I've had to fix this for three family members previously as they were using a free antivirus and couldn't figure out why their browser looked different and didn't have an ad-blocker now.
I remember this unfortunately happening on Windows 7/8 upgrades to 10, but I've yet to encounter it on my personal machine in a Win 10 point release, at least as far as I can recall.
Firefox pulling ahead of IE back in the early 2000s was a sign of open source disruption taking on a monopoly:
Chrome is the total opposite; well at least initially. They pumped millions into Mozilla and then took the parts they liked from Gecko and Webkit and created Chrome. Originally closed source, even though we have the open source Chromium today, most people used the official Google branded and integrated version.
I feel like with Microsoft and IE and the anti-trust cases from back in the day, we're see a return to what the author termed web browser 'monoculture.' The author does make a point that at least Chrome isn't stuck in the past.
Chrome, FireFox and Edge all seem to be doing the rolling release thing today, which is vital to us not getting stuck in IE6 land again. (Not sure if Safari does this yet). I've recently started using Vivaldi, but I do miss my dedication to Firefox and all the years of usage, plugins and bug reports.
EDIT: Found it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11057532
This happened years and years ago, and it wasn't long after that I decided that I didn't want Flash installed on my computer ever again. :P Sad that Shumway didn't manage to pan out, though.
Some providers offer a switching service though.
My three email providers don't (Kolab, Posteo, Autistici) but the few hours I spent changing my email addresses everywhere was worth it.
Gmail really doesn't offer anything you'll miss once you make the switch.
Yes, it is less scummy than burying it in an EULA and giving the user basically no notice, but it is still really scummy.
Bundleware makes it sound like it's just some innocent "bloat", while in reality this effectively hijacks all web traffic of innocent users and sends it to Google.
How is this not criminal?
And honestly, your reply was childish and and a bit douche-bag-ish.
There's no need for this here - (I assume) we're all adults, and don't need to resort to playground tactics.
(If you actually are under 16, then I take the above and I'm sorry - welcome to HN!)
While I don't doubt that Google's advertising of Chrome has drawn away some Firefox users, I also don't think that we can ignore or deny the many controversial changes to Firefox that have likely had an impact, too.
Just off of the top of my head I can think of things like:
* Frequent breakage of extensions when first switching to the more rapid release schedule.
* Frequent and disruptive UI changes that didn't bring users much benefit, such as Australis.
* Taking many years to get multiprocess support working. (Not that I'm suggesting they should have rushed it, of course.)
* The inclusion of Pocket and Hello.
* Sponsored tiles.
* Users who report experiencing poor performance and high memory usage.
* Disruption caused by requiring signed extensions.
* The removal of support for OSes or OS releases that are moderately older, but still do have active users.
I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting.
Even if they seem minor, those are the kinds of things that can cause users to switch away from Firefox, or not even start using it in the first place. Losing a small number of users for a variety of minor reasons can add up very quickly, as well. Furthermore, those issues don't really have anything to do with Google or Chrome.
Late last year, after many years on Chrome, I gave Firefox another serious look and I have switched back. Firefox has improved tremendously and I would prefer to give my support to Mozilla from a philosophical standpoint (the Chrome team does a lot of good work with regards to pushing forward the features of the web and its security but at the end of the day, Chrome is still a strategic piece of Google's business machine and not a philanthropic effort)
While I have my reasons for using Firefox, I don't see a compelling reason for most users already happy with Chrome to switch back. The average web user that I know doesn't really understand where web browsers come from and isn't very interested in learning about it. They just care whether the browser runs better or worse for the tasks that they do. (Except many still hate IE and will not even try Edge because the logo looks similar enough - that's a branding issue that Microsoft has)
What irritates me now are more and more sites that only work with Chrome (where they literally throw up a page that blocks access and says go download Chrome). These are sites that are not Google properties so I'm not blaming Google for this bad behavior, but again, I would like to support the diverse browser landscape that has existed to this point. I guess my main complaint to Google is to please stop popping up dialogs about Chrome across all of your properties. The browser I'm using works perfectly fine thank you, and you should be supporting the open web with your products anyway.
* better search/address bar behaviour (particularly in finding relevant bookmarks. Chrome wants to turn everything into a Google search)
* Integration with Firefox on android (which I need because it supports ad-blocking extensions)
* Being able to disable unnecessary features and phoning home using about:config is great
* Extensions look and feel more native (this will probably change because Mozilla has decided that cloning Chrome is the way to go)
* Extensions are more capable, still no decent side tabs in Chrome
* They're not an ad agency, so they don't ban extensions they don't like or nag you when you install something unapproved
* Font rendering manages to not look terrible
I'll admit though, Chrome still kills Firefox on UI speed and in many security technology ways. My biggest worry is that Mozilla will fail to achieve Chrome UI speed while ditching the things that make Firefox unique today.
