No, Firefox won't become a Chrome clone - gHacks Tech News

No, Firefox won't become a Chrome clone

The last couple of days have been filled with widely speculative articles suggesting that Firefox's future is Google Chrome and not the company's own Gecko or Servo engines.

Read the Register piece for instance which was very blunt in its assumptions but has been updated since then as Mozilla's been in full PR recovery mode ever since one of the organization's engineers posted about Project Tofino on a non-company blog.

Senior VP Mark Mayo caused a storm by revealing that the Firefox team is working on a next-generation browser that will run on the same technology as Google's Chrome browser.

Other sites covering technology, like Cnet, have been more reserved in their reporting but all either seem to suggest that Mozilla plans to move to a Chromium-base for Firefox, or that the company is struggling and looking for ways out to regain market share and relevance in the market.

What Project Tofino is

project tofino

Project Tofino is a side-project that six Mozilla employees have been assigned to. The core idea behind the project is to find out if the core web browser layout that is being used today gives the best user experience.

What’s probably not surprising is that the team that builds our browser has a lot of great insights and ideas about how people actually use browsers and the kinds of problems people have that aren’t currently solved by anybody’s browser product.

Mark Mayo clarified this further with an update posted on April 8th in which he stated clearly that "Project Tofino is wholly focused on UX explorations and not the technology platform".

Tofino project member Philipp Sackl added the following information on the same day in another blog post.

When you think of a browser today, you’re probably thinking of tabs, a location bar and perhaps a bookmarking system. But are those still the best tools for the jobs we are aiming to accomplish on the web? Maybe they are. Maybe they are not. We want to find out.

That’s why we are starting Project Tofino. It is our name for a series of experiments and explorations on what a browser could look like when its fundamental paradigms are invented in 2016 instead of 1996.

What caused the confusion

The team behind Project Tofino uses Electron and React to do the prototyping, testing and experimenting, and not Firefox core technologies such as Gecko, Servo or XUL.

Electron on the other hand is using Chromium, and that's the reason why reporters assumed that Mozilla was considering moving to a Chromium base just like Opera Software did years ago.

The main reason for using Electron was that it is better suited for the task ahead and the team size, and the reason that it is not associated with Mozilla at all may have played a reason as well in the decision making process.

Interestingly enough, Mozilla Vice President of Platform Engineering announced a couple days later Project Positron, which wraps the Electron API around Gecko.

The main issue

Mozilla could have avoided the confusion and, what many would call, bad press, by making it clearer what Project Tofino is, what it aims to do, and what it is not.

Timing may have played a role here and Mayo seems to have been criticized internally for posting about the project before Mozilla had the chance to "tell the story" to avoid making it look like a no-confidence vote in Firefox or Gecko.

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No, Firefox won't become a Chrome clone
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No, Firefox won't become a Chrome clone
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The last couple of days have been filled with widely speculative articles suggesting that Firefox's future is Google Chrome and not the company's own Gecko or Servo engines.
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Comments

  1. CHEF-KOCH said on April 13, 2016 at 10:05 am
    Reply

    I doubt that, they already trying to copy Chrome for years, e10s, addons and many more. Sorry but rip Firefox.

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm
      Reply

      Do you want to say that process separation is a bad thing? By the way, Microsoft launched a multi process browser before Chrome, Internet Explorer is a multi process browser since IE 8 Beta 1 in early 2008. It would be bad if Mozilla would not invest in a multi process architecture.

      1. CHEF-KOCH said on April 14, 2016 at 1:20 am
        Reply

        I was saying that they trying to copy feature instead of making there owns. I not say that xyz is in general bad. The things is that you simply can stick with the originals if you like/need such features. Together with the fact why someone should stay on FF if they anyway try only to make it shiny like other products, just to feed the crowd. Personally I think each browse should have there own style, philosophy.

        FF promised that also since 2009, then they dropped it and now they picked it up again.

        http://www.techfragments.com/884/firefox-to-get-process-separation-multi-core-support/

        I think it’s not only waste of resources, it’s no master plan behind we talking about, to think to copy xyz feature makes you browser good is wrong. You lose a lot of old people, e.g. some love that you can customize everything and with the upcoming changes this gets impossible or harder.

