back to article The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

The Mozilla Foundation has officially launched a radical rewrite of its browser, a major cross-platform effort to regain relevance in a world that seems to have forgotten Firefox. The much-rewritten browser claims to be twice as fast and uses 30 per cent less memory than Chrome, although this comes at the cost of compatibility, …

Yeah...

I'm running the latest Firefox Beta on my phone and it's still much slower than Chrome, and that's without any extensions slowing it down. Performance on desktop is nice, but performance on phone is much more notifiable. I also think Mozilla has a good chance on Android because of the lack of extension support in Chrome Mobile.

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Nearly all my addons not supported

And most will not be available as web extensions as the low level functionality they need is not now provided in 57.

Bye, bye 57, I'm reverting back.

I do not need a tiny bit of extra speed, I do need my addons

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Facepalm

update? upgrade? updrate?

or irate? Seems this updrate took some users by surprise?

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Anonymous Coward

Death throes and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

The Google Chrome juggernaut was hard to beat but Mozilla had over the years made quite a few questionable decisions regarding the direction and development of Firefox, shooting itself in the foot.

Also, there are plenty of competent browsers out there today, including forked versions of Chromium. Gone are the days when Firefox was the lone plucky rebel upstart battling against the evil empire (Internet Explorer 6-7 era); Google Chrome is unto itself a very competent browser, which even the harshest critics of Google would grudgingly admit.

Browser add-on plugins are no longer a novelty, nor an exclusive feature of Firefox. Neither are 'privacy features'.

So, what's left that's compelling for someone to choose Firefox over another browser?

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Re: Death throes and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

"Google Chrome is unto itself a very competent browser, which even the harshest critics of Google would grudgingly admit."

Depends on what you mean by "competent". Personally, I find Chrome to be one of the more painful browsers to use.

It is, however, competently programmed.

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"But the deck is stacked against nondefault browsers.

You can’t distribute a phone without Chrome, unless you give up Gmail,"

Surely Google and Android are in exactly the same position as MS and IE 15 years ago? Where's the browser choice screen when I start my new Android phone? C'mon EU, quick before we leave, get an antitrust investigation going!!!

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it's installed on my system now

It's faster. All the add-ons I use work. It's much faster. It's better-behaved, in that certain sites which would crash it no longer do. Did I mention that it's way faster?

I have deleted Chrome. I have deleted Vivaldi. I might delete Safari from my Macs. If I could I'd delete Edge and Internet Explorer.

I have also updated it on my iPhone and iPad. It's faster. Not by much, but then Apple is being Apple-like about browsers on iOS devices. If they can get it to run faster on iOS despite all that Apple can do, Mozilla did a really good job.

I like it.

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Dear Firefox, it's you not us...

"The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?"

Answer: Because it's no longer going to be the #1 browser?

Killing most useful addons? (ie. mozilla GPO plugin)

Listen here Firefox Devs, the most secure browser in the world is the one nobody uses. Taking out java, legacy add-ons, flash... it's making FF very secure. I'm not sure my users can do the things they need their browser to do anymore with version 57. We're looking at switching to Chrome (which I HATE) but you can't break your product to make it safe.

Anyways, I'm farting into the wind, they won't listen.

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The proof is not in the pudding ...

.... but in the eating. Ie “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, does make sense otherwise.

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My 0 cents on zero sense

People respond to gripers with the easy "why don't you contribute money?" "why don't you contribute time?" and the like. So considering the negatives and to-be-expected backlash, why didn't Mozilla contribute time and money to Giorgio Maone and make sure NoScript was enabled at release?

I think they did contribute _some_ time in communications, and even polished up some APIs to be closer to useful, but that may not have been enough to prevent this stupid result. Which was very short-sighted.

Mozilla, always proud of themselves.

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NoScript

From the NoScript website: "2017-11-14: We're working hard to make NoScript for Quantum available to you as soon as possible, even later today if we're lucky enough, and definitely by the end of this week. "

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Boycott

Since Mozilla fired Brendan Eich, they and their browser can suck it........Piece of crap browser firefox is going downhill. Boycott................

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"For the others, see what 'Find a replacement' comes up with."

I looked and found Waterfox, killer features for my privacy

Removed Pocket

Removed Telemetry

Removed data collection

Removed startup profiling

Allow running of all 64-Bit NPAPI plugins

Allow running of unsigned extensions

Removal of Sponsored Tiles on New Tab Page

Did the usual in about:config and for the first time in years a 'fox' that is network quiet when not actively in use. All sockets time out and no activity during keypresses, plus I get to keep the extension I want. Win-win all round.

