back to article Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

For some time now Firefox, the once mighty web browser, has been bleeding market share and – perhaps more importantly – developer mind share. Between bundling unwanted features such as Pocket, proffering popcorn-worthy CEO dramas atop Mozilla, being led by a seemingly clueless management, and the fact that that Chrome feels …

  1. sisk Silver badge

    On the 'polarizing CEO' front it should be pointed out that the drama was neither his fault nor appropriate. The gay rights community was completely to blame for that. There was no reason to get up in arms over a political donation made ten years ago. And the fact that he was hounded out of a job over it is nothing short of disgusting. And I say that as a gay rights activist. It should have been a non-issue. After all in America we're supposed to have the right to support whatever political camp we want. Not only that but that particular political camp was in the majority at the time of his donation.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      What ?

      A CEO lost a job over a donation made TEN YEARS PRIOR ?

      Fuck.

      If only politicians could fall as easily, we might just have ourselves a democracy.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: What ?

        If only politicians could fall as easily, we might just have ourselves a mob rule.

        FTFY

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: What ?

          f only politicians could fall as easily, we might just have ourselves a mob rule.

          What, you don't think we don't have "mob" rule now? Take a look around at who's running your country, or the company you work for. Go ahead, take a good, long, steamy look.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree completely, he should have lost his job for inventing JavaScript instead.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        I agree completely, he should have lost his job for inventing JavaScript instead.

        Oh come now. JavaScript is actually pretty good so long as you use it only for what it was intended. It's when you start doing crazy things like take it out of the web and make it the primary scripting language of a desktop (the hell was the Gnome team thinking?) that it falls down.

    3. Robert Grant

      It's standard stuff - a group that's oppressed (or even one that merely views itself as oppressed, although that's not relevant here) learns how to fight, and that fight becomes part of its identity, making it more like a tribe, and then the tribe keeps fighting long after its won (or about to win) the stuff it's been fighting for, because the fight is all it knows.

      Thus the old liberals become the new conservatives, because they were never genuinely liberally minded in the first place. They just happened to want certain changes that liberals wanted. But once that change appears, they defend it using classic conservative tactics.

    4. Orv Silver badge

      We have the right to support whatever political camp we want, yes. But we don't have the right to be protected from others exercising their right to complain about it.

    5. Mr Lion

      "The gay rights community"

      Wtf is that? Anyone who doesn't support the rights of gays, or any other human, is an arsehole.

      So if by your comment you mean that the drama is down to non-arseholes being opposed to discrimination - I guess you're correct, but it's a bloody weird way to say it.

  2. DJV Silver badge

    That is (hopefully) good news

    Firefox is still my browser of choice due to the multitude of developer add-ons that I've become familiar with and now rely upon over the years. However, if things like Classic Theme Restorer hadn't also been available to reverse many of the completely idiotic things Mozilla have tried to impose then I would have ditched it some time ago.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    If you don't like Firefox bloat, use Pale Moon.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Thanks for the tip. I'm giving it a try.

    2. Gordan

      Mozilla has gone through cycles like this more than once before. Back in the days for v1 it was a debloated fork of Netscape.

      It then went on a massive diet with v4, where it actually managed to maintain a smaller memory footprint than contemporary Chrome.

      It sounds like it is time to lean out the code base and cut out various useless crud. Big deal. It will no doubt happen again some time, but the fact that it is happening periodically is a good sign that there are developers ready to take positive action when things start to get bad.

      FF will still have the advantage over Chrome when it comes to packaging due to much more sane and sensible treatment of shared libraries it requires to build against (Chrome has to bring most of not all specific versions of 3rd party projects with it because it won't build against anything else, needless enlarging the memory footprint and reducing performance).

    3. elDog Silver badge

      Yup - I switched to PaleMoon when the UI was hosed and haven't looked back

      I know, I know that there is at least one add-on that reverts many of the pieces of the tab/menu structure but it wasn't quite enough when I tried it.

      All of my current add-ons work in PaleMoon and I use quite a few as a developer. I think the leading-edge changes to Firefox (such as disabling Flash as default) may not make it in to PaleMoon immediately but they do seem to be pretty responsive.

    4. Hollerith 1

      PaleMoon sometimes

      I use PaleMoon, but I find that sometimes i have to switch back to Firefox because it gets 'stuck' on some sites (e.g. banking sites) and has occasional other hiccups. But the add-ons I want are there for the having and I didn't have to wrestle with it to stop it doing things I hated, which I have to do in Firefox.

    5. fung0

      Re: That is (hopefully) good news

      It's all about the add-ons for me too. There needs to be at least ONE browser that delivers maximum power, not minimum UI. Microsoft's IE and its new Edge, for instance, seem perfectly designed for people who open exactly one Web page at a time. I typically have several hundred open at one time, and what I need are more tools to help me manage the information overload.

      Unfortunately, when Mozilla talks about Great or Dead, I assume that means it will dump indispensable features like Tab Groups, based on the logic that it's easier to kill them than to make them Great. (Pale Moon already ditched Groups, making it a certainty that I'll never move to that particular Firefox fork.) Surely I'm not the only one who wants MORE features, rather than less??

      1. Tannin

        Re: That is (hopefully) good news

        "There needs to be at least ONE browser that delivers maximum power, not minimum UI."

        There is. Its name is Seamonkey. These used to be another one which was even better, but it hasn't been updated for a very long time and won't be. The company (ir)responsible now markets a pointless Chrome clone under the Opera name, though nobody knows why.

      2. Physeter

        Re: That is (hopefully) good news

        Yes, Pale Moon did get rid of natively supporting Tab Groups. However, the Pale Moon website offers a Tab Groups add-on, easy to find under the "tools" tab. I've been using Pale Moon ever since shortly before Austrailis was shoved down our throats, and never looked back.

        And if you're willing to try a WebKit based browser, have you heard of https://vivaldi.com ? They have tab stacks!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is (hopefully) good news

        tabkit 2nd edition is my must-have addon: vertical tabs, groups, colours, it's all there.

    6. fung0

      No Tab Groups = no Pale Moon for me.

