Seems like every time I see coverage about Firefox, it's Mozilla removing or crippling some feature I care about.
Why bother using FF at this point? Most sites don't work as well, and Mozilla seems actively hostile to my use case. If I'm going to use a browser that is hostile to me, I may as well get better website compatibility out of the bargain.
Not surprised their market share keeps shrinking. At this point, what's the sell?
Edit 1: worth noting, there is a lower-down comment thread with relevant links - Mozilla does not care if you like this feature.
0 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26464973
Lots of reasons: familiarity, it works for your use cases, preventing a Chrome hegemony (though we're already there), their focus on privacy, important add-ons still work great. The fact FF isn't owned by an ad-run business who's main concern is figuring out a more effective way to make you buy stuff.
> Most sites don't work as well
Citation definitely needed. This is worded without precision, you could claim "work as well" to mean nearly anything. Do you have specifics, with data? Performance? Functionality? Features? DRM? What is it? I haven't encountered any broken web sites with desktop Firefox. But, I also don't look at all the internet, so I'm curious - what's broken?
What alternatives are there? Chrome is a no-go, Brave is off doing it's URL redirect and bitcoin weirdness (that I don't need in a browser) Edge is just Chrome. There's some de-googled Chrome options and I guess some weird special-build Firefox options, but really, out of all the options I see, FF is best for me.
I'm not changing because they removed one tiny feature used by a very vocal minority, and it's a mistake to assume that FF has no value or no "sell".
Seems you have trouble keeping count. Let me remind you how many features FF has nuked in recent times
> "Some of these are a bit spurious. I mean, Venkman was replaced by Firebug, which was much better. MXR was similarly replaced by DXR."
> "CNET (and Mozilla) say that Firefox still has a fully functional security team. The source for this is an unsourced tweet. I'm going to flag it because HN does not seem like a good venue to hash out rumors."
> Kind of misleading title – what isn’t planned to be supported is installing PWA:s as standalone apps on desktop Firefox: https://twitter.com/englishmossop/status/1344428028315590656...
That is still something that I very much wanted.
I had stuck to firefox 68 because after that https over ssl could be disabled remotely for corporate computers but now I switched to Chrome.
I think the end result will be Firefox removing itself from the browser pool.
Not when they constantly change the general way it's used. I am personally tired of having to relearn how to use a tool. Address bar, lockwise, shared passwords, to start.
If you work on Firefox, or are new to development -- this is not Luddism, and don't let this attitude discourage you. Let it be a lesson that you need to understand your users and not just assume that everybody uses a maximized window on a 13-inch laptop screen with all day to wait for slow code to load.
I also saw a browser.engagement.ctrlTab.has-used key in there; didn't know the config store was also tracking usage...
I have to say that the name doesn't explain what it actually does. Thank you for the assistance.
Mostly JS-heavy sites by big companies. But yes, I admit that I don't have hard data to back this claim up.
> What alternatives are there? Chrome is a no-go, Brave is off doing it's URL redirect and bitcoin weirdness (that I don't need in a browser) Edge is just Chrome. There's some de-googled Chrome options and I guess some weird special-build Firefox options, but really, out of all the options I see, FF is best for me.
Un-googled chromium is one. I suppose that I trust Mozilla marginally more with my user data than Google.
But yes, I agree, the browser landscape is pretty lousy right now.
> I'm not changing because they moved one tiny feature used by a very vocal minority, and it's a mistake to assume that FF has no value or no "sell".
I perceive this to be the continuation of a trend.
I think FF still has value for now, but it seems like that value is pretty quickly dropping - as a piece of software, if not from a philosophical perspective (supporting the open web and all that).
With Firefox, opening a new tab in a non default container has a terrible default shortcut, and you can’t remap it to anything sensible (like cmd + some letter).
I’m sticking with Firefox because I want to support them, but I miss Chrome dearly.
Just out of curiosity, have you tried creating a shortcut based on the menu name in the macOS global settings? As a Linux user who sometimes works for companies that issue Macs, that functionality goes a long way to preserving my sanity, but sometimes apps just hard-code a shortcut instead of using the OS.
(Extensions can do it, but they only take effect after the current tab is loaded.)
Cite me. Impossible to pay my elec bill w/o chrome on my country's biggest energy provider.
Silent errors on many sites.
FF-esr on Debian
I've had similar experiences with various bills over the years (though fewer recently), so these days I default to dealing with those by 'pushing' the payment from my bank to the utility rather than having the utility 'pull' a payment from the bank.
It would be nice if the bank could poll a utility to discover the payment amount rather than having to enter the amount manually from reading the bill, but as inconveniences go that's fairly small potatoes.
: My criticisms: https://github.com/mozilla/multi-account-containers/issues/1...
