Privacy-compromising systems aren't winning today because people seek out systems that compromise their privacy. They're winning because these companies focused on making the user interface good. Firefox will win big again when they stop talking about privacy and start making a UI that isn't lousy.
True, Apple is talking about privacy a lot these days, but they've been focusing on UX first for decades. You can't start with "here is an abstract principle that's good for you, and you should use our systems because of it". The Free Software Foundation tried that for years. It doesn't work.
Privacy is important, but it's a feature, not a product. You still need to have a great product.
Do you consider Firefox to be a less-than-great product?
I use it as my main browser, from Windows 10. No complaints. I don't experience performance issues or UI issues. Chrome and Firefox are both solid browsers, on Windows at least.
Perhaps Firefox for Mac is a weaker product, and loses to Safari 'fair and square' on quality grounds?
The current version of Firefox on macOS is a vast improvement over what Mozilla was shipping 6-12 months ago.
However, it still requires more RAM, doesn’t render as quickly and consumes more power than Safari, so there’s that. Also, Safari implemented anti-tracking features before Firefox did.
This is a gross exaggeration. I've been using firefox on MacOS for 3 years and it's worked fine the entire time.
Older Firefox versions are redrawing the entire window even if only a tiny portion of the window was changing.
With advent of high resolution windows, the amount of work needed to redraw the whole window for every frame became significant.
The last version of Firefox moved to breaking the window into large tiles and only redrawing the tiles that have changed.
This is still less optimized than Safari (which uses Core Animation to only redraw the items on the page that are changing) but it is still a large improvement over prior versions of Firefox if you have a high resolution display.
So clearly it’s not about competition. Disney+ is being heavily promoted on the App Store, which is direct competitor to Apple’s TV+.
We’ve seen 3rd parties like Google and Facebook subvert iOS security before; if Mozilla gets low-level access, then so does Google and they can’t be trusted.
It is astounding that overzealous Apple employees and fan boys will employ circuitous mental gymnastics to substantiate Apple policies, instead of simply allowing an open-market to thrive on iOS. It's as if open markets where consumers are allowed to choose works against Apple
Consumer choice is a red herring. So for that matter is Firefox, which Google has stomped out on Android. Apple's policy is 100% aimed at preventing Google from controlling the future of iOS.
Yes, giving users choice does mean loosening your control of your platform. I don't believe Apple thinks consumer choice would cause Google to control the future of iOS.
Apple is clearly moving towards a more secure set of operating systems and that starts by reducing the attack surface.
On macOS, Apple is deprecating kernel extensions; the boot partition on macOS Catalina is read-only so that it can’t be modified by malicious software: https://wccftech.com/macos-catalina-runs-on-dedicated-read-o...
Even Safari on iOS doesn’t support browser extensions.
>instead of simply allowing an open-market to thrive on iOS.
The App Store paid developers $34 billion in 2018; I would say the market is thriving: https://fortune.com/2019/01/28/apple-app-store-developer-ear...
>Safari/webkit, with a purposefully depleted feature set
Just checked html5test.com from my iPhone 7 running iOS 13.2.2; Safari scores 463 and Firefox 48 mobile scored 468 out of 555 points. And this is without enabling a bunch of experimental work-in-progress features: https://imgur.com/a/Y5NHwct
So there's no meaningful difference in capability of these browsers when it comes to features.
Of course, Safari is faster, requires less RAM and consumes less power, which should count for something on a mobile device.
You go to lengths to defend Apple, but do not have the guts to let the consumer pick a Google/Mozilla alternative engine. What is Apple so scared of, if not a level playing field.
This is the same company that retroactively modified it's store policies to substantiate booting steam off the app store. Courage in the face of competition, not!!
The illogic here is a little scary: Firefox and Safari on iOS basically have the same level of web standards compliance according to html5test.com, yet one is intentionally not implementing features?
No fanboyism; just the facts.
YOUR BROWSER SCORES
OUT OF 555 POINTS
You are using Firefox Mobile 68.0 on Android 8.1.0
> The App Store paid developers $34 billion in 2018; I would say the market is thriving: https://fortune.com/2019/01/28/apple-app-store-developer-ear....
