Essentially it allows you to put different tabs into different light-weight profiles, with their own session, cookies, and state. That means if you want to log into Facebook but don't want Facebook following you online, just give Facebook its own container.
Mozilla has anti-tracking already baked in, but Multi-Account Containers are a whole other level of isolation, but without sacrificing usability (like traditional multi-profile/multi-user browsing).
They're also great for development. I have different containers for each user I use while working on logged-in flows. I can just go from tab to tab to test different user experiences or switch between users in a multi-user interaction.
File | New Session
It didn't work for apps that are sensitive to permanent cookies (and other client-side storage) instead if session level options of course, where multiple profiles does (as presumably does Firefoxes containers? - I don't know as I've not yet used them).
Containers keep the cookies and other data, yes, so you don't need to re-login every time you start the browser.
Yes, but you can have as many active sessions as you need instead of just two.
Incognito/InPrivate/whet-ever-other-browsers-call-the-feature tabs/windows share the same session so that gives you at most two active sessions: normal and incognito.
The "new session" option in IE can have many more. For a lot of workflows two is enough, but sometimes I want something like "a couple of distinct base users, a manager, and an admin" for testing more complex user workflows.
I use them so I can be logged in to multiple AWS accounts at the same time - works like a charm!
I don't, however, like how the UI/UX is implemented. In particular, the management of containers -- why do I have to dig so deeply to add new containers? Also, as a color-blind person, the slightly colored thin bar above the tab is not a sufficient identifier. It just seems all sort of after-thoughty and jumbled to me.
Having said that, I converted to FF being my primary browser from being a long-time Chrome user and am happy about the change.
It is actually easy... once you found the option: Long press the "+" / new tab button, and on the bottom of the container list is "manage containers".
Ce soir je me coucherai moins bête.
Really usefull trick but not very discoverable.
If you know about them, for example from reading the code, you can create them. So at present about:config is a strange sort of place with lots of knobs but not all of them.
- prefs that a developer was too lazy to add to the list of pref; or
- prefs that serve only during automated tests.
You could scan source code for `Services.prefs` and `nsIPreferenceService` if you really want to find them.
.. I just went to find the github issue for other people with a similar need and found someone has posted a link to an extension called sticky containers. A new tab opens in the same container of the last one. It's actually pretty close to what I'm after..
Now you can have multiple windows, each window with its own profile and the profile determines everything, from the browser's history to the extensions installed.
Here is an article that talks through the steps (on windows but it's similar for others) https://www.howtogeek.com/209320/how-to-set-up-and-use-multi...
Before the Quantum release we had a pretty cool extension for managing profiles that is no longer available, sadly:
I hope it gets implemented again.
I now do the "about:profiles" thing I mentioned. I don't know why they aren't exposing Profiles in the UI in an intuitive manner, makes no sense. For my day to day use, I think Multi-Account Containers are better though.
I have two LastPass accounts. One for work and one for personal use and I cannot use both of them in Firefox
That is the only reason I am not switching
My one wish is if you could set a default container. I use FF to browser Facebook primarily and want that to be default, but instead I have to load Firefox then load a container then load Facebook. Wish it were just open FF -> Facebook is homepage.
Also with the standard container addon you can specify that sites always open only in your specified container, so you could just set Facebook to always open in its own container that way.
Eh, back to my former opinion - Containers are great, Containers UX needs work.
Your comment just gave me the idea to: install the container tabs plugin, tell the plugin to always open our Jenkins site in the "Jenkins" container, and then when the bug happens, I can "clear cookies etc" on that container, without destroying my history and login sessions in the rest of my tabs.
After playing around with it for 5 minutes, it seems you can't clear cookies on a container basis. Also apparently only cookies are isolated, but other bits of history aren't. So this might not work. Alas. I almost found a solution. I did find that ctrl-shift-del opens a clear history popup though, instead of going through that wretched menu.
It doesn't clear cache but it will automatically delete any cookies when you close a tab or when you change the domain. That might do what you need, when you use it in conjunction with Containers.
On Chrome, theres an option to list cookies for a site by clicking on that padlock to left of site url, so quicker way of clearing cookies for your Jenkins site. Maybe FF has similar setup.
Then hard refresh browser should clear cache I think (ctr/cmd + shift + r on any system or ctr + f5 on windows).
I can't switch to Chrome since I can't live without tree style tabs anymore. I've become dependent.
If you're okay with using chrome: create another profile and only use it for jenkins, in fact, set up a shortcut that opens it in app/kiosk mode and maybe see if there's a commandline flag to clear all history every time you open it, that way all you need to do is click the shortcut and everything else happens in the background and it doesn't affect the rest of your browsing exp.
Both additional profiles and incognito browsing open a different window, with its own settings.
Which may actually be what pushes me to FF. Not out of spite, just that I was counting on Chrome profiles for this purpose, but they've gotten a lot harder for me to use for that (and were never as good as FF's multi-container thing, it sounds like).
Chrome supports multiple profiles. Mozilla's Multi-Account Container tabs isn't multiple profits. It is multiple isolated containers running under the same profile, in the same browser window.
A closer analogy would be if Chrome allowed each tab to have its own profile, rather than each window, and for each one to be lighter weight than a full profile.
With Chrome, even if you manually sync your profiles and keep the same set of extensions installed in both profiles, it runs 2 processes of the same extension. Even when the second profile window is closed.
