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Firefox 25 is released (mozilla.org)
347 points by lambda_cube 1485 days ago | hide | past | web | 227 comments | favorite



I developed a patch that added the VAO WebGL extensions earlier this year and it's finally out there! So. Cool. And everyone at mozilla is really helpful if you're thinking about contributing for the first time.



This is great! Thanks :) Anyone know of any other open source projects that one can contribute to?


KDE is usually very nice, and (believe it or not) the Linux Kernel (Just make sure you know EXACTLY how to send patches and so on).

Although lately I haven't worked in anything, would like to hear about more great opensource projects.


Both Django and Rails are very inviting. There's also Plenrt of libraries for many languages that can provide a smaller, more specific place to start (it's often easier if you work with it regularly).

With many projects though, some conflate "my patch was rejected" for "they're jerks" without understanding the impact of their fix/suggestions. Feature bloat, backwards compat, API verbosity, etc all add up.


You could look here: https://openhatch.org/


Tor or i2p if you're into crypto and/or making the web safer.


Thank you for your contribution!


Sorry to be dense, I know what WebGL is, but what's VAO?



My understanding is Vertex Array Objects are one of the core browser improvements that asm.js taps into to make C++ based game engines (unreal, rage, unity) crazy fast.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/154994-epic-mozilla-releas...


Wow, on my MacBook Pro Retina, Firefox is now faster than Chrome. It's noticeable during any graphics update, scrolling pages in particular.

I wonder if this is because Firefox has been optimized, or whether Chrome has simply stagnated. I suspect it's the latter; when I got the Retina MBP I immediately noticed that graphics performance was laggy compared to what I was used to on my previous (slower but non-Retina) MBP.


Firefox 25 has some big changes in the graphics area on OS X. It removed a layer of abstraction used for drawing content and switched to off-main-thread compositing. Either of these changes could have caused the speed up you're seeing.


I am also pretty disappointed with Chrome these days. I switched to Safari because it's just way smoother/faster for me. It's annoying because the sluggishness is still evident on Android.


Unfortunately, even after any graphics (WebGL) related improvements, on my Windows machine Firefox still lacks in graphics performance when compared to Chrome. If I open the new Google maps, it is very slow when compared to Google Chrome. Wonder what is the reason for such huge difference in panning/zooming performance. What is Firefox lacking here? Anyone knows more about it?


The other day I noticed that Google Hangouts just doesn't work in my Firefox anymore, helpfully suggesting I switch to Chrome. The cynical person would suspect that Google's dedication to a level playing field is starting to weaken, and that they're just not going to worry about making popular Google tools work well except for Chrome.


Humm ... that's strange. It still works in my Firefox 24 and 25.


Using Firefox 24, I just went to hangouts.google.com and clicked the "Available for your computer" button. "Hangouts won't work in your current browser. You'll need to download Chrome before installing Hangouts."

And a week or so ago somebody invited to a call was told he couldn't join in the version of Firefox he was using, which I'm pretty sure was up to date.

I avoid using it in Firefox; on Linux, it was performing terribly in FF but fine in Chrome.


I've noticed this too on my first gen retina macbook pro. I switched back to firefox from chrome this summer and it's been a notably better experience.


Maybe try clearing your Chrome cache?


Clearing your cache would make Chrome behave more slowly, because it has to fetch those things over the network again.


I find it irritating that Mozilla now herds its Firefox users toward the Stub installer, and not the full offline-install redistributable binary.

The actual download itself is available on the "Systems & Languages" page:

> https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/

This kind of download is important, when you want to try out a new release, without committing yourself to it. For example, let's say you want to load it up in a VM, without contaminating your normal environment.

Googling for things like "firefox standalone redistributable offline install" are a road to nowhere.

You sort of just have to "know" that "Download Firefox in your language" means "Download the standalone installer, and not the stub installer". They don't explain this, or make it obvious that this is how you can get a copy of a static binary for predictable results.


Large downloads dramatically decrease the number of users who get from a download page to actually running an application, even for web browsers. As a result, any steps you can take to make an install process faster or easier will have a tangible impact on the number of customers you have (and any revenue potential that results). Mozilla, like any other company, has salaries to pay, so they would be foolish to make things worse for the majority of users just to make them slightly easier for theoretical users who want to install in a networkless VM and can't figure out that the stub is a stub.

It's a complication, but it eliminates the need for the user to come back after waiting for some dozens of megabytes to download and then interact. You can download a stub near-instantaneously, do things like pick your install directory, and then forget about the install process entirely as it completes without your supervision. That's a good thing, and it isn't possible with offline installers.

Browsers like Firefox and Chrome already need network access after installation anyway. They update on a regular basis, and pull down optional packages like Chrome's software WebGL rasterizer, malware blacklists, and Firefox's GPU blacklist. So, in practice, it is already impossible to do a true offline install of either browser; you just may not be aware of the things that are left out of the installer.


All your points are valid, but none of them explain why Mozilla couldn't or shouldn't just put an explicit link from the main download page to something like "offline install" or "redistributable install."


> So, in practice, it is already impossible to do a true offline install of either browser; you just may not be aware of the things that are left out of the installer

Some people have lousy Internet connections. Those people use things like download managers to help. Download managers don't work with stub installers.

A simple link to a true offline installer would help those people. (Torrent is fine too, I guess.)


  > Large downloads dramatically decrease the number of 
  > users who get from a download page to actually running 
  > an application
I think I almost entirely agree with you on that.

  > they would be foolish to make things worse for the 
  > majority of users 
I'm arguing that this provision (clearly pointing the way toward an offline install) would not make things worse for anyone.

  > just to make them slightly easier for theoretical users
I am not a "theoretical" user. I am an actual user.

  > ...do things like pick your install directory, and then 
  > forget about the install process entirely as it 
  > completes without your supervision. That's a good thing, 
  > and it isn't possible with offline installers.
What?! What are you even talking about? I can pick my install directory with the full installer. I double click the icon, it asks me for the directory, it runs, and then the end.

Firefox's installer is dead simple, and believe me, I am HUGELY grateful for that. The only thing easier than the Windows installer is unzipping the Linux tarball into whatever path I choose. I hate Adobe's Flash and PDF installers, and I fucking DESPISE the Java installer, with its damnable bundling of that bloody Ask.com toolbar.

Seeing Firefox add these additional layers of background updater services and stub installers deeply worries me, and fills me with concern that as a "salary paying organization" (albeit, ostensibly non-profit), they might veer down an ugly path, go the way of the Sith, and start engaging in questionable behavior that is inappropriate for an open source project.

Consider the example of Ubuntu's desktop file search bundling Amazon ads in the results. What if one day, Mozilla decides that in order to pay the bills, it needs to negotiate a deal, whereby all those users with automatic updating enabled should get railroaded with some kind of optional-but-defaulted-to-enabled third party feature suggesting helpful reminders to buy more burritos from Jimbo's Refried Beans Emporium. Just sayin'...

  > Browsers like Firefox and Chrome already need network 
  > access after installation anyway. 
Not to do things without my permission, they don't. This "need" business... I disagree.

