back to article Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

When Mozilla lobbed Firefox 57 over the fence last month, it introduced an anti-tracking feature without saying anything much about it. The changes are in the browser's “network requests scheduler”, and developer Honza Bambas explained the change in detail here. Bambas wrote that during page load, the scheduler uses the …

  1. Notas Badoff Silver badge

    Oh, that's why

    I have wondered what the hay was the problem. A news site page will peg out CPU usage at 60-75%, sometimes for minutes (in amazement I tried that many times). You see flash after flash of network activity as the various evil burrowing gnomes desperately load/reload/re-reload/re-re-re-re-really? I've killed tabs and watched as activity on the process continued for up to a minute! Stupidly starting "too many" tabs I've repeatedly had to kill FF entirely to grab my system back from the 'net.

    "The feature won't behave perfectly in every case – but that, Bambas wrote, is because some pages are simply badly written. An ill-designed page that uses Google's Page-Hiding Snippet, for example, might load as blank for a few seconds, and if a developer is sufficiently inept to refer an API of an async tracking script from a sync script, a race condition is set up."

    Hunh, we're talking about advertisers here, right? Do they *care* if their code is badly written? What protection does Firefox give us against that?

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Oh, that's why

      > What protection does Firefox give us against that?

      It allows you to install uBlock origin/ghostery/noscript plugins.

    2. Tubz

      Re: Oh, that's why

      You must have visited the Dail Mail, that site must have be written by a complete moron with an advert fetish?

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: Oh, that's why

        "You must have visited the Dail Mail, that site must have be written by a complete moron"

        Well, yes

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: Oh, that's why

          Fucking Daily Mail reloads every four minutes too, if it wasn't bad enough.

          1. David Glasgow

            Re: Oh, that's why

            You stay on the Daily Mail website for more than four minutes?

            1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

              Re: Oh, that's why

              Gotta quote Yes, Minister:

              Sir Humphrey: The only way to understand the Press is to remember that they pander to their readers' prejudices.

              Jim Hacker: Don't tell me about the Press. I know *exactly* who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country. The Guardian is read by people who think they *ought* to run the country. The Times is read by the people who actually *do* run the country. The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by people who *own* the country. The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by *another* country. The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who think it is.

              Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

              Bernard Woolley: Sun readers don't care *who* runs the country - as long as she's got big T**s.

          2. robidy

            Re: Oh, that's why

            Impotent?

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Oh, that's why

        What always gives me the cold shakes when (rarely) I look at the Daily Mail site is the remote possibility that the designers have got it right - and that is what John Bull wants to see.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Oh, that's why

      I'm sorry, but the pages have been out there longer than this feature. If it doesn't "behave perfectly in every case", then it's Firefox that's "badly written".

      I've been loyal to Firefox for *more* than 57 versions, but Quantum is seriously testing me. Pretty much every day, I see Firefox spawning too many processes, taking up way more CPU time than it should, and in extreme cases crashing my entire system. This didn't happen pre-Quantum. (And - just sayin' - it doesn't happen with Chrome.)

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Oh, that's why

        " This didn't happen pre-Quantum."

        Come join us with one of the pre-Quantum forks such as Pale Moon or Waterfox. It's pretty nice here.

      2. robidy

        Re: Oh, that's why

        Welcome to evolution...version 1 isn't always perfect.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    That explains a few things.

    Rather cool actually.

    Yes, the new FF is fast as hell. It's quite an impressive improvement.

    Now if we could just smack a few website designers upside the head...

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: That explains a few things.

      Designers don't want scripts slowing down their pretty sites, and devs sure as hell don't want to deal with that cruft. Put the blame where it belongs, on the site owners.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        Put the blame where it belongs, on the site owners.

        Been there, done that and they are all to blame.

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: That explains a few things.

          > "Been there, done that and they are all to blame."

          I been there done that too (full stack) and I have a question. By "all" are you referring to the designers and devs too? What makes you think we devs and those innocent designers share any blame for the script plague whatsoever? Are we supposed to take a principled stand against those with the money and just say no?

          Well okay, but you first. ;-/

      2. K Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        Almost 100%, but needs a slight tweak:

        Put the blame where it belongs, on the site owners Marketing teams.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        "Put the blame where it belongs, on the site owners."

