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    This release FINALLY enables WebP support! Exciting future!

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      I remember when WebP first appeared, Firefox declined to support it on the grounds that it was only a marginal improvement over JPEG but added complexity and security surface.

      I wonder what changed.

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        IMO that’s been a pretty weak reason for a while now (at least since 2012); WebP doesn’t just support lossy compression, but also lossless, on average performing about 30% better than PNG optimizers like pngcrush. WebP also supports animation, and it’s wayyy better than GIFs in terms of filesize (although really you should use a dedicated video encoding format like WebM for that).

        But even aside from that, I know that some CDNs and image optimization services have started offering support for auto-transcoding images to WebP for WebP-enabled clients; for example, Akamai offers a service for doing this. As more sites start adding this kind of support, Chrome benefits from the compression and Firefox doesn’t (because Firefox doesn’t support WebP), and so Chrome ends up being faster on a larger swath of the web; Mozilla’s been focusing on improved performance for a while now, so adding support for WebP makes sense.

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          HEIF appeared and is about as patent encumbered as can be, while being pushed by various strong market participants. In that light WebP isn’t that bad a compromise (similar “marginal improvement” format with similar complexity tradeoffs, but free)

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            Sites started assuming that all their visitors supported WebP?

        2. [Comment removed by author]

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            (I actually changed jobs 2 years ago so the hat is a bit disingenuous now)

            For the real answer: I’ve noticed that sometimes significant events in history affect your mind way stronger than you expect and warp your perceptions far into the future. When Chrome came out in 2008 it blew everything out of the water. Firefox at the time had effectively won and everyone was celebrating the surprising defeat of Internet Explorer. When Chrome came out, its slimmed down UI and rejection of the everything-goes extension model of Firefox gave it incredible speed and security. Chrome came out with the omnibox, a rapid release cycle, autoupdates, sandboxed tabs, an optimized javascript engine, all immediately and effectively out of nowhere. It’s hard to overstate how astonishing a graph like this was to someone in 2012 (compare to this). Engineers were presented an 0-day and released the fix in 24 hours. Chrome switching to PPAPI Flash has arguably stopped more security exploits in the modern web than anything outside of Apple’s monumental decision to not support Flash on iOS at all.

            But that’s about the past; I say it to give context of how my perceptions are warped (and probably will be for a long time). As for the current day, I can talk about my respect for the engineers and how they really do push back against weirdo decisions from up high, but that won’t matter much to the average Lobsters user. So:

            1. The Chrome sandbox is still the gold standard. I admit that I haven’t been keeping up with Firefox’s sandboxing efforts, but at least as of a year ago it still lags Chrome’s.
            2. The security team is at the forefront of certificate validation, openSSL/boringSSL work, certificate transparency, and security UX.
            3. The memory usage concerns were known by the time I left, and active work was being done to optimize it.

            So the short answer: I still use Chrome because of the security efforts and my faith in the engineers. Those outweigh any shenanigans that come from up high. I’m still mad about a few product decisions, but I don’t want to get hacked.

            I should say: I extremely respect the Firefox team and am excited about all the work they’re doing (Quantum is really cool), so I hope Firefox stays in the game and keeps Chrome on its toes.

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              The amount of innovation that went into that first release (and beyond) was staggering. People would often criticize Firefox for copying Chrome, but we did so for good reason! We were playing catch up for a very long time (and in some cases still are). Turns out when your code base is rooted in the 90s major architectural overhauls are hard.

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              “Find in page” is accent sensitive. This bug has been discussed for years but US chauvinists think they know better than Europeans how we use our languages.

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                link to bug?

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                  16 years ago and still a hot topic. Seems by now the issue is more that they can’t have a perfect solution for all languages and they don’t even trust Unicode’s own accent folding, so they don’t do anything. Not much better.

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                    The perfect being the enemy of the good seems to be the (ostensible) reason for a lot of Firefox tickets languishing, unfortunately. This bug was one of my hobby horses back in the day. Opened in September 2005 requesting that a UI string be reworded, it was finally fixed in September 2017 after a lot of comments like, “There are possible future improvements to this part of the program, so let’s not do anything with this for now.” It boggles the mind a little bit.

