Long time Firefox user and have been dreading the extensions going away, but it looks like Nightly has resolved some of the problems I was using extensions for (i.e. duplicate tab context menu) and I know some of the more prominent extensions (like NoScript) are being worked on.
By the way, is multi-process going to make it more feasible to introduce a more robust profile feature like Chrome?
I have it working mostly on Windows but it still feels pretty rudimentary.
That's the only major feature for me that Chrome is really just so much better than Firefox.
You are talking about the actual Firefox Profiles and not about Container Tabs, right? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-...
You can also get to an alternative, somewhat more Chrome-like profile manager by typing "about:profiles" into the URL-bar.
I'm a FF user since the days of Phoenix but the profile management is something I've relied upon Chrome for in recent years.
That "create as many arbitrary profiles as you like!" feature is awesome for testing some kinds of web applications. Last year, I worked on an in-browser chat project. At some points I really needed to have 4-5 different users logged in simultaneously so I could send messages back and forth and track down some bugs.
Another common scenario: suppose you're developing, testing, or supporting a web application where the user experience differs depending on a user's permissions. Can be a lifesaver to have multiple browser windows, each using a different browser profile + app login, simultaneously. Rather than repeatedly logging in/out with a single browser window.
FF's Container Tabs are an interesting feature. They could get some adoption. Similar underlying technology I guess, but different (more restrictive) UI meant to guide users down a specific path. That's cool; hopefully it can be extended at some point to allow a set of arbitrary accounts to be created by devs, testers, support folks, and others.
But the ability to keep work and home separate - separate bookmarks, extensions, etc. is really valuable. And although it's possible with Firefox, it can still be a little quirky having to setup custom Windows shortcuts, etc.
I'll check out about:profiles. Not sure I've ever seen it.
Some issues though: instead of going for 'native', they still seem to feel like Firefox is a little planet of its own. It doesn't use macOS-style menus, nor transparency. Not that Chrome uses all macOS style elements, but it at least feels like it has had some effort put into making it feel at home on macOS. There's also some weird defaults / ignorance of convention: every browser launches a private window with cmd+shift+n, Firefox uses cmd+shift+p. There's still a separate search field next to an URL&search field. Probably a few more that I missed.
On the issues - what you listed is the eternal dilemma of cross-platform software. Balancing cross-platform behavior vs. platform-compliance.
There are choices that are just "Firefox-specific" like the shortcut to open private window.
Other items like "Gecko menus vs MacOS menus" are tradeoffs of productivity. Having one set of menus for all platforms is easier to maintain than separate for each.
Those choices are hard to make perfect. I've been recently fixing the drop-down menu lists styling  to allow websites to style some of it, while keeping it looking native when they don't. It's pretty tricky to get it right :)
And, wow does FF57 "feel" fast. Not sure if it's because I have Stylo enabled, or what, but the UI feels faster now. I'm not sure if I've felt that way about any other FF release. And I have used them all.
Let me be clear that these are minor annoyances and I respect the effort you guys do and am pretty amazed that you can make ground on a browser backed by a behemoth like Google.
I'm also pretty stoked for when you guys will have fully Servo'd Firefox, or have released Servo as a standalone product. When I tried Servo it was already oh-so-smooth :)
Also if you're a user who don't care about any particular platform and want just to use your trusty Firefox browser, it's annoying to learn different shortucts for the same thing in the browser on windows, linux, and macos.
Demo of The Sims Pie Menus:
Designing to Facilitate Browsing: A Look Back at the Hyperties Workstation Browser
By Ben Shneiderman, Catherine Plaisant, Rodrigo Botafogo, Don Hopkins, William Weiland.
Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory,
A.V. Williams Bldg., University of Maryland,
College Park MD 20742, U.S.A.
Pie menus to permit low cognitive load actions:
To avoid distraction of common operations such as page turning or window selection, pie menus were used to provide gestural input. This rapid technique avoids the annoyance of moving the mouse or the cursor to stationary menu items at the top or bottom of the screen.
3. PIE MENUS TO PERMIT LOW COGNITIVE LOAD ACTION
The Hyperties browser uses pie menus as accelerators, to make commonly used commands quickly and easily available. A pie menu is a type of pop up menu whose selections are laid out in a circle around the menu center (18). The menu pops up centered on the cursor, so that each selection is adjacent to the cursor but in a different direction (Figure 1 and 6). A selection is made by moving the cursor in the direction of the desired selection, and clicking. Experienced pie menu users can make selections from familiar menus quickly and reliably without even having to look at the menu, because the menu selection depends on the direction between the two mouse clicks that invoke and select from the menu. The distance of cursor motion does not effect the selection, but the further away from the center the cursor is, the more precise the control of the selection is.
The browser has a control panel at the bottom of the screen, with buttons showing the names of available commands, to turn the page, return to the previous article, show the index, etc. When users are browsing a document by pointing and clicking on highlighted text links in the main contents window, they move the cursor down to the bottom of the screen to press buttons in the control panel, and back up to continue browsing. The permanent display of those controls is important for the novice and occasional users. On the other hand, pop up menus reduce the distraction of moving the cursor by making these commands available wherever the cursor currently is. This reduces perceptual and motor load. Pie menus are arranged with their items in easy to remember directions. For example the BACK page turning commands are to the left (and the NEXT page is to the right) (Figure 6). This arrangement facilitates gestural input and encourages development of muscle memory. Experienced users can make gestural selections from these menus so comfortably and rapidly that it is often unnecessary to display the menu. This is called "mouse ahead display suppression", and its point is to reduce the perceptual distraction.
Wasn't Firefox (or even Mozilla) the first to have this feature and possibly even before there was any alternative?
If so, did this keyboard shortcut change in the new FF?
If not, then the 'convention' is whatever FF has always done, which the others then broke..
One is the location of the red/yellow/green titlebar buttons. Like FF, Safari eschews a traditional titlebar and puts those buttons level with the main browser chrome. (IMHO I think this is a good trade-off to make for a browser; I'm not complaining)
Two is Safari's scrolling behavior. It seems to use its own scrolling behavior, separate from the standard scrolling behavior provided by MacOS. I've tried a few apps that modify system-wide scrolling behavior, and they work everywhere but Safari. They make Safari's scrolling insanely twitchy, with a single click of the mousewheel causing Safari to scroll 10x or 100x faster than anything else on the system.
Other browsers don't have to have "undo close window" as a feature at all, so had the shortcut free for private browsing.
I really don't care which browser is #1 in speed tests. I don't care about integrations with social networks. I simply want a browser that I can configure the way I want!
Another suggestion : when you change something, even if you are 100% sure everybody will like it, please at least leave an "about:config" option that can revert that modification.
Sadly, I realized that, when Firefox is updated, I'm not trilled anymore to see what new features are included, I'm instead anxious to see what has been changed/removed!
The "legacy" Firefox extension API is powerful because it reaches its tentacles into every corner of the internals of the browser. Keeping that API stable involves freezing a large amount of internal architecture and behavior.
Firefox needs to evolve if it's going to live, and it can't evolve in the ways that it needs to if so much of its internals are effectively frozen. It's a painful drag on development, slowing things down and preventing necessary changes.
I'm not even going to get into the problems with the API itself except to say that it had many, including widespread dependencies on synchronous behavior.
