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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-use-Lynx,-you-insensitive-clod! dept.

Firefox Browser Use Drops As Mozilla's Worst Microsoft Edge Fears Come True

Back in April, we reported that the Edge browser is quickly gaining market share now that Microsoft has transitioned from the EdgeHTML engine to the more widely used Chromium engine (which also underpins Google's Chrome browser). At the time, Edge slipped into the second-place slot for desktop web browsers, with a 7.59 percent share of the market. This dropped Mozilla's Firefox – which has long been the second-place browser behind Chrome – into third place.

Now, at the start of August, we're getting some fresh numbers in for the desktop browser market, and things aren't looking good for Mozilla. Microsoft increased its share of the browser market from 8.07 percent in June to 8.46 percent in July. Likewise, Firefox fell from 7.58 percent to 7.27 percent according to NetMarketShare.

[...] As for Mozilla, the company wasn't too happy when Microsoft first announced that it was going to use Chromium for Edge way back in December 2018. Mozilla's Chris Beard at the time accused Microsoft of "giving up" by abandoning EdgeHTML in favor of Chromium. "Microsoft's decision gives Google more ability to single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each one of us," said Beard at the time. "We compete with Google because the health of the internet and online life depend on competition and choice."

[...] Microsoft developer Kenneth Auchenberg fought back the following January, writing, "Thought: It's time for Mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really *cared* about the web they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5 percent."

Is the browser monoculture inevitable or will Firefox hang in there?

Previously:


Original Submission

Related Stories

Mozilla Teases Chromium-Based Firefox, Then Pulls Back 40 comments

Mozilla has sent mixed signals about the future of the Firefox Web browser:

The head of Mozilla's Firefox browser is looking to the future. And, for the moment at least, it seems to lie in rival Chrome. Senior VP Mark Mayo caused a storm by revealing that the Firefox team is working on a next-generation browser that will run on the same technology as Google's Chrome browser.

"Let's jump right in and say yes, the rumors are true, we're working on browser prototypes that look and feel almost nothing like the current Firefox," Mayo wrote in a blog post. "The premise for these experiments couldn't be simpler: what we need a browser to do for us – both on PCs and mobile devices – has changed a lot since Firefox 1.0, and we're long overdue for some fresh approaches."

The biggest surprise, however, was that the project, named Tofino, will not use Firefox's core technology – Gecko – but will instead plumb for Electron, which is built on the technology behind Google's rival Chrome browser, called Chromium.

However, Mayo updated his post to say that "I should have been clearer that Project Tofino is wholly focused on UX explorations and not the technology platform. We are working with the Platform team on technology platform futures too, and we're excited about the Gecko and Servo-based futures being discussed!" Mozilla's CTO also reaffirmed the company's commitment to the Gecko rendering engine:

Just two days after Mayo broke ranks, Mozilla's CTO jumped up and announced another new project – this one called Positron (geddit?) – which will take the Electron API and "wrap it around Gecko." Or, in other words, make it possible to take Mayo's new, better browser and pull it off Chromium and back into the safe hands of Gecko. And so the status quo seeks to reassert itself.

Also at CNET.


Original Submission

Firefox Tops Microsoft Browser Market Share for First Time 23 comments

Firefox has gingerly pulled ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers for the first time across the globe.

Mozilla's Firefox grabbed 15.6 percent of worldwide desktop browser usage in April, according to the latest numbers from Web analytics outfit StatCounter.

However, neither browser threatens the market leader—Google's Chrome continues to command two thirds of the market.

StatCounter, which analysed data from three million websites, found that Firefox's worldwide desktop browser usage last month was 0.1 percent ahead of the combined share of Internet Explorer and Edge at 15.5 percent.

Although it does often seem that Firefox has pulled ahead of MS in memory usage...


Original Submission

Netmarketshare Claims Mozilla Firefox Usage Drops Below Ten Percent 76 comments

Netmarketshare reports that Mozilla Firefox's share of the desktop and notebook computer web browser market has fallen below ten percent.

Firefox had a market share of 12.63% in June 2017 according to Netmarketshare and even managed to rise above the 13% mark in 2017 before its share fell to 9.92% in May 2018.

Google Chrome, Firefox's biggest rival in the browser world, managed to increase its massive lead from 60.08% in June 2017 to 62.85% in May 2018.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer dropped a percent point to 11.82% in May 2018 and Microsoft's Edge browser gained less than 0.50% to 4.26% over the year.

[...] Netmarketshare collects usage stats and does not get "real" numbers from companies like Mozilla, Google or Microsoft. The company monitors the use of browsers on a subset of Internet sites and creates the market share reports using the data it collects.

While that is certainly good enough for trends if the number of monitored user interactions is high enough, it is not completely accurate and real-world values can be different based on a number of factors. While it is unlikely that they differ a lot, it is certainly possible that the share is different to the one reported by the company.


Original Submission

Microsoft Intercepting Firefox, Chrome Installation on Windows 10 Insider Build 74 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.

The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.

Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.

[...] Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.

The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the "install anyway" button.

-- submitted from IRC


Original Submission

Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS 64 comments

Microsoft is building a Chromium-powered web browser that will replace Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.

Report: Windows Lite is Microsoft's long-awaited answer to Chrome OS

The success of Google's Chromebook hardware and Chrome OS software wasn't an inevitability, but the ease of use they afford ended up allowing Google to carve out a niche in a very crowded PC marketplace. Ever since Chrome OS entered the scene, we've been waiting for Microsoft to come out with its own pared down version of Windows, but its half-hearted attempts (Windows 10 S, Windows RT) have all fallen flat.

Those failures haven't stopped Microsoft though, as Petri on Monday reported that the company is working on "a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows." Based on the documentation he has seen, Petri's Brad Sams believes that Windows Lite — the new OS — is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS.