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                I use chromium, but its mostly because we use a lot of Google products at work, and the integration just makes things a little bit easier.

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                  • On Linux/BSD (which I use) it feels more native to the platform than Chrome.
                  • Built in ad tracking protection
                  • Not a Google product
                  1. [Comment removed by author]

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                      Oops I totally swapped them when I read the question.

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                        Perfectly understandable in this anti-facebook/google/amazon[1] climate. :-P

                        [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19028641

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                    WebGL. The performance of WebGL compared to Chrome is significantly worse in Firefox across Windows 10, Ubuntu and OSX see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=856900 . You can see the frame rate drop when viewing this WebGL demo http://webglsamples.org/aquarium/aquarium.html for me it’s about a 30 FPS difference - on Windows 10 and Ubuntu.

                    Fortunately WebGL is a small percentage of the Internet so I tend to use Firefox for daily use but for projects that use WebGL there’s a clear need to use Chrome and I can only imagine this need will grow as WebGL use grows

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                    I like the Handoff support in OSX. It’s nice when you can be listening to a podcast in Overcast and keep listening when you sit down at your laptop/desktop.

                    There are niceties I will miss when I finish eliminating OSX from my personal universe :)

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                      heh, I remember a music handoff app for Mac ↔ iOS from way before Apple’s official Continuity…

                      In the free world, KDE Connect can do a lot, but no Handoff style functionality yet. I guess it’s really hard to do when you’re dealing with completely separate app ecosystems. Though it should be possible for some things that have standardized APIs. Like you can pick up the current song and position from MPRIS and you proooobably can tell Android “play this song from this position on the default music player”… maybe…

                      Also: with Purism, there will be an app ecosystem that runs on both mobile and desktop, so maybe someone should start working on handoff between the same app on different devices

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                        KDE Connect seems pretty neat for sure. Pity that the entire commercial Linux world seems to be backing Gnome instead :(

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                          KDE Connect is not actually specific to KDE — the post I linked shows a frontend that’s a GNOME Shell extension. There’s also an AppIndicator based DE-agnostic frontend.

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                            Still terrible marketing. It’d be better if the thing was under XDG, with a name like “Open Connect” or “Mobile Connect”.

                            Probably part of the problem is that KDE has the same reputation as Apple does, with people either buying in whole-hog or not-at-all, because KDE tends to take a very “holistic” approach to design (note tech like kdeinit, which runs a daemon in the background to make the whole system use less RAM, assuming you’re using a lot of KDE apps).

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                              Still terrible marketing

                              That basically sums up KDE recently; did you know, that KDE no longer means “K Desktop Environment”? I only learned a few years ago. It’s now an umbrella name for a lot of projects, including Plasma, the Desktop Environment. I talked to them a bit on FOSDEM a few years ago, and they were all about how KDE is now a modular thing instead of this big monolithic blob, and how KDE Connect doesn’t actually require you to use KDE at all. And they’re not lying: I’ve successfully used it with bare i3 and it didn’t bring in that many dependencies.

                              But yeah, people hear “KDE” and think “oh, this big, bloated DE I don’t want to use”. A bit of a naming problem, and those are really, really hard to fix (Perl 5 and 6 suffers from a similar thing).

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                                I think that’s true. You’d think they’d work harder on fixing that since the world seems to be passing them by :\

                                Gnome is such an unstable beast and yet all the big distros are piling on board that bandwagon instead of stalwart KDE just chugging along getting more and more mature and awesome all the time :)

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                              Good point. Not helpful for me in any case because I use an IOS phone :)

                              ( hate where Apple’s going these days with its computers and OSX but for mobile devices I still vastly prefer them for a number of reasons. I know, break out the tar and feathers :)

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                                Eh, no. I am also drifting away from the Mac, but until there’s a non-surveillance alternative to iOS, I’m still hooked into the Apple ecosystem.

