- Open new windows more quickly. Firefox feels sluggish (on Mac) even though it isn't, simply because it opens new windows far more slowly than Safari or Chrome.
- Use the platform native key store. I don't want my passwords stored unencrypted on disk. But I don't want to enter a separate master password either. I do want to use fingerprint/face unlock on mobile to reveal passwords.
- Give me a setting to autoconfirm all cookie consent requests and lobby for a legally binding do-not-track header. Cookie consent was well meaning, but it has turned out to make things worse. Let's move on.
You can disable it for all windows in all applications using a terminal command:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO
DNT is pretty dead, and IMHO was never a good idea in the first place. Opt-outing of invasive and unethical tracking is just weird. What about people who don't know about it? Or don't fully understand what it means?
It's almost like the Hitchhiker's Guide: "Well, you should have visited the planning department in the disused lavatory with a sign 'beware of the leopard".
I wrote some more about it over here: https://www.arp242.net/dnt.html
Edit: Having read your blog post, I want to say that I'm not necessarily asking for the original definition of DNT to be reused. What I want is for the DNT header to have the same effect as if I had said no to all optional categories of cookies.
The status quo is that we are asked a "yes or manage" question where "manage" means something horribly complicated that no one does. If we redefine DNT to mean "no to everything optional" then it becomes a matter of local law to define what is and isn't optional. This allows for the sort of minimum level of consumer protection that you're asking for.
The law could also require that this DNT header is opt-out. A per-site overridable DT header if you will.
I'm not going to claim that I have thought this through properly. It's just something that I wish Mozilla did some work on.
Passwords are always stored encrypted when you save them in Firefox. You can read more about it here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-firefox-securely-sa...
Firefox addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/i-dont-care-a...
I use I on Firefox mobile and desktop - don't know if there's a chromium version.
Almost forgot I use it which is the most positive review an add-on like this could receive.
Looks available on a gamut of different browsers.
Most of those are implemented in JS, so NoScript goes a pretty long way to fixing this. It would be nice if Firefox somehow auto-detected them, and other useless pop-overs, and nuked them.
Given that I prefer brave or bromite custom tabs (via Lynket) for short sessions on mobile (and prefer not to have long sessions on mobile at all), I generally just deal with it.
Windows open more quickly now than before. A few versions ago, it had become unbearably slow (I'm an FF user since Camino died), and I stuck to using tabs only, but 72 seems to have caught up again. I estimate that it's around 0.3s slower than Chrome on my machine.
> Use the platform native key store.
Amen to that.
I assume you mean new tabs?
That's very quick on Windows using FF 72. Interestingly that's been a long-time annoyance of mine when using Chrome on Mac - when compared to Safari which shines here.
No, I mean windows. Opening tabs is very fast.
Many of my workflows begin by opening an new empty browser window. I also tend to open links in new windows instead of tabs. I'm not a huge fan of tabs generally.
Whilst there are the "every tab in o e window open forever" people, there are plenty of "window for task" people.
Personally, I have been a window for task person 'since forever' (tabs are context depth in said task, hence "close tabs to right" being one of the most useful features).
You could say once malware is executed with my credentials it's game over anyway. But I disagree with that. Having a file full of passwords stolen is far worse than than anything else, including key loggers, because it's maximum damage in a minimum amount of time.
I want to make that as difficult as possible for any attacker.
On Windows, the same is true of the encrypted data; any program that runs as you can decrypt it. Is it different on macOS? How does the system authenticate a specific program?
So it's not the program that is authenticated. The system simply makes sure that any program accessing that particularly sensitive data is really controlled by the logged in user.
This is entirely separate from protections for other files that may or may not be encrypted.
Really? I thought Chrome, same as Firefox, stored credentials in an SQL file, the reason behind it being profiles and its built-in sync service.
Autofill doesn't require password entry, but before revealing any stored passwords you have to re-authenticate using the regular system login method.
I wish Firefox did the same.
It seems that macOS authenticates each process, so that might provide some extra security.
It has been my primary browser outside of work, the major reason I use Chrome now is for Chrome Dev Tools.