According to Sams, Windows Lite will only run Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, while removing all other functionality. He says that this is the first "truly lightweight version of Windows" – one which won't run in enterprise or small business environments, and may not even be available for purchase on its own. Just like Chrome OS, Windows Lite will have to be pre-installed by an OEM.

Microsoft ChromeOS: It's Linux-Free!


Original Submission

Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google 70 comments

Mozilla's CEO is not enthusiastic about Microsoft's switch to Chromium:

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."

Microsoft's switch to Chromium could be a big boon for Google's own implementation.


Original Submission

Microsoft Employee Sparks Outrage by Suggesting Firefox Switch Browser Engine to Chromium 66 comments

Microsoft Engineer Causes Online Wrath After Saying Firefox Should Use Chromium

Mozilla should give up on its own browsing engine and switch Firefox to Chromium, a Microsoft engineer said in a series of tweets, as what the company does right now is "building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5 percent."

The message posted by Microsoft Product Manager Kenneth Auchenberg has triggered an almost instant reaction from the user community, with most of the replies pointing out that building alternative products that can compete against Chromium is vital for the health of the browsing ecosystem.

"It's time for @mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really *cared* about the web they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5%?" he tweeted.

"I couldn't disagree with you more. It precisely *because* Chromium has such a large marketshare that is vital for Mozilla (or anyone else) to battle for diversity. I'm shocked that you think they're not contributing. "Building a parallel universe"? That *is* the contribution," web developer Jeremy Keith responded.

[...] Auchenberg's message has obviously received more acid replies, including this one criticizing Microsoft's recent browser changes. "Just because your employer gave up on its own people and technology doesn't mean that others should follow," Asa Dotzler tweeted.

Also at ZDNet.

Previously: Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS
Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google

Related: Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?
Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge


Original Submission

Mozilla Was "Outfoxed" by Google 53 comments

Mozilla "Got Outfoxed" by Google – Former VP Accuses Google for Sabotaging Firefox

Former Mozilla VP, Johnathan Nightingale, has called out on Google for what could only be termed as anti-competitive practices. In a Twitter thread on a somewhat unrelated subject, Nightingale said that during his 8 years at Mozilla, Google was the company's biggest partner. "Our revenue share deal on search drove 90% of Mozilla's income," he tweeted.

However, that doesn't mean Google wasn't involved in some underhand practices. "When I started at Mozilla in 2007 there was no Google Chrome and most folks we spoke with inside were Firefox fans," Nightingale wrote. "When chrome launched things got complicated, but not in the way you might expect. They had a competing product now, but they didn't cut ties, break our search deal – nothing like that. In fact, the story we kept hearing was, 'We're on the same side. We want the same things.'"

"I think our friends inside google genuinely believed that. At the individual level, their engineers cared about most of the same things we did. Their product and design folks made many decisions very similarly and we learned from watching each other. But Google as a whole is very different than individual googlers," Nightingale added.

Google Chrome ads started appearing next to Firefox search terms. gmail & gdocs started to experience selective performance issues and bugs on Firefox. Demo sites would falsely block Firefox as "incompatible."

All of this is stuff you're allowed to do to compete, of course. But we were still a search partner, so we'd say "hey what gives?"

And every time, they'd say, "oops. That was accidental. We'll fix it in the next push in 2 weeks."

Usage share of web browsers.

Previously: After 10 Years with Google, Firefox Switches to Yahoo
Netmarketshare Claims Mozilla Firefox Usage Drops Below Ten Percent
Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google
Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?
Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Employee Sparks Outrage by Suggesting Firefox Switch Browser Engine to Chromium

Related: Firefox 29 is a Flop; UI Design Trends Only Getting Worse
Mozilla Teases Chromium-Based Firefox, Then Pulls Back
Can the New Firefox Quantum Regain its Web Browser Market Share?
Firefox 64 Will Remove Support for RSS and Atom Feeds
Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS


Original Submission

Microsoft Edge Shares Privacy-Busting Telemetry, Research Alleges 7 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Microsoft Edge is one of the least private web browsers — even more so than other popular browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox — according to academic researchers.

According to the analysis, from Douglas Leith with the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College in Ireland, Edge sends privacy-invasive telemetry to Microsoft’s back-end servers — including “persistent” device identifiers and URLs typed into browsing pages.

Leith measured the connections made by six browsers to back-end services during web browsing sessions. From these measurements, he deduced Brave Browser to be the most private, with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari coming in as part of a less-secure second group. In the third, least private group was Microsoft Edge and Russian web browser Yandex Browser. Internet Explorer wasn’t included in the research since it is largely confined to legacy devices.

“The results of this study have prompted discussions, which are ongoing, of browser changes including allowing users to opt-out of search auto-complete on first startup plus a number of browser specific changes,” said Leith, in research released last week. “From a privacy perspective Microsoft Edge and Yandex are qualitatively different from the other browsers studied. Both send persistent identifiers than can be used to link requests (and associated IP address/location) to back-end servers.”

[...] “When the same identifier is used across multiple transmissions it allows these transmissions to be tied together across time,” he explained. “While linking data to a browser instance does not explicitly reveal the user’s real-world identity, many studies have shown that location data linked over time can be used to de-anonymize [users].”


Original Submission

A Pretty Dire Assessment of Mozilla 78 comments

Co-founder of Netscape (formerly Mosaic Communications Corporation) and of Mozilla.org, Jamie Zawinski, has some brief comments about the current situation with Mozilla and its browser.

Back to Mozilla -- in my humble but correct opinion, Mozilla should be doing two things and two things only:

  1. Building THE reference implementation web browser, and
  2. Being a jugular-snapping attack dog on standards committees.
  3. There is no 3.

