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Goodbye, EdgeHTML (blog.mozilla.org)
1178 points by __michaelg on Dec 6, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 657 comments

Seriously, switch to Firefox. It's good again, and prioritizes privacy.[0] After Chrome's forced-sign-in debacle [1] I switched away from Chrome on all my platforms (Windows, Linux, Android) and haven't missed a thing.

[0]: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/11/firefox-sync-privacy/ [1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18055161

The best thing about Firefox is Mozilla's Multi-Account Container tabs[0].

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).

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

They're quite practical even if you don't care about tracking. I have different containers for my work and personal Google accounts and they make things much easier than relying on Google's support for multiple accounts.

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.

This is one of the things I used to like IE for - perhaps the only thing it got better than the competition:

    File | New Session
... and then you have a fresh session context that doesn't share cookies with the others so you can log into services as different users. As a developer this is very handy for testing multi-user workflows, and had numerous uses as a more general user too, and it was easy to do ad-hoc without needing to setup multiple profiles first.

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).

That does sound useful. I often end up creating several temporary containers while doing testing and development. The overhead of creating and deleting these is annoying.

That sounds more like incognito mode, no?

Containers keep the cookies and other data, yes, so you don't need to re-login every time you start the browser.

> That sounds more like incognito mode, no?

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 don't know how edge does incognito but in other browsers, incognito kills the tab history, so if you accidentally close a tab you can't trivially restore it with ctrl+shift+t or whatever.

This is the case in Chrome but not in Firefox (private mode)


I use them so I can be logged in to multiple AWS accounts at the same time - works like a charm!

That's one of my use cases too. It works pretty well when you're actively using multiple accounts. Amazon doesn't preserve the session very long, so I find that most of the time I open one of my AWS containers they're logged out.

I use this extension called SessionBox on Chrome to do exactly this. It gives me different sessions side by side in the same window.

the only thing i miss from containers is a shortcut to open a new tab using current container[0]. it would make usage a lot easier.

[0] https://github.com/mozilla/multi-account-containers/issues/4...

That would be nice. I'd also like the to be able to automatically revert to default container when leaving a site (like the FB container plugin does), to view/manage cookies by container, and to specify more than one container that I like to open sites in so it doesn't bug me about using my default Google container when I open gmail in my work container.

Totally share the love regarding container tabs.

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 also takes way too many steps to make a site open in a container by default. And there doesn't seem to be any way to manage cookies by container. I'm not even sure what data is showing up in the cookie management preferences page.

>why do I have to dig so deeply to add new containers?

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.

Agreed. Container Tabs is fantastic, however the UI needs work. Editing a tab is also pretty awful, you have to navigate to two different areas to tweak all the options.

I wish the addon would sync its container configuration accross Firefox Sync. Setting my containers manually on the multiple computers I use daily is a real pain in the ass.

This. Especially if you use hotkeys for opening container profiles. Since the FireFox UI doesn't allow for container profile reordering in the UI you have to rebuild your profiles in the correct order (because hotkeys are mapped to order of creation based on numeric value) and reselect the appropriate icon and color to match the profile you're used to. Right now containers are not a welcome citizen with regard to Sync. I really enjoy containers but they need to be front and center and a first class citizen in the profile with Sync.

For mobile use container syncing (even just ssyncing which domains go in which container) would make it sooo much easier to protect from tracking.

Firefox for Android is a notable improvement over Chrome, but the add-ons available for it, even simple ones like javascript toggle, are significantly worse. On desktop it retains state for each site, wheread on Android it is a global toggle for all websites.

I keep having Firefox for Android bug out on me and stop rendering the pages - it's really frustrating as it keeps forcing me back to Chrome. Have you ever hit this issue?

Yes, I have had it start mis-rendering with content being partially covered, killing and reopening Firefox fixes it. Firefox for Android needs work, but the add-ons make it a good experience.

No, the best thing about Firefox is Tree Style Tabs https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...

Agreed, I am completely dependent on Tree Style Tabs. I mean, I _could_ live without it, but I really don't want to.

The best thing about FF is about:config. It tunes in to the legacy of Netscape and Amiga where you could and can configure everything to how you like it. This is freedom, unlike chromium.

Sadly there are also 'secret prefs' that are considered so potent that they're not exposed by default in about:config

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.

is there a good list of those prefs? or perhaps I can scan source code for some string

Frankly, these secret prefs are basically either:

- 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.

If there's something you really need to configure in Chromium and it's not available as a flag, you can add that feature and submit a pull request. It's an open source project.

Looks like you don't know about chrome://flags/

The thing is, flags in Chrome exist only until Google decides it shouldn't be an option anymore. Then they take the choice away from you. I disabled the material "design" styled themes for as long as I could, until the flag disappeared.

That's not really different for Firefox, there's just a different organization making that decision.

Chrome flags though die out so fast there's virtually no point in exposing them at all, it's disappointing and frustrating almost every release.

Firefox has been killing off features year after year I dont see why you trust them to be better in that regard.

It’s not remotely as complete as about:config


That's just about:about, not an about:config replacement.