        Yeah, why exactly do they need three different sets of analytics and 35 trackers all on the same page?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That explains a few things.

          They pay the bills?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That explains a few things.

      Still trying to work out why it's still more than an order of magnitude slower on my tablet than the stock android browser, which is far from lightning fast. Its not the addons. Performance fell of a cliff in the last couple of years and 57 barely changes that on any of my machines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That explains a few things.

        I think the new features won't be rolled out to the mobile browser for a bit (seem ot recall seeing v60 being mentioned as when this will occur)

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        It's your tablet.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: That explains a few things.

      "the new FF is fast as hell. It's quite an impressive improvement."

      I'm glad they spent ACTUAL TIME doing something USEFUL [rather than completely *FEELING* up the UI with 'Australis' and THEN taking away the ability to FIX IT BACK via legacy plug-ins].

      I'm still PISSED OFF about the 2D FLATSO, the *FEELING* hamburger "menu", and the inability to FIX it now that the 'legacy' "classic UI" plugins can't work.

      if I had time to do it, I'd fork it JUST for the UI elements, and do what those plugins do WITHIN THE ACTUAL CODE. And I'm sure *MY* fork would be MOST popular. it could still track FF's development for all of the security patches and REAL improvements, too.

      How come *THEY* haven't figured that out?

      1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        I really like palemoon myself, just started using it, was able to migrate the bulk of my really old firefox ESR (which I'm sure I used for far too long - eventually several common websites I use stopped working) profile settings (mostly by directly injecting them into the sqlite dbs).

        I tried waterfox, really wanting to keep the cookie accept functionality that firefox killed though it was broken in waterfox too. Waterfox told me every single extension I have(close to 20) are legacy and not supported with the newer firefox stuff. Currently have nearly 20,000 records in permissions.sqlite for cookie permissions going back at least 10-12 years now.

        Fortunately palemoon is working nearly perfectly.

    4. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

      Re: That explains a few things.

      > It's quite an impressive improvement.

      Must agree. I became a convert to Palemoon some time back, as Firefox took forever to load (on OpenSUSE), became slower and slower, and used more and more system resource, especially memory. When Qauntum came out, it was worth a go, as I would be losing nothing. I cant stand the default look. and of course the themes I have used for years no longer work, but I found some CSSs on github that improved the look no end. As I use a small screen, use of space is important, but several more tweaks resolved that too. uBlock origin and Privacy Badger were the most important add-ons, and they were ready, as was Zotero.

      Now Firefox is back to being my main browser, and apart from the irritating warnings when sites load slowly, it feels like firefox in the days when Mozilla subscribed to the "we try harder" mantra.

      The info from this article re-inforces that conviction. I am grateful to Palemoon et al, but I think the issue they were trying to resolve has been sorted. Hope they continue, though, for diveristy's sake.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: That explains a few things.

        "I am grateful to Palemoon et al, but I think the issue they were trying to resolve has been sorted."

        I'm happy that 57 works so well for you, but this statement is simply incorrect. The forks are more important now than ever, because the new Firefox absolutely does not work well for everybody. The issue they're resolving now is to provide a Firefox that retains the abilities that the new Firefox has omitted, and to get rid of some of the objectionable things that the new Firefox brought.

        Diversity is important, but in this case, the importance of the forks isn't just to have variety. It's that they solve problems the new FIrefox brings, and if they didn't exist then many people (such as myself) wouldn't be using Firefox in any form.

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

    Last night I grabbed a copy of the supposedly latest & greatest directly from their site. I was all set to give them another try & see if/how much they may have improved since the last time I used it.

    Imagine my utter disgust when the installer immediately comes up with a dialogue box to say it *refused* to install because it was incompatible with my screen reader.

    O.o? O.O! What the fuck?

    It told me to update my screen reader version to the latest & most current, then try again. Except it *already is* the most current version (I checked to make sure).

    If Mozilla's best still can't handle a simple screen reader for the blind, I have *zero* confidence they can handle anything more complex like a web page.

    Fuck FF. Fuck 'em with a seeing eye dog.

    *Stomps off angrily*

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

      You need to submit a bug report. With some more details, like what this screen reader is. And that's a report to the creator of the packaged install, who is not necessarily anyone on the Mozilla dev team.