And they just completely threw in the towel on standards when they grabbed their ankles and allowed W3C to add DRM. At this point, I assume Mozilla's voice on the standards committees has all the world-trembling gravitas of "EFF writes amicus brief."

By the way, one dynamic that the cited article missed is that a huge part of the reason for Google's "investment" in Mozilla was not just to drive search traffic -- it was antitrust insurance. Mozilla continuing to exist made Chrome not be the only remaining web browser, and that kept certain wolves at bay.

Google has decided that they don't need to buy antitrust insurance any more. Wonder why.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:45AM (34 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:45AM (#1031065)

    The less people that use it the better. I'll just hang back with my adblock & noscript and do my thing.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by kreuzfeld on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:52AM (6 children)

      by kreuzfeld (8580) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:52AM (#1031066)

      Same here (though not old yet!). But in all honesty: what is the appeal of Chrome & Chromium-derived browsers over Firefox (my default browser of choice when I'm not in Icecat). Is there some underlying benefit to these other browsers that eludes me?

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by TheRaven on Tuesday August 04 2020, @10:22AM (1 child)

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @10:22AM (#1031185) Journal
        I don't know if it's still true, but WebKit-based browsers had a big lead in compartmentalisation. Safari and Chrome were running the renderer in a separate, deprivileged, process for years when Firefox was still running everything in a single process. They're now split into a bunch of processes for different secrets. A compromise in one tab does not leak credentials or information from any other site that you're visiting, unless the attacker has a separate sandbox escape (typically, much harder to find). I think Firefox now does some sandboxing but I pretty much gave up on the project when they were slowly starting to think in this direction and every other browser had shipped it as a standard feature for years.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:50PM (#1031706)

          firefox was single thread, but long ago switch to have now different threads, that was one of the main reasons to drop the old add-ons, they enforced the "one process" (some could be turn to multi-process, but not all and that and the security problem made the old api go away).
          Now you have several threads for rendering, gui, add-ons, javascript.
          Firefox share those threads between several tabs(where they apply of course, there is only one GUI), so save memory (and this is one of the reason too for firefox using much less ram than chrome), but those threads also have several layers of isolation. Chrome have several threads for EACH tab, that may increase the security, but also waste lot more resources and turn chrome very heavy if you use many tabs. People that only use a few tabs do not notice that problem, but everyone that have many open tabs already noticed that chrome eats all he machine resources.
          Mozilla is increasing the threads isolation and get more process to multi-thread (via mostly rust) to increase performance and security. This is a slow migration process, unlike khtml (WebKit base code forked from kde) the that was build around being multi-thread

      • (Score: 1) by zion-fueled on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:10PM

        by zion-fueled (8646) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:10PM (#1031236)

        The appeal is the ability to use hardware decoding on linux. After 10 years mozilla is finally addressing it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:32PM (#1031279)

        What's the appeal?, you ask...you've got the wrong end of the stick for a lot of us here, it's a case of expediency..

        Just like 'back in the day' a subset of sites 'broke' if you didn't use IE (hello, my bank of old..) you now get the same (hello, my bank of the now...) if you don't use a browser which identifies as Chrome(ish).
        Ok, so you change/spoof the UA string, and somewhere in the wankload of obfuscated javascript that lurks menacingly on their pages, something horribly chromeish breaks..

        I'm typing this in a Chrome tab, running on the Slackware install on my primary laptop, not because I'm particularly taken with Chrome, but it's the path of least resistance as I'm currently logged into an industrial auction site which does not really do Firefox well, it's expediency and less 'resource intensive' on the ageing hardware (4Gig ram,Celeron T3500@2.10GHz) than spinning up a copy of Firefox/whatever..

         

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:50PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:50PM (#1031348)

        Supposedly, browsing without adblock and also running any javascript a remote site throws your way, chrome/chromium-based browsers are faster. But, if you are browsing the web without adblock, and allowing all random remote code you stumble upon to run on your computer, I would say that you are doing it wrong. And, with ublock origin and umatrix, firefox is very fast.

        I use firefox for almost everything, but keep chromium installed for broken sites that only work with chrome. For me, this is mostly airline sites. So, I guess another "benefit" is that chrome/chromium browsers work with broken ie8^H^H^H chrome-only websites. I expect this issue to get worse now that ms is just re-badging chrome.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:21PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:21PM (#1031423)

          Supposedly, browsing without adblock and also running any javascript a remote site throws your way, chrome/chromium-based browsers are faster. But, if you are browsing the web without adblock, and allowing all random remote code you stumble upon to run on your computer, I would say that you are doing it wrong. And, with ublock origin and umatrix, firefox is very fast.

          Why would you do that? They have uBlock Origin and whatnot for Chrome. I know because I run it.

          If Chrome is fast without an adblocker, just imagine how much faster it'll be *with* one!

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:28AM (20 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:28AM (#1031076) Journal

      Less users, less developers, more security flaws, but maybe less interest in exploiting those flaws? Google should just bankroll the discovery of more zero-days in Firefox.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:51AM (19 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:51AM (#1031083) Journal
        How about going bare bones. No effing emojis, no css, no JavaScript, only plain text and HTML. No html5. Just feed me the document and let ME decide how I want it rendered.
        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
        • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:04AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:04AM (#1031088)

          Stick with Safari then.

          iOS is a crippled web browser experience in that Apple have been reticent about adding new PWA features that Chromium and Gecko have. All in the name of their app monetization - half the apps on my phone have desktop web page equivalents.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:31PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:31PM (#1031211)

            I don't care what Apples reasoning is as long their actions align with my pov that; "enough is enough, we have an operating system already and I'm not executing your random remote code". I don't use Apple though, I cripple a Firefox browser instead.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:39AM (9 children)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:39AM (#1031113)

          Not for me. The pre-html5 days were a bleak time of Flash and Real Player, and other hideous creatures of the night.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:52AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:52AM (#1031184)

            VLC

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:59PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:59PM (#1031213)

            You can't blame HTML4.1 for shitty plugins. However I do agree parsing a shitty JS/HTML5 page with JSON apis is way easier than it was trying to parse a website made entirely with Flash. The good thing about this modern web from my perspective, is that websites resemble an online database if I ignore the actual HTML. It is trivial to create tools to extract the information I want in a nicely formatted JSON format.

