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Mozilla CEO: Edge's Chromium switch hands over control of 'even more' online life to Google

By Polycount · 20 replies
Dec 7, 2018
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  1. When Microsoft announced that its Edge browser would be revamped using Chromium, the internet's response was generally quite positive. Edge is far from the worst browser on the planet, but it's certainly not what we'd call a fan favorite. As such, even the slightest indication that it could be changed significantly would have been welcome news for many.

    However, it would seem that "many" doesn't include one individual in particular: Mozilla CEO Chris Beard. In a blog post published today, titled "Goodbye, EdgeHTML," Beard expressed his frustrations with Microsoft's decision.

    "By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google," Beard writes in the post. "This may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. The “browser engines” — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozilla — are “inside baseball” pieces of software that actually determine a great deal of what each of us can do online."

    Beard's concerns aren't unwarranted. While Chromium will almost certainly be a step up for Edge in terms of simplicity, convenience, and potentially even speed, it does hand over more of the browser tech pie to Google - a company that already has a commanding lead in the market.

    "...If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium."

    In short, Beard is worried that Microsoft's decision will push Google even closer towards absolute dominance regarding web content.

    The CEO's fears aren't based on idealism alone. "Will Microsoft’s decision make it harder for Firefox to prosper? It could," Beard speculates. "...If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium."

    We'll let you decide for yourselves how to feel about Beard's claims -- you can read his full blog post here -- but for now, he's certainly raised a few interesting points that many probably didn't think of during their initial burst of excitement about a Chromium-powered Edge.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,825   +2,672

    LOL!! Why is he concerned? This is one of the morons that decided to throw existing Firefox devs and users to the wolves by ordering Firefox be rewritten to support WebAPI which is exactly what CHROMIUM EXTENSIONS USE. Nearly all of the truly unique FF addons are now broken thanks to Mozilla's slavish desire to copy Google. In every way that matters FF is now a clone of Chrome - they already handed Google their market share on a silver platter!
    Reehahs, Theinsanegamer and BSim500 like this.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    Have you tried FF Quantum? It's nothing like chrome. Thank god for that as well with google forcing it's "rounded edges" design overhaul on everything, ugly AF.
  4. Plutoisaplanet

    Plutoisaplanet TS Booster Posts: 110   +84

    A big reason Mozilla wouldn’t be for this is it allows Google to make decisions about the direction of the web for business purposes. That means Google could do things like not choose to adopt a standard of HTML or add something non-standard to force it on the web (as opposed to keeping an open platform).

    Why do you think Mozilla started anyways? To protect the web against IE pushing the web in its own direction, which hurt the web. Thankfully Mozilla is working hard on some new graphics technologies that could blow Chrome out of the water in terms of speed/hardware acceleration... It’ll really turn some heads in the next 6 months.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  5. Nestea

    Nestea TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Have *you* tried firefox? Firefox is Chrome 1:1. They even adopted the same Options layout even supporting the same shitty extensions. There are no good extension developers left anymore. But they jumped ship even before Quantum.
    Theinsanegamer and tomkaten like this.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    You should probably check to make sure what you say is true before saying it.


    Clearly the options menus are not the same.

    Yeah Firefox is Chrome 1:1 you say yet they look different, have different features, and run on completely different engines. Why don't you read up or try the browsers first before spreading misinformation.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  7. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 258   +172

    The Ice Tea guy is right :)

    Firefox is just a Chrome clone now, only with worse HTML5 compliance and slower overall. No real reason to use it, abandoning their old addon APIs and their ability to truly modify browser behavior has just killed it for most of us. Hell, after so many years Chrome addon devs are unable to come up with a true download accelerator extension. Downthemall for Chrome ? Not gonna happen.

    At least Edge had the best HW acceleration for video playback. Ironically, it was the smoothest when playing YouTube videos, and I'm talking about the 8K 60 FPS ones, not your regular 1080p.
    Theinsanegamer and Nestea like this.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    You didn't read the last post at all did you? I've already proven that it isn't a clone, not that it's hard to do given the dozens of articles showing the difference between the browsers. It being "slower overall' is a subjective statement given that both browsers trade blows in benchmarks. Firefox may have slightly lower HTML5 compliance but it also has higher CSS3 compliance.

