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Firefox 64 Released (hacks.mozilla.org)
954 points by feross 35 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 513 comments

> We’re excited to introduce multiple tab selection, which makes it easier to manage windows with many open tabs. Simply hold Control (Windows, Linux) or Command (macOS) and click on tabs to select them. Once selected, click and drag to move the tabs as a group — either within a given window, or out into a new window.

Yessss. It doesn't happen often, but the times when I open up 6-10 tabs for research but then decide they deserve their own window so I can focus on them (and subsequently drag them out one by one) is still a lot.

This is one of those Chrome features that was keeping me on Chrome. I kept switching to Firefox and this would be a major reason why I would switch back.

Super happy right now.

Wow! I didn't know this worked on Chrome.

I didn't know this didn't work in Firefox!

It's the little things (: To be honest as soon as I figure out how to change all the little workflow details I currently use in Chrome, I'll be happy to switch to use Firefox more often / primarily. I love how snappy Quantum feels.

Or Vivaldi (https://vivaldi.com), which has many such quality of life improvements over both Chrome and Firefox.

One of the greatest multiple-tab features is available in the Multiple Tab Handler [0] in combination with Tree-Style Tabs: click-drag to close (or select). It's a bit more tedious in the current non-XUL versions of FF (have to mouse down longer), but basically if you need to close like 50 tabs in your tree, you can mouse down over one "x" and drag selecting the other "x"s and once you mouse up it closes them all. Want to close every other one or a more specific set? With the mouse down, only go over the "x"s you want to close. The same thing on the tab itself for selecting multiple tabs to do anything like reparent, reload, etc.

0 - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multiple-tab-...

I use Panorama View, it's a clone of the old tab groups functionality. Multiple windows is hard to save as a session.


I would recommend Panorama Tab Groups over Panorama View fyi just because panorama view doesn't see a lot of maintenance in recent months. They're still there, but in hibernation so they don't get new features right now.


full disclosure: I'm the maintainer for Panorama Tab Groups right now so I am slightly biased. I do think photodiode and the guys in charge of Panorama View are way better than I am at this, but since they're not active right now, I've created a fork so I can have a more up to date add-on

I endlessly miss tab grouping

Simple Tab Groups add-on (with latest updates) works wonders and I'd even say better than old Tab Groups.

Yess, finally, I use this feature in chromium A LOT, and it's one of the things that stopped me from switching back to firefox as my primary browser.

There's still a five year old bug where firefox thinks the window has the last size from the previous session when you restart it and save open tabs, when using a tiling window manager, but it fixes itself when you manually resize it, I can learn to live with this.

oh man. yes, I experience this everyday (awesomewm user)

This is the bug report on the mozilla bugtracker by the way, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=927621

In cases like this I used to open a new window and use this plugin [0] to move them fast, because dragging tabs between windows seems very finicky to me in Firefox. Hopefully with this update things will improve.

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

Moving tabs-between-windows (Tree Style Tabs, OSX) is probably my least favourite part of Firefox presently.

That and the keep-consuming-all-memory-until-all-memory-is-consumed switch, and the killing of GCLI (see: https://joindiaspora.com/posts/77a57160cf470136d1540218b70db...) which makes restarting FF far more fraught. Quite honestly, a "force quit" seems to be the most effective approach.

I actually wrote my own extension to do quick tab movement across multiple windows (often on different monitors/workspaces) all from the keyboard: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/workspaces-fo...

Also being able to save them as a session would be a nice touch.

My method for this is usually to do "Bookmark All Tabs" to shove all of the open tabs in a window into their own folder.

I just found this yesterday, for saving sessions.


It has the advantage that it just saves to a special spot in bookmarks, so these sessions sync across devices too:

open source too: https://github.com/ReDEnergy/SessionSync

I used to use OneTab, but it wasn't robustly constructed to deal with data loss/recovery. I've now moved on to Session Buddy, which has some really nice features, like auto-saving your browsing sessions without your doing anything. (I guess I should check if that respects private modes.)

I am on 63 and I already have it. It's just that it was disabled by default and you needed to enable it in about:config.

I used to use the multiple tabs handler addon but it stopped working once I moved to 60esr so I was glad that they introduced it back.

It's one of the features I love the most on chrome. Even better than pulling tabs into a new window is merging two windows. Without this trick you have to move tabs one by one, but with this you can merge two windows super easily.

Oh good, so now they're bringing in another Chrome feature. Or should I say, an Opera feature that Chrome stole and wasn't necessary in Firefox.

Opera is dead, and I'm sad about that. Implementing features that made Opera great is the best course of action, IMNSHO.

Kind of a niche thing to comment on, but this release lands a commit I made that enables XDG desktop portals support in Firefox. If you're on KDE Plasma, you can run Firefox with the environment variable `GTK_USE_PORTAL=1` set and it will use KDE file selection dialogs.

This isn't a niche thing at all! Assuming you can get xdg-desktop-portal-kde working independently (and I expect it's possible), it's useful everywhere, not just on Plasma. The default "Open File" dialog in GTK 3 is atrocious.

I am sorry to be the one to ask, as it seems all the other commenters know it already. I even searched internet for "What are XDG desktip portals", but this came up with results for project that seem to use these portals, but no fast explanation of what they are? Can please somebody summarize what this is about?

Disclaimer: I am a Linux user since >20 years, using XMonad window manager on Ubuntu 16.04 at the moment.

Is there a canonical list of all the environment variables Firefox respects and what they do?

I don't know about that. This particular environment variable is handled by GTK, not Firefox.

It might be niche in the grand scheme of things, but for me this is an incredible improvement on my usage of Firefox. This was honestly one of the few things that Chrome did better. Firefox was the only program that I use every day that forced me to use the GTK file selection dialog. Thank you very much!

Would someone mind explaining how to set this for a user (ahem, myself), who've not set environment variables in firefox? A Kubuntu user.

The environment variable here does not refers to a Firefox variable but rather to the OS environment.

To test it once you could execute:

GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 firefox

If you want a more persistent solution you could add


to your .profile or /etc/profile (if you want it for all system users)

Very cool, I don't suppose this will allow one to change the dialog in hybrid/non-DM environments also? I use Openbox with a mix of KDE and GTK apps and this is one of the more common annoyances. I looked into this a while back and couldn't find any info at all.

This depends on what `xdg-desktop-portal` DBus service is running on your setup. In most non-DE environments, there is no `xdg-desktop-portal`, and as a result, GTK will automatically fall back to GTK file selectors.

If you'd like to use KDE file selectors in a non-DE setup, you'll need to get `xdg-desktop-portal-kde` working.

Thank you, this will be a nice new feature that will be relevant to my setup and appreciated.

Thank you! This is very cool. Would the logical next step be the auto enable this sort of thing based on the platform?

Right now, this is automatically enabled based on whether the application runs in a Flatpak sandbox. I spoke with GTK developers on IRC, and while they want to enable it by default, there are some unresolved issues, summarized in this Reddit comment: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/9my9fe/qt_file_pic....


Indeed, and thanks for pointing that out! I am not a fan of the simplified Gtk file dialog, even though I learned the trick of pressing Ctrl-L to edit the location. Let's see if that works with other Gtk apps. Edit: `GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 inkscape/gimp` does not work, seems it requires sandboxing? The xdg-desktop-portal-kde package says "This allows sandboxed applications to request services from outside the sandbox using KDE GUIs".

The environment variable only works with apps using GtkFileChooserNative, a GTK3-only API that landed in GTK 3.20. (In Firefox, my patch will fall back if you have an older version of GTK3.) GtkFileChooserNative was designed for use by sandboxed Flatpaks, but the environment variable can force it on outside of a sandbox.