            I very much prefer HTML4.1 where the webmaster know that going beyond the standard with plugins is non-standard. At that time before XHR, JS couldn't do things behind your back. It was confined to process the document it came with. Now shitty webmasters can build crappy webapps that toast bread using usb and bluetooth and have a clear conscience that they followed the "standard".

            It baffles me how anyone can hear the term "living standard" and not start the ROFLCOPTER. It's as much of a paradox as "alternative facts".

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:34PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:34PM (#1031936)

              At that time before XHR, JS couldn't do things behind your back.

              It was also as reactive as a pedal powered moped

              https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Honda_Hobbit.jpg [wikimedia.org]

              The days of server-side graph creation and related horse crap are long gone and relegated to 1990s and good riddance. What is crap is DL JS from 50 different domains but that is problem not with JS but the actual shitty websites.

              So yeah, you can have websites without CSS and JavaScript but in that case you may as well just stick with a text/plain. It works just fine for news content though, not so much for real applications. Even this site is using CSS and JavaScript.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:37PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:37PM (#1032245)

                So yeah, you can have websites without CSS and JavaScript but in that case you may as well just stick with a text/plain. It works just fine for news content though, not so much for real applications. Even this site is using CSS and JavaScript.

                ..and that's the real issue here we disagree about. Should the browser be a webapp bazaar or present hypertext? I would be very happy if we had a clear seperation of the two. A browser and a search engine for websites and one for the webapp bazaar.

                btw this site runs fine without JS. It's the primary reason I'm here.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by epitaxial on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:24PM (3 children)

            by epitaxial (3165) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:24PM (#1031219)

            At least you could easily block flash back then. Today it's nearly impossible to block some auto playing videos on news sites. Yeah I can disable javascript and use all the html5 autoplay blocks but they still play.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:51PM (1 child)

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:51PM (#1031231) Journal

              I recall the initial versions of Firefox having a straight up option to just block JavaScript in normal menus. Probably one for HTML5 <video> too when support was first added (blocking all video, not just autoplay).

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:18PM

                by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:18PM (#1031420)

                I recall the initial versions of Firefox having a straight up option to just block JavaScript in normal menus.

                I'm pretty sure they still had that as of 4.0. They probably ditched it along the way somewhere between 12 and 30 when they decided nobody cared anymore.

                --
                "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:14PM

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:14PM (#1031274) Journal
              Firefox (both mobile and desktop ) allows the global blocking of ALL images - so a video is just a black box. No preloading, nothing. Saves a crap load of bandwidth if you're on a crappy data plan. No share with icons downloaded from 3rd party servers tracking you all over the Internet.
              --
              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:54PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:54PM (#1031232)

            Flashblock, and similar for real player. Or just don't install the plug-ins. I really didn't notice those two technologies - just some websites that were broken and which I didn't return to as a result. Nothing bleak in my experience.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:27PM (#1031221)

          > No effing emojis

          So, no proper Unicode support then. Awesome. Not.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:40PM (5 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:40PM (#1031225) Journal

          Well, emoji's aren't a problem, though displaying them may be. If you want to get rid of CSS, you need to go back to HTML2 or some such. About javascript, though, I agree. That's designed to allow software written by people you never heard of to run on your computer doing things you don't expect.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by barbara hudson on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:09PM (4 children)

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:09PM (#1031272) Journal
            HTML 4 works just fine without either JavaScript or CSS.
            --
            SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:44PM (3 children)

              by HiThere (866) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:44PM (#1031702) Journal

              Well, I didn't use most of the versions, but these days you can't even underline text without CSS.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday August 05 2020, @03:47PM (2 children)

                by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday August 05 2020, @03:47PM (#1031786) Journal

                Well, I didn't use most of the versions, but these days you can't even underline text without CSS

                The <u> tag for underlined text has been around since the Stone Age, and still works just fine. The idiots in charge tried to depreciate it and had to backtrack. Soylentnews doesn't allow it for $REASON or I'd show you.

                --
                SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday August 05 2020, @07:47PM (1 child)

                  by HiThere (866) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @07:47PM (#1031909) Journal

                  OK, I didn't know they'd backtracked. I don't use html on newsgroups, so Soylent News policy wasn't the reason. I just had to build a bunch of pages about a year ago, and was told that the underscore tag had been removed, and to code it in CSS. There are a couple of other formatting tags that I also had to use CSS for, though I don't remember which. Underscore is the one that sticks in my memory as "really absurd". There was something about positioning a framed hunk of text next to a paragraph that turned out to be trickier than it used to be.

                  --
                  Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
                  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:55PM

                    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:55PM (#1031947) Journal

                    If you want a blast from the past, the <marquee > tag, which was never standard, still works (at least in Firefox and Opera ). <blink> doesn't.

                    --
                    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by driverless on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:20AM (5 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:20AM (#1031148)

      it looks as though Google and Microsoft are hell-bent on running the tables and pushing Firefox into irrelevancy.

