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Firefox 78 (mozilla.org)
402 points by agurk 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 259 comments





Great. Unlike many, I walk my talk and have always used Firefox since more than a decade with no exceptions. The very commonly given reason that DevTools are better in Chrome still doesn't stop one from using Firefox for all other general browsing. Unless we support alternatives we really shouldn't complain when they gradually die off in a space that is increasingly coming under the control of giant corporations with bottomless pockets.

"Unless we support alternatives we really shouldn't complain when they gradually die off in a space that is increasingly coming under the control of giant corporations with bottomless pockets." Exactly this. Sure Firefox sometimes isn't the absolute best in a given characteristic, but it's still a damn good browser overall, and the concern over the encroaching Chromium monoculture is more than enough to keep me using it.

I haven't found firefoxe's dev tools to be much different than chrome's... and you can use chrome for a particular debugging issue or development. I think firefox is a great daily driver.

Been using Firefox daily as my development browser for the last 6 months. Started as an experiment, but stayed because I liked it.

The only thing I noticed is that sometimes Chrome's errors in the console are slightly better. I prefer Firefox's HTML/CSS panels, and the CSS Grid/Flex support is generally better. As anything, this comment is a point-of-time comment, they are both iterating rapidly, and when one adds something people like, the other usually pushes it in also.


if you use nightly too you get some extra features that might even be better than chrome's.

> The very commonly given reason that DevTools are better in Chrome

I don't find that to be true. At least not anymore. I use both Chrome and Fx bout 50/50 for developing, and they each have something the other misses.

For instance, "preserve log" in Chrome's network tab throws away all the actual response data when moving to a new page. In Firefox it's there. So when debugging through our micro-frontend flow I prefer Fx.


I also massively prefer the request replay workflow in firefox. Using the chrome console with curl just feels clunky compared to firefox's "edit and resend."

> reason that DevTools are better in Chrome still doesn't stop one from using Firefox for all other general browsing

It doesn't even stop you from developing with FF. DevTools were completely usable for years and unless you need very specific functionality, FF is just fine.


I personally think that FF dev tools are better that Chrome. Every time that I'm forced to use Chrome Dev tools, I get confused.

I'm happy that I am not alone!

Quick example: event listeners in Firefox are visibly attached to their DOM element; in Chrome, I just can't find them. There's this Event Listeners list in a sidebar somewhere, but getting the function that attached it is a PITA.


When I used Chrome, years back, it was always despite the developer tools, which I always found to be worse that those in Firefox.

To me Chrome is the browser version of Windows. I can get by and it sort of does what I need. It’s just that somehow it feels a little half-baked, while being too much at the same time. It can as you say: be confusing but you are also left with the: why is this a feature and why is this in my browser.

Firefox has a few feature which only exists so I have something to turn off, but Chrome is starting to look like Emacs, all it needs is a good browser.


Firefox's dev tools is a large part of why I switched back from Chrome. I just couldn't figure out how anyone is productive with Chrome's dev tools!

The FF console seizes up far less than the Chrome one in my experience. The only thing that is keeping Brave installed is the video playback seems slow/choppy as hell on MacOS.

Edit: Just tried a 60FP4k video on youtube and it was smooth as butter so that's interesting.


I've not used FF's dev tools but honestly Chrome's need an overhaul, its UX is far from ideal and I use it daily.

Disclaimer: I couldn't actually provide helpful advice on how to improve it, I'm not very imaginative :/


Chromes development tools are good, but Firefox has also been doing some interesting things in this area recently. In some regards Firefox pioneered modern web development with tools like Firebug. I think developers sometimes forget that for most users developer tools are not a selling feature though. There are a number of things, that both Firefox, and Safari, do better then Chrome, from a regular user perceptive. As an example, download and bookmark management. All that said, Chrome for mobile is really excellent compared to some of the other Android browsers I used in the past. I use both browsers daily, and find things I like and dislike about both.

I started using Firefox because of Firebug when it first came out. It made web development so much easier. I continued to use firebug until it was discontinued (I still feel that it was superior to the dev tools built into the browsers, at least as they were at the time it was discontinued - I remember the console was especially better). I’ve continued to use Firefox since then out of years of habit.

Agreed, Firefox's dev tools have been really good for over 5 years now.

For my work project I feel like the debugger has got slower, like when you press Ctrl+P to load a js file(we are using source maps) in debugger it takes so much longer in present where it was instant in the past - does anyone feel this slowdown or is something on my side only.

There's even a special version - I've used Firefox developer edition for a while now - it supports web sockets while the normal Firefox didn't (I don't know if it now does). My only complaint is that clearing the cookies has a weird delay to it when compared to chrome.

I used Firefox back when it was competing with IE and then switched to Chrome for a while because of the performance difference.

But I switched back to Firefox about 3-4 years ago because of the growing Chromium monoculture (which is even greater now that Edge is using Chromium) and because the performance difference isn't really there anymore.

Mozilla has done some great work keeping up with the giants. Lockwise is great. The "Send Tab to Device" feature is great. And they're working on offline voice recognition using DeepSpeech in future releases (Chrome sends all audio to Google for recognition).


For a similar reason, I took some advice years ago (after the last mosaic virus scare) to eat multi-grain bread even though it's not entirely my favorite.

Without demand, supply dries up. Without supply, the knowledge base dries up. When the shit hits the fan you have to start over from first principles. And if the 'shit' is someone flexing their muscles, then the world looks like extortion while people scramble to play catch-up.

There are other forms of "charity" besides giving money to non-profits. You can buy from the store where the owner is pleasant instead of the one that is cheap. You can eat at your 5th most favorite restaurant so that you continue to have more than 4 choices. Use privacy software when your life is pretty boring. You can contrive 'hand-me-downs' for your kid's friend.

All of these keep society working, and none of them have a clear reward for you, so it's down to a matter of ethics.


I find multi-grain bread just awful to eat, but I'm at the point where I'm suspecting that, if I ate it exclusively for a while, I would forget that other bread is better and accept multi-grain as the new normal. It would certainly be healthier at least.

Multigrain for a PB&J is kind of a weird experience, but at least in my mind is de rigeur for a deli-meat sandwich or even a better grilled cheese sandwich (Colby Jack. It is the way.)

If you haven't tried a PB&J on multigrain toast, it can be messy but a different flavor profile.

ETA: Also there's multi-grain and there's multi-grain. Some brands get their 'N-grain' by making wheat and X bread and then sprinkling N-2 grains on the crust, not unlike a poppy-seed bagel. I think my brain was more comfortable with the latter. Perhaps I expect the crust to get stuck in my teeth anyway, but chunky bits in the middle remind me of badly-made bread.


That was one of my bigger reasons for a long time, but last I checked FF's dev tools were finally comparable to Chrome's.

At this point I'm just blocked on https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404042. I've seriously tried switching to Firefox a few times, and I really want to switch, but it's just not acceptable to have my CPU regularly pinned at 200%.


You should also switch to Linux (or Windows with WSL if you insist on running a proprietary OS).

Heaven forbid anyone use the software they like.

Neither you or I like macOS. However, people who do like it are welcome to use it. Being a jerk does nothing to get $YOUR_FAV_OS to gain population.


Love that FF exists but one of the things that always strikes me is that if FF is successful in their mission they will cut off their major revenue channel.

Google is still the majority of their revenue is it not? The reason they're making that money is off the backs of other consumers who are NOT benefiting from the privacy features that you guys want to see everywhere.

Willing to be totally wrong here and would love to see more FF advocates speak out here but FF wouldn't be financially viable without Google and many FF advocates say Google is the problem...


> if FF is successful in their mission they will cut off their major revenue channel.

