Can Firefox make a comeback?



  • Firefox 57 just landed with performance improvements and a sleek new design (that's now entirely ripped off from Chrome, but oh well).

    0_1510741727098_164d1b21-3ce4-4771-9678-24d8e6fdd92f-image.png

    I've been kind of annoyed with how flaky Chrome dev tools have been, especially regarding network request capturing. So I've decided to give Firefox a try as my main dev browser.

    If it does well and performance is truly as advertised, I might actually consider switching back to Firefox for good, which is not something I ever thought could happen.

    So... do you think Firefox can make a comeback?


  • area_can

    I think it might make a comeback amongst gamers, since putting "RAM OPTIMIZED" and "FAST" in a product description will ensure that they argue about how much better said product is.


    Seriously though, I'm not sure if it can make a comeback. The main reason why 'average' people started using chrome is because knowledgeable people who set up their computers installed it for them and told them that it's much faster and that less websites will break. Next time they buy a computer or a phone, they're going to install chrome because they're used to it, and because of Google's marketing.

    Mozilla does marketing, too, but I have yet to see it outside of (:nauseated_face:) San Francisco.



  • @bb36e said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Seriously though, I'm not sure if it can make a comeback. The main reason why 'average' people started using chrome is because knowledgeable people who set up their computers installed it for them and told them that it's much faster and that less websites will break. Next time they buy a computer or a phone, they're going to install chrome because they're used to it, and because of Google's marketing.

    Also, Chrome was much MUCH better than Firefox. They really got EVERYTHING right - design, features, plugins, speed. Firefox stood no chance.

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    Unfortunately, they don't have the foothold in Mobile and search, that Google does. And web is much less important now than it was 10 years ago.

    I'd say chances are grim for mass market, but FF can at least make a comeback in the (very important) desktop-oriented dev market.


  • area_pol

    @cartman82 If I understand it correctly, they plan to build their new web engine servo into an alternative to electron.


  • SockDev

    :headdesk:

    0_1510750708895_5c82bd76-7f8c-438e-ac62-fb2af581470e-image.png

    Quantum doesn't work like that guys.... a turbojet engine is not a quantum system so quantum effects do not dominate its behavior.

    seriously, stop sprinkling the word quantum around like it's magick pixie dust.....


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @cartman82 said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    Which would mean there is no compelling reason for average people to switch.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    seriously, stop sprinkling the word quantum around like it's magick pixie dust.....

    Why? It worked with "the cloud".



  • @polygeekery said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    Which would mean there is no compelling reason for average people to switch.

    Now that they have parity, they can start competing on stuff like speed and features.

    Firefox at least becomes a viable option.


  • SockDev

    @polygeekery said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    seriously, stop sprinkling the word quantum around like it's magick pixie dust.....

    Why? It worked with "the cloud".

    Flail.gif



  • @cartman82 said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @polygeekery said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    Which would mean there is no compelling reason for average people to switch.

    Now that they have parity, they can start competing on stuff like speed and features.

    Firefox at least becomes a viable option.

    And then they'll add features and Firefox will be slow again and then...



  • It does seem faster. Kind of.

    Transitions don't seem quite as smooth, but the CSS engine is a lot faster. Which makes the whole general feel of the browser quite a bit faster, really.



  • @cartman82 said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    sleek new design (that's now entirely ripped off from Chrome, but oh well).

    Not entirely! Just look at those tab corners:
    0_1510760569435_48eeaf41-9f94-4004-a110-014cfeae03ba-image.png vs. 0_1510760598535_eab8dc2e-79e6-483b-8330-5881b7010abf-image.png
    And the back button is in a circle; Chrome's turns into a square when you mouse over it. And that little thing with a pointy top — a home icon? Who has a home page any more? Now a 0_1510762803138_a6ea17a2-38d9-4ef1-a79a-eca4c34095ab-image.png icon, that'd be useful!



  • @hardwaregeek The dark version on the developer edition seems to use square icons, but yeah, it doesn't look like chrome.



  • @hardwaregeek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    And that little thing with a pointy top — a home icon? Who has a home page any more?

    Edge
    0_1510763154476_e5b8d57b-27b0-45a2-bcf5-706f2a990251-image.png

    And Chrome
    0_1510763214905_c4b2b041-0794-43c4-805d-3b4e722a636c-image.png

    Note: both are options



  • @timebandit said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    both are options

    Facts :barrier: funny.



  • I still use Firefox at home, like I have for years, because Chrome whines every time you try to open 20 tabs at the same time. I read ~20 webcomics daily. I do not need daily Chrome whining.