But for me the deal breaker was managing a separate set of bookmarks.
daveFNbuck writes :
“They're also great for development. I have different containers for each user I use while working on logged-in flows. I can just go from tab to tab to test different user experiences or switch between users in a multi-user interaction.”
But from a privacy UX perspective, both Chrome and Firefox accommodate this use case gracefully.
I tried switching completely a month ago for the third time.
Sadly absolutely nothing has happened in a 5 year time-span. The performance on my high-spec i7 Macbook Pro is abysmal. ( same across several company Macbooks ) The fans speed up constantly like they have done it for years. It's completely unusable for "professional" work or just regular multi tab browsing and drains the battery in no time.
Safari, Chrome, Opera, whatever, doesn't have these problems. I actually haven't experienced an application that feels so sluggish and unoptimised in OSX as Firefox.
Something is seriously wrong and the dev group must not be prioritising it?
I checked their subreddit and loads of people are fleeing the Mac version, even on the newest nightly builds of quantum - seriously what the hell is going on? Why hasn't "the bug" or whatever been found or defined in clear termes in over 5 years?
The day the app works without serious CPU issues i will uninstall Chrome and go to Firefox, but the handling of this problem makes me worried about the dev groups competence.
When i talked to devs in the subreddit many of them were like "Hey, that sounds weird, should be better in the new nightly, are you sure it's not ..." - an absurd answer in the light of the constant stream of people saying this for years and years - even in this thread i see multiple people saying it's useless on OSX.
To the dev group: Get a Macbook (many devs use them), open Firefox, identify the problem - should have happened 5+ years ago.
As a frequent /r/firefox visitor - while I do agree that Fx team should spend more time investigating this, I still have to note that this is not a bug or something ssimilar that can be easily reproduced.
I have late 2013 MPBr and 2014 iMac and never had any issues of a sort ever since quantum release. The only problem (performance wise) were videos on Youtube, but it seems to be fixed already. So it is there for some people and it is not for the others. With dfferent Macbooks\software\setups etc.
I'm also using Firefox on an underpowered Ubuntu machine and it works wonderfully there though (no HiDPI screen).
When I did research about it (about a year ago) it seemed the devs were considering retina macbooks with a non-default resolution as origin of the bug for some reason - I'm referring to the display setting that appears as "more space" in the regular OSX settings menu, not some arcane hidden configuration.
I regularly check back because I love the idea of using their open source, somewhat privacy-focused alternative to chrome, but it's been years and still not a fix in sight.
To me it seems that a large segment of users using the Retina screens (most people on the osx platform) has severe performance problems. Some people have no problems. And that is just the state of affairs.
The weird thing for me is that there is no official "issue" or information about the problems since so many experience it.
Seriously wanted to switch to Firefox after the browser-sign-in "feature" but the performance on my high-end 2018 macbook pro with 16gb ram was just abysmal (20 tabs open tops).
I'm using Tridactyl for navigation, so i just press 'b' (:buffer) and start typing tab title or whatever. In a moment I'm on the tab that I needed.
There are a few handfull addons for tab management available.
>know what’s on those tabs?
I was the one who opened them, of course I know what's on those tabs.
I rarely have more than 10 open at a time and sometimes completely forget what's there or why I opened it - I find uber-tabbing impressive and baffling in equal measure.
If you know what you're looking for, what does having it open (but probably knocked out of memory?) have over using search/URL autosuggest? Just a workflow thing, or is it faster?
I think of my tabs as my documents (the ones I'm working with today, this hour or even this very moment).
I prefer keeping those documents on my table, because this saves me some time\effort and just more convenient (subjectvly). So active tabs are the documents right in front of me and knocked out of memory ones are the ones I'm going to work with soon or needed for some sort of reference waiting their time in some sort of document organizer.
>I rarely have more than 10 open at a time and sometimes completely forget what's there or why I opened it
Well, I just have good memory :D It's part of the way schooling goes here in Russia I guess and maybe the upbringing. Memory training was just another daily routine. Sometimes it's really hard for me to believe that some people can't remember the plot or the characters from the book they read a year ago, while I still can quote a book I read 15 year ago.
In the end I guess everything goes down to what kind of processes influenced your brain development or something like that.
I typically have related tabs around the one I find. E.g. recently I researched some details about the python requests library, but haven't finished implementing it yet. I can go back to that group of tabs that's in a somewhat logical order. Autocomplete wouldn't have that, and also suggest links I've already discarded as not interesting.
I've tried a few times to replace this workflow with bookmark groups etc, but I never got that to work in a way I'm completely happy with, and making my own extension that does it exactly like I want it to would be an interesting project, but too much work for now.
What I find useful is a browser extension that lets me copy-paste a list of all URLs in a window with their titles, so at the end of a research session I can move the entire list quickly to a markdown file and save it with a few notes.
This doesn't really help with navigation when you have 100+ of them, but this structure maps to your internal memory organizer too. Sort of.
It's like orrganizing things you keep in your room\apartment - you may have LOTS of things and from a 3rd person point of view they may seem unorganized, but not for you - you put things according to your own logic and even if you forget the exact coorditanes of some item you still can find if quick enough because you know where you should look for it.
Would you be interested in help to profile the issue and file a detailed bug? This would help fix it.
