On that note - can you tell us more about the project? ie. if you plan on keeping this updated long terms (i've watched a lot of promising chromium forks fade after an initial big splash), what your plans are, if you'll you accept contributions, how the binary distributions are built so we can verify the checksums, if you can tag the Chromium releases from Google so they can be verified, etc.
I've had the idea of a chromium fork with privacy enhancements in the back of my mind for a while now (turns out a lot of people have) specifically to replace Tor Browser and/or have a lighter browser (without canvas, webgl, webrtc etc.) with better defaults (ie. no hardware access, location, notifications, cookies, history, etc.) for opening links, private browsing etc.
This may be a good base to work on - assuming you want to go beyond just "de-googlify"
 I think there is a real need for an alternate browser that is lightweight and has stricter privacy and security controls - with proper user segregation (ie. you really don't want to open random links from social media in the same browser session as where you're logging into your primary accounts).
 ie. do to Chrome/Firefox what Firefox originally did to Netscape - and Chrome would be the better foundation to work on
Please do not do this. Webgl and Webrtc are fundamental technologies needed to efficiently do basic activities like process an image or send sound data to another user.
I am all for a "lighter" browser, by removing UI, removing dev tools, etc. Get rid of the stuff that's not required to make a web page work well. But WebGL and WebRTC are cornerstone technologies for the web to thrive. WebRTC is critical for allowing open source software to thrive in particular (allows apps that don't need a central server) and WebGL is critical in particular for web software to compete in the AR/VR age. We need 100% browser support on these two APIs, and we need it yesterday.
I realize these technologies are not currently doing anything for you. I sympathize. But we need them in browsers now so that we can use them in 10 years.
Please, please, please jetsam other parts of the ship before you cut those features.
>process an image or send sound data to another user.
We must live in different worlds, those are not "basic" or "fundamental" to me. I'm not sure I've ever used either.
>the AR/VR age
You're overstating how important these technologies are. Maybe in 10 years but only time will tell.
That kind of infrastructure is crucial to the freedom of information and therefore the freedom of global citizens. You will not realize we need it until it's too late.
The revolution will not be televised, it will not be in your news feed, it will happen in the streets and in the minds of citizens, and we need to prepare ourselves with the proper tools for that time, because it is coming sooner than you think.
Also, what you described is certainly a good thing. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't _have to_ be done in a browser.
Hold your horses! The introduction of dev tools was one of the best things to happen to browsers. Removing them would take away opportunity from a lot of people in learning web development, and would also lead to websites having more bugs.
My mom, like yours, would have no use for dev tools -- because she's just not interested. And neither would my brother, but my grandma would have loved learning about this stuff if she had lived long enough, and my kids have discovered this "secret hacker mode" all on their own and are delighted.
But for fun and laughs I saved js-generated source of a pretty big web page, opened it, and then pressed CTRL-U. It took 50 seconds to generate and render the source view. No wonder...
(should be fun to go deeper and save this html, and then go ctrl+u on that)
edit: Tried it and it's been choking on the next "level" for the past 9 minutes. The tab is at over 1.5GB memory, I'm going to kill it.
Some time ago I tried Lynx and I liked the idea, It was waay simpler that I'd like, but in the other hand I feel that interfaces made for web are always crippled compared with desktop interfaces (from G docs vs MS office, up to clara.io compared to blender).
For web browsing I think that something between a browser and Lynx is something that I would use, most of the time I am interested in the content more than the aesthetics or the pixel perfect alignment of visuals... and if I was interested in an application (that requires the newest tech in browsers) most of the time there is a better tool for desktop.
6 years ago many people didn't even knew what web browsers were (What is a Browser? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4MwTvtyrUQ)
If you get right down to it, what you need to make a web page work is HTML. That's it - WebGL and WebRTC are interesting, but the web isn't going to die if one browser doesn't include them. Lynx still works fine without them, after all.
I'm seeing a lot of alarmism from people who I'm guessing have vested interest in those products, completely forgetting that Chrome, Firefox, Explorer and Safari (in no particular order) are what drive the current state of the modern browser.
I then proceed onto the settings app, into 'accounts'. There, I tap 'Google' and lo and behold: App-data, Calendar, Contacts, Google Fit Data and People details are all ticked to sync.
I turn them off.
Then I open the default browser. It logs me into Google, by default. I have to explicitly tell it not to.
Google really really wants users to be logged in. That is my experience anyway.
We are building one . Contributions are welcome! In the meanwhile, the ungoogled-chromium project in combination with uMatrix is I think a great way to transition away from Chromium.
They really restructured their whole browser several years ago specifically to switch to the chromium platform. I apologize I didn't mean to butt in I was just curious.
Skipping testing in IE is one thing. Skipping testing in Firefox is a sin.
 Unnecessarily, because cross-browser compatibility isn't hard, simply include CSS prefixes besides -webkit and use standardized JS APIs.
 Internet Explorer, a term for a closed-source browser that creates non-standard APIs that developers jump on, forcing either users to use that browser, or other browsers to implement the non-standard APIs too.
Fudging the user agent however, allows that website to work perfectly fine.
Not testing in IE is one thing. Presenting an nonintrusive message warning you don't test in IE is another. Paying money to advertise your website, then, when I click your link, greeting me with a condescending "IE Users are idiots" type message that doesn't let me proceed, doesn't make me buy your product.
I visited their website and was, like in a lot of cases where they assume ARMv7 means I must be using a mobile device, redirected to the mobile site.
That's not the stupid part, though (just annoying). These guys took it one step further and had their mobile website decide that I was in fact not on mobile, and then they proceeded to throw me into a redirect loop between the desktop and mobile site. Talk about messing up with browser detection.
I wrote an e-mail to report the issue to the people in charge of the site, and you know what they tell me? Oh, "we forwarded your message to our web developers but they said that this doesn't happen". Wow, ok, "this doesn't happen". Guess I must be hallucinating, then? Well, jokes on them 'cause if they hire people who break their website so that I can't check the opening hours, guess where I'll be shopping? Not at their store, that's for sure.
I have Chrome on my Surface. I choose to use Edge instead because Chrome is unusable without my Type Cover plugged in, and I'm not doing that while laying on the couch.
Hey Google, want me to use Chrome on my Surface? Then give me the Android version of Chrome running in a container. Phone UI, please.
Windows tablets were my only option. An Android tablet (or an iPad) might work fine in the car, but it would make a terrible laptop in the hotel room, and a conventional laptop would be unusable in the car.
After my road trip, my Surface found continued use as my couch computer, effectively replacing my phone. Honestly, as long as I have a web browser that works I don't need much else. Edge works; it might be more minimalistic than I like, but the vast majority of what I want to do with a computer on my couch is satisfied by Edge. Oh, and the Facebook app for Windows 10 is awesome. It's everything I've wanted out of the Android app, which has been a constant disappointment for me.
Clue: what is the problem with this code?
On the other side, developers can spend more time developing features instead of fixing IE compatibility bugs.
Pun intended? But seriously, whenever I see one of these browser-blockers (and it seems Opera gets hit too), I just leave the site and never come back. Chances are, your site is not unique and I'll find what I need somewhere else.
developers can spend more time developing features
IMHO, those are "features" which no one really cares about. Stop messing around with fancy CSS and JS, spend the time developing a simple site that almost naturally works in IE too.
I agree that targeting of Edge browsers is ridiculous since it's keep current, on the other hand for IE and if the site is non-commercial/personal (commercial sites should really try to be compatible on as many browsers as they can) I don't really blame them if they're wanting to use modern web standards. Microsoft has abandoned feature updates to IE, and sadly only made Edge available to W10 users.
I filed an issue on the Chromium bug tracker, they assigned someone to look into it, and of course, nothing has been said since.
To this day, and for years, I continue to receive these messages from Google sites informing me to upgrade to Chrome. I've even had them pop-up on Chromium.
Obviously, I don't have Chrome, since my issue is them pestering me to install Chrome. Which I'm not going to do.
On the other hand, if Google wants to prevent their reputation from sinking to the level of "install the Ask Toolbar", one of the Googlers on the Chromium bug tracker will see that it is dealt with.
A large web app is almost guaranteed to run into one of Firefox's many long-open bugs. But the biggest reason in my experience is performance. Gecko's rendering engine is poorly-optimized, to the point where I regularly see a DOM modification take 10ms in Chrome (easily within a single frame) and 1000ms in Firefox (locks the UI and causes the page to flash white).