I tried to move from Chrome's profiles to Firefox's container tabs. I prefer Chrome's take on it where sessions are shared across all tabs in a window rather than across similarly styled tabs in the same window.

.. I just went to find the github issue for other people with a similar need[0] 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..


[0] https://github.com/mozilla/multi-account-containers/issues/3...

Firefox has always had profiles, very much acting like Chrome's, but for some reason they didn't make it easy to use. Navigate to:


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.

I have tried them but it wasn't simple to use multiple profiles at once, nor was it obvious which profile you were using. I felt as though Firefox was discouraging their use. Are you using them?

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...

I use profiles because I need to test stuff with different extensions.

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 agree. My biggest problem with it is that extensions are still global.

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

Containers are such a great idea.

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.

There is also a Facebook-specific container addon that limits Facebook's footprint even more than the standard container addon (and will work alongside it)


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.

Great... But people still using Facebook?

Thanks this is great!

There is an option called "always open in this container" if you press the menu icon of the container tabs extension

Turns out this doesn't do the thing I'd expect. I set my homepage to Facebook and it doesn't load the container.

Eh, back to my former opinion - Containers are great, Containers UX needs work.

Ah great! I guess this was added more recently, I hadn't seen it before.

Configure Facebook to always use it's own container

So at work we have a jenkins instance, which uses github (on prem) OAuth to sign in, and it logs you out after a very short period of inactivity. Except that jenkins or the way we have it configured or the way we have the reverse proxy in front of it configured is buggy, so sometimes when you try to log back in, you are just redirected to the front page, and you're still not logged in. To workaround this, I had to clean out my browser cache + cookies + other bits of history whenever this happened in order to log in.

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.

Try the extension Cookie AutoDelete: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-autode...

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.

Would clearing cookies and cache work?

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).

Thanks, it seems firefox has the same feature on the padlock. Otherwise, from the other comments here, I might be able to try one of these two to help in conjunction with containers:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-autode... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/session-boss/

I can't switch to Chrome since I can't live without tree style tabs anymore. I've become dependent.

disclaimer: I have no idea what jenkins is.

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.

Container is great. I have to toot my own honk. The addon Session Boss supports container seamlessly. I have multiple GMail accounts that I put in different containers with their own logon and cookies. Session Boss saves the tabs and containers in a session and easily restore them the next time I need them.

Chrome has this too. I doubt its effectiveness as there are ways to fingerprint your browser without using cookies/sessions

Chrome doesn't have this. You cannot run tabs in different contexts in Chrome side by side.

Both additional profiles and incognito browsing open a different window, with its own settings.

The Chrome additional profile feature has also become a lot more confusing and less useful with the auto-sign-in-change debacle, alas.

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).

I use SessionBox ext in chrome to achieve this.

Exactly! unless they make different seed for each WebGL random (which used in fingerprinting) I don't see the point. Plus, they have your IP (or your VPN's), so at most you make your profile less specific, but never "isolated".

This has been a first-class Chrome feature for years, for whatever it's worth.

That isn't the case.

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.

Your sibling comment pointed out the same thing. Other than having 2 tabs in the same window with 2 different sets of cookies, which is something I never want (but you might), is there anything Firefox's feature gets me that Chrome's feature doesn't?

A single set of extensions and bookmarks.

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.

Beyond minimizing being tracked everywhere you browse, separate environments for office, personal, and client accounts — Google, Fb, IG, LinkedIn, Twitter, PayPal, banks, brokers — are useful in many cases.

daveFNbuck writes [0]:

“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.”

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18625491

Firefox has also supported multiple profiles since forever.

I believe it! I didn't mean to suggest that Firefox was less capable here.

Firefox hasn't supported running multiple profiles simultaneously forever, though I understand that it's possible now. That's actually party oh what got me on chrome originally--I could have my school profile open at the same time as my goofing-off profile and pretend to be researching while I played flash games, yet not showing any of that in my history.

Firefox has supported running multiple profiles simultaneously since before Chrome ever existed - I used them. Chrome was first released in 2008, and here's an article about Firefox's multiple instances from 2007: http://turbulentsky.com/how-to-run-multiple-firefox-profiles....

Multiple profiles in Chrome is super useful, but it doesn't work at the tab level, does it? Just at the window level? Not that that's a fundamental change, but it's a nice usability bump

True, but that for me is a feature (I almost always want new tabs to open in the same container; for instance, when reviewing a Github PR and clicking through to see context).

But from a privacy UX perspective, both Chrome and Firefox accommodate this use case gracefully.

It sounds like you already know this, but for anyone else reading, tabs inherit the container of the tab that opened them (aside from special cases like Facebook Container, which trigger based on the domain).

Too bad it completely kills your CPU on a Mac.

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.

> Why hasn't "the bug"

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 have the exact same issue. I'm using a fully specced MacBook Pro early 2015 with a Retina screen in a scaled mode (1.5x) and Firefox is extremely slow to use. Scrolling isn't fluid at all and CPU usage is very high. When I put it in the normal Retina mode (2x) it's much better, but still not as fluid as using Chrome, which even on 1.5x mode works and scrolls fluidly.

I'm also using Firefox on an underpowered Ubuntu machine and it works wonderfully there though (no HiDPI screen).