What i don't get is that it's an unknown problem, many people have already filed bug reports on the tracker:
(also see several blog posts like: https://www.kamshin.com/2018/07/firefox-on-macos-insane-batt...)
I think it has to do with running the Macbook Pro at scaled resolution which is pretty much standard among devs on MB pro no? (otherwise you will have very little screen real estate).
I just created i Profile through the Gecko profiler once again but i don't know if that captures the CPU data? What external profiler do you use?
Profile here from Firefox nightly, 1 minute of scrolling around https://fs8.transfernow.net/download/5c0a9b99f98e/master/Fir...
Very non scientific test below that i need to external profiler to confirm:
I get a hot computer when browsing / working normally
high CPU usage leading to
fans constantly running and battery drain
Doesn't happen in other browsers
Open 20 tabs and scroll a bit up and down for 1 minute.
Check CPU usage in Activity monitor.
Check fan speed an temp.
Repeat in all major browsers.
Safari, Chrome and Opera the fans stays silent and i get moderate CPU usage.
Firefox the fans kick in quickly (also ran first to have a fair baseline temperature).
Do I understand correctly that you're checking CPU usage immediately after having scrolled up/down, or while scrolling up/down, right?
Apparently, there are already people working on that bug. If I understand things correctly, Firefox uses transparent windows, but transparent windows use lots of CPU on some macOS configurations, and this somehow wasn't detected during testing (I imagine that the computers used for testing didn't have these configurations).
If this is the same bug, as is likely, the bug is identified and developers are working on it: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1429522 . If you wish, you may leave a message on that bug mentioning that you are available for profiling and testing a fix.
It is my impression (but don't take my word on it) that the fix will ship in Firefox 65, which is currently in Nightly. Now, I'm not sure that the fix has already landed in the current Nightlies, but do you have the possibility of testing on Firefox Nightly if the problem is still present?
(usual caveat: Nightly has Telemetry activated by default – if you don't like Telemetry, don't forget to disable it)
Apparently, the bug is already identified, so this might not be necessary. More details in my answer here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18634165 .
If you wish, you may leave a message on https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1429522 mentioning that you are available for profiling and testing a fix.
I have periodically had firefox problems in performance on all platforms including the new Mac air I bought my wife, her old Mac Pro and various Ubuntu and Windows installations. As a general rule it is because I've kept it open for several days with lots of tabs with media in them running. I mean it's irritating but not an ongoing catastrophe that means I can't use. As I said in some other thread recently I have over the past 10 years I think had two occasions where FF performance was so bad I had to leave the platform for a some time until it was fixed.
I see a lot of people in this thread claiming problems, and I see a lot of people claiming no problems, and some like me in between. So I don't know what the statistical breakdown of performance complaints about FF in comparison to all other issues (and if those complaints are actually likely to be related), but maybe it is not as great as you think it is?
Searching Google for "FF performance issues site:reddit.com" time span : last 24H, and off course there is a thread where the highest rated comment is someone saying FF is "laggy" on OSX
My guess would be most people have issues but most consumers don't know better. Some have no issues, and it seems that's the ones with older "non retina" displays.
Also slow is relative. If someone hasn't had an experience with a faster browser, then "slow" just feels normal. I had that after using Firefox for ~9 months. It just felt normal, and then got a bit slow and unusable after a while. After switching back to Chrome on Mac, it was like a breath of fresh air. I forgot what a responsive UI felt like.
"Yes we are aware that a certain percentage has severe performance problems on osx, we believe this has to do with the Retina displays blah blah" - instead it seems like no one from the dev group has been following this problem when you ask them. Despite weekly threads, just like the posts here on Hackernews in every FF thread.
Check my other post:
This issue is all over the place.
I will admit it was too harshly written, the issues seems to only be on the osx platform and Firefox is great on all other platforms, but the issue has been detailed in their own tracker and subreddit for many years.
If the Mozilla devs aren't paying attention to and haven't remedied the problem you're experiencing, perhaps you're the edge case?
I just wrote that their support subreddit is filled with posts about performance on OSX, this thread in itself already has loads of posts with people complaining about it, and my post just is getting lots of upvotes - how is that an edge case?
Also all Firefox threads on Hackernews has these posts, every single one.
As i said before i have been following this for years. You having a 2012 computer is 100% the edge case - not that there is anything wrong in that, i love keeping tech for as long as possible.
How so? It's the same processor (Ivy Bridge) and GPU combo (HD 4000 + GT 650M) as the first few revisions of the retina MBP models. The big difference is the display resolution (1680x1050 vs 2880x1800).
You're saying this problem goes back five years (2013). Whether or not the 2012 model is particularly common now, the guts were common in 2013 back when you claim to have seen the problem.
I've got a newer (still non-retina) iMac and have used a variety of retina machines for work and haven't seen any performance problems with FF either. Sure, if I run a bunch of flash based video players I can get the fans to go nuts but that's not a FF problem (the same thing happens if I use Chrome, flash is just an inefficient means of rendering video).
If the Mozilla devs haven't reproduced your complaint on a first class platform it's a pretty safe bet that you're doing something whacky whether or not you realize it.
We are not discussing if your computer is an edge case tech wise, but if it represents a "commonly used device" on the osx platform, ie, a device with a Retina display. In other words an edge case market wise.
Also another guy just wrote "Definitely not an edge case", about all his companys computers above me.
I don't get your point in trying to say we are "whacky" people because we say there is a problem. Once again read other FF threads on HN an these posts are in every one.