Mozilla's sacred-cow-level commitment to preserving legacy extension support is a big reason why Chrome beat Firefox on so many technical levels for so long. It ate up a ton of developer time, held off or killed critical architectural changes, was the cause of a lot of crashes, hangs, memory leaks, security problems... Thank goodness that's about to be over.
I'm sorry that you'll miss it but this is a really important step. Mozilla is doing a great job with WebExtensions, I suspect you'll be happy with how things shake out in the end.
Wouldn't it be better to offer a legacy addon API shim - old addons would still work even on new Firefox.
Look, I get it. You have your extensions and you don't want to see them go away. But you're a tiny niche and even other power users don't use these extensions that you find essential. Certainly the vast majority of users rarely install extensions at all. Mozilla is doing the right thing and an entire thread praising the performance of the latest version vindicates their approach.
Where is the next Servo based browser? Instead of refactoring the 20year old mess (with COM and XML), the should focus 99% on Rust and Servo, and finally release a stable build with a lightweight HTML5 UI (Vivaldi).
Well, you answered your own question. Clearly they have a userbase that will stay with them out of inertia or loyalty. These users can now benefit from the improvements in the latest release. If they released a new browser, few people if any would try it out because of inertia. The lack of users would kill the product pretty quickly.
Of course, some users who rely on old addons will be left behind, but they have the option to use Firefox Extended Support Release, which will get security updates. Eventually the extensions situation will sort itself out and these few users can move to the main release.
That's Firefox. Many of the components in Firefox 57 are taken from Servo.
You're in the minority then. The majority of users care, a lot, about speed, and Firefox is visibly slower than Chrome, probably one of the main reasons it has lost so much share.
Personally I care about both, that's why I am so conflicted about this update. But it's disingenuous to assume this is an unwarrented regression. You cannot get better in terms performance while keeping the extension system as it is. This reworking is necessary for Firefox to even compete wit Chrome. I understand the dillema but this is far from clear-cut one way or the other.
The majority of users care, a lot, about speed
1. Benchmarks are important, but aren't always the best reflection of actual performance, either real or perceived. Subjectively, Safari on Mac and Edge on Windows "feel" fastest to me even though benchmarks say otherwise. Within reason, that's what typical end users care about: "feel" vs. benchmarks. (FWIW, Firefox is my main browser; I'm not telling anybody to use Safari or Edge)
1a. Chrome benchmarks the best, but it also uses the most memory due to its multiprocess model, so for users on memory-constrained devices (particularly with spinning HDDs, where swap's going to be really slow) I'm not convinced reality always lines up with benchmarks here
2. The user's network connection is still usually the biggest factor.
3. I don't think actual site content's getting much heavier. All this extra browser performance is just getting soaked the hell up by heavier and heavier ads. So I can't get as excited about browser performance as I used to.
The added extensibility, while nice, was mostly an afterthought. The only extension I'll miss is cliget, and hopefully it can be added back eventually.
For instance neither "classic" top tabs nor a side list/tree is the "best" or "right" way to design a tab selector. Some users will prefer one, others the other. You should give them choice.
I think building support for a choice about something like tab placement is a waste of time and code - I don't understand why people can't adapt to one way or the other and then we all benefit from simpler code with fewer bugs.
I don't think we need to decide if top or side tabs are better, because I can't see how it matters much. Just pick one, hard code it, and everyone get on with the things that matter.
I spend several hours every day on a browser, switching tabs hundreds of times. I am measurably and subjectively more efficient with side tabs than top tabs. Why is this something that doesn't matter? It's not trivial, I literally cannot browse without side tabs without getting annoyed. It's absolutely not a waste of time and code if it's important to people.
Not really a "configurable option" but very close to it, it achieves the same goal and has been released along with the Backspace modification.
That's just your opinion—which I guess the Firefox devs and most users don't share.
Customizability is a very useful feature for many people.
After about two hours of trying, we were unable to produce a working build from a tagged release point in their version control - even before applying any changes.
I'm hoping the new tooling works better.
I'm also happy to say that we actually did improve our build chain. I have a build env for Firefox on Mac, Windows and Linux and it all works quite smoothly.
The only issue is that full compilation takes time (30 minutes on my laptop).
Fortunately we also now have Artifact Builds which allow you to hack on the front-end JS code without having to rebuild the C++ backend .
It's just a ./mach build after checking out the code and running the bootstrap script.
The Linux x86_64 build experience has worked very well on Ubuntu for many years. These days you don't even need to copy and paste the apt incantations: ./mach bootstrap takes care of that.
a. You're getting a less powerful set of APIs in Chrome than in Firefox, even with WebExtensions being used by both.
b. You're supporting a browser by a major corporation that is already number one anyway and has a IE-style chokehold on the web, giving them even more power is not the best solution, helping Mozilla make the new APIs as close in power to the old ones would be a better alternative in my opinion.
Again, it's everybody's personal choice and am not saying what anyone should be doing, just found it curious that many consider switching to WebKit/Blink to be the solution, where they won't get more power and give Mozilla even less of a say in terms of web standards and just having a decent alternative to WebKit.
I'm sorry, but I decided to stick with Firefox 55 for now, possibly switching to Palemoon later. I need my old extensions to work: Status4Evar, EdgeWise and Classic Theme Restorer. I can't stand the current FF UI and I will not give up on this.
Dear Mozilla developers!
I've been using Firefox as my daily driver nearly non-stop since it was Phoenix and I'm totally cool with you dropping the legacy stuff.
Prove them wrong!
I’ve been using Firefox as my standard browser since 0.9.3 (except for a year or so when it was run-a-browser-from-a-USB-disk-or-use-IE and Firefox was just too terribly slow, so I used Chrome—by the next year Firefox had fixed its game and I could switch back), and for the last few years Nightly has been my standard browser.
I get why you’re dropping the legacy stuff and I’m looking forward to what’s possible after it’s gone. When the announcement came out in November last year that WebExtensions would be the only way come 57, I was intensely sceptical that it’d be ready within a year (no one was using it at that time) and prepared for a deal of pain: I’d just have to live with it, come November. (It’s not like I have any better options in mainstream browsers; they’re all hopeless with even only twenty tabs.)
You’ve proven me wrong, and I’m delighted. I was able to replace all my legacy extensions with WebExtensions ones with minimal loss of functionality (I miss the ability to style the chrome with Stylish, not that I was actually using it for anything other than shaving half pixels off here and there on my high-DPI screen). My Dad (also a programmer) is still grumbling about some status bar thing that broke a short while ago, but we went through his extensions and came to the conclusion that it’s really not that bad—the extensions that stop working at 57 were ones he didn’t use, or ones where there are already good alternatives available or a clear plan for the changeover.
(The fact that in several cases I did have to swap out one extension for another was a mild nuisance, but as a Nightly user I’m doing this a few months before everyone will have to, so I expected it.)
All in all, I’m happy with how things have gone and impressed at how well the migration is going. All that I really want now is to be able to hide the horizontal tab strip in favour of my vertical tab bar. And it looks like https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1332447 is almost there. (It’d also be good if file: URLs didn’t mess with said vertical tab bar something awful, but as I haven’t filed any bugs about that yet or investigated to find existing reports I’m not allowed to complain.)
And yes, it is to some degree subjective whether this is worth it, but at the end of the day, you, as someone who uses lots of extensions and complex extensions, are only a very small fraction of the Firefox user base. Most users have no extensions or just the obligatory ad blocker. They don't benefit at all from keeping onto the old architecture with all of its problems, which they are suffering under.