I don't think that's necessarily true. Their mission isn't to break search engines, just to prevent privacy violations.

If Google Search is unsustainable with any less than Google's current level of tracking/etc, then I suppose a successful Firefox means an unsuccessful Google.

But Google didn't start out doing this much tracking, and there are other search engines out there that still don't. A paid default search engine that shows a few search-related ads on its results pages doesn't seem opposed to Firefox's mission?


Yes, I wish there was a clear way to fund Firefox development. You can (and I do) donate to the Mozilla Foundation, although the funding relationship between the Mozilla Foundation and Firefox isn't clear. I believe that if Google's funding were to become insufficient, then the Foundation would step in to fund it if they have the funds, which is why I donate to them. But I don't know if this is actually the case.

> the funding relationship between the Mozilla Foundation and Firefox isn't clear

It's not really an unknown. Donations to Mozilla Foundation do not and cannot fund Firefox development.

> if Google's funding were to become insufficient, then the Foundation would step in to fund it if they have the funds

There are two assumptions here that are off. One is that the Foundation could come up with the kind of money that the Corporation spends on Firefox. The other is that the Corporation is somehow in a tight situation financially. Reality is opposite to both.

First, the Corporation is not strapped for cash. It brings in a lot of money. Like, in-the-neighborhood-of-half-a-billion-dollars-a-year a lot. It spent something like 29MM acquiring Pocket (which is still as closed source now as it was 3 years ago), and it manages to spend 50MM on its marketing campaigns that most people aren't even aware exist. Under the current arrangement the Corporation funds the Foundation, paying a percentage of its revenues to allow the Corporation to trade on Mozilla's name. (If that sounds like a weird way to put it, consider revisiting your other assumptions about Mozilla and Firefox.)


Any idea why donations to Mozilla cannot fund Firefox development? I'm told other orgs like FSF/EFF/ACLU do put donations towards software development.

FF gets most of it's revenue from Google Search, a service that was extremely profitable long before Google started personalized ads. Sure, Google might not like losing browser market share or having fewer tracking opportunities, but none of those hurt nearly as much as losing search engine users. I expect them to pay Firefox for quite some time (and if they don't, their competition will).

They've experimented with other forms of revenue. Things like Pocket and VPN [1]. I assume that if Google pulled the plug they could find another sponsor but Google may not want to do that anyway, otherwise they run the risk of being an obvious monopoly.

[1] https://vpn.mozilla.org/


many companies did targeted advertising in the pre-web days and made a profit. you can advertise without knowing anything about a consumer - except that they like reading this kind of article. so there is no tradeoff between privacy and profitable advertising; both are possible at the same time.

Mozilla has continually put Linux last in nearly everything they do. Hardware acceleration on Linux has been absent but works on Chromium. Wayland support is broken with noticeable artifacts but works on Chromium. In their recent VPN announcement there is no support for Linux. In their password manager announcement revamp they don't support Linux. Why would I support a company that doesn't put open source first?

Hardware acceleration works just fine for me on Linux (granted, I had to flip a few values in about:config). And all the Wayland glitches have been fixed months ago.

It wasn't even enabled until this release for video. It has been working on Chromium for over 2 years, if not longer.

The Wayland issues have improved after trying it out just now, but I still often get artifacts when resizing and switching between fullscreen and split screen.


Turns out still uses much higher CPU playing video with latest Firefox than Chromium

I switched to Firefox a few years ago and it's great. Never looked back. I didn't even do it for ideological reasons like you and others, either, since I'm fine with Google.

When Google made moves to hem in ad blocking, I switched back to Firefox. It's not ideology. It's about being able to visit a site and read the the story without the text dancing around as the page fills with ads and animations.

Security is also a practical concern, not ideological.


I wish I could find a practical video/web series on using Devtools. Real-world examples of how to use every feature.

I think Chrome probably benefits from better performance in its Devtools, but I do agree that Firefox does just fine. I find them nearly identical.

My only criticism of Firefox Devtools is they seem to move around buttons and icons pretty frequently. It's frustrating to search for "is .... possible in Firefox devtools?" and see screenshots of how things looked only a couple months ago. Then I play i-spy for the icon that does this.

I do wish a remote debugging standard were defined. Firefox says it supports remote debugging but I have no exposure to this. I just want to hook up node to it like in Chrome.


Check out the "Developer Tools" category on hacks.mozilla.org[1]. When new features are added to DevTools, it's pretty common for blog posts to appear there, often with videos or animations. These are sometimes linked from the official developer release notes of the browser. It's probably not quite what you're asking for, but it's a start...

[1]: https://hacks.mozilla.org/category/developer-tools/


Thank you very kindly for that. Mozilla would be the best source for stuff like this. :) I had looked on Youtube or on egghead.io and such, but I didn't really find what I wanted.

This is an offshoot, separate topic: I wish there were a Firefox extension for using the compatibility/emulator mode in Devtools to avoid fingerprinting. I want the website to always think I am 1920x1080 (a common res) and have it be easy to pan around in if the viewport does not match the dimensions of Firefox's window/tab.


I think the DevTools for Firefox are better personally. Their way of showing css grid and flexbox models makes debugging so much easier

Agreed. FF is my "browser"-browser, mostly because the Awesomebar is better than what Chrome has. Chrome, for obvious reasons, tries to nudge you towards searching via Google whereas FF searches through your history which is so much nicer.

I also have an instance of Brave open. I use this for "apps" like my email and Spotify which are always open. It seems to perform slightly better for this and it supports media keys, so that works well.

The thing that made this easy was using a password manager which synchronizes across all my browsers.

As for dev tools, I find that they both have strenghts and weaknesses and so, I switch back and forth.


Agreed, I kept trying Chrome after it first came out and honestly it just never became my daily browser. I use it when developing but not because I think the dev tools are better, Firefox's dev tools arent that bad, I dont know what magical features people are missing, but they're all there for me.

I really wanted to switch to Firefox, but after several weeks the thing that pushed me back was janky scrolling. It seems like a trivial thing, but it absolutely drove me first up the wall, and then back to Chrome.

It's significantly better (I would say on par with Chrome) if you set general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics to true in about:config. No one seems to talk about it but the difference is like night and day on my system. No clue why it's not on by default.

Also using Wayland (on Linux), gfx.webrender.all and a few other options can help quite a lot. For more details, I suggest you check out these two pages:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Firefox https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Firefox/Tweaks

I applied most of the recommended (and some of the not recommended) tweaks documented there, and I'm very happy with the results.


I've noticed that the default Firefox scroll speed is slower. As in the amount the page scrolls per rotation of the scroll wheel. This is a long shot, but do the settings here help in your case?

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1388848#c32


Yeah I try FF every 6 months to see if the scrolling has improved and each and every time I go back to using Chrome after a few days. I wouldn't say it's bad but it's noticeably worse than Chrome and I just can't get over it.

Exact same thing for FF on Android.


Which platform are you seeing janky scrolling? On desktop, you might try enabling WebRender (set about:config pref gfx.webrender.all = true).

On Android, you might try the Firefox Beta. It is the new "Fenix" browser that is a big perf improvement over the older Firefox Android ("Fennec") browser. All Fennec users will eventually be migrated to the new Firefox Fenix browser this year, but you can try Fenix in Beta now. Installed along Fennec as a separate app, it won't overwrite your Fennec user data.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.fi...


I'm literally flipping back abd forth between the two on my phone and I can't tell the difference.

Is there a specific site?


Uncheck "Use smooth scrolling" in preferences to see if that makes a difference to your scrolling experience. FWIW, I have "Use autoscrolling" checked; most, if not all, websites scroll fine on my MacBook Pro and iMac. I cannot speak to the scrolling behavior on Windows.