Also, some websites don't behave well in FF and I find that most of the time it's because of the site tracking being blocked. So not a big deal
The only thing I use Chrome for is gaming, graphics perf is still miles better than Firefox. But I'd never trust Chrome with anything as much as a private URL or a username or password, for much the same reason I wouldn't stick my hand through the bars of a cage while visiting the zoo. Did they ever get around to fixing that opt-out password sync crap?
This is going to vary with different people. Have you heard the phrase "Default is destiny"? This is especially true for less technical people (the majority of web users).
Personally I'm not going to dabble, rather keeping to the safe and familiar, so I have to intentionally trial run something as my goto/default.
I've been using web browsers since the mid 1990's and with the exception of when I first started using them I have never only used one. These days I regularly use Chrome, FF and Safari every day for different tasks.
I'm not alone in this. When I peak at other people's computers I regularly see multiple browsers being used there as well. Even the less computer savy people know to use different browers for different websites depending on what works.
This is all to say I don't quite grasp naive understandings of the browser horse races. There is likely little actual switching going on, and the concept of market share in browsers needs to be reexamined.
But this time, the experience was a lot smoother. So it's not a natural switch which happens with time :)
I get most of my stuff working in FF so don't need to jump to Chrome most of the time but for some gnarly stuff I end up in Chrome
I switched to Firefox from Chrome a couple of months ago. The sole motivation was the fiasco that ensued after Google decided to mingle Chrome Sync login with accounts.google.com cookies - there is simply no way to sign in to Chrome Sync without creating browser cookies for the same account. I wanted the benefit of saving and syncing bookmarks and extensions across my chrome installations, but I did not want to be tracked across the web with my logged in Google identity and the Chrome changes for "Identity consistency between browser and cookie jar" made it impossible. It was time to move on from Chrome.
And I have been very pleased with the new Firefox. Highly recommend it to everyone!
Netscape (1994) -> IE -> Firefox (for a long time) -> Opera (briefly, but never liked it) -> Safari (a return to the Mac platform) -> Chrome (for a long time) -> Firefox (2 months ago)
I never thought I'd return to Firefox but here I am. Browser preferences can certainly shift over time.
Yet they still have the same basic back, forward, refresh, address bar, and bookmark components. I wonder if that'll ever change. Address bars have certainly come a long way.
As someone who's been using FF since the Netscape Navigator days, I remember when people were saying similar things about Chrome and IE. Never say never.
I switched to vilvadi last year and it has been a breeze.
On mobile, I don't have any preference but I avoid firefox preview now that it has been crashing on top ranking Alexa sites. I would appreciate better tab management here too because I have to switch between 5 browsers to just manage them all without them crashing.
That's pretty much what I do in the past few years. Firefox is my primary personal browser, while Chrome is strictly for work only. Hopefully I can fully transition to Firefox for work stuff this year as almost all debugging features I used are available on Firefox. It's mostly just muscle memory that holding me back after years of using Chrome dev tools.
That should pretty much kill off a lot of the notification request crap, especially if Chrome follows suit. I can envision the conversion rate massively falling off when it's no longer something right in your face.
FF needs a “disable notifications, but lie to the website and say they’re enabled” button.
This does not seem like a reasonable complaint to me.
In the specific example, it makes no sense for any single website to forgo, say, 5% of revenue to “teach browsers a lesson”, especially since any change would benefit them accrue mostly with their competitors.
See also: “Google/FB/... should leave the EU to protest these privacy laws...”
In preferences type 'notifications', click the Settings button and check the box to "Block new requests asking to allow notifications"
That was the era when majority of public opinion on Google was Do no Evil. And Google at the time can do no wrong.
"OneSignal Prompts are a 'soft request', meaning that they are not invoking the 'hard request' of the browser's Native Permission Prompt. This is important because if a user denies the native prompt, the developer is unable to prompt the user again, unless the user goes through a multi-step process to re-enable these permissions. On the other hand, if a user dismisses a Soft Prompt, the app or website can still present them the option later on."
Speaking for myself, showing such prompts repeatedly is a very good way to ensure that I'll never visit your website ever again. No, I don't care about your mobile app, anymore so than I did two days ago.
To provide some context on this, we provide clients with 4 built-in prompting options and we do our best to encourage them to use the one that is best for their user experience.
