back to article Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Just in case you didn't believe Firefox was on a trajectory that should have it crash and burn into extinction in the next couple of years, former chief technology officer Andreas Gal has usage stats that confirm it. To use Gal's words: "Firefox market share is falling off a cliff." The same could be said of Firefox itself. …

  1. frank 3

    more needed than ever

    And when the googlopoly becomes apparent even to the meanest intelligence, it will be there to pick up the mantle, probably under a different name and in a different form.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: more needed than ever

      Indeed. Chrome is more riddled with spyware than Windows 10.

      1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

        Re: more needed than ever

        I think it's funny that you should make that reference, seeing as the spyware in Windows 10 is a reaction to all the spyware in Android and iOS. Google is the big daddy of spyware, not Microsoft.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: more needed than ever

          Which spyware in iOS would that be? Apple is not collecting your personal information to stick ads in your face like Google is with Android. Well, unless you believe conspiracy theories that Apple's privacy policy is a lie and that they are collecting personal information on users just to be bastards, even though they have almost no presence in the online advertising world that would allow them to actually use that personal information.

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: more needed than ever

          Android and iOS are mobile OSes. Windows 10, despite Microsoft's delusions, is not in any meaningful way a mobile OS. Comparing a PC OS to a mobile OS is like comparing apples and doctors.

          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: more needed than ever

            Windows 10, despite Microsoft's delusions, is not in any meaningful way a mobile OS.

            Actually, it's a very capable mobile OS that is also an excellent desktop OS. Which is more than can be said for iOS and Android. Windows 10 might not be very popular right now (in the mobile space, I mean), but I think that could change when the new phones are announced.

            And cue haters...

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: more needed than ever

              It has never changed before when the new phones were announced; why would it be any different now? People want a nice library of apps to download, and it still isn't there.

              What Windows 10 mobile is capable of isn't really the issue. The issue is that Windows 10 is about 99% PC (again, I count x86 convertibles as PCs) and 1% mobiles (charitably). Trying to copy a 100% mobile OS (iOS) and superimpose that onto a market that's 99% PCs is nuts.

              Windows 10 may be _capable_ of being a great mobile OS, but by the same token, I am _capable_ of being a pilot, or a nurse, or a bricklayer. I'm not any of those things, though, and until I am, it's rather pointless to consider what I could be if things weren't the way they actually are. Until Windows 10 mobile gets some numbers, Windows 10 is a PC OS... that looks and acts like a phone OS.

            2. Wayland Bronze badge

              Re: more needed than ever

              Windows 10 Mobile?

              Well they keep amputating old bits of Windows so eventually it will work on an Arm. But then eventually Arm will replace the x86.

              I think it's rather good we have two very different hardware platforms, Arm and PC. Linux works on both as if there is no difference.

          2. Chris 155

            Re: more needed than ever

            Yes and no.

            Most of Microsoft's "Spying" is feature analytics to allow then to improve their product. Google and Apple know so much more about what parts of the system their users use an how they use them than Microsoft does simply because of the huge amounts of information that they're siphoning up. It's very difficult for them to compete without that information.

            Beyond that, aside from the fact that you're used to spying on mobile, there's really no functional difference. Most of what Google and Apple grab from you aren't necessary to deliver a mobile platform any more than they're necessary to deliver a desktop platform. You're not comparing apples and doctors at all. You're comparing an invasion of your privacy that you've become accustomed to and one you haven't, no more, no less.

            1. Archtech Silver badge

              Re: more needed than ever

              "Most of Microsoft's "Spying" is feature analytics to allow then to improve their product".

              Then why haven't they done so?

            2. DougS Silver badge

              @Chris 155

              Wow, quite the Microsoft apologist here. First you try to conflate Apple with Google on "siphoning up information", then you claim the only reason Microsoft is doing it is to improve the product (versus evil Google and Apple which aren't so kind and wonderful as Microsoft)

              Pull the other one!

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: more needed than ever

          "Google is the big daddy of spyware, not Microsoft."

          Yeahbut! Two wrongs don't make a right, innit!

          1. Chemical Bob
            Devil

            Re: Two wrongs don't make a right

            While that is true, I would like to point out that three lefts do make a right.

            1. Sam Adams the Dog

              Re: Two wrongs don't make a right

              @Chemical Bob: "I would like to point out that three lefts do make a right."

              Especially in radical politics.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: more needed than ever

        Please cite your sources, other than pulling out your ass....

        https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/privacy/

        You can also centrally control and opt out of everything.

        https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: more needed than ever

          Re: You can also centrally control and opt out of everything. (https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity)

          Click on that link and what do you see ? Something saying "sign in" !

          Yeah, erm.. no thanks... "opt-out by giving us all your data first" , no thanks !

    2. cd / && rm -rf *

      Re: more needed than ever

      "pick up the mantle, probably under a different name and in a different form"

      Already done. palemoon.org

      Firefox without the bloat. Built on Firefox sources, so most add-ons run too. Used in combination with uBlock Origin and NoScript, websites load in the blink of an eye with no annoying crap.

      1. Sebastian A

        Re: more needed than ever

        This is what I switched to. Not Chrome. Certainly not Edge. I switched because Firefox is a miasma of constantly shifting UI elements and unwanted features. I just want clean. Lean. Fast. Customizable.

        I don't need the bazillion other pieces of crap, and I don't need to have options removed. That's a Microsoft thing, and I hate them for it too.

      2. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

        Re: more needed than ever

        > Already done. palemoon.org

        Yup, default here. A pity their version of Thunderbird, Fossamail, has been discontinued.

        And if you really want Chrome but correctly distrust Google, Chromium is available. If your tin foil hat still retains a charge with Chromium. the iridium browser project may be to your liking - https://iridiumbrowser.de/

      3. Fred Goldstein

        Re: more needed than ever

        I like Pale Moon and I'm using it to write this reply. But it is not the simple Firefox rebuild that it once was. It started as a fork of a version of Firefox that kept the add-on bar at the bottom, among other things. But they've rewritten a lot since then. It's now very much its own browser, just one that looks like what Firefox used to look like, and still has some things Firefox gave up.

    3. Oh Homer
      Big Brother

      Re: more needed than ever

      My biggest gripe with Chrome is Google's tendency to arbitrarily block extensions it doesn't like, typically because they're antithetical to Google's spammy business model.

      This is further compounded by Google then prohibiting the installation of extensions from outside its concentration camp, essentially banning you from doing anything at all without der Führer's approval.

      Sorry, but some glorified spammer doesn't get to dictate how I choose to interact with the Web.

      Mozilla has severely annoyed me in the past (endless breakage and missing features between releases, ridiculous version bumps, stripping the UI to the point where it's useless, etc.), but nothing ever came close to Google's brazenly totalitarian tactics (with one possible exception).

      Ultimately I don't really like either company or their respective browsers, but Firefox is marginally the lesser of two evils (for now), and generally more full-featured and compatible than the more obscure alternatives.

      Frankly, I really wish that something better would come along, so I can finally stop channel-hopping between them, in an endless game of dodge-the-bullet. When the hell is someone going to make a browser designed to do what the users actually want, as opposed to what the autocratic developers think they ought to want?

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: more needed than ever

        Opera?

      2. kb
        Thumb Up

        Re: more needed than ever

        There is something IMHO better...its called Comodo Dragon and Icedragon. One is built on Chromium, one on Gecko. You can run any extension you like, you can choose to use the Comodo DNS (which I find incredibly good at blocking sites that have been infected with malware before they load) baked in or not, it has built in IP/DNS leakage detector (again removable if you don't want it with a single click), media downloader (again one click uninstall if you don't want it) and after using them for 2 years I can attest they are rock solid and the only issue they had (Privdog) was removed over a year ago so is no longer an issue.

        Its a shame what has happened with Firefox but thanks to having Dragon and IceDragon its not affected me or my customers and if FF goes away tomorrow? We'll still have dragon and IceDragon.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: more needed than ever

      and at least in Firefox I can get the "classic" appearance back.

      1. I *FORNICATING* *HATE* hamburger menus

      2. I like 3D COLOR buttons, not FLATSO GREY ones

      3. buttons should have a 3D border, and 'press' when you click them

      4. tabs should have a somewhat 3D appearance, too

      I can get ALL of that with FF addons that (thankfully) make it look like FF looked 3 years ago. The 2D FLATSO makes me want to *VOMIT* and I can't work while CHOKING BACK ALL OF THE PUKE!

      Chrome *COMPLETELY* gets it *WRONG* with the 2D FLATSO look. I *HATE* it.

      And I miss the OTHER really cool plugins, like NoScript, Cookie whitelist (with buttons), and Video Download Helper, which make Firefox way more secure (and let me download and save youtube videos instead of watching them skip while downloading at lousy connection speeds).

      The FreeBSD "ports" Makefile shows a TON of library dependencies for Chrome, MANY more than Firefox. Firefox's source file is a bit more than 200Mb (as a .txz). Chrome has 2 files (the 2nd of which is 'test data' apparently) totalling ~612Mb. The test data is a little over 100mb.

      I think the source file sizes and lib dependencies really tell the story about how much *BLOAT* that Chrome has, compared to Firefox.

      1. Een8nope

        Re: more needed than ever

        Well, I like a flat UI. I hate transparent windows, window stripes, round 3d bubbly buttons as well as square glossy ones. I hate visual elements that have nothing to do with functionality.

        Unfortunately, Flat UI themes seem to have degenerated to hard to interpret interfaces, with overuse of padding, low contrasting elements, and almost no information visible. You can extrapolate that it will all become a white page with a grey icon in 3 years time.

        Firefox is riding this trend at full speed, not only in it's increasingly minimal useless interface, but also in its minimal features that have to be supplemented with a bag full of extensions to actually make it work as expected, thus no longer being extensions, but requirements.

        Thunderbid is in a more advanced stage of this disease.

    5. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: more needed than ever

      "... when the googlopoly becomes apparent even to the meanest intelligence..."

      That will be never. Even quite considerable intelligences are routinely fooled by marketing on a daily basis. There's also what Larry Ellison said in 2008:

      "The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?"

      Firefox has become too old, too familiar, and frankly too reliable. Chrome seems new and (pardon me) shiny to millions who have no way of knowing better.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: more needed than ever

      Not that Firefox is bad, but Firefox came to the front for two reasons - tabs and speed. Now everyone has tabs. You can debate if Chrome or Firefox is faster and under which conditions, but Firefox definitely isn't clearly faster... as it was as compared to IE years ago. The two problems it fixed are no longer problems. Chrome has the extension ecosystem, which is something Firefox largely missed even when it was larger than Chrome. I don't think this is all just Google having the websites. It's definitely an advantage but not decisive. Microsoft has/had crazy control over Windows and uses it to advantage IE/Edge... and people go out of their way to download Chrome and, before that, Firefox.

  2. Lost In Clouds of Data
    Trollface

    Finally!

    Oh, so your the other person who uses Vivaldi (also my preferred browser of choice)!

    1. The Corner of Moron

      Re: Finally!

      It is mine also, that makes a grand total of three people I know using it.

      Hands up everyone!

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Finally!

        I use Vivaldi too - mainly for its vertical tab implementation.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finally!

        It is mine also, that makes a grand total of three people I know using it.

        Another Vivaldi user here - that said, I use in total 5 browsers*, and still none of them is Chrome (and before you ask, no, I'm not a web developer)..

        * Safari, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi and Omniweb

      3. K Silver badge

        Re: Finally!

        Hands down the best power-user browser.. Only thing that stop me using it full time are

        - No Google account sync (XMark is not so good, found it crashing Vivaldi and not syncing)

        - Tearing off tabs is incredibly slow compared to Chrome and Firefox (take 2-3 seconds to re-appear)

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Finally!

          Vivaldi doesn't even have a fraction of the customizability features I require. I tried to get it into a configuration that would work for me, but it wasn't possible from within the UI itself, and I wasn't interested enough to find out if there are more things that can be done outside of the UI. It may have more options than any other browser out of the box, but I don't use any of them in that configuration anyway.

          Nothing comes close to Firefox with a full complement of extensions as far as customizability... the one and only thing Firefox still does better than anyone else. It's not faster, smoother, more secure, or better on memory (as far as I know). It has the most powerful addons, and the largest library of them of any browser.