(We have some enormous architectural changes inbound which should help, but I'd still love to make sure we have a test to prevent regressing)
Here's a product that I'm working on
In Chrome it's buttery smooth on any decent computer made in the past 5 or 6 years. In Firefox it's usable on a powerful computer, but notably worse than Chrome.
On an under powered laptop Chrome is still very usable, not quite 60fps, but probably 30-40fps on moderately complex designs.
Firefox is a choppy mess on low end hardware.
This is a recurring issue with Firefox. It's just ok for regular web browsing, and it's a hot mess for any web app that needs to do any moderately taxing DOM manipulation.
As much as I love Firefox, it's just leagues behind Chrome in regard to performance.
Having different browsers compete on things like this and then having the better technology become standardized and implemented in multiple browsers seems like a fairly positive outcome.
You mean like when I spent 30 minutes figuring out that text area in chrome is counting new line as 1 letter and firefox is counting it as two ?
They should both count it as one now, for what it's worth.
By most measures, an equal or larger number of people use IE than Firefox.
Feel free to make an issue (for questions, suggestions, or bug reports) or a pull request anytime. I might respond to a few more comments here before calling it a day.
That seemed pretty random, and not related to the ultimate goal of the project. Are there other normal features that are disabled, that don't relate to Google at all?
BTW, how easy is it to add FF + noscript type of features to chrome?
--- Only enable JS on whitelist websites - all others are default disable unless user explicitly temporary or permanently enable it.
Cookies->Keep until quit + exceptions you choose.
When you browse there is a little icon in the address bar to whitelist a site. It is a bit of a pain at first but it makes things a lot safer. When you go incognito it will forget which sites you whitelisted at session end, so you are not enabling a site forever.
I can also recommend the EFF Privacy Badger and the Cross Domain Request Filter extensions. CDRF needs to be updated to work in whitelist mode instead of blacklist mode, but it is still pretty cool. I also like Poper Blocker, but their telemetry mode is wrong.
I'd really like an in-browser firewall which also blocked extensions by default. Something with an inspectable rule set.
See also: Whitelist Manager, comes with source code.
The last time I used Firefox on mobile, it didn't integrate well with the phone UI. It felt clunky, the fonts were bad, and the viewport was wrong on many websites.
I feel like Mozilla would do the most good in the world by spending more effort on a mobile browser. Mobile Chrome is flat out disgusting and abhorrent, but I haven't found anything else that's remotely as performant. It just sucks that Google refuses to allow extensions to protect their ad revenue.
Are there any good alternative browsers that block shitty, intrusive, and entirely irrelevant mobile ads? Are they open source?
It's not perfect. There are deviations from the usual "Material Design" UI standards. Some sites don't render properly. It's slower. But it's worth it to me.
Do you have more information on this?
I tried using FF on Android for a while. If I saw a page with a link to a YouTube video, the fastest way for me to watch the video was 1) Copy the link to the clipboard. 2) Open Chrome and paste it in 3) Click the link.
Lots of apps are bad actors like this - Facebook, Twitter, etc. In those cases, when you click a link in a post or tweet, you go there in their own built-in browser, trying to keep you in their app. But, they give you the ability to turn it off. It's in the app settings if you look.
Firefox doesn't have this. You have to wait until the page is fully loaded, and then decide if it's worth your trouble to open it in the native app now. Most of the time it isn't, it would have been faster in the native app, but you're there now, so eh. For YouTube, it usually is. But it's just so hair-pullingly frustrating.
Also you can setup your own ad blocker DNS server with  PiHole (works on any linux machine)
Another option is NetGuard firewall with a host file
There're options, nobody likes ads
P.S. All these projects are open source.
Note that one of the recent updates  introduces ads for the free version. But not if you buy any of the pro features. Seems a fair trade, plus it's open source (which makes me slightly happier about routing all network traffic through it)
IMHO Chrome has a better track record than Firefox when it comes to security issues, but Firefox has better privacy.
Blocking 3rd party ads and trackers really speeds things up!
The worst Firefox might do is get your machine pwned.
Chrome is the one running any x86 binary the website presents it with, only trying to run a static verification that it won't do anything evil.
Chrome is far more at risk of pwning you (and NaCl sandbox breakouts have been quite common).
Point is, Chrome falls every year at Pwn2Own just like every other browser, but only Firefox has been excluded because it's too easy.
Any website can run NaCl code, you realize that? Even TIDAL uses it on its site for native playback.
Even pages only accessed over HTTP.
Looking through the previous year's results, it doesn't seem like firefox has done especially poorly?
And as noted in https://redd.it/45epd7, firefox multiprocess is sandboxed, and it does have security features that other browsers don't have
so... IMO it doesn't seem like the reason given is quite genuine?
How does this play with the HSTS preload list? That'd be quite the baby to throw out with the bathwater.
edit: well, I don't see anything like "transport_security_state_static.json" in this list here, so maybe it's fine: https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/blob/master/re...
edit2: The preload list seems to be excluded from domain substitution explicitly. Yay! https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/blob/4bbfff447...
My ideal browser has zero persistence and each tab maintains its own cookies. Links opened as new tabs would share the parent's cookie jar, but separate tabs loaded to the same page could both be logged in at the same time.
There are stealth techniques such as browser cache hits, browser configuration fingerprinting, and even system clock drift, that can track you beyond cookies.
You would need a separate browser profile or even a separate OS for each tab (see Qubes OS) to be on the safe side.
> Create an Account Password (You will use this to log in to the browser to activate it)
> Each group of tabs, separated by color, is its own browsing session with its own cookie jar
> Log in to one web site with many accounts simultaneously
> Use with Mac OS X or Windows
Would need a Linux build as well (actually that's the only one I need). Otherwise, looks cool though and will be keeping an eye on it. Thanks for sharing!
While many may not like the uses of that event, it taints what otherwise could have been a "purely about privacy" fork of Chromium with non-privacy opinions.
If you have the computing resources, you can easily take out the patch that does the "wishlist" changes you don't want.
Those days it was all technical, google was perceived first as technically proficient and their agenda was to produce a fast and efficient browser. Many people could and did align with that.
Now there are too many question marks about Google's motives and agendas and Chrome does not feel like a technical achievement, it feels burdened by all these agendas.
Firefox is supposed to be the default go to when in doubt but why do you need such a large coporation to develop a fast and lean browser and here too there appears to be conflicting actions and agendas.
Now more than ever we need clean open source projects with no agendas but because of growing complexity its becoming increasingly impossible for small groups to do, and I think we have not evolved open source structures to deal with this yet.
Started trying out alternative browsers a while ago--vimb, dwb, and luakit--and enjoyed their snappiness and customizability.
Recently, however, I discovered uzbl and fell in love. It feels like everthing a shell for the web should be.
I am unsure whether I should be worried about security pr something though. Would love to hear others' input!
> a freeware web browser, and an implementation of Chromium by SRWare of Germany. It primarily aims to eliminate usage tracking and other privacy-compromising functionality that the Google Chrome browser includes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRWare_Iron)
First released 8 years ago: https://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php
One of my biggest gripes with Chrome is the inability to stop a rogue site from playing audio (on top of the music I'm listening to in another tab). CNN is one of the worst, as soon as I find the freaking video on the page and try to pause/mute it, the video controls slide away. Why can't Chrome allow me to just turn off audio on that tab? I have assumed Google doesn't give us that because it will interfere with their advertising or something.
(maybe there is an extension that will help? I haven't found one)
Well this feature is built into Chrome. Just right click the rogue tab and click "Mute Tab"
I'm not finding anything about that in repo readme page. This looks odd and suspicious. Because it's even blocks requests there -> http://imgur.com/a/UnMu8
Edit: see https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/blob/8dd86477d...
The HN community really is polarized ( or so it seems ) about these data-harvesting companies and issues like privacy/transparency.
My thought then, is which group is larger here (privacy-aware vs. GooAppFace )
Either there are a lot of Google employees here on HN, or a lot of Google fanboys. Or both.
That is a very bad idea. I sympathize with the idea of the project, but please think twice before meddling in security things. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9779990
I filed an issue to explain the risks: https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/issues/50
Connecting to a foreign company in a country that directly threatened you with invasion and relying on that for webbrowsing is not acceptable.
