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Firefox Browser: best for a free web (mozilla.org)
398 points by Borlands 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 227 comments

It makes me sad that FF browser share has continued to decline steadily. The past couple years of releases have been some its the best in terms of my own UX, since perhaps the Phoenix era.

It's pretty fast these days, the UI is good, has a lot of great extensions and privacy features.

I use Brave at work to have a better chrome-based experience with gsuite. It's also a fast, excellent browser with good privacy features, built-in ad/tracker blocking and for the time being seems to be user-not-revenue-first.

But using a non-free browser feels like a trap to me. Just as what happened with Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Netscape before, being the middle man between the user and the rest of the internet is just too tempting for any company not to try to leverage for their own advantage.

FF hasn't been always perfect, but for 20 years now they have made a browser that didn't have a shady corporate agenda. It feels like the writing is on the wall though. Even people I know who care about FLOSS are using Chrome as their daily driver these days.

Mozilla is great and I hope they continue to focus on building a best-in-class browser.

I still ask myself: has FF browser share actually dropped that much, or has FF's privacy focus caused browser share estimates to mostly miss FF users in their counts? Most of these stats come from the exact kind of skeevy companies that I (and many other FireFox users) are using FireFox to avoid.

My take on FF "decline" is that FF user share (%) dropped because the pie started expanding (especially on mobile). New internet users are likely to be Safari or Chrome users for whom the browser they have is good enough. And Firefox on mobile is simply not as fast as alternatives (the bar set by Chromium Android is very high), kinda painful to use unless you have a highend device, esp. JS heavy sites like Twitter work much better on Chromium.

This doesn't fully describe situation, but over last 3 years, mobile users went from 50% to 75% users in my prev company's data. And Firefox is nowhere in those mobile stats.

Number of Firefox users is dropping, not just Firefox market share.

Firefox has less users than desktop Safari. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. When you factor in mobile it gets worse because Chrome (the Android default) and Safari (the only real choice on iOS) are so dominant.

Also, the market share numbers reported by client side trackers like StatsCounter are very close to log file collection and analysis by companies like Kinsta.

iOS Firefox is actually quite nice, I've been using it as my default for a year now. Biggest win for me is tab sync, so it's pretty easy to open a tab I had loaded on my phone in my desktop browser.

Sure, it's using Safari as a renderer, but these days that's hardly where the differentiating value is.

How are you so sure? You really didn’t address OP’s point about content blocking and privacy tools.

Content blocking does not change requests to the originating server. Firefox would have much better market share in log file analysis method studies than it does in client side tracker based studies if the OP was correct.

> FF's privacy focus caused

Even before the whole privacy focused thing FF was already in decline to sub 10% market on Desktop.

If you think about it the other way around, it is still hanging on to 5-10% of Desktop market after all is actually quite good. At its peak, Firefox was closing to 40% in some European countries. If you consider IE in Business Cooperate usage and Firefox are not available in those settings, 40% is a really big deal.

Do you trust Mozilla? They share the numbers.


I’ve watched the decline for years, straight from the source. These usage numbers are not affected by privacy settings.

Firefox users avoiding those tracking sites would result in an always low user share, it would not really explain the user share dropping. Maybe an increase in privacy minded users could explain a percent or two, but not most of the drop.

Unfortunately that's not a likely explanation. If you do even the simplest possible measurement, which is just recording user agent strings and IPs, you won't end up undercounting Firefox clients

Either uBlock Origin or Matrix comes with user agent spoofing, it's not like the practice is that rare.

Matrix used to do this but doesn't anymore [1] and uBlock never had that feature. Please don't make stuff up.

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix/issues/927

I don't think it's fair to call not knowing that a feature was removed from a discontinued app "making stuff up."

I was clearly wrong, though it is easy to change your user agent it's unlikely that many Firefox users have done it.

You're right, I misunderstood your comment. I interpreted what you said as in, you can get this feature via either Matrix or uBlock. I see now you meant one of those has the feature and you weren't sure which one had it. Sorry about that. In my defense I think it can be read both ways.

I'd add there is a large gap in usage between uBlock and Matrix. uBlock has over 10 million users whereas Matrix is somewhere over 100,000.

Does uBlock Origin turn that on by default? That's the only way I could imagine such stats being wrong by a wide margin.

By mozilla's own metrics only 30% of their users use any addon at all.

I would love to continue using FF, but on my machine with an Nvidia card (sigh) the scrolling in Firefox gets very choppy when using two different browser windows open on the dual monitors. And for some reason this bothers me more than it should. Maybe one of these days I should try using it again. It's been over a year since I last tried it. It's odd because the Firefox on the desktop machine with the Nvidia card and a six core AMD CPU is way choppier than on my 7 year old Thinkpad with a dual core i5 and integrated graphics.

We see issues with NV multi-monitor configurations, and are still trying to figure them out. Also, the whole story of multi-windows should improve in the future: there is a good opportunity to share WebRender context between them, but we aren't doing this yet.

>but we aren't doing this yet

Or anything at all it seems ...

Damn, I have this exact same problem and never suspected it was NVIDIA related :/

The problem is not the browser, but a lazy mgmt. Selling user privacy to Google for easy money instead of asking users to either pay for ensuring their privacy. But that will take real work instead of easy “royalty” payments from Google.

Between telemetry, safe browsing, sqlite database with all sites you visited & gvfs they siphon off some serious data. So bad for privacy but snappy otherwise, particularly the new versions. MDN is pretty good too, but they chopped off their tech team to “save money” for a top heavy mgmt team.

I can think of few worse business plans than a paid browser, in 2021.

I would bet money that even the majority of HN readers wouldn't pay money for something so heavily commoditized.

Maybe you are right, but if you present yourself like a privacy-first browser, the paladin of the free internet, and then you end up taking money from Google, your position and credibility don't look great.

Why exactly? It is just as much a positive for Google paying some (to them) small money to avoid lawsuits as it is for firefox to be able to stay afloat.

Do you have any reference to issues where firefox lost credibility?

> FF browser share has continued to decline steadily

Is that really a fact though? I read somewhere that >80% FF users have Ad Blocker installed. Wouldn't that keep it hidden to Google Analytics and similar outfits that come up with browser usage stats?

HTTP servers can still see the clients' user agent strings.


Do you trust Mozilla? They share the numbers.


whatsmybrowser.org returns firefox for me with some privacy plugins and ublock origin installed

it even knows the exact version of firefox I'm running (92.0)

It's actually about 30% that have any kind of addon :


Just out of curiosity, what are some of Chrome's shady dealings?

I'm not too informed on the subject.

> Just out of curiosity, what are some of Chrome's shady dealings?

A parent company that could and would literally put ads for it on the front page of Google? (i.e. before a sesrch term has been entered)

This is a place where I'm not aware that anyone else has been allowed to put anything, so if this isn't abuse of market power then I don't know what.