Thank you so much, this is excellent!

Some things I've been looking forward to:

> Easier performance management: The new Task Manager page found at about:performance lets you see how much energy each open tab consumes and provides access to close tabs to conserve power

> Improved performance for Mac and Linux users, by enabling link time optimization (Clang LTO). (Clang LTO was enabled for Windows users in Firefox 63.)

Release Notes: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/64.0/releasenotes/

> Easier performance management: The new Task Manager page found at about:performance lets you see how much energy each open tab consumes and provides access to close tabs to conserve power

This is pretty neat, now I'm wondering why the webex extension is having "Medium" impact when it should be doing nothing.

Because it's webex ... sigh ...

At least it's not Google Hangouts. That crap platform will kill any laptop battery in ~30-45 min flat and make it seem like you're rendering some 8K video.

Are there any notes on what the number means? Release notes does not mention the units or meaning of the number next to the amount of performance hit.

> Improved performance for Mac and Linux users, by enabling link time optimization (Clang LTO).

Does this mean I need to build it myself or is the binary gonna ship this way?

I'm sure those who build it themselves could have enabled this in earlier versions already, and I assume this means the pre-built binaries now enable this.

The binary should ship that way unless your distro decided otherwise. You can easily check by going to about:buildconfig and seeing which compiler was used.

about:performance is pretty nice. Strangely it doesn't show tabs that aren't top level in Tree View Tabs.

> The CSS Scrollbars Level 1 spec standardizes features for setting scrollbar width and color

I would like these features to be standardised to hands-off-my-fricking-scrollbars.

I’m fed up with impossible-to-grab 1px-wide scrollbars because “everyone has trackpads”. No, they don’t.

Time for FF's balance of configurability and reasonable defaults to shine: the about:config properties to edit are `layout.css.scrollbar-color.enabled` and `layout.css.scrollbar-width.enabled`.

If you prefer config files to ad-hoc configuration in the GUI, you can set up a user.js file [0] with your preferred about:config tweaks.

[0] http://kb.mozillazine.org/User.js_file

I am pretty sure that changing it would be a bad idea if you care about your privacy.

Why? Is there even a way to test whether this is enabled?

Yes, scroll bars are already used to identify which operating system you are using as their width varies between systems.

Your user agent already does this.

Which is why many privacy-minded people change their user agent to match the most popular one, especially the OS part.

I imagine you could set up a scrollable div on a page, with elements within and query the position of those elements or their width. Having a custom scroll bar would flow the contained elements in different ways depending on how wide it is.

I am working on a HTML5 game which has a list of rooms, list which has a scrollbar. It looks as ugly as it can be with the default scrollbar when everything else is neatly designed and has a specific theme, it ruins the immersion and reminds you hey, this is just a browser game, not a real game. I am not saying that all the sites should have custom scrollbars, but there are definitely use cases for it.

> it ruins the immersion and reminds you hey, this is just a browser game, not a real game.

If you're uncomfortable with the user realizing the game is a browser game, why did you make it in a browser?

Implying there's some intrinsic reason browsers can't have customizeable scrollbars.

It's called usability through famiarity.

Customising UI elements is a usability antipattern.

Per [1], predictability and familiarity are key in creating usable interfaces. Making things look nice "because you can" doesn't necessarily mean you should.

> When designing your interface, try to be consistent and predictable in your choice of interface elements. Whether they are aware of it or not, users have become familiar with elements acting in a certain way, so choosing to adopt those elements when appropriate will help with task completion, efficiency, and satisfaction.

[1] https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/user-inte...

Have you ever seen a game built entirely out of default OS windows and buttons? If you are building an accounting program, sure use all the defaults but if you are building a piece of art I think you can afford to change a scrollbar.

>Have you ever seen a game built entirely out of default OS windows and buttons?

I remember having a lot of fun playing Stars! as a child: https://www.mobygames.com/game/stars

It was really common in Win3 and early MacOS. Those were good times.

Responded above.

"Have you ever seen a game built entirely out of default OS windows and buttons?"

Castle of the Winds, Windows 3.11.

FYI, you are probably hell-banned.

Just curious: does this principal apply only to scrollbars or should sites not be able to change the appearance of other controls -- like buttons, for example?

Can't speak for the other poster, but if sites want to be applications then they should use native application controls.

Sadly the world has gone the other way and basically ditched the whole concept of native widgets and consistent look and feel.

I'll reply here to both you and baroffoos, it's basically the same question.

> Does this principal apply to X for y?

In a vacuum, yes it's a principal.

In reality, while it's an antipattern it doesn't mean you should be afraid let alone disallowed the ability to exercise good judgement and make a call.

Full window, emersive games are the perfect example of UI elements like buttons that should probably be reskinned - wisely. I say wisely because you can still reskin buttons in a way that affords familiarity you can also reskin them in a way that makes them abhorrent.

A converse example is windows based skinnable hardware interface software like MSI afterburner and the like. That sort of thing is absolute unthought, untested garbage.

For website buttons I think the ship has sailed and the default elements actually look alien.

In fact a lot of CSS frameworks improve net usability from defaults anyway.

Now, is it an antipattern to use them? In essence yes, but considering everything no. Caution, many css frameworks have UX issues and you need to make a judgement in your evaluation about which features to use. I like to see how their autocomplete / dropdown features work it's usually a good litmus test because those things are basically impossible to do right.

And this why we have UX people.

It is the marriage and trade off of usability/hci and designers to create a usability experience that delights.

Though things still tend to lean toward design first approaches. Which aren't incorrect approaches but do tend to lack emphasis on circling back to fix usability later.

I think website internals are widely debatable but do have norms you must consider.

I draw the line at breaking out of the window sandbox and altering browser UI. It assumes all browsers work the same and creates a dependency on the browser for a shared experience.

An inconsequential example: setting browser ui color on mobile version of Chrome. Now your whole website design feels very native and is reasoned about with that native feel. That can them lead to inconsistent design assumptions being made on the desktop. Maybe your color selection clashes badly with the desktop grey.

Like I said, inconsequential, but might illustrate why messing with it might be a bad idea.

The other big reason I throw down at the browser window line is accessibility. Messing with things like button sizing / scrollbar sizing and things wrecks absolute havoc on these users. They also make English centric assumptions about designs that are almost always wrong eventually.

That page has a custom scrollbar.

I don't think that discredits my point or it's information. If anything it points out how much of a problem this stuff is and how uninformed (or at least disconnected) developers and designers are.

There are plenty of UI which allows users to scroll but does not feature a scroll bar. This is standard on mobile operating systems.

> Scrollbar

One thing I like about the Firefox (Gtk?) scrollbar is that it finally removed (a few version ago already) the "Click on it somewhere, but it doesn't move there but just acts like PgDown/Up", i.e. the non-warping to the exact click position but just inching towards it. This is completely unnecessary in the time of wheels and touchpads and I already miss it everywhere else.

On Windows another lovely scrollbar "feature" is that if you move the mouse too far left while dragging the scrollbar the scrollbar will jump back to where it started.

A handful of people love it, most think it's a bug. It's particularly bad if you're using a trackpad.

I would theorize that it's not a well known complaint because most people move on quickly and just assume their computer is buggy.

Yeah I prefer that behaviour too. Luckily on MacOS, this is a global setting: https://www.lifewire.com/change-how-macs-scroll-bars-work-22...

> This is completely unnecessary

It is completely necessary for me to have “move one page up on click.”

