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

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

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    30 per cent faster

    30 per cent faster.

    Maybe it is, but every time any browser brags about how its faster than all the others ( which they all say) they are obviously not factoring in the speed of your connection as they have no control over that. Those stats must be for processing data , rendering pages etc , that has already arrived.

    What the average Joe wont know is that his Talk Talk mibbuts are not included in that stat and in fact make up 95% of the "speed of the internet"

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      Mine has just updated and, bar a cookies hiccup that took 5 mins to sort, it really IS faster. Dunno about 30% but noticeably faster to render pages. Also memory usage seems to be way down. Lately it has tended to slow to a crawl and show 'not responding' for a few seconds, and the about:memory has shown 3+GB in use. Minimise memory then clears 1GB+ and things speed up again.

      Initial cautious thumbs up.

      1. Magani
        WTF?

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        Much the same result here and with only a few tabs open I'm seeing ~400MB of memory use against lots more for the previous version.

        I (currently) only have three gripes:

        1 NoScript has been consigned to the 'legacy' bin (doubtless its devs will be on the ball), but more cheesed off over:

        2 The fact that I was going to upgrade one of my less essential PCs to check it out until it settled down and had no unintended side effects, but have found that ALL my PCs have been upgraded without my agreement.

        Excuse me, Mozilla, but I take offence at your belief that I wish to participate in an unmarked beta test.

        3 We now have square edges instead of round edges for the tabs. What was wrong with round edges? Does Apple know about this?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          It's been in beta for months, if you wanted to test it out ahead of time that was your option.

          If you don't want to use the normal release channel like everyone else then there's an LTSESR version, or you could just disable automatic updates.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          "but have found that ALL my PCs have been upgraded without my agreement."

          For some so called technical users, the option of "auto-update" seems to be lost.

          1. ChrisC

            Re: 30 per cent faster

            "For some so called technical users, the option of "auto-update" seems to be lost."

            For *this* technical user, it came as an unpleasant surprise to see FF updating itself earlier today DESPITE my having previously set the "Check for updates but let you choose to install them" option, only to then be given NO choice whatsoever.

        3. Palpy

          Re: 30 per cent faster -- but square tabs?

          Heh, heh, you kids get off my lawn! I remembers when FF went from square tabs to rounded ones, yessir, the outcry amongst the hoi polloi was turrible. There was pitchfork parades, and people cursing Mozilla for looking like Google with them durned rounded tabs.

          The times change but remain so much the same.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 30 per cent faster -- but square tabs?

            That was Mozilla's infamous 'Australis' moment.

            An add-on easily reverted that monstrosity to the 'classic' Firefox look, including square tabs.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: 30 per cent faster -- but square tabs?

              "An add-on easily reverted that monstrosity to the 'classic' Firefox look"

              Until... NOW. I use those addons, too. I ***FORNICATING*** ***HATE*** ***AUSTRALIS*** !!!!!

              And Firef[o,u]x 57 has *BROKEN* *IT* !!!

              1. hypnos

                Re: 30 per cent faster -- but square tabs?

                Finally, no need to use the classic scheme. Good riddance to the stupid rounded tabs ;-)

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          "We now have square edges instead of round edges for the tabs. "

          with all of the *OTHER* *RELEVANT* UI gripes (like 'Australis' in general [and the 2D FLATSO-NESS], lack of menu the first time it's run, and "the hamburger" being HARD to get rid of without plugins [unless they actually fixed it], and BREAKING the legacy plugins), they "fixed" the tab shape?

          I actually liked the rounder tab corners, but whatever. It's not a 'deal breaker' for me.

          WHAT! IS! A! DEAL! BREAKER! IS! AUSTRALIS!!! [it's what I use legacy plugins to GET RID OF, as much as possible anyway]

          So they "majored in the minors" again, walked over dollars to pick up pennies, and claimed they'd cleaned up the mess. Yeah, right...

          Now Firefox, WHY are you losing share? How about because of THE UI THAT YOU CANNOT PUT BACK TO THE WAY EVERYONE (EXCEPT YOU AND YOUR SYCOPHANTIC FANBOIS) WANT IT TO BE!!! (you know, 'classic' appearance)

          GET a CLUE, please!

        5. Scorchio!!

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          Giorgio says noscript will be out by the end of the week. He's revised his target once already, so we will see.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 30 per cent faster

            I love noscript and the fact thinks dont work unless I decide they can. I can see how this is not really popular with browser providers as all the blame gets lumped on them by all the many idiots that install this type of addon.

            Whats worse is most of these people are in the workplace cultivating future security issues by disabling firewalls and stuff cos the boss cant access some dubious website.

            Eventually all the morons are at the top and promptly shit themselves and outsource everything.

      2. andrewj

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        This motivated me to try Waterfox, which I was delighted to find is notably faster than Firefox while retaining compatibility with all the add-ons I use. Bye FF.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        Initial cautious thumbs up.

        And if there was a drop-in replacement for NoScript it would be a full-on thumbs-up..

        (Yes - there is something akin to No-Script but it doesn't work in the same way and is pretty confusing to use..)

      4. Martin J Hooper

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        Thats what I've found too at loading pages - Most of the legacy extensions I had I could either ditch as I wasn't really using them or they had compatible versions.

    2. joed

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      And once limited connection speeds is accounted for, the lack of noscript negates most of the benefits of the improved rendering engine. I'm no fan of "modern" look either. Luckily there's the ESR version and the Palemoon.

      1. Palpy

        Re: 30 per cent faster -- but NoScript?

        The NoScript dev(s) are working on porting to the new framework.

        As mentioned in the article, few established platforms are free of technocruft which was once good and necessary, is now obsolete, but can only be removed at cost of backwards compatibility.

        Poison: choose bottle A, or bottle B. Both technocruft and losing compatibility taste bad, but sometimes you have to choose.

        1. Bruce Ordway

          Re: 30 per cent faster -- but NoScript?

          >>but sometimes you have to choose.

          In my case had to choose FireFox 56 with NoScript

          I'll be happy to upgrade after things mature a bit.

          For now I've turned off auto-updates.

          off-topic....auto-updates

          Reminds me why I am still running Windows 7.

          Maybe I'm paranoid but I think developers consider users like me as "outliers".

          Features that are important to me seem more likely to be dropped/disregarded in version updates.

          (And stuff I could care less about keeps being added).

      2. Sloppy Crapmonster

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        Now that I've gotten used to uMatrix, I like it a lot more than NoScript.

    3. ColonelClaw

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      I've been using it all day so far, and 30% seems conservative. For me it feels more like a 'shitload' faster.