A browser only "needs" to to exactly what I ask it to do, and not much else. I tell the browser what to do, not the other way around.

  > They update on a regular basis, and pull down optional 
  
Optional. That's an important adjective in your sentence.

  > packages like Chrome's software WebGL rasterizer, 
  > malware blacklists, and Firefox's GPU blacklist. 
Yeah, the very same blacklist that I'm frequently bypassing to check out all the cool Web GL experiments people post here on HN. I know all about that.

Malware blacklists are another concept that I tend to reject as mostly ineffective in achieving their stated goal. We could go round and around with that argument for days. Let's not get started on THAT can of worms.

  > So, in practice, it is already impossible to do a true 
  > offline install of either browser; you just may not be 
  > aware of the things that are left out of the installer.
When you use the word "impossible", I have to just flatly disagree with you. And in general, most of the things that you mentioned are things that I don't care about, and will never be interested in.


As I explained in the parent post (which you failed to parse correctly - was my English too complex? I'm not the greatest at writing clearly), the advantage of the new streaming installer is that all user interaction is frontloaded, not that it adds new UI. I don't know why you thought I was claiming the ability to pick an install directory is a new feature.

Anyway, my point re things like the blacklist and webgl rasterizer is that the browser is not completely installed without those components. The offline installer is missing key features and components of the browser; things that show up on feature lists that web applications can rely on. Without the WebGL rasterizer, WebGL demos won't work in your offline-installed copy of Chrome in your VM without hardware accel. Without the GPU blacklist, on some configurations Firefox will be nonfunctional (or worse, crash your machine) because it attempts to do acceleration on a broken driver. Audio/video codecs are another area where it's no longer possible to realistically ship 'everything' in a single offline installer.

If you simply want an offline installer for a bare minimum browser that can do a stripped down subset of HTML5, it's still possible to deliver that. But the amount of the 'web' that works in that bare minimum installation will keep decreasing.

P.S. The reason Firefox has to install a service is because it's not possible to install updates cleanly in any other fashion on UAC-enabled Windows. Your alternatives are installing into %AppData% (like chrome does, which removes the ability to pick an install dir and has other gross consequences) or requiring the user to UAC elevate every time an update installs. As I stated in the parent post, not installing updates puts users at risk when you're dealing with a web browser - the attack surface is enormous.


  > The reason Firefox has to install a service is because 
  > it's not possible to install updates cleanly in any 
  > other fashion on UAC-enabled Windows.
Ah ha! Now you're speaking my language! That I understand perfectly!

It makes sense that Windows UAC has forced bad decision making. Windows, in general, is just a hideous, mutated mess nowadays.

Anyway, it's essentially a correct decision to never marry a browser to device drivers or hardware. The websites that count won't dare crash browsers due to hardware requirements. The browsers that count will fail gracefully, and tell the user that their settings are not compliant with the requirements of the page they are trying to view, before they ever crash. However one wishes to communicate the nature of highly specific user options, and then adapt to the long fragmented tail of hardware conditions, is beyond the scope of a "NORMAL" web browser (no-true-scotsman).

When requirements become that unforgiving, you've entered the realm of the highly specialized plug-in, or custom client-server software. It's cool that Firefox is brave enough to wade into those territories, and still deliver awesomeness, but the core necessities of the web browser should never be sacrificed, for fluff and sugar-coated eye candy.

I'm really not worried about the idea that "The Web" is changing. The sites that matter will always work with the bare minimum, with little more than HTTP GET and HTTP POST, even with JavaScript disabled.

The rest is just cruft.


For example, let's say you want to load it up in a VM

You've just excluded >95% of Firefox users. Those that do use a VM will know how to get hold of the full installer.

If they'd stop making full installs, I would be annoyed. But they're just optimising for the most common use cases.


I know. I know. Believe me, I know. That detail is not lost on me.

My complaint is simply that it's hard to find, and for those who want it, there's no real road map or sign postings for where to get it.


Preface: I wrote the following from a more general perspective. Perhaps Mozilla can and will speak to the specific changes under discussion in this thread (e.g. keeping the majority of "non-technical" users on the right/current release).

A bit like the so-called "Chromification" of the UI: I don't want to see too much "power" obscured or sacrificed for the sake of usability. Keep things sane, also, for the "power users".

----

When I see patterns like this, too often as I look further, I become convinced they are deliberate. I suppose one can argue as to motive and intent. Nonetheless, they seem to be forcing all users toward a more dependent and opaque pattern.

Therefore, I consider them "dark patterns". If you want to label that as my personal perspective ("you're weird"), then so be it.

If say 5% of your users want a stand-alone installation package, is that too low to add the description and/or provide a link to "stand-alone installer"? Is it really going to destroy usability if you do so?

And that's where, once again, I -- in my opinion -- start to bump up against today's "designers". Where pages and everything else have to be "streamlined" to the point of excluding any and all minority usage patterns.

"The web" used to be about choice. TIMTOWTDI. Some of us have atypical patterns, sometimes for good reason. In my opinion, that diversity breeds robustness. Things get examined from different angles. And no single pattern becomes irreplaceable.


It's fair to be annoyed by these design changes, but there's nothing you can do. It's already impossible to truly bundle every single dependency into one installer for an application like a web browser. They can and will change on an hourly basis, and having out-of-date (or worse, missing) data for things like blacklists can compromise your security.

It's only natural that an application that's designed to communicate live with servers on the internet would, at some point, have to pull more and more of its configuration and application logic from the same internet. The browser's still open source, so if it bugs you, you're free to compile a build yourself and gather all the dependencies manually.

The fact is that there are still stand alone installers available for all sorts of configurations, right there on the Mozilla FTP where they've been for something like a decade. If you're a power user and you're saying you can't figure out how to hit an FTP server or type 'firefox standalone installer' into a search engine, I don't know what to tell you.

Calling this a dark pattern is absurd. Nobody's being tricked, you're not being conned into opting something other than what you intended. The same Firefox gets installed either way, the install process is just streamlined in ways that increase success rates and simplify it for most users.


I think it's fair for you to call me out, a bit. My preface was probably not sufficient or adequately fair in itself. The specific complaint did trigger my memories of a more general circumstance, upon which I then rattled off a comment.

As to the Firefox installer specifically, now that my brain and memory have had a chance to catch up with the rest of me, I dealt with its "stubification" some time ago. When that first occurred, I was somewhat annoyed. However, I fairly quickly found that full installer downloads were provided under the... "other languages and systems" link/page, or whatever it is specifically labelled.

I did also, over time, observed that the new pattern, including automatic downloads and updates -- or prompts to update -- probably would help significantly in keeping the majority "non-technical" user population up to date, particularly on Windows, that I was using more at that time.

More recently, I've been using Ubuntu primarily, and I've gotten used to the release hitting package management within a couple of hours. I reboot daily, and usually check for and install updates when I do, so Firefox updating has just become part of the daily routine.

I do, nonetheless, think there is something of a "dark pattern" going around, in general, of making erstwhile stand-alone processes more dependent upon network-connected and dependent back-end services.