But, that is what PgUp/PgDown are for on the keyboard, no? When you are navigating in these discrete steps why use the mouse, which is excellent for continuous input. If I click on something, I want to go THERE, not in the direction of it. "But we have always done it in this (imo illogical) way" is just being stubborn.

> that is what PgUp/PgDown are for on the keyboard, no?

Definitely no: If I have a hand on the mouse I surely don't want to lift it and hunt for the PgUp or PgDown just to move one page up or down. And no, I don't want to go "there" if it's actually "somewhere" in the middle of whatever, if I just want to see the previous or the next page. Going "there" is much less frequent operation than moving to the next or the previous page.

So, that means a PgDown button (I guess it is mostly that direction) on the mouse is missing. The thumb button which most mice have and are mapped to forward/backwards could be remapped to that. Or a mouse gesture? FoxyGestures, a Firefox addon, has a "Scroll Down" action.

> The thumb button which most mice have

"Most"? Where did you get that idea? "Most gaming mice" or what? Most of the users aren't gamers.

> that means a PgDown button (I guess it is mostly that direction) on the mouse is missing.

Of course is missing: "normal" (as in the most common) mice have only 2 buttons and the scroll wheel.

The scroll wheel never moves one page up (or down), but just some small number of lines, so the most common operation is then impossible for the most of the users just because a developer (who probably even "lives" in his terminal for most of the time, never lifting the both hands from the middle of the keyboard) thinks that everybody has exactly the gear that he has.

No, no changes were necessary and another thing that has to be fixed on a new install. For decades it has been:

- left click - page up/down

- middle click - go directly to this point.

Moving one of these to the other is confusing and a loss of useful functionality. Reminds me of "chesterton's fence."

A lot (most?) Laptop keyboards don't have pgup/pgdown or it is hidden behind some shift-ctrl-fumbling.

For most longer texts, I hate "click to here" on the scrollbars. It's impossible to get it right. Them working as pgup/down makes much more sense.

If you have a keyboard which has those and it doesn’t require moving your hand off of the mouse to hit them, it might be easier. Many smaller keyboards (e.g. most laptops or Apple’s non-pro keyboards) either omit them entirely or require a modifier key.

It's not stubborn to design your application to work as users have come to expect.

Do you think that the majority of users feel the same way? I don't.

> because “everyone has trackpads”. No, they don’t.

Don't most mice have scrolling as well? It's not about trackpads.

I have a trackpoint with no 3rd button. Many trackballs don't have scroll wheels. Many folks use arrow keys and space, shiftspace, pgup/down to navigate too and those require nice visible scroll bars that move the whole document to navigate effectively.

Long story short, stop fscking with accessibility. If your js code or libraries handles ANY input events, you'd better watch yourself because you're venturing into specialized-interface-by-and-for-assholes-land.

Things like large documents don't make that any easier though. Scrolling through a large document can take a while, but a scrollbar allows you to get to somewhere else often quite a lot faster.

Imagine you cmd + F a phrase and there are 200 responses separated into like 4 chunks of a document. It can be useful to scroll to the start of each chunk to get the context of them.

Most new mice, yes. I use an original Logitech MouseMan 3-button mouse with no scroll-wheel. I realize I'm an outlier, but no mouse has ever come close in terms of comfort for me - so I continue to use it, and life has been just fine until the advent of the Overlay Scroll Bar.

I realize the benefits of the Overlay Scroll Bar to the majority of users who have scroll-wheels. But it sure would be nice if there was an easy way to revert back to the Normal Scroll Bar ("Classic" scroll bar?). You know, the wide bar that scrolls down exactly one page-length if you click outside of the bar? I've spent plenty of time Googling and in "about:config" and exporting environment variables like GTK_OVERLAY_SCROLLING=0 to no avail.

Maybe with that change you can have it now by using a userscript that override scroll bar CSS for every site.

This assumption should be listed in the Firefox "System Requirements", then. I'm pretty sure nowhere else on my system (Mac) requires the mouse to have a wheel or tracking surface, or even a second button. Just x/y positioning, and clicking.

They do, but they don't eliminate the need for scrollbars that can actually be used.

> most

But not all.

Agreed. There's really little or no good reason for a website to be able to change the scrollbars at all.

on Windows you will always have a white scrollbar even with dark theme enabled in Windows and firefox, and if you are then on a dark website the scrollbar is basically a beacon of light

Given that WebKit recently added "Dark Mode" support, it would likely be sufficient for Firefox to do the same and simply recolour the scrollbar itself, rather than trusting CSS artists to do it sanely and properly.

You're assuming the only scrollbar is on the far right-hand side of the screen. There are plenty of inline scroll bars and scrollbars in parts of the UI that are not adjacent to "native" chrome. Always using the OS default does not make for a good experience.

I don’t see in anything I wrote any implication that I assumed anything about what scroll bars needed or would be themed.

A browser-wide scrollbar styling system, able to be opted into by use of particular CSS, doesn’t imply anything about whether we are talking about just one scroll bar or all of them.

I also disagree about native controls not always being the best solution when it comes to scrolling. We all know how annoying it is when a page jacks scrolling; it’s a usability nightmare that makes pages’ scroll behaviour harder to predict. We don’t need to add to the usability issues by letting one of the most fundamental pieces of chrome in a web browser get jacked even further than the already impermissible state.

Changing the appearance and the behavior of scrollbars (or replacing them entirely as you mention) are very different concerns.

Not really, it's the same concern; the potential for gratuitous, superfluous, or regressive modification of a stable and predictable user interface element that is representative of the most fundamental of actions when it comes to long-form document-based design: scrolling.

you can disable it in about:config by searching scrollbar if that has your fancy :)

Every other browser allows styling scrollbars using CSS. Firefox was the only one that didn't and there's a 15 year old open bug on bugzilla about it.

The work around was to use JavaScript, just to make it work on Firefox.

It can now be implemented in CSS, which makes it really easy for you to disable or change your preference as well putting the responsibility of style on CSS and not some annoying JavaScript.

You could use a css customizing extension or create your own userscript to force all scrollbar related css attributes to the `inital` value.

I just want working page-up and page-down keys.

Is this the version that kills Live Bookmarks? Some of us FF old-timers are hopelessly reliant on these things, and it's, as far as I have found, the fastest way to quickly scan lists of headlines from all your favorite sites at once. Seriously, one click and you can quickly mouse over the sites on your bookmarks toolbar to consume hundreds of headlines.

I really, REALLY hate that they're killing this feature, but this addon promises to restore it: https://www.ghacks.net/2018/07/30/livemarks-restores-live-bo...

Edit: here's the official GitHub: https://github.com/nt1m/livemarks/

> but this addon promises to restore it

Mozilla did the same with tab groups, then the addon was abandoned. The replacement that is compatible with the new form of extension isn't able to unload the tabs, just hide them, which undoes most of the performance benefits.

[abraham simpson voice] It'll happen to you too! [/abraham simpson voice] /jk

The addon was abandoned by its author because Mozilla was making major changes to the addon API at the time. Extensions used to have carte blanche to change the browser, which was a security risk, not to mention it made threading/parallelizing the browser hard. The new extension API removed a lot of that freedom. After the API change, it wasn't possible (and might still not be) to develop a useful tab groups addon with the new API, so the author ceased development.

I can't imagine Mozilla crippling the addon API to the point where it can't grab data off an RSS feed and display it.

> Extensions used to have carte blanche to change the browser, which was a security risk …

I don't buy that. It's my browser running on my computer, it's my choice whose code I choose to run on it.

If, say, emacs or vi had this kind of handholding, neither one would be much more than a text editor.

