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    I recently switched from Chrome to Firefox, due to some annoyances and problems I’ve been encountering in Chrome. For example, the entire Chrome UI goes unresponsive frequently when I use the IRCCloud web application. And Chrome is woefully behind when it comes to stopping autoplay videos from playing. This should have been built-in functionality for a long time now - there’s just no excuse for it not being there. And using Ctrl+click to put individual Google Hangouts conversations into their own tabs is now causing problems too (after a while, the tab goes blank!). This is a brand new problem I’m seeing in Chrome 64.

    Not sure what’s happening with the Chrome team. They seem to have lost their mojo.

    The Firefox UI is now nice and smooth. And Firefox is fast. I can no longer perceive any performance differences between Chrome and Firefox. I think the two browsers are on par again – and I would even give Firefox the edge at the moment.

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      I’ve always like Firefox better ideologically, but I just couldn’t deal with the reduced performance. I tried FF 57 beta, and never looked back. I’m really glad Mozilla finally managed to put out serious competition to Chrome.

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        Can’t say that’s been my experience, sadly. I switched from Chrome to Firefox and was having a blast with Quantum, I never thought web pages could load that quickly! But the UI was still clunky and the whole browser froze several times while using it with more intensive apps (and it really makes me wonder what went wrong when with several web tools open the one to really bring my computer to its knees is Slack, an IM app).

        I know a friend that’s using it and he’s not having my issues, wonder if it’s Windows (since he uses macOS), the fact that my PC is older (Thinkpad T430 vs MBP 2017) but Chrome just never skips a beat, even when the website is under heavy load, while Firefox just gives up when any of the pages get a little busy (this includes mundane tasks like opening and browsing the inspector).

        I really think Mozilla is on the right track for once and I hope for the best to them, I just hope they don’t get blinded by trying to ace every benchmark and think of the overall experience more, otherwise they’ll end up doing the same things we hate Chrome for (like breaking the web)

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        If you haven’t tried Firefox for Android, I highly recommend checking it out. I find it’s much snappier than Chrome, has adblock, and a better UI in my opinion. For example, tab management is a lot saner. It also provides an option to load links in the background if you open them from a different app.

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          It also provides an option to load links in the background if you open them from a different app.

          I switched this on by accident at some point and I find it’s wonderful.

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          I wish the browser wars meant we got some more variety rather than more of the same. We are getting boxed in between two vendors (three if you count webkit/safari).

          While I understand everyone wants their browser to be snappy, and speed perception drives user adoption, I have other priorities.

          • I’d like the browser to help me with usability using larger fonts or disable some effects (gradients and low contrast are the new blink).
          • Videos sometimes dont play at all, or have choppy sound. But the native video players in my system can play the same stream just fine. Why can’t I just outsource playback to the OS?
          • input handling in the browser always defers to the web page. Sometimes I just want to scroll the page or paste on an input field - but the webpage defined some bindings that prevent me from doing it. I tried to hack around this with some webkitgtk code, but even then I was not 100% successful (lets face it I want normal mode in my browser)

          I’m savvy enough to have a long list of hacks to do some of this stuff. But it seems to be getting harder to do it. I consider Firefox to be the most configurable of the two, but each release breaks something or adds some annoyance that breaks something else. Currently I’m seriously pondering switching from firefox to chromium because alsa does not work with the new sandbox.

          The wide scope of browser APIs means they are more like full operating systems than single applications. In fact I think my laptop lacks the disk/ram to build chrome from source. Webkit is likely the most hackable of the bunch, but then again I have no experience with CEF. It seems likely that the major browsers will continue to converge until they become more or less the same, unless some other player steps up.

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            Firefox is introducing support for decentralized protocols in FF 59. The white-listed protocols are:

            • Dat Project (dat://)
            • IPFS (dweb:// ipfs:// ipns://)
            • Secure Scuttlebutt (ssb://)

            I think that’s moving things in an interesting direction as opposed to doing more of the same.

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              Hey! I made that patch! :-D

              so basically the explanation is simple. There is a whitelist of protocols you can have your WebExtension take over.

