I'm sad FF share is declining. I wonder what I can do to counter this trend.
The pitch for Firefox should be easy nowadays. Talk about how it’s privacy-focussed while still being competitive with Chrome in performance and ease of use. A lot of people know that Fa$ebook is evil and gobbling up all their data, but they don’t feel like there’s that much they can practically do. Switching to Firefox and using Containers is something anyone can do easily.
Of course there’s probably bigger things that you could do. But thinking locally (if you’re not already) is absolutely required before you then think globally, IMO.
Firefox 65 keeps crashing on my Linux box. I've tried downgrading to 64 and below. But whatever updates were installed when I installed FF65 also crash FF64 and under.
It was either change OS or let FF go. I've since moved to brave browser, but would happily go back to FF if/when I figure out and troubleshoot the issue.
The ~/.Mozilla/firefox folder contains all your FF profiles, there should just be one profile named something.default. Delete that folder and start FF and it should work.
That folder does contain all your settings so those will be lost (and you can also copy this folder to other computers to copy your entire FF configuration :).
FWIW I'm on 65.0.1 (64-bit) on Ubuntu 18.04.2 and have had no major issues. I use Firefox exclusively and use my browser heavily all day long.
I had serious stability problems on Fedora a few months ago which sounded just like yours - I've since switched to debian for other reasons (with same exact profile data) and things are fine, which made me suspect something in the runtime or build toolchain is different and triggered some subtle bug.
not to blame fedora specifically (and who knows if this was a 'me' problem); but distros do differ slightly esp. w/r/t kernel params/threading/builds etc.
Might be worth trying FF ESR or running in a different distro container to see if this helps (yes, not convenient, but..)
also possibly rebuild your profile (pretty sure I tried this.. but anyhow)
As an example the reload button in the extensions screen does not work (it doesn't seem to open in the context of the current page). As well I needed ages to find out that after opening the uMatrix screen I had to tap the phones back button to get back to the originating page.
If you think it's worth opening a bug report for uMatrix, I'll gladly do so.
It’s possible Chrome is large enough they could be objectively worse and sites just optimize to Chrome or people just end up not caring about alternatives.
Pages should strive to be compatible with all browsers, and self-dealing in the space of compatibility is something that would go against the ethos and mission (IMHO, and I would expect many others).
That said, I expect that we would support a similar campaign, just advocating for Firefox using other points instead of "best viewed" style compatibility.
If Mozilla's mission is a more open and standard compliant web instead of walled gardens that message needs to be conveyed to ordinary users and explained as to why it is better. I am not a copywriter so I do not what that messages should be but I think it should be done.
I personally don't have a read on how much support there would be among well known independent/commnity-aligned services for such a campaign. If there did exist a widespread sentiment of that sort, it'd be great.
1. Tab handling is horrible compared to chrome. Vertical tab plugins are theoretically better, but are broken by the new extension system. If you install the plugins you still get tabs across the top.
2. Handling of native themes. Mozilla started attempting this and failed miserably with obviously no QA. They will match my themes dark background but not match the lighter colored text, making the inputs black on black.
3. Non-native UI's. They can support a cross platform UI framework but not a cross platform browser?
4. Whatever the hell is going on with that hamburger menu, they seem to change it all the time and I can never find my bookmarks.
The spend so much on experiments, rewriting things in rust, switching UI frameworks and barely used experiments like webasm and webgl but won't invest in making their core browser experience better. They're stuck doing things that are fun for developers to work on.
In my old version of Linux I've been using straight Firefox primarily for one-off financial transactions. On the scratch installation of the new version I'm now reminded again of all the intrusive third party screwups. I'm moving my primary browser, with shields like a very paranoid uMatrix, to Chromium to party address the privacy issues, and have about decided to also install Chrome, starting it up just for my financial transactions and then exiting. I think there's a lot lower chance Google will siphon off my account information than one of Mozilla's current or future 3rd party partners, especially as Firefox's declining market share makes it ever more desperate.
But you're right, it does include support for Google search, by default, which is a third party. Not that that'd leak your financial details.
Does this really matter from the user perspective? It's still bullshit.
The Firefox security story has sailed compared to Chrome's, Pocket was independent but bundled in from June 2015 to February 2017, the Mr. Robot stunt, and Cliqz. Through the lens of corporate governance, three strikes and you're out till a long period passes with good governance.
