Firefox is terrible. It's embarrassing. And, I've completely lost interest in arguing over it anymore. The responses from Mozilla, Asa especially, have either been, "We don't think that's a problem", or sometimes, "go piss up a rope". Other people constantly chime in and say, "But I don't have that problem!", as if that somehow makes it better for the many many people who do have problems with Firefox.
Fortunately, this isn't quite Netscape versus Internet Explorer all over again; this time, we have a well-supported third option, too.
I don't think this is very fair to the Mozilla folks. From the few people that I've met (and complained to about Android Firefox) the response has been "why don't you grab the latest version and see if that fixes the problems?" And if it doesn't, then the response is "file a bug."
While I don't have any personal experience with Asa, he has responded to this article with exactly the same response (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3108498).
And now for the part that will probably make me really unpopular here: if they fix major issues in an upcoming update, that's great. But, people have been complaining for years about performance problems, and IMO there should have been a show-stopping effort to fix it a long time ago, rather than the incremental efforts that, to many users' perceptions, have made little to no improvement.
The push towards rapid release cycles in many parts of the software industry seems to be leaving behind the principle of getting it right the first time.
Anyway, that's all the time I have for this nonsense, because I've got a couple of projects of my own with unresolved issues, and I don't want to be a hypocrite.
: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=157846, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=289384, others.
: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=668655#c1, more discussion at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2741660
When Firefox came out I continued to use the Mozilla browser. (I wonder if anybody remembers that one.) At that point I couldn't understand why people were so excited about Firefox. To me it looked like the Mozilla browser with a new icon, half the features, double the bloat, and half the speed. I distinctly remember that when Firefox came out Mozilla was a much better browser!
Firefox is terrible. It's embarrassing.
I do get frustrated, but criticizing a software package that you get for freaking free, especially one that you ow so much to, with such a harsh tone really is unwarranted.
And it really is free in a not-for-profit way. The Awesome bar that the article mentions really saves you from making useless round-trips to Google / being exposed to Google Ads, even if this hurts Mozilla's revenues; on the other hand Chrome's primary reason for being is Google's control on the web, ensuring that Google's search remains the default, which is one reason the Awesome bar will never make it into Chrome.
Also, AdBlock Plus in Chrome has known bugs and limitations because of Chrome, because while Firefox is a platform, Chrome is a product that treats its users like idiots.
Indeed, that line of reasoning has even less standing in regard to browsers since the top 4 browsers are all free. Encouraging people to stiffle their very real complaints will only serve to lower the quality of firefox, who does that benefit?
I found myself agreeing with some of your points, but that comment was unnecessary. It's just two different design philosophies: Firefox allows extension of the browser itself at the cost of completely-silent upgrades and sandboxing, while Chrome treats extensions like miniature web pages.
I agree that Chrome is a strategic move for Google, but it has made some definite contributions (like V8!) to free software. Not to mention it had a very unique interface when it was first launched (very well designed).
Chrome was part of the reason why Mozilla is hustling to improve Firefox. If anything, appreciate Chrome for giving people more options and placing pressure on Mozilla to innovate.
What does the AwesomeBar do that Chrome's address bar doesn't? Heck the Chrome address bar even does autocomplete of search terms when you have it set to use Bing…
I ended up changing my address bar behavior on Chrome, but when I ran Firefox again for a while, I relearned my old behaviors by chance just by trying to search for stuff via the address bar, and instead finding the awesomebar offer what I was looking for with less effort. Once you get used to it, it really is inferior to how Chrome's address bar works. That said, Chrome has lots going for it as well.
Many, many products do that these days.
I'm certainly going to treat them like I would any other ad-supported software, and that means treating them like any other commercial piece of software.
It's free as in speech, not beer.
Though there's a Free Software implementation of Chrome as well: Chromium.
-A window begins to be unwieldy at 15 tabs, and is impossible to navigate at 20
-Occasional Flash problems render the browser utterly useless for several minutes before it asks whether I am interested in continuing what I was doing
-Not visiting a tab for a while results in a ridiculous wait for it to load
My screen size makes having multiple rows of tabs simply take up too much screen space.
Honestly, I just haven't had any complaints with firefox (beta channel) apart from the recent interesting decision to change dragging tabs to bookmarks to require hitting ctrl - https://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.apps.firefox/bro...
Interesting. This is actually one of the big reasons why I prefer Chrome over FF. FF does the whole "make my tab bar scroll" while Chrome resizes the tabs to fit.