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Re: Mmm, shiny. New. Rub a dub dub.

"Now. This utilizing the GPU thing? Make it so."

That's hardware acceleration. It's been in there for years!

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arh

Firefox will is fading away and righfully so.

Statcounter Firefox January 2012: 22,6%

Statcounter Firefox October 2017: 6,08%

Ever since they sent Breich away I have removed Firefox. I don't like their leftist intolerance at all.

'In reality, in all his years at Mozilla, no one had ever accused him of acting in a bigoted way, and the influential gay journalist Andrew Sullivan commented that “there is not a scintilla of evidence that he has ever discriminated against a single gay person at Mozilla” and so the whole episode “should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.' https://stream.org/brendan-eich-fired-from-mozilla-for-defending-marriage-has-a-brave-new-web-browser/

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arh

Re: Firefox will is fading away and righfully so.

Must be: Firefox is fading away and rightfully so

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Anonymous Coward

5 people who still care about Firefox

1. Chris Beard

2.

3.

4.

5.

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arh

Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

6. George Soros

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Anonymous Coward

RAM

Hey everyone! I'm a total doucebag! Here's why!

My PC has 64GB RAM. It cost me a lot of money. So I constantly monitor how much memory my browser uses. Man, I sure get pissed off when I see my browser using more than a few hundred MB! I HATE browsers that are memory hogs, using up all that hard earned RAM? I want my RAM empty! I don't want shit cached there! I have a SSD and i7 and a very expensive GPU. I don't want it slowed down having the RAM all used up!

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Top Ugly UI

... apparently they splashed milk over the Quantum UI and forgot to clean it up - especially annoying in combination with the white font

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox as a "Thin OS"

It would be far better for Mozilla to provide a secure environment with minimal code and minimal UI to be customised by users utilising Addons... more like a thin OS. Mozilla could focus on security, performance updates and managing Addon certs... "Firefox Apps" instead of Addons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Firefox as a "Thin OS"

They sort of tried that, with Firefox OS, but unfortunately it didn’t get very far.

It would still be nice to see a bit more diversity in the mobile OS market, however.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Firefox as a "Thin OS"

Could be wrong but I don't think they've done that as a browser program running in a PC/Tablet/IOS/Android environment as opposed to being an OS for a phone, they must have all the protocols in place to support a desktop browser thin OS analogy, with an app (addon) ecosystem.

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FF 57.0

JEEZUS!

Somehow, I got an automatic update to FF 57.0 and it is way, way, way, way, fast. Unbeeeeeelievable.

Good!

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Useful

I use a FIREFOX a lot for doing things that might cause problems with Google or as a check if something fails. It's always good to have a backup.

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Damn You Mozilla

Completely screwed up my bookmarks. Moved controls around that didn't need moving. UI just looks like someone wanted to mess with it because the could. May be time to ditch Firefox for something else.

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Well....

Being faster "under the hood" is all fine and dandy, but why the f*#k did they have to mess with the user interface and look. That parts just s$%ks BIG TIME. And I won't even mention that 95% of my add-ons all the sudden don't work anymore after being forcefully updated a la Micro$oft...

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Re: Well....

" why the f*#k did they have to mess with the user interface and look"

I'm actually glad they did. Yes, the UI sucks, but it sucks less than it did before. Given that it's now impossible to write add-ons that actually make the UI reasonable, making it suck a bit less out of the box was welcome to me.

Of course, the better solution would be to make the UI configurable enough so that users can adjust it to their liking. The best solution would have been to provide an add-on API that was functional enough that plugins could fix it, but here we are.

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Tried that on a "sandbox" computer. Funny, but first notice I saw when FF 57 started for the first time, was its turtle warning: "Mozilla Firefox seems slow... to... start".

So much for super-duperfast Quantum. And I only had DuckDuckGo add-on enabled.

Not impressed, really. I get tired of endless UI changes, and that mad race (who will post more major updates - Google Chrom or Mozilla) is really dull. I remember the time when major version change in Firefox was a really major change.

Now every major version upgrade can be described as "we fixed a lot of bugs - most of which we introduced ourselves recently - and yes, we add new bells and whistles to replace old ones - aren't we great?"