      1. PC LOAD LETTER
        Joke

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        I vote for a new El Reg standard. Nearly all units could convert to this 'shitload.' I'm almost certain someone has suggested this already though, I'm always last to the party...

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          The metric shit-ton already exists:

          https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=metric%20shit%20ton

          1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: 30 per cent faster

            Surfing on my crappy work laptop today, I didn't get any of the usual lockups & even faecesbook was able to be browsed without it becoming unresponsive after 4 minutes.

            "So its a win from me"

            "& its a win for him."

            Icon for The Two Ronnies.

        2. grahams_xwing

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          I also would approve of 'Fuck ton(ne)'

      2. GBE

        But is a 'shitload' enough?

        Firefox is so slow and bloated on all my machines, that "30% faster" is still an order of magnitude slower than Chromium. Firefox sits for minutes at a time burning through gigabytes of RAM and 100% CPU while Chrome renders the same page in a fraction of a second. Even a 'shitload' faster may not be enough...

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: But is a 'shitload' enough?

          Can you give an example of some pages where "Firefox sits for minutes" while Chrome renders it in a fraction of a second? I smell Google fanboy, or someone with a terminal case of hyperbole...

    4. rh587

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      What the average Joe wont know is that his Talk Talk mibbuts are not included in that stat and in fact make up 95% of the "speed of the internet"

      Perhaps surprisingly, raw bandwidth is no longer all that relevant unless you're hanging off the end of a dog slow link.

      As far as normal web browsing goes, whether you've got 10/30/70Mbps is going to be entirely irrelevant to your experience compared with how the site is technically laid out and configured.

      Have the devs dumped their JS includes up in the header or right at the bottom of the page? Is the loading of CSS or image elements being delayed by premature JS execution? The perception of speed relies far more on load-ordering than outright speed.

      Likewise, is your server configured to use HTTP/2? If not, you're shooting yourself in the face. No amount of bandwidth is going to make up for the latency of repeated round-trips and connections compared with pipelining your requests. Especially if users are remote - the greater the latency, the more obvious round-trips become. Are you using a CDN to deliver static content, or a regionalised server to prevent European traffic having to cross the Atlantic to a US DC (or vice versa)?

      Now, a fair amount of that comes down to the service provider, but the browser must also play it's part. Obviously it needs to support things like HTTP/2 out the box, and then if you're pipelining requests and getting a bunch of assets landing simultaneously (instead of sequentially), then being "built-for-multi-threading" and GPU acceleration become a necessity and bolting them onto a legacy code base runs out of steam. The speed at which JS is executed once it downloads lies with the browser, and if the site devs have done something silly like blocking a bunch of requests with a heavy bit of JS, then notionally the browser's use of pipelining and multi-threading could bypass that error. Not that poor coding practices should be encouraged, but a forgiving environment often benefits the end user.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        "is your server configured to use HTTP/2?"

        should be nearly all of them by now. Although... I _have_ written http servers by hand before, for things like microcontroller config UI pages and for device control via a web interface [it just made more sense that way]. Support for HTTP/2 requests is pretty much mandatory, ya know?

        I think what you meant to say was PERSISTENT CONNECTIONS.

        But I agree with at least SOME of your javascript comments. What you did NOT mention was "having 15 different places to load script files from". Micro-shaft does THAT with THEIR pages.

        And NOT having javascript at ALL - THAT would be best!

        So here's what _I_ suggest web devs do, to improve speed:

        a) include ONLY those style elements you actually NEED, in a "<style>" section within the '<head>' section of the web page.

        b) embed whatever _MINIMAL_ script you might need on the page itself.

        c) use '<table>' for formatting things. Yeah, it's old school, but works pretty well

        most of the slowness is because of SLOPPY web "programmers" using WAY too much script, or including (a) 3rd party ginormous BLOATWARE style sheet(s). Seen it, in the middle of cleaning that kind of crap up, in fact.

        No amount of "30 percent faster" (or fat bandwidth pipes) will _EVAR_ fix _THAT_ !!!

        1. rh587

          Re: 30 per cent faster

          "is your server configured to use HTTP/2?"

          should be nearly all of them by now.

          Well according to Netcraft there were at least half a billion sites hosted on Windows Server 2008 in March 2017.

          HTTP/2 for Windows came in with IIS10 / Server 2016.

          So no.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        Not being a techie, I don't know what half of this means but how is the average user supposed to find out and configure their browser? I use Chrome by default but may try Firefox.

        "No amount of bandwidth is going to make up for the latency of repeated round-trips and connections compared with pipelining your requests." seems to be at the heart of the matter but what do I do?

    5. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      My tests of FF 56 and FF 57 using Mozilla Speedometer show a 16% speed increase for 57.

      If it's not just made up, the 30% figure probably includes improvements made prior to the release of FF 57 (and it is definitely true that 56 and 55 were both noticeably quicker than the version prior), which also helped boost the performance of FF 56 with the full addon API. It demonstrates that significant improvement in speed was possible without cutting off the "legacy" addons, and there are probably some additional gains to be found.

      I'm all for optimization, but I am not in favor of cutting out important features to get there. If there were alternate APIs that allowed the kind of customization that used to be possible with the old addons, or if the options those addons I use were built into the base FF product, that would be different. As it stands, the legacy addons are indispensable to me. Greater speed isn't... it's nice to have, but not necessary.

    6. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Flame

      auto aupgrade

      noticed last night its buggered up my bookmarks. they used to be all tidy in folders. now they aint!

      That couldve been avoided surely!

      1. Milton Silver badge

        Re: auto aupgrade

        "... its buggered up my bookmarks. they used to be all tidy in folders. now they aint!"

        I thought that too, at first. But it turns out that they're all there in the Bookmarks menu, and if, like me, you prefer the folders handy on the toolbar, use Customise to bring the Show Your Bookmarks button onto the bar (it looks like a star sitting in a tray, who on Earth knows why). The default button, which is hilariously supposed to represent books leaning against one another, seems a bit useless.

        Why Mozilla feel the need to prat about with pointless redesigns of buttons or the radiusing of tabs I have no idea. It's surely a no-brainer, here in 2017, to leave the defaults alone and simply encourage users to load Themes to give them the appearance they want?

        It might be faster and less hungry, but on this machine (8 cores and 32Gb RAM) it makes no difference. Be nice if the Android experience is less crap, though.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      of course the ithings version doesn't use any of this, Apple force them (and everyone else that isn't Apple) to use the older, slower unaccelerated webkit engine...

