Waterfox G4 has been released; it requires an SSE4.2 compatible processor

Waterfox has been updated to version G4, and brings some important changes. An announcement on the developer's website says that the browser has been heavily optimized for best performance.

Waterfox G4 released

You may use Waterfox G4 to import your profiles from other Gecko-based browsers, like Firefox. To do so, click the File menu and select the Import From Another Browser, option. Initially the latest version had a bug that failed to detect existing profiles, but the issue was quickly patched in G4.0.0.1

Waterfox g3

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Waterfox G4 has a new theme called Lepton, which is based on the Proton theme. There are two more themes you may choose from: Dark and Light. The most notable change in the new theme, is the tab bar, especially the tab corners, they look less like Chrome and are now similar to Firefox.

Waterfox g4 lepton theme - main menu

The main menu is also similar to Proton UI's, as is the page context menu. The Lepton theme is not exclusive to Waterfox, you may use it with Firefox too, since it is an open-source User Chrome CSS style, called Firefox-UI-Fix (previously known as Proton Fix).

Waterfox g4 lepton theme - menu

Waterfox requires a SSE4.2 compatible CPU

Waterfox G4 has a limitation that some users may not like, and this is related to the performance improvements. Starting with the latest version, you need to have a processor that supports the SSE4.2 instruction set technology, to use Waterfox. According to Wikipedia, Intel started supporting SSE4.2 from the Nehalem-based processors in 2008, while AMD began supporting it with the Bulldozer-based FX chipsets from 2011. Basically, you don't need to worry about it unless you are using a very old computer. But if you are wondering whether your computer supports SSE4.2, download a portable hardware monitoring program like HWiNFO or CPU-Z, and run it. The tool will tell you if your processor is compatible with the technology.

Some users on reddit have questioned whether their computers with SSE4.1 or below will be unable to run the browser.

Now as far as cross-platform compatibility is concerned, Waterfox's website says that G4 is supported on Windows 7, macOS 10.12 Intel, macOS 11 ARM and Linux Kernel 5.4. It appears that support for macOS Yosemite 10.5 has ended out of the blue. ARM support for Apple's new Macbooks is a welcome move, and the developer plans to add Windows and ARM builds in the future. You can find the installers, portable versions of the browser at the releases page.

Waterfox Classic coming to an end?

Waterfox Classic could be coming to an end, says Alex Kontos, the developer of the Firefox-fork. Responding to a query from a user on reddit, Kontos said that the existence of Waterfox Classic depends on whether security fixes from Firefox ESR91 can be ported to the Classic version. In short, it depends on how difficult the task could turn out to be, and boils down to the choice between updating the browser with new features, while leaving security vulnerabilities unpatched.

Kontos' post on the Waterfox blog says that the browser will now follow the central branch of Gecko. The browser will get a rolling release instead of Extended Support Releases.

Do you use Waterfox? Which one do you prefer? Classic or ESR or G4?

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Waterfox G4 has been released;
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Waterfox G4 has been released;
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Waterfox G4 has been released and it requires an SSE4.2 compatible processor to run.
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Comments

  1. Jody Thornton said on October 20, 2021 at 5:50 pm
    Reply

    I’m one of those left out in the cold with G4. I’m hopeful that the new updates that were added to the G3 branch, but not compiled (known as G3.2.7) will be compiled as binaries. This way I can at least get a couple more months out of Waterfox G3, before I have to move on. I hope Alex responds favourably to my request.

    My system in an HP xw8600 workstation running Windows 8. I have dual quad-core Xeon Processors that only support SSE4.1 or earlier.

    1. Anonymous said on October 20, 2021 at 6:29 pm
      Reply

      @Jody Thornton
      And why don’t you just switch to another browser today? There are so many alternatives it is silly to wait and see what happens next, if a developer starts making these “requests” then, they should not be supported since eventually it will affect your system and then what? outdated browser like if there was not many and better?

      People like you should stop asking companies permission or let it them to dictate anything about your system. If they don’t give you what you need, they should disappear from your life in two blinks because it is just technology, and technology like operating systems and programs, not being physical objects it is easy to replace and change

      You give them power they shouldn’t have, these are weird decisions by developers and “requests” that sound ridiculous, I mean, for a browser.

      But this is the same case with Windows 11 and its clownish release, there is no reason for TPM or any TPM version or Safe Bootloader or anything like that, it is just about control, and the worst is there are people forcing it and sites like Ghacks only talking about it, and just people installing it in their “outdated” and unsupported systems, and Win11 is so bad AMD processors don’t even run well on it and everything is more negative than it was on win10.

      Last time I read about Tinywall changelog how developer will stop offering Tinywall for win7 and win8 systems… well, there is no technical reason to do that for now but why would I want to install something that supports one system and not the other? even if it gets features I wanted to like IP ranges support, not just ports I would forget about it, I won’t have one program in one PC and another in another PC because someday the dev will ask win11+ only even if people couldn’t update to win11 because Microsoft ridiculous requirements.

      But talking about browsers, there are literally million of browser alternatives around, it is silly to stick by the edge waiting for the developer to change or offer something that don’t plan on doing it and then you waiting to do it later, do it know, change browser, say whatever to this dumb requirement and move on.

      1. Jody Thornton said on October 21, 2021 at 1:12 pm
        Reply

        @Anon wrote:

        And why don’t you just switch to another browser today? There are so many alternatives it is silly to wait and see what happens next, if a developer starts making these “requests” then, they should not be supported since eventually it will affect your system and then what? outdated browser like if there was not many and better?

        People like you should stop asking companies permission or let it them to dictate anything about your system. If they don’t give you what you need, they should disappear from your life in two blinks because it is just technology, and technology like operating systems and programs, not being physical objects it is easy to replace and change

        You give them power they shouldn’t have, these are weird decisions by developers and “requests” that sound ridiculous, I mean, for a browser.

        ——————————————————————————–

        Well @Anon, it’s more like developer “demands”.. Alex and System1 have decided the path they’re going to take.

        I will likely switch to another browser, but I’m fine biding timne for a week or two, so I can make a good well-rounded decision. This is all NOT just intangible technology as you would like to paint it. Other browsers don’t allow the customization that Waterfox allowed. It worked well on my system, and I wanted to continue with it.

        So there’s no “power” being exerted upon me. I’ll see what happens and then likely move on. It’s fine though that I wait longer than “two blinks”.