      The installer evidently knows (or thinks it knows) about your screen reader, but the person who packaged it probably doesn't. It could very well be nothing more than a failure to check some tickbox in creating the package. Or something completely outside the browser: a system update to your toolchain?

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

        Have an upvote for your comment

        If you use a 'nightly' build then there is no guarantee that it is stable. One of the risks that you have to consider when selecting which version to download.

        As there was a problem with this build then instead of throwing some toys out of his pram, he should have reported it and then selected one of the official release versions.

        All part of the rich tapestry of life in IT.

        At least your OS allowed you to dowload the thing. There are signs that at least one OS provider really wants you to only get things from its App Store and has gone as far as releasing a version that only allows that. They are treating your laptop/desktop/all-in-one more like a phone. All in the interests of your safety and security they say. Bollocks I say.

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          At Steve Davies 3...

          This wasn't a nightly build, bleeding edge version, it was the version you get through the default "Download FF" link on the main page.

          I then tried the official previous version archive & grabbed a copy of the last stable release, as well as a copy of the ESR.

          The last stable release locked up my computer (or at least the screen reader which is the same thing to the blind) & forced me to hard reboot. This happened three times (three strikes) before I uninstalled it in disgust.

          The ESR seemed to install & run the browser properly, but then it froze the moment I tried, you know, opening a web page. Reason? No idea. No error code given, just utter silence the moment I typed in an URL, any URL into the address bar. Even Mozilla's own site caused it to shit itself. Three times, three hard reboots, then uninstall.

          This isn't a baby throwing toys out of the pram, it's someone whom can't see the problem in order to figure out how to fix it.

          If there's no error code I can research, no dialogue box with a description of why it can't proceed, & nothing the screen reader can parse in order to let me know WTF is going on, then I've just hit a wall. It's like if you get into your car to drive to work, turn the key in the ignition, & nothing happens - no dash lights, no starter crank, no noises of any kind. You can get out, pop the hood, check the battery & cables to determine if they might be dead or loose. You can then check the circuit breaker to see if a fuze has blown. But if nothing you know how to check fixes the problem then you're left with taking it to a pro. For the blind we can try the things we know how to do, in my case all the troubleshooting steps I learned before I went blind, but once those are exhausted then I'm left at that end stage - either hire a pro (can't afford) or chalk it up as a lost cause & try another one that will hopefully work.

          No error codes, nothing for my screen reader to parse, means I'm done. There's nothing for me to go on in order to even TRY to fix things, so it's far easier to just uninstall the program & try another. =-/

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Nick Kew...

        Oh yes, I'll just go submit a bug report through that completely inaccessible web portal then shall I?

        Been there, tried that, the submit button always reports as unavailable & thus prevents me from letting them know anything about the issue.

        My frustration & anger isn't directed at you, it's at Mozilla specificly & webdevs in general.

        There might be some tick box in the installer, a command line argument I can invoke, some sacraficial chicken in the dead of night to my favorite Elder God I can ululate to in order to get it to work, but since it didn't work "out of the box" then it's a failure of the program rather than the person attempting to use it.

        If I launch an installer & the installer says "Nope. Fek off!" then I'm at an impasse - I can't see what it's (not) doing in order to fix it, to work around the hurdle, or even figure out what the hurdle might be. If the installer doesn't give a specific error code for me to research, then all I have to go on as a search term is "Nope. Fek off!" which isn't helpful at all.

        =-\

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

      @Shadow Systems

      Most probably your Screen Reader add-on has not been migrated to a WebExtension.

      https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/09/28/webextensions-in-firefox-57/

      Even NoScript's WebExtension is not yet 100% like-for-like replacement of the old add-on, but the performance improvement is welcome

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

        Maybe that, as they clearly are aware of the screen reader, they have not tested it with older versions.

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Fruit And Nutcase...

        My screen reader isn't part of the browser, it's a third party program from Freedom Scientific called Jaws (Job Access With Speach).

        It runs independantly of everything else (except the OS itself which it needs to run at all since it was written for Windows), and works reguardless of any other program.

        There's a video intercept hook that OCR's the screen, parsing the OCR text & reading it back to me. If there's any text on the screen, any dialogue box, anything other than photos, icons, or (grumbles) emoji, then my screen reader can read it to me & I can go from there.