    "I tested browser compatibility with the HTML5 and CSS3 tests. Both tests measure which features the browsers recognize, but not whether they implement them correctly. On the HTML5 test, Chrome did well, scoring 519, while Firefox scored 471. On the CSS3 test, the top browser was Firefox at 65 percent, followed by Chrome at 55 percent. On both tests, Edge did relatively poorly, scoring 460 and 47 percent respectively."'


    To be honest I fail to see the point of cherry picking random results unless you truly were not aware of the overall picture.

    All this comes back to my main point. The engine is completely different, it looks different, and the feature set is difference. You can enjoy Chrome being better in your subjective opinion but that does not change the facts. I will enjoy not being data mined by google and that's a fact.
  9. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 626   +1,259

    It's not a 1:1 clone but they did lose a lot of users when they started dumbing down to try and be "just like Chrome" thus giving people zero reason to not use Chrome. From the childish "version number rat race" (when FF went from 4.0 to 30.0 in barely months) to endless dumbing down, eg, removal of advanced fine-grained Javscript controls (remember this?), post FF57 extension breakage, that unwanted UI change (not the recent Quantum one but the one before during the time when FF was a lot slower than Chrome). "Power users" typically associated with Firefox weren't just a few geeks but rather included a large middle ground who wanted something more flexible than Chrome but were frustrated Mozilla kept picking the wrong fights at the wrong times.

    We definitely need a stronger & more popular Firefox, but at certain points over the past few years they've been their own worst enemy resulting in a user-base loss that could have easily been avoided under better management. As for MS, concerns about Google having a monopoly are valid but then it's not like MS has a great history of supporting open standards either (remember "accidentally on purpose" IE6 web development hell, or pushing ActiveX vs Javascript as part of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"?)

    Personally, I mostly use Firefox Quantum, but the Chromium-based browser that's impressed me the most recently has been Vivaldi whose devs have been adding power user / customization options that "old-school Firefox / Opera" used to have but Chrome & Firefox have been gradually removing in their endless dumbing down rat-race. To give an example here's what Firefox's Tab Options looks like (link) and here's Vivaldi's (link).
  10. DreamsRequiem

    DreamsRequiem TS Rookie

    I jumped ship to Brave after FF screwed the pooch with Quantum. They went from a browser for the niche user base of power users to an attempt for mass appeal. When they did that, they lost their niche without giving any mass market users any real reason to switch other than a speed edge measured in milliseconds.

    What’s worse, they knew that their user base didn’t want Quantum, and didn’t listen to what their base was telling them. Due to that, even if I wanted to go back, I still wouldn’t reward them by reinstalling it on my PC. I’d go for Waterfox or Pale Moon.
    Nestea likes this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,572   +2,055

    "their user base didn't want quantum" - This is the ultimate BS troll post. Multithreading has been the no.1 most asked feature for Firefox for years.

    Nobody cares that you don't want to use what is objectively a better product than before. Quantum has been universally praised as being a step in the right direction. All reviews at launch said that it looks better and performs better than Chrome, reddit was full of people saying that they switched to Quantum and youtube was full of videos showcasing just how much better it was than before.

    Anyone who says that FF Quantum is a Chrome clone has not done any serious web development in their life. Otherwise they would have known just how differently they can work sometimes (css quirks, performance quirks, etc). As for the look, while it features a minimalistic design like Chrome, it is very different and the customisation is on an entirely different level.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    Can you name specifics of what firefox is doing that doesn't feel like "comfort" to you?

    I really don't get the memory footprint thing either. I've got the standard 16GB of ram and I've had over 300 tabs open before with no slowdowns. If I have that many open in chrome it definitely starts lagging.

    And once again, Firefox Quantum looks different, has different features, different policies, and different defaults (as in tracking preferences and such).

    It doesn't really matter which way they go, people are going to complain.

    Yeah, they definitely had made some poor choices. Hopefully they do not make those same mistakes again and continue what has been pretty good for them lately.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 132   +94

    What's that got to do with anything? Multiprocess (e10s) FF was available long before Quantum was introduced. Quantum had two main features... the loss of the powerful addons that have defined Firefox from the start and the new UI.

    No one cares that someone has an opinion that FF is worse now, yet you counter it by saying that lots of people had opinions that said it was better? So opinions matter, but only if they're the ones that match yours? It's not objectively a better product if what constitutes "better" is subjective. I find FF Quantum to be far worse than pre-Quantum Firefox, which is why I moved to Waterfox in the months approaching the release of Quantum.

