-level updates on the top issues like this?

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[–] PhasmaFelis link

> - Yes, Firefox removed the feature that was essential to your workflow, even though most users don't care.

So did Chrome, to be fair.

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[–] burtonator link

I can't articulate it but I just don't "like" Firefox.

I used to be a huge fan of FF... I think with Chromium, at least for me, the browser has never changed.

Every time I try to go back to FF it's different and I have to re-learn it.

It might be better for them to clone the FF menu system so that you can switch to it without having to re-learn everything.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] Improvotter link

I'd use Firefox if I didn't have to enter my master password on MacOS every time I start the program. It integrates with keyrings on Linux, is it that hard to get it to work on MacOS which has more users? Also, does it work on Windows?

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[–] accatyyc link

Never had this problem. How did you install/how do you launch it? Does it require root access for some reason?

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[–] Improvotter link

I'm talking about the master password of my Firefox vault or whatever it is called.

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[–] no-s link

lets not for get the political baggage of Mozilla: I would have liked to use firefox, but I'm boycotting it because of the awful smear of Brendan Eich supported and perpetuated by contributors to mozilla. A huge number of people would have to stand up and apologize for participating in that despicable mob action before I'd go back.

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[–] eric24234 link

What the relation b/w Mozilla and Mr.Robot ? Could you please enlighten.

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[–] MikusR link

As nobody responsible for that Mr. Robot thing got fired, I trust Mozilla about the same as Google/Microsoft.

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[–] Yoric link

So you don't trust people to learn from their mistakes without being fired first?

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[–] MikusR link

There is a difference between a mistake and intentionally pushing malicious code using channels reserved for security updates.

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[–] leibwiht link

you missed the part where they broke all my extensions which will apparently literally never be ported due to missing API functionality

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[–] phs2501 link

I think that was covered in "- Yes, Firefox removed the feature that was essential to your workflow, even though most users don't care."

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[–] EGreg link

No, you can't just "fork Chromium" if you don't like the way Google is running the project

What, why not? Beaker and others did exactly this.

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[–] calcifer link

Because even if you could keep up with the changes (you won't), your fork still won't mean anything for the open web or standards because nobody will care about your total market share of exactly 3 users.

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[–] tree_of_item link

Microsoft would be the one forking Chromium in this case, so I really don't think that's true. Microsoft is more than capable of doing it.

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[–] calcifer link

The whole reason Microsoft gave up on their own engine is because no one was using it, not even inside the company. Why would Edge suddenly become popular just because of a rendering engine change?

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[–] TAForObvReasons link

... because it is the default on Windows? The marketing effort of Chrome can be chipped away if "they are basically the same", which is a fair comment now that Edge is basically a glorified fork of Chromium

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[–] hakfoo link

It will be interesting to see what message Google goes for to try to convince ChromiumEdge users to switch over.

A features-based approach seems iffy. They can't push speed or site compatibility anymore, assuming MS doesn't completely mishandle the build. Even tiny Vivaldi seems to remain coupled closely enough to Chromium releases that it will be hard to say "theirs is so out of date and missing the latest and greatest."

If they try to deliberately hobble ChromiumEdge, it seems like it wouldn't look good to regulators. "We didn't test Gapps on Gecko, oops, it breaks" is one thing, but it's hard to keep a straight face saying "it mysteriously works in our version of Chromium and not Microsoft's"

Many of the differences they'd likely differentiate on (the sticky Google login, telemetry) are not features for the consumer, they're the features that benefit Google and justify the cost of developing a browser.

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[–] calcifer link

> because it is the default on Windows?

Which clearly didn't mean anything [1] for increasing market share.

[1] https://ferdychristant.com/the-state-of-web-browsers-f5a83a4...

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[–] vatueil link

It's not nothing, it just wasn't enough by itself to overcome the competition.

In the web's short history we've already seen several browsers rise and fall. It's possible Microsoft may in the future repeat what Google achieved with Chrome if it can find a new edge to compete, pun intended.

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[–] Yoric link

How much success do they have?

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[–] EGreg link

You tell me

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[–] freehunter link

Since you asked, poorly. I've never heard of Beaker and when I run it through Google I have to scroll down to see anything about Beaker the browser. But I'm sure when they show up to WHATWG or W3C the room goes silent.

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[–] TheKarateKid link

- Yes, Firefox's memory leaks are still pretty bad especially compared to Chrome. Quantum helped a lot though.

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[–] mito88 link

yes, sir!

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[–] notbeevil5 link

Chromium is better than Firefox

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[–] ocdtrekkie link

Thank you for most of this, except: Chrome is the primary distribution method of malware, and we need to stop pretending it has better security. It doesn't.

The Chrome Web Store is full of active, known-about malware Google does not remove.

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[–] jasonvorhe link

* No, Chrome isn't the next IE because it doesn't feature proprietary web features

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[–] Drakim link

Chrome does have proprietary web features.

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[–] bad_user link

That's weak reasoning. And wrong if you define proprietary as non-standard.

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[–] nindalf link

Just so we can avoid rehashing the discussion whenever a post encouraging the use of Firefox is posted.

- Yes, Mozilla is still the better browser when it comes to privacy.

- Yes, Mozilla has made missteps with Pocket and Mr. Robot.

- Yes, it is slow/resource heavy on certain Macs with non-default resolutions. Yes, Mozilla is working on a fix.

- Yes, it has become really fast for most users after Quantum improvements landed, and likely will continue to get better.

- No, you can't just "fork Chromium" if you don't like the way Google is running the project. Web developers will still make their website work well with whatever Google releases, regardless of standards.

- Yes, Firefox doesn't feel native on your platform of choice.

- Yes, neither does Chrome (doesn't support dark mode on macOS)

- Yes, Chrome has better security against malware.

- Yes, Firefox removed the feature that was essential to your workflow, even though most users don't care.

edit, thought of one more

- No, the argument "Chrome will be the new IE if you don't use Firefox" doesn't matter to most users.

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[–] Santosh83 link

Be the change you want and keep talking about it. I've stuck to Firefox through ups and downs ever since I found out about it back during version 1 point something.

Internet Explorer proved that behemoths can and will fall, given enough time to shoot themselves in the foot. Firefox just needs to retain its 10% somehow.

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[–] magduf link

>Be the change you want and keep talking about it.

The OP already talked about the problem with this approach to things: >"...it's very unfair for the minority trying hard to make things better. They pay a high price, with no thanks, and little benefits except the hope the others won't screw up things more."

The people who stick their necks out trying to make a change usually end up sacrificing a lot and not getting anything in return, even if their efforts are successful. Basically, they're "taking one for the team".

Luckily, with browser choices, it isn't nearly that bad; it's not that hard to switch browsers on a whim, after all, but for bigger issues (like political change, as the OP was referring to to a point, with his mention of protesting), "being the change you want" is usually not a winning strategy at a personal level, and a much more successful strategy is to simply go where the grass is greener.

