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    It is your moral obligation to use Firefox browsers 0x46.net
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    Fortunately, it’s also the best of currently available major browsers, so it’s not exactly a hardship.

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      Not on macOS. Sure, it has a whole lot of great features, but it’s just slow. It feels slow, looks slow, and macOS keeps telling me that Firefox is using an excessive amount of power compared to other browsers.

      I guess it’s too much to ask for, for Firefox to feel like a good, native macOS app, like Safari, but the fact of the matter is that that is why I don’t use it as my main browser.

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        I use it on Mac OS X and it doesn’t feel slow to me at all. And it’s not using an excessive amount of power that I can tell. Perhaps it’s the version of Firefox being used?

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          I’ve been sticking to Safari on MacOS because I’ve read that it really does make a difference to battery life (and I’m on a tiny Macbook so, you know, CPU cycles aren’t exactly plentiful). This thread just prompted me to check this for myself.

          I opened a typical work mix of 10 tabs in both Safari 12.1 and Firefox 66.0.3 on MacOS 10.14.4: google calendar + drive, an open gdocs file, two jira tabs, this lobsters thread (well, it is lunchtime…) and the rest github. Time for some anec-data! :-)

          After leaving both browsers to sit there for 10 mins while I made lunch (neither in the foreground, but both visible and showing a github page as the active tab), these are the numbers I eyeballed from Activity Monitor over about a 30 second period:

          Firefox:

          • Energy Impact: moving between 3.3 and 15.6, mostly about 4
          • CPU: various processes using 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 up to one process using 1.4% CPU

          Safari:

          • Energy Impact: moving between 0.1 and 1.3, mostly around 0.5
          • CPU: more processes than Firefox, but most using consistently 0.0 or 0.1% CPU

          Firefox isn’t terrible but Safari seems really good at frequently getting itself down to a near-zero CPU usage state. I’ll be sticking with Safari, but if I was on a desktop mac instead I think I’d choose differently.

          As an aside, Activity Monitor’s docs just say “a relative measure of the current energy consumption of the app (lower is better)”. Does anyone know what the “Energy Impact” column is actually measuring?

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            I have had the same experience with Firefox/Chrome vs Safari.

            I use Chrome for work because we’re a google shop and I tend to use Firefox any time my MacBook is docked.

            But I’m traveling so much, I generally just use Safari these days.

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            I use it on Mac OS X and it doesn’t feel slow to me at all.

            If you can’t feel and see the difference in the experience between, say, Firefox and Safari, I don’t know what to tell you.

            And it’s not using an excessive amount of power that I can tell. Perhaps it’s the version of Firefox being used?

            Have you tried checking in the battery menubar-thing? There’s an “Using Significant Energy” list, and Firefox is always on it on my machine if it’s running. And that is both Firefox as well as Firefox Nightly, and it is so for all versions since a long time. My two installs are updated per today, and it’s the same experience.

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              If you can’t feel and see the difference in the experience between, say, Firefox and Safari, I don’t know what to tell you.

              There are plenty of people who can’t hear the difference between $300 and $2000 headphones. Yes, there are audiophile snobs who’re affronted by the mere idea of using anything but the most exquisitely constructed cans. But those people are a vanishingly small minority of headphone users. The rest of us are perfectly happy with bog standard headphones.

              Apple likely had to descend through numerous circles of hell while hand-optimizing Safari for the single platform that it needs to run on. Will Firefox get there? Unlikely. Will most users even notice the difference? Most certainly not.

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                They will when their battery life is abysmal and they start hearing that it’s because of Firefox.

                I really want to see Firefox get more adoption, but there are a lot of techies with influence who will keep away because of this, myself included. It’s not a convenience thing - I just can’t get to mains power enough as it is in my job, so more drain is a major problem.

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                  They will when their battery life is abysmal and they start hearing that it’s because of Firefox.

                  The problem is that the feedback cycle isn’t even long enough for them to hear about this. The cause and effect are almost immediate depending on your display resolution settings with bug 1404042.

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                    This is what happens when you fight the platform.

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                      This is what happens when the platform is hostile to outsiders.