When I occasionally help family and friends out with a new computer, no longer can I download their ISP-provided security software and get it up and running before plugging into the network. Nope -- that's all network-dependent installs, now. (Used to be, you could sign in to the ISP, generate a license key, and then use that to validate against a stand-alone installation package.)

At least Windows now has a default firewall that actually kind of works, and most people are behind a wi-fi router that has its own firewall. These mitigate the "machine will be probed within minutes if not seconds" scenario that's been described ad nauseum in the last decade plus.

There was also a point in time when moving forward in version could and did sometimes break things. Some of use became sensitized to automated updates and no convenient, or at all officially provided, way to roll back. And some of those update processes could and did get a bit annoying of themselves with their resource use.

Adobe has switched to a online-dependent, "rental"-heavy licensing pattern. To subsequently have X million user accounts compromised. (Thank goodness I purchased my full, stand-alone installation of 5.5 from Amazon.)

Dark patterns...


They want to keep their website simple. If you're installing in a networkless VM, you probably have the technical experience to know to Google for the full installer.


Speaking of hard to find offline installers... google voice/hangouts plugin, holy moly


The stub itself pulls down the full installer, and you can always get that from download/FTP if needed.

The intention is to provide a better download experience: there was a gap between the number of people who begin downloading Firefox (counted via hits on download.m.o), and the ones who open it for the first time (counted via hits on the firstrun page). The stub installer is intended to address this. It also checksums the full file to make sure you're getting what you think you're getting.

(Disclaimers: I work for Mozilla, and am responsible for download.mozilla.org among other behind the scenes web things. I don't work on the installers, but we had to change the download scripts to support the stub. I do not speak for Mozilla.)


I think the stub is for an improved experience for the average user with slow internet access. You're likelier to download and run a 1MB file and then wait for the install to finish, than you are to wait for a 25MB file to finish downloading in the first place.

(I wonder if they push the stub so as to collect more (system) information without having to say that it's Firefox itself that's collecting that information.)


Wrong, the stub is an annoying experience if you are behind a company firewall, or with slow connection. And the point about bandwidth saving doesn't make sense either, since instead of putting Firefox installer in a file share and be done, now I have to put there a stub, instruct everyone how to bypass the proxy, if possible, and then everyone has to download it again and again.


A stub can save bandwidth by only downloading the components needed for your system, instead of having to pack in every possible optional dependency.

The alternative, expecting all users to know precisely which components they need, is absurd and never works. And we all know you can't reliably do configuration detection in a web page to that extent either.


Well, in that case, you can easily put (or link to) the full download, can't you?

Or am I missing something?


You are missing his point that it's not easy to find.

"Systems & Languages" doesn't tell me anything about being able to find the offline installer there. Either changing the phrasing to something more explicit like "Other downloads", and/or adding a title attribute explaining what can you find there could be a good improvement.

Also, giving a hint at the "thank you" page (ex. Having trouble? Try the offline installer) would be a nice addition.


Well, if I understand his post correctly, his process was "putting Firefox installer in a file share and be done." Well, this process still works.

> You are missing his point that it's not easy to find [...]

That, on the other hand, is a valid point.


Well, to be honest, I completely ignored the "putting Firefox installer in a file share and be done" part, because there are infinite reasons why an offline installer is needed (and also because I already saw people killing themselves in this discussion).

Entering in much detail of a specific use case is not really a helpful way to leave feedback, but it's understandable since users have the perception that their use case is completely ignored/forgotten.


If you feel like this, you should really file a bug (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org). If you need help with the intricacies of our bugzilla, ping me (I'm Yoric on irc.mozilla.org or irc.freenode.net).


When chrome got released, the instantaneous feel of downloading a stub which then pull the rest was enjoyable. I understand your points, but it's not 100% annoyance, it has a little value.


I think it's mostly a tactic to mitigate, prevent, defend against denial of service, since the Mozilla user base is absolutely gigantic.

My suspicion is that it's essentially a "security through obscurity" tactic, so that the majority of users are left with no choice but the "smart" installer, which offers greater control for load balancing heavy duty traffic during peak download periods.

See also: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5613152


Sorry for the trouble you had to go through. If you have access to an FTP client, you can go to ftp://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest

or you can go to http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases... from a traditional web browser as well

Cheers!


Mozilla uses Akamai as their CDN. As big as Mozilla is, a Firefox release probably is not even visible on a bandwidth graph.


> I wonder if they push the stub so as to collect more (system) information without having to say that it's Firefox itself that's collecting that information.

That sounds rather unlikely.


Should be not too hard to verify.


Yeah, that is if you have dial-up. Even the slowest DSL is enough for 768KBps.


That really depends on the country you live in.


Super annoying, yes! I completely agree with you. It's not just Firefox being the culprit here though... .NET is the same, and so is Chrome, and the list can grow like a mayor's coat-tails!

Also, here's a genuine usecase for a truly offline installer... What if you are the "resident software/pc maintainer" of your extended family.... In such a case, would it not make better sense to have one complete download, then copy it into a pen drive, and install it on every machine, without spending 30 mins to an hour on every machine, doing a download+install for every single one!

The rationale of an online installer might be justified as some of the replies indeed seem to do, but, I think that there is something fundamentally flawed/wrong with having to first "download an installer", only to have it "download the application" again! I mean, what the hell!?

EDIT: Also, the speed of these release cycles (not just Mozilla, but other software too!) are getting old and tired to keep up with, TBH...


Each of the 3 systems you mention have reliable update mechanisms and a track record of not really breaking things on updates.

Especially for consumer PCs, there doesn't need to be anything to keep up with.


Sigh Yes about those three.. But really, I just used those three as immediate illustrations and they are by no means the only ones doing this! And I am really not interested in offering a big list of all the software on my PC, that all do this online thingy, but are not similarly reliable as those three.

>> let's say you want to load it up, [snip] but without contaminating your normal environment.

Add-ons don't necessarily survive every upgrade, and take some time to catch up with the new release. Many people that I know, (in the family and outside) would rather wait on a new release than have one of their add-on break on them.

So, whatever way you put it, I am firm in my statement, that an offline installer should be a de-facto proviso, rather than being buried somewhere else.


The automatic updater takes care of all of the use-cases you mentioned better – why waste time manually copying files around when your relatives could be running the update days before you make it over with that thumb drive?

That said, they do make the full installers easily available (google “Firefox offline installer”) should you need to update a ton of computers behind a slow connection.


In case, you missed it, the moot point in the parent thread as well as my agreement is this: "an offline installer should be a de-facto proviso, rather than being buried somewhere else." In other words, The fundamental issue in this rant of course is, "Why the hell should I do all that? Make it available in the front page!"

For sure, lycos/ddg/ask-jeeves/bing "Firefox offline installer" is an option that is not lost on us luddites :).

But did you also notice the parent comment: "Googling for things like "firefox standalone redistributable offline install" are a road to nowhere"? ;)


> he fundamental issue in this rant of course is, "Why the hell should I do all that? Make it available in the front page!"