        The FF latest refused to work with my screen reader, even though there's absolutely no reason for the browser to even GAF what my screen reader might be, which version it is, or that there's one there at all. The 'reader is independant, the browser browses, the 'reader reads the screen, there's no reason the browser should even be looking for the 'reader. It's akin to having a French translator sitting beside you translating everything for you from another language into French, suddenly pipe up & tell you that they can't translate something for you because your bananas are too green. WTF does that have to do with translations? Nothing. What does the web browser have to do with my screen reader? Nothing. So for a browser to tell me it refuses to run because my reader is incompatible (or that it's incompatible with my reader) is just a giant load of happy horseshit.

        Nothing, and I mean *nothing*, other than the OS itself should GAF about my reader or even know my reader is there in the first place. The fact that a program would check for a reader at all means it's trying to do stuff it probably shouldn't. "Why do you care? All you do is display web pages on my screen. It's not your job to interact with my screen reader. It's my 'reader's job to scrape the screen & read what it finds. The *only* reason you would care that I'm using a reader at all is if you're trying to do shit you shouldn't & slip it past the blind guy."

        *Cough*

        Anyway, yeah, my screen reader isn't a mere plug in to the browser, so that wasn't the problem. =-J

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At Fruit And Nutcase...

          Whilst I get the need to vent in multiple posts about FF and their Devs, there are other communication routes to establishing what the technical problem is for your setup.

          E.G. contacting the screen reader creator who could have more clout and *could* be the source of the problem.

          There are also plenty of other free browsers you can use that are open source.

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

      > it *refused* to install because it was incompatible with my screen reader

      I hope it's not rude to ask, but you visit the comments here a bit, and the question that I'm sure is on all of our lips is what does the screen reader software do when it encounters a post from amanfrommars?

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Adam 1...

        My screen reader merely reads everything as if it were plain text, no embellishments (bold, itallics, underlining, color, size, typeface, etc) & in a fairly atonal monotone.

        I didn't know Bombastic Bob liked to post in all caps until someone mentioned that fact & I character stepped through one of his posts to verify. "Oh, so THAT'S why everyone else gets on his tits. He's posting in PsYcHoChIcKeN!"

        Other than the content in AMFM's posts, is there something visual only that makes his posts unique? It just sounds like he's on some rrrreeeaaaalllly good drugs & refusing to share.

        =-)p

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: At Adam 1...

          Let's be honest and not blame green bananas for content issues:

          would BB's posts make any more sense with normal capitalization? Methink not.

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: At Adam 1...

          "My screen reader merely reads everything as if it were plain text, no embellishments..."

          Ah. That explains why you're typing out the word "at" instead of using the @ symbol (shift-2 on most U.S. QWERTY keyboards) when addressing a person. Your reader simply says "at" with no distinction.

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

      FF comes with its own built in reader now.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Ecofeco...

        It does? That's news to me. =-j

        I can understand if someone needs/wants that capability/functionality & doesn't already have a screen reader installed, but if the installer detects one is already installed then it should disable the one inside the browser as a result. "Oh, he's already got one!"

        For the FF installer to refuse to install because I've already got a screen reader installed? That makes me want to give a pimp slap to a Mozilla (or the installer's) coder for being an utter prat.

        =-(

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I wouldn't know, I can't even install it.

      "If Mozilla's best still can't handle a simple screen reader for the blind"

      You bring up a VERY good point.

      I have noticed that the *ENTIRE* 2D FLATSO FLUGLY "pastel color" "poor contrast" UI trend, most likely driven by MILLENIALS who don't even need to use reading glasses (yet), who can stare at "light cyan on bright white" and STILL make out what the text says [while over 50% of the population can NOT, especially those of us who are old], are unnecessarily CRAMMING THIS CRAP-INTERFACE UP OUR ASSES DOWN OUR THROATS because *THEY* *FEEL* it's better.

      [hopefully none of that text I just pounded out works poorly with a screen reader]

      The readability and eye-strain issues CAUSED by pastel-contrast FLATSO interfaces really PISS ME OFF. It's a big reason (other than the FLUGLY) why I *HATE* *THAT*.

      And MOZILLA needs to PAY FEELING ATTENTION to this. STOP IT with "the Australis", DAMMIT! And oh by the way, DO NOT force people to "upgrade the screen reader" to install. WORK WITH THE OLDER VERSIONS DAMMIT!

      (and don't tell us that 'DAMMIT doesn't work here' either).