Same with other Google web properties that magically work better in Firefox if you change the request headers..!

A company putting an ad for its own product on its own website is not an example of a shady tactic.

"Allowed?" Next you'll tell me that Microsoft should be forced to exclusively advertise other browsers other than their own on Bing before search...

> so if this isn't abuse of market power then I don't know what.

Abuse of market power would be preventing the mention of any other browser when using search and Google has never done that.

Or how about a better example: Apple actively preventing any third party web browsers on iOS, then later only allowing third party web browsers to use the Safari Engine. THAT is anticompetitive.

Google simply has the better product in this case.

Thanks for explaining your position. I'll try to explain in some more detail why this is a problem and how governments has stepped in before:

> Abuse of market power would be preventing the mention of any other browser when using search and Google has never done that.

Another way to abuse market power is to use ones dominance in one maket to crush competition in another market.

Microsoft was punished for this after they bundled IE with Windows back in the day. Google has gone extremely much further down the road of abusing market dominance in one market (search, ads) to crush competition in browsers.

Also: did you forget my point about how Google web properties work better if you fake the headers and pretend to be Chrome?

> Or how about a better example: Apple actively preventing any third party web browsers on iOS, then later only allowing third party web browsers to use the Safari Engine. THAT is anticompetitive.

The value is not in the engine. The engine is something you make to get an advantage in customers mind. Many browsers, both historic and present are just skins on top of other browser engines.

> Google simply has the better product in this case.

So you say Tree Style Tabs work in Chrome now and it doesn't eat memory for breakfast, lunch and dinner? That's news to me ;-)

I tried one of the Tree Style Tabs extensions. It acted like it was embedding the tab sidebar into the actual page. That's one of the things I actually like about Firefox: sidebars have an API.

The point with my reply is that you have enough to point out about the Chrome situation without having to resort to tenuous claims or outright falsehoods.

Google had to have had the better product otherwise you wouldn't have been introduced to Chrome by using their search engine.

> without having to resort to tenuous claims or outright falsehoods.

Do you mean that tree style tabs now works on Chrome or that everyone agrees that Chromes memory issues have been sorted? Or something else?

> Google had to have had the better product otherwise you wouldn't have been introduced to Chrome by using their search engine.

Maybe ten or fifteen years ago this was true.

These days it is so broken you can search for a literal term and get all spam and no ham.

Also ads are exempt from that anyway and these ads in particular were probably hard coded since no other ads has ever been shown in that spot.

Edit, some more details:

The reason Chrome leads is kind of the same as why IE dominated the marked for years:

- a generally good browser (IE was best for a long time)

- strategic incompatibility on core web assets: MSDN for Microsoft (worked nicely if you changes request headers in Opera to simulate IE), various web properties for Google

- enough non standard hacks that people who just slap together code and only test in IE/Chrome might easily include some IE/Chrome-specific hack

- carpet bombing of the market: In Microsofts case by bundling it with all new PCs, in Googles case by massive ad campaigns, including smothering the otherwise always clean and minimal front page(!) with Chrome ads.

- Also by adding it to shareware/freeware installers

- In Microsofts case also by shadyd deals with others about not including competing browsers. (Not confirmed in Googles case, yet ;-)

There is a reason why we old timers say "Chrome is the new IE".

Funny how you say 'we old timers' when you remind me exactly of the same sniveling types who whined about everything "Micro$uck" etc... on Slashdot back in the day... It's tiresome and doesn't contribute one bit when you defeat any points you may legitimately have with all that griping. What's the point in tossing out the age card here? Being smug is a sign of immaturity, not wisdom. So you may call yourself an old timer here but it seems you haven't grown up, either.

A company putting an ad on their own website for their own product isn't an abuse of market position. That's the falsehood I'm referring to.

Everything else that you keep tossing back in as "do you mean..." is an attempt to evade that point that I made and to put words in my mouth.

Don't trust Google? Don't like Chrome? Don't use it. It's not like we've only got one bundled browser to work with these days. Even if it's crypotrash mining and referral link hijacking software like Brave. That's better, right? Or Apple's stagnant Safari. Or... Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in Lynx or Mosaic. They work as well now as they used to then.

So. Yeah. Chrome has market share because it continues to remain better than the alternatives. Not really that difficult of a concept, methinks.

The difference between then (IE/Windows Bundling) and now (Chrome/Google Advertising Might) is that we still get everything Google releases as open source. Use de-Googled Chromium and move then fuck on with your life.

Get off my lawn, punk.

> A company putting an ad on their own website for their own product isn't an abuse of market position. That's the falsehood I'm referring to.

In that case bundling IE with Windows definitely isn't abuse of market power either.

> It's tiresome and doesn't contribute one bit when you defeat any points you may legitimately have with all that griping. What's the point in tossing out the age card here?

First time I've heard anyone at HN indicating age is an advantage.

I put that there for humorous effect, a self depreciating joke in between the serious comparison of two abusing monopolies.

> Everything else that you keep tossing back in as "do you mean..." is an attempt to evade that point that I made and to put words in my mouth.

So tell me what you mean then.

> So tell me what you mean then.

I already have.

Being disingenuous is all you have left, apparently.

> The difference between then (IE/Windows Bundling) and now (Chrome/Google Advertising Might) is that we still get everything Google releases as open source. Use de-Googled Chromium and move then fuck on with your life.

Except that having only one implementation of the web will make it into a closed ecosystem. The current few (partial) implementations are a very weak state and firefox should be kept alive for this reason alone.

And with the grossly huge scope of web browsers, creating a new one is basically impossible to even large players.

So now we have the Whiny Nerd Paradox.

Google is evil because they took over the web with Chrome.

But they're still evil because they're singlehandedly keeping Mozilla alive with funding.

Yes. Especially evil for keeping distant competition alive.

And really evil for enforcing web standards with a browser engine that works.

And also evil because they open source everything.

Grr. Google bad, of course.

Mostly agree in fact, and there are many good people at Google.

But can you see that a company can be both good and bad at the same time?

And that in cases like this with huge companies (both in brain mass and economic impact) the negative sides has extreme effects on the surroundings?

One nitpick:

> And really evil for enforcing web standards with a browser engine that works.

One of the problems with Chrome and IE was that they don't enforce web standards: you get away not only with behavior that others hasn't implemented yet, but also with certain shortcuts that aren't in any standard.

Chrome prioritizes search suggestions over your history when you type in keywords in the address bar. I find this behavior very annoying since most of the time I perfectly know what website I want to visit. Obviously, Google will always have an incentive to take you to its search results page.

Firefox on the other hand prioritizes your browsing history by default (you can still change that in settings) which makes finding anything much faster and the whole experience much smoother. Plus you can easily limit the search to your history by preceding the keywords with ^, or to your bookmarks with *.