    8. NeilPost

      Re: 30 per cent faster

      Stopping all the video ad's, content slurping analytics from Google, Google Ad's and all manner of other crap than needs rendered in real time is the shit that slows down your browser. You can see it all in the bottom left when it is building the page.... slowly and in bursts.

      Thankfully Ad Block Plus has not been nuked by the Quantum Rewrite.

      1. cream wobbly

        Re: 30 per cent faster

        I use uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger. Extremely useful with pretty much every news site, every blog masquerading as a news site, and all the social media sites; but I have to disable them both for anything work-related.

  2. Alister Silver badge

    The Quantum of Firefox

    I see you took solace from that title.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: The Quantum of Firefox

      Yeah... because a 30% faster browser would really scare the living daylights out of their competition...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: The Quantum of Firefox

        THUNDERBIRD!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Quantum of Firefox

          "THUNDERBIRD!"

          Thunderball, Shurley?

          1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

            Re: The Quantum of Firefox

            "THUNDERBIRD!"

            Thunderball, Shurley?

            Thunderbirds Are Go!

            1. Nick G

              Re: The Quantum of Firefox

              "Thunderbirds Are Go!"

              Ah... The Brains of the outfit.

              Those Bond quotes are Virgil on the ridiculous

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The Quantum of Firefox

      That's for your eyes only...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Quantum of Firefox

        Losing noscript is the sort of thing that could cause a fork in the palemoon derivative - anyone for a moonraker branch?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: The Quantum of Firefox

          Oh no, I can't cope with the Spectre of yet another Firefox fork. I hope that's just fake news From Russia with Love.

          1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
            Flame

            Re: The Quantum of Firefox

            Whatever improvements they deliver, it shouldn't have given them a licence to kill add-on compatibility.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: The Quantum of Firefox

              Whatever improvements they deliver, it shouldn't have given them a licence to kill add-on compatibility.

              Why not? The change in the add-on API was announced well over a year ago. It actually makes things easier for developers to provide add-ons for all browsers.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                "The change in the add-on API was announced well over a year ago. It actually makes things easier for developers to provide add-ons for all browsers."

                * N * * O * ! ! ! ! ! <-- read that as a VERY loud "NO"

                It *BREAKS* things that *USED* *TO* *BE* *POSSIBLE* !!!

                The legacy plugins can *NOT* "just be rewritten". They CAN! NOT! BE! DONE! ANY! MORE!!!

                Get it?

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                  The legacy plugins can *NOT* "just be rewritten". They CAN! NOT! BE! DONE! ANY! MORE!!!

                  And for good reasons that were all explained at the time. Sorry if you want 2000 back again but the rest of the world has moved on.

                  Still, it's open source so you're free to write your own XUL-based piece of crap: XUL was always a bad idea.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                    XUL was a great idea that was never fully realised. It allows you to create full-featured cross-platform local or remote GUIs that match the platform's native look. You can tell when apps have a Qt, GTK, or Swing look, but can't with XUL. Pretty much the holy grail of any Web 2.0 website, only not crap.

                    The reason why it was allowed to die is Mozilla never really got a community off the ground and then employees with XUL knowledge left so they couldn't maintain it themselves and decided to knock it on the head.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                  "It *BREAKS* things that *USED* *TO* *BE* *POSSIBLE* !!!"

                  (in an attempt to return this thread to its real purpose of 007 puns)

                  ... they should have allowed all exsiting addons to work and taken a live and let live attitude - instead it seems to be live an let die!

              2. Shades

                Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                "It actually makes things easier for developers to provide add-ons for all browsers."

                But I - nor most people I dare say- don't use all browsers. What good is that to me when add-ons that I rely on that can't or won't (because the dev doesn't have the time or resources to start from scratch, or relevant APIs no longer exist) be migrated to the new version?

                I can't help but feel the direction browsers are moving in is to specifically prevent us from tailoring our experience of the web, to make it less flexible, to prevent us from sidestepping all the annoying cruft? It wouldn't surprise me if, in a few years, user CSS and anything, like scripts, that can mess with a pages HTML/DOM that hasn't come from the originating server (or other servers designated by the original server) - so things like the GreaseMonkey add-ons and similar - find their necessary APIs dropped?

                Soon there's going to be nothing to differentiate any browser, how is that going to encourage ANYBODY to switch to Firefox? Most people won't give a damn about a theoretical 30% speed increase - achieved in a no doubt strictly controlled environment - when what they have still "works".

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: The Quantum of Firefox

                  But I - nor most people I dare say- don't use all browsers.

                  APIs are for developers and there care a lot about this sort of thing.

                  Most people won't give a damn about a theoretical 30% speed increase

                  People care a lot about perceived speed which for websites can be as little as 10% (0.1 second speed up for a 1 second page is notcieable). More important in Firefox are the changes in the threading and memory use. These changes are far more important than notional rendering speed. Quantum isn't perfect but after a couple of years chasing UX unicorns the Firefox team turned their focus back on the browser and I think they got most things right and will probably move back to Firefox from Vivaldi which now seems to be chasing unicorns…

                  You don't like it? Then fork the old code base.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Quantum of Firefox

        I realzie most Chrome users will be giving this update a (Dr) No ... but they should really never say never!

    3. cream wobbly

      Re: The Quantum of Firefox

      That's a bit of a leap.

  3. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Everything's gone. Everything.

    And no warning.

    I'd accepted losing CTR forever. From reading here I knew it was going.

    I could have accepted losing FireGestures forever.

    I could have accepted losing FireFTP forever.

    I can't accept losing all my settings.

    But there was no warning. Firefox just updated itself and poof! Everything was gone.

    This isn't an update. It's an entirely new browser that forcibly uninstalled my old one.

    1. AustinTX

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      I dunno what your malfunction is, but it migrated all of my bookmarks and settings. And it really does seem to run swifter and use less ram (so far anyway; i'm keeping my eye on that because it was getting really bad recently).

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

        The only things it's imported are my Bookmarks and logins - the same as Chrome and Edge do when migrating.

        All my addons are gone without any warning, and all my customisation is gone - eg "Pocket" is suddenly back in the address bar, download history is gone completely.

        It no longer asks where to save downloads, and I'm even now finding further settings it has reset. Some of them don't appear to even exist anymore.

        Heck, I can't even find what it did to Download History. Or even the most recent download.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

          It immediately found adblock+, which is the only extra I use heavily.

          Does seem a little faster than pale moon. I haven't used the previous version of firefox for a while so unsure how it compares with that.

