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Ask HN: Who's switched from Chrome to Firefox 57?
187 points by alistproducer2 on Nov 15, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 201 comments
I haven't used FF in years but I've been so impressed with 57 that I've finally come home. I'm wondering if I'm alone. If you switched, please let us know why you decided to switch.

I have switched to Firefox a long time ago. The main reason is privacy. I just trust Mozilla much more than Google (I actually don't trust Google at all).

From Google Chrome Privacy Notice [1]:

  [...] Chrome usage statistics include information about the web pages you visit and your usage of them.
  [...] We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with partners —
  like publishers, advertisers or web developers.
[1] https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/privacy/index.html

>We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with partners — like publishers, advertisers or web developers.

I don't really understand the issue people have with aggregated information. All the companies I have worked for have been tracking how people use their product. It does not feel like I am invading somebody's privacy by tracking that 20% of our users clicked on the banner in order to see the screen 'xy' and among them, 67% clicked on 'ok' .

To be clear, I am only talking about aggregated information

I believe that no information about user actions and behaviors should be recorded by a browser. It does not benefit the user in any way, only Google and advertisers.

Also we should remember that data needs to be stored first before it is aggregated. What happens with information about each single event?

As a web developer, this claim is patently false.

Reviewing aggregated user behavior data is how good UIs get built. It helps us to identify pain points, confusing or misrepresented user paths, poor hierarchy or site structure, poorly indicated calls to action, and many other valuable metrics.

Every positive user experience you've ever had online has been derived from countless hours of studying user behavior, and the larger the source the better it gets.

Also note that aggregated user data is typically anonymous, but there is a lot to be said for keeping it identifiable. Some of the best tools for debugging customer support issues start by recording your clicks so a developer can see exactly what caused an issue, rather than guessing and hoping.

Those things are much more appropriately addressed by targeted usability testing (eg in lab studies) where participants are aware of, accept, and are compensated for being monitored.

Not by mass surveillance.

The perspective expressed, basically that anything is acceptable as a means to optimise "user experience" (most likely so more money can be extracted) verges on unethical and immoral, if the bigger issues of group and individual privacy rights are considered.

Nevertheless, as a web developer you are most likely only gathering stats from your particular web site, which is a different kettle of fish to browsers gathering and aggregating data across many sites.

I'm a web developer, where can I obtain that "aggregated, non-personally identifiable information"? I'm not a publisher or advertiser, just a web developer, possible working in small company.

> It does not benefit the user in any way

Really? The browser-maker learning what features people use vs. don't, or what features are fast vs. slow on actual user machines, doesn't benefit the user by getting them a better browser over time?

I would like it if the statistics from Chrome in particular, were sent to Chromium-project servers rather than Google servers, though. Even if only Google's derivative of Chromium is collecting the stats, the Chromium-project staff are who will (theoretically) make the best use of the information so collected; and so it'd be much better for them (as a non-profit org) to steward that data, rather than it ending up owned by Google.

(Yes, yes, a majority of the Chromium-project staff are Google employees; that doesn't change how changing the data's ownership would change what Google thinks it has a right to do with it.)

Lots of Chromium engineers would like to do that too.

It's hard because if (due to a bug) something were not correctly aggregated and anonymized, then their private data would leak to the public.

They are also worried about the non-tech press going through the metrics and making misguided headlines like "Google says 66 percent of Chrome users have been targeted by russian malware, and even more in the USA!"

To add on the user benefit, I am a mobile engineer and we pay a lot of attention to things like what features people use and performances (smoothness).

Again, I don't feel like I am invading anybody's privacy when I look at what all my users are doing in order to help decide what to prioritize.

Does your opinion change if there is user benefit?

E.g., is it okay to track user location, if in aggregate they use it to advice on traffic?

Aggregated information about an application may be OK, but a web-browser is more like an OS than an application: it has a way to draw UI, a way to communicate over a network, a way to interact with the user's mouse and keyboard, and a way to run applications that are incompatible with other platforms.

While I still don't see it as ethically flawless, aggregating information about a website is certainly much more acceptable than aggregating information about a web browser.

Problem with sharing your behavior, even in aggregated form, is that you are becoming a subject for all the evil A/B tests which are designed to make you:

- buy more stuff you don't need

- look at ads longer

- more likely to click a button because of specific color

- scroll your feed longer because of the content you are getting served

I'm not sharing shit with anyone, no matter if it's anonymous, aggregated or not.

First, I really wish we would stop calling random stuff we don't like (even for good reasons) evil.

It blurs the discourse and hampers objective discussions IMO.

I understand that A/B testing can be used to exploit addictions mechanisms and other gray (at best, more likely dark) patterns and IMO that should be forbidden.

At the same time, I don't know any mobile company launching a new feature without a server side A/B lock these days.

Simply because that way :

- it allows you to open the feature gradually and close it if there is a nasty side effect like a crash.

- look at usage patterns between 2 features. I guess the separation between helping the user and exploiting them can get blurry but really when we look at data it is to see if they know the feature exists and find it useful. The truth is that almost all users barely know how to use their phones, so each time there is a feature based on long click, gesture, something buried in a screen other than the first one of the app, a button in the toolbar, etc, chances are that most users won't even know that it is there, even if they would like to use this feature.

I honestly don't know how to conciliate the 2.

Wow, the reason you would think that the fact that all the companies you've worked for have been doing the same as a positive thing, as well as that it might support any argument for collecting this type of information (or "aggregating") is beyond me. If you don't care about privacy and you don't mind giving away information about your behavior, that's fine, that's your thing, but please refrain yourself from spreading these false claims and arguments.