Yes indeed... until not anymore. And will this be an enormous change? Oh no but an annoying one for some people, and completely switching browsers might be perceived as only marginally less familiar than just having some of your settings suddenly disappearing in FF.
This is my problem. If there was a real option to go to I probably would leave Firefox because of the things they've removed or haven't added. But then I look at the alternatives, and they are all worse.
Until they remove the feature you used for years. But hey, they are the champion of the Free Web so anything goes.
Anyway, this designers' fad of making desktop applications look like mobile apps (I'm intentionally using those two different names) must come to an end. My favorite example is "think if Excel on a computer would have half an inch padding around each cell with possibly no borders". This normal layout thing is only a very small step in that direction but it's still in that direction.
Desktops tend to have high-precision pointing devices. It is wasteful of space to make big, touch-friendly buttons. Many web apps and GTK programs that follow this trend are barely usable on my laptop (1366x768 display).
A good UI toolkit should support adjusting the size of the UI elements according to what platform is being used. In an ideal world, I could just set some kind of scale factor and have all my applications respect it. Then the people with touchscreens can be happy, as can the people with mice.
I guess from the perspective of commercial software, it's cheaper to write one UI and have it cater to the lowest-common-denominator. What I don't understand is why these design trends have become popular in the open source space.
I accidentally discovered that the mouse's scroll wheel works for this too.
I had to get rid of almost all programs that used modern GTK.
One major problem was dialogues windows, typically options setting dialogues. They were too big and the buttons were out of the screen (below the screen), because of too much white space everywhere, because of badly organised layout, and because of too many things being packed inside the same dialogue.
But the most infuriating was the bloody CSD (Client Side Decoration). They pretend it saves spaces, because it fuses a menu bar and the window bar (window manager bar).
But firstly, they made it so big that this single bar is only a couple pixels shorter than a traditional set of menu bar + window bar.
And secondly, on a traditional application, with the WM I had, I could (simply pressing one shortcut key) hide both the window bar of the current application (from the top), and the WM task bar (from the bottom), making the entire vertical space available from the current application content (including its menu bar). But with CSD, I cannot hide the window bar, since there is no window bar; so I am forced to keep their huge menu+window bar combo fusion and as a result there is less space available for the content...
Your CSS must go to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css
That's has always been the case, even before mobile was a thing. GTK components have always been padded to the wazoo, and pretty badly too; it's one of the reasons I was very much a "KDE guy" back in the early '00s, QT component just looked and scaled so much better.
If only QT had had a C implementation, GTK would never have reached a tenth of its popularity.
Agree that Qt would be more popular with a C implementation. The myriad language bindings available for GTK have gone a long way in boosting its popularity.
The taskbar can be moved easily, but Firefox doesn't come with a vertical tabs option. Both Chrome and Edge seem to now.
Vertical tabs are stuck in a side-bar, and that sidebar has to fight with the main content for screen real-estate, with the tab bar usually losing (i.e. getting shrunk by the user in order to increase the size of the main content.) That means that, even with only a few tabs open, a tabs sidebar can't show very much description text for each tab.
When you have a lot of tabs, a tab sidebar shows more per-tab context than a tab top/bottom bar does. But having a lot of tabs is comparatively rare.
Remember, the default behaviour in all major browsers is to open external links from other applications in a new window. So, if you’re the regular “go with the flow” kind of computer user who presumes the defaults are defaults for a reason — and are a bit lazy in cleaning up your windows, and you use at least one external app (e.g. a mail client, a piece of collaboration software, etc.) — then even if you yourself prefer to open tabs, you’ll end up opening new windows quite frequently as well.
And, if you don’t care where you open each new tab, you’ll just end up opening it against whichever window was most recently opened; rather than having a dedicated “tabs I opened” window.
(As a person who bothered to install the “Merge Windows” Chrome extension to replicate the feature in Safari, I genuinely don’t get these people — but they really do exist, and are even seemingly in the majority.)
Also, BTW, Firefox has had a Tabs menu for years now; both vertical and hides itself away automatically. (Though perhaps you still can't save any vertical space with it: AFAICR it lives on the tab bar, so if you hide that you lose the menu too.)
Actually, the screen of my laptops got only slightly wider in the last 25 years but considerably shorter. 16:9 is bad on laptops.
This means that an Ubuntu like launcher (on a side) should be optimal and yet it takes away the space I need to display two windows side by side.
That's why I always reconfigure Gnome to move the top bar to the bottom and merge it with a task bar. I also autohide it to gain some space.
> That's why I always reconfigure Gnome to move the top bar to the bottom and merge it with a task bar. I also autohide it to gain some space.
Why not use the autohide option with the launcher on the side?
