back to article Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

The Mozilla Foundation has recently announced that it will refocus its development efforts on Firefox. Again. I know what you're thinking, what the heck else does Mozilla have to focus on? Well, you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence of it, but the company has been concentrating on building Firefox OS, which was supposed …

  1. EddieD

    Fair comment.

    I use Firefox as my default browser, and I like it.

    Other than the periodic howls when I have to try and undo the UI changes that one of the all to frequent updates have inflicted on me that ruin my browsing experience.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Fair comment.

      I use Firefox as my default browser, and I like it.

      +1 but damn it's hard work sometimes..

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Fair comment.

      I use Firefox as my daily browser too, and I absolutely fucking hate it.

      The only reason I keep using it is because I can count the alternatives on one hand, and they're either even worse, based on Firefox, suspected or proven to be spying on me or all three. I'm fighting it day by day, because there's always some piece of headdesk-worthy failure that FF either newly introduced, barred me from keep using as I did until now, or I just found out it can't do as soon as some tectonic shift of the web makes it indispensable. Next to PSP9, FF is the only other piece of software that takes almost as long as the OS itself to start up. I effectively had to install a GIF freezer because ALL TABS freeze up completely as soon as I try scrolling one of these trendy hundred-megabyte full motion video GIFS into view on a page, at which point I might as well go make a coffee until it unsticks itself. It's daily murdering my brand new SSD at a brisk pace, writing not megabytes or even hundreds of megabytes but TENS OF GIGABYTES of data each day onto the NAND. Out of the many I used to have I'm left with a small handful of add-ons I can keep using, because their writers threw their hands up in desperation at the unrelenting UI/API changes at some point, abandoning support one by one - the latest one to do so is the author of the tab grouping add-on (which I use heavily), that came into existence exactly to save the identical feature that FF used to have before the devs axed it out of existence - and now the replacement is going away too.

      Seriously: fuck these guys!

    3. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: Fair comment.

      I loved Firefox, it just worked perfectly for my needs. However the removed the tab group manager and it just starting becoming slow and unreliable. It started getting easier to hack as well. I felt I had no choice but to begrudgingly move to Chrome. I'm not sure what would now encourage me to move back.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "85 per cent of them have solved that problem by choosing something other than Firefox."

    I'm so over the ideology that people "choose" in "free markets". Chrome is rammed home by a billion dollar advertising business, down every channel they control. Edge is ancient technology, which leaves Chrome as the winner-takes-all monopolist. Just be thankful your dictator is benevolent. For now.

    Hoping a small lightweight competitor will enter the market ala Firefox in 2002? NOT going to happen in a million years. You'd literally have more chance of writing a *nix kernel from scratch than a modern browser engine.

    Long story short; The open web is boned.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Devil

      Couldn't have put it better...

      "Chrome is rammed home by a billion dollar advertising business, down every channel they control."

      I would go so far as to say that the primary reason that Chrome is the #1 browser is that from when it launched we started seeing "Why not upgrade your browser?"

      Imagine the outrage if Microsoft had a check when Windows started to see if the default browser was Edge, and prompt the user to "upgrade" if it was not?

      And I expect it won't be long before we start seeing this kind of monopoly abuse to get the Pixel some traction as well.

      1. ShelLuser

        @Ryoku

        "I would go so far as to say that the primary reason that Chrome is the #1 browser is that from when it launched we started seeing "Why not upgrade your browser?""

        Well, there's more to it than that. Now, it has been a long time ago since I stopped using Firefox but one of the reasons (apart from the endless stream of updates and changes) was that it started to look an awful lot like Chrome to me. The 'full' look I was used to got swapped out and made me seriously wonder why I continued with Firefox which - in my opinion - had turned into a Chrome wannabe (solely based on its looks of course).

        If even other browsers are starting to mimic Chrome how can it not become mighty popular?

      2. Twilight

        Re: Couldn't have put it better...

        Actualy, Chrome is the #1 browser because it works the best. It has the best speed, the best security, and a robust plugin system (though not as good as Firefox (at least used to be - I stopped using Firefox as my primary browser years ago due to its shortcomings)).

        1. Mark 65 Silver badge

          Re: Couldn't have put it better...

          I find that every few days it sits there just hitting 97% CPU on one of its Google Chrome Helper processes on my machine, so it isn't entirely without issue.

    2. illiad

      you obviously have not TRIED.... or are one of those people that does not really use the functions of a good browser, just types or pastes in URLs... and moans about how it wont do this/that, when other not so well known ones will do it easily, quickly...

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge

        Actually...

        @illiad - I am a web developer by trade, so I'm pretty well versed on a number of browsers, including Firefox, Chrome and Edge, thanks to version testing

        I am also an indie game developer in my spare time, and I see lots of brilliant games that go completely unnoticed, simply because they do not have marketing to push them into visibility.

        Chrome is a good browser - probably the best - but its massive success is purely down to Google's aggressive (ab)use of their near-monopoly on web searching.

        1. illiad

          Re: Actually...

          Chrome may be a 'good browser' BUT that has NO relation to whether it is liked or not!!! :)

          It is very like cars, you may love yours, even though it only does 10 miles to the gallon.... :/

          also take a closer look at Pale moon, it behaves totally differently than firefox, but that may be due to many websites and AV not recognizing/ hating it...

    3. teknopaul Bronze badge

      writing a browser is not hard

      clearly you dont write all new code. Apple used KDE code, Google used webkit.

      a browser is a network stack, a renderer and chrome.

      you can build as much or as little as you like.

      a browser minus stupid features like pocket would take a couple of days to knock up.

      start with firefox and then hit delete a lot.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still using Firefox

    Shame I have to use Classic Theme Restorer to get the UI into a form I like, but never mind, with that in place it's more usable for me than the alternatives.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Still using Firefox

      I added another plug in to help fix the scroll bars.

      It's crazy that "Classic Theme Restorer" is needed. Everyone I've set up hates the default FF.

      Also why are various privacy settings STILL wrong by default (3rd party cookies).

      Why isn't NoScript built in?

      I can upvote the CTR post and article enough!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still using Firefox

      Classic Theme Restorer is essential for me to use Firefox, but how much of its functionality will still work once WebExtensions become the only extensions that Mozilla will allow?

      1. illiad

        Re: Still using Firefox

        CTR may be nice, but does not remove many awful big blocky 'features'... depends if you like going back to 'lo res' graphics or not...:/

        I am still running FF28, hacked a lot to stop moz doing stuff I do not want.... :P

        when moz brings out a 'bare bones' browser (NO themes, NO Australis, etc, etc...) I might think about using it.. but then the geeks only desire is for SPEED at all costs, even though actually LOOKING at web pages is rather boring, when you can boast about speed... >:(

        meanwhile PaleMoon is doing a VERY decent job of making the OLD source into a very good *functional* 64bit browser! :)

        Its not for geeks, but for people who want a good browsing experience..

        I don't CARE if it takes a few seconds more to load than others, Just like I don't care about owning a supercar, when my trusty old car will take me 50 miles without the back pain that those supercar seats give.. to say nothing about fuel cost!!! :)

        1. beep54

          Re: Still using Firefox

          re: iliad

          I like Pale Moon also. It has its odd quirks, but I find that it is faster to load than either FF or Chrome. I have an old machine and Firefox was just frustratingly slow. Pale Moon just seems wondrously zippy.

      2. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: Classic Theme Restorer

        Yet another Classic Theme Restorer user here, one of those poor old dinosaurs who actually appreciate a productive desktop.

        Would be interesting to know the proportion of FF users who have installed CTR. Any FF statisticians out there?

    3. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Still using Firefox

      Agreed. Australis was an abomination and it resulted in me ditching Firefox for Pale Moon - a pity since I'd been using Firefox since it was Firebird 0.6. It wasn't just the rounded tabs that I hated, it was all the other customisability they removed when they introduced it.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again, Mozilla needs to focus on their USPs. Firefox was always slower than Chrome, but it had a powerful and very customisable UI, plus a much deeper and richer add-on ecosystem. Mozilla need to find ways to keep these powerful features whilst improving other areas of the browser. Instead, Mozilla's recent approach has just been to mimic Chrome. The UI looks like Chrome, the customisability is steadily disappearing, and Mozilla will soon be migrating to Chrome-style addons too (which are a lot less powerful).

      I don't understand why to be honest. If I wanted to use a browser that looked and worked like Chrome, I'd use Chrome. Mozilla need to keep Firefox different, retain its strengths and improve its weaknesses.

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Firefox install can be a nightmare

      That horrible period between installing it and making it look like Firefox should.

      I hate bare boned GUIs, mobile GUIs on desktops, I am used to a simple file edit style gui and want to keep it.

      So when I had to reinstall Firefox (HDD hammering) that horrible period between installing FF and enabling Classic Theme Restorer is like a punishment.

      If CTR gets stopped I will go Pale Moon for main browser.

    5. phuzz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Still using Firefox

      Clearly there's something defective with me, because when an update changes the UI of software that I use, I just learn how to use the new version, rather than trying to hack it back in to the old form.

      Oh woe is me for having an easier life.

      1. fung0

        Re: Still using Firefox

        phuzz: Oh woe is me for having an easier life.

        UI changes that make things different but not easier are a net loss, no matter what kind of arithmetic you want to invent.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Oh woe is me

        Well there are issues with Australis.

        Rounded tabs waste space

        Things I use are hidden

        It looks stupid

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: Oh woe is me

          > "Rounded tabs waste space"

          I cannot for the life of me figure out how space is being wasted. Only the current tab is rounded and any extra space used comes from those surrounding it, and its a miniscule amount of space anyway, and I cannot see any net loss.