What about Chrome's implementation do you find more unwieldy than Firefox's?
Right now I have 159 tabs open -- I was curious so I decided to count. If I tried that in Chrome I'm pretty sure it would crash and burn hard, not to mention there would be no ability to keep it organized.
I know there are some research workflows that would allow me to do that as well, but I haven't really taken the time to dive into them after I found tab groups.
Hmm, new "Tab Groups" button. Wonder what it does!
The only way to figure out that UI, including how to exit back to the browser, is through trial and error or Google. At least tabs/tab groups closed in there (seriously, who adds an "x" to an undo changes button that permanently deletes it instead?) go in "recently closed tabs" now!
I don't think it is possible with chrome extensions either.
about:flags -> Enable Side Tabs
FYI, you can use the mousewheel to scroll the tabs.. without, it would be horrible
- The "hanging" issue: I literally just replaced a laptop because of this one. On my older laptop, Firefox became unusable, and got worse with each version, not better. I didn't have very many tabs open (~10?), and after about 6 hours or so, hovering the pointer over a link would give me the rainbow pinwheel, clicking a link would give me a rainbow pinwheel, opening a tab would give me a rainbow pinwheel, etc. This stalling issue has been widely reported by a huge number of people, and Firefox has been doing a lot of work on their memory management to fix it, but it doesn't seem to be helping. My girlfriend's newer Windows workstation had the same problem, but to a slightly lesser degree. In her case, Firefox became unusable after a day or two. People often point to extensions, but the only extension she had installed was AB+.
- Crashing. Just yesterday we had a client complaint where, according to them, about half the time they would go to launch Firefox, they would get the message that it was already running but not responding. We've had similar complaints from other clients, including a business client.
What makes this frustrating for me is that, like the OP, I'm pretty sure I remember when Firefox didn't have these problems. It smells like at some point they introduced some kind of terrible architectural change in the browser, and rather than address that directly, they keep trying to patch around it.
It's possible that the very newest version fixes all of these things. We made the decision to start switching off of it almost a month ago, after Mozilla firmly decided to go the frequent background updates route (and without also supporting older versions). If we have to choose to recommend one of two browsers, both of which do frequent updates, then we'll go with the one that seems to give people fewer headaches.
in fact 99% judge ff on startup time. its mostly due to the ui toolkit xul.
A bit more civility might help you avoid a repeat of that.
Can you grab an Aurora or Beta build and see if things are better?
While I'm here I'll add my usual "Dump Firefox? You can pry Tree Style Tab out of my cold dead hands" comment.
That said, I have also experienced the "we are not doing it cause we don't like it no matter how insanely useful it is to corporate users" attitude, eg. the perennial refusal to add overstrike:
"If I stop using the dev version, and switch to beta or (shudder) released, and turn off updating, will that give me the tabs back, or is it too late?"
So great. You don't run into problem x or problem y.
But a LOT of people do. And when I sit down at somebody's computer, and they use Firefox, and they have more than a couple tabs open, it's slow. Inconceivably slow. Especially in light of how snappy Chrome manages to be with a big stack of tabs open.
And then on a modern computer, a nice shiny new computer, things are pausing erratically, and there's lag, and it's slow, and it feels like 2005.
I can hear you leaping to Firefox's defense now: "Sure, but that was only true until 5.323, when they fixed the 'FF is slow as shit' bug!" Or, "yes, but that has never happened to /me/, and I run Firefox on a Pentium I that I spilled a bunch of grape juice on and kick every day."
Congrats, you're either an anomaly, incredibly fortunate, or you limit your number of tabs, restart Firefox regularly, and clear out your history daily. All things that I can assure you, ordinary, non-technical people NEVER DO.
Chrome managed to make a browser that doesn't become unbearably slow under normal usage patterns. Firefox, for all its moral superiority (and I gladly concede that point), has never managed to do that.
Many people report that Firefox holds up better with many tabs open than Chrome. Perhaps since Chrome has one process per tab, which ends up straining some OSes. And many people report the opposite. It probably depends a lot on the OS, the specific tabs, their number, what addons they have, etc.
There are definitely a variety of bugs that some Firefox users hit, and those users get a frustrating experience. I don't think anyone is denying that. But there are also plenty of users that are clearly very happy. And there are users of other browsers that also hit bugs - for example I recently noticed that Opera was churning my HD for no reason. Never seen that on any browser until then. I had to stop using Opera because of it.