  4. DougS Silver badge

    So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

    Why doesn't it give us a way to "delay" it to infinity if we wish?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

      That's a problem of the "free" model. Where do you believe the money come from?

      1. mrfill

        Re: So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

        From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

          No. Linux is being used by some big companies for their needs, so they have an interest to finance its development and some of its tools.

          That doesn't happens for Firefox, which doesn't have the same use cases.

          For example, when you need to make agreement for search engines, which are in the hands of big advertisers and tracking companies, you can't do much to block them thoroughly.

          For the matter, there are a lot of FOSS projects struggling to get money to survive.

          Open your eyes, the world is a little different from what people like you think, there are no angels donating money and code just because it will turn the word into the FOSS paradise... there's nothing "free", there's always a ROI - an hard one, aka cash.

          1. mrfill
            Linux

            Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

            Well, some big companies may be using commercial Linux packages such as Fedora and SuSE, but what about all the other distros? They all require maintenance and I doubt that big companies use obscure distros, most which offer no telephone support etc, yet there are no charges. Many of the small distros ask for donations but that's not charging and it is entirely voluntary.

            Having used various shades of Linux for over 10 years, it is clear there are people prepared to maintain systems properly without charge. The world is mostly filled with greedy, grabbing, money slaves but it isn't 100%

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "but what about all the other distros?"

              They don't do most of the work. They mostly repackage someone else's work with some changes, and may work with limited resources. They don't build full products from the ground up.

              Firefox is not a skin over WebKit or Edge, it's much more expensive to develop and market. Do you believe building a rendering engine is something you can do in your spare time?

              Do you really believe every product can be developed the same way, especially with a bunch of unpaid amateurs in their free time? Do you understand what dedicated resources you need to develop a product like Firefox, and keep it updated?

              Look, how Chrome became the main browser? Because it's developed by people in their free time, or because there's a Moloch like Google behind it?

              Keep on believing in the FOSS Nirvana, it's just a way for company like Google to destroy competition and took full control of what you can use.

            2. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

              " The world is mostly filled with greedy, grabbing, money slaves but it isn't 100%"

              Everyone who is not independently wealthy or a ward of the state has to make a living. Gainful employment, they call that. We all use resources to live, and they don't just fall out of the sky. It's important enough that we're defined by what we do to obtain these resources. We move across countries or even continents to get better work, and even if we're not willing to go quite that far, we certainly give work the top priority in scheduling our days. We do the work we have to do in order to be able to use the time left over to do what we want to do.

              There are a lot of things competing for those hours left over after work has taken its share out of each weekday. Time with the spouse, with the kids, with friends, household maintenance, preparing meals, cleaning, sleeping if we're lucky... and if anything remains, our hobbies, which are things that, by definition, we do for reasons other than making money. Maybe it's for fun, or perhaps it's about contributing to something you are passionate about for the sense of fulfillment.

              That's the category that contributing to a free software project falls under if it's not your job. A hobby is one of the first things to get shorted if something comes up... and something always seems to come up, doesn't it?

              Contrast that, if you will, to a person's profession. It's the last thing that is going to be shorted if something comes up, since having a paycheck is too important to risk losing for people who work for a living. If a person happens to be paid for developing free software, he can be relied upon to put in a substantial, known-in-advance number of hours each week, not just if he has time left over after everything else. Getting paid to develop software raises its priority from the lowest to the highest.

              In addition, being paid to code means that the individual can be directed to do things that aren't so fun. A lot of software development is drudge work-- like debugging. We all do things we wish we didn't have to because it's our job. The truth is that most things are not particularly fulfilling, and certainly not fun, but they still need to get done. If people weren't paid to do things they wouldn't do as a hobby, very little would ever get done, and society would come apart at the seams. I know that motivational speakers like to give us little bromides like "do for a living what you would do even for free," but very few of us are actually in the position to do that. Life isn't so easily broken down into bumper-sticker slogans.

              A person contributing to an open-source project during his free time can't be told to go work on something else. With only a limited number of hours he can give, he's got to make them count; since he's not doing it for money, he has to make sure that whatever payoff he IS hoping to get (fun, fulfillment, etc) is likely to come before the time runs out. If a project leader tried to tell him no, your contributions to our project, while of good quality, are not welcome because we want you to go do some things that won't fulfill your purpose in contributing instead, he'd simply opt out of contributing, and they'd have less developers than they did before.