Bundling Chrome with Flash and other software, such that it would install by default unless you uncheck the right checkbox (and make itself the default browser).

Making Google web applications (YouTube) use technologies only available in Chrome with much slower fallback used in other browsers.

Bundling Chrome with Android.

Ads pushing it aggressively on Google/YouTube. Ads IRL.

What else do you reasonably expect them to bundle with Android, though? Safari?

I agree that it's probably too far to call that one a dirty tactic.

However, Microsoft was once forced to offer a choice of browsers to EU users of Windows, which included all major competitors and even a number of minor browsers. Google doesn't have quite as strong of a monopoly as Windows did, but it wouldn't be too unreasonable to offer the user a choice.

Additionally, while I see a small number of Android apps that actually embed the default browser when they want to show some web content, I see many more that embed what is clearly a Chrome-based web view. I'm not familiar with what the relevant underlying APIs are, but I would prefer it if more apps respected my choice, and Google are probably in a position to make that the easy/default choice, but they don't.

> However, Microsoft was once forced to offer a choice of browsers to EU users of Windows, which included all major competitors and even a number of minor browsers. Google doesn't have quite as strong of a monopoly as Windows did, but it wouldn't be too unreasonable to offer the user a choice.

I mean technically apps on Android can bundle whatever web rendering engine they want. The majority of them either use Android's WebView components (see: DuckDuckGo, and a LOT of others), or are just a hard fork of Chromium (see: Kiwi Browser, Bromite, Brave, etc.)

On that note, I remember trying to find a non-Chromium browser on Android (bar Gecko / Firefox, of course). It was practically impossible. I think there was some sort of WebKit thing, but it was like 10 years out of date.

The only practical alternative is Gecko, but IMO it has a lot of catching up to do with performance, battery life, etc. etc. Personally I don't like the redesign, but I'm not sure what the public sentiment is aside from vocal Firefox users.

It's the same with desktop mostly IMO: either Firefox or Chromium. I'd love to be proven wrong here, though.

It'd be interesting to see if Servo would change things on both mobile and desktop, though. Again, it has a lot of catching up to do in comparison to Chromium.

After 15+ years of use it has become so slow I had to move away for day to day browsing. I'm on windows 7 on that machine. My copy on windows 10 works almost on par with chrome in terms of speed.

After the rewrite things were super fast but it has gotten slower each release.

Have you tried refreshing your profile?

Mozilla keeps firing developers and keeps increasing their CEO salary. No doubt, there will be another top-exec pay-hike soon to improve the numbers, along with another layoff.

I'm sad too. I wonder if it demonstrates how rare it is to get a second chance.

I just don't trust Google, they make almost all their money from tracking users for advertising purposes. So the cynic/realist in me believes that they are fundamentally opposed to privacy.

Every time I use Firefox I find some other stupid issue that just doesn't fly in 2021.

Today it might be a top 50 website that doesn't work properly, yesterday maybe it's excessive cpu usage, day before maybe pinch to zoom doesn't work. Who knows what dumb crap is happening tomorrow.

Life is too short to muck around with half baked software.

Firefox is a dumpster fire half the time. I use Firefox still for exactly ONE website: Facebook. To keep it sandboxed.

I still have to restart Firefox at least once every other day because it leaks and becomes a runaway process.

No plugins/addons. As stock as it gets. One single website only... and it still pukes all over itself.

Are you even using an updated version?

Because I have firefox instances running for months with tremendous amounts of tabs open on 8GB of RAM laptop and has absolutely zero problem with it.

64GB Desktop.

Apt runs weekly.

Firefox still blows.

Something is F'ed with your system. I have 10 extensions installed, nearly 900 tabs (most of which aren't actually cached) and my Firefox stays open for weeks and it still never uses more than a few GB of RAM.

Or maybe you have rose colored glasses on from using Firefox in isolation.

It's a memory leaking hog on every system I use it on. Windows, Ubuntu, even Android.

Even back to the days of Phoenix, it always had issues with not eventually turning into a leaking process.

I have a 14gb VM, Sublime Text, VS Code Pycharm, and Hexchat all at open the same time.

The memory usage isn't amazing but it's not terrible. If I go to about:memory and do a report, it seems that nearly all of it is going to Google websites despite being the vast minority of my open tabs. Gmail, Gchat, and Youtube.

So I'm not going to sit here and blame Mozilla because Google websites in particular are hogging a lot of memory.

Good for you. Meanwhile I just had to restart Firefox because it pegged a CPU core at 100% and wouldn't refresh.

And this was after nuking the configs and doing an "sudo apt purge firefox && sudo apt install firefox"

No offense, but I use Firefox across windows, Linux, macOS, and Android without any problems. I suspect you're seeing hardware issues or just trolling. Firefox may not be perfect but shouldn't behave the way you're describing. I agree it's not as fast as blink based browsers, but the issues you're calling out are not common unless your system is doing something weird to break it.

I don't agree with assuming he is trolling.

Well I guess he could open an issue if that’s the case?

I'd like to mention (once again), that Firefox on Android is a huge leap in everyday browsing experience over Chrome - and you should try it if you haven't. Due to mainly one reason: ad blocker extensions; which aren't supported on Chrome.

Since that's where most users are, I hope Mozilla will be able to communicate these advantages better. Chrome is arguably better on the desktop for most users, unless they're in the tiny subset of users who care about privacy.

I prefer Firefox for Android as well, but there is a Chromium fork called Bromite which has adblocking built in, too.

Bromite's adblocking is nowhere near as effective as Firefox + uBlock. That being said, I'm using Bromite as my primary browser on Android too because it's much faster and snappier to use and has tab groups. Perhaps I'll use Firefox Android as my primary browser some day.

Kiwi supports extensions on Android...

After that whole search engine scandal with Kiwi Browser, a lot of people don't trust it anymore. I believe it also majorly lagged behind Chromium versions.

It got updated to newest Chromium version recently, the build process seems to be semi-automated now too. Isn't it open source too? Unfortunately it's a bit buggy on some of my devices. Newest FF beta got unexplained speed bost and tablet UI, it's approaching irreplaceablity steadily for me, There's IceRaven FF fork which has enabled even more addons.

Just spent some time playing with IceRaven and I like it a lot so far.

> that whole search engine scandal

Tell me more!

Although ad blockers are supported on chrome based Kiwibrowser

since Android 9.0 you can use private DNS like dns.adguard.com to use Chrome ad-free

The fact alone that FF is the best-optimized browser for uBlock Origin makes it an easy choice for me.

It's interesting to me that many of my favorite/most used web technologies in the past decade or so have come from individual, non-profit developers just trying to make something useful, free and flying in the face of a lot of legal and industry norms (e.g., gorhill, elbakyan). In my experience, these tend to work best on FF + VPN, or on Tor (built from FF).

Tor isn't built from FF, AFAIAA (TorBrowser is though).