Extensions used to be more capable, this is about to end.
Decent side tabs in chrome is called vivaldi, (actually a decent chrome is vivaldi).
Mozilla effectively bans extensions they don't like since the made signed extensions mandatory.
I disagrre on the speed and performance difference, with 150+ tabs opened at all times firefox works while chrome struggle to deal with 50 tabs. All this on a core i5 16GB RAM SSD laptop. I guess YMMV here.
Not true. They sign very liberally and you can even host signed extensions for your own users exclusively without listing them on addons.mozilla.org at all.
For example, FreeIPA used to have an extension, that configured Firefox to your own domain (enrolled an root signing certificate, configured trusted domains for GSSAPI, etc. - all the dangerous things). But because the extension was customized for your own domain, obviously, it could not be signed.
So, it was killed instead. Nowadays, you get a list of steps, you have to do by hand. On every desktop.
I miss some of the extensions of Firefox and Vivaldi does have some interesting bugs, however development on Vivaldi seems rapid. Recently they finally combined the web page inspector into the browser (it use to open a separate window).
I've loved Firefox for years and would honestly rather use it, but the performance problems turned me away.
There was a very good non-nested side-tabs extension in Firefox Test Pilot, but it has expired.
Yes, I'm using it ;)
They are keeping the current Extension model.
Our long-term plans for Pale Moon involve (potentially) moving our browser to the UXP (Unified XUL Platform) that is currently being worked on alongside the browser. This will at its earliest be somewhere in 2018.
Pale Moon supports NPAPI plug-ins. Unlike Firefox, we will not be deprecating or removing support for these kinds of plug-ins. This means that you will be able to continue using your media, authentication, and other plug-ins in Pale Moon like Flash, Silverlight, bank-authenticators or networking plug-ins for specific purposes.
I miss opera where it would also search in page content from cache, not only URL or title.
No, they should very much be blamed for it! Proper web design should follow cross-platform standards and implementations. They are part of the problem if they force users to choose one or the other.
To be blunt: says who?
A lot of people and most organisations aren't making websites as a charitable exercise. They're doing it with a goal in mind, such as bringing in money directly or indirectly, or raising awareness of a cause they care about.
Whatever that end goal is, they need to use the web to communicate effectively with their visitors. If those visitors are mostly using one particular browser and they can achieve better progress towards their end goal by optimising for that browser, that is what a lot of them are going to do.
I don't think this is necessarily healthy for the long term future of the World Wide Web, but I also don't think it's reasonable to blame people with a job to do for choosing the most effective tools available to do that job.
No such thing. A job, like an order, is not something that actually exists outside of the actions of people. Both the people giving orders and the ones following them remain responsible. They can pretend to leave the court room by dozing off but they remain in it for those who haven't, and what you seem to see as "putting blame" is simply pointing out what is already present and cannot be removed.
As I said before, this might well be bad for the long term future of the World Wide Web as a resource for society, but in this business you have to play the hand you're dealt, and the browser developers hold all the important cards.
Those still work in every browsers I've tried so the major browsers developer have to cut more established functionality:
I use firefox because I want a browser to exist that isn't hellbent on knowing exactly who I am in order to maximize profits.
Mozilla is not telling google obviously because they don't know who you are. But it's a technicality as they enable and empoyer google to do it by themselves, in exchange for millions of dollars.
For a few years over 95% of mozilla revenue in millions of dollars came from google for exposing their user privacy while most users were not aware of this and mozilla boasting being a white knight for privacy.
Then when they finally decided to do something about it, the chose to help yahoo artificially inflate their usage stats to improve the value in the upcoming sale, but only in the US where they had lost the most marketshare, in Europe where firefox was still relevant and where there are alternatives that actually respect user privacy mozilla chose to keep google as the default search engine.
But my point was simply about directing users' searchs to google search engine, which is enough to expose yourself to google.
Any example of this?. Because I've never visited such a site.
WhatsApp during the Beta.
Signal's desktop client.
Google Translate works, but has 3 helpful dialogs telling you to install Chrome.
Google Search on Mobile Firefox is heavily restricted in functionality, and tells to install Chrome.
Under some situations, Google will replace the first 4 search results and replace them with a "your browser is outdated, install Chrome" while also adding a top bar saying the same, and a dialog at the top right.