BTW, the Gnome's name for favorites is Places.
Gtk seems to optimized for the higher-end of not-hdpi-yet displays (100-120 dpi, at @1X), i.e. 1600x900 to 1920x1080 at 14". Fullhd at this size, the sizing is great, it doesn't need hidpi support yet, which would also explain the sad hidpi support in many apps (not the toolkit! just some apps; e.g. virt-manager/spice-gtk only recently got it supported).
I absolutely LOVE the way Firefox dies to force you to restart your browser. Silently updates in the background, then all of a sudden it stops working and you don't know why. Who among us hasn't wanted to be teaching a class with dozens of students and have their browser die? Guess they're going after those that yearn for the days of Windows 98 stability.
But I cut Mozilla some slack for it since this is a pretty unusual setup and the Developer Edition is updating quite a lot compared to the release branch and it doesn't happen all the time.
example : a cctv kiosk I have just sits on a URL all day.
It updates silently and breaks the browser sometimes a few times a month, facilitating remote administration to reset.
The other lovely behavior is when after an update the tab to show update notes is prioritized upon browser auto-restart -- thus covering up the cctv kiosk tab with something advertising firefox changes.
Firefox is getting harder to love, (thankfully?) so is the competition in most cases.
I mean, you can kind of use Electron for this, but it's not designed to be used this way (i.e. to be used un-customized as a long-running service with hot updates.) It's designed as an SDK for developers to produce apps with, not as an app in-and-of itself.
https://fluidapp.com/ exists, but it's not multiplatform, and it still doesn't address the needs of the embedded market either.
"Firefox has just been updated in the background. Click Restart Firefox to complete the update."
It would at least be a minor improvement if they'd open a new tab to show you that information. Instead you're refreshing the page wasting everyone's time because it doesn't always tell you that's what's going on.
If you use Mozilla's build of Firefox and it's built-in update system I think this won't happen.
(Disclosure: I work for Mozilla but not on this)
I feel the same. I am saddened that some guy from Mozilla now wants to remove support⁰ for user.js, supposedly to save a stat() call :-/
⓪ - https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1543752
Ditto. First thing I do when setting up firefox, the default is just way too unnecessarily large.
A large monitor isn't even necessary, it's too large at every monitor size between 13" and 34" (which is the range my personal hardware covers).
Because it is still better and Google has worked even harder to make me dislike them?
That said, if someone made a viable fork of the latest Firefox and fixed all the problems and missing APIs I could easily pay $15 a month for it, maybe $25.
A good browser would be worth almost as much as a good IDE in my current position.
FTR: employeer pays my full subscription to all Jetbrains tools. I'd happily try to get them to pay for unbroken Firefox but more realistically pay it myself. $100 - 200 for the software and $50 to spite Mozilla at this point ;-) Just today someone tried politely to ask about what one could do to get them to reconsider the api to hide tabs and were brushed of by someone.
A fork would of course need to be kept up to date with the base (until everyone switches :-).
You can make the url bar smaller by setting the layout.css.devPixelsPerPx in your about:config to a value between 0 and 1. This can also be done by adding the following line to your user.js:
I share some of your gripes and I do think that Mozilla routinely drops the ball with Firefox, but that's a gross overstatement. I exclusively use Firefox as my main browser (both on desktop and mobile) and I only very occasionally stumble upon websites that will only work correctly on Chromium.
It's annoying when it happens but it's most definitely not "most sites" in my experience, it's a small minority.
Because the alternative is that Blink becomes the new IE6.
"Moral cause" = many people will walk right away from even expensive software over these kinds of things.
I started using Firefox in the late 2000s mostly because I switched to Linux, and Chrome wasn't a thing yet. The web dev tools were better (firebug, anyone?), there were extensions like pentydactyl and whichever predecessor it had back in the day, and overall I just preferred the UI.
Firefox is trying to stay usable and I applaud that, but now they're just perpetually stuck trying to play catch up with Chrome's features and performance, always lagging behind, either a little or a lot. Chrome sets the web standards -- I think Firefox has simply lost.
People sticking to their principles and willing to use a less advanced browser just to guarantee its improvement is what gave us the fast browsers we have today.
Tree Style Tabs on the desktop and and uBO on Android.
Well, the thing is that Firefox would have to be crippled much much much more in order to make me switch to a different browser because there's simply no competition there - everything else is much worse already, so I'd simply trade my browser getting slowly crippled over time with a single instantaneous crippling.
They're just saying to please stop spamming the bug tracker with "me too" messages. There are Mozilla forums for giving product feedback which are likely read by product people and not engineers fixing bugs.
I agree. They need an emulate chrome option: Match keyboard shortcuts, menu, and compact layout.