Support for X search doesn't matter in the start up a browser with a single tab to do a financial transaction and then close the browser, which is how I've been using a single installation of Firefox, and will now be using Chrome. That scenario doesn't demand a good session manager, something that Firefox's transition to Quantum has ruined as I say in another comment in this topic.
It still means its goals aligns with Mozilla's, so you have to trust them as much as you have Mozilla. (Though of course, it should have been open sourced by now.)
But really, if three strikes and you're out is your policy, you really shouldn't use Chrome - it has an order of magnitude more strikes, and they are far worse, at that. But to each their own.
Well, you were referring to Cliqz, Pocket and Mr. Robot, which where trust issues, not security issues. Google has at least as many of those.
> I distrust Pocket at least as much as I distrust Mozilla.
That makes sense, because they're the same. You should distrust Google even more.
And when it comes to security, not hazarding my bank accounts and credit cards beyond what's unavoidable in doing business on the net, Google is massively more trustworthy than Mozilla. If for no other reason than Mozilla having entered its corporate endgame.
Firefox is not fit for purpose for any of my use cases, although I've still have a copy of Waterfox that I can move to my new Linux installation with a abandoned but adequate session manager for one use case. Maybe Mozilla will fix those two dozen plus bugs and feature requirements for a good session manager before no one cares anymore and I'll continue using that line of browsers if/when Waterfox becomes unsustainable.
There is absolutely nothing you can say that will make me use a program that doesn't work for me, and Firefox does not work for me except for the most casual of browsing.
So are you saying that Cliqz, Pocket and Mr. Robot led to emptying even one person's bank account?
I don't know why you keep bring up the session manager. If you don't like Firefox's features, fine, go ahead and use another browser and ignore Mozilla's role in protecting the open web. But it has nothing to do with security or whatever.
Yes, but here's the thing: these issues have shown that Firefox is not at all more trustworthy, they just don't have as easy a time getting away with it because they aren't in the lead. I have no reason to trust that they won't be just as bad if they think they can get away with it.
Furthermore, trustworthiness is a spectrum, and Mozilla's issues are still peanuts compared to Google's. It's a valid stance to criticise those issues, but it's flawed reasoning to use those as a reason to jump to Chrome.
The reason I care is because it's not about supporting a piece of software, but about protecting the open web, and therefore civil rights.
> I'm making an argument that Mozilla has violated its users trust in the past and no one should reasonably expect they won't do so again.
And I'm making the argument that you can expect Mozilla to not violate its users' trust anywhere near the extent that Google does, and that you can expect its community to keep it in line to ensure that.
Civil rights? Really?
1) It's simply not as responsive. They've worked really hard to keep up with Chrome, and I respect that, and the recent overhaul did make a big difference. But Chrome just feels like a piece of physical machinery, where Firefox still feels like a piece of software.
2) The dev tools are just not quite as good. As with general performance, they've always been very close, but there's just something about them that's off. Enough to disrupt my work.
3) Firefox mobile, at least on Android, has weird high-friction scrolling behavior that doesn't match the rest of the OS and feels terrible, and there's no way to turn it off.
I use Firefox for casual browsing on my gaming desktop, but that's about it. I'm rooting for them, but there are just improvements that still need to be made.
On the bright side, Chromium is 99% OSS (as opposed to Android, which is like 70% OSS). I think a fork could become a competitor if Google took the project in a direction that was just really egregiously bad. Let us not forget that Chrome's rendering engine, Blink, was itself a fork of Safari's WebKit.
Firefox for me is MUCH faster on all hardware I use it on, without or without extensions.
Chrome feels bloated and sluggish... Firefox just flies, and never slows down. I don't understand where complaints of FF performance come from... personally, I've never experienced an issue, on my i7 desktop or my horrible m3 Surface.
To me, it's Firefox that feels like the physical machinery, while Chrome is a piece of software, and a bloated, creepy, predatory one at that.
>Write bindings to all relevant OS composition libraries. For Windows, we already have DirectComposition bindings, and for Linux, there are already bindings to Wayland. We need bindings for macOS Core Animation (which runs in the window server on relatively recent versions of macOS) and Android SurfaceFlinger.
On the Mac you can pick up performance improvements now by opting out of the OS's window scaling feature for the Firefox app.
Get info for the Firefox app in the Finder and select the option to "Open in Low Resolution".
I'd happily contribute to a patreon or something if it meant increasing the chances of having a usable version of firefox on my mac at some point.