      Cyberfox is a better option. They've built in the User Interface Restorer, without needlessly ripping useful stuff out.

      As for "bloat" - are you kidding? Cyberfox is a 40MB download. I'd be just fine with 400MB, if I could have ten times the functionality. We're talking about PC browsers here, not smartphone apps.

    7. Mike Flugennock

      Re: That is (hopefully) good news

      I finally blew off Firefox a couple of years ago because of bloat and speed issues, but mostly due to their "sponsored frame" deal they started shoving off on new user installations.

      I've been using SeaMonkey since then -- quicker, not as bloated, and almost all Firefox add-ons work with it, and the ones that don't have versions specifically for SeaMonkey.

  4. Chemist

    "Chrome ...... performs noticeably faster at common tasks, like switching between tabs."

    Blimey - you must have quick reaction times ! Even this old dual-core, 2GB with on-board graphics switching tabs is 'blink and you'll miss it ' .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Chrome ...... performs noticeably faster at common tasks, like switching between tabs."

      "Even this old dual-core, 2GB with on-board graphics switching tabs is 'blink and you'll miss it "

      Don't worry. That was just the El Reg Copybot (tm), making things up as it goes along. It's amazing what technology can do these days.

      I suppose at least it hasn't got as bad as the Mail, where the Moral Outragebot has terminated all the other copybots, or the Guardian/BBC Axis of Evil, where the Climate Changebot has done the same thing.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: "Chrome ...... performs noticeably faster at common tasks, like switching between tabs."

      >Blimey - you must have quick reaction times !

      +1 for that. UI speed is not a problem for me. Privacy and inclination towards evil is, so FF is the norm with chromium (usually in privacy mode) reserved mostly for "sites that expect IE" and, occasionally, if I can't be bothered to mess with noscript.

      I have to say though, not all feature-creep is bad. There is an increasing tendency from OS providers to try to own the entire stack, provide all features and squash third parties. This helps their privacy-intruding search ambitions. Technically, should video-conferencing be built into the browser? Probably not. However, there is something to be said for doing so to promote cross-platform interaction and prevent lock-in by facetime or skype.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "Chrome ...... performs noticeably faster at common tasks, like switching between tabs."

      Even worse is "the fact that that Chrome feels faster, more stable and less bloated". Scott, here's a tip: when you say something feels a certain way, that's a hint that you're making a subjective evaluation, not stating a "fact".

      Try this: "I think Chrome feels faster, but I don't have any data to actually support that, or a real argument why it should matter. So disregard this point."

      (Personally, I've never noticed Firefox being any more sluggish than anything else on any of the systems I've run it on. And I find Chrome makes my skin crawl, on the rare occasions where I use it, typically to test site glitches that might not be obvious under other browsers. It reminds me of the smarmy polish of an inspirational speaker.)

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

    This is what makes plug-ins like CTR work and themes customisable. No CTR and no officially supported classic themes will mean very grumpy users.

    The main problem with XBL/XUL is that it's not well documented. If they throw it out because new staff don't know how to make it work (you know, just like they've got no idea about UX design) then that would be very unfortunate.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

      XUL has been replaced. I liked it, I've written a lot in it, it was a good UI framework in its own right even outside of FireFox, but I can see that it has to go, you can't have two plugin frameworks. Also agree you can't just ditch it today.

      I'd vote for keeping FireFox as it is and apply security fixes and what ever corporate integrations only and for someone at Mozilla to fork a SlimFox without XUL, if you need some XUL plugin use FireFox. That worked for the migration away from Netscape, do it again. You can't do that too often, but FF is at version 39.

      Should probably split FireFox Dev and FF lite. The DEV tools are second to none, but that's not what you want for browsing. "Open in FireFoxDev" menu would suffice.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

        @teknopaul Thank you for a well-reasoned and useful post. These are becoming too rare these days and these types of contributions are exactly what Mozilla needs to hear.

        Take note, dear trolls, to see how it's done.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

        XUL has been replaced

        But... by what? Some other XML format? Griffon? (I wish)...

        1. Rhyd

          Re: Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

          There.is.only.xul

      3. Neil Stansbury

        Re: Ditching XBL/XUL would mean Mozilla shooting itself in the foot

        Yeah I agree - XBL/XUL was truely a game changer that very few people knew about, even XAML was obviously heavily "influenced" by it. But then most people never heard of GRE or XULRunner - a Node.js before its time. Even now XPCOM/XPConnect, its interfaces and sandboxed module support is a joy to use to compared to others.

        By 2007/8 it was becoming increasingly obvious that a rich "HTML5" was going to steal its thunder eventually, and they should have pushed to an HTMLised markup then, though to be fair the anti-XML and namespacing camp hadn't clearly won by then. XBL 2 lives on in Web Components though....

        I suspect the real problem in Mozilla is actually product focus and marketing.

  6. nedge2k

    Re: Chrome is neither sleek nor speedy these days...

    Chrome is becoming a bloated joke itself. I recently used a shitty old Macbook running Safari on a 3rd world connection and it fetched and rendered pages MUCH more quickly than Chrome was on my 2015 i7 XPS 13 - although full disclosure, I'm running W10. Still...

    ...and when I say "much", I mean a couple of seconds compared to tens of seconds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chrome is neither sleek nor speedy these days...

      I've noticed this trend in FF too. I've been wondering if they're gradually drifting away from the render-something-before-completing-download strategies on account of affluent people now being expected to all have fast(ish) connections and not giving a fuck about the "third world"

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome is neither sleek nor speedy these days...

      Chrome, from my experience (and that of our entire dev/test group at my last job) was anything *BUT* fast and stable. Considering that you would get a tab crash from loading even a BLANK page (yes, literally a blank page, as I tried making a home page that consisted of nothing but head and body tags, and Chrome would still crash). That was on MSWin7; if you run Chrome on Linux, it brings the ENTIRE system to s standstill; if you load Chrome, then nothing else will run, or even be selectable.

  7. Stephen Leslie
    Go

    Edge

    FireFox is bloated.

    IE is legacy.