      2. MdN said on April 14, 2016 at 4:36 am
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        Yes it’s a bad thing for some. Imagine living in a country where internet is cheap but a decent new PC costs as much as the average wage and having bills to pay and mouths to feed. You can watch a HD video from YouTube with Firefox using less RAM than opening 5-6 pages in a multi-process browser. And it’s just a browser, it’s not the whole computer and there’s no need for it to waste all the available RAM just for a few webpages and some imaginary “fluidity”. If Firefox goes, what’s left?

  2. Lestat said on April 13, 2016 at 10:21 am
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    Same talk was also when Australis was launched and the following removal of customization. Mozilla told that features would stay, what happened, they are mostly gone today.

    So much to this topic, perhaps they have this as Plan B if Servo fails. Keep in mind, switching over to Electron/Chromium is tons cheaper than developing a product from scratch. Mozilla also hits money issues already. And they fall more and more behind. Time is running out, Mozilla knows that all too well.

  3. Dave said on April 13, 2016 at 10:23 am
    Reply

    What’s the logic behind thinking that a Chromium base would help? Gecko has better compatibility than Blink. Most users don’t know what engine is under the hood, and changing to a Chromium base didn’t work for Opera.

    And they just changed the UI! Can’t these people make up their minds?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 13, 2016 at 10:41 am
      Reply

      I think it is more about money and resources, considering that it is more expensive to maintain your own engine than jumping on someone else’s bandwagon. The downsides are that you have less of a say of course and are highly dependent.

    2. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm
      Reply

      @Dave:

      > What’s the logic behind thinking that a Chromium base would help? Gecko has better compatibility than Blink. Most users don’t know what engine is under the hood, and changing to a Chromium base didn’t work for Opera.

      Electron was not selected because of the engine but because of the fact that Electron is very nice for prototyping and no full browser is required to do UX experiments. Yes, Electron uses Chromium but the engine doesn’t matter for Tofino. It makes no difference for UX and Tofino is an UX project.

      > changing to a Chromium base didn’t work for Opera

      There is no *change*. Tofino is a new project. And by the way, I disagree, changing to Chromium worked well for Opera. Presto was the worst engine, even more worse than Trident…

      1. Daniel said on April 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm
        Reply

        Only that Opera has given up on their power users, refused to add back advanced UI customization features and called that “too nerdy”.

        Opera totally sold out. First to Google and now to China. There is nothing good about them anymore.

      2. Dave said on April 13, 2016 at 5:22 pm
        Reply

        @Sören

        I think you missed the point. This entire article is about there not being a change, so it’s kinda implied that no-one here thinks this change is happening.

        @Daniel

        Opera still has a nice UI, but I agree there’s not much reason to use Opera now unless you want to use Opera Turbo or their strange thumbnail bookmarks thing.

      3. Guest708 said on April 16, 2016 at 11:49 pm
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        You need to take that back. Presto was, and probably will always be the best browser engine ever made. No other engine has yet to catch up to the pure speed of Presto, and it was the only engine that rendered pages truly dynamically. The only downside was the team supporting it was so small.

    3. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm
      Reply

      > I think you missed the point. This entire article is about there not being a change, so it’s kinda implied that no-one here thinks this change is happening.

      I don’t think that *I* missed the point. You talked about Gecko and Blink. And the engine doesn’t matter for Tofino. Mozilla has no plans to switch the engine (maybe Servo in the future, but not Blink).

      1. Gary said on April 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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        Yeah, well, why don’t you talk about why you are losing customers, Soren? You seem to have an explanation for everything. Do you have an explanation for that?

        Here’s a clue. You’re not listening to your customers and haven’t been for a long time. You are deciding what you want to do without listening.

        You add functionality hardly anyone wants. You remove functionality many of your customers invested in and do want, alienating them in the process.

        You’ve made a mess of a browser people used to like, but are now fleeing in droves.

        Congratulations!

      2. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm
        Reply

        > why don’t you talk about why you are losing customers, Soren?

        I am losing customers? Whaaat?

        > You’re not listening to your customers and haven’t been for a long time. You are deciding what you want to do without listening.

        You don’t know my customers. oO

        > You add functionality hardly anyone wants.

        Another thing you don’t know. You don’t know the projects of my customers and by the way, my customers get what they want because the pay for that.

        > You remove functionality many of your customers invested in and do want, alienating them in the process.

        What the hell?