I would certainly have preferred to stick with a non-blink browser, but Mozilla won't stop remove features I like and making harmful changes.
How many pointless UX revamps have they done in the last decade? Meanwhile everyone is still waiting for the many unkept promises, including mobile extensions.
The designers before them went for different metrics.
Designers need to design.
And this is how the circle of UX paradigms is powered.
Like fashion, it will cycle.
The current trends are current, until they aren't.
Maybe this reflects the coverage more than the reality. Read the changelog and you will see things worth getting excited by, but no one is going to write an article about each new feature and change.
Ditto ... I am not clear why we need eight pixels' padding around the location bar and what looks like 15 pixels' padding around the icons alongside. It looks like the location bar is around 32 px on this admittedly ancient 1280x800 laptop screen and I'd be happy with 20 px.
Brave- no dedicated search bar option (important for privacy / prefetching and not having to continually retype your search query). Didn't get to mobile support and crossplatform sync.
Opera- dedicated search bar, with no way to set a hotkey to focus it. Disqualified as that makes it a non-power user's browser for me right off the bat. This browser's closed source and Chinese ownership does give me pause.
Vivaldi- dedicated search bar and hotkey (yay!), but no way to sync tabs with iOS.
I've already determined for a while now that Firefox (best on features) and native browsers, Edge and Safari (best on performance) were my 3 browsers of choice, and that remains unchanged. Edge on Windows 10 is truly great, and has a decent start at sync, even if it doesn't come close to how well Firefox does there. It just needs fleshed out more.
To answer your question on what the sell is, it's really dependent on the user, and native browsers have huge advantages (most people should probably just use Edge/Safari IMO), but I see Firefox as the only non-native browser worth using due to the best-in-class feature set. I'm not going to draw this post out further detailing all of them, but it wouldn't be hard for me to demonstrate how much Firefox outclasses the competition there. It's a very mature browser.
I use it almost entirely for containers. Do any other browsers have the same functionality either built-in or via plugin?
All these people complaining about a free browser, and one that isn't selling your soul to pay for it.
Please check your behavior, and set a better example in the future.
Panorama Tab Groups
> The "Compact" density is a feature of the "Customize toolbar" view which is currently fairly hard to discover, and we assume gets low engagement.
So not only do they not have telemetry for that, they aren't even attempting to make it more discoverable to test if there's a correlation between "hard to discover" and "low engagement"?
I would use this but never knew this could be changed.
This is not yet finalized/decided and a great big thanks to the Firefox devs for listening to the feedback and collecting real information before making a final decision.
Looks increasingly nice across the pond with Edgeium, Vivaldi, Brave, etc.
Is servo even still in development? I know bits and pieces of the project have made their way into Firefox, but I'm not sure where that stands after the layoffs last year.
At this point, Mozilla is just hell-bent on a path to completely destroying whatever's left of Firefox. It being the only non-Blink browser alternative left is no longer a valid excuse.
The parts of Servo that were not already merged into Firefox (like Stylo and WebRender) had no clear path to being merged into Firefox within the next few years.
I'm really, really sad that they were laid off, but in terms of the future survival of Firefox, it wasn't a catastrophic decision.
Please don't post this kind of cynical speculation unless you have something to back it up.
For that matter, some other issues that have nothing to do with GeckoView, like breaking Bitwarden autocomplete and not restoring deleted tabs to their correct position on undo, haven't been fixed for even longer.
I think that Mozilla has good intentions, but they pushed out Fenix way, way too early, which broke the experience for users of previous version of Firefox for Android. And it seems that their mobile team is understaffed and overworked. I don't blame them, since they're essentially trying to create an entirely new browser (minus the rendering engine). But should be labeled as a beta, if not an alpha, in the state it's in - not "release-ready" as the version on the Play Store. It's proven that web browsers are too important in this era to get wrong when so much of our lives depend on them. If the experience is even slightly inferior to Chrome, the average user can easily switch and never end up using Firefox again.
Is this related to me typically not even getting the password manager popup? Or that even when I do get it, sometimes it just flat doesn't work?
It might be a crazy idea, but maybe we could add telemetry and see if people actually use it despite it being hard to discover.
Interaction data includes information about your interactions with Firefox such as number of open tabs and windows, number of webpages visited, number and type of installed Firefox Add-ons and session length, as well as Firefox features offered by Mozilla or our partners such as interaction with Firefox search features and search partner referrals. 
Then there was the issue of "studies".
Nvim is open source and freely distributable
type :help nvim<Enter> if you are new!
type :checkhealth<Enter> to optimize Nvim
type :q<Enter> to exit
type :help<Enter> for help
Become a registered Vim user!
type :help register<Enter> for information
You can also hit ^C, and it will prompt you with instructions.
type :q<Enter> to exit
type :help<Enter> or <F1> for on-line help
type :help version8<Enter> for version info
As the sibling comment noted, neovim also has something similar.