              If people want to give away their time, that's great, but it doesn't mean that people who work for a living and who would like to be paid for doing professional quality work (and who don't have are greedy money-grubbers. It means they're regular people who have 40 hours a week that they're going to spend making money anyway, but not a whole lot they can afford to give away. Time, as they say, is money, and not everyone is wealthy enough to be able to give either of them away.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

            "there are a lot of FOSS projects struggling to get money to survive."

            private businesses usually struggle to get money to survive, too. It's just the way things are.

            Of course for FOSS there are ways to contribute that do not involve money, such as finding bugs and submitting patches (or at least detailed-enough bug reports that the dedicated engineers can fix it).

            Regardless of "who funds Mozilla" there are a LOT of 'customers' out there that rely on Firefox. Many of them run open source operating systems like Linux or the BSD's. And so the success of desktop Linux is "somewhat connected" to having a decent browser that runs on it. Google puts a lot of effort into chrome for 'Chrome OS' and so they compete with Mozilla.

            It's just that Mozilla needs to make sure that FIREFOX HAS SOMETHING TO COMPETE AGAINST CHROME WITH. Making it LOOK LIKE CHROME isn't "that". But the delayed-spyware-load feature? THAT is something! [and they can make it EVEN BETTER by giving Firefox at least an *OPTIONAL* "classic" appearance!!! Hear *THAT*, ASSHATS? STOP it with the 2D FEELING FLATSO, DAMMIT!!!]

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

              "It's just that Mozilla needs to make sure that FIREFOX HAS SOMETHING TO COMPETE AGAINST CHROME WITH. Making it LOOK LIKE CHROME isn't "that"."

              Mozilla lost the plot some time ago. They see that Chrome is the most popular browser, and they conclude that Chrome must be exactly what people want in a browser... so if they make their browser more like Chrome, they're making it into what people want. In trying to go after the everyday computer user market that's already sewn up by Google, they're going head to head with the Google juggernaut. Brilliant strategy, isn't it? A perpetually cash-strapped nonprofit taking on Google?

              It's a good thing Mozilla was a little smarter in their early days. At the time Firefox was released during the XP days, IE6 had more share of the browser market than Google has now; at the peak, IE owned more than 90% of the browser market. Would the Mozilla browser or Firefox have ever been anything more than a tiny niche product if Mozilla had concluded that IE's 90+% market share meant that the features that comprise IE6 was what people wanted? What would have happened if Mozilla had put the cart before the horse as they are now and worried about market share instead of just trying to make something that was better?

              Imagine if FF had tried to copy IE6 like they're copying Google now. The tabs would be out; IE6 didn't have them. So would the powerful addon system. What wouldn't be out was infuriatingly nonstandard rendering, ignorance of the W3C standards that MS, as a W3C member, helped to write. Hell, we'd probably even see them trying to put the terrible ActiveX controls into Firefox, since that was what IE had.

              Back then, if any of us Mozilla fans had suggested they do this, the devs would have dismissed us as nuts. There was already a product on the market that was exactly like IE6 in every way; what sense would it make to try to deliver what amounts to an off-brand knock-off of a free (as in beer) product? Knock-offs make money by being cheaper than the real thing, but if the real thing is free? It would have been really stupid.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

                Thing is, unlike IE, people had to CHOOSE to install Chrome since it doesn't come built into Windows installs. That means something. It's also significant that, after Chrome was introduced, Firefox installs went DOWN. So did IE. Put two and two into an essentially zero-sum game and the conclusion is obvious. People were choosing to REPLACE Firefox WITH Chrome. The writing is thus on Mozilla's wall. Unless they can find a way to draw people AWAY from Chrome again, they'll lose the sponsorships they need to keep going.

                1. abc123zxy

                  Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

                  First time Chrome was installed on my PC it certainly wasn't intentionally! Downloaded some software and Chrome was bundled in the installer and I must have missed one of the tick boxes...

                  I don't like Chrome after seeing it accept a self signed cert at work without flagging it up as a security risk! Firefox did flag the risk.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: "From the same place that allows a zillion flavours of Linux for free?"