Basically you said the developers of a major browser, browser engine, programming language etc etc etc are all stupid because firefox doesn't work optimally on some subset of mac users machines. If this effects 1 in 1000 mac users this could be biting quite a few people certainly enough to inspire a lot of complaints and still effect a tiny portion of firefox users especially if firefox users are already underrepresented on macs due to historical poor showing.
If Macs are 9% of desktops/laptops and firefox users are around 10% then 0.9% of users are mac firefox users even given an even distribution of users or more realistically 0.5% of users.
If a bug effects in in 100 users its effecting then 0.005% of users. If it effects 1 in 1000 its effecting 0.0005% of users.
The prior posters statement about poor performance with scaling sounds interesting and importantly repeatable. If its the source of the challenge in question it seems like it would be great to submit a bug report.
Bugs that effect everyone are quickly fixed. Bugs that effect a small minority are more apt to slip through. This seems like a more satisfying conclusion than just assuming Mozilla hires morons for 6 figures.
Eleven people out of the thousands of people that use FF on a Mac daily? Perhaps it's not Mozilla that's wronged you.
I don't know why you're trying to deffend the idea that this bug is not a (relevant) thing. I'm not OP btw.
Why? Hand waving and tantrums don't mean that what OP is experiencing is representative of the state of Firefox on OSX. OP is positing that it's this ancient bug that Mozilla developers have just ignored because they're so awful/incompetent/lazy/whatever, but there's no way it would be problematic on hardware that dates back to the original problems.
It just smacks of frustrated user doing something out of the norm and falling prey to this idea that their own experiences are OBVIOUSLY representative of the norm.
Me? I'd guess that OP is doing something like running with a non-scaled display, running something else that's disabling the integrated GPU, running a poorly behaved corporate plugin or anti-virus, loading something so memory intensive the computer is swapping to disk, has a poorly behaved corporate font installed (or too many fonts), or something else along those lines. Basically something that seems normal to OP but is, in reality, not.
I've seen plenty of poor behavior from Firefox and from the Mozilla devs, but this idea that Firefox just performs poorly across the board on OSX (or some increasingly specific subset of OSX) seems very unlikely given how much focus Mozilla has been giving to performance as of late. More likely I expect there's just a very vocal minority.
I'm not making a judgement on Mozilla devs and their competency or work ethics, and I don't think OP is either, but the fact remains that the bug is there and I'd guess it's decently easy to replicate given that I've encountered it in the wild a lot. If it's one tenth as usual as my personal experience suggests it should be at the top of their backlog.
Plenty of things there could be edge cases. In fact the very first thing I thought of was resolution. Running a non-scaled retina display could definitely cause all sorts of problems as all of a sudden the browser is rendering a much bigger canvas.
> I'm not making a judgement on Mozilla devs and their competency or work ethics, and I don't think OP is either
OP is absolutely judging Mozilla employees and if that carried through to the bug reports I'm sure OP filed, well, that could definitely color the response from Mozilla.
Most people here are superusers, and i personally am a dev.
Off course i have tried everything possible, clean install, new profile, HW acc off, boot to safe mode etc. To insinuate that i have installed some weird plugin and even talked directly to the FF devs without trying basic troubleshooting or have some weird anti virus plugin installed is beyond weird.
I also wrote it's the same with all of my colleagues MB's (15 people).
So how is this a tantrum and a vocal insignificant minority of it comes up again and again and the post is sitting at the top with lots of people agreeing? (i know not everyone has the problem).
Your other points i don't get. Scaling should not be an issue as it's not an issue for any other apps - disabling the GPU by accident, what? All other software works fine. You shouldn't need a discrete GPU for browsing.
This issue is all over the place, here just from their own bugtracker only from the last 12 months (detailed from this post https://www.kamshin.com/2018/07/firefox-on-macos-insane-batt...):
And from their subreddit:
And here the devs asks for help for once (and admit a problem):
Just searching for random posts from the last 24 hours on reddit r/mac and bingo:
and you can find many more:
That you suggest all of these hundreds of people are imbeciles with weird plugins is beyond disrespectful when so many of us has tried to help mozilla debugging to no effect and with little info in return. Most of us are devs or superusers - the issue has been detailed through many technical blog posts, and investigated by highly technical people thank you.
I don’t understand how that is a difficult conclusion to reach.
My retina macbook pro never had any issues with FF.
Any Sandy Bridge i7 from 2012 easily outperforms most odern laptops.
There is some progress made in performance per watt, but raw performance strongly decrease after the 39xx series.
1st step to trying to debug would be removing your old profile completely, maybe try to disable extensions and HW rendering acceleration
Also i am a dev - i have tried all possible options to remedy this issue. I even wrote that i talked to FF devs directly. Wouldn't it be weird if i hadn't tried basic techniques?
It's like there is this weird tribal thing going on where there is this passive aggressive attitude towards the people having problems like "you guys must be idiots" even though there is dozens of comments with anecdata about no one using FF at their companies because of performance issues.
A lot of people have issues, some don't - doesn't make the ones that do have them complete imbeciles.
Sometimes "why someone hasn't tried that" is less about being clueless and more about not assuming how much people know about things.