They said open market. Apple's closed market is thriving, but the open market doesn't exist on iOS.
As for Safari using less power and ram on mobile there is no evidence that Firefox would uae more of either since Apple doesn't allow it to run. As far as we know if other browsers were allowed to run some might compete on power and ram.
As for security, chrome on desktop has a superior track record. The CVE list proves this, so by denying competition Apple denies users more secure browsers.
Firefox is slower, requires more RAM and uses more power on macOS now; it’s highly unlikely that essentially the same engine running on iOS would run significantly differently.
Of the mainstream browsers on macOS, Firefox has always been the slowest.
The goal is to preserve privacy by default--no extensions required. The vast number of users don't install them or wouldn't know which ones to install.
Brave is secure out of the box and doesn't require extensions to protect your privacy: https://brave.com/features/
Safari also doesn't require extensions to protect your privacy: WebKit Tracking Prevention Policy—https://webkit.org/tracking-prevention-policy/
Apple first shipped Intelligent Tracking Prevention in June 2017, long before Firefox or any other browser had anything similar: https://webkit.org/blog/7675/intelligent-tracking-prevention...
Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention stops the cross-site tracking, fingerprinting, etc. by ad companies.
The ability to block content is built-in to macOS and iOS for 3rd parties to use.
- Standard keyboard shortcuts for text editing still don't work. That alone is a dealbreaker for me.
- The toolbar(s) don't look or work like standard toolbars. The standard toolbar editor is missing, too.
- Tabs don't look or act right, either. They're actually styled like Windows XP tabs.
- The scroll bars look good, but scrolling doesn't work the same as any other app. It hits a solid wall at either end.
- The preferences dialog is not a dialog, but a web browser tab (!), and its controls all look strange. They're not like standard OS controls or standard web controls. They're mostly just words floating on empty space, and some of them happen to be clickable. (It doesn't even have the advantage of being a webpage: the back button is enabled, but don't take me back to the last thing I was looking at here.) Some settings open a (custom, of course) dialog-in-a-tab, which is resizable, but if you resize it, the main scrollbar disappears, so you can't see the bottom of the dialog with the Cancel/OK buttons.
- It doesn't use the standard localization setting. It has its own, but half of Firefox doesn't even seem to use that, because even though my System Preferences is English, and my Firefox language preference is English, and even my Firefox content preference is English, it's showing half the UI in Japanese still. The context menu is half English and half Japanese!
- It's got a whole second menu (!) in the toolbar, with no way to hide it (see above: non-standard toolbars). The font, text alignment, highlight color, icons, and animation are all non-standard. Of course, it doesn't obey the system accessibility settings, either.
- Tree controls (e.g., in the History window) are non-standard, and standard keyboard shortcuts don't work here, either.
- It uses a (custom, of course) pop-over as an upgrade notification, which can't be dismissed by clicking outside them. Or dismissed permanently, like normal notifications.
The whole reason I use a Mac is for consistency. That's been its primary benefit since 1984. Instead of learning 10 completely different different programs, I just have to learn the common parts once. (Remember those keyboard overlays for the IBM PC we used so we didn't have to memorize which F-key meant "Save" in each different program?) In Firefox, everything is custom, and works differently than other apps. The keyboard, mouse, display, menus, windows, and controls are all weird. If I were OK with that, I'd switch back to Linux.
The settings page is still non-standard, the same for the scrolling, keybindings don't work in the usual macOS way (CMD+Q for instance quits only if you hold, which is baffling), the app updates itself in a non-obvious way, the top-bar is laggy when in fullscreen mode, and the list can go on and on.
That sounds totally unexpected. Can you open a bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi including the details from your about:support page?
Something sounds broken and I'd expect a fix.
I very badly want to use Firefox as my main browser, and I have it installed and give it a go every now and then, but it’s just not all the way there yet for me.
The default hotkeys for next/prev tab are cmd+option+left/right arrow. I don't know how to change those...
good to know about the density, thanks.
Wich is not much of a surprise. If you educate your customer base to use one browser, many won't switch. See the lawsuits against Microsoft because of IE.
As it stands, I stay on Android mostly for Firefox.