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[–] zymhan link

I've stuck with it and preached it and told people why Google is just going to repeat IE's history with Chrome, and my tech friends still mostly use Chrome.

There is something about A) what everyone else is doing, and B) inertia, that is just too difficult to overcome without some sudden significant change.

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[–] Santosh83 link

The single biggest advantage of Chrome is that it's bundled as the default, non-removable browser on the largest mobile OS in the world: Android. And nearly all those people then expect to use the same browser on laptops and desktops and even here it is often pre-installed by OEM.

If Firefox had somehow had this clinching advantage in an alternate reality, they would be the Chrome now. The actual performance and technical differences between the two browsers are by no stretch of imagination deal-breaking. But Google's marketing and bundling has been decisive.

I just hope Mozilla doesn't abandon Gecko but sticks this fight out.

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[–] O1111OOO link

> The single biggest advantage of Chrome is that it's bundled as the default, non-removable browser on the largest mobile OS in the world: Android.

I'm still upset that Mozilla balked on Firefox OS[0]. It would have made a good ChromeOS competitor on laptops and tablets. I would have opted for a Firefox OS tablet instead of Android as a secondary device. A privacy-focused tablet would have been amazing.

Honestly don't see any reason why Mozilla couldn't restart the project on larger-screen devices - skipping the phone phase for a period. Especially now that they have their rust-powered Quantum Browser showing the world what it can do.

They could always do phones later on when the platform matures. I think they are failing to see that solutions are about ecosystems. Few can deny they have a rich, browser-based, ecosystem. They are still thinking in legacy terms - a single-use application.

I believe they have the monetary means (and the talent) to enter hardware (or via Kickstarter). Their worst enemy... they may be a little old-school, corporate management-heavy on top.

Their leadership let Firefox stagnate, the performance suffered the entire time Chrome was taking everyone's market share. We're talking years of neglect.

> If Firefox had somehow had this clinching advantage in an alternate reality.

The alternate reality... Google invests $22 million in the ported version of Fire OS, KaiOS[1]. They are helping to keep alive (and integrating themselves) into the very OS Mozilla created (and abandoned).

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_OS

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/27/google-kaios/

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[–] Scarbutt link

Firefox was losing to chrome long before android became so big, Mozilla dropped the ball here, they were too late on mobile.

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[–] wutbrodo link

Yea, parent comment is definitely a but of revisionist history. I stayed with Firefox longer than most, but the performance gap just became so massive that I really couldn't justify remaining on it. This was back when smartphones themselves were pretty new, let alone during android's dominance

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[–] rchaud link

Android phones sold in China don't come with Google Play Services or Chrome. Even my Canadian Samsung Galaxy S7 used Samsung's "Internet" as the default browser app, although Chrome did come pre-installed.

But otherwise, you are correct. For most Western markets, Android phones give Chrome a big advantage.

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[–] ginko link

I would hope Mozilla will eventually retire Gecko and switch to Servo.

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[–] kuroguro link

Recently finished moving away from most google stuff. Seeing how they are slowly grabbing more and more user data really scared the shit out of me (android location gathering, auto logging in to chrome from gmail, syncing all password data etc).

Swapping the browser was the easy part. Not using google search and moving away from my gmail address that I've had since gmail was released were harder habits to break.

Setting up a google-less android (lineageOS + microG) was a real PITA for a few weeks as I kept running into new problems and things not working properly. I don't see how anyone not into tech could pull it off.

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[–] antonyh link

I dumped Chrome, stopping 'Googling' and moved to DuckDuckGo, installed uBlock Matrix so I could block as much of Google as possible (damn you reCaptcha), but it's gmail that's the tie-in. Changing email address is super hard.

As for Android, I took the easy option - switched to iOS. I'd have preferred a third choice, but there's nothing viable at the moment.

It's hard going but worth it for the privacy, and I agree it's not realistic for those not fully into tech.

The world needs more choices for browser, more choices in mobile too. At least there's a few options for computing devices - Windows is a horrible privacy hole IMO, Apple and MacOS is a premium option but seems more private and secure, then there's Google (no comment). Linux can be a huge time sink and hard going but having run it on both desktop and laptop it's a good choice - but for the expensive commerce softwares that only run on Mac or Windows thanks to companies that make 'pro' offerings... for me its Adobe, Capture One, Reason - none of which offer Linux variants or work on Wine properly.

Part of me wishes the EU to legislate more, but that's horrible in other ways.

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[–] shaki-dora link

That’s hard to prove or disprove without having an alternate universe ready for A/B testing.

Although, frankly, I can’t shake the feeling I’ve been living in the B-branch for, say, the last two years. If so, let me just say: if your results are not yet conclusive, please ask your statisticians for what “multi-armed bandit” means to them, then shoot them if the quizzically look at you. You may even skip the question.

Back on point: I know many people who use Firefox for “ideological” reasons. In fact, anybody who still used FF as of 6 months ago arguably fell in that group, save some extreme cases of inertia.

But, even more tittilating: Firefox seems to be once again be competitive wrt performance. That may just be its salvation, and not a moment too early to make it dramatic.

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[–] nchie link

What are you even talking about? You're making it sound like Firefox has ever been a lot worse than Chrome, but that's far from the truth.

I've used both quite a lot and I've always preferred Firefox, even _without_ considering the privacy aspects. I still use Chrome on my laptop as Firefox doesn't support decent pinch zooming (that's more or less my only complaint), but for desktop usage I definitely choose Firefox over Chrome.

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[–] RussianCow link

Not the OP, but when Chrome came out, it was leaps and bounds ahead of Firefox in terms of performance, and it took Firefox many years (until just recently, with Quantum) to catch up. I personally endured it, but it was definitely hard after having used Chrome for a short while, and I don't blame anyone for making the switch back then.

Most users don't care about features; they just want a browser that works well.

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[–] pm215 link

Why would it be "extreme" inertia to still be using Firefox? If it's never felt like it's failing to do the job of being a web browser, then not switching is inertia, sure, but it's not extreme...

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[–] magduf link

I have to say, one reason I've stuck with Firefox for so long is because of memory usage: Chrome/Chromium is a memory hog.

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[–] aduitsis link

I'm sure a lot of people around here won't be able to hear you over the sound of how Firefox somehow doesn't feel quite right on their macs.

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[–] shaki-dora link

Yeah... I dont quite understand how Firefox does invest into integration with third-party password managers, but not the one built into MacOS.

Arguably Safari usage is comparable to Firefox in terms of staving off a Chromium monoculture. Safari usage on iOS is actually far more important right now to ensurage some semblance of compatibility.

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[–] vetinari link

The password manager integrations are extensions made by the respective third-party password managers, not by Mozilla. If you want to use Keychain, it is either up to Apple to make an extension, or someone volunteering.

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[–] Yoric link

There used to be an add-on that let users integrate the Keychain in Firefox. I seem to remember that pretty much nobody used it, which doesn't speak well of the usefulness of this integration.