    Chrome is bloating spyware.

    Edge is the new lean machine.

    1. Chika
      Mushroom

      Re: Edge

      Edge is the new lean machine.

      It is for now. Every new browser has been there right up until the standards change or a malware vulnerability shows up or some headbanger wants a change of the UI. That's where the bloat starts. Edge is new, streamlined and is catching attention but, like Chrome and Firefox before them, it is just a starting point.

    2. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Edge

      Windows only.

      Yeah, I know this is about Windows 10 (and lots of reminisces about Windows 3.xxx, etc.) but most of us like to use a browser that we can have on multiple platforms. I may have missed an announcement about this running on unmanaged C++ or Java or Perl, but I don't think it will port easily.

    3. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Edge

      Bah. Edge is IE just like Sharepoint Designer is Frontpage. A change in the name and cosmetic differences on top of the same old codebase does not a new product make.

      1. fung0

        Re: Edge

        Edge s most definitely a new codebase, since it's been developed using the new UWP API. (Formerly known as WinRT, Metro, Windows Store Apps and about a dozen other names.) That's exactly the problem - it's an app that supports only this one mutant mobile ecosystem that offers no advantage to anyone but Microsoft. Doesn't run on other platforms, doesn't even truly run on Windows. Ugh.

  8. Len
    Go

    Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

    I have no issue with Mozilla using diversified income streams to support its development. It makes them less dependent on a single company or power dictating direction. And at least their growth strategies are above board, instead of the malware tactics used to force Chrome on unsuspecting users.

    Of all the major browsers it still is relatively light on bloat and fast. I just hope that they shelve electrolysis. One process per tab is exactly the type of bloat that makes other browsers so heavy on overhead, CPU and memory. The main source of browser instability, Flash, is already running in a sandboxed process so can't kill Firefox any more.

    The one thing I would really wish they'd do is become the web's driving force for new technologies once again. Drive new standards, be the first ones to develop and implement actual solutions to actual problems. For example, make a list of the ten reasons some sites are still using Flash and tackle those as a priority (copy to clipboard comes to mind).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

      The one thing I would really wish they'd do is become the web's driving force for new technologies once again. Drive new standards, be the first ones to develop and implement actual solutions to actual problems.

      ^^^THIS^^^ This is how Eich suffocated Mozilla. If anyone tried to do anything that wasn't either his pet project of the day or at least excusable under his "IE parity" mantra he pissed all over them. In public. ^^^THIS^^^ is why everyone* left.

      I'm sure his single minded drive makes him an excellent project[1] manager but it makes him an unimaginably horrible project[2] manager.

      [1] Small, tight, single task, group "project"

      [2] Large, loose, disparate, collaborative, community FOSS "project"

      *(Well me anyway)

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

      One process per tab is exactly the type of bloat that makes other browsers so heavy on overhead, CPU and memory.

      Err... hello? Care to explain WHY?

      Modern machines and OS are MEANT to run multiple processes and processes share identical memory pages and communicate via shared memory. Single-process architectures are just arse-backwards UNLESS you are very sure of your capability to run threads and very sure about the security of your single process. Or you want to accept the security risk to do fast even processing (and even then, please write in Erlang). But Firefox is not Nginx.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

        Why? Each process comes with its own baggage, if you have more of them running at once there is more baggage.

        http://stackoverflow.com/questions/200469/what-is-the-difference-between-a-process-and-a-thread

        Chrome has a command line option which changes it from one process per tab to one process per website. It reduces memory usage.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

          >Each process comes with its own baggage, if you have more of them running at once there is more baggage.

          But you forget Chrome's intent. It is a trojan horse to get apps onto Windows, not a pure "for fun" browser. In that scenario, far better to have one process per tab so that different apps don't interfere with each other when they (inevitably) go wrong.

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

          Why? Each process comes with its own baggage, if you have more of them running at once there is more baggage.

          BULLSHIT LEVELS OF CRUD! That "baggage" is EXTREMELY MINIMAL. Synchronization, locks and context switching won't magically disappear. Threads give you tons of problems in return that you need to keep in the box. Today one has supercomputers on the desk and processes are "too much baggage"? Why dontcha go for fibers while you are it. Processes were ok in the 70s and 80s but now that all the cool kids absolutely need to shoot themselves in the foot (while tweeting while taking selfies while falling downstairs thinking about how cool Node.js is) by ill thought-out multiprocessing ideas that were borderline braindead (unless used for very specialized contexts), which used in wholly inappropriate contexts using wholly inappropriate abstractions in stateful programming environments. LIFE IN "IT" IS ETERNAL COMEDY!

          Why Threads are a Bad Idea (for most purposes) -- John Ousterhout.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

            I wasn't suggesting that threads should be used, I was just illustrating the baggage that comes with using several processes. It is, after all, like running x copies of of the browser (read-only data excepted) and IPC is a bottleneck.

            1. billk33

              Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

              Threads wont work because the sandbox needs seperate processes. Threads basically have full interspection of each other, they can see everything that is going on in each other, which moots the point of a sandbox. The multiprocess model does not significantly increase memory usage, in fact, it will probably make memory usage better, by allowing rendering processes to be killed without bringing down the whole browser, it gaurantees memory used for rendering is freed. Also, most libraries are shared memory so its not as if these libraries are loaded again and again with each process.

    3. billk33

      Re: Ditch electrolysis, drive progress

      The reason electrolysis is absolutely necessary is that it is necessary for sandboxing to work. Sandboxing works at a process level so you have to divide the program into seperate processes. However, this will not result in significant increases in memory use as the libraries the browser uses use shared memory anyway so there is little duplication. The rendering code that be placed in a seperate process which has just the permissions needed for rendering code, since rendering is one of the most complex parts of the browser, this keeps the rendering code isolated and sandboxed well. With the problems with security today, the browser is a major point of vulnerability. So, A sandbox is necessary to protect the user. We hope that software does not have any bugs but if one should slip into the rendering code, the sandbox adds a layer of protection. Its not perfect, but you will be far, far safer with it.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

    Maybe it was true three years or so back, but not any more...

    http://www.ghacks.net/2015/07/10/garbage-collection-improvements-in-firefox-improve-memory-usage/

    http://lifehacker.com/why-chrome-uses-so-much-freaking-ram-1702537477/1706076873

    http://gizmodo.com/fuck-it-im-going-back-to-firefox-1685425815

    http://www.ghacks.net/2014/01/02/chrome-34-firefox-29-internet-explorer-11-memory-use-2014/

    So why people repeat it is rather puzzling. Maybe they see Chrome's still got the same UI and think everything's the same.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

      Except firefox's gc classifier can't figure out where 90% of memory goes and then can't do anything about it.