          So, naturally, killing that off and adopting Chrome extensions is next on the Firefox suicide plan.

          Back when I was using Mozilla Suite, when a handful of Mozilla devs decided to fork the browser component from within the Suite and make a standalone, lean and mean browser, the goal was to fight the corporate giant trying to dominate the web. Back then it was Microsoft. The devs never worried much about the options that IE had or how its UI looked-- they just made Mozilla/Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox the best browser they knew how to make. It didn't have to defeat MS in market share (as they are saying now, apparently)... the goal was simply to provide an alternative that was good enough to keep Microsoft from owning everything.

          It took some time, but if you look at the charts of browser market share from 2000 to present, you will see that FF began to make some serious inroads into IE's dominance. IE market share was declining and Firefox was on the way up when Chrome arrived. It stole much of Firefox's thunder; so began the decline.

          If only we could get back THAT Mozilla. They didn't conclude that since IE had 95% market share, it meant that people really, really liked IE, and that the way to gain market share was to copy IE in every way and eliminate any superior features that would serve to distinguish it from its corporate competitor. In doing so, the devs would have thought they were making it as easy as possible for people who were completely satisfied with IE and whose needs were being perfectly met by IE to switch to Firefox.

          The tabbed browsing would have had to go, of course. IE didn't have it, and since everyone uses IE, that must mean that's the correct way for it to be. If the FF market share doesn't rise, the problem must be that it's still not a good enough copy of IE.

          Firefox never would have began to erode IE's dominance and forced THEM to introduce tabs if they'd had that insane mindset back then. Obsessing about market share and the psychology of the users who are already used to IE and who expect things to be a certain way would have put the cart before the horse. Sure, you can build a copy of IE, and if people who really and truly liked IE DID decide to switch, it would be relatively painless. One question: If they really and truly like IE, what is going to convince them to switch to your IE copy when they are already using the genuine article? One more question: If your goal is to prevent the corporate dominance of the web, have you really accomplished that if your product follows the corporate design of IE as much as the actual IE?

          Mozilla lost the plot years ago, and they're doubling down on stupid every chance they get.

    2. Chewi

      Re: Finally!

      Me too. However, competition is very important so I want Firefox to live. I'm interested to see what they can do with their next generation Servo stuff but the UI is generally the dealbreaker.

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Finally!

        Mozilla have done a huge amount lately to alienate a lot of their long time users, and this is another of the reasons for their steadily declining market share. Numerous decisions such as to push the awful Australis makeover, constantly strip out more and more customisability, bundling Pocket, and the impending ditching of their powerful addon ecosystem are all decisions which have helped to drive people away from the browser - whilst failing to draw new users to it.

        I agree that Firefox can flourish without being the most popular browser, but Mozilla needs to start focusing on what their users want and how to carve out a niche in the browser market, rather than pushing one dumb decision after another onto their user base whilst turning Firefox more and more into a simple clone of Chrome. Once Firefox 57 lands, it'll just be a browser that looks like Chrome and uses lightweight addons like Chrome .

        For the record, I ditched Firefox around 3 years ago after the Australis turd landed and have been a happy Pale Moon user since.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finally!

          I've been loyal to Firefox for a long time - but they are testing me to breaking point.

          First they made it impossible to use Selenium - so I moved that application to Chrome where it works well on built-in support.

          Then recently W7 Firefox 54.0.1 32bit regularly keeps locking up or crashing. That has never been a problem in the past. The crash reports get sent off automatically - but I've no idea if there is a common problem.

          I will have to start looking at alternatives to Firefox (not Chrome or IE) for my general browsing. The Palemoon reference above sounds interesting.

          1. HashimSheffield

            Re: Finally!

            I've been having the same problem with Firefox for the last few months. Running more than 15 tabs at once or just a few intensive ones will suddenly cause the CPU to rise to crazy levels, over 25% usually, and the whole thing locks up till it has to be killed in Task Manager. Starting to get really annoying and making me consider other browsers, which sucks cause I've been fine with FF for a long time. It's been my browser of choice since I first moved on from IE years ago.

        2. fobobob

          Re: Finally!

          I feel like they really screwed up by neglecting the word-of-mouth potential of the long-time power users... If nobody recommends it to their family friends, or actively campaigns against it, you can conceivably wind up where we're at.

          PM is my standard browser, but it's hard to recommend to average users, for numerous reasons. If it doesn't work as they expect out of the box, every time, they won't accept it. Oddly they're fine accepting the big-name turds which aren't tangibly better; their 'logic' there is probably an appeal to majority.

          1. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: Finally!

            Niche culture is the very definition of cool. Yes if ordinary folk want to be cool then some of them will begin adopting the Niche culture. Once it's mass market it's no longer cool, inspite or even because so many people approve.

            Any attempt to appeal to a bigger market immediately loses the cool factor.

            Ordinary people are only pretending to be cool, they really just want to be like everyone else yet treated as if they are a little better than average.

            Cool people are not even aware that they are cool, they do things for their own reasons and not anybody elses.

            You can see the people trying to be cool, they pay more money for ripped jeans. Cool people have holes in their jeans that they don't care about because they are old and comfy.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Finally!

          "push the awful Australis makeover"

          So, the 2D FLUGLY with HAMBURGER MENU has a name? And it's 'Australis'?

          Thanks for that. I'm glad OTHER people agree with me on how PATHETIC this UI style is. It's "all over" Chrome, too, and the FF "Classic UI" plugins to "go back" to the NORMAL UI are a REASON to use Firefox!

          yeah, HERE IT IS in all of its HORROR...

    3. John Arthur
      Happy

      Re: Finally!

      Me too! After using Pale Moon for quite a while when Opera went bad I am now a very happy Vivaldi user!

    4. GrapeBunch Silver badge

      Re: Finally!

      "Vivaldi"

      Yes, me too. Also based on the Chromium engine is Opera, which I also use every day. Also Sleipnir, which admittedly I haven't given much of a workout. Why would one use Chrome when the chromavixxen are so much better? Because it's there?, like using IE?

      The third browser I have open at all times (on the laptop that can take the activity) is Firefox (54). I remember a few years ago that the author of the best-working extensions I had ever encountered, got into an argument with Firefox about their requirements for keeping the extension up to date with new FF versions. I don't understand or know the details of the argument, but the author just up and left, pulling the plug on his extensions, so it must have been an important dispute. That put the kibosh on any thoughts I may have harboured of using Firefox exclusively.

      1. Nicole D.
        IT Angle

        Firefix (54)

        I'd rather not be bothered switching between browsers, and have been using FF all but exclusively for years. I'd be happy to continue for years more. But they've also been pushing me away in recent years, with an increasingly stripped down UI, forced features, and missing or obscured features. I dread and postpone each update and take backups of my portable installation before I finally do it. What will be broken this time? What option will I need to research so I can turn it off? What unwanted new feature will I need to disable, or learn to live with if it can't be disabled, or find an addon to disable it. This is Firefox. Why is it my browser of choice again?

    5. emullinsabq
      Meh

      Re: Finally!

      (regarding Vivaldi)

      Hm. I checked it out just now. Went to their website, clicked Terms first, and the first thing that I didn't filter was something to the effect: we can change these conditions any time.

      At which point, I stopped reading and closed the tab.

  3. Alan Hope

    Hard to change over once you have used Chrome. Firefox can't properly import your Chrome bookmarks (it puts them all in a single folder). Then, as a developer, the reload button is an annoying distance away from the navigation buttons causing instant and constant extra mousing around. My chosen theme has yet again become "not-compatible" after an auto-update. My eye is constantly distracted by the curvy tabs and the odd-sized and very dated-looking round buttons - though maybe in time I would get used to them.

    Give your users a clunky experience and they will pick an alternative. I've nothing against Firefox and I keep it there for testing but I'm afraid basic usability trumps memory-efficiency on a high-end computer.

    Do hate the data-slurping though. Is there any way to configure Firefox to look and work like Chrome? :)

    1. Len Goddard

      My reasons for not using chrome are sort of the mirror of yours. I hate the appearance of the thing and I loathe the integrated search and URL bar. TBH, I don't actually use firefox any more either as I dislike the new appearance and mobile-phone style interface. I now use Palemoon which is an optimised firefox using the older front end.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      FFS?

      "My eye is constantly distracted by the curvy tabs and the odd-sized and very dated-looking round buttons"

      Really, is it that important compared to all of the other factors?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: FFS?

        Of course it's important - to him. Other things are important to you. Other things are important to me.

        One thing we can all agree on, I think, is that diversity is good. Choice is good. Having one browser on top is inevitable, but other browsers must exist to keep things fair.

        For me, I do not mind at all that Firefox is not on top. Being on top makes you the prime target for all the nasties. Being obscure makes you uninteresting to the nasties. I will stay with Firefox as long as NoScript keeps on working. Firefox and NoScript are my preferred way of browsing and I will only change the day I have to.

    3. Patito

      Have you been living under a rock..... the latest firefox is using the same memory print as chrome which i actually do not like but that is another discussion.

      https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/firefox-speed-boost-maybe-try-mozilla-browser-again/

      It does make it faster, firefox is now way better then Chrome but that is personal i just hate chrome

      1. WatAWorld

        FF isn't needed for competition. There's Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Safari, MSIE, Edge?

        "Have you been living under a rock..... the latest firefox is using the same memory print as chrome which i actually do not like but that is another discussion."

        One or two good releases of FF is not going to persuade people who left FF to switch back.

        Generally only a few hobbyists are going switch browsers every time one beats another in some test. Switching, but to hobbyists the hassle is the attraction of their hobby.

        For FF to regain customers who left:

        1. FF is going to have to be noticeably better than what they switched to (be it Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, etc., etc. apparently no lack of choices).

        2. FF is going to have to build a track record of being consistently better.

        That is a lot of choice besides Chrome, so FF isn't needed for competition. There's Opera, Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Safari, MSIE, Edge, and more.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      did you know....?

      That you can change the position and even what button are displayed by FireFox?

      Probably not. But you can do it. I did mine years ago never went back to anything else.

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: did you know....?

        That's the problem with Australis.

        Now, the navigation buttons are fixed, and the stop/reload button is also fixed at the end of the address bar. Only way around it for now is to use an addon that gives you the ability to move these, but these will stop working once Firefox 57 lands (ClassicThemeRestorer being a major addon rendered useless by Mozilla dropping their old addon system as the new addon system simply doesn't support what CTR does).

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: did you know....?

        Yes, the 'Classic UI' plugins are AWESOME. With a bit of hacking, you can even ELIMINATE the 'hamburger'

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: did you know....?

          Dispatching the hamburger is easy:

          #PanelUI-menu-button {

          display: none;

          }

          Add that to userChrome.css. Should work on Thunderbird too, though I haven't tested it (my TB burger is gone via the "Classic TB2 Options" extension.

    5. Psy-Q

      Why don't you use the keyboard shortcut for reload if it is an important and often-used function for you? Even less mousing -- none!

    6. Alister Silver badge

      Then, as a developer, the reload button is an annoying distance away from the navigation buttons causing instant and constant extra mousing around.

      Um, "as a developer", you do know you can customise the toolbars such that the reload button can be next to the navigation buttons?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Developers use Ctrl+r until the ink wears off their r key.

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          On my keyboard, only the "Q", "U" ,"I", "P", "G", "J", and "K" are intact. There are seven keys that are completely blank. ("E", "A", "L", and I can't remember what the rest are.) The "W", "O", "X" and "B" are readable. And every other has a sketchy dots or ambiguous bars. The left shift, control are on their way out, too; as are the "," and "." and "/".

          1. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            @B.A.G

            I have 7 completely clear keys on my HP8570w's keyboard. Since its backlit, they provide sufficient light to read things on my desk when the lights are off. Three more are getting there.

        2. Wibble

          > Developers use Ctrl+r until the ink wears off their r key.

          You mean Cmd+R. Not all of us use windos.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Developers use Ctrl+r until the ink wears off their r key.

            You mean Cmd+R. Not all of us use windos.

            it's F5 for me, but maybe CTRL+R will work, too. Using FreeBSD. Also works in Linux.

            1. MaxRock

              Those two have slightly differen't functions, don't they?

              F5 reloads the page using the browser cache, while CTRL+R bypasses the cache.