FWIW I’ve used it on a low spec MacBook Pro for a year and a half without a problem. Never had any complaints, and it’s only gotten better after the Quantum changes.

I have no idea what you people are doing. I use FF with my mid spec, 4th generation i5 with 500+ tabs and haven't experienced any of your problems.

I do know what he's talking about, as I've had the same exact problem.

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.

Me too, and as it happens, I'm running on retina with "more space" enabled. Firefox is unusably slow, to the point where I'm probably abandoning it after a few weeks of really trying to get into it. Which is a shame, because I love the idea of multi-account containers and other privacy features.

So if you disable the "more space" configuration, does it work better? If this is the primo hypothesis, it sounds easy enough to check.

It certainly does seem to work better with default resolution.

I think there should be some kind of survey. Every thread on HN has these posts complaining about this problem, and every thread has people like you insinuating we are doing something "whacky" or "crazy" with our laptops.

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.

I had the exact same experience as the grand parent comment.

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).

Do you use your Mac with the default screen resolution setting, or have you tweaked that setting?

I also use the "more space" setting. Haven't tried it with the normal scaling though.

In my case I am actually going in the other direction, towards the "larger text" scaling.

I’m curious, how is it manageable to have a browser open with 500 tabs? How do you even navigate between the tabs or know what’s on those tabs?

Having a bunch of windows, human spacial memory works surprisingly well for recognizing sequences of tabs. And Firefox allows you to search through the titles of all open tabs in the URL bar.

I'm a different person, but usually have hundreds of tabs too.

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 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?

>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.

> 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?

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.

I also have my tab panel removed via userChrome.css and instead use Tree Style Tab, so all of my tabs are organized.

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.

Some sites, like gmail, and many technical sites (google cloud console) still take a good amount of time to load. Keeping a bunch of them open in tabs cuts down on the 10 seconds it'll take to open again.

I know about ~100 Firefox developers with Macbooks and none of them experiences the issue, so that's probably harder to reproduce.

Would you be interested in help to profile the issue and file a detailed bug? This would help fix it.

Off course. I would really like to ditch Chrome once and for all.

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

Comparative methodology:

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).

Ah, thanks for the links, very useful.

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)

Thank you! Testing nightly the next couple of days and will report in the bug tracker if i still have problems.

I’m seeing the same behavior on my Mac. Linux is fine. I’d be happy to help / run profiling / whatever. Contact should be in my profile.

Thanks for the offer!

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 use the nightly builds and I definitely do not have that problem with around 750 tabs open on my non-retina MacBook Pro. It does suck down memory though.

Which doesn't change anything since the Macbook Pro has been sold with Retina displays for what, the last 6 years? The fact that Firefox works exclusively on ancient laptops or edge cases doesn't make anything better. All Apple devices today are sold with Retina screens and the Pro Lineup, and therefore most devs has had Retina screens for 6+ years.

Usually I expect software to perform better on newer hardware than it does on old. Are you suggesting the probles you're experiencing have to do with a retina display.

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?

Good question. As i wrote in my other comments these comments are large amounts in every FF thread on HN. Also loads of devs (including myself) are at companies where no one uses FF because of performance issues which of course is anecdata albeit a bit broader.

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 :https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/a3gk1k/macbook_air_201...

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.

I have a colleague whose Mac has the same issue as you (2015 MBP 15" Retina). Chrome runs awesome for him, Firefox crawls. However, I have the same model and for me Firefox is as snappy as anything. You're right that this needs to be fixed, but its lame to assume that Firefox devs do not test on Macs. You're simply experiencing a bug that is hard to reproduce, that is all.

Firefox is snappy at the beginning, but starts getting really slow and clunky after about 8 hours, or sometimes 2-3 days of the laptop being suspended and then turned on again. I can make it fast again if I close the browser and re-open it. But it's not slow right out of the gate.

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.

I have sympathy, debugging is hard! But it's weird that across hundreds of threads no one from the dev group has anything to say, or that there is not disclaimer or "ask for help" or whatever.

"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.

Possibly because complaining on hacker news and calling people incompetent on threads they have no reason to personally follow isn't an optimal strategy for receiving tech support.

I wrote that i talked to the devs directly? I also wrote that i have followed the issues for years. What makes you think this is the last resort?

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.

Sure, it's a mid-2012 MBP with the "high res" matte screen. A six year old machine is hardly an edge case in the context of a problem you've been seeing for at least five years. I've not had problems with FF performance on the handful of retina machines I've used for work either.

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.

> You having a 2012 computer is 100% the edge case

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.

So all the people in this thread are doing something "whacky" including all of the people from all of the other Firefox threads on Hackernews, and the constant stream of people in the subreddit?

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.

"but the handling of this problem makes me worried about the dev groups competence."

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.

> So all the people in this thread

Eleven people out of the thousands of people that use FF on a Mac daily? Perhaps it's not Mozilla that's wronged you.

It's not eleven, not by far. It's enough that I see this bug as the number one reason no one uses firefox at my job, where there are hundreds of devs - anecdotal evidence of course, but still telling.

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.

> 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.