And then, yeah, Mozilla has to at some point piss you off in order to help the majority of their user base. It's not like all other browsers had such a complex extension API and Mozilla is just being lazy by dropping it.
Of the extensions you listed, the largest (Classic Theme Restorer) is only used by 333,000 people while the smallest (Edgewise) is only used by 218 people.
Mozilla should find a way of moving forward while keeping the code open enough to modding. AFAIK, features offered by these extensions that I use are not implementable in WebExtensions even in principle, and that is the main problem. Break the compatibility if you must, but make it possible for someone who cares enough to step in and rewrite these extensions to the new architecture.
I'd argue that many of the users that choose Firefox over Chrome do so for the fact that Firefox is 100% open source and isn't tied to an advertising giant trying to capture tons of extra private data from you. This won't change that. It will mean you can't change the layout of the entire Firefox window and add tons of new custom buttons and things like that. But most users don't care about that.
For the niche that can't stand using a UI they can't fully customize, they're free to use a slower and less secure browser that continues to support XUL and the associated extensions while still keeping up to date with at least the slower Firefox ESR branch of renderer underneath. Pale Moon, for example.
doesn't sound like an "only" to me.
Plenty of those long-time users giving advice to the young-uns are more than happy yo sacrifice a small part of firefox for big improvements elsewhere.
I've seen plenty of my favorite software projects have to make "hard breaks" to modernize. KDE broke everything with Qt5 / Plasma 5, but the payoff is now they are the premier high DPI Linux desktop. Python broke everything with 3, but features enabled by the changes have made Python 3 the best scripting language ever in my book.
Firefox would be doomed to a slow death with its legacy extensions API the same way PHP and Perl languished for years with the inability to push a major version. A slow death is not a downfall anyone wants.
Per Mozilla, aside from security problems and other nightmares, these deep hooks allowed developers to write plugins that were incompatible with a multiprocess browser architecture where each tab/window can have its own sandbox and remain responsive even if other tabs go down.
And that is one of the killer features that has caused FF to bleed massive amounts of user share to Chrome in the last decade: Chrome almost always "felt fast" in situations where FF ground to an embarassing halt because something was happening in another tab/window that was causing the entire browser to become unresponsive.
I don't know what precisely is missing from the new WebExtensions API but I have to imagine that Mozilla will work to expand its capabilities as much as possible over time...
The Add-on SDK was supposed to fix the "deep hooks" problem and is mostly multiprocess-compatible. As far as I know, most currently maintained XUL extensions are multiprocess-compatible, too.
It's sad they will deprecate the old extension interface and make Vimperator a no-no. I understand the reasons behind WebExtensions, specially those related to security, and reckon the benefits of the multiprocess paradigm, but the flexibility of the old extensions API was a big advantage in my pov.
No, Vimperator won't be ported (I wish it could), because WebExtensions is a much more limited API. And no, Vimium and VimFx doesn't come even close to it. They are not alternatives.
If there is anything to make either Mozilla hear this use case more, or contribute anywhere to make Vimperator a possibility for the future, I would be happy to do my part.
What does vimperator do that vimium and vimfx can't?
It would be interesting to see what percentage of their long time users use more than 1 or 2 add ons (I have 4 installed and only really use 2 of them).
The real question is for me is how many users haven't moved onto Chrome -- which is obviously faster and more stable -- because of 1 or 2 add-ons.
Frankly if they arnt using extensions they are going to have a vastly better user experience on chrome, and google has infinity manpower to always ensure thats the case.
So what is firefox gaining by becomming a crappier chrome? Why the hell wouldnt I just use chrome at that point, because I feel so great about mozilla, who regularly brushes me off when i try to take advantage of things unique to firefox?
P.S FF is now not a crappier version of Chrome but Chrome is crappier if you don't have powerful hardware or RAM (mine's hardly 2 GB and everything sucks a lot though its only 4 years old)
I'll ride out FF 56 until I decide where to go next but honestly the many times in the past it has felt FF has ignored the requests of long term users, coupled with lack of differentiation from Chrome, I'm not sure I have much reason to stick around.
Kudos to the team for all the hard work improving the FF core. But you're about to abandon that which kept long term users like myself here through all those rough years. Makes me sad.
I don't mind WebExtensions, and cross-browser compatibility is a nice goal, but a half-baked system that breaks the most important distinguishing feature of Firefox (extensions that can modify any part of the browser) is ridiculous.
Still undecided what to do after june 2018. I guess I'll just try firefox and chrome side by side and move to chrome if there is no real difference. It is probably more convinient to migrate to chrome, since it is on the phone by default too.
Yes it's a change but it serves a good purpose - to standardize the extension development and making sure that 1 extension can be running on multiples browsers e.g. Firefox, Opera, Edge, etc..
Yes, it's a good purpose to have a standard base. It's bad, though, that nothing besides the blessed parts are officially customizable anymore.
Previously, extensions had messed up with anything they wanted (they could override most of the browser's core). That had allowed third parties to do incredible things that weren't ever considered by the browser developers.
With WEs, though, the only things that browser developers had specifically thought about are possible. All for user's convenience, so they can switch to Chrome, Edge or Opera.
Vendors have learned that if they fail to provide this protection, the average user will blame them directly, not the extension that makes memory usage bloat 6x. The solution is to enforce stringent controls, including limiting modifiable parts of the experience to some well-defined areas.
Nah, it's the other way(s) around - it's for [longterm] developer convenience; so users don't have to switch to another browser because an add-on they need isn't available in FF.
In a few more releases I really won't have any concrete reason to recommend FF over Chrome anymore (and no, 99% of users outside of this forum don't care about memory usage and keeping 100 tabs open at the same time)
So like this ? The title bar isn't blue, but neither is any other title bar on Windows 10.
To achieve this on Nightly I opened the Customize view, switched the theme to "Light", checked the "Title bar" checkbox, and enabled "Menu bar" under the "Toolbars" dropdown. Tabs have squared edges by default.
It's not part of a plugin, though, I had to patch something manually (I never remember what and have to re-google it every time).
Square tabs have been back for a while now. The Compact Light and Compact Dark themes are included in Firefox by default. Set the theme in Add-ons Manager -> Appearance.
I use Compact Light.
And I've just copied the legacy `firstname.lastname@example.org` non-WE addon there - and it worked ;)
I'm sure they're going to plug this "hole" shut, but it's still there. As well as patching omni.ja.
The important part is ability to replace (overlay) chrome resources, patching/extending the browser code. I hope that's going to stay for a while.
Now there is no requirement to keep them stable even across the patch-level releases. Whenever things would break faster or at the same pace is unknown.
The Mozilla-supplied legacy extensions continue to function, because Mozilla is updating them as they make changes to the internals of Firefox. So, I imagine maintaining such a legacy extension is now as much work as it is to just directly contribute and maintain the feature in Firefox's codebase.
: "extensions.legacy.enabled" in about:config. This won't be shipped in Stable, though, and will likely be taken out from Firefox Nightly soon or with the release of Firefox 57.
Unfortunately Mozilla has rushed the transition, and there hasn't been enough time to add important APIs and for developers to update their extensions. Firefox 57 is on the verge of being released, and there are still many addons which aren't webextension compatible.
Oh, and good news, the ui you dislike is going away.