Ah sorry - my mistake!

Too many distractions from Mozilla (Firefox OS, VPN etc and a complete dissonance from the core- browser. It doesn't help when senior management takes fat bonuses and fires away employees during the pandemic. That doesn't make for pleasant optics and also distanced me away from their product.

Firefox seems to be the only hope to avoid a duopoly dominated by forces that are anti-privacy and anti-user. I recently made the move from Safari to Firefox and I am very pleased.

This being said, I agree with you about the optics of Firefox management. There is a lot going on that isn't good and the personal enrichment of the executives feels all sorts of wrong.

If FF management can not be good stewards of a vital product, who can be? What sort of system could be set up to properly manage, motivate and pay for development?

Right, it's not productive to throw the baby out with the bathwater because you might not like the politics or management of Mozilla as an organization. Like it or not, Firefox is the last free browser and needs support from people who care about a free Internet.

I think we're eventually going to see more DAO's focused on purely FOSS where their members can pool some resources and autocompound their treasury in a decentralized overcollateralized lending protocol to fund core operations and free ourselves from some of these centralized foundations desires.

That sounds pretty darn cool. Are there any per-cursors or early examples of this today?

Of DAO's funding/incubating projects? shinedao does (though mostly revenue generating focus for now, although those projects can have r&d components, haven't seen pure foss dao's but i dont know everything going on in the space), probably others.

Of decentralized lending protocols? aave, compound, benqi, etc.

I was wondering about pure foss dao's or even closed ones. Anything to do with software, a service or even hardware.

Ahh, yeah don't know any outside of those that make specific defi protocols that are at least GPLv3. I'm deff interested in being apart of something like it in the future with shinedao (maybe being incubated by them in the future, anyone is free to join and put forth an initiative to the community to gauge interest though, for this or any other project), I just don't know of many people are the same and can actually contribute via code and also in the defi ecosystem (there are a few software devs and even hardware engineers in the community, but many more who aren't), but I think it will be a natural progression from all the GPLv3 stuff being put out there related to web3.

Not really, since they never found a proper business model. So far, how do they make money? How do they pay the developers? How do they plan to be sustainable? Is there any place where I can see who donated them? Which share of donations is given by large companies that are constantly breaking the values the Mozilla foundation stands for? Was the news that Google will pay $400M per year to be the default search engine confirmed? If so, which share of their budget does this represent?

A lot of questions are not answered, which makes the whole FF a bit shady. As a user, how much can I trust FF as a browser? Before answering, keep in mind that the browser is the single most important software we use every day since it carries most of our activities. Is it safe to use software made by someone who is not capable of sustaining themselves?

Do you use any open source software? Since most of it is made by people unable to sustain themselves from their projects.

Much of it is sustained by people who are paid by employers who use said open source in their profit centers.

Ehh, that's not really true IME. I'd say "most" is a broad generalization.

> Firefox seems to be the only hope to avoid a duopoly dominated by forces that are anti-privacy and anti-user. I recently made the move from Safari to Firefox and I am very pleased.

I've noticed that when the words "duopoly" / "monopoly" get thrown around in a thread about Firefox, it almost reads as if people use Firefox for the sole reason that it isn't Chromium.

In that vein, I've always wondered why some Firefox users tend to use it because of something it isn't?

Is there a way to simplify moving password management out of Keychain and into Firefox?

Personally I'd love to see Firefox use the same Keychain for passwords (same with Chrome). It would make it FAR easier to switch browsers. I wouldn't even mind shared cookies and bookmarks for that matter. Let the best engine win, but keep it frictionless to move in-between.

I wish there was (and I hope someone comes along and tells us!) During my switch to FF, I kept the Safari prefs dialog open and then copy and pasted the passwords when requested by a site in FireFox. It was a total drag, but in a few days I was all set in cross-device password management with Firefox.

Yes, Safari 15 offers Password export.

You can just use Firefox Sync and Lockwise on mobile to manage passwords etc instead of using Keychain I suspect. I'm not sure of the import functionality of that ecosystem but it wouldn't surprise me if someone figured it out already and posted the code.

Firefox OS was ahead of its time and the marketing and targeting set was a bit too niche, but it was (and is) a great idea to build a mobile OS around web tech. KaiOS has forked FxOS to some success on lower-end devices with a respectable feature set (though it seems tooling is limited and monetization isn't amazing which is a feedback loop). Imagine if FxOS was a better success and instead of Chromebooks if the education system, children were raised using Firefoxbooks (FxBooks for short) as their first machines.

I wish.

I'm starting to realize (taking off my rose-tinted glasses) that a lot of these companies really like children. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc. etc.

I'm guessing it's because children will learn how to use their products and probably stick with it. I'd love to see some statistics of this in practice though.

One would assume children would rather a "proper computer" (read: Windows) when they grow up though. I'm not sure.

I would assume this is much the case as well. In the case of Chromebooks this lends legitimacy, high volumes, and starts building a brand/ecosystem familiarity. Maybe they would feel like Windows feels "off" like the first time I moved to OSX in college or the way I had to relearn interfaces and TUIs moving to GNU/Linux, stacking and tiling window managers. When I roll into a café and people see no task bar, terminal splits, etc. and raise eyebrows, maybe this is how kids will see Windows. I just hope they don't actually feel like walled-garden apps are the best solution for software ha.

The distractions are actually fine if they're revenue-positive.

There might still be a small window of opportunity for Mozilla to be the champion of the web platform. It has an excellent operations team. Its CDN still delivers updates to hundreds of millions of devices. I would have loved to see Moz Inc create a Netlify service for developers and a Shopify service for small businesses.

Agree with the management issues. Also their political activities have not made them look good. They need to focus more on the software.

Also, stop removing useful features from Firefox. It's insane the amount of functionality that has been totally chopped out.

You can't really blame management when even one this page there are plenty of non-management people calling for Mozilla having other revenue sources.

Firefox OS was a thing they actually won in reality but then gave up the game too soon. KaiOS is now the bedrock for low-cost mobile phones in India.

Sometimes the most important thing is persistence.

I'd been using Firefox ever since the Phoenix days. And somehow, sometime, I moved to Chrome like everyone did... until I had enough of Google, and came back to Firefox right at the start of the Quantum days. Haven't left since.