          The edgeless menus are annoying. I like to be able to tell which window is which. Fortunately most sites use a mildly coloured background but I would imagine some trendy minimalist site will look weird.

        2. Len Silver badge

          Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

          Do you still see your old add-ons under 'Legacy extensions'? If so, let it check for updates. For the others, see what 'Find a replacement' comes up with.

          Pocket can be disabled in about:config, set extensions.pocket.enabled to False

          To have it ask where to save downloads choose 'Always ask where to save downloads' in the settings.

          Downloads and download history is under Tools -> Downloads

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

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

            If your experience is anything like mine, what it will come up with will be mostly worthless nonsense.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

              "If your experience is anything like mine, what it will come up with will be mostly worthless nonsense."

              ACK - nobody wants to take on a gargantuan project like that as a fork, and deal with the support nightmare that individuals would have to deal with.

              palemoon doesn't build (easily) on FreeBSD, and waterfox is just... ancient.

              Mozilla has chased their tail for YEARS. First, they wasted time on a "the METRO" version of FF, then abandoned it. AND, they went off on that "Australis" crap, to be "chrome like". FAIL. I think they even entertained an Android version, but I've never seen an Android running anything else EXCEPT Chrome [it seems to be too heavily tied into other aspects of the Android system].

              So now we get THIS. MOZILLA is acting JUST! LIKE! MICRO-SHAFT!!!

              on a related note...

              I'm considering doing something like 'midori' except *WITHOUT* the 2D FLATSO [I don't recall the OLDER versions being that "chrome like" but the newer ones certainly are...]. Then add support for older plugins, and VOILA! It could become its own entity, FOR THE REST OF US.

              If _I_ do it, it'll probably build on Linux and BSD and to hell with native Win32 [use Cygwin or MinGW to build it and gtk2 to render it. HAH!]

              And at that point all security fixes would be tied to webkit, which would minimize my involvement.

              [anyone ELSE want to "give it a shot" ??? I'm kinda busy these days]

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

                "waterfox is just... ancient."

                Waterfox is essentially FF 55. That counts as "ancient" now? Regardless, it does everything that a browser needs to do, old or not.

        3. Palpy

          Re: Everything's gone. Everything... saves to Downloads...

          Settings allows you to change your download destination to "always ask". Frankly, I seldom approve of updated software but Quantum really is a lot faster on my machine. The uBlock Origin add-on is there, and Disconnect too. Five minutes in the settings and I have everything but NoScript back, and I believe NoScript will be ported PDQ. For now I have a simple JavaScript Toggle add-on, and I can wait for the NoScript dev(s) to do their work.

          (Remember to donate...)

          1. collinsl

            Re: Everything's gone. Everything... saves to Downloads...

            Or you could switch to uMatrix, which I personally prefer and highly recommend.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

          So go to filehippo or oldversion and download and install an old version. Or else install the stable ESR version for business.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

            You don't need Filehippo for old versions of Firefox. They have every one ever released here:

            http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      Settings > Updates > Never update.

      Exit.

      Download and install Firefox 56 from here.

      Restart, hopefully your addons will be back.

      From there you can choose to go to Pale Moon or Waterfox (import FF profile, copy addons, I think Waterfox has better addon compatibility) or Firefox ESR (profile not 100% compatible, backup first, if it crashes refresh Firefox and restore addons from backup as explained in the link).

    3. Len Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      That's seems like an issue very specific to your situation, most people I hear (including myself) upgraded quite smoothly.

      Have a look through your Firefox Profile folder. You probably still have your old profile laying around that you could reinstall. It should get you everything back (except for the incompatible extensions.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      Mine upgraded fine, lost uBlock (expected) but Fireshot works fine. I don't use millions of plugins, but all is good.

      Much faster.

      1. Len Silver badge

        Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

        uBlock Origin has been compatible for quite a while now. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ublock-origin/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

          "uBlock Origin has been compatible "

          Yup found it, just needed to re-add it.

    5. Anonymous Cowerd
      Unhappy

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      I turned off the update to avoid this crap.

      They can take CTR from my cold dead computer.

    6. Zakhar

      Re: Everything's gone. Everything.

      That is why I did, for the first time ever, before it had the chance to update:

      sudo apt-mark hold firefox

      ... so that I will keep 56 until my favorite addons get rewritten/replaced.

      Unfortunately I fear I'll loose cliget that nobody seems to care about!

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I went for the mobile version

    I don't have many addons on the mobile version so I thought it'd probably be okay... and it turns out I'll need to find replacement addons (if they exist) for Android Text Reflow, Clean Links, Quick Gestures, and Self Destructing Cookies, i.e. everything apart from uBlock Origin.

    It's got a white address bar and turns the notification bar white too, which looks terrible, and the icon design isn't particularly good either. It looks like they've lurched from a copy of Chrome to a copy of Edge.

    On the other hand, on my not particularly impressive phone, it flies like shit off a shovel compared to version 56. Computers are still running Firefox ESR though, there are far more addons I can't do without there.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I went for the mobile version

      Gestures are gone forever. They cannot be done in the API.

      There appears to be an add-on that injects Javascript into the page itself to try to fake it - but I can't install that, it will break a lot of pages.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: I went for the mobile version

        Perfect. Long may they be banished.

        I hate it when everything on the screen has hotspots that you have to carefully avoid to stop something unwanted happening.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: I went for the mobile version

          Well getting rid of the API that gesture addons need won't stop that, it'll just mean you're stuck with crazy page gestures without being able to define your own.

          So it seems no more gestures to instantly move to the top or the bottom of the page or switch or close tabs.

      2. windy_miller

        Re: I went for the mobile version

        > Gestures are gone forever. They cannot be done in the API.

        The "Foxy Gestures" add-on works fine for me.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I went for the mobile version

      Mobile is very nice. Apart from the non-removable Pocket crap!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: I went for the mobile version

        Remove pocket crap in Settings > General > Home > Top Sites.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: I went for the mobile version

          Most people won't give a damn about a theoretical 30% speed increase

          Not possible on my mobile install. Hoping it will become available in a patch release.

    3. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Shit and Shovels

      @Dan 55

      Do not speak of things you do not know - shit does *not* fly off a shovel - it mostly sticks.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: Shit and Shovels

        Do not speak of things you do not know - shit does *not* fly off a shovel - it mostly sticks.

        It depends on the moisture content.

        When it's dry, it does fly off the shovel.

        When it's wet, it does fly off the shovel.

        There's a range in between the two consistencies where it is sticky, and does stick to the shovel.

  5. Forget It
    Thumb Up

    I was skeptical but it's much much better now.