    I don't know if you've done any testing beyond watching Youtube videos, but Firefox Quantum doesn't even come close to Chromium in performance now. Using the same SpeeDOMeter 2.0 test that Mozilla did to make their "twice as fast" claim, I got a score of 60.6 on my desktop PC with FF 63, no addons, and default settings in a fresh profile. Using Slimjet, a Chromium 68-based browser, I got 90.3. It's not even close.

    Waterfox 56.2.4, based on FF 56 but with security fixes backported, scored 55.6, which is pretty indistinguishable from FF 63 in day to day use. Losing all of the powerful addons in favor of the much weaker Chrome-type addons for less than 10% more performance? Not a good trade-off from where I stand. If I only wanted speed and Chrome-style addons, any Chromium-based browser will blow Quantum away.

    Meanwhile, Waterfox works just fine with my legacy addons that cannot be ported to Webextensions along with those that have been, and I am using multiprocess (I think I have it at 8 content processes now) as I have been for a long time prior to the release of Quantum.

    All of those people who said they were moving back to FF because of Quantum must have been offset by those of us who left FF because of Quantum, because Firefox's market share numbers continue to plummet at the same rate they were before Quantum. With as few users as Firefox now has, they had better begin caring about the opinions of their users, assuming they want to keep developing Firefox into the future. Maybe they don't... it would certainly provide a much-needed answer as to why they are going in the self-destructive direction they have been for the last few years.

    Probably true. Most people are not web developers and don't particularly care about the quirks of any given browser. It uses a completely different rendering engine under the hood, so there are bound to be differences, even if the browsers are all supposed to be standards compliant.

    What's evident to non-devs is that for years, Mozilla has been trying to turn Firefox into Chrome to the greatest degree possible, copying every possible thing about it and modifying Firefox to match. From the inane adoption of the Chrome-like version system and its rapid releases to the Australis UI to the current abandonment of XUL addons in favor of Chrome-type addons, it seems that Mozilla does nothing unless it makes Firefox more like Chrome. If there are things it does differently, it just means that Mozilla hasn't gotten around to changing those things yet.

    Time and time again, I've noticed some new version of FF has abandoned yet another feature I liked, and the inevitable reason when I looked it up to see "why" was "Chrome does it that way." To me, that's a reason not to do "it" (for a given value of "it") that way. People who like how Chrome does things can use Chrome, or any one of a ton of browsers based on Chrome if they are concerned about Google spying. Competing with Chrome by being a "me too" Chrome copy hasn't worked at all since Firefox adopted the strategy, and during that time, we've seen Firefox drop from ~30% market share to under 10%... and the only thing Mozilla thinks to do is redouble their efforts to cut off everything unique and different about Firefox.
    Nestea likes this.
  14. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,572   +2,055

    A long comment that shows that you know nothing about FF, from what e10s is or why they abandoned the old addon system. You've been living under a rock or are intentionally trowing misinformation.

    1st e10s, aka electrosys, was just a small part of an effort to add multithreading to FF. The quantum release took that to a greater level for the compositor, DOM, css, rederer, etc. e10s was just a beta feature that was enabled by default in 2H 2017.
    2nd they were forced to abandon the old plugins because it was way too broken and insecure. the security issues were so large that even "official" plugins were "problematic". it was a huge baggage that was taking time from proper development.
    3rd there are plenty of performance tests and reviews online. you giving one random number means nothing when it is pretty clear that FF trades blows with Chrome in multiple benchmarks and page loading tests.
    4th Mozilla's financial problems are not the topic of the discussion
    5th FF is losing users because of their more lackluster mobile browser while Chrome is pretty much the default one there. Chrome's growth is consistent with mobile usage growth.
    6th the looks are very different and the UX can't even be compared.

    If you want to use waterfox then go ahead, nobody is stopping you, but dude... wtf? nobody writes novels for something they don't care. you have some serious issues, going as far as weaving lies and half baked truths just to sound more convincing. you are on a tech website, people will fact check what you say when you argue this hard.
    ghostf1re and cliffordcooley like this.
  15. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 132   +94

    I know what they claimed regarding abandoning the addons that have been the defining feature of Firefox from the very start. I offered an opinion as to why they really did it. This may shock you, but opinions that differ from yours aren't "misinformation," and ad hominems accusing people of living under a rock don't help your cause.