                    Point is, people want stuff that costs money to make yet aren't willing to pay, and they vastly out vote you. You lack the say. Even if all the smarties defected, it's not like any of them are really going to miss us. You want to make Mozilla pay attention? Offer a big fat check or threaten their sponsors.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

      >Why doesn't it give us a way to "delay" it to infinity

      that's NoScript's gig.

      and banning JS scripts willy nilly is tricky - NoScript and cookie bans borked Facebook on FF for me. which got me to realize I didn't miss FB much and could fire up Chrome for it.

      I use NoScript on almost everything, but best, IMHO, not to ban random non known-malware JS in the browser core behavior.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

        "and banning JS scripts willy nilly is tricky"

        I think this is a lot of it. I use Privacy Badger, which isn't as aggressive as NoScript, but I still frequently run into pages that it completely breaks until I turn it off again. A feature that's built into the core browser, and on by default, can't really risk that much breakage.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: So if it knows what the tracking stuff is

      >Why doesn't it give us a way to "delay" it to infinity if we wish?

      Those are two different objectives. FF's objective is to get you the content quickly. The "broker" sites are often slower than the content sites so it makes sense to "re-queue" them. Also, with any innovation there is disruption and you want to be sure your innovation doesn't break things unexpectedly.

      As for giving you a way to delay things to infinity, It does. But you have to want it enough to make the small effort of looking for the add-on.

      Kudos to FF for getting it right. 57 is much faster. I was dubious about bothering with "a faster browser" but I really appreciate it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 people who still care about Firefox

    1. Micro$oft

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    1. DrRobert

      Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

      How daft can a person be? You care more than almost any other visitor to this thread

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

        "How daft can a person be?"

        Just look at all the Chrome and Facebook users and pine for the human race.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: 5 people who still care about Firefox

      Lately Google fanboys like to post AC for some reason.

  6. Forget It
    Coffee/keyboard

    Ia there an about:config option to switch this experiment off ?

    1. richardcox13

      > Ia there an about:config option to switch this experiment off ?

      Ready the ********** blog.

      It is there in black and white.

    2. Forget It

      about config options described here:

      https://www.ghacks.net/2017/12/21/firefox-57-delays-tracking-domains/

  7. Alan Sharkey

    I like it

    FF is one of the two browsers I like (the other is Vivaldi). It's fast and it has a proper bookmarks menu which is easy to use.

    So, count me as no 2 in the list above.

  8. 0laf Silver badge

    I was ready to dump FF recently. Got the new one and it really is fast. I like that.

    Not so keen on the infant friendly design nor many of the plugins which appears to have gone properly weird.

    But fast yes.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Is the new design that bad? Mine installed on top of my old version, which had the old-fashioned menu bar, that Edge and Chrome won't allow you. So the new version also came with a menu bar.

      The only real change I've noticed is the tab bars being square (who cares?) and they moved the refresh button from right of the address bar to the left (annoying as the brain has to retrain the hand).

      Seems more reliable. Definitely faster. I'd been considering dumping it, but hadn't found a better alternative. Am now a happy camper again.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        When you regularly use many different browsers (I do) it's useful if the design is reasonably stable so that I know which browser I'm using without have to think about it. I have Firefox set up with noscript as my "safe" browser, Chrome for when I need to use Google Services (and only then), IE for generic news sites (locked down and delete all cookies on restarrt) etc etc.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        "Is the new design that bad?"

        Well, it's better than Australis, but it's still pretty suboptimal. The main difference for me you can't make plugins to fix it anymore. In that respect, it's far, far worse.

    2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
      Unhappy

      But fast yes. - No not really.

      See several people keep mentioning that they find FF 57 faster than the last release, I certainly don't but I am running it with NoScript (or what is left of it; getting ads I never used to and XXS pop-ups nightmare).

      I find opening a link in a new tab (in the back ground) slows the current tab down, scrolling it jitters horribly. Looks like the CPU has lost three of its four cores it's so bad. Didn't happen in the previous version. The FF 57 UI is pretty sucky in design and crap contrast.

      When I first installed FF57 & NS it was so dysfunctional I rolled it back within a day. I have persisted for about a fortnight with the updated versions but really miss the old smooth functional versions. I feel another roll back coming.

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Would you give up 8.5% of that speed to get back the addons and the broad customizability that pre-Quantum Firefox had? Only without the telemetry, the experimental weirdo addons, without arbitrary decrees about which plugins will no longer work just because they said so?