    Most addons and tweaks still work - if you go looking for them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wish Firefox would just focus on the simple things

    #1. For family / friends etc... In the early days of Firefox [Tools -> Options Enable-Javascript / Show-Images] was easily available. However special interests at Mozilla obfuscated the Settings.. Why not instead add Javascript 'Website Exceptions' to Firefox.... We have this for Cookies. Why not extend that to Include JavaScript and Image 'Website Exception Lists' too.... Chrome offers this, so why not Firefox???

    ....Yes you can block it using Add-ons, but not if your work machine is locked-down, or there's many devices at home / away you're not responsible for. Plus, Add-ons can come with toxic baggage too, especially if the hosting site / distrib mechanism gets hacked etc. (ccleaner etc)

    -

    #2. ALWAYS accept 3rd party Cookies is the default when allowing cookies. Why do that, what's wrong with NEVER as a default? Can't think of any website that insists on explicit 3rd-Party-Cookies anymore to work (if they do dump them immediately). Where's the advantage to the End-User here, unless Mass-Tracking & Slurp is the goal... WTF Mozilla?

    -

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

    -

    #4. Please Mozilla remove nannying like 'Do you want to refresh Firefox'.

    -

    #5. Add editable exception-list for sites that need 'full-screen' like Youtube.

    -

    #6. Browser Spying & Tracking: Offer built-in 'EFF Panopticlick' option to prevent browser fingerprinting. (Sending fake Browser ID-strings / info to websites to mask real browser-version or OS-signatures). Similar to Privacy leveraging features like this:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/30/firefox_canvas_privacy_tor/

    1. rzzzwilson

      Re: Wish Firefox would just focus on the simple things

      Yes! I would use Firefox on iOS if only I could organize my bookmarks into hierachical folders. Having about 1000 bookmarks in one page isn't going to work. So I'll be sticking with the slightly less sucky option: Chrome.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Wish Firefox would just focus on the simple things

        If you use Firefox Sync you can rearrange them into folders on a synced desktop computer. I think.

        1. Alan Sharkey

          Re: Wish Firefox would just focus on the simple things

          That's what I have done. Works fine - and FF 57 is a lot faster that the old one.

          Alan

  7. TRT Silver badge

    Holy crap!

    That's quick. Yup, it's an improvement for sure.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Holy crap!

      That has got to be the most positive comment ever written on this site!

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Holy crap!

        That has got to be the most positive comment ever written on this site!

        Drugs. It *must* be drugs..

  8. amolbk

    Hang on, Mozilla

    The only hope i see for Firefox is to hang on till the next disruption displaces one or more of the current rulers (Google, Apple) and promotes Firefox.

  9. Jim 59

    Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years. I will stay with FF for the add-ons but if changing, I would consider SRW Iron (the de-Googled version of Chrome), but not Chrome, due to the Google stalkware it contains.

    Also, I am not sure why these browsers are so huge. All they are doing is rendering a few fairly slow, sometimes encrypted data streams. 25 million lines of code in Firefox. WTF, can't anybody programme anymore?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Why did Mozilla lose ground? Because Google's search page pushed Chrome, they did a deal with Adobe so that Flash and Reader pushed Chrome, they did a deal with Antivirus developers to push Chrome, and they did a deal with anyone else they thought they could do a deal with to push Chrome.

      Just a few million down the back of the sofa.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Firefox also got very slow and memory hungry.

    2. Len Silver badge

      Browsers are highly complex applications platforms, of course they are huge.

      1. Jim 59

        Browsers are highly complex applications platforms, of course they are huge.

        Is FF (25 million lines) more complex than the Linux kernel (15 million lines) ?

    3. ShelLuser

      @Jim

      "Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years."

      I do. And so do you, I mean, if you run Firefox today then it almost feels as if it was build upon Chromium. Do note that I'm not necessarily talking about this version but about 56.

      But it shares so much resemblances. The command scheme (about:plugins), the speed dial screens, the right menu in the settings pages, using only 1 menu "button" vs. a regular menu, the tab style, the search engine shortcuts...

      Thing is: at one point (when Chrome started to take off) they went even so far as to make the browser look and feel as if it was a Chrome copy (which was the reason why I stopped using it myself because I actually liked the regular menus and icons and buttons). If a browser starts to copy its competitors right up to a point where it shares a striking resemblance, then isn't it kind of obvious that it's bound to lose grounds? Why settle for a copy if you can have the original?

    4. Stuart 22

      "Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years."

      For a lot of us who used netbooks (remember?) with 600px height - the slim minimal toolbars of Chrome gave us a lot more visible webpage. Plus the original unbloated Chrome went like a rocket. It was a no-brainer.

      Then FF minimised its toolbars and was lambasted for copying Chrome and became a me-too. Not worth switching back. Hopefully Quantum will get some of us to re-validate. The greater the browser choice the better.

      My current browser of choice is Vivaldi. Except there is a bug somewhere that causes it to fail to complete a very few credit card validations leaving you in an uncomfortable "have I been debited/not debited state".

    5. silent_count

      “Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years."

      I am.

      They spent a long time where every. damn. release. was another, "oh look! We've faffed around with the UI yet again for no apparent reason while completely ignoring the bugs & problems which have been with firefox forever". Just incidentally, every UI change was to make Firefox look more and more like Chrome. And quite a few people took the not unreasonable view that if they're going to use a browser which tries to be like Chrome, they might as well use Chrome.

      Mozilla spent time and energy screwing around with a phone OS which was never going anywhere.

      They found the time and energy to change the Mozilla logo. Did you care what their logo looks like? Did anyone?

      The one time which they acted with any kind of decisiveness is when they got rid of Brenden Eich - they got rid of a guy with unquestionable technical competence to satisfy their political preferences. This was the final evidence, if any was needed, that making a good browser which people want to use is not something the people at Mozilla are interested in.

      And I say this as a Firefox supporter. :/

      1. src

        The old logo looked out of place on Windows 10. The new, flatter verision is an improvement. I am glad they changed it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Since my current plans include avoiding windows 10 forever, due to the 'Microsoft owns your computer, you just pay for it' terms of use, and 'Microsoft can track everything you do', this seems like a pretty silly endorsement.

    6. NeilPost

      I think the very tight integration with Google Apps, Google Drive, 'Sign-in with Google' and the rest of the Ecosystem has enormously helped drive this.

      I know Firefox can do this too, but it just works seamlessly in Chrome.

  10. Len Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Quite happy with it

    My update went fine, except for four of my 17 extensions being marked 'legacy'. For one I have already found an alternative, two are working on getting a compatible version out shortly. There is only one where the developer seems to have gone AWOL some time last year where I am not holding my breath. None of the three are vital for me fortunately, all the big ones were already compatible.