For the people who suffer the bugs ( which seems to be a majority of users that have a retina display, and specifically those who use it set on high resolution) just opening firefox will quickly lead to the macbook's fans spinning at full throttle and battery drain. There are issues opened and development supposedly in progress, but it's been like that for months if not years. At this point I would take whatever could speed up the process...
I don't think Firefox can fix all the bugs at the same pace Chromium can.
For some reason every time I talk about these bugs on the internet people treat it as a weird edge case I'm going through, but talking IRL with people about Firefox everyone seems to know how unusable it is in a Mac - not only in my circle of acquaintances.
Firefox does not use Core Animation, unlike Chrome and Safari, which causes an extra full-window blit on GPU in some cases. It also uses a transparent window, so macOS has to composite the content behind the window whenever Firefox draws. I have a patch in there to improve things, as well as a crate planeshift to help the situation with WebRender, but the patch causes some usability regressions so it has not landed. In the meantime you can set gfx.compositor.glcontext.opaque to true in about:config to get an opaque window at the cost of rounded window corners and vibrancy.
From what I've seen on the chromium bug tracker, Google has been on a ~5 year crusade to improve Mac performance. Around half the issues Ive seen include something like "We don't know what Mac does here, let's ask some people at the next conference" (these were core rendering performance bugs). I totally get why Firefox can't compete with that. It's fast on the platforms that don't seem to be hell-bent on making custom rendering slow.
"What if we stopped trying to guess what layers we need? What if we removed this boundary between painting and compositing and just went back to painting every pixel on every frame?
This may sound like a ridiculous idea, but it actually has some precedent. Modern day video games repaint every pixel, and they maintain 60 frames per second more reliably than browsers do. And they do it in an unexpected way… instead of creating these invalidation rectangles and layers to minimize what they need to paint, they just repaint the whole screen.
Wouldn’t rendering a web page like that be way slower?
If we paint on the CPU, it would be. But GPUs are designed to make this work."
Any modern CPU and GPU can do a lot of DMA and copying of memory in a very short amount of time, but that doesn't mean it'll be efficient wrt. power... which is what I think you were 'complaining' about?
You can feel this by playing any 3D shooter on your laptop and see the battery being sucked empty.
As for Chrome, I used to use it a lot, but the privacy concerns and controls it comes with bothered me too much to want to continue to use it on any of my systems.
Firefox containers are also essential to me while browsing the web - I don’t know if Chrome provides anything similar.
I have a really hard time understanding where this commenter is coming from saying FF > Chrome. Have not heard anyone else with that opinion.
1. On Linux - Firefox feels much more snappier than Chrome. Specically on Fedora, Chrome as a input lag which is non-existant in Firefox.
2. On Windows and Mac - Chrome is either on-par or feels snappier. I use either browser on these on two platforms.
3. On Android (galaxy-s8+), Firefox is fine but it integrates poorly with rest of the OS. Youtube links don't open in youtube app, searching for locations is bit of pain because Chrome produces Google maps hyperlinks.
I am still sticking to firefox though, because my main computer is Linux and Firefox is just to much better on Linux (lately).
It is odd; I don't dispute that Firefox evidently has some performance issues for some people – there are enough reports from people on varied enough hardware that I don't doubt the authenticity of what people are reporting.
But personally, for me Firefox is noticeably faster than Chrome, and I know I'm definitely not the only one.
For reference: I run Windows 10 (currently 1803) on i7-7700K/32GB with typically 20-30 tabs across multiple windows; Firefox RAM consumption can be up to 4GB after a whole day's use like that. I never find the browser slows down at all, and is always immediately snappy and responsive... whereas Chrome, in a way which is hard to quantify or describe, does feel as though it's a few milliseconds behind me sometimes.
I also find the same on my truly atrocious m3/4GB Surface though (massively regret that one, "should be alright for what I need" I thought as I reached the checkout, should have known better). Chrome quickly kills the Surface, Firefox manages to keep going far longer...
So in conclusion... I don't dispute that some people find Firefox to be slower, but I know for sure that isn't true of everyone. I have no complaints whatsoever about Firefox performance and have been using it daily for 18+ months (switched from Vivaldi... now there's a browser which has performance issues, for me at least...)
My hunch is the CPU is the differentiator. Chrome eats RAM, FF eats CPU. Maybe someone with more knowledge here has a more educated guess.
I did recently update my BIOS and it improved FF performance dramatically, reinforcing my belief it's the CPU. Pre and post spectre fix or whatever.
This also frees up my RAM for other memory intensive operations leading me to use Firefox more often.