There's a setting to disable SafeBrowsing in Chromium, too. You can just disable that. But force-disabling it is dangerous.
I'm not sure what your point you're trying to make with the invasion comment.
My argument is that browsers aren’t just used in private use, but also in governments, in military companies, etc.
If you rely on anything phoning home to a company that’s in the country of a potential enemy, that’s a very stupid idea. (And thanks to the Den Hague Invasion Act of 2001, even Europe knows the US doesn’t give a fuck about allies)
> Well and how would I go about that? Your suggestion doesn't make any sense because it's not viable.
Well, ask Google. It’d be viable if they had intended for an actual safety infrastructure, and published the required information to self host, and not just another way to phone home.
Error:Dependency is not satisfiable:libavcodec-ffmpeg56(>=7.2.4)|libavcodec-ffmped-extra56(>=7:2.4)
The repo does not provide install instructions.
For a highly not tech privacy enthusiast, I find it difficult to install for linux.
That looks like a version of libavcodec specific to one version of Ubuntu; that package will never work on Debian, another version of Ubuntu, or most non-Debian distributions.
* the other being security updates for ffmpeg
Note that many of the changes in this fork come from the Debian packaging of Chromium.
I'd expect the distro ffmpeg to not need as much updating if you're only using it for local media that you trust. But Chrome's ffmpeg has to decode media from untrusted sources so it's important that security bugs get fixed ASAP.
Use a better distro with a better packaging mechanism. Instead of inventing something new, use something that already exists.
Imagine a package system where you could ask to download node.js, and you'll get the latest version. And that's it.
Better yet, imagine having to build a package from source and installing it. You could do it by hand, leaving orphan files all over your system. Or you could write a PKGBUILD that handles installing dependencies, building, and packaging, all in one go.
That's what running Arch feels like. Being able to install fresh popular packages, and being able to easily package your own. Try it sometime.
Depends what you classify as criteria for a "good packaging system". Arch didn't even sign their packages until a few years ago, and the build system for their packages is not very good IMO. What makes Arch great is the fact that they have a large library of very up to date packages. Personally (though I'm biased) I like openSUSE's package manager (zypper). It's an enterprise-grade package manager that supports things like patterns and can differentiate between security updates and regular updates. It also supports delta RPMs for patching.
> Better yet, imagine having to build a package from source and installing it. You could do it by hand, leaving orphan files all over your system. Or you could write a PKGBUILD that handles installing dependencies, building, and packaging, all in one go.
rpmbuild has this. And there's also OBS (the open build system) which was originally written by the openSUSE community but supports many other distributions (including Arch as well as Fedora, Debian and the other usual suspects).
Thanks for the list of other stuff to check out, by the way.
Although there is something special about the PKGBUILD ports system. Here's how a well-behaved open source package is built: https://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/community.git/tree/trunk/.... And here's how Arch Linux's kernel is built: https://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/tree/trunk/P...
It's pretty fantastic. And it means that if a package isn't available in the repos or on the AUR, you can package it yourself in less than an hour.
The nice compromise that I've found is Ubuntu Mate, which seems to do away with Ubuntu's Bloat and Unity crapness, but still maintaining a Debian distro that operates properly (everything comes upstream from Ubuntu repo's)
Just something to consider. People might have some other opinions on Mint which would be good to hear too.
Windows desktop apps work great without tabs. Could life be better without tabs?
 Chromium bug tracker: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/list
 Chromium code reviews:
 Chromium development mailing lists:
Mozilla's done a few other things that I mildly dislike, and they tend to clump together in my mind. Nothing that's a big deal, but enough that I usually keep a copy of Pale Moon on the machines I use most often.
I downvoted you because that smug sarcastic smiley really set my teeth on edge.
This part is inaccurate. See: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=500922...
> You don't have to take my word for it. Starting and stopping the hotword module is controlled by some open source code in Chromium itself , so while you cannot see the code inside the module, you can trust that it is not actually going to run unless you opt in.
> I hope this explanation is satisfactory. I am closing this as WontFix because it is already an opt-in feature, and Debian has already removed the component in their distribution of Chromium .
I've read the comments on that bug thread and I really struggle to see anything sinister that doesn't require several visits to the tinfoil haberdashery. There are problems around governance, communication and lack of respect for the priorities of the OSS community - but to see this as a failed attempt to listen to the conversations of Chromium users without their consent strikes me as verging on conspiracy thinking.
> First and foremost, while we do download the hotword module on startup, we do not activate it unless you opt in to hotwording. If you go into "chrome://settings", you will see a checkbox "Enable "Ok Google" to start a voice search". This should be unchecked by default, and if you do not check it, the hotword module will not be started.
Meanwhile, Google doesn't return results for guns in the shopping section. So I get to search a bunch of sites and call people like i'm on astalavista in 1998.
Sad Truth: both companies inject a brand of exclusionary (read: discriminatory) politics into their products. I don't trust either.
He wasn't imprisoned, nothing was done to him with the force of law. He just had/has unpopular views and accepted the consequences of holding those views.
I struggle to see how the world could be arranged such that we could all hold forth with controversial views, but such that there was never a consequence to holding those views. What would that world look like?
This is a very disingenuous way of describing it. More proper way to describe it would be that a group of political activists put pressure on Mozilla to fire Eich because of his political views, for political reasons, and Mozilla as organization caved. There was no instance of Eich's views ever influencing anything on his job, and no single instance or evidence of any problem with his job. It was a political decision that being friends with political activists is better than keeping Eich.
For me, that ruins the trust in the organization. If they are ready to sacrifice their own top management, would they really stand up for me as a user if that would cost them anything? I don't think so.
> He just had/has unpopular views and accepted the consequences of holding those views.
And now Mozilla has to accept consequences of being the organization which will fire you because you hold unpopular political views. As a person who holds plenty of unpopular views (different from Eich's but still largely unpopular) I want to do as little as possible with such organization.
I don't know if that's true. I don't know how many gay folks work for Mozilla, but I'm 100% it's a non-zero number. They might have had a real problem with his donating to Prop 8. I couldn't say whether they did, being neither gay nor a mozilla employee, but I could imagine it might make them uncomfortable, just from the conversations I had with my gay friends when gay marriage was becoming a thing. Given that, I kinda think your confidence that there was "no single instance" of a problem is probably misplaced.
"Mozilla has to accept consequences of being the organization which will fire you because you hold unpopular political views."
Mozilla didn't fire him. He resigned of his own volition, as I and many others have pointed out. You're free to want as little to do as possible with that organization, or with any organization, but usually when I boycott something it's for real stuff, not stuff I just made up in my head. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Yeah, I'm sure he just up and decided to resign with zero pressure from political insiders and the flash mob causing outrage. That's probably what happened.
He held an unpopular view, acted on it, and people weren't happy with him. Far better to step down and let the organization right itself, than to try and hold onto his position and his retrograde views simultaneously. Shows real class.
Isn't this the plot to every dystopian story ever told ("conform, or else")?
As a lefty, I understand the motivation, but disagree with it- it will never work; you will never change a persons values (positive or negative) via public shaming, all you will do is force the 'undesirable attitudes' underground. As a member of a 'disadvantaged minority', I'd rather have bigotry out in the open and act accordingly. If Trump has as a silver lining, it is dragging all the latent bigotry into the light.
edit: I always like to compare Mozilla to Dropbox. In the immediate aftermath of Eich being forced out, the same boycott mob tried to pressure Dropbox into removing Condoleezza Rice from its board for being a 'war criminal'. In contrast, Dropbox's board didn't blink- they called the bluff and showed unequivocal support for Ms. Rice with a firm "No" and that was the end of it.
I think humans are meta and that when censorship occurs like this it only empowers the people it's trying to silence. Meaning that while Brandon Eich may personally have had negative impact, I honestly don't think in terms of public opinion that this incident had a positive impact on gay rights. Instead, it's cited as an example of how the 'regressive left' is silencing conservative views, it strengthens their resolve.
I think a large part of it is due to the internet. Meaning, in the past this likely wouldn't have been seen by nearly as many people, and they wouldn't have the ability or impetus to truly impact the individual.
Given the relative ease of denigrating him, plus acting from a place of moral authority(depending on your views...) this is the result. And the 'justice' felt good too, because it was 'right'.