          > "Things I use are hidden"

          Well, hard to comment since we dont know what those "Things" are, but most everything is still there with a simple key press including the much loved/hated menus. And if space is of such value, ref. rounded tabs, then surely its better to tuck things out of sight?

          > "It looks stupid"

          Entirely subjective and not worth wasting effort commenting on, beyond this, since I'm entirely neutral on the current UI.

          Are those really the worst you can come up with?

          1. Dave K Silver badge

            Re: Oh woe is me

            > I cannot for the life of me figure out how space is being wasted.

            I often have a lot of tabs open, with the size of tabs reduced via an addon. With Australis, I could fit far less tabs on my screen before the names and icons started being truncated.

            > Well, hard to comment since we dont know what those "Things" are

            Speaking personally - and these are removed, not just hidden...

            Tabs On Bottom is removed (I use it as it gives more space for tabs).

            Status Bar is removed (and I find it useful, and put some addons down there to keep my main control bar tidy)

            You cannot move the Back/forwards buttons any more.

            You cannot move the Stop/Reload buttons or separate them (this is a big beef for me as they're now anchored at the opposite end of the address bar. I like my navigation controls to be together, not spread out at opposite ends of my screen).

            In short, Australis removed a huge amount of customisability. I don't necessarily have a problem with changing defaults, so long as I can tweak things so that the browser suits my way of working. Firefox's customisability was a key feature, and Australis undermined some of the core founding principles of Firefox.

            >> Entirely subjective and not worth wasting effort commenting on

            I'll re-phrase then. It looks just like Chrome. And if I wanted a browser that looked like Chrome, I'd just use Chrome. The fact that one of the most popular addons is a tool that reverts the UI should tell you how well received Australis has been. That and the additional decline of Firefox's market share once Mozilla pushed it out the door...

          2. vacantrob

            Re: Oh woe is me

            Quick tab compare with developer edition vs FF 52 I get exactly the same number of tabs at different window widths in both, lining up both browsers one below the other so as to ensure they are the same window widths.

  4. Tony Paulazzo

    Why I use Firefox

    There are four major web browsers, and three of them are designed to profit the companies that produce them: Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome) and Microsoft (Edge).

    Firefox is the only one to put the user’s interests first. Other things being equal, that’s a good reason to use it. (Stolen from the Guardian).

    Plus the Firefox sync feature is...

    The security goals remain the same: there is still a strong random secret key, and Mozilla's servers cannot decrypt your data. However, instead of using pairing, a “wrapped” version of your secret key, protected by your password, is stored alongside your Firefox Account. (Stolen from Firefox).

    It's nice to know when I close Firefox it's really closed, which is why Chrome seems faster at launching, most of it is already running - secretly... in the background... talking to Google*

    * Disclaimer: I like Google, it's my home page and primary search engine, but I don't exactly trust 'em.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Why I use Firefox

      Sorry - you think that Firefox isn't made to profit Mozilla? The foundation makes 329million revenue a year from patents, advertising, and pushing people through to google.com

      1. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: Why I use Firefox

        Wasn't really aware of that but after Googling (oh the irony), it seems they're making even more since losing the Google only cord, bundling Baidu in China for eg, it seems Mozilla has a total of 12 search partnerships raising their revenue to $421 million in 2015, looking even better for 2016.

        http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/02/mozilla-is-doing-well-financially/

        Mozilla doing well financially is a good thing. Not only for users of Firefox, but also for the web community as a whole. It is the one major browser left standing between browsers maintained by large corporations.

        With 2016 looking even better financially, it is fair to say that Mozilla won't crash and burn any time soon.

        Mozilla also do a monthly email thing, the last one discussing why you shouldn't overshare on Facebook, instagram etc... and promoting Data Privacy Day (https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/01/26/data-privacy-day), which I've not noticed the other browser companies do.

        Plus, as others have mentioned, NoScript is always the first extension installed on my Firefox, closely followed by Ublock.

  5. David 132 Silver badge

    I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

    (this comment typed late at night, so forgive me if it's less than coherent)

    It seems to me that when the Firefox devs talk about "making FF faster" they mean: "hey, look, we completely re-wrote the engine and now we score 1.2% faster on Sunspider!!1!!"

    Whereas when users talk about "making FF faster" they mean: "I really hate the way it drags like a slug through treacle as I scroll down certain web-pages."

    To quote a specific example: I use FF on Windows 7 & 10, Mint Linux, and OSX 10.9.5. For 90% of the sites I visit, it's perfectly fast enough. But there's a couple - Jalopnik.com and the Telegraph.co.uk main page - that bring the browser to a crawl (for reference, I just loaded the latter on my Mac. Firefox's CPU load in Activity Monitor went from 4% to 105% as the page loaded, then settled down. When I scrolled down to the "Gallery" section of the main page, CPU usage went through the roof - 120%+, and the whole page juddered like I was running a 486). And that's with NoScript, cookie blocking, and so on. I couldn't give a fig whether the browser beats Chrome in <benchmarkX>.

    As long as devs & users continue to have completely ideas of what "more speed" means, and the devs continue to arse around with the UI for no good reason, FF will continue to haemorrage users.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

      That's what Mozilla refers to as jank. No need to say any more; FF has too much jank. Their e10s project should help with that considerably.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

      By coincidence, I've just installed Vivaldi (My current browser is Firefox). I'm amazed at how much faster just browsing El Reg is in Vivaldi. Vivaldi even makes Amazon's website useable.

    3. fung0

      Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

      David 132: Whereas when users talk about "making FF faster" they mean: "I really hate the way it drags like a slug through treacle as I scroll down certain web-pages."

      Absolutely agreed. Most "browser" benchmarks measure the execution speed of JavaScript - the very first thing I turn off in my browser. (And wow, does it ever run faster after that.)

    4. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

      @David 132

      For reference how does the telegraph perform on the other browsers? I am assuming it's better, but experience tells me its dangerous to assume things.

      On my windows 7 machine it never went over 55% peak (or there-a-bouts) with noscript fully on with the page. There was a bit of draggy reaction at the gallery but nothing too bad.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.

        @Geoffrey W - good question. I've just tested the Telegraph site in Safari (9.1.3), to make a meaningful comparison vs. the example I quoted earlier - FF on my OSX 10.9 Mac.

        Despite having to load adverts, Safari scrolled the page smoothly and CPU load never went above 49%.

        Whereas in FF, like I said, it reaches 120%+, and indeed the whole FF UI thread seems to bog down - if I attempt to load another address from bookmarks into the same tab, the "page loading" spinner is slow, and the initial DNS resolution / page load process for the new site is slow, until - I speculate - whatever thread is busy-looping for the Telegraph is finally terminated.

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    This is not an Opinion piece

    This is a factual piece.

    Mozilla have been twiddling their thumbs, thinking Firefox is so popular it didn't need improvement. Then comes along Chrome, blows it out of the water, and now Firefox is in decline. All the while Mozilla have been fannying and farting about with other projects no one really cares about.

    I still use Firefox, but only for development. I'm jumping beds between Chrome, Vivaldi and Midori. I'd use Firefox full time if:

    - it was frugal with system resources

    - rendered pages quickly

    - didn't bitch about wanting to update

    The last one I just don't understand why it's an issue. Chrome updates in the background, the user never sees it. Why can't Firefox be like that? WHY?!

    </rant>

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: This is not an Opinion piece

      Aren't your complaints rather out of date?

      1) It is more frugal than Chrome (why does Chrome get a free pass with this?)

      2) If Electrolysis is enabled (it might not be due to an add-on), it's smoother.

      3) Don't you have automatic updates and background updates in settings set?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: This is not an Opinion piece

        1) Chrome doesn't get a free pass with this. I swap between the browsers due to how the machine reacts. Right now I'm in Chrome, and it runs a lot better and quicker on my machine than Firefox.

        2) Why should it be something I have to enable? Should be good out of the box.

        3) Why should it be something I have to set myself?

        Do you think the great unwashed are going to know about the last two?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: This is not an Opinion piece

          1) But we were talking about frugality with system resources...

          2) Because electrolysis is being rolled out in a way which avoids crashes while it is refined as people don't like crashes either. In a couple of releases it will be the default, I believe.

          3) Those are the default settings, but they may have been changed in the dim and distant past.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: This is not an Opinion piece

            1) If Firefox is efficient with what it uses then it's going to be less of a drain on the system, and faster to use.

            2) But that doesn't help right now. Are we meant to recommend Firefox to people who use Chrome based on something that'll come out in a few months?

            3) Well something is wrong somewhere, they aren't default on my system. But whats more, it should update without screaming about it.

            1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: This is not an Opinion piece

              @wolfetone

              And now, students of people, behold a classic example of someone on the internet refusing to budge and defending their position no matter what evidence is presented or whatever contrary positions they themselves present in different posts. If the exchange goes on much longer it will surely become hyperbolic and angry, and one hopes to defuse the angry bomb...I'm feeling conciliatory today...

              1. wolfetone Silver badge

                Re: This is not an Opinion piece

                @Geoffrey W

                Well, if I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

                I did, however, vote you up on that.

                1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                  Re: This is not an Opinion piece

                  RE: "Well, if I agreed with you we'd both be wrong."

                  Then lets agree to not don't disagree and harmony is restored...

                  1. wolfetone Silver badge
                    Mushroom

                    Re: This is not an Opinion piece

                    "Then lets agree to not don't disagree and harmony is restored..."