Firefox is a really good browser (at least on Linux, even though the lack of HW-acceleration on NVIDIA cards is a pain) made even greater with best-in-class uBlock Origin support, and of course piroor's Tree Style Tab. Containers are also a great feature (I containerize Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter properties in their own silo). Tab unloaders (I don't remember which I'm currently using) is also a good idea to reduce memory usage (even though with 32 GB I have NEVER run into issues)

I've been rocking it and a custom user stylesheet to hide the tabs on top, reorder and customize the address bar to be tighter, have more contrast; and the whole UI to be black (I use the dark variant of Adwaita all day on my desktop). Having an ultrawide display, I have plenty of horizontal space. Here's an screenshot if that interests you: https://imgur.com/a/8PEKED5

Edit: How could I have missed that?! Picture-in-picture is incredibly good as well! I use it daily, mainly to watch a YT video on the side while continuing to browse the web. They even added multiple PIP windows a while back, which is a god-send when I watch livestreams such as a rocket launches (eg. official livestream in one window, and EverydayAstronaut's in another)

HW acceleration on Linux was fixed about a year ago https://9to5linux.com/firefox-81-enters-beta-gpu-acceleratio...

It appears to work for Netflix, but not YouTube videos. Are there restrictions in the implementation?

Edit: following this¹ (without installing any driver though) was enough to make it work for YouTube, apparently. Thanks for the info!

[1] https://askubuntu.com/a/1291873

More like:

"Firefox Browser:

1. It is not google.

2. It's not a Chrome fork maintained by potentially flaky/untrustworthy players.

3. uBlock Origin.

4. Multi-Account Containers."

5. Very keyboard-friendly

6. Incredibly customizable via CSS, including multiple rows of tabs

7. Enhanced Tracking Protection

8. Non-nerfed ad blocking

5b. Keybinds can’t be changed

5c. the shortcut for opening a private browsing window is different from every other browser and collide with the main shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+P) of the main IDE (VisualStudioCode)

I wish brave forked ff… i guess i'll be working of my own fork of ff for the end of time for my family, going on 6 years or so now lol

I don't care which core browser tech I use, so I'd take a trustworthy chrome fork that meets my other requirements. Unfortunately, Brave = untrustworthy player: https://brave.com/brave-ads/

> I don't care which core browser tech I use,

Yeah, i do.

> so I'd take a trustworthy chrome fork that meets my other requirements.

Fair enough.

> Unfortunately, Brave = untrustworthy player: https://brave.com/brave-ads/

Yeah, but i can compile that stuff out like i do with the mozilla crap, while still getting some of the core stuff they add like native ipfs support

Hate to break it to you, but in Brave's case you really can't. Their crypto and ad stuff is so ingrained in their codebase that you have to be pretty meticulous to wipe it all out on that level. https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/14783

Yeah, i still think it would be pretty doable (esp if just changing return values and commenting out stuff), esp with the amount of time I spent over the years modding/removing/adding stuff to my ff fork in both rust code and c++ code.

But I was mostly interested in the theoretical situation if brave forked from the servo stuff and not its existing chromium stuff, no interest in touching that.

I think people are forking Chrome because it’s better code, but I might be wrong.

I have only seen the code of Chrome and it’s very Google-like C++, with truly enormous codebase.

Even Chrome did not fork Firefox back in the day and forked Safari.

Electron did not use Firefox either.

> I think people are forking Chrome because it’s better code, but I might be wrong.

I'm going to go with the latter, but at best this is debatable and highly subjective depending on what matters to you.

> I have only seen the code of Chrome and it’s very Google-like C++, with truly enormous codebase.

I don't know where you are going with this; FF is a large code base too, uses servo (rust) and c++.

> Even Chrome did not fork Firefox back in the day and forked Safari.

> Electron did not use Firefox either.

Good for them? Never been interested in chrome/chromium or electron based apps.

I had always wondered why since Brendan Eich came from mozilla, forking from it and going their own way would be natural for them (imo), highly doubt that all of a sudden all the stuff he worked with for years became crap overnight and the decision was probably more political than anything, but who knows, just baseless speculation on my part.

One of the reason Brave finally forked Chrome (they went from gecko based, to electron based, to chrome fork) was to not suffer from the Web Compatibility issues that Firefox has.

Not too familiar with the "Web Compatibility" issues firefox has, but that would have been from when they moved off gecko at least, i doubt that was the case from using electrons chromium fork to upstream chromium. I wonder if they'd consider servo or would be too much work for them at this point?

This[0] says they started off with electron pre dec-2018, nothing about gecko.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_(web_browser)#History

Electron uses Chromium, so as Fabrice noted, our reasons for moving off our fork of Electron were unrelated to the prior move from Gecko to Chromium/Blink.

Electron's architecture is insecure by default in too many ways, even if one enables the Chromium Sandbox (which was off by default at least when we used Electron).

Deff agree with electron.

> unrelated to the prior move from Gecko to Chromium/Blink

Is there publicly available reason for this move? No worries if there isn't.

No plans on forking from ff v ~70-ish with the servo stuff and going with the rust stuff or just more with chromium? Too much work and not worth it at this point or other tradeoffs? I like a lot of stuff you have been doing with brave (use the default search instead of ddg now in my ff fork) and wish some of it was in ff without me personally having to do it xD

We couldn't even get HTML5 DRM for Gecko-based Brave, never mind a ton of other webcompat problems vs. Chromium/Blink. We did a full spreadsheet and the winner was very clear. This is a reflection of Google's market power, in large part, but it is what it is.

Out of curiosity, what have you changed in your fork of Firefox?

Mostly what I talk about here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21653909

I've used Firefox since release but I'm curious what other less popular browsers people are using these days?

For example, I have tried Bromite on my phone but the adblocking is limited. I've tried ungoogled-chromium on desktop and the speed is impressive.

The main things I want:

1. Speed

2. Speed

3. Native plugins that can preempt network requests

4. Configurable for privacy (referrer, first party isolation, etc)

All these are doable in Firefox but I've doubted them ever since Pocket integration

Vivaldi on desktop. On Android switching between Vivaldi (sadly no support for extensions) and Kiwi Browser (supports extensions). The add-on massacre on Firefox for Mobile a few months ago pushed me over the edge.

+1 to Vivaldi. I use tiled tabs all the time.

Brave is interesting. Built-in ad blocker even on mobile. Not as good as uBlock Origin on Firefox but it's an option.

It also has its own advertising platform. The ads are simple notifications, no bullshit. It actually pays users in cryptocurrency for their attention. It can also be completely disabled.

Not sure the world needs another ad-monetized browser. We need less ads on the web, not more. And what is the point of shipping a browser with an ad blocker only to serve your own ads built into the browser?

My personal experience with it is that it is slow to start, bloated, the ad-blocker doesn't block Google ads by default and it fills home screen with some kind of crypto sites by default. It looks like it is trying to be a general purpose browser but judging by the choice of default options it looks more like a very niche browser for the crypto community.

The most innovative thing they have right now is Search, hopefully it doesn't end up being ad-monetized too.

I am using Waterfox, a relatively well-known fork of Firefox, after Firefox lagged while opening some of my company's websites without known reason.

Doing some changes in about:config like enable GPU and increasing memory processes will make your browsing liquid in firefox. Also, have fpeg installed beforehand.