> Unless we support alternatives we really shouldn't complain when they gradually die off in a space that is increasingly coming under the control of giant corporations with bottomless pockets.

The company behind Chrome also supports Firefox. And will continue to, for fear of their browser dominance being used against them within an antitrust action.


IIRC there was a time Yahoo bought search-default rights, for the US at least. So it's not guaranteed that Google will always have influence over Mozilla.

I love to use Firefox and run away from Chrome but but but... Firefox never matches the perfomace with chrome in windows.

Although, in linux Firefox FTW.


I use Firefox as my main browser, in Windows 10. Its performance doesn't seem any worse than Chromium-based browsers.

Looking at [0], it seems Firefox sometimes outperforms Chrome/Chromium, and sometimes loses, depending on what's being tested.

[0] https://arewefastyet.com/


For me performance is better than chrome by a long shot now. Used to be FF was a memory hog and got slow and clunky. Now if I have 5 windows and 30+ tabs open for days, chrome will slow to a crawl while FF will happily continue to run at the same speed as if 1 tab was open.

I had relapses but I've been on firefox 99% since about around the quantum release and some google privacy / app killing / browser upgrades. I felt firefox was less a social platform product and more a nice tool.

I used to miss chrome but I barely think about it nowadays.

And as usual, kudos to all mozillians.


Devtools differ in the two browsers, e.g. firefox has great tools for animations, grid, flexbox etc. It is true performance tools are superior in chrome though...

I've used Firefox since it was called NCSA Mosaic and later Netscape Navigator. We had to push the browser uphill, both ways. :D

I love FF’s dev tools. Safari however? MEH

I am a pretty ardent Firefox supporter and prefer it over Chrome but some of the issues are still jarring and really affect the user experience. E.g. this 10 year old bug which I still have to deal with multiple times every month where if you have couple of windows open with one having pinned tabs and close the other one first, the pinned tabs are not restored upon restart: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=587400

Mozilla needs to shift focus, atleast briefly if not long term, to work on squashing such common issues instead of racing to add new features.


Agreed. I'm tracking a 7 year old bug to support `<input type="month" />` that's probably an easy win, given the foundation work is completed by supporting other date input formats.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=888320


yah, i would love it if mozilla focused on all kinds of form controls, bringing them to parity styling-wise, adding more hooks for things like validation/more complex interactions, adding common controls (like month), etc.

basically, they should look at the various web ui toolkits like bootstrap and integrate all the controls and behaviors common across all of them. it would be such a major win for developers and users.


Maybe Mozilla should stop the features and branding for a little while and make a revamp sprint ?

I have a 20 year old feature request to support "if type is text/plain (maybe text/*) and firefox brings up the download box, add the option to just view it in the browser in the first place".

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=57342

(this has become less relevant in recent years as "everyone" uses github to present source to the world, and websites in general vanish in favour of social media)


There is an extension to do something better:

https://github.com/Rob--W/open-in-browser


Oh wow, I hate this one so much.

I try to avoid opening multiple FF windows because I always close the wrong one last.


If you're closing all of them, you can just use Ctrl+Shift+Q.

Try restore the other windows with ctrl+shift+n

Yeah I now quit all FF windows at once with Ctrl+Shift+Q or Menu > Exit, or if I'm closing because Windows is restarting (not uncommon on Win10) I just let Windows close FF and it'll reopen after restart.

I doubt it will happen. Fixing bugs is not sexy, so modern developers generally avoid it at all costs. Especially if there is a UI makeover they could be doing instead.

Of note for those using Wayland/Mutter Firefox 78 now has the option of Partial Present[0] and better supported VA-API for video playback.

Interestingly there was a recently discovered Mutter bug[1] where the Culling code to prevent rendering of windows that were not visible was not working. This fix will need to be deployed to see the biggest benefit of Partial Present.

[0] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1620076

[1] https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=GNOME-Br...


When did they start supporting VA-API? I didn't notice. Lacking that was one of the reasons I got a new computer.

With this release

Oh that's wonderful. I'll get back some of the CPU of my new computer. I've pretty much have a core dedicated to it.

It's slightly more complex as there are some hardware/software combinations that don't work. This article gives some good steps to make sure it's enabled:

https://mastransky.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/firefox-on-fedor...

I've also had to disable media.ffvpx.enabled in previous versions to enable VA-API for more than just VP9 (I haven't yet been able to verify if it's needed for this one).


Wow, they finally got around to fixing a certificate-handling issue. That must have closed a bunch of decade-old bugzilla issues.

Now if they could just get around to supporting intermediate CA certificates and all of the Windows certificate stores, not just a couple of randomly chosen ones, that would be swell.

Also, IPv6 support in PAC files would be nice.

If any Mozilla employees come to YC News: Unimportant-seeming stuff like this is why Chrome crushed Firefox in the Enterprise.


> Unimportant-seeming stuff like this is why Chrome crushed Firefox in the Enterprise.

This isn't why. At work I deal with two different vendors who refuse to troubleshoot any issues with their products on anything but Chrome. To this day, the issue has never been a browser compatibility issue, but we have to actually temporarily give the user a Chromium-based browser just to get a modicum of decent support these days.

Both vendors, of course, tell us we should just use Chrome because it's the only browser they support. (Even though other browsers work fine.) And unfortunately, most IT staffers end up getting directed by superiors to follow said instructions.


> This isn't why. At work I deal with two different vendors who refuse to troubleshoot any issues with their products on anything but Chrome.

This is the case now but a decade ago, in the period the original poster was talking about, it was because of things like what they mentioned: Mozilla needed some attention to detail on those tickets, a robust MSI install package, and a polished policy deployment system. Lots of large shops deployed it but it wasn't loved because there was always some wart to work around.


We got Firefox in the first place due to insubordination by developers, many of whom were told that we were only going to support IE.

But it was easier to debug on Mozilla so it got supported first because you could eliminate 90% of the bugs before ever having to touch IE.


I have resisted using anything other than Firefox since the IE days but I have been literally forced to switch to Chrome because of this issue on my work Macs and every time I checked, I was surprised to see that’s not implemented. Finally. Thank you Mozilla!

Pocket is great and totally deserves more promotion. I know this will trigger a lot of people saying it's spyware, I used to think that too, but then I embraced it and it's great for bookmarking, syncthing tabs, reading news as podcasts on mobile etc. It's great.

Pocket is great but people need to start holding their feet to the fire: it's been 3 years and Mozilla still hasn't open-sourced the codebase, as they promised they would. [1]

[1] https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/02/27/mozilla-acquires-po...


The client is, FWIW.

Something being spyware and you embracing it seem orthogonal. Are you saying it is spyware (not an argument I've seen before) but you choose to use it anyway?

It was a third party app and the forced bundling feels like a bloatware. Now Mozilla Corporation owns it, it doesn't really a concern anymore.

I'm not sure about the claims about spyware—I suspect akerro was simply reporting on the general feeling of the complaints, rather than using precise language—but I know that there was a loud outcry from people unhappy that the proprietary service Pocket was integrated as a part of the core browser, rather than as an extension, which seemed not to be consonant with the stated Mozilla mission to openness and transparency; and that, at least initially, there were no switches to get rid of it. (I don't remember the exact situation now, but whatever it is is the result of Mozilla giving in in response to lots of user push-back against the forced integration.)

I said other people will call it spyware, because they don't understand how and it works and what it does.

I think the biggest complaint with Pocket is Mozilla's broken promise to open-source it. After that, we will all be able to check for ourselves whether Pocket is spyware. I look forward to that day, may it come soon.