We definitely want to discourage people from asking for notification permission in an obtrusive way. It's not good for anyone when that happens. We wrote a blog post with some recommendations here: https://onesignal.com/blog/web-push-permission-prompting-cha...
> OneSignal encourages all websites to adopt a two-step prompting system if they don't already do so. This will help prevent the website from being penalized and forced to show a quieter permission prompt if too many users have denied the traditional native prompt in Chrome.
Websites are being penalized for a reason, and you know this. Simply adding another modal is just making the problem worse.
> The easiest prompt to transition to is OneSignal's Slide Prompt. Ideally, however, we encourage users to use the Custom Link prompt.
The Slide Prompt should not even be offered as a transition. It's completely at odds with the intent of this browser change, which is all about user intent. Providing facilities to present annoyances that bypass user interaction is the complete opposite of this.
> Offering a coupon in exchange for users opting-in to notifications.
Please, please, please reconsider how you are implementing these. If you are genuinely unaware of the widespread misuse of your tools, I'd be more than happy to direct you to numerous examples of zero-click, near-immediate, largely irrelevant faux notification requests coming from websites using your product.
This is fantastic! I had finally figured out I could turn this off in settings a while ago, glad it's now a default. I get so annoyed by this, annoying indeed!
In a webapp where you present user a button to activate notifiactions, when the user clicks the button seemingly nothing happens in FF72 (user is focussed on a big enable notifiactions button in the web app and may not notice that some tiny gray icon wiggled a little in the address bar).
On a big screen a button in the middle of the screen is so far away from the address bar, that you don't see any change in the address bar at all in the peripheral vision.
So yeah, web apps that don't try to force the user to enable notifications are now punished for good behavior again.
EDIT: So it's not so stupid, see below.
This will just not work anymore. I'll have to add some long winded FF specific explanation on what to do after clicking the button.
Anyway the FF UI is broken if user physically can't see any reaction from the browser after he requests notifications by clicking anywhere on the page.
This is a frequent "mistake"/issue however, and we're working on a mitigation for it.
I guess this is then happening because I'm first checking if there's a subscription via `pushManager.getSubscription` before creating a new one in the event handler.
Yep, dropping getSubscription makes the popup appear again.
Do you mind me asking what your notifications are for?
These recent developments are awesome. As a frontend developer, I also find the devtools absolutely competitive with Chrome's.
The default ad- and tracker blocking is nice, I only need to use uBblock Origin for Youtube (whitelisting only that), since Youtube became nearly unusable due to the massive amount of ads.
Edit: also, they are fortunately tackling two prominent annoyances of the "modern web" i.e. push notification popups (for those who don't turn the whole feature off outright in about:config) and video autoplay.
So sad that Firefox's market share is still just 9-10%. :(
Depends how much you're using it, but as it's pretty much become the primary source of entertainment in our household I decided the most practical and ethical option was to just pay for it.
Got fed up when YT showed 2 ads every 20 minutes in the middle of a classical music concert. I'm not expecting it to be ad-free, but expecting it to be less intrusive/annoying.
I enjoy ads-free YouTube experience as I’m located in Sudan. It always surprise me the amount of ads I get when I access the internet from a different location!
- Dragging tabs didn't immediately drag out a window like in Chrome
- A crashing tabs still seemed to crash/severely slow down the browser
- Sluggishness in window opening / first open.
Luckily (for me) this still holds and I see it as an advantage over Chrome; this pulling effect is amusing to look at (and I must admit that Chrome does great job when it comes to perceived speed and "snappiness" of it) but absolutely terrible feature when it comes to usability. For example it prevents transfer of tab between two full screen windows, making this task a multi steps chore. (Even for non-fullscreen windows it's quite complicated; I've summarized it some time ago in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19663744)
Wish I had bookmarked the page.
It is 2020 and totally possible to create websites without cookies or with only functionally needed cookies. You do your users a favour and your site will look better.
The very idea of the GDPR wasn’t to force websites to display cookie banners. It was to clarify that cookies can contain identifyable personal data and can be used for tracking, which is why we should avoid using them in that way or ask for consent if it really must be used.