Numerous benchmarks show that since 5 FF performs far better with a large number of tabs (100+ for example) compared to Chrome. This happens to be my use case so FF is my choice. Tab groups is also a must with so many tabs.
This is an odd statement, considering that many Firefox devs run Linux. I'm running Firefox on Linux right now, and it works great.
I guess the author of the article is hitting a specific bug. It isn't a general issue that affects all users of Firefox on Linux.
I haven't looked back since switching to Chrome. FF ignored obvious bugs for years. X pixmap freeing? Open since 2004.  I waited for six years, having to restart my browser every few hours, because it would leak over 2 GB from having a network graphs page open. Startup time? Last time I opened it, six months ago, FF took over 10 seconds to start, cold. Chromium snaps open in under a quarter second.
Then there's developer friendliness. Writing extensions is a complete mess, especially compared to Chrome. Configuration structure is haphazard at best. Profile corruption is a thing. I don't understand how a multi-million dollar foundation can tolerate this kind of experience.
Don't get me started on the rendering bugs. :-/
I'm not sure if you are just trolling or not. Assuming not, then since Firefox's development is done in the open, I assume you have some evidence for this - meeting notes or such that show that? Or some other evidence?
The evidence to the contrary seems overwhelming. Firefox's main focus in 4.0 was on performance, see arewefastyet.com for JS, and the major rewrite of the graphics system (Layers) that lets it use things like Direct2D on Windows as just two examples. And as a consequence of those huge efforts, Firefox just won Toms Hardware's speed test, beating Chrome, Opera, IE and Safari,
Edit: Looks like I'm being downvoted. Please tell me hacker news isn't deteriorating into reddit, where opposing opinions are downvoted by reflex...
First, my information is about a year out of date. I only used FF (well, Mozilla Suite/Galeon/Phoenix/FF) from around 2001-2010, and it's clear the FF team has moved to improve performance since then. Perhaps my impressions from that time frame are no longer valid, but the issues I checked in Bugzilla while writing my post seemed largely unresolved.
I said "gestalt" to criticize not Firefox's actual development process, but the impression one might get as a longterm user (e.g. me.) Things like https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=474718, which stood unresolved for roughly two years. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=185236 went unresolved for almost NINE years--was just fixed last week. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=279048: five years.
"This is an easily-demonstrated bug that "renders" (so to
speak) many pages unusable, or forces designers to impose
been around for many versions, and has been mentioned many
Please, please someone on the Firefox team -- take on this project."
Meanwhile, FF expanded from its stripped-down, single-purpose origins into a memory-consuming beast. On my Linux machines, it crashed daily. I would much rather see crashes, leaks, and slowdowns addressed before building new systems like the Awesomebar, tabs-in-titlebar, phishing prevention, and so forth.
Every developer I know has switched to Chrome. When I ask about it, I hear common rationales: speed, robustness, parsimony.
Does that clarify my criticism? There's a lot of great code in Firefox, but I don't think we should paper over the holes in the software or its development culture.
WebKit doesn't have load events for stylesheets either, for example. It has buggy CSS selector matching, on purpose (doing the right thing was deemed too slow). There are multi-year-open bugs in V8 and Chrome, and that whole project hasn't even had an open bug database for more than a few years.
So I'm not sure the development culture is any different. You just haven't had a chance yet to file a bug and get it ignored by the WebKit folks for a few years. It happens all the time....
Can you substantiate this? (both the buggy selector(s) and the reasoning)
I have no role in any of this; I'm merely interested in the bugs.
Oh, ok. The last year was a big year for FF performance: There have been huge gains in speed and reductions in memory usage. FF4 began that, and FF7, 8 and 9 take it even further.
Given that you are talking about the time period before that, I can understand more where you are coming from - performance was a lesser priority then compared to other features. Thanks for clarifying that.
He made a valid and extended argument, one can read and agree or disagree with.
You isolate just a phrase from it and call him on "trolling"?
In general, internet discussions would be much much better if "troll" and "FUD" weren't used to disqualify arguments we don't like (or, maybe weren't used, period).
In any case, I gave a reasoned response, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't trolling. But if he was, I guess I was wasting my time.
I do agree with you: Internet discussions would be much better if we did not use "troll", "FUD", "flamebait", etc., but also if people did not act in those ways.