                    No.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: This is not an Opinion piece

      Mozilla need to realise that a lot of people use FF because it is NOT Google Chrome.

      Ditch Australis and sort the performance.

  7. Fred Dibnah

    "immediately useful when it launched"

    My FF opens about a dozen home tabs and it probably takes about 20 seconds to load. Is that such a big deal once a day? I can spend that time adjusting the chair, putting the pencils in the right place, cleaning the specs, scratching the arse, etc.

    "...they're one of the only companies out there..." Erm, the only company, or one of a few, or many, or what?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "immediately useful when it launched"

      My FF opens just a blank tab and thereby it's quite fast starting. It shouldn't really load anything until explicitly asked for...

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: "immediately useful when it launched"

        My FF opens just a blank tab and thereby it's quite fast starting. It shouldn't really load anything until explicitly asked for...

        My firefox opens what I had open when I closed it.

        As there's a setting for that (actually a few that influence that, including private browsing I believe), it's explicitly what I ask it to do at start up. I've also explicitly told it not to load tabs until I select them.

        No idea how long it takes to load. I click on the icon then go to something else. Actually I click on a lot of icons then go and do something else. Habbit formed back when I ran Windows1, start stuff then go away for a while (these days usually to make my morning coffee).

        I don't have the computer auto-start anything other than needed services, because while 99% of the time I want email, browser etc up, there's that rare time I want it to come up quickly so I can do something, and a 20 second wait is a more than I am willing to endure. If I ever manage to afford to chuck in a SSD or decent hybrid, that may change.

        1Back when I had a much older and slower computer and demanded probably about as much from it.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: "immediately useful when it launched"

      "My FF opens about a dozen home tabs and it probably takes about 20 seconds to load. Is that such a big deal once a day? I can spend that time adjusting the chair, putting the pencils in the right place, cleaning the specs, scratching the arse, etc."

      I leave Firefox running all the time; startup is something I only do in response to new FF releases or OS updates which require a reboot.

      Like you say, a delay while you can be doing something else productive isn't really a problem, it's more a matter of planning.

      When I'm researching a particular topic I can easily get to a few dozen tabs and really, really don't suffer performance problems, except for overbloated websites.

      Having said that, I do have my systems maxed out with RAM and that probably makes a big difference.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    NoScript is my #1 priority

    Firefox is the only browser I trust to run what I authorize to run, that makes it my #1 choice.

    I have eliminated Chrome from my personal desktop because of Google's malware tactics when it comes to trying to remove it.

    And IE is only used when I don't have the choice.

    I also use Pale Moon and Seamonkey (with NoScript), but for specific things and to compartmentalize my data.

    So I'm all for alternatives, but Firefox remains the only one I trust to do what I want. I pray that the devs aren't going to screw around with that, but if they do, then Seamonkey will take the slack (because NoScript).

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: NoScript is my #1 priority

      If Mozilla.org's suicide attempt is successful, I am hopeful that someone will step forward, just as the community did when the TrueCrypt devs suddenly called it quits. There already exists a version of FF that answers all of my complaints: Pale Moon. It's a small project, though, and one that seems to be at its limit just undoing all of the Mozilla mistakes. The heavy lifting necessary for Pale Moon to stay up to date with changing web standards and security risks is still done by Mozilla, and if they were not around, PM would need a massive increase in size to take up the slack, and the dev of PM, who goes by MoonChild, may not be willing or able to handle such a massive change in scope even if the resources just fell out of the sky.

    2. Baldy50

      Re: NoScript is my #1 priority

      Still using FF and if it was any faster my fingers wouldn't be able to keep up, starts up with a new tab and seems fast enough to me.

      Only use Pale Moon portable so I don't have to use IE to DL Roguekiller, Adwcleaner etc, mentioned it before I read something about sort of that PM calls home like Chrome! You're browsing history and shit.

      And Clam av has, I don't know if a false positive flagged it in the past, but....

      https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/cc35bdc14f01b9069e3dd85598262e496129d4c405cf4a844bc3e04150c1b952/analysis/

      Says it's OK.

      'So I'm all for alternatives, but Firefox remains the only one I trust to do what I want. I pray that the devs aren't going to screw around with that, but if they do, then Seamonkey will take the slack (because NoScript).' Same for me too!

      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/cerber-ransomware-doesnt-encrypt-files-belonging-to-security-products/

      Getting very sneaky, aren't they? Calomel gives a good report of this sites SSL's validation, in fact, full marks, heard that even WOT phones home like Chrome BTW.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tab groups

    I find tab groups really useful. It was a pity they were dropped from Firefox a while back, but (luckily) someone provided the "Tab Groups" add-on (there are others, but I think this is the best).

    However, the developer has said this will not be supported after the next major release to Firefox as the API is changing in a way that means a complete re-write would be required. The developer does not have the time to do this.

    Any other browsers out there with a similar feature?

    1. mdava

      Re: Tab groups

      Vivaldi

      1. fung0

        Re: Tab groups

        I tried Vivaldi early on, but it felt like a straightjacket compared to Firefox. Been meaning to try it again - I hope it's evolved a bit. But so far, it's looking like I may be relying on an older version of the FF codebase forever.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Tab groups

          Same here; I'm on 45 ESR, and I'm NOT budging from that regardless of whether it gets any updates or not, until 95% of websites just stop working due to some stupid web standards change that forces me to move to something more modern.

    2. FirstLast

      Re: Tab groups

      I just yesterday decided that Firefox is just too poor to continue using. As it got slower and less reliable, the original tab groups kept me on Firefox because nobody else did them well. Then Firefox dropped support for tab groups and I'm outta here.

      Even without tab groups, I'd stay if they'd return support for cookies. They used to have an option to let me approve or disapprove each cookie. After a few days, it almost never asked because I had selected the cookies I was going to take or reject. When I'd visit a new web site, I might have to spend a moment accepting or rejecting a new set, but it was fast enough and gave me control over who tracked me. At a particular point, they switched to using the Big Hammer, requiring that I either accept everything or nothing with no fine-grained control.

      So now they don't do tab groups correctly, they plan to stop doing it at all, and they don't handle cookies correctly. I literally read this article as I was taking a break from the task of migrating away from Firefox.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy

    Just to add to the rest of the comments about not dicking around with the UI yet again for no bloody good reason, why don't they also focus some attention on user privacy?

    To making sure that they fix bugs that leak private data (like failing to clear storage https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/1664520) and to steps that would thwart browser fingerprinting (like not reporting what plugins you have, dithering canvas draw, reporting a "standard OS and monitor size" etc if you want).

    Posting as AC because - well why not?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Privacy

      Browser, by default, should only report window size. Absolutely nothing else.

      1. Criminny Rickets

        Re: Privacy

        Why should it even have to report window size? (Not being sarcastic, I legitimately would like to know)

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Privacy

          So that a properly designed website can adjust it's output to fit - not that any of them do these days.

    2. ao7-

      Re: Privacy

      Agreed.

      The main reason I started and remained with FF was they seem most sympathetic to user privacy and customization. I haven't recently checked on MS's and Google's offer but I'm not optimistic.

      Speed doesn't matter much; I accept taking a non-co-operative approach to visiting some websites will slow things down a bit.

  11. Justicesays
    Flame

    Mozilla's development policy

    Is to make whatever constant crazy changes to the UI they feel like, and if people complain say "Just use an add-on if you don't like it".

    If you have any security or stability bugs they blame add-ons.

    Then they change the API and invalidate all the add-ons you were using to undo their changes.

    Then they make more crazy UI changes.

    Hows about they just leave the UI along and work on an "Crazy UI" add-on themselves that you could add if you like not knowing where any specific button is every week.

  12. Updraft102 Silver badge

    "...The Firefox UI isn't broken..."

    Yeah, it is. It was not broken when they decided it wasn't Chromey enough and foisted "Australis" on us, complete with the ever-hated (and rightfully so) hamburger menu.

    Time and time again, Mozilla removes something good and/or popular from Firefox to make it more like Chrome... annoying the users they have left, and attracting right around zero Chrome users (who already have the Chromiest browser in the world). Back when the main enemy was Microsoft, before there was such a thing as Google Chrome, Mozilla's aim was to give the world a browser that was different... better. One that didn't serve the agenda of a corporate giant, but instead was configurable enough to serve the needs of its users, whatever those needs may have been.

    Now there's a new corporate giant trying to own the web. This time, though, Mozilla is trying to eradicate every feature of Firefox that makes it better than Chrome, ensuring that they give the world a browser that isn't different in the frontend, and is worse in the backend. Do Mozilla devs even want to be Mozilla devs? It looks like they're trying to commit organizational suicide. If I were an infiltrator from one of Mozilla's competitors who was sent to destroy Firefox, and somehow I rose to the rank of CEO, I don't think I'd have them do anything different!

    Firefox has only one advantage left, and that's its customizability. I know that's supposed to be Vivaldi's purpose, but if you consider each browser's library of addons, Vivaldi isn't even in the same league as Firefox. Firefox can be whatever you need it to be, almost without exception. It's a shame that we now need so many addons to put back the stuff that Mozilla took out of Firefox, but at least we CAN.

    If Mozilla's plan to bin 95% of the most useful and powerful addons at the end of this year comes to pass, there won't be any more reason for Firefox to exist. If I am stuck with a browser that looks like Chrome, performs worse than Chrome, does not have any more features than Chrome, can't be customized to not look like Chrome, and can use only the addons that work with Chrome, why in hell would I even bother with it? Is Mozilla sensing some kind of market for a Chrome duplicate, except with worse performance?