        > You’ve made a mess of a browser people used to like, but are now fleeing in droves.

        I already developed a lot of things but no browser.

        What do you think who I am? oO

        By the way: Mein Name is Sören, not Soren. If your keyboard has no “ö”, it has to be “oe” not “o”.

      3. Lestat said on April 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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        That guy is no Mozila developer. Wrong address, please call again ;)

      4. Gary said on April 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm
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        Whatever else he may be, he’s an apologist for Mozilla and everything it does. You just have to look at his comments in any thread to know that. Or even look at his comments in this thread.

        As usual, of course, he has a response for everything, but he can’t deny what’s obvious to everyone. Mozilla is losing customers in droves and there’s a reason for that. Soren just won’t admit it, however, because Soren is never wrong about anything.

        It’s just all the rest of us who are wrong.

      5. Lestat said on April 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm
        Reply

        I just have to say one thing, with people like him it is usless to argue, you will never reach an end and you will just go away with an angry feeling, so let Mr. Hentzschel be Mr. Hentzschel and do something more productive…

        Like i am doing now… I go to eat something :D

      6. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm
        Reply

        > You just have to look at his comments in any thread to know that. Or even look at his comments in this thread.

        Yes, you just have to look at my comments and you see that I explain things that are not clear for some users. Do you see a wrong comment? Then show me the wrong comment so that I can correct my statement. If you can’t show us a wrong statement then it’s clear that you’re just trolling. So easy.

      7. Gary said on April 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm
        Reply

        You know A lot about trolling, Soren, but why don’t you talk about the issues I raised?

        Is Mozilla Firefox losing its share of the browser market? It’s a simple question which I’m sure you’ll find some way of obscuring, but you can’t obscure the truth that more and more people are abandoning Firefox.

        Why do you think that is?

      8. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm
        Reply

        >You know A lot about trolling, Soren, but why don’t you talk about the issues I raised?

        Because I am not interested in this off-topic discussion? I have nothing to do with these questions (and by the way, the questions have nothing to do with the topic of this article). I am not working for Mozilla, I don’t represent Mozilla and I don’t have to have answers to all questions just because I know a lot about Mozilla.

      9. Gary said on April 13, 2016 at 10:28 pm
        Reply
      10. Appster said on April 15, 2016 at 6:14 am
        Reply

        @Gary and Lestat: I second that you shouldn’t discuss with Sören. I mean, he is a Mozilla Representative Alumnus (I have to add Alumnus to prevent Sören from crying… so yeah), which means that he has extremely strong ties with Mozilla, whatever he may state otherwise. He is a fanboy through and through, so he will defend every single shitty decision Mozilla makes. It is self explanatory that a real discussion with him can’t take place because of these reasons.
        Oh and you should avoid his blog if you have something critical to say about Mozilla – if you do he will block you straight away. This was my own experience.

  4. aNooBies said on April 13, 2016 at 10:24 am
    Reply

    the kinds of problems people have that aren’t currently solved by anybody’s browser product

    That’s rich. All but one of my problems are solved by Opera 12.18. The one thing it’s missing is a modern rendering engine.

    I don’t want:
    – integration with dubious third parties (wallet, pocket, …)
    – ads on the forced-on-you ‘home page’ (seriously, what?)
    – tabs or toolbars that are three times as high as I need (that’s probably for the touch screen people?)
    – spell check (I frequently use several languages at once — yeah, weird isn’t it? You can’t imagine how fun the spell check becomes at that moment. Focus on core functionality, then spell check if you absolutely must but make sure we can turn it off.)
    – recently visited sites on the speed dial (I don’t need you to track me / I have a history in the browser if I need to find a page I went to)
    – sharing of my info with 3rd parties (Vivaldi looked promising but is out due to this)

    What I *do* want:
    – Opera’s selective-image-loading ability (none-cached-all). That’s a feature I use *a lot* when I just want to *read* things (slow connections, ads everywhere). Vivaldi came close, but yeah, see above.
    – a decent bookmark manager (with Opera’s “nickname” functionality for tabs / folders if possible)
    – click-to-play for plugins: indispensable, shuts down all flash save for what I explicitly want
    – extension support: if there’s a decent ad blocker (uMatrix), and there is now one Chrome plugin I use for work that unfortunately is not offered as a standalone application (afaik)
    – a shared rendering engine — if I want to replace Opera’s RSS reader by e.g. QuiteRSS, it installs its own Chromium engine. Make it so engines can be shared between applications, then I only need to update one for security fixes

    1. Henk van Setten said on April 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm
      Reply

      Interesting. I agree with many of your points. What really intrigues me, however, is your remark about Vivaldi sharing browsing info. Maybe you’re right here; but I never heard about this before. Would you be able to briefly indicate (a) what info Vivaldi is sharing, and (b) with what third parties Vivaldi is sharing this info? Or could you give me a link to where I can find more facts about this?