        3. ITS Retired
          Happy

          I use an old IBM PC keyboard. It could double as a boat anchor and the keys, make their own click. I don't need the computer to make a click sound with each key press. All the legends look like they are still new.

          The only thing missing are the windows key, and who uses those, except fanboys anyway? Until I found this keyboard in a dumpster with an 286/386, I had worn the legends off of several keyboards. With my four finger typing, I need to be able to see the key legends.

      2. Alan Hope

        "Um, "as a developer", you do know you can customise the toolbars such that the reload button can be next to the navigation buttons?"

        Just tried it again. You can drag/drop all the other buttons but not the reload button.

        Which then begs the question... why not include the reload button in the toolbar customisation?

        Anyway, it was just 1 of many small things. Maybe I've just become too familiar with Chrome.

        1. CRConrad
          Facepalm

          "Just tried it again. You can drag/drop all the other buttons but not the reload button."

          Perhaps not the one inside the address box. But the other one, yes you can. Waitasec... Yes, you can; I just did. Well, added one, since I didn't have it on the toolbar, knowing what the keyboard is for. Gimmasec again... Yup, you can move it too; just moved it from the right to the left of the back / forward arrows.

          You can't put the reload (or any) button _between_ the arrow ones, it seems; they're linked, move as a unit. (Dunno how long they've done that; been aeons since I last customised the toolbar.) But next to them on either side, no problem.

    7. jasper pepper

      Comodo dragon. Chrome without the feed to Google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'd quite forgotten that one. I've been almost entirely using Palemoon, have been since it was "the" x64 Firefox. Adding Dragon into the mix. It'll do the duty for Chrome related thingies. Thanks!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Comodo dragon. Chrome without the feed to Google."

        Hmmm. Wanted to download a .exe & run it with Crossover Office which was once installed & now isn't. I'm impressed. But not favourably.

    8. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      As a developer, you could hit F5 instead of the refresh button. Saves a second or two each time and if you do it 100 times a day it adds up.

    9. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      You refresh using the mouse? How long before something in chrome looks dated? And for clunky experiences I tried developing on chrome for a few days. Hated every second of it.

      (Fyi being able to view what javascript addresses what elements directly is a massive boon and anything without it seems backwards now)

    10. Orv Silver badge

      It's also hard to switch back and forth between the two browsers' development tool suites. It's not that one is necessarily superior -- I find Firefox a little better for HTML tinkering, Chrome a little better for Javascript debugging. But they're just different enough to feel awkward when you switch.

    11. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      "as a developer, the reload button is an annoying distance away from the navigation buttons"

      What, you mousie-clickie EVERYTHING? Try the 'F5' key...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Try the 'F5' key..."

        Try browsing with mainly one hand on the mouse, and the other hand far away from the keyboard.

        1. CRConrad
          Childcatcher

          Re: "Try the 'F5' key..."

          "Try browsing with mainly one hand on the mouse, and the other hand far away from the keyboard."

          But he was talking "blah blah developer blah blah", not pornhub-dot-com.

    12. CRConrad
      Holmes

      Honestly, "as a developer" -- huh?

      You claim to be a developer, and have a problem with "the reload button is an annoying distance away from the navigation buttons causing instant and constant extra mousing around"?

      So if you couldn't be arsed to customise your toolbar by dragging the navigation buttons to the right of the URL textbox (with its own reload button on the right end), then why didn't you just add a dedicated reload button next to wherever you keep the arrow ones?

      Or maybe get a keyboard with function keys and try F5...?

      Sorry, but I'm having trouble swallowing your "developer" credentials.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge
    Stop

    Google isn't neglecting the web the way Microsoft did with IE

    Microsoft only stopped innovating when they had total domincance. IE4 was far ahead of the competition. IE5 sealed the market share. Then they just stopped.

    Netscape 4/5 were bloated and ugly. IE4 was beautiful in comparison.

    Yes, they abused standards terribly, but they took 90%+ market share first. Google aren't there yet.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Google isn't neglecting the web the way Microsoft did with IE

      Google doesn't want market share so they can try to embrace/extend their own web standards like Microsoft. They want market share so they can collect information on every site you visit all the time, all the better to sell you out to advertisers and make them more money. Different motivations.

      It is important to have an alternative that isn't selling you out to Google (or Microsoft) so Firefox needs to stick around. But Google's monopoly abuse lying about Firefox being 'insecure' versus Chrome is basically their standard business tactic these days, making it harder and harder for Firefox to compete on a level playing field.

      Hopefully we'll see more monopoly investigations of Google and even bigger fines - that's the only thing that is going to get them to stop this. Fining them half a quarter's profits isn't enough.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google isn't neglecting the web the way Microsoft did with IE

      I still remember the dark age of the Internet (late 1990s to early-mid 2000s) no thanks to Microsoft.

      'Best viewed with Internet Explorer' banners on websites everywhere.

      Websites made with Microsoft Frontpage.

      Realplayer (and to a lesser extent, Windows Media Player and Apple's Quicktime) needed to be installed or you couldn't watch the videos online.

      And never forget it was Microsoft which had through despicable means destroyed Netscape Navigator (later Netscape Communicator), setting up IE's monopoly during this dark and desolate time. A remnant of Netscape's code made its way to Mozilla, and eventually the browser Firefox was born.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Google isn't neglecting the web the way Microsoft did with IE

        It was definitely a hard time to be a Linux desktop user, but fortunately there were almost no videos worth watching so running into WMP or QT videos wasn't an issue. The "best viewed with IE" thing didn't bother me, except where it was true and the site really did look like crap on Mozilla!

        Ironic that Flash was Linux's savior from the hell of proprietary video. If only they had separated Flash the streaming player from Flash the UI, all those security holes would have infected the UI and the streamer might still be useful.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Google isn't neglecting the web the way Microsoft did with IE

        "A remnant of Netscape's code made its way to Mozilla, and eventually the browser Firefox was born."

        An even bigger remnant than you thought. Seamonkey was also born.

  5. MrNed
    WTF?

    blocked?

    A non-techy friend asked me just the other day to install Firefox for him because he didn't like the Chrome browser that had been pre-installed on the 2nd hand machine he'd been given. Lo and behold, Chrome would not download the Firefox installer stub - said the downloader page was unavailable. Visiting the same link with IE showed that the page was working fine; Firefox was duly installed.

    So are Google blocking access to rival browser's installers?

    1. Graham 32

      Re: blocked?

      I doubt Google would do that. The public backlash would be too big.

      My guess is some spyware/adware addon to Chrome is installed and it's that which wants to stop you switching to another browser.

    2. Naselus

      Re: blocked?

      Nope, downloads absolutely fine in Chrome for me.

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: blocked?

      First thing to do when given a 2nd-hand machine:

      format, re-partition, reinstall stock standard OS (whether that be windows, linux, MacOS, BSD, anything).

    4. WatAWorld

      Re: blocked?

      "So are Google blocking access to rival browser's installers?"

      Not on my computer. It just downloaded fine.

  6. Colin Ritchie
    Windows

    Losing market share?

    Firefox had a netmarket share of 12.03% in July 2015 and has 12.02% share now, according to https://www.netmarketshare.com/. While its use dipped to 7.69% back in June 2016 it has since recovered, mainly at the expense of IE and Safari.

    I know many XP and Windows 7 refusniks who use it now and refuse to have a bar of Chrome. Not being the most used browser is sometimes a good thing, you are not the biggest target either.

  7. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Make privacy a USP

    All products need a reason to succeed, beyond basic brand loyalty. Also known as a "unique selling point" to marketers.

    So do what Google won't do: make privacy a big deal.

    Make your default to block/separate tracking cookies, avoid browser fingerprinting by technical means (e.g. randomly dither the query-able factors, don't report plug-ins, report always the same OS/version "I am Spartacus", etc) and whatever else you can do to help (e.g. Duck duck go for search, or at least warn people about it). Offer ad-blocking as default (or the setup wizard to chose a matching plug-in), make a simple menu option to stop auto-play videos and animated GIFs, etc.

    And FFS stop copying Chrome's every dumb-down-the-user move!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make privacy a USP

      "So do what Google won't do: make privacy a big deal."

      Something on the order of 80% of Mozilla's income comes from royalties from its users using a search plugin. Until very recently those royalties came from Google. Mozilla have even less impetus to care about your privacy than Google.

    2. Wibble
      Megaphone

      Re: Make privacy a USP

      > So do what Google won't do: make privacy a big deal.

      In this day of facebook and twitter you bring up privacy?

      I feel a lone voice in the wilderness by not being a product of the companies who slurp everything.

  8. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I abandoned Firefox a while ago. Pale Moon for the last maybe 2 years, never looked back.

  9. kmac499

    Chrome - No Thanks

    I dislike Chrome because of it's cartoon like interface, I like the File Edit View menu tool bar. Firefox was easily 'fixed' with the classic theme restorer extension..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chrome - No Thanks

      Same here. Mainly because it is a device for Google to get data on you, your searches and pretty well everything else.

      Some people don't give a toss about that. That is their right.

      I do.

      I don't use Google directly for web searching either. I'm keeping my distance from that AI Slurper.

      If you Google for me you won't find anything. Lots of people with the same name as me but nothing on me. I fully intend to keep it that way. Google IS EVIL.

      I kinda like stability so I use Firefox ESR (Extended Service Release). Currently on 52.2.1 on MacOS. does what it says on the tin for 99.9% of sites.

  10. ArchieTheAlbatross
    Happy

    A Night at the Opera, anyone?

    Still a good, mostly crap-free browser, not quite as flexible as Firefox, but nowadays with a free VPN, which must be a good thing.

    That said, it's pretty much Firefox with everything here and likely to continue that way for the foreseeable future.

    1. Naselus

      Re: A Night at the Opera, anyone?

      Opera went downhill fast about five years ago and has never really recovered. These days, Vivaldi is the browser for the discerning power user.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: A Night at the Opera, anyone?

        Opera's mobile browser is pretty good, and faster than Chrome or Firefox on my phone. It's oddly crashy, thogh. Ars Technica will crash it about one time out of three.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont care for Chrome and its data slurping so its Firefox + NoScript FTW for me. I cant see a reason to change, the combo does everything I want from a browser and allows me a lot of control ( for example, FB scripts are ALWAYS blocked on any site I visit)

    1. PerlyKing Bronze badge
      Boffin

      uMatrix

      If you like NoScript, try uMatrix: complete control over scripts from all sources. It sometimes takes a few tries to find the minimal set to make a site functional, but it's instructive to see how many different sources some web pages want to load! Also available for Chrome.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Give Slimjet a try

      www.slimjet.com

      Chrome minus the snooping + additional privacy controls.

  12. 2460 Something

    Faster

    I haven't found this to be the case. I used to exclusively use FF, but I started using vivaldi and chromium instead as FF always seemed to be quite slow and quickly starts using excessive amounts of memory.

    1. kcblo

      Re: Faster

      Use Firefox Nightly, you will realize what faster means.

  13. Paratrooping Parrot
    Unhappy

    Used Firefox from when it was Firebird

    I have used Firefox from the very beginning, and still use it. I am a bit annoyed by the way it has influences from Chrome, but at least, I know that by using the Alt key, I can get the normal menu up. One thing that really annoys me whenever I use a different browser on someone else's computer, is when using Youtube, there are adverts. That always surprises me!

    Their mobile browser however needs to be severely optimised. It is rather slow though, it is the slowest thing on my Android mobile :( , it does mean that I don't need to bother with Facebook apps. :)

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Used Firefox from when it was Firebird

      "Used Firefox from when it was Firebird"

      Pft, I've used it since it was Netscape Navigator.

      (and Firefox was Phoenix for a version or two, before an existing company called Phoenix told them to change it. So they changed it to Firebird, but there was already some software with that name too, so eventually they renamed it Firefox)

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Used Firefox from when it was Firebird

        There are a number of us out here. I have never had anything but a Netscape or Netscape-derived primary browser on the PC. NN 2 was where I started... 3, 4 (where I learned to hate the phrase "illegal operation in mfc40.dll"), then the 6 preview... then Mozilla Suite, which I stuck with as a main browser until FF reached general release. Mozilla Suite, FF, Waterfox, Pale Moon... that's it from the start of the XP era in 2001 until the present. I never used IE for anything but Windows updates, and the first time I seriously evaluated anything else was when I tried Vivaldi, Brave, Slimjet, and Opera recently in light of the upcoming Firefox suicide. Nope... all of them are too similar to Firefox unmodified (in Australis form), which won't cut it.

