There are a number of fighters defending internet freedom including DDG, Tor etc. But in the browser frontier Firefox seems to be the last bastion of hope against the ever encroaching monopoly of Google.
Now Mozilla has made some questionable decisions over the past year and it makes me really worried. Firefox market share also seems to be reducing.
What would I do if Firefox falls? Who will guard the browser frontier?
40 thoughts on “Please don’t let Firefox fall”
I’ll be honest, my life has bigger problems than whether company X or company Y makes the browser I use. Or even whether they mine my browsing habits.
Does that mean I don’t care at all? No, of course I care!
But the effort I’ll put into it will be quite limited, as I got far more meaningful worries to expend energy on. I’ve tried to say what I feel is making it difficult to spread Firefox by word of mouth or leads to loss of existent users, it has – apparently – fallen on deaf ears, and while I’m using Firefox this is **entirely** based on Multi Account Containers as I use two amazon accounts concurrently and this way I don’t need to use two browsers.
That is it. From my perspective, that’s what Firefox has going for it at this point.
If there is a browser that aligns with the same ideals and is based on Chromium, it’s possible that they could eventually diverge from Chromium and ‘free’ themselves from Google. The only one that is at least partly close to that is currently Brave. But even then it’s hard to say. So hoping for other options is just not as good as holding onto what we currently have (i.e. Firefox).
Questionable decisions are acceptable depending on who questions them. The free software enthusiasts want a very democratic approach to the development which is destructive in the long run. It won’t happen under good leadership, and you will see people complain. However, complaints do not necessarily lead to the fall of the project.
The decisions made by Mozilla, recently, have been extremely good. The situation is not the best, I agree, but also not one that crushes all hope (for me at least).
Our only hope nowadays are WebKitGtk based browsers like Epiphany (which will be getting extension support in the future). Falkon and konqueror and pretty much dead. Just need to wait to see what happens with Epiphany
The problem I have is that for me Its not quite possible to only use firefox because I sometimes encounter websites that are broken on firefox but work on chromium. So I need it at least for debugging. Other than that, I think firefox is quite sufficient. Maybe its because I have been using it for so long but I don’t see much of a reason to switch to chromium so far.
But I also think that firefox is missing a lot of useful features present in chromium derivatives.
Mozilla seems to be Firefox’s worst enemy sometimes. The last few years has been them removing beloved features and ignoring the community. It’s tiring.
I also don’t look forward to a (seemingly inevitable) future where Chromium-based browsers are the only viable option, so I do use Firefox despite its occasional bad decisions and broken sites. For what it’s worth, Ungoogled Chromium is a pretty good alternative to Firefox when necessary. It’s Chromium but without the Google telemetry and it adds some extra privacy features (that have to be manually enabled after install, FYI).
it makes me sad too
It’s open source, if Mozilla keeps on it’s current path then there will be a new ‘Phoenix” open source browser to take over.
But as someone who was very close to the project, I don’t think we’ll see gecko last regardless of any outcome.
is it that time of the week again?
It has to be said that Webkit based browsers are another alternative: think to Gnome Web (Epiphany) for example: if only they had containers I could even got grabbed away from Firefox
>Mozilla is making the address bar 4 pixels bigger? Wow, unacceptable. Better let the free internet movement die. I’m switching to Edge.
-Many people here
Mozilla has also made questionable decisions which upset users in the past. It seems to be a conflict between creating a modern browser that’s appealing to new users and keeping features which old users value. I’m not sure that they’re good at appealing to new users like that, but they seem to want to do it anyways.
The problem is, the very decisions that keep firefox afloat also cost money to mozilla and although I condemn mozilla’s latest decisions, I understand that a company needs to feed its employees.
So a good way for mozilla to make money and us to support it? Have a good VPN service. I go the website and lo and behold, no Indian server. While Singapore, a country having smaller population than my hometown has its own server. Good job mozilla.
If Firefox falls, I might just try edge
If they fall or not is totally up to them.If they keep making shitty design decisions,get involved with making political statements,and remove more and more features.This will inevitably cause many to move to another browser.It’s already happening but many of us are still hanging on.
I don’t understand this post. I’m annoyed about compact mode too, but now people are saying “I want to use Edge” and “I don’t care about which company makes my browser”?
If you don’t understand what Mozilla (and what Firefox) is about, please take a look at the Mozilla Manifesto: https://www.mozilla.org/about/manifesto/
If you are still unsure, Mozilla is non-profit organization that is devoted to “ensure the internet remains a public resource that is open and accessible to us all”. I don’t think Google has a similar statement about itself, but I think theirs would look something like “ensuring the web is a Google property safe for advertising”. Microsoft might say something like “ensuring that Microsoft owns the web via our technology, or in the worst case, don’t let another company keep us out of it [we famously missed the internet once]”.
I don’t really want to try to write what other vendors might say, but let it be said that those vendors are also businesses that are devoted to profit-seeking, not mission driven. We might not like certain decisions that Mozilla makes – even that they somehow think that some of the practices of the corporate world are preferable to community orientation – but it would be a real mistake to think that those other companies are our friends.
I don’t think they’ll fall, ironically enough they get a lot of money from google
What IFF stands for?
I think this thread provides pretty clear evidence that Mozilla does a bad job of communicating their reasoning for Firefox decisions to their community.
While I think Mozilla does make a few asinine decisions (eg their handling of the compact situation), I think the vast majority of their decisions are well justified. I think a lot of people would be less mad if they knew the reasoning for certain decisions. This could be achieved if Mozilla made this reasoning more readily available to users.