      2. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 4:09 pm
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        Agreed but I do not agree that there are many alternatives available if there is that list is dwindling by the day and even if they aren’t they are just based on Firefox or Chrome which isn’t a stable future. Pale Moon has jumped the shark and even developers such as justoff has seemingly left. Otter Browser? A browser based on a browser I never liked to start with… err no

      3. Jody Thornton said on October 28, 2021 at 1:29 am
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        Well I installed Firefox ESR 91, added a bunch of CSS customizations to make it work like Quantum/Photon, and I’m not looking back. It runs better than Waterfox now too.

        So long Alex. With your overly-strict CPU requirements, you gave me the kick in the bum that I needed.

    2. Ashwin said on October 20, 2021 at 6:46 pm
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      An issue has been raised at GitHub by other users: https://github.com/WaterfoxCo/Waterfox/issues/2327

      Let’s see what happens.

      1. Jody Thornton said on October 21, 2021 at 12:37 pm
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        @Ashwin:

        Alex’s response was:
        “…the majority of users support SSE4.2. It is a very common instruction set now. Nothing is going to happen. …”

        So there we are.

  2. Mystique said on October 20, 2021 at 6:48 pm
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    COOL! More splintering of an already fragmented community!!
    I’m now more convinced than ever that the future of web browsers is pretty bleak.

    1. Jody Thornton said on October 21, 2021 at 1:06 pm
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      Yeppers @Mystique, and Alex isn’t budging either. Two Github tickets asking for backward compatibility have been declined, and my plea for at least a release of binaries for G3.2.7 as a stop-gap measure were met with basically …. “I’ll see”

      1. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 2:04 pm
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        Yep. Seems a shame really. Time will tell how long this will last. I wouldn’t be jumping onto the new shiny thing anyway as there seems to be several problems from the get go.

  3. Mystique said on October 20, 2021 at 6:57 pm
    Reply

    So what compelling reasons would one use Waterfox over Firefox or LibreWolf now given that they appear to be essentially the same?

    There seems to be very little reason to hold onto Waterfox

    1. Nita Betch said on October 20, 2021 at 9:01 pm
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      @Mystique
      Legacy extensions is the most compelling reason to use Waterfox.
      Mozilla wiped their collective backsides with all old, legacy extensions, and a few browsers such as Waterfox, took great pains to continue to support them.

      Even the new versions of old extensions ported to new Firefox, are so constrained that they are sorely lacking–now.

      1. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 7:58 am
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        @Nita
        Whilst that may be true that only pertains to Waterfox ‘classic’ which seems all but dead in the water of late. As far as mainline waterfox it appears to be the same thing and the jury and when you limit the browser to a particular subset of an already very narrow market… it just doesn’t make much sense. The first mistake is setting your goals as competing with Firefox. If a browser actually wants to be great it has to have much broader goals than competing with a browser that has long since turned its back on its core values and community.

        Absolutely agree, that the old extensions were vastly more powerful which is why I used to use Pale Moon and Waterfox classic.
        There is a very low-key project that is being based on Pale Moon without the imposed restrictions and negativity that seems to now be surrounding Pale Moon. Although I would love to see it happen I just don’t see it taking off especially considering development is being handled by one person alone and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of ferocity to the development either.

      2. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 8:13 am
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        *-and the jury

        The mystery browser doesn’t even have a name. All the best to them and if they hold true to the values of which Firefox once stood for then it can be a really great thing but its just such a huge longshot.

    2. Anonymous said on October 20, 2021 at 10:42 pm
      Reply

      If I am correct, Waterfox and LibreWolf have skipped out telemetrie and some less important functions. Making them run smoother (in Firefox looking at streaming TV gives hick-ups).

      With Waterfox it is clear who is in control, and so accountable, to ensure safe code (System1), with LibreWolf this seems diffuse at best.

      1. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 10:29 am
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        @Anonymous
        Is this the same System1 that prides itself on being an analytics/advertising company under the guise of being privacy focused by simply acquiring privacy focused businesses?

    3. ULBoom said on October 21, 2021 at 2:19 pm
      Reply

      None. If legacy extensions are really a need (why???) use Pale Moon. Eventually it won’t work at all. Eventually is not far off.

      Otherwise, FF ESR with arkenfox’s about:config tweaks gives great privacy and is much smoother and faster. Waterfox’s main investor is an ad company.

      Try Sea Monkey if you want to go way out of the mainstream. It’s a suite of applications, one of which is a browser. Weird and it works!

      If all the Mozilla confusion is too much, go to Brave, the only OOB Chromium fork with anything resembling privacy that’s easy to use.

      1. Nita Betch said on October 21, 2021 at 3:39 pm
        Reply

        @ULBoom
        Yeah, Waterfox’s being sold to an ad company has surely tainted their trustworthiness and I’ve stopped using it except for limited tasks which require a specific extension.

        Firefox ESR is still my primary trusted browser for personal info and financial data–shopping.
        This too is not ideal with all of Mozilla’s machinations as of late. Also doesn’t help when the diversity hire CEO is calling for much more surveillance and censorship on social media. That’s a real jaw dropper since she’s at the head of “privacy” focused browser.

        Sea monkey is like waking up in the old soviet union for it’s antiquated-ness.

        Brave is not on any of my systems nor on anyone i support. Reason being, I’ll not have their BAT and other special sauce code included in their browser. It isn’t enough to to have an opt-out or opt-in, I want it GONE!
        I would rather, and do use the outdated Dissenter, Brave fork, that’s removed all that nonsense (using it now).

        When Brave issues a Brave light version I’ll reevaluate. Not before.

      2. Iron Heart said on October 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm
        Reply

        @ULBoom

        > Waterfox’s main investor is an ad company.

        90% of Mozilla’s income comes from Google, the biggest ad company in the world. Don’t be hypocritical.

        @Nita Betch

        > Brave is not on any of my systems nor on anyone i support. Reason being, I’ll not have their BAT and other special sauce code included in their browser. It isn’t enough to to have an opt-out or opt-in, I want it GONE!

        Would you say the same thing about Firefox’s Pocket Stories on the New Tab Page, which are generated in much the same way as Brave’s ads (a local algorithm analyzing your browsing)? There are also the snippet propaganda messages, and the Firefox Suggest address bar keylogger:

        https://www.howtogeek.com/760425/firefox-now-sends-your-address-bar-keystrokes-to-mozilla/

        All of those are opt-out of course. But Brave’s opt-in ads are unacceptable because of a false holier-tan-thou attitude? Give me a break, lol. I mean, use what you think is best for you, I am just saying that the obvious hypocrisy of Firefox users like you is stunning.

