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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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                  Using the calendar commands to tell the Times of Sunrise and Sunset it shouldn’t be too hard to even switch the theme based on sunrise/sunset except of time of the day.

                  Or one could just use circadian.el to achieve the same effect using an existing package.