This is again anecdotal, but last time I reformatted my mac I tried to install firefox first to see if the bug was still there with no other software or config installed. Literally the only thing I had done before installing was setting up the basic settings (wallpaper, resolution, keyboard language, etc). The bug was still there. It's a 2013 macbook pro with no config attached, so there's nothing quirky in the hardware department.

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.

> before installing was setting up the basic settings (wallpaper, resolution, keyboard language, etc)

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.

I just dont get it. This is a highly technical forum.

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.

Because if a thousand people are using FF on OSX daily, and 11 people have an issue, it’s not a relevant thing?

I don’t understand how that is a difficult conclusion to reach.

My retina macbook pro never had any issues with FF.

There is no excuse for firefox bad performance on decent hard. And such "old" computers are not edge cases!

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.

Definitely not an edge case, our whole company uses MacBook pros with retina display and all have the same issue. Fans spin like crazy, usability is abysmal. The moment that is fixed I'd switch. I've also reported the bug to Mozilla.

I’ve had the same problem for years, a few months ago someone suggested it might be because I don’t use my screen at the default resolution. I have a slightly lower resolution setting on my retina MacBook Pro. And that somehow this causes firefox to go insane and have a nervous breakdown. Is it possible that you are also not using the default display resolution? If everyone who has the problems shares this particular setting, that might point to something.

Late 2016 15 inch Macbook Pro, LG 5k screen with the scaling set one tick into the "more space" direction. With Firefox performance is still significantly worse than with Chrome. This is a real bummer, I really miss tree style tabs.

I have been using Firefox on my Macbook Pro 2015 for the past years without any problems and seriously it consumes a lot less memory compared with chrome

Firefox has never been good on Mac. It kills me :(

Interesting. Works fine here

1st step to trying to debug would be removing your old profile completely, maybe try to disable extensions and HW rendering acceleration

Thanks but check out the other comments, or their subreddit, or any other HN FF thread. Many people have this problem.

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.

It's definitely frustrating, and sometimes even advanced devs don't know (or forget) about some detail that might be helpful.

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

Just a few weeks ago I tried Firefox as my main browser for a while. I had to give it up because of battery life. This is on Windows 10.

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.

IIRC this bug is known (something about compositing and rounded corners on Mac because of how Core Graphics works) and there's work going on to fix it. The Webrender stuff helps here too, I think.

(I don't know the exact details, I have a vague recollection of pcwalton explaining it to me)

Does setting gfx.compositor.glcontext.opaque to true in about:config fix the problem?

just to confirm, did you get the "Developer Edition"? I've been using it on Mac (2014 MBP w/ Retina) for a while and it's fine. That said, I haven't been using it as my main browser ... yet.

Electron apps like Slack and VS Code tend to eat up my RAM capacity and CPU cycles. Whenever I quote everything except for Firefox my MacBook Pro calms its fans down.

I had this same issue on my late 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, but it didn't stop me from using it :)

Since I switched to 2018 Macbook Pro Retina the issue is gone.

Is it at least a couple of years old with a GPU? There have been serious electron bugs since last year in these machines.

Firefox is a way better experience than Chrome these days. Google, you constantly add new features that nobody wants, and furthermore, make it WAY more difficult for those of us who care about privacy to turn your tracking BS off.

Google Chrome can die in a fire as far as I'm concerned.

Firefox added Pocket, and kind of nobody wanted it. So it happens in FF too.

Plenty of people don't want it, but Pocket is actually quite popular. It's an essential part of my browsing experience.

To be honest, I actually really like that they added Pocket, and I don't think it takes anything away from FF.

It took away credibility. A lot of it. It also alienated too many “almost evangelist” users (like me) who had converted countless users from other browsers in high school and college. Many of them haven’t been able to reconcile with what might seem a tiny change now. Also the jarring and bizarre way Mozilla pretty much stonewalled everyone on it who wanted it to be discussed.

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).

Purely from a feature development perspective, I guess I don't see how adding a read-it-later / bookmarking feature would generate so much consternation. Functionally its roughly equivalent to Reading List + Bookmarks on Safari, with some delicious-like aggregate smarts.

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?

Mozilla was developing a private Reading List feature that used Firefox Sync. They suddenly replaced it with Pocket, which sent users' bookmarks to a third party that engaged in data mining. (The acquisition came later.)

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.

Thanks for the details. Sounds like it wasn't handled well.

> Pocket was and is an extension

Pocket is not an extension - it's built in by default and cannot be removed (only disabled).

It's just a bundled extension inside Firefox. You can't uninstall bundled extensions, and you can bundle yours in your custom Firefox installation if you want.

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.

How is your experience with Pinboard?

Not the parent, but it works well for me.

It took away Reading List, which was similar but private.

Oh that's a bummer. They should add that functionality back and bake it into same UX. FWIW Safari Reading Mode information is linked to your Apple ID so it's stored externally as well.

Pocket is owned by Mozilla, so it would be as private a reading list.

Reading List used client-side encryption. Also, Mozilla acquired Pocket more than a year later.

I have a Kobo eReader with Pocket integration and I actually use it quite often.

Well, on that tune I am sure there are users who’d love Fb and Tw integrations; and deep ones at that.