Sure, but it can also be his honest opinion, that he came to by comparing, say, the minimal changes between Chrome versions and the more evolved FF updates. What I'm saying is, the entirety of his comment matters to see if it's "trolling" or not, not just a juicy quote.
> I've recently been running into a number of "benchmarks" where some rendering engines achieve better performance by simply doing the wrong thing because the right one would be "too slow". […] This is not exactly an isolated incident; a number of the performance issues I've run into recently in Gecko have had to do with correctly handling edge cases that this particular open-source engine happens to just not handle.
1. Boris Zbarsky. "Performance vs. correctness tradeoffs". Three Monkeys, Three Typewriters, Two Days. 2009 October 18. http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/bz/archives/020267.html
My main gripe is that some of the extensions (NoScript, Firebug and friends) sometimes break things, hog the CPU in one way or another or just plain eat up the heap.
I am fine with this. These are extensions, after all and it's for dev stuff, which I judge by a slightly different standard than 'normal user' stuff.
The latest FF releases especially make me happy because they're adding modern web features and working on UX and performance. And it shows and feels.
I don't care about bookmarks because I don't bother storing those in the browser anymore. Was the choice for storing 'stuff' in SQLite a good one? Yes of course it was. It's the best cross-platform way to store structured data on disk, which is why everybody and his/her dog has made the same choice. Are there inefficient ways in which it is being used? Maybe. Probably? I haven't looked into this, but this is hardly an insurmountable problem.
Sure it felt like FF was lagging behind once the WebKit browsers started coming out (with better JS engines) but the Mozilla Team is back in the game with its new release cycles and updates.
And this makes me very happy.
I run about 200 desktop linux machines and sqlite locking is a common problem on firefox. Users are often completely unaware of how to fix even though they are quite technical.
Here is the full thread:
Shawn Wilsher :sdwilsh 2011-09-18 12:33:22 PDT
The problem here is that Places (along with lots of other places in our code) still creates and uses synchronous database statements. SQLite is only threadsafe because it serializes all access to a database connection (this is unlikely to change any time soon).
To make this problem worse, every time we "fix" an area that does this, we end up putting more work on the background thread, which increases the likelihood that the remaining places that need to acquire the mutex on the main thread will encounter contention for the mutex.
Some of you might recall we hit this problem in the run-up to Firefox 4 as well (November/December of last year), and it caused Marco and I to have to reachitect a bunch of stuff in Places for a few months in order to work around it. Until Firefox removes all uses of the synchronous Storage API from the main thread, this issue will keep rearing it's head. (When that happens we can actually use SQLite in a way that stops using mutexs and will likely speed it up too.)
So what needs to be fixed ,if I follow that thread, is the removal of all synchronous calls and some solution to either not have to run ANALYZE or run it more often.
Seemed a bit like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
I had 40 tabs open for the better part of last week and didn't notice a performance hit; and I've only got 2Gb RAM.
But the clincher that made me switch to Chrome a couple weeks ago was that every couple of hours it would decide of its own accord to tear off a tab into a new window, and then hang. This solved the memory leakage, but not in a useful way.
I'm pretty sure that my problems are related to badly-behaving addins. But Firefox doesn't provide any good way to troubleshoot addins (compare to Chrome), and it seemed to me that the process to track down the culprit given that the problem is nondeterministic and takes a couple of hours to manifest would be more difficult than the switch to Chrome.
That said, I'm having some compatibility problems with Chrome. Like, last night the CAPTCHA in the free annual credit report site wouldn't work.
If you want to make a even-slightly quantitative comparison you need to at least start by loading the same set of sites. Then you need to worry about them sending different content (e.g. different adverts) to different browsers.
In the end most people go by metrics like "how responsive does the UI feel", which is fine, although since it's a perception thing it can be influenced by factors other than the actual speed e.g. preconceived notions set by marketing.
There is work ongoing to limit the redecoding to only the things that are visible in the viewport to alleviate this problem.
Though it's having both IceWeasel and Chromium that's pigging my box.
But yes, with aggressive browsing habits, 4GB simply wasn't enough memory.
40 tabs is a pretty low count for me.
This "more than a few tabs" or "more than an hour or two" is craziness? What is your friend running?
Firefox just doesn't cut it.
What OS are you in? How long do you keep it running like this? Sounds good.
^ with Awesome WM, not those gnome/unity/kde memory pigs ;)
But, it is hard to go on advocating it. True, they fixed many issues on JS speed and memory with the latest releases (after denying the issues for a loooong time).