      Firefox is easily the worst offender for all sorts of slow browsing failures. I use it every day and it's by a long way the best web dev platform - and lets not even talk about Chrome's font rendering on high pixel density displays - but if you're doing stuff like watching twitch streams or using amazon's site very bad things happen when they don't in Chrome or IE. You could say "ah but that's twitch's fault" or "it's Amazon's fault" but when you can point to another browser that doesn't fail so catastrophically with the same code somebody just isn't competitive.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

        It mystifies me why Firefox can't at least identify the add-on (or internal thread/function) that is using so much resources (CPU, memory, disk).

        I'd love a way to see how identifiable components with Firefox are using resources. Even better, if I see a plug-in or a particular tab that is causing grief, a way to terminate it. At least Chrome does that with its task manager.

        Does anyone know of a way to get some of these metrics?

        1. Chemist

          Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

          "Does anyone know of a way to get some of these metrics?"

          Is about:memory what you are looking for ?

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

      Well, I'm looking at this page in both Firefox (my preferred browser still) and Chrome.

      Task Manager says memory usage is Firefox 211MB, Chrome 100MB.

      I call that bloated, and I'm a fan of Firefox.

      And thanks for the explanation for Pocket. I have used it, I have an account, and when I noticed it the other day I thought "I don't remember that being on the menu bar before...?"

      I'm not impressed that they snuck this one in. What next, ASK toolbar, McAfee...?

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

        Firefox is memory hungry, particularly if you leave it open for a long period of time. I've had Firefox using 1.2GB of RAM before, and even now with two tabs open - this one and androidcentral.com - it's using 430MB of RAM. 400MB of RAM to look at two pages? Yerwhat???

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

          I'd blame that on add-ons or a screwed-up profile. E.g. If you're using ABP try uBlock instead.

        2. Irongut

          Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

          And how many tabs did you have open earlier? A lot of these complaints come from people who don't realise FF is remembering the 50 other tabs they closed earlier.

          1. Bloodbeastterror

            Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

            @Irongut

            I'm guessing you mean me?

            I've just copied this page's URL, closed Firefox, then opened Firefox, Chrome & IE11, all set to open in blank pages, and pasted the URL into each.

            Firefox - 193MB

            Chrome - 118MB

            IE11 - 42MB

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

              With Chrome you have to count the memory used by all the processes. For a while now most of the browsers have been employing very aggressive caching strategies which means keeping as much stuff in memory as possible. This is a sensible strategy on devices with enough memory, which is generally the case with desktops.

              Unfortunately they all tend to favour resource pre-fetching which assumes a fast network connection. On a machine with not much memory and low bandwidth you're probably better off with a browser (except for anything that uses a lot of Javascript) that's a few years old because it makes different assumptions. Or use a compressing proxy like Opera's turbo.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

                In Firefox, set network.dns.disablePrefetch to true and network.prefetch-next to false.

            2. fung0

              Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

              I have 16GB of RAM doing damned little at the moment. I'll take the browser that gives me features, options, power. Not the one that uses 0.5% less of my RAM capacity.

              1. nagyeger

                Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

                Good for you, enjoy your bloat. Some of us are still using "made for XP" motherboards, maxed out at 2GB, and want to run other processes too. Firefox used to fit on almost /any/ hardware.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

                  You do realise that the web has changed in the last 10 years? The Guardian website brings any 10-year-old machine to its knees.

    3. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

      I love firefox and I do believe it doesn't get the recognition it deserves but it does try my patience sometimes, even as a software dev.

  10. codejunky Silver badge

    Personally

    I like firefox. It is still my default and I am most comfortable using it. I like the addons ability but I am irritated by the daft idea of copying chromes UI. It might work for some people but not all of us. I dont like the need to change for changes sake. Security, functionality, improving resource use are good reasons for change. To make the layout similar to the new browser is not.

    What the hell is the pocket thing? It just appeared. I dont know what it is, I didnt go looking for it and I have not heard anything about how it will improve my life. On the other hand I was very impressed that firefox blocked flash as default and required the user to activate it.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Personally

      I agree with your comment. And yes "What the hell is the pocket thing?". I use Linux since 97 or 98, not sure. In the beginning there wasn't that much but the shell and KDE, Gnome and I spent time on linuxconf and stuff like that. I quite liked that period. To day it just works.

      Changes for for what the hell, I do agree there too. But as a programmer I also know that quite often when you delivered a new version containing mostly bug fixes, stuff related to speed, security, memory usage and all the important stuff. Then, invoice in your hand, please sign here Mr Boss. This new version has less shit in it than the previous shit you paid for. That doesn't sound too good, does it. Those bosses newer touch "bread and butter" systems, so you have to do some makeup to make it look new. Those bosses will then ask the girls if it's OK, and they will say, yes it's new (and consequently good).

      Car manufacturers do exactly the same thing, beneath the paint there could be something worth it but it has to look new too, and that is really all that matters.

      I knew a bunch of guys who were experts in MB makeup. Customers brought their 4 to 5 years old cars and with some welding and new headlights and stuff like that those customers proudly farting parked their "new" MB cars on the street. And along that street, all those now suddenly unhappy wives would turn to their soon unhappy husbands and say, "look that prat has a new car, what about us. Then all those unhappy men would find some excuse to get very drunk with their unhappy neighbours in the nearest pub. Stop it now Lars, or you will start writing about tits.