Mozilla doesn't own Facebook or Twitter, and can't control what they do with user data.

And I don't think anybody wants the ads they have added to the home page.

Eh, at least it only takes a few clicks to remove them.

Eh, what does that say about Mozilla wanting to be the "good guy"? If they want to be good then they have to constantly be held accountable to the high standard they like people to think that they are at. They don't get their cake and eat it too.

Then it only taking a few clicks to install them would be just as good.

Pocket by default is one of the best feature of Firefox, for everyone. Try to use it for week.

I'm one of Pocket's top 1% readers, but not everyone likes it, and doesn't have to.

The only thing I miss in Firefox is the ability to Chromecast directly. It's useful.

I agree, it's incredibly useful. I did a lot of research on this a few days ago, because I wanted to see if it might be possible to raise some funding to work on it. I found lots of abandoned open source projects. I'm sure there's a lot of Firefox users who would appreciate a Chromecast add-on, but there's a lot of political and economic reasons why it's probably not going to happen.

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.

Does it prioritize privacy? I haven't used Firefox in a long time, so my impressions of it are based on news stories, like them launching a partnership with sketchy VPN services or building in "easter egg" advertisements for television shows.

Firefox is still very imperfect in their prioritising of privacy, but when we're looking at the question of "use Chrome or Firefox", that's hardly significant in comparison.

I'm curious what you're using currently if Firefox's privacy imperfections are of concern? Safari?

I use Chrome, because security is my top concern.

(Firefox has a good security team, but Chrome's is unmatched.)

What exactly is your threat model?

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.

With the exception of your personal stats.

It makes perfect sense if you're less worried about your internet usage privacy than about browser exploits installing malware onto your computer.

Then “security” is too vague and needs to be qualified.

Sorry but this is a bit clueless, what are you trying to secure exactly, if it's not your own data? You can't honestly thing that data is safer in Chrome than Firefox.

I doubt google engineers rank high in his threat model. :-)

Firstly, why just Google engineers? Many Google employees and any 3rd parties Google share data with would be included.

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.

I'm not a customer so I dont have skin in the game, but is ProtonVPN really considered sketchy? [1]

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18608041

No. There was some FUD which was spread that was eventually outed to be written by PIA, one of their competitors. The entire thing mostly just elicits an eyeroll.

Yes, Tracking Protection https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/tracking-protection will be ON by default in Firefox 65.

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.

Firefox is the best browser for privacy.

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:

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

2. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-cont...

3. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-contai...

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/

Don't forget when they sent your data to Cliqz.

Or when they silently installed an extension in order to send telemetry from Firefox installations that had explicitly opted out of telemetry. https://www.ghacks.net/2018/09/21/mozilla-wants-to-estimate-...

The reason this is outrageous is because they weren't doing this kind of thing before. The reason this isn't outrageous when Chrome does it is that Chrome always does this. Using this as a reason to distrust Firefox and instead trust Chrome is insane.

It's valid criticism but seeing this presented in arguments about why Firefox is bad (and you should be using Chrome instead) is absurd.

Distrust of Firefox does not imply trust of Chrome.

Context matters.

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.

That looks pretty harmless but the way they went around it is concerning.

Sgnificantly more than Chrome, yes.

Not sure relative to Safar or Edge.

It's not perfect but IMO it's better than Chrome. Logging in to my Gmail account in Firefox doesn't do the same obnoxious stuff it does in Chrome (changing browser profile, start synching lots of stuff with Google).

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.

I want to love FF, I really do! But the fact that it causes my CPU usage to go through the roof every couple of minutes for no apparent reason makes me want to pull my hair out...

funny, I could say the same about chromium (except the wanting to love it part)

Seriously, I don’t understand why there are always complaints of Firefox over using CPU when chrome has same issues.

I haven’t had a single perf problem with Chrome. It seems to be related to the platform - I’m on a Mac

Chrome massacres my 2012 MBA, the fan spins up within 30 seconds of launch. Firefox runs smooth as butter, mucho tabs and no fan. It seems people have widely different experiences, very weird. I wonder if it's a graphics card thing.

From some researching I’ve done on the internet, it seems like it’s a Retina issue. When I switch the resolution to default, the spinning goes away.

Maybe, but on my non-retina 2012 MBP I have the exact opposite experience of that described by hnzix..

I'm on a Mac, a 2015 MacBook Air and a late-2012 Mac Mini, and don't have any perf problems with Firefox, using the standard, public builds (so not the dev ones). This is with an around 10-15 tabs open, with sync, and 10 add-ons of various stripes.

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?

Pretty much the same here. FF has always been a battery eater, and even if only one tab is open, it's the sole app in the "Apps using significant energy".

I have a MacBook Pro. The fan spins up sometimes. So what? It also spins up when I’m doing other tasks. I’m always plugged in. So I have no opinion to share about battery performance.

Different commenter here, but same issue as the parent. I'm on a 2016 MBP. When I use Chrome, my fans stay off or at around 1200rpm at all times unless I open a video or a Twitch stream, at which point they jump up to around 1400rpm and the highest the CPU temp gets is around 50c.