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                        See, I don’t see it that way. I see it as Mozilla deciding on an architecture for their software that renders that software definitely suboptimal on the Mac. It’s just a bad fit. I’m not claiming that Mozilla should have done things differently – they are welcome to allocate their resources as they see fit, and the Mac is most definitely a minority platform. There are many applications that run on the Macintosh that are not produced by Apple that don’t have these problems.

                        iOS is a different story, one where hostility to outsiders is a more reasonable reading of Apple’s stance.

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                  Now that I’m at work, I’m seeing what hjst is showing. This doesn’t bother me that much because I use the laptop at work more like a desktop (I keep it plugged in). But yes, I can see how Firefox might be a bit problematic to use on the Mac.

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                  I’ll have to check the laptop at work. At home I have a desktop Mac (okay, a Mac mini).

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                  There are known issues which are taking a long time to fix. Best example is if you change the display resolution on a retina Mac. You can almost see the battery icon drain away on my machine.

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                    I find it depends a lot on what FF is doing - usual browsing is fine, but certain apps like Google Docs or anything involving the webcam make it go crazy.

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                      Google sites, unsurprisingly if disappointingly, don’t work as well in Firefox as they do in Chrome. But that’s really on Google, not Mozilla.

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                        They used to actively break them - e.g. GMail would deliberately feed Firefox Android a barely-functional version of the site. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=668275 (The excuse was that Firefox didn’t implement some Google-specific CSS property, that had a version in the spec anyway.) They’ve stopped doing that - but Google’s actions go well beyond passively not-supporting Firefox.

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                    For me, it feels faster than Chrome on MacOS, but the reason I don’t use it is weird mouse scroll behavior (with Apple mouse). It differs too much from Chrome’s behavior. I don’t know how to debug it, how to compare, what is right behavior (I suspect Chrome’s scrolling is non-standard and it dampens acceleration, while Firefox use standard system scrolling). It just feels very frustrating, but in subtle way: I become nervous after reading lots of pages (not right after the first page). I tried various mouse-related about:config settings but none of them had any effect (and it’s hard to evaluate results because differences are very subtle).

                    Maybe the answer is to use standard mouse with clicky scroll wheel, but I hate clicky scroll wheels. “Continuous” scrolling is one of the best input device improvements of recent times (however it would be better if it was real wheel/trackball instead of touch surface).

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                      Have you tried Nightly yet? I believe there are some great improvements made recently for this. It isn’t all fixed, but it has improved.

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                        I’m on Nightly right now, and it hasn’t improved for me at least.

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                        I think macOS disadvantages apps that compete with Apple products. That’s unfortunate though.

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                          Any evidence for this statement?

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                            Do you have any proof?

                            Anecdotally I use a lot of third-party apps that are a lot better than Apples contemporaries.

                            I just think the truth is that Firefox’ hasn’t spent enough time on optimizing to each platform, and on macOS where feel and look is a huge deal, they simply fall through.

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                              The reports that Firefox has issues on macOS and Apple’s behaviour with iOS, for starters.

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                                Often the simplest solution is the correct one, meaning that it’s more likely that Firefox just hasn’t optimized for macOS properly. If you look at the bug reports on the bug tracker, this seems to be the case.

                                Also if your theory were to be correct, why is other non-apple browser like chromium not having these issues? Could it perhaps be that they have in fact optimized for macOS, or do you propose that apple is artifically advantaging them?

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                                  pcwalton hints at twitter that gains that e.g. Safari and Webkit have is through the usage of private API in macOS. You could probably use those API as well from Firefox, at the cost of doing tons of research on your own, while Webkit can just use them. (further down the thread, he hints at actually trying to bind to them)

                                  https://twitter.com/pcwalton/status/1068933432275681280

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                                    That’s very interesting, and it’s probably a factor. However these are problems that Firefox have, not all third-party browsers. No Chromium based browser have these issues, at least in my experience. Maybe it’s through privat API that you can optimise a browser the most on macOS, but it doesn’t change the fact that Firefox is under-optimised on macOS, which is why it performs as it does.