Emacs and vi are used by programmers. Browsers are used by nearly every single person on the Internet. The threat model is completely different.

Time for a developers only Browser! Anyone wants to grab that? :)

Qutebrowser and next browser are both quite programmer-focused. They are WebKit based, however.

qutebrowser uses QtWebEngine, which is based on Chromium/Blink - I wouldn't call that WebKit anymore ;-)

I was probably wrong about next too, then. Still, they both hail from the Steve Jobs school of blurry fonts, which is all any sane person tries to avoid in a web browser ; )

Emacs or vi don't handle potentially malicious third-party code...

Sure they do. That's what extensions are.

That’s like saying everyone is at risk of bear attacks because a few people in rural areas do get attacked. Yes, extensions exist but when was the last time someone clicked on a link in an email and installed an emacs extension? That happens daily to thousands of web users because the population is so many orders of magnitude greater.

> The replacement that is compatible with the new form of extension isn't able to unload the tabs, just hide them, which undoes most of the performance benefits.

I believe this information is out of date. Firefox 58 brought extension developers the ability to unload tabs: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1322485

And Totally Not Panorama takes advantage: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/basic-panoram...

> Mozilla did the same with tab groups, then the addon was abandoned.

Wouldn't that indicate that the extension was not that widely used, and as such Mozilla were correct in removing it from the central codebase?

“Not that widely used" is an incredibly elastic term. When you axe twenty "5% features" your worst case is offending 100% of your users.

Which can be worth it depending on what you trade it for. I really liked the tab group feature but the new extension API is vastly more secure and can (probably) be extended to allow for most addons.

At Mozzila they need to prioritize many different things and I can understand how a constant push to make the browser leaner is foundamental. (especially in cases like RSS feeds)

It's true that it wasn't widely used, but it seems as if Mozilla did their best to make it that way. It wasn't exposed to the user by default, but instead was hidden as something you could get to by the toolbar customization screen, so you had to modify the toolbar to even get access to the feature.

I don't think most people even knew it was there.

Just like RSS in modern versions, and just like tab groups they will be removing it too.

FWIW, Tree Style Tab solved tab groups (and more) for me.

I wish tab handling had a first-class API in Firefox, so that different tab managers could interact with the default tab menu, etc.

> FWIW, Tree Style Tab solved tab groups (and more) for me.

Yes, but I don't really want tree-styled tabs, I want tab groups :P The interface is vastly different.


Firefox 64 introduces an entirely new API, browser.menus.overrideContext, which allows complete customization of the context menu shown within add-on content like sidebars, popups, etc.

This is illustrated right in the post by my favorite pain point, the Tree Stye Tab custom tab menu mixing with the regular tab menu.


I added Livemarks. It helps, but it's still missing a critical feature of the old extension- the icon showing which RSS links you've already visited. That'll be added at some point at least:


Still, this update felt particularly user hostile. My user experience was:

- I'm in the middle of browsing and open a tab to do a search, but the new tab shows the "Firefox needs to restart because updates are more important than you!“ page.

- I'm forced to restart. Manually, since the automatic restart is probably broken on my system. Tab state in some SPA tabs are lost.

- Now I have to migrate my live bookmarks. They converted themselves to regular bookmarks- I have to right click and delete those one by one. Then I install Livemarks, import the exported bookmarks data, and then drag those one by one to my bookmarks toolbar.

I'm half considering Chrome. If Firefox is going to be like this, why bother? Might as well start the Chrome dominance and stagnation part of the browser cycle.

After installing the update it opens this page: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/live-bookmarks-migratio...

arrrr... what they don't realize when they review their telemetry data is that most people that use this feature have turned off sharing telemetry data. Combine that with the fact that they haven't advertised the feature in the past decade and it leads to devs thinking nobody uses it.

Then perhaps you can see why telemetry is useful to responsible companies like Firefox, and maybe people who disable it have no right to complain about decisions based off telemetry data?

This is a fascinatingly coercive take on the privacy / observability tradeoff.

No, this is supporting direct feedback. How can mozzila know which features are useful in your opinion? how should they know that you wanted [feature X]?

Maybe they are also in the wrong if the telemetry is excessive, but the alternative is to never deprecate any feature ever.

They could ask.

Ask who? Power users? Then the only signal they would get is "every feature is used by everyone". That's worthless 'data'. Telemetry is the only way mozilla could possibly collect real data.

And receive answers like, "A faster horse."

They could ask slightly more focused questions than "what would you like?".

Better than keep removing features and reasons to use Firefox from some of their loyalest users, even if they are a minority. User retention seems Mozilla's largest issue at the moment now they're down under 10%.

Telemetry can tell you which features someone uses. It doesn't tell you why.

Then perhaps you can see why using telemetry is irresponsible.

The usage stats from telemetry showed a 0.01% usage rate. Even if 99% of people that used the Live Bookmarks feature disabled telemetry that implies that 99% of Firefox users did not use the feature.

Well, Firefox killed the RSS button on the URL bar a while ago now (bring it back with https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/awesome-rss/), so AFAIK there has been absolutely nothing to indicate the feature even existed for years now.

Also, 0.01% of a big number is still a big number, and given the state of the feature, that number is likely to include a lot of long-time users.

According to Mozilla's statistics, 0.01% amounts to only 80'000 browser installs that use live bookmarks. That's not a big number and it's easy to find features that more people care about (ie multi-tab selection).

When resources are constrained you have to make decisions about what features you'll continue to develop and which to cut out. Live bookmarks was cut out. Mozilla devs have also mentioned that this feature is ancient code and would have required a lot of coding effort to bring up to date.

I'm sure if you were to invest the time to reimplement live bookmarks with modern code and with the internal restructuring in the browser in mind and you'd volunteer to maintain it and fix all filed bugs, they'd accept it.

Given how long ago it is since live bookmarks were a feature they made obvious, or called attention to in any way, in the default install, that's not so surprising.

They removed the visibility years ago, then progressive updates made them ever less visible, including hiding then removing RSS notification. Once the first step was taken, the route to removal was set, including the telemetry figures.

If they were as visible as pocket, perhaps as visible as pocket stories on new tabs, usage would be hugely higher.

It's really weird to apparently be personally part of a 0.01% group. I feel that usage rate must be suspect- in some Firefox version they gave out live bookmarks by default, and surely more than 1 in 10,000 people still have those. Do we know what the telemetry actually measured?

when google recently made chrome automatically sign-in once you login to a google site, i read one of their technical managers basically say, "all our data shows users care more about the convenience than the privacy" -- i thought exactly that.

This is why I tend to leave telemetry data on. :)

.. now if only Google had used that to notice the things I like about Inbox and keep them :-(

I upgraded and instantly regretted it, as usual.

You can use firefox ESR until it too gets phased out: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/

I am a _huge_ RSS user (TinyTiny-RSS) but I don't think enough people used these features to continue supporting them. Plus, I really do not want my web browser to be an RSS reader. Have you considered moving to a dedicated RSS reader ?

Whats wrong with just using a proper RSS client?

The best thing about RSS reader in Firefox for me was the fact it blended perfectly with bookmarks feature - it was easy to reach especially when you had bookmarks bar enabled. The way it displayed content also suited me - I didn't have to break my browsing flow to open another tab like in Presto-based Opera or special feed with summaries like in Safari; links in form of bookmarks changing titles were absolutely best.

A web browser today is essentially an Internet-facing client-side operating system. You are suggesting to use something that runs outside this OS. (Just pointing out.)