Also, Mozilla is working on its own cross-platform password manager/password sharing between devices. I'm not sure what the intended policy is wrt password sharing (there may be passwords that I only want to have on one device), but this should be more useful than the Keychain, which doesn't even let me move my passwords from one machine to the next one without arcane incantations.

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[–] pseudalopex link

Chrome also removed Keychain support. Apple restricted access to the necessary APIs.

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[–] legends2k link

> People don't shape society willing…

Logged in just to say, “what a paragraph, haven't read anything with such clarity lately.”

Thanks for it. Yes, I'm using Firefox since 2.0 and never changed once.

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[–] js8 link

As a long time Firefox user, let me offer a different perspective.

Upgrading any application is a chore, and you never know what will break or whether you lose your data. People don't want to do it, and yet they are forced to do it by companies (and open source is even worse). So if you can avoid it, you avoid it.

I'll leave up to you to decide if Firefox haven't destroyed its own market share by confusing changes to UI and breaking backwards compatibility.

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[–] sametmax link

Most people don't even know what an URL is, so I don't think they even think about their browser that hard.

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[–] wutbrodo link

I'm not sure I understand the point you're making here. Wouldn't those people be _more_ beholden to UI stability? If you understand what's under the hood, it takes a little time for your muscle memory to adjust to UI changes but it's not exactly confusing. That's decidedly not the case for the group you're describing.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] sametmax link

And it didn't work. Some people were aware of this. A few took the time to read/discuss/think about it. A minuscule fraction of passionate people acted on it.

And the rest of the world took the path of least resistance, as usual.

People don't shape society willingly. They mostly let life happen to them. Even when you see them protesting, it's the consequence of an emotional reaction and a group effect, not the reflect of their deep personnal vision of life. They have none.

It's why people keep gaining weight, comming back to a violent spouse or voting again for the politicians that just lied in their face.

I have no idea what to do about that. Education works a bit, but it's so slow and easy to destroy. And meanwhile, it's very unfair for the minority trying hard to make things better. They pay a high price, with no thanks, and little benefits except the hope the others won't screw up things more.

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[–] antoineMoPa link

Just downloaded Firefox on Android following your advice. I'm a heavy firefox user on the destkop, but I rarely think about installing firefox on my cellphones since 1. Firefox in Firefox OS was slow and it gave me a feeling that firefox was not for mobile (but I guess it's not true anymore) 2. The fact that Chrome is the default browser and I generally don't install many apps.

The fact that it is the default on Android makes the game very unfair.

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[–] oAlbe link

> Firefox in Firefox OS was slow and it gave me a feeling that firefox was not for mobile (but I guess it's not true anymore)

I genuinely don't understand how Firefox on mobile is slow. I hear this complaint often (along with the complaint of Firefox on desktop not being able to run certain websites, which also never occurs to me), but for how much I try, I never managed to make Firefox on mobile (android) slow. There were a couple of days not long ago (we are talking weeks) were after an update the browser did get indeed a little slow, but it was still usable, and it got fixed very quickly.

I use the hell out of my Firefox, both on desktop and mobile. I abuse it in all sorts of ways, and I am extremely demanding of it, yet it never breaks a sweat. Right now I have more than 100 tabs open in my Firefox on android - can't tell the exact number because when the 100th tab is opened, the number just becomes an infinity symbol - which is nothing more than average for me, I can easily get to 350, and it still opens and loads up instantly (at the time of the performance problem mentioned above I had ~260 tabs open).

Am I just lucky? Do the performances/usability change so vastly from phone to phone and person to person?

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[–] notSupplied link

Firefox on Android has a notable scrolling delay which drives me nuts. iOS guarantees that the point where your finger first makes contact remains under that finger as you scroll. Most good Android apps can deliver on this promise 99%, but for some reason, Firefox on Android does not.

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[–] antoineMoPa link

Firefox on Android here; Can't reproduce the delay, everything seems fine.

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[–] TheKarateKid link

> The fact that it is the default on Android makes the game very unfair.

The EU is already looking into this, and other antitrust issues with Android and even Google Search in general.

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[–] xyzal link

An advantage to using Firefox Mobile is google search results suddenly become free of AMP crap

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[–] jeswin link

Taking users away from Google is still a big ask. Google has been thoroughly anti-competitive in this space - they deliberately downgrade the experience in non-Chrome browsers across many properties. For example, typing "GOOG stock" in Chrome/Android brings up a whole lot of details not found with Firefox/Android. There's no technical reason to do this, and they should be pulled up for abuse of monopoly power. Google search itself was better on Chrome till recently, though it's caught up now on Firefox/Android.

Add: I've been a Firefox/Android user for a while now - and with ad-blocking the UX experience and battery life is much better than with Chrome. I encourage everyone to try it (with ad-blocking) for at least a week. Personally for me, Firefox on Android is a bigger deal than on the desktop.

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[–] jf- link

I think I’m now at the point of jumping aboard this movement away from google. Not because their services are bad (they objectively are excellent) nor even because of privacy concerns (though they are legitimate), but because of the argument put forward in the OP: google are taking over everything. There is far too much power concentrated into the hands of a single company.

As an individual there is not much that I can do about this, but what I can do is to use google products and services as little as possible, and to support smaller, independent alternatives.

I think this has been posted on hn in the recent past, seems like a reasonable jumping-off point: https://medium.com/@ricst/de-google-your-life-now-82fad3ec0f...

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[–] saagarjha link

> Firefox on iOS doesn't do that either, but at least Firefox has its own tracking protection.

Firefox on iOS can't do this, unfortunately :(

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[–] kgwxd link

Which is why iOS should be avoided too. They may appear to be playing kind of nice now, but they won't forever. That blatant disregard for openness is a sure sign they're going to end up the same way, no matter what they say now.

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[–] collinmanderson link

> iOS should be avoided too

What would you suggest using?

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[–] kgwxd link

Android with as little Google as possible, which is none if you're willing to go far enough. Nothing is also an option if you're extra dedicated.

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[–] diafygi link

I'm curious about this. I get that firefox for ios has to use a webview, but why can't it allow extensions that can manipulate what's in the webview? The main reason I'm currently sticking with Android is that I can install firefox and use ublock origin and https everywhere.

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[–] saagarjha link

You can run your own JavaScript in WKWebView, which is what Firefox uses, so you can run "extensions" to the extent of what the App Store will allow you to do. What you cannot do in this case is load content blockers, which a newer API that uses a list of selectors to block elements without JavaScript at all. Currently this API is limited to Safari itself and SFSafariViewController, which is untenable for Firefox because it is essentially "Safari in a box" in that the component provides its own UI and you essentially cannot interact with it at all.

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[–] bad_user link

Not sure what the situation is nowadays, but extensions were not supported due to Apple’s App Store policies.

I would be happy just with Safari’s content blockers, but apparently they use a type of web view that doesn’t support that either.

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[–] 29083011397778 link

>I mean they disallow users to uninstall their apps

All default apps on Android live on the system partition, meaning even if you uninstalled them, regular, non-rooted users wouldn't have any additional space to use.