Same here, but since it affects both the toolbar and the tab bar, I'm inclined to keep the density set to Normal except on small screens.
Stunned to see that's not the case, and completely baffled at how contradictory and indicative of incompetence this stated reasoning is.
Don't be persuaded by that argument unless you have a good idea of what the actual costs are --- especially when the one making the argument is also spending what is almost certainly a lot more on new features that almost no one cares about.
Glad I left, won’t be back.
"We built a restaurant in the middle of nowhere and never advertised it. We don't have the numbers but it seems fair to assume that nobody goes there so we'll be closing it down."
The important missing part in your analogy is that they don't even know if people use it or not!
Yet with their tiny market share they aren't exactly in a position to lose users.
My only real "complaint" is trivial and it isn't really their fault--it's that there are some dumb websites/apps that require a pass through Chrome to login and I haven't found a super quick way to do that (it's not difficult but it used to be super easy and obvious in Focus).
It doesn't stop me from using it, but it's annoying.
I have my toolbar set to auto hide to maximize screen space for reading and bottom works better for me because when you scroll to the top, the hidden toolbar reappears at the bottom before pulling further to refresh. It seems like hiding/unhiding the toolbar at the top would be super annoying because it would either jump over the top of the page or jerk the page up and down under my finger as it hides/unhides.
(FWIW: I'm on a Pixel running Android 11 so dunno if there could be an Android version level or manufacturer overlay issue causing your menu to split, or maybe it's an iOS feature)
The problem with Mozilla is that there aren't giving users what they want: Empowerment. Instead Mozilla wants the empowerment for themselves and to heck with giving users any control over the experience.
Now, I've been using Firefox as my primary browser since before it was called Firefox, and I'm quite used to it and unlikely to switch to anything else, but boy are they (at the Mozilla Foundation) trying hard to make me.
For instance, Chrome loses to Edge and Safari, on metrics like memory or power consumption.
Does that mean Apple and Microsoft have infiltrated Google Chrome team?
The more options you support the harder is to fix/change things.
I guess the other option is WebKit which is now independent from Chrome so has influence over the direction of the web.
(My main browser is IE. My secondary one is Firefox.)
It's not about the tool but how you use it...
by the way, I read that article at the time and opened my site in safari 6 on an old second generation ipod, and it worked hilariously well. Believe me, I'm not part of the problem, but I still can't wait for ie11 to fucking die so I can just write my layouts without having to worry about it's various idiosyncrasies, and finally use grid without impunity.
This still stings. The Firefox mobile update was a huge step down in every way.
It's just that they're not guaranteed to work yet due to all the changes they made to the browser engine.
The stable version of Fennec F-Droid (a fork of Firefox for Android) also supports custom extensions through this method if you don't want to use Firefox Nightly:
Also not exactly related the the new version but tab sending from desktop to mobile is basically not working these days.
For me, Firefox/Android is something I've always wanted to use very badly, because I'm a staunch Firefox desktop user and wanted the bookmarks sync, but I kept reaching for Chrome because of the superior performance and UI refinement anyway.
The major upgrade of Firefox/Android made it dramatically better on those fronts for me. And now that UBlock is back, I think it's ready for a serious attempt at switching. It definitely wasn't before.
What are some things they broke/dropped?
- tabs can't be reordered any more
- bookmarks/history/recently closed tabs/top sites... are more cumbersome to access
- no "recently closed tabs" for quite a few months after the initial release
- bookmarks always force-open a new tab
- search suggestions needlessly take up more space (apparently by design, because these days information density is baaaaad), so you can't see local history/bookmark results without closing the keyboard or scrolling down
- using a search engine other than the default one requires two extra click at least, whereas previously they were directly accessible at the bottom of the screen
- Can't install search engines any more, instead you manually need to enter the correct search URL, which isn't fun (and then the manually created engine is of course lacking a proper icon)
- bookmark keywords and keyword searches aren't supported
- you used to be able to open a new tab by simply tapping the "tabs" button twice because the "new tab" button in the tabs list was suitably aligned – this is no longer the case (at least with the URL bar in classic on top mode)
- the tab queue for tabs opened from other apps doesn't exist any more
- the share sheet – you used to be able to share a URL to Firefox and then directly bookmark it or send it to another Firefox instance via Firefox Sync without having to actually open the URL in Firefox locally. Now you can't – any shared URLs are automatically opened and you need to wait for the full browser to actually load before you can bookmark/send the tab (and then you also need to close it again)
- view page source doesn't exist, not even if you manually prepend view-source: to the URL (supposedly there's an addon that works, but due to the blasted add-on policy you can't actually install it)
- can't view/browse local (HTML) files any more
- can't install themes anymore
- various small bugs introduced by the fact that this was a total rewrite
- despite having to rewrite the whole UI from scratch anyway, they didn't fix the "XKCD" bug and make long <img "title"> attributes scrollable instead of truncating them
- and probably quite a few more things I'd notice if I was actually regularly using the current version…
And of course the whole add-on thing: Even on the previous iteration of Firefox, the Webextension API implementation was somewhat half-hearted once you got to APIs that required special handling on the Android version, and the fact that this was a total rewrite hasn't helped in significantly expanding the coverage there, because instead the dev time largely had to be spent on re-implementing things.