However, the slowness of the SQlite backend is quite annoying, as mentioned on the article. The SSL management is beyond ridiculous, especially when the whole model of Certificate Authorities is broken, as the news showed us. The breakage of extensions at each update is abnormal. The Linux integration is abysmal... And yet, at each release, it seems the focuses on UI changes are the more important...
IE9 is now decent, Chrome is really good and Opera too.
All most of my developers friends have moved to Chrome...
I've seen almost no UI changes in Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. All the change-logs were basically backend optimizations.
So.. in the past 2 weeks?
Seriously, that absurd numbering scheme needs to stop too.
But anyway, are they bumping the version number every 1.2 months then? Is that supposed to be obvious?
PS: I would also like to add that "There hasn't been a major UI change in 6 months" is anything but a strong refutation of the original assertion that Mozilla changes up the UI too much. This is another example of redefining "major release" to silence valid criticism.
Increasing the version number doesn't fix bugs, but pretty much every time it has been pointed out in this topic, it was "we fixed some issues in that area, please try a newer version".
I don't understand the argument here. You're saying Mozilla is rapidly addressing the issues users are complaining about, and that is somehow a bad thing?
But anyway, are they bumping the version number every 1.2 months then? Is that supposed to be obvious?
The 6 week schedule has been pointed out in every HN thread about FF, and many public announcements before the rapid release system started, and the last 3 releases (not counting Beta and Aurora) have exactly been 6 weeks apart. So yes, it's supposed to be quite obvious by now. Don't ask me where your "2 weeks" figure comes from.
"I don't understand the argument here. You're saying Mozilla is rapidly addressing the issues users are complaining about, and that is somehow a bad thing?"
If that was what Mozilla was actually doing, I wouldn't have issues. In practice nothing ever really seems to change.
No, my point is that there seems to be a bizarre attitude among Mozilla supporters that in order to have the "right" to criticize firefox, you have to continue to subject yourself to its abuse.
Well I've had enough abuse. I've given them the benefit of the doubt time and time again for damn near half a decade now. They now need to make a sincere and dramatic effort to win back my trust. And no, "I've changed, I promise I won't hit you anymore baby.." won't do it this time. Fool me once...
I've moved on to greener pastures, but I will continue to point out what shit firefox is until I see that Mozilla finally has recognized what their users have been saying for years, admits that they were wrong, apologizes, and details (no hand-waving) their recovery plan. Mozilla needs to get on the 12 steps program for bad software development and user relations.
I used to be a huge FF advocate, until Chrome arrived. At first I stayed on FF and tried Chrome a couple of times. It lacked AdBlock back then, so I didn't switch immediately. There's no way I'm going back to FF now.
I rebuilt a laptop recently. After loading it up with software, it was a good 3 weeks before I even noticed that I didn't have FF installed.
That said, I still far prefer Chrome as a browser.
1) it became slow to open. FF use to open within a few seconds, it now opened in no less than 30 seconds.
1) I then noticed during the 30 seconds that ff was accessing my dish access was crazy. A bug report said it was "working as intended" because it was needing to derive encryption keys for ssl by reading my temp data files on disk.
So 30 sec load time from hdd access at startup is working as intended? Strike 2.
3) ff updates brick extensions. They aren't usable after an update. Just annoying to experience each update.
3) I switched my mums pc to chrome after the resent few ff updates. Too much mental energy and effort to click next/yes to each update wizard step, to then see the plugins out of date too etc, just silly.
She asks "whats this" each time ff asked about updates, after doing it a few times recently and teaching her it was ok to say yes to, I sill just replaced it with chrome that eliminated the support overhead for me.
So I had switched to chrome and it opens fast. No crazy disk access.
It doesn't pester me at all about updates, or break things due to new versions. It just works and gets out of my way.
Weird thing is, Firefox is still faster than Chrome on my computer (Win7x64). I don't know what's wrong with my computer, but Chrome is noticeably slower than Firefox in day-to-day use. This only happens on this particular computer. Chrome is indeed faster in every other computer I've tried. Very strange.
Compounding this is the fact that SQLlite was never intended to be a high performance database. It was designed for portability, and ease of setup. Which is fine, but it means that SQLlite uses many more I/O's and issues many more fsync()'s than would be strictly necessary. (In fact, Oracle doesn't issue a single fsync operation on a transaction commit; it uses direct I/O instead.)