Nothing's "wrong" with it, but I have yet to find one that allows me to read more headlines in a shorter time than Live Bookmarks.

Soon Wayland support is coming in Firefox 65 (works in beta/nightly already¹)! But have to wait until next month² for that.

¹ https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=635134

² https://wiki.mozilla.org/Release_Management/Calendar

You have no idea how excited I am for this. I use sway as my daily driver since it supports HiDPI so much better than i3, but the one caveat to that has been firefox and xwayland. Once this ships, sway will have nearly flawless HiDPI support.

I'm not. Wayland lacks a lot compared to X.[1]

From the linked-to-post, it lacks:

* Programmatic output configuration (xrandr, arandr, etc.)

* CLI clipboard access (xsel, xclip)

* Third party app launcher/window switcher (rofi, dmenu, albert, docky).

* Clipboard managers (parcellite, klipper, Gpaste, clipman, etc.)

* Third party screen shot/capture/share (shutter, OBS, ffmpeg, import, peek, scrot, VNC, etc.)

* Color picker (gpick, gcolor3, kcolorchooser)

* xdotool

Lack of Wayland versions of these apps is a deal breakers for me, and I'm going to avoid Wayland until it gets them.

[1] - https://old.reddit.com/r/wayland/comments/85q78y/why_im_not_...

Those things are mostly compositor specific and not specifically a Wayland issue. For example with Sway:

* Programmatic output configuration

swaymsg -t get_outputs # get displays

swaymsg output DP-1 pos 0 0 res 1920x1080 # set displays

* CLI clipboard access

swaymsg -t get_clipboard

* Third party app launcher/window switcher

I use gnome-panel with Xwayland, but better than nothing

* Third party screen shot/capture/share


* Color picker (gpick, gcolor3, kcolorchooser)

Sorry, no options here yet, but it can be done

* xdotool

swaymsg [title="Top Panel"] floating enable, resize set width 2560 px height 32 px, move position 0 -38

As OP in the thread I linked to above says:

"GNOME and KDE have dbus APIs for some (but not all) of these things, and sway has its own IPC, and other compositors probably have similar solutions. However, they all use different mechanisms, which means that if you are writing say, screenshot application you either have to write a different backend for every compositor, or choose just one or two to support.

"Something all of these types of applications have in common is they need to be able to inspect and/or modify state from other applications or the compositor itself. Which wayland's security model normally prevents. I think a major gap in wayland, is having a way for an application to run with escalated permissions so it can have access to other applications. Unfortunately, I don't have any great ideas on what that would look like."

and then, later in the thread:

"for simple things using the compositor's screen shot tool is fine. But what if I don't like the screenshot tool for my compositor of choice? My experience with the GNOME screenshot tool (granted this was pre-wayland) was that it wasn't as good as, say, shutter, which has a lot of options, let's you easily crop and edit the screenshot from inside the screenshot tool etc. And then swaygrab doesn't even (currently) have an option to capture a rectangular region."

The entire thread linked to above is worth reading.

My own takeaway is that Wayland is just way too immature to compete with X for my power-user use cases.

It might be ok for users with simple needs.

No, it's fundamentally a wayland issue.

Window managers can implement their own extra protocols of course, but instead of X11 where everything was standardized and window managers didn't even have to think about it, there is no standard and window managers have to rewrite all the code for it themselves.

> No, it's fundamentally a wayland issue.

It's not an "issue". It's a design decision.

As another example, Linux doesn't have just one desktop environment, like Windows or MacOS, would you say that's an "issue", even if it's a deliberate decision?

Luckily, Firefox supporting Wayland doesn't hurt you at all. I'm also very excited about Firefox supporting Wayland. It isn't dropping support for X11.

xclip works fine for me on wayland (Arch), the rest... yeah, colorpicker? doesn't work. Screenshot? Gnome tool works but grabbing an area has a weird tainted color.

I'm happy someone is using it however, as that will encourage many shortcomings to be addressed.

In my experience X11 has zero shortcomings compared to Wayland. The code might be ancient and arcane at some points but the performance and features (hello "ssh -X") are actually far superior.

Why do we need Wayland?

I have never been able to get a tearing-free experience with X11, and I've tried everything to fix it. Meanwhile Wayland is butter smooth out of the box on the same hardware. Security is another obvious advantage of Wayland.

Just another data point: I've never experienced screen tearing in the decades that I've used X.

Also, when I run X just for myself on my own laptop, what security issues do I have to worry about with X that I don't have to worry about with Wayland?

That's interesting, because I've had tearing issues with all major GPU brands (Intel, AMD and Nvidia), in particular when multiple monitors are involved. What's your setup like?

With regards to security, the main issue is that X11 provides no isolation between applications, allowing them to listen to keystrokes and the clipboard at all times. With Wayland, only focused applications have this access.

"What's your setup like?"

Currently I'm using an old, slow laptop, with a graphics card integrated in to the motherboard. Nothing special. But I don't do any demanding graphics processing on it. I just watch movies and use web browsers and a terminal. I don't play graphically intense games on it.

"With regards to security, the main issue is that X11 provides no isolation between applications, allowing them to listen to keystrokes and the"

I don't see why this should concern me or 90% of X users, because if any malware manages to run on our systems it'll already have full control over them without needing to resort to any kind of keystroke sniffing in X.

I'm struggling to think of a scenario where malware's running on the same machine with access to a single X session, which doesn't already have full control over the account whose keystrokes they'd be presumably sniffing. They could just substitute their own malware versions of web browsers, shells, editors, or whatever other software the user uses and sniff keystrokes in there, without needing to touch X.

Not that it hurts to have more isolation than you get in X, but I'd need a lot more convincing for me to give up the convenience I already enjoy with X.

Can someone paint me a realistic, relatively common threat scenario where not having Wayland's isolation would actually present a serious security risk?

Right, if you already have malware running on your system, all bets are off. However, I'm sure you're aware that large applications like Chromium have tons of vulnerabilities, which is why they come with a sandbox to protect against exploitation. X11 is one of the biggest holes in these sandbox solutions. Replacing X11 with Wayland would plug this hole. I'd argue that security is something the average user cares about.

If your web browser is compromised, that's malware running on your system right there.

A compromised web browser doesn't need X to control the rest of your system. It can usually already write all over your system and perform all sorts of other attacks, including substituting applications, paths, LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc.. not to mention try kernel exploits and the like -- not that they'd need to on a single-user system, as they could just get your sudo password by one of the other means mentioned above, all without touching X.

Anyway, if a typical user's browser is compromised, they're already completely screwed, as they typically access their online banking and webmail through it. Once again, the attacker does not need to touch X to get access to any of that.

To me it still sounds like Wayland's security model is trying to solve a niche problem that most X users don't really suffer from -- and charging an arm and a leg for it.

> It can usually already write all over your system and perform all sorts of other attacks

Not necessarily. Properly sandboxed applications like Chromium have a seccomp filter, separate pid/user/etc namespaces and bind mounts setup to isolate themselves from the rest of the system as much as possible.

> Anyway, if a typical user's browser is compromised, they're already completely screwed

It really depends on which part of the browser is compromised. Again, Chromium has some pretty good isolation. Having one malicious website exploit a vulnerability does not necessarily mean the attacker gets access to any of the other browser data.

If the browser as a whole has not been compromised, then internally it should be able to deal with the clipboard the same what that Wayland deals with it.

For instance, only the currently focused tab should have access to the X clipboard.

> If your web browser is compromised, that's malware running on your system right there.

This is a bit naive. Browsers execute malicious javascript on your system all the time. A V8 sandbox escape is worth retirement money for a reason.