        Pale Moon intends to keep on fighting the good fight indefinitely... Waterfox intends to keep it up "as long as possible," which is unfortunately defeatist (sounds like the dev is already conceding that he will lose, but it's his choice to not make a career out of trying to de-stupidize FF). Both of them will support Firefox addons after FF itself stops.

        How long, though, will the addons themselves remain viable without FF proper supporting them? Where will they be hosted if not on Mozilla's servers? Will the addon devs even bother? Several of the devs of my addons have already announced that it's the end of the line for them since FF is cutting XUL addon support off, and the fact that PM and WF will continue to allow them doesn't even register.

        I have very specific requirements for a browser, and right now only Firefox and Firefox derivatives are good enough. How strange is it that there's soon to be no such thing as what I consider a usable browser, even though the browser is probably the most commonly used application possible? I've already accepted that there are no good Android browsers at all (and I've all but abandoned Android itself), but on the PC too?

  14. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Stop

    It should be made illegal...

    To bundle installers with Chrome...

    Every time I visit my friends they have 'somehow' managed to install Chrome as their new default browser and are struggling to remove the damn thing and return to their previous one...

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: It should be made illegal...

      Google should be forced to show a browser ballot just like MS was forced to...

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: It should be made illegal...

        "Google should be forced to show a browser ballot just like MS was forced to..."

        Microsoft owned the OS the browser was bundled with. In terms of the unwanted Chrome installations, we're still talking about the same OS (Windows) but with someone else's browser. How would Chrome even do that?

        Besides, the baseline functionality you mention is already part of Windows. That same UI that came about as a result of the MS antitrust stuff is still in there. Not only that, but in Windows versions 8 and up, an application installer can't grab all of the file and protocol associations if they're already assigned elsewhere. Windows will ask the user (with a hideous, platform-inappropriate Metro or UWP styled dialog) what app(lication) he would like to use to open or service the given (file, protocol).

        Google should stop partnering with firms that use sneaky means to get Chrome installed on a person's PC. It comes bundled with many things that have nothing to do with browsing... I know that Chrome wants it installed on as many devices as possible, but having Chrome associated with dark patterns and the same sort of malware-like techniques that has the computing world angry at Microsoft is probably what they're looking to accomplish. Is Chrome a premium, world-class browser or a piece of malware? Your call, Google.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It should be made illegal...

          1) Google should show the ballot on its search engine page, where it endlessly nag users to install Chrome

          2) It should show the ballot on Android.... which has the same market dominance Windows had.

          1. WatAWorld

            Re: It should be made illegal...

            "2) It should show the ballot on Android.... which has the same market dominance Windows had."

            Sounds like a good general rule that OS's have a ballot for competitors products. So a ballot on iOS and MacOS too.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: It should be made illegal...

      CCleaner have just put Chrome back on their updater, I haven't seen it there for a while.

      I wonder, if you accidentally miss it and it self installs, how much it slurps before you can uninstall it?

      I have gotten used to FF and run it with a couple of plugins including Bluehell ad blocker one of the simplest I have come across.

      I uninstalled Chrome from my wife's laptop, it took three goes before it would actually start the process and finally remove itself kicking and screaming all the way.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: It should be made illegal...

        I don't think Chrome "slurps" anything if you only install it and don't use it -- with the exception of the installation itself, and what program "referred" you to it.

        Their telemetry seems to be mostly related to crash reports and how often certain web features are used (so they know when they can deprecate obsolete ones.) Natch if you do Google searches they get that info, and if you're logged into your Google account all the stuff they sync for you goes in your profile.

        Everyone assumes Chrome is recording all this info about them but there's little evidence for that. Realistically they don't need to bug the browser to create an advertising profile -- they already get that kind of data every time you visit a site that hosts their ads, whether you're using Chrome or not.

  15. Ogi
    Facepalm

    IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

    To writ...

    1. Firefox abandoned stable releases for these rolling releases like Chrome does, which doesn't work in an office environment (and indeed, in an office I worked at, they decided to ditch firefox because of it). Also, it messes up OS repositories (like the Debian ones) because they can't push updates to the repo every time the firefox people decide for an update. However sites now assume the rolling update model, and will sometimes break on versions of firefox that haven't had a few rolling updates.

    2. Firefox changed the UI to be more like Chrome. Which upset those of us who have been using firefox for ages, and who liked the UI (I personally never liked the Chrome UI).

    3. The removal of XUL, the breaking of plugins/extensions/themes, and the general middle finger given to firefox power users not only lost those power users, but also the other people who went to those power users for advice. Once upon a time when building/repairing a machine for someone, I would install firefox by default and explain to them why they should use it over IE. No longer.

    4. It has gotten worse. The new firefox uses more memory than the old one, is slower than Chrome, and is far more buggy. They seem to have split tabs into their own processes, like Chrome, but tabs keep crashing, and it just doesn't work that well.

    It seems firefox tried really hard to be a clone of Chrome, which is stupid. If someone wants to use Chrome, they will use Chrome. Why would they use a Chrome clone that isn't as good?

    However by doing this, they not only ended up being a poor Chrome clone, but they lost those of us who didn't like Chrome. This is exactly what happened with me, I didn't like Chrome, but when firefox became a poor copy and lost what I liked about the browser, I saw no reason to use it anymore, and now Chromium is my main browser (at least until I get around to installing pale moon, which seems to be hitting all the right buttons. Might give seamonkey a go as well).

    1. Steve Graham

      Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

      It became more and more obvious that the Firefox developers weren't listening to users. For example, I changed to Vivaldi when Firefox stopped playing audio. The developer had unnecessarily changed the interface, and when it was suggested in bug reports that this was a poor decision (but easily reversible), his response was obstinate and unhelpful.

      But I disagree that this kind of approach has been the main reason for loss of users. I think it's the relentless promotion of Chrome by Google.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

      agree with all points, another engineering mistake was to remove many of the ssl nag screens. Removing the opportunity to bypass the problem.

      Bug reports say 'use chrome'!

      Really annoying when not on the internet and in control of the browser the network and the server. They also made it impossible to bypass broken ssl in plugins.

      This is just another symptom of the policy of ignoring users requirements. A good 50% of what I do with a browser is not over the internet.

      We all know that a valid ssl cert does not make a server secure anyway.

      1. Naselus

        Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

        "Removing the opportunity to bypass the problem."

        Very much this. If I wanted some company somewhere to decide which websites I'm allowed to visit, then I'd stick to IE or Safari. I liked Firefox because it treated the user as a grown up; when it started insisting that the user couldn't know what they were doing by definition, that's when I jumped ship.

        We actually rolled out Firefox for use at work a few of years ago, and then within a couple of months they began to lock off protocols that we needed for web-based apps, shut down legacy plugins, and block us going to internal intranet sites with no SSL certs.

        Given that, at the time, FF was also going out of it's way to become the slowest and most bloody awkward browser on the web, we ended up packing it in and shunting everyone other to Chrome. Literally all the service providers we needed to use the browser to access also stopped supporting it. It was like Mozilla were going out of their way to try and get FF taken off production environments.

      2. WatAWorld

        Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

        "agree with all points, another engineering mistake was to remove many of the ssl nag screens. Removing the opportunity to bypass the problem.

        Bug reports say 'use chrome'!"

        The ultimate in stupidity, having your engineering dept doing marketing for a competitor. I remember when I was waiting for FF to improve before switching, there was a lot of that. Sound muting. 64-bit. Some security suggestions. Disabling hotkeys.

        They wanted to do what they wanted to do, and if customers didn't like it customers were advised to switch to a competitor.

        Wise advise. We took it.

        Incidentally, I remember hating the bland Chrome UI. So FF copied it after I left. Idiots. I hate these bland indistinct UIs. MS seems to love them too. And now Google News has adopted one too.

        Lasik doesn't really improve presbyopia.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

      I would absolutely agree that they've got an engineering problem. They throw out everything that makes Firefox different for one of two reasons:

      1) they just straight out admit they don't know how to maintain stuff any more,

      2) they claim metrics say a feature is hardly ever used and maintaining it would take resources away from something else, but they forget that metrics can be disabled, some options they remove are corner cases but very useful, and the Venn diagram of people doing both probably shows quite a big intersection.

      Also, the world is crying out for a feature-complete and easy-to-use mail client and Thunderbird was so near, despite it being ignored for years by Mozilla.

    4. AntiSol

      Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

      This is spot on. Exactly why I'm no longer a fan of firefox.

      Also, claims that it's faster and/or uses less memory than chrome are quite simply bullshit.

      IMO it seems that mozilla have decided to go for the demographic of users who really like chrome but think it's too fast and doesn't use enough memory. I might not have the same level of experience as mozilla's marketing department, but this seems like a niche market to me, and one which is mutually exclusive with their previous niche, power users.

      "Are you tired of your web browser quickly opening pages rather than spamming your swap space? Do you not have enough time to make coffee between youtube videos because your browser loads them too fast? Try firefox! It's just like chrome, only worse! With our patented memory-hogging technology you'll find your system swapping with only 5 tabs open! after all, what's the point of having an entire partition just for swap if you're not going to use it? And if you're coming from chrome you'll find our new interface so familiar you won't be sure which browser you've launched! And to ensure that this is the case, we've just announced a new feature where we're dropping support for all the things that make firefox different from chrome! And you'll be pleased to hear that we're so committed to this course of action that we don't care if it pisses off 90% of our existing user base! Also, behind the scenes we've just announced exciting support for nothing except pulseaudio. But you won't care about that, it's a nerd thing and it doesn't matter because everyone runs pulseaudio. Firefox: It's just like chrome, only worse!"

    5. Orv Silver badge

      Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

      I agree with most of your points, but I think rolling updates are pretty much a requirement these days. So many people used to get their desktops p0wn'd by browser bugs because they never updated, and were running browsers that were years out of date. I think an alternative for a corporate environment would be good -- I think Chrome has a policy you can push to clients for that -- but for the majority of users? Automatic rolling updates are the only way they'll ever bother to keep their browser secure.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

        "I agree with most of your points, but I think rolling updates are pretty much a requirement these days."

        NO. They are *NOT*.

        We could do VERY well without 'feature creep' 'feature removal' "new, shiny [why aren't you liking it?]' and other consequences of "rolling updates".

        Isn't what I've been using for 5 years GOOD ENOUGH? How about patches and bug fixes for THAT? I'll keep my old UI thanks, and if it needs some HTML5 support, that's fine, but just FIX THE CODE BASE, and don't go off adding BOATLOADS of CRAP nor changing the appearance of the UI nor REMOVING FEATURES.

        That's what Micro-shitaft has done with Win-10-nic after all, and we *ALL* *KNOW* *THAT* *THIS* *IS* *WRONG*!!!

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

          A rolling update schedule isn't necessary to tackle security bugs. In between each major FF release, there are usually several minor releases for security and general bug fixes. Whether the major releases are three months or three years apart doesn't change that a bit.

          As far as Windows... well, 7 and 8.1 are not on a rolling update schedule. They don't get ANY updates except security and bug fixes, but they still get them each patch Tuesday, the same time that Windows 10 does.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

            And then they get flak for pwnings that occur BETWEEN the Patch Tuesdays, some of which are SO severe (and already in the wild) they're forced to scramble to issue an Out-of-Band patch. Putting you in a vice: break your machine or get pwned. And let's not forget all those people who wouldn't update even if it meant their lives (or livelihoods); they've demonstrated an inability to stay current, when self-preservation doesn't work, you're forced to use other means (and no, you can't use Darwin since that would bring with it collateral damage which could end up boomeranging back to YOU).

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

              "Putting you in a vice: break your machine or get pwned."

              Simple solution there. Split feature updates and security updates. Unless you were actually relying on a bug which is patched in the security update you can apply the security update irrespective of it being out of band without breaking functionality. (Assuming the update itself isn't broken.)

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

                Unless they INTENTIONALLY pack the feature AND security update together and force you to take it or leave it, part and parcel.

  16. Baldrickk Silver badge

    For me, I use a mix of Vivaldi and Firefox. I don't have a definite preference for one over the other, they each have little things I like and hate.