Then there's of course that absolutely infuriating policy of only allowing a very limited selection of add-ons to be installed (unless you're on Nightly and jump through about half a dozen hoops, and even then you can only install the current version (and only the current version) of add-ons actually published on AMO). If you're lucky (or basically only using uBlock), maybe your add-on needs are actually covered by that, but the long tail of unsupported add-ons starts very early.
This also makes life more difficult for add-on developers (even if your add-on is actually one of the selected few), because you can no longer permanently install a testing version of your add-on or heaven help distribute a Beta version to your users (no, not even on Nightly and not even if the add-on is signed) – the best you get is temporary installation as long as your phone is connected to your computer and that's that.
Nope, they are obsessed about how tabs and [x] button look like. Is that 6th big change on the panel in 5 years?
I use the about:config options in this guide  plus enable encrypted DNS and encrypted client hello in about:config (on FF Beta android).
A few days ago, there was an HN page showcasing a cool webpage which can read the position angles of your phone (whether it's flat, inclined etc in detail). That page works well on regular FF Android. But on the FF Beta with the config options enabled as above prevents the page from reading the angles. I also have telemetry upload disabled on FF Beta, but maybe a bit something is still uploaded, idk.
Edit: If one trawls through some recent past threads, one can see that FF cares about privacy. They have official extensions to isolate sites (or cookies?) to prevent tracking, on desktop. (Facebook Container and Firefox Multi-Account container). They are working on something like per site isolation by default (Project Fission ). Yeah Chrome has it but then they try to log you into the whole browser when you just wanna log in to gmail. And they are not doing something scammy plus impactful like AMP, FLoC  like Google. These AMP links are everywhere, many times it looks like it's the official site link.
It would be nice if the community would have more acceptance towards the last remaining browser fighting the good fight, with the many welcome, recent (!) advancements regarding privacy.
They are non technical people who only care about own salaries and sjw issues, while ignoring their core product.
Meanwhile the developer team does whatever they want: they mostly do greenfield projects that are used to boost their CVs. Those projects get 0 users and usually are cancelled at 70% completion so nothing hard needs to be done anyway (no bugfixing which is unsexy work).
Here a developer probably does not want to code the compact option (or possibly: does not know how to do it) so they just want to remove it. Because the new firefox motto is "fuck our remaining users". Mozilla management does not care.
Then they will wonder why firefox has a 3% market share.
Perhaps the most disruptive change was that the update was not compatible with the vast majority of extensions. Given that, for "power users", the ability to install extensions was THE killer feature of Firefox for Android, this change was controversial.
I still use Firefox 68.
When I saw this article I checked the Customize Firefox page to confirm I had compact layout enabled. I did not see the toolbar. I compared the UI density with a screenshot, and it seemed I had already set it to Compact, which I vaguely remembered doing. Puzzled, I returned to Customize Firefox, and still failed to see the toolbar.
I then checked about:config (which was also sabotaged recently to make it slower and remove features), and found browser.uidensity set to 1, so I really did have Compact density enabled. I returned to Customize Firefox, and only then, on my third attempt, did I see the toolbar.
I have been using Firefox since Phoenix/Firebird days and I had never seen this option until I read about this on HN today.
That's 20+ years!
For many years I've lamented the usability of about:config and wish they'd turn it into a tree structure and/or at least provide useful descriptions of the options (if something as space-constrained as a mobo BIOS can provide some descriptive help text next to each option in the setup screens...), only to find the next big change they did was that abomination of "designer-ism" (for lack of better term.) That felt like a punch to the face.
I do agree with most of the complaints, however.
It is apparent to me that there is a faction within Mozilla/Firefox that have an explicit directive to trim low-use features, no matter how passionate the users of those features are. I wish Firefox looked to the GNOME project to see how people feel about removing low-use features ideologically (hint: it sucks).
Chrome does a lot of things correctly, and it has its core competencies. Firefox should have its own, and optimize towards that. The only large group of people advocating for it anymore seem to be skilled users. Why piss them off?