Superior performance? Like when windows take a whole second to appear because the protocol is synchronous and the server is busy doing something else? :)

Wayland makes lots of things possible: multi-monitor HiDPI, touchpad gestures like pinch to zoom (just like Macs could do ages ago), touchscreen support that's actually independent of the mouse pointer instead of always dragging it along… and there's finally no goddamn screen tearing. Every frame is perfect™.

> Superior performance? Like when windows take a whole second to appear because the protocol is synchronous and the server is busy doing something else?

Might be true, never happened to me. But what about FPS in Games. X11 beats it there for me. Or what about in the most important metric of them all: Latency. In all my Tests Latncy on Wayland is always a regression, compared to X11. (I use Intel and HDxxxx era AMD Graphics, can not say anything about Nvidia)

> Wayland makes lots of things possible

That might be true. But X11 can be extended and has been extended very often (hence the messy code). One thing I need regularly, namely OpenGL pass-through via SSH, will never be possible with Wayland.

> Every frame is perfect™

To me far less important than latency. Wayland should only care about tearing when I play full screen games. When I type on the terminal I want my characters appear instantly, then I don't care about tearing at all.

> Latency.

On my own testing (GNOME, latest Kernel, as well as Sway temporarily) latency and FPS were better on Wayland than X11 (though only on my beefier graphics card, windows rendered on the second one had higher latency and comparatively lower FPS than expected. But I don't game on that card.

>One thing I need regularly, namely OpenGL pass-through via SSH, will never be possible with Wayland.

Correct because Wayland isn't a network-like protocol as X is (though I've had X network passthrough break or fill up a gigabit ethernet connection worth of bandwidth on more than one occasion).

If you want remote desktop on Wayland, you need a tool specifically designed for that.

It's the unix mindset after all; why have one tool (X) do everything when you can have lots of tools interact and each solves it's own little problems (Wayland + tools)?

>Wayland should only care about tearing when I play full screen games.

If you run a game on wayland you usually get control over the screen anyway when you go fullscreen, once you have exclusive control you can go tearing all you want.

Though with adaptive sync becoming more common (and already being common on laptops) the perfect frame is less costly than tearing; the display will run at the FPS you can manage (within bounds). For it to work you only need to VSync and the GPU driver handles the rest.

In my experience, Wayland has way better and smoother performance than X on adaptive sync displays.

Every frame is perfect™

Every frame is great. If a frame is missing, ### gets quite irate.

X11 doesn't easily support multiple monitors at different DPI, which is almost essential when using a hiRes laptop with an external (also hiRes) monitor.

Performance on Wayland is waaay better for me. Also, the security model is far superior.

When I click and drag windows on MacOS, the window moves perfectly in sync with the cursor. On X11 the window inevitably lags behind.

Depends on your window manager. I use a heavily modified version of dwm, that specifically addresses latency.

With Gnome et al you are most certainly in high latency hell on X11.

Its the default on fedora so a lot of users have been using it for a long time now.

If thats what wayland is lacking then its ready to use for me and the majority of users.

Yea, I too love Sway and use it as my daily driver. I recommend you use the non-packaged version 65 or newer of Firefox, just need the GDK_BACKEND=wayland environment variable set. Only issue is due to the current state of Sway there are some drag-and-drop issues, but that's not a Firefox thing.

It's still a bit buggy, but I use Firefox on Wayland as my daily driver already.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1512416 https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1509740

This has actually worked decently well in Fedora for awhile now by doing: `export GDK_BACKEND=wayland` before starting Firefox.

Yea that was for Fedora-specific builds, in 65 it's now enabled for the general Linux release on their site.

Good work guys.

For those using Firefox, I have one question. Is there any way to replicate Chrome's tab-to-search feature? It's literally the ONLY reason I'm still on Chrome.

Let me explain by showing how I would search for "apples" in youtube across both browsers.


1 - Ctrl+L (go to location bar) 2 - Type "you", press "down" to select youtube from history. 3 - Wait for site to load...... 4 - Click on search box 5 - Type in "apples" 6 - Press enter


1 - Ctrl+L (go to location bar) 2 - Type "you", and if youtube is first item in history, 3 - Press "tab" 4 - Type in "apples" 5 - Press enter.

Youtube opens up with my searched item. Nice and easy with far fewer key presses no waiting nor mouse clicking.

Works for youtube, hacker news, wiktionary, google images, and a heap of other sites I use daily.

Yes but it isn't as good as google.

Go to youtube.

Right click on the youtube search bar.

add a keyword for this search.

choose your keyword (ex: yt)

now you can type in the omnibar "yt my search" and it will do directly the search. It's not as good as chrome solution but it's the only thing for now.

Wow, that's absolutely awesome. It respects container tabs too (search opens in YouTube container tab if launched from any other container).

This'll actually make a measurable difference to me on a daily basis with how much I search youtube for study at the moment. Thanks.

Wow I actually like this better. Didn't know about these features in either browser though.

I remember first using this feature in IE6 back when that browser was new, and I've used it since then. I have "i" for IMDb search, "w" for WikiPedia. "g" goes to DuckDuckGo now after Google became malicious and evil, because of years of muscle memory.

You sir/mam have just revolutionised by browsing experience. I now love FF even more.

Here is more detail about creating custom keyword searches. For example, I have a Bugzilla keyword search so the keyword "bug" will expand the URL "https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=%s". Thus, entering "bug 1000000" in the address bar will expand to "https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1000000".


Create a Search Bookmark

1. Got to the Bookmark Library and Right Click > New Bookmark and fill it as follows: Name: YouTube Search Location: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s Keyword: you

2. Click Add

3. Now in the Location bar type "you apples" and apples will be searched on YouTube.

I use this for a lot of sites with search inputs. I often do searches using ddg of sites I visit with forums or other buried content. Any search that has a URL that you can input a set of terms into can be used. Just use %s in the location for where the terms are in the URL.

Example using DDG to search CarForum.com:https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3CarForum.com+%s&t=ffab&ia=we...

This does the query "site:CarForum.com %s" on DDG.

I even use it to quickly reach Jira tickets that I know the number of. Just modify the URL with a Bookmark.

I think in Firefox the closest is to manually add them as search providers with a short code :/ Right-click in e.g. the search field on YouTube, there's an option to add it with a key word, e.g. "yt". You then can do "yt apples" in the address bar.

Maybe there's an extension that does the Chrome thing, but I searched in the past and didn't find one.


I am using firefox with duckduckgo.

Firefox + DDG = Ctrl+L - Type "!yt apples", press enter


This is so cool! DDG is my default search engine but I only knew about !g for Google.

!hn for hacker news, !gi for google images and !wt for wiktionary.

Thanks for these. I always want to search in hn specifically. This will be so helpful.

There are a ton of these in DDG: https://duckduckgo.com/bang

yeah, that's what I love most about DDG for my default search engine, it's just like having a zillion custom keyword searches preconfigured.

It would be cool if Firefox itself had those keyword searches preconfigured. That way you wouldn't have to send all your queries through DDG.

Firefox have a search bar for this purpose. Isn't Chrome sending everything you type in the omnibar, including urls and search queries, to Google?

To search for "apples" on Youtube, press Ctrl-E to focus on the search bar, type "apples", click on the Youtube icon or press Ctrl-down/up arrow to choose Youtube, then enter.


Most people don't use search bar these days. Why have two fields when you can use one?

Also - too many actions in your example vs. very simple and effective tab-to-search or keyword search available in Firefox.

even simpler in firefox:

[1] open youtube.com

[2] right click on the search bar and select "Add a keyword for this search"

[3] in the dialog enter the character "y" as the keyword.