Some of those tabs will be lightweight, like GitLab issues, forums or webpages I'm building, whereas others will be more complex sites and web apps... Office 365 apps, YouTube, social networks, Figma instances etc.
Firefox will consume sometimes 4GB or more by the end of the day.
I run an i7-7700K and 32GB of RAM though, so it's never going to get near a low-memory situation. I'll end the day with about 50% total system memory consumption... no app is individually too demanding, just I run a ton of things simultaneously and because there's so much RAM available, Windows never has to take action to kill anything or reclaim memory back again.
This is particularly evident in UWP apps (although I hardly ever use them)... if I open one at 9am and close it, I can then reopen at 9pm and it will be there instantaneously despite effectively being cold start from user perspective, because it's been suspended in RAM all day!
Right now I'm sitting at 50.2% RAM consumption, of which Firefox is using 2.1 GB over 7 processes.
Next biggest are Figma (400 MB on a big document), Microsoft Teams, Spotify... oh yeah, Electron RAM usage is still abominable. But I don't need to worry about it ;)
Sadly, I still find Chrome to be much easier to work with for dev than Firefox. Firefox has made great progress lately with the devtools, and the new bits like Grid Inspector are awesome, but it's sad the basics still aren't there.
The sad thing... I really, really wish this wasn't the case, because it unfortunately reinforces the point made in the article.
Despite all my best intentions, I do end up building for Chrome first. I loathe and resent that but it saves me time overall. Every new release I try Firefox tools again though and I'm confident they're going in the right direction... hopefully in another few months, I'll be able to report back and confirm I use Firefox as my primary dev browser too.
Stability and performance are about the same, in my experience. Neither are perfect. Though it's been at least a year since I really used Chrome so I can't say for sure.
One thing you could try to see if Firefox speeds up by changing the number of processes it creates (defaults to 4) to 8, esp if you're on a machine with considerable RAM (16GiB+).
As for web-dev tools, doesn't Firefox ship a developer-only edition? Might want to try that out.
 On the flip side, you might want to try Chromium-based Brave or Vivaldi instead.
I highly value my privacy; I switched to iOS because of it. I only use Chrome at work. I've got comprehensive content blockers set up on mobile Safari, which is where most of my personal browsing happens.
> As for web-dev tools, doesn't Firefox ship a developer-only edition?
I'd assume that's a version designed for developers who work on Firefox itself, not developers who use Firefox to work on the web. There would be no reason for them to omit some of their dev tools from the regular builds.
> On the flip side, you might want to try Chromium-based Brave or Vivaldi instead.
I tried and loved Vivaldi for a little while, until I ran into a catastrophic dev tools bug (can't remember what exactly). I also enjoyed Brave for a while, but it ended up being too slow too (this was when it had an Electron interface instead of being a fork, so it's probably better now).
That is a an incorrect assumption:
And why would there be no reason to omit these tools? If they're only going to see the light of day when a developer is using them, they're a waste of space for the average user, correct?
I don't know how it is for other people, but the way Firefox's scroll works on mobile makes me want to not do anything on it. If Firefox were my only option to browse the internet on my phone then I just wouldn't.
> A browser fueled by huge amounts of corporate money is generally going to look and act better, but at the end of the day, you're still corporately controlled, open source or not.
Partly true. They hold a certain amount of leverage, which I agree it would be great if they didn't have, but they can't just do whatever they want or people will simply jump ship. There's a ceiling on how hard they can push things in a given direction at a given moment. Of course they can push slowly over an extended period of time, which is the real danger. But I still think enough people are paying attention that the power center would shift if they started truly abusing it.
Actually they absolutely do. You need to do mitigations against fingerprinting in order to protect privacy.
In 10 years Chrome will be to internet browsers what Vista was to the OS. Bloated, over-built, poorly thought out, and a complete dumpster fire. By giving Google such a one-sided market share we're encouraging them to stop taking us seriously. They already don't, but at least right now they have to pretend.
Does anyone else remember how fast they added an opt-out of single sign-on to Chrome after the outcry from 69? We won't have the luxury of moving those mountains when Google has the last mountain around.
There's also plenty of little UX niceties you don't even notice on Chrome, but which are missing on Firefox. Eg. if you create a new bookmarks folder and you add a bookmark to it, this folder stays selected as the default option when you're adding another bookmark. This doesn't happen on Firefox for some reason.