              If the protocol you want to control is not on that whitelist such as an hypothetical “catgifs:” protocol, you need to prefix it like: “web+catgifs” or “ext+catgifs” depending if it will be used from the Add-on or by redirection to another Web page. This makes it inconvenient to use with lots of decentralization protocols because in many other clients we are already using urls such as “ssb:” and “dat:” (eg, check out beaker browser). In essence this allows us to implement many new cool decentralization features as add-ons now that we can take over protocols, so, you could be in Firefox browsing the normal web and suddenly see a “dat:” link, normally you’d need to switch clients to a dat enabled app, now, you can have an add-on display that content in the current user-agent you’re using.

              Still, there is another feature that we need before we can start really implementing decentralization protocols as pure WebExtensions, we need both TCP and UDP APIs like we had in Firefox OS (as an example, Scuttlebutt uses UDP to find peers in LAN and its own muxrpc TCP protocol to exchange data, DAT also uses UDP/TCP instead of HTTP).

              I have been building little experiments in Firefox for interfacing with Scuttlebutt which can be seen at:



              I hope to start a conversation in the add-ons list about TCP and UDP APIs for WebExtensions soon :-)

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                Fantastic work! :)

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              Well, on Windows you have a 3rd option: IE.

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              I use Firefox almost exclusively (including Firefox for Android on my phone), but I have to keep Chrome installed on my laptop because my job requires a working Google Hangouts client.

              Once Google/Mozilla get around to fixing that, Chrome is getting uninstalled again.

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                Waiting on that as well. It’s not something Mozilla can fix I don’t think. Just have to wait for google to get their shit together. It’s coming soon just like the google drive linux client.

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                  doesn’t seem it would be in google’s interest to allow hangouts to work on firefox. do we know they’re trying to do this?

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                    Apparently they used to have a firefox addon to make it work but they haven’t updated it for new firefox yet. The current hangouts page says they are working on it but it’s been a very long time since web extensions was announced.

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                It should work, though not the “Google Meet” version you have to use with corporate Google accounts. See https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/7l3h0i/google_hangouts_finally_supports_firefox/

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                    Direct access to all the XUL/XPCOM/whatever messy internals from extensions was a huge disadvantage. Firefox developers couldn’t change anything in the browser because some damn extension would break. Also these extensions barely worked in multi-process mode.

                    A well defined, standardized extension API is a massive improvement. (And it makes me extremely happy as an addon developer — same code works in Chromium, Firefox and Edge!!)

                    Actual technological advantages were added to Firefox recently, with Stylo, OMTP, and (not in release yet) WebRender. (In the future, WebRender will even render fonts and vector graphics on the GPU!)

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                        Advantages for developers directly translate to advantages for users. Namely, performance, security and reliability.

                        nobody gives a shit

                        This is literally false – Firefox has gained market share significantly with the “Quantum” release.

                        Statistically, nobody gives a shit about powerful extensions. (IIRC Mozilla telemetry reported about 50% Firefox users having zero extensions!) Most people only care about performance.

                        And yet, Mozilla is constantly adding new APIs to WebExtensions to help angry ungrateful nerds get their unnecessary features back. (Most recently, tab hiding has landed, allowing implementations of Tab Groups and such.)

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                          Statistically, nobody gives a shit about powerful extensions. (IIRC Mozilla telemetry reported about 50% Firefox users having zero extensions!)

                          That is a big leap there, the other 50% are users too, not to mention those that do not report telemetry.

                          The addon changes did make life easier from some extension developers because they get to use the same code for chrome and firefox. Not so much for others, extensions that shell out to the operating system or binary components - these are now much harder to do - just like in chrome.

                          While I appreciate the improved speed, and the new shiny features I hope they don’t lead down a path that, drops support for many other capabilities e.g. does supporting webrender mean dropping support for targets that lack opengl 3?

                          And yet, Mozilla is constantly adding new APIs to WebExtensions to help angry ungrateful nerds

                          This is hardly fair. Many times those ungrateful nerds implemented extensions for features that were later made part of firefox that put the browser ahead competition - adblocking, video autoplay block, decent password managers, etc. Not to mention the reason why they are adding new APIs is because they removed the old ones :)

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                            (IIRC Mozilla telemetry reported about 50% Firefox users having zero extensions!)

                            Not debating the rest of your points, but I would assume that the people who do use more “powerful extensions” are more apt to turn off Mozilla’s telemetry (I have no data to back this up, just a thought)