I can imagine someone at Mozilla going "how do we debug this" and failing to reproduce the problem (I run FF on two different Macs/OSX versions and it runs ok on both)
Maybe FF can add some telemetry or have a special debug version for those with the issue, but I see how it can be frustrating
Edge preserves my battery the best, however Edge is not practical to use, so Opera with the battery saving option is currently the best bet.
Firefox is still my main development browser though.
(I don't know the exact details, I have a vague recollection of pcwalton explaining it to me)
Since I switched to 2018 Macbook Pro Retina the issue is gone.
Google Chrome can die in a fire as far as I'm concerned.
I don’t know it would make sense to you, or most, but it felt like a breach of trust and seeing it is still baked into the browser itself (yes, they bought it; yes, you can turn it “off”) and that you can’t “completely remove” it, I don’t “that part” has changed. Besides the separate standalone add-on was a lot more useful and I was a full time user until that debacle when I moved to Safari (and Pinboard).
Would it have been better to have built it internally instead of through acquisition? I admit I'm unfamiliar with the inside baseball on it's integration, but breach of trust sounds pretty drastic. My read (as an uninformed outsider) is that they probably acquired Pocket for a song, it filled a gap in the product offering, and it offers the potential of a future optional revenue stream that aligns well with the web as a document reading medium (subscription).
There's all sorts of internal browser features you can't 'completely remove'. How is bookmarking different?
Users suspected money was involved. Mozilla employees insisted that Pocket hadn't paid for the integration. Months later, it came out that there was a referral deal.
Pocket was and is an extension. It just gets special treatment.
Mozilla acquired Pocket in early 2017 and said they would release the source code. That still hasn't happened.
Pocket is not an extension - it's built in by default and cannot be removed (only disabled).
Did a similar thing for a project, rolled out customer's own Firefox extensions (for office workflow) to employee desktops. Extensions were bundled because the employers sometimes uninstall them and freak out because they can't work anymore.
In the end I decided that it was just easier to switch back to Chrome instead of going down that road, and I'm so happy I can cast videos/tabs to my TV.
I'm curious what you're using currently if Firefox's privacy imperfections are of concern? Safari?
(Firefox has a good security team, but Chrome's is unmatched.)
In terms of technical implementations, Chrome naturally surpasses everything else in a naïve myopic comparison (and always will), but holistically a secure algorithm isn't going to protect you if you've voluntarily handed the keys to the kingdom to umpteen untrusted parties. Chrome gets all the technical details right in a context where doing so seems redundant.
Secondly, that's a single step in the threat model; it's not just about what a Google engineer would do with your data, it's about attack surface area when any Googlers (or Google infra, or Google partner infra) that is compromised automatically exposes you.
The simple act of transmitting and storing your data to anyone, no matter how secure their systems are, is still by definition less secure than simply not transmitting that data.
They will also block all third party cookies effectively blocking most ads. Chrome or Chromium would never build in such a feature and make it ON by default. Because tracking and personalized ads are there business model.
Lately it introduced the ability to do "Multi-Account Containers". They behave like light profiles. But you can use containers to box social networks. See:
This ability is currently unmatched in other browsers.
It also has built-in tracker blocking. Nothing you can't get with uBlock Origin or Privacy Badger, but it's nice to have it on by default, especially in Private Mode.
Note that people complain about the "strict mode" of that tracker blocking not being enabled by default. However I can tell from my experience that the strict mode breaks websites.
See also the design of Firefox Sync, which was designed to not leak data by default, as compared with Chrome's Sync: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/11/firefox-sync-privacy/
It's valid criticism but seeing this presented in arguments about why Firefox is bad (and you should be using Chrome instead) is absurd.
Firefox is significantly more trustworthy than Chrome (the outrage over Mozilla's occasional screw-ups exists because that behaviour is decidedly not the established norm for Mozilla whereas the same behaviour from Google surprises no-one).
The context in this thread was "Switch to Firefox. It prioritizes privacy, unlike Chrome". In other words, "Firefox is more privacy-focused than Chrome".
Piling on Mozilla for past screw-ups creates the impression that this statement is wrong and that both browsers are equally bad at privacy because neither of them is consistently perfect.
Even if the criticism is technically correct, piling it on like this creates a skewed impression that if you care about privacy you might as well use Chrome because even if you switch to Firefox your privacy will be invaded anyway.
This normalises the level of invasiveness of Chrome and equivocates its consistent and intentional behavior with a series of exceptional missteps.
In case you think "But I never mentioned Chrome", well, Chrome and Firefox were the only options in the original post so anything negative about Firefox implies a positive about Chrome and vice versa. If you wanted to call out specific behavior, either present an alternative (Brave? Ice Weasel?) or clarify that you're addressing the behavior categorically and not just that instance of it specifically.
If someone says "Don't use A. B is better because it doesn't do $thing" and then you respond by "I've seen B do $thing" that implies equivalence between A and B even if B did $thing only a few times out of carelessness whereas A intentionally does $thing all the time because its business model depends on it. It doesn't matter that you didn't mean it that way, it doesn't matter that it's true and it doesn't matter that this is a mistake on part of the audience. Humans are flawed and communication requires you to take those flaws into account -- unless you just want to express yourself.
Not sure relative to Safar or Edge.
Of the problems I've had with Firefox, some of them are actually due to it being _too_ privacy focused, and not having good UX explaining why common operations don't work as expected. For example I couldn't save a file onto my computer and was pulling my hair out until I did a binary search through every version of Firefox, found the first version that didn't work, read deep into the patch notes, and discovered that I needed to set the magical flag of dom.ipc.plugins.sandbox-level.