      A firefox user, tried everything also Opera, how are they doing to day and why are they mentioned so seldom. Opere mini was a damned good product too.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: Personally

        Hey, Lars - next time you want to go to the pub and have some commiseration, drop me a line (Vermont, US).

        1. Sven Coenye

          Re: Personally

          Well, hello neighbor! (Middlesex)

          1. elDog Silver badge

            Re: Personally

            elreg (at) garnetlake.com - Waterbury. Pleased to meet you.

  11. Scott 53
    Headmaster

    It's not effect, it's affect. One's a noun, the other's a verb. Can't believe I'm the first person on this one.

    1. Stephen Leslie

      Hm?

      'Much like loan and lend.

    2. MrWibble

      (Maybe) relevant XKCD:

      https://www.xkcd.com/326/

      (I'm not clever enough to know!)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A warning to you, oh Firefox fans. Beware! You may yet come and join us old Opera users in the corner. We share your current pain. But do not despair. There is still hope for you. But for us, we are lost. We sit here, cast off and adrift; surrounded by the Chromium Devil and endlessly hope that the Vivaldi 4 seasons sonata delivers us and hope it is is not another daemon in disguise...

    Woe, woe is me...

  13. Bloodbeastterror

    Effect/affect

    Actually both are verbs.

    To effect a change is different from to affect a change, but both are valid.

    But yeah, this sort of thing gets me too...

    1. Scott 53

      Re: Effect/affect

      Well if you want to take it to the next level, affect is a noun too - ask a psychiatrist. I still think most people are better off thinking that one is a noun and the other a verb, despite the obvious exceptions.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: Effect/affect

        Hey, I just type one or t'other and wait to see which one gets a squiggly line under it.

  14. Fatman Silver badge
    FAIL

    Firefox

    As a long time user of Firefox (since the v3.x days), if I have one thing to say to the devs at Mozilla, it is this:

    GODDAMMIT

    STOP FUCKING WITH THE U/I AND FIX FIREFOX'S UNDERLYING PROBLEMS!!!

    When I upgraded from v28 to v29, the upgrade completely FUCKED OVER my customized profile. Luckily, I had the v28 install file, and reloaded it, and restored the profile from a backup. (Thank YOU FEBE!!! You saved my ass that day!)

    1. Irongut

      Re: Firefox

      Since the v3 days? Lol. I remember when it was called Pheonix and Firebird.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firefox

        V3? Eee, thats nowt lad, when I were young we 'ad t' chisel out t' code for v-3 on stone tablets under t' light o' t' full moon usin' only our teeth.

        .... mines the mammoth skin toga...

  15. fnj
    FAIL

    Who once was my valued friend but is now dead to me

    Firefox is so dead. Stick a fork in it. Here is another vote for Pale Moon. It is what Firefox once was and still should be, but never will be again.

    1. Chika
      Trollface

      Re: Who once was my valued friend but is now dead to me

      Firefox is so dead. Stick a fork in it.

      You mean it hasn't a Ghost of a chance at reviving?

      (Sits back and waits to see if anyone spots the reference)

  16. gbru2606

    I like Firefox

    Firefox Synced across PCs with the Roomy Bookmarks extension is ideal for work/bookmark folders and multiple RSS feeds. But I agree that it's footprint gets big at times and I'm not a fan of the Android version. But I don't know any mobile browser that handles bookmarks folders or rss feeds well.

    1. naive

      Re: I like Firefox

      Seeing so much negative and unjustifiable propaganda about firefox, makes one wonder.

      Firefox is essential for the linux desktop.

      Anyone firing up IE after being used to firefox will soon be cursing about the non stop nagging of that thing, are you sure you want to go to that page....

      The whole stance about firefox is bad in the article, in my experience, it is very pleasant to use, offers safety through google safe browsing API, does not nag, fast and maybe crashes 1 time per year.

      It is also statistically proven that most of the advanced ROP attacks on windows systems are specially written for IE, and do not work for FF (which does not mean FF is safer than IE, but just there are less threats around).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like Firefox

        Pale Moon works on Linux too.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I like Firefox

      I keep Firefox Android on hand in case I have to save a page. I've yet to find a solution better than the save as Web archive add on.

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Happy

    "almost the only browser not using the WebKit"

    Awesome use of the word "almost" there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "almost the only browser not using the WebKit"

      I remember "the economy is almost still alive"

  18. Nineteen

    Least Bad

    I have used Firefox for over a decade now, but it's been a long time since I would have happily called it good. At this point, all it seems to manage is "least bad of the available choices".

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Isn't that pushing things a bit ?

    I mean, on what other browser platform can you get NoScript ? (Seamonkey)

    I'm sorry, but as long as Firefox is practically the only browser I can add NoScript to, I don't feel safe with anything else. Personally, I think EVERY browser should disable Javascript by default, to be enabled on a case-per-case basis. And don't tell me about IE's "permissions", a more laughable set of confusing options does not exist. Chrome ? Let's not go there at all. Whitelist is the way to go.

    But yeah, I know, never going to happen, revenue and all that.

    1. elDog Silver badge

      Agree - don't run scripts without permission. mMatrix and mBlock are good for chrome.

      Whenever I visit a new site I go in with hip-highs (rubbers up to my hips - or waders if you will.)

      I don't trust anything on that page except the HTML and CSS. And I don't trust links to other pages without some scrutiny. My feeling is that a web site bears responsibility for all content that is sent to the browser.

      My anality does require me to start selectively enabling the use of JavaScript. Generally I'll always allow non-cross-domain resources. Some sites (e.g. facebuck) I'll never visit (blacklisted).

      However many sites, especially commercial eyeball capture ones, use a plethora of external resources. Some of these (AddThis) are used to load resources well after page load and are hard to control.

      I don't understand why so many sites will load 10-40 external libraries (JS) in order to function. Why can't they bring these libraries under their own domain and take responsibility?

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Agree - don't run scripts without permission. mMatrix and mBlock are good for chrome.

        A really bad example for those sites is Patreon. Their login page is severely broken.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Why can't they [..] take responsibility?

        Are you mad ?