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                                  Yeah, and this is another unpopular opinion but another reason I’m sticking with IOS for mobile is the apps. An iPad is one of the most amazingly capable platforms for creativity I’ve ever encountered. Full stop.

                                  Android folks get haughty when I point out various applications where no counterpart exists, but the few who were honest enough to actually give more than a cursory look agreed.

                                  Examples: Moog AniMoog, Procreate, Editorial

                                  OSX is another story though. The thing that kept me there for years was the accessibility features, and now both Gnome and KDE on ubuntu offer the key thing I need (key chorded full screen zoom) so that’s not holding me.

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                        Scrolling still sucks…

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                          Some tips here on how to change the behavior, including scrolling, to be more like Chrome.

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                            Oh, it’s surprising there are so many animations and delays taking a lot of time (e.g. 400ms) after quantum.

                            I know a colleague of mine has been involved reducing some. I’ll find out if I can get him to look at the ones mentioned here.

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                              I’ve been using Google chrome as long as I can remember.

                              Sometimes it’s too easy to forget that this is a thing…

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                              You probably mean smooth scrolling which is on by default.

                              One of the few things I do is disable the smooth scroll. :)

                              Here are other settings in ABOUT:CONFIG I use that make Firefox mode usable for me:

                              VALUE        COMMENT
                              browser.cache.memory.enable                                    FALSE
                              browser.display.show_image_placeholders                        false
                              browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction                        0
                              browser.safebrowsing.downloads.enabled                         FALSE
                              browser.safebrowsing.enabled                                   FALSE
                              browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled                           FALSE
                              browser.search.suggest.enabled                                 FALSE
                              browser.sessionhistory.max_entries                             5
                              browser.sessionstore.interval                                  45000
                              browser.tabs.animate                                           FALSE
                              browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent                         FALSE
                              datareporting.healthreport.service.enabled                     FALSE
                              datareporting.healthreport.uploadEnabled                       FALSE
                              general.smoothScroll.lines                                     false
                              general.smoothScroll.mouseWheel                                true
                              general.smoothScroll.other                                     false
                              general.smoothScroll.pages                                     false
                              general.smoothScroll.pixels                                    false
                              general.smoothScroll.scrollbars                                false
                              geo.enabled                                                    FALSE
                              gfx.xrender.enabled                                            true
                              javascript.options.mem.max                                     65535
                              loop.enabled                                                   FALSE
                              media.autoplay.enabled                                         FALSE
                              media.block-autoplay-until-in-foreground                       FALSE
                              media.peerconnection.enabled                                   FALSE
                              network.dns.disableIPv6                                        true
                              network.http.pipelining                                        TRUE
                              network.http.pipelining.max-optimistic-requests                2
                              network.http.pipelining.maxrequests                            4
                              network.http.pipelining.ssl                                    TRUE
                              network.http.proxy.pipelining                                  TRUE
                              network.negotiate-auth.allow-insecure-ntlm-v1                  TRUE
                              network.prefetch-next                                          FALSE
                              network.trr.mode                                               5
                              privacy.trackingprotection.enabled                             TRUE
                              security.dialog_enable_delay                                   0
                              security.notification_enable_delay                             0
                              security.ssl3.rsa_fips_des_ede3_sha                            FALSE
                              security.tls.version.fallback-limit                            0
                              security.tls.version.max                                       3
                              security.tls.version.min                                       0
                              services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.safebrowsing.enabled          FALSE
                              services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled  FALSE
                              services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.maxRichResults         false
                              toolkit.scrollbox.smoothScroll                                 false
                              toolkit.telemetry.enabled                                      FALSE
                              browser.tabs.tabMinWidth                                       10
                              dom.webnotifications.enabled                                   false
                              media.autoplay.default                                         1
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                              As far as I see, you still can’t choose your new tab page, w/o an extension?

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                                In about:preferences#home you can choose both the new tab page and the new window page

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                                  Was this added post-Firefox 60?

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                                    In Firefox ESR 60.4.0 there’s only the possibility to set your new window page so I guess yes.