Then the simple way forward is to make your own browser, isn't it? Use an embeddable engine which does all the hard work for you and focus on making the UI the way you insist it must be. It really could be a single developer project.
So why not just do that?
I wonder what the telemetry says about those plugins. If it shows a minority, than Mozilla many not give it a thought at all.
I'm always concerned of this happening to other large-scale independent FOSS projects. Special interests tend to take over without some benevolent dictator.
I might as well switch to MSIE as update to 57.
FireGestures -> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxy-gestures...
SDC -> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-autode...
It'll take a bit for the new generation of extensions to fully replace the old one, but it's happening.
I'm not sure what browser I'm going to use to be honest. All the hotkey browsers are buggy as hell since they use qtwebkit, webkitgtk, qt-webengine and whatnot. Chrome has extensions like cvim which sort of work, but they suffer from issues like not being able to properly hook keys and properly notify the user about the state you're in making me frequently make mistakes on what I want to do. As the sibling said a poor imitation of what was possible before.
If firefox just immitates chrome, what's the point in having it? How about trying to eat some of IE's lunch by making enterprise customization a first class citizen? But then again not sure if that matters. And yes I'm aware of GPO, but calling that first class citizen is disingenuous at best.
The more I read, the more APIs turn out to be missing or buggy, making it impossible for add-ons to be made (if the developer is active in the first place). I just don't understand this. Firefox was built on the extendible principle and they're now going back to "v0.2 beta" in that regard.
This process should have taken years to mature the new APIs before dropping support for the old method.
Notice that major bump in August 2016 and after? Firefox 48 was released on the 2nd August 2016. This was the first release to ship the new multiprocess architecture. And this new architecture also already required breaking all extensions.
They could not have shipped it this early without knowing that the switch to WebExtensions will cut off the multiprocess-incompatible extensions.
And they needed to get multiprocess shipped. Had that graph continued as in the half year before that, we would now have negative user numbers.
I would love to help but being an amateur I've encountered a few pain points, unless the issue is my search skills are lacking. A few days ago I finally updated my Firefox version on Debian 9 to the developer version 56 (previous 54). The problem has been finding documentation on both the Debian and Mozilla websites on how to do it the right way. Found a decent tutorial, made a back up, installed and my machine is working much better. It is old and got little memory :)
Then FF said there was an update. I got stumped. From what I could find FF sync has a limit of X bytes. I ended up looking into making a web extension but that's going to take me some time. It seems I could save the open tabs using Tabs.tab from the API, maybe. Sorry, I digress.
In short, how can I have two FF versions on at the same time, different directories obviously, with their respective icons, while manually updating them? I guess it would be to delete all the files in the dir, unpacking, and call it a day? Still need help with the two versions though.
If you read all of this, thank you.
Queue the FF is not tread safe jokes (and only that, not a flame).
OP: you can use Firefox Sync. There is a cloud version by Mozilla but also a WSGI app you could host. I know it is not a 100% solution, but what was recommended to me when I asked during FF alpha and beta testing with stable way back when.
I lack the necesary knowledge on how to correctly install two different FF versions and have them accesible with their respective icons. In my case, FF dev version and the one discussed in the article to help out with bug testing/development.
The issue is since I'm on Debian, auto update does not work. From my limited understanding, I would need to install FF 57 in its own directory. For this one I don't need a profile. But I don't know how to install it and have it accesible either by command line or the FF icon that comes with the browser since I already have my main FF I want to keep.
The second part is regarding the profile, sync with the other browser I recently installed.... I was about to go down a mental rabbit hole :)
The problem is, the lack of noob friendly documentation. I know I could figure it out if I research the issue through different topics on Linux administration. I was hoping that maybe someone knew of a tutorial which talked about the different steps on how to install Firefox on a nix system, explaining the different concepts as if I were a five year old. The best I've managed to find is a tutorial laying out the steps. But it didn't explain the concepts behind those steps.
That tutorial mentioned how to replace debians FF from the repo. But whenever a new version comes out I would need to delete it and unpack the new one, linking it to the old icon.
I hope it's clear now. Thanks for the reply.
I literally just downloaded the zip file (or maybe a .deb?) and unzipped it in a directory in my desktop. All I had to do after that was make sure I didn't have both browsers open, and everything worked properly. They both used the same profile, and the tabs I opened in nightly were available in stable and vice versa.
I did nothing more than unzip the browser, and everything works perfectly.
Not sure if you are looking something like this, but OneTab extension it's pretty useful to me.
The only option seems to switch to the ESR version, at least for a while it will work.
Sorry Mozilla - for the reasons expressed above, 56 will be the last version of your browser I'm able to effectively use given the demands of my browser workflow. If my use-case no longer fits your business case, then we will part ways.
Currently, it looks like my best options are either Waterfox (with its pledge of continued XUL extension support), or Vivaldi.
I can't imagine Waterfox or Pale Moon being able to keep XUL extensions alive for much longer. It was a major maintenance burden for Mozilla, so it's pretty much an impossible task for the comparatively tiny developer teams behind those.
Having said that, Firefox 52 ESR is still supported until June 26, 2018. So, you could use that. And the Waterfox + Pale Moon devs could base themselves on that until its EOL.
Firefox ESR is pointless - it's just delaying the inevitable. I tried Midori, but it runs poorly on KDE. Palemoon is pretty bad - I tried it and it doesn't properly support existing XUL extensions that work fine in Firefox, so it's a no-go in my book. Waterfox, on the other hand, is fast, works exactly like Firefox, and is at least willing to give continued XUL support a shot.
So, it's Vivaldi or Waterfox as best I can figure at this point.
Edit: Found some images http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/08/08/mozillas-new-photon-...
I just noticed, it recolors my system stsusbar too. So, it's white on white while FF is open. Everywhere else it's black.
Do hope there's an option to change it soon
It's a great way to test out the features in a lower risk fashion. You can do the same with Beta, Dev, and ESR channels as well.
Listen, I don't care whether features that I need don't fit the WebExtensions security model or whether they are confusing to a clueless user. If you can't support these features as part of WebExtensions, please design a separate set of APIs. Fine with me if you market extensions targeting these lower-level APIs as "dangerous, use at your own risk".
It's not enabled on Mac, where there is a native print preview available from the print dialog: you can fiddle with the settings, then "Open PDF in Preview". Is it possible you're on Mac?
Now, I have to patch omni.ja every single time I get update to Firefox from Arch Linux, to disable signature verification. I can automate it a bit, although it's not a robust solution, because I'm patching some JS code that can change at any time.
Beta is not an option, because I don't want it for regular use and it is not in Arch Linux repositories anyway, so I can't get it either.
I don't get it. It's still possible to disable signature verification with little effort (one line change) programmatically from outside of Firefox, yet power users have to jump through stupid hoops in order to continue using their browser the way they want.
I wish fight against malware/malicious extensions was not also inconveniencing power users.
Congratulations. This is definitely a huge step forward. The UI finally looks as good as the other guys, and it's fast, too!
If you had finally figured out that private mode's UI is too similar to the normal one, too, I'd even be amazed (let me help you: make the address bar and tabs dark instead of light).
>You can still personalize Firefox with add-ons the same way you do now, except they won’t break in new Firefox releases.
This is a bald faced fucking lie. And I don't mean that in the "sorta misleading" sense, I mean that somebody wrote something that they knew was false and 'outta be slapped for it.