    I've never used a browser other than Netscape or a descendant of Netscape. I started with Netscape Navigator 2, then moved to Mozilla 1.1, then to Firefox. Other than testing and Windows Update (which needed IE in XP), I never used anything else. If it becomes nothing more than a poor-performing Chrome lookalike, though, what's the point?

    1. Dave K Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Spot. On.

      If I could give you a dozen up-votes for that post, I would. You've hit the nail right on the head when it comes to Mozilla's problems!

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Australis hate

      So justified.

      If we wanted Chrome we would install it.

      I LIKE the older style as now used by Pale Moon

      1. Criminny Rickets

        Re: Australis hate

        The very first thing I do when installing a new copy of Firefox, is go into the settings and enable the Menu Bar. That is quickly followed by installing NoScript and uBlock.

        1. Criminny Rickets

          Re: Australis hate

          I forgot to mention, and this is the one that really peeves me, is I have to go into about:config and set it to save my tabs on exit, so I don't lose all my open tabs when I close Firefox. Why they ever changed that from the default behaviour still astounds me.

    3. Pu02

      The point is security now

      That is about all there is left: Security and non-abuse of personal information. A browser for the people, by the people, as they say. It is THE most important thing for a lot of users today, though still, not many browser devs. Something apparent by the number of browsers available today that do not abuse (or somehow threaten to abuse) the user.

      A cross-platform, stable and safe, yet configurable browser, I would suggest is second. This means mobile and because of the porous nature of Android and fragility of iOS, also means FirefoxOS was a damn good idea simply form the point of view that a secure browser, by def'n, requires a secure OS.

      Apart from that, everything in your post about the aims and current state of 'the Firefox effort' are about right. What is evident is that Moz.Corp desperately need to re-focus the effort to return the configurability/customisability of Fx to cater for the user base, speed up performance, get new blood involved and prevent any further outcomes of this mutiny that allowed ta bunch of Hipsters parading as Pirates to take over the codebase.

      Or maybe they just need some of the old veteran coders to fork the code, re-write the worst of it and restore the faith of the user-base.

      Maybe either.

      Given that they evicted Thunderbird, an effort core to everything Moz, a move that could have been careful prep for a bad bang, an effort to prevent a major split or a chance to set FX free to fly as high as a browser could go. 51 is certainly better than <50, but where is the evidence it's even got off the ground?

      Clearly something big is using resources at Moz,Corp, they ended Fx support for MacOSX 10.11. I had to move to the ESR, and apparently that will get killed soon too.

      Just my 2c: a few (hopefully not too ignorant) musings of an 'old Phoenix' user...

  13. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    At least multiprocess is here

    I hadn't realised, however, as under FreeBSD the entire browser hangs on a regular basis usually due to shitty javascript, and I've no extensions installed. Will check it tonight.

    Under Windows I was still on Firefox 35, as it hadn't told me an update was available. It then proceeded to download *four* subsequent updates before finally updating to the latest version..

    Chrome is probably better, but at least under Android it has questionable behaviour such as launching Play Store links without your permission. This can't be disabled..

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Too many features dropped

    It's not speed. I have a full-SSD 8-core 32GB watercooled beast machine that pops up Firefox in an instant.

    It's the fact the Firefox "developers" can't be bothered to worry about the user experience and do what they please.

    I dealt with being forced to use tabs, I dealt with being forced to use javascript. I dealt with Australis. I dealt with the activity indicator disappearing, I dealt with random hangs and crashes. I dealt with a whole bunch of stuff.

    Then in v44 they removed individual cookie control, the little dialog where you could say accept/block for a new cookie. That was the breaking point for me.

    Others may have different breaking points, but I've reached mine. I now consider Firefox to be the disabled great-grandfather with Alzheimer's that can't even breathe on his own any more. I've pulled the plug and gone to Pale Moon.

    I do use Mobile Firefox because it's the least evil browser for Android. That's not a very high bar. I wouldn't miss it if it disappeared as well.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Too many features dropped

      Individual cookie control is just an exercise in whack-a-mole every time the page loads or updates in 2017. There are too many and better ways of managing them.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Too many features dropped

      I wondered what happened to cookie control, I only want to block googles so I don't have to keep blocking their consent domain and blocking screen

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Too many features dropped

        You can. Tools > Options > Privacy > Exceptions.

        Individual cookie control is when it pops up a dialog box for every single. Cookie [Okay] [Deny]. Again [Okay] [Deny]. And [Okay] [Deny]. Again [Okay] [Deny]. And [Okay] [Deny]. It's [Okay] [Deny]. Completely [Okay] [Deny]. Impractical [Okay] [Deny].

        1. Mark 65 Silver badge

          Re: Too many features dropped

          @Dan 55: In which case their interpretation of individual cookie control is retarded. A user would expect to be able to have such control at a sub-domain level - i.e. theregister.co.uk [Accept] [Deny], no further prompts - as noone in their right mind would want to control the individual cookies themselves. I believe there is a "remember my answer" checkbox that simply doesn't seem to work.

  15. itzman
    Mushroom

    Id be happy if it didn't constantly crash with 'a script is...'

    Its getting more unstable every release.

    And no faster

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The latest Firefox has crashed several times when playing an iPlayer video - but it is not repeatable. It also seems to go into a sulk mode of black patches as if another tab is taking all the rendering resources.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox was my default browser until it decided to update in the middle of a batch run - and immediately declared the Excel VBA Selenium plug-in as no longer allowed.

    With Chrome the Selenium hook is part of its own development. They have even overcome the sluggish response when viewing a video. However - the overall response to Selenium requests is still much slower than Firefox was.

  17. jason 7

    Mozilla announce switching to Chromium in 5....4...

    It's the lazy way out.

    I love Firefox. It's been the browser I have stuck with the longest in 24 years of being online.

    It just needs some buffing and tweaking. No major changes just keep tweaking it up.

  18. DrXym Silver badge

    The long term plan

    Mozilla is developing a highly parallel browser engine called Servo which can take advantage of multicore CPUs and GPUs to render content faster and more slickly. In the meantime they're backporting some of the ideas that came out of Servo into the existing code base.

    Mozilla have already been through this sort of generational leap before. When Netscape open sourced their browser it ran on the Netscape 4.x codebase which was pretty creaky. So they developed NGLayout as its replacement. It took a few years for that to mature sufficiently but once it did it formed the basis of Mozilla and then Firefox.

    I expect Servo will go through a similar maturation and transition phase and then it'll become the new thing.

    1. Tannin

      Re: The long term plan

      Bahh. Nonsense. Firefox's speed problem isn't thagt it takes too long to render a page. No-one even notices that. It's speed problem is that it doesn't hand you the UI RIGHT NOW when you open a new tab or window.

      With any properly designed browser, you type <ctrl>-T my_search_term_or_address.

      With Firefox, you type <ctrl>-T rm_or_address.... oh .... it's bloody Fiorefox again. It's just lost the thing I typed in for it to do, now I have to reposition the cursor, delete the mangled half-instruction it managed to catch, and type it again.

      FFS! Opera was getting this right a decade ago. Even bloody Chrome does it better. The only browser which is even worse in this respect is IE.

      A few milliseconds more or less rendering a page that is probably delayed by bandwidth or latency on your nework connection anyway is irrelevant to anything except developer circle jerks. Mangling commands from the user is unforgiveable.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: The long term plan

        "Mangling commands from the user is unforgiveable." Tannin

        +1 There is very little excuse these days for unresponsive UI

      2. Chemist

        Re: The long term plan

        "With Firefox, you type <ctrl>-T rm_or_address.... oh .... it's bloody Fiorefox again."

        Genuine inquiry as this doesn't happen to me.

        Ctl-T opens a new tab with the cursor in the address box. It happens so quickly that I can't type anything after the Ctl-T that doesn't appear in the box. Mind I'm using a pretty quick laptop (i7)

        Firefox 50.1.0, OpenSUSE 13.2

        Also I don't lose UI settings during updates.

        1. Tannin

          Re: The long term plan

          Try it with a reasonanle number of tabs open. Does it regularly. (And that's on any machine I'm familiar with. This one is an i7 with SSD and 16GB.)

          Something as basic as a web browser - I'm not saying browsers are simple, but they are a standard, basic tool, not something to be compared with, say, Photoshop - should certainly work properly with the sort of small machine your Granny uses, say an i3 with 8Gb and a rust drive, and by rights ought to be OK even with 4GB.

          1. Chemist

            Re: The long term plan

            "Try it with a reasonanle number of tabs open."

            Well I've got ~20 open at the moment. Firefox is using ~1.4GB at the mo'. This i7 laptop has 8GB and no SSD . Apart from a few filemanagers/editors and some ssh sessions/remote X progs. I'm not running anything too heavy at the moment.

            I've just loaded up Google Earth, a RAW photoeditor, and 2 VMs. There is now ~900MB free, 1.4 GB swap and FF is now more sluggish but Ctl-T is still opening a new tab with the cursor in the address box and all I've typed appearing OK.

            I'll try it later on a 2GB 2-core AMD from ~2004

            1. Tannin

              Re: The long term plan

              It may have to do with what's in those tabs. It varies quite a bit. My guess is that the Moz developers allow Javascript in background tabs to steal to much CPU. Are you running a script blocker by any chance?

              Be that as it may, I work on other people's machines on a daily basis and often see it. These other machines can be anything, from a brand new gaming rig with the works right through to ancient iron you practically have to start up with a buggy whip and a bag of oats.

              1. Chemist

                Re: The long term plan

                "It may have to do with what's in those tabs. "

                It may indeed but it's not an easy call. I'm not running a script blocker at the moment because I've been using some booking sites that behave very badly from past experience.