What does that actually means in practice? I'm guessing the only time you actually get skia is when running in a pretty old hypervisor environment or on a server/BMC without hardware acceleration.
Which IMHO, having your application _LOOK_ different depending on hardware acceleration capabilities is sorta stupid.
Which is one of the reasons I transitioned from liking Web back into loving native development (there are plenty of other reasons though).
Doing discussions with customers about pixel differences across browsers, specially if it is the same browser on different OSes, is anything but fun.
That and the request for features and behaviors only possible in native UIs.
Any specific examples of this? A URL, or a couple of them?
When making such an assertion, it would be nice to minimally provide a way for others to see for themselves.
it was available at http://www.allisnotlo.st/ but now features an error message about google dropping python 2.5
But performance. Firefox very often outperforms Chrome in microbenchmarks and computationally-intensive code in my tests, but in the real world an awful lot of sites really are much more responsive in Chrome.
For me as a user, most recently an update to the FastMail web UI a couple of weeks ago made it lamentably slow in Firefox -- just mousing over the folder tree caused CPU spikes and lag in updating -- and in the end I switched to opening FastMail in a separate Chrome instance while continuing to use Firefox for everything else. I've just switched it back to Firefox as I type this, to see whether anything has improved.
The web app I'm working on as a developer just now also has problems updating as smoothly in Firefox as in Chrome, and I'm not at all sure whether we'll be able to do anything about it.
I can't think of an example at the moment of a site that feels faster in Firefox.
I believe I have come to think of Firefox as a web browser, and Chrome as a platform for web apps. Things written to be web apps are almost always more responsive in Chrome, even though many of their components (number-crunching work) really do run measurably quicker in Firefox.
If there are firefox users left to shoot.
I think I jumped to conclusions because the change roughly coincided with a visible update to FastMail (the one that added the little progress spinners to the folder tree).
(My earlier post lost a couple of HN points after I posted that reply, even though it was many hours after the original discussion. I wonder whether people had upvoted it because of potentially useful material about Firefox and FastMail and then unvoted when I admitted that particular bit was bogus. It would be rather encouraging if that were the case)
Later edit: I spoke too soon. After editing an email extensively, the whole UI slows down again.
On the other hand, Firefox Focus on mobile seems to run pretty fast and comes with enough ad blocking to make the web bearable.
If it had either tabs or a way to open multiple processes then I would probably ditch the other mobile browsers.
Full Firefox on Android has a slow startup time if it's been pushed out of memory, which it usually is, because it's big. Firefox Focus is a way of quickly opening links from other apps without paying the cost of opening Firefox, while keeping an acceptable level of ad-blocking and privacy.
You should have both installed, set Focus as your default browser, but liberally use the "Open in Firefox" menu on Focus when you have real browsing to do.
- Firefox got bogged down with just a few tabs open, and caused beachballs (OSX/macOS) systemwide. Chrome was snappier and didn't harm my system's overall responsiveness with several times as many tabs open. This was the main reason.
- Dev tools. Liked Chrome's better.
- Profile handling was, at the time anyway, better.
- IIRC Firefox didn't do per-tab crashing at the time, while Chrome did, which aided overall stability.
Advertising had nothing to do with it. Chrome was just way, way better, especially its (apparent, which is mostly what matters) resource footprint.
Now I'm mostly on Safari, even though it's the worst mainstream browser, just because I gain 1-2hrs of battery life using it over Chrome or Firefox.
They definitely are. To this day I'm baffled I'm not sent to the debugger when clicking a line reference in the console.
But I still use Firefox as main browser. Since the pages I visit and the pages I develop are always in different places it's pretty easy to have one browser for development only.
I've since switched back because Chrome is a terrible memory hog and I can have tons of tabs open on Firefox with no impact on performance (as long as I don't actually load them), and I don't have problems with crashing the way I used to.
And also - they're aggressively throttling background tabs:
I'm on Chrome Canary - and there's been noticeable improvements in memory/responsive wise for a few months now.
I have around 320+ tabs open, spread over 2 Chrome profiles (around 160 per profile).
Firefox is about to shoot itself in the foot again. Soon, all old add-ons will stop working, as Firefox tries to get add-on developers to change to their new WebExtensions API. (Which is almost, but not quite, compatible with Google's add-on format.) Many developers are not bothering, and will drop Firefox.
Fork of tree style tabs for Pale Moon
Someone has forked Tree Style Tabs so that it works with latest Pale Moon.
Tab Center Redux <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-center-re... is a fork of the testpilot extension that is a WebExtension, so it works fine in Firefox Nightly. It's naturally more limited than the original extension, though: it can't hide the top tab-bar, it has to draw its own context-menu, it can't be shown at the same time as any other sidebar, etc.