One reason I haven’t switched from iPhone is that I’m not confident in my ability to secure an Android, and I’d rather trust Apple than Google.
Another part of it is that I just trust Mozilla more. Both in terms of conflicts of interest, and just plain fixing bugs. For example, Safari on iPod touch has been unable to access the microphone for years, even though Safari on iPhones can.
I will concede your point about security. I think that iPhones are probably more secure than Androids. But, I feel that the security of my Android phone is sufficient for my needs.
The rendering engine restriction is less obvious to the average user. And, frankly, if you don't trust Apple with your data then what are you doing using their network stack?
Or is it only policy-enforced? Reviewers see something in an app that resembles a "browser" too much and take you down?
Or it's a anti-competitive move disguised as a "avoid vulnerabilities" but in reality they just really want to make sure iOS users keep using the one and only browser (Safari).
You can if it’s for educational purposes.
That's the part Apple is not allowing in third party apps.
Thus one cannot make a JIT compiler for js and thus pages are slow.
Game engines such as Unity use il2cpp to go from the C# stuff into C++ that can be statically compiled as running the C# as bytecode would be too slow without a jitter.
The interface between SpiderMonkey and the rest of Firefox is here: https://searchfox.org/mozilla-central/source/js/src/jsapi.h.
Nitpick: you can but you cannot ship it via the App Store.
> Thus one cannot make a JIT compiler for js and thus pages are slow.
Lack of JIT doesn't slow down pages much. I believe the difference is so small that it might even be possible to be faster without JIT for most pages, especially on low power devices, it's only computation heavy pages that are going to suffer and even then it's not like you can't optimize common patterns statically ahead of time.
It doesn't mean that it's a good idea to invest into it, you are still under Apple's mercy and they clearly don't want competing browser engines.
So why do you think so many major companies invest such a huge amount of money in JS JITs? Google, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Mozilla all maintain JS JITs and spend what I guess is hundreds of millions of dollars a year on it.
> let's not weaken the argument by indulging a penchant for hyperbole
Please don’t be so dismissive and snide - there’s no need for that.
Then your initial estimate was way off, because you were suggesting multiple hundreds of millions and the average salary probably isn't that high.
> there’s no need for that
Honest argument wouldn't require such forceful correction.
> Honest argument wouldn't require such forceful correction.
Please try to tone it down.
You can't download and interpret third-party code, I think this is enforced by human reviews, so shipping your own Web rendering stack is out.
You can use your own network stack with WebKit on top, which would let you offer some value to users like more advanced ad/tracker blocking.
Mozilla ported the true Firefox to iOS many, many years ago and Apple just rejected it from the store.
Google allows sideloading, and allows competitors on the play store
It is not. The market is stores for Ios devices, Apple does have monopoly.
I believe this is false, see 2.5.6 and 4.7 of https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/
But they do allow Opera Mini, a 'browser' for iOS where rendering is done in the cloud.
You can see from Apple’s updates that keeping up with the vulnerabilities for WebKit and iOS, etc. is already keeping them plenty busy:
3) OpenBSD adds pledge/unveil system calls from the browser, to prevent it from reading/writing files where it should not (plus I browse under a different user than I do other things with high confidence there will not be a privilege escalation; also they say the pledge/unveil support is easier to implement in Chrome/Iridium than in Firefox because of the cleaner separations of concerns in the code organization (my wording; though they have probably also put pledge/unveil in FF also for all I know),
4) Maybe the security of Chrome/Iridium benefits from Google's bug bounties, more than what Firefox has done (ie, the security track record of each, frequency of major holes over, say, the last 1-3 years). I don't really know but I'm glad they try.
Given those things, what are the remaining biggest reasons I might prefer Firefox? (I am aware of OBSD removing DNS-over-HTTP from Firefox, indicating that is a choice that should be made by the user at the system level instead).
Iridium seems to be quite outdated - the latest release that's listed on the website is from April. Given that there have been multiple critical security issues fixed since then - with some of them allowing for arbitrary code execution (https://www.cisecurity.org/advisory/multiple-vulnerabilities...) - I personally would consider using Iridium too risky.