That's cool and all but it would be more persuasive if you added some arguments in your diatribe.

I've used Chrome continuously ever since it was released, but today I switched to Firefox on both my work and personal laptops.

Both machines are Macbook Pros, one 2012 and the other 2017, and Chrome feels laggy on both. Scrolling is not smooth, and certain web applications are just downright unpleasant to use (notably, Jupyter notebooks and Facebook).

I gave Firefox Quantum a try, and it's an amazing improvement. This is more how I imagined computers to function in 2017 to be honest. There is no noticeable lag on either machine. So I'll be sticking with Firefox for the foreseeable future.

This has just convinced me to try it.

I really like container tabs (you have to enable them in about:config - privacy.userContext.enabled and privacy.userContext.ui.enabled). It allows me to have multiple AWS accounts open at the same time without having 2 different browsers or one account open in private mode. I have 2 main containers I use: production and staging.

Or you can install the multi-account containers add-on in FF57: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account...

Do you know what the difference is between this extension and the native support in FF57? It seems to me they are one and the same. Could it be this was an extension that is now natively part of FF Quantum?

The decision was made to expose the relevant WebExtension APIs required to build containers uis to add-ons, rather than shipping with a specific containers ui.

With the add-on there's a useful button you can put in the navbar that lets you easily edit the containers and add sites to always open using them. I didn't know you could even do the later until I started using the add-on.

Honestly not sure. I just read about it in another thread talking about Firefox and some people there were saying that the extension replaces having to go into about:config.

The addon supplements it IIRC.

Thanks. This add-on got me one step closer to start using FF57 altogether.

> It allows me to have multiple AWS accounts open at the same time

I didn't think much about container tabs til I read this. This will be awesome for me. Thanks!

I use containers to log in to Google and Facebook so I don't leak cookies on other websites. Then again, I block those cookies/trackers anyway, so eh.

Chrome has this as a first-class feature, "People." I have one window open for personal, and another for each of the AWS accounts I have access to. Sounds from your description like FF can do this at the tab level?

Yea, firefox has profiles as well. Containers are different and apply your browsing context based on the tab. Super useful, you can also configure sites to open in a certain container.

I do wish I could just pin an entire window to a container, but overall the flexibility is worth it. (I abhor having more than one window open per app at a time.)

I am unfamiliar with it, but the profile manager in FF does not seem to be on the same level as Chrome. In Chrome you can change the profile and reopen your previous tabs by clicking in the top right.

With FF, you have to quit FF and type in the terminal 'firefox -P'.

They are not at the same level.


Containers are really bad at saving your workspace: tabs with a profile so I can just shut down work at the end of the day or on a weekend.

You don't have to quit FF to do this, and you can use about:profiles.

> Containers are really bad at saving your workspace: tabs with a profile so I can just shut down work at the end of the day or on a weekend.

Sure they are, ensure your "open tabs from last time" pref is selected in settings.

Yes, that's correct. The containers feature enables profiles on a per-tab basis. As someone who does a lot of account switching, it's a killer feature for me. I would imagine some users would not really find it necessary.

Yes and it's color coded so you know what container each tab is associated to. By default all tabs are in the default container. You can long-press the + tab icon to select what container the new tab belongs to (I believe this is FF58+ only) or File > New Container Tab > Select Container. Here's a screenshot of two AWS Management console tabs with 2 different containers.


Correct me if I'm wrong but I think "People" also saves the browser session to a third party server so that you could resume the session from another machine. That's definitely not something I want.

Chrome has a sync feature that does that with or without using People, but AFAICT People doesn't require using that feature.

Only if you log in and enable sync I think.

Containers are different from profiles. Firefox has both. Containers are within a single profile (and thus can be opened within the same window) and let you do things like ensure certain sites get opened in certain containers only (at least, I think that feature is still there). Containers are a first class feature as well, however there is an addon for supplementing their behavior.

Firefox also has profiles (about:profiles) but with less UI around it so it's annoying to use.

Nice! I never knew this existed. This will make my life easier using sites that don't really have multiple account management.

I’m using Container Tabs to work with 3 different Twitter accounts in the same browser window. A killer feature!

Is there also a proxy/VPN support per container? That would be stellar :)

No, not in containers. I use different Firefox profiles for that purpose.

I don't believe that is an option right now.

How did you define custom containers? I only see the 4 defaults of personal, work, banking, shopping.

To enable it in FF57 you have to enable the options in about:config (I believe it's enabled by default in FF58). Go to about:config in your browser and enable the following flags: 1) privacy.userContext.enabled and 2) privacy.userContext.ui.enabled

Once they are enabled, you can create under Settings > General > Tabs > Settings

Ah, got it. I use Nightly; there's a Container Tabs > Settings page in Preferences. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

Or go ahead and install https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account...

Makes it simpler and more accessible.

Wow, thanks for the link. That makes things a lot better; the accessibility features are great.

Whoa. Didn't know about that. Definitely going to give FF a shot now. Thanks!

Exactly what I need. Thanks!

pretty sure this will be the best thing I've learnt today!

I've been using Nightly for about 2 months for personal browsing, and have recently switched to using it for my web development job using containers, and it's been great.

Biggest feature I'd like to see is a keyboard shortcut for opening a new tab in a particular container, as opposed to Cmd+T opening an uncontained tab.

The Developer Tools still have a ways to go before they beat the performance of Chrome (large source files lag), but it's perfectly usable and getting better all the time.

All in all, I've been very happy with my switch, especially when Quantum landed in Nightly: a noticeable increase in speed and snappiness!

When using the extension, you can use Ctrl+[dot] to open the container selector and then use arrows/tab and enter to select the container to open a new tab in. It's not as good as a dedicated shortcut, but it lets you open new container tabs without leaving your keyboard.