It's still nicer than the top tab-bar for those of us with a bunch of tabs open, though.
0 - https://github.com/cretz/doogie
Set your User-Agent to Firefox or IE Edge and Windows OS. You'll soon see "install chrome" pop ups/banners/warnings that take up a portion of the screen all over Google properties.
At that point why not just self-uninstall?
Out of non-Google search engines, Yahoo makes most sense even if they got no money from the deal. Maybe DuckDuckGo but unfortunately it's still not as good.
Regarding extensions, it's better this way because nobody is bothering with current API. Most new extensions are chrome-only.
This is a US only move, in the EU it's still google and mozilla got a truckload of criticism for this.
I stopped using firefox because of performance. Nothing more, nothing less.
If I'm remembering this right, I think there was initially an about:config option for disabling the signature checks. But that was eventually removed from the stable releases. The workarounds were to waste my time getting the extensions signed, or to use some special unbranded build, or to use the Nightly or Developer Edition releases. None of those were acceptable to me. Then I learned about the planned WebExtensions changes, and knew it was time to move on.
I'm aware of the security-related reasons that were used to justify such changes. But for me they ended up taking away the main benefits that Firefox offered, namely being easy to extend, and giving me the freedom to use the browser as I see fit.
It seems to me disabling the xpinstall.signatures.required setting has no effect anymore, at least the last time I tried using it, it had no effect.
If somebody gave me a Ferrari for free with the caveat that there's a guy sitting on the passengers seat who keeps track of where I'm going at all times, I guess I'd still keep driving my current car (hint: it's not a Ferrari).
And before the downvote reflex sets in in some of you: I'm not saying that you should be like me. If you like Chrome, great, good for you! It's just that the speed difference to me personally has never been a good enough reason to switch. YMMV.
I'm glad to hear that you found a web browser that makes you happy. So have I.
That could explain why it doesn't support multiprocessing. I disabled it because it doesn't do much. This is a list of its functionality from https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/what-are-the-ubuntu-firefox-...
* Enable searching for missing plugins from Ubuntu software catalog
* Add the following options to the Help menu
Get help on-line
Help translating Firefox
Ubuntu Release Notes
* Set homepage to Ubuntu Start Page
* Display a restart notification after upgrading Firefox
* Add ask.com to the search engines. You can uninstall this if you prefer to use a pristine Firefox install.
That's why I switched back from Chrome after using it for a month few years ago.
Now I would switch because Chrome is the new IE, some developers don't test on Firefox, they say "just use Chrome", no WAY.
I find it uses probably 50% of the memory that Chrome does in my typical use-cases as well (4-5 windows open with around 10-20 tabs in each).
I think majority of people just use Chrome because they either don't know better or because when it came out, it was legitimately a cooler more innovative browser than Firefox at the time.
Only very few people need a few extra codecs that Chrome provides or maybe the bundled Flash plugin.
If it took a minute to render, it would matter. If it's a matter of a few seconds, it doesn't.
However, I also know that folks like my parents who do not deeply care about IT and performance in general don't really care too much. They do not spend their day in front of the screen like some of us do, but rather look something up once or twice a day. In the greater scheme of things, the difference in rendering times across different browsers doesn't make a measurable difference in their lives.
This gut-check test isn't particularly useful.
> If somebody gave me a Ferrari for free with the caveat that there's a guy sitting on the passengers seat who keeps track of where I'm going at all times
The price you pay is much higher than you think.
Think twice, you have a choice.
You seem to be implying that Chrome tracks every site that you go to and shares it with Google. Care to cite a source on that?
Of course, this can be turned off, but it is very likely to be turned on if a user has set up an Android device (lots of prompts to do so).
In short screw you too mozilla.
Ohh, and the Chrome dev tools are just better. So that helps. But if Firefox weren't noticeably slow I'd use it without hesitation.
But the issue here is that mozilla do not listen to user feedback and just push whatever they feel like pushing with an attitude and some hostility towards unhappy users. or as pointed out in the mozillazine forums: they're " making far-reaching and very short-sighted decisions in a vacuum. "
It seems inside mozilla they're convinced that firefox is great and answers users' needs, while users feels that firefox is not that good and getting worse. There's quite a gap between mozilla marketing and the reality, which shows that firefox fails to deliver on its promises.
All that said, it's the least-worst in the browser world, for now. It seems pretty clear that they have some technically brilliant people as well.
Edit: seems that I need to learn how to write lists...
insert an empty line between each bullet point.