>After that, we will all be able to check for ourselves whether Pocket is spyware.

Who watches the watchers? How do you know what's running on the servers?


I agree, pocket is awesome for mobile use and I would recommend it to anyone. My only complaint is not being able to turn off reader view by default in the browser.

I also use Pocket a lot. Alas, I do wish that they had Kindle integration... As of now I use crofflr [1], which mostly works but is unfortunately no longer updated.

[1]: https://www.crofflr.com/


I have a Kobo Touch e-reader which has Pocket integration built in and it's great. The reader lags at times because of its age, but until Kindle gets Pocket I won't give up on it.

While there are no first party Kindle integrations, I find p2k.co perfect for my use case, i.e. push pocket articles to my Kindle.

Me too, p2k is perfect. Initial setup a couple of minutes, then it all happens automatically.


Pocket is great, but it's been a long time since it's seen any innovation, and far too often it clips only a portion of the article I've saved.

I can't completely rely on it to ingest an entire long-form article, which forces me to switch back to web-view to make sure Pocket caught the entire piece. It's frustrating.


I like and use Pocket but one of the first things I do after installing Firefox is disable Pocket recommendations. It shouldn't be calling external services like that without the user explicitly opting in.

Totally agreed. Pocket is amazing it has changed mobile reading for me.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I find that Pocket is unable to detect duplicate copies of the same article and prevent them from being added to my list unless they were added from Firefox's landing page, i.e. the "Sponsored by Firefox" and "Recommended by Pocket" sections.

Is there something I can do to make Pocket prevent duplicates from being added on the basis of the article's URL alone?


I tried to use it several times, but every time what makes me abandon it is that you have to use a third party service to subscribe to RSS feeds (such as Zappier). RSS is how I find the bulk of articles that I end up reading, so I'm better off just using Inoreader (an online RSS reader, to which you can also save articles like in Pocket). One may argue that RSS and Pocket serve orthogonal purposes, or that I'm trying to use Pocket wrong, but I don't see it that way, all I want is a reliable way to find articles that I'm susceptible to read. To me, Pocket advertizes itself as doing that, but it fails at exactly that.

The open source (apps) raindrop is a pretty good alternative

Just tested Firefox 79.0b1 with webrender.all and surprisingly it's performing leaps over Chrome on Win10 Intel GPU. In the below image, left side is Firefox Developer Edition and right is Chrome 83.0.4103.116 on Windows 10 on a Dell XPS.

https://i.redd.it/6gaj12tlh2851.png


If anyone at Mozilla is reading, your Security Fixes link 404s.

It will be here when it is released:

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2020-2...


I think this happens every release, although I don't know why. Probably just different teams pushing the button at different times.

New in Firefox 78: DevTools improvements, new regex engine, and abundant web platform updates

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2020/06/new-in-firefox-78/


Does it still have UglyBar from v77? Seems like that.

See https://www.userchrome.org/megabar-styling-firefox-address-b... for details on how to customize the new address bar, including userChrome css for keeping its size confined to the dropdown UI like other dropdown/combobox UI elements.

Also see https://superuser.com/questions/540851/go-back-to-not-select... for details on how to disable the clickSelectsAll behavior.

This issue is frankly far more important than the style changes they made. It's a muscle-memory issue that drastically affects daily usage. I was so desperate to restore the sane behavior of not selecting everything on a single click that I was recompiling firefox prior to discovering this workaround.


Is there any specific thing that makes it ugly? I'm curious because I don't see the ugliness.

Since I use Firefox 99% of the time, I just opened Chrome and Edge to check out their address bars. All three are extremely similar. In Chrome and Edge the borders are more rounded, while Firefox opts for a more square look. All three feature a "popup" effect that makes the bar slightly bigger when interacting with it: in Firefox this effect activates when clicking the bar, while the other two enlarge when inputting data.


I don't like the behaviour in Chrome or Slack either. I haven't tried the new Edge (Edgeium) -- the Trident/IE derived Edge only expands downward.

1. It is inconsistent with the behaviour of every other control, including other combobox/search/dropdown UI elements. The web search element on the new page/tab for both Firefox and Chrome only expand downward to show the results. (The one on Chrome adjusts the border radius slightly, but that is more to do with the way the border radius is calculated.)

2. I personally find it distracting, especially as it is moving in two directions at once. -- I don't like animated elements in the Windows start menu and YouTube's latest post section even more for the same reason (I notice the movement in the corner of my eye, then get distracted as it is drawing attention away from what I am doing).

3. It can happen when not user initiated, e.g. when switching to an already open tab where the focus then goes to the address bar. This further adds to the distracting "look at me!" nature of the new design, where you have to explicitly click away to get rid of. Couple that with reddit's behaviour of clicking outside a post navigating to the channels page and you have some fun times!

4. The dropdown of frequently visited pages can no longer be opened by the mouse only. You need to click on the address bar and then press the down arrow key.


It uses a non-native look for no good reason, and the "popup" thing obscures other parts of the browser UI.

I've seen numerous people discuss this, so I can only presume that there is some itch here, but I'm not getting it. Hasn't the location bar been non-native since pretty much forever, since it has to display icons and colors and all sorts of other stuff that I think most native drop down widgets just won't?

As for obscuring other parts of the UI … such as? (That it wasn't since the dawn of time; I mean, it drops down and obscures part of the browser window, sure? But it's done that since the idea of having it autocomplete was first added.)

The only recent change seems to be that it swells up by a few pixels when you focus it. (I'm not a fan, but it honestly doesn't seem to matter much. It has started to not show the carat, and that is definitely annoying, and I'd agree more with a native widget argument there, I just don't think one exists.)


> As for obscuring other parts of the UI … such as?

Bookmarks toolbar, for one. Open a new blank tab, the URLbar has focus by default and is now partially obscuring the bookmarks right at the moment you're most likely to use them.


Curious. So, this is what I see: https://imgur.com/a/IJBlT4q The actual dropdown doesn't happen on a new tab. (It will if I click on the bar or start typing, though.)

I'll admit, I did not think of the bookmarks bar. (I don't use it, myself.) Thanks, too, for responding.


78 has checkboxes to disable the suggestions popup under the privacy/security preferences.

"in Firefox this effect activates when clicking the bar, while the other two enlarge when inputting data."

This difference is why Firefox receives mores complaints.

When opening a new tab in Firefox, the address bar is automatically focused. This actually makes the address bar larger than the bounds of the encapsulating toolbar. This combined with the drop shadows helps to partially obscure adjacent toolbar(s), like the bookmarks toolbar.


It hijacks focus at new tab open. It has ugly looking shadow when focused over bookmark bar. It removed "arrow down" button. It replaced history for static top sites in the drop down. It enlarges text font on focus making it harder to quickly select parts. And the last but not least - they had months of beta testing and then still enforced popout animation with ability to disable it, despite negative feedback of multiple users.

PS: I'm not disabling it on principle for now just to see like some people say if get used to it. So far it still annoys me after weeks of usage. It is just bad design and bad decision and FF team can't accept own mistakes, like small children.


I hate the UglyBar so much. I've got a user style to fix it but my god, who thought it was a good idea? It's so much worse and it didn't need doing.

Personally what found even worse is the attitude of an arrogant Firefox developer (Marco), who came to /r/firefox and just outright dismissed any and all concerns, than closed all bugzilla tickets about it and just left subreddit (at least for several days).

It feels like some "genius" manager who brute forced his "brilliant" idea on the team.


> It's so much worse and it didn't need doing.

It's subjective. I like it.


It's not only ugly: whenever I click in it to edit a URL (pasting in different UUIDs for testing, things like that), the change of font size means I don't know where the selection is. That's so confusing.