This policy also means you can't really mess up (for average consumers) an android phone by uninstalling something important, like webview or the Play Store.

Any updates to the default apps are installed on the user-accessible data (IIRC) partition, and so can be uninstalled by users, actually freeing up space.

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[–] TarpitCarnivore link

Copying links out of Hangouts on iOS results in getting a massive Google tracking url.

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[–] bad_user link

Note this advice is true for email services as well. Pay for and use an alternative now, or later you won't get the choice.

Google is hellbent on locking people into their ecosystem. One such move is the promotion of AMP: https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/13/amp-for-email-is-a-terribl...

Speaking of email and browsers, the Gmail app on top of iOS presents the user with a choice between two browsers:

1. Safari

2. Chrome, which on iOS is a reskinned Safari, but with Sync and controlled by Google obviously

But when Safari is selected they actually open links in an app Web View. Which does not share sessions and cookies with Safari. And their reskinned Chrome doesn't do Safari's content blocking either. Firefox on iOS doesn't do that either, but at least Firefox has its own tracking protection.

Speaking of Chrome on iOS, they give the user the choice to switch search engines, supposedly, however they only list Yahoo and Bing as alternatives. No DuckDuckGo or Qwant or the ability to add your own.

Android still allows users to switch their web browser or to use an alternative app store, but I wonder for how long. I mean they disallow users to uninstall their apps. My guess is that they are afraid of locking Android down more due to fines from the EU.

Sadly what made Google great several years back was openness. But times are changing.

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[–] bzbarsky link

Just FYI, audio autoplay is being actively worked on in the current Firefox development version, precisely to solve the problem you describe. There are some issues with coming up with a UX that doesn't privilege a small set of sites out of the box over everyone else [1] and also doesn't prompt the user on every single site that tries to play video (the current Firefox Nightly behavior; it's rather annoying).

So for this specific case, the reason it hasn't happened yet is not some nefarious conflict of interest but actual hard problems that need to be solved (and are being solved), coupled with resource constraints.

As far as containers go, I agree they are great if you understand the model. I use them. Most users find them terribly confusing in their current form. Again, a UX issue. That said, the idea of having things in a private container by default is somewhat interesting. The hard part in some way would be the discoverability of the whitelisting flow and user confusion about why their customization information is not being remembered like in every other browser. I'll try to shop this around to people a bit and see if they can figure out a way to make this work sanely.

Disclaimer: I work on Firefox, but not in UX.

[1] Google's solution in Chrome; it suppresses new startups by making the experience suck there, which is good for incumbents like YouTube but maybe less good for the web as a whole in the long term.

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[–] jillesvangurp link

I have an extension that blocks audio per site already (mute sites by default). Awesome stuff, but blocks only the sound. It shows a little mute icon on the tab if it mutes. I simply unmute when I actually want sound and the setting seems sticky.

I was talking about video auto playing (with the sound off) by default. I don't want that ever, unless I allowed it before. I want to block html5 content from activating at all unless specifically allowed. I'm on the beta channel. As far as I know there are no plans to address this and extensions that have tried to implement this are running into some limitations that make this hard apparently. Hence a lot of variations of flashblock extensions that simply set the about:config setting instead of having per site policies with whitelists and blacklists.

Private browser containers would be nice to have even if they are not yet default out of the box. I'd simply make this an option on all containers (including the default one and default it to off). I agree the ux for this would need a bit work to be discoverable/intuitive.

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[–] bzbarsky link

Ah, I had misunderstood the issue; thank you for clarifying.

It looks like https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1405827 tracks WebExternsion API that would make it easy to create extensions that address this use case.

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[–] gambler link

Most people don't care.

Firefox became popular by being fast and offering tabbed browsing when IE didn't. I think being fast and offering radical quality of life feature is a good strategy to follow even now.

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[–] amyjess link

> tabbed browsing

And popup blocking. I remember how much of the Internet was utterly infested with popups in the early-to-mid-00s. Firefox was the only way to not get inundated, unless you were a really hardcore geek and ran a proxy server like Junkbuster (the ancestor of Privoxy), and most of the population wasn't going to do that.

Popup blocking changed how the Internet works, and you can thank Firefox and Opera for that.

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[–] Shorel link

Firefox became popular by copying Opera to the extent that right now one of the reasons I use it, is because it feels more like Opera 12 than the modern Opera ever could.

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[–] jillesvangurp link

Easy path to success for Firefox is to continue to beef up security and privacy tooling for their users and have sane defaults. They've been winning a lot of users who feel abandoned by the big companies in this space.

A problem and conflict of interest for them regarding this is that they are funded mainly by Google. Firefox has a conflict of interest here because they are not doing all they can here because that would cut off their main source of revenue.

So, for example, they have sort of a mute option for sound (just like other browsers) but they don't allow you to mute video by default (without blanket turning it off for all websites). I don't know anyone who loves being bombarded with video content when they want to read an article. I find the moving stuff to be distracting; even if the sound is off. Also the bandwidth is kind of not nice, especially on mobile. The BBC has started putting multiple video previews in their articles. This kind of attention whoring is highly annoying. This is not news to anyone of course.

The obvious fix allow people to whitelist sites to allow autoplaying video (youtube, netflix, and other websites where people go specifically to enjoy video content) and switch that off for everything else. All the extenions for that claim to do this are basically a combination of broken or simply setting the config property that blanket bans all autoplay video for every website (just preempting the inevitable comment to try extension X here).

Similarly, the containers extension is great. This should be baked into the browser and improved to the point where the default container is a private container unless you whitelist the domain. Right now private browsing happens in a separate window. It's an obvious thing to do: every site by default is private until you say otherwise.

Both kind of are in direct conflict with how Google, and by extension, how Mozilla monetizes. This is the main reason this is made hard to do. I'm sure if this was easier, there'd be countless extensions doing exactly that. Instead people sort of emulate private browsing with stuff like noscript and other extensions that throw away cookies. Also nice but not user friendly.

Doing all this in fool proof, user friendly way would be a great way for Firefox to differentiate. It would unfortunately cut them off from Google funding probably.

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[–] fernandotakai link

not only that but stop testing your frontend code only on chrome. i'm the only one on my team that uses a non-chrome browser and every once in a while i find a bug or a css issue that is non-chrome only because nobody tests outside chrome.

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[–] mcherm link

Back in 2014 I was using g Firefox, for precisely this reason. I am still using it today, for the same reason.

Please stop creating web applications that only work with Chrome (or Chrome and Safari).

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[–] Springtime link

Unfortunately the choice isn't as easy now, personally. I'm stuck having to use an older, non-Quantum version for my daily browsing following Mozilla's decision to obsolete their previous addons as of v57 (and having since deleted them from their servers).

Previously Firefox was a no-brainer choice for its deep customizibility and functionality it afforded addons, which primarily distinguished it from Chromium, however since the move to Quantum I have too many addons without an equivalent to switch, with a couple favorites that did migrate to WebExtensions offering an inferior experience.