First without an empty line:
* bullet point without empty line between each other
* bullet point without empty line between each other
then with an empty line inserted in between:
* bullet point with an empty line between each other
* bullet point with an empty line between each other
It's understandable they have to find ways to make money, but those experiments alienated users. Once you've started down that path, there's no returning in a lot of users eyes, mine included.
Firefox become unusable - shut down Firebug replaced by half-assed new DevTools, removed XUL based API, multi-process support that's still not working like Chrome1+/IE8+, still dog slow, can't handle more than a few tabs, Addons-website got useless as most addons aren't working anymore.
Sad, but Chrome is so much better, and Firefox is digging in a bigger rabbit hole with every new release. Would be great if we keep another open source competing browser around. Servo based browser could be a fresh start, but they need to focus now, in a year it can be too late.
No, it wasn't. Were you there when NS4 came out?
Compared NN4 and IE4, NN4 was better. Compared to later IEs, IE were better.
Except for IE5 for Mac. That one was weird, it's CSS implementation was best from all the available browsers. But when you opened Slashdot (or another table heavy site), boy, you quickly switched back to Netscape.
firefox was initially named phoenix and it was made as a workaround the performances issue of mozilla suite by removing everything unneeded to run a browser. Except mozilla suite fixed its performance issues way before phoenix was ready for prime time.
Firefox itself used to be an alternative - the main browser was Seamonkey, that included mail client, chat client and kitchen sink, just like the original Netscape did. Firefox started later as a lightweight alternative, just the browser.
I switched to Chrome a lot later than most of my friends, and actively try to switch to Firefox every once in a while, for literally the last 7 or 8 years. There has yet to be a single time where a couple days of usage didn't reveal the browser as far inferior, in ways that affect my day-to-day life materailly (multiprocess support being the biggest, most basic issue for a long time). I spend a LOT of my time in the browser, and I'm a very heavy user (usually about 100 Chrome tabs open total at any given time, with fairly high turnover). The performance and quality penalty I pay when using Firefox just isn't worth it.
I don't disagree with the article's claim that Google's advertising is having a big effect on a drop in FF usage; it's just bizarre for them to act like this is the only possible reason why people are switching.
That's why I switched. It broke most of my extensions every time it upgraded. After the 3rd or 4th time it wasn't worth dealing with anymore. I switched to Chromium and I don't remember it breaking an extension.
* Restore the old settings. They copied Chrome's settings-as-a-tab with the UI just being HTML. But in Chrome I can at least search the settings. Why did Mozilla waste their time on copying the HTML-settings without also implemented the most useful feature? It was just a huge regression, because the UI is now non-native, many things aren't resizeable anymore and some other minor bugs where introduced, without any apparent benefit. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1325286
* When you start Firefox two times in a row, the dialog "Firefox is already running, please close the running instance" or something like this pops up. Chrome doesn't have this problem, maybe just because its startup time is SO much better. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=489981
* On Linux: Integrate the tabs into the titlebar like Chrome does. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=513159
* Way too easy to quit the whole browser with Ctrl+Q (Chrome uses Ctrl+Shift+Q) https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52821
* Encrypt passwords with the keyring (like Chrome does) https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=309807 (btw: that's the second most voted bug of the "Toolkit" product according to https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=productdashboard.ht... )
* No hardware acceleration on Linux (playing HD YouTube videos lags for me in Firefox out-of-the-box, perfectly fine in Chrome) https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1280523
* Speed and responsiveness of the UI in general are much better in Chrome. (no bug report link, sorry)
Notice how that there's no complain about the look of the main UI, still Mozilla decides to redo it yet again with project Photon ... Did I miss the bug report with lots of votes for that?
And regarding the bug reports (most of them reported years ago): There was a comment on Reddit a while ago where a GNOME (!) developer said something along the lines "We're not Mozilla, we're actually reading and answering our bug reports". That says something.
This is actually due to shutdown (rather than startup) being too slow. Your profile is still in use from the instance of Firefox taking too long to shut down, so when you start a new instance it hits this error. This should be a little better with multiprocess, because web pages are run in a separate process, and we kill that process more quickly, so shutdown should be faster.
I simply double-clicked the Firefox icon twice quicker than I ever normally would, and the Close Firefox error appears: "Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system."
Hit two of those quickly and hello dialog...
On Windows, this only happens if the second instance starts with a specific command-line option (the name escapes me at the moment). Otherwise, the existing instance just opens a new window.
> Notice how that there's no complain about the look of the main UI, still Mozilla decides to redo it yet again with project Photon ...