Then again, I don't do heavy web development or have a tab open with e-mail all day (e-mail is in Thunderbird) so maybe that makes a difference?
On Firefox, my fans will randomly jump up to 3000rpm when doing only normal web browsing, even on simple sites like HN. I'm using FF right now to post this comment, and as soon as I opened HN, my CPU temp went from 40 to 50c. And this is the only tab I have open. If I open a video, or heaven forbid a Twitch stream or Google Maps, my fans instantly go to 7000rpm and my CPU temp goes to 70-80c. Even just opening Gmail makes FF go haywire. And it isn't just "my fans spin up, big deal". Browsing the internet on FF turns my MBP into a slag of near-molten metal that is too hot to even touch, and I can only imagine what it's doing to my battery life.
I want to like FF, I really do, but this is simply a dealbreaker for me, and even though it's a known issue, Mozilla seems uninterested in fixing it (I have previously seen a response from Mozilla that essentially amounted to "it's hard for us to optimize FF for certain sites, so we aren't going to even try").
It's clearly not an issue for everyone, but I definitely have noticed that I'm not the only one who has these issues, either.
I guess this might be due to the new Rust layout engine I've heard about which is more parallelised?, but even just having a single tab playing youtube or a gif uses more CPU in Firefox, so maybe it's something with hardware acceleration?
My investigations (their bugzilla, the news about their company, I've been following for a long time) point to the opposite: it's the "old code" which nobody wants to improve: it doesn't help if the "new" code is fast to draw Some detail when the "old" decides to draw or update the stuff that doesn't even has to be updated or drawn. And it's not just drawing too, it's all the processing that happens during the life of the page with the "moving" images. Nobody, as "especially managers in Firefox." There was a number of developers in some Asian country, paid by Firefox, who were in charge for fixing in the old code, and they were simply fired. It seems it's not "strategic" for the managers to "fix" things, only to "experiment" with "new" things like ads or "new technologies" or whatever.
The "more CPU and GPU use" of Firefox is absolutely observable on any platform, not only on Macs. There are also the bugs submitted, but it doesn't seem that there's any priority in fixing them. From their perspective "it works, it's just that those who measure such use notice it." It's of course not so. The battery is empty earlier, the notebooks are hotter, the response lags. There are reported bugs demonstrating exactly what you observed: compared to any other browser even a single video on the "modern" site in Firefox needs much more processing power. It’s easy to reproduce in Windows too.
But obviously fixing the performance problems is not priority for the managers, when there's anything "new and shiny." Because they don’t see that as serious bugs: “the same page uses 10% of the max possible power in Chrome but 20% in Firefox.” “Who cares?” It’s too long-term goal.
I did experience a glitch the other day in dev tools where a pane blanked out on me. I may have had a crash too, but that's it.
Quantum made it viable to use ff on my old laptop, but a daily driver for a web dev it still is not.
Based on this bug and some of the related ones, the answer seems to be no.
Until then I'm stuck with Opera/Safari/Chrome, mostly in that order.
It'd be nice if you could throttle processor usage. I'd rather have a choppy experience on the occasionally website than constant fans and having my Mac turn into a heater.
I switched to Firefox away from Chrome recently. I am happy with this but I wish they had a friendly UI you could bring up to expose cookies to be shared between tabs on an opt-in basis. Cookies should be isolated per-tab by default. Cookies and other persistent data should be forgotten as soon as the tab is closed. I don't like container tabs, I think it gets confusing to manage tab groups by profile. I want to quickly mouse over and say "expose this tab's cookies to this other tab".
I'm still sad I can't get perfect "tree tabs" going. I have a plugin I use to show parent and child tabs in a tree arrangement but nothing looks sexy about it:
I want an actual tree of lines shown to each row/tab to quickly visualize how the tabs were created from parent-to-child. How it currently looks is too busy with borders everywhere. It's functional but not what I envisioned. I can't hide the tab bar at the top as far as I know. I'm just frustrated that I remember trying to make this work in like 2002 and it's soon to be 2019. I feel like browsers aren't made for workstations, but casual consumption. They should enable so much productivity.
I also wish they focused on minimizing and isolating references to various Web APIs, so it would be easier to unreference and orphan them - unreachable from advertisers.
Its a shame they just plugged some parts into Firefox and called it a day. Instead of getting us a new shiny browser that could compete with Chrome, Mozilla focuses efforts on dubious Pocket/Cliqz/VPN integrations and a bunch of progressive outreach programs.
Unless something changes drastically, Firefox will descend into irrelevancy very soon (if not already). And that's bad for all of us.
Working on a production ready project is hard and takes forever, the integration work was a pit stop where we had an opportunity to get our work out to users. We'll take these opportunities as we get them.
Compared to the number of people who browse the web on desktop, the number of VR/AR users is statistically insignificant.
Moving Servo's focus away from desktop and towards niche VR/AR experiments will only accelerate the decline of Firefox. Or rather, fail to slow it down.
If you have auto-updates enabled, Mozilla, like Google, has complete control over the source code that runs on your system. Had they wanted to sneak new source code in, they would have specifically not packaged it as an extension, which made it user-visible and limited to the extension API in its capabilities, and instead just patched the Firefox code to include it. So, they were decidedly doing the opposite of sneaking it in.