  17. Alan Sharkey

    I use FF and Vivaldi

    I use FireFox and Vivaldi for one simple reason - they have a proper bookmark menu system that is quick to get at. None of the crap "menu bar" which takes up real estate.

    I would also try IE but that seems to fail for a lot of web sites.

    Alan

  18. artem

    > "despite Firefox getting much better during the same time window"

    Let me correct Andreas: "despite Firefox 1) getting much closer to being a Chrome clone 2) without distinctive features while at the same time 3) lagging in standards support and 4) being hell bent on not implementing the features Mozilla's users have been asking for for years (e.g. WebP support) and 5) losing its distinctive UI and 6) removing features which many users can't live without (JavaScript on/off switch for websites) and 7) rendering literally dozens of thousands of add-ons dead and 8) having such an inflated ego that Mozilla simply ignores its core professional users' needs and 9) killing XUL".

    For the past two years you've rendered dead more add-ons than you've done for your entire history. Many people used to use Firefox solely due to its add-ons and now a lot of them have ceased to exist due to Mozilla's relentless efforts.

    Multiprocess conversion should have started at least 14(!) years ago just when efficient multicore CPUs became a commodity (Athlon 64, 2003) and if you had done it back then, you wouldn't have let down thousands of add-ons developers who are now simply fed up and have parted ways with you.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't always blame others...

    "Gal believes a big part of the problem is Google's monopoly on search and its aggressive marketing of Chrome."

    Just like so many others I also used Firefox many years back and it wasn't Chrome but Firefox itself which made me bail out. I liked Firefox, a lot, together with Thunderbird it was my de-facto solution to turn to web and e-mail. The main problem: update, after update after update. And some updates were plain out intrusive, sometimes you had to re-learn how your browser worked! No problem if you got time for that, but as a geek who likes to know how his stuff works while also getting tired of spending time on something as trivial as a browser...

    I discovered SeaMonkey and started testing that which was also around the time when Firefox actually changed their appearance to a Chrome look-alike. Gone were the easy toolbars, the buttons, the menus. Only 1 tab and that's it. That's when I figured: "If I wanted to use Chrome I'd use Chrome, this is bullshit" and deinstalled everything. If I recall correctly it was around the time Thunderbird introduced tabs for e-mails, a feature I seriously despised, also because I couldn't turn it off. Firefox/Thunderbird had "change because of change" written all over it, and I didn't want that anymore. I grew tired of it.

    Been using Seamonkey for a long time (for both web & e-mail) and the best part: it still looks the same now as when I picked it up 5 or so years ago. In the mean time I also discovered Opera (the one build on Chromium) and its easy to see why Chrome has such a high market share. It's much more than merely aggressive advertising.

    But other than Opera I never looked back at Firefox. I also don't miss it and I've always been hesitant to try it out again, mostly because of all the bullshit updates they pushed forward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't always blame others...

      @ShelLuser

      FYI, the Mozilla Foundation had taken money from Google, some of the people there are also affiliated to Google.

      Initially I thought it was a conspiracy theory... until that version of Firefox when they revamped the layout with the 'Australis'(?) theme... which looked strangely like Chrome (e.g. rounded tab edges).

      I've always used Chrome as my main browser, but occasionally fire up Firefox for its plugins e.g. DownloadHelper. With Google going full retard in recent versions ('Snippets' feature) and the Mozilla Foundation being infested with non-tech marketing droids, it's about time to move to another browser (no, Edge is not it. Boycotting Microsoft.)

      I like Seamonkey too, but the updates are infrequent. Also, the millennials don't care about IRC, so a bundled IRC client is not to their liking.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Don't always blame others...

        I like Seamonkey too, but the updates are infrequent. Also, the millennials don't care about IRC, so a bundled IRC client is not to their liking.

        Infrequent updates? I rather prefer that they only fix what's broken, and don't shove 'latest and greatest' BS down my throat almost weekly.

        Millennials not caring about IRC? Not all millennials fit the stereotype, and the one's that do make this an excellent reason to use IRC. ☺

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Don't always blame others...

          "I rather prefer that they only fix what's broken"

          Nevertheless I wish they'd release a successor to 2.46. I had to roll 2.46 back as it proved somewhat unstable and I get fed up with prompts that it's available to install.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like Firefox

    because I can install my own copy at work and have local control, it's not locked by registry settings. But I need Java because that's what vendors use and FF above 51 not supporting plugins is not good. (52ESR breaks other things, not Mozilla's fault but I need them.)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I like Firefox

      about:config > plugin.load_flash_only = false

      Restart.

      That'll get you the plugins back on the non-ESR version (until they completely disabled them).

  21. Cuddles Silver badge

    Bollocks

    "at the same time that Firefox is sliding into irrelevancy it's becoming a better browser. It's faster than it's ever been and uses less memory – less than its replacement, Chrome."

    Utter bollocks. On starting up with just a single tab, Firefox uses 240 MB while Chrome uses 177 MB. More importantly, Firefox leaks like a sieve and quickly climbs to 1 GB or more after browsing a few pages and completely grinds to a halt, requiring killing it and restarting. I've never seen Chrome go over around 300 MB with a few tabs open. (I opened new instances of both to check the numbers; by the time I'd finished typing FF had already managed to hit over 300 MB without even being clicked on a single time.) I used to mock the idea of browser wars since all the silly Java benchmarks and the like that they like to boast about being a couple of milliseconds faster have no meaning in real use, but Firefox has finally got to the point where it actually gets in the way of normal browsing. I'm not a fan of Chrome, which is why I stuck with Firefox so long in the first place, but Firefox has reached the point where I'd happily pick IE6 in preference to it.

    Firefox doesn't need to be the most popular browser, but it needs to be a lot less shit if it doesn't want to disappear into irrelevancy.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Bollocks

      On a sufficiently powerful machine FF might be getting faster but invariably at the expense of using more resources. The occasional efforts to drop memory demand are usually wiped out within a couple of updates.

      On a lower machine, FF performance has been falling off a cliff for a long time. Especially noticeable on mobile FF. My G4 runs it fairly smoothly if you ignore the idiotic refusal to adapt to small screens, on my older, slower GPad it's gone from slick and fast (after a rocky start) to barely usable with 1 tab now. About an order of magnitude slower than Chrome.

      FF is being killed by it's own bloated resource demands in the only area of browser growth.

    2. Florida1920

      Re: Bollocks

      Utter bollocks.

      Agree. I can run Chrome for weeks on a so-so HP laptop and never have a problem. Never could go more than a few days on FF without massive memory consumption requiring a restart.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Bollocks

        Funny. I keep FF up for weeks at a time without an issue (have to keep a window open to keep an obscure, slow-to-reload page active), and I only have 8GB and a Core i5. Oh, and it's only using 500MB, with two windows (one Private) and multiple tabs active. WITH numerous Add-ons active including NoScript and uBlock Origin. Does it matter that it's v54 (32-bit)? And as for the interface, I frankly don't see what all the fuss is about. I LIKE the Hamburger menu, I reload with the keyboard, and if I need the regular menus, a quick flick of Alt opens it right back up. Ever tried to print a webpage from Chrome? It doesn't use the OS-standard print dialogs.

        And no, I'm not a shill or anything. I simply, honestly and truly, prefer Firefox to anything else. Nothing anyone else has said has convinced me otherwise.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Bollocks

          " and I only have 8GB and a Core i5. Oh, and it's only using 500MB, with two windows (one Private) and multiple tabs active."

          Lol!

          You must be very (relatively) young!

          Only 500MB (500'000'000 bytes) for TWO windows, with MULTIPLE tabs?

          And that's before the memory leaking brings that to whatever number you may care to mention.

          Now, 500MB would have been the equivalence of the combined RAM of 20 PCs not that long ago. And somehow I managed to have more than TWO windows with many tabs open on a single one of those PCs.

          So, no, not bloated at all. Not at all.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Bollocks

            Nope. Been using Firefox for many years, and I've only refreshed my profile ones, again years back.

            And, I really DON'T see all this memory leaking you're talking about.

            "Now, 500MB would have been the equivalence of the combined RAM of 20 PCs not that long ago. And somehow I managed to have more than TWO windows with many tabs open on a single one of those PCs."

            How many of those tabs had huge content, including multimedia on it? Care to PROVE your claim?

  22. James Anderson Silver badge

    Betamax myth again...

    Betamax failed because the 60 minute tapes could not hold a standard film release.

    By the time the fixed it all the movie reltal companies had standardised on VHS which had 90 minute tapes as standard.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: Betamax myth again...

      This ^.

      Betamax did some things better than VHS and some things worse. It happened that the things it did worse were exactly the things that mattered to the market. No shenanigans required.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Betamax myth again...

        By the time that Betamax caught up with VHS in maximum play time, the quality advantage was gone. This one is a myth that just won't die. VHS was the superior product with superior licensing terms (Sony kept a tight leash on Beta; JVC was a lot easier with VHS), and it won in the marketplace as a result.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Betamax myth again...

          There was always a quality advantage with Beta.

          I have owned a few top end Beta decks and they are definately better than Vhs.

          Head to head more than once.

          Differences are more pronounced with editing and a third generation Beta is better than a second generation Vhs. In this comparison this was a mix of Sony & Sanyo vs Panasonic or JVC kit.

          Test cards, Beta decks tend to manage one more frequency box than Vhs.

          Portable use, how come so many JVC cameras (a very nice one) ended up paired with Sony recorders (the best on the market at the time, the SLF1 was a better performing deck than the Panasonic NV180)?

          Beta definately out performed Vhs, on luminance resolution, colour resolution, deck control (with early 80s direct drive F1 & C9), noise levels were similar, sound comes down to deck and tape more than format, but Beta linear stereo was not good!

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Betamax myth again...

            Quality was why Betamax won in the professional market. You could find Beta machines in plenty of TV studios for that reason. Price was less of an issue there while generational preservation was.

            As for stereo, I recall VHS had an easier time getting Hi-Fidelity sound onto the tape (especially in NTSC recordings) which is why they got an edge in sound and another reason VHS won that generation's video war. By the time Beta had a suitable answer, the war had pretty much run its course.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Betamax myth again...again...

      My dad had two Betamax recorders, a cheap one and a top of the line one.

      Both could record movies on a "60 minute" tape using the same trick VHS of the day did: Running the tape and helical head assembly at slower speeds. This I have done.

      So I call shenanigans on this bit of Wikipedia-fueled "everyone knows", and not for the first time in these pages.

      The reason Betamax failed in the market was simply the retail cost of the recorders. People would not pay for the added quality of Betamax over VHS. It is worth noting that it took a good long time to fail as well.

      Sony should have taken a leaf out of Phillips' playbook and announced the specs for the Betamax cartridges to the public months ahead of the release of the first recorder. That's why there was only one format for compact cassette in Europe and 8-track never stood a chance against it. When Phillips put out the first joystick cassette recorder there were dozens of manufacturers already offering blank tape for it.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Betamax myth again...again...

        The head actually runs at a constant speed regardless -- it has to, because that speed is directly tied to the video frame rate. Only the linear speed of the tape changes. One consequence of this is at lower speeds the individual scans of the head actually overlap, which is one reason why video quality is so bad at the slower speeds.

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: Betamax myth again...

      Betamax failed because the 60 minute tapes could not hold a standard film release.

      Sony insisting on being paid a licensing fee for Betamax, and VHS not needing one, didn't help much either.

  23. jamesb2147

    Chrome memory usage

    Anyone else use Chrome specifically for its separation of processes, so that if one crashes, it doesn't bring the whole browser down? I still have this experience with modern Firefox. I tend to run 30+ tabs in Chrome smoothly, but a single bad tab in Firefox and it all comes crashing down.

    Of course, both have deprecated NPAPI now in the mainline releases, which fucks my ability to access Java remote management consoles for servers. I don't mind them making it default off and hiding it in advanced settings, but removing it completely? Seriously, guys?

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome memory usage

      Waterfox is Firefox with a lot of the "we'll decide that for you" removed. It still allows NPAPI plugins (among other things). Might work for you!

      I haven't had Firefox crash in a really long time, so I can't really say I have ever used anything for that purpose. Sometimes a script will go nuts in a given tab; FF will alert me that it has stopped responding, and give me the option to kill it or keep waiting, and usually I will end up killing that tab off (but the whole thing keeps working).