Or, another example off the top of my head: I always customize my browsers so that the next tab gets open right next to the current one - not at the end. There are lightweight extensions for both browsers that accomplish just that. But only on Firefox the new tab jumps back and forth when you open it; opening at the end for a fraction of a second, then bouncing back where I want it. On Chrome it's instantaneous.
Or downloading files: Chrome automatically shows a download bar for an ongoing download, and you can open the freshly downloaded file right from there. Firefox doesn't do it. You have to manually tap a rather discreet arrow icon on the toolbar to open the downloads list. (Which you may even forget to, if we speak of a large download that takes several minutes). Maybe there's some extension for that, but Chrome has this by default.
Translating webpages is another one. There are several extensions available for Firefox, but not one of them comes close to the convenience Chrome offers by default in this regard.
I know a lot these are arguably petty things, but boy is there so many of them. And I think at least the majority of don't really fall into the "matter of taste" category. Chrome simply offers more polished user experience, and while these may be details, at the end of the day all these details add up.
The very few times I have experienced such a thing, a peek at the console tells me that FF is blocking the page from doing something insecure or otherwise harmful.
It reminds me of ActiveX stuff. Junky webcams still ship with an ActiveX control to embed video into their html page. When it doesn't work in FF or Chrome, some people think IE6 is a superior browser.
I don't know the reason behind your various broken pages. It could be something is wrong with FF. But it could also be that something is _right_ with FF. If you don't know which, why are you complaining about FF?
I'm not complaining about FF. I'm complaining about my experience using FF. I'm not attributing blame, only stating facts.
Even if it's something wrong with the websites as you say, what matters to me is whether I can use them or not.
And by the way, quietly blocking the page without any sort of a message or warning to the user would be more evidence of bad UX in my book. I shouldn't have to go the console to find out how the browser decided to protect me, if that's the case.
Whenever I tried to share my woes with friends or colleagues who used Firefox or chrome, they just went like "well you can have feature x too by installing add-on y". But it was the little things, the way things worked in detail, were laid out etc. And it's very hard to explain this to someone who has always done it another way, or never got used to a certain feature in the first place.
I kept using opera 12 for almost two years after they retired it, until just too much stuff was inaccessible due to the browsers age. Then followed a confusing time of using Firefox, chromium and Vivaldi in parallel, eventually drifting to Firefox, in recent times driven by growing reluctance towards google and the building up of their browser (or engine) monopoly.
The odd font rendering is another problem. Fonts in Firefox look different than fonts in other native apps.
Actually what annoys me more on mobile is that chrome seems much better at guessing right where I wanted to touch on non-mobile websites. On HN I can hit the upvote button easily, with Firefox I need to smash several times and sometimes even zoom in in frustration. OTOH I can just install ublock origin on ff mobile and make browsing much faster, especially since I'm using a rather old device; the difference is huge.
I've been using Firefox since the Bush administration and never felt a need to switch. Like a lot of people, I experimented with Chrome in college, but at the time it didn't have an equivalent to many of the extensions I valued (ex: NoScript).
Could I get a slight performance boost switching to Chrome? Maybe. But I don't. I guess for the same reason I stick with my credit union - they accomplish what I need, I trust they won't screw me over, and I think the market needs to be more diverse. Getting an extra bit of percent in speed/interest just isn't worth the switch.
(In the spirit of full disclosure, I interned with Mozilla in the summer of 2014.)
We are now getting back to IE days it seems .... :(
OSS but owned totally by google.
I don't believe such a product should get any credit for being OSS. It will never do what the community wants.
This exists as:
I do like Firefox on Android though as you can block ads on it. Chrome for Android doesn't support plugins.
DOM instruction speed, last I checked, was twice as fast in Chrome compared to Edge but still dozens to hundreds of time slower than Firefox.
Riding my bike everywhere is inconvinient. If I take my car to the grocery shop, I'm much faster and don't get wet, even if I'm wasting a lot of energy and causing more traffic.
Using ecosia is more inconvinient than using Google because 1 out of 10 times ecosia has no idea what I'm searching for.
My point being that no one is saying switching away from chrome is all roses. There is a small sacrifice to be made for what I believe is the greater good. I'm a developer and use Firefox as my development environment 99% of the time - the dev tools are pretty good. I do switch to chrome that 1% of times if I find a trickier bug to debug.
1) Opposite experience for me: Chrome loads things slowly and performing actions on pages just feels far less responsive than FF. Chrome also seems to use insane amounts of memory for a few tabs, while FF is a lot more reasonable.
2) You're probably right on this one, I don't use dev tools often.