    On the whole, though, it's certainly a lot quicker and smoother. The new extensions API should also improve security and stability which I always appreciate (even if it means searching for some alternative extensions).

    1. naive

      Re: Quite happy with it

      It works like a dream. As a Linux desktop user I am in love with Firefox for 20 years.

      The private browsing works perfect. Since they introduced private browsing, the spam emails dropped considerably. Also "targeted" advertising resulting from previous browsing for specific goods vanished magically.

      For those not using Firefox private browsing, do this simple test. Browse on several sites for certain high value goods like smart phones or laptops, check email spam and if targeted ads suddenly seem to have read ones mind, and are all offering smart phones or laptops. If that is the case, reconsider the browser one is using. Fake news is not only limited to Trump, but also spread by people who have a business stake in influencing choices people make involving their privacy.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Quite happy with it

        Spam?

        Targeted ads?

        Refresh my memory about what these are, will ya? It's been a long time.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Stop

    I'll wait for NoScript to be back

    No NoScript ? No update.

    NoScript is the single most important protection that Firefox has against all the scum on the Internet. It is a Security Essential (TM).

    Until I learn that NoScript works on this latest version, I am using the version that allows for NoScript.

    1. Len Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

      A WebExtensions compatible NoScript has been in the works for quite a while (https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/08/01/noscripts-migration-to-webextensions-apis/).

      He said he would have the version ready for yesterday (https://hackademix.net/2017/11/14/double-noscript/) but must have hit a last minute snag. I doubt it will take long to surface though.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

        What he actually said was that he'll be releasing an updated version of NoScript that still has missing features, and if you want the full NoScript functionality, you'll have to wait until FF 58 is released.

        He didn't say what, precisely, the missing features are, though, so it's hard to make an informed decision. Me? I'm going to stay with Waterfox and reevalutate FF when 58 drops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

      Me too. Definitely need NoScript. I also need a version that doesn't try to make me install PulseAudio just to listen to sound. I'll stick with the version 52 my distro provides for now, thanks.

      But at least I did just download the tar and use a new profile, so no need for superpowers to remove it.

    3. dhawkshaw

      Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

      In the meantime waiting for noScript, try giving uMatrix a go -- The speed bump in FF57 is definitely worth it.

    4. collinsl

      Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

      Try uMatrix - much more granular than NoScript and it only has a small learning curve!

      1. GoE

        Re: I'll wait for NoScript to be back

        NoScript 10 is adding a custom mode like uMatrix, but it's a bit unwieldy in the UI at the moment.

        It's also worth noting that if you use uMatrix as a stopgap alongside uBlock until NS is updated, the developer recommends that you turn off the duplicate filter lists in uBlock.

        https://hackademix.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/noscript10-options.png

  12. Prosthetic Conscience

    The cost of complacency

    Before Chrome FF was top dawg and even though it was slowly getting worse it didn't matter because it was still light years ahead of IE (and perhaps cos it had google's backing?). People are saying it looks like chrome but 57 is markedly different and better visually (and has an option for compact layout which is nice, since v3 I always liked that I can increase the viewable webpage space though various tweaks and extensions). And looks more consistent on mac and windows now too (as one is a work PC...).

  13. frank ly Silver badge

    It is faster, yes

    I backed up my .mozilla profile and ran the 57.0 version as a stand-alone application. My AdBlock Plus, Flash and Video Download and the Download Helper extensions were still there but everything else is marked as 'legacy' and has been disabled.

    I mostly use Palemoon nowadays and only keep Firefox (ESR) because it runs a free Zenmate VPN extension, but Opera has a free VPN if I need that.

    1. Shades

      Re: It is faster, yes

      Zenmate has recently limited their only free VPN server to one in Germany (removing their US, Singapore and somewhere in Eastern Europe servers). I used it to watch the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight. Useless to me now.

  14. detritus
    Unhappy

    New Tabs'n'Local Files

    I can set my homepage to a local file link on c:\ to the ever-evolving html file homepage I've used for over decade now, but I can't set new tabs to open up either a local file (using an extension — 'new tab overide') nor set it to 'just open whatever the goddamn homepage is set to, please'?

    So I'll have to upload a neutered version to some webspace somewhere (neutered to remove telephone numbers and other useful but private things I don't want on a publicly-accessible page - no, I don't want to password protect it) so that I have one homepage open upon bootup, and then the stunted version on every new tab thereafter?

    I get the logic (prevent nasty add-ons creating a feedback loop that always forces their content onto homepage and new tabs), but is there really no workaround?!

    Annoying.

    It's quicker, yeah, but I did spend much of yesterday swearing at a program I have open 99% of my working day. I'm sure I'll survive. It's free software, after all...

    1. JamesGKent

      Re: New Tabs'n'Local Files

      may seem like overkill, but you could always install a minimalist webserver on a local pc (or even the same pc) and point it at that?

  15. RFC822

    Bye bye Firefox

    A faster browser - meh!

    A browser that I can no longer get to the things that I want it to do, because most of my extensions won't work - that's a show stopper for me.

    Currently sticking with a mix of Waterfox, Firefox ESR and Vivaldi until I decide which to commit to.

  16. Richard Tobin

    Something wrong here

    "With ESPN we were spending time rendering the navigation bar when what people wanted was the content".

    How can it possibly be that rendering the navigation bar makes any perceptible difference to anything?

  17. steelpillow Silver badge

    Classic Theme Restorer?

    My several essentials:

    - AdBlock Plus

    - Flashblock

    - NoScript

    - Classic Theme Restorer

    - Toggle Animated GIFs, or other similar animation stopper.

    - And, because I must suffer Facebook because so many friends can only reliably be caught there, F.B. Purity.

    No compatibility, no upgrade. If I can't use it as I wish to use it then speed and footprint are irrelevant. I can wait.

    1. collinsl

      Re: Classic Theme Restorer?

      For AdBlock Plus try uBlock Origin

      For NoScript try uMatrix

      for FlashBlock use the built in flash suppression - set it to "ask every time" and it'll stop it. Plus use "magic actions for youtube" to pause auto play on there and force to html5 if you like.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed isn't as important as Addons

    If Firefox is equivalent to Chrome, what's the point of Firefox? Firefox has been in retreat in proportion to it's reduction in support for third party addons and it's total disregard of user feedback which has resulted in terrible features nobody wanted or can get rid of like the "Awesome Bar". I'm ditching it, after over a decade of dedicated use. If Waterfox increases market share, maybe that will send the right message.