        Responsibility is for the masses. Corporations have no responsibility - they have REVENUE.

        And when they have enough revenue, they are Too Big To Fail.

      3. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Agree - don't run scripts without permission. mMatrix and mBlock are good for chrome.

        >Why can't they bring these libraries under their own domain and take responsibility?

        1. They would then have to pay for that bandwidth.

        2. Chances are that their site is not the first you have visited that includes that particular framework. They can therefore leverage the cached (possibly even precompiled) version for better load times.

        3. A website is never going to take responsibility for the resources your computer asks for.

      4. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Agree - don't run scripts without permission. mMatrix and mBlock are good for chrome.

        It's usually faster to load common libraries from a CDN than from your own domain, partly because the CDN will be using geographically close server, and partly because many users will already have the files cached from other sites using the same CDN.

        Additionally, most browsers limit the number of simultaneous connections to any given domain. By loading from an external source, more stuff loads in parallel.

        I agree that most sites use far too *many* libraries, though. A lot of the problem is frameworks that shove in things like trackers as a matter of course, without anyone ever asking if it's a good idea for a particular site.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Actually browsers should go a step further and just have local sanitised copies of the typical bloatware javascript. Instead Firefox constantly phones home to Google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because the scripts could've been updated since your last visit to block some zero-day that got past the sanitation process. Static defenses can always be breached, and where better to get updates than the source?

  20. Ami Ganguli

    Gecko Embedding

    Mozilla lost me a few years back when I needed an embedded html rendering engine. I really wanted to use Gecko, if only because I support the Mozilla mission and figured I might someday be able to contribute something back to the project if I got familiar with Gecko.

    Alas, the API was horrible, and there was no real documentation. When I asked about this on the mailing list I got a testy message back from a well-known Mozilla dev telling me that embedding wasn't a priority. They weren't planning to put any effort towards embedding and I should do the work myself if I wanted better docs.

    So I gave up. The Webkit API is easy, well documented, and broadly used. I was willing to swim against the tide, but not without any support at all from Mozilla.

    I think that's a big part of how Mozilla lost developer mindshare. Webkit is easy to embed, so it's everywhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gecko Embedding

      eich!

  21. Anonymice

    Firefox still the best choice for tabaholics

    I'm absolutely terrible with opening endless streams of tabs throughout my day at work. I tend to leave a tab open, but "unloaded", as a way to keep a note of something I'll need later in the day. This means it's not uncommon for me to have up to 100 tabs open by the end of the day.

    I'm much better now, I used to average over 200!

    Firefox still handles this relatively well, however open 20 tabs in Chrome & it'll chew up all your RAM & then freeze.

    1. fung0

      Re: Firefox still the best choice for tabaholics

      At this moment I have 500 tabs open in 2 Firefox windows. But today is kind of a slow day...

      I do exactly what you're describing: keep many tabs 'unloaded.' I also work on multiple projects at once, using one Firefox window per project, plus one for personal stuff - each window with as many tabs and groups as seems convenient. Cyberfox 28 (64-bit) handles all this just fine. I haven't noticed my Core i7 system melting down at all, and performance is plenty fast enough.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firefox still the best choice for tabaholics

        I wince slightly when I say that during a major tab shutting exercise last year I had around 950 open in 3 windows, the real cringe being just under 600 in one of them. No, the Core i7 wasn't getting stressed, but browsing was getting a bit like wading through soup. I've now got an add-on that shows the number of tabs and applies a hard limit per window, set at 200.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Firefox still the best choice for tabaholics

      Many bugs have been filed about this behavior, but the Chrome devs can't understand why anyone would want more than 10 tabs open at a time. They actually seem kind of horrified by some users' workflows. ;)

      Amusingly, part of the problem actually comes from the loading throbber. It seems that it's updated by a fixed, per-tab timer. So when you open 50 tabs you have 50 timers all firing off to update each tab's throbber, and everything slows to a crawl.

  22. RISC OS

    I wish someone would explain what pocket is or why I should use it when i have bookmarks. I can't see the point in it at all... for a quick glance at the pocket site it's bookmarks layed out like pintrest... I don't use pintrest and don't want my bookmarks to look like it.

  23. NanoMeter

    I have been using Firefox

    as my default browser for the last 8-9 years.

    I would like to continue to use it as default browser. Unfortunately are error messages like "Not responding" and "plugin container crashed" making me want to look for another browser for daily use.

    They also needs to take a look at the browsers use of resources.

  24. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Unfortunately Mozilla already behaves like a large coorporation

    They even implement things none of their user base wants like DRM or binary Javascript.

    Firefox is there to make the web a better place, it has done so in the past, but gradually it's becoming part of the problem it self. For example the web would be a lot faster if Firefox had a "same origin policy" for executing Javascript. Sure it would break some badly designed websites, but it would eliminate the need for Noscript and other cludges to get a usable web.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Unfortunately Mozilla already behaves like a large coorporation

      If they don't do DRM they're going to lose their user base. You can't say they haven't bent over backwards to make it uninstallable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unfortunately Mozilla already behaves like a large coorporation

      "For example the web would be a lot faster if Firefox had a "same origin policy" for executing Javascript. Sure it would break some badly designed websites, but it would eliminate the need for Noscript and other cludges to get a usable web."

      Except what happens when these copies turn out to have holes in them? Then there's a window of vulnerability between when the source updates it and the updates propagates to the all the copies (if it even knew how many there were, which it probably won't). That goes for trying to store any copy, which is why they say there's no better way to keep up to date than to go straight to the source. Which way would you prefer?

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately Mozilla already behaves like a large coorporation

        "Except what happens when these copies turn out to have holes in them?"

        Well, first of all, we shouldn't need Javascript libraries, and most Javascript libraries seem to be just there to work around some old browser bugs which have long since vanished.

        Then second, embedding objects from a foreign server is a security problem by itself as you suddenly leak information to that server.

        Third, the more likely scenario of that code having holes is that someone hacks that central server. It's a very likely target as you just need to replace a file.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unfortunately Mozilla already behaves like a large coorporation

          "Well, first of all, we shouldn't need Javascript libraries, and most Javascript libraries seem to be just there to work around some old browser bugs which have long since vanished."