>Biggest feature I'd like to see is a keyboard shortcut for opening a new tab in a particular container, as opposed to Cmd+T opening an uncontained tab.

Exactly this. We need keyboard shortcuts for containers.

Me, far too many times.

Everytime there's a "Why you should use Firefox" or" Using FF is the right thing to do" post on hackernews, I gave FF a chance, only to be disappointed and go back to Chrome.

However, a few weeks ago, I decided to try out FF Quantum (aka FF 57, vanilla, non dev edition) after hearing it repeatedly in /r/rust and hackernews. I was immediately hooked with how fast it is at rendering pages.

Now, the reason I always switch back to Chrome was because of the dev tools. With FF Quantum, the dev tools have vastly improved and is on par with Chrome. Its a bit wonky in some parts, but I can see that their UI are already in place, getting ready to be fully implemented in future releases. I've been using it as my main browser, wrote an add-on using their new API.

For those considering to switch, I suggest you give it a few days to be familiar with the dev tools' UI/UX as it is not a direct copy of the Chrome UI/UX. Other than privacy, its a really great product. Its worth the switch.

Please let us know if you'd like to see the devtools improved!

Also, the devtools are actually a React app (https://github.com/devtools-html/debugger.html), and this means that you can hack on them using ... your devtools (and any other HTML/JS/React tooling you like)! And you can hack on them in any browser, and use them to debug any browser (however some browsers may not support the same debugger protocol features the Firefox devtools support). They're super easy to work on and it's really fun.

(Of course, there's also a devtools "server" on the firefox side that responds to the queries of the React devtools client, and hacking on that is harder, but a lot of the stuff can be done without needing to touch this)

I really wish I could create my own theme for the dev tools. I just can't get into the colors of the existing themes.

The dark theme is too dark/not enough contrast between background color and text colors (pastel fonts on dark bg).

The light and firebug themes are too light and don't have enough contrast between background color and text colors (pastel fonts on white bg).

The lack of bg/font contrast in the dev tools always drives me back to Chrome despite really wanting to be a Firefox user.

Serves me well at this point. Maybe other devs can chime in. Love the work you guys put on FF and Rust btw, cheers!

> only to be disappointed and go back to Chrome.

Me too.

Unfortunately, it seems like Chrome is still wining for me over the new FF. For example, this comments section page takes about 3.5 seconds to load in Chrome and about 7.25 seconds in FF. I run a fair few privacy add-ons in each, so that may not be helping things, but still, a 2x increase in loading for a mostly text comments page is not cool (at least for me). Don't get me started on the YT main page ...

Took less than a second to load.

(Running Adblock, but that's about it.)

Different computers and networks have an effect. Still, for me, FF is ~2x longer.

Switched to Firefox on Macbook Pro.

It feels faster, but my two main complaints:

1. While using the touchpad to go 'back', a page on Safari will show you the page you're going back to. Chrome will at least offer an arrow animation backwards. Firefox offers no such thing, often leaving me confused as to whether it's registered. A couple times so far it has instead scrolled me up the page a bit.

2. I have nothing else open, yet certain actions (i.e. scrolling through Zillow pictures earlier) will result in it sporadically using so much memory that my computer's fans are audibly loud and the computer gets quite hot.

Nonetheless, I still would narrowly recommend it, though some of that is likely to do with wanting to support Mozilla.

I've switched to Firefox from Chrome a few months ago in order to reduce my reliance on Google's products (also switched to duckduckgo at that time). I can't say I've noticed a big difference with version 57 as it was already fast enough for my use previously.

With the exception of casting things to my chromecast, I've switched to Firefox for everything. Performance isn't an issue, development tools are really good, I can be "that guy at work who catches firefox bugs," and I'd rather support Mozilla than Google at the end of the day.

I never left FF so picked 57 up as a normal update. Love everything about it so far except the new theme which is taking me longer than I'd like to adjust to (not a big fan of the dark blue/cobalt menubar).

You know there's a light theme you can switch to in Customize mode, right?

I do now :) Thanks.

and there are a TON of themes available for FF here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/themes/

Switched yesterday, so far loving it! My objection to Chrome was mostly on principle (anti-Google), so it's nice that there's a performance-based reason to switch to Firefox as well.

Though I just ran into a problem that reminded me of why I stopped using Firefox in the first place: I used xdg-open a lot (in Emacs), and Firefox tries to supplant that whole functionality. It advertises itself as being able to open pretty much every file under the sun, and then prompts you to choose an application to actually use to open the file.

I wasn't asking you, Firefox, I was asking xdg-open.

It's better than it used to -- until a couple of years ago, Firefox altogether had its own awful version of xdg-open; had all the logic to detect file associations, select apps etc.

In any event, you can edit ~/.config/mimeapps.list to fix it up. Hope that helps.

I believe it's better!

But it is still trying to handle application/octet-stream. Ie, it must have registered itself as a default fallback somewhere, and I can't find where...

Your DE may be at fault as some of them try to do "smart" defaults. xdg-open itself may also be at fault (it's an atrociously bad shell script -- you can take a look at it if you want to debug it).

I switched a few weeks ago when 57 hit the Nightly channel. The main incentive towards Firefox for me has always been the Tree Style Tab extension[1]; it's just that Chrome's better performance used to be a stronger incentive. Now they're more-or-less equal on that front.

[1]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...

I switched recently because someone here said they switched due to privacy concerns AND that it was really good. It struck a chord with me, I'm tired of goog and all seeing corporations. And it really is good! I don't miss Chrome one bit. Well done, Mozilla!

