From Google Chrome Privacy Notice :
[...] 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.
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
Also we should remember that data needs to be stored first before it is aggregated. What happens with information about each single event?
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.
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.
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.)
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!"
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.
E.g., is it okay to track user location, if in aggregate they use it to advice on traffic?
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
I didn't think much about container tabs til I read this. This will be awesome for me. Thanks!
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.)
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.
> 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.
Firefox also has profiles (about:profiles) but with less UI around it so it's annoying to use.
Once they are enabled, you can create under Settings > General > Tabs > Settings
Makes it simpler and more accessible.
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!
Exactly this. We need keyboard shortcuts for containers.
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.
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)
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.
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 ...
(Running Adblock, but that's about it.)
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.
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.
In any event, you can edit ~/.config/mimeapps.list to fix it up. Hope that helps.
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...
By the way, I also defaulted to DuckDuckGo as the search engine, and so far I'm a happy camper.
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.
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.
The speed has been the main factor along with being able to step away from Google, if only a little bit.
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 ).
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 .
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!
There's been a bug open about this for 15 years now: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=196175
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maybe I accessed the base URL without the query parameters.
I found this to be very fast. It's also handy for translations, etc..
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  several years ago, and back then it was possible to add a `keyword` column to the existing columns in `manage bookmarks`.
Edit: Added an explanation for the `keyword` feature.
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.
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.
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.
In Firefox, you need to go to about:profiles to even see what profile you're currently using.
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 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!
Firefox 57 is really nice. But somehow it is a little pain.
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 . 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.
* 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.
Nav to about:config then search for extensions.pocket.enabled and do the obvious thing. :)
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.
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.
Or am I misunderstanding what you're looking for?
- 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.
I feel it is harder for FF to compete on mobile.
How does it integrate/compete with Chrome tabs on Android ?
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).
When FF has sn equivalent set of extensions, I will happily dump Chrome. Until then, it appears I'm stuck with Chrome
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).
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 ;-)
So Firefox is unfortunately an unusable web browser for me :/
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.
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.
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.
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.
But maybe you can get it more to your liking by tweaking browser.tabs.tab in about:config?
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.
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... :|
ps: I use both, chrome for personal stuff and FF for work.
I have been browsing with FF 57, Chrome still feels faster to me.
Now websites only need to support U2F with Firefox.
I don't trust Chrome at all, and I'd much rather use Firefox, but it's unusable for me.