    On the other hand, I use Chrome at work, for the debugging goodness. I could switch to Firefox there, but since we only support two browsers (internal tool!), and Firefox isn't one of them, I won't be using Firefox at work.


  • SockDev

    @potatoengineer said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    I still use Firefox at home, like I have for years, because Chrome whines every time you try to open 20 tabs at the same time. I read ~20 webcomics daily. I do not need daily Chrome whining.

    fix your problem the awesome way.

    bonus: if you skip a day or the artist posts multiple items in a day you don't miss them.

    AND it syncs across devices so you don't have to remember where you are on which device.



  • @potatoengineer said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Chrome whines every time you try to open 20 tabs at the same time

    I always have more than 20 tabs open.

    I currently have 54 tabs open.

    Chrome never whines :man_shrugging_tone3:



  • @cartman82 said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @bb36e said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Seriously though, I'm not sure if it can make a comeback. The main reason why 'average' people started using chrome is because knowledgeable people who set up their computers installed it for them and told them that it's much faster and that less websites will break. Next time they buy a computer or a phone, they're going to install chrome because they're used to it, and because of Google's marketing.

    Also, Chrome was much MUCH better than Firefox. They really got EVERYTHING right - design, features, plugins, speed. Firefox stood no chance.

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    Unfortunately, they don't have the foothold in Mobile and search, that Google does. And web is much less important now than it was 10 years ago.

    I'd say chances are grim for mass market, but FF can at least make a comeback in the (very important) desktop-oriented dev market.

    Humm... No. For HTML5 game players, Chrome is actually a very poor choice.

    There were many games that I play that runs perfectly on other browsers (including Edge and Firefox, although as you know running on Edge is always slower... but at least it can run) but chokes (either hang there with no page elements functioning or automatically reloads... better than it were before, at least the browser itself won't hang by web content) here and there on Chrome.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @cartman82 said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Also, Chrome was much MUCH better than Firefox. They really got EVERYTHING right - design, features, plugins, speed. Firefox stood no chance.

    It is just now starting to recover, by adopting pretty much all the features that made Chrome what it is.

    ...except the one that truly matters: process isolation. When Firefox stops crashing with out-of-memory conditions because there are too many tabs open, when you can pull up a manager window that will tell you which page it is that's redlining one of your CPU cores, when bad JavaScript that throws things into an infinite loop stops hanging the entire browser, that will be a serious improvement. Everything else is just cosmetic, and most of the cosmetic changes I've seen Chrome make have not been for the better.


  • SockDev

    @timebandit said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    I always have more than 20 tabs open.
    I currently have 54 tabs open.

    chrome whines when opening 20 tabs all in one go, like right clicking on a bookmark folder and selecting "open all"



  • @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    chrome whines when opening 20 tabs all in one go

    So, it should complain when I re-open my browser and it restore where I left off ?


  • SockDev

    @timebandit said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    chrome whines when opening 20 tabs all in one go

    So, it should complain when I re-open my browser and it restore where I left off ?

    i think it suppressed that, also i noticed that recently it generally (though not always) does not load non active tabs when starting, waiting until you select the tab to load it instead.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @timebandit said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    So, it should complain when I re-open my browser and it restore where I left off ?

    This one is due to a philosophical difference.

    Chrome tries to eagerly reload all of your tabs, which can create a traffic jam, not to mention an annoyance if one (or more) of them has a video on it. Firefox, by contrast, lazy-loads all your tabs, not actually reloading the content until you make them the active tab in their window. So you don't get the traffic jam, but you also don't get anything until you specifically look at it, which can cause you to miss notifications and similar. Both systems have their advantages and downsides.



  • Btw, the most impressive (really sad I have to use this word... because this annoyance appears on all major browsers nowadays, and often need extensions to get rid of it) improvement is that, I can finally get rid of previews on open tab without extensions. Just right click the gear icon on the upper right corner and uncheck "Highlights" and "Top Sites".



  • @hardwaregeek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Who has a home page any more?

    That's known as about:blank



  • @potatoengineer said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Chrome whines every time you try to open 20 tabs at the same time

    Um, I have 19 tabs open in this window, and it's just one of 25 Chrome windows I have open.

    Or did you mean literally at the same time, like when restarting Chrome after it's been shut down? Yeah, that does make Chrome unhappy, especially when a bunch of them are YouTube videos, all trying to start playing at the same time, over a connection that makes Milwaukee PC look speedy. But I don't think Firefox is going to be any happier in that situation.

