1. 18

TLDR: ads in New Tab

  1.  

  2. 16

    If folks actually read this story Firefox is working pretty hard to make this a non invasive, non privacy compromising feature change, and they’re also opening themselves up for public comment.

    Consider voicing your objections rather than simply jumping ship. Having a viable open source option is important for the web ecosystem IMO.

    1. 15

      If folks actually read this story Firefox is working pretty hard to make this a non invasive, non privacy compromising feature change, and they’re also opening themselves up for public comment.

      i just want a freaking browser engine with the possibility of enhancements via extensions. i don’t want to turn off magick features. i just want a browser which displays websites. the new firefox engine is really great, but i fear that now they slowly fill firefox with crappy features until its slow again.

      1. 3

        What happens on the “New Tab page has zero effect on page load times. If you don’t like what the New Tab page looks like, customize it. Some of your options are:

        • set it to blank
        • install an extension that takes over
        • customize the current experience

        For the last option, click the little gear icon in the top right and you should see this https://imgur.com/a/1p47a where you can turn off any section that you don’t like.

        1. 7

          yes, i know. i still don’t want these features shipped and active by default. if i want pocket, i could install it as extension. heck, i wouldn’t mind if they said “hey, we have this great extension named pocket, care to try it out?” on their default new page, with a link to install it. but not shipped by default.

          1. 4

            What happens on the “New Tab page has zero effect on page load times.

            I don’t care so much about page load times; sites which care are already fast (e.g. no JS BS), whilst those which don’t will soon bloat up to offset any increase in browser performance.

            My main complaints with Pocket/Hello/Looking Glass/pdf.js/etc. are code bloat, install size, added complexity, attack surface, etc.

            1. 1

              You can’t do that on mobile.

        2. [Comment removed by author]

          1. 7

            Are you saying you’d stop using Firefox because of default “sponsored content” in New Tab?

            It’s pretty easy to turn that off, just like all the other New Tab content. The article even links detailed instructions.

            Or is it a matter of principle for you? How do you suppose Mozilla should make money?

            1. 5

              It is not “sponsored content” - that concept does not exist in Firefox. Nobody is paying Mozilla to show specific content on New Tab.

              1. [Comment removed by author]

                1. 2

                  There are no ads in Firefox. Why did you think there are?

                  1. 4

                    There absolutely are—or were until fairly recently—ads in unfilled tiles on the new tab page. Here’s an example support forum thread asking how to get rid of them.

                    1. 4

                      That was two years ago and that feature was completely dropped.

                2. 2

                  How do you suppose Mozilla should make money?

                  Should Mozilla make money? Should one of the most important applications in modern-day computing be produced by a company that is incentivized to produce a profit?

                  1. 6

                    Mozilla corp is not incentivized to produce a profit, it is quite openly their goal to “just” keep the lights on. But that already needs quite a bit of cash. That’s a huge difference.

                    Mozilla corp is for-profit, as for certain legal reasons, producing software is not 501(c)3 compatible. It’s a very usual setup.

                    Yes, Mozilla should make money. Otherwise, they’d shut down.

                    1. 2

                      Mozilla is a non-profit, so no, they don’t have to make money. But the people who work for Mozilla don’t work for free. You can’t build a product like Firefox purely on volunteers, so Mozilla should at least be able to pay their workforce.

                      They can’t keep up with the rest of the world and provide a quality, free software alternative browser without money.

                      If you think the work Mozilla does is valuable (I do!) and feel like they should stay away from alternative monetization methods (I do!), you should consider donating to Mozilla so that they don’t have to find other ways of funding development.

                  2. 3

                    Does it have to be libre? If not, Vivaldi is an excellent web browser that believes in making easy things easy and customization easy. It’s the spiritual successor to Opera 12, which was the pinnacle of browser experiences.

                    1. 3

                      what do you mean? they even have prebuilt images for all major platforms. On MacOS, you can install it from Homebrew as well (brew cask install qutebrowser).

                      1. 1

                        What do you do about plugins? I miss a few plugins from Chrome when I tried out qutebrowser, primarily my RSS feed monitoring one as well as my usenet one.

                        The other big one I miss is Join, but that’s sort of a separate thing in terms of how “encompassing” it is.

                        1. 1

                          I just installed qutebrowser too. That is just brilliant. Thanks for linking - I remember stories coming about it before but never made the effort to try it out, but now I can see it becoming pretty regular.

                        2. [Comment from banned user removed]

                          1. 3

                            Accusations of bribery are really a low blow.

                            1. [Comment from banned user removed]

                              1. 5

                                It’s a tech acquisition, so the profit of the company is of no interest.

                                The technology of RIL is of interest for Mozilla, which is the vendor of Firefox, but also so much more.

                                Also, I kind of shrug at “10s of millions”. A million is about the price you need to hire 5-10 engineers for a year, depending on where you are. Software is expensive.

                                Jumping to bribery without anything else but pointing at “they bought a non-profitable company” is malicious, yes!

                                1. 2

                                  The technology of RIL is of interest for Mozilla

                                  How so? It’s yet another rehash of that trivial “save web pages for offline/later reading” concept. No technological innovation whatsoever, no interest among Firefox users either.

                            2. 1

                              If you want to choke just read the Mozilla Foundation’s financial disclosures

                              1. 2

                                Where are these hosted? I can only find general accounting information, without specific spending breakdowns.