They could make it more obvious but, really, the audience for that page doesn't really include people who are familiar with technical issues and have made the calculation that it would be faster to download the full thing & copy it around.

> But did you also notice the parent comment: "Googling for things like "firefox standalone redistributable offline install" are a road to nowhere"? ;)

I did – and part of the point is that that's an unnecessarily complex query. Removing any of the redundant words (e.g. "firefox standalone installer", "firefox offline install") produces the correct result as the first hit. ("redistributable" appears to be the problem as that term hits a bunch of spam download sites)

In other words, that search query was itself an attempt to micro-optimize something which turned out to be unnecessary – rather like the entire post.


If anything "Mozilla herds its Firefox users" into using the auto update system inside Firefox, which is very convenient and helpful.

You're talking about a very small number of people who will update the way you described.

Most Firefox users will update by having Firefox automatically update in the background and then be prompted to restart.

I just downloaded the latest version (in my language) by going to 'About Firefox' and hitting the update button.


I find it irritating that Mozilla now herds its Firefox users toward the Stub installer, and not the full offline-install redistributable binary.

It makes sense though. The modern browser is epitome of "the user is always online, and should always receive and run the latest version of code on the fly" execution model. Why not apply those assumptions to the execution environment too?


Defaulting to the stub is probably a security decision, so you don't end up installing the same old security holes every time you run an out-of-date installer. But they could probably make the full install easier to find for people who want it.


Alternatively, you could wait for the folks over at PortableApps to update: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable


Uh, no thanks.

That site does not readily provide hashes for their binaries (MD5, SHA512, whatever), and the page is smeared with ads. There's no way to know if the site is trustworthy.

And, anyway, where would I get the trustworthy hashes? They'd need to be communicated to me, directly from the horse's mouth. I'd need to visit ftp.firefox.com, to find out what the correct hashes are in the first place, and then check them against the binary download I receive from your site.

The link you should have provided was:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/portableapps/files/Mozilla%2...

Version 25 isn't listed there yet.

All of this is even less convenient than digging for and deciphering the meaning of Firefox's official downloads.


Umm... Hm. I'm seeing just one ad on that page (a very conservatively placed Google AdSense ad): http://puu.sh/530fg.png

Also, I see the hash right there on the page: http://puu.sh/530kX.png


I think you literally jumped the gun with your assessment of portableapps platform. :)

Take a look again over the weekend. They are completely FOSS and all their bundling and bundled packages are transparent.

The entire project is voluntary, and it usually takes a day or two from the official release dates, before the volunteers bundle, test, and release the portable application to the general users.


This! I wanted to mention this, but since you already mentioned it, I will simply add my comments to yours....

The concept of PortableApps has been simply amazing! (FWIW, I donate to this project too, it's been really worthwhile having the platform).

I have begun to adopt this mechanism for some of my software maintenance strategy. Nowadays, I test the latest version of the updated "PortableApp" on my local copy on my machine first, and if all works well post-update, I ask others to choose the update. Else I simply tell them to uncheck the update until I can confirm that existing functionality remains unbroken. :)



But that's so much hassle, I have to click on the link and then navigate a whole bunch of folders, and possibly know what version and language I need! </sarc>

Users of VMs are more than likely power users at the very least, and if you want to test different versions then you should probably also be testing beta and even nightly. I don't think a full exe just to install in your VM really needs to be "homepage" visible.


As I've had to rollback, I just keep this page in my pinboard account: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/


Do you really want to test out a new release of a web browser on a VM without an Internet connection? It seems like you would be missing out on a lot...


I'm getting the full version download. It might just be location (UK) or maybe random. I don't know.

Edit: It's probably just that I'm using Linux.


Yeah, the stub installer only applies to Windows. Mac and Linux users are always given a full binary.


You can get all the full installer files on the ftp.


Hey, web audio is now in Firefox! That means all the web apps that did user-agent detection instead of feature detection will have to be updated.


Even if apps using Web Audio didn't do user-agent detection, many of them would need to be updated anyway because Web Audio (as it shipped in Chrome, at least) is a steaming pile. It's incredibly poorly specified in areas that matter when it comes to compatibility - for example:

You can't reliably detect the audio formats Web Audio can decode, and they vary both across hardware and software configurations (because the spec doesn't specify them), so your only choice is to download an entire audio file, try to decode it, and if you fail, download another and try that. Worse still, the <audio> mechanism of handing the browser a list of sources (so it can try to aggressively reduce wasted bandwidth) doesn't work because Web Audio requires you to download a full file before it can be decoded. Oops!

Shipped demos out there rely on Chrome-only Web Audio features that never made it into the spec, because Web Audio was written first as a non-portable implementation and then haphazardly turned into a spec while people were already building code against that implementation.

The spec changed after Google shipped it to the public (without putting it behind a flag or otherwise versioning it) so there are corner cases (albeit mostly small ones) where two spec-compliant implementations (Firefox and Chrome's for example) will produce different output. The only way to address some of these is update the application.

On the bright side, devs from both Mozilla and Google (among others) are working hard on addressing the issues, so it'll probably be fine in a year or so.


Jeez, why can't browser developers be more considerate of the poor put-upon user agent-detecting site developer?


Haha, are you making a reference to this gem: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765645 ?


No, but that thread is golden, and certainly captures the essence of the agent-sniffer. That is, if YHWH had ever heard of agent sniffing, he would do it all the time and complain bitterly whenever it breaks, which is also all the time. Like any skilled troll, YHWH kept me guessing as to whether he was actually trolling or not. Those mozilla folks have the patience of ages. Best response was:

For future reference: look into externalizing your scripts/css into a separate file and referencing that instead of copying and pasting to every page.

I also liked the find | xargs and sed one-liners. They might as well have been speaking Aramaic.


They might as well have been speaking Aramaic.

Someone named YHWH should probably be able to understand Aramaic! :)


My favorite bug report. The reporter of the bug runs quite a few over the top early 2000s looking religious websites. I won't post them here because they give me a ton of security warnings on FF but the more adventurous reader may want to take a look. Lack of -moz-opacity:0.7 should really be at the bottom of the reporters problems.


I almost lost it when he threatened to invoice them $18,000 for the time it took him to "update his thousands of pages"


Wow. So that's what a sense of entitlement looks like!


Entitlement and true idiocy. It was so entertaining to read because the author is moaning and bitching about using an experimental feature. Great candidate for being an IE6 advocate.


The developers are pretty unsympathetic though. That disclaimer on the third paragraph of CSS_Reference/Mozilla_Extensions? It might as well have been on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'. I understand the reasoning for removing the prefixed version, but they should at least give the developers more warning!


What do you expect from a user calling themselves YHWH?


Haha Woooow, that thread's too good to be true.


hahah damn, YWHW is insane.


Haha yeah. User-Agent: ... (Webaudio, like Chrome) ...


Ugh, why do people do that to begin with? :( I've had Web Audio for a while since I'm on the Aurora channel, and there's so many demos that refuse to work for no reason.

I try to do my part by submitting pull requests that fix it, when possible, but most of those pull requests have been sitting ignored for months.