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                                      Point being: Chromium inherits optimisations from apples work which Mozilla has to work hard to develop in a fashion working with their architecture. Yes, there’s something to be said about organisational priorities, but also about not being able to throw everyone at that problem.

                                      I’m really looking forward to webrender fixing a lot of those problems.

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                                        And it’s a sad fact, because I’d love to use Firefox instead of Safari.

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                                          Sure, from a users perspective, all of that doesn’t matter.

                                          Just wanted to say that this is hard and an uphill battle, not that people don’t care.

                                          The Firefox team is well aware of those two contexts.

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                                    It’s certainly possible. But at the very least Apple has little incentive to have Firefox work well on macOS. Chrom{e|ium} is so widely used, that Apple would hurt themselves if it didn’t work well on macOS.

                                    I’d be a bit surprised if Mozilla is really falling down on optimising Firefox on macOS. It’s not as if Mozilla is a one man operation with little money. But perhaps they decided to invest resources elsewhere.

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                                That’s true in cases where apps want you to pay for features (like YouTube not offering Picture-in-Picture since it’s a paid feature and Apple wants money for it to happen) but not true in the case of Firefox. Unfortunately, Firefox’s JavaScript engine is just slower and sucks up more CPU when compared to others.

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                              Yeah, I’ve switched between Firefox and Chrome every year or two since Chrome came out. I’ve been back on Firefox for about 2 years now and I don’t see myself going back to Chrome anytime soon. It’s just better.

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                                Vertical tabs or bust.

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                                It is Firefox’s moral obligation to stop adding anti-features (DRM, Pocket, all the start page spam).

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                                  For Pocket and the start-page stuff, look at it this way: Browsers are very complex systems, and therefore very expensive to build and maintain. Chrome’s funding comes from Google’s datamining of its users, which I think we can agree is a downside, but Firefox’s funding… also comes from Google’s datamining of its users. If you don’t think Firefox should be supported, that’s fine, and if you want to support Firefox yourself through a monthly donation or just allowing ads on the start page, that’s even better, but I don’t think it’s fair to expect Google’s users pay for Firefox so you can have it for free.

                                  As for DRM, Firefox may be the #2 browser vendor but it is not an immovable object. When an irresistible force comes along sometimes the wisest course of action is to get out of the way and live to fight another day, rather than get crushed to death on the spot. If your only regular user is Richard M. Stallman, you may have the moral high ground but you’ve forfeited your chance to improve society in general.

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                                    Just a reminder that Google has created the DRM spec that Firefox was forced to adopt (forced in the sense that a browser that is blocked by Netflix would lose users, and influence, and thus leaving only DRM-supporting browsers on the market anyway).

                                    Chrome and Safari have DRM enabled by default, without warning.

                                    In Firefox at least it’s an optional component that you can choose not to download and you’re warned whenever a site tries to use it. So if you take a stance against DRM, then Firefox in the default configuration (i.e. without DRM) is still a great choice.

                                    Mozilla has bought Pocket, so it’s no longer a 3rd party, but a fancy Firefox bookmark tool. It doesn’t use any noticeable resources if you don’t use it, and you can disable it if you can’t stand having an icon.

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                                      Pocket is easy to disable, and the DRM is needed to play videos on many web sites. Without DRM, Firefox wouldn’t have a large enough user base to make the project sustainable. And remember that the Firefox code base feeds a number of downstream free-software projects

                                      If you don’t want features like Pocket or DRM in the browser executable, there are lots of Firefox forks to choose from, which contain only free software. I personally use Fennec F-Droid on my mobile.

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                                        And the DoH deal with cloudflare..

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                                          My ISP actively redirects failed DNS lookups to advertisement pages. Cloudflare is probably going to be a little nicer (at least for now…)

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                                          I’m not sure it is actually Mozilla’s moral obligation. But there’s quite a bit of crap (Pocket, sponsored stories on the start page and silently installing extensions in the background to promote TV shows are what I remember, but I’m sure there is more) going on with Firefox that stopped me to switch back from Chromium for quite a while.

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                                            Perfect being the enemy of good applies here.