So even if Firefox manages to get rid of all of the various problems that cause its UI thread to block, this fundamental design mistake will cause them to do excess I/O's, which burns battery and burns SSD write cycles. They would be much better off if they kept all of their state in memory, and 10-15 minutes, updated the on-disk database in a completely asynchronous fashion.
And if that means losing some history on a crash, is the fact that a user has visited one web site, but not another, really that important?
No, this is not true. Since Firefox 3.5 they have avoided this entirely:
This approach has been largely replaced with asynchronous queries off-the-main-thread, since the temporary tables were actually a performance problem:
So they've already done what you've suggested. It turned out to cause problems, and was replaced. AFAIK, there's basically no database queries in the Mozilla UI loop.
If temp tables were causing problem, then there's something seriously wrong with SQLlite's in-memory temporary tables (or how they are being used). By definition they shouldn't be blocking...
For example, if you don't want to hold the entire history in memory but only the most recent changes, you have to create a view spanning the temporary table and the on-disk table to do history queries (so the Awesomebar returns results from pages you just visited, as well as ones already written to disk) and things get complicated.
Yes, it is. Imagine you're typing a long comment, you've copied it into the clipboard just to be safe, and just before you submit, your OS crashes or you lose power.
Or, imagine you're looking for reference information on an obscure API, and you've finally found a useful page after 9 minutes of searching. Just before the 10 minute sync occurs, you lose power, and for the life of you, you can't remember how you got to that all-important page or what keywords to use. Having an up-to-date history would have let you continue working.
How often has that actually happened to you? I can honestly say that in 15 years of web browsing I've never had either of those problems, and don't know anybody who has.
Seems silly to significantly slow everything down for everybody because of a one in a trillion chance somebody will lose power at an inconvenient time.
And hey, maybe if the browser were faster, you'd have time to submit the comment or bookmark the page before the power goes out...
Just about everything important seems far-fetched until it happens (Who imagined spam botnets when designing SMTP? Who would've thought that Therac-25 operators would get fast enough at entering commands to trigger a race condition?).
How often has that actually happened to you?
Since Firefox syncs often, it can't. But, I have lost long comments and e-mails (before Gmail auto-saved drafts) to page/browser/OS crashes, and I've been saved by the history when I couldn't remember the one site that had some answer I needed.
I can honestly say that in 15 years of web browsing I've never had either of those problems, and don't know anybody who has.
Isn't that exactly the sentiment being complained about in the article?
If anything, experience has taught me that catastrophic failures just love to occur at inconvenient times. For example, demonstrations work when you're alone or with other engineers, but as soon as you present to someone else everything stops working.
Besides, I'm not saying browsers should be slower. I'm saying that they should synchronize more often than once every 10-15 minutes and be prepared for edge cases. I'm of the view that software should, where possible, mimic physical objects -- changes are instantaneous and persistent -- with the reversibility of virtual objects.
Why you've been voted down so much is beyond me. Lots of IDONTLIKEIT in here and recently in general it seems.
> I'm of the view that software should, where possible, mimic physical objects -- changes are instantaneous and persistent -- with the reversibility of virtual objects.
Are you aware of Stanislav's Seven Laws of Sane Personal Computing or the Loper OS website in general? It's a nice read; thought-provoking, even if you don't agree with everything there.
I have a personal gmail account, and a work google apps gmail account, and recently Google decided you can only stay logged into one gmail account at a time per browser session. So if I want both open, I have my personal one in Firefox and my work email in Chrome. That in general leads to the use of using Firefox for personal browsing and Chrome for work-related browsing.
In Firefox I have all my bookmarks and Stumble Upon, along with RSS feeds and about 400 tabs opened (not loaded with the Bartab Lite addon and organized in a tree with the TreeStyle Tabs addon). In Chrome I have work-related things open, like our issue list and email, so very few tabs, and I use it for quick googling (work or personal). I also have Firefox using websync so I can get at my tabs from school or other computers. Chrome's also nice for having a Private Browsing mode instantly launchable without closing your other non-private session.
Firefox only crashes completely these days, sometimes, when java applets load. Chrome only crashes on pages.
Last I brought this up, I was told:
1. that it wasn’t completely defined, and some edge cases can arise
2. that it 'wasn't necessary' as you could 'solve' the problem by adding more (wrapping) markup
3. that `run-in` was going to be dropped from CSS2.1.