I am always very confused by discussions about this bar. For me, when I press ctrl-L, the bar gets slightly bigger borders and the dropdown expands, and that's all that happens. I don't get a font size change or anything.

Is my experience not typical? Does anyone know why I don't get the new bar if not? I'm on 78.


I have font change on Win10, v77.0.1 latest. When focused URL text font is enlarged and if you were targeting specific symbol it will be shifted to side by several places.

PS: here is a proof - https://imgur.com/a/AYi99Ht


That's really odd, it doesn't change size for me at all on Linux. This seems like a bug.

Just checked for myself on FF77 on Gnome and on FF78 on Windows. I don't see a change of font size on either.

Is there something you need to opt in to?


Perhaps it's a macOS thing.

Unfortunately it still has this "megabar"

This new bar is why I stopped upgrading FF. with 76 you could change it with about:firefox options, then in 77 you had to use userChrome.css I got tired of trying to find a workaround for a piece of utility software. I shouldnt have to relearn functionality every minor release of a browser. I love FF, but Im sticking with 76 for the foreseeable future.

I agree, I got so aggravated I switched to Vivaldi. I went to school for UI/UX and in my opinion the MegaBar is bad, bad, bad.

[flagged]


I don't mind the design - but the functionality of the bar annoys me to no end.

If you try to use a relative domain name (typing webtest01 instead of webtest01.mydomain.com, when your DNS resolves those two to the same address), for some reason Firefox thinks I want to search the web. I don't understand why.

Even worse, if you use a full domain name (web.test), and even if you specify a port (web.test:8080), Firefox thinks you want to search. Those are valid domains that resolve on my network.


I don't like that either, but on my computer I added a code to make it treat URLs entered in the location bar as relative, so if you just type "web.test" it will try to access the file called "web.test" relative to whatever document is currently open.

You can type in webtest01/ but the other ones you have to type in the http://

It could be for safety as well since some scams may rely on unusual TLDs for exploits.

Regardless, browsers are becoming like Word. Most use only 10% but everyone wants/needs a different 10% slice of functionality.


Patched but unusable still equal unusable. FF should really decouple security patches from redesign and functional changes. There is no reason to force both.

Maintaining security patches separately basically means branching the code and is quite a bit more work. I suppose ESR is the closest to what you want.

Throwing around words like "unusable" for a design change that, although you don't like it, millions of people are using successfully doesn't do much for your credibility.

Firefox is developed pretty much "in the open"; you and others are welcome to engage in reasonable discussion about UI (and functional) issues, and make your case for or against a given change. But if you're just going to label it "unusable", I suspect you'll find it hard to be taken seriously.


> millions of people are using successfully doesn't do much for your credibility

Millions of people are using it because they are forced to after an update. I do not care what others think about my 'credibility' on a forum where Im sharing my opinion. I find it unusable. Mozilla is fighting every day for relevancy and to maintain as much market share as possible (and I say this as loving FF and being a user for over a decade). They did this to mimic Chrome and hope people find it similar enough to not mind switching. I get it my opinion is not the opinion of everyone on earth nor do I expect it to, I still find the new address bar unusable.


There is no reason to continue to support old versions for a few users only.

Can I ask why it's considered "ugly" now but wasn't before? Isn't it just a few pixels bigger?

Plus shadow. And it steals focus on new tab. And it shifts text when selecting. And no history now. It is just dumber and uglier version of the old normal address bar which nobody asked to "improve" this way.

No, it is smaller so that is not the issue. The old completions used to use up the full width of the browser window. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I suspect that the proportions are just slightly off.

The dropdown takes up less horizontal space in the new version. But in the new version the URL bar itself becomes obese with unnecessary padding whenever you click in it. And that is was a lot of people hate about it.

No other input field becomes fat when you click on it. It is enough to just highlight the edges like the old version (And like every other input field) when you want to indicate that the input field is currently active.


You can just remove the flexible spacers.

Just go to the tab bar, right-click on an empty space or the "+" -> "Customize..." and remove them. I did so when Firefox upgraded to Quantum and the spacers never returned by themselves.


OT: I would like to write an extension that restores the previous clicking behavior on the title and search bars but I have never written a Firefox extension before. Does anyone know if this kind of functionality change would even be possible with the current extension framework?

I would not expect this. One of the main points of removing the old way of doing extensions was to stop allowing extensions to arbitrarily modify the browser's UI, which was difficult to maintain.


Firefox has slowly crawled back into my daily workflow of development as well as general browsing with the 67.0 release mid last year or so, that brought in major performance improvements.

Though there is one caveat that bothers me a lot. When auto restoring sessions after I've closed Firefox and launch it the next day, it restores the same tabs, but with the old data (for eg., youtube or twitch live channels / searches). Every tab needs to be refreshed manually to get the new data, which Chrome automatically does.


i prefer this behavior, as i often want to see the "old" version of pages that i had been looking at before and avoid a barrage of network requests at startup. in any case, i'm pretty sure there's an about:config setting to change it.

So ... "Close tabs to the right" and "Close other tabs" moved from top level context menu to submenu "Close Multiple Tabs".

This is the kind of ungraceful UI degradation which would send me packing if there was anywhere else decent to go.


Wow. Right-click on a tab. I didn't even know that menu existed.

Bitter-sweet seeing new Pocket features in there, knowing that the service is still proprietary more than 3 years after its acquisition. If Mozilla wants to become a service company, it should just say so:

https://github.com/Pocket/extension-save-to-pocket/issues/75


I switched from Brave to Firefox recently, and I'm very happy! I perceive it as faster, and feature-wise it's pretty much equivalent. It's made some enormous performance improvements.

Firefox still has some rough issues. It doesn't always feel like a native app (e.g. form fields, toolbar, preferences), and its visual touches (e.g. the main toolbar) are sometimes heavy-handed. In other areas, such as the "omnibar" behaviour, it's still catching up to other browsers, but at least it's catching up.

Another thing I dislike is just how much tweaking I had to do to remove quirks. For example, Firefox has some really excessive animations, which fortunately can be turned off ("ui.prefersReducedMotion" in "about:config").

Firefox has some ways to go, but I'm a lot more optimistic about its future than I used to be.


I tried to use Brave for a little bit, but it felt like I was apart of a meme. The browser is fine, but it felt invasive and awkward. I can't put my finger on why it made me feel this way; something was just... off.

Firefox and Safari are my two main stays now. Both have privacy focus, although one takes privacy significantly more seriously. They are both phenomenal browsers in my opinion.


I see their still pushing Pocket recommendations, I still find that choice baffling.

You can just remove them from the start page. I did and they never came back by themselves. My new tab page is completely empty aside from the cogs icon to configure it.

Always the first thing I turn of on a new install of Firefox.

Indeed. And there's still no way to actually remove Pocket. I'll never understand why this isn't shipped as a plugin.


That disables it. It doesn't remove it.

You can turn that off. I like having them there and sometimes find something interesting.

> I still find that choice baffling

Why?


Why would I want content recommendations from my browser, especially Firefox? It's an utterly bizarre feature to ad.

It didn't make sense for Google to have done it but it especially didn't make sense for Mozilla to play the "me too" game. It's a waste of money and developer resources and frankly shows poor stewardship on the part of management.


Then disable it. Judging from comments in this post, there seem to be numerous people who like it. And given Mozilla owns Pocket and a small amount of revenue is coming from it, what is wrong with pushing it?

Because at the same time they've struggled to move past the Gecko engine and create a product that can reasonable keep up with Google Chrome. It was the wrong choice made at the worst time, wasting time and resources.

Are you saying that the people working on the engine and the ones working on Pocket are the same? Hint: Probably not.