I think about this a _lot_. I can feel the racial tensions even in my neighborhood, it's never felt this fractious before and I honestly believe the perceived(and in many cases very real) levels of censorship are a major contributing factor.
Racism/Sexism/Homophobia - I firmly believe that the majority of individuals can see the immoral and in many cases plain stupid aspects of these. I also firmly believe that a part of developing a healthy moral framework involves 'testing/bouncing off' offensive beliefs between one another so that we can rationalize and come to the conclusions ourselves, not being able to freely 'play' stifles growth.
All the silence does is make people want to go home and release their angst online, we end up with extremely polarized communities where these specific local instances of injustice from both sides are used to justify/re-enforce a narrative. The end result(or perhaps the ongoing/developing and hopefully not escalating) is things like actual white supremacists on /pol/ and #KillAllWhites etc. on Twitter.
I have so much more I could say about this really.
Social pressure (conform or face consequences) is one of the basic parts of the human experience, so this is unsurprising.
I too like how Trump is pulling a lot of hidden bigotry back out into the open; it gives me a chance to talk with my well-meaning but ignorant lefty friends about how racism really is still prevalent, and a problem.
But it isn't enough just to show it's there, the point is to top up our sense that those attitudes are unacceptable and don't belong in civil society, and that we all still need to keep working on getting those ideas out of the discourse, and so on.
But getting bigoted ideas out of civil society? Well, we're back to social pressure ("conform to my vision of the world where bigotry is no longer a thing").
If, by the way, you think bigoted ideas do belong in civil society, then we probably won't get any further than that.
You might as well commend Soviet dissidents for "putting on their big boy pants and owning the consequences of their actions" when the KGB marched them off to the Gulag. The fact that someone bows to bullying pressure doesn't make the bullying pressure OK.
The end results are the same but the mechanism isn't. Could his colleagues have been more accommodating of his views ? Maybe. But they didn't. That's a personal problem that comes from a large cultural clash.
No it wasn't "personal issue". There was no personal issues with Eich, no evidence of anybody having personal beef with him - either because of sexual orientation issues or any other - was ever documented. It was a purely political issue, namely - political pressure to punish Eich for holding a particular viewpoint, completely unrelated to his job performance.
> Comparing it into company-wide discrimination is not helpful.
There was neither wide nor narrow discrimination. There wasn't any. Discrimination was not the issue. Thoughtcrime on Eich's part was.
> can't work with this guy because we don't agree with him
If you can't work with people that disagree with you, you should work as a lighthouse watcher, ranger in a remote mountainous region, hermit or another profession that puts you out of contact with people. People should not have to lose jobs because you disagree with them.
> Could his colleagues have been more accommodating of his views ? Maybe.
Nobody asked his colleagues to be "accommodating" to anything. The only thing was to have minimum decency to not throw out a person because he committed a thoughtcrime. That proved to high a bar for Mozilla. Thus they organization will now have to live with infamy of what they did. It takes years to build trust, it takes one case like this to destroy it.
> That's a personal problem that comes from a large cultural clash.
There was no "clash". Eich did not "clash" with anybody. There was a campaign of personal destruction, which run him out of the job, and which in eyes of many - including me - branded Mozilla as organization which is cowardly, disloyal to their loyal workers, and easily manipulated by hate mobs.
Nobody likes being uncomfortable, perhaps having gay employees made Eich uncomfortable too. But I don't remember hearing about him forcing anyone out of the company or discriminating against anyone under any circumstance.
To prevent his employees from feeling uncomfortable should the government allow Eich to stop hiring gay employees?
Oh god, don't give the US Supreme Court any ideas >_>
They already think corporations are people with religious rights, and that discrimination is a thing of the past. This wouldn't be much of a stretch for them at this point.
( You can already refuse to hire gay people (as well as outright fire them) in most states; but Mozilla is headquartered in a state where you can't. If anyone is interested, here is the map: https://mic.com/articles/121496/one-map-shows-where-you-can-... )
No they don't. They think people, when organizing into corporations, do not lose their rights just because they did something together.
Example: you have freedom of speech, and US Constitution and US laws recognize that.
You can print a newspaper and freedom of speech protects you. Now, printing a newspaper is hard. So you ask a bunch of people to help you, and you call these people together "The New York Times Corporation". Is printing the newspaper together still covered as your free speech?
The US Supreme Court thinks yes, it is. I think they are completely correct. To think otherwise would be to say people have free speech right, but only to the point where it actually matters - where they can speak so powerfully and loudly that the government and other people in power have to listen.
In our modern world it is virtually impossible to achieve it without organizing - and so by pretending that after organizing people lose their rights that they had before would be to rob the First Amendment of its meaning and turn it into a sham, when you can only speak freely when it does not matter.
From my personal experience talking to actual mozilla employees and reading blog posts by mozilla employees, that statement looks pretty true. Even LGBT employees supported him through the ordeal. Yes mozilla the company had some problems with it's policies, but from what I've heard directly from insiders, Eich was partnering with the LGBT people to solve their problems and never acted in and discriminatory manner against them. Loosing him hurt their cause and the company.
Please do some research on what actually happened instead of blindly jumping on the popular bandwagon.
Of course there were employees who were unhappy when they learned about his donation. In fact they were quite surprised because of how professionally he did his job.
But I have never heard of any thing he's ever done to act in a discriminatory manner on the job. I have heard of cases where he actually protected such people and helped improve things internally.
Does that mean CEOs/management should be forced to resign for donating to the Trump campaign if some of their employees are Mexican immigrants or Muslim?
Based on that premise, sure.
Eich resigned voluntarily, according to Eich and the Mozilla board (i.e. every involved party). No one forced him.
I started an internship at Mozilla right when Eich got fired, and the vast majority of people I talked had the same reaction: "Yeah, his donation isn't bad in itself, but the way he dealt with this polemic shows he's a bad as a CEO" (which does not convince me at all... since, you know, nobody is ready to deal with that type of pressure from the media, unless you're a politician with a PR team).
Bottom-line: As a CTO, he had a lot of engineers reporting to him, many of which were LGBTQ, and Mozilla is known for being one of the most pro-LGBTQ companies out there. He would have most likely been a great CEO to Mozilla, and a donation done personally cannot possibly be a valid reason for asking him to resign (the media, a tiny minority of people at Mozilla).
So what? I might have a problem with my boss' watch or suit or the shows he likes or the newspapers she reads. Who cares? I'm not marrying him/her, I'm working with him/her. It's irrelevant for the work.
There's no single piece of evidence Eich did in any way impede, discriminate against, was hostile to or in any other way hurt any gay - or straight, for that matter - employee, while working for Mozilla. If there were a shred of evidence, it would be unearthed and paraded by now. It wasn't. Conclusion is it doesn't exist. That's what I am talking about "no single instance". I don't claim nobody ever disagreed with him on anything, because a) that's impossible and b) nobody cares, disagreement is completely normal.
> but I could imagine it might make them uncomfortable,
The idea that everybody should behave in a way that makes absolutely everybody else comfortable and never do anything that could cause slightest discomfort to anybody is one of the most stupid ideas that ever come out of American college campuses. Fortunately, even its proponents don't actually believe in it - they are completely fine causing their opponents maximum discomfort. It's only their own comfort that they aim to protect. Which is fine - but I see no reason why their comfort is more important than everybody else.
Of course, some people - including ones working for Mozilla - may hate Eich's views. So what? If you have views, somebody would eventually hate them. And some would love them. And most wouldn't care.
> Mozilla didn't fire him
Technically, no. Effectively, yes. There are more ways to fire a person than yell "You're FIRED!!!!" to his face. This "his own volition" is a pile of bull, just like saying "oh, your honor, this guy handed his wallet to me on his own volition, and the gun in my hand has really nothing to do with the case, let's forget about it. The guy even said "please take my wallet and let me go!" which I obliged to do. So I don't see what all the fuss is about, it's clearly a voluntary transaction."
> but usually when I boycott something it's for real stuff, not stuff I just made up in my head.
I remain grateful to you for this short, but instructive story about your life. It was very educational, truly a people interest story.
Maybe not direct instance. But if I were at Mozilla, I would have resigned because of him.