57 is getting pushed out the door with missing functionality, and that is an absolute fact. You absolutely "can not still personalize Firefox the same way you do now", because you're taking that away from everyone without having the replacements ready!
I can sorta understand the reason to kill XUL/XPCOM, but what I can't understand is this desire to drop it on the world come November before all the bits are in place yet.
Guys, Firefox isn't going to turn into a pumpkin if you let it cook for another few months.
On another note, all companies have a resource that they may not be aware of. It's called "good will". Mozilla is burning prodigious amounts of theirs:
* Between the CEO drama,
* the UI rewrite that was apparently received so badly it's getting reverted 4 years later
* the forced addon signing,
* the telemetry dark patterns,
* the forced addon breakage...
* the junk like Pocket, Hello, and VR APIs recieving nontrivial amounts of developer attention while stuff people actually use like print preview and SSL is either ignored or have years old debilitating bugs
And what to show for it? Pissed off users, and an also-ran niche browser with almost no tangible competitive advantage (and in fact, a mounting number of disadvantages)
I've got no faith in this company anymore. Eventually, there is going to be a "Mozilla foundation shutting down" topic at the top of this site, and the people making the decisions are going to be completely blindsided as to why.
What ever is going on in their management, they give a shit about the Firefox and Thunderbird community. The last 5 years they did so many stupid things. It's time to close Mozilla corp and turn it back to a real open source community project. It's time to fork, like Firefox forked of Mozilla Suite. I have no faith that Mozilla going anywhere, in a few months we will read a post mortem of how the managed to loose 30% world wide browser market share in 2 years.
I thought 57 was dumping XUL completely. Wasn't that a major point of 57?
There are some long-term investigations into using HTML/JS/CSS for the UI , but for the moment, the performance difference is still too much.
(I checked the browser.html issue tracker but most of their perf bugs seemed to be resolved.)
That was a few years ago, results may be obsolete, of course.
Someone (working now at Apple) wrote a super fast list component in HTML for Firefox OS so this can definitely be done.
This is just a guess on my part.
I seem to recall that one of the big "optimizations" that FF did compared to the mozilla suite (these days known as Seamonkey) was to translate a bunch of UI elements into native equivalents rather than drawing it all from XUL.
Thus replacing that with HTML may well be closer to reverting to the pre-FF XUL way.
Think about it this way: the transition away from XUL means the UI code (and more) is going to be very unstable for awhile. Thus addon authors would need to be continually rewriting their code for each update to keep up with the changes. It's better to bite the bullet now and switch to a more stable api.
There are some people (like me) who use firefox because of addons that can't be supported on other browsers due to the lack of API support, so it's a bit disappointing if they're going to pull the rug from under those addons. If they do, they might see people leave for another browser.
For reference, the addon in question for me is Tabs Mix Plus.
But the core APIs are the same as Chrome's. The implementation might not yet always be perfect, but the APIs themselves are stable. So, for the vast majority of add-on developers, the experience will already be much less burdensome. Or it will be in the future.
Yes, some add-ons will not happen or might only be possible long after the release of Firefox 57. But they're not going back on that plan. They haven't just forbidden these extensions for funsies. They've very much already used the opportunity to rip out tons of legacy code and refactor things that they could have never refactored before without breaking tons of add-ons each time. At this point, there's very few legacy extensions left that still function in Firefox Nightly, even if you tell it to load them.
Not to mention that this has helped them to speed Firefox up by a significant factor. All the performance improvements since Firefox 48 would not have been made without this deprecation on the horizon.
And considering that a significant chunk of Firefox users use no extension or just the obligatory ad blocker (or any set of extensions that's going to be easily replaceable with WebExtensions), this is also very much the decision that has to be made when asking yourself what's best for users.
As for people possibly leaving Firefox when their favorite extensions stop working, yes, that's possible, but Firefox's market share has been growing again since Firefox 48, and there's also just the fact that Firefox is still going to be the browser with the most powerful extension API.
You're not getting more extensions by switching. You'd have to be fine with even less extensions in exchange for maybe a particular feature that you like in another browser.
You have basicly told us all "your problems dont exist, dont matter, or we dont care, deal with it"
I'm done with firefox post 56.
I have no problem with you being sad about these add-ons going away. I do have a problem with you acting like what Mozilla does is completely unreasonable and objectively bad for users.
And due to jilted lover syndrome, I feel compelled to post in threads like this one saying so. Heh.
Maintaining two interface languages doesn't make much sense in the long term.
XPCOM is another independent technology https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Tech/XPCOM.
They are disabling the direct access from extensions to apis used by browser itself (that is access to XUL _and_ XPCOM), to be able to modify the browser ui without worrying about breaking extensions, with the goal to remove XUL eventually.
Its great to see they are going to drive firefox off a cliff with yet another anti-user decision.
The situation with popular extensions has improved, but there is going to be a lot of pain, especially with XUL functionality that they refuse to implement in WebExtensions.
The question is how much the extensions can do, in the old model they could do anything firefox code could do, in WebExtensions model, they can do only very limited set of things.
On one hand it is quite sad to see firefox extensions go, on the other hand the old model was a maintenance hell both for firefox developers and for addon developers, because smallest changes in firefox ui were breaking bunch of addons, and even changes in addons themselves were breaking other addons, which all had incompatibilities and had to do lots of subtle hacks to work together.
I have worked on firefox addons for several years, and had to quit firefox when they started ignoring addons and investing in old addon sdk. But saying Mozilla is intentionally killing firefox is not fair the whole thing was shaky and full of hacks and would crumble by itself too.
What they should do now, is splitting their ui from the engine, so that advanced users can hack on the ui and get all the benefits of old addon system without the mess. If they fail to do that brave browser with https://github.com/brave/muon will take that niche.
And no, it's certainly not just an administrative deadline. For now, you can still tell Firefox Nightly to install legacy extensions, the vast majority of them are just by now completely broken, because Mozilla is ripping out all of that legacy code and refactoring what's left.
Here's a list of all of the things that they can get rid of: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1347507
It's true it's still there, but I think the plan is using it less and less. No new UIs are written in it and many things have been rewritten from XUL to HTML5. Eventually it could be removed entirely.
Its amusing to me that mozilla expects everyone else to be moved off XUL, but not their own code because it has legitimate reasons....
Hilariously, dispite the pro-privacy stance mozilla pretends at, they want to start tracking urls visited
Why keep using firefox? Because I love Mozilla so much when they clearly have zero interest in my needs as a user?
You can even contribute to them without a Firefox clone, they're an entirely separate repo that contains a webpage that can be run in both Firefox or Chrome as a regular website and used to debug both. It's fun!
Debugger.html repo: https://github.com/devtools-html/debugger.html
Example of a network timeline.
I get a better representation of the timeline waterfall in Chrome.
Like I said, the tools are almost there.
Are we going to get a browser that caters to our own needs? No, evidently power users are no longer the target demographic.
Are we going to make a browser that we can recommend to our nontechie friends? No, I don't trust them to navigate all the opt-outs and dark patterns around your telemetry. I don't even trust myself to never misclick.
Is contributing going to win us goodwill from our collegues? No, you've alienated them too.
Is this about ideology, then? Are we building a browser for a better world? ..it would be much more convincing if you guys didn't fire your CEO over political speech.
And that's where we're at right now. Maybe the 97% or whatever non-addon-using demographic in your telemetry data will make up the shortfall in contributions.
Just remembered that about:config exists and disabled the vanishing menu.