      This kind of privacy thing is important to me, so I’d really like to know a little more. Thanks!

      1. aNooBies said on April 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm
        Reply

        Picked it up here:
        https://www.reddit.com/r/vivaldibrowser/comments/3s95va/vivaldirocks_search_partnership/

        Read through the thread and you’ll hit this:
        “If you go to vivaldi://terms in the browser, you’ll see the EULA, where you’ll find this item:
        By accepting this EULA your also accept our privacy policy (available at https://vivaldi.com/privacy)”

        And of course that EULA has stuff about data collection and sharing so… yeah.

    2. Leon said on April 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm
      Reply

      @aNooBies:
      I absolutely agree with all of the above. Fucus on CORE and FUNCTIONALITY. And not on bloatware. Then they don’t have to “reinvent” anything.
      And if they really want to force third parties (Pocket, Wallet, Hello…), make it available as preinstalled add-ons on the initial install only. If user doesn’t use/like them, he can simply uninstall add-ons after that. Simple and unobtrusive.

      You only forgot about the SPEED and EFFICIENCY. Therefore some other things are highly essential as well:
      – Since they like to preinstall so many things, they should also include preinstalled (but not integrated) add-on “uBlock Origin”.
      – Implement settings for keywords into Search settings (including the option for instant search mode). Currently, I have to make a bookmark for each keyword (seriously?).
      – Search engines for address bar and search box must be different. Otherwise it makes not sense to have the latter.
      – Improve the search bar (Ctrl + F) along the lines of “FindBar Tweak” add-on.
      – Improve the download panel (Ctrl + J) along the lines of “Download Panel Tweaks” add-on.
      – Change some important default settings:
      a) Enable privacy settings (Firefox Tracking Protection) by default for all websites, not only for private browsing.
      b) Enable default pipelining.

      Here we go Mozilla. We already “reinvented” the browser for you.

  5. SocialMediaGrandpa said on April 13, 2016 at 11:38 am
    Reply

    I have faith that Mozilla can make Firefox look and act like Chrome without using Chrome technology. They are well on their way.

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 1:56 pm
      Reply

      Tofino != Firefox.

  6. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm
    Reply

    > Mozilla could have avoided the confusion and, what many would call, bad press, by making it clearer what Project Tofino is, what it aims to do, and what it is not.

    IMHO It *was* clear from the beginning. The problem is that a lot of people, including “journalists”, only read what they *want* to read…

  7. optimist said on April 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm
    Reply

    no they ll just use electro that uses chrome…to make something never tried before – “ch….” based browser with small pool of extensions and radical new interface – squared, search bar, two arrows……
    Jesus, just put two bullets in the head of a damned fox and be over whit it…..

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm
      Reply

      Tofino is an UX project, not a new browser product, so there is no need for add-ons or other features, it’s about experimenting and testing with the user interface… Just read the article, it’s well explained.

      1. Anonymous said on April 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm
        Reply

        Mr. Hentzschel this is an off topic but I just want to know if firefox will be able to turn e10 off when it reaches stable channel, any idea? thanks in advance.

      2. Guest708 said on April 17, 2016 at 12:00 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous – why would you ever want to turn off e10s? Have you tried e10s recently? Multiprocess is the single best thing to ever happen to Firefox.

  8. Daniel Winter said on April 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    Its funny how the Firefox guys come around to the fact that Firefox is an antiquated dinosaur that is a slow piece of terribly designed technology. Back when Chrome was released the Mozilla blogosphere was dismissing it as “nice try” and “more concept that substance”. Fast forward a few years and Firefox is obsolete and *NOW* the Firefox guys draw up slides of a concept browser “much like Chrome”. Oh the irony.