Maybe the question is which is more risk: a local and limited compromise to a low-privilege account on OBSD, or sharing more info with Google (sounds like Google is the lower risk maybe -- hard to say...). (On the other hand, it is becoming easier to upgrade packages on OBSD between releases and so if Iridium started releasing more often it could take advantage of that--but that is just speculative.)
Neither Firefox nor Chromium let you reassign hotkeys without recompiling, and while Firefox's defaults could use some tweaking, Chromium's default keybindings are insane and counter-productive.
Of course, Mozilla's organization is in shambles atm so Firefox has been getting worse in many regards, even if its speed has caught up with Chrome.
> It is easier (last I checked) than with Firefox to leave some config tabs open
Not sure when you last checked, but about:config is its own tab.
Instead of changing the search engine, Firefox lets you define multiple search engines and choose between them with the cursor or tab key before searching.
> OpenBSD adds pledge/unveil system calls from the browser, to prevent it from reading/writing files where it should not
Anything this offers over Linux containers / AppArmor / SELinux+permissions on a theoretical level, implementation nonwithstanding? Also, most Linux distributions offer their own compiled version of Firefox, because ultimately it can be forked like Chromium, which really removes much of the differences you've described.
> Maybe the security of Chrome/Iridium benefits from Google's bug bounties, more than what Firefox has done
Maybe. But you can't really infer much from that data point. I don't have any citation on hand (one would be welcome) but AFIAK Firefox typically has had less major 0-days than Chrome in the past, due to Chromium team's "move fast, break things, and don't communicate" policy.
It was last I checked also, but felt awkward to use, and then you have to know what settings to look for, as opposed to having them in the UI (all can be easily overcome, but it is a little more work i think, maybe not enough to matter for some use cases or if I just forced myself to get used to it).
Is it possible to define ongoing exception lists there? How easy? And how many options to they allow for cookies (always, never, save until exit, ...)?
> Anything this offers over Linux containers / AppArmor / SELinux+permissions on a theoretical level, implementation nonwithstanding?
I don't know fully, but for any of those I definitely have to think more, as the user, and there is (probably?) more room for error due to complexity.
> I don't have any citation on hand (one would be welcome) but AFIAK Firefox typically has had less major 0-days than Chrome in the past, due to Chromium team's "move fast, break things, and don't communicate" policy.
Thanks for pointing that out.
> I don't know fully, but for any of those I definitely have to think more, as the user, and there is (probably?) more room for error due to complexity.
On a properly configured distribution, these things should all just work out of the box.
Honestly, barring the update frequency issues pointed out by another user, the OpenBSD Chromium experience is probably on par with the FF experience on major Linux distros.
As a longtime (and grateful) Debian user, I remain impressed with OpenBSD's relative lack of privilege escalation bugs in the base system, and "only 2 remote holes in the default install [since about 1996]": we can have different views of course but their constant auditing and general approach to correctness and security over adding features does make me feel better. :) Not trying to start a flamewar though (that would be bad; I fear I might be talking like a fanboy now...).
I appreciate your comment.
Just FTR, Firefox is adding pledge/unveil support for OpenBSD in version 72, see https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-ports&m=157325338020502&w=2
So, summarizing, pros/cons as I see them for my usage:
- ability to create exception lists by domain for JS, images, cookies is built in in a way I know of, without adding plugins or extensions that might get less code review or bought by a malicious maintainer w/o my knowledge (maybe rare, but has been reported for some).
- if I switch platforms and continue with my current usage habits I am not forced into DoH (yet?).
- has pledge/unveil support (limiting risk today on a platform I trust more to do that right, with fewer privilege escalation bugs etc and less complexity/knowledge required than SELinux etc. (many fewer zero-days at the OS level).
- avoids mononoculture (a big one).
- Maybe has fewer zero-day bugs than Chromium or the older Iridium (at the user and application level only).
- will probably have OBSD pledge/unveil support in the next OBSD release or sooner.
- Does not send metrics (or other tracking) to Google in the current version (true? I actually don't know, I might have read some accusation that I didn't investigate)? (Does not apply when comparing to Iridium, but that seems to lag Chromium bugfixes by some months.)