Separate but related: My parents explicitly wanted off FF because it kept on changing its layout. Casual users don't like UI changes.
I like it and its the main reason I use gnome. Gnome does everything I need and is pretty close to my ideal use case. There are a few minor things I don't like but they are easy to deal with. The DE is very stable and nice looking and is typically first on new tech like Wayland. I assume a large chunk of this speed and stability comes from not being bogged down with 1000 options and alternative workflows.
At work we have to support so many obscure workflows and options and its a constant source of bugs when you forgot there is a toggle that changes the way things work and your new change doesn't support that. Or that a feature has 5 alternative workflows making your change 5x harder so its not worth starting at all.
But there's also a certain zen to just declaring bankruptcy on configuration and tweakery. Gnome used to bother me (and Ubuntu did too) but I've learned to just let go. If I can't figure out how to change something in a few seconds, it's probably not worth the effort because in a few years or months I'll be under configuration debt.
Tangentially, as an example, I switched to this launcher on Android called Niagara. The developer refuses to make categories/folders to group apps. And it made me so angry at first. But he also made it really easy to rename things and the launcher's key feature is that selecting things alphabetically is nearly instant. The problem was that I could never remember what things were called. Like... what's the name of that god damn app that opens my garage door? And I'd hunt for it all over and curse the fact that I couldn't put things in a quick folder. And then I realized I could just... rename the app "Garage Door". Who needs categories. Ok prefix games with "Game - " etc. All the dumb apps my kids schools require are prefixed with the kid's name.
Now, that does still sound like putting effort into configuration. But it's just one feature and the payoff is not having to even think about things ever again. And there's no configuration debt because it didn't take as much effort in the first place as you'd think. If I don't find something quickly, then it needs to be renamed.
Well that rambled a bit, but the point is that just because I know a complex way to do things (an elaborate folder structure of apps in the old launcher that I used to have to constantly reconfigure and fuss about because even then it was difficult to find things), maybe there are better ways to do things. Like Niagra's method to scroll through all the apps fast as hell and now I never think about how to organize icons.
So sure Firefox was one way decades ago. Chrome is different and does things differently than Firefox does. If people are willing to declare bankruptcy and switch to Chrome, why not be willing to declare bankruptcy to the same features and allow Firefox to evolve?
... does Chrome even have an equivalent of this compact view? In the big picture, shaving a few pixels in a browser theme seems like the wrong reason to choose a web browser. Too much bikeshedding.
Unless a group of independently wealthy developers want to take up the mantle of maintaining the enthusiasts features, we should anticipate more cuts.
I've been an evangelist for FF for 15-ish years, since before Chrome existed. I teach computer science, which means my evangelism is multiplied by the hundreds of students I see every year.
Why is it that every time we interact, you're ruining something?
This removal of Compact will not be the straw that breaks my back, but it's still one more straw. Why are you playing chicken with your userbase?
"The upcoming Proton design refresh of the Firefox web browser could increase the default size of that interface significantly."
There is a UI redesign due in a few versions and in the previews at the moment it increases the UI size quite a bit. Compact is being removed as part of "making that new UI code simpler" so even if you think normal is fine today it's going to get larger - doubly so for those that used the compact feature on the old UI.
I'll try it, but decent odds that this is the straw that pushes me to switch browsers. One of my computers I've done the jumping through hoops of browser customization to set up Tree Style Tabs with no tab bar up top, and I'm just not interested in going through more of that to figure out if there's a way to hack the Proton UI down to a size I like. Hell, I don't even know if Proton still lets you do apply custom CSS to the UI at all, it seems like the kind of feature that they'd want to drop to keep it "simple to maintain."
What's even sadder is they're keeping Normal and Touch, so it's not like this lets them take out the system for changing the sizes of all these UI elements. They're just taking away the small size. "People have vertical pixels, and damn it we're going to use as many of them as we can!"
As if I wasn't using that space for displaying webpages in my web browser or anything.
You get vast seas of "NO!!" and the projects are like "well sorry, mr art school over here moved some jpegs around. This is what we're doing!"
I mean what on earth, stop this insane nonsense already. Listen to the users.
To be fair, this tells you what the vocal users think, and this is sometimes very different from what the majority of users think. For something with a shrinking market share, you also have to consider what potential users think, not just existing users.
It allows people to justify whatever they want without any confirmation or feedback on reality. They can always imagine some future user that permits them to ignore every single existing one.
It's a closed loop justification to do whatever they want without listening to anyone while pretending they're making it better for everyone.
It's not a defense. I'm invalidating the argument that the vocal users are always right. I'm not claiming that this automatically means that what the project owners think instead is correct.