No I think it's clear I'm talking about allocation, I.E. if they didn't have those engineers wasting time on Pocket, they could have been assigned to work on the engine team.

Anyone know what this means?

> We fixed bugs in the search results quality composition and improved search result texts based on recommendations by our partners.

It sounds like Firefox has its own search engine? Do they mean the browser history+bookmark search feature? Or the search query suggestions when you have third-party autocomplete turned on? What "partners" (this sounds very markety) is this about?


Ironically it's kind of a shame, but I feel that the success of Firebug ended up hurting Firefox in the long run.

Firebug was really a pioneer in the devtools, but for so long Firefox just allowed it to be the defacto Dev tools that google ended up lapping them. And they we made to play catch up

Once developers started jumping, they convinced slowly got their relatives or non techs friends to switch.


My mom got new Win10 laptop and I made her install Firefox only

> Wasm Multi-value is now supported, meaning that WebAssembly functions can now return multiple values, and instruction sequences can consume and produce multiple stack values

The linked description, while great, is half a year old and focuses on technical aspects of parts of the toolchain. How far are we currently from being able to enable this in normal builds of Rust or C++?

EDIT: seems like I can enable this in nightly rustc by passing `-C target-feature=+multivalue`.


Does anyone know if there's a way to stop Firefox giving me "http://weather/" as the first suggestion when typing 'weather' in the address bar? I have never in my life wanted to visit weather.com but I can't seem to make Firefox stop suggesting it. It doesn't do this for other keywords.

If you have that in your history, you can highlight that entry in the search results (e.g. using the up/down arrow keys after typing "weather") then press Shift and Delete to delete it from the history. If you don't want search results, you can go to the options/preferences, select search, and uncheck the "Provide search suggestions" option.

Thank you! I've had weather.aliyun.net suggested forever (it 404s now) despite clearing browser history etc. Contextual actions like this should really be available in a right-click menu and not just with a hidden key combination.

You can achieve the same thing by opening the History sidebar, searching for the item, right-click -> Forget About This Site.

Do you still have it in your bookmarks, perhaps?

This key combo doesn't work

Ok, I've figured it out. The Shift+Delete combination only works for search results (e.g. the results displayed when you press space or type part of the url that are in your history).

To manage the top sites (which Firefox 78 displays on address bar click or down arrow if enabled in the preferences [1]), you need to: 1) add the top sites on the home page, 2) hover over the page you want to remove, 3) click the "..." button in the top right ("Open Menu"), 4) click "unpin" if you don't want it to be kept there, but stil calculated in the ranking, 5) click "dismiss" if you don't want it displayed.

[1] This is a change in Firefox 78, as when pressing the down arrow key Firefox 77 displayed what Firefox 78 displays when pressing the space bar.


It doesn't work for me either. It comes up as a solution whenever I try to solve this particular problem but it doesn't work for some reason.

try searching for the item in your History sidebar, then right-click -> Forget about this site.

I've done this and the OPs suggestion, and the incorrect autocomplete persists. In my case, I went to a random person's blog that starts with the same two letters as a website I use frequently.

I've given that random person's blog thousands of hits over the last year...


If it is in your top sites, you need to add that widget to the home page to get access to the menu to dismiss the result. (See my reply to the grandparent post for details.)

I don't know of an easier way to do this.


"We've disabled old TLS connections and insecure cipher-schemes, so websites which used to work will now display an error" doesn't really sound like an improvement for the user. I'd rather see a warning detailing the situation and asking me if I want to proceed (maybe I don't care about encryption when visiting the particular site).

You're actually asking for a thing that has already been available for quite a while until now (click through errors). So if you're just now thinking "maybe they should do that", they already have, and it's a strong indication that you never ran into any sites still using TLS 1.1 or 1.0 — and that removing them is just fine.

> I'd rather see

TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have unfixable security issues and TLS 1.2 was ratified as an internet standard 12 years ago. Mozilla reported over 1.5 years ago that the total number of TLS 1.1 and 1.0 connections seen from users was less than 1.5% of total TLS connections. There have been years of notice leading up to this. What internet forums filled with nerds would "rather see" isn't really relevant. I'm sure there were plenty of people worried about SSL 3.0, too, and the world didn't come to an end.


There has been a bypassable error for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 for several months. There have been error messages in devtools. In October of 2018 the browser vendors jointly announced that this change was coming. [1][2] This is happening in coordination with Chrome. The sites that are affected by this have had nearly 2 years to sort out their upgrade to TLS 1.2 or 1.3.

[1] https://blog.mozilla.org/security/2018/10/15/removing-old-ve... [2] https://blog.chromium.org/2019/10/chrome-ui-for-deprecating-...


> The sites that are affected by this have had nearly 2 years to sort out their upgrade to TLS 1.2 or 1.3.

... or are hardware appliances with a management interface, segregated on an internal VLAN, that will never be updated, but which were helpfully "forward thinking" enough to force HTTPS.


Unfortunately most users don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision like that. It's better to keep users secure by disabling insecure ciphers.

Is for your own good comrade!

yeah... means now I need to figure out how to connect to that old cable modem+router to change settings - it was born before TLS 1.3 ,and still works perfectly. Same for some other older networked devices that cannot be upgraded.

My Firefox's About page says I'm running Firefox 77.0.1, and that my browser is up-to-date.

Is it because I'm running OS X 10.9, and they're planning to migrate me to ESR but the ESR build isn't out yet or something? Because I'm on 10.9, and I know my system is vulnerable, I always try to update to the latest release very quickly.


According to IRC rumors, automatic updates are delayed for a bit after the release is announced. Not sure if this is due to CDN replication or some other issue. At any rate, you can get the update faster by downloading and installing it manually.

I expected some delay as it was rolled out, but it's now five hours later and I still haven't gotten it.

I think I will indeed need to do a manual download, although I'm kind of curious how long it will take at this point.


Interesting.

I don't see anything about it in the Release Notes,

but Help > About Firefox would normally offer the latest update.

Mine is saying 77.0.1 is up to date.


On Firefox for Android Beta, the default seems to be to opt-in, to share "Marketing data" with their mobile marketing vendor, Leanplum.

This caught me by surprise and can be changed in the Settings -> Data collection menu.


Firefox is great. All I want from it now is to have tabs smaller than 50px and to have CSS property backdrop-filter finally enabled to have those niiiice blurred backgrounds.

Firefox shows the full URL, fully supports multiple Google accounts, and is the only browser that has temporary container tabs. I'm surprised Chrome users tolerate soft paywalls or having to constantly clear their cache. It's a basic feature every browser should have in 2020.

My old Mac Mini is getting left behind here.

I dread the thought of buying a newer one but everyday it's getting closer to a necessity.


Very nice - the PIP functionality is something I've been looking forward to with more browser support.

Does anybody here actually dislike Firefox (as a daily driver or in webdev)?

I don't like the constant UI changes, the ugly configuration menus, the new bar and the bundling of stuff nobody asked for like Pocket.

Firefox 78 will be the new ESR. That unfortunately sets the new, ugly omnibar in stone.

https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx has some tweaks to make it less annoying.

Once I saw the only way to fix this terrible MegaBar was by modifying code that will break later I realized I was no longer the target demographic and switched browsers.

As someone likewise feeling disenfranchised by FF, what did you switch to?

Killing it

one of the reasons why i love firefox? the Tracking protection. it makes webpages faster to load. Cool

I do not get this. You would run a blocker anyway, the tracking protection is just a half-assed measure for these not bothering to install such an addon.

ublock origin makes pages load faster

I'm curious why it is still not built in instead other nonsense they integrate


Google would not allow Mozilla to do this

How? Do you mean they would cancel their search deal? Does Google have any power over Mozilla?