                To add a little more I've just run FF ESR via VNC on a Pi and that still opens a new tab etc. without issues and I'd be the first to admit it's not snappy in general. The BBC News website takes quite a while to load and this particular Pi is on an ethernet connection.

                All very odd

            2. Chemist

              Re: The long term plan

              "I'll try it later on a 2GB 2-core AMD from ~2004"

              Still no problem and that's running the latest OpenSUSE Leap42.2. Not quickly but still no issue with Ctl-T......

              I've read most of this topic and I have to say I don't recognise many/most problems at all. For example FF never crashes (and this i7 laptop is only rebooted every couple of months), it uses quite a lot of memory (~1.5GB) on occasion but regularly reclaims it.

              Something is wrong, something that is ideosycratic. No idea what but the fact that we can have a large range of behaviors suggests a rather complex problem.

              I believe most people when they say they have a problem - I just don't have anything much myself.

              1. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: The long term plan

                Oh, this happens to me all the bloody time - and it's indeed staggeringly annoying: I'm NOT all that fast of a typist, and yet half of what I typed turns out to just go to /dev/null most of the time on a new tab, whenever FF deems it has much more important things to do than bother with lowly user input...

                1. Chemist

                  Re: The long term plan

                  "Oh, this happens to me all the bloody time"

                  Can we have a little more detail. Fast/slow hardware, memory in use at the time, OS

                  As I've mentioned further back I don't see this problem at all even using slow machines, a Pi via VNC, various VMs . Some are slow to open a new tab but the typing all goes to the correct spot without missing anything

              2. Mark 65 Silver badge

                Re: The long term plan

                @Chemist: For example FF never crashes (and this i7 laptop is only rebooted every couple of months), it uses quite a lot of memory (~1.5GB) on occasion but regularly reclaims it.

                FF regularly crashed for me, much like their Thunderbird mail program does. The crashes and the juddery page scrolls are what turned me away from Firefox - something I never thought I'd do.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: The long term plan

                  "FF regularly crashed for me, much like their Thunderbird mail program does. "

                  Thunderbird crashes every week or so for me but I repeat FF never does. I believe you that it does for you - what's needed is to understand why the difference as I've written previously in this thread.

                  Memory, OS etc

                  I don't get juddery scrolls either

                  1. illiad

                    Re: The long term plan

                    I find it is usually bad scripts and bad flash that causes chrashes and slowdowns... get a good adblock, flashblock, yesscript, noscript....

                    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

                      Re: The long term plan

                      I have noscript and abblock, 16GB RAM, SSD etc. Doesn't make any difference. You may get some mileage out of a fresh installation but it isn't long before it starts it's shenanigans. Chrome is no angel but I've found it to be more tolerable.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: The long term plan

                        "I have noscript and abblock, 16GB RAM, SSD etc."

                        OS?

      3. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: The long term plan

        "Bahh. Nonsense. Firefox's speed problem isn't thagt it takes too long to render a page. No-one even notices that. It's speed problem is that it doesn't hand you the UI RIGHT NOW when you open a new tab or window."

        Usability is an orthogonal problem.

        The speed of rendering in the browser is the main serious issue. Browsers have more and more tabs open and they're running on devices that have multiple cpu and gpu cores. Devices like phones may have 4 cpu cores and a GPU yet the browser runs predominantly on a single thread. The current generation of engines struggle to utilise the hardware efficiently because writing safe, efficient multithreaded code is horribly complex and very hard to retrofit. Utilising the hardware properly would make it run like butter.

        And if you want some esoteric Ctrl+T behaviour you could probably implement it through an extension assuming one doesn't exist for that purpose already.

        1. Tannin

          Re: The long term plan

          Who is talking about esoteric CTRL-T behaviour? Certainly not me. I just want it to Work As Designed.

          Speed of rendering is a non-issue. Any half-sensible page can be rendered by any current or near-current browser in less time than it takes to download the page content on an average domestic connection. Speed in background tabs is even less of an issue. Background tabs are invisible to the user until switched to and (to a first approximation) shuold get zero CPU time. To a second approximation, they should get enough more than that to permit low-priority initial rendering of the page, and (optionally) audio. In short, they should get CPU cycles only when the visible page is idle.

          Sure, we can dream up odd-ball circumstances where we want a background tab to do some special-purpose heavy lifting. (For example, some sort of real-time monitoring.) However it is design madness to allow an uncommon, special-purpose task to degrade the primary functionality of any tool. Sensible ways to deal with this sort of challenge include using a different, designed-for-purpose tool in the first place (putting every damn thing through the browser is as dumb as having a different app for every damn thing, only in the opposite direction); using a different browser; using a second copy of the same browser; or providing a way to allow aparticular tasks to be granted greater priority. (Oh, and of course, writing pages that don't make insane demands on the hardware for no good reason. Refer to my earlier comment about Javascript and hanging offences.)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use Opera as my default browser. It saves data on background(Which is a great feature for south Asia and Africa), based on Chromium but still uses less RAM than both Chrome and even Firefox(so you can run it on your old laptop in which you didn't bother adding RAM after purchase).

    The number 1 reason I don't use Firefox anymore cause it hangs(for almost 10 seconds?) immediately after launch or when trying to enter a website after launch. It is a very old and annoying problem which didn't get fixed still after almost 2 years. My Firefox doesn't load any tab at launch(resume session is disabled), just startpage. Still it does that.

    The other problems includes it's annoying adoption of "click to play" feature for Flash contents. You know what I mean if you use this feature for somedays on Firefox and then on Chrome/Opera.

    I think many of us will still use and love Firefox even if it isn't the fastest browser out there. It is open source, it fights for user's privacy.. But it has to match usability and smooth regular performance of Chromium based browsers like Opera.

    (Does anyboady know, if is there any option in Firefox so that closing the last tab doesn't close the browser, instead it take you to your startpage like Opera? I always close the browser by mistake in Firefox)

    1. David Cox
      WTF?

      Chromium?

      @AC: You mean Opera uses the Chromium *rendering engine*. That's a long way from basing it on the Chromium *browser*. Honest mistake, or deliberate misdirection?

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Yes, there is. It's on page 3 of the Classic Theme Restorer "Tabs" options, aka uncheck "Close window with last visible tab", aka "about:config >> browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab" if you don't use CTR.

  20. dajames Silver badge

    Thunderbird

    All this talk about Firefox ...

    I use Firefox, but there are other browsers out there ... some of them half decent. I wouldn't miss Firefox too much if it died.

    Thunderbird is the one really important Mozilla product, because there is NO other reasonably functional and non-crap cross-platform mail (and news) desktop client. Mozilla need to stop buggering around with Firefox -- especially as every change they make seems to lose it users -- and put some resources into making Thunderbird the first-class application that it should be.

    1. Tannin

      Re: Thunderbird

      Mozilla need to stop buggering around with Firefox -- especially as every change they make seems to lose it users - and start buggering around with Thunderbird -- especially as every change they make will lose it users.

      Er ... Sorry. Bit of a bad dream there.

      Agree with you. But given their unmatched ability to bugger things up for no good reason, I'd just as soon that they didn't "fix" Thunderbird the way they "fixed" Firefox.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Thunderbird

        They only lose users with every change because every change they make makes the product worse than it was before. Rather than stop developing Firefox, I'd like to suggest they stop making stupid changes. It's not as if the Firefox-using community is quiet about what we think is stupid (like in this thread-- nearly everyone who has spoken up about Australis hates it). Chrome (in its desktop form) has sewn up the "ordinary user" market (those that have not abandoned PCs for mobile devices, anyway), and Firefox, because of its huge library of powerful addons, has become the power-user's browser. Instead of focusing on the users it does have, Mozilla seems determined to infuriate most of their remaining constituency in order to try to get the ordinary users that are all on Chrome. They'll only succeed in losing their existing users if they continue down that road, which leaves them with nothing.

    2. myhandler

      Re: Thunderbird

      I use Thunderbird but the search is a bag of shit - it wants to be clever so if you search 'register' it will show results for 'registration' as well. People have complained about this for years but they think they know best. Can't be hard to have one setting to force 'verbatim ' search .

      That, and the FF re-designs, are the mark of a bunch of arrogant tossers.

      I found another plug in to force that round 'back' arrow to go back to being square - but the @@**### idiots have now made the URL dropdown line spacing enormous.

      Tried *responsive* adaptations Mozilla?

      Ironic isn't it.

      1. Tannin

        Re: Thunderbird

        Steady on there my man, Thunderbird search is fair-dinkum state of the art stuff. One of the best there is.

        Er ... This is 1994 isn't it?

        Seriously now, TB search isn't just retarded, the UI moves to get to it are equally so.

        With the mouse:

        (1) select EDIT ->

        (2) click ->

        (3) scroll down to find FIND ->

        (4) change direction and navigate across to the right ->

        (5) now change direction again and navigate down to find SEARCH MESSAGES (and no, you can't just move the mouse to the right place, you have to do three seperate movements at right angles to each other) ->

        (6) click.

        WTF? The only difference between that ergonomic abortion and 1994 is that most programs did it better in 1994.

        And the keystroke alternative is an impossible-to-remember three key job. WTF again? The standard keystroke for SEARCH or FIND is ALT-F3. In Thunderbird, F3 isn't used for anything at all. Why not attach it to the search function? Another couple of common keystrokes for search are CTRL-F and CTRL-S. Guess what they do in Thunderbird? Yep. Nothing. Morons.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thunderbird

          "In Thunderbird, F3 isn't used for anything at all. Why not attach it to the search function? Another couple of common keystrokes for search are CTRL-F and CTRL-S. Guess what they do in Thunderbird? Yep. Nothing. Morons."