Are you seriously askong that?
Firefox is doing Photon (like they were doing Australis) because they're replacing their entire UI framework with a faster one.
Australis was the move from native GTK2 to XUL, Photon is a move from XUL to HTML5 for UI.
Photon is not a wholesale move away from XUL either.
> * Way too easy to quit the whole browser with Ctrl+Q (Chrome uses Ctrl+Shift+Q)
Saying that it's nitpicky to include this in your list would be huge understatement, it's straight out ridiculous. I have always found Firefox to be more responsive and less resource heavy than Chrome, so I don't know why you had problems with that.
But yes, you are right when you imply that Firefox seems to have prioritization problems, lots of them imo. However, it is understandable to me, making the UI looking prettier is for marketing, not usability. Most of these things you listed are not addressing a lot of users, on the other hand, having a flashier UI would address and (potentially) attract more users. But their management still needs to improve, and as a company, they should have better direction.
There's a bug report about it with lots of duplicates and 71 votes. I use Ctrl+W to close tabs, so losing work in other tabs is just one key away. For me, it isn't nitpicky.
> having a flashier UI would address and (potentially) attract more users.
You don't know that though. You think it will attract more users.
You'll need some kind of metric to know what people really want. "Gets often repeated in discussions" is one, "which bug reports get voted on" is another.
I think alt-f4 closes the window while ctrl-q closes down Firefox entirely (in my KDE setup at least.)
On Windows ctrl-q doesn't work for me though.
As for why I sometimes use it it is because I can then do a restore session after restarting Firefox and get back everything.
(On Windows I have to find the now hidden menu and select Quit Firefox or something like that.)
I definitely think that this should be handled by the OS though.
Then there are the asian and middle east that do not even use the same alphabet. Though those may use the QWERTY as an underlying layout for compatibility.
Pocket? Hello? Really?
Firefox memory usage has for years used less memory; basically since its inception. Apparently it's no different now: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/whos-winning-the-browser-...
e10s? Come on, give me a break. I bet the vast majority of users have never heard of it, and of the others, most don't know what it's about to any useful degree, and of those that understand this feature, most probably wouldn't know the details of how the various multiprocess implementations actually compare. A vanishingly small proportion of the user base know of this feature, understand it enough, can compare this to other browsers, and then have a strong enough opinion to affect browser choice (and frankly, it's not obvious multiprocess is actually that great of an idea in the first place if you really do know what you're talking about - not one of the browsers actually separates every tab into a separate browser - for a reason!)
As to OS support - firefox still is the last browser to support XP, so I'm not sure what you're referring to. Version 52 was the last one; but that's on an extended support cycle until june 2018, which AFAICT is more than two years later than chrome's last v50. Microsoft hasn't "supported" XP with any reasonable browser... well, not ever (the highest IE version was 9!), and it hasn't supported the OS at all even with security patches for years (with certain notable exceptions).
As to disruptions caused by signed extensions - so that's why the appstore has failed and nobody is using windows anymore? I get it's annoying, but this is a pattern that's recurring all over the industry, and has for many years before FF made this step. If anything, I think it's more plausible FF is being punished because it was too slow to ban unsigned extensions! Because poor experiences based on bad or even malicious extensions do reflect on FF. And for that matter, signing isn't the real issue, it's add-on sandboxing/threading. Chrome got this "more" right, in that it's less likely for an novice extension author to accidentally bring chrome to a grinding halt. But precisely this feature is still causing lots of addon breakage because FF has not yet completely dumped the old, problematic add-on API, presumably because users really hate losing their cherished extensions (and for a reason). I've witnessed several addons that have chrome+FF equivalents where perf issues occured only in FF - which may have been the addon author's "fault" - but that's a really poor excuse.
Poor perf, and the expectation of poor perf sound like more reasonable guesses, but even there I'm not convinced this actually matters as much as you'd hope. Still, that's at least something. But then, the number of people you see working with unworkably slow setups for all kinds of reasons that apparently don't care enough to switch products suggests that even abominable perf isn't necessarily very impactful. Maybe this matters indirectly; in that power users that care influence others in their choices.
It is clear that the only reason many changes were made, and features removed, was solely because Chrome did it. And Google has very different motivations and goals than Mozilla. Google wants to make money, and use Chrome as a pillar in their platform. So, by emulating Chrome so closely, not just does it indicate that the developers are making bad decisions, it also means that the browser will not be as good.
They proposed removing FTP support from Firefox, and the justification was just a link to an announcement that Chrome was doing it. 
It makes sense for Chrome to do it from a business perspective, but it does not make sense for Firefox.