If past revenue numbers are any indication [0], then Google as a lot of power of Mozilla.

They are privacy focused, so I suppose they don't make money through the sale of personal data; also their services are free. Unless there is some other revenue source I'm missing, there seems to be a significant dependency on search engines and similar partners.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation#Google


Firefox's Tracking Protection is a fraud and has a whitelist of domains to allow, which include Google and Facebook properties despite them being the biggest threats to privacy.


Which would break Facebook and Google login for a massive portion of the web (since those buttons are usually embeds). If you want to block them yourself, fine, but it's not the browser maker's job to make that decision for the user.

Compared to the decision to integrate Pocket?

Hate to be cynical, but I feel like they're just releasing a new one every week just to stay in the news.

They are on a 6 week release cycle. Every 6 weeks they release the changes that are ready. Sometimes the changes are large, sometimes small. Over time, rapid releases tend to get new features out sooner than delayed releases. Don’t get hung up on the version number. It doesn’t mean this is a major release, it is just the 78th release in a series.

They changed it to a 4 week release cycle.

Netscape 1.x and NCSA Mosaic were originally on a ~6 week release cycle. This is just returning to your roots.

I think we have this revisionist history where the signers to the Agile Manifesto invented these processes from whole cloth, when it's more accurate to think of it as 80% curated list of existing practices, >10% discovered, <10% invented.

I ran a Kanban board in 1995, and I wouldn't learn about Deming, Goldratt or Ohno for another ten years. I think a couple people were upset or at least perplexed by my 'yeah ok' reaction to some of their revelations.


Last release was done on June 2, 2020: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/77.0/releasenotes/

The previous one was done on May 5, 2020: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/76.0/releasenotes/

And the one before on April 7, 2020: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/75.0/releasenotes/

More or less, one release per month. Hardly "every week".


I want to use Firefox but find the plug in system to be unusable and therefore prefer a chromium based solution. I have 30+extensions, many developer based, many for privacy and blocking, and many new ones to prevent sites from dictating my behavior like blocking copy and pasting of text. But the most important one is a plug in manager that allows me to to toggle on/off individual plug-ins from the sidebar with two clicks. FFs plug in page is atrocious. It's a Giant infinite scroll page that takes several clicks to do anything and I don't think ctrl f works so I have to scroll and look.. Nope. I just can't.

In an age where the web is becoming more hostile to users by hiding and controlling the info, and forcing things like amqp, I think plug-ins are really the only override to enable user agency and Firefox plug in management is very immature.


you can set keyboard shortcuts to toggle the add-ons. Yes, you do have to go through the single page as you mentioned, but it's a one-time thing.

Personally, I can't leave Firefox due to:

1. Sidebery (on Desktop)

2. Night-mode (on Mobile)


Sidebery - wow! I'd looked for a vertical tab add-on to no avail last year, but this is incredible. Thanks.

It still boggles my mind that everything is made to go horizontal on default Windows/Mac UIs when desktops are widescreen and most content we consume now is tall and thin.


Yep! Firefox supports vertical sidebars (which Chrome doesn't I guess?), so you find a lot of Firefox add-ons for vertical tree-style tab sidebars.

Sidebery is my favorite by far, because it also lets you organize the tabs in "panels", and lets you set keyboard shortcuts for navigating across panels. So you don't end up with a giant list of 50 tabs.

Eg I have 1 panel for email/chat/music, and a separate panel for each task I'm working on. Makes things a lot more manageable, since each panel usually has only 5-10 tabs.


So I'm on macOS using Safari for web browsing, chrome for work (web app + backend). I'm on the younger side so chrome has been omnipresent. I do not mean to understate the importance of privacy in the modern web, so don't misunderstand my question. Why would someone, as a developer and a user, want to use Firefox over Safari (mostly) and Chrome (for work).

> I do not mean to understate the importance of privacy in the modern web

> Why would someone, as a developer and a user, want to use Firefox over Safari (mostly) and Chrome (for work).

You wrote the answer before the question. Safari might have users' best interest at heart, but anything that stops an advertising company's browser from dominating the market is a good thing.


You made me think of Drew's last blog entry: https://drewdevault.com/2020/06/26/Vendor-purpose-OS.html

Maybe we need to coin "vendor-purpose browser" as well? All of the big three are, to some extent. And now, one has to think of the motives behind each vendor.

Hint: I'll stay on Firefox. And I even use other browsers sometimes, that just support some HTML (elinks, dillo...) on underpowered systems. Maybe we just need more underpowered systems?


As a web developer you should be using all browsers, maybe not the more obscure ones, but the big 3 for sure

1. uBlock Origin, and some other extensions. 2. Ability to tweak css a bit, and get multi-row tabs (that was primary reason for me)

I really want to use Firefox, but their dev tools are lacking in so many ways when compared to Chrome. Fix that, and perhaps even improve on a few things that Chrome does badly (e.g. JS profiling in the "performance" tab of Chrome dev tools gives you zero information about which functions are responsible for the overhead), and you'll have me converted. I've been wanting to ditch Chrome for ages, but have no suitable alternative for development.

Edit: I've been asked for examples where FF dev tools are lacking, so copying from another comment of mine below:

1) Chrome CPU profiler will display the amount of time taken against calls in line in your source JS files. FF does not do this.

2) Memory snapshots in FF are not sortable, and do not show distance.

3) Performance tab in Chrome allows CPU throttling, FF does not.

4) Performance tab in Chrome also captures much more info, such as node count, heap size, number of listeners, GPU memory.

All the above are very useful if you're building a high performance web app or library.


Firefox's tooling for CSS flexbox/grid has been much stronger than Chrome's for some time. I haven't noticed anything missing from the dev tools since they added proper websocket support a while back.

> their dev tools are lacking in so many ways when compared to Chrome

Like what for example? Please be specific.


A few off the top of my head:

1) Chrome CPU profiler will display the amount of time taken against calls in line in your source JS files. FF does not do this.

2) Memory snapshots in FF are not sortable, and do not show distance.

3) Performance tab in Chrome allows CPU throttling, FF does not.

4) Performance tab in Chrome also captures much more info, such as node count, heap size, number of listeners, GPU memory.

All the above are very useful if you're building a high performance web app or library.


For a while, I was same, only I was on Firefox and wanted to switch the other way. Then Firebug withered away, and now I find it's awash.

But I've actually been running two browsers, one I keep clean for development and one for everything else. If you really want to switch, you could try that.


When did you last try Firefox? Chrome may still be better sometimes but Firefox improved a _lot_ recently.

I don't disagree that it has improved a lot, but shortcomings still continue to exist. It surprises me since Firefox is Mozilla's core product - I personally would have expected them to crush Google Chrome in usability and functionality.

This. I use FF for regular web browsing but when I work I still use Chrome for its Dev Tools.

It's not even that FF's dev tools are bad -- it's good, but sadly Chrome is still better in some marginal yet significant ways.

Most notably Chrome is still better for CSS work when I'm trying out colors, tweaking shadows and animation timings, where Chrome has some nifty widgets to preview changes quickly and easily.


I use Firefox for dev, then occasionally use chrome dev tools for performance. I have to develop for both, so having both open isn’t burdensome.

I recently tried to move to Firefox (again). I try to to this every couple years. I run into the same three blockers every time.

1. The omnibar completion isn't as good. Chrome figures out where I go pretty regularly, and autocompletes extremely well based upon habits. 2. The dev tools aren't as good. I mostly work in the frontend, and simple things like how you write css overwrites with tab completion is just not as good in Firefox. 3. I often run with lots of tabs. Although firefox lets you make tabs smaller, it's default method of "scrolling" tabs isn't as nice as chrome infinite method.