By the way, I also defaulted to DuckDuckGo as the search engine, and so far I'm a happy camper.

I usually have around 100+ tabs open in Chrome at any given time on my 2014 macbook pro. I have been testing out Firefox 57 for about a month now. I am very impressed by the devtools UI and the customization features. The speed is something I don't have to worry about at all, and makes it easier to compare Chrome to Firefox. I am fortunately not in a situation where any of my addons/extensions are unsupported on either browser. It has been fun to compare them and I think I will be switching completely to Firefox.

Me! I have been running nightly for the past couple of months and it is really good. I use uBlock, Res, Ghostery and Imagus. I use Compact and Dark UI mode and it seems more compact than chrome. Also I noticed it consumes a lot less memory, but CPU is 50/50 I'd say. One thing that I find a bit weird is that I find that some Google services work worse, like YouTube eats more CPU than on chrome when it is not maximized and sometimes my connections to google time out for seemingly no reason.

YouTube defaults to serving WebM on Firefox, but on a Mac there is no hardware support for video decoding WebMs like there is for h.264. BUT there is an awesome plugin called h264ify that will force YouTube to use the h.264 codec. I've been running it a while and it stops my fan from kicking on when visiting YouTube.

Should I get out my tinfoil hat or is it more likely that Chrome is just taking advantage of optimizations that other browsers don't have access to or knowledge of.

They optimize for Chrome, since this is where their users mostly are and where they want them to be. No tinfoil hat required.

yes, I don't think its intentional, just a consequence of Chrome having so much market share.

I thought network speed was the limiting factor for web browsing. But then I tried Firefox Quantum.

I really don't have very many requirements for a browser except correctly rendering content, having bookmarks, and auto-filling as many forms and logins as possible. Since every browser more or less does these, I prefer Firefox for the speed, and because I want to support both Mozilla the organisation, as well as choice in the browser market.

I never stopped using Firefox, but for years was only using it for an isolated development environment.

But I've been using Firefox 57 for a few month, and it's great. I still use Chrome, but I'm probably spending equal time in both now.

Back when Firefox originally came out I was one of the first few adopters of it (primarily to escape Internet Explorer), but left it back in 2008 when Google Chrome came out because of it's speed. However, almost a decade later after having issues with Chrome on my new Linux rig and hearing all the fuss about Quantum I tried the Firefox Beta about a week ago (I'm not a patient man) and immediately fell in love with it. Not only was it faster, but it used half of the system resources that Chrome was using! I know some people are not thrilled with the loss of extensions, but having come to it at this time of transition I found all the extensions I had on Chrome and a few others that made my web browsing experience better than ever. I'm very excited about the new changes in Firefox and can't wait to see where they go from here.

I guess I'll start it off. I've done a apples-to-apples compare on memory usage of 7 tabs with the same content and FF57 came in at 514 MG to chrome's 512 so that's basically a wash.

The speed has been the main factor along with being able to step away from Google, if only a little bit.

Yes! I wanted to switch back once Electrolysis [1] was turned on, but didn't believe the speed was comparable enough. Now, it is though.

I stayed on Chrome for a while because Google Chrome became the best supported way to run flash for Linux users. Fortunately, these days I see flash less and less. So I'm not even going to bother installing it in Firefox (though I did think this plugin to run Google's flash plugin was interesting [2]).

There are a few things I'll miss from Chrome. I'm currently a Project Fi subscriber, so I get my texts over hangouts (despite it looking like the writing is on the wall for that service) and used the hangouts extension heavily. I'd like to have the ability to cast a tab to my Chromecast. I'll also miss the fact that Chrome has a setting that allows relaxed localhost SSL verification (via chrome://flags/#allow-insecure-localhost - am I missing a Firefox setting?) Lastly, this has been mentioned in a few other comments, but for some reason I really like to be able to scroll through my tabs via mousewheel.

Changing browsers has caused me to reevaluate my workflow. I never really looked into changing this in Chrome, but the tree style tab add-on really is a better way to handle lots of tabs. And I very much welcome the multi account containers add-on as well [3].

I'm repeating the blog of Mozilla when I say, this is just the beginning. I do believe that as more and more Rust is utilized, things will become even better. Super glad I'm able to enjoy using Firefox again!

[1] https://wiki.mozilla.org/Electrolysis [2] https://github.com/i-rinat/freshplayerplugin [3] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account...

I tried (again) to switch to FF yesterday when 57 was released, and unfortunately still ran into a known bug that makes it practically unusable for me: FF treats underscores as punctuation that breaks up a word, so given text "foo_bar", if you double click on "foo" or "bar", it doesn't select the entire word. This goes against all conventions of Chrome, other text editors, etc. It seems trivial, but as developers we deal with underscores a lot, and copy text out of our browsers frequently.

There's been a bug open about this for 15 years now: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=196175

That's possibly one of their strangest edge-cases I've seen for someone to dismiss a product. Or is this a case of HN-level trolling?

Haha. I can see how someone would think I'm trolling, but I assure you I'm not. It's a pretty deeply-ingrained behavior that I perform quite often, so yes, it does make a difference. FF57 is still not so much better than Chrome (to me, anyways) that it's worth dealing with re-learning this for me.

I don't know, if you develop and are used to being able to click a word or field of text, having to go through and highlight the word is more time consuming and potentially a flow breaker especially when you're talking about variables in some languages.

I think the worst part of this was that there was a patch to bring this into line with other software and it just got ignored.

double click, hold, flick/drag will select the next word. (if you drag-select after double clicking it goes by word not character).