                                            I quite dislike it when people use minor issues as an excuse not to do anything about major issues. Is Firefox perfect? No. Is it nearly as problematic as Chrome? No.

                                            There will never be a platonic ideal mass-adopted web browser. We can choose between good and bad though.

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                                              “Problematic” is the salient term here.

                                              The issues raised in the linked article and elsewhere are valid, yes, but they do not affect the end user at this time.

                                              I personally prefer using Chrome for the simple reason that it works on all my devices and keeps browsing history, passwords etc in sync. Does Firefox do that? Maybe. Is it worth it for me to switch and try to research it? No.

                                              A less diverse browser ecosystem is probably bad in the long run, but just as with real ecosystems, the damage is so diffuse in both time and space that any action an individual can take is basically useless.

                                              Personally I’d prefer if Firefox was much better than Chrome (just like Chrome was much better than IE/Firefox when it debuted). That would make the switch much easier for more people.

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                                                I personally prefer using Chrome for the simple reason that it works on all my devices and keeps browsing history, passwords etc in sync. Does Firefox do that? Maybe. Is it worth it for me to switch and try to research it? No.

                                                For completeness sake: yes, it has. It’s called Firefox Sync and is a neat product. You can even have your own sync server if you prefer.1 Firefox for mobile is a really good product on all devices and Firefox Klar (the “quickly search something in a private fashion” is a really good addition).

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                                                  Firefox Klar

                                                  A.k.a. Firefox Focus outside of Germany.

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                                                  …any action an individual can take is basically useless.

                                                  In other words: why bother voting anyway? It’s not like my vote means anything… /s

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                                                    You’re taking my words out of context.

                                                    I’m saying that in relationship to the environment we live in - carbon in the atmosphere, pressure on water tables and arable land, fish in the ocean, political systems corrupted by resource extraction.

                                                    If I decide to buy a car with a better mileage, or not have a car at all, the decision can be negated by a family moving somewhere where they need 2 cars instead of one, or a well-targeted ad campaign for a gas-guzzler in China.

                                                    A vote in a well-run democracy is the opposite of that. If you don’t screw up the process, you can be reasonably sure that your vote will be present on a tally-board on the evening news in a few days.

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                                                      I don’t think context matters in this instance. If you think your actions only matter if they have a visible effect on the news… there must be something I’m missing, because I don’t know what to tell you. That’s not logic, that’s instant gratification.

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                                                        If you think your actions only matter if they have a visible effect on the news…

                                                        I am not thinking that, you are misreading my position. I’m happy to clarify though.

                                                        That’s not logic, that’s instant gratification.

                                                        I’m not sure what you mean here. Again, I feel we’re talking at cross purposes.

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                                                          I apologize, I know I wouldn’t enjoy being misstated. Please do clarify.

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                                                            I’ll try.

                                                            In my first comment on this thread, I made the analogy between the browser ecosystem and the wider IRL ecosystem that exists on this planet.

                                                            My basic point was that any action I take as an individual has very little to no impact whatsoever in a positive direction in any of these ecosystems. I made this comment after my (unstated) reflection on the limitations of private, volunteer action in regards to environmentalism. I believe the only viable way to lessen the impact of humanity on the environment are communal - restrictions on certain products, taxation of consumption of certain goods.

                                                            Scaling that down to the browser ecosystem, I don’t believe that supporting one “free to play”, ad-supported browser over another will significantly help keeping the internet free and open.

                                                            You stated in your comment:

                                                            In other words: why bother voting anyway? It’s not like my vote means anything… /s

                                                            (sarcasm tag noted!)

                                                            A counter-example:

                                                            Voters in Sweden have enabled a party (the Green party) to enter government, and leverage this power to ensure that gasoline taxes in Sweden are around 50% of the cost of a liter of fuel at the pump.

                                                            Thus the result of an election led indirectly to a policy that in its turn incentivizes consumers to choose cars with better gas mileage. This in its turn contributes to Sweden trying to reach its internationally agreed-upon carbon emission target.