      It's Mozilla that's pushed Firefox into irrelevancy. Google and Microsoft just sat back and toasted marshmellows in the dumpster fire.

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Tuesday August 04 2020, @07:15AM (4 children)

        by Bot (3902) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @07:15AM (#1031156) Journal

        This, but, remember Google as the main financer of Mozilla when somebody decided that upping version number and removing extensions and changing UI and kicking Eich out was a good idea. We are not evil, LOL.

        Speaking about Eich, the chrome derived brave browser ain't bad at all.

        --
        Account abandoned.
        • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:45AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:45AM (#1031181)

          Nice ad, bot, not we won't buy it.

          • (Score: 1) by MIRV888 on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:22AM

            by MIRV888 (11376) on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:22AM (#1036068)

            They are all out to get you.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:58PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:58PM (#1031437)

          Hahahha, brave has had numerous problems and is a libertarian backed nightmare.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:39AM (#1031598)

            I was so hopeful for Brave doing something, even if it was just kicking Firefox back into gear. But then they had to ruin it with all those monetization controversies.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Booga1 on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:55AM (34 children)

    by Booga1 (6333) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:55AM (#1031067)

    Still on Firefox, but not for their lack of trying to kill it. They're constantly reworking things that are just plain annoying the shit outta me. The latest being the stupid expanding address bar they introduced a few versions ago. I tried disabling it and that went well for a while. Then they disabled the disabling and now disabling it again using the new hidden method disables all the autocomplete functionality. Gah!

    So, to push this one visually annoying and purely cosmetic feature, they've thrown actual functionality under the bus if you want to turn off the bling... Then they wonder why they keep losing market share.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by leon_the_cat on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:34AM (6 children)

      by leon_the_cat (10052) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:34AM (#1031077) Journal

      I couldn't be bothered with that UI fight anymore, plus the attitude of the developers to feedback sucked imho. Using Pale Moon instead.

      • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:40AM

        by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:40AM (#1031078)

        Same.
        Well, the New Moon build on Mac, and Basilisk on Linux. I gave up on Mozilla when they they broke all the extensions a couple of years ago.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:08AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:08AM (#1031092) Homepage Journal

        Palemoon is my "primary". I have a small stable of others, chrome based and gecko based, in various stages of security lockdown. I don't rely on any one of them.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by driverless on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:23AM (3 children)

        by driverless (4770) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:23AM (#1031149)

        Do Pale Moon, Waterfox, and others get counted individually in the surveys or are they all classed as Firefox? If they're all lumped together as "Firefox", are there actually any Mozilla Firefox users left or have they all jumped ship to the forks that still retain some sanity?

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:49PM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @01:49PM (#1031230)

          I use firefox - I don't care that much (except not chrome) and can't be bothered with getting something else working.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:53PM (#1031409)

          Perhaps not coincidentally, the percentage using Firefox almost exactly equals the percentage who self-identify as transgendered people.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ChrisMaple on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:52AM

          by ChrisMaple (6964) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:52AM (#1031530)

          I use 4 versions of firefox: 28, 52, 64, and 71. The older ones have the best add-on capability; I only use the newer ones when the older ones can't render a site.

          Mozilla puts a great amount of effort into worsening the user experience.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:23AM (14 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:23AM (#1031100)

      I personally stopped on the FF-52-ESR branch and have yet to need to update. Everything I need still works on it, just by spoofing a newer user-agent version (Which by the way uMatrix 1.1.4 supports, while later webextension versions don't!)

      Quite frankly ever new version of firefox hogs ever more memory, and despite their claims to be fixing all these problems in later editions, they don't seem to be getting any better. Furthermore, leaving javascript disabled and not creating too many windows seems to keep memory fragmentation down which keeps from hitting the virtual memory limit (the normal cause of crashes on 32bit firefox, and if you left it running for long enough, on 64 bit firefox as well!)

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:25AM (12 children)

        by driverless (4770) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:25AM (#1031150)

        What pisses me off about Firefox is that playing Youtube videos on it will eventually lock up the system it's running on, requiring a hard reset. Had that with Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung laptops, so it's not a system-specific issue. How the fsck can you hard-lock a system just by playing videos on it?

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:39AM (9 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:39AM (#1031152)

          Google did that one on purpose. There are even articles about it and other techniques Google does to sabotage other browsers. The particular workaround for that one is to refresh the window every so often so that way the browser starts from the fresh DOM, rather than all the javascripty manipulations piled on top of each other that bloat the node count and rearrange trees.

          • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:53AM (8 children)

            by driverless (4770) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:53AM (#1031154)

            Ah, thanks for the info, will give that a go. I know that sometimes I have to do a refresh/reload when the system runs out of memory while playing videos, so I'll give that a go.

            It also seems to be caused by the VP9/AVC1 that YT forces onto you, I've tried blocking them to force H.264 use which has never caused any problems but they've been getting better and better at blocking the blocking over time.

            • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 04 2020, @11:14AM (6 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 04 2020, @11:14AM (#1031193) Homepage Journal

              Been getting warnings from Youtube for months "We will soon discontinue support for your browser." Recently, sound has been degrading badly. I was actually looking at hardware!!

              Same videos that sound like crap on any flavor of Firefox, sound great on Chromium. I suppose I'll have to change my browser usage, or stop using Youtube.

              --
              Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
              • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:31PM (2 children)

                by Freeman (732) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:31PM (#1031258) Journal

                While YouTube has some useful/interesting things. It's not going to be the reason why I choose a different browser. I might use YouTube on a special browser that I use for nothing else, though. Prerequisite would be that browser having an adblocker, because I do not surf the web / visit sites without it. I get enough junk I have to filter out every day, without needing to filter out the random advertisements thrown into everything.