I switched long ago from chrome to Edge because chrome can't scroll smoothly, it just can't. Firefox also wasnt able untill I think about 2 months ago? Not sure. Either way, I switched from Edge to Firefox 2 months ago because 1) Edge is a really poor browser aside from 4k video and the scrolling experience and 2) Mozilla is a great comany with a great product with such an insane amount of fearures. I just like smooth scrolling so much that I wasn't able to use it till it finally offered that feature. Couldn't be happier with Firefox ATM. Thanks Mozilla

I had switched to Chrome a few years back, and had more recently switched to Opera (Blink) before it was bought up by the Chinese. I switched to Firefox when Nightly 57 was released, and haven't looked back since. Couldn't be happier.

It's a pity so many long-time users of Firefox feel distraught about the Extensions kerfuffle, but fwiw if that allowed Firefox to get fast, then I was all for it.

For my use cases, the available Web Extensions are enough. And I have even started to use Tree Style Tabs, while I was more than fine with regular horizontal tabs before.

I switched yesterday from Chrome to FF 57 on my MBP 2014. Chrome was faster, but now FF is the clear winner. On Windows, I have been using FF for the past 10 years. Also, Firefox Sync is just amazing.

I already use container tabs for my dev. (Usually have to test an app using multiple test accounts). I have not figured out how to run a second copy of Firefox that is fixed into a different workspace -- but if I ever do, I will switch on my work laptop.

My personal laptop, an old 2011 Mac Air is definitely switching. Chrome just runs too poorly on that now, and container tabs is too useful.

It's really interesting, feel like coming to full circle. 10 years ago, I switched to Chrome because of the multi-process isolation -- Firefox leaks pretty badly then.

What you call workspace is likely called profiles. Try running Firefox --new-instance -p

What I call workspaces are an OSX-specific feature. I already knew about the `-p` flag.

I switched about a week ago to FF57-beta (and now stable).

The biggest thing I miss that doesn't seem possible to automatically add search urls to the tab completion like chrome does. E.g. if I go to e.g some-service.example.com/search?q=foo, in future, Chrome allows me to search that service again by typing `some<TAB>my-search-terms`. No massive setup needed. Firefox seems to only allow these from the extensions on the dev store.

You could use bookmark keywords in Firefox, which provide a similar function:

1. Create a bookmark for some-service.example.com/search?q=foo

2. Open the properties for the bookmark. Replace "foo" with "%s" (the universal string for bookmark keyword variables). In the keyword field, type some letter or string you'll remember; I'll use "q". Close the properties dialog.

3. In the URL field, type "q my-search-terms".

(At least that worked in older versions of FF.) It requires more setup, but works permanently.

It appears that this process has been streamlined a bit. If you right-click in a search field on any site, the context menu has an option to "Add a keyword for this search." The new bookmark will then be created with the "%s" string in the appropriate position in the URL to make this work.

I've set it up for a number of sites since converting over to Firefox yesterday and have yet to find a site that this method doesn't work for.


The keyword trick given by others is nice. If like me you are lazy, use the autocomplete feature.

First manually type the URL with the search terms and validate. Then for your second search type some unique part of the base URL and it appears because it is in your history, press down and modify the URL for your new search.

When you have done this several times, it seems firefox understands what you are trying to do and autocompletes the URL with the common parts.

Works Weil with wiktionary, wikipedia and WordReference for instance. Special mention to WordReference with its friendly URL scheme.

Works on firefox mobile too.

I canot remember how to validate autocompletion, my fingers do it themeselves. It must be something like Right or CTRL+Right. On mobile, it is a touch.

Tried this a few times, didn't seem to trigger. Thanks for the suggestion though. I have enough specific searches that switching to the keyword trick works well enough for me.

I wonder why it works for me and not for you. I guess I'll have to guess what in my usage pattern allows that :-)

Maybe I accessed the base URL without the query parameters.

Probably an alternative: you can configure a keyword to a stored search engine. Then you can search like `a lean startup`, where `a` is a keyword followed by a blank for amazon.com.

I found this to be very fast. It's also handy for translations, etc..

Thanks. This was exactly what I was looking for.

I did, because it just felt good to be back again. I also switched to Firefox on my Android now, because I can't life without the bookmark sync and stuff.

Is it on the Play Store yet? Whenever I look it up, the non-beta version is still at 56 on my Nexus phone.

Can any Firefox pro here help me with the bookmark manager of FF? I can assign keywords to bookmarks (shortcuts), and I like that a lot. So if I assign the keyword `hn` to `https://news.ycombinator.com` I just need to enter `hn` in the URL bar.

But assigning a keyword to a bookmark is too many clicks away: I need to open the bookmarks manager (`show all bookmarks`), select a bookmark, look at the bookmark properties in the bottom, expand two more fields: keyword and description.

Now is there a shorter way to get this? Or an add on that works with FF 57?

Also: Is there a way to filter all bookmarks with keywords assigned to them? This question has been asked in [1] several years ago, and back then it was possible to add a `keyword` column to the existing columns in `manage bookmarks`.

[1] https://superuser.com/questions/479059/in-firefox-how-can-fi...

Edit: Added an explanation for the `keyword` feature.

It appears they've removed the "Import" button, or hidden it away somewhere. In the meantime, if you're looking to make the switch and can't find it - it looks like you can drag and drop from Chrome bookmarks one at a time.

EDIT: It appears to be completely removed from 57. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.places.importBookmarksHTML no longer exists. It makes sense given they've heavily moved away from the HTML storage.

It was nice however, being able to quickly and easily share my workstation setup with new hires.

Was considering switching, but didn't see a way to select multiple tabs at once to drag into a new window like you can in Chrome.

With this add-on you can select multiple tabs. Since before chrome existed.