        PS: Dissenter is outdated, you’d rather have unfixed security vulnerabilities instead of never opting into Brave’s ads? OK…

      3. Nita Betch said on October 21, 2021 at 6:23 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        As I stated earlier, when Brave offers its browser as a clean install without all their marketing crap welded on, I’ll consider it as a viable install. Would love to

        I’ll go one further. Even if during this suggested clean browser’s post install or after updates, they offer a package/suite of BAT and whatever else to monetize/share with users, I’d use it on my systems and on those I install and support.

        Not offering a clean browser install with the opt-in offered as a separate entity after the install or when updating is truly a false, user centric, holier-tan-thou, hypocritical attitude.
        Give you a break?
        How about giving us all a break from your condescension and carnival barker-esque schilling for Brave?
        I just offered a privacy/choice respecting viable route/method for you to increase Brave’s market share.
        I’ll have not of your/Brave’s welded-on code in the first instance of installing the browser. Period!

      4. Iron Heart said on October 21, 2021 at 6:29 pm
        Reply

        @Nite Batch

        > How about giving us all a break from your condescension

        How about you stop being a hypocrite first?

        It is hypocritical to criticize these things in Brave while being a Firefox user. What part of this don’t you understand? Personally, I don’t care what you use.

        If you want to use hobby projects (because that is the only way a browser will not have features that grant some sort of funding to the parent company), look into Ungoogled Chromium or Bromite. Or Pale Moon. Especially Ungoogled Chromium and Pale Moon have limitations of their own, so good luck with that.

      5. Nita Betch said on October 21, 2021 at 6:51 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        Hypocritical for using Firefox? B.S.
        It’s about choices, just like voting for government in our times.
        It’s not about who is best anymore, it’s about who SUCKS the Least.
        And you sir, SUCK! Just your attitude alone should have people avoiding Brave in droves.

        Get your head out. I just offered an acceptable solution. Your best response was sophomoric name-calling, with zero discussion of the solution that was offered.
        ESAD.

      6. Iron Heart said on October 21, 2021 at 7:07 pm
        Reply

        @Nita Betch

        > Hypocritical for using Firefox? B.S.

        Hypocritical for criticizing some Brave monetization effort but not doing the same for Firefox. Textbook hypocrisy at its finest.

        > And you sir, SUCK! Just your attitude alone should have people avoiding Brave in droves.

        Yawn. Call me again when I am as morally bankrupt as this:

        https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/we-need-more-than-deplatforming/

      7. Nita Betch said on October 21, 2021 at 8:38 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart,
        It’s clear to anyone and everyone here that you’re copy-n-pasting your responses from some laundry list of gripes on other browsers and a list defenses of your browser preference, Brave.
        No conversation/discussion, just well worn reposts after reposts ad nauseum, so it is pointless to try to continue to reason with you. Done.

        So within the grand tradition of the original carnival barkers such as yourself, P.T Barnum, The Shakespeare of Advertising, “This Way to the Egress.”

      8. truth social said on October 22, 2021 at 4:06 pm
        Reply

        > It’s clear to anyone and everyone here that you’re copy-n-pasting your responses from some laundry list of gripes on other browsers and a list defenses of your browser preference, Brave.

        spamming and shilling should be banned, and iron heart is exactly that – a copypasta shilling spam machine of misinformation and hatred

      9. jack said on October 25, 2021 at 2:21 pm
        Reply

        > 90% of Mozilla’s income comes from Google, the biggest ad company in the world. Don’t be hypocritical.

        One is an owner. The other is a transaction between two separate entities. Please logic harder and contain your spamming nonsense. More thinking, less talking

      10. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 6:05 pm
        Reply

        @ULBoom
        Yep, Pale Moon has already killed off older legacy extensions for various reasons and maintain a blocklist for various others they just don’t deem to be “ethical” so they’re pretty much on a slippery slope now.

        I don’t see much difference between mainline Firefox and the ESR to be honest, it also has that same ridiculous UI that seems to be all the rage now. I’m just not a fan. We went from a UI that could easily be changed through various methods to a restricted browser the requires lines of code to change the smallest of thing that ultimately is still the same as it was before and far from what we were once able to do.

        Sea Monkey is on the other end of the scale completely and reminds me of Mozilla Browser back when firefox started as Phoenix. It’s just not the middle ground people are looking for.

        Mozilla is a complete and utter disaster right now. It’s a shambles and we have Mozilla to blame for this. We wouldn’t have need so many third parties developing forks if it wasn’t for Mozilla becoming what it is today (that’s no compliment either). They failed many many years ago when they were dragging their knuckles kicking and screaming into the 64bit generation and it just snowballed from there with one bad decision after another.

        Brave… I’ve been down that path before and it relies on chrome and its gimped interface (somewhat improving with tab management. Tested latest Chromium and experimental features), weak extensions and various other conflicts of interests.
        I have lost many tab sessions and due to poor addons those tabs were never recovered. I just couldn’t make a browser like that my main browser. The future seams bleak for any such chrome browser also IMO given their roadmap and business practices.
        Brave hasn’t exactly been free from controversy either.

        I will likely end up using Pale Moon and go back to the stone age chipping away at rocks waiting for someone to build an extension that existed 10 years ago that Pale Moon now doesn’t accept for some strange and confusing reason whilst hoping that the developers vision align with my own and just don’t implode like every other browser and can stand on its own two feet when the browser apocalypse happens.

        Idk, I’m just so burned out and tired of all of this nonsense.
        On the bright side its really nice to read so many neat replies and conversations to what is often a terribly sensitive subject.

        Btw this is a Pale Moon fork that someone is working on.
        https://git.nuegia.net/webbrowser.git/

      11. Iron Heart said on October 21, 2021 at 7:43 pm
        Reply

        @Mystique

        If tab management is such a big deal to you, then try out Vivaldi. It is significantly better in regards to that compared to other Chromium-based browsers. It is probably second best after Pale Moon + Tab Mix Plus.

        I don’t know what “controversy” you are alluding to re. Brave. What they have been accused of so far – mainly the referral thing and allegedly whitlisting Twitter and Facebook trackers – is proven nonsense.
        Every single browser uses referrals for search engines at least and it was never considered a problem, Brave used one for the officially partnered Binance website historically and was heavily reviled for it. Why, though? I don’t see the point really, a static referral is not, and has never been, a privacy issue, and earning income that way is preferable to them collecting and selling user data.