3) The whole reason I switched to FF on Android was to run uBlock. Can Chrome on mobile run extensions yet?
And this problem has been around for years. It makes Firefox unusable for me on a phone.
I don’t think that Chrome supports anything like Firefox containers, right?
IMHO if you want to "protest" the browser monopoly, use something more like Dillo or NetSurf. They have no JS, so web apps are out of the question, but work well for the document-centric sites.
One of the machines I use is an old Dell Latitude D620 (2006, Intel Core2 CPU T7200 2.00GHz) on a debian base. I can tell you from personal experience, on this machine, that Mozilla's latest Quantum Browser is heads above Chrome and their "clones".
It is so quick to load (even loaded with extensions), it replaced Pale Moon as the default browser for this laptop. I was stunned at the performance improvements in Quantum. I remain surprised, every single day, that the modern web has been made available on a laptop that's 13 years old.
All other Chrome-like browsers (Chromium, Opera, Vivaldi, etc) take much longer to load, cause the cpu to throttle (fans kick in) which can lead to overheating and shutdown issues. They are essentially unusable on that machine. Firefox Quantum, otoh, is snappy on this machine.
I say this because I'm genuinely curious by the "too big" comment. I honestly find it puzzling (unless you're comparing a modern, full-featured browser to Dillo or Links2/GUI: both of which are favs of mine for their use cases).
I had turned my back on Firefox for a few years because of performance issues, caching problems. They didn't just correct these issues, they've done so in a way few software upgrades have ever managed to do in my experience (dating back three decades) and have blown past their competitors from a purely performance standpoint.
You may be experiencing OS caching. If you normally use Chrome, Chrome is already cached in memory by the OS and will open faster than something you haven't started recently.
> On my MBP it also makes the fans spin up.
I've noticed that Chrome tends not to do this while still being slower. This may be related to the way it uses more processes, which consequently requires more resources per operation (and thereby higher visible latency) but splits the load better between cores so that no individual one gets hot enough to require additional cooling.
But yes, the loss of EdgeHTML (following a few years after the loss of Presto) is a sad thing for the health of the web.
Safari has caught up a bit, luckily, but it'd be great if it would actually compete with other browsers on features. Unfortunately, I guess if Apple opened up iOS to other browser engines, it'd also compete against Google's marketing machine and reach.
(Yes, I know this is the Jolt Cola of analogies, I will stick to cars in the future.)
I don't know why I couldn't have be treated to a "this might not work 100% warning" instead of being completely locked out.
(Yeah I get it that they don't want to have people complaining that a niche corner case that was never tested in Firefox doesn't work. But this is a ridiculous way to do it.)
But if the road had thousands of different connections to the car, there certainly would need to be testing for each manufacturer.
Considering that it works with current Edge (which hasn't switched to Blink, yet), it's unlikely, as you say.
That can't be just a coincidence. "It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It" and all that.
Considering how Microsoft has been shifting to support open platforms (I mean, .net now officially runs on linux and Microsoft even integrates Docker) my guess is that they decided to focus on core businesses and don't waste resources implementing redundant support infrastructure.
I wonder why Skype for Web doesn't run in a browser on Linux, given how much 'Microsoft ️:heart: Linux'.
It's not that simple. The developers have always been there, but until recently Microsoft refused to even acknowledge that there were were platforms other than the Windows ecosystem.
Google spent $21.7M, all in the "Internet" industry.
Microsoft spent ~$9.5M, and only $70k of that in "Internet." The rest went to "Electronics Mfg and Equipment."
Linux desktop share = 1.3%
Of which 80% of users will use the browser they want to, irrespective of what is currently installed. So 20% of 1.5% = 0.26%
Fortunately firefox is not at a stage where they have to care about 0.26% usage share of worldwide desktop.
And I have rarely seen Linux distro maintainers acting in any bigger-sense-of-good or in technologically better solutions. They have their own favourites.
If firefox wants to succeed- it should ship default with uorigin, kills google and makes firefox snappier. Instant win. If I were making firefox- I'd also ship a power user edition with uMatrix enabled
Goes to show that companies will cut corners in silly ways whenever possible. Unless MS is called out on this repeatedly, it won't change. The noise needs to be louder on supporting Firefox (and other non-Chrome browsers). Otherwise everybody could lose.
A bit of revisionist history here. Firefox, nee Phoenix, was a branch of Mozilla because its authors felt (correctly) Mozilla was too bloated. I remember 1-2 minute load times when trying to open Mozilla back in the day.