Didn't even know you could do this, neat! Very convenient, I used to do it manually.

I just switched. Long time chome user aswell. The new FF has adopted the same design as Chrome and that is what brought me over. I think Chrome will lose some market share soon. I am actually a loyal person but Google started abusing its power to dictate how developers should write code. Aswell as putting unecessary constraints on things. Pissed me off

Firefox was my first choice ever since it came out, but I stopped using it when it got unstable a few years ago (even on a brand new macbook!). I've been using nightly for about a month with no crashes, so I'm mostly happy with it. Sometimes it goes crazy with CPU and I have to close a few tabs. I'm still using Chrome as well, for now.

I switched on my work laptop a few months ago, with the knowledge that 57 was the one to look out for. Got the update yesterday and was impressed enough to switch at home as well.

I've also been using Firefox on my phone for a while now, specifically so that I can run ublock origin and video speed controller, since mobile chrome doesn't support extensions.

I did a few weeks ago. (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.)

Chrome developed a weird habit of trying to render a semi-random URL as the default home page. Google's customer service folks asked for a couple of screen shots, then went radio silent.

I've switched & love the improvement - it's quite impressive. Unfortunately Chrome is on its way to being the iTunes of browsers.

I've given it a decent shot - but it still has very average profile support, which I use daily. In Chrome, it's easy to see what profile I'm using (top right corner of the window), and very easy to switch.

In Firefox, you need to go to about:profiles to even see what profile you're currently using.

Check out Containers - it goes a long way towards solving this problem. I also used to rely heavily on Chrome profiles


Containers seem like a compromise that I can live with to give FF57 a better shot.

They share history/bookmarks, which I'm not a fan of. I prefer my work profiles not to have reddit/hacker news etc. in the auto fill address bar.

Maybe you could use a different theme for each profile, or put different buttons or buttons in different order in the toolbar?

Maybe there could be an extension that shows the name of the current profile and/or an image/text chosen by the user in the toolbar or the tab bar? The extension would have to be installed in each profile, but this is to be done only once.

Please still my idea, whether you are a Firefox or an addon developer!

Would containers work better for your use case?

Nobody else has a problem with new tab? Really? I used to have a (local) html page as new tab. Guess what? They disabled this option a year ago. Ok, a nice person created an addon to recreate this option. It's called "new tab override". There is a version of this addon for firefox 57. But firefox doesn't allow addons to access file: urls for security reasons. So the recomendation of "new tab override" is to install a local web server. Wait a moment. I need an addon + a local web server to run a html file in new tab? Seriously? By the way: mouse gestures don't work in new tab (nor on mozilla.org) because its a chrome-url and addons are not allowed to access chrome-urls.

Firefox 57 is really nice. But somehow it is a little pain.

It's been years that I abandoned Chrome ;) Was using Safari mainly and Firefox for web dev purposes. But FF 57 impressed me so much that I switched a couple of days ago, moving all my bookmarks, history, plugins etc to FF. Goodbye Safari, hello FF. :)

I switched to Firefox about 3 years ago (can't remember exactly), because it's a better browser for me.

Chrome was built for web apps, the other browsers were slow to adapt, so my initial use-case for Chrome was keeping stuff like Gmail and Slack active. But this slowly faded away. Slack has a desktop app and continues to be a piece of shit and for email I use MailMate (https://freron.com/) which is awesome btw.

This meant that keeping persistent tabs with apps around wasn't such a priority. And in terms of usability, Firefox has had the better browsing experience for quite some time.

Of course Firefox is now multi-process, stability and speed improved, I see it using less resources than Chrome and it's now good for web apps as well.

I love Firefox's Awesome Bar, I love its new "Multi-Account Containers" add-on [1]. I also used an add-on for vertical tabs which was cool, but now due to the migration the community has to rebuild those. But seeing what they delivered with Quantum, I don't mind.

From a technological, under the hood perspective, Chrome used to be the cool one. But now Firefox is slowly getting powered by Rust, which gets integrating for multi-core rendering algorithms. How freaking cool is that? Mozilla invented their own programming language in order to make Firefox better.

Firefox is the best browser right now, but even if it weren't, I would still use it because I've learned to trust it and Mozilla that they are protecting my interests — I don't want another Internet Explorer, which Chrome is becoming due to its huge market share.

Oh and I also use Pocket, now that Mozilla bought them. Could use some improvements, I'm still waiting on them to deliver the source code as promised, but it's a cool service and I'm happy to pay them some money.

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account...

I just switched back on the latest release.

* Sadly I'm missing a single really important Add-on and there are some annoying and apparently long-standing bugs that have been ignored and I've had to work around, but otherwise it's a major improvement and it's good enough to work with.

* I'm glad that they've ditched the rounded tabs and cleaned up the interface.

* I'm still annoyed that Pocket is integrated into everything without an option to disable it.

* It is dramatically improved in speed and stability.

* The browser animations are very pleasant.

I'm giving it a chance to shine for the next week or so, if there are no blockers I'll probably end up sticking with it.

You can disable pocket.

Nav to about:config then search for extensions.pocket.enabled and do the obvious thing. :)

Nice, thanks for the heads up on that. A small thing makes a surprisingly big deal. I'm unsure as to why that isn't available in options other than the monetary reasons. Nothing against pocket personally, I just clutter it up enough on my own. :) Cheers.

2010 macbook, Chrome user. Things are generally slow, but felt like they got a bit snappier after the High Sierra upgrade. I tried FF57 but for me it feels a bit slower than Chrome on this older device.

Switched back when Rust went alpha. It encouraged me to really look into some of the side projects that Mozilla had going on and it made me really want to support them and see those projects succeed.