    Edit:

    @masonwheeler said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Firefox, by contrast, lazy-loads all your tabs

    So maybe it is happier in that situation. It's been so long since I used Firefox — because process isolation — for anything non-trivial that I don't remember.



  • @hardwaregeek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    over a connection that makes Milwaukee PC look speedy

    RFC 1149 ?



  • Yeah, I use FF DE at work, and have actually been really impressed by it. It's not very much like it was when I used to use it, but really I think I like it better now.

    I use Edge at home, and even it seems to have a better time with lots of tabs than Chrome, though it isn't GREAT at it.



  • @masonwheeler said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    ...except the one that truly matters: process isolation. When Firefox stops crashing with out-of-memory conditions because there are too many tabs open, when you can pull up a manager window that will tell you which page it is that's redlining one of your CPU cores, when bad JavaScript that throws things into an infinite loop stops hanging the entire browser, that will be a serious improvement.

    My understanding is, this is exactly what the new Firefox does.

    I mean, it doesn't have a built in process manager, but it's definitely splintering different tabs into different processes (not 1-1 relation, though).



  • @cartman82 Neither is Chrome's. If you have enough tabs open (as I nearly always do), 2 or 3 of them may be running in the same process. I have no idea how it assigns tabs to processes, but I currently have — I'm not going to bother counting — a lot of processes, with anywhere from 1 to 5 tabs in each process. The only thing that appears to be completely consistent is that each extension has its own process; many, but not all, YouTube tabs are in a process by themselves; and the rest are :man_shrugging:.



  • @accalia Do you think Quantum Firefox has Quantum Links


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia Do you think Quantum Firefox has Quantum Links

    no idea, but if it doesn't have a Quantum Leap i will be disappoint



  • @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    0_1510750708895_5c82bd76-7f8c-438e-ac62-fb2af581470e-image.png

    a turbojet engine

    :pendant: The engine in that picture is a turbofan, not a turbojet.



  • @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @blakeyrat said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia Do you think Quantum Firefox has Quantum Links

    no idea, but if it doesn't have a Quantum Leap i will be disappoint

    As long as it doesn't have Quantum leaks...



  • @zecc I mean, most software seems to be leaking all the quantum superpositions.



  • @masonwheeler said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    This one is due to a philosophical difference.

    Chrome tries to eagerly reload all of your tabs, which can create a traffic jam, not to mention an annoyance if one (or more) of them has a video on it. Firefox, by contrast, lazy-loads all your tabs, not actually reloading the content until you make them the active tab in their window. So you don't get the traffic jam, but you also don't get anything until you specifically look at it, which can cause you to miss notifications and similar. Both systems have their advantages and downsides.

    Chrome is now also lazy-loading tabs (at least for a little while), trying to avoid the traffic jam problem.



  • I haven't had the chance to do much web dev at work, so I am now trying out FF at home.

    First thing first. Make sure all my essential add-ons from Chrome have their equivalents on FF. They do!

    0_1510771145854_297d9b41-8008-417e-b2d5-cf56e8cbacf4-image.png

    • Imagus, to preview images on hover
    • Quick twitter share widget
    • Tampermonkey to load my custom scripts (mostly color TDWTF posts based on number of upvotes)
    • Ad blocker
    • Window Saver, to save and restore entire windows, which I use instead of bookmarks (FF one is definitely more janky, but seems to work on a basic level)
    • Youtube popout player, so that I can watch youtube side-by-side with playing a game.

    FF advantages so far:

    • Ctrl + Tab can be made to jump between two tabs (like Windows), instead of going round-robin. Very useful, I always wanted this on Chrome
    • Little "now playing" overlay icon that is shown on tabs with media can be used to mute the audio (chrome had this for like 5 minutes, then it was removed)
    • Reader view, it is occasionally useful in Safari
    • FREEDOM!

    Chrome's advantages:

    • Seems the specific add-ons I use have better versions on Chrome than FF
    • Dev tools? Might be faster in my VM without hardware acceleration (not 100% sure yet)
    • Google ecosystem
    • Inertia (all the fucking logins and cookies I have in chrome!)

  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Most importantly, FF still has a tree style tab addon that is actually part of the interface instead of some shitty HTML slapped on the side of the window. It requires a bit of configuration to disable a title bar over the vertical tabs and to hide the default horizontal tabs since they're now redundant, but that's as simple as creating a file in your profile and pasting in like 10 lines of CSS. I'm so pleased with that and the massive improvements in responsiveness and memory consumption, I'm definitely switching back until they manage to fuck it up again.