    1. MdN said on April 13, 2016 at 3:27 pm
      Reply

      Even today, taking into account things that I need from a browser, and things that I can do to it to make it work more efficiently, Chrome is a “nice try” and still catching up, compared to Firefox, no matter how dumbed down it may seem compared to what it was.

      1. Daniel Winter said on April 13, 2016 at 7:24 pm
        Reply

        I come from Firefox, I changed two years ago. Firefox is just so terribly slow for me, I notice latency all the time with 20 tabs open and opening and closing tabs with keyboard shortcuts in quick succession. Chrome is just so much more responsive. I can only assume that Firefox’s architecture and memory handling just doesn’t allow for faster processing. Thunderbird by the way is exactly the same. Another one of Mozilla’s old dinosaurs. I have my own/self-run IMAP server with 35,000 emails online and Thunderbird bogs down like a statue in a pool of molasses. Terrible software design, just like Firefox. Do Thunderbird and Firefox work for “most users” and “have all features one can imagine”? Yes, thing is they’re just too slow and cumbersome for power users.

      2. MdN said on April 14, 2016 at 4:18 am
        Reply

        Fair enough. I don’t have 35000 emails nor I use more than 10-20 tabs at a time, and for me Firefox is more responsive under heavy load, especially since I can limit its cache usage (my PC isn’t exactly new but it does all I need), and just the everyday work is faster and more intuitive after adding some things and moving some things around (the other day I finally moved “close tab” buttons to the left, for example, and Chrome is full of “owww do I have to drag my mouse so far again” and “why can’t I do this the way do it in FF” thingies). Even some people with better PCs than mine report that Chrome is smoother but it slows down the rest of the computer. I guess “power user” means different things to different people. ;-)

    2. Guthrie Bowron said on April 17, 2016 at 8:19 am
      Reply

      Honestly I get the same thing with Chrome. I’ve found it incredibly slow to load pages and generally less responsive than Firefox, so perhaps much of this is computer setup dependent.

  9. max said on April 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    “Mozilla could have avoided the confusion and, what many would call, bad press, by making it clearer ”

    This has been a recurring theme in recent years: Their atrocious communication.

    Australis, FirefoxOS, Tofino, Addon-Signing, Addons-Deprecation, Theme-Deprecation etc. etc.

    I hope their internal communcation isn’t as bad.

  10. ilev said on April 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm
    Reply

    According to StatCounter Firefox browser is close to oblivion.

    Chrome accounts for 47 percent of browser usage, with Safari in second place at 13 percent and Firefox in third at 9 percent.

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on April 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm
      Reply

      Please don’t mix desktop and mobile browsers, that’s no useful comparison.

      1. Gary said on April 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm
        Reply

        Firefox desktop browser share:

        April 3, 2013: 20.10%
        April 3, 2014: 19.86%
        April 3, 2015: 18.69%
        April 3, 2016: 15.22%

        Source: http://yourbrowser.is/browser-market-share/2016/04/03/

  11. Earl said on April 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    If they want to provide the “best user experience”, then they should just re-release Firefox 2.x and start over from there. I’m not saying Fx 2.x was the “best” Firefox, just that that was the last time I was sure that they still had user interests at heart–the last time they let the users decide for themselves what was *their own* best user experience.

    1. Lestat said on April 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm
      Reply

      At least they should start again with a feature set before Australis. Would bring tons of power users back again to the browser. This and Mozilla should apologize to their angered power users.

      Not that i personally would care, i am happy with Vivaldi and Brave now, but i am pretty sure, quite a lot of abandoned power users would expect something to happen too before they ever would think about coming back to Firefox.

      But well, that is only a nice dream. In the meantime, Mozilla is hard at work with Chromification to continue their silly hopeless war with Google.

  12. swamper said on April 13, 2016 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    If there was an app like electron or nw.js that ran on the Firefox engine then they wouldn’t need to use electron or webkit to do rapid prototyping. That to me is the elephant in the room. Firefox devs have no choice but to use an app with a different engine because they don’t have their own that runs on node.js. The web development tools are all on node. I understand the why in this case. What I don’t understand and haven’t for several years is why Firefox did not and has not developed their own native desktop app engine. A thought is maybe they are looking at making one by studying on existing node apps? Firefox, to me, is strangely missing from the node.js landscape.