None of this is very valid.
1. So do what the other browsers do, and/or when you encounter a weird edge case, fall back to `display: block` (as suggested by the spec).
2. Adding more markup (A) because one browser is being pissy (B) goes against the fundamental philosophies of both CSS (A) and web standards (B). Clearly!
3. It’s only being dropped from the spec because they can finalize the spec if it is 100% implemented by 100% of the major browsers. So this is circular reasoning caused by your ten-year rolling decision to ignore `run-in`.
Run-in is a very useful concept (I’m always tempted to use it on /about.html). Please, reconsider.
What other browsers do is completely insane (e.g. removing a block that a run-in has run into makes the run-in just disappear altogether in WebKit), so implementing it would be actively bad for the web.
> It’s only being dropped from the spec because they can
> finalize the spec if it is 100% implemented by 100% of
> the major browsers.
They can finalize the spec as long as every feature is implemented interoperably by _two_ browsers.
There are three run-in implementations, and they're completely incompatible. The feature got dropped from the spec because the working group couldn't figure out any way to even define a restricted behavior subset that Presto, Trident, and WebKit implement the same way.
So no, Gecko's lack of implemetation here didn't block the spec in any way. The fact that all three existing implementations are completely incompatible with each other and all horribly broken had a lot more to do with it.
I've never evangalised so hard about a piece of software, and every Linux and Apple user owe it a debt of gratitude, in as much that it was a good cross platform browser.
Performance wise, some upgrades have been for the better some for the worst. But don't get too sentimental about past incarnations. I remember there being memory issues in the 2.x line. I saw the browser eating over a half gig of ram once - and I nearly fell off my chair.
Those that have dozens of tabs open - I do think you need to ask yourself why? It just slows your computer down. I think we use them as replacement for bookmarks, which says something about the browser UI.
I've only recently left 3.6 to try out TenFourFox on my power pc - which at first felt a million times better, but after my initial excitement, I noticed it's a bit of a cpu hog. Idling with Gmail open, it seems to be quite greedy. Which suggests to me that there is an inherent problem with the browser - imagine if I had a handful of web apps open.
To say Firefox is broken is a bit strong. It would be better to say it has it's faults and could be faster. If it's DB is a bottleneck - could it be swapped for something else?
I do however think the browser UI is in serious need of some love, and could do with some innovation. It's barely changed. For example tab management is dire.
Spatial memory. If my tabs are not exactly where I left them last week, I utterly forget what I was doing. (I'm one of those people whose room looks like a mess but I can tell you where anything is -- so long as no-one's moved it.)
I think having lots of tabs open isn't good for focus, but that's another topic.
What I was getting at, is that I believe we use tabs as bookmark replacements. Which is stupid because bookmarks are cheap. This shows a flaw in the browser.
To me it's the browser UI that let's you down. If bookmark management were better, you might not use the tabs.
Back to the spatial memory, I have a better grasp of tabs when they bunch - ala Opera and Chrome than when they scroll. I get lost in Firefox pretty quickly, the newer tab management features just don't work for me.
I don't see why you can't have a mix of live tabs, and frozen tabs.
After using Gmail for years - I'm going back to a desktop client rather reluctantly, just because it doesn't use much in the way of system resources while idling.
I was a fan of tabs initially, but in some ways I've gone off them. I'd like the window manager to look after multiple windows better, rather than use tabs.
I'd love to see some radical development in the browser UI.
This would massively break the web. Even throttling setTimeout() calls for tabs in the background caused breakage.
A few months ago, I finally switched to Chrome 100% and very rarely use the bloated software that is now Firefox.
I used to recommend Firefox as THE browser. Now I recommend people uninstall it.
Phoenix, in my opinion, is the original idea and message behind Firefox: a fast and friendly alternative to bloated browsers. Over the years, Firefox has become HUGE. Why make a Firefox 7, 8, 9 etc. if it just keeps adding more things instead of cutting through the glut with the sword of speediness and optimization? Really, all I want a browser to do is pass the acid3 test and be up and running as quickly as possible. Cut everything else out.
I think of Phoenix as like a pamphlet, Firebird (Firefox 1) as a novel, and current Firefox as an encyclopedia. Tucked somewhere within... on a select number of sheets in that amassed bramble of pages and thorns... in there is a browser we all know and love.