There's no law anywhere that says you need to ask permission for storing cookies. You can perfectly well make a cookie-based login without a cookie banner. This bullshit about un-uncheckable "essential cookies" toggles has to go, you don't need permission for those, they don't need to be in the dialog. The GDPR even specifies this, albeit too vaguely: it should be as easy to accept tracking as it is to reject it, and in practice even a startup 100% focused on solving this problem gives that rule the middle finger.
Seriously, fuck this shit. The banner should say "We'd like to track your behavior so we can improve our service / sell better ads / whatever¹. [Ok] [Rather not]". It's not that hard. Only give Metomic your money if you think your visitors are idiots.
¹ (strike through what does not apply)
Of course, the gold standard is no tracking and no popup.
Bring back P3P, with GDPR acting as the enforcement part (which was quite lacking when P3P was first proposed)? Might work quite nicely, and the support is in browsers already, it just tends to be ignored.
Seems very odd.
That said, it makes an ABP-compatible filter list available. This works with ublock origin:
The source code can be extracted from the extension file itself.
Of course the real solution (and the reason why GDPR introduced the banner) is for website to stop using cookies for tracking their users and thus have no reason to put the banner (you don't need the banner for technical cookies, such as the one used for logins, but only for third party profiling cookies).
Interestingly, as far as I am aware, no site or company has ever been taken to court or even fined for not using a cookie banner, despite some websites publically declaring they won't use it.
So if you hate to put cookie banners onto a site, just stick with storing only strictly necessary cookies without data that identifies your users and you are fine.
The problem is, many people don’t even know what cookies their own site stores with their users and they store a ton of tracking cookies on their user’s devices.
When I visit a random wordpress blog I shouldn’t need any cookie from them — why would I?
When I visit an online shop it should be my choice if they remember me (which is precisely what the GDPR demands). This could be a little toggle switch labled “Remember me” that is off by default and that would be it.
But people seem to prefer forcing their cookies onto users.
Set the default on the browser to deny all consent, and show the cookie notification somewhere unobtrusive, the same way it was done for notifications.
The issue is that websites want to annoy users until they finally maybe actually say yes to get the site to shut up.
Legally, tracking has to be off by default, tracking may not change the usability of the site, and tracking has to be purely optional, and the "no" has to be simpler, larger, and easier to use than the "yes".
The point of the GDPR, over the course of the next years, is to utterly destroy online advertising as a business model, and any and all tracking solutions with it.
As a personal confession I cannot sympathize for this animosity towards banners. Apps usually have a worse onboarding experience than websites.
My only considerations of GDPR notices is to note how many of them manage to be uncompliant and wonder if archiving services can bypass them.
MacBook Pro 2017.
Think about it: it's a web browser literally built by the biggest search company in the world. The latest version of Chrome will even add Google Drive files to the omnibar search for G Suite users.
There is no excuse that they have a worse omnnibox search than Firefox.
Chrome usually works but yesterday a colleague had problems where the dialog asking which cert to use wouldn’t respond.
Firefox just works.
It’s a shame that certificates aren’t used more widely. They don’t work at all in captive portal pages on OS X or iphones :(
One thing would make this even more increadible: is there a way to set the default size and position? If the PIP feature would always start in my preferred size and position, this would be just so great.
I generally have my browser take up 3/4 of the screen with a small bit of space on the right free.
If watching a video I can drag it into this free space and continue using browser while it's playing.
Many years ago I used to use "popup video" extensions to achieve the same thing. This works much better though.
Update: Just got to try it out, seems like it indeed works now. Yay Firefox 72!
There's visual persistence of state. On Firefox, even with the trick of reducing minimum tab width, my tabs overflow and I have to click through to get different groups of tabs. It is utterly maddening and I don't know why every other browser refuses to do Chrome like tabs.
Why the continued choice to violate the first rule of UI design which is to keep things in the same place?
With Firefox no matter how many tabs I have open, they all remain usable. There's also "% name" keyword search in address bar that finds open tabs, and check out Tree Style Tabs extension.
There's no tab scrolling, but the many tabs that are visible don't break any more.
Not really. Resize your window to 1920x1080 and open 150 new tabs. In the last tab, open any site you want. Now switch back to the next to the last tab. Hover over the tab bar. That pop-up doesn't show you the last tab.