          And many unsolved issues still exist that JavaScript alone can't cover since it lacks the capability.

          "Then second, embedding objects from a foreign server is a security problem by itself as you suddenly leak information to that server."

          And trusting code from a foreign server is a security problem, too, since that means trusting that server, but what choice do you have when it's a specialist cost where the alternative is rolling your own, which not only has risks of its own but also expects you to know how to achieve the goal in the first place. And going without may not be an option, so damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          "Third, the more likely scenario of that code having holes is that someone hacks that central server. It's a very likely target as you just need to replace a file."

          But at least a single point of failure is also a single point of inspection, meaning it should be easier to spot one server getting hacked and harden against it versus hundreds of copies run by people of varying levels of competence getting hacked and spreading malware under the radar that reaches out to other servers. Pick your poison.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well. At a certain point MS had an almost complete strangehold on the web (still does, in some places see: Korea http://tinyurl.com/bjq2gto ). Plenty of /other/ people are trying the same, now for plenty more pernicious reasons. I'm looking at you, Chrome users. And google is looking back at you too. Keep drinking the kool aid.

    I have questions; as to if iOS could have been (as) successful if it could never have used web in 2005. Would everyone need at least a windows VM to do internet? I don't know. Maybe. There'd be some cost involved (see android patents). Even if you never use Firefox, I'd contend it kept the door open for what you /do/ use. It's still the only one doing that. Which should make it important to everyone.

    And yet somehow even I am forced to find out-of-the-box Firefox to be consistently, horribly annoying. Classic Theme Restorer I'm sure does it's best, to counteract the strategy we're subjected to which, seems to have become a frustrating mash up of stupidifying the UI, adding crap and not really even keeping pace technically. Of course that bleeds users. But what does that even mean?

    What do you care if it allocates even 1gb or 2gb memory. Can you even buy a laptop with less than 4gb now. I find the complaint wholly void. a) you all have eight times that b) with 140 tabs I don't even get much over 0.5gb, with noscript locking all the crap the web is throwing at it (and 140 tabs with JS is probably flooring your CPU anyway). Yes it'd be nice if I could individually kill a tab via process manager. Not so nice that I'd condescend to using chrome.

    Speed? Please. If you're using a pentium 3 I'm afraid you have other problems. Blame javascript directly. This is like blaming gcc for being slow because you made it available to whatever random untested, third party jerry rigged crap was jammed into it at the last moment. In short, like the internet.

    And consenting to playing DRM whatever is simply pragmatic.That's one decision they made lately I can dislike but just accept. At least it's not flash. But it lost that argument, /because/ it didn't have the weight to refuse and that, itself degrades the experience for everyone.

    Fragmentation of Pale Moon could help, or hurt; I don't know, it's a pressure release. Pressure to actually fix Firefox, rather than wallpaper over the front. And yet so were the initial Phoenix versions re: Mozilla.

    We'll be finding out. There's not exactly anything else, but it's in everyone's interests that they do get back on track.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What do you care if it allocates even 1gb or 2gb memory. Can you even buy a laptop with less than 4gb now."

      Yes: used. Why pay for a shiny new laptop when you don't really need it. Plenty of used laptops can do just fine. Thing is, many of these only have 1 or 2GB on board and max out at 2 or 4GB. I recently found one laptop really wouldn't work well on Win7 until it was maxed out at 4GB. Thankfully, the SoDIMMs were cheap, but for others that isn't an option so memory use really does become a carefully-measured resource. And no, switching to a Linux disto doesn't make a difference because the big hog turned out to be the browser: some underpowered machines would thrash no matter what OS was installed.

      And BTW, what about Android web browsers, which usually have much less RAM to work with? Imagine if PC web browsers had no choice but to fit in such tiny confines.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Not to mention that Chromebooks get by pretty well on only 2 GB.

  26. DougS Silver badge

    Firefox sucks, however

    The alternatives suck more. I used to care about its memory bloat (not that Chrome is any better) but memory is so cheap it doesn't matter how much a browser uses.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Problem With This

    I use Linux, as opposed specifically to Windows and OSX.

    Part of the reason is that I am a FOSS developer and I have become accustomed to being able to access the source code of the stuff I'm using. Not that I *need* to, 99% of the time, but I like going under the bonnet as it were, and being able to say "Oh, so *that's* why this wasn't working". This is, I think, the main reason why I don't use OSX, other than I'm not familiar with it anyway.

    The reason I don't use Windows, on the other hand, is simply that whenever I've come across it, it seemed to be an advertising billboard (mostly but not solely for Microsoft's own products) at least as much as it was an operating system. Again, I am not familiar to judge, but I don't think there is anything wrong with Windows from a technical point of view. From a user's point of view, however, I would like to have an OS that is, well, just an OS and not a platform to sell other products or let me "engage" with "partners", thank you very much.

    You see the problem with Firefox now? There is zero reason why Firefox needs to turn itself into an advertising vehicle. There is no reason for Mozilla even to do that. If the finances don't reach (and last time I checked, they had over $30M *cash* in the bank), perhaps one should get rid of a few billion "Managers" or so? So that there is only like ten thousand of them per actual developer?

    Perhaps the best thing that could happen to Firefox is for the Mozilla Foundation to disappear. For various reasons there is still need for an "independent" browser (and let's not forget Thunderbird) so the project would certainly get taken on by someone else, just so they can provide a browser, but without trying to turn the browser into some sort of cash machine. Else, what's next? USB drivers showing advertising every time you plug your phone in? Your printer driver printing a full-page American Express ad at the start of every document? The BIOS message reading "Drink Coca-Cola"?

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: The Problem With This

      >> Else, what's next? USB drivers showing advertising every time you plug your phone in? Your printer driver printing a full-page American Express ad at the start of every document? The BIOS message reading "Drink Coca-Cola"?

      For the love of all that is good and holy, do not give them any ideas or else we'll be seeing that fairly soon.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      You know how they say...