    Of course the problem is, the average user doesn't care about tree style tabs, won't notice a performance difference, doesn't know what memory is and doesn't even know Firefox exists. Or Chrome, for that matter. It's just "the icon on the desktop that opens facebook", who cares what it's called.



  • @blek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    doesn't know what memory is and doesn't even know Firefox exists. Or Chrome, for that matter. It's just "the icon on the desktop that opens facebook", who cares what it's called.

    This.


  • SockDev

    @gurth said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    0_1510750708895_5c82bd76-7f8c-438e-ac62-fb2af581470e-image.png

    a turbojet engine

    :pendant: The engine in that picture is a turbofan, not a turbojet.

    .....

    oh. you are correct!

    a very low bypass turbofan, but still a turbio fan..... i'm so used to seeing the high bypass turbofans that i didn't notice.


  • area_can

    @gurth said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    The engine in that picture is a turbofan

    Funny how they picked that for their image



  • How does memory usage compare in Chrome vs Firefox? Chrome seems to use anywhere between 100 an 700 Mb per tab. A lot of it I'm sure is just shitty JavaScript on these sites but I'd love to see a browser that didn't have this kind of overhead regardless of cpu performance.


  • :belt_onion:

    @the_quiet_one said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    How does memory usage compare in Chrome vs Firefox? Chrome seems to use anywhere between 100 an 700 Mb per tab. A lot of it I'm sure is just shitty JavaScript on these sites but I'd love to see a browser that didn't have this kind of overhead regardless of cpu performance.

    Here's what Task Manager says about Firefox 57 with only 2 tabs open (this site and one other)

    0_1510797967648_firefoxram.png

    I rarely open more than 10 tabs at once and have 32GB of RAM, so I really don't care about memory usage. There are other more important things that are wrong with Firefox. Speed and memory usage are irrelevant if features suck or are nonexistent.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @hardwaregeek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @cartman82 Neither is Chrome's. If you have enough tabs open (as I nearly always do), 2 or 3 of them may be running in the same process. I have no idea how it assigns tabs to processes, but I currently have — I'm not going to bother counting — a lot of processes, with anywhere from 1 to 5 tabs in each process. The only thing that appears to be completely consistent is that each extension has its own process; many, but not all, YouTube tabs are in a process by themselves; and the rest are :man_shrugging:.

    Also, if you use the multi-user thing any user after the first may be limited to one process, as the first user hogs all of them. Although all of the additional user's extensions get their own processes too, IIRC. Checking... Mostly. Extensions can group together, but they try not to.



  • @the_quiet_one said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    How does memory usage compare in Chrome vs Firefox? Chrome seems to use anywhere between 100 an 700 Mb per tab. A lot of it I'm sure is just shitty JavaScript on these sites but I'd love to see a browser that didn't have this kind of overhead regardless of cpu performance.

    It'd be nice, but they don't write them that way nowadays and given how much junk they have to support some of it is understandable. It's why I stopped paying much attention to browser resource usage: they're all horrible and small variations don't mean all that much on a desktop machine.

    Doing some extremely simple tests here, Firefox 57 uses some 100-150 MB per loaded tab once it settles down, while Vivaldi uses 75-100. Firefox also uses a bit more CPU on the same pages.

    Futzing around with Chrome (after letting it update; I don't use it much) to give it the same tabs (9, one playing a YouTube video) and similar extensions gave this:

    0_1510802534990_ef67ad3f-6caf-4694-86c4-f7b50338818d-image.png

    So there's some anecdotal data for you.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @polygeekery said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    @accalia said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    seriously, stop sprinkling the word quantum around like it's magick pixie dust.....

    Why? It worked with "the cloud".

    Flail.gif

    Not found. :sadface:


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @potatoengineer said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    Chrome whines every time you try to open 20 tabs at the same time.

    Huh, never saw that, and I've mistakenly closed (and re-opened) upwards of 90 tabs sometimes...


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @hardwaregeek said in Can Firefox make a comeback?:

    when a bunch of them are YouTube videos, all trying to start playing at the same time

    Yeah, recently YouTube site code tends to try avoiding starting playback until the windowtab is focused. Pretty nice until you start Ctrl-Tab-ing...



  • Fuck.

    So I just updated Firefox on my home computer... and promptly remembered that userscripts aren't files anymore, which means that my clever scheme to keep them synchronized on both of my computers using Dropbox isn't going to work...


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