Clearly more people need to be educated that user-agent sniffing = bad.


Sorry, you're wrong. I hate to be rude about it, but I'm really getting tired of people, who don't know any better, acting like feature detection is always the way to go.

Feature detection simply doesn't work it many cases, and there's no alternative. Especially with new stuff like audio, sometimes function calls need to be called in different orders, have subtly different behaviors, etc., and user-agent sniffing is literally the only thing you can do.

When I programmed an HTML5 music player, calling .load() before .play() on one platform was necessary, and on another it would crash the Android browser IIRC. No choice but to use user-agent sniffing -- I probably had 20 different things that depended not just on the browser, but on the browser version.

I'd love if we could use just feature detection. Unfortunately, we have to program in the real world.


So do what the spec says by default (and if the feature appears to exist), and only deviate for particular UAs.

Assume good faith.


I agree in principle. But I've got to get stuff done in the real world. I don't have an extra week to read the 22,554 words of JUST the video/audio spec in HTML5, and try to figure out not just how all the browser versions differ from each other, but also how they differ from the spec:

    http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/WD-html5-20110113/video.html
Sometimes user-agent sniffing is the only remotely sane thing you can do. Blame the browsers, not the programmers who have to work around their "idiosyncracies".


I'm cheerfully assuming that you're using distilled documentation and not the literal spec. If there is, say, conflicting documentation from Mozilla and Google, then we certainly have a bigger problem.


You would assume rightly, of course. Unfortunately, Mozilla documentation, which is the best around, is sorely lacking on the details of the HTML5 audio implementation, like proper usage of the load() method, and when it's supposed to be called or not called and when. [1] And I don't really know what Google documentation you're talking about.

So that's the whole point. People who go on about "feature detection" and "follow the spec", and think it's that simple, really don't seem to understand what's actually going on.

[1] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/HTMLMediaEl...


As a side note we have a "I am a Mozillian, ask me anything" on Reddit in a few hours.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/


The ES6 bits makes me all smiley: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?quicksearch=717379%...

I wish Chrome would start adding them, then I could start using them for personal/particularly nerdy projects.


I guess you’ve seen kangax’s charts, but he does a good job of tracking progress: http://kangax.github.io/es5-compat-table/es6/

Firefox 26 will introduce Array.of, Math.fround, Generators and Structs.


That seems to be coming along nicely but it looks like almost nothing made it into IE11 - so doesn't that mean we missed the boat for a few more years? I want to use this stuff so badly already. Gah.


Since TypeScript is somewhat tracking ES6 proposals it looks like Microsoft will be quick to include it once the spec is finalized.


Will the spec be finalized before IE11 ships? Seems unlikely.


Well since IE11 shipped already with Windows 8.1, no.

I don't expect Microsoft to follow Google and Mozilla with their 6-week release cadence. If they keep to their yearly releases, we will see new features integrated into IE much faster than ever before. As a web developer, I can live with 1 year or less of waiting when specs are finalized.

The real problem is Windows XP has been abandoned so those users cannot upgrade past IE8. They must either upgrade their systems or switch to another browser.


I do like the release schedule for Firefox.

However, I haven't used it in years, except for testing. Philosophically, I agree more with Mozilla than Google, but I just can't seem to get past three things:

1) Chrome gets out of my way. The UI is unobtrusive. Firefox is still bulkier here. 2) For whatever reason, more websites render oddly in Firefox/Gecko than in Chrome/Webkit. 3) Chrome, being a part of the Google ecosystem, plays very nicely with my Android phone.

This is not to say I'm not open to switching back to Firefox, but I'm going to need a compelling reason to uproot my workflow and abandon my apps and extensions.

Firefox 25 doesn't appear to give me that compelling reason.


Funny how your first and last negative points are my positive points about Firefox.

1) I really want to like Chrome, but I find the UI pretty bad. Yes, it's fine when you have 5/10 tabs open, but try to open more and you'll see (Firefox without addons is just slightly better than Chrome here, but at least I can customize Firefox). That said, there's a planned restyling of the Firefox UI (which you might already know), called Australis, which might fit more your liking (but I'm not sure when it will land).

2) I'm going to admit that I've never had this problem with Firefox. Firefox is a pretty reliable browser (for what is worth, check the Tom's HW Browser GP), and should render pages just fine. The only time I see problems is when developers use webkit- specific features, without including the moz- too (some times it's something not supported by Firefox, but many times it's just lazy developers that test their sites only with Chrome/Safari)

3) I'm in love with the Firefox mobile UI, and I find mobile Chrome just terrible. I'm not sure what do you mean by "plays very nicely", you mean tab sync?

To be clear, I'm not trying to say that Firefox is better/worse/equal/similar to Chrome, and I'm not trying to convince you to switch back. I just wanted to reply to your points.


With the third point, I'm referring to the fact that I can use the Chrome web store to install apps for both my browser and my phone. If I switch to Firefox, I lose half of that equation. I'm not even talking about mobile Chrome here; I mean the actual Android apps.

Firefox's rendering issues have been largely, I imagine, the case of developers designing only for Chrome, or only for IE. It's not Firefox's fault, in that case, but it's still a reason for me to be wary of Firefox.

As for tabs in Chrome... I never have more than eight open at a time. I'm religious about closing tabs I haven't looked at in over five minutes. My own personal quirk, that!


> As for tabs in Chrome... I never have more than eight open at a time.

When you study a subject, do you compare sources of information to determine which sources are the best (e.g., authoritative, detailed, etc.) and should be referenced in your notes? If so, how do you compare multiple sources while never having more than eight tabs open?

When I study a deep subject, I almost always end up with hundreds of tabs, including articles, papers, reports, policy statements, discussions, etc. I use the wonderful Tree Style Tab and Session Manager extensions for Firefox to organize tabs and manage sessions. After I finish my research, I process the hundreds of open tabs and add references to the best sources in my personal wiki, which is powered by Org mode.


Try Tree Style Tab and you'll see how hard it is to leave Firefox.


Long time lurker but I had to comment on this.

Just yes. God yes.

It's absolutely must-try if you are the can't live without TabMixPlus type. Mission critical if you do any kind of ticket management/research at work. I frequently convert coworkers with the combo.

Bonus: https://addons.mozilla.org/EN-us/firefox/addon/context-searc...


context-search is also a must, combined with :

* adblock plus

* adblock plus popup

* multirow bookmark plus

* text link


Yes, this add-on is amazing. It's a critical part of my web browsing experience.


Tree Style Tab? Now I'm curious.


https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...

It puts tabs on the side, where they take up low-value horizontal screen space instead of high-value vertical screen space. And you can read the tab titles them even if you have lots of tabs open. And it groups them into trees -- links opened with a middle-click from one tab become children of that tab -- and you can collapse/expand trees.

Try it, you won't regret it.


Wow, just trying it now. So much better than existing tabs. I suspect it's going to take a lot to rewire my brain to use this, but it's clearly worth it.

Any tips on how best to use it?