    Pale Moon does multithreading via compiler options. It doesn't do multiprocess, which is a more involved change that has been a large push for a long time in Firefox, and is too big to backport. Firefox didn't just appear one day as Quantum with all this neat stuff in it-- it was added over the course of months and years prior to the release of 57, and the difference from 56 is pretty minimal other than the UI change and the disabled legacy addons.

    If you have to abandon the defining feature of a product to achieve such an "improvement," it's what would be called "throwing out the baby with the bathwater." There was not some sudden change after nearly two decades of Mozilla/Firefox development that suddenly made the existing addon system untenable. They simply decided that their own desires were more important than those of their users, and arrogantly made another decision to be just like Chrome, continuing a pattern that has been in evidence since they first went to the ridiculous rapid update model.

    Is a lot more than you provided. "Plenty of performance tests and reviews" is a fallacy known as a proof surrogate. I provided factual numbers; you gave a fallacy.

    I don't see any numbers to back that up. I don't much care what Firefox was like vs. Chrome a year ago... right now, using the same test Mozilla chose to declare Firefox "twice as fast" as it had been six months prior, Chrome is more than 50% faster. Unlike your proof surrogate, that is fact.

    Neither are the mating habits of sea turtles. Your point?

    You're moving the goalpost. You commented that a lot of people said they'd be moving back to Firefox because of this change, and I countered that by noting that Firefox's downward spiral has continued unabated since Quantum. Now you're changing the argument, making a wild guess that Chrome is ahead because of mobiles, which (a) [Citation needed] and (2) is irrelevant. Regardless of the cause of the decline, Mozilla has been trying to turn around the plummeting market share for years, and at the same time they've done everything they can to copy Chrome. It hasn't worked, yet they persist in doing the same thing and hoping for a different result.

    Of course they can be compared. You admitted before that they both shared a minimalist design. Well, minimalist design has always been the hallmark of Chrome. It hasn't been the traditional look of Firefox, but Firefox got it anyway with Australis, which looks very much like Chrome, and has been the default look of Firefox for many years. You're attempting to move the goalposts again.

    For something they don't care?

    Who said I don't care? If Mozilla succeeds in killing Firefox, Waterfox dies with it, and there will be no decent browsers at all available for Linux or Windows. Yeah, you bet I care about that.

    Ad hominem has no place here.

    No, I presented facts and opinion as what they are. My opinions are just as valid as anyone else's, and the things I presented as fact are, in fact, factual.

    Very true. You are experiencing that very phenomenon right now!

    You haven't managed to refute a thing I wrote, but you did try to move the goalposts several times, make several ad hominem attacks, present an irrelevant wild guess as fact, and provide a fallacious proof surrogate. Why do you feel the need to belittle people who disagree with you and accuse them of having issues for wanting to have tech discussions on a tech site? I'm not doing that, and neither was the other person you accused of writing an "ultimate BS troll post" in yet another ad hominem attack.
  16. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,572   +2,055

    tl;dr you want me to put links here instead of you taking 2 minutes to google. no wonder you can't make a proper argument without everything being about your "feelings" and "opinion". but instead of talking as if its your opinion you are talking in absolute terms, something which is very easy to disprove with facts.

    "I provided factual numbers; you gave a fallacy." - you gave 1 number taken out of context and with no other tests being done.
    I don't pander to lazy people, google yourself the benchmarks instead of just talking.
    if you don't want older tests then here, a simple one but it's only a few days old: https://www.digitaltrends.com/compu...rer-vs-chrome-vs-firefox-vs-safari-vs-edge/2/
    it's enough. the rest you can search for yourself. not just benchmarks but youtube comparisons of page load times, etc.

    tl;dr the 2 browsers trade blows in different tests.
  17. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 132   +94

    I provided hard data. It's your burden to refute that assertion, not mine to refute a fallacious proof surrogate. That's not how debate works.

    Now you've provided a link to something. Something that still says that Chrome is better, btw, but at least it's something.

    Please illustrate where I mentioned everything being about my feelings.

    As for opinion, it's the pot calling the kettle black here. You've posted just as much opinion as I have.

    So why haven't you done so?

    It was in context. It was a test I performed and I reported all the pertinent data of a test run on three browsers on the same PC with default settings. It showed that Chromium was far faster than Firefox in the very test Mozilla used to define Firefox as "twice as fast" as it was before.

    I performed tests on three browsers, including one I installed just to test it. You provided no data at all, not even a link, until now... who's lazy again?