          Ctrl+F opens a "Find in Page" toolbar at the bottom of the Message Pane in my Thunderbird v45.7.0 on Linux Mint. F3 then does "Find Again in Current Message".

          1. Dog11

            Re: Thunderbird

            "In Thunderbird, F3 isn't used for anything at all. Why not attach it to the search function? Another couple of common keystrokes for search are CTRL-F and CTRL-S. Guess what they do in Thunderbird? Yep. Nothing. Morons."

            Ctrl+F opens a "Find in Page" toolbar at the bottom of the Message Pane in my Thunderbird v45.7.0 on Linux Mint. F3 then does "Find Again in Current Message".

            And 45.7.1 does the same in Win10.

      2. Nolveys Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Thunderbird

        I use Thunderbird but the search is a bag of shit

        Thunderbird as a whole is a bag of shit. It's a shame as said earlier it's the only viable option for client-side IMAP. There are so god damn many weird bugs hanging out in that program. Any time you need to move large amounts of email around in IMAP you can bet money on it to going off the rails at some point. The local mbox storage screws up on a regular basis, profiles break, the program will decide to re-download absolutely everything for no reason, it will decide to simply not display certain messages, even though they show up in other thunderbird installs, on the same network, on the same hardware. They're still using zany mork format for the address book FFS. One lovely bug I came across a while ago is that sometimes when you move IMAP mail to local it will create a null message at the destination and then delete the message on the server. That's a bug that's been around for years and years and years.

        Despite the above Thunderbird is seemingly the best option.

        Client-side IMAP is a cesspool.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Thunderbird

      A bit late, Mozilla have thrown out Thunderbird with the bath water years ago. They let the developers use Mozilla's website, bug tracker, and so on but that's going to change too, if it hasn't already.

  21. ShelLuser

    Jumping to conclusions?

    "Brave will fizzle before the year's over – its value proposition is that it swaps out ads your favourite websites are earning good money with and replaces them with ads your favourite sites will earn little to no money from. Uh, OK? But it's telling that even Mozilla's founder has lost faith in the Firefox codebase."

    Is it really? I know Firefox is an open source project and that everyone is pretty much free to use the sourcecode (somewhat, they do use a specific license ("MPL")) but as a former employee one can imagine that there might have been a few failsaves in his contract. It's not uncommon for a company to insert some restrictions in order to prevent any conflict of interest. So it's perfectly possible that it's not so much an issue of losing faith, but merely one of not being legally allowed to use products from the firm for personal usage and / or gain.

    It's always a tricky business to leave a company (especially when being forced) and then still trying to use some of their stuff for yourself.

    So I wouldn't be surprised at all if faith in the code didn't have anything to do with it.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Jumping to conclusions?

      "Brave"

      I tend to wonder about software created by a company where the founder is so obsessed in messing up other peoples lives that they are prepared to spend a fortune doing it.

      I think so what have they done in it to mess other people up?

  22. ultimate_noobie

    Just my POV

    I started with Opera and switch to FF way back when. About 3 years ago, it just got to the point where loading anything was a trial of patience, followed by wondering what else had been hosed during the latest update. Frankly, same reasons I stopped using Windows and Gnome at home: The changes made no sense and seemed to make things worse. I use Chrome since it "just works" for everything I need. Adding in ublock origins, blocksite and disable HTML autoplay and every site "just works" without bogging things down. I do give the odd version of FF a try to see if it's back up to par but it's still slow and loading my 'needed' extensions makes every page render a crawl. And that's on top of any other cruft. If FF and Thunderbird had just kept the focus on standards compliance, sleek internals and leaving the rest to plugins, I know I'd never have jumped ship.

  23. S4qFBxkFFg

    In the unlikely event that anyone who actually writes Firefox code reads this, here is what you need to do:

    1. When starting, and there're some malformed files (blame extensions) in the home directory DON'T JUST SIT THERE AT 5% CPU AND 2K RAM USAGE FOR 20 MINUTES. Give me a notification saying that my cookies file / bookmarks / settings file / whatever is borked and ask me what I want to do about it.

    2. While we're talking about the home directory, improve the way Firefox works when the home directory is on a remote drive (e.g. thin client). Usually there is *some* local storage that can be used on a per-session basis - for caching, working directories, etc. The only stuff I want in my home directory is what I want to persist across browser sessions.

    3. Go back to traditional version numbering, you really didn't need to ditch it.

  24. jMcPhee

    Fork Time

    We've got 2 different user bases talking here.

    One group wants to run quickly and in a consistent manner. They've got a job to do and they don't want to screw around trying to figure out how to do it after redesigns.

    The other group likes to dork about with PC things. They love the way facebook makes changes and enjoy diddling with new UI's. When a new icon, like the smiling sperm, shows up, they are eager to see what it means.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love firefox...

    ...however.

    Ive switched to Chromium on Linux because I find it handles video and animations better.

    The tearing in Firefox on NVIDIA cards is unbearable...even with vsync and unredirect enabled.

    Under Wayland, Chromium plays video buttery smooth. Especially on Intel GPUs.

    In fact Wayland in general is buttery smooth. My aging UX303LA became a new laptop when Wayland landed in Arch. Incredible.

    Wayland + Gnome 3.22 = Silky smooth and slick.

    I also find the scaling on 4K screens works better with Chromium...firefox gets a bit confused when you have your desktop UI scaled as well as Firefox scaled.

    Hopefully they'll sort shit out now they're focusing on the browser again.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: I love firefox...

      The Nvidia tearing is solvable, at least in XOrg. I haven't seen Wayland yet. This page describes it-- if you are like me, you'd done all but the environment variable, and the tearing was horrendous.

      http://en.librehat.com/blog/force-enable-hardware-acceleration-in-firefox-on-linux/

  26. ScissorHands
    Holmes

    That Forward button nobody uses

    Unless, of course, it also works to move to the next page in an article, a forum thread, or a list of pictures.

    Called FastForward and one of the better innovations of (old) Opera.

    (I also don't use the buttons - why would I, when I can left-click and right-click)

  27. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    You await some decision?

    Even Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript and one of Mozilla's founders – who was later forced out of the company after it came out that he had donated money to support anti-gay rights legislation in California

    "reinstating a ban on same-sex marriage" is now "anti-gay legislation". The newspeak dictionary says so.

    Well, I am saddened to say that I have zero hope for companies that cave in to the professionally offended bloggers and sundry Guardianistas at the drop of a hat. Vegetables exhibit more decision power.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: You await some decision?

      You need to ask why someone is so obsessed with it that they are prepared to spend money removing other peoples rights.

      Strikes me as mentally unstable, like most people who want to force their opinions on everyone else.

      1. Paul 135

        Re: You await some decision?

        No one was removing anyone's "rights". "Gays" do not have the "right" to destroy an institution that has existed for millennia as the backbone of civilisation -- an institution with primary purpose that to ensure the well-being of children (the genuinely most vulnerable and future generations) in an optimum, stable environment where they can thrive.

        The fact that Eich was booted for not conforming to unthinking narrow-minded liberal group-think indicates the state of management within Mozilla. This is reflected in the misdirection, lack of good prioritisation, and deterioration of their product as exemplified by wasting resources on an OS, the pointless fiddling to create the ugly abomination Australis, a badly redesigned menu where you ahve to "customise" to get all features, useless features such as "Pocket" on their toolbar while not having this such as a standardised share interface. They also ditched genuinely useful software such as Thunderbird.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: You await some decision?

          Paul135 :

          Short version : you're an uninformed idiot.

          Long version : Go on, provide a reasoned argument why a same sex marriage threatens opposite sex marriage. Include notes on why opposite sex marriages aren't allowed for couples who can't have children, or don't want children. Also include the screening details to ensure that only couples who have sufficient income, a stable family life, and have been on training courses are allowed to have marry and have children.

          For bonus points, use statistics from countries where same sex civil partnerships or marriages are legal to demonstrate how marriage rates have plunged after same sex partnerships were made legal (protip : the data are freely available in the UK, and they don't support your statement)

          Obviously you have extensive experience in marriage, and what marriage is has never changed in the last millennium. I wouldn't mind finding someone at some stage. Can you let me know what the dowry should be - I'm thinking 53 cows and a goat called Gary would be sufficient, but a friend tells me that llamas are necessary to secure their hand. Also, is it better to ally myself with the clan chief who has 15,000 warriors but already two married daughters, or the one with 10,000 warriors but only one single daughter? How many daughters and sons are necessary to cook and clean my hut, and protect my smallholding when I grow old?

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: You await some decision?

        You need to ask why someone is so obsessed with it that they are prepared to spend money removing other peoples rights.

        Disclosure : I am gay and engaged to another man. We have not set a date but hope to marry soon.

        BE has a belief that something is right/wrong. Unlike most people, he doesn't piss and moan about his views not being met in the privacy of his own mind, or the pseudo annonimity of a internet post (or pseudo public statements coming from a name like "MJI" or "Kiwi"). He has stood up for what he believes in.

        I respect his beliefs. I don't agree, but I respect him for standing up for what he believes is right. I wish more people would do that. How much have you done to support gay marriage? Piss and moan from behind a semi-annonymous name, or publicly put your name and a chunk of change behind a campaign to do what you believe is right?

        Strikes me as mentally unstable, like most people who want to force their opinions on everyone else.