      The 32-bit FF (Windows) was crashy as all hell, though; the moment I moved to x64 (Waterfox at the time, as FF x64 for Windows was not even in beta yet), that all stopped. The day FF for Windows x64 hit beta, it was more stable than FF release had been for me in ages. It was faster than Waterfox x64 at that time, so I went back to the actual FF until recently... these days I use either PM or WF.

      I haven't used FF for Linux in anything but x64 in so many years that it's not even something I can remember.

    2. CRConrad

      Firefox number of tabs

      Up until a few weeks (couple months?) ago, Firefox often crashed once you got close to a hundred tabs or so. Since then, they've changed something -- the multiprocess stuff that was in the news a while back, I think. Now it seems to me FF is able to handle more tabs than Chrome, which also crashed on a few hundred tabs last I "tested" (well, left a lot of tabs hanging around).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Firefox's decline is not an engineering problem"

    ~ Is that true? The fact that Firefox has made it tricky for novices to toggle JavaScript / Images etc, while simultaneously adding useless nag screens like 'Refreshing Firefox' etc is odd. Its the justifications in release threads by developers too, that says to me people working there are out of touch with users and what's actually helpful. This was not the case decades ago though, so what changed?

    ~ I'd like to see 'about:config.javascript' etc shortcuts for toggling JavaScript etc. Having to remember to Type 'pt.e' as a shortcut seems really dumb. Same goes for toggling images etc... Plus having to 'set dom.image.srcset.enabled' to FALSE after every install to 100% block image loads, WTF???

    ~ But hey I still use Firefox. What else is there? Lets not even dwell on Win10 browser slurp, never going there... After finding Google secretly slurping bookmarks, history etc from local machines without even being signed into Gmail, I'm never going back to Chrome. That's a pity too, as it had had some nice 'per site' scripting / image / cookie blocking tools, which negated the need to always have separate Ad-Blockers etc.

  25. Christian Berger Silver badge

    If they'd only stop making the GUI less and less usable...

    ... and focus on actual improvements like having a simple way to replace externally loaded Javscript, so it will no longer be stalling to resolve DNS queries when loading external ressources.

    Or to put it in marketing terms: You cannot win by trying to be a bad copy of Chrome. People who like Chrome use Chrome. People who don't like Chrome use, for example, Firefox. My trying to emulate all the bad features of Chrome, you will eventually loose your core market.

  26. Permidion

    Firefox is already broken

    it is still my main browser, mind you,

    but I use it:

    - with auto-update disabled, to prevent it from breaking yet another extension without warning,

    - with Classic Theme Restorer, because if I wanted to use something that looked like Chrome, I would be using Chrome, seriously ....

    that said, im not going to change, because the few time I use Chrome it make me want to murder the Google marketing retards who take the decision of commanding dev to produce such a simplified crapple like product.

  27. ForthIsNotDead

    Been using Opera for a while...

    ...Stylish, fast, lean, has a built in (free) VPN, private browsing, data saving mode for mobile connections ...the list goes on.

  28. rh587 Silver badge

    "at the same time that Firefox is sliding into irrelevancy it's becoming a better browser. It's faster than it's ever been and uses less memory – less than its replacement, Chrome."

    Citation required methinks. The best way to test a browser's efficiency is to make it run on restricted hardware. On my venerable 2008 Macbook (with RAM and SSD upgrade), my preferred Firefox hees and haws whilst Chrome is snappy and responsive. Sad to say there is no contest.

    On my main machines I run a combination of Vivaldi and Firefox. I should note that Vivaldi isn't actually a whole lot better. The actual Vivaldi process is slim, but then it spawns lots of helpers. In any case, you'd be hard pressed to back up the assertion that Firefox is appreciably more efficient than Chrome or Chromium-based browsers. And they badly lagged behind on multi-threading and other technologies.

    Like many others I avoid Chrome for it's all-in-one bar, lack of decent menus and general unfriendly UI, and have become frustrated with Mozilla's efforts to turn Firefox into a Gecko-based Chrome-a-like.

    For the privacy minded, Brave is worth a look (I've only used it on iOS, not got around to taking the desktop version for a spin). Chromium based with ad-blockers built in as standard.

  29. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The author makes many valid points, but the last part of the article reveals that he is not Joe Average, but a browser-collecting tech twonk.

    Most people want to use one browser, and get pretty fucking fed up when that one browser suddenly undergoes a tectonic-level upgrade that makes it useless for the stuff they use t for. Yes, I'm speaking of the "you can't have java and that's an end to it" lack of choice decision, that forced me into using IE for remote linking to my job.

    Now one might say that this was a sensible move, based entirely on security concerns. To which I would respond "Then why the fuck was Flash left in when it too was flagged as a security hazard in the release notes for Firefox fuck-you edition?"

    In short, Firefox has put *me* in the undesired position of becoming a browser collector too.

    1. Greg D
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bah!

      I cannot upvote you enough!

      I now have to use 3 browsers on my work machine, and at least 2 at home. I hate it. I just want ONE FUCKING BROWSER TO CONTROL EVERYTHING. IS THAT SO DAMN HARD. Sorry for caps (not really).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah!

        "IS THAT SO DAMN HARD."

        HELL YES!!!

        Simply because one browser CANNOT fit all. For example, what if you're running very expensive equipment that MUST use Flash to work? Flash is an eternal security exploit, yet if going without means your business is in big trouble, what's the lesser evil. What if more people LIKE the Hamburger Menu than dislike it but don't talk because, you know, squeaky wheels (me, personally, I don't mind it as I don't see what all the fuss is about, plus there's always the Alt key)?

        Frankly, I'm getting tired of all the complaints. If you want the browser you want so badly, why don't you take one and fork your own version? Beggars can't be choosers, after all. Better yet, why not do what Opera did back in the old days and SELL your browser? For REAL MONEY? Or does Opera's history tell you what the maximum asking price for a browser is, in spite of the fact that developing serious software costs time and money no matter what?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      You've still got Java if you dive into about:config.

      (See my post above.)

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      One reason is Mozilla too became obsessed with the most consumer end of the market - and actively crippled the browser so it couldn't be any longer useful in business environments. They removed Java because it's very little used in pure consumer systems. Flash had to stay, because the number of crappy consumer sites using Flash is still high.

      Same for SSLv3 - it's insecure, yes, but you may have the damned old system you can't still replace nor upgrade that needs it. It's utterly stupid just to say, contemptuously "ask your web master to upgrade SSL" - as if older appliances had a "web master".... you just show you have a very narrow view of all the use cases a browser is used within.

      The fact you could no longer access your expensive systems consoles inside a management LAN never touched their minds - the browser is just a consumer tool to consume silly contents around the consumer Internet only.

      What they didn't understand was that Google controls both endpoints, and it's mostly interested users use its own sites, and its browser is just another way to bring users to them. Mozilla made a big mistake blindly following Google on a path set by the latter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah!

        "What they didn't understand was that Google controls both endpoints, and it's mostly interested users use its own sites, and its browser is just another way to bring users to them. Mozilla made a big mistake blindly following Google on a path set by the latter."

        I don't think they had much of a choice. Google was stealing most of their userbase, and without that userbase, where would they get the sponsorship dollars they'd need to keep going?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No. Just no

    "...at the same time that Firefox is sliding into irrelevancy it's becoming a better browser. It's faster than it's ever been and uses less memory – less than its replacement, Chrome."

    Bollocks. Sorry, but as an ardent Firefox user for the last 5-6 years, my experience is the complete opposite. Even with Flash disabled, I often find FF slowing to an unusable crawl on sites like Techradar, Quora, Tom's Hardware etc. To the point where there's a 4-5 second lag just trying to scroll down the page and even longer to close a laggy tab. That's even if I only have 2-3 tabs open.

    Occasionally it might mention a not responding script, but clicking the stop the script button doesn't really result in any kind of improvement.

    Opening the same tab in Chrome doesn't throw any problems.

    H/W is a 5th Gen i5 on the laptop with 12GB RAM and 6th Gen i7-6700K with 32GB RAM. So I wouldn't really care if FF used a bit more RAM, as long as it delivered a slick responsive experience. At the moment I miss the stability and robustness FF used to have - even with 40+ tabs open.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No. Just no

      I call bollocks ON the bollocks because I can surf to the exact same sites you describe, simultaneously with multiple tabs, and not get a hitch, and I only have 8GB versus your 12. And I just double-checked my Task Manager. Between all its processes (foreground and background), it's only using about 500MB with all the jazz open.

  31. Greg D

    FF is faster than Chrome now?

    I better give it another try. The ONLY reason I switched is because FF was the slowest browser in all respects out of all of them, and with the largest memory footprint. Even Edge has the edge over FF in speed (or had).

    For me it always is and will be a technical issue. Whichever is the fastest on modern hardware is the one I'll use.

  32. LeoP

    Times, they are a'changing

    I hated IE in its high times - with a biblical intensity. FF was my thing.

    Along came Chrome, and I liked it for casual browsing (i.e. ElReg)

    Now I need to run a VM with WIndows and IE, if I want to use iLO consoles.

    The only constant: Vendors don't care shit about users:

    MS: Use a browser, that won't run on anything other than Windows

    Google: All your data are belong to us

    Firefox: Because we want.

    It's a joke of history, that MS is the only one of them treating me as an adult, who is able to distinquish between an iLO console and a dodgy ad.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox has gone full retard ever since it started chasing version numbers

    I would still recommend Firefox over that monstrosity known as Microsoft Edge.

    If you like Firefox but don't want the official version, try Pale Moon, an excellent forked version of Firefox.

    If you want Mozilla nostalgia: Seamonkey.

    Good browsers based on Chromium: Opera, Advanced Chrome, Yandex.

    New kid on the block: Vivaldi.

    Windows Safari is inferior to OSX Safari, so I'm not inclined to recommend Safari for Windows users.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Firefox has gone full retard ever since it started chasing version numbers

      If you want Mozilla nostalgia a browser and a client for email, RSS, Usenet, calendar and IRC: Seamonkey.

      I wish LibreOffice would just take it over and put a bit of development nous into it.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have noticed that for around the last year or so that Firefox is much slower at loading up, and seems unresponsive for the first 5-10 secs of appearing. Especially when you try typing in the address or search bar, it stutters.

    This behaviour happens on all my machines regardless of how fast they are. My Intel Celeron 2957u with 2GB of ram reacts the same as my Intel i7 6820HK with 16gb ram and a NVMe drive.

    How can this be? Makes me think something is wrong somewhere. I have Chrome at work and this loads up in a flash, although I prefer Firefox I cannot agree it's fast.

  35. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    I ditched Firefox when it got to fifteen seconds to save a bookmark on a Quad i7 with 4GB RAM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't understand why someone would cripple an i7 with just 4GB of RAM...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      if it took you fifteen seconds to save a bookmark then there is something seriously broken with your pc, not Firefox's fault.

  36. heyrick Silver badge

    Firefox is dead

    They're killing off XUL extensions and looking to do the nowhere-near-as-capable WebExtensions.

    In other words, it'll mutate into a second rate Chrome clone. WTF? If we wanted Chrome we'd already be using it.

    https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/

  37. MJI Silver badge
    Pirate

    I use

    Firefox with Classic Theme Restorer and do not like Chrome, for a start where is the search box?

    Oh and my video recorders came from the factories of Sony and Sanyo as well. 1 portable and 2 HiFi sound, well those are 2 VCRs which can be identified and a 3rd guessable.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: I use

      "do not like Chrome, for a start where is the search box?"

      In the URL box. Just overtype the URL. Or open a new tab and type in your search.

      1. CRConrad

        Re: "for a start where is the search box?"

        WatAWorld wrote: "In the URL box. Just overtype the URL. Or open a new tab and type in your search."

        Yeah, just like on Firefox. The original poster must live even more in the past than I do; why have another text box up there when a single one has done both jobs for I don't know how many years now?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "for a start where is the search box?"

          How does the "one dialog box to rule them all" know the difference between GOING to a URL and SEARCHING for a URL when both will look pretty much the same?

  38. Andy Non
    Meh

    Can't say I'm loyal to Firefox

    it just seems to do what I want. It is reasonably fast, secure, doesn't spy on me or my browsing habits and it allows me to download add-ons to block adverts and unwanted scripts. The UI is customisable enough for my needs. I'd be sad to lose Firefox if it fell all the way off the cliffs onto the rocks below, but if there are any other browsers out there that can provide all the same features I'd be happy to give them a go.