What you're saying doesn't seem to contradict it?!?
I doubt it.
If Firefox sold a privacy version of Firefox, I'd buy (edit: ie, with my privacy features/extensions built in)
If I couldn't simply copy my entire configuration as I upgrade versions of Linux I'd be making a painful one time change completely to Chrome and Chromium, which I'd really rather avoid.
The bottom line is that Mozilla let Firefox's market share decline so much that the only two reasons people kept using it were it's not Chrome, and the extension ecosystem. Which is reported to have included a superior debugger, which indirectly made sure a lot of sites implicitly supported Firefox because they were developed using it.
Users don't give the slightest damn that keeping the old XPI ecosystem was hard, and had serious security issues. A huge number of extensions that they depended on have become roadkill on the information superhighway, even if some made the transition with significant changes. Making Firefox into an inferior version of Chrome means for most that the only reason to use it is that it's not Chrome.
Kind of ironic coming from the people who gave us IE/EDGE, the browser with the most incompatibility issues.
One thing they got right, Linux/Firefox people are probably not their target audience so why bother. Especially after year of broken Skype updates in Linux. There are better alternatives now.
It's a lot easier than building a whole browser from scratch. I salute what Mozilla is doing but I still don't want to use their browser because it just isn't as good, in my opinion. (Firefox also does't support the MIDIAccess API yet, which I need)
Obviously a lot of people agree that Chrome is better. I'm a lot more likely to use Microsoft's Blink browser than I was to use Microsoft's fully proprietary browser, but even better would be a fully open source, community steered "UnGoogled Chrome".
The general concern about projects along these lines, e.g. IceWeasel, is that they won't keep up with security patches as quickly as the project it's forking. Maybe that's less of a concern here since they aren't trying to recreate an older version but are just tearing out some "phone home" calls and changing some defaults.
And they often take a baby-with-the-bathwater approach to removing Google from the picture. For instance, that project completely disables Safe Browsing, requires a convoluted process to install extensions, and breaks automatic extension updates -- in each case, because the functionality depends on a Google-hosted service.
Mozilla does not really seem to be addressing the fact that they provide one browser - Firefox - that is competing against an increasing array of Chrome-based browsers, all providing different user experiences. Why has no one built an interesting browser on top of Firefox?
It stands to reason that Chrome cannot be all things to all people. Neither can Firefox. The difference is that alternative browsers are increasingly Chrome-based, with the single exception of Firefox. Unless Mozilla (or someone else) can reverse this trend, I think this battle is lost.
What do you think they should have done differently ?
I understand fixing something like that takes a lot of effort, but they lost a lot of time and money in projects that had no chance of working out, such as FirefoxOS (really? making an entire OS using the slowest browser engine that there is on the cheapest ARM hardware they could find?), Hello, Persona, etc. They also abandoned Thunderbird, which I will never forgive, the same way I will never forgive Google for abandoning Reader. Servo is a nice project but the chances it will be abandoned after years in development are over the roof.
So now they are focused on their privacy improvements, but they can't stop shooting themselves in the foot (sending your browsing history to the advertisement company Cliqz, remotely installing an addon to advertise the Mr. Robot show, installing Pocket by default...)
Then, if it is slower, and they don't seem to be able to take my privacy seriously despite their claims to the contrary, why in hell should I use Firefox?
Every tech company has failed projects, you can't blame them for trying.
Look at Google: google wave, google plus, google buzz, their clusterfuck of IM / phone calls.
I mean knock yourself out, there's a whole list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_products#Discon...
My point being, Mozilla has to try to innovate, and they have to try these projects. They're being reproached that some failed, but no one is questioning Rust now that it's taking off...
Furthermore, one time long ago, Mozilla might have thought they didn't need to build a mobile browser, and focus on their main product: Firefox for Desktop.
Next thing you know, Firefox is completely irrelevant on what's becoming the dominant computing platform.
I don't know whether VR/AR or IoT will be a thing, and I'm sure that they will be criticised for their projects there when they don't, but I'm certainly glad they're at least trying to make those open platforms - just in case they do become mainstream.
1. Cliqz is not an advertising company, it's a search company and we push hard for privacy protection in everything we do (private search, antitracking, adblocking, etc.)
2. Privacy policies are legally binding, and in ours we state that no personal data is collected. We designed our features and products to not require collection of any private data (that includes our search engine).