        The Facebook and Twitter fake news was never factually correct to begin with, Brave historically did some overzealous blocking that outright BROKE these websites, i.e. rendered them party non-functional, so they reversed this by whitelisting some select scripts after related complaints rolled in. uBlock Origin is not blocking those scripts by default either for much the same reason (avoid site breakage).

        I should not have to come out and correct this nonsense all the time because the same fake news is being spread over and over again. I hate for those lies to remain here (even if only alluded to in your case), so that is why I am replying, yet it is getting a bit tiresome by now. Get your facts straight before posting, PLEASE.

      12. Mystique said on October 22, 2021 at 7:18 am
        Reply

        I tried Vivaldi many times and did so a few months ago again perhaps on your recommendation and it fell short even with the little side project for tab management. I suppose I could wait for the experimental features of Chromium to make its way down the chain of third party browsers but that is only one small part of the problem, it just leaves watered down extensions, the looming threat of Manifest 3, the fact that you are siding with a monopoly. That’s just at the top of my head and that’s not to mention that they go out of their way to block certain extensions such as those that allow you to download from youtube. I imagine that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting their “interests”.
        It’s besides the point that I can get third party applications to download from youtube.

        I appreciate your input and am not attempting to be argumentative with you at all. I believe you and I have been over the entire Brave thing before. We spoke about the black screen thing too (which we moved on from) I stopped using Brave after losing tabs and the crash recovery being inferior in every single way (that’s not to say firefox is absolutely superb either now) and there appears to be absolutely no extension that compares to anything that was available to firefox in the past. (session manager)
        The extension repository is packed full of garage with charlatans trying to make money through dubious methods. It’s amazing how google can’t do anything about that but they can sure enough remove and filter out every youtube downloader or anything that goes against their manipulative and deceitful business practices. I also do not like the forced updating (I think we went over that too), I don’t mind being notified of updates perhaps but forcing updates is not something I like. Take this article and browser for example, if I were to update to Waterfox G4 I would be facing a lot of issues right now. Forced updates on browsers and Windows for that matter too is just not a great idea. I appreciate that there is a 1 in a trillion chance that in that small amount of time of a 0day threat I stumble upon that perfect website set up to screw me but its unlikely particularly if you harden your browser, maintain good security and are diligent in your practices.
        Not having an option at all (which I believe Waterfox offers to an extent) just sucks and the fact that the developer of Brave absolutely refuses to budge on this annoys me and makes me suspicious. Yes there are ways around it but jumping through lots of hoops is ridiculous and another reason why I hate Firefox today. Why all the headaches when you were once able to achieve this by ticking a box or installing an extension.

        I feel like you have been around a while now and used a fair few browsers in your time as I have so I do take your opinion on board. We may not always agree but I see where you are coming from in some ways.
        There are several people that do not agree with you and that is life. I am 100% sure there are people here that much more intelligent than I am, some of which are just lurkers and can probably also articulate themselves far better than myself regardless of what side of the discussion they are on but as it stands we all have our opinions on such things.
        I appreciate that you do try to help people in your own way and are currently on the Brave train and that’s cool for you. I wish I felt comfortable and had a browser where I am could use with absolute trust and happiness that I could just go about my day happily tweaking and refining to fit my needs as I please but for now there just isn’t a browser like that for me and probably for many others.

        I do take other peoples points on board and read up on things and often test for myself. Its perfectly fine to agree and disagree, for example I also have read articles on Digdeeper and whilst they do make some valid points I do not agree with all of them but do wonder what you think particularly on their opinion of Brave.

        To be honest I could care less about the entire Brave, facebook and twitter fiasco in fact it never entered my mind at all and I actually forgot about it altogether. Facebook is another scumbag company IMO.

      13. Mystique said on October 22, 2021 at 3:30 pm
        Reply

        Also you have to admit that none of this is a good look either.

        https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2021/10/20/22736142/brave-browser-search-engine-default-google-quant-duckduckgo-web-discovery-project

        Ad-free for now but eventually they will place ads in the search results unless you pay for the ad-free premium… I wonder how that figures into their proprietary adblocker and where does it end? Very google-esque if you ask me.

        Examples such as these is why I do not trust google. There is a conflict of interest.
        I’m not against monetization but its definitely not a good look. I don’t suppose this will be opt in at installation… no it will be flicked on by default… hmm who else foisted themselves upon society until they became the de-facto standard… hmm could it be google and who was it before that… hmm could it be Microsoft yep I think so.

        Being set by default is definitely not a good look either because you just know that your mass boneheaded audience is gonna eat it up like pappy on internet explorer installing google toolbar, like a shark to a bucket of chum.

        Admittedly people like you or me aren’t going to fall for this but you know exactly how this is gonna work and how it has been planned out.

        I’m also very concerned with this new trend of up and coming paid for search engines that are cropping up of late.

  4. Leland said on October 20, 2021 at 10:23 pm
    Reply

    For those looking for support for Firefox based browsers on older processors or Windows XP check out Roy Tam’s various browsers based on PaleMoon, Basilisk and more. Most run on XP or beyond with a special build based on Firefox 45 for Windows 2000. This includes the monthly updates for Basilisk 55 which as as close to Waterfox as you will find. I have been running this on an older machine for a few years now and it works great. You can find them at http://rtfreesoft.blogspot.com/search/label/browser

  5. common sense computing said on October 20, 2021 at 10:45 pm
    Reply

    Waterfox G3 and G4 has an API that provides support for rewritten versions of older extensions like Tabmixplus.

    https://github.com/onemen/TabMixPlus/releases

    It’s more private out-of-the-box with less things to disable, without the frequent breakage/inconveniences of LibreWolf’s defaults.

    Unfortunately the future of web browsers is pretty obvious at this point. Firefox is going to give in and swap from the Gecko engine to Chrome. Firefox will mandate Manifest 3 if it hasn’t already become a Chrome clone by then. Other chrome clones say they won’t implement Manifest 3, but Google will keep rolling on until Manifest 2 code can no longer function in up-to-date versions of Chrome.

    Firefox killed legacy extensions, and eventually killed the ability to easily patch security updates on older versions of Firefox. Chrome will follow the same pattern with Google killing Manifest 2 support.

    At that point, extensions won’t be able to effectively block ads and tracking in the way they used to. Users will have to use chrome clones with built-in ad block, external DNS based blocking, or use external programs like Adguard with HTTPS certificate filtering.

    1. Mystique said on October 21, 2021 at 8:07 am
      Reply

      @common sense computing

      Pretty much the way I see it.
      I do believe Pale Moon will then survive a little long than most given that it has its own engine but unless some serious support comes in and these third party developers band together and there is no future in them at all.