  39. 0laf Silver badge

    I like FF I really do. TBH I the internet without no-script and Ad-block it pretty much unrecognisable to me I've ran them for so long. But Mozilla has produced a few stinking releases and some recently. I nearly dropped FF a few months ago that release was just so bad with memory leaks and slow performance.

    I hate Google's snooping, Edge is crap as well, Opera seems to be trying to make itself annoying. If FF goes it'll be some Chrome fork or Vivaldi I suppose.

  40. c1ue

    Firefix used to be nice, but...

    I use all 3 browsers simultaneously - each for a different purpose.

    Firefox was my primary reading browser. I didn't like the way all sorts of auto-plays would appear on Google, and Firefox with no flash or anything enabled was just fine. Then that changed.

    This inability to opt-out plus being a memory hog (I have to kill and restart every day or two otherwise the firefox process jumps over 1Gb - even if I'm not actively using it) is why Firefox is teetering on the brink for me.

    Equally unconvinced that Firefox spied "less" than anyone else. Certainly when I browse a product on any of the 3 browsers, I wind up seeing ads of that product in all 3 browsers. Interesting when I don't have an active Google login on 2 of them...

  41. IGnatius T Foobar
    Meh

    ABM

    Firefox is good, Chrome is good, basically anything that keeps Microsoft's browser share down in the non-threatening range is good.

    1. Slow Dog
      Holmes

      Re: ABM

      Chrome is a marketing tool for Google. If you do not mind selling out and becoming a product, use that. Edge blatantly sucks. We won't go into why, there is not enough space to elaborate here. Firefox could be great, but it is getting stale in it's old age. Waterfox takes the Mozilla code and compiles it for 64 bits. Then, the bad things are taken out. What we are left with is a beautiful browser that is lightning fast and will not sell you out. It takes all the Firefox plugs. It can be completely customized. There is a rich feature set that is sure to be enough to please the most die hard alternative users out there. It is the most stable fork of Mozilla going and as long as Microsoft code runs my machines, Waterfox will be my default browser. After 2020, when the boxen move to Linus Mint, that will probably change unless Waterfox gets ported to Linux...

      1. King Jack
        Thumb Up

        Re: ABM

        Thanks for the WaterFox tip. It does run on Linux.

  42. steve 124

    yea we know

    I've seen the writing on the wall since they started stripping add-ons and especially with the latest versions not supporting java, this is not good.

    Now, I know java is a big insecure pos, but I've got plenty of beefed up security to compensate for it. Since by default, checking the version of firefox initiates an upgrade (yes, I know it can be turned off) most of my users at work have the updated version and we're constantly telling them "yea, for this site you'll need to use IE or Chrome". We just got them trained to use firefox and now we have to tell them that.

    I miss things like my youtube easy download add-on and many other things they've taken away from us lately.

    It's a bit like helmets and seatbelts. I think they are a good idea and that everyone should wear one, but I also think you're all big kids and if you want to take a chance, it's your life. My browser should not dictate how or what I can use on the internet, even trying to protect me. Some of the choices FF has made over the past few versions makes me wonder, wtf.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: yea we know

      "It's a bit like helmets and seatbelts. I think they are a good idea and that everyone should wear one, but I also think you're all big kids and if you want to take a chance, it's your life."

      NO, because no man is an island, and your life has an effect on everyone else, so disregard for oneself is by extension disregard for EVERYONE: bad for society.

  43. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Maybe Firefox is better now, but Chrome was by far and away the best browser available for a number of years.

    Switching back to find out if that is true is just too much hassle.

  44. davidp231

    Of course it's an engineering problem... and it's been getting worse and worse over the years... ie getting more bloated and less user friendly, dumbed down to the point where in the future they want to use Chrome as a base, like Opera did.

  45. Mage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Firefox's decline is not an engineering problem

    Dear Mozilla,

    It *IS* on the GUI. You have made it crap.

    Print selection STILL throws a page printed with header and footer for every page before the selection.

    In trying to be like Chrome you make FF irrelevant.

    You also have practically abandoned the logical companion, Thunderbird, apart from making GUI worse.

    You've wasted effort on a Mobile OS.

    You've taken on creepy "Pocket Service".

    You've got stupid defaults on privacy, third party cookies, new tab, URL bar "guessing" and Search drop down. Most people can't be bothered to install Classic Theme Restorer. It should not be needed.

    Why do I need to add User agent switcher, cookie / identity manager and NoScript?

    Yes, Google's marketing of Chrome is despicable, but IMO Mozilla HAS got an engineering and management problem. They are "fixing" the wrong things.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google - It is getting worse for us

    http://www.alphr.com/google/1006417/google-autoplay-videos-search?_mout=1&utm_campaign=alphr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&tpid=247421303275

    Now that want to 'autoplay' videos on their search results.

    Google is EVIL I tell you, EVIL. Avoid at all costs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google - It is getting worse for us

      If you think that's bad, refer to Yahoo Mail, which autoplays a video whenever you've emptied your trash bin.

      Also, the sponsored ads plastered on the inbox navigation menu.

      All this happened during Marissa Mayer's stint as Yahoo CEO. It's entirely on her.

      Sure, you can install add-ons and plugins, and do some tweaking to disable that. But the corporate greed to monetize everything and push-feed advertising everywhere is getting riduculous.

      P.S: I genuinely despise websites which autoplay videos, especially with the audio on by default. Certain well-known news websites are guilty of this. Show some respect and etiquette, you website coders.

      P.P.S: I also despise websites which do not allow readers to save a printer-friendly HTML version of their articles. Many news websites are guilty of this after a 'website layout revamp'.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Google - It is getting worse for us

        "If you think that's bad, refer to Yahoo Mail, which autoplays a video whenever you've emptied your trash bin."

        Well, if you will insist on webmail....

    2. WatAWorld

      Re: Google - It is getting worse for us

      "Google is EVIL I tell you, EVIL. Avoid at all costs."

      It's like Linux fanbois blaming MS for Linux's failure to attracting customers amongst either the general population or on desktops and laptops of regular business users. If MS being evil was a problem people would be fleeing TO Linux (or, if money didn't matter, Apple).

      The article is about why customers have fled FF and aren't returning. Your theory that it has to do with Google being evil doesn't fit reality.

      The theory that Google is a hidden evil that people are generally ignorant of doesn't make sense either, since their supposed evil has to do with advertising that everyone sees everywhere in their products.

      People know about the advertising, but they choose to see it as either non-evil or less evil.

      Remember that outside of IT a large percentage of the population works in retail, marketing, or sales, and even tradespeople are generally aware that their own employers and their own jobs depend on advertising. People don't see themselves as being evil. They usually find undirected shotgun advertising a timewaster, but they don't see advertising as 'evil'.

      Certainly Google's advertising (even on Youtube) is not as bothersome as what we get on TV.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Google - It is getting worse for us

        "Remember that outside of IT a large percentage of the population works in retail, marketing, or sales, and even tradespeople are generally aware that their own employers and their own jobs depend on advertising."

        I think we're into irregular verb country here:

        I send out valuable marketing messages

        You nag

        He, she or it spams.

        I wonder just how many people in the advertising industry itself use adblockers because other peoples' ads are so annoying. Not their own, of course - a serious lack of self-awareness would see to that.

  47. Esme

    Firefox isnt getting better in my experience

    It's still managing to crash my PC every now and then, and more frequently than that, crashes itself, this on Linux Mint. And it;s slow. Mozilla needs to just fix the friggin' thing and then stop buggering around with it. I used to love Firefox, but nowadays it really annoys me, and I only stick with it because I can;t stand Google and thus avoid Chrome as much as I can.

  48. emullinsabq
    Facepalm

    left FF in 2017

    mostly.. I use two browsers (the post that complained FF forced him into becoming a browser collector, I find completely accurate)

    Pale Moon now handles most of my browsing needs. It has undergone exactly one update in the months I've been running it, and didn't screw with the browsing experience.

    I actually use FF ESR still. I like to separate browsing between logged into [YT, google+, etc] accounts versus anonymous. So FF contains at most 5 tabs, all of which are logged in activities. I don't even open that one every day, and it's slowly becoming rarer to do so.

    The rest of the time, it's PM-- for the foreseeable future too.

    The article's assertion that Google marketing is responsible is ridiculous. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read that, because I laughed pretty hard.

  49. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    It's Google's fault, blah blah blah

    While NOT arguing against Google "Do No Evil" (or whatever) aggressiveness for a second, I feel it incumbent upon me to point out that a big enemy of Firefox is Firefox. I see this when I look back through articles about changes being made which users do not particular like but trudge along because there is nothing better.

    Well, Chrome is here. May not be better than Firefox, but it does seem to be far less aggravating for users.

  50. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    The World Needs More Than.....An Alphabet

    No future at all for open source eh? Making a lot of assumptions based on current conditions ignoring any possible trends propelled by powerful forces is the trade mark of a rapidly declining market.

  51. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Golly geee

    Do they still think that hijacking the Homepage, New Tab, and removing the old style Download list was a great idea? In any case I can deal with the new Download Tool. But, forcing their crap Homepage on Mobile with absolutely no PC Standard way to simply set this back to https://www.google.com. was more than enough reason to abandon that Browser.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still use IE6. Nothing else comes close.

    It's the fastest, most feature-rich browser out there, and it provides a real-life pragamatic implementation of the web standards that matter, rather than the 'developed in a vacuum' approach pushed by so-called web 'academic' 'experts' who know nothing of the real world.

    ActiveX - probably the cleverest technology since Flash - allows me and others to unleash the full power of my machine without the pointless limitations imposed by virtual machines; and don't forget, IE6 is one of the few actively maintained browsers to properly support the blink and marquee tags.

    So it's no wonder Firefox is failing. I'm just mystified how it got traction in the first place.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I still use IE6. Nothing else comes close.

      Please accept an upvote for your skilful use of satire.

  53. Colin Tree

    trust

    I've used Firefox since it was Netscape, I trust it.

    Mozilla will be 20 next year, it used to drag behind IE

    and the competition has always been rough,

    there's a lot at stake making a window to the internet

    because it is so lucrative to control that many people.

  54. Slow Dog
    Holmes

    Waterfox - the future is now

    I have been using Waterfox on my workstations for a time now. the alternatives pale in comparison. Having tried them all, Waterfox gives me what I need and nothing I do not. Although I keep many browsers around for proofing and such, Waterfox is king. It does everything Firefox can do, and it has not gotten in bed with marketers to do it.

    Google gets away with slurping because folks generally do not care. Caring is hard work. It takes them from their failbuckian existance. They are herd animals and happy to be so. Not me. I am not for sale. It's my machine. I control it. Marketers can piss right off until they learn that their world is not what is important enough to be rude without giving a damn.

    There are other forks of Mozilla, including Pail Moon, Cybermoon, Seamonkey, etc.. I looked at all of them long and hard while searching for an IE replacement as the default browser right after adopting Windows 7 Pro x64 while upgrading from XP Pro x86. Waterfox was the only browser that fulfilled all that should be what a good browser is. If you are thinking about the browser while surfing the web, you are using the wrong browser...

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Waterfox - the future is now

      "There are other forks of Mozilla, including Pail Moon, Cybermoon, Seamonkey, etc.. "

      Cyberfox has been discontinued. Seamonkey isn't a fork, per se; Firefox is a fork of the Mozilla Suite, which was renamed Seamonkey after the Firefox branch became the focus of Mozilla.

  55. avilacha

    it all makes perfect sense

    Take a good browser, first choice of many people who knows a bit about computers. Than make it look and behave like a phone browser with hamburger menu, knowing it's intended for desktop use with a mouse. Than make it refuse addons because they are dangerous, even though the user knows the risk and wants (needs) them. Than kill the parent e-mail client.

    What do you expect ?

    I moved to Seamonkey.

  56. ScissorHands
    Holmes

    O, RLY?

    "It's hard to compete in a mature market if your main competitor has access to billions of dollars worth of free marketing."

    Crow-eating time for anyone that associated Opera's small market share with code quality.

    Opera 12 still reads The Register.