Vivaldi would be my second choice should I be forced to switch since its integrated features more closely match Opera's original features, albeit less extensive.

Mozilla felt the need to do what they did in that regard and I understand the various reasoning for the decision however the way it panned out didn't make for a browser I'm currently interested in upgrading to, sadly.

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[–] lmedinas link

Just fyi this article is from 2014 and it was mentioned here in HN several times. But yes you are not too late :)

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[–] new_here link

Okay, I'll switch to Firefox now and give this a try.

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[–] CWuestefeld link

Recentish Chromebooks can trivially run Firefox Mobile.

I actually spent last night getting a full-blown desktop FF running on my chromebook (by way of Crostini, their Linux virtualization). It's not something my mom or even my wife would ever be able to do, but it is possible. And if Mozilla really cared, they could package it in a way that would make it a whole lot easier to install.

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[–] latexr link

Seeing as browsers on iOS can’t have their own rendering engine, no, you can’t run Firefox on iPad in any meaningful way.

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[–] wutbrodo link

Ah gotcha. I'm not super familiar with iOS, and was vaguely aware of such limitations but not that specific one. BTW, I didn't intend my question as disagreement; it was a sincere question.

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[–] jdofaz link

The future is here for at least one K-12 school district that I work with. The majority of the organizations computing devices are iPad, Chromebook or Windows S. None of those devices can run Firefox.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] Engineering-MD link

It’s great to see people swapping to Firefox from chrome, but if you really want to support them, consider donating to Mozilla. As others have said, there is a conflict of interest as they getting funding from google. I donate £30/$40 a year to Mozilla for this reason, and put my money where my mouth is.

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[–] welly link

We can, just not the Firefox rendering engine. As frustrating as that is, perhaps if more iOS users picked firefox as their "browser" then maybe Apple would take a hint and open up allowing other rendering engines. Although I'm not holding my breath.

I'm an Apple user in as far as I have an iPad Pro and a Macbook Pro, I certainly don't hold Apple in as high regard as I used to do but those two products are superb even with the limitations of the iPad/iOS.

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[–] saagarjha link

> As frustrating as that is, perhaps if more iOS users picked firefox as their "browser" then maybe Apple would take a hint and open up allowing other rendering engines. Although I'm not holding my breath.

The problem with this is that allowing other rendering engines would open up a whole can of worms that Apple would rather not have to deal with, and there's no easy way, even if Apple wanted it, to allow JIT execution for third-party browser engines without utterly destroying the entire codesigning system.

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[–] jefftk link

What design choices mean third party Android browsers can do JIT but third party iPhone ones can't?

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[–] saagarjha link

Android doesn't do codesigning, at least in the way that iOS does: on iOS, all code that executes must be signed and approved by Apple before it is allowed to be loaded by the OS into memory (with some exceptions e.g. Safari). JIT gets around this because applications can now generate and execute arbitrary code, which is obviously something that Apple doesn't want. So this basically means that you are not allowed to put apps like this on the App Store.

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[–] lern_too_spel link

It is a result of Apple's broken security model. On Android, generated code has no more provoleges than the code that generated it, just like interpreted code.

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[–] saagarjha link

> On Android, generated code has no more provoleges than the code that generated it, just like interpreted code.

This is true on iOS as well, just it is on almost every other operating system: you don't get to expand your privileges by being able to generate code because said code still runs in your process. There's no "broken security model" here; in a sense iOS has a much stronger security model than Android does because all code that gets executed can be statically verified beforehand.

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[–] lern_too_spel link

> in a sense iOS has a much stronger security model than Android does because all code that gets executed can be statically verified beforehand.

The code generator can be statically analyzed in the same way that an interpreter can. The security model is broken in the sense that it applies a wholly unnecessary restriction on apps, which means not only can you not have your own fast JavaScript engine on iOS but you can't have fast emulators or run other languages fast on the device either.

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[–] saagarjha link

> The code generator can be statically analyzed in the same way that an interpreter can.

Unless the state of static analysis has somehow changed significantly without me realizing it, no, this does not help at all. While I can (to some extent) verify the code in the code generator itself, I cannot verify that the code generator will not generate arbitrary code unless it lists out all the code it can possibly generate, in which case it's, well, an interpreter. The task of verifying program behavior is now shifted from static analysis on a compiled binary to dynamic instrumentation of a running program, which is much harder to do.

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[–] lern_too_spel link

It is trivial to prove that anything that a code generator can emit can be translated into something that an interpreter can interpret. Run the generated code through an interpreter. QED.

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[–] saagarjha link

> It is trivial to prove that anything that a code generator can emit can be translated into something that an interpreter can interpret.

That's not what we are trying to prove, though; we're trying to show that the generated code does not perform certain undesirable operations. this is much harder to do with dynamically generated code than static code.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] izacus link

Not using the Firefox rendering engine means you're effectively using Safari for rendering sites and not helping ecosystem diversity. The renderer is still WebKit controlled by Apple, not a Firefox browser controlled and built by Mozilla.

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[–] takluyver link

I don't have an iOS device, but presumably Firefox on iOS still integrates with Firefox Sync, so it may reinforce using 'real' Firefox on a laptop or desktop.

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[–] welly link

It does, although doesn't support Firefox extensions as the Android version does. Again due to browser engine restrictions.

Damn you, Apple.

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[–] saagarjha link

Actually, since Firefox uses WKWebView, it should be able to support extensions to some extent. Whether this would fly on the App Store, with the rules against alternative marketplaces for software and all, is indeterminate, but I don't think there is a technical reason why this couldn't work.

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[–] welly link

That is definitely a fair point, and that's the frustating bit for me. I had hoped that eventually Apple would bow to pressure to open up allowing other rendering engines but as I say I'm not holding my breath.

They haven't done this in the last 10 years of iOS/iPhoneOS, can't imagine why they'd change their mind now. It is a shame.

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[–] kkarakk link

>Apple would take a hint

never gonna happen

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[–] Yoric link

~10 years ago, Apple killed the original Firefox for iOS, which was using Gecko. I wouldn't hold my breath.

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[–] bad_user link

I'm using Firefox on my iPhone too, even if it's just a reskinned Safari.

It has a more convenient UI, plus I get shared history and bookmarks with my desktop. So basically I use it for Firefox Sync.

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[–] codezero link

They can use Firefox, just not the rendering engine. I expect that would still be considered an adequate move. Nobody I know (bias) has an iOS device and no laptop or PC, so they can also adopt it on their PC.

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[–] izacus link

How is using reskinned Safari with WebKit rendering engine considered adequate move?

That would be like putting a Firefox skin over IE6 engine a few years back - it would not help the ecosystem in the way this article asks for.

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[–] codezero link

It would still use any bundled Firefox services. Mozilla makes (most?) of their money from search engine referrals so this alone is likely to be a direct support of them.

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[–] amelius link

They can run a WASM-compiled version of it.

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[–] Yoric link

Does Wasm run comfortably on iOS devices? If so, that might be an idea.

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[–] iMark link

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/firefox-web-browser/id989804...