                --
                Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:14PM (1 child)

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:14PM (#1031418)

                  Considering how hard a lot of website fight against adblockers, I'm a bit surprised YouTube hasn't figured it out over the years. I still get surprised when I'm periodically on some other device and "oh right, they have ads on YouTube. This must be what non-adblocking people see."

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:27PM

                    by Freeman (732) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:27PM (#1031428) Journal

                    YouTube isn't fun to watch, with advertisements.

                    --
                    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @05:03PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @05:03PM (#1031292)

                Re YT Videos,
                If I manage to find one that has something of interest, or someone sends me a link I'll point youtube-dl at it, watch the downloaded copy with the video player of *my* choice, not some braindead browser thing then delete/keep, depending on usefulness.

                Granted, it's not what Google/YT want or how they expect people to 'interface' with their site and it's content, nor, I suspect, would the 'content creators' like this as they probably get hee fucking haw in their wallets for it, but I find it preferable to do it this way than deal with the vagaries of their site and associated browser/OS fuckwittery...and I can also do this from termux running on my android phones if I'm out and about..

                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:11PM

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:11PM (#1031417)

                  If I manage to find one that has something of interest, or someone sends me a link I'll point youtube-dl at it, watch the downloaded copy with the video player of *my* choice, not some braindead browser thing then delete/keep, depending on usefulness.

                  I've been in the habit of doing this for years, partly after that first time you go back to watch a video and find out it's been taken down so you start hoarding everything, and partly for other reasons. The next-highest priority for awhile was downloading Zero Punctuation videos so I could watch them in VLC at .85x speed to actually catch everything he was saying, but I guess over time my brain has gotten used to 1x.

                  With my current desktop there seems to be something in the YouTube player logic that uses up enough system resources on my Linux install that it kicks the fan into higher gear, too, which gets a bit annoying. Not so with VLC.

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 1) by MIRV888 on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:25AM

                by MIRV888 (11376) on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:25AM (#1036069)

                Just host your own media server. Then it can sound how you like. No advertising is even better.
                They are selling 12 & 16 Tb usb Hds. All you need is the library.
                it's like Buttah

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:53AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:53AM (#1031607)

              Maybe try: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/h264ify/ [mozilla.org]

              Seems highly recommended but I can't vouch for it personally.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @08:39PM (#1031940)

          What pisses me off about Firefox is that playing Youtube videos on it will eventually lock up the system it's running on, requiring a hard reset. Had that with Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung laptops, so it's not a system-specific issue. How the fsck can you hard-lock a system just by playing videos on it?

          Actually it does not. The "hard lockup" could be your system running out of memory but other than that, I never had that happen to me.

        • (Score: 1) by MIRV888 on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:41AM

          by MIRV888 (11376) on Thursday August 13 2020, @09:41AM (#1036075)

          Never been an issue, but I am using a plugin to just pull the d@mn video as an mp4.
          Once it's on the media server it's mine.
          It's like Buttah.
          I know it seems absurd, but this has always been how I have handled my media.
          No advertising was always my primary motivation, but that's just me.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:04PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:04PM (#1031414)

        Yeah, I should look to see what version of Firefox I'm running. It's not my main browser anymore, but it finally prompted me to figure out how to go into the package manager settings and tell it "stop asking me to update this fucking thing constantly, because it only ever breaks things and gets rid of features I like." I think I did because if I had dist-upgraded it would've bumped me up something like 14 FF versions and broken all my extensions.

        For a number of years I used Pale Moon,* which I still do when I need my extensions, but now my day-to-day browser is Chromium. They changed something, either in Pale Moon or this one online game I play daily, that ended up somehow breaking the latter with how it uses iframes, so I sort of wound up in Chromium by default because it worked over there.

        I miss classic 3.6-era Firefox back before the rapid release, when extensions worked and everything was in about:config.

        *even PM isn't untainted by idiocy, though...I remember there was drama when the main guy who maintains it got butthurt about NoScript for some reason and made you jump through hoops to turn off his "I don't like this, don't use it" enabled-by-default deterrents in the addons system. Because who would ever want to use NoScript, in a fork of Firefox, specifically for technical/extension users? Can't think of anybody. /s

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:36AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @06:36AM (#1031151)

      The UI is the last thing you want to change. You can take a UI that is on top of C, then port it to an application written in Python, to Rust, then JavaScript, then Haskell, Go, Prolog, and F# to fix your coding itch and it is perfectly possible no one will notice. You move an icon 1 pixel to the left or change the color by .5% and everyone will notice and have an opinion. Mozilla's problem is that they have all these UI people that have to justify their existence, so you get changes for no apparent reason just to keep their process going. No one else would care if Word, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Photoshop, etc. looked the same they did in 2000, as long as they could still get their work done.

      And that doesn't even get to where they actively cause problems, replacing menus with ribbons, getting rid of status bars, flattening everything so you can't tell what is text and what is a button, changing action icons from their established symbols, and changing designs wholesale between versions. Each and every time some program decides to change their icon, I get calls for weeks from people saying their computer is broken or they can't find their program because the familiar environment changed just enough to throw them off.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:48AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @09:48AM (#1031183)

        Those UI people could spend their time designing sensible form controls or something. But that'd be work, I guess.

        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:50PM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:50PM (#1031406)

          For which companies like Microsoft and Apple pay money. You know, for the work.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:05PM (#1031248)

        The same thing happened with Unity desktop which I am cursed to have to used.

        Obviously no menus any more. Just light grey on light grey barely visible unlabeled buttons. And who the hell decided disabling right-click was the way forward? Want to create a shortcut on the Desktop? Want to change a setting? Want to save your documents?