I mean, Eich was giving money to people campaigning for removing civil rights from people based on their sexual orientation. That's not a small thing - if it was race instead of sexuality, would you be okay with it? White Power CEO?
That said, most rational people can identify an opinion they disagree with without resorting to threatening the livelihood of the person espousing it.
The man made a $1,000 donation to support a view he believed in. He did nothing illegal or wrong and pledged promoting equality at Mozilla.
He then had a large concerted smear campaign run against him, with major sites threatening to block Firefox access unless Mozilla took action.
We have no way to know if you'd actually quit if you were in this situation; more likely you simply disagree with this view and see this as the easiest way to justify this situation as 'right'.
I disagree with Brandon Eich on this point, but I also disagree with how Mozilla and members of the LGBT community handled this.
The way this played out, and what it represents, introduces a chilling effect on honest political discussion/participation for anyone with opinions that might be considered offensive.
It sets a very bad precedent.
He made his choice and that stood against everything Mozilla stands for (freedom, privacy, etc etc). As a result of him making his choice he faced s lot of pressure, quite rightfully, and then he decided to step down. His choice.
You can speculate as much as you like about the ins and outs of it but it's just that. Speculation.
I also don't think this is a good precedent to set.
Yes, in this case it's all good and virtuous, but there is now an amorphously defined line for what you can or can't support politically.
Anyone who holds such discriminatory views should recognise that it will reduce their ability as a team player; it may not be enough to justify them losing their job, but it definitely counts as a negative against their skillset.
>"we need good people first then good code will come later"
- paraphrased from a node.js zealot
>A range of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television departments, programmes, and radio stations are currently offering highly desirable, paid internships, but white people are prohibited from applying.
And to use the Daily Express to support any your point is going to reflect fairly poorly on your stance for anyone that is aware of it's reputation.
Also - are we talking about the US or the UK here? Mixing the two situations together in a single discussion is going to make a murky issue even murkier.
> Either you are allowed to discriminate based on race/creed/sexuality/politics or you aren't.
That's not what the law says. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
The Equality Act allows people to discriminate if it's a proportionate way to achieve a legitimate aim.
As I said elsewhere, if you can't get yourself out of a situation like that, you probably don't have the chops to be CEO of the organisation anyway.
You could justify any discrimination with "he quit, that was his choice". Today the discrimination is against someone who held a political opinion some day in his past. Or should I say "in his/her/its/Apachehelicopter" past as to not assume their gender and not condemn my future ability to be CEO?
Being discreminated against for being a supporter of discrimination is not "wrong", same as it isn't ethically wrong to give the death penalty to murderers. The argument against the death penalty is we make too many mistakes, not that it's somehow wrong to sentence people to the death when they are responsible for murder.
The crime begets the punishment. Women have committed no crime, but Eich was clearly guilty.
So when does reparations end? Is there some objective condition that can be met where we can all agree to stop trying to prop certain groups up while discouraging others?
I personally don't think that's possible. We would spend the rest of time trying to correct perceived wrongs done to categories of people for hundreds of years. It's far more sane to simply agree to NOT discriminate based on race/gender/creed/religion/politics OR say that it is fair play to do so.
What kind of self-reinforcing social bubble have you created that makes you think those two are equivalent? You say "crime" and "was clearly guilty" for actions that are explicitly protected under the law. Do you know what crime is?
This is false. He resigned because he was a target of personal destruction campaign, and received no support from people who he had to work with/for. The was attacked by political activists and his organization threw him under the bus.
> Women who resigned because they are harassed are victims of discrimination
He was harassed plenty. Of course, not the same harassment - not of sexual kind - but it didn't make his environment less hostile, wasn't less related to work performance or wasn't less personally painful and hurtful. The only difference is that you think it's OK to harass him - because he deserved it for committing the thoughtcrime.
> The crime begets the punishment.
Here we get to the point. Disagreeing with the orthodoxy is the crime, and be happy your punishment is only losing your job and not the room 101. We get it, believe me.
Therefore he supported the violation of human rights. People didn't like it, and he had to resign because he couldn't work anymore. That's it.
If you don't think violation of Human Rights and/or supporting it is a problem you can get behind Eich all you want.
You may think that's funny, but it does a disservice to your argument.
I did not say "the staff doesn't respect me". That would have been a lie.
Why don't you comment on things that you know about directly, or even just on reliable testimony?
Reading between your lines, I see malice and mendacity. Have you a better excuse?
I remember a blog post by @tofumatt, flip-flopping from pro- before to con- after I left. That is neither "staff" (plural) nor "Basically: the staff didn't respect him" evidence. It's a post from one person, who was not inside the room with C-level and board members, which assumed the worst: that I couldn't figure out how to lie my way through the crisis, so clearly didn't merit CEO. I can produce multiple others who supported me all the way from appointment to well past exit, including @christi3k and @lsblakk.
But really, what's your point? You weren't even at Mozilla, whether on the outside of the C-suite or on the inside. To assert "Basically, ..." as you did stinks of malice and mendacity. There's a five letter word for someone who assumes the worst about out-group members in advance of facts, who finds it "pretty easy to imagine" the worst of adversaries. It starts with "B" and ends with "T".
Don't change the subject. Blathering in five paragraphs about irrelevancies does not justify your bogus and malicious assertion.
Here is a free clue that might help you understand things, or not: in my personal experience apart from Mozilla, both at past jobs and from reading the news, when someone exits under duress at high level, a statement of few, vague, and neutral-sounding words is often part of the deal.
Obviously I didn't get appointed CEO with a plan to leave Mozilla as quickly as I did. This does not mean I was "forced". I resigned, I've said this many times on HN and of course, at the time, on my blog and in a message to Mozilla employees. That my sole official statement is open to interpretation is industry-standard, and its being vague does not give you license to make stuff up.
No "staff" made my prior "pilicital donations" more widely known. Tim Chevalier had already quit Mozilla in 2013 (see https://tim.dreamwidth.org/1832202.html). Your typo and the easily falsified reference to Tim demonstrate that you are phoning it in. Up your game or give it a rest.
It's happened a few times since then but none were as successful as the attack on you. (Dropbox, Donglegate, Crockford, Palmer Luckey etc.)
The troll's success with Mozilla has led them to attack other open source projects as well with small, loud mobs shaking down various projects on GitHub for fealty through codes of conduct and inane commits removing or editing things they perceive as offensive.
I really dislike this trend in the tech industry. Software ought to be apolitical. There shouldn't be a conservative browser and a liberal one. Being a libertarian leaning conservative I run up against this kind of left wing xenophobia all the time. I worry it's only a matter of time before it happens to me as well.
I hope this hasn't destroyed your career prospects for the future. Have you had trouble finding work since the incident?
By the way I'm sorry for initially saying you were fired from Mozilla. A more nuanced description was warranted.
It's called not talking politics or religion at work. Or not discriminating against someone because of something unrelated to their job. There is zero conflict of interest between Eich supporting prop 8 and heading the Mozilla foundation. Same as there is zero conflict of interest for Palmer Luckey supporting the leading candidate in the presidential election.
You should care if your coworker is neo-nazi or if he is supporting Islamic State or Westboro Baptist Church.
The only diagreement is whether Eich was closer to the former or the latter. I can perfectly imagine people whose rights he wanted to take away to think he's the latter.
The only thing that an individual should be judged on at work is actions/comments/etc. made at work.
If you'd like to argue otherwise I'd hope you at least have something more formally define-able than 'he was trending towards being a neo-nazi'.
I'd also expect you to be able to point to an authority for defining these ideological limits other than the currently loosely defined group-think.
Please answer these few scenarios:
-Should someone believing and actively promoting pro-life stances(outside of work) be fired?
-Should a casual narcotics user on weekends be fired once it's found out he/she uses?
-Should someone be fired for having a confederate flag hanging in their living room? What if they're black?
They also scream white power around the campfire when drunk though so perhaps not typical.
I can perfectly imagine any number of anti-democratic, politically obsessive people who would think that way, yes. They are certainly welcome to hold that view, but if the rest of us want to maintain a cordial and pluralistic society instead of one of constant political warfare and discrimination, we need to oppose those people at every turn.
Those people both exercised their freedom of speech (via donations).
Freedom of speech is not freedom from the consequences of such speech.
Cheers, Of course not.
>Freedom of speech is not freedom from the consequences of such speech.