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.

Exactly the same with me: I tried switching to Firefox 63 last week on a 2015 MBP running MacOS 10.11, and compared to Chrome it seems to use a lot more CPU and thus makes my machine run noticeably hotter.

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?

It's funny how the promise of multicore CPUs was that appropriately engineered workloads could hit new heights of efficiency and overall performance but the cynical reality is that I'm glad for the most part that the partitioning between cores puts a hard limit on how much still commonplace single-threaded processes can take the piss.

> 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.

From some researching I’ve done on the internet, it seems like it’s a Retina issue. When I switch the resolution to default, the spinning goes away.

What OS are you on?

linux and win10

Try vacuuming the sqlite files in the profile directory.

Have you looked at about:performance to see which tab is responsible?

Same here. I have been been back on FF for a few months and have been very happy. It's fast and works great in every respect.

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.

From my experience it's not a glitch, ff Dev tools are slow and second class compared to chrome.

Quantum made it viable to use ff on my old laptop, but a daily driver for a web dev it still is not.

This, and especially perf profiler is lacking in every way compared with Chrome

If you are a web dev you will either way have both browser installed for testing. The question is what will you use as your main browser apart from developing.

I moved away due to the battery drain issues on OSX, has that been addressed?

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.

Try viewing Imgur.com on Safari. Just scroll a bit until you get a couple gifs displayed and check the CPU usage on the imgur.com tab. Just insane that a few gifs destroy an i7. Is it bad video compression? I notice imgur attempts to make gifs from mp4 files and vice versa but damn. A 5 year old iPhone has no problem with this task.

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.

That’s awesome. Thanks for the link

I do not know about macos, but in Linux you could achieve this by running your process in a cgroup.

It was unusable for me too, afaik it had to do with scaling more than anything else, so if you toy around with scaling factors it might help.

I think Servo is going to be a massive Good Thing (tm) for Mozilla, but they have messed up a few times with UI anti-patterns and sneaking extensions into updates that users didn't opt for. They have seriously breached our trust like Google and it will take years to earn back that trust.

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.

(Unrelated rant?)

I'm afraid our hopes of Servo resurrecting Mozilla were short lived. From what I understand, work on Servo for Desktop has been phased out considerably.

See https://blog.servo.org/2018/03/09/servo-and-mixed-reality/

Ah crap. I totally missed that this happens. It's a damn shame really, what exists of Servo at this point was rather amazing in terms of speed.

I will admit I was secretly hoping that Servo would become a new, minimalistic, privacy-focused browser that would also blow Chrome out the water with performance.

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.

We haven't called it a day. The servo team still exists, we still work on Servo.

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.

> 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.

Wow... that's a shocker.

> sneaking extensions into updates that users didn't opt for.

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.

> They have seriously breached our trust like Google

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.

> I can't hide the tab bar at the top as far as I know.

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.

This is definitely within my skillset but far from user-friendly. I'm just remarking on how simple it is to put a toggle in the settings to show/hide the tab bar and they haven't done this because they're pushing a particular look that is very similar to the design choices for Chrome.

It is possible to hide the top tab bar but extensions are not allowed to do it. You have to write some css file to set the tab bar to display:none. I think there’s a description of the process somewhere in the github repo for that extension (maybe in an issue)

Many people won't switch because either Firefox is slow on their platform (MacOS) or stuff they use are slow on Firefox (Google ecosystem, many other webapps optimized for Chrome)

I use Firefox on MacOS. It is easily as fast as Chrome for me (and I have tons of tabs open in multiple windows). And I use Google Docs/Sheets/etc. all day long with zero slowdowns.

I use Firefox on MacOS. It is much slower than Chrome for me (and I don't tend to hold open many tabs or windows). I use Google Mail/Groups/Calendar all day long which became unusable in the last months.

Yea the new gmail on firefox was the reason I switched back to Chrome. I blame google for it but I just couldn't bare the performance in FF

I've been using the plain html gmail for the past year on Firefox. Works amazingly!

Haven't noticed speed issues in Drive either.

Open your email in thunderbird or move your email somewhere else. This is all part of googles game. They slow down youtube in every other browser as well.

IIRC this isn't intentional, but it's not due to benevolence either: The whole custom elements fiasco (which is largely Google jumping the gun and shipping an unstandardized API that they eventually had to deprecate) means that some Google properties are still written on custom elements v0, and use a polyfill on non-Chrome.

Why not just use a client? Gmail is horrendous anyway, even on Chrome. I don't understand how can anyone use it vie web ui.

Don't know, somehow I got used to it over the years.

On Mac usually Firefox is compared also with Safari, if not only.

The only time I've ever used Safari is to download Firefox ;-)

I'm on macOS and Firefox is at least as fast as Chrome. Granted, I'm on nightly with WebRender turned on, but that will be in regular Firefox soon enough.

Thanks to this comment I decided to download Firefox Nightly and turn on WebRender. (Was it on by default 2 months ago and then no longer?)

For anyone unaware, WebRender is a new compositing engine for Firefox written from the ground up in Rust that runs on the GPU.

Hey I'm glad you gave it a try! I think it was turned on for Windows 10 nightly users with Nvidia cards. Not sure if they added more users since then.