    1. detritus

      Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

      Assuming 'awesome bar' is the same thing I think it is — a smarter address input that allows me to type one letter or two and jump to a site I use a lot — that was the single-biggest improvement to Firefox at the time. Indeed, any browser!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

        Firefox used to bring up more relevant results with fewer letters, more quickly, before it was rebranded as "The Awesome Bar" - urls took more of a ranking, now url's are all lumped in with a whole bunch of irrelevant pages, even when you type in most of the url you end up looking at a load of daft results. Wasn't like that before it became "The Awesome Bar" - that monstrosity learns eventually but it takes too damn long to deliver what it replaced.. what's the point of all that wasted resource? A long way round to the same destination, laden with unnecessary bloat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          "Awesome Waste of Time and Resources Bar"

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

        " that was the single-biggest improvement to Firefox at the time. Indeed, any browser!"

        I disagree. From the very start, I have found the "Awesome" bar to be a serious pain in the ass, and it remains so. I understand that (but not why) some people like it -- but I yearn for some way to turn it off and just make it do URLs and nothing else.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          " but I yearn for some way to turn it off and just make it do URLs and nothing else."

          set pref keyword.enabled to false. I insist upon that too.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

            Yes, I do that. But it's a woefully incomplete solution.

        2. BlartVersenwaldIII

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          Don't know if it's applicable to FF any more (I've been a Pale Moon user for about three years now) but the Old Location Bar extension is invaluable for doing this.

          I change the settings to location matching behaviour as "use word boundaries first, then try matching everywhere", pulling in results only from history. Works for me as it'll match whole or partial URLs and page titles (seemingly weighted to page titles) although I'm not sure if it can be configured to match URLs only (as the only other matching behaviour is "match only the beginning of URLs and titles") but think it might be worth your while checking how it behaves for you.

      3. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

        In W10, put it on the task bar, A single click is all you need then.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

      Don't get the hate for the Awesome Bar, it fishes pages out of bookmarks and history based on URLs and page titles. Better than sending everything to Google and what it finds is usually relevant as you've visited the page before or taken the trouble to bookmark it.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

        "Don't get the hate for the Awesome Bar, it fishes pages out of bookmarks and history based on URLs and page titles."

        That's the problem with the "Awesome" bar. I don't want the browser trying to interpret what I've typed into the address bar. I just want it to interpret everything as a URL. When it's interpreting what I've typed, it means that when I type a URL then I have to remember to type "http://" in front of it every damned time. It's a serious pain.

        "Better than sending everything to Google"

        That's not the alternative, though. The alternative is a little config setting to turn the "awesome" bar into a plain old address bar -- that way we could all be happy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          They don't have an awesome search algo like Google and that is the problem... the "Awesome Bar" indexing algo is as bad as Yahoo! Ambitious but rubbish. Just a plain URL function is all I want, if only Mozilla allowed an Addon to get low level access to turn turn it off, or allowed a config for us to fine tune URL vs useless info mixed results.

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          I'm not sure what FF is doing that you do not like. With keywords off, it does treat anything I type into the URL bar as a URL only. If I type "asus", it tries to go to "asus", which of course is not a fully qualified URL, so it fails. Then it tries www.asus.com, or it would if I had NoScript ABE turned off. With ABE on, it fails; I have to type the TLD also, so asus.com. No need to type the www and certainly not the http://.

          It does bring up the dropdown search result list when I type something in, but they're all URLs or page titles from the bookmarks or history. I would imagine there is an addon (maybe CTR?) that can get rid of this if you want, though not in 57+.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

          If you want a plain URL just type it and hit enter and ignore the suggestions below. At least that's what I do. Seems to work for me.

    3. kcblo

      Re: Speed isn't as important as Addons

      Many important addons have just returned to the new Firefox in the last couple of days. It is also the trust that I believe the addon developers have in the new Firefox architecture.

  19. Mage Silver badge

    Faster?

    STUPID

    I don't have a problem with browser speed if I'm using real broadband.

    I DO have a problem with stupid GUI decisions, stupid default settings, lack of built in "NoScript" and useragent changer (what is it with websites that only offer download for OS that the browser reports, idiotic design),

    Also long time bugs not addressed.

    Mentioned several times in the past

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/13122/

    Mozilla has lost the plot.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Addons ---> Firefox Features

    They're keeping investors happy aren't they? Dumbos, clueless and greedy with idiotic, unrealistic ambitions to unseat Chrome have killed Firefox.

    The smart thing for Firefox to have done, would have been to build in Addon monitoring; either into the browser or through contractual data feeds about usage stats from developers thereby delivering features users want. Working out what people want through forums is beyond the ken of anyone real or virtual, for something the size of Firefox.

  21. DrXym Silver badge

    Works fine for me

    The only glitch I've see is that tabs look a bit weird in Windows 10 with a gap on the left. Pages load very quickly and I expect performance will improve even more as more stuff is parallelized.

    I develop in Rust (and C, C++ and other stuff) and it's really good to see this stuff working in such a visible product. Rust is an effective way of writing much safer code without compromising on performance or speed.

  22. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Faster? So what?

    The 56 version was plenty fast enough, I don't see the new version as any better although the new layout is clearly chasing Chrome to the "mobile" end of the market ... if I really cared that much I'd use Chrome more.

    I really only care about Faster, Slicker, Smoother, More Convenient when I take a shit.

  23. fishman

    PaleMoon

    I switched from FF to PaleMoon a month ago. Much faster and much less memory hungry. Considering that FF will probably take a while to get their bugs out and the extensions modified for the new code base, I'll wait 6 months to a year and see how it turns out.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: PaleMoon

      fishman: I wouldn't be in any rush if I were you. I also switched to PM a while back, over Mozilla's attitude on supporting ALSA and have been really happy with the improved performance and stability from PaleMoon. Having read such praise for this new version though I thought I'd give it a fair try, loading up both with identical sets of tabs and switching back and forth to feel the difference. The most obvious difference is that the new FF is a massive resource hog - it takes vastly more RAM than pale moon to display exactly the same content. To add insult to injury it is definitely not perceptibly faster at all on my machine (oh, and of course there's no sound.)

      After a good start Mozilla lost the plot years ago and I won't miss them when they finally fizzle out completely - I just hope that others like Pale Moon can gain enough active developer support to continue their good work.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong focus

    "With ESPN we were spending time rendering the navigation bar when what people wanted was the content"

    Umm, if you need to optimize rendering of the navigation bar on a webpage, the page design is utter shit, not the browser.