I plan to think about weighting these for myself. Corrections welcome on whatever I have missed or forgotten. Thanks much for the discussion.
It seems you are either for-profit, and then you have no ethics and do everything you can to centralize the world around you with no concern for users or their benefits. Or you're a not-for-profit foundation or the Internet Archive, where you do good things but are destined to be "poor".
Are there are any "shades" between those two organization models?
For a browser, the customers could be either end users, corporations with many end users, or marketers who want to sell to the end users.
The latter case is Chrome, which works through a long chain of Google services.
The corporate case used to be IE, geared towards deep windows integration.
The case of the paying end users used to be the original Netscape. It did not work well for a number of reasons. Paying for a product when free-as-beer alternatives are available takes understanding, which is sorely lacking outside some segments of tech circles.
I personally buy Mozilla a figurative pizza by a yearly donation. I do it because I understand their importance and feel grateful for their products. If more people did that it would help, but most people who are to benefit from Mozilla's efforts are not technical.
Not necessarily. Wikipedia is actually pretty damn rich with a large war chest.
That aside, it's not entirely clear that Wikipedia can live off donations forever.
Almost as if one of them wants to squeeze out every penny they can, while the other one is... I don't know, a non-profit that wants to make something good for the world?
What amount of money do you expect a non-profit to make in a year in order for you to consider it as a successful non-profit?
It's up to regulators to restore some semblance of balance to the market. If the browser market were less concentrated and there was more equal distribution, it wouldn't really matter whether you were a non-profit or not. In fact the web would be better off with competing interests jockeying over each other.
Additional examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public-benefit_corporation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_purpose_corporation
I wonder what will happen when Musk would have to choose between money and the benefit of humanity.
In the Gita, Krishna says, "He who works for the fruits of his labor is a miser."
Either more users start donating $5-10 a month (seems worth it to me given the time I spend with their product) or they take the Google money and deal with the conflict of interest best they can.
A Shuttelworth style billionaire benefactor would work as well, but I doubt one will come from the tech community as Firefox is working against the anti-privacy data collection model that made them (or their friends) rich.
Also, if you follow the discourse on anything published by Mozilla in the past 2-3 years—there's been a shift when it comes to how they speak about Googe. It's a marketing move, of course, but I think it's also a sign of the direction they are following.
I believe something will change here, for better, in the next couple of years. I'd sign for a Mozilla subscription if it included services such as better VPN, supporting those who cannot afford to pay directly, but pay with they data instead.
The move towards paid vs. non-paid services creates a risk that we'd end up with two types of internet users, with privacy being the currency of those who cannot afford an expensive mobile phone or a browser not trying to sell you things whether you want it or not.
The history of Guardian (in the past 5 years or so) shows that people are happy to pay for a valuable service just to allow the others to have access to it. Maybe I'm just being overly optimistic here, but I shudder every time I think about the alternatives.
Their coverage is practically non-existent.
I used to buy The Guardian every day, then I subscribed digitally. And then when their reporting slid downhill, I stopped subscribing. I still read it - but block their data scraping scripts and all ads. They are not worth supporting IMO.
Same as the Telegraph will feed its readers "the glory of Boris", "forwards unto brexit" and "Good lord look what Corbyn said today, he's a dreadful little man isn't he?"
News organisations are slaves to their audiences and will just produce what their audiences want.
Brought up again earlier this month: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1191681248453943296
That piece of fake news from the Guardian has been shared more than 25,000 times on Facebook.
I don't agree that honest reporting on Assange simply won't get clicks. But sensational fake news certainly does.
No-one really knows for sure whether or not that meeting took place.
Another aspect of the Mozilla Foundation is that they're basically acting as a fig leaf for the monopolist web Google has created in this decade, with Google financing them to prevent anti-trust investigations, and Mozilla also playing along with Google-financed WHATWG to white-wash "web standards" and prevent real and obvious innovations such as third-party script blocking, serving only Google's interests.