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free" ~ Michelangelo
Firefox+Mozilla: please don't stop carving. We appreciate all you do, but it's time to get back to basics.
When Firefox dropped http:// at least they gave you the ability to turn it back on!
We aren't living in the MS EEE days anymore. You always have the choice to use a different browser. Hell, if you care that much, you can download the source, re-enable the http:// display, and compile it yourself. I really fail to see the problem, here.
Your complaint is that there's no practical difference whatsoever, but that you want to have the choice. That seems to be a pretty minor thing to be kvetching about.
Because people copy&paste URLs all the time, and without the http:// they dont work where pasted. Not having http:// when youre copy-pasting feels like a part of your URL is missing.
What I dont know is for whom they are hiding http://? I'd guess there are 2 types of users, those who need the URL, then they need it complete, including the http://, and those who dont need the URL to be visible at all (except maybe the domain name), like they dont need the current path in Explorer. But who exactly needs half an URL which is then only magically completed upon C&P-ing? And those who allegedly dont need http://, why do they need the part after the TLD? From their POV, the arguments part is even more useless than http://.
Yes, but this is part of what makes the "feature" so annoying for usability obsessives such as myself. It makes copy & paste work differently in the URL bar than they do everywhere else and in every other application. Normally copy only copies the text you select. Now when you paste you not only paste the text you selected, but some extra, previously unseen text as well.
I know that once you hide the "http:// you pretty much have to do copy & paste this way, to avoid people pasting incomplete URLs, but it still feels weird, at least to me...
The fewer such excuses there are, the better.
I switched to Phoenix, because it was a relief from the bloat of Netscape 6. It's been a long time since then, and running a modern Firefox tends to seem like Netscape 6 bloat.
So I use Chrome. I am agnostic about my browsers. I like speed, speed, speed.
Right now on OS X Leopard I have Hacker News, Slashdot, CNBC and Huffington Post (yuck) open in FF 7.01 and FF is using 179 MB.
When I had Firebug and the Stumbleupon tool bar enabled as well as some useless plugins that were enabled by default for media types I don't use, these same tabs were using 440 MB.
Google controls my email, phone, SMS and search information, I will not give them browser level access even if they let you opt out of data collection.
I like Firefox, it works great now and is rapidly improving. Mozilla's rapid release cycles should be applauded.
These problems people report must be very system-dependent. I've been running Firefox on my 2GB RAM Dell laptop I bought in 2007 for $600 without any issues.
I disable the (air quote) Awesome (end air quote) Bar every time I do a fresh install of Firefox.
I hate this damned feature with a passion (thank you, but I already know how to type, so get the hell out of my way!), and if the product doesn't have a switch to turn this damned feature off I'll find a competing product that does. Note that so many people loathed this feature that Mozilla added an option to turn the damned thing off.
And yes, I always do my Google searches by launching a bookmark that has their damned look-ahead feature disabled as well.
I'm suprised I don't see posts like this more often, specifically about the Linux version. I've been on Ubuntu since 7.04, and Firefox has always felt like beta software, especially when running any Flash media. I get far less crashes on Chrome, so I've started moving away from Firefox and find the Chrome experience much more reliable.
Still a good browser, but there's no question they've lost quite a bit of mojo.
`btrfs filesystem defragment ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/places.sqlite`
or use ioctl(fd, BTRFS_IOC_DEFRAG, NULL).
As far as I know, this can only be done as root. I'm not sure if other filesystems have similar defrag hooks.
So the correct approach is to make this facility accessible from unprivileged userspace.
But 7.0 is the best version yet for me and radically faster on startup and operation (and I use a ton of extensions).
It just took a weekend to get 7.0 to behave like 3.x and then I was happy.
I've switched to Firefox Nightly and this lag seems to have gone away.
As a bonus, the browser feels as fast as Chrome and it takes several weeks more usage before needing a restart due to slowness.
FF's plugin capabilities are unmatched, hopefully their new Continuous Integration/Deployment model will enable them to iterate quicker on the performance and other issues.
I turned my pc's screen this morning only to find out that the firefox session i had running from the previous day was consuming 2.5gb of memory.. with 3 tabs open.. whatever those tabs were doing all night .. that amount of memory can only be accounted to a memory leak a river can pass through. and yes i'm using the latest version thanks.
(I can't say that I've seen such issues myself... but it's been quite a while since I used Firefox under Linux.)
Pinboard also has good APIs so you can backup your data. No lock-in.