They work pretty much like normal tabs, meaning you can close them by middle clicking it, you can ctr+shift+T, ctr+tab, ctr+shift+tab, ctr+1, ctr+2...

you can close multiple tabs that are nested by closing the parent when its minimized.


I rarely collapse sub-trees; I rarely have enough tabs open for that to be needed. And I set the prefs so that if I close a parent, the first child takes over as the parent of the tree.


Maybe sites would render correctly in Firefox if more web developers used it as a primary browser, rather than just for "testing". ;)


Haha, yes, that may well be true.


Using an older phone, Firefox is unusably slow and Chrome is not even available.


Inline iframe content is a fascinating addition. Anyone have any further documention on it? I'm guessing that it's a viable alternative to using xmlhttprequests to update page content, which is really rather neat.


Even better: this feature was added by a new contributor :)


Pleased to see they've backed off on the draconian Java restrictions. I now see (with an up-to-date plug-in) three options: always or never active, or ask to activate, with the latter then prompting as a one-time or remembered choice. This seems a much more reasonable balance between trying to protect security and making sure people can get work done than some of the other proposals in recent discussions.


They honestly had to though. their aggressive stance on plugins risked losing them significant market share in the Java-heavier parts of the world.

They couldn't let a few rogue cowboy-developers with an agenda and complete user disconnect overnight just ruin what Mozilla have spent decades building up.


The plugin is quite dangerous, an "aggressive" stance sounds reasonable to me. In the interest of fairness I keep a similar stance with IE/ActiveX.


The plugin is quite dangerous, an "aggressive" stance sounds reasonable to me.

But what would persisting with claims that Java plug-ins are always dangerous have achieved? By a similar argument, the Firefox team fixes several security vulnerabilities they themselves describe as "critical" in each new six-weekly release, so they ought to have advised users not to run Firefox either. Software has bugs, and security flaws need to be fixed, but something about glass houses and stones kept coming to mind with the previous stance. The new one seems a reasonable balance and a constructive policy, and I welcome it as such.


And some software has almost an order of magnitude more vulnerabilities while simultaneously being unnecessary for most folks.

Oracle has been issuing ~50 per quarter recently, an incredibly long time to wait for critical fixes. In security, less is more. Now that Windows has become safer, the big targets are Java and Flash. It continues to be good practice to avoid standing behind big targets.


Firefox has had in the region of 30-40 advisories per quarter recently, hardly an order of magnitude more vulnerabilities than the ~50 you mentioned as the Java plug-in's recent record.

Also, as has been pointed out in numerous recent debates about Java, it might be unnecessary for most folks, but there are still many millions who use it routinely. Indeed, this is precisely why I think Mozilla's U-turn on this issue was a sensible move.


Anyone is still using Java in the Browser?


Yes. and thanks for demonstrating the user disconnect I was just referring to. the internet is big, so it's an easy thing to fall into.

for better or worse some places java is the one sanctioned way to sign into online banks and sign official documents online.

Having your browser constantly telling you that you can't do that anymore, completely out of the blue, tends to cause dramatic reduction in browser usage in those areas.


Look at it this way; I love a good debate. Even where more extreme measures are proposed. In fact, when starting a discussion about a problem, not having proposals (i.e. solutions) of your own, tends to leave your debate dead in the water.

Merely stating that Java is a security problem hasn't really sped up a solution to the problem. It's like the talk about how terrible PHP and JavaScript are, but it isn't really helping, is it?

So while my personal experience would not have been ruined by the initial proposal from Mozilla (as I do not use any plugins in my Firefox, I leave that for my Chromium browser), I do agree that they made the right call in the end. But it did at least spark a debate on the matter, and an interesting one at that. And it'll probably come up again, when another Java security issue appears.


Mozilla had postponed turning on the "block third party tracking cookies by default" feature since May, originally slated for FF22 I believe and it keeps getting pushed back. Anyone know the status of this?


> The find bar is no longer shared between tabs

It was about time!


Why? I found that useful.


Actually, it's the sharing of search terms across tabs that is useful, and is still supported.


Do you need to toggle a pref to share search terms across tabs? It no longer works for me. :(


Why is this news? I don't remember seeing a "Chrome r30 released" thread.

Aren't minor updates not a big deal when a vendor is doing rolling releases?


because firefox needs some love


I hope that dicking around with Rust turns into some end-user love. I love some R&D, but Mozilla's limited non-profit funding, there should be priorities (yes, I hope they can walk and chew gum at the same time). But the point is that 3 is a magic number, and we need Mozilla to keep Google and Microsoft on the straight and true path ;)


Rust is about long-term strategy. They need it to build Servo, and they need Servo so they have a state-of-the-art browser engine in 5 years.

An unbelievable amount of effort has gone into optimizing Gecko, with impressive results, but ultimately it's an aging, legacy codebase. More importantly, neither Gecko nor WebKit/Blink are ready for a manycore world. As Brendan Eich puts it[1]:

The multicore/GPU future is not going to favor either WebKit or Gecko especially. The various companies investing in these engines, including us but of course Apple, Google, and others, will need to multi-thread as well as process-isolate their engines to scale better on “sea of processors” future hardware.

There’s more to it than threads: due to Amdahl’s Law both threads and so-called “Data Parallelism”, aka SIMD, are needed at fine grain in all the stages of the engine, not just in image and audio/video decoding. But threads in C++ mean more hard bugs and security exploits than otherwise.

I learned at SGI, which dived into the deep end of the memory-unsafe SMP kernel pool in the late ’80s, to never say never. Apple and Google can and probably will multi-thread and even SIMD-parallelize more of their code, but it will take them a while, and there will be productivity and safety hits. Servo looks like a good bet to me technically because it is safer by design, as the main implementation language, Rust, focuses on safety as well as concurrency.

1. https://brendaneich.com/2013/02/why-mozilla-matters/


My issues with Firefox

1) Signing into Chrome is easier and more intuitive then syncing with a code. Also having your extensions is nice.

2) The Inspect element and console are easier to use in Chrome. (Copy as HTML, etc)

3) I seem to have to click on a YouTube video twice for it to pause in Firefox.

4) Typing search queries in chrome is easier. For example in Firefox, you can't just type define: word to search Google for the definition of 'word', as it complains it is not a known command. I don't often use URL commands and think you should access about:config from somewhere else.

5) In Firefox when you scroll with the mouse you scroll too far per mouse tick.


ad 5: change "mousewheel.default.delta_multiplier_y" in about:config

ad 4: you can create a bookmark, edit its "location" and "keyword" accordingly. "%s" is the placeholder for the text you type. E.g.

Location: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=%s Keyword: g

Usage: Type "g whatever" in the URL bar to launch google search for "whatever".

You just need to extract the minimal URL and place "%s" accordingly. That way you can create multiple ad-hoc search engines, like "so foo" -> google search "site:stackoverflow.com foo" etc.


re 5: I don't mind the speed at which it scrolls, I just want one scroll wheel tick to be less.

re 4: I do have the keyword 'g' set up but it is still easier to not type g[space] everytime. And yes there is ctrl +k but it is still easier in chrome with just one location.