        Have you not noticed the conflict in your own statement? You're claiming that someone doing something contrary to what you want is "mentally unstable". Funny, a lot of gay people found themselves locked up for years or even decades because others considered them "mentally unstable" on the basis of their desires.

    2. Tannin

      Re: You await some decision?

      OK, it's not something to be proud of, but opposing same-sex marriage isn't actually a hanging offence.

      Being the part-inventor of Javascript, on the other hand, certainly is.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: You await some decision?

        I don't care if people oppose it, but I do think they are a bit silly when they obsess so much over it they spend a lot of their own money to try to get something legal which harms nobody overturned.

        People who obsess like that are often deranged.

        I settle for thinking it is a bit icky, not something I would want to do, but why should I stop someone else doing it?

        They are not harming me, they are not hurting my marriage*, why bother trying to overturn it?

        * over 20 years as well!

    3. GingerOne

      Re: You await some decision?

      ""reinstating a ban on same-sex marriage" is now "anti-gay legislation". The newspeak dictionary says so."

      Well yeah, obviously!

      Moron.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You await some decision?

      There's another point to be made about this part of the article - and I think that it's the most important point. Every comment so far has been b*tching about the technology. Well, Eich's exit had nothing to do with technology. It was about politics.

      When Politics trumps Technology, the Corporation suffers. (And I am using the term "trump" here on purpose!) When politics guides spending, technology decisions, hiring, firing, and so on ... well, that's what is referred to as a "Third World Country". And we all know how well things work when the reason a person is hired is because of their political connections, not their ability. (Care to purchase a car made in old Yugoslavia, sir? Oh, you say it's crap? Well, that's not a nice thing to say, and this worker here has something to say back to you. Mind his spanner, that'll probably hurt.)

      Mozilla is a clear example of a corporation taking its eye off its central product, going political, and losing it. It's now happening all over the United States, as politics more and more trumps technology and good business sense. But I am of good cheer, because I know that market forces will always take out those organizations who do this.

      (Sadly, it will mean more turmoil in the streets, because it's the unemployed who have time to agitate, burn things down, and otherwise cause trouble.)

  28. codejunky Silver badge

    Good article

    Very true and very right. I use FF and have since v2 but it seems to be aiming to be chrome which surely defeats the point. The only reason I dont change to chrome is because I dont like the rounded pretty stuff (its ugly to me) and FF is copying it anyway.

    Personally I just want actual improvements, not pretty stuff. I want it as I want my linux, keep it working and keep improving it and let other people make different interfaces for it. Pretty is in the eye of the beholder but fast, stable and worth using is fairly desired across the board.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do you expect?

    What did you expect when you all had a little witch hunt to have the techie replaced because he had religious beliefs so a marketing and social media guy could take over?

    1. fung0

      Re: What do you expect?

      Mozilla's current disastrous direction predates the departure of the "religious" guy.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Religious?

      So what happened to compassion and "love thy neighbour"

      Yes it is fun to fling things like this at Christian extremists.

      Yes that is what they are, extreme views equals extremists.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: Religious?

        It's 'Love the sinner, hate the sin'.... However, they won't throw you off a building or cut your head off for disagreeing with them.

        Pick your poison.

      2. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: Religious?

        @MJI: I wouldn't be quoting anything from religion in general if I were you, most don't have positive things to say about same-sex union.

  30. malfeasance

    Firefox unloved by mozilla

    Firefox is still my main browser out of habit rather than anything else if I'm being honest. I swap between all three browsers (edge/chrome/ff) depending on what I'm doing.

    I'd agree with others that firefox is unloved by mozilla. The two most common gotchas that I'm hitting constantly are :

    1) FF cannot print on Windows 10 x64 pro. Chrome can, Edge can. That's all 3 printers that I have configured, 'a real printer', 'MS print to PDF', 'MS print to OneNote'. Just WTF!

    2) FF cannot use "system proxy settings" : I have a proxy that is defined by the dhcp server using the wpad directive. Does FF use it ? nooo, I have to switch to "auto-discover proxy" or some shit which is just plain daft when everything else manages to find "http://proxy.malfeasance.towers/proxy.pac" correctly.

    Admittedly all the mobile devices suck with proxy detection; windows phones just "work" surprisingly without any wifi network settings modifications.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox unloved by mozilla

      1) Prints for me. Did you try it on another computer or Windows user profile?

      2) Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet [Settings...] > Use system proxy settings.

      I'm not surprised Mozilla can't keep their users happy...

      1. malfeasance

        Re: Firefox unloved by mozilla

        @Dan55,

        Printing - when everything else can do it, and FF can't; rightly or wrongly; I'm going to blame FF. Life is too short to try and investigate that kind of misbehaviour, I'll just use another browser, login to a.n. site, and print my order conf.

        Proxy networking : If I lock things down so that nothing is allowed to make 80/443 connections bar the proxy, FF *cannot browse the web*. Edge can, as can Chrome (as this also has use system-proxy settings checked).

        I have to physically check the "auto-detect proxy settings for this network"; at which point it goes through the wpad resolution chain - I can see this from the DNS logs...

        The configuration of my dhcpd instance appears correct; after all everything else works correctly; it's just FF.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Firefox unloved by mozilla

      Avoiding system proxy settings and being able to specify my own is one of the reasons why I have Firefox on my Mac. Annoyingly this Mac seems to get very confused and miss out bit of the proxy file causing it to swap proxies frequently, being able to override it and use a proxy is the right continent is very useful.

    3. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox unloved by mozilla

      In defence of malfeasance, FF doesn't work properly on in LAN in a corporate network when I configure the proxy settings as IE has them. Even when given the internal sites it first looks externally. Chrome just works. Guess which one gets used?

  31. old Steveo
    Thumb Up

    Thank you. That needed to be said. I actually (no really) Have a Firefox release 1 t-shirt. I have loved it, but watched with increasing dismay as the reasons for using it diminish. It's still what I use (sentimental reasons probably) but I have now several other browsers because FF is frankly a shadow of its former self... I get the mobile Is initiative but please forget about the other copycat crap and make Firefox great again.

  32. Andy the ex-Brit

    My Google-fu may be weak.

    From the article:

    "Recently, I wrote about Vim and the value of software that doesn't update unless it really needs to."

    Where? Not on the author's Register article list, and not anywhere that Google sees his name.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: My Google-fu may be weak.

      It appears to be Andreas Kolbe's alter ego, Scott Gilbertson.

      Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

  33. GingerOne

    I always used to use Opera, until it went all shitty then I moved to Chrome. I never liked Firefox, I always thought it was bloated and slow (especially compared to old Opera). But then I had enough of Chrome's flakiness and thought I would give Firefox another go and I love it. I have Adblock Plus and Ghostery running and it is so smooth. A nice simple interface. I don't understand all the people using CTR, why? All I want to see in my browser is an address bar and tabs. Anything else is taking real estate away from displaying the webpage. All I want it to do is open and be ready to use in a timely manner and render webpages quickly and correctly.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      But then I like one clcik to history, one click to bookmarks, I rarely go outside my usual set of sites.

      Oh and two 24" monitors means I do not have to worry about screen estate.

      1. GingerOne

        "But then I like one clcik to history, one click to bookmarks, I rarely go outside my usual set of sites.

        Oh and two 24" monitors means I do not have to worry about screen estate."

        Ctrl+B and Ctrl+H ;)

        And how do you manage to stretch FF over two screens? Or do you have some super smart zero bezel LED screens?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When reading the article I thought he was referring to this

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/24/boring_vim_beats_exciting_browsers/

    but I just checked and you're right, not the same author :/

  35. tiggity Silver badge

    Less chromey please

    I have got very tired of the dumbing down of UI / configuration options.

    A lot of stuff I could in the past do via (non minimal) UI I now need (with the "minimal" UI) to install & use plugins (e,g, proper granularity cookie control)

    I still use Firefox as I can choose what plugins to use and have more control over look and feel, scripts, page layout etc. than with other browsers (e.g. chrome where Google decides what plugins I am allowed to use via white-lists which stopped a few plugins I used to use on chrome)

    Like many other commentards, I want a less Chromey Firefox and one that gives user more control without needing so many addons, if I wanted a browser that does what it wants instead of what I want I would use chrome, edge or similar.

  36. ma1010 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Mozilla, are you listening?

    Someone should send Mozilla's bosses this article and the comments for their edification.

    If they'd listen to their users, they'd end up with a much better product!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mozilla, are you listening?

      People have been telling them the same for years. Their arrogance is only exceeded by their obstinacy.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sole reason I continued using Firefox was because of better cookie control. Of course, now that has to be done via an add-on because they boned it in an update last year.

    I had been using Pale Moon, but switched to a Mac.

  38. Nat C.

    Uh oh...

    "What if web browsers were immediately useful instead of demanding input when you launched them?"

    Anyone else read this line as "What if we harness The Power of Slurp­™ to monitor your browsing habits and make woefully inaccurate predictive suggestions of what website you would like to visit?"

  39. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    My Life IS No Longer An Open Book

    I refuse to use Google Chrome. I sensed the entire Alphabet looking over my shoulder.........

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's revealing how comments on the linked developed page are full of happy-clappy "Ooh, gaga, yummy new UI = wonderful idea" comments and not a single critical one. The Politburo would be proud.

  41. Lars Silver badge

    Seriously

    "I feel pretty safe speaking for the masses here". How pretty, I have perhaps a post Valentine's Day hangover too but but but I try to get over it in a less vocal manner, oh well.

  42. Fazal Majid

    Firefox OS is not the problem

    What do you expect in an organization where people with technical chops like Brendan Eich are forced out by touchy-feely non-technical mouth-breathers? Vivaldi is clearly the way to go.