> How can we best contribute to the total removal and scrapping of WebExtensions in favor of a more robust XUL development environment?
I don't know if that would be possible. We're moving a lot of XUL around these days and we'll be moving even more, hopefully to HTML soon.
You'd have to gain trust in the community as a reliable person willing to maintain and keep relentlessly updating your addons APIs as the UI of Firefox moves underneath it.
> How can we contribute to Firefox not becoming another meaningless Chrome clone like Opera or Vivaldi?
I assume by "another clone" you refer to the fact that we're switching to WebExtensions which is a system shared with other browsers.
In that case, pick any of the bugs here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1215059 and help us extend the API surface to support more features :)
> Because that's what I think would be the best success of Firefox, long-term.
I agree! We already support more APIs in WebExtensions than any other engine as far as I know. And we only started.
After thirteen loyal years with Firefox as my primary browser they finally forced me away. Bye, Mozilla.
Works great on my nightly installation, but have fun with Vivaldi.
The only issue is that you have to clone whole mozilla-central even if you only work with small part of it.
But once you pull it, the building and hacking on it is quite easy :)
It is however still very close to a clone & bootstrap & build process, at least on Linux and Mac - i.e. one of the better projects. (For comparison, I recently tried to build Facebook's Infer, and that was even worse than building OpenOffice back in the day.)
If you do want to tweak the native code it should just be ./mach boostrap + ./mach build, but it's entirely possible you'll have trouble with that.
At least that is how it feels to me after having spent some years using a distro that is a fair bit more hands on than most.
The worst offender I've encountered has been android. The initial checkout is like +100GB, and it has incredibly poor fault tolerance. Based on my experience, it fails regularly at random points, requiring you to re-fetch everything. Despite multi-day efforts, I've never managed to build a ROM for my Nexus 5X or Pixel.
If you live in the EU, submit a complaint to your local data privacy official, in Germany those are the Landesdatenschutzbauftragten and Bundesdatenschutzbeauftragten, for example, you can find the ones for Schleswig-Holstein here: https://www.datenschutzzentrum.de/impressum/.
Submit a complaint today, so that a legal process against Mozilla can happen before they implement this.
(6) The collection, processing and use of special types of personal data (Section 3 (9)) for own commercial purposes shall be admissible when the data subject has not consented in accordance with Section 4a (3) if
4. this is necessary for the purposes of scientific research, where the scientific interest in carrying out the research project substantially outweighs the data subject's interest in excluding collection, processing and use and the purpose of the research cannot be achieved in any other way or would otherwise necessitate disproportionate effort.
IANAL. Everyone may draw their own conclusions.
> The collection, processing and use of special types of personal data (Section 3 (9))
BDSG Section 3 (9) says:
> (9) “Special categories of personal data” means information on a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical convictions, union membership, health or sex life.
This exception does not apply to behaviourial tracking, such as the list of the visited domains.
This is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer.
If you don't collect any data, all the data you collect will be practically anonymous.
So I hope I will be surprised and Firefox finally made some revolutionary changes.
Btw. it's even worse on Android, you will hardly find slower browser + there is no pull down to refresh page which is showstopper for me and even with plugins there was no way to implement it.
That and Mozilla's search for "anonymized personal data" kill the benefits of using Firefox in the first place, which for most people is to avoid using Chrome/Chromium, made by a conglomerate advertisement company. Just last week, I updated to 56 beta and despite disabling Pocket in my about:config, advertisements for news companies (Wired, etc) were displayed thanks to Pocket's "popular news articles" section in my previously blank New Tab page! Even Chrome does not force bundled software like Pocket, despite their stronger incentives for doing so.
I downloaded nightly 57 and it gave me a preview of how bad the extension situation really is. It's like a forced downgrade to a completely different browser, so why not switch to something entirely different at that point? This is what I'll be forced to do, after certificates expire in a few years in the then-out-of-date stable 56 distribution.
Extensions scare me. They're a huge potential invasion of privacy, especially with recent hijackings of Chrome extensions in the store.
I'm also more confident that Mozilla will always listen to users, and give us the necessary opt-outs. I really don't trust Google as much.
As for the opt outs, this may be true for most things, but I am not able to opt entirely out of Pocket's "Recommended by Pocket" trending adverts, nor am I able to turn off Firefox's addon signing requirement to develop or try new addons from GitHub, unless I download a tweaked build version of Firefox.
I found a status update from the e10s meeting from Jun 2nd - https://wiki.mozilla.org/E10s/Status/June2
It indicates that over 60% of beta users had e10s activated which can only be activated for users who don't use old extensions. Based on the telemetry data it seems that only 3% were not eligible.
I'm not involved in e10s project so I don't know the details and updates, but I believe that the number of users affected is actually quite low (which doesn't mean irrelevant, just that majority of users won't be affected).
> As for the opt outs, this may be true for most things, but I am not able to opt entirely out of Pocket's "Recommended by Pocket" trending adverts
In the home tab? The icon on the top-right corner allows you to uncheck the "Recommended by Pocket" and "extensions.pocket.enabled" about:config option allows you turn off pocket completely.
Now, that we own Pocket, I hope we'll merge it more seamlessly into Firefox Accounts because I feel like the sole fact that it uses it's own brand name makes it feel like Firefox comes with a separate piece of software bundled.
Can you try restarting the browser, and if it doesn't help, file a bug pls?
That isn't the case. See the FAQ: https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebExtensions/FAQ
What's not to like about the Google browser's useless address bar that's main functionality is to direct you to Google Search at every available opportunity instead of being helpful? I bet Firefox users can't wait to get that!
My only exception would be scratching my own itches, but here they're asking for help with company goals.
So, it's not "asking for help", it's informing how you can help.
I'm also not "begging for contributors" or asking to help with "company goals", I'm suggesting ways to help with our current major release. If we're successful, it should make the whole Web better thanks to bringing more competition and choice to the user.
Major open source projects are actually fun to work with for many people. They're very challenging not just because of problems you solve, but also because of the massive project culture and technical infrastructure in place that you learn in the process.
That learning helps people grow as engineers.
Also the feeling that you made an impact on the lives of millions of users is quite awesome.
For others, they're already Firefox users and it's just about fixing a bug that was itching them.
So, generally speaking, there are reasons to help major open source projects, even if they can afford to hire full time engineers as well.
Two side notes:
1) We're way, way smaller than all our competitors. The number of engineers that Google, Apple and Microsoft can hire to work on their browser engines is significantly higher than what Mozilla can do. We can't compete and never will be able to. That's why, beside of our culture and Mozilla Manifesto, we rely on our ability to attract contributors.
2) It's a chicken and egg. Keeping the project really open (not technically open as in - we'll dump the source code to github every once in a while), requires continuous effort. Having a healthy community of contributors is important for our project culture to stay open. If people stop contributing, some things will naturally decay into less open state making it harder in the future for new contributors to come in. And I'm not even talking about code only. Mozilla's marketing, engineering, privacy, security, UX and other projects are working in the open.
But fundamentally, Firefox decisions are made by Mozilla employees, to further the goals of the Mozilla company (which makes money from those decisions - sure, to be hopefully reinvested). Firefox isn't like those other large open source projects where the codebase and thus decisions are owned by many independent (and mostly commercial) entities. Outside contributors have very little say in the product, so I wouldn't say its any better for people to contribute to Firefox vs e.g. Chrome. I.e. Mozilla wants their code - but in the many cases that have become publicised it doesn't seem like Mozilla wants their opinions.