  13. alex said on April 14, 2016 at 5:43 am
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    Mozilla have been heading to become a chromium clone for some time, they keep making promises not to remove features or to enhance features but have failed to execute these promises or flat out lied about them and then get “non employees” to defend and or apologising for there actions and misinformation by means of being condescending at the very least.

    I doubt things will change, in fact they have shown things will only change for the worse when it comes to communication or lack there of. This is mozillas biggest fault, there lack of communication and transparency alongside that there condescending attitude toward its long time users who grew up and enjoyed what was once ahead of its time, but now is just another chrome clone.

    1. Lestat said on April 14, 2016 at 7:43 am
      Reply

      Not yet. But they are moving now on the same street on which also Opera was once.

      It was predictable. First, also Opera got more and more into problems with new web technology, they realized that it would create tons of resources to create a new competitive engine, they have been looking for increasing their market share and get more relevant for simple users. The end result: Switching to Chrome.

      Mozilla is not that different anymore. There are quite a lot of frightening similarities if you compare Opera’s past situation and Mozilla’s recent one.

  14. Graham said on April 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm
    Reply

    What a load of crap. This is the stupidest damage control I’ve ever heard.

  15. wonton said on April 15, 2016 at 5:43 am
    Reply

    Welcome to the new chroimumfox oops i mean firefox where we take a steamer on our users everyday while we
    make the web how we want it opps i mean We’re building a better Internet.

    soon all browsers will be chrome forks and forced by google for stuff we dont want any one here starting
    too feel like a sheep.

  16. Lestat said on April 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm
    Reply
  17. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm
    Reply

    Quote …

    “What’s probably not surprising is that the team that builds our browser has a lot of great insights and ideas about how people actually use browsers and the kinds of problems people have that aren’t currently solved by anybody’s browser product.”

    They didn’t do enough research before they dumped the Australis interface on the user community. Many users, me included, have gone over to Pale Moon.

    They’ve changed wonderful features, like the search box, to make them worse instead of better. If they keep behaving the way they are, they will eventually have to pull the plug on what used to be the best browser available.

  18. bystander said on April 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm
    Reply

    Are you really advanced users out there? I didn’t like Australis either, compared to its earlier concepts, but hey, they made Classical Theme Restorer addon available right away! With that, I could just bring back the old look or make something that suits my taste better that their default Australis theme. With that addon, all previous customization capability is still there.
    I am worried about their e10s and plans to switch to a new API to be more Chromium-compatible. I use so many extensions, and lot of them rely on something Chrome-clones cannot do. It’s been a few times I read the likes of “it can’t be done with WebKit/Blink”.
    It’s extensibility and security and convenience features it brings that I cherish in Firefox. That’s what I fear to lose. But switching to Australis was not that big of a deal, it can be reversed and even improved upon.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm
      Reply

      I did not leave Firefox just because of the Australis interface. I am very much aware of the CTR. Even without add-ons, recent versions of Firefox are slower than ever. They’ve really messed up the searchbox which used to work fine. I’m sure there are other FF users who can list numerous other FF dislikes.

      Pale Moon is much faster. In fact, with the Atom build, I can still use my old P4 Win XP system to browse the WEB.

      I’d rather not dump my fully functional PC into a growing pile of waste in some foreign country assigned to extract a few small salvageable parts. I’m sure the PC manufacturers don’t like that attitude.

  19. bimbambidubi said on April 30, 2016 at 4:47 am
    Reply

    More precisely… Mozilla went stoopid.

  20. bystander said on April 30, 2016 at 6:25 pm
    Reply

    I guess, there’s an addon or two to bring back old search style. Or even an about:config preference. I’m sure I’d seen something of this kind. I’m okay with the new search box however so it’s up to you to find the solution.
    What I really didn’t like is the way context menu search was organized. Like, you need to switch your default engine or the one in the search box all the time – again, solved by addon, so I don’t quite remember what the switching procedure was, never returned to it. There are at least two addons that make better context menu search – I wonder why Mozilla didn’t come up with that.

    I rely on extensions heavily – I removed menu entries that I never intended to use but still hit them every now and then. I see no use in sending a link or a picture by email with the context menu. I’d copy the link or save the picture in the first place, so that’s redundant, not to mention opening email provider or mail client inadvertently.