Fair point. Riddle me this:
Should we force a baptist cake company to bake a cake for a gay wedding, force a Jewish bakery to bake a swastika cake, and force a Nazi bakery to bake a Jewish cake?
If not one. Why should we force one and not the others?
If you think the government should force nothing on any baker I agree with you.
>Those people both exercised their freedom of speech (via donations).
Which people? As far as I know there wasn't any actual fallout beyond saber rattling.
Reich and the guy from oculus who supported the trump group.
> Riddle me this
What is a "cake for a gay wedding" compared to any other kind of wedding cake? Is there same-sex marzipan I'm not aware of?
A baker refusing to bake a cake for someone because they're gay/Jewish is discrimination, and bigotry/racism (religious discrimination if you consider Judaism purely a religion and not an ethnicity/race)
Refusing to bake a cake for neonazis would also be discrimination. Refusing to bake a cake of a swastika isn't exactly the same thing - a swastika is imagery associated with one of the greatest war crimes of recorded history.
Also, you're in the wrong direction anyway. A business refusing service isn't the same as a consumer refusing to use a business.
I'm trying to establish an objective rule for what kinds of discrimination you believe should be legal. You described each situation but you didn't actually make a value judgement (which was the whole point of the question).
A company refusing to produce a specific item for a person because they feel it is inappropriate is not discrimination unless they're providing the same thing to other people.
A person refusing to support a company because of the actions of its staff/owners/etc is not discrimination.
I'm not so sure. Maybe they were brought up that way. You can't choose your parents or your religion in that respect. Muslims have a choice to be Muslim or not, should it be OK to discriminate against them too?
That said, we still need to draw the line somewhere if we want our laws to be effective. And the universally intuitive place to draw it is between biology and environment. The result is that environmentally unlucky individuals will get screwed so the rest of society can flourish. So yeah, if you had racist parents who brainwashed you with neo-nazi doctrine, I'm fully okay with the government not requiring that you be accepted by society.
Religions are a touchy subject for many, but I don't personally believe they should enjoy any special protections. And I say that as an atheist who'd be highly discriminated against by many, many people.
It would be a much less divided and angry place.
One of my most important life lessons was to learn how to argue in support of positions that I strongly oppose or dislike.
If I only seek to deeply understand things that I support or agree with, then I will struggle to communicate with people from different cultures, or from people that have backgrounds that differ to my own.
This does not require that I agree with things that I oppose or dislike, but it does require that I understand why people disagree with me. Never have I found the answer to be "they are ignorant idiots and/or outright horrible people"
Making it a point to do this has helped me to develop a more nuanced view of the world, and has been essential as a manager, as I can not effectively communicate with the people that work with me unless I am willing to try and deeply understand them.
Effective management requires dealing with all manner of politics, and it helps build bridges and find mutually acceptable solutions when you can speak to both sides in their own language.
In the end, I don't think one's views outside of the workplace should necessarily relate to their work performance. Eich was close to a public figure, that doesn't make the witch-hunt any better.
If I had a coworker who habitually made racist statements, for example, and I liked my job, I'd want them to lose their job. That kind of work environment would be quite unpleasant for me and probably a lot of other people.
To generalize, I have no problem saying I want to live in a world where employers feel comfortable firing racists who openly air those kind of distasteful remarks. (I didn't say, "I think all racists should be unemployed," mind you.)
What constitutes "controversial enough to merit consequences" and what those consequences would be (i.e. the world as we now have it), that, I think, there'll never be a single set of rules. It'll always be up to contemporary society, the employer, etc.
The equivalent situation in your case is having your views on welfare known and your employees (and anybody else transacting with your company) deciding whether or not they want to associate with you. Others' views on welfare would not be a valid reason to fire or refuse to hire them.
That is a very convenient interpretation of how things went down. They forced him to resign.
said it best:
>... a group of political activists put pressure on Mozilla to fire Eich because of his political views, for political reasons, and Mozilla as organization caved. There was no instance of Eich's views ever influencing anything on his job, and no single instance or evidence of any problem with his job. It was a political decision that being friends with political activists is better than keeping Eich.
>The equivalent situation in your case is having your views on welfare known and your employees (and anybody else transacting with your company) deciding whether or not they want to associate with you. Others' views on welfare would not be a valid reason to fire or refuse to hire them.
It certainly would be a valid reason to not hire them if I had to fear them ousting me from my company for holding opinions unpalatable to them.
"Never" is a strawman, but I imagine that would be a world where academia doesn't feel a need to protect its students from ideas, and where people of different viewpoints can work alongside each other instead of shaming groupthink into existence.
AKA the ends justify the means.
Chromium is open source, but the supported product where the developer cares about the quality of the experience is Chrome. Android is much the same, where the platform almost all apps and services target requires Google Play.
I can't expect Google to properly address my needs in either of these open source offerings, because the actual users are almost exclusively using the proprietary version.
When Google looks at what the browser needs to do, it can either make the solution proprietary or open source, and then just tell the open source users that it's unavailable unless they switch to Chrome. (See things like browser syncing, or Google Cast support.) But when Firefox implements such features, they have to do so in an open way, which is why you can run your own Firefox Sync Server.
I'd encourage you to read this document detailing the differences between Chrome and Chromium instead of speculating.
Contributing to either feels like a waste of time.
Another advantage is that it is not tied to some large conglomerate that is now engaged in questionable practices. That you need to rip entire parts of the code base out in this manner. This sort of thing has never been a concern with Firefox.
In general I think people ought to look at Google much more skeptically than they used to and all of the technologies that they push for. They all in some way push their agenda forward.
I've been skeptical of Google for a long time, and quit using them as much as possible since they rolled out "Don't be evil." Talk about telegraphing the punch.
A corporation with a ton of resources and a ton of people's information. Anyway I don't want to go into a rant but lately everything they do even the open source stuff is just to further their agenda and seldom to help the community.
Google started as a technology company for nerds. Remember when Google broke all "rules" when their website was a simple image, input, and two buttons?
Then they were into open standards, tech innovation, and where the company was run by engineers, and not media people (see Yahoo).
The result was a focus on UX and not design.
Unfortunately, around when Google+ came out, they decided they're done with that, and became a "company for the masses".
XMPP integration - dead
Open Source apps - dead
They're back to bloat (just JS instead of animated GIFs and Flash), "beauty" over "UX", closed source apps (remember when most apps put out by Google were open source? Remember the shock that Picasso wasn't?)
Most still are. Look at their github. They release an insane amount of OS code.
The only thing they really don't open source are web services (Gmail, search) - probably both for competitive reasons but also because it ties in too deeply with their infrastructure.
Chromium and Android being their two largest projects are OS though, and thousands of tools and libraries that they've built. Also TensorFlow, their newest machine learning library.
That code of conduct just make it worse they were caught red handed, and I can very much understand people who completely lost their trust in the company.
Mozilla is not a club of like-minded hackers that try to keep the web livable anymore. They're a large company now with corporate salaries and expensive furniture and a prime real estate office that values advertisers over users. Firefox is their money maker.
Chromium is a Free Software version derived from a proprietary browser. The people who made that happen must have had an idealistic motivation, or otherwise it wouldn't exist.
Both browsers are libre license-wise, which is a good thing, but in my opinion Chromium is less likely to be used as a marketing stick against users, since the marketing stick version of Chromium already exist. As such using the Chromium browser is preferable for me, since the intentions behind it are likely to be more in line with a free Internet in spite of its proprietary origin.
Chrome is based on Chromium, not the other way around. It's also pretty much Chrome with changed branding and no built-in Flash (thank god!)
Thinking that google leaves Chromium alone or that it's somehow independent is naive.
1st Chrome release: 2008-09-02
1st Chromium release: Dec 17th, 2012
So even though current Chrome might be based on Chromium, Chromium was initially derived from Chrome.
That means somewhere down the line someone at Google must have suggested making a free version, probably out of enthusiasm for open source, and even though it buys Google little, the project was okay'ed.
I have no illusions about Chromium being independent, but as things are, Chromium development, in my opinion, is less commercially driven than Firefox development in spite of being a Google-driven project, allowing it to better serve its users with regards to freedom and the open web.
The main danger of Google's involvement is if Chromium would somehow outpace Chrome deployments, and them pulling the plug, but that's still very far away. And even then, due to its libre license, everything is far from lost.