(This is probably just the reality of end-user facing software projects with major UX components. But it's still sad to see contributors being invited in when they'll be ignored in the decision-making.)
// Edit: and it looks like fabrice_d made pretty much the same point while I was writing my comment : )
I think there's a deeper debate that Mitchell is running over the last few years at Mozilla, and that's how to find a balance between "your voice is heard" and "someone is making a decision".
If you voiced your opinion, and the decision has been made that is not in line with it, it's very easy to feel that "my voice didn't matter. Mozilla doesn't want my opinion".
I believe that it's a fallacy of communication.
So, in total. Sure, as the project grows and priorities change, we get to a more structured way of making decisions. It's getting harder for a casual contributor to steer the decision in a completely different direction.
But I do not believe that it's any different from Fedora, Wikipedia, Gnome, KDE, Wordpress or any other open source tech.
When you're a 10-person github project, it's easy to say that anyone can file an issue and change the course of it. When you're a multihundred million users project with 20 years of legacy code, and thousands of contributors, it is harder to see the connection between your opinion and the result.
But I do believe that if you gain trust in the community, and use the right forums (and I realize that finding the right forum to voice your opinion is not easy), you do have an impact.
Even if the final decision is not in line with it, which will happen, unless you and the decision owners are always 100% correct.
Tons of decisions mozilla makes are taken dispite generally negative outside feedback, usually with a vauge convoluted justification with some metric.
Its ok to do what you think is best and right, but if you want an open participation from the outside, its best to not to ignore the feedback users give (note telemetry metrics arnt feedback, especially when interpreted with an agenda, stuff dosent always measure what you think it does). The entire conversation process around mozilla products is ridiculously straight jacketed, and unless you agree with what they have already decided prepare to be ignored, or have your points moderated out of existence. A good example of this tendancy is the conversation surrounding the proposal to track visited urls, you either accept that differential privacy is information theoretically secure (it isnt), and you accept that mozilla should have this information (metrics are an unqualified good), or your posts will be removed. Nobody is enthusiastic about contributing to a project that ignores what they care about, even if the people ignoring you think its for the greater good.
It seems to be the general conclusion inside mozilla is that Chrome is winning because of x, we need more x, for any value of x (including values of X which are in direct opposition to an open, free internet), while ignoring the strengths that firefox has and why people are actually choosing to use it over chrome.
As you say, it is 100% hopeless to try to be a better chrome than chrome is, Google outresources you 1000 to 1. I wish that firefox cared more about being firefox, and less about becomming a worse version of chrome.
 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mozilla.governance/8... feedback here is virtually 100% negative, but I gaurentee this change is going in anyways.
Working on Mozilla, I do not agree with you on multiple points:
> If attracting contributors was such a priority for mozilla, you would think that so many screw-the-users-we-are-doing-this-anyways decisions wouldnt come to pass.
It's way more complex than you present it. Working on a big project, with a solid legacy, will make you face dramatic decisions where each outcome is going to cost. For example, most users, due to their vested interest in one outcome, and lack of understanding of the cost of the other (they're not going to spend countless hours maintaining legacy APIs), would say "Keep legacy extension system forever". But as a module owner of Gecko, you understand the tremendous cost of doing it.
The decision you're making is way more complex and multi-factored that the decision those users made when they voiced their opinion.
Trying to say that "if you care about being open source project, do what users tell you to" is imho only possible if you don't understand the complexity.
See, for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator%27s_Dilemma for details.
> its best to not to ignore the feedback users give (note telemetry metrics arnt feedback, especially when interpreted with an agenda, stuff dosent always measure what you think it does).
I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying here.
Telemetry tells us what happens. Feedback tells us what users want to happen.
Telemetry done right gives us representation of the population, feedback gives us the representation of the sample that voiced their opinion.
Loud minority can sway the discussion in any way (WebVR on Linux is the most important thing for Mozilla to work on!). Telemetry gives a different picture (3% of our users are on Linux, and 0.01% of them uses WebVR at all).
You can also see it in this thread. I wrote a blog post about ways to contribute to an open source project. You'd guess the majority of the conversation should be about technicalities involved in contributing discussed among those who want to contribute but have questions.
Instead, majority is about whether Mozilla is doing what the given person wants it to do on a very high meta-level (I want extensions to work this way, or I want data to be collected that way).
There's a substantial difference between those two - one is about a case where an engineer working on Firefox UI filed a bug about switching the way we react to clicks on a button but had no time to fix it. Maybe it also affects you? Maybe you want to go and write a couple lines of JS to fix it? Cool! Let's talk.
The latter is "I have an opinion on privacy policies at Mozilla, and I voiced it together with a number of other individuals who, when asked, say that there should be always less tracking. We brought our pitchforks and loudly demanded it. Now it seems that Mozilla is, after holding a public discussion for months, adding the telemetry which is not in line with what we told them to do so it means they ignored us! Outrageous!"
I'm not saying that we've always done the right thing (I believe we made very high level mistakes on multiple projects, but I also believe I don't have the full knowledge that went behind those decisions, so tt's easy for me to say).
I'm saying that this post is for people who may want to contribute to Mozilla but didn't know how. Sort of "www.whatcanidoformozilla.com" or "#contribute-newbies" style. And "the feedback" is about high level complex decisions that Mozilla is doing that are not in line with the persons opinion. Much more of a "mozilla.governance" or "mozilla.upper-management.decisions" style.
It's easy to have high-level opinions if you don't aim to understand the full complexity of the topic at hand. I can right now tell a government it should stop a war. Any war. Always.
I can tell the government that I'd prefer the taxes to be lower. Or higher.
I can go to Google and say that I'd prefer it they made Android an open source project again.
That's very easy, because I'm not bored with all the details, I'm ignorant when it comes to understanding all the factors, and I just want the outcome.
But saying that those entities "don't listen", just because they won't do what I say they should is imho a wrong conclusion.
> unless you agree with what they have already decided prepare to be ignored
I'm sorry you have this experience with Mozilla. I believe that your voice is heard more often than you think, and judging if your voice was heard solely on if the decision matches your opinion is wrong.
> It seems to be the general conclusion inside mozilla is that Chrome is winning because of x, we need more x, for any value of x
I do not believe you to be correct here.
Firefox team is working on making Firefox the best Firefox possible. Which means that we're building the product we believe to be the best and that involves taking what's best in Safari, Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi etc. if that fits into our idea of a web browser.
People love to see patterns where there are none (see Apophenia) so for years I've heard that each change we make is "copying" someone else. If we switch the back button to the left "we copied Edge", if we switch to the right "we copied Chrome". If we switch tabs to curved, we copied someone, if we switch to rectangular, we copies someone else and so on.
If we add something that other browsers don't do, there's generally silence, until someone starts claiming that we add unnecessary shit that bloats the browser :)
I tend to believe that the reason for that is there are a lot of people and for each decision a small subset of them that is not happy voices their opinion. And if the crowd is large enough, every opinion will be unpopular with some minority which will start vocally opposing it.
So if you look for feedback, it'll be always there, and predominantly negative for every decision that is a matter of preference.
Now, there are things that aren't a matter of preference in a general sense - performance, stability, security etc. I believe that V8 gained a lot of users by doing those things well, and I don't think there's anything wrong with us aiming to match or bypass V8.