If your problem is specifically with "define", you could set up a bookmark to http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=define:%s with the keyword "define:". Just checked and firefox doesn't complain about the colon in that case.

For the more general case, I agree that firefox can be a bit annoying about treating any address with a : as some kind of protocol. It occasionally bytes me when doing things like trying to google a Python error via copy-paste.


bytes=>bites

Not sure how I feel about that typo


In regards to 4) typing 'define word' without the : should work just fine.


Wow thanks


Copy as (Inner/Outer) HTML in the developer console are in Nightly.


Still no h.264 on Mac :(


Linux has it though, through GStreamer (but you need to set media.gstreamer.enabled to true in about:config).

Is there any way to set a preference for free formats by the way? I.e. if the page specified several sources for the audio or video tags, but puts MP4 first let's say, is there way to override that and say "always prefer WebM if present" or something like that?


Hi!

This is on my to-do list. Should be in Nightly builds in a few months' time.


This can not happen because of licenses afaik.


Why can't they use the built-in decoder in OSX like they do in Windows?


We are doing that, it just tales time.


Licensing is the responsibility of the party distributing the codec. When using the platform decoder any licensing fees have already been paid by, e.g. Apple.

This is coming soon.


Or XP (no media framework api)

But youtube encodes popular videos into the native firefox formats.


It's never going to happen on XP.


Depends on whether XP outlasts the H.264 patents (currently 2028 but they like to keep adding new patents to these pools to extend the time they have lock in for).

So I'd say it's 50/50.


2028? Its incredible how we're using 18th century understanding of intellectual property in the modern age. The monied interests have really figured out how to game this broken system.


I don't understand why click to play doesn't work anymore. I've turned it on, but it allows all plugins to run without the previous "click to activate" box.


The following thread was the most informative discussion about the state of click-to-play that I found when I searched last month:

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=2723831


Wasn't there supposed to be a new UI with this release? When you Google "firefox new ui", the headlines all point to 25 having that. http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/05/mozilla-is-planning...


It is not yet ready. Expected for Fx 28 (but would not sign it with my blood). There is a UX Nightly with Australis (the name of the redesign) out there.


Really looking forward to it. Maybe it makes me sound superficial but that might be what finally makes me switch back from Chrome - the compactness of the Chrome UI is great. Firefox on OSX is really in need of a boost.


I don't know how well it works on a OS X, but I have been using the firefox-ux nightly build on Windows for awhile now. You can find them at [0]. It's been as stable for me as the other nightly builds tend to be, which is very stable, but do be aware that going this route can lead to running into bugs. I understand why these things take a long time to shake out, but it is massively disappointing to hear that the new UI won't be released until Firefox 28 or later!

[0] https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/late...


I've been using UX Nightly on OS X as my primary personal browser for something like 6 months now and it has given me very little trouble.

It's worked well on Linux, too, but I haven't used it there as much.


Changelog:

    NEW Web Audio support (https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/10/songs-of-diridum-pushing-the-web-audio-api-to-its-limits/)
    NEW The find bar is no longer shared between tabs
    CHANGED If away from Firefox for months, you now will be offered the option to reset it to its default state while preserving your essential information
    CHANGED Resetting Firefox no longer clears your browsing session
    DEVELOPER CSS3 background-attachment:local support to control background scrolling
    DEVELOPER Many new ES6 functions implemented
    HTML5 iframe document content can now be specified inline
    FIXED Blank or missing page thumbnails when opening a new tab
    FIXED Security fixes (https://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html)
The ES6 features are:

    new ES6 math functions
    Map#forEach and Set#forEach
    Array.of
    Number.parseInt and Number.parseFloat


I use Firefox Nightly (since the beginning of this new releases schedule) as my main browser on OS X and I'm quite happy with it. The only (minor) inconvenience is to have to reboot the browser after every update every day.


Can someone shed some light on the rationale and usefulness of the inline "iframe" and "srcdoc" attributes? I read the description, I understand how they work, but I'm not sure what they are good for.


Mike West, developer advocate at Google Chrome in Münich, had a great talk, recently at GOTO Aarhus, where this was mention. The talk was focused on security and mentions the new sandboxed iframes[1]. With the inline iframe, iframe's can now be used as div – a sandboxed div.

The idea is that you can sandbox e.g. social buttons by putting them in a sandboxed iframe. You can also populate the iframe's without extra HTTP-requests by the iframe, by using "srcdoc". This is a perfect way to sandbox user generated comments on your blog.

I recommend reading [1] as it covers all of this.

[1]: http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/security/sandboxed-if...


But you can also just use a data: URI with the entire document inlined—gross, but no moreso than srcdoc. Why is srcdoc any better?


The search bar close, "Highlight All", "Match Case" buttons moved to the right side of the screen while the addonbar close button is still on the left side.

At least with the addons I have installed moving the close button of the addons bar is not possible.

I prefer the old position of the search bar buttons. The new one forces me to move the mouse to the other edge of the screen and also look at the opposite sides of the screen.

Unlike other elements it isn't possible to change the positions of the search bar buttons.

Not sure why they changed it. Could it be a bug?


Hey FF team, did you get the cake from IE guys? This tradition started by IE always makes a good story to tell, especially for an industry infamous for cut-throat competition.


As far as I know they stopped when Mozilla tried to abuse their generosity by switching to a shorter release cycle. Not cool, guys!


I don't think Mozilla changed release cycles with the intention of getting more cake...


You never know...


They stopped a couple of years ago. For the first few small releases 5-7 the IE team sent a cupcake instead but they stopped with 8.


I know a guy who still runs FF3. It's really incredible how fast Mozilla can push out new releases now!


Maybe this comment was meant to be sarcastic, but the version number is not an indication of progress as it was with prior development. When Chrome went all nutty with frequent new version numbers, Mozilla followed suit.


You know that there is a point to it, right? Now there are always 4 versions: fresh nightly builds, dev, beta, and stable. Every ~6 weeks dev becomes beta and beta becomes the new stable version. This way you get a higher degree of parallelization. There is no global feature or whatever freeze. New stuff is added all the time.

The version number is now basically just a step counter.


Can't wait for Firefox 150!


I know you tried to be funny, but this "150" actually means something very specific. It's +125 of those steps.

That's way more meaningful than +7 major releases. Just look at other software. Sometimes it takes 1 year. Sometimes 6 or even longer. Sometimes the changes are very minor or purely cosmetic. Sometimes the changes are very drastic. Sometimes it's even a complete rewrite.

I don't see how that's any better. Basically, it just means that someone thought it would be a good idea to increase the major number by one.


What I said doesn't imply that I find the idea silly, but "Firefox 150" does indeed sound silly to me. However, what you say seems to hinge on the idea that each of Firefox's steps are consistent in their impact. Is that true?


Of course there is some variation. There are always some bigger features which take their sweet time. However, there is always a constant stream of smaller fixes and improvements.

Also, if there are ~86 releases per decade, those features and improvements are of course far more evenly spread compared to some product which only released 4 versions in the same time span. (IE6 was released in 2001 and IE9 in 2011.)