    Objection, your honor; hearsay. <wink>

    Now who is lazy? Do the tests yourself if you want to personally vouch for their veracity. I'm debating you, not some dude on Youtube (if I were, I'd be on Youtube doing it).

    Okay, so now that you've provided a link to someone else's work, whereas I (lazy as I am) only performed a trio of tests myself, using the same benchmark chosen by Mozilla to demonstrate how fast Quantum is in comparison to older Firefox. You've shown that someone else wrote an article about browser performance that concludes that Chrome is still better but Firefox is a close second (and that Firefox was ahead in some tests, like their Kraken). It reaches the same conclusion that I did based on my one test, and that's that Chromium is still faster. Yes, you've shown that in at least one test, Firefox is faster, but the very source you cite for that says that overall, Chrome still wins in performance, which was the same point I was making.

    That bit still doesn't demonstrate anything about what we were actually debating, though, which was whether or not Firefox has been attempting to copy Chrome in every way possible. Along with a bunch of insults about the level of knowledge, mental stability, honesty, etc., about anyone who happens to disagree with you, of course. So if we can get back to the actual topic...

    Here's my point of view. I've never used any browser seriously (as a day to day browser) other than Netscape and its progeny. I started with Navigator in the Windows 3.1 days, and while I did try the first IE version to come with Windows 95 OSR2, I didn't care for it, and stayed with Netscape. I used various versions of Netscape right up until that point where Microsoft killed it off, and I moved to Mozilla Suite. From there, I went to Firefox, which I used consistently until Quantum was announced, at which time I moved to a Firefox fork, one that still depends on Mozilla for its survival.

    The Firefox forks like Pale Moon, Basilisk, Waterfox, et al, are too small to be able to take over if Mozilla goes away. They all backport Mozilla's fixes to their own forked code bases, which can be a lot of work as the FF code base moves away from the more static forks, but is still far less work than developing those fixes in the first place. Firefox has slipped below the moribund Internet Explorer in market share on the desktop market... how much longer can this continue? This is not something I don't care about, as you had said.

    Firefox used to have one big advantage that Chrome does not, and that was that it could use addons that effectively became part of the program itself. This is why the Chrome-like UI of Australis didn't bother me for long... while it repulsed me the moment I first saw it, I was able to learn about and make use of "Classic Theme Restorer" that same day, and I had Firefox looking like Firefox again. Chrome can't match that, and neither can Firefox anymore.

    Of course, that kind of power has security implications, and it's certainly something that users of such addons had to be concerned about. For me, it was a worthwhile trade-off... I could have gone to Chromium if I wanted the best in class security and speed. Even when Firefox was supposedly dog-slow, I used nothing else, and it was because of the addons that made the browser do what I wanted it to rather than what some corporation wanted it to do.

    The potent addons were something that no other browser had... the one thing that Chrome could not do. Mozilla threw that away with the Quantum release, and they implied that it was necessary to get all of that speed that Quantum now had. They pitched Quantum as if the speed of v57 (the first Quantum release) was a brand new thing as of that release, and a lot of people bought into the idea that they were trading the addon utility for speed. That wasn't really true, though-- Waterfox, based on FF 56, could/can still use the "legacy" addons, and it was almost as fast as Quantum (about 8% slower in SpeeDOMeter 2.0) at the release of Quantum, and a year later, it's still almost as fast. Yes, using only one benchmark, but it is the same one Mozilla chose to showcase all that speed they'd added in the six months preceding the release of Quantum, which is why I used that one for my own tests.

    Now that they've cut off the one truly unique feature of Firefox, it still isn't as fast as Chrome in my test. It still isn't as fast as Chrome overall in the link you cited either. In your result, it's a close second place rather than being far behind as it was in my test, but the point is that it's still not faster. If the idea is to persuade people to move away from Chromium-based browsers, why would they? Firefox Quantum isn't faster, it isn't more secure, it isn't more compatible with web sites, it isn't cheaper, it doesn't have more powerful addons... the only thing it has is that it's not a product from the biggest spying company in the world, Google, but neither are the many Chromium-based browsers out there that remove all that stuff.

    It's unfortunate, but very few people seem to care about privacy, so it's certainly not going to be enough to sell Firefox by itself to users of Chrome, especially when there are drop-in browsers that will use all their addons and settings right off the bat. It's been known for years that Google slurps up all kinds of user data, and Chrome has grown to its dominant market position at the very same time. People have shown that they don't care about privacy.