Or sometimes there are design decisions in Chrome that are outright hostile to the user, to help Google's partners, such as removing the "save as" option for html5 video. It is only a matter of time until Firefox makes it harder to download video, solely because Chrome is doing it. When Google does this, I at least understand that their sabotaging this functionality is part of their larger strategy. Mozilla doing it is just baffling.
I mean, the original Firebird went in the opposite direction as Internet Explorer 6. If Mozilla had the same culture back then, they would have put all of their resources into making an inferior clone of Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer was a better user experience in a lot of ways, especially for the first few years. But people started moving to Firefox because it was worth it. The security, control, and flexibility was worth it. I specifically remember turning people onto Firefox because they were sick of ads, and there were special add-ons that they wanted.
If Mozilla wants Firefox to work, it needs to do what Chrome wont let you do. It needs to integrate aggressive ad-blocking. Let you have control over the content you view. I think that people would happily use Firefox if it empowered them.
That bug was filed by the person who wrote most of the FTP implementation in Firefox and was one of the few people who maintained it. The reasons to consider removal were that it was a maintenance burden, extra security attack surface, and not really relevant to users nowadays. The posted link only spoke to that last point: that other widely used browsers were removing it and it wasn't being a problem for their users, apparently.
The first two reasons for removal were not clearly explained in the bug report initially, because they were obvious to both the bug filer and his intended audience: the networking module owners and peers.
See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1174462#c23 for more details.
Would the summary being "consider removing FTP support" more accurately reflect intent? Probably. Did the actual engineers involved know what the bug was about? Yes.
I assume you mean Firefox? Speed was part of that discussion, but so were the various features pdf.js lacks but the proposed replacement supports.
> It is only a matter of time until Firefox makes it harder to download video, solely because Chrome is doing it.
If you assume that Mozilla is just aping Google. But if, on the other hand, you just have that as a preconceived notion and try to make all decisions fit that theory no matter what the actual reasons for them are... then you might just guess wrong on this.
I agree with you on the broad point that Firefox needs to do things Chrome can't or won't do. The worry with your "aggressive ad-blocking" suggestion (much as I would like that personally!) is that a likely outcome is a large enough number of sites blocking Firefox altogether that users stop being able to use it at all for normal browsing. If Firefox had a monopoly position in the market it _might_ be able to get away with that sort of move, but it doesn't have that position.
Actually the point was that mozilla should stop removing features that are not in chrome first, if there are any left.
The point is firefox should differentiate from chrome instead of being more and more similar because being similar to chrome just remove the appeal firefox had.
> If Firefox had a monopoly position in the market it _might_ be able to get away with that sort of move, but it doesn't have that position.
But when they had the better share of the market they were adamant not to do any adblocking and this may be related to the fact that 98% of their revenue came from advertising through google. Then again how would a website block firefox ? Using user-agent ?
Of course they have, I'm such an individual but I'm responsible for about one to two thousands installations of firefox over the last decade or so. Carefully replacing any sneaky install of bundled chrome each time I faced one, and so on.
It's been 2 or 3 years since I've gradually stopped doing this. I have no reason to keep helping a corp that keeps disappointing and not caring about users, selling an image through marketing (giving power and freedom to users) while doing the opposite in reality (removing power and freedom from users).
I've barely made any new firefox installation and stopped replacing sneaky chrome/IE unless expressly asked.
Just with one individual they've lost I'd say about a few hundreds users over 3 years. Although a few hundred users is not even a blip on their radar, I'm not alone in this situation and numbers quickly add up to a significant amount. Though maybe not significant enough for mozilla's devs to care.
The point is, a limited number of individual users played a role (possibly significant) in firefox success, the same people now play a role in its demise. It seems mozilla does not understand this fact despite building a large church of evangelist fanboys.
Change it to "open in external application" is one of my first changes after a fresh install.
Actually IE9 requires Vista, so XP is stuck with IE8.
Pocket was another thing not needed to disable in firefox, it was proprietary and had vulnerabilites when a better opensource alternative existed, mozilla got a lot of flak for this. Then they bought it for millions of $ to leverage the users to get into mobile.
Hello was again another unneeded thing to disable right away (yay more extensions!), it leaked the local IP and added vulnerability.It was such a popular feature that it got removed a few versions later.
Those 3 really infuriated me and a portion of the firefox users community.
I can't tell about the memory usage, I've bought a 16GB RAM laptop a few years ago to free myself from firefox memory issues, I do know that once in a while I have to quit firefox because it's consuming too much memory and cpu while idle.
by the time e10s arrived, there was no "vast majority of users" anymore for firefox. Having not heard of it means mozilla communication sucks. Anyways e10s is disabled in my firefox, I do not remember why.