3. I'd like to point out that in Firefox, by default, your queries are sent to advertising company Google. So I don't understand all the heat when Mozilla tries to find more privacy-friendly alternatives to Google. In this case, they replaced Google by Cliqz (again, an independent German search company focusing on privacy, building its own index: no Bing results involved) in Germany, for 1% of the users. That seems to perfectly fit in Mozilla's mission of protecting users' privacy.
2nd, sending the user's complete browsing history to a 3rd party which is owned by an advertising and media company without telling the user was a terrible idea. It's simply mismanagement by the Mozilla Corporation.
>This experiment also includes the data collection tool Cliqz uses to build its recommendation engine. Users who receive a version of Firefox with Cliqz will have their browsing activity sent to Cliqz servers, including the URLs of pages they visit.
I enjoyed the read BTW, somebody put some real time into that sort of system
FWIW it sounds [#] exactly like a scummy advertising company - I'd address that if the company is not getting revenue through placements or advertising at all.
I notice you said your products are designed to not require private data collection; presumably that means they do it, but could in theory work without doing it. That comes across as weasel words.
# Edit: I mean the name, I don't know the company.
We're currently proposing a mix of client-side private offers (not unlike Brave) and paid products (e.g.: Ghostery premium, and more are being worked on as we speak). Users should have a choice.
> I notice you said your products are designed to not require private data collection; presumably that means they do it, but could in theory work without doing it. That comes across as weasel words.
No. That means that we do not collect personal data. And being able to do so took (and still takes) a lot of research and careful design.
What's that mean, it sounds like you mean "advertising with discounts in?", not sure what "offers" means if that's not it?
Brave browser has advertising, so it sounds like you're saying your income _will_ come from ads?
That's not an awful thing, so it's weird you're not up front about it??
1. All clients download a database of offers locally (they are basically vouchers, we call them offers because they have the potential to make users save money).
2. While browsing with this feature enabled, URLs of pages as well as some other information accessible locally are processed by the extension which tries to detect the intent of buying something online.
3. When an intent corresponding to one of the items in the local database is found, an offer is shown with a coupon that can be used to save money.
What sets it apart from ads in my opinion is that everything happens client-side and that the offer is only shown when there is a clear intent to buy something (instead of all pages with traditional ads). This means that users will actually see very few of them, but that they should be very relevant and useful (you save money).
Are you audited by any independent, respected privacy watchdog organizations to make sure that you're adhering to your published policies?
If not, how can I be sure that you're doing what you say you are?
Also, even ostensibly non-personally-identifying data can be de-anonymized.
The only way to be sure that your data can't be used against you is for it not to be collected in the first place.
I really don't want to use chrome but FF ended up annoying me so much I went back to it.
(Safari almost worked... but the outlook webmail we use didn't play well, and with safari I had to refresh and re-login every hour or so, rather than daily on other browsers)
If this sort of experience is true for most users, then it's bad.
(Sure, "not Google" but I can also just use Safari.)
Safari works pretty OK with G properties, except offline editing of docs
That was an experimental, lightweight Skype alternative, that didn't take too much effort to build beyond introducing WebRTC into Gecko (which they had to do anyway) and which probably helped them iron out bugs in Gecko's WebRTC implementation. Also, for the record, when I used it, it worked mostly fine.
It worked, but almost nobody used it (you could argue that that is "not working out" from a social, if not technical point of view).
> They also abandoned Thunderbird, which I will never forgive
They didn't abandon it. They transferred it into other people's caring hands. They still provide some support for it under the Mozilla umbrella and they still coordinate (to some extent) with Thunderbird's current developers when modifying the common base Firefox and Thunderbird depend on.
Partially true, if rather overblown. It affected a tiny number of people (~ 1 % of new users, in only one country), the data was anonymised and the code running on the server to which the data was sent was FOSS, though obviously there's no definitive proof that Cliqz didn't substitute it with malicious code. It was an order of magnitude less bad than what Google always does and considering that the point was to build an alternative to Google search, if it had worked out, it would have been a massive privacy gain. The most disappointing part was it being opt-out, not opt-in, for the randomly selected users.
> remotely installing an addon to advertise the Mr. Robot show
That was a very silly (and stupid) gimmick, but it didn't invade your privacy.
> installing Pocket by default
Having Pocket installed by default is not a privacy violation, even if it is slight bloat-ware.
Anecdotally I get the tab opening/closing lag often in Chrome, but not Firefox
I'd imagine Apple will team up with Mozilla, so we would have two major browser engines.