  57. Twilight

    I'm not sure why the article is unclear on why Firefox has lost market share. Continuously changing UI, dropping full plugin support, plus (my personal reason I dropped Firefox) continuing to use a single monolithic process (rather than a process per tab as Chrome does which is more secure and much less likely to crash the whole browser).

  58. david 12 Bronze badge

    Still using 3.6.28

    Cause it's faster and smaller.

    And it has better menu/buttons/layout

  59. TheBBG

    It is small, fast, definitely suits the more techie mindset, but is buggy as hell.

    I have myriad first line web sites I visit where only Firefox has problems, from simple display of content without going non responsive to non-functional chat services. Frankly I am tired feeding the almost endless list of web sites to the developers. Reresh made no difference so it is Firefox not an add-on. I tried Opera for its built-in VPN, but it is slow and clunky and lacks a lot of what I love about Firefox such as remembering which directory I store from which web sites. Chrome? Too "hip" and magical with much happening under the covers. Maybe I should give in and use Edge? (Just kidding).

  60. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Chrome and google make me uncomfortable.

  61. rmstock

    Opera 44 on Linux

    And here's the test results of Opera 44 on Linux :

    http://i.imgur.com/wt8d1eZ.png

    http://i.imgur.com/G6WJ02v.png

    Opera 44 on Linux needs nspr4.12, nss-3.21.1, sqlite3-3.10.2, openssl-1.0.2e-2, glibc-2.14.1 (or higher), libxcb-1.11.1 libx11-1.6.3, python-2.7.9, curl-7.28.1, glib2.0-2.32.1 , gtk+2.0-2.24.5, cairo-1.10.2, libpng-1.2.46, pango-1.28.4, GConf2-2.32.5, curl-7.28.1 , gdk-pixbuf2.0-2.22.1 , freetype2-2.4.5. But not gtk3 and python3 like the newest Mozilla Firefox 54.0+ and Thunderbird 52.2.1 need. In addition Opera uses flash-player-ppapi-25.0.0.171 and ffmpeg-extra and can activate widevine from the Chrome browser for your platform. Currently i'm using opera-widevine-58.0.3029.110.

  62. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Why is Firefox, despite being faster than ever and using less memory than Chrome, losing ground?

    Because it isn't true. Firefox leaks memory like it's going out of fashion. It grabs and doesn't release memory (because "unused memory is wasted memory"-duuhhh, Firexox isn't an operating system!!!). It doesn't use separate processes for individual tabs/windows to allow easy and reliable recovery of memory.

  63. DDearborn

    Hmmm

    The real reason is that the deep state in which google/chrome is an intricate part is a critical component in their ongoing spying/control/manipulation of the masses. Firefox with its endless add-ons still has the ability for a savy user to block such activities. Therefore firefox has to go......

  64. JOHN CHUCKMAN

    FIREFOX AND GOOGLE AND OTHER AMERICAN TECH INTERNET COMPANIES

    Years ago, I used Firefox and was quite happy with it.

    But as I built some sites on Blogger (Google) I began to experience difficulties.

    Google undoubtedly deliberately designed part of the system to make life difficult for Firefox users.

    It is the same anti-competitive, bully approach which has always been part of the Microsoft culture.

    Well, I more or less was forced to use Chrome then, but it marked the first time I was seriously disillusioned with the idea that Google was a model company of the tech age.

    Its original slogan - a good one if you do apply it about doing no evil has long since disappeared.

    Google, while supplying some marvelous services, does lots of evil, and we know it has become almost a vest pocket extension of CIA.

    It seems as though ethics in companies just cannot survive in the United States.

    All its leading tech Internet firms do smarny and even creepy things - Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon.

    Amazon, by the way, once shared for me Google's early reputation. I thought it a truly excellent outfit.

    But, it too, has proved to indulge in the whims of spoilt owners and developers.

    As Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only Firefox is available on my OSes of choice

    Not from Mozilla, of course, but still available.

  66. WatAWorld

    I'm not switching back until new FF is as much better than Chrome as Chrome was than old FF

    This is bullshit:

    "Firefox's decline is not an engineering problem," writes Gal.

    +++"It is easier to retain customers than to get them back once they leave."+++ Mozilla engineering was never told this maxim and now the entire company is paying the price.

    I waited and waited for FF to improve its terrible performance and to improve its security by making FF 64-bit viable with full plug-in support.

    And after a couple of years of inaction by Mozilla Engineers I tried Chrome 64-bit, and indeed Chrome was far faster for me than FF. There would be huge time savings every week if I switched.

    So reluctantly I switched from FF to Chrome.

    It took effort, finding new plug-ins, getting Chrome set-up in a way I liked. +++I'm still pissed-off about Chrome's lack of suitable Zoom options (increments are way too big and cannot be changed).+++

    Having gone through the effort to switch I'm not switching back until there's a new FF that is as much better than Chrome as Chrome was than old slow FF.

    FF doesn't have to match Chrome's performance and features, they have to exceed them greatly.

    "It is easier to retain customers than to get them back once they leave." Remember that if you want your employer to stay in business.

  67. Steve B

    Probably more to do with attitude

    I remember many years ago, Novell were asked if they were going to change the way their network worked to make it more cooperative with other systems. Their response was " we have the lion's share of the market and therefore are doing it right, so no we will not be changing." That attitude did not serve them so well in the long term. Similarly I had issues with Firefox and got into discussions with the developer community regarding the USPs they were dropping with no good replacement. Their attitude was " we are the best programmers and therefore we know best. Nothing you old people know is relevant to us anymore." From the comments it looks like they have continued on with their cavalier attitude. Firefox hasn't been on my radar for nearly 10 years now and I haven't missed it at all.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Probably more to do with attitude

      " we are the best programmers and therefore we know best. Nothing you old people know is relevant to us anymore." From the comments it looks like they have continued on with their cavalier attitude.

      That attitude is reminiscent of something else that keeps cropping up here. Maybe someone else needs to reflect on the reasons for Firefox's decline.

  68. deb_omega

    Don't blame Chrome for me not using Firefox anymore!

    Chrome is NOT the reason I can't use Firefox anymore--though I would prefer Firefox! Here is why I can's use Firefox anymore-the #@&*%! SHOCKWAVE FLASH Freakin' PLUG-IN! Every time I use Firefox..."Shockwave Flash has crashed....yada yada yada.." Can't watch videos. Can't download newsites with their stupid ADS in Shockwave Flash! When Firefox gets rid of Shockwave Flash, let me know! Then I'll go back to using Firefox, because, yes, Chrome is okay but vulnerable, and really that Mark Zuckerberg psychopath and his "get rid of useless eaters" (99 percent of humanity) meme is sickening...why doesn't come right and say he worships Satan, because he does!

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Don't blame Chrome for me not using Firefox anymore!

      Upvote for the entertainment value... :>

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do they count those who opt out of Telemetry reports? because I bet those are the majority of their tech savvy users that they are not counting then.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will use Firefox till death. I refuse to submit my whole life data to Google. (anymore than it already is)

  71. Andrew Punch
    Big Brother

    Multi-process FTW

    The biggest stumbling block I had with Firefox was that poorly written or slow javascript would freeze the whole browser. The same with shoddy extensions.

    Since multi-process became available in release builds last year, I have been considering going back to Firefox on a day-to-day basis.

  72. Randall Shimizu

    I still prefer FF due to because customizable than any browser around. But Mozilla needs to work on solving some persistent problems with FF. Memory is a still a big issue. A easy way to fix this would be include memory free as part of the install or as a recommended addon. The other problem is that there this sites that FF refuses to load. Video often refuses to work with FF as well.

  73. 2nobel2014

    It's SHA1

    I've stopped using Firefox because of its insistence on ONLY connecting to non-SHA1 websites. Anytime a browser STOPS you from doing something - its lifespan is limited. I HAD to go to Chrome at work because of this.

  74. Huckleberry Muckelroy

    Firefox sux in Win 10

    Read article, switched back to NEW BETTER Firefox 54. Still hangs, won't scroll ("wait a couple seconds, hon, I gotta scratch an itch"). I have no idea how good ole Firefox turned into a complete POS. Back to Chrome.

  75. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Firefox is still number one

    Firefox remains the world's most bug-ridden software.

  76. Brian Allan 1

    "Of course, as the ancient Betamax vs VHS format wars demonstrated, having a superior product does not translate to market share."

    And we see how it ended for Betamax!

    Google has name recognition, Firefox doesn't!!

  77. Libertarian Voice

    I get mad at firefox, but the others aren't any better

    Leave Firefox running in the background for any length of time and you will quickly see that it has more memory holes in it than a politician's alibi. It can leak a couple of gig and lock my mac up if I leave it overnight. Opera isn't much better, and I won't use Chrome, but it is not just the browsers fault. When I go to a news site or a blog, I do not want it to look like something out of Harry Potter; If I wanted to watch a video I would turn the fccking telly on.

    But yeah, it would be nice if they could stop these browsers leaking like a sieve.

  78. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Updates

    it'll be years before I move post-Firefox 57 because of Mozilla's decision to drop "legacy" add-ons. Since the power of add-ons are a big part of Firefox's appeal, I won't be upgrading until all the plugins I use have been updated.

    That's a pretty bad idea. No, make that very bad. And then to say so in public... 8.

    Whatever your browser, you really do have to apply security updates - unless they're not released for your version, in which case get the supported version. You may be really attached to some plugin or other but you're probably quite attached to the contents of your bank account too...

    (OK yes "Unless you're super-disciplined and never login to anything you care about on the machine with the flaky browser & never do any financial transactions", etc etc.)

  79. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Pale Moon

    Just got around to trying this. Boy, what a difference. Everything good that firefox used to have.

  80. Dark_Ronius

    I switched to Pale Moon after the beta of the most recent legacy add-on switch-off resulted in 8 out of 10 of my extensions being declared "legacy", a few of them refusing to work, and Firefox randomly crashing within a few minutes of opening. I had already reduced my add-ons as I was willing to give the new browser a try, despite repeated protests to the Mozilla. However, the fact so many problems cropped up at once led to it no longer being my main browser. In the past I would have given leeway, but it felt like one change too many despite vocal opposition from users.

    That being said, I have no brand loyalty to Pale Moon; the dev seems arrogant and snarky throughout his website, seemingly unable to resist making digs at how his set up and process is superior to Mozilla. It gets tiresome pretty quickly. I have never had a problem with WebExtensions, just their implementation of it, and having more sympathy for devs who have already had to make major rewrites because of Mozilla changes over the last few years. "Proudly" declaring "we will never support WebExtensions" frankly comes across as childish... Meanwhile a whole page is devoted to why having tabs underneath is superior, and why having an add-on bar is superior, before at the very end saying "...But nonetheless you can have it how you want". I prefer tabs on top, I prefer my add-ons to the side of a combined addressbar... Now, by the fact he delivers a product which is now far more relevant to me, I now am happy to use his browser. However, a company with a "head" person with those kinds of attitudes isn't ever going to win my support.

    Mozilla, meanwhile, I always have a fondness for. It is fine not to be popular. It just feels the jumble of changes they have made to the browser in the last few years haven't put the user first. When they should.

  81. Accountmadetopostonecommentthenforgottenabout

    "it'll be years before I move post-Firefox 57 because of Mozilla's decision to drop "legacy" add-ons. Since the power of add-ons are a big part of Firefox's appeal, I won't be upgrading until all the plugins I use have been updated."

    THIS - *EXACTLY* THIS.

    Speaking as someone with disabilities, I ****NEED**** certain add-ons. Notably those that allow me to read web-pages with ease [as well as the in-built 'zoom text only'], and - more specifically, VideoDownloadHelper - so that I can actually HEAR videos by playing them in VLC with it's LIFE-CHANGING volume boost function.

    This is the one I'm worried about the most - try finding an add-on that lets you download from Youtube in the Chrome store.

    That's along with Adblock Plus [as an anti-capitalist, I block ALL ads], Noscript, Stylish [again, for my eyes] and other customisations - MY Firefox, MY internet, I'll view it how ****I**** like, thank you.

    While I've tried and rejected Chrome, Opera was ok for a while, I'll stick with Firefox, but, turn updates off.

    Simply trusting that add-ons that I *NEED*, that make me feel less isolated, will still work after an update - especially with recent changes - is simply not an option for me.

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