It doesn't help that I pair this yearly experiment with DDG as my search. With that pairing I often run into autocompletion / omnibar issues and find myself just banging !g to get myself out of it.

I really would like to switch, but the gap is too much for my daily tooling. I say this as someone who recently switched to Linux from OSX and really ran into no issues outside of having to spend a week setting thing up how I liked.


1: as you’ve said, the quality of such completion depends on habits; if you’re just shifting to the browser, it doesn’t have the full details with which to do good completion.

2: strongly disagree; I use Firefox, and on the odd occasion where I’m doing something in Chrome, it drives me insane with things like its CSS editing experience, because it does things in what I find to be a much less native-feeling way, whereas Firefox’s behave in a mostly native way, so that things tend to work the way I expect. There are glaring problems with it (mostly around “completing” a whole new word when I press Space when that makes an otherwise valid value nonsense; I really should file a bug about that if there isn’t one), but I find Chrome much more painful to interact with. And what do you know, a lot of it probably comes down to familiarity and what you’re used to.

3: Chrome is a disaster for large numbers of tabs. On most screen sizes it’s just about hopeless with even thirty tabs, maybe as few as twenty, both for reasons of performance and because of its infinite tab shrinking folly. Firefox, on the other hand, can handle hundreds of tabs in a session with perfect equanimity (though performance will definitely be affected by that point).

On DuckDuckGo, I find it to yield good results most of the time, and it’s rare for me to reach for !g.

In most of these sorts of things, it’s much more about what you’re used to and know how to interact with, than any inherent superiority of one over the other.


> 1: as you’ve said, the quality of such completion depends on habits; if you’re just shifting to the browser, it doesn’t have the full details with which to do good completion.

i've used firefox ever since galeon bit the dust (or maybe since epiphany switched to webkit). it knows my habits. but it still suggests urls i don't want instead of just offering to switch to an open tab. (frankly, i want open tabs to match enthusiatically. i would rather switch to an open tab than open a new tab to the same site, which is redundant.)


I find it a mixed bag—if it showed all open tab matches first, it often wouldn’t show history items that I care about. But overall, yeah, I’d probably like it to be a bit more eager to show active tabs. Especially if it’s suggesting a URL I have open, as you say.

FYI, you can filter it to search only open tabs with %: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/address-bar-autocomplet...


Re: DuckDuckGo, I like to use !s to delegate to StartPage.com which relies on Google but provides a more private experience (according to StartPage themselves, which I have not investigated much).

If you have comments on !s vs !g, I'll all ears. For example, I have wondered, to what degree does the "extra" hop: (a) help my privacy; (b) affect DDG's revenue stream; (c) affect the results.


> 1. The omnibar completion isn't as good. Chrome figures out where I go pretty regularly, and autocompletes extremely well based upon habits.

That's interesting, because I have found rather the opposite, for how I use it. Chrome doesn't seem to remember anything but my most frequented sites; with Firefox I find it much easier to find that thing I was reading a few weeks back that I did not bookmark by searching a word from the title. Chrome doesn't seem to remember anything but my most frequent and/or very most recently visited sites.


Yeah the FF bar completion is lightyears ahead of chromes. Chrome massively favors searches over history matches. I revisit every couple of months but it always is comically unusable for me. To the point where I visit only about 3 sites with my chrome, and even when I write the first 3 letters of a 4 word domain the default action is still a google search (with the correct site listed beneath but not default selected).

edit: So I just opened my very secondary chrome. I use it for Youtube listening mostly. When I enter "hand co" to find my often listened "hand covers bruise" song, I get 7 (!) google searches, and the 8th and last entry is the Youtube link.


You can even type the exact parts of a URL and Chrome doesn't offer any autocompletion [0], just an option to search. But then once you do search, the result page shows the URL as visited... [1] I refuse to believe this behavior is anything but Google's attempt to show you ads on the result page.

[0] https://i.imgur.com/3bp63K9.png

[1] https://i.imgur.com/UPZvHEt.png


This might be true. I need to the two things out of my bar at the moment: (a) going to those 10 sites i always go to very quickly (b) to run a search on some linux/css/react thing. Chrome does really well there, no matter what config settings I change in Firefox.

For the deep history I'm a pinboard user and bookmark at least a dozen things daily with tags.


> Although firefox lets you make tabs smaller, it's default method of "scrolling" tabs isn't as nice as chrome infinite method.

Tree style tabs works better in Firefox than Chrome. Just saying


There also an extension called Sidebery [1][2] which is a lighter alternative to TST. I've found that TST was making my Firefox hang several seconds before loading all my tabs.

[1]: https://github.com/mbnuqw/sidebery [2]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sidebery/


There's also an extension whose name I forget (but should be easy enough to find for the sufficiently motivated) which unloads background tabs so they're not taking up resources unless you switch to them. Made a huge difference when I installed it.

There is also the auto-tab discard Extension. Which reportedly uses Native API better. I've seen that compared to other tab suspenders it does keep tabs sticky between sessions. However, I'm not a fan of it's auto-foreground on clicking a tab behavior. I think, The Great Suspender Extension on Chrome handles this better.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/auto-tab-disc...



0. Performance

I switch to Firefox about once a year (seasonal surveillance paranoia?). I mostly run older machines and there's a noticeable performance difference between FF and Chrome-based browsers. As a compromise I run Brave (chrome-based, un-googled, and kind of privacy oriented?) but not really happy about that.

Fwiw I really want Firefox to succeed, I donate to Mozilla every month and I am learning Rust.

I think it's partly sequencing, eg. opening a new window in FF, FF waits until the window is built before showing it (takes nearly a second on my machine), while Chrome will open it instantly and then paint in the UI. The actual time til usable URL bar is the same on both, but on FF the experience is "I gave a command and nothing is happening... oh there it is".

There's just no indication that anything is happening until it's done, and that makes a big difference. It makes it feel slow: even if the total delay is exactly the same, the perceived delay is several orders of magnitude greater.

There's also some difference in the time it takes to load a page, but once they're loaded JS perf is on par.

I expect the difference would be less dramatic on a machine from this decade, but I haven't had the pleasure of finding out :)


> 3. I often run with lots of tabs. Although Firefox lets you make tabs smaller, it's default method of "scrolling" tabs isn't as nice as chrome infinite method.

At a certain point Chrome will just disappear your tabs. They'll be loaded in the browser - there's just no way to access them. Scrolling in Firefox (especially with a mousewheel) just feels so natural and makes dealing with large amounts of tabs so much easier almost all of the time (with a potential exception right after Firefox starts scrolling tabs, but they're all visible on Chrome - but that can still be hit or miss).


I moved to Firefox and struggle a bit with the omnibar, too. I'm glad they finally dropped the separate search box, but the main autocompletions aren't as good.

My main peeve is that Firefox is so slow to learn. I have to visit a certain site many, many times before it becomes an autocomplete candidate. Firefox will suggest it in the dropdown, but becoming a "primary" autocompletion that gets filled out in the omnibar itself takes a long time. Maybe there's a setting somewhere?

Safari is, as far as I'm concerned, the gold standard here. Its autocompletions are fantastic.


> 3. I often run with lots of tabs. Although firefox lets you make tabs smaller, it's default method of "scrolling" tabs isn't as nice as chrome infinite method.

That rather sounds like you run with a medium amount of tabs. I have one browser session that literally has >900 tabs in it (I started pruning when it hit 1000); if Chrome even let me have that many tabs, the interface would no longer be usable.


3. https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx has tweak to have multi-row tabs. I use pretty much switched to FF just because of this.



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