[4] done!

now to search youtube from the address bar just enter y followed by the search terms!

I'd argue that manually adding each site individually is not "even simpler".

Does Chrome do it for random site searches? Not for Google properties.

Chrome automatically adds sites if they have an OpenSearch description document: https://www.chromium.org/tab-to-search

Firefox requires the user to add the search engine manually: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/add-or-remove-search-en...

I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine. Doing this is as simple as:

1 - Ctrl+L (go to location bar)

2 - Type "yt! apples"

3 - There is not step 3.

This needs to go to DDG first, which makes it slow.

I love that feature too. It uses the opensearch spec, and shouldn't be hard to implement

Ah wow, I had always wondered what magic was behind this feature! Had no idea there was a spec about it, that makes tons of sense.

Here's a description of the spec, if you are interested: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/OpenSearch

Firefox uses it to populate the search bar drop down menu with the available search engines for a site, but it does not add them automatically like Chrome does.

It should be possible to build this with an extension, but I haven't tried.

That being said, there are a few alternatives. Firefox Top Sites supports search engines, as described in https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/save-a-search-step/. Additionally, if you use DuckDuckGo as your default, you can use bang patterns, which I prefer as they are curated.

If you use duck duck go as your search engine I think you can use their bang search functionality

You have to bookmark the search URL replacing the query with %s then set a keyword on the bookmark

location: https://www.google.com/search?q=%s keyword: g

example search 'g test query'

See, this means that I need to do this for every site I want to search in advance. With Chrome I literally just have to visit the site. No creating bookmarks, nothing.

you can add it manually by clicking on the page options button (the three dots in the address bar)

then choose "Add Search Engine"

Curious about the "energy impact" metric. It seems to be just runtime. Fairly lame, had expected some kind of real energy model. This will be quite misleading in many cases, e.g. GPU usage or heavy floating point.

    // 'Dispatches' doesn't make sense to users, and it's difficult to present
    // two numbers in a meaningful way, so we need to somehow aggregate the
    // dispatches and duration values we have.
    // The current formula to aggregate the numbers assumes that the cost of
    // a dispatch is equivalent to 1ms of CPU time.
    // Dividing the result by the sampling interval and by 10 gives a number that
    // looks like a familiar percentage to users, as fullying using one core will
    // result in a number close to 100.
    let energyImpact =
      Math.max(duration || 0, dispatches * 1000) / UPDATE_INTERVAL_MS / 10;
    // Keep only 2 digits after the decimal point.
return Math.ceil(energyImpact * 100) / 100;

There's always been a look & feel problem for me with Firefox...something that seemed to be solved right out of the box with Chrome. I've not been able to put my finger on it, but I think this kind of small user-convenience stuff is part of it. It's not "features" per se, but more the feel of how the application works.

It reminds me of old platform video games before Super Mario Bros. (and for a while after) Superficially, they looked and played kind of the same, but there were a thousand little tweaks in how Mario handled that made it feel right.

I'm definitely going to give Firefox a spin and see how it handles these days.

Same here. I gave Firefox a fresh chance at v57 (Quantam), but I'm back to Chrome. It was fine honestly, no problems with performance or with what I could do. But Right after install, I spent several minutes in just fixing some very basic UI irritations. It had some extra-spacing on sides of the address bar, a 'heavy' looking menu bar, etc. (most users don't want to do that, and rightly so).

I don't mind the different styled settings or menu items at all. The balance (or lack thereof) between font-sizes/font-weights, line weights, the darker gray lines etc. is what perturbs me. Maybe they should look at making the UI look a little 'lighter', like Safari and Chrome.

Firefox is my main browser and I love it, but I totally see what you mean. Chrome looks just right out of the box, but even a small line in Firefox UI makes it irritating.

I have several userChrome CSS changes to make it look exactly as I want. All these taming took me some time, but it's totally worth it because this is a software you spend a few hours every day on.

It reads to me as though you easily get used to Firefox. I can see some advantages related to privacy. Why not give it a shot and use it for two weeks?

I'm amused that you say that specifically about dragging tabs around, because it's magnificently buggy on chrome. Windows popping up and down because they're technically under the drag despite multiple windows in between, big flashes of white, positions where it flickers constantly between states, issues where I hit the limit of the drag and have to do a second drag to get the tab completely in place...

Some of the dialogs seem clumsy, like when you want to clear cookies (level 1 dialog) and then a modal "are you sure" pops over the first dialog (now 2 levels of dialogs).

Other places that could use some revamp are manage bookmarks dialog.

decent bookmark management is all thats keeping it from being my daily driver. id love to support moz but cant coming from opera which has fantastic bookmarking and speed dials

If you want the Chrome look with Firefox, check this out: https://github.com/muckSponge/MaterialFox

RSS is dead...

I have a local html page devoted to news. An entry for a specific site will see at least two urls: The main site's URL and a link to it's RSS feed.

Linking to the feed directly was a great way to bypass all the modern garbage on the home page to see a simple list of articles (not unlike HN's home page). It's borked now...

None of my RSS links render. Chromium was very bad at this but at least it rendered a few (a couple of examples below), FF64 doesn't render any (in any form):



A huge part of my ability to enjoy the web has just been destroyed.:( I'll have to test this on other browsers...

edit (update): both sample links above are working now (odd). Most others with XML, RSS, Atom extensions do not render (FF offers to open in external app or save).

Why not use a feed reader which is designed and optimized for that task? I like Newsblur.com (aka https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur) but there are tons of great desktop apps which do a much better job than Firefox ever did.

Completely agree - use a feed reader. I was a Newsblur subscriber and have great respect for the product and Samuel.

Recently switched to Miniflux: https://miniflux.app which is much better for my needs. Small efficient Go app that works great with a PWA on mobile.

Another vote for newsblur. I plan to self-host, but until I do, Sam hosts it for me. (... and I'll keep playing for premium even when I do self host, because shiloh needs to eat too :)

Just giving a shout-out to my favourite: Feedbin https://feedbin.com/

Another vote for NewsBlur here too. I’ve been a paying member since Google Reader left us. It’s been absolutely fantastic.

I know it is not what you've been doing but it may be something you'd like to consider. I also love RSS and even though there are many add-ons to use in Firefox to restore that kind of functionality, I prefer to use Thunderbird to consume RSS/Atom feeds, I've posted about it at:


Since Thunderbird is also my email client, it becomes a very pleasant experience of catching my email, my newsletters and my blogs in the same client.

Appreciate the suggestion:)

I actually use The Old Reader[0] for most tech sites (including hnFrontPage and showHN). There are other sites that I'm only partially interested in or they have so much content, I don't want them in my Reader.

When I have time, I'll access the Feed Link and give the stories a bird's eye view. Also, some of these home pages are a nightmare in the Times Square sense of the word.

The Old Reader also keeps the the Feed Link accessible. Sometimes I'll hit the [mark all as read] but later on, I might go back and look at the day's listings for a particular site. I'm surprised how often I do this for some sites (mostly to reread an article or follow up on a comment I made). That flexibility is lost now.

Also, I don't subscribe to general news sites. The amount of articles would be overwhelming. News sites with RSS Feed Links make them manageable. I've essentially lost this - so I'll either have to access their obnoxious home pages (with anti-trackers fully loaded) or find other means.

I used to go local on my feeds... and while I avoid the cloud for most things, feed listings feel very natural there (also they don't take up local storage).