(but yes, I know it's still using webkit behind the scenes)

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[–] zeveb link

I don't believe one really can. That's a good argument against Apple's walled garden IMHO.

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[–] izacus link

How will avid Apple users on this website choose Firefox as a browser on their iPhones and iPad computers?

EDIT: To clarify, mean the rendering engine (so we keep the ecosystem diversity), not the reskinned Safari. Reskinning Safari with Firefox branding does nothing for WebKit web monoculture.

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[–] amyjess link

Honestly, the only thing the use of FUD like this headline has done is to continue to put me off of the FOSS community.

Back in the '90s, it used to be big companies like MS that used FUD against FOSS. Now the FOSS community uses FUD against everyone else. FUD is bad no matter who spreads it.

Hint: If your argument is "don't use our competitor, or else", you are engaging in abusive monopolistic behavior, and it gives me reason to believe that if you actually manage to destroy your competition, you will not hesitate to abuse your newfound monopoly.

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[–] runeks link

> I know it's not the greatest marketing pitch, but it's the truth.

It's about the worst marketing pitch I can think of.

Tell us reasons to choose Firefox over Chrome. If there are no reasons to prefer Firefox, it doesn't matter whether we lose the ability to choose it.

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[–] leavjenn link

Opera Software is acquired by a group of Chinese companies,[1] and one of them is Qihoo 360, which has a lot of negative history.[2]

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_Software

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qihoo_360#Controversies

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[–] justusthane link

Opera uses Chromium under the hood. Have you used Firefox lately? Personally I don't think there's anything clunky about it.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] holtalanm link

What if I chose Opera? Personally, I've never liked Firefox; it has always felt clunky.

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[–] thegreatpeter link

Firefox is awesome. As a dev, switched from Chrome a few months ago and never looked back

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[–] Jonnax link

Okay. So they sold out and the alternative is a browser from an advert company.

How do you think Mozilla should fund the development of Firefox?

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[–] craigsmansion link

An alternative is an open source version of a browser from an advert company, with anti-features hopefully being kept in check by diligent maintainers.

As much as I dislike that, from the advert company I know they're on the side of the advertisers. They're not presenting a "we're on the side of you, the users" face, whilst behaving more or less the same.

A better alternative would be a fork of Firefox, kept up to date by a handful of overworked but dedicated-to-their-users volunteers. These exist, and maybe they would get some more recognition and funding if Mozilla were to cease to exist.

I don't think Mozilla can change. They're too comfortably corporate. Having lost sight of their mission, I think it would be better if it disappeared and was replaced by something else.

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[–] AsyncAwait link

> An alternative is an open source version of a browser from an advert company, with anti-features hopefully being kept in check by diligent maintainers.

To which nobody will listen and who'd have zero power in the standards committees, as unfortunate as it may be.

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[–] craigsmansion link

What's the difference between having zero power and having some power but always caving when it's important for the open web with the excuse that if you hadn't you would lose users and have no say the standards committees?

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[–] AsyncAwait link

I get your frustration, I felt the same particularly after the DRM fiasco, but at least in Firefox it's not enabled by default. I'd say that is an important difference.

More importantly, I think what's important is that there exist multiple browser engines because that forces Google to at least compromise somewhat, (agree to WebAssembly instead of just DartVM for example), not run completely unchecked, even if I agree with your core premise and I think Mozilla should fight a lot harder than it often does.

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[–] Yoric link

I'm afraid that this is not an alternative. What you are suggesting is a browser that just won't let you browse the web (because it will be obsolete after a few months) and that nobody will care about.

> I don't think Mozilla can change. They're too comfortably corporate. Having lost sight of their mission, I think it would be better if it disappeared and was replaced by something else.

I understand how you can see it like this. However, from Mozilla's point of view, what you call "los[ing] sight of their mission" is "caring for as many users as possible" – rather than only for the most tech-literate fringe to which HN readers tend to belong.

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[–] craigsmansion link

> What you are suggesting is a browser that just won't let you browse the web

That won't let you browse all of the web, all of the time.

That's a common argument, but Firefox has been there before. When IE ruled the web, droves of people used Firefox and switched temporarily to IE if a site wouldn't work. They partly did so because it had been explained to them how important the Open Web was.

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[–] underwater link

Your alternative only makes sense if Chrome continues to win. Google is not going to continue investing in Chromium if a competing open source browser wins out.

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[–] craigsmansion link

Well, maybe if Mozilla hadn't alienated their early Freedom/Open web oriented users with their web hostile actions (or inaction). You know, the kind of users that would stick with "inferior" software because of values.

That mountain ahead, Mozilla, is the accumulation of all the "hills not to die on". You got the clout you wanted by selling out, but now those users are flocking to technically better solutions as you're doomed to eternally play catch-up. Who would have thought?

EDIT: Apparently people still believe in the "steward of the Open Web" image they present, and I have no right to be disenfranchised. We'll see. They made their bed...

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[–] gambler link

Some reasons I like using Firefox over Chrome right now:

- Tags for bookmarks.

- Bult-in reader view that makes pages readable again and has hassle-free test-to-speech.

- I can customize toolbars to much higher extent.

What I would really like to see is more tools for managing large numbers of tabs.

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[–] astura link

I was looking at this page yesterday in Firefox: https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/512

When I enter a name and click "search" I get a page with some JSON ({"Result":true,"Status":"success","Redirect":1}) rather than the results page. Worked in chrome, however.

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[–] bzbarsky link

I just tried this in Firefox, and it seems to be working ok for me. Are you still seeing the problem? If so, and if you have some time to help diagnose what's going on here, I would really appreciate it...

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[–] astura link

When I tried it yesterday from my work computer, I got the incorrect behavior.

I tried it on mobile Firefox this morning when I typed this comment and it did the same (just displayed json text). Mobile chrome was fine.

I put in only a last name and clicked search.

Just tried it on Firefox from my work computer and it's working now!!!

I didn't make it up, that json above is copied/pasted!

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[–] bzbarsky link

I totally believe you that you saw what you saw! Just trying to pin it down.

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[–] Wowfunhappy link

^^ The fact that this is a government website makes it particularly egregious.

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[–] jimworm link

Google Hangouts failed in Firefox for me last week. Had to break the Chromium out.

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[–] kej link

There's a FF extension "App for Hangouts" that puts Hangouts in its own window and has worked for me while I slowly convert my contacts into other IM systems.

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[–] jakub_g link

Google (and to certain extent Facebook, and a few other big names) are known to build Chromium-first services. Most other websites works really well in Firefox.

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[–] neilsimp1 link

I've seen the comment here on HN and a few other sites in the past few days - are there sites out there that don't work in Firefox, but do work in Chrome?

Like, I'm aware of a few CSS properties that work in Chrome but not FF, but I don't think I've ever come across a site that doesn't look or work completely fine in FF.

The only exception to this that I can think of is Google Earth, which I'm pretty sure you can open inside of Chrome. I've always used the desktop app for that though so I'm not sure.