      What needs to happen is there needs to be a giant team that develops an open source engine or continues on the Goanna or Gecko engine as a base and then another group of developers can handle their own respective browser because there is no way such small teams can do both.

      I honestly do not know why everyone seems to support Google and their garbage given their direction and goals.

    2. ULBoom said on October 21, 2021 at 2:26 pm
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      IDK. Firefox exists because Google funds it, since it costs them essentially nothing, to head off any anti-competition law suits. MS did this with Apple 20 years ago, otherwise, it’s debatable whether Apple would exist at all today.

      If FF becomes a Chromium fork, Google loses their (small) buffer.

      I have no idea how this will shake out but without outside intervention, FF should have disappeared long ago.

  6. Ray said on October 21, 2021 at 1:05 am
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    If what I’m reading is correct, Waterfox G4 will be rebasing against whatever is the most current version of Firefox.

    If so, I’m wondering what will be the main differentiating factors for Waterfox vs. mainline Firefox now.

    1. Jody Thornton said on October 21, 2021 at 1:28 am
      Reply

      In time yes. They’ll start at ESR 91 and if update commits work fine, they will switch to release versions.

  7. owl said on October 21, 2021 at 1:31 am
    Reply

    Thanks for the timely article Ashwin.
    I have Waterfox installed on my PC and hadn’t noticed that I was on G4. “As I use “PatchMyPC” to manage updates as a routine task, I checked the current status and found that the upgrade from G3 to G4 was indeed completed.
    As per Ashwin’s article, Waterfox G4 looks pretty good.
    I have already changed Firefox’s ProtonUI to Lepton, so I don’t feel the newness of LeptonUI in Waterfox G4, but Waterfox G4, which requires no skills and has LeptonUI implemented by default, It will be welcomed by the majority of users.

    1. owl said on October 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm
      Reply

      I have tested Waterfox G4.0.0 and the implemented Lepton does not work as well as when applied to Firefox, for example, the Dark theme cannot be activated. Also, some AMO extensions do not function properly (especially the Tree Style Tab, which is essential for me, malfunctions). Browsing also blocks the connection with a series of errors.
      Waterfox 4th Generation Release | Waterfox
      https://www.waterfox.net/blog/waterfox-4th-gen/
      WaterfoxCo/Waterfox: The official Waterfox source code repository | GitHub
      https://github.com/WaterfoxCo/Waterfox
      I can’t even connect to

      Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) of Waterfox 4th Generation Release seems to be incomplete.
      In its current state, it is not usable.

      It is not up to the quality level of Firefox ESR, which I use regularly, or LibreWolf.
      I feel the immaturity of the derived browsers.

      1. owl said on October 21, 2021 at 12:56 pm
        Reply

        I currently have “Brave, Firefox (ESR, Developer Edition, Nightly), Tor Browser, Waterfox G3, Pale Moon, Basilisk, and LibreWolf” installed on my PC, and I use each of them in a timely manner to maintain and test my skills.
        My favorite regular browser is Firefox ESR, simply because it has the Enterprise Policy Engine, useful and reliable extensions developed and supported “exclusively” for Firefox, and other features that match my values and preferences.
        https://www.ghacks.net/2021/09/17/firefox-experiment-is-testing-bing-as-the-default-search-engine/#comment-4504030

        Examples of extensions that are developed and supported “only for Firefox”.
        # is a “full-featured” extension available only in Firefox (not available in Chromium due to API limitations), According to the developers, the reasons cited are “I don’t like chromium” or “it doesn’t implement a viable API”.
        CanvasBlocker
        # Cookie AutoDelet Cookie Quick Manager
        Copy All Tab Urls
        Copy Selected Tabs to Clipboard
        CopyTabTitleUrl
        Enterprise Policy Generator
        Extension source viewer
        Firefox Multi-Account Containers
        IndicateTLS
        Flagfox
        # LocalCDN
        Popup ALT Attribute
        Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy
        RSSPreview
        Smart Referer
        Tab Stash
        Temporary Containers
        Text Link
        Tree Style Tab
        # uBlock Origin

      2. owl said on October 21, 2021 at 1:29 pm
        Reply

        Some thoughts on the derived browsers.
        I feel that they have no small number of interesting “features”, but the biggest concern is the ability of “development support”.
        Naturally, it depends on the insight and skills of the developers (members), but what is a blind spot is their motivation (passion and persistence).
        There are many cases of the derived browsers have become “fade-out” in their activities, and before long, “the development team was dissolved and abandoned”.

        For example, the development support for the Iridium browser is currently handled by two people (Michael Kromer, lead developer, and Jan Engelhardt, collaborator).
        Iridium Secure Browser Project · GitHub
        https://github.com/iridium-browser
        It is already exhibiting an overflow of development support capacity, slow response to security updates from upstream, and scattered complaints from users.
        Issues (questions, requests, bug reports) have been left unanswered since August.
        https://github.com/iridium-browser/tracker/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aall+
        Members at the start
        https://netitwork.net/unternehmen/das-team/
        and the only one left is Michael Kromer (CEO).

        Chrome and Brave are the only Chromium browsers that provide rapid support for “discovered zero-day vulnerabilities”.
        Lamentably, “Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Ungoogled-Chromium, Iridium, etc.” This is very problematic because they do not properly handle security updates from upstream.
        In the opinion of security researchers, the truly secure Chromium browser has been determined to be “Google Chrome”, and “Brave”, but only “Brave” has been verified by third-party audits for legitimacy in terms of human rights violations (privacy).

        I’ve been keeping an eye on LibreWolf, which is a Firefox derivative browser.
        About LibreWolf’s “Settings”:
        https://gitlab.com/librewolf-community/settings/-/wikis/support

        However, for derivative browsers, my rule of thumb is “I can’t put all my faith in anything but Brave”.

      3. owl said on October 22, 2021 at 3:48 am
        Reply

        After that:
        In order to verify whether the trouble is caused by the extension, I tried to test it in Safe Mode using Troubleshoot Mode,
        But There was no progress on the browsing connectivity problems, shows “Software is Preventing Waterfox From Safely Connecting to This Site”.
        And no matter what (Advanced… etc.) nothing I try resolves it.
        Waterfox 4th Generation Release is completely and utterly useless.