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                                                  To me it’s not about being perfect. It is about what fit my needs and principles better. And if I have to choose between a software that talks about caring about its users and being privacy oriented while obviously doing the opposite (I.e. silently installing extensions in the background without my consent or integrating code that leads to selling my browsing data — remember the Cliqz integration?) and one that has not done so (I’m talking about chromium here), the choice is easy to me.

                                                  In my opinion Chromium is technically the better browser while being more transparent about privacy. That’s what counts to me. I don’t care about perfection.

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                                              The article credits the 75% market share of Chromium-based browsers primarily to Google Chrome and lists several reasons why Chrome got so popular, but doesn’t mention Android. Android is the Windows to Chrome’s Internet Explorer.

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                                                Firefox for Android is not only excellent - unlike Chrome on Android, it supports uBlock Origin!

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                                                  Oh wow, I did not realize. That’s actually pretty nifty. I’ll have to seriously consider my choice of mobile browser!

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                                                I would counter this with: it’s a moral obligation (for developers) to support Firefox.

                                                I’ll make sure the projects I work on work in Firefox. That doesn’t mean I’m going to use it personally (beyond testing).

                                                Everyone using Firefox isn’t any better than everyone using Chrome or everyone using IE/Edge.

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                                                  Another reason why Chrome took over from Internet Explorer was probably because it was cross-platform. Today the only browser that provides browser sync and uBlock on most major platforms ( Android, Linux, Mac, Windows ) is probably Firefox, although I wish it was a bit more stable and snappy.

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                                                    Morals aside, Firefox is the only browser pedigree in which NoScript is an option. I can’t imagine browsing the general web without it.

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                                                      There’s also netsurf that disables Javascript by default, which I have to use my Raspberry Pi laptop most of the time to avoid running out of memory due to large javascript sites.

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                                                        Wow, nice. I’ll definitely be taking a closer look at netsurf. I see it doesn’t have a classic Mac OS port yet…

                                                        At the very least, I expect some its subprojects will come in handy. (And I appreciate obscure Monty Python references.) :-)

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                                                        Just curious: How do you upvote things on lobste.rs with NoScript?

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                                                          How do you upvote things on lobste.rs with NoScript?

                                                          Whitelisting.

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                                                            I’d take a PR to make voting work by progressive enhancement. Split voting out into a RESTful controller, make the arrows links (update votes, 302 back to the target), JS can continue doing ajax votes as usual.

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                                                              Makes good sense. 👍🏻

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                                                            I found uMatrix to be nicer than NoScript, and it’s available on both Firefox and Chrom(e/ium).

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                                                            Firefox capitulates to DRM, adds advertising extensions, corroborates with Google in slowly blocking things Google doesn’t like, is not only supporting ’‘DNS over HTTPS’’ but is doing so with Cloudflare under the guise of improving privacy, and is participating in the same disgusting expansion of the already disgusting set of WWW protocols purely to help solidify its position as one of the only WWW browsers.

                                                            As we can learn from Microsoft’s failures it is at this point unrealistic to believe that a new browser can be written from scratch. Our rendering and JavaScript engines are at this point so complicated that creating a new product from scratch is less realistic than creating an entire new operating system together with various user space programs.

                                                            Yes, and that’s exactly how Google and Mozilla like and want it.

                                                            It appears that with the way things are heading right now the complexity of our web standards will lead to a downwfall of the web as we know it.

                                                            I really would enjoy that happening. Firefox is, sans UNIX-likes themselves, the worst piece of software I, unfortunately, regularly use and once the WWW is dead and gone I’ll never install another awful piece of Mozilla software on my machine again.

                                                            I hold the idea that one should ideally implement the standards they use themselves, if capable, but the WWW is large enough to prevent that, which is wrong.

                                                            In closing, Mozilla is maybe not as bad as Google, but at least you don’t have as many people running around defending Google, unlike these Mozilla cretins who’ll sell you down the river while claiming they’re the good guys.

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                                                              at least you don’t have as many people running around defending Google

                                                              oh god I wish this were true

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                                                              Two thoughts on the article:

                                                              One other big factor that lead to Firefox’ downfall was that they focused too much on Firefox OS between 2011 and 2016 and their architectural decisions to deprecate certain APIs relatively drastically.