It's workable but I'm a bit annoyed that an application built on rendering (simple) tags (rq'd little/zero work to maintain) decides that things associated with RSS are going to be killed off (maybe??... in favor of their own news sources - which require much more work to maintain).

[0] https://theoldreader.com/

I'm on Nightly 66.0a1 and both those links work fine. Maybe they fixed it in a more recent version?

I believe that the FF RSS reader is still available via extension. I am not 100% certain but I seem to recall hearing that in a podcast which covered the pending demise of standard RSS support in FF.

I just use a native app.

You can still do that with an extension.

I really wish they would implement tab stacking, that is the feature that I really miss from the old Opera, here is a video of how it looks in case you don't know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWpJvg8icmM

I've tried to find an extension for FF that does this, but so far I was unable to find one.

Have you tried out TreeStyle Tabs? It has all of the stacking features I saw in that video, but doesn't have the preview features (maybe you can use it alongside another extension that provides that).


I was about to suggest this too. It's like a more general version of stacking, since you have multiple levels, and much more automatic (but you can drag the tabs into a different tree structure if you want).

I think it would solve the GP comment's problem better too. There's not so much need to use multiple windows if you can just use multiple trees in the same window.

As a bonus there are many plugins for the plugin (!) such as one that lets you use the mouse wheel on it to switch tabs. [1] This is more useful in the tab tree than the normal tab strip, especially since it skips over tabs hidden in collapsed subtrees.

All that stuff about browser engine competition is great but TST is the real reason to use Firefox rather than Chrome.

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

> I think it would solve the GP comment's problem better too. There's not so much need to use multiple windows if you can just use multiple trees in the same window.

Even if you do want a new window - drag the common parent tab to a new window and it takes its children along for the ride.

I've been using TreeStyle tabs for a few months now.

While I love the tool, it definitely has some rough edges with integration.

It has the same problem Firefox Multi-Account Containers has: Trying to change internal UI for an internal feature by using an addon simply isn't practical (yet).

It was practical before they killed XUL extensions and went with a crippled Chrome clone that can't hide it's horizontal tab bar. It's time for Mozilla to embrace and extend that garbage.

Read shridharama's comment here for the fix:


It's in the works for some time now: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410548

The big issue here is that Chrome's extension API (which Firefox adopted) doesn't allow this directly, so any extensions trying this need to:

1. rebuild the UI from scratch

2. rebuild basic tab handling behaviour from scratch

3. build tab stacking on top of that

4. (ideally) hide Firefox's existing tab bar

And there's two issues with the above steps:

(a) 4 hasn't been possible with the new extensions API sofar (it was in progress last I checked, maybe it's possible now)

(b) the dev effort required is big, so results have not been very polished sofar

they're getting there though

On the other hand, if you want to try something resembling that as-yet-unsurpassed 2010 UI today, Vivaldi is working on replicating it natively.

I'm never keen to recommend Vivaldi because it's (a) closed source, which is why we don't have Opera anymore and (b) it's Blink, and we need diversity there. But it's a very good browser otherwise.

I'm not clear on why you would want TST as an extension rather than built into the browser chrome. It'd be like wanting the tab bar, or the address bar, to be an extension. Those things belong in the browser chrome; they're what the browser chrome "layer" is for. Just dig into the Firefox code and add TST to the browser itself. (It wouldn't be all that much work; it'd just be 1. adding "parent" and "children" properties to tab model-objects; and 2. adding a TST sidebar view-controller, fed from the same data-binding that backs the regular tab bar.)

It's pretty clear that people desire it as an extension because a good and functional extension exists whereas first party support in a browser does not. There are certainly good arguments for it being easier for it to be built in vs as an extension if you were building from scratch right this moment but such an argument misses multiple points.

An extension exists NOW that people enjoy using. Building THIS into firefox isn't a replacement for a robust extension interface unless you suppose that first party developers can think or implement all the good ideas that will ever come about.

People in truth give zero damns if its easier to implement or more elegantly done any more than they care if their tv is beautifully engineered because their priorities aren't yours. They care about functionality. Right now firefox seems to be lighter and even post quantum have better extensions. Throwing either of those out will cause it to cede more marketshare to chrome.

> unless you suppose that first party developers can think or implement all the good ideas that will ever come about.

Er, no. What I think is that becoming a "first-party developer"—when you already know as much about the internals of Firefox as is required to maintain an extension such as TST—isn't that hard. Firefox is a FOSS project, with internals that are well-maintained and well-documented, and the UI layer is abstracted out to make working with it easier for frontend engineers (which is why, unlike any other browser, you constantly see versions of Firefox with new "experimental UIs.")

> There are certainly good arguments for it being easier for it to be built in vs as an extension if you were building from scratch right this moment but such an argument misses multiple points.

I mean, that was my argument, yes. And I don't see how it misses the point, because I'm not coming at this from the perspective of a Firefox user, nor am I coming at this from the perspective of one of the existing TST maintainers. I have no dog in the fight of Firefox's extension system, because—at the earliest point I'd even start using Firefox—it'd already be a “fact of life” that it only has WebExtensions. I'd just have to take it as a given that you can't do what TST does (did) as an extension, and ask the question afresh: how do you implement something like TST?

And the answer is: natively, in the browser chrome, and thankfully so, because that's what TST should have done in the first place and it'll make many parts of the implementation a lot easier. (See my sibling reply.)

Though, also, never mind Firefox. I'm also coming at this from the perspective of a developer who would want to implement TST-like functionality for any FOSS browser. For example, TST-like functionality for Chromium.

The fact that TST already exists for "old Firefox" doesn't really matter. That's a different web-browser than the one we've got now, and no current browser lets you do what TST did at the extension level. I don't care about ideological arguments about whether they should let you; I care about the practical facts of how to go about having TST functionality in the present/future of the browser landscape.

Not sure why you're being downvoted, I completely agree. This is absolutely something that I think should be in core.

There are some features that are rightly being removed from core in favour of being served by an extension (Container Tabs is a great example—one of my favourite and most-used features personally, but I prefer it in an extension for a few reasons). Better tab management is the opposite: this is something Firefox should work on getting right out of the box.

I get that unless/until it makes it into core, we need good, working, popular extensions to bridge the gap, and perhaps to convince core devs there's an audience, but that's no reason to stop asking for it.

Would also recommend people trial Vivaldi, or even Opera 12 (probably still downloadable from somewhere out there) to try out the general UI concept.

Given that Tree Style Tab has 7,500+ commits, 10 pull requests (200 closed), almost 400 issues (almost 1,500 closed), and the download is 5.6 megs (2.7 megs zipped), there may be more to it than your two-step solution.

Not necessarily. Sometimes 99% of the work of something is the patches you must make for a constantly-leaking abstraction that you introduced by solving the problem on the wrong layer.

For an example I've experienced personally: LinkedIn provides a data API... for a price. There are entire companies, however, that scrape LinkedIn's data instead of paying that price, and then try to work with the scraped data (which has been "baked down" through all sorts of views, localization, projections, etc.) as if it was the API data.

How much more code do you think such a scraper consists of, compared to an API client?

(The LinkedIn case is even worse because LinkedIn has stateful firewalls that actively thwart scraping, and these scrapers have to have code to trick the firewall, as well.)

Prior to quantum you could do so. You have always been able to do so with css in your user profile. You don't have to actually know css you just have to google and paste the text into a file.

For 4, you’re able to hide the Firefox tab bar with some css in userChrome.css now. I’m using tree style tabs and have hidden the default tabs as my daily driver.

Yes, here's a link on how to do this, takes 5min:


Try Vivaldi which has this feature integrated. https://help.vivaldi.com/article/tab-stacks/


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