> I wish that firefox cared more about being firefox, and less about becomming a worse version of chrome.
I hope that 57 will fit that description for you :)
>  https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mozilla.governance/8.... feedback here is virtually 100% negative, but I gaurentee this change is going in anyways.
I don't know where it'll go, but I believe that the decision which doesn't agree with feedback does not equate not hearing the feedback, or the feedback not mattering.
I hope you understand that it's a complex, multi-factored problem that is not easly solvable with simple solutions.
Anyhoo, I respect your perspective, I'm sorry this is your experience. I hope my personal opinion helped you see that there are other ways to see it.
At the same time, I'm just an engineer on the project, so I can't speak for the high-level decisions as much as I can talk about technical details of the platform and contributing to it. Which I wrote a blog post about. :)
What i care about is my experience as a user is being objectively destroyed by these kinds of changes, go on and call me a "loud minority" or say "our metrics indicate [ ... ]". The fact remains that those are dismissive statements that indicate that you really don't care about these issues, so please stop insulting me by pretending you do.
You don't respect my perspective because you beleive my perspective to be uninformed and incorrect.
The plain fact is, as a user, I dont care about how the sausage is made, what i care about is how it tastes to me, you can make the "complexities arising" excuse for practically any (perceived) failure of any complex system. It dosent mean that its acceptable to me as a user who is being essentially told we dont care about your use case anymore. Please try to understand that mozilla are essentially taking everything that I gain utilty from with firefox, and tossing it in the dumpster.
Don't expect me to not be upset about all this going on because its for some grand nebulous greater good that will surely happen Soon(tm).
For what its worth I think you will find this "loud minority" is more influential than your metrics capture, and post 56 you are going to see a lot more people moving to chrome.
I apologize. That was not my intention. Being ESL may played into how I expressed my opinion.
> What i care about is my experience as a user is being objectively destroyed by these kinds of changes, go on and call me a "loud minority" or say "our metrics indicate [ ... ]". The fact remains that those are dismissive statements that indicate that you really don't care about these issues, so please stop insulting me by pretending you do.
I certainly didn't mean to insult you. I apologize if that's how it feels.
Being a minority doesn't mean you're "wrong" or "irrelevant". I consider myself a vast minority (I use Linux, I'm a software engineer, I'm a Pole - all those are minorities!) and it certainly makes what I need from software, different than what most people need from software.
Understanding that I'm a minority helps me understand why what I want may not be the best for a product like Firefox.
I genuinely would want Firefox to add client side decorations (being worked on in bug 1283299) before they add color accents for Windows 10 (which I don't use).
But understanding that I'm a minority helps me understand why the priorities of Firefox UI module owners are different.
I don't want to be dismissive, just point out why what you or I want or believe is right, may not always be the best from the perspective of someone who has to decide for the product used by hundreds of millions of users.
> It dosent mean that its acceptable to me as a user who is being essentially told we dont care about your use case anymore.
I agree that what matters for you as a user is the outcome. I don't expect you to be happy about the decision that doesn't give you what you need because of the fact that "it's the right decision" on some other level.
But I ask you to separate your wants and needs as a user from indicating that decision makers are wrong in their decisions when they go against your needs.
And I also disagree that not doing what you want equals "not caring about your use case".
It's not about "care vs. not care". It's about priorities.
If your use case is valid, but not common, it will most likely just wait longer to be fixed (like CSD). If the value of what you ask for is going to bring less value to fewer users than the opposite, then the right decision for the decision maker is to do the opposite. Not because "they don't care", but because there's a more substantial value in it for more people.
> Please try to understand that mozilla are essentially taking everything that I gain utilty from with firefox, and tossing it in the dumpster.
I do understand that. I'm very sad to hear that this is what is happening to you, and I understand your frustration.
Please, try to understand that:
a) I'm not a decision maker, so I can only share my perspective.
b) Even if I was, I would probably have to see the bigger picture and may have to make the same decision.
> Don't expect me to not be upset
I don't. I really don't. I understand you're upset and I believe you have the right to be.
I just ask you to separate being upset, and making decisions based on it, from accusing others of not caring for it is possible to care about your use case, and yet make the rational and valid decision against it based on the value for more use cases.
I believe we're dropping into philosophical conversation about decision making that is getting close to trolley dilemma :)
> For what its worth I think you will find this "loud minority" is more influential than your metrics capture, and post 56 you are going to see a lot more people moving to chrome.
I can't argue here, only trade opinions. I hope that the technical value of the product will make it a good choice for more users than use Firefox today, and that our investment in improving the extension ecosystem will result in replacement for all the features that you miss today.
I know I'll work on that within of what I can do.
There's also a simpler explanation (and following Popper's criterion - it's way more likely to be the actual reason): mozilla just decided to switch to total populism and now targets for amoeba-like users (that are an overwhelming majority) rather than power users (advanced, tech-savvy, where the share of users with 100+ tabs is higher than 10% compared to those ~0.01% among all users).
Because it's easier and because this way it will make higher profit (I know that MoFo is a non-profit, that never mattered anyways).
Not saying it's good or bad - Mozilla has never been a democracy - but I feel this is what people complain a lot about.
At the same time I don't see the situation improving, with more and more product/project management happening behind the scenes in docs/platform that are not even accessible in read-only mode publicly.
> At the same time I don't see the situation improving
I actually do, but as you know, I'm an optimist by nature :)
The path that could lead to Mozilla tech opening for the case you're describing may look like this:
* Fx 57 is successful
* Gecko successfully transitions to be a modern Web engine with its own advantages over other engines
* The new features such as Rust and leapfrogging advancements like Stylo/WebRender etc. add up to make people want to use Gecko/Servo over other engines in their products
* We're successful at building a node/electron like wrapper for Gecko/Servo
* The innovation begins
I don't think it's certain, and I don't know if it'll happen, but I do now that there are people tinkering with things like GeckoView and electron like wrappers, with target for next year.
It's not guaranteed, but I do hope it'll happen.
Mozilla has been putting 110% of their effort on a Desktop browser recently. Fine, their choice, but I can't help but think that their are cornering themselves in a niche and are missing where the new tech users will be.
As you can guess, I really feel it's a shame that gecko is becoming really good, just not used in a context that matters.
Correct. Lots of ifs. And on top of that, ifs from a regular engineer which means I know even less about all the factors in play than I should to predict.
> Mozilla has been putting 110% of their effort on a Desktop browser recently. Fine, their choice, but I can't help but think that their are cornering themselves in a niche and are missing where the new tech users will be.
My personal take is that we have to start somewhere. We can try to come up with a completely new technology, and we're trying to - see Servo.
We can make Gecko the best web engine on the planet.
Or we can try to build amazing products on top of an ok engine.
I believe we have to start somewhere, and stating by bringing Gecko to excellence is not a bad choice.
> As you can guess, I really feel it's a shame that gecko is becoming really good, just not used in a context that matters.
yeah. I know :)
It's very clear the MoCo doesn't reinvest all the money they make (they have a lot in the bank). And some are getting rich from it, but that's a different topic.
And yes, the MoCo is not reinvesting all money all the time right away, but they'll have to reinvest it or use it to pay wages at some point. They have no reason to just amass money senselessly.
If they make a surplus, have all wages paid, and don't save it up nor reinvest it, then they can only pay it out to the Mozilla Foundation, where it's again in nonprofit hands.