    Firefox used to have a niche. It was the choice of power-users who wanted to use the available addons to completely customize their browsers. They were obviously not enough of the population to allow Firefox to challenge Chrome's position, and we can speculate about why and how Chrome came to dominate all we want. However it came to be, it is what it is, and Firefox has continued to shed market share the whole time Mozilla has been copying Chrome, which began in a highly visible way with the copying of the Chrome release schedule and version numbering, and has continued unabated.

    Copying Chrome has not worked... and it's not a surprise that it hasn't. Mozilla is trying to attract the users that are already happy with Chrome by offering them a product that is as much like Chrome as it can be. It's still not as Chromey as the actual Chrome, though, and never will be. To woo users of Chrome to another browser, it has to be better in some way that matters to them and Firefox at present isn't. It used to have one thing that was demonstrably better for some users (the legacy addons), but now it has nothing. Even the privacy thing doesn't really work, since Chrome users can move to other Chromium-based browsers and get that with far less disruption than moving to Firefox.

    Back when Mozilla was battling the corporate giant in Redmond, they didn't seek to make Firefox as much like IE6 as possible to try to attract the people who least wanted an alternative. They made it better, in every way they knew how, in order to attract those who most wanted an alternative. Firefox was the first browser after IE had attained monopoly status to demonstrate that there was life outside of Microsoft-land. When Chrome came along, the pump had been primed by Firefox, and IE fell from 90% market share to 10% now-- and Firefox fell below that.

    I'm not on Mozilla's case because I dislike them or their product. I'm on their case because I want their product to be one that I want to use. I want them to keep existing, which seems less and less likely as the user share numbers continue to decline steeply every month. Their strategy of going after the most satisfied Chrome users has failed, but they seem to think that there is some magic number of things unique about Firefox that they can remove and finally start gaining again. It's still possible to fix a lot of the UI issues with Firefox with the use of userChrome.css (thanks to Aris, author of the legacy Classic Theme Restorer), but for how long? Mozilla's been talking about removing that too. It's been the pattern for years!
    Nestea likes this.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,572   +2,055

    Why the hell do you write novels that nobody that's sane will read? Make it short and concise or don't make it all.
    tl;dr you just dislike the fact that they removed support for old addons in favour of what is objectively a better system that provides the same power to developers but with better privacy, security and performance. these privacy and security features are what limit the addons, not the system itself. the change was for the better.
    As for your "numbers" again you making your entire argument just one benchmark which Quantum still wins. Can't you make one compelling argument without mixing biased and weird opinions on what you believe a good browser is?

    Here's something that isn't an opinion but fact: legacy addons were what was holding FF back. Chrome was building their addon list while FF was stuck in the past and very few devs were actually updating or creating new good addons. Devs moving to Chrome were killing its "niche market", as you call it. What was the point of using a slower and less refined browser when Chrome had 90% of the addons (and some the FF didn't)? And what addon could be so freaking important that you still need it after such a long time?

    You also mention the UI but you fail hard to explain that compared to Chrome you can modify it to hell and back. Nobody cares that they made it more minimalistic by default. A clean browser is a better browser for most people.

    FYI I call BS on your tests when you have perfectly fine professional tests you can check. what is the point of me releasing my own numbers when they don't apply to others? what router do you have? what ISP? what specs? what website did you use? is there anything in your system that could affect the results? etc etc etc.
    yes, you are lazy because you know that if you try to look you'll reach the same conclusion as everybody else.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  19. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 132   +94

    Complex concepts can't always be described in little bite-size blurbs. Do you complain that the articles here are too long? Have you ever read a book? They're all longer than any of my posts. Yes, I write a lot of longer posts, but that's a function of having a lot to say.

    You can strip an idea to its core and it is simple, but if you strip it any more than that, it is not simple, but simplistic. It's a useful skill to know the difference. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it's not as good with complex things like the kinds of technologies we discuss here.

    Also, make up your mind; am I lazy, or do I write too much? Or are you just too lazy to read it? <g>

    No, it's subjectively a better system, and only if your expectations match what the changes were. It is not objectively a better system if you wish to use addons that are not possible any more because of the massive reduction in functionality that accompanied the move to the WebExtensions. You keep mistaking your own opinion for fact.