  43. Eduard Coli

    Privacy?

    Interesting article but the 90 gallon gorilla in the room is privacy. Chrome is there to funnel information into Google, Edge/IE the same for M$. Firefox is the most popular browser with believable privacy features.

  44. Kev99 Bronze badge

    The latest versions of FF have had the same "fatal" flaw - the inability to properly display or download PDF files. Why Mozilla removed what used to be one of the better pdf readers is beyond me. Add to it there's no way to permanently turn off notifications or sharing one's location. To me, even with those faults, it's still superior to chrome and ie and whatever the ms browser this week is aren't even in the same league.

  45. Spaceman Spiff

    I 100% agree with the author of this article! My rules of software development (after 35 years in the business) is #1 - make it good and usable. #2 - make it secure. #3 - make it fast. Those are my priorities. I get used to a UI and HATE it when you change it for no good reason!

  46. Hyper72

    Improvements headed for Firefox.

    Some details about what they're working on:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=an5abNFba4Q

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    faster?

    It's funny when someone says one modern browser is faster than another. The only reason they think so is because some bennchmark showed a difference in ms. In 2017 it really doesn't matter anymore.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: faster?

      Real World speed matters though. How browsers handle large pages with images and JS matters. FF exhibits too much juddering. Has done for some time.

  48. beerbaron23

    Firefox is/has been faster than Chrome for a while

    Why do people assume Firefox is insanely slow like general knowledge, solely based on what? benchmarks from 5 years ago?!?

    Time to wake-up, Firefox is as fast as Chrome and in some cases 3x as fast. Skeptical? well I bench-marked all these browsers and see for your-self, there is more to a browser than Java performance on Octane!

    Browsers:

    Firefox 51.0.1

    Chromium 58

    Chrome: 56

    Safari 10

    Opera 42

    Test Machine:

    OSX El Capitan 10.11.6

    Intel i5 Haswell 4440 3.1 GHZ

    16GB Ram

    Crucial SSD

    MSi nVidia GTX 560 Ti 1GB

    Benchmarks listed from fastest to slowest

    Google Octane 2.0 Java:

    Chromium V8: 29,615

    Opera V8: 29,371

    Firefox SpiderM: 27,273

    Chrome: 27,191

    Safari Nitro: 21,219

    JetStream JavaScript:

    Safari Nitro: 189

    Chrome V8: 182

    Chromium V8: 173

    Opera V8: 171

    Firefox SpiderM: 154

    Kraken SunSpider Java:

    Safari Nitro: 916

    Chrome V8: 953

    Chromium V8: 954

    Firefox SpiderM: 1029

    Opera V8: 1032

    Speedometer Webapps Response (“To-Do” list Item interaction) Facebook Heavy:

    Safari: 119

    Opera: 111

    Chrome: 106

    Chromium: 97

    Firefox: 52

    MotionMark (Animation of complex scenes):

    Safari: 454

    Firefox: 175

    Opera: 67

    Chromium: N/A (1st test; Crashed, 2nd test; tab froze)

    Chrome: N/A Froze twice

    Google RoboHornet “All-Aspects” Real World Dynamic Living Benchmark:

    Firefox: 68,580

    Opera: 41,392

    Chromium: 29,647

    Chrome: 16,860

    Safari: 29,241

    Vivaldi: 26,290

    Futuremark Peacekeeper Real World Benchmark:

    Firefox: 5802

    Chromium: 4632

    Chrome: 2872

    Opera: 2728

    Safari: 1259

    WebXPRT HTML5 +Java (Encryption, Photo & Spreadsheet):

    Firefox: 567 +10

    Safari: 516 +8

    Chromium: 484 +17

    Chrome: 435 +11

    Opera: 364 +18

    Unity3D WebGL:

    Firefox: 93,663

    Safari: 44,176

    Opera: 25,277

    Chromium: 21,693

    Chrome: 20,215

    Adobe Flash Ultra Gaming Test (3 Pass, Medium, Heavy & Ultra)

    Firefox NPAPI: 19,913 FPS: 60-57-23

    Opera PPAPI: 19,000 FPS: 60-50-17

    Chrome PPAPI: 18,525 FPS: 60-46-16

    Safari: Not Tested

    Chromium: Not Tested

  49. hwfa

    "... what the heck else does Mozilla have to focus on?" Thunderbird and Lightning are more important to me than Firefox: Sync via gmail to iPhone is key.

  50. VulcanV5

    Finding work for idle hands . . .

    . . . is only worthwhile if idle brains aren't connected to them. Yet time and time and time again, awareness of that doesn't dawn on the managers of product development in the world of software because of all the idle brains out there, theirs are the ones most likely to be inert.

    Firefox is little different to any other organisation deluded by the brilliance of its own self-perceived talents into pushing out products which the customer *must* have for no other reason than the unnecessary amount of time and unnecessary amount of expenditure which the producer has incurred.

    Ribbon, anyone? The vast redundant bloat of Microsoft Office? Nah. Thought not. My docs never needed such preposterous doxtoring; my Office Professional (sic) is as everyday usable now as it was from its installation in the last century.

  51. AliBear

    A 'Make Firefox Great Again' campaign?

    I use FF as my default browser.

    IE is dying fast

    EDGE? Well franky, horrible.

    Chrome? Well, you just opened your kimono to Google...

    There are no other real options.

    C'mon guys - keep it the best option!

  52. Michael Felt

    "New" is not, by definition, improved

    Marketing speak is always "New and Improved". The tech teams I worked in years ago - when updates were forced upon us has the saying: "Feature, not a benefit".

    Have you ever heard a Product (update) announcement go: "New" and we destroyed it! - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and they believe "improved".

    As far as browsers go: I still use FF - having migrated from netscape way back when. I have looked at may others - but they required they change my way of work. If/when FF does that to a similar degree it will fall in the "Feature not a benefit AND is broken/destroyed".

    Back to article - I hope "they" focus on what is needed (benefits) and not on bling (aka more features).

  53. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    scripting is what kills my FF

    It's bad enough when a site has a primary script (in their name), but when I ok that and suddenly see 20 more pop up and can't see anything on the site... you're done for.

    scripting is by far the biggest overhead pig in my FF... "normal" stuff is satisfactory...

  54. John Savard Silver badge

    Bravo!

    I basically endorse this article in its entirety. If anything, I'd go back a few versions for the Firefox UI. However, while speed needs to be improved for it to remain competitive, I am concerned that upcoming changes to Firefox will break a lot of useful plug-ins, the existence of which for Firefox (and not Chrome) is the reason I use Firefox. (And then there's the past deplorable state of security in Internet Explorer.)

    So it looks like Firefox needs more attention to security, so that they can achieve security without being forced to break useful plug-ins.

  55. illiad

    Well i HOPE some have heard of these.... NoScript, YesScript, flashstopper / blocker, adblock, toggle animated gifs, Pale Moon... :)

    and yes, you can let through 'good ads' :)

  56. nagyeger

    It's not just speed

    smem output, exact same tabs open, both running noscript.

    9626 me palemoon 0 170736 173311 188400

    9696 me firefox___ 0 233544 239198 256420

    this computer's short of RAM, too. What's that, FF, you want an extra 50Mbytes? WHY?

  57. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Would much prefer it if the Mozilla Organization would either outright sell off Thunderbird to someone who would actually support it, or bring it back in as a lovingly supported product as it should be. Seeing Mozilla's chronic cranial-rectal insertion as of late, I'd probably prefer the former.

    1. illiad

      you are forgetting Firefox is **open source** , so just get the code, and make your own... Pale moon has done just that, and added a much better graphics core, etc, etc...

      Its not just Moz that is suffering C-RI, but their blind geek fans...

      If you prefer email to be part of the browser, that seems to be lost due to browser wars...

      My self, I would rather they are separate, so if one has problems, the other is safe... :P :)

  58. David McCarthy

    Using Firefox (old) and others

    My business partner and I still use mostly Firefox ... but we're sticking with older versions (currently 39), partly because we don't like the constant updating, mostly because we don't want our time wasted by constant UI changes. We went back to 39 so we could run a few addons that stop each time the browser upgrades.

    We also use Chrome ... because sometimes it makes sense to use more than one, especially when developing websites. I use K-Meleon just to manage our Trello, and I often open others when I want to have admin & visitor access to the same website.

    Constant updates are a modern curse that the tech companies seem addicted to ... without, as has been mentioned by other responders, there being any driver from users (to have rounded tabs, for example).

    For our sanity and the safety of our systems, we do not allow ANYTHING to update automatically ... except our Internet Security systems.

  59. PeterM42
    Mushroom

    Firefox + flash is a bit like banger racing.........

    ....forever crashing

    1. illiad

      Re: Firefox + flash is a bit like banger racing.........

      well you know how to stop 'banger racing' crashes'???

      .

      .

      .

      .

      Use only one car, and it is ONLY used once... :P

      just like flash block, only the vid you want to watch, is 'active' then you close the page..

  60. riki

    What an article...a load of bull. Firefox is still the best and faster, yes faster, than Chrome. Who's paid you?

  61. Aiiyiiyiii

    I love, love, love firefox on my pc. Tried chrome, uninstalled. IE is there when some dumbass coded his website in a way that only works with IE, *sigh

    See no reason to try ff on my android phone. Why would I?

    ITA with the "don't fuck with success" sentiment.

  62. ultravio1et

    Vivaldi

    Everyone reading this thread should give Vivaldi a go, you might be pleasantly surprised

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