        I should have commented this first, but as @v0n7hi22l3 pointed out,
        https://www.ghacks.net/2021/10/20/waterfox-g4-sse4-2-processor/#comment-4506833
        “After upgrading to G4, all extensions had been removed and bookmarks were erased.”
        In short, When upgrading from G3, everything is refreshed and goes to the initialized default state of a clean installation.
        I had to redo all the settings.
        What’s more, extensions and bookmarks need to be backed up by Export Settings and data before performing the upgrade.
        There can get a clone of their extensions and bookmarks with Sync (about:preferences#sync), but I constantly back them up locally and import them from there.

      4. owl said on October 22, 2021 at 10:22 am
        Reply

        About Waterfox 4th Generation Release:
        Version G4.0.0,
        I checked the program details and profile storage status in Troubleshooting Information (Menu > Help).
        User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/91.0 Waterfox/91.3.0
        Profile Folder: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox Limited\Waterfox\Profiles\Profile name.default-default
        The profile has been cleaned up, revamped,
        The previous Profile had been moved to Desktop.
        C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Old Waterfox Data

        If you have not backed up your bookmarks, you can restore them by copying and pasting from the backup file that exists in that “bookmarkbackups” folder. The procedure:
        From the Browser’s menu,
        Manage Bookmark (Ctrl+Shift+O) > Import and Backup > Restore > Select the files you want to recover.

        Extensions can also be migrated in the same way.

      5. owl said on October 22, 2021 at 11:35 am
        Reply

        The problem (issue) of Lepton implemented in Waterfox 4th Generation Release seems to be caused by a conflict with the extension “Tree Style Tab”.
        By disable Tree Style Tab and restarting the browser, Lepton normalized (worked the same as when applied to Firefox).
        Since Tree Style Tab does not conflict with Lepton in Firefox, it seems that Tree Style Tab cannot be used in Waterfox G4.0.0.
        The developer of Tree Style Tab have stated that “he will not support anything other than Firefox”.

        I added the extension “User-Agent Switcher and Manager” and tried to adjust the User-Agent, but the browsing error was not resolved.
        Further investigation revealed that this problem is caused by the Adguard Personal CA, a software on my computer or network.
        Users of the Adguard for Windows will need to make adjustments.

      6. owl said on October 23, 2021 at 2:56 pm
        Reply

        Just four days after the release of Waterfox G4.0.0, a minor update version of G4.0.1 was released.
        Release G4.0.1 | Waterfox
        https://www.waterfox.net/docs/releases/G4.0.1/

        I was able to confirm that the official support site (Issues Trucker) is very active.
        Issues: WaterfoxCo/Waterfox | GitHub
        https://github.com/WaterfoxCo/Waterfox/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aall+

        Alex Kontos, the head of Waterfox development, can be seen vigorously tackling the challenge.
        MrAlex94 (Alex Kontos) | GitHub
        https://github.com/MrAlex94
        Commits: WaterfoxCo/Waterfox | GitHub
        https://github.com/WaterfoxCo/Waterfox/commits?author=MrAlex94

        By the way,
        After applying the minor update G4.0.1, instead of the G4.0.0 folder (C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox Limited\Waterfox\), the previous folder (C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox Limited\Waterfox\) was restored, and the previous profile was overwritten and updated.
        Therefore, the legacy of the past (settings, bookmarks, extensions, etc.) has been inherited, and It’s been updated to G4.0.1.
        Tree Style Tab was also enabled, even so Lepton is functioning normally, and I can’t see any conflict failure. However, the Tree Style Tab does not change to Dark Background and Light Text. A “Bug” has already been registered at Issues: WaterfoxCo/Waterfox, so we can expect more progress in the future.

        However, the Waterfox 4th Generation profile will have two separate folders, “Waterfox Limited” and “Waterfox” (we may want to remove the folder “Waterfox Limited” as it will be practically unnecessary).

      7. owl said on October 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm
        Reply

        Correct as follows
        After applying the minor update G4.0.1, instead of the G4.0.0 folder (C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox Limited\Waterfox\), the previous folder (C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox\) was restored, and the previous profile was overwritten and updated.

      8. owl said on October 24, 2021 at 12:45 am
        Reply

        The “Lepton” implemented in Waterfox 4th Generation has been bothering some AMO extensions with a few bugs (not being able to darken the background), so I tried the method of applying “Lepton” to Firefox and finally got the “expected state” for all extensions.
        Therefore, in order to get the best performance from “Lepton”, it is best to add “Lepton” manually and select “Dark” as the theme (about:addons), instead of using the functions implemented in the browser.
        black7375/Firefox-UI-Fix: Lepton (old name: Proton Fix) | GitHub
        https://github.com/black7375/Firefox-UI-Fix

      9. owl said on October 24, 2021 at 1:12 am
        Reply

        Note,
        If you added “Lepton” manually, you will of course have to “add and apply that update manually”.
        The procedure is the same as when you added it, just copy and paste the required file (user.js) and folder (rename “Firefox-UI-Fix-master” to “chrome”) to overwrite it.

        “Lepton” is a very actively supported program, so updates (Releases) are frequently released. However, the program does not have an automatic update feature, so it is recommended that you set up Notifications on the official support site (https://github.com/black7375/Firefox-UI-Fix) so that you can be notified.

  8. Anonymous said on October 21, 2021 at 2:41 am
    Reply

    If you see the download page, Classic is no longer there. Classic was the only reason for me to use Waterfox.

    1. Mystique said on October 22, 2021 at 1:07 pm
      Reply

      @anonymous

      It’s there but its just a small hypertext link under the downloads table as “releases”. I believe the developer made it that way as he wants to discourage people from using it as it is outdated. It’s a precursor as to what may happen to Waterfox when Mozilla pulls the rug out from under them.

      1. Anonymous said on October 23, 2021 at 12:42 am
        Reply

        It was not there the last time I checked, maybe many people complained about it..

      2. Mystique said on October 30, 2021 at 7:42 pm
        Reply

        @Ascaris

        I agree with a lot of what you have said however I feel like it was pretty clear to me that google was the bad guy and chrome was not great. It was foisted upon people as PUP in a similar way to Bonzi Buddy if you remember that.
        Google was paying big for software developers to bundle their trash in their software installers all whilst piggybacking itself on to the largest and worst browser IE.
        You were all played for fools from the very start.
        Chrome was not great from the start and its still not that great. It’s taken them up until now to get some sort of better tab management and as far as I can see its just an experimental feature last I checked.
        Brave was kinda interesting when it was using the gecko engine and was based upon that but then they flipped and went the chrome path. I kinda feel like that could meant something in this war but I can’t blame the the Brave team for turning to Chrome, after all they totally threw that guy out for rather silly reasons but hey… yeah cancel culture right.