FF indeed does work against anti-privacy, and I'm applauding them for that, but OTOH FF also enables ad blockers. I've used uBlock just like most of you here, but ad blocking is also a factor turning the web into a privacy minefield. Eg. if you're indiscriminately block all ads whether targetted or not, there is no possible way to finance web content production; yet people also don't want to pay for content. So what people get is polarizing click-bait, propaganda, and low-quality content while content creators (other than some high-profile YouTubers maybe) can't earn a living.
We really should stop with "fighting for the future of the web" articles when the reality is that the web locks people into addictive behaviour, fake social interaction, and crap web frontends for oligopolist cloud-hosted services (completely antithetical to personal computing and site autonomy principles), and results into cultural loss due to the expectation that everything must always be available for free, all the time, a model only creating monopolies.
If the ad industry got together to design the most benign ad technology they can come up with (isolate from host site, no cookies, no js, no video, enforced by iframe security directives) then perhaps adblocking extensions could add an exception for this kind of ad, based on technological criteria, not a manually managed whitelist.
But such a thing does not exist and ads are so intransparent and deeply integrated into pages that one cannot tell, thus blunt hammers need to be applied until no ad is left standing.
I just want to add, part of the problem is that it now takes millions of dollars to make/maintain a web browser.
Oh, and also, how relevant is the "future of the web" in a world where 1/3 of humanity thinks Facebook is the web?
Almost nobody complains about the them taking money from Yahoo and Google for higher placement in the search engine list. And if their other revenue streams had been as transparent I think people had been fine.
Mozilla don't just fund the development of their own products they also fund research  and other projects .
In a perfect world Mozilla would be funded by donations. I donate to Mozilla but it's a pittance compared to what they get from Google.
> Mozilla has launched Monitor, a data-breach reporting service; Lockwise, a password manager; and Send, a privacy-focused alternative to services such as WeSendit. It’s also beta-testing a VPN (virtual private network) service, which it hopes to market to privacy-conscious users.
Once these web apps mature a bit, I expect to see them in a free tier + a premium behind the subscription (with the core browser of course remaining free). My hunch tells me that's why you'll see this front-and-centered if you open mozilla.org:
> Firefox is more than a browser. Meet our family of privacy-first products
Some of these grants surprised me. For example, $270,000 for the translation and accessibility of the USA presidential election of 2012.
A lack of focus generally hurts an organizations legitimacy in the eyes of it's donors.
Increasing the quality of a countries national elections isn't a goal I'd immediately assume to be part of Mozillas mission, so I'd be disappointed about such a project.
They could go the more transparent route and create a second organization for funding things their management likes.
... but I assume that such an organization would probably have some funding problems.
Maybe Mozilla should allow donors to specify the project they'd like to contribute to?
That would give them additional feedback on how the community evaluates their programmatic direction.
I didn't want to imply anything political and the given example of improving elections isn't really a left- or right wing thing.
It's just hard for donors to understand how such a project might relate to the Mozilla brand.
Just to give a (hopefully) completely nonpolitical example:
If they would start to collect art with donor money it would arguably delute their brand in a comparable manner.
Mozilla should sell two products:
1) Storage a la iCloud
2) Payment processing a la Paypal
And for marketing purposes they should get into discovery of free/open web services, a la old school Yahoo.
As a web site builder, I don't want to have to manage credit cards. As a user, I don't want to have to trust random web sites with my credit card info. I also don't want to be redirected to Paypal, I just want a secure wallet that can be used on web sites with a drop in <paymentframe recipient="email@example.com" usd="8999" description="BonsaiThing Pro 1 year subscription" /> or similar.
As a web user, I want to be able to store my photos, downloads, music, documents, etc conveniently in a little cloud-synced folder. I want to be able to quickly give fine-grained access to different web apps to different parts of that space. Photo app wants to access my photos? Great. Github wants to access my repos? Fine. Photo app wants to access my repos? No.
And the discovery thing... There's a ton of free software out there. Mozilla basically has shut the door behind it. "Thanks for the install. Good luck finding other Free tools to use with it." They should be building a directory of other free software that can be used with Firefox. I should be able to use my Mozilla account to post reviews, to discuss new apps that are voted up, etc. That will allow enthusiasts to start engaging socially with the brand in a way that Mozilla (not Twitter or Apple or Facebook) can control the identities.