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[–] jdlyga link

I wasn't a huge fan of the first Firefox Quantum release, but the latest one is amazing. I switched over on my Windows computer at work, and it runs amazingly.

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[–] Const-me link

I never started to use Chrome.

If/when MS Edge will switch to Blink, I'll indeed switch to FF. Until then I prefer MS Edge: performance, font rendering, OS integration (e.g. video codecs) are IMO better in MS Edge.

Couple months ago I had to downgrade one of my PCs to Win7 (a client wanted me to develop for it), I used Firefox on that PC. Worked great.

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[–] collinmanderson link

Imagine someone from 2006, or even 2012 seeing the headline: "Microsoft kills closed-source IE successor, switches to open source codebase" and hearing that people are mad that IE('s successor) is dead and an open source browser has too much market share. :)

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[–] heuiop link

It's not just spying. It's also unilateral actions like the recent 'trivial subdomains' example:

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=881410

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=883038

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[–] catacombs link

What are HN's thoughts on ungoogled-chrome? It's still a Chromium browser but without the Google spying.

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[–] mcemilg link

I was very afraid about syncing my data with other devices on Firefox. But today I switched to Firefox and passed all my chrome data (even stored passwords) to Firefox. It can sync with all devices such as mobile. I hope I will not get trouble about web apps :P

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[–] z5h link

As an exercise in trying to install the minimum amount of software on my Machine, I'm using Safari as my default browser. However, there are cases I have found where a website simply doesn't work with Safari but has been developed and tested against Chrome.

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[–] kahlonel link

As a non-web-dev, I'm still looking for a reason to not use Safari on my macbook. Perhaps I'm too dumb to see the difference, but I've never found chrome/firefox to be better than safari.

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[–] sgift link

Brendan Eich wasn't fired, he stepped down.

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[–] mscasts link

Yeah right, Mozilla didn't even fight for him one second.

> “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act,” wrote Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker in a blog post. “We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry.”

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[–] mscasts link

I used to donate to Mozilla, but ever since they fired Brendan I haven't been able to look at them the same way.

I use Firefox daily, but actually don't really care if they die because it's their own fault.

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[–] mosselman link

I really wanted to keep using Firefox, but it is just too slow on my Mac. It makes itself and all other things I do very slow. Until this is resolved there is no way I can use it. Instead I use Brave now.

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[–] yinyang_in link

This is my only usecase for Chrome, just for incognito mode. Installed it for that. No add-ons nothing.

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[–] harikb link

Genuinely curious - how is it that people don’t trust the website they have an account/email/bank with, but still trust plug-ins that now have access to all your browser activity

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[–] Slashbot link

Firefox ceased to be a best browser the day it released Quantum.. That day sealed it's fate into irrelevancy.

I use Vivaldi.com now (chromium based backend, with alot more effort put in than those who work at google or mozilla or any of the fking companies with huge amounts of money doing fuck to improve the user experience with a web browser).. all the other browsers pale in comparison to the features and customization that is built into it. Sorry Mozilla not sorry you are are fking idiots for the direction you took with Firefox, you killed it. You let everyone done, you didn't care about the very user and developers who made your browser popular in the first place.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] zymhan link

When you first install Firefox, it asks if you want to import that data from other browsers that are installed.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/import-bookmarks-data-a...

Additionally, you can install a 3rd party password manager temporarily that can sync between Firefox and Chrome (e.g. LastPass, etc)

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/export-settings-chrome-firef...

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[–] yinyang_in link

One more suggestion. Try enpass

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[–] catacombs link

Use KeePass

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[–] cataphract link

Is there any way to make Firefox use the passwords I have saved with Google (available at passwords.google.com and loaded into gnome-keyring)?

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[–] bitwize link

Ever since Firefox adopted its PulseAudio or gtfo policy for Linux builds, I've been a pretty happy Pale Moon user.

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[–] gambler link

What features Brave has that are missing in Firefox?

Brave is based on Chromium. It doesn't seem to have any radical UI features that would put it ahead.

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[–] codehalo link

Used to use Firefox, primarily for the dev tools. Switched to Brave. Easily the best browser out here right now.

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[–] emiller88 link

Anyone have any thoughts on Firefox vs Brave?

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] akayoshi1 link

Just use both. End of comments.

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[–] notbeevil5 link

I think HN new should change its name to mozilla news or Wallstreet News for IT.

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[–] Rexel link

Choose Firefox Now, or else a kitten dies?

Sorry I need to use a browser that isn't complete garbage Mozilla.. you used to have such a browser.

It seems you've been overrun by morons, now you need to go take a look at Vivaldi.com ...at least they know how to build a browser for users who want useful features and customization built in, and not some basic chrome crap, especially when the addons that used to provide those features don't exist because YOU FKING BROKE ALL THE GOOD ONES MOZILLA.

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[–] andrewclunn link

Good. Let it die. A unified web rendering platform? Oh no! Wait, that sounds awesome.

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[–] OpenBSD-reich2 link

Why would I choose Firefox and all the baggage of Mozilla organizationally, when I've already chosen superior Chromium in the form of Iridium browser? The only thing left for Mozilla to do in converting Firefox into the GNOME 3 of browsers is to start viciously paring features for usability/"user experience!" I don't know if Iridium is pledged in OpenBSD, but Chrome definitely is whereas at this point it's almost impossible to pledge Firefox.

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[–] barking link

Well, this is embarrassing.

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[–] ginko link

Even if Firefox were an objectively worse browser than Chrome(which I don't think it is these days) there is still an argument to be made to use it anyways to ensure the freedom of the web.

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[–] speedplane link

> there is still an argument to be made to use [firefox] anyways to ensure the freedom of the web.

Definitely. Remember when Google wanted to buy Wikipedia but promised to keep it a free resource? So happy that didn't happen, it would have been the end of Wikipedia. Services like Firefox and Wikipedia are the last vestiges we have of the original intent of the internet, an place to congregate with the user in mind.

Most of everything else is walled gardens with the hope to create a monopoly via network effects.

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[–] anticensor link

Or fenced yards, which only acts as echo chamber with an extra chorus.

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[–] AnIdiotOnTheNet link

And that argument is stupid. If Firefox had the dominant browser market share, they'd be the ones stripping your freedom and spying on your crap for money instead. Their history makes that pretty clear.

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[–] askaboutit link

I chose Firefox then it made the CPU fan go nuts whilst it chewed all the available power.

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[–] superkuh link

Mozilla made their choice to become Chrome in spirit if not engine. I don't see how picking Firefox is going to help. Maybe pick a browser that doesn't target tech ignorants that need to be protected from themselves by violating software freedoms. No browser that has a walled garden should be used.

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[–] RussianCow link

Unless you actually care about the moral issues, like privacy?

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[–] hartator link

What's wrong with privacy with unGoogled Chromium, Brave, Safari or Opera?

Mozilla has been careless with your privacy at least a couple of times: Mr Robot injected ad, Google Analytics in extension panel, and Pocket aggressive integration to name a few.