Figuring out how best to make everyone happy is more complicated than this. Claiming it is simple ("just listen to the vocal users!") is a fallacy.
Outside of that case it's also really hard to say. I think the best advice I can give are "vocal users who aren't crazy" with all of those words doing magical handwaving and lifting.
For instance, certain features have a lot of vocal normal, reasonable users but seem to be ignored. On youtube, disabling the "recommended for you" videos. On facebook, whenever you have a capital letter, an annoying name selector popup happens. There's essentially armies of complaints for an option to disable it, make it only @ etc ... all ignored.
Another example is Firefox's ctrl+q issue (finally addressed) or the GTK-3 file selector. There's plenty of things where there's a substantial number of vocal non-crazy users requesting reasonable things And there's a very popular philosophy that strongly advocates for completely ignoring them.
I mean open source is partially about addressing the tyranny of decision in closed source. Not through combative forks and team splitting but through open community dialog. Some of these larger projects seem to lift their projects away from that, probably to avoid the aforementioned wackos who overreach their welcome.
There's really better amelioration than justifying the restriction of the many by the trespass of the few.
There are plenty of times when stated preference contradicts actual behavior (e.g. more search results per page resulting in less successful searches on Google) due to other countervailing factors (additional latency causing abandonment before the page finishes loading)
The quantitative model has its own problems. It's why youtube, for instance, looks like it's designed for toddlers using tablets.
The modern evolutionary descendent of Netscape Communications needs a crisper purpose then just amorphous open source vibes. Blink and Webkit are in that game as well and they have the most profitable tech companies in the world behind them. Even Microsoft's current browser works in Linux. The world has changed.
At least Eichs post Mozilla project Brave has some patreon-style crowdfunding with crypto in exchange for revenue sharing ad dollars, it's a reason for existing. Say what you will about it but it's got a reason for being around.
It is barely comparable to a non-chrome based browser that actually values user’s freedom.
You can't even fairly describe Brave, why should anyone believe you on a purported "non-chrome based browser that actually values user's freedom"? Mozilla is riding Firefox down to maximize Google search revenue in the bank. At some point this means they find the savings more attractive than the remaining tail of the deal, and collapse back into only a non-profit. Yes, Firefox is currently developed by the for-profit, arms-length subsidiary of the foundation. Both boards controlled by the $3M/year CEO overseeing the downward spiral.
I wish there were another engine well-funded enough to take web tech to the next level, while matching Google and Apple on de-facto WebKit + Chromium/Blink compatibility. There isn't, so that's not the hill to die on. Better to fight a level up for privacy and user sovereignty against Google's business conflict of interest with its users.
I've already completely stopped using Firefox on Android because it literally stopped being useful for me.
You get vast seas of "NO!!" and the projects are like "well sorry, mr engineering school over here used a UI framework at some point and liked that and also blah blah blah technical limitations blah, and wooh, abstractions that let you apply and reuse components in a programmatic manner or whatever blah blah blah. This is what we're doing!"
Everyone can get caught up in their own bullshit.
Be stupid and make obvious things. It's an art, sure.
Door handles, toilets, faucets, showers, hammers, physical world assets provide great analogies for what works and doesn't.
Much love for the design of everyday things but I think Norman missed the boat by not making the connections more explicit between the Fred Brooks pure thought stuff and you know, the tea kettle on the cover of his book. Maybe it's just my projection
Designers know who pay them and can try and shape a conversation but ultimately they have to do something the paying client wants.
It's not everybody but it's way too many.
If product managers listened to hacker news users our computers would be a faster version of Windows XP machines since that is the UI that most HN users prefer.
Here's dropbox's launch on hn: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=301605
iphone launch was june 2007, here's a post made shortly after, all positive: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31873
Airpods was more questions (quality, battery life etc), not gernally dismissive though: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12446094
HN also hated the flops before they were flops.
Google glass: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5249841
GoPro's karma drone: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12532948
Amazon's Fire phone: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7911934
so no, totally false.
I'm also partly taking in to consideration the reddit drama over the iphone and airpods which is a low bar I guess but the initial reactions, especially to the airpods was very poor.
I've heard your sentiment before so I decided to actually go and check. I don't believe I cherry-picked. I tried to pick a balance between the earliest mention and the largest comment thread (sometime the earliest mention had zero comments).
I know such malcontents exist, I'm not disputing that. I just believe the evidence stands that they are not the majority voice.
Personally I've been using hn hype as a proxy for investment advice for years. Whenever I see a bunch of fanboys pop up, I go off and buy the stock. Whenever they are negative, I consider selling it. I bought things like Tesla and Bitcoin based on hn hype, both in 2011.
They're way more right then they are wrong, just saying.