What do you think if you don't mind me asking?

Don’t really see that many differences from Chrome yet

Last I checked on osx Firefox just doesn't feel as native as Chrome. I'm not sure if it's the weird window chrome or the scrolling that feels non-native but something just feels off.

You can’t do pinch to zoom on macOS, which kills the experience for me.

There's an addon that emulates pinch zoom, it does a pretty good job: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-touch-z....

I agree this should be implemented natively though.

Yep, can confirm that FF is still killing my 2014 MBP.

Strange, it runs just as fast as Chrome on my 2013 MBP

AFAIK there was a bug causing it to eat a lot of CPU on non-native resolutions (display scaling), which may explain some differences in user's experience.


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.

It seems to only happen with certain Retina MBPs.

Which is a shame - I really wanted to like Firefox on Mac.

Likewise. FF turns my 2012 rMBP into a frying pan for any web page with moving content (video, animated GIFs, ads) or just significant JS (Google docs). I would prefer FF, so I keep checking every couple of years, but no improvement. Unusable.

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.

That's interesting. Is there somewhere that lays this out (which models, etc)? This is a retina display so I'm curious why it would affect some and not others.

Have a 2013 MBP and it runs fine for me.

Other than some Google sites optimized for Chrome (which reminds of sites working only in IE...), Firefox on MacOS works pretty well, better than Chrome on average. Safari on MacOS is probably the winner, because Apple invests a lot on battery saving and performance of its sw.

The whole Google ecosystem is slow on any platform, including Google platforms (Chromebooks).

I haven't noticed Firefox being any slower than Chrome on MacOS. Then again, I only use Chrome to browse facebook.com, so who knows.

Sadly, Google Chrome has moved beyond just providing good performance. They now nicely manage all of your google accounts, which is really nice when you have a work account, personal account, etc. These nice small but nice features can really lock you in, especially if you use Chrome on your phone as well as your computer.

It's clear that the current round of browser wars isn't just about speed and standards compliance, but also feature lock-in too.

What about developer tools? As a front-end dev I'm very pleased with the tools Chrome offers. I only tried Firefox's dev tools briefly but can they compare?

Their dev tools are comprehensive and have a very similar UI to Chrome. Personally, it wasn't hard to pick it up and I haven't (yet) run into any limitations.

Yes, they're mostly the same. On some points Firefox is better (e.g. DOM Inspector, Network tab, animations, dark theme), on others Chromium is (e.g. Profiler, sources). I use both.

Yes they are first class. Give them a try.

If you are a developer I'd think that you would use both, along with Safari on Mac if that's available to you.

I’ve been contemplating this for a while, and I just took the jump today. You’re right it’s just as good. Especially since google s-canned inbox, I’m feeling pretty vindictive (switched to paid proton mail as well).

Performance. Firefox still lags in performance. Granted you may only see the difference in edge cases, but I work for a company that creates a performance-sensitive web-app and the difference is big.

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.

Firefox 3 was much better. No Pocket. No article/news recommendations. Panorama view. Firefox used to be my favorite until it started to get bloated. Prioritizes privacy? Then let me turn recommendations and Pocket permanently off.

Funny using Panorama as an example of when Firefox was better, and then criticizing it for Pocket, in context of bloat.

I'd bet Pocket is more useful to more people than Panorama was.

The weird thing about Pocket is it was actually better _before_ they integrated it, when you installed the separate Pocket extension.

I tried and simply couldn't do it. Although I know in my case it's a very specific issue with multiple profiles.

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 understand your scenario, you can do that with FF, if you don't force a url to be always opened in one profile. For instance you can have sites hard-linked to specific profiles (e.g. social networks) and others that are not, so they stay in the current session (e.g. paypal, which otherwise is broken by the multi account feature).

Oh I don't force anything. Chrome obeys the "last window" rule while Firefox always opens things on the first profile (or last? can't recall).

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.

Adapting a comment I posted in a different Firefox thread:

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.

> Why don't browsers have adblocking built in?

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:


I, too, really want to like Firefox, but usability (at least on Mac) is clearly not a priority. Standard keyboard shortcuts are broken, and have been for years. There’s abstraction layers (unique to FF) to figure out how to make a text field work like a text field. The preferences dialog box is gone, for some reason.

When FF wants to be a Mac app, I’ll be the first one in line to use it.

This, and get Tree Style Tabs. It's literally the best thing about Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...

A good chunk of people who actually care about their computer/work on a computer a lot use a Macbook, and use it while on battery power. So battery efficiency is a major issue for me and because my browser is basically constantly open and full of tabs, I have no choice but to use Safari.

After quantum I did my best to switch but I had the following problems: no scrollbar search highlights, terrible Linux/gnome dark theme integration, angular source maps not working. After a couple of weeks I got back to Chrome.

Looks great on my Linux/mate dark theme. Wonder what the difference is?

I tried to switch to firefox a few months ago, but it had no way to view websocket frames in the dev tools. This was kind of a deal breaker for me at the time as I was doing a lot of ws work. Have they remedied this?