      If so, Waterfox awaits!

  9. sloshnmosh

    In defense of Firefox..

    I found that Firefox performed better than most when running tests on badssl.

    https://badssl.com

  10. Frank Gerlach #2

    SuperCookies ?

    FF has a shortcut for deleting "ordinary" cookies and the history, but still no way to delete the Super Cookies which reside in a SQLite file.

    When will this be cleaned up ?

    1. Frank Gerlach #2

      Safari Supercookies

      I am just looking into

      /Users/$USERNAME/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/fsCachedData

      and found lots of funny stuff, including a database of SVG snippets...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Safari Supercookies

        Use the betterprivacy extension.

  11. technoise

    Firefox 57 on Ubuntu 16.04

    Can somebody fix the memory leaks on Linux? 4 GB of RAM should be enough to run the OS and Firefox without having to use 1/3 of the swap partition.

    Thank you.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Firefox 57 on Ubuntu 16.04

      Can somebody fix the memory leaks on Linux?

      Posting this on El Reg is unlikely to get you much of a response. Why not try the Mozilla forums?

      1. technoise

        Re: Firefox 57 on Ubuntu 16.04

        Alister: Posting this on El Reg is unlikely to get you much of a response. Why not try the Mozilla forums?

        Rhetorical questions don't expect an answer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firefox 57 on Ubuntu 16.04

          Well I think that was a rhetorical answer.

  12. Gnoitall
    Trollface

    That's not a bug, it's a feature.

    "The feature won't behave perfectly in every case – but that, Bambas wrote, is because some pages are simply badly written. An ill-designed page that uses Google's Page-Hiding Snippet, for example, might load as blank for a few seconds, and if a developer is sufficiently inept to refer an API of an async tracking script from a sync script, a race condition is set up."

    Never ascribe to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by greed. If malvertisers can hold content hostage behind tracking and advertising, don't you think they will? Prioritizing content on the browser-side conflicts with prioritizing monetization in the page design, and guess which wins? (Unless the browser user is sane and uses anti-malvertising technology like uBlock.)

  13. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    I am quite happy with the latest IA Browser.

    You folks would be really jealous of my sock collection. I would give you some more details but I have to go buy some more socks. TTFN.

  14. Colin Critch

    Making Firfox a bit better

    I found these to make firefox a bit more better.

    Add these add-ons

    Cookie AutoDelets 2.0.1

    Disable WebRTC 1.0.18

    HTTPS Everywhere 2017.12.6

    uBlock Origin 1.14.22

    Type "about:config" in the address bar and press enter proceed by agreeing to the warning.

    stop html5 from automaticly playing change media.autoplay to disable

    Switch off cache if you are developing websites and want changes to be shown

    There are browser.cache.*enable prefs like these: to disable

    browser.cache.disk.enable

    browser.cache.memory.enable

    Allow https in browser bar "browser.urlbar.trimURLs" preference to turn its value to false.

    Now type any website URL in the browser, HTTP:// will be shown greyed out/not highlighted for a change in Firefox 7 when compared to the previous versions.

    Set “browser.urlbar.formatting.enabled” preference to false after the above mentioned steps to remove the highlighting.(Thanks to Anonymous commenter).

  15. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Look, if people REALLY want to save the Web and with it the web browser, they need to convince content providers to take HTTP back to a passive information-only protocol and move the interactive stuff to something more designed for it like VNC.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a happy user of the Yandex browser

    Beautiful and functional, without the excess baggage 'features' imposed on the official Chrome browser.

    As far as I'm concerned, Mozilla/Firefox have lost their soul... I guess this is what inevitably happens when you take money from dubious sources and opine too much about politics.

    https://www.activistpost.com/2017/08/mozilla-joins-george-soross-efforts-launching-strike-fake-news.html

    https://advocacy.mozilla.org

    If I want Mozilla nostalgia, I'd install a copy of Seamonkey. That's vintage pedigree, the progenitor of Firefox, which used to be the pride of the open source community.

    https://browser.yandex.com/

    https://www.seamonkey-project.org/

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I'm a happy user of the Yandex browser

      What's happened to Mozilla is the inevitable result of trying to develop commercial-grade software while passing the hat. I've yet to see a successful FOSS project that doesn't have corporate involvement of some sort.

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