Are the three headline features important to you? They are:

- Picture in Picture

- Expanded Dark Mode

- DNS over HTTPs

I really like Firefox, but features like this are not going to cause people to switch browsers. I'm pretty sure most end users would never even notice them. DNS over HTTPs is actually a bit of a pain if you want to host your own DNS.

DoH on by default is great for regular users, in order to access websites banned at the ISP DNS level. Depending on the country that can include a whole lot of websites, even not including warez and porn.

Anyway, they should really put more focus on polishing the containers extension, and make it one of the main selling points. This is the feature that has converted the most people in my experience. And since it's unique to any browser AFAIK, it has great retention power once one integrates it in their workflow.

I use Picture in Picture all the time, it's one of the main things that keeps me on Firefox. Such a great feature.

It is great, but doesn’t iOS already have this with Safari?

Edit: ah, nevermind, I thought this was specifically a Firefox IOS release today. Taking the link directly talked about iOS for me.

Yes, but that doesn’t matter if you’re not using iOS or macOS.

Is DoH really that that important right now? Your ISP can still see the domain you're connecting to via SNI. Until encrypted SNI (eSNI) arrives it doesn't seem like a big win for privacy.

But it seems like Cloudflare is working on it https://blog.cloudflare.com/encrypt-that-sni-firefox-edition...

Cloudflare's currently supports ESNI, but Firefox has replaced ESNI in favor of ECH (Encrypted Client Hello) starting from version 85 due to vulnerabilities in the former. Unfortunately, no public DNS resolvers support ECH yet.

- https://blog.mozilla.org/security/2021/01/07/encrypted-clien...

- https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1709263

Cloudflare has another blog post with the implementation details for ECH:

- https://blog.cloudflare.com/encrypted-client-hello/

Most end users would never host their own DNS. Perhaps there’s a different benefit to them from the feature?

Personally, I have never used any of these features.

I'm not even really sure what "Expanded Dark Mode" is.

DOH is probably good for many people, but I prefer to run my own DNS server (and I VPN back into my LAN when not at home with WireGuard).

Not nearly as important as some indication of whether or not the window is currently active. I have absolutely no idea why the FF devs decided that that little tidbit of information doesn't matter to anybody.

DoH is very, very important to me.

Firefox: We're the "best for a free web".

Also Firefox: We support internet censorship.

(source: CEO of Mozilla, link: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/we-need-more-than-deplat...)

Which part of that article advocates for censorship?

I'm not in the US neither US politics affect me, but this kind of agenda on Mozilla official pages is the reason why more neutral community and OSS projects thrive and Firefox see it's decline. CEO of Mozilla can have whatever political position he wants to, but browser suppose to be a dumb pipe just like ISP is. It's just outrageous how someone stand against ISPs control of internet and support net neutrality with one hand, but with other hand push his agenda via non-profit corporation resources.

Just imagine Blender Foundation or GIMP making statements about how we need a tools to control whatever 3D models people able to work on because you know you can create some fake child pornography using them.

Or might be Apache or Linux Foundation management would say how we need to track all possible malicious actors who can run some botnet / CNC software using their products. This would be totally dystopian, isn't it?

Did you even read the title? It advocates for drowning out opposition based on what they believe "is true". Everyone thinks they are right. If you don't respect the right of those you disagree with to speak, functionally, you don't respect any freedom of speech.

Other than the title? How about "Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation."

Not to mention what immediately follows, advocating for something beyond this in the future: "This is how we can begin to do that."

Looking forward to the silently installed browser extension that hides search results and social media posts that they don't want you to see. (related: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/mozilla-back...)

Amplifying content in algorithmic news feeds is hardly censorship. Anything Facebook did would be counter to the usual forces that amply divisive (engaging) content.

Amplifying content means other content is reduced in spread. This means some people won't see the content that they would have otherwise seen.

I loved Firefox and I still believe it is the best bastion for a free web, though that view has been slowly fading. Years and years of user hostile moves (drastic UI changes, breaking am entire generation of addons) have really hurt the brand IMHO. And this PR just feels hollow.

It's beyond me why they haven't thrown it up on GitHub yet. Let the community have a way bigger involvement and drive the future of the browser. Yes, I can go find the source for Firefox, but I sincerely doubt the engagement is anywhere near as high as it could be.

I’m not sure accessibility of source code is the biggest problem. You can get the code very easily. Also github is another kind of Microsoft lock-in, ironically.

I don't necessarily disagree with your Microsoft comment. I'm merely trying to say that I think Firefox needs more than features to reclaim some of its popularity.

Where we're at, is that most people are happy running a Chromium variant. It's open source and there are enough downstream consumers that you can pick your poison.

If Mozilla is going to push the "private browser, for you" angle, they are going to need to push harder on the "for you" angle.

I'm still a loyal Firefox user. It seems to me that its users would rather have more say in its direction - give the people what they want.

If you don't disagree with the monopoly statement, then start altering your speech to reflect it. You can use the phrase “(public) Git forge” and avoid using the trademark generically and encompass all alternative forges.

In this case, I think that the leading Git provider is where it should be hosted, due to community size. And that's GitHub for now. That can absolutely change in the future.

Git was created to be distributed. Endorsing an account-required, closed-source platform is not the best play for Git as platform (nothing wrong with it having accounts, and the account providing an improved experience). IMO, it is important regardless of what platform's in vogue to use a more generic term here.

One doesn't follow from the other. Firefox for Android is now on Github, but at the same time we've still ended up with about:config locked down in Release, add-on support locked down in Release, ... because it's still very much Mozilla setting development policy.

I have used Firefox as my daily driver for 2+ years now. Zero problems with compatibility, including many "Chrome only" business apps. A couple Google-owned sites are the only ones that give me trouble, and spoofing the user agent on those has worked great.

I’ve opted to using librewolf as I prefer its out of the box changes removing everything that sucks about firefox. I refuse to use chrome (unless its for work in that case I use an isolated chromium) I despise the monopoly of the web and I despise google. Personally I think Brave is a honeypot and even if it isn’t, it’s still supporting the monopolized web standard. I hope things get better because we need more choice.

I agree. I still vividly remember the bad old days of IE, and I find it puzzling that so many web developers are willingly going back to a monoculture, with such an anti-privacy organization holding all the cards.

I've been a FF user for years. This week, FF became so unusable under Wayland I had to install Brave.

The patches are in place if you wait just a bit longer. NixOS merged patches into their main branch and the teams between Wayland and Mozilla have already resloved the issue. The only bit that rubs me is that this has been an issue since 92, has been out. I moved from beta to stable and then stable to ESR (v91 luckily) while I await the patches.

Ha, I thought I was alone, did not find anything.

Firefox 92 discussion from 6 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28444315 (122 comments)

Mozilla charge money for Firefox. I’m tired of “free” software that sell my data and attention.