I have couldn't be more happier. The ability for Firefox nightly to modify requests and resend is a bonus. Also less sluggish and quicker. Ublock origin and last pass both supported with nightly.

I've been on FF Nightly for the last couple of months but recently switched back to Safari. On a MacBook 12" (i5) Firefox did terrible things to the battery life and generated enough heat that I'd often find the CPU throttling.

Neither Safari or Chrome have the same issues. I haven't really tried FF since the nightly jumped to 59 but I keep it updated and occasionally check to see whether this has been fixed.

I tried to yesterday.

Gave up after two minutes when I did not see any performance change. I have a recent machine where Chrome is already pretty fast, I am not sure in which conditions it slows down, but it looks like they don't apply to me.

Also, I would need a plugin in order to allow me to access my chrome tab history in Firefox.

That way I would keep the same multi device experience while switching to FF on desktop.

Otherwise, I lose a big feature I use extensively.

You should be able to import your history from chrome, and then use firefox sync.

Or am I misunderstanding what you're looking for?

I mean being able to :

- use chrome on Android (with chrome tabs and autofill it is a pretty nice experience)

- firefox on the desktop

And from any of these two, access a common list of opened tabs on all my devices. Actually, since Chrome on Android does not support extensions, no way to do this both ways, bummer.

You can use firefox mobile instead of chrome on your mobile device to get the bookmark/history syncing with desktop firefox.

yeah but that means moving all my usage (desktop and mobile) to firefox.

I feel it is harder for FF to compete on mobile.

How does it integrate/compete with Chrome tabs on Android ?

Not switched default browser yet but I'm using FF57 as my main browser on my home PC and mac. On chromebook I'm stuck with chrome lol.

So far browsing websites seem to be faster in general but when I use complex webapps like Spotify, JIRA, Netflix, etc. chrome still seems faster. I'll probably use for 2 weeks before I commit on a full switch (and import my bookmarks and switch over my work PC).

I switched a few weeks ago, and this week I've switched to Nightly. I haven't used FF in around 5 years, and it's much, much nicer now. Containers are great, the customizability is awesome too: I wanted the bookmarks toolbar to only show up on the new tab page, and it took a single CSS rule to make that happen. Not to mention I feel it's more privacy-friendly.

I downloaded FF today, it's zippy. But I rely on dozens of Chrome extensions. That's one of the things I like about Chrome -- its extensibility. HOwever, Chrome is a memory hog, it routinely destroys the 16gb of memory and the battery of my MBPro.

When FF has sn equivalent set of extensions, I will happily dump Chrome. Until then, it appears I'm stuck with Chrome

Chrome extensions are now compatible with Firefox.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/chrome-store-... may help converting the format.

Extensions which are incompatible can usually be ported with minor changes; IIRC at this point Firefox has all the APIs chrome does (and more), however certain things slightly differ (e.g. the chrome.foo API is browser.foo in firefox).

This is making me really curious because while Chrome is buttery smooth on my Macbook Pro, Firefox 57 is really sluggish, especially when creating/closing tabs. You can literally see the animation stuttering. Other times when a page loads it won't paint for some seconds even if it appears that it has completed loading. Is anyone else having these issues?

I have some similar issues. Sometimes Firefox lags after loading the page (around 1 sec), but eventually works fluently afterwards. It feels like it needs to warm up the engine.

I noticed that disabling "smooth scrolling" in the settings helps with initial scrolling issues.

However, in general I have the feeling that FF57 is faster than before. Could also be that I now focus on the loading times more than usual. A restart of Firefox helped yesterday after the upgrade to 57.

I have a MacBook Pro 2015 and am Firefox user since 1.0 ;-)

I really, really wanted to switch, but I saw that switching tabs with mousewheel (which can be done in Chrome and most other Linux apps) is still not possible, and the Tab Wheel Scroll extension, which I previously used to work around the issue, is no longer compatible.

So Firefox is unfortunately an unusable web browser for me :/

I use Chrome as my secondary browser only when I need to inspect/develop, but I'm using Firefox more often now.

I have been always using Firefox and also Chrome (and more recently Opera) as a side browser for various less important activities. 57 didn't surprise me at all. It was good before and is still good now, nothing dramatically changed from the user's perspective since the 56 or other versions before that.

I try / use FF every once in a while again. Always for specific test cases.

But switching? NO. Why? Since currently only Google takes security serious and has the resources to actually do that. I understand and accept that "google knows thing via chrome" but they are not (a significant) part of my threatmodel.

I switched already 2 months ago on mobile because I got tired by non blockable ads in Chrome and absence of any reading mode. To be in sync with the desktop I switched on the desktop too. Never looked back. And now with the new UI it even looks nicer than Safari imo. Looking forward to 57 on mobile.

I have, temporarily. Some bugs and occasional slowness, coupled with more memory hogging, have me reconsidering.

FF57 still consumes more memory than Chrome? For the same tabs? Or are you maybe experiencing some https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_compensation — opening more tabs because they mostly "feel" lighter-weight?

I opened the same exact tabs in both FF57 and Chrome (7 each) and sorted by memory usage in Activity Monitor. When adding up the main task and helpers, FF57 used significantly more.

The pattern I noticed is that with small amount of tabs Firefox can consume more RAM, but the situation quickly changes in favor of Firefox when opening more of them.

I'm proudly using Firefox, for several months now. When they initially launched FF Developer edition I tried it out, but it was just too slow. Now Firefox is very fast, the developer tools are great. I love it and I'll never willingly use Chrome again (maybe for testing/ QA).

Is there any way to disable alphabetical sorting of network monitor's HTTP response headers?