I'm not sure what you mean by firefox being the last browser to support xp, 6 months ago I tried to install firefox on windows xp and installer denied to install telling me it does not support xp anymore. I think I installed pale moon instead and opera so maybe firefox is not the last one to support xp.
Signed extensions caused an uproar and some people left firefox over this because it's removing freedom from user and giving more power/control to firefox. I had to drop a couple extensions that refused to comply with mozilla demands or were not updated.
And there are other things like this, and when all this happens while bug report dating of years or decades are still waiting to be dealt with or closed as WONTFIX because you do not matter enough, well...
I would have liked Hello (or really, any decent chat application that's not just some vehicle for the dreams of vendor lock-in by a large company) to succeed, but you're right, it flopped.
Firefox 52 was supported on XP service pack 2 (or later). Version 53 was released April 19, 2017. If you couldn't install FF on XP six months ago, you either were using a really really out of date XP (SP2 was released 2004!), or you misremembered, or you were using some beta or otherwise nonstandard FF.
I mean - I don't really disagree with you; heck I share some of the same frustrations. But what the heck is the alternative? Most of what you're mentioning is worse on every other browser.
What remains is perf and extensions; but I feel that those two issues are intertwined. FF extension APIs were, unfortunately, misdesigned. Not through malice or even incompetence, but because this turns out to be tricky. And so it was really easy to bog FF down with benign-looking extensions, and furthermore, it was difficult for FF to modernize with such low encapsulation. They should have bitten the bullet much earlier - instead, the problem kept festering.
When you say FF was a hog on a 16GB laptop, then it's almost certainly down to extensions - those very extensions you're frustrated they're forcibly modernizing. I don't think there's any good solution here.
Thing is there is no need to bog down the UI for people who don't need certain advanced features (of which an adblocker is not), you can be smart about it. Once again look at opera did it. For example mouse gestures were disabled until you first tried to use them and at this point it would spawn a window asking you if you wanted to enable them.
I have no idea what the reasoning for adding hello into a web browser. Opera did it with an IRC client a couple decades ago and it stopped being relevant at some distant point in the past. There are enough chat applications around, no need to push an additional in the browser, especially when on the other hand you remove or do not add features on the pretense that you lack resources.
I do not misremember at all (well it was probably more than 6 months ago as this took place at the end of last year). I remember perfectly being sorry for cleaning up my archives of older version install files for firefox because the oldest I had was version 49 and this version had already dropped windows xp support for this hardware (and IIANM firefox dropped linux support with version 52 or 53).
Faced with replacing fully functional CPU/ motherboard/RAM or dropping firefox, guess what was the chosen solution.
Even pale moon that's based on older firefox versions has dropped window xp support.
I wish there was alternatives, but AFAIK the only alternative is to rely on older releases. Next time I have such an xp machine between my hands I'll do more research and tests to hopefully find something that will fill the gap.
Windows xp sp2 has been released in 2004 but we still fill containers of such computers to ship to Africa through humanitarian programs. We have a container leaving in september of this year. Most technology oriented people from rich western world tend to overlook that the rest of the world has not the same privileges they have.
I agree that it is not difficult to have poorly coded extensions or misdeisgned API causing a drain on resources, but this a strong design choice by mozilla who consistently refused to add those features to their browser even if incredibly popular (heck they even remove them at times). So even if the extension is the reason for the performance issue, the responsibility still lies with mozilla.
I don't mind modernizing, what I mind is that said modernizing means removing a good 70% of what I had to add to firefox to turn it into a modern browser and make it useful to me. When they tout freedom and user power but remove control and power from my hands while ignoring user feedback or even knowingly messing users because well they're not a high percentage in their skewed metric.
It's probably extensions in most cases, but I have replicated the behaviour with a brand new user profile and a vanilla firefox without any extensions, it actually happens faster and more often without extensions (lack of ublock origin and noscript plays a significant role here I guess).
Anyways I'm disgruntled, frustrated and fed up with this mozilla bs over the years. I sincerely hope they disappear sooner than later or that people in charge are replaced by competent people and that a user centric browser emerges from this mess.
Almost everything you list are things that happen around a certain time and we don't see those events manifest in the graph.
The reason of course being that the vast majority of Firefox users are not expert and don't care or know about those advance features.
Maybe if you can link to a user satisfaction report...
Meanwhile Chrome just works. It's even worse on Android, they don't have in FF even pull down to refresh and it's the slowest browser I tried.