Firefox 57 is why I switched to Chrome in the first place. If I'm going to use a butchered UI, I might as well use the original from whom everyone copied. And on top of that accessibility was a nightmare.

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 just had to switch back to Chrome because firefox couldn't handle multiple (4+) 1080p x264 streams in the same window. Chrome managed to handle 18 of them, across two windows, without a hitch.

How often are you streaming 18 1080p streams at once?

Fair bit at the moment, am grinding marbles on stream.

But it's not the particular use-case that's the problem, it's the drastic difference in performance characteristics which is more of a sliding scale than a one-time issue. Firefox is pound-for-pound slower in general browsing activities for me, and chokes on javascript-heavy pages much quicker than Chrome. It's still an order of magnitude better than IE in that regard, but on a sliding scale, Chrome's out in the lead with FF somewhere in the middle.

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.

Right now I have this bug in Firefox where the results from the drop down menu are incorrect. As in, if I get an autocomplete result that is several lines down - say, foobar.com - and I click on it then I'll be taken to barbar.com. If I click on the result that is several lines above foobar.com then I get foobar.com. I don't know how to explain this correctly.

I've been trying to use Firefox at work for years. It doesn't work well in my company's intranet (lots of Sharepoint). Random pieces of the the company website do not show up and I get way too many certificate warnings. Chrome, Edge, and IE work fine. Firefox hasn't worked through 2 iterations of our intranet over the course of 10+ years.

I think the reason is probably network.negotiate-auth.delegation-uris and network.negotiate-auth.trusted-uris in about:config, and your authentication is failing.

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.

Also, scrolling on firefox is awkward and imprecise. They seem to prefer bouncy accelerated/decelerated scrolling where Google Chrome is as sharp as a knife. When I take my finger off the scroll wheel, I want scrolling to stop immediately, I don't want it to keep moving for a handful of pixels to artificially slow down.

Check your settings. My scroll works equally on both browsers

I have switched to Firefox two month ago. The only feature I missed about "show initiator in devtools network panel"[1]

1. https://github.com/jingjingke/crontab.git

I'm trying to use Firefox both on my home and work machines, but until Mozilla fix their horrendous developer tools I have to keep both browsers open side by side

I keep them both installed, for the rare occasion when some web app or other only works performantly on one of them.

Except for the battery life on laptops. Edge and Chrime are way ahead here and it is very frustrating.

You may have missed a spot: using a privacy conscious browser on an OS designed to spy on you.

> and prioritizes privacy.[0]

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.

> stopping ad-blockers from working on Mozilla owned sites

Err, do you mean preventing extensions from modifying critical sites like addons.mozilla.org? Because that's seems like common sense to me.

A mouse gestures add-on not working on some pages, which are no more critical than my bank's, is just bad UX.

It does not seem like common sense at all when said sites also load tracking scripts such as google analytics.

I would switch in a heartbeat if the audio issue for sped up videos is solved...

Which audio issues do you experience? I regularly watch videos sped up on YouTube and InfoQ and never noticed any problems.

Try Brave from brave.com - so much innovation in one browser.

One gripe I have with FF is that their DevTools are crap... Chrome is a really unprecedented WebDev platform for me.

What about Chromium?

The whole subtext here, as described in TFA, is that the near-complete dominance of Google's browser engine is worrying.

Using Google's browser engine still gives them a lot of control, even if you aren't using their trimmings.

True that. I wish they removed all Google stuff from Chromium and only use it in Chrome. Seems like the only fair thing to do imo.

That kind of exists, but it's still giving Google power because it relies on their software. It basically makes it really difficult for anyone to shape how the web works besides Google, since no one has any browser market share.

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.


Brave browser is solid as well, built in ad blocking and Tor support. CEO is brandon eich and it's built on Chromium

> and it's built on Chromium

That's a negative to me - again, too much browser engine consolidation. :/

As only big companies can underwrite development and then support ongoing/backlog compatibility quirks-mode work for a new engine, you are effectively saying "no" to other, higher-order values offered by new browsers than the engine.

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.

Inclined to agree. I see the fact that Microsoft is abandoning Edge in favour of a Chromium-based browser as a fundamentally bad thing for the web due to the loss of competition amongst browser engines (me of 10 - 15 years ago would probably be appalled by this sentiment, but times change).

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.

The name is not about the company, rather the user who takes control of their own Web economics. This requires facing down some anti-ad/tracker-blocking, and supporting favorite sites and creators (easily done from grants, no need to pay; but still requires courage compared to false security of taking ads and tracking).

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 ;-).

> It's good again

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.

Mozilla has a political stance that I do not support, and they openly use Firefox to push it. This doesn't get brought up enough on places that lean liberal such as HN, but it is a reason why I, and several other people I know, cannot use it in good faith.

It's also a fair bit slower than Chrome, which doesn't help.

Can you be more specific about what you perceive to be their political stance, how that impacts your browser usage, and how it differs from that of the other browser vendors?

Google also has the same political stance and they push it very hard.

And this political stance is?

Firefox has had its fair share of debacles this year too. Chrome works better on Linux for me, and Firefox is full of strange and unusual bugs which Mozilla shows little or no interest in fixing.

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.

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