> 1st Chromium release: Dec 17th, 2012
> So even though current Chrome might be based on Chromium, Chromium was initially derived from Chrome.
Not sure where you got that second date, but Chromium was definitely released the same day as Chrome: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2008/09/google...
but obviously, I stand corrected.
But that is, quite frankly, not the case.
In other words, open-source software maintainers are under no obligation to accept outside contributions. The only freedom you are guaranteed in this respect is the freedom to start a fork.
However I'm using a pretty beefy phone whereas when I used my Moto G it wasn't quite the best browser in terms of resources however a lot has changed since then. (Like Chrome no longer having tabs integrated into the task manager. That feature was great for devices with not too much RAM and horribly buggy firmware that would unload apps prematurely. It's also very convenient to use. Maybe could have used a little bit more refinement.)
Also it's the only browser that supports my dusty old PCs. So I tend to use it on those as well.
Thanks Firefox devs.
I find that firefox is a little funky on Android though... the integration with lastpass is weird, have to copy/paste, at least site identification works now, there have been a few other oddities too... I notice a lot of sites improperly detect a lack of video support, or it may just be format that's the problem.
I tend to like/use chrome and prefer it... but I do think there's been some weird behavior in/from google... just finding out about chrome apps being killed off irks me to no end, considering it's the first actually decent write once run everywhere option. I'm guessing the recent hangouts change was because of this, as they'll likely move to electron on the desktop.
I'm glad Firefox is still an option though... I also appreciate what they've done to further the platform... Though I do chuckle a bit of how much easier web components, and even react might have come in if e4x had been implemented in other browsers.
I also like the quick sharing actions, remembering the last 3 apps used for sharing. And the local search in your history it does, avoiding roundtrips to the search engine. Although to be fair this functionality appears to work better on the desktop.
> the integration with lastpass is weird
On Android the defacto standard for password managers is to use custom keyboards. Ironically, the custom keyboard I found most usable for this purpose has been Keepass2Android , precisely because if it loses focus it still remembers the last account selected and I've tried both Lastpass and 1Password. Along with KeeWeb on my desktop, it's way better than Lastpass imho and free.
I agree on much you write about Firefox but unfortunately the only sane browser to use on mobile is one that automatically reflows text on zoom. The only one I know is Opera and I can't understand why no other browser implements this feature. Any other browser forces me to endlessly scroll horizontally and not zooming means that some text can be too small to read.
I tried these addons but none of them worked for me, they appear to do nothing.
I also happen to use Firefox as my daily driver on my main laptop, largely due to the Tree Style Tabs addon, which I have not seen a decent substitute for on Chrome/Safari.
Offtopic, but I'm uncomfortable with the trend of calling a perfectly normal Linux OS, running on perfectly normal read-write solid-state storage, "firmware" just because the device manufacturer chose not to give you root. It encourages you to regard it as a static device that happens to need some software (like a CD-ROM drive), rather than an internet-connected fully general purpose computer "owned" by someone else. Ubuntu doesn't become "firmware" because I padlocked the case and locked the root account, and neither should Android.
Page transitions, time to render, fast JS engine.
Firefox just feels clunky in comparison, sadly.
But last week I completely moved from Chromium to Firefox.
I didn't miss Chromium.
In any case, I can't edit my old post. Sorry!
Edit: ok, I can reproduce in an incognito window.
Can you point to concrete cases where Chromium has not taken contributions (without giving a good reason, that is)?
The team works really hard both on privacy and on open standards. But let's set that aside for a moment: There are many other companies contributing as well. (Opera, Samsung, Intel pop out when I just browse through the commit logs, but I'm sure I'm missing more).
And you as an individual, are free to contribute as well. We welcome OSS devs who want to help make Chrome better. Send me a ping if you ever get stuck, should you choose to contribute.
Yes, the project does not accept all changes. We can't, and no OSS project can. Some don't make sense ("Render all text blinking!" ;), some don't work for what the general idea for Chromium is ("Let's remove JS!"). But in general, the team tries to be accommodating when somebody wants to land a change.
I can understand when people say "Hey, Mozilla aligns more with what I want, I'll contribute there". It's awesome. You should work on something you believe in, and I'm glad you've found a project that works for you.
But Chromium is certainly happy to accept contributions, contrary to what the OP said.
Opera, I would use but I don't trust the chinese parent company.
The core Firefox / Gecko repos can be a bit conservative and slow to accept patches, but subprojects like Firefox Accounts / Sync, Devtools, Rust / Servo, browser.html, TestPilot, etc. tend have much lower friction while still affecting the direction of Firefox.
On the recent discussion here about the Session Saver code, one Mozilla dev said that it needs rearchitecting, but that the issue is "manpower." I don't understand how a company that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars per year can't afford to rewrite a problematic component--they had the manpower to write the bad design in the first place. Can they not afford to hire another programmer or two? Even now that they've cancelled FxOS? Where is the money going?
And generally Mozilla is taking Firefox in a direction that loyal users--who have used Firefox for nearly two decades now!--do not want. Mozilla is chasing Chrome users, rather than maintaining Firefox's useful, unique features. They just don't get it: if people wanted to use Chrome, they'd use Chrome. If they turn Firefox into Chrome, there'll be no reason to use Firefox instead of Chrome.
The handwriting is on the wall. Mozilla is no longer focused on making the best, most user-empowering browser. They are chasing ghosts, and when the money runs out...
How does this make it hard to contribute to Firefox? It just means that there's no guarantee that your bug will get fixed immediately?
Which ... is true for basically any open source product out there. And many closed source ones too.
I mean, yeah, it's disheartening to see your bug not get fixed. And as someone who is contributing by filing bugs and triaging, that isn't any fun. But, again, this is pretty standard for many open source projects.
> they had the manpower to write the bad design in the first place
That's not how software works. Software evolves over time, and requirements themselves change, leading to bad architecture. The session save stuff used to be json based probably because folks didn't/couldn't have that many tabs open for it to matter, but it does now.
> On the recent discussion here about the Session Saver code, one Mozilla dev said that it needs rearchitecting, but that the issue is "manpower."
This, again, has nothing to do with contributing? If anything the dev offered to mentor someone who wanted to work on it. There's activity on that bug, too, which shouldn't discourage contribution.
Bugs don't exist in a vacuum. There are priorities. And there are people who know enough to tackle the bug, who may have different priorities; you can't just randomly assign someone to a bug.
If you listened to everyone who said "you should make X your highest priority", nothing would get done.
> rather than maintaining Firefox's useful, unique features.
Example of this? I suppose you're talking about extensions here (that's the only example I can think of). There's a reason behind the direction Firefox is taking with extensions; the old extension model sucked. There was no API there, addons just reached in and tinkered with Firefox code. This means that improving Firefox by rearchitecting things was hard, for example addons were a big pain point for the electrolysis project that made firefox multiprocess. You were complaining about bad design before, this is an incredibly bad design (may have made sense at the time, but doesn't now). Fixing this involves replacing it with an API. The best direction to go in here is probably to have a standardised base for the API, which is Web Extensions. Firefox isn't planning on sticking to Chrome's feature set; it intends to make the API handle many of the needs of existing extensions. So Firefox still intends to maintain this unique feature, just in a different way.
It's been a few years now, perhaps things are better? I'm not interested in returning to that world to find out.
Which is the point of the switch: dramatically reduce addon functionality in the interest of safety / security.
> And using an unmaintained addon is dangerous.
And this is the kind of thinking I'm talking about. Firefore/Chrome/etc are all about protecting tech ignorants from themselves rather than allowing adept users to do what they want.
The kind of thinking that says "security-sensitive software with no active maintenance and regular updates is a security hole waiting to happen"?
Letting users install and run unmaintained software is dangerous. They'll get exploited. (And they'll blame the browser for that, and rightfully so.)
You can still do what you want; it's entirely possible to install local untrusted addons. You just have to poke some settings that are intentionally hidden from most end users, to make it somewhat more likely that users doing so understand the implications. And similarly, you can make your addon available to others willing to go through the same steps. They'll balk at doing so, and rightfully so.
It's possible to install unsigned addons in ESR, developer and unbranded builds of Firefox. It's no longer possible to install them in the regular release or beta versions. The hidden setting was disabled in Firefox 48.
Which is... exactly what Windows and Linux still do, rightly.