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha fuck off!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:04PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:04PM (#1031200)

      It's easy to sit here and say, "Mozilla should have kept their UI and Firefox add-ons the same way they were in 2006, and worked solely on performance and standards compliance since." I'm sure that was their original plan, and then they watched Chrome eat their share of the browser market by millions of users per month for years at a time. They had to try something different, and maybe they botched but I understand why they couldn't just continue what they were doing previously.

      I'm still using Firefox with a few add-ons and I don't have any issues.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:31PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:31PM (#1031240)

        No, the users didn't jump the ship because firefox was stale. There a small period of time when firefox would hang on too many tabs and Google spent all their marketing on "yeah our browser sucks but at least each our tab is a new process so it won't hang". Mozilla did what Nokia did. They hired a mole who purposefully broke Firefox to make sure people jumped the ship. Every single person I know, when the technically incompetent - especially the technically incompetent ones - preferred firefox over chrome. "Different processes" is not a marketable thing. Google had to do what it did - pumped money into corrupt management of Firefox while fucking around on Javascript so that it only functions on Chrome. I mean, they created their own consortium to validate html.

        It is called embrace, extend, extinguish. That's what Google did.

        The reality is that death of firefox is another sign of consolidation of the web into a the hands of few mega corps.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:05PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:05PM (#1031382)

          I forgot to add one crucial thing - mobile. Google spent inordinate amount of money in developing Android and its reliance of Chrome to get anything done. It spent inordinate amount of time in developing mobile-friendly JavaScript frameworks like AJAX and bootstrap, and its backend NodeJS. It had the money, and they had the reason to spend a large amount of it as soon as possible because they couldn't lose their edge to competition. Google couldn't wait for "standardization", it pushed for mandatory HTTPS and HTML 3.0 (or whatever that is). End result was that it Google took lead in mobile space and used to punch a hole in web. Firefox tried to do OS, same like Samsung, but they cannot compete when their largest funding comes from Google! They were left to squander resources and play catch-up game. And why?

          This is the context where Microsoft's statement should be read. It is a philosophical debate to make sure a parallel system stays there to compete with Chrome's monopoly. And Microsoft doesn't want to play catch-up, it wants to dominate like Google does. It is purely a strategic step that you don't play the game when the board is set up by your opponent. And I am actually surprised because (and I know a lot of Americans hate Satya for being an Indian who stole their jerbs) it is actually a very smart move.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @06:56AM (#1031610)

            Very smart? To be a software company and give up on your own product? What the hell is MS going to learn from downloading and running the other guys' code? Where I work (a uni) some guys do that - basically download other people's stuff without putting in the effort to do it themself. It's a death spiral. What else will you not do? Eventually everything.

          • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Wednesday August 05 2020, @03:24PM

            by DECbot (832) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @03:24PM (#1031767) Journal

            it pushed for mandatory HTTPS and HTML 3.0 (or whatever that is).

            I think you mean HTML5 and CSS3. When faced between an open standard to play videos over the web (even if controlled by a mega-corp) or propriety executable to play videos (flash), I would opt for the open standard. Did Google abuse its market position? Probably. Will the DoJ prosecute? Not for cause--but for political punishment. Here's my predictions: If Biden wins in November and Trump administration doesn't start a prosecution before January then probably not. If Trump wins, 100% after 2024 by the new Democratic administration; otherwise, possibly before 2024 if Google doesn't fluff Trump's ego the correct way (which I believe varies depending on his mood, day of the week, and who he has heard speaking in the last 20 minutes).
             
            I think you're correct on the Microsoft analysis. They saw big businesses and government outsourcing their data centers and correctly pivoted to keep that market segment in their pocketbook. What revenue was lost in new license sales was gained by new subscription sales. I would not be surprised if MS pivots on the desktop replacing the Windows kernel with WSL/Linux kernel if they could make a better emulator than Wine for legacy custom business software. That would unload MS resources developing kernel and drivers to the Linux Foundation and they could focus on the UI, Windows Store, and services like Azure and Office365 to generate revenue all the while maintaining OEM contracts for desktop OSes. Even if MS decides to forgo providing an emulator, looking at Apple as an example, I think MS would see success and business will have to pay developers to port their custom software to the new platform. If Microsoft won't compete in the browser space, why should they compete in the kernel space. Let open source developers write the kernel and then bolt on a proprietary userland/desktop kludge that vendors need to sell laptops.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @04:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @04:02PM (#1031798)

          You and I were talking about two different things. You explained what Google was doing to make Chrome eat Firefox's market share. I agree with everything you wrote. But my post was about what Mozilla was doing in a desperate and doomed attempt to fight back.

          I really believe the Microsoft engineers and managers satisfied with the move from their own rendering engine to Blink think they're doing the right thing. It's absurd, they are letting Google succeed at controlling web standards in a way that Microsoft tried with Internet Explorer and failed.

          I hate the bloated web. The task managers built into Chrome and Firefox desktop routinely show javascript-heavy websites I use consuming 200-800 MB of RAM for a single browser tab. The few JS-free sites I use, like sourcehut.org, consume less than 2MB of RAM per tab. However, offline-first Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), in some cases with WebAssembly, seem to be the only chance the world has of breaking free of proprietary software control. If you can do everything on your device that you care about in a browser, then you can jump between MacOS, iOS, Windows, Chrome OS, Android, desktop Linux, desktop *BSD, and so forth with no effort. I don't see any other practical way to protect users from platform lock-in. Microsoft seemed to be actually contributing to this kind of independence for a few years, but I think they've just ceded all of their power to Google.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:36PM (#1032244)

        It boils down to hypocrisy. They claim privacy is integral to the design, but any programmer who looks at the way the application is designed can tell you... That is just B.S.