Mozilla has made some mistakes, absolutely, but it really is not anywhere close to being "like Google". It's still the far superior choice, personal freedoms-wise, over Chrome.
It could be easier, but still doable in 5 minutes (that's how long it took me) with some CSS, see https://github.com/piroor/treestyletab/wiki/Code-snippets-fo... on how to do it.
There seem to be some security concern or it's not so easy UX wise, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1332447 for all the discussions and progress.
Haven't noticed speed issues in Drive either.
For anyone unaware, WebRender is a new compositing engine for Firefox written from the ground up in Rust that runs on the GPU.
What do you think if you don't mind me asking?
I agree this should be implemented natively though.
Yep luckily the bug is being actively worked on and might land in the next version or two.
I can confirm its not fixed yet. Firefox Dev Edition is unusable on my 2014 MBP w/ integrated graphics but is crazy fast on my 2018 and Hackintosh.
Which is a shame - I really wanted to like Firefox on Mac.
On those same pages, Chrome and Safari work just fine.
If Apple were making MBPs better each year instead of demonstrating their "courage" ("This time we're taking X away from you because as long as Windows is the only competition, whaddya gonna do about it?") I would have already bought a new one, and that would presumably have more powerful graphics and not get as hot, but I would still want to verify that FF wasn't running the battery down faster than Chrome or Safari.
It's clear that the current round of browser wars isn't just about speed and standards compliance, but also feature lock-in too.
I do agree however that the entire industry standardizing on Chrome is not great for anyone (including Google). I'm surprised that Microsoft isn't continuing Edge development, even only as a hedge and to have a sensible default for Windows - especially if you're building Windows Apps and you need a browser control. Why give that up to Chrome? And it isn't like Microsoft can't afford it - they are almost a trillion dollar company.
I'd bet Pocket is more useful to more people than Panorama was.
I have a work and personal profile for Chrome and even tho I could make that work on Firefox, one very simple thing makes it completely unusable to me: clicking a link always opens on one particular window/profile.
On Chrome whatever window you last used will be the one opening the url, which is extremely necessary when using multiple profiles.
Perhaps one day that's going to be implemented and I can go back to the good old FF.
If you use multiple accounts on the same service (eg. Gmail for work/personal use) you're screwed.
The whole point is that it shouldn't need configuration, it should be smart like Chrome is.
I'd like to use Firefox. I prefer its ideals to everything else. I've tried it out several times the last year. It's okay. Unfortunately, I always end up going back to Safari. Despite the performance improvements, Safari still feels like a faster, sleeker, smoother, and more user-focused browser.
Firefox is still pretty ugly. On macOS, it feels chunkier and less natively integrated. It does not feel like a first-class citizen of macOS, but rather like a gtk+ or Qt app ported to the Mac.
Safari's "omnibar" is superior to Firefox's. Safari actually suggests web sites (see https://imgur.com/a/dY2SWKB), which I use all the time. Wikipedia is a major one. Start typing "Richard Fey", for example, and the first hit will be the Wikipedia page for Richard Feynman, complete with a short summary and photo. Firefox forces me through a Google search. I use DuckDuckGo and its shortcuts, but Safari's suggestions are more helpful.
I also tried out Firefox on iOS some time ago, and it wasn't as nice as Safari. For there to be a point to this, I'd need the same browser in both places, with perfect syncing of bookmarks, cookies, tabs, etc., just like Safari. I'm not tied to iCloud for this, though it'd be nice to use iCloud and not yet another cloud syncing mechanism.
Lastly, migrating is a pain. There's apparently no way to import my current Safari session (I have probably 60-70 tabs) or history (I keep everything I visit, going back years), which means I'd lose stuff by migrating and would have to migrate tabs over incrementally. Hard to try out a browser in any meaningful way this way.
Here's a few things Firefox could do to interest me:
- Make super-sleek platform-specific UIs that feel native. Do you really need a platform-agnostic GUI toolkit for the chrome? The renderer is the portable part. I don't care about theming myself, and wouldn't miss it if my browser didn't have it (Safari doesn't). I prefer an opinionated browser that knows what it should look and feel like.
- Innovate by addressing actual user pain points. Containers are an innovation, but they target techies and fail the grandmother test. I'd like true containers, where every 2nd-level domain is contained. This means having to be innovative about how to address cross-origin things (Google spreads itself over many domains, and then you have things like OAuth).
Another huge innovation you could bring to the table is to fix the user identity and authentication problem. I use a password manager, but why are we still logging in with user names and passwords these days? Why is the password manager using brittle form fills rather than APIs, for God's sake? Here's my solution: When I go to Reddit or whatever, and I'm logged out, what if my browser showed a little bar at the top that said: "This web site would like to use your profile 'Atombender'. [Accept] [Ignore]". On accept, browser and web site would negotiate through some kind of opaque, cryptographically secure token (via some plugin API so that providers like 1Password and Apple can store your state) so that the browser can prove that I am me, and the web site can prove that it is itself. No more phishing, no more remembering passwords. Web sites can only identify users that you've granted access to your identity to, and like ApplePay your true identity should be hidden behind an opaque identifier. Standard protocols could be defined for things such as email addresses and phone numbers, so that I can edit the email for my profile locally, and it would automatically make an API call to the web site to update the email address on that end. Things like deleting an account, setting up 2FA etc. would be part of this API. Of course, to accomplish this you have to design a standard and make web sites use it. Mozilla used to have enough clout to do this, anything is possible.