And yes, not all the add-ons I expected to see have released at least Beta version of their Web Extension incarnation. And some are totally screwed while doing so (e.g., Xmarks).

Something tells me I get FF 57 on sandbox computers for some time, until I make sure it is good to use.

I also will use a separate Mozilla ID to set up sync - for those computers where I risked running FF 57.

In short: yet another "major release", again with fife and drums, but with greater disasters involved.

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I'm surprised at the civility.

Can't believe I read a story and dozens of responses and not one The Register reader took the opportunity to make any comparisons to Microsoft's two browsers. So...just so there will be some sort of celestial equilibrium, I just want to say that I'll download it and compare it to EDGE. My current, rarely used alternate browser is Opera.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm surprised at the civility.

There's no comparison probably because no one bothered to download/install/use those browsers. Firefox 57 or IEdge.

Brave, Vivaldi, Chrome or one of Chromium's many forked children would suffice as a 'daily driver' browser.

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I switched to Pale Moon in light of Australis but actually think that the new version of FF is a big improvement on that in a lot of ways. Not sure where it's getting its settings from if this is different to what the rest of you are seeing but I'm seeing a much cleaner UI, and the browser itself seems pretty fast. It's also loaded my adblocker and password manager just fine. Still not sure I'll be switching back fro Pale Moon but that'll do me as a start.

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It's just updated as I write. A cautious 'wow' from me so far. I've never seen my favourite newspaper site (which is loaded with photos and videos) load so quickly and scroll so smoothly. No doubt there'll be bugs to iron out, but it's looking good so far. Even Adblock is still there and working, and all my favourites are there and still in their folders.

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Its useless

New version autoinstalled on my main PC, totally borked DNS, not just for Firefox.

Had to unistall firefox, Avast AV, reset the firewall, reinstall firefox, then refresh it to remove all trace of plugins. Only then would it work, and only then would Chrome, Opera and IE work

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happy so far

It did have a weird moment where it wouldn't connect to news.google.com. Claimed it was making a TLS handshake and then sat there for ages before failing.

I did wonder whether it was doing it on purpose..

Seems fine now it's over whatever the problem with it was.

I'm currently surfing the Internet on the premise of "testing the new browser, boss". Seem to be getting away with it too, just need to avoid any meddling kids.

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FF default browser for years but recently started to look at Vivaldi as FF slow. Using FF57> has been great and now all PC devices updated to latest FF57 and loving it. Some things such as tabs not working as well with TreeTab but can live with that.

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Impressing

Just got it on Ubuntu, and it certainly FEELS more than 30% faster. Bookmarks, Extensions and everything else converted perfectly fine. Ugly as hell of course, but that's no show-stopper.

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Fix Thunderbird too!

If you want to see software hog your machines memory, install Thunderbird.

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Re: Fix Thunderbird too!

Unfortunately Mozilla's "fixing" of Firefox has resulted in it using far more memory than before, not less. The usage is spread out over a plethora of separate processes which perhaps makes it less easy to see, but in my testing with my normal set of just over 20 tabs open it uses around double what Pale Moon does in identical circumstances. It's not even perceptibly faster, not that I found Pale Moon slow in the first place.

I agree that it would be lovely to see some real attention to cutting the bloat in Thunderbird, but I'm not holding my breath...

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Is there an .msi and real group policy preferences control yet?

Chrome/Webkit is the new IE in business land unfortunately

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Anonymous Coward

Not an Update, it's a New Browser.

A new browser that didn't import my settings, filled the home page with ads and clickbait, and worst yet will not connect to my most used sites. The only other browser on this machine is Tor so I guess Tor it is and so far it is working and hasn't changed my settings.

I could get Q working and might, if only to experience a million billion times faster internet, but the list of things I'd rather do is very long, almost as long as the list of things I should do and the list of things I must do isn't short either and there are other browsers I'd like to try out first. Chrome maybe.

I've always said to look at the option others say they are better than. There is a reason Q sees Chrome as the one to beat. I'll try Chrome again and see if they listened to users like me. Then there is Torch and Max and Sea and eventually I'll try out that New Browser Q.

But not today.

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Won't work with my cctv plug-ins so no use to me. I'll stick with Palemoon, thanks.

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Rolling back after 8 hours

Despite having a tonne of memory and cores I was happy to give a new Firefox a chance, and I even made a supposedly helpful posting soon after about keeping bookmark folders handy.