From there maybe there is some social identity service, but if it's just a way to engage the community—great. Like Hacker News is to YCombinator, Mozilla should provide a place for us to discuss and share web services.
If they want to get into search, that's great. Write a new shitty open source search engine that any web site can federate with. Use Google for now, but use that money to dig us out of the hole Google put us in.
But they can readily "become a PayPal" by bundling a digital ethereum wallet like metamask in the browser by default. Even if it's limited to max $50 / month, it could revolutionize the way we consume web content. And it also acts as an anonymous digital identity. Both ethereum and firefox enjoy trust by the community, that helps. But, we re more likely to see these from another browser like brave.
1) would be competing with google drive, onedrive and icloud, which are all funded by very big pockets and have other revenue sources. Furthermore, even dropbox has trouble competing with this.
2) Again competition by paypal, apple pay, google pay, ... . Also, banking business is quite far removed from what they are doing and hard to do while being a non-profit.
No idea if that pie can realistically grown. But unlike their current strategy, it would be in line with their mission statement.
i could see firefox providing hooks for 3rd parties to make those services easier to integrate however (and maybe charging a fee, e.g., to certify the 3rd party). that would fall squarely in their wheelhouse.
Netscape was trying way back when. Mozilla probably has some PTSD from those days so I don’t have high hopes.
Someone else will eventually come in and be Mozilla on the services side. Might as well be Mozilla.
I would like to see Firefox move faster in implementing good web APIs, like the lazy loading of images, push for HTML and CSS improvements(like let me customize the numeric text input arrows with css instead of forcing me to use a JS library) .
Maybe the Rust rewrite will make Firefox better achitected so you could have a node version based on Mozilla technologies or you could easily use the web assembly VM in your application without having to load the full Chrome code.
The unfortunate truth is that writing a browser is almost impossible because of the complexity, IMO we need a new version of the web that breaks compatibility, make everything strict(no longer ignore errors and guess a fix for them) no more 12 ways to center an element , for the legacy web we can use the existing engines
Here's an example of website written with Rust and rendering all UI to canvas: https://makepad.github.io/makepad/ it works right now and it's very fast and smooth.
IMO tech for next generation web apps is already here and it's great.
There was also an article earlier this month or previous month from a Firefox developer about font/text rendering, in case you missed it rendering text in a way that works with all writing system is super hard.
Well, I'm joking, of course, it's not that simple. But it should be possible in the end.
Some ebook publishing platforms will perform checks and reject your epub(mobi or similar format) if is not respecting some strict rules, this makes it a pain if you have random html that works on web but you want to package it as epub because now you need to find all the bugs(or similar stupid DOM elements) and fix them as best you can.
They're not forks. Firefox's is a separate implementation. The equivalent would be asking BSD to merge with Linux.
Something like 75% or more of their revenue comes from AdWords - ads run against search. This is one of the most attractive streams for advertisers ever built. You have a prospect ready to buy (often) who is literally telling you in written software processable words what they want.
AdWords dwarfs all of Facebook in revenue, for context. It is the very foundation of Google. In a way, everything else they do is either support for AdWords or a side project.
The money they give to Firefox is not charity. It is to feed this cash cow. They have a similar arrangement with Apple for iPhone default search engine in mobile Safari. I would argue it is far far more valuable for Google to support Firefox in order to ensure search dominance than to waste that money to advance Chrome. Chrome exists to support AdWords not the other way around.
Imagine a world where two or three people working for a couple of months could come up with a new browser?
First Internet was started as academic network with little to no advertisements.
Then came the adtech model, personal data are sold for profit.
News Papers does not fully get funded and totally free when they are founded by ads.
Thus we should fight to keep an open democratic internet where quality journalism gets paid by end users not ads.
I thinks its important with an free open Internet for our democracy to work.
We have to somehow get away from adtech and attentiontech towards a user funded internet. Attentiontech is were personal attention span is what corporations fight to keep. We should have content which is good for end users.
I also don't understand how subscriptions are compatible with privacy.
There is currently no widely used facility for making anonymous electronic payments. If there was, then governments (including democratic ones) would crack down on it hard.