  25. abedarts

    Using a lot of CPU

    I was so pleased to hear of this new faster Firefox I immediately installed it on my Macbook Air, gave it a whirl to see if it really is faster and made it my default browser.

    Then I noticed my lap getting warm, huh? Oh, FirefoxCP Web Content is using 105% of CPU. Great.

    Oh well, I really wanted to like it it but its back to Opera; again.

    1. albaleo

      Re: Using a lot of CPU

      Well spotted.

      But in my case, it's the Firefox process using CPU (25%) and not FirefoxCP Web Content (0.5%). With the same pages open (an interactive application), Safari uses 0.5%.

      1. albaleo

        Re: Using a lot of CPU

        Follow up.

        By disabling some old and unused extensions, CPU usage fell back to expected levels.

  26. Glen Turner 666

    Fast down the straights but steering not precise

    Yes, it's faster. But it's also buggy. Been using it for a day and issues with: Reddit posting, Facebook layout, New York times scrolling. These are not obscure websites or activities. So perhaps wait a while.

  27. Jonathan 27

    Yeah...

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

  28. tiggity Silver badge

    Nearly all my addons not supported

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

    Bye, bye 57, I'm reverting back.

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

  29. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    update? upgrade? updrate?

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

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death throes and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

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

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

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

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

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

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

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

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

      It is, however, competently programmed.

  31. sabroni Silver badge

    "But the deck is stacked against nondefault browsers.

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

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

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. WolfFan Silver badge

    it's installed on my system now

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

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

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

    I like it.

  34. steve 124

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

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

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

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

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

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

  35. Richard Parkin

    The proof is not in the pudding ...

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

  36. Notas Badoff

    My 0 cents on zero sense

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

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

    Mozilla, always proud of themselves.

  37. Hyper72

    NoScript

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

  38. HughGeerection

    Boycott

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

  39. Glad Im Done with IT

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

    I looked and found Waterfox, killer features for my privacy

    Removed Pocket

    Removed Telemetry

    Removed data collection

    Removed startup profiling

    Allow running of all 64-Bit NPAPI plugins

    Allow running of unsigned extensions

    Removal of Sponsored Tiles on New Tab Page

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

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

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

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

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

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. arh

    Firefox will is fading away and righfully so.

    Statcounter Firefox January 2012: 22,6%

    Statcounter Firefox October 2017: 6,08%

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

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

    1. arh

      Re: Firefox will is fading away and righfully so.

      Must be: Firefox is fading away and rightfully so

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 people who still care about Firefox

    1. Chris Beard

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    1. arh

      Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

      6. George Soros

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RAM

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

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

  44. Agent Tick
    Facepalm

    Top Ugly UI

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

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox as a "Thin OS"

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Firefox as a "Thin OS"

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firefox as a "Thin OS"

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

  46. 101

    FF 57.0

    JEEZUS!

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

    Good!

  47. Aseries

    Useful

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

  48. Old Used Programmer

    Damn You Mozilla

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

  49. Bitbeisser
    Thumb Down

    Well....

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

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Well....

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

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

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

  50. Temmokan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  51. largefile

    I'm surprised at the civility.

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm surprised at the civility.

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

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

  52. Rob Moir

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

  53. Andy3

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

  54. x 7 Silver badge

    Its useless

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

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

  55. lukewarmdog

    happy so far

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

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

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

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

  56. tmc_itdude

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

  57. LeoP

    Impressing

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

  58. Miss_X2m1

    Fix Thunderbird too!

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

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Fix Thunderbird too!

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

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

  59. minidan

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

    Chrome/Webkit is the new IE in business land unfortunately

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not an Update, it's a New Browser.

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

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

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

    But not today.

  61. bobbear

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

  62. Milton Silver badge

    Rolling back after 8 hours

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Nattrash
      Flame

      Re: Rolling back after 8 hours

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

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

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

  63. CommodorePet

    3 strikes

    Ugh.

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

    But then:

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

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

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

    Just loaded chrome, probably not going back...

  64. Gareth Perch

    Worth another look

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

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

    I will try again at some point though.

  65. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Not Much.. 5 minute usage appraisal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Every fucking time.

  66. myBiox

    It's GREAT

    I had been using Firefox for years, prefered it over all others. I tried Chrome a few times, but nope not for me, nor anyone else here.

    Finally I had to succumb and dumped Firefox for Chrome as it was just way wayyyy too slow, ridiculously so. However I still felt FF had better functionality and features, and security.

    Having used the New FF for a few days now, I can say with all confidence - It's Back.

    Very fast, very smooth, no hickups that have hit me at least and I'm happy. I do believe it is a better product than Chrome and the other IE based apps out there.

    The question is, can FF regain the ground it lost for being such a slow and annoying product to use for so long. No question though, it is definitely worth going back to, it runs extremely well.

  67. MrKrotos

    It may be faster (when its not frozen)

    I have been testing this version on a few computers over the last day or so.

    As far as I can see it is now worse for freezing, the type of freezing where the page looks okay but you cant click on anything.

    Think its time to find a new favorite browser :(

    Shame as Firefox was my fav till now...

  68. UncleZoot

    Why is Mozilla attempting to look like Microslop? If I wanted to use IE or the abomination, EDGE, I'd already been using it.

    Major fail Mozilla.

  69. Gleemor

    Not for me

    Downloaded this to a Lenovo Win 10 laptop. Very slow to load, freezes constantly. For me, it's absolutely useless. Chrome, Edge, and Vivaldi work Sooo much better & quicker. I'll be deleting this dead weight. Maybe reload an earlier version. Maybe just dump it completely. Major disappointment.

  70. Mark2410

    add ons

    the reason i needed ff and what made it better for me than all other browsers was its addons. it just killed evey reason i had to stay with ff.

    why do they keep just trying to copy chrome, if i wanted chome i would have just bloody used chrome

  71. erikborgo

    Make Firefox Peer to Peer!

    ...kill off the hosting companies... the web could be completely free! FREE!!!

  72. Muriach

    Lose your bookmarks

    I'm another victim of the Mozilla 'loose your bookmarks' initiative. Very tiresome - interested to read that others have had this problem also. Would have been nice to have been asked.

  73. Colin Bain

    30% slower...

    I upgraded and it slowed down. Does Chrome have some kind of trick that slows down other browsers?

  74. sloshnmosh

    Garbage

    This new version has me looking for a different browser altogether.

    New API's stop all my extensions from working.

    It's like the Windows 10 of Firefox..dumbed down for Sheeple.

    Bye bye Mozilla.

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