It's taken eight hours on and off at the PC today for me to give up and roll back. The utterly pointless cosmetic changes were ... tolerable: stupid, but tolerable. Having to use Customise to put things back where I've got used to them was irritating, but possibly worth 20 minutes of faffing.

Minor annoyances, magnified by the fact that they all appear to have been done for sake of making changes rather than any actual purpose. Still minor, though.

But finding that when I open a new tab, expecting to find my default home page, instead getting some "popular websites" crap ... last straw. Yes, I've poked around to see if there is a "open new tabs at home page instead of shit" option, but if it's there it's nicely hidden, and life is short ... so, sorry Firefox—while I'll never touch Google with a long spoon, you've made it that little bit more likely I'll look out for a new browser.

Here's a radical thought (sorry for the caps, I'm having a YouTube moment):

WHEN SOMETHING WORKS—LEAVE IT THE F*** ALONE.

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Flame

Re: Rolling back after 8 hours

I just had to reply to this: because I've had exactly the same experience here. Especially the new tab crap is intolerable, but not unsolvable. If you go for the New Tab Override addon, you can counter that behaviour. But...

It is rather FU of course if you have to apply an addon to make the thing do what you want. And go waste laods of time to go through the about:config and turn off loads of stuff. So let's roll back. Well... As far as I found, that might be a problem. Everywhere I look I only find the 57 version or the 45.0.2 version. Even Debian runs with the 57 or 52 ESR version? Why can I not just go back one step to what I had? I thought the coup was in Zimbabwe? Ah well...

echo "deb https://dl.bintray.com/hawkeye116477/waterfox-deb release main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

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3 strikes

Ugh.

I knew tab session manager was going away, but thought it would be just a matter of days till a good replacement came along. The first one I tried failed completely at its purpose - saved tabs but didn't even reload one out of a 100 in the set. Lip bit, maybe it'll get better.

But then:

New Tab - no longer seeing a nice big list of the sites I usually open. Strike 1

Refuses to login and show an internal work webpage (Chrome / IE ok) Strike 2

Font changed on the webapps that I use at work, completely ugly now Strike 3

Just loaded chrome, probably not going back...

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Worth another look

Firefox used to be my browser of choice until the seemingly weekly updates made it slow and clunky, so I switched to Chrome.

Gave Firefox another go yesterday and it does seem a lot better - except in GMail and Google Sheets, bits disappear all over the place (images in my eBay emails come and go, chunks of the screen in Google Sheets go blank until you zoom in or out, or scroll the corrupt area off the screen and back again).

I will try again at some point though.

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Not Much.. 5 minute usage appraisal.

OK you would expect them to fuck about with the layout of shit on the toolbar and make the icons look more shit just to force the user to find out how they have fucked things about. Then you have to click all over the shit just to find out if they are pulling any clever deceptive wank... like I had set up open a new tab to display a blank page and it, prior to setting it back to do so, was filled with Advertising Shit. And the spacing in my sidebar is fucked whilst fonts elsewhere have got bigger. Of course, for the moment I have 'lost' No-Script but seem to have gained some other bit of wank that pretends to deal with tracking protection.

Is it faster. No it is not. Some others have mentioned that for poor people such as me at the end of 8MB ADSL the limitation is download speed. Sure, it appears to render shit faster but I am left with a feeling that that might be illusory by not trying to render stuff prior to having downloaded the complete item. Whatever.

Lower memory use. This is Linux Mint. Previously under system monitor FF with 5 tabs used 220MB. It also came with a single instance of Web Content, WC, using 400MB. Now I have FF using 260MB and four instances of WC using 100MB a piece. That, to me, rates as no difference.

Obviously I am just a clueless numpty. It's not 'broken' compared to what it was before. It just has differences I will have to get used to or have to try and fix for myself.

As things stand whilst I might accept that their are lots of extra special shit under the hood being a luser I have to ask "What was the actual fucking point?" All I see is that the interface has been dicked about with so I have to learn it again.

I watched The Apprentice on BBCi yesterday where the irritating back stabbing fucks argue about how brilliant they are and how everyone else is just shit trying to advertise a car. It's a fucking car.... Let's call it Expando, put the wing mirrors on the wrong way around and paint the windscreen blue coz we know fuck all about the engine but we need to fuck over the user experience to make an impact.

Every fucking time.

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