        Of course that is all legacy, going all the way back to Netscape. But still, they don't do what they say. I'm pretty sure they integrate institutional backdoors as well. And teaming up with Comcast just proved the point. Firefox needs to cut loose and be the browser they say it is, not the browser it is.

        There are other forks and other browsers. Firefox is probably the second most maintained open source browser out there. The other forks of the old netscape code are so exploitable, that they really are a public hazard. But that describes the web in general. The WWW architecture has devolved into a game of "the most busted wins" in terms of how pages are renderend, and the number of formats processed. It is just implausible that this much code can be reasonably maintained in a secure way.

        Which is why search engines should start fracking out MIME types on the query page. Really if somebody implemented TTF fonts in HTML 1.1 and added inline video support, and a office suite style database UI builder, you could trash 90% of the code that makes up modern web browsers. Doing everything over HTTP was ALWAYS a bad idea. That is what has facilitated control grabs by a small number of companies. Or at least partly.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SomeGuy on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:38PM

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:38PM (#1031262)

      Same here too. Gave up on trying to wrangle each new Firefox version back in to a usable state. Switched to PaleMoon/Newmoon They just keep fucking things up worse and worse. If they had left things alone, or made improvements without borking what was already there, I wouldn't have even messed with it.

      These days Mozilla just wants to appease consumertards, not knowledgeable power users.

      They also have piss poor OS support these days. Back in the day, they tried to get it running under as many OSes and platforms as possible. At least several external open source projects have picked up the slack there.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:06AM (5 children)

    by fido_dogstoyevsky (131) <axehandleNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:06AM (#1031068)

    If microsoft really *cared* about the web they would be contributing to competitors to google instead of leading a lemming charge towards browser monoculture.

    Is the browser monoculture inevitable or will Firefox hang in there?

    There's still Seamonkey (or Waterfox or others) - and when that stops it'll be Konqueror if there's no alternative to chrome.

    --
    It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:10AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:10AM (#1031070)

      IIRC Konqueror adopted the WebKit fork back when Safari was leading the charge,

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:22AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:22AM (#1031075)

      A lot of the mozilla forks are rife with old exploits.

      Really the issue is that there are way too many renderable MIME types. There is just no way that browsers can reasonably interpret that many data formats with any reasonable level of source code auditing.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:15AM (#1031129)

        [citation needed]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:13AM (#1031095)

      There's still Seamonkey (or Waterfox or others) - and when that stops it'll be Konqueror if there's no alternative to chrome.

      Or you can always use the ever-crashing Midori [wikipedia.org].

      Although when it works, it's quite lightweight.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @05:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @05:34PM (#1031306)

      If microsoft really *cared* about the web they would be contributing to competitors to google instead of leading a lemming charge towards browser monoculture.

      But this *is* Microsoft's signature move. They saw the writing on the wall. Their browser wasn't getting traction, so they dropped it and embraced Chromium. That's the first step. Sure it's all "standards" now.

      Once they've convinced the world that 'Edge' is just another Chromium browser they'll start adding Edge specific extensions. And those extensions will be built into every corporate desk top right out of the box. Entire service support applications will be developed based on those extensions. They'll only work in edge. And nobody will care, because hey, it comes with windows, and it's the same "Chromium" under the hood, so screw Google chrome and just use Edge if you want the optimum experience. Oh, and forget trying to browse the web on chrome os, or linux. Those extensions don't exist.

      The end of browser compatibility isn't coming with the death of Firefox, it's coming with Microsoft's embrace of Chromium. They didn't lose the browser war, they're just warming up.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:19AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:19AM (#1031074)

    Teamed up with the most privacy violating telecom in the U.S. all while touting their new privacy features. Implemented picture in picture that can't be turned off. I can't imagine why anyone would leave. /s

    I took a look at Opera again after quite a while. It is a PITA to turn off all the built in crap, but it can be done. Been using it a while now.

    It is simple. I like reading. Fuck anyone who imposes video over text without consent.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:57AM (#1031136)

      Closed source. Chinese based. No thanks!

    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:05AM (6 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:05AM (#1031167)

      I thought Opera was based on Chrome as well.

      • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:05PM

        by Subsentient (1111) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @12:05PM (#1031201) Homepage Journal

        It is. It's just another nasty little Chrome skin.

        --
        "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:34PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:34PM (#1031395)

        Functionally it is quite different.

        Funy thing is, shortly after I made the post saying I used Opera, MS "compatability telemetry engine" spun up. Maybe coincidence, maybe they are keywording forum posts, and using that as a basis for snooping.

        I know that you can install a FIFO in place of a file in Linux. I was thinking about MITM'ing my browser files that way, so I can log when they are getting hit. Is there a way to do this and correlate file access to a PID on win10? Or a wrapper I can stick around their daemons to see what inodes they are hitting? I just want to know what they are polling. They are in my house without my consent. I think I should get to know what they are moving around and which underwear drawers they are going through.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @10:10AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05 2020, @10:10AM (#1031634)

          You might be able to find a sysinternals tool that does something close to that.

          https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/ [microsoft.com]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:48AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:48AM (#1032081)

            If I understood the original post correctly, this one would probably work the best https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon [microsoft.com]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:42PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @01:42PM (#1032248)

              If it comes from MS, it is going to rely on libs that are excepted by their own snoopware. It would need to be third party.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @05:11PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06 2020, @05:11PM (#1032336)

                Of all the people you can pick from Microsoft to trust I'd say Mark Russinovich is a good choice.

  • (Score: 2) by Fishscene on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:40AM (3 children)

    by Fishscene (4361) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:40AM (#1031079)

    Now maybe Mozilla will *actually* compete on features? Instead of removing functionality and rolling out stuff no one wants? Maybe