Another area where innovation is needed: Fix the tab problem. Bookmarks, tabs, windows -- we can do better. Why isn't a tab and a bookmark sort of the same thing? Why is bookmark editing so bad? Why do bookmarks get broken when the web site disappears or changes? A bookmark should save a complete copy of that page!
And why can't I search my history of visited web pages? I remember reading an article a few weeks ago. It mentioned Charlemagne's reign but the title was about something completely different. I don't remember anything else. How do I find it? Browsers only record the title and URL and visit time. Why can't I search for "Charlemagne" in the browser and get a hit?
- Firefox can interest me with great performance, but Quantum has been disappointing on macOS. I remember the standalone WebRender (?) demo app a few years ago, and it was insanely fast. Maybe because it had less legacy baggage. Firefox could charm me by using significantly less RAM and less idle CPU.
- Why don't browsers have adblocking built in? I use 1Blocker, and it has a clunky UI where you can point the cursor at a page element to block that specific element. This could be made so smooth.
- To catch more developers' mindshare, Firefox could develop a super-modern, low-resource-usage Electron competitor with some kind of easy (gRPC?) glue for interfacing with languages. Join forces with Slack to make it happen.
Just some ideas. I don't pretend I know better than the Firefox team, and I'm just one data point, of course.
But like many people I see Firefox as being increasingly less relevant. I don't see this as being caused only by the ascendancy of Chrome, either.
Firefox has built-in tracker blocking, which has the side effect of blocking a lot of ads and makes your pages load faster:
Brave also has built-in tracker blocking:
> I use 1Blocker, and it has a clunky UI where you can point the cursor at a page element to block that specific element.
uBlock Origin has a similar feature. I think it works smoothly in Firefox:
When FF wants to be a Mac app, I’ll be the first one in line to use it.
My grandmother had glaucoma and could not use Firefox 57 in any capacity because the feature to have large chunky Netscape/Mosaic buttons was removed completely. I had to switch all her stuff over to SeaMonkey, which still had the ability to have large buttons, so she could use a web browser.
I'm hanging on to FF for idealogical reasons, but that's it. If the browsing experience was my only measure, it'd be Chrome all the way.
Since Chrome, Edge, and IE uses Windows certificate infrastructure and Firefox uses its own, it won't understand directive perhaps pushed through your company's group policy. You can specify address of your intranet site, in style of https://.example.com (where subdomain of example.com is covered in this case) and it should work.
As for certificate, is it using internal certificate of some sort? If that's the case, you will have to load it to Firefox's NSS.
It actually prioritizes calling home, stopping ad-blockers from working on Mozilla owned sites, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I am a Firefox user myself, and I do think that Firefox is the most privacy oriented browser when compared to the other popular ones, but nowadays it is a pain in the butt to disable all of their spyware on about:config.
Err, do you mean preventing extensions from modifying critical sites like addons.mozilla.org? Because that's seems like common sense to me.
For example, WebAssembly started out as a Mozilla project. What if Mozilla didn't exist, or Firefox didn't have any market share? It would never have been created. Think of all the accumulated features/innovations that could exist over the next few years that might not if the only browser engine being used is controlled by a single company.
That's a negative to me - again, too much browser engine consolidation. :/
Yes, I include Mozilla in "big companies" (2017 big revenue, which won't recur from what I can tell; big pay to chair too). Nevertheless, Mozilla has mismanaged Servo into an AR/XR only position where it won't go big, and Mozilla (for same reasons as MS) faces pressure to bail on Gecko.
Blaming little browsers for using chromium/Blink is blaming them for surviving.
Successful genes (e.g. for adaptive auto-immunity) tend to sweep. Think of WebKit and now (on desktop) chromium/Blink as such alleles. We may not like it but it happens whatever we may wish. I've chosen to fight for user rights at a higher domain of discourse: private ads, anonymous donations, ad and tracking protection by default. The time for a more radical new engine will come; it isn't now.
Brave, as yet another Chromium based-browser doesn't feel like it's helping. That, and the name "Brave" absolutely grates on me. It's a web browser: what exactly is brave about it? Too pretentious for my taste.
I always thought "Opera" was pretentious, personally! But I'm friends with long-time CTO, who does go to Bayreuth every year for Wagner, so I mean this is best possible way ;-).
No it's not. It's frequently hanging certain tabs which I'm forced to close and reopen because I get the grey spinner and my 8 core machine grinds down to a halt.
On Android when opening the embedded webview powered by Firefox, whether the page will load without being forced to open it in the full browser is a coin toss.
It doesn't help that Mozilla has lost most of my goodwill by being such a mixed bag when it comes to politics and decision making the past few years.
I still use it, because I like that a part of the company is trying to move the needle forward in browser tech, I find container tabs better than Chromium profiles and up until recently I could get bypass paywalls without workarounds, but unless things improve by the time Brave moves the Chromium fork out of beta, I'm moving to Brave.
It's also a fair bit slower than Chrome, which doesn't help.
If Mozilla forked Chromium this year, Firefox would be a better browser (even with the very interesting developments coming from the Servo camp, E10S, etc. etc. etc.). Firefox has accumulated bugs, particularly around their implementation of SVG, since about 4.x, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better on that front.