I don’t think missing features or UI are the main thing killing FF. The real nail in the coffin was (and is) Electron apps and more specifically the integration of V8 vs Spidermonkey. Firefox lost heavily there. Nowadays, knowing how to work with Chrome web dev tools and their JS standards means you can create web AND desktop applications. As much as it hurts me to say, given that, a company must be crazy to spend resources optimizing a website for Firefox.
I worry about this to and why it’s important to convince people that the alternate Chromium browsers with privacy in mind are not the way to go for more reasons than not, but most importantly to help prevent Chromium from dominating.
Firefox used to be the perfect middle ground between something basic like Chrome and something complex and feature rich like Opera (Vivaldi for the modern day equivalent). But they slowly removed features over the years to make it more streamlined like Chrome, but for “tech savvy” users, who are probably most of FF’s user base, its becoming very annoying. I don’t want FF to die but Vivaldi is looking more and more tempting to switch to full time for me.
But I’m putting the shrinking of their market share to Microsoft pushing the new Edge so ludicrously hard that I would not be surprised if we’ll see another multi billion judgement and a widespread ban levied against them over it.
Anyone who cares and can afford it should donate. Recurring donations make an important difference when it comes to free software!
EDIT: Some people pointed out that donations are not used for the development of Firefox directly. While that is technically true, mainly because Firefox generates enough revenue for its own development (at the moment), this cannot keep going without the foundation’s mission which is to educate internet users on these issues as well as generally advocating for an open and transparent web. This not only gives the principles and philosophy behind the development of Firefox itself, but it also means exposing harmful practices of Google and the like, pushing for particular web standards, lobbying, educating web devs on the choices they make, etc… a.k.a. fighting for what is right and giving an actual market and interest for Firefox. This in turn ensures Firefox is alive as it ensures it has a reason to exist.
sometimes it feels like Mozilla has a monopoly on private browsing because it really is the only option on the market right now, and they know it. So in the end we just keep having to swallow whatever choices they make.
Firefox is already falling.
WebKit browsers will be the only remaining browsers that guard the browser frontier
> Who will guard the browser frontier?
Apple will. Safari is still using its own WebKit branch.
Firefox is still my default browser, but I have to say that its lack of support of PWA apps, which is so well done in Edge, has me seriously examining my attachment to Firefox. I had switched to Firefox some time ago because it deals with PDFs much better than Chrome (it allows the user to load them to Adobe Acrobat, if desired). Now, however, Edge is also doing this and Edge is faster and deals excellently with PWAs.
maybe if we all donated a little $$ to help it stay alive?
Well, if they’d return “view image” to the context menu I might feel more inclined to care.
As much as I hate Google, Mozilla isn’t exactly the bastion for freedom either. Few months ago they posted on their blog about how the internet needs more censorship.
I don’t want Mozilla to fall because Google is already too powerful. But I find it hard to support Mozilla when they say things like that, and never listen to their userbase. Firefox is still he best browser however IMO. Chromium based browsers run like hot garbage.
Mozilla has made questionable decisions? Ha!
Mozilla is severely underfunded and in a tough financial pinch. You may say “remove beloved features” but these features are only loved deeply, not broadly. The cost of maintaining them is the driver here. So if 0.1% of users use a beloved feature and they remove it, you cry foul??
If the removal of very niche features is enough to turn you away to a new browser I’d say you never liked Firefox in general at all – just that niche feature.
I’ve been using and recommending Firefox for years, and will continue to do so. For the vast vast majority of my time with Firefox I haven’t noticed a thing missing. It’s base features are stellar, it’s extension community in unparalleled, and it’s commitment to user privacy is amazing.
Mozilla makes most of its money because Google pays them to set the default browser. The more the user base erodes, the less money Mozilla has to maintain your favorite niche features because Google will pay them less.
Want your features back? Stick with Firefox. Get more people on Firefox, and reduce Chromium’s influence on the web. Combat the lie that Brave is the privacy and user focused browser, that’s a huge user base that would be much happier here.
Keep the Dakka for Firefox alive!
We need a day, one day every year that is the “official day” to tell a friend about Firefox and, if they agree, show them how to install Firefox and how to use certain popular tools like uBlock Origin.
For many, it takes a reason to tell someone about Firefox and we aren’t going to get new users passively. We can quite clearly see that isn’t working. Give us “Firefox day.” Give us a few elevator speeches to use. Ask us to reach out to our friends and family. Promote some cool merchandise. And maybe even give us a new cool tool on the eve of Firefox Day!
A lot of standard web design practices, such as sticky headers which animate if users scroll, sidebars which don’t scroll with the rest of the page, other elements which don’t scroll, backgrounds which don’t scroll, or which scroll more slowly for parallax/painallax, elements which flash or change colors or zoom slightly or jump about for extra-blinding “extra visibility,” etc. make me sick, with migraines, nausea, etc.
Also ads, animated gifs, animated pngs, Google Maps, Orbis-GIS maps, blink text, marquee text, animated slideshows, juddering endless scrolling, etc.
I need to block these.
I can’t safely use the web if I can’t block these.
I also can’t drive, take the bus, cross at busy intersections with lots of turn signals, and so on, so it’s not easy to find offline alternatives.
Until Quantum/Gecko somehow catch up with the performance standard of Chromium/WebKit based browsers, it will keep on losing market share.
PS: It really sucks on Android. (Sorry, but this is the Bitter Truth)
Yes, Chrome is easier to use in so many instances. But I still want to stick with Firefox.
There must be a smoother way for the open-source community to listen to what their users want. And a smoother way for users to financially support them. Both parties need to step up. Otherwise, all open-source softwares will either die or go the path that Chromium and CentOS have gone.
Too late, they’ve already committed themselves to being chrome with addons
Yeah, firefox keeps Google Chrome from going paid app to “run in background” like youtube is. Chrome and Safari will definitely charge money for visiting websites. They are all about market “exploitation” and profit margins.