        I had always hoped that the former developers all banded together and began work on a proper Firefox fork but that was just a lofty dream on my behalf. I know Mozilla have turfed a lot of talented developers over the years so its completely possible that something pretty amazing could have happened in that space but sadly not.

        We have Pale Moon but that’s about it. It doesn’t appear to be too inviting to developers from what I can tell and I am struggling to see their vision anymore but I still wish them all the very best in their pursuits.

        What is needed is a big movement, a gathering of like minded developers with great skills and work ethic to lead a revolution. An open source browser built from the ground up or based of firefox to appeal to users at large. Right now we are all just putting up with what we have but we know none of them are great. If anyone is old enough to remember the old Firefox days and the community spirit and vibe will know what I am talking about.

        There does not appear to be any sort of control over standards anymore, its just something that is dictated by what the currant top browser pushes and that is about it.

        Firefox is lost these days. The webextension system is trash! It’s basically just one step above what chrome offers where as in the past firefox was leaps and bounds ahead in terms of what it offered.
        This failed webextension system is still basically as weak as when it was conceived. Mozilla tried to pass it off as some powerful thing that was going to be revolutionary and that in time it will be as powerful or more powerful than the system at the time but look at it now.
        You can put icing on a turd but it doesn’t make it a cake. I’m sorry Mozilla but you’re in the gutter now and you’re dragging down the morale of your fragile userbase and the talented developers that have come through those doors.
        Pull yourself together!
        I don’t even mind if the marketshare wasn’t stacked in Firefox’s favor as l would prefer Mozilla to be the underdog as long as the margins weren’t so far apart and Firefox were a good browser like it once was. Let Chrome sit on the top by a small margin that way its easier to tell how bad it actually is and who really is the bad guy.

        I honestly do not understand why we had to sacrifice so much for so little return when it came to Firefox’s evolutionary step that landed us in the shit.

  9. How many % said on October 21, 2021 at 6:32 am
    Reply

    Dear Ashwin,

    please be kind add a link to the post claiming the improvement, for instance amend the article and make the word “W E B S I T E” in the very beginning of this article (see text snippet below) a clickable link that takes the reader directly to the blog post that discuss the improvement, that would bring the journalistic level up on par with what could be the least expected for a quality article.

    “Waterfox has been updated to version G4, and brings some important changes. An announcement on the developer’s W E B S I T E says that the browser has been heavily optimized for best performance.”

    Also, I would like to know some figures how much does the speed improve, does anyone know it, or is the missing piece of information in the announcement to which there is no link as of now, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  10. Tony said on October 21, 2021 at 12:30 pm
    Reply

    Works great and it has Lepton dark and light themes,so i don’t have to look at that crappy Proton design.Telemetry is turned off.But default.browser.agent was set to true.Not sure how i feel about that.

  11. Anonymous said on October 21, 2021 at 2:47 pm
    Reply

    The developer had promised to keep support for classic add-ons forever if I remember well, but he has been slowly killing Classic for some time already. Anyway the battle to keep them is lost because the main stake would have been to have developers still create classic add-ons, which did not happen, the critical mass of users was never reached for that. That’s another reason why it’s important to use ethical browsers, if you don’t do it for yourself only, consider that collectively we are stronger against the surveillance dystopia.

    But Mozilla switching to Google’s restricted webextension system (to please Google from which it receives hundreds of millions of dollars every year) was only a first step in destroying extensions (especially adblockers) to attack user rights for the benefit of surveillance capitalism. We know that they genocided extensions much more violently on Android after that without even trying to find a credible excuse for that, keeping only a tiny whitelist. Numerous other attacks of a lower intensity, but always anti-user ones, were done against extensions by them over the years.

    Now that Google has with the complicity of its Mozilla “competitor” the monopoly on the extension system, it can enforce further restrictions of adblockers, like with manifest v3. Mozilla admitted that contrary to the lies of the press and sites like ghacks, they will kill the blocking webrequest like Google.

    So one of the next battles will be, who will keep it, if not Firefox ? And there again the main stake will be to reach the critical mass of users to have developers still develop real adblockers that will work with ethical forks of Firefox (and maybe of Chromium) instead of surrendering. In fact, to have Raymond Hill or a forker still develop an unrestricted ublock origin for ethical browser forks. He had announced that he would stop developing it for Chrome after manifest v3 because he did not want it to be less than what he wanted to be. Unfortunately I do not have much hope that he will keep this defiant stance when he realizes that Mozilla had abused everybody on that question too and will neuter his blocker like Google. Thank you Mozilla again, you are playing your role perfectly for Google.

    I don’t have much hope either that Waterfox Current will keep the blocking webrequest, the developer is really only doing the minimal service now. He never had the intention of becoming a champion of digital rights against big tech, but nevertheless occupying de facto such a position considering the lack of alternatives was sufficient for him to attract considerable abuse from *unidentified sources* as he explains on his blog:

    https://www.waterfox.net/blog#harassment

    “Throughout the years – even from when Waterfox first started – I have received abuse for Waterfox. Accusations, lies and bullying – what for, I’m not quite sure. So many outlandish claims, I’m so lucky to have had my parents and friends to help me through the rough times. I mean they were rough – it’s so twisted to see how people get online, forgetting that there’s a person who’s putting their heart and soul into something (and it has been just me for almost 9 years). Not only that, but I wasn’t doing anything with Waterfox except developing it and making some money via search. Why I kept going throughout the years, I’ll never know.”

    That’s the beautiful world of “free software” as envisaged by Mozilla Corporation and its Big Brother revenue sources. You are legally free to remove some of the malware out of our software. That doesn’t mean that we are not going to make you pay for that. The worst being that this surveillance mafia describes itself as being the “good guys”. Despicable.

  12. v0n7hi22l3 said on October 22, 2021 at 12:39 am
    Reply

    After upgrading to G4, all extensions had been removed and bookmarks were erased.
    Going to the Mozilla add-ons pages for NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, and uBlock Origin, Mozilla throws up 2 text boxes. “This extension works in Firefox” , “Download Firefox” and underneath in small text “Download file”. I used “Download file”. All extensions have installed fine and seem to be working.Bookmarks were restored from a back-up JSON file. Good to go. I decided to not reinstall my profile back-up in the event that they have changed something in that system. I would strongly suggest that users of Linux Mint 20.2 and perhaps all Linux distros, back-up their bookmarks before upgrading.

  13. hawkeye116477 said on October 22, 2021 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    „promised to keep support for classic add-ons forever”

    I don’t remember that. He said that it will provide support for it as long as it will be possible.