From 53.x (IIRC) to 56.x, Firefox keeps the original order set by the server (like the one you see in the raw headers section or `curl -I`), and I like it that way.

Yep. Like to see some competition and I’m a huge fan of rust, so like to support it any way I can.

I hit minor compatibility issues on some sites, but it’s rare.

Main thing I miss is auto shrinking tabs. FF doesn’t support the bajillion tabs methodology so well right now.

What? I have hundreds, sometimes low thousands of tabs open constantly - auto shrinking tabs is exactly what makes me despise Chrome. It's completely unusable once you reach circa 50 and mouse wheel becomes the only way to navigate them.

In contrast, Firefox, thanks to no auto shrinking, is somewhat usable out of the box, and works wonderfully with extensions like Tab Center Redux or Tree Style Tabs.

Ha! That's funny! I used to say the same thing about chrome because the tabs shrunk so much I found them unusable. Also, opening too many tabs always gave me out of memory errors.

But maybe you can get it more to your liking by tweaking browser.tabs.tab in about:config?

Yes! This helps a lot actually. Thanks!

I tried to switch, but FF does not allow local files to be loaded. Since I use a bunch of Tampermonkey scripts (which I save and edit locally), it was a non-starter for me. Perhaps if they ever fix this issue, I might try again.

I never stopped using FF.

I'm holding off on upgrading until I find a replacement for TabMixPlus. I need something that will ensure:

1. middle-click to open links in new tabs. 2. address bar, search bar, and bookmarks open in a new tab by default.

Your #1 is already the case by default. Mid-clicking bookmarks and items in the URL/search bar should also just work to open in new tab.

If you're talking about entering an url and having it open in a new tab, that I don't know.

Still looking for scroll wheel to switch tabs though... :|

yeah, i want whacking the enter key to basically be guaranteed to give me a new tab.

I switched on a trial basis, I am definitely liking the smooth UI, I can't stand the way it handles many tabs though, I find it even worse than chrome hiding the fav icons, for me Opera is doing it better.

I switched. I really like the performance boost, and it just generally feels "snappier". I also had a long seeded desire to support FireFox, so now felt like a great time to jump ship.

- It feels a lot faster than Chrome - It uses less memory (especially with many tabs open) - multi-account containers are a game changer - I think it also looks better than Chrome

I've been running FF Nightly for weeks now, and I really like it. It feels snappier than Chrome, and I hope it can bring back a significant portion of developers as well.

I want to uninstall chrome, but can't find a good replacement for chrome report desktop. It just works so seamlessly on all devices, including mobile. Any suggestions?

I use TeamViewer personally. I prefer it to Chrome Remote Desktop.

Remote desktop?

I have been wanting to switch to FF for a lot of time, but insufficient performance used to hold me back. With FF 57 there are no excuses anymore, it's fantastic!

I switched to test it, not sure yet whether or not I will stay using it all the time. I definitely notice the speed and the built in screenshot support is pretty nice.

I'm switching over today. Performance was my only gripe with Firefox previously, and I really dislike the idea of feeding Google my usage information.

I rely on Chrome and Google's integration. I'm pretty sure I would catch on fire if I try to change...

ps: I use both, chrome for personal stuff and FF for work.

I did the switch. The only time I switch the Chrome back is using to debug some angular code. For an odd reason, Firefox shows stack traces too ugly.

The interface still feels less streamlined compared to Chromium. Also sync was hit and miss, the same as 3-4 years ago when I last used Firefox.

Odd, sync works great for me. I keep a huge history (365 days) and it syncs perfectly between all of my many devices.

Hadn't opened FF for a while now, but started using it as my second browser along with chrome since yesterday and am pretty impressed.

I switched from Opera to Firefox with Firefox 56. Firefox 57 is just amazing -- although I had to go and kill all of that pocket bullshit.

Switched to Nightly about a month ago and haven’t looked back. Orders of magnitude better since I ditched FF a few years back.

I just tried to switch again. Felt slower than chrome for the sites I use and my computer fans were spinning faster.

I can't, relying heavily on google docs and google keep lately.

I have been browsing with FF 57, Chrome still feels faster to me.

What's different in Google Docs in Chrome, that Google Docs in FF is missing?

It freezes in FF from time to time.

I just switched too, seems very snappy, and honestly I just wanted a change in browsers (not sure why!)

I switched about a month or so ago once Nightly hit 57. I have to say I love the speed and performance of it.

I never could leave FF because only it supported the auto scrolling feature with the middle mouse click.

Been using SeaMonkey since 2009. Never switched to anything else, and have no intentions to do so.

I switched to Firefox Nightly about a month ago and have made it back into Chromium less and less.

I tried it out and found lots of edge cases with super high cpu. Also lots of janky scrolling...

I switched when the 57 Beta came out, it was impressive enough to push me back over to FF again.

I switched for one reason and one reason only: you can disable autocomplete in the address bar.

Switched after 9 years on chrome, three reasons. Speed, privacy and sync.

I am. Really enjoying it!

I switched to firefox yesterday. it is lag free and fast. great

I have mainly because I am trying to use less Google stuff.

does anyone know how to disable those annoying requests to send notifications? in chrome you can disable them but I have not found a way to do it firefox

I have.

Now websites only need to support U2F with Firefox.

Yes, for 3 words : Tree, Style, Tab.

i use chromecast a lot and it doesn't work in firefox :\

That's the only real reason I have Chrome installed, and really the only thing I use it for.

I switched to a few weeks ago but it seems really laggy recently whenever I'm running Youtube in the background while on the private mode.

I don't trust Chrome at all, and I'd much rather use Firefox, but it's unusable for me.

Why are there downvotes for this?

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