>And they'll blame the browser for that, and rightfully so.
Not at all rightfully so. Moreover the supposed security gain from this is absurd. So a user can't accidentally install a malicious extension... but they can install malicious software. Which, being that it has full access to the system, could patch Firefox if it liked to disable the signing check.
I won't use a browser which implements restrictive code signing practices.
Who says the addons have to be unmaintained?
And look man, a lot of addons don't need to be "maintained," they just keep working. An addon that adds a button to the UI or something like that--it doesn't need to be constantly churned. Something like NoScript and ad-blocking addons need more attention, but a lot of very useful addons that let users customize their browser will continue working as long as the underlying APIs do.
So please lay off the scary language. Better be careful, when the Pale Moon comes out, addons become "dangerous"! :P
Millions of Firefox users lost their privacy without ever being asked about that with the help of Firefox default settings.
This long term collaboration with privacy-destroying ad tracking companies disqualifies Firefox as a privacy tool.
BTW, yes, this post carries an unusual view of things, but no illegal content - do you believe unusual views should be censored?
This statement doesn't make sense. All cookies can be tracking cookies and for example all session cookies are tracking cookies by definition.
Assuming for the sake of argument that you're referring to third-party tracking cookies, such as those from Google Analytics, or Facebook, this is the default because it's how the web has always worked. And maybe changing this default is reasonable, much like how browsers started blocking popups at some point, but it's debatable if such actions should be taken or would benefit users.
Also Firefox is the only browser that does block trackers in Private Mode, without any plugins needed, a setting that you can also enable to be active all the time: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Firefox/Privacy/Tracking....
> Millions of Firefox users lost their privacy without ever being asked about that with the help of Firefox default settings.
This statement is factually not true, as it implies that blocking cookies has been the default and thus users had privacy to lose.
> This long term collaboration with privacy-destroying ad tracking companies disqualifies Firefox as a privacy tool.
Out of curiosity, when was the last time you contributed to the Mozilla organization? And if not, then you must have a better idea of how they should make a living, developing software in the open such that people can use it for free. They need a business model and nothing they did thus far had privacy implications for me. If you have a concrete example, I'd love to hear it.
> BTW, yes, this post carries an unusual view of things, but no illegal content - do you believe unusual views should be censored?
It's not an unusual view, it's just a silly one and silly views are quite common.
About your fact denial: Firefox does save cookies forever by default without asking users for permission about that, what enables tracking them forever. This is the opposite of proactive privacy.
This is factually true. It is not possible to "untrue" this fact. Everybody can check it.
What makes it even worse is that Mozilla is positioning itself as a "privacy aware" organisation, effectively brainwashing non-technical users with false claims about "privacy awareness".
> I will ask you to repeat that insult when we meet in meatspace one day.
That was not a personal insult, I was just criticizing your ideas. However I'll gladly meet with you and if I think you're stupid, I'll say so in your face.
This is the first I've heard this claim. Do you have data showing this?
JS engines, from my point of view, regularly have all sorts of memory safety issues. No particular JS engine stands out relative to the others.
> This is also the reason why the Servo browser that some folks think will be a lot more secure (due to Rust) is mostly smoke & mirrors. They're planning to keep using Spidermonkey there too!
Smoke and mirrors? Servo has sandboxing, which is already implemented (and which I maintain). There's a night and day difference between that and an unsandboxed browser.
The goal of Servo's architecture is to, first, achieve a best-in-class sandboxing story and then, afterward, to advance the state of the art by reducing attack surface. We aren't going to reduce the memory safety attack surface to zero. But it's very much feasible to reduce it so far down that attackers don't even look at layout/DOM/etc. code for memory safety issues the way they do today when searching for browser holes. The return on investment when looking for memory safety holes in memory-safe languages just isn't there.
How can something that gets publicly exploited year after year by _teenagers_ (1)(2) be called "very secure" ?
The grim reality is that we never had a browser than can be called even remotely secure. Major factors for that are the implementation languages (C++ and C) and the vast attack surface. It's disheartening to see this trend continue.
You realize that there's only one browser which is starting to adopt alternative implementation languages, and it's not Chrome, right?
You're underestimating teenagers.
However, Firefox's user-centric development model has been declining for years now as Mozilla has grown and become accustomed to raking in hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Mozilla has been actively imitating Chrome for some time now. It is becoming less unique.
Mozilla's future plans for Firefox continue to make it less like Firefox and more like Chromium. The coming changes to the addon APIs, deprecation of XPCOM/XUL, etc, will probably erase any useful distinction between Firefox and Chrome. Electrolysis, while nice in theory (because who isn't tired of the janky Firefox UI), will also probably erase Firefox's advantage in memory usage.
It saddens me to say it, but Firefox needs to die and be reborn--the Phoenix needs to rise again from the ashes. Perhaps this has already happened in a sense with Pale Moon, although Pale Moon isn't even in Debian, so using it requires extra effort.
But it won't really happen (Firefox dying/forking) until Mozilla hits rock bottom. Only when they are forced to confront their bloated bureaucracy and their lack of user-focus will any real change happen. It will require (near)bankruptcy, leadership change and many layoffs. And who knows if Firefox would even survive; it's so enormous and complex, would anyone pick up the pieces? Would a community effort even be able to?
Anyway, we won't have to wait long to find out. The way Mozilla's going, I'd be surprised if they still exist in their current form in 3 years. Sad, but hey, Netscape died to give birth to Firefox, so maybe Mozilla's death will give birth to...Phoenix? (Can we use that name now, after all these years?)
I would actually love to see some more work on creating consistent extension APIs so that a single add-on is easier to write against the big 4. I know that FF is caving in favor of more Chrome like models in some places... In general it's sometimes because they are better models, and some because they are chasing chrome.
In some ways Chrome actually is better in terms of UX... in others (configuration in particular) FF has been better. Mozilla has never been just Firefox though. They are an important part of web development... And I'm glad they're out there... I do think some people are holding onto how things were for the sake of resisting change, and likewise some are changing for the sake of.
It's not just "the voice" of the community... it's millions of voices screaming for different things, and those stearing paying attention to the majority for most of them.
Whether it "failed" is entirely a matter of perspective. From my perspective it has been a wild success, providing a flexible, powerful foundation for Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as some other projects. It enabled Firefox to be the most powerful, customizable browser by empowering extension developers to meet users' needs.
So, no, it has not failed. What has happened is that a new generation of Mozilla developers has arisen who are not enamored with the old code. They don't want to work on it; they want to make something new and shiny, users and extension developers be damned.
Just like all the OS vendors went for flat UI in a mindless herd mentality, so Mozilla is following Google and mindlessly imitating Chrome--first in UI, now in architecture. Then in 5-10 years (if Mozilla is still around), another generation of programmers will come up and want to throw out that baby as well. Meanwhile, browsing web pages will still be browsing web pages, and users will have to waste time on useless churn.
> It's not just "the voice" of the community... it's millions of voices screaming for different things, and those stearing paying attention to the majority for most of them.
Firefox did not dethrone IE by paying attention to a majority of screaming voices. It led the way with a vision of empowering users to take control of their web browser, going against the commercial, corporate grain.
Mozilla is no longer leading, but following, chasing, like a jilted lover who pines, "Please, don't go with Chrome, come back, I can be like Chrome too!" What they don't understand is that, if they act like Chrome, there will be no reason to go with Firefox.
What will attract users is a strong, unique browser that knows what it wants to be, that takes care of and empowers its users--in contrast to a browser project dominated by an enormous corporation which profits from exploiting its users. Only when Mozilla groks this will it turn around and reverse its decline.
Firefox didn't dethrone IE alone, iirc, Firefox didn't even exceed IE usage until after Chrome came out, and even then only because Chrome ate further into IE's share and subsequently passed Firefox as well. Chrome was successful in part because of marketing, but in part because it was such a nicer browser experience. I still don't get why Firefox still has a separate search bar, when the address bar works for searches.
I'm not a Chrome apologist either, I'm frustrated with their decisions to remove browser scripts and make user installed extensions much harder to work with, the confusing nag notice at every startup is irritating to say the very least. I do find the UI much nicer to work with, though I wish it had nearly the advanced controls that FF offers.
That said, most people don't want or need to dig that far into their browser.. they want something to check facebook, watch youtube and send emails.