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[–] hartator link

I don’t fully get the cult-like altitude with Mozilla. Just pick the best web browser. If it happens to be Firefox, great, if not pick, Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Opera, Safari, or whatever you feel is best for you. Mozilla has been losing marked shares since then and a moralist message is not the way to go.

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[–] zymhan link

hahahahahahaaaaaaa

I'd love to see a cogent argument for this. In no way does Brave address the issues with a monopolized web in the way that Mozilla does.

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[–] matt4077 link

"Brave" is a morally bankrupt hustle gnawing at the foundations of civil society; it is a bro-wser spawned by a disgruntled has-been consumed by his ego's unwillingness to accept that his bank account does not reflect his former social standing. It is the rare "creative" endeavour motivated solely by a drive to destroy, and to get rich & even in the process.

Also it's just another Chromium skin, so it wouldn't change anything.

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[–] FeralAlien link

At least brave works, Firefox has been completely useless for me on anything but Windows and Android since the quantum update. It drains battery like nobody's business or screws with UI elements when no one asked it to.

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[–] kikki link

Are you going to provide any sources to back up these claims?

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[–] kkarakk link

brave is amazing to use on mobile

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[–] kanwisher link

Brendan Eich has moved out to make BAT. Lets support that instead. Firefox can die and new things can take its place

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[–] Yoric link

Since it's so critical to you, and if it's so obvious (I haven't checked, I take your word on it), would you consider submitting a patch to fix this issue?

I can guide you on patch submission, if you need.

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[–] hannasanarion link

Patches have been submitted, tons and tons of times, and are always rejected. The maintainers say "it's the website's fault for not respecting the user's theming preferences" even as their own website does it.

They've been saying that user theming will sweep over the web and this issue will fix itself since the year 2000.

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[–] anoncake link

> They've been saying that user theming will sweep over the web

Of course not, it's an OS feature. Not everything is about the web.

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[–] bzbarsky link

There were lots of requests to have form controls "look native", which is why they were changed to use the desktop theme...

One problem with that, as you note, is web pages that are setting a color but not a background color on elements, which is a web development 101 mistake.

But there's just no way to win here: either you can use the OS theme for widgets and things fail when sites make this mistake, or the widgets don't look "native".

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[–] hannasanarion link

> One problem with that, as you note, is web pages that are setting a color but not a background color on elements, which is a web development 101 mistake.

If it works correctly for 99.9% of users (those who aren't running linux, with firefox, with a dark GTK theme), than it isn't a mistake on the part of the website, it's a bug on the part of the browser.

User theming is not about to sweep over the web. It didn't happen in 2000 when this bug was first opened. The web has changed a lot since then, we've seen web 2.0 and the dawn of the social internet. But there are zero signs of a user-defined theme revolution. AFAIK themes still don't exist in Windows and OSX. It is absurd to continue to insist that the issue is about to fix itself, as maintainers have done on the bug report I linked.

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[–] bzbarsky link

> AFAIK themes still don't exist in Windows and OSX.

They exist just fine on Windows. See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13768/desktop-theme... for example, and there's a number of themes that ship with Windows by default, including several "dark" themes.

On Mac I am not aware of themes per se, but there are accessibility options that have similar effects.

Again, what is your specific proposed solution? Stop using the current theme entirely when painting controls? You can sort of test what that looks like by putting "-moz-appearance: none" on some controls; then tell me whether that's what people using a non-dark GTK theme actually want. Or do you have some other concrete proposal?

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[–] hannasanarion link

> Again, what is your specific proposed solution?

Why do you need a proposal from me? What's wrong with this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c8

Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c12

Or this one? https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/22026...

Or this one? https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/22026...

Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c36

Or this one? https://github.com/lightradius/firefox-dark-theme-fix

Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c45

Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c46

Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1461538#c9

And those are only the proposals that are linked from the original 18-year old bug, there are probably dozens of others that were opened independently.

Granted, some of them are dumb (the patch that hard-codes "Adwaita-dark" as a trigger seems particularly bad) but there is no excuse for this to still be around, 18 years later, despite all of the proposals and patches that have been sent to fix it. There are multiple firefox extensions out there that fix the bug, and they are very popular, with thousands of users each. In what crazy world is it considered good design practice to force thousands of your users to install 3rd party extensions to be able to read text on the internet?

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[–] bzbarsky link

> What's wrong with this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c8

Like the comment says: it makes things better with some themes but worse with others. Incidentally, the author of that patch is a senior engineer at Mozilla now; if he actually thought this patch made things better, it would be in the tree.

Note, by the way, that this bug report is about the Firefox UI itself, not about web pages.

> Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c12

That comment comes down to "stop doing native theming", no?

> Or this one? https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/22026...

That's the same as your first link.

> Or this one? https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/22026...

Amusingly enough, that comment was written by me. There's nothing wrong with it. It's from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=437366 which was a superficially similar, but not at all the same issue, and which I fixed back in 2009. (And yes, I have thought about this problem space quite a bit in the past, though not necessarily the Linux-specific bits.)

> Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c36

That says "stop doing native theming".

> Or this one? https://github.com/lightradius/firefox-dark-theme-fix

That's a set of CSS rules that disables native theming.

> Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c45

This comment is about the Firefox UI, not web pages.

> Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315#c46

This one is actually useful, thank you. Following the links from there lands me at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1283086#c13 from one of the RedHat folks who have been active in this stuff. Note that this comment says that Firefox tries to avoid using dark themes for form controls, but some dark themes fail to properly flag themselves as dark themes. Which makes it hard to avoid them.

Also, can you stop pretending like no one has worked on this? Given https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1353147 and https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1158076 it sure looks like people have been active here.

> Or this one? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1461538#c9

Karl is an engineer on Firefox, working on GTK integration. If he felt that his comment were the right fix, it would be in the tree.

> In what crazy world is it considered good design practice to force thousands of your users to install 3rd party extensions to be able to read text on the internet?

In a world where all the proposals for fixing that so far make millions of users unhappy?

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[–] anoncake link

Actually, there are two ways to win here: Follow the OS theme or follow the website CSS. But don't mix them, that's just stupid.

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[–] jcranmer link

But... but... I want to have my cake and eat it too!

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[–] hannasanarion link

Frankly, I don't want to choose firefox. Their priorities are utterly misplaced.

I can't believe people don't talk about the dark gtk theming bug more often. It's one of the most common firefox questions on stackoverflow: If you have a dark gtk theme, like Arc-dark or Adwaita-dark, then Firefox randomly colors certain web page elements (usually text boxes) dark to match your desktop theme.

Almost always resulting in black text on a black background. There are examples of this misbehavior on mozilla.org

THIS BUG HAS BEEN OPEN FOR 18 YEARS https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=70315

If something so obvious and so easy (why not make white the default background color, like every other browser) has gone unfixed for so long, despite its manifestation on their own home page, then why wouldn't I expect that there are tons of other common sense things that Mozilla has totally ignored, waiting for me to stumble upon them like so many land mines?

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