    Developer of Pale Moon/Basilisk only said that will be forever…

  14. Ascaris said on October 29, 2021 at 2:51 pm
    Reply

    Alex is not the bad guy for throwing in the towel on Waterfox Classic. Its demise has been a foregone conclusion from the moment it was conceived, and it’s coming to pass. It is a browser stuck in time, forever at version 56. Backporting the security updates from Mozilla was a relatively straightforward task when the current version of Firefox was still mostly the same as Firefox 56, but the more that time passed, the more the two code bases diverged, making the backporting of some of the security updates a very involved process, if not completely impossible without trying to reimplement the bits of Firefox they are based on, which is way beyond the scope of what even the System1 Waterfox dev team can handle.

    I was a devoted user of Waterfox Classic (from before the time that there was any other form of Waterfox), but I abandoned it some time ago as more and more sites quit working with it. This went beyond simple useragent changes… the sites in question would not work with any useragent strings I tried with WF Classic. It was becoming more and more out of date as the web world moved on and it stayed in one place. I’d have stayed in that place too if it was viable.

    Mozilla has been its own worst enemy for years. In the early days, Microsoft’s IE was the bad guy. It was closed source and notoriously non-compliant with web standards, by design. Mozilla was the first to mount a serious challenge to Microsoft’s dominance after Microsoft used unfair and illegal trade practices to destroy Netscape, for which it was given a tiny little slap on the wrist. It looked like Firefox was going to be the #1 browser in time; IE had fallen from 95% market share to something like 63%, and Firefox had grown to about 32%. Sure, IE was still way ahead, but its market share was falling fast, and Firefox was surging.

    And then Chrome hit the scene in a big way. At first, they seemed like fellow good guys… Chrome was mostly Chromium, open source and standards compliant, and any ally in defeating the goliath trying to dominate the web seemed like a good thing. But Chrome didn’t just pull users away from the “dead man walking” IE… it pulled them from Firefox too, and Firefox began a market share death spiral that continues to this day.

    Right at the moment when Firefox’s victory seemed assured, it was dealt a defeat by its fellow ally in vanquishing IE… an ally that would before long become the new corporate goliath trying to dominate the web. Mozilla lost its mojo, and it never got it back.

    The same Mozilla that did battle with IE by daring to make a better browser with better features abandoned that winning strategy in favor of trying to lop off everything that Chrome didn’t have. Firefox never would have knocked IE off its monopoly (32% is enough to make it impossible for website owners to ignore it) if it had pursued a strategy of “it’s just like IE, only not from that huge megacorporation.” People need a real, personal reason to move, and not feeding the beast isn’t good enough. There has to be a real, visible, near-term benefit for people to switch from something they are familiar with.

    Firefox forgot all of that the moment that the foe shifted from Microsoft to Google. They never acted as if they understood that Google was the bad guy. Maybe even then it was because they were too dependent on Google for their own funding. Whatever it was, though, does not change that Mozilla has engineered the decline in their market share from ~32% to 4% (and still falling). They’ve faffed around, changing their logo, changing their UI (three times), given their CEO massive pay raises even as she presided over the ongoing disaster, ousting a CEO for having political views they didn’t like and otherwise making political statements that are way outside of their role as browser developer, but they never did anything to make Firefox better in any way than Chrome. They did just the opposite, removing every single thing that was superior about Firefox, cutting off one valuable feature after another, for years and years, and even as their market share continued downward, they just kept cutting things off, hoping that eventually they would have cut off enough that made Firefox special to make those people who thought Chrome was the perfect browser come flooding in.

    It should have been obvious that the flood would never come. No matter how much Firefox came to resemble Chrome, it would never resemble it as much as actual Chrome. And even if it was a perfect copy, it still would not be enough to convince Chrome users that it was worth the hassle of migration. Even if that migration was relatively easy by virtue of how similar the browsers were, it would still take more than literal zero effort, which was the effort it required to keep using Chrome.

    So now here we are, in 2021, and the browser landscape looks worse than it ever has, as far as I am concerned. Worse than in the early 2000s when IE had nearly all the market share. Back then we had Mozilla, a truly independent and unafraid challenger that dared to show the world what a better browser looked like. We also had Opera, which at the time used its own Presto engine, unlike the current iteration of Opera, which is just another Chromium derivative.

    Now we (outside of the Apple box) have Firefox that is so limited in market share that web devs often don’t bother to test their sites with it, and that is so submissive to Google that it’s useless as a real competitor. That and Chromium itself. I’ve tried every Chromium derivative I could find, and IMO they all stink on ice. Vivaldi is the one that comes closest to being decent, but despite its plethora of options, it is still tied to that awful Chromium base. Every time I tire of Mozilla’s apparent hatred for its own users, I try to make the move to Vivaldi, only to be so annoyed by Chromium that I run back to Firefox.

    In my use, Firefox is hanging by the thinnest of threads. It is a certainty that the thread will be cut, probably much sooner than later, and it is just as certain that the Mozilla devs themselves will be the ones holding the scissors. Sometimes I wonder if they even want to be in the browser development business anymore, and are trying to destroy Firefox so they can move on to something else. It doesn’t really make any sense, as they’re presumably not indentured servants who have no option to simply quit, but I can’t think of a better explanation for why Mozilla seems to be working so hard to destroy Firefox once and for all.

    I am glad that Waterfox is out here to try to undo some of the bad decisions Mozilla has made. They have made so many of them that it’s impossible for a small developer to keep up. Unless a Firefox fork would attract enough developers to be able to work on the backend stuff directly and not to simply rely on those changes from upstream, it simply isn’t within the scope of what can be done. If Firefox fails, so do all of its derivatives.

    There are no decent browsers available anymore. There are only those that are bad, and those that are worse. Firefox used to be more than just decent. IE never was, and I would guess Chrome never was (I only tried a Chromium derived browser for the first time at the time that Firefox made the Quantum leap backwards, so I have no idea how it was before that, but it’s been awful ever since then. I’ve never actually used Chrome proper). Safari is irrelevant to me, as it lacks a Linux version. It’s all mediocrity, all the time now.

    Google is worse than Microsoft ever was, and Microsoft is terrible.

  15. stan said on November 10, 2021 at 11:54 am
    Reply

    Updated to the vile ‘Proton’ style the professional morons at Firefox introduced, blocky, clunky, sluggish, dumbed down tabletized Waterfox is now also UNUSABLE on DESKTOP!! this browser will also die – and deservedly so.

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