I can't think of a more effective way to kill Firefox. You'd give the fence-sitters a reason to switch, you'd get rid of all the volunteer contributors, and you'd get rid of everyone who uses and advocates for Firefox because it's free* software, which would probably be a significant portion of the remaining userbase. (I know it's technically possible to charge money for free* software, but it's impractical.)

* as-in-freedom

Fence-sitters already switch in droves, Firefox lost 250M users in the last ten years. So keeping the status quo already clearly leads to demise.

And how can you claim you are free* when 90% of your revenue comes from your main competitor?

Maybe making a paid browser is what they need to become truly free* and reset to a user-centric product development culture, which could then actually make it an exciting product again (even if they initially lost 90% of users as a consequence, those would be lost with time anyhow).

I think you're underestimating the size of the demographic who care about FOSS, or who believe FOSS to be more trustworthy. It's not big globally, but I think it has a lot of overlap with people who use Firefox and people who care about online privacy.

There's no way that the intersection of people who care about online privacy, don't mind that Firefox is less web-compatible than a Chromium-fork, but also don't care at all about FOSS is big enough to sell a product that everyone else is providing for free, especially since you're not just saying goodbye to the Googlebux, you're also saying goodbye to part of your workforce (the volunteers,) free advertising (FOSS advocates and default installs on desktop Linux,) web devs (no one would pay to test pages on a niche proprietary engine,) extensions (most high-profile extension devs are FOSS advocates,) and most of the community. It wouldn't work.

Nothing prevents a paid product to be FOSS.

What I am advocating for is making Firefox users also become its customers, vs current situation where user!=customer, and customer being Google. This obvious and giant conflict of interest has to be a major contributing factor to the decline of Firefox.

I am aware that Firefox may lose 90% of its user base if it switched to a paid model, but my point is it will do so eventually anyway - if things do not change radically.

So much this! Considering how much of my work and play time is spent in a browser, I would pay a hefty sum for a browser that met my needs and kept me safe from the data thieves. I'd even pay a subscription for this, where many current products do not deserve a sub model.

Here here! Are there any paid browsers out there? Or does Mozilla have any paid membership beyond "donate whatever you want"?

The worst part about donating to Mozilla is that donation is not used for Firefox development.

Orion will be paid https://browser.kagi.com (Mac only though)

I was a long time Chrome user, I switched to Firefox 1 year ago and I won't look back:

1. Firefox has Ctrl+Tab MRU

2. Firefox has a way more usable address bar - Chrome breaks it on purpose and returns weak results to push you to use Google search for things which should immediately pop up in the address bar.

3. Firefox has container tabs - a feature so crucial to browsing the web (whenever you need to login to 2 different accounts on the same site) that you would wonder why on Earth would the leading web browser not implement it (until you remind yourself that the browser is brought to you by a certain company that has the word "evil" in it's motto and likes tracking too much).

4. Firefox has a sidebar, enabling interesting extensions.

5. This is small - but I recently noticed how Chrome broke the bookmark UI, after clicking the star icon, you don't add bookmark immediately, no. You have to choose between a bookmark or reading list first.

It isn't enough for FF to be the best "for a free web". To reclaim market share, it needs to be best for users. They're self-interested.

From HN News Guidelines [0] “ In Submissions

Please don't do things to make titles stand out, “

The title you wrote isn’t even in the article as far as I can tell. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Firefox is great now, but getting people to change from something that works for them is like pulling teeth

I'd also imagine it's hard to convince younger folks (eg. those who didn't leave firefox in the first place) on firefox over brave which includes adblock out of the box, no setup or extensions required

The main problem with Firefox is Gecko.

Technically it's a great rendering engine, fast, standards-compliant, maybe only slightly more buggy than Webkit. Unfortunately it has a different set of bugs than webkit. Web developers have just so much time to debug the apps. Once the app works for ~90% of users on webkit, spending as much time or more testing and debugging for ~7% of FF users is not always justified.

This is a catch 22: FF users get more bugs - more pressure to move to Chrome, fewer users on FF - less money to develop Gecko leading to more bugs. My prediction is that FF will either drop Gecko or die.

Lack of WebUSB is the major issue to me.

Can not tell if this is sarcasm or not, but I'll suppose not.

Do you mind sharing your WebUSB use case(s)?

To sing transactions with Ledger or any other cryto devices (see ID cards readers)

What is the Firefox business model? ...Oh yeah, that's right, indirect subsidies from Google

Besides, there's only one mainstream browser that's better than Chrome, and that browser is Edge

Mozilla does really love to milk "Open source" and "free" for Firefox marketing. How about about if they actually gave users what they wanted?

when did "In-browser screenshot tool" become a key feature, seems like a job that most operating systems handle quite well.

Anyone who uses this feature, feel free to chime in.

I don't use it too often, but it can be really helpful for getting a perfect crop of a specific element. With firefox's screenshot tool you can select the visible window, page or a specific element which has advantages over my os's tool. If I want a clean crop of an element with the os tool, I either have to open my rough shot in an image editor to get the crop right, or be very precise with my selection rectangle. I'll often use the os screenshot if I'm just sending a quick image to friends, but if I want it to look nice the browser tool is easier and faster

It can take a screenshot of the entire page, including what's not currently displayed in the viewport.

I don't use it a great deal, but if you try it you can see why you'd use it over the OS screenshot. The easy answer is you can take a screenshot of a while page, or more than the portion that's showing.

Try taking an in-browser screenshot of your about:config or options tabs.

Firefox has a number of security issues:

From here: https://grapheneos.org/usage#web-browsing

Avoid Gecko-based browsers like Firefox as they're currently much more vulnerable to exploitation and inherently add a huge amount of attack surface. Gecko doesn't have a WebView implementation (GeckoView is not a WebView implementation), so it has to be used alongside the Chromium-based WebView rather than instead of Chromium, which means having the remote attack surface of two separate browser engines instead of only one. Firefox / Gecko also bypass or cripple a fair bit of the upstream and GrapheneOS hardening work for apps.

Worst of all, Firefox runs as a single process on mobile and has no sandbox beyond the OS sandbox. This is despite the fact that Chromium semantic sandbox layer on Android is implemented via the OS isolatedProcess feature, which is a very easy to use boolean property for app service processes to provide strong isolation with only the ability to communicate with the app running them via the standard service API. Even in the desktop version, Firefox's sandbox is still substantially weaker (especially on Linux, where it can hardly be considered a sandbox at all) and lacks support for isolating sites from each other rather than only containing content as a whole.

A "free" web where in Firefox's default configuration Google controls what you can download. [0]

[0] https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Safe_Browsing

If anyone's wondering how to get Firefox mobile on F-Droid, it's called 'Fennec' and can be found here: https://f-droid.org/packages/org.mozilla.fennec_fdroid

Pleas into a niche tech communities to use a different browser isn't going to stop FF's slow slide to irrelevance. Microsoft saw the writing on the wall with IE and launched Edge which by comparison looks to have a much more promising future then Mozilla.