Getting closer, can't wait for 26 ever since that massive memshrink improvement hit the front page.


Another one eh? I've been happy with FF ever since the big mem fix around FF 16 or so. Surprised there is still room for another massive fix.


More info on this?


I think they are referring to this change: https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2013/10/01/memshrink-pr...

Images that aren't visible aren't decoded as they are downloaded, or something like that. It reduces peak memory usage on image-heavy pages. It should be coming in Firefox 26.


Yep that's the one. The whole web is image heavy these days so this will affect everyone. We have a lot of older computers on our network, this will really help.


I've been a FF enthusiast for years now. Don't never really use chrome at all anymore (although I do use torch browser for downloading and site unblocking). I find that for standard browsing, nothing works better and quicker than Mozilla.


So session cookies now never expire?

CHANGED Resetting Firefox no longer clears your browsing session


This is a misinterpretation of what they are saying. Firefox has a "Reset Firefox" feature that will reset many of the settings within Firefox that may be causing a poor browsing experience.

Previously, when the "Reset Firefox" feature was used, all of your open tabs would get lost in the shuffle. This has now been fixed, and you won't lose your open tabs and current browsing session when Firefox restarts with a fresh and clean profile.


I believe 'session' and 'session cookies' are different things here.

IMO It's a rather poorly described change.


Yeah, session probably means tabs open, etc.


A Firefox reset is a maintenance operation, they don't mean restarting FF.


Argh, it still has this:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=686747

Edit: I would fix this myself, but don't even know where to look...


Still the best browser out there, esp. with Pentadactyl. I can't imagine browsing without the two together.


> Search bar is no longer shared between tabs

Wait, is that a new feature? Well let's file a bug.


It will hang like previous versions ? Unhappy with the performance so i shift to chrome.


Alternatively, you could help us improve the responsiveness of Firefox: https://dutherenverseauborddelatable.wordpress.com/2013/10/0...

I am willing to help you get started, if you are interested.


I don't understand how you can be unhappy about the performance of the few last versions of Firefox. It is now quite savy in memory (especially in comparison with Chrome) and handles everything I throw at it without noticeable janks.


The GUI toolkit take its toll but I can't say enough how much the js, html/css renderer, network and memory subsystems have been improved, chrome doesn't feel faster, except on the UI side of things, but can show long lags when loading/rendering. Kudos to Mozilla.


Well it's certainly better. But, as some one who has to run Selenium at work a fair bit (it makes me so sad), I can tell you that Aurora is quite savvy and the memory use never really got out of hand but FF24 still crashes after running a fairly long suite.


I am not a Selenium user and I am genuinely curious: does the same thing happen on Chrome?


unfortunately, our ageing selenium scripts do not work on anything but firefox. Again I want to stress that Aurora works really well on most everything. I personally prefer Firefox to other browsers. But that doesn't mean that FF is perfect... nothing is.


I don't think anobody stated that Firefox is the perfect browser. Each browser has its strenghs and weaknesses but I am more keen to accept flaws on a browser that's opened by nature: that's why I have always been using Firefox, even when in term of performance it was way behind Chrome. Today I am happy that Firefox has caught up and is even doing much better in some area.


its depends on my interest and i have freedom to use whatever i want to use if a thing is not working properly.


With All of their effort shifted to Firefox OS. Dont expect much improvement with Desktop Firefox in the short run.


Its worth mentioning that Firefox OS and Desktop Firefox share gecko, a huge amount of the improvements for Firefox OS will be relevant for desktop, Especially regarding the performance and memory improvements.

(Also that there are definitely still people working on improvements solely to desktop, see the upcoming redesign)


Yes, but not everything is applicable to Desktop Firefox. And the porting back takes time. We have already been told dont expect e10s until early 2015. That in Mozilla calendar is telling me it will be around by the end of 2015.


> Dont expect much improvement with Desktop Firefox in the short run.

You do realize that you are commenting in a thread about a short-release-cycle release that adds a good number of improvements while you're also able to check on the improvements coming up in the next releases?


very impressive


Mad respect to the contributors and developers of Firefox. I've been loving the updates lately. Firefox has become my browser of choice again :)


It's quite amazing really. FF is a really big project with a complex highly-layered codebase that has to work on a lot of very different platforms (and not just the most recent versions either); changes that might seem simple in the abstract can be very difficult to make in practice. And yet despite this, recently it seems like they're just flying: not only are releases more frequent, but each release seems to contain significant improvements, both in functionality and speed/robustness.

How exactly they manage to pull this off I don't know, but mad props seem apropos... :]


I've been toying around with Auoera(sic) as a dev debugging tool lately and curious what the relationship between built-in dev tools and firebug is?


https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/10/firefox-developer-tools-an... has the current description of that relationship.


> "Auoera(sic) " [sic]

You mean Aurora, and I'm not sure why you use "(sic)" here. It means "that's how it was written upstream, I didn't invent this!"


How did firefox get development stagnate so badly? We have more workarounds and polyfills for dealing with firefox than we do for dealing with IE now, it is ridiculous.


Development isn't stagnant. They have releases on a 6-week schedule now, that's why each update is smaller. Because of the more frequent releases, features get released as soon as they're ready instead of waiting months or years for a "major release" like they used to.


I did not suggest the size of any given update, or the schedule they are released at was evidence of stagnation. The fact that firefox is the problem browser now instead of IE is what I pointed to. It is nearly 2014. Firefox still doesn't have html 5 form elements even. Remember making internal use sites and telling people "we're not supporting IE, use firefox"? Now we're doing "we're not supporting firefox, use chrome or IE or your phone".


I'm not sure what you mean. As far as I can remember, Firefox has had HTML 5 forms since Firefox 4 (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/HTML/Form...).

What exactly are you talking about?


It has some of the elements. It doesn't contain many of them, such as any of the date or time related ones.


I think he means these: http://caniuse.com/#search=input

Firefox doesn't support advanced (and more user friendly) input types. Number, color, date/time.

At least that's what I'm guessing.


I am talking about the rest of them. In particular, the most useful ones: date, time, datetime(-local), hell even number is useful and forever missing in firefox.


The only form elements missing from Firefox (according to http://caniuse.com/forms) are the date/time, number and colour input types. IE only partially supports the number input type, and doesn't support the rest.

It's hard to believe you have to tell users to use IE over Firefox because of that difference.


Number is in Aurora, and color in Nightly.


This.... is so not true I don't even know what to say.


Your wording could have been better but I have to agree with the sentiment that FF is the new IE. There are so many unfixed bugs that have been ignored for years. They just work on edge case new features instead.


Well, that's not true. I, for one, haven't work on any new feature in two years, only on fixing bugs and improving performance or safety.

If you have a pet bug that badly needs fixing, though, I can help you get started, if you are interested.


Thanks for your work. I know there are people like you who work hard on fixing bugs but it seems to be the minority of Mozilla's effort.

Here are some open bugs which affect sites I work on, one which was opened in 2000. I don't understand how having a bug open for 13 years is acceptable.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63895

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=688556

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=620691




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