I'm not sure I follow. The popup shows you the tab you're hovering over. You wouldn't be hovering over the last tab because it's not in the visible area.
But that's unrelated to the problem they fixed. Right now, when you open a large amount of tabs, it always shows favicons. What it used to do, when tabs got smaller than about 30 pixels, was this: https://www.technorms.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/TooMany...
That was my point.
>But that's unrelated to the problem they fixed. Right now, when you open a large amount of tabs, it always shows favicons. What it used to do, when tabs got smaller than about 30 pixels, was this...
I mean, I guess it is better, but I wouldn't consider that "fixed".
But I noted that problem in my first post.
And you replied "Not really." to it.
I understood that to mean that all tabs would remain usable.
Being able to see a sliver of a favicon when I may have another 200 tabs that I can't get to isn't really fixed in my book.
> I can't use Chrome once my tabs shrink down to this: |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Chrome tabs don't shrink down to a row of lines anymore.
The current behavior is still annoying but it fits a lot more tabs before breaking and it breaks much less severely.
Firefox has a lot of options for tab extensions if you wanted to explore for something more to your liking.
Tabs are placed in the sidebar, nested in collapsible trees, with a scrollbar. It's a major game changer.
Personally I save anything I actually want to refer back to as a PDF since the bookmarked web page will probably disappear.
My other bugbear with Chrome tabs is the inability to make all new tabs get added to the end of the list rather than after the active tab, in FF it's just a simple `about:config` option: `browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent=false`
That might be true for you, but on my 1920x1080 screen, Chromium appears to stop even trying to show any new tabs in the tab bar after around 125.
I have 453 tabs in this Firefox window.
With Firefox, thankfully, there's a way to enable such display style: https://github.com/Izheil/Quantum-Nox-Firefox-Dark-Full-Them...
I often had a window open only playing a youtube video, having it be native to the browser and always on top is such a great feature.
App developers spend a lot of their time making up for the poor decisions of OS developers. A good window manager would give you tabs for free, PiP (aka an always-on-top window) for free, dark mode for free. Instead OS devs go overboard in simplifying things to the point that app devs have to pay the cost of delivering what users want.
With a proper PiP mode, that's no longer an issue.
On the other hand, Firefox keeps the close button for tabs on the right, even in macOS where every close button is on the left.
Thankfully, I've found a bit of userChrome that corrects this, as a workaround.
I'm stuck on a Mac, where I cannot always on top, hide the title bar, or alt-drag windows to move them.
And now this: "Following in Mozilla's footsteps, Google announced today plans to hide notification popup prompts inside Chrome starting next month"
I love how Google follows Firefox with these "better web experience" features but only if they don't impact their business model.
I know that the average person isn’t concerned with these things, but I spend almost all of my day in a browser, and I want it to look as good (or better) than the competition.
But, of course, you like whatever you like.
If you right click the top bar, click Customize, click the "Density" menu on the bottom, and use "Compact", the back button is the same height.
There used to be a great addon called ClassicThemeRestorer that got killed during firefox's terrible web extension debacle. It lives on in https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx but different parts break everytime the fickle designers at mozilla change their mind on what a tab should look like.
The compact UI has back/forward buttons being the same size. The UI also takes up less space and is generally nicer IMO
* Websites with notifications that are frequently denied by users, will lose the ability to request web notifications permissions. Users must manually enable it through Domain Settings.
There defining competition these days is between websites and iOS/Android apps, and Google’s future depends on the web not losing.
- dom.webnotifications.enabled = false
That's it. Haven't seen one in months.
 - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/containers
I used to have this script built as an app bundle via Platypus, but that stopped working somewhere between Yosemite and Mojave (likely due to increasingly strict OS file permissions or something). The Automator app doesn't seem to suffer from this issue...I think I just had to grant it a couple permissions the first time I ran it.
I wasn't able to figure out how to set a custom icon from within Automator, but it's not too hard to do if you're comfortable mucking around inside app bundles. The icon file is stored under <app-bundle-root>/Contents/Resources/, and its name (sans extension) is referenced in <app-bundle-root>/Info.plist.