This does nothing to improve browser engine diversity but at this point Mozilla's best path to commercial success would be to launch a new browser product that's a rebranded Blink/WebKit with a focus on privacy, e.g. ad/tracker blockers, optional integrated VPN, simple UX for clearing browser history per site/date range/etc. Personally I'd prefer they adopt Safari's WebKit over Chrome's Blink to remove the dependency from Google.

I'm too old to deal with navigating the web with rendering inconsistencies of browser web developers don't test against. For the same reason I've no hesitation to use their gorgeous Firefox Focus iOS browser over Chrome since they're all forced to use the same rendering engine, and given all things being equal I trust Firefox to protect privacy much more than Google.

I use Firefox every day as a backup, but my primary browser is qutebrowser. I would fully switch in a heartbeat if Firefox allowed full keyboard shortcut configuration. Tridactyl gets pretty close, but the fact that keyboard shortcuts stop working in certain scenarios is a nonstarter for me.

FF might be better than Chrome etc now, but Surprisingly, firefox didn't care about the declining usage till a long time. It seemed to me, they let it go to Google. Speed, crashes etc were too often then and it never got fixed in time. that mattered to lots of users

At home I only use Firefox (on my Linux machines). For many (not all) sites Firefox is actually the fastest choice.

Being reminded today I also just installed Firefox on my - relatively new - work machine. Somehow I am more tolerant there running Chrome than on my own machines.

Firefox is great on desktop, been my primary browser for 15+ years.

Sadly though, the mobile version (still) lacks support for "pull to refresh" gesture. Other than that, mobile FF is great (privacy features, browser addons...).

I recently switched back to Firefox mobile (I couldn't remember why I switched to Chrome in the first place) because I was sick of using the web without ad blockers.

A few months in I'm really happy with it. Main tip is: I found the scroll behaviour janky when the URL bar was at the top. Once I put it at the bottom (IIRC this is the default anyway, and once I got used to it I realised it's pretty unambiguously a better location) things behaved nicely.

I wish I could install an add-on to deal with GDPR spam but unfortunately without significant faffing you can only run vetted extensions from a fairly short list of adblockers and privacy tools. This seems like a smart move but I wish they'd expand this list, e.g. perhaps blanket-allowing extensions that only use certain safer API subsets.

As a longtime user of Firefox for Mobile, the add-on massacre a few months go pushed me over the edge. Now I switch between Vivaldi (syncs with the the desktop, decent built-in add blocking, sadly no support for extensions) and Kiwi Browser (supports desktop Chrome extensions, including uBlock Origin).

People that have seen the inside of both: which has better codebase, Firefox or Chromium?

I have seen only inside Chrome as I was debugging some edgecases; it’s very google C++, but once you get used to the enormous size, it’s not that hard to follow.

50 million users lost in the last 2 years alone.

Sorry Mozilla, we love you, but all the good you think you're doing means nothing when you end up with no one using your browser.

Of course, Mozilla can continue to arrogantly ignore its user base.

This is the same Firefox that said “deplatforming is not enough” Sorry Firefox, you’re not an arbiter of truth in my book.

You are complaining about Mozilla, not the open source product they make.

Edit: I’m HN-wrong, best type

You are complaining about your house being torn down, not the motorway for which your house was torn down. No need to bring the motorway into this unrelated matter.

I wish this distinction were more common, in general. We all have opinions that are bound to disagree with some people. We can also still make cool things that are a net-benefit.

Tusky (an open-source mastodon client) has (or had, I hope) an integrated blacklist that prevents its users from accessing certain instances the developers find distasteful.

Mozilla could implement a similar feature to block portions of the web, or particular content, or add a feature that pro-actively fact-checked page content.

I still use a firefox fork, because it isn't chromium. But I won't be surprised if Mozilla decides to go a similar route to Tusky based on their espoused values.

crazy. this caught my attention, what were they suggesting is enough?

Caught my attention too so I looked it up. Looks like a great list of goals to me.

> Reveal who is paying for advertisements, how much they are paying and who is being targeted.

> Commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.

> Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.

> Work with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and our societies, and what we can do to improve things.


I have been a devoted follower of firefox for a long time.

However, recently I have run into a lot of situations where foxfire does not work with some of the apps I need, and chromium based browsers do work. These apps are vital to what I do, and while I prefer firefox for all the usual reasons, I cannot use it. Sad really.


Care to quickly add some explanation to that stance, before getting voted off the island?

It's not an unheard of point of view on this site, the talking points should already be familiar to you.


There's that article as well as my comment and others in it that draw a pretty clear picture.

>before getting voted off the island?

Come on now

This happens often. A shitty opinion is usually down voted but at some point, if nobody's replied yet, then nobody can point out in words how shitty that opinion is, or prompt them for some further explanation.

it goes both ways, i've seen a shitty opinion eventually become the better option, the truth is often not well tolerated when it is first heard. sometimes the mob is wrong but their voices are louder because they are many. but yeah an opinion becoming the better option is generally not the case.

but yeah i use ff and chrome depending on the site, i don't know the negatives about using ff, doesn't mean their aren't i just haven't heard too many bad things about them

Is it a shitty opinion? How or why?

Whether it's a shitty opinion or not depends on the mob, the hour of the day and the day of the week.

If you're asking what I think of your comment? I have no horse in this race. I don't care.

I wasn't asserting that it was a shitty opinion, but that in its form at the time, would get down-voted. Instead you got flagged. Or both. And I was genuinely interested in hearing a more-substantive take on the matter from you. But hey, ship... sailed.

What kind of changes would be compelling to you?

In this thread I have replied with a link to another thread that contains a comment of mine as well as an article and several other comments on this topic.

So what do you use instead?

Ungoogled chromium, Bromite and kiwi browser.

Not the person you replied to, but I still prefer Konqueror, which was built from the ground up as free software and it shows in the quality IMO.

I hadn't seen that, that is definitely another negative for me, but mostly I'm concerned with the constant lip service to users and privacy while simultaneously removing usefulness and eroding privacy in the software itself.

Firefox's only selling point right now is "we aren't chrome (yet)" and if I won't fall for that line of thinking at the ballot box I'm certainly not falling for it here.

All they have to do is be what they say they are. At least google doesn't pretend to not be evil anymore.

Unfortunately we live in a world were you don't get "good" but only "not catastrophic". But hey if people are fine with a single advertising company controlling how we access the internet carry on.

A "free" web where you are "free" to say/do anything as long as we think it is ok: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/we-need-more-than-deplat...

A "free" web where you pretend to fight against Google, but copy every user-hostile anti-feature from them, take almost all your money from them, and put them as your default search engine.

Mozilla deserve every bit of their recent problems, just like they deserved their meteoric rise in the 2000s.

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