Journalism has always been funded through advertising.
I like the Brave business model. I wish to have the same with Firefox.
Firefox is showing that they are more than technically competent to keep up with Chromium and deliver great performance and functionality. With the work they are doing rewriting Firefox component by component in Rust, Google will have their work cut out keeping up in terms of performance using their C++ implementation. Competition is good.
All too often I hear sentiments like “too bad they built... on Chromium instead of Firefox”, as if it’s a moral choice. It’s not. It’s an informed technical choice. If you want to change that, you should contribute to Firefox instead of blaming other browser makers.
If Gecko was easier to build on top of, it would get more adoption in other markets and promote the variety of engines that we sorely need. Mozilla doesn't only win by getting more Firefox market share.
Also not everything is lost. Chromium has a bunch of weird and custom build tooling that also makes it a pain to build on top. Anyone who has tried to package v8 can see that it's mainly catering for Chrome's needs.
we don't need variety of engines, we need a non-pofit alternative to google that can throw a punch, which firefox is.
An engine is a technical undertaking (of enormous proportion), and there's essentially no need to have even more of them. If anything it'd just make building websites harder. The issue isn't with blink or gecko it's with Google's control over the browser space. If Firefox was built on blink and had 50% market share I'd be happier than having a hundred engines with 2%.
I would expect Blink’s C++ implementation to perform comparably; wouldn’t the main benefits would be security-related?
In theory you could do this in C++ of course but in practice, both Google and Mozilla have struggled with this for many years and both have still some major bottlenecks in their browser rendering pipeline that are effectively still single threaded and can end up blocking the main thread.
This the main reason Rust was invented (by Mozilla) and they've delivered a few component rewrites that leverage e.g. multiple cores. They've been shipping this bit by bit for the last two years (since the quantum release) and they're not done yet. E.g with the latest releases they've started to ship the new web render on some hardware/os combinations.
Faster is a simplistic notion that is hard to quantify but having a more smooth loading page, with less visible stuttering, and higher frame-rates for animation is sort of the main goal here. People also care about memory usage, energy drain on laptops, etc. If you look at all of this then it used to be the case that people went from Firefox to Chrome to improve the experience and you now have people moving the other way.
The Story of Stylo: Replacing Firefox's CSS engine with Rust
Woo, 9M lines of C/C++ to 85K lines of Rust..
Author's slides: https://www.joshmatthews.net/rbr17/
But no, I do disagree. Rust is more expressive than C++ and much easier to debug. I expect the new Gecko development to be easier and faster than Chromium, what leads to more features.
Weren't the initial versions of Brave based on Firefox? I rem reading it somewhere that they later had to move to Chromium for one reason or the other.
> No real choice on mobile. On desktop we started in 2015 w/ Gecko, did full evaluation against chromium, latter won. No benefit in going back to Gecko (Firefox faces diff tradeoff but on back foot now breaking XUL addons). WebKit lineage + Chrome market power => de facto standard.
All publicly released versions are Chromium-based.
Firefox's performance on android is atrocious.
As an example, asm.js, the technology which became Web Assembly has been invented by Mozilla folks.
I 'm not sure Brave's model will work, but at least they are giving websites more options , which is more important imho than fighting for who will have the fastest rendering engine.
That they figured out a way to still offer advertising despite this restriction, that’s just an orthogonal feature that doesn’t affect the stance of privacy.
Brave is co-founded by Brendan Eich, who co-founded Mozilla. Brave is doing all the things Firefox should have done: create a new ecosystem for a secure and private web, while Mozilla is still taking millions from Google in exchange for making Google the default search engine.
Although the invasive ads are blocked by default, users can opt-in to privacy preserving ads and get paid in Basic Attention Token, which can be used to support the over 300,000 and growing registered content creators.
On the desktop, Brave has Tor, IPFS and WebTorrent built-in—no additional plugins needed.
Yes, it’s based on Chromium, which feeds into the monoculture narrative. But there’s the irony of the guy who started Firefox using Chrome’s engine to attempt to kill Google’s surveillance capitalism system.
Why not put FF in App Store? I'd even pay for clean, no "integrations", version.