    And that's where you are objectively very wrong. The new addons do not provide anywhere close to the same power that the old ones did. That's the problem! There are a lot of addons in Firefox that simply cannot be replicated in WebExtensions. Status-4-Evar, Tab Mix Plus, Classic Theme Restorer, QuickPasswords, just to name a few. If they could, I'd be annoyed that the developers of those addons didn't bother to port them to the new setup, but that would be it. As it stands, it is impossible for many of the things my "legacy" addons do to happen in Quantum. Those that have been ported often have shorter feature lists than their "legacy" forebears, which is why some devs continue to offer both legacy and WebExtensions versions of their addons (like NoScript and uBlock Origin). The legacy ones are more powerful and can do more.

    APIs do not exist to do many of the things that used to be possible. Could those APIs be added in? Certainly. Mozilla once suggested that these missing APIs would be added later. Will they? It doesn't look promising. Mozilla has reversed itself and strongly implied they won't. That's not a "security feature" as much as a "we don't care what you want" feature of the developer's attitudes. Many of the APIs that would enable the functionality that addon devs require to recreate their addons can be done safely within the limitations of the WebExtensions framework, but the FF devs just don't care to provide them.

    Really, it doesn't matter whether the addons are limited by "the system itself" or "privacy and security features"... it's a package deal, and it is evaluated as a whole. If it is not possible for addons to do what I require, I don't much care why they can't do it. What I know is that someone else has made a choice on my behalf to prioritize things I consider less important and to deprecate things I consider essential.

    The link to benchmark results you provided said that Chrome was better in performance than Firefox. You probably don't know that, since you don't like reading long things, but that was its conclusion. Additionally, Quantum didn't win the test I cited. The Chromium-based Slimjet utterly annihilated Quantum.

    BTW, all opinions are biased, including yours. The difference is that I don't think my opinion constitutes what is "objectively" better and you think that yours does. As for my opinions being weird... well, that's your opinion. <g>

    Where do you get the idea that very few devs were updating or creating new good addons? All of the ones I listed above were all in active development past the release of Quantum, and all the way up to the point that the Firefox repo dropped them.

    There are a lot of orphaned addons that had been long since abandoned by their authors, but that phenomenon exists all over the software world, not just Firefox addons. Firefox's addon repository is a lot older than Chrome's, and it has accumulated a lot of cruft. One thing's true, though, and that's that there were enough actively developed legacy addons to meet my needs, and that's something that is not true of Chrome addons or Quantum addons. Greater quantities of addons that don't meet my needs doesn't mean anything to me.

    Even if it were true that Firefox extensions were not being developed, it doesn't make much sense to suggest that it was because of the presence of legacy addons. WebExtensions have been working in Firefox well before Quantum arrived (by number, most of the addons I use now in Waterfox, based on FF 56, are WebExtensions), so if devs only wanted to make WebExtensions, they were free to do so regardless of whether legacy extensions existed or not. It was not as if they had no other option than to make "legacy" addons. They had the choice, and so did the users. If users wanted the advantages of WebExtensions, they could have that. If they wanted the advantages of legacy addons, they could have that also.

    If the assertion regarding developer interest is true at all, I think the relative market share of Chrome being six times bigger than what Firefox has might have a little more to do with the numbers of addons being written.
    Nestea likes this.
  20. javierkaiser

    javierkaiser TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +12

    Everybody is defending their opinion of which one is better, but that's no the issue here.
    We are losing (even if most people don't use it) one web engine here. And the browsers switches to Google's.
    I don't care if it's better or worse, it's one option less.
    Lesser options, lesser freedom.

    Do we want Google to own the internet? I certainly not.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. Nestea

    Nestea TS Rookie Posts: 23

    That's the bottom line and that is all that matters. They knew fully well their main support were people from the old guard. Instead of going Chrome they should have tried to make Firefox a paid software. ANYTHING other than to follow Chrome. Did they think Google will buy them or what? I don't understand the logic behind those moves.
    I guess the key people that made Mozilla Application Suite and later Firefox simply went away and all that was left were some SJWs with a status-quo mentality.

    Anyway that's one excerpt of an addon that seems to have been removed from addons.mozilla, not even archive.org has a copy of that page.

    there are a bunch of other devs like this that had great addons. I wish I had documented it all better.
    I'm surprised he still cared to answer the comment since the last supported version was in late 2016.
    I guess this all comes down to: being niche and that idealism doesn't survive.
    The day the Torbrowser will close shop, will be the day Firefox dies. Well it died already but it'll be official then.

    there's only thing that chrome surprised me with. when you search for a word on a website the scroll bar highlights the occurrences. that's pretty neat

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