      If you pay and you don't have the source code (or it's to complex), you are the product.

  28. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Annoyance with Chrome

    ..is that even if you're not using it and there are no visible windows, it generally has one or more processes running in the background.

    I think they're both good browsers, but I have to disagree with most of the article claiming FF is slower and more bloated. Chrome consistently uses more resources on my machine. And lately FF has also been more compatible overall with sites. And if you believe another recent reg article, it has less unpatched vulnerabilities as well.

  29. billk33

    Firefox is not bloated.

    Being a browser developer, I can say that most of the memory use of the Firefox process is likely due to image cache and that XUL support contributes a miniscule amount to to it. The position of removing of XUL is therefore pure poppycock, it won't do any good, the only thing it will do is break backwards compatibility and make for a less flexible and useable browser. So you should take people who talk about things like that with a grain of salt, they dont have the slightest clue what comes out of their mouths. This is also true of pocket and all logic code for UI features, its a miniscule amount of memory compared to the image cache which is what accounts for the vast majority of image code. It makes absolutely no sense to break the browser, to remove the flexibility of XUL, to save a few measley kilobytes. I have also compared Chrome and Firefox and have not noticed a major difference in memory usage and responsiveness, in fact, Facebook seems to use somewhat less memory than Chrome.

    Firefox does need to go to a multiprocess model as this is important for the sandbox to function properly, OS based sandboxes require process based privilege seperation. This would protect users by moving most of the rendering code out of processes that have system access, thus protecting against any bug or memory handling error in the largest and trickiest part of the browser, the renderer.

  30. Lutter

    Firefox the king of add-ons

    I have used Mozilla browsers since they were in the alpha stage, but I don't know what Pocket is or who the CEO is. As a developer, the important thing is Firefox/SeaMonkey's outstanding support for creating add-ons, leaving Chrome/Opera and Safari in the dust.

    XUL is irrelevant these days unless you have an old add-on to maintain.

    The only problem is that Mozilla have volunteer add-on reviewers so the reviews are a bottleneck.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no need to rebuild Firefox

    Fork the browser and let the people take sides.

    The problem with Firefox is Mozilla: too much politics, too much marketing crud. Consequently, you get bad decisions such as the Firefox OS and the Australis theme.

    Meanwhile, have a look at the browser called Vivaldi, produced by a former founder of the browser Opera. It's coming along nicely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's no need to rebuild Firefox

      But forking means you run the risk of being vulnerable to bugs that were left before the fork, fixed in the main branch, but not in the fork. As for Vivaldi, let me know when it allows addons like NoScript.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's no need to rebuild Firefox

        > But forking means you run the risk of being vulnerable to bugs that were left before the fork, fixed in the main branch, but not in the fork.

        $ man git-cherry-pick

  32. emente

    Spot on

    The Insane GUI experiments almost drove me away from firefox. Multiple times. Using fork.

    e10s: It this really the core root of firefox sluggishness and freezing? That one analysis in firefox' bugtracker pinpoints to a locking problem. I hardly use more than one tab concurrently.

  33. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    XUL sub-sysetm

    Perhaps there could be dual benefit by breaking out XUL. Make it a subsystem that doesn't even load by default, until some add-in requests it (and make that a function that could be disabled as well). Freeze the API, so you don't have to even maintain it much. That way the older add-ins/extensions that need it can still use it, and by freezing the API they won't even have to keep doing the weekly updates/recompiles that seem to be needed now. Important add-ins will get updated, less important ones acn be used as necessary, and the ancient cr*p that should have died years ago will perhaps die already.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: XUL sub-sysetm

      I think the reason for eliminating it is they don't want to be stuck maintaining it in the future. Breaking it out wouldn't achieve that goal, unless a new team appeared to work on it.

  34. Tannin

    "Firefox will soon be almost the only browser not using the WebKit rendering engine. "

    Ahem .... Seamonkey and Pale Moon say hello.

  35. Notorious Biggles

    About time!

    I'm a long time Firefox user. I want to see it remain independent and useful. I don't like the fact that Chrome has come along and slurped up half the Firefox userbase as I'm inherently untrusting of Apple, Google and Microsoft. But there's no denying that it got a lot less user friendly over the last while.

    The first annoying change was with version 4 and The Stupid Orange Button. TSOB meant I had to teach old dogs new tricks again, but it wasn't that hard. At least they stuck with it for a long time. The UI change in v29 or whatever was horrible however, and I still don't like it. Not enough really to get around to trying to make it look like it used to (although it could yet happen) but enough to be actively annoyed. The Pocket nonsense was annoying. The Hello nonsense was annoying. Most annoying of all however is the fact that one tab going funny kills them all. It's less common than it ever used to be due to plugin containers and stuff, but it does still happen. And it bugs the hell out of me because Chrome fixed it what feels like decades ago.

    I see the whole thing as quite simple really - there's a section of people who don't want to be spied on and like openness and there's a section of people who don't want to be annoyed and of course there's some who will only ever use IE because it's already there. If Firefox can be both open and not annoying again, it should take the majority of users who actually care.

  36. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Javascript's fault!

    "I've noticed this trend in FF too. I've been wondering if they're gradually drifting away from the render-something-before-completing-download strategies on account of affluent people now being expected to all have fast(ish) connections and not giving a fuck about the "third world""

    No, that is the web site's fault. I was reading about this a while back... Some site designers think it's uncooth or something to have the page visibly load, so they'll stick some javascript in there that forces the browser to show NOTHING until all (or certain) elements of the page have loaded. Others seem to think (for some reason) that showing the page as it loads will massively slow down the page load (it won't.) Unfortunately I've seen this (see disclaimer) stupid advice float around in "stick this on your pages to speed them up!" types of threads, so others who don't think about it one way or the other wil stick it onto their pages too. (Disclaimer: I think this is stupid; if your site is fast and the user has a fast link, it'll already come up more or less all at once... and if someone's on a slow connection or your site bogs down, who wants to look at a blank screen for some indefinitely length of time until your page finishes loading?)

    Anyway... here's hoping Firefox debloats Firefox!

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