                                                              Another thought is regarding the usage of Firefox nowadays: It has already been said, but it’s not a hardship to use it. Firefox is probably the fastest browser around, because all layers are being parallelized and shaderized. One big point we must not forget is that Firefox is the only browser that allows you to fully customize it for privacy. As an example, you cannot let extensions handle cookies, which is a huge blow.

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                                                                They’re just browsers folks and most people don’t care so let’s leave the melodrama out of it.

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                                                                  It’s definitely melodramatic and most people don’t care. However, if you consider how browsers can enable mass surveillance and all that entails then it is a pretty important topic for contemporary democracies. There are lots of open questions right now: What rights to privacy do we have as citizens? What information should private corporations be expected to share with the government? How much information can be tracked about people? Should people know what information private entities are keeping about them?

                                                                  Browsers play a pivotal role in how people access the web so they are a pretty important topic.

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                                                                    But everything you described is a political topic that has nothing to do with browsers. Focusing on the browser as a moral obligation is exactly the wrong way to address all the issues you brought up.

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                                                                  Using it right now, with 4 plugins (Firefox Notes, KeePassXC Browser, Ublock origin and Cookie Autodelete) However I do have to admit that the difference in performance is gigantic when I compare it to Brave browser, and that “time-saved” counter in Brave is really adding up.

                                                                  Mozilla should really go all-in on the performance enhancements and because they are currently losing me fast given the way things are going.

                                                                  And yes, even dumb users feel the pain of lost performance, because every extra second a user has to wait, 10% of the users that are still remaining close the window.

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                                                                    As someone who works in browsers, it is abundantly clear why Firefox is losing. One thing I always point out when I see articles like this is: Can you name a Firefox based browser? I sure can’t, but I can make at least 5 Chromium based ones. Having embedders, generally, makes your product better. I’ve definitely found this to be the case with Chromium. Firefox however, is a nightmare to extend and in my opinion fairly poorly documented relative to Chromium. Firefox simply won’t win as long as it is difficult to embed.

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                                                                      I refuse to use use firefox until they add an option to disable the Ctrl-Q binding closing and forgetting every tab in every window

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                                                                        If you have multiple tabs open the default is to show a nag “are you sure” screen.

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                                                                          I’ve never encountered that default.

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                                                                        If only Firefox wasn’t so unpredictable in its behaviour. I’ve been using it as my secondary browser (I.e. Google and Facebook stuff in sep. profiles, still running all day) on my Windows machine for years and never had a problem - and I’ve been using it full time (with seperate profiles) full time without a single problem since ~2 months.

                                                                        Whereas when running on Linux (mostly Debian, but not Icefox, and mostly up until version 5x.x) it slowed to a crawl unpredictably every few days, didn’t repaint correctly, totally bugged out when having a page with a few YT videos open. Frequent restarts usually fixed it and it changed between machines and versions, used it for years. But it was never really awesome. This seems to have improved in the last year though, so I am hopeful.

                                                                        On the other hand I’ve had Chrome (on Linux) crashing on GMail and Hangouts especially, and nowhere else, so maybe I’m just unlucky (switched laptops in between, so it’s def. not bad hardware).

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                                                                          As far as I’m concerned, there’s no subjective moral issue here. I use the browser that works the best for me.

                                                                          Firefox lost me as a user years ago when they started dumbing down the UI (IMO, of course) and focusing on features I didn’t care about.

                                                                          And FWIW, if I were to stop using Chromium today, I’d move to next browser.

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                                                                            Firefox one love!

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                                                                              this is a bit off topic, but I have run into this strange bug a lot recently where, if I am running two instances of firefox side by side using two different profiles, the personal profile one just crashes. It seems to be directly triggered by clicking a shortened link in twitter, which is extra weird, and I wonder if anyone else has this problem?

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                                                                                totally off-topic :D But do you have a crash report submitted or a crash signature to share? Going to about:crashes might help you.

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                                                                                  Oh I totally do, 20 submitted so far :) will dm.