    Fx is still pretty fast for me, unless I have too many tabs open. That’s one hell of a bad habit (or Mozilla does poor judgement by allocating too much memory for tabs not loaded yet).

    So, I have 2 major concerns: lots of extensions that I really use go extinct, and stuff that compromises privacy added without warning and enabled by default (WebRTC was quite a shocker once I realized it could expose my local network and my real IP).
    I’d say having a flexible and highly customizable browser which is Firefox today is more appealing to me than record setting speed. Privacy is other big concern.
    Instead, there’s a flurry of features for those there doesn’t seem to be any significant demand (Pocket, Hello, and the anniversary edition’s big red forget or reset button – wait, did they just remove it silently?).

    What I’m certain about is that I like separate address bad and search bar. I know exactly when I want to type a URL or a page title that I visited, and when I want to do search. I guess, unifying the two is for the stupid and/or lazy. Or default hiding of protocols in search bar. It’s good that Mozilla still gave us freedom to have things the way we want.

  21. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 30, 2016 at 8:09 pm
    Reply

    bystander, you depend heavily on add-ons. So do i. Search worked great with an add-on called “organize search engines”. It works fine in Pale Moon. But it no longer works in Firefox because some moron decided to make the search function LESS functional. Yes, the morons left it up to me and MANY others to find a solution. That’s Pale Moon.

    The Mozillians seem to have no logic to what they are doing. They seem to be doing all they can to break add-ons.we all know and love. And they are pissing off a lot of add-on developers in the process.They are worse than Google for their tinkering.

    If the Mozillians continue their current approach, they aren’t going to have too many happy users left.

  22. bystander said on May 1, 2016 at 6:05 am
    Reply

    I fail to see how search became broken. I type my search term, I click whatever search engine I want to use and there I have it.
    Oh, I see now. Only the default one will show live search results, if there are any. Also, you can’t use Enter key on anything but default search. That’s lame.
    I didn’t notice since I use context menu in 99% of searches.
    Still, that one is worrisome:
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/04/30/webextensions-still-on-track-for-firefox-48/

    I would hate it even if they break placement of my buttons. I think it is a possibility because XUL can be left for good.

    Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Just dumbing it down to make it a new Chrome will hardly help you to win back audience. Fx have always had better extensions that Chrome and more diverse, with greater possibilities. It it worth it to attract Chrome devs, at the price of alienating loyal Fx devs?

  23. pHROZEN gHOST said on May 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm
    Reply

    I cannot help but think that Google is paying the Mozillians to sabotage their browser to push users to Chrome.

    1. xdfgfd ghfgf said on December 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm
      Reply

      Thats what happened to Opera.

  24. bystander said on May 3, 2016 at 7:10 am
    Reply

    pHROZEN gHOST, then making Firefox another Chrome is not enough. It has to be WORSE. So far, the worst outcome is that Firefox will become exactly like Chrome in terms of what extensions can do – which is seemingly NOT the case because they plan to make WebExtensions more capable than Chrome’s API. Still, I don’t want addons I love and use to become obsolete. Not sure is devs will be able to/willing to rewrite them to the new API, or somebody new will pick them up where they left off.
    I think the best course of action is the following: have the last versions of portable Firefox that’s still compatible with all old addons you need, make sure it does not autoupdate itself and its addons. Wait till you can replace all addons you need. Write your own, if you can.
    Hell, I think I’m going to need that even for some legacy Flash compatibility, in case some sites won’t make a timely transition.

    Anyway, I feel like I’m going to do lots of searching and testing till I get all functions that I need back. I had to switch to uMatrix lately since RequestPolicy was still breaking some sites even with “everything allowed” mode. Also, uMatrix is way more flexible in their approach, so it and NoScript are my shining armor of today. There’s RequestPolicy Continued though, never tested it.
    With uMatrix it wasn’t a very steep learning curve, I wrote a few simple rules that disallowed any resources to be fetched from localhost by default. Now, that I think I would probably need to relearn numerous other extensions – not a very exciting perspective.
    And beside WebExtensions we have Electrolysis coming – like forcing thousands of extensions into obsolescence only one way was not enough. Hopefully, we will be able to turn e10s off.

    So, I’ll need the last portable version that’s compatible with all my addons for indefinite time in the future.

  25. K-Meleon Browser said on May 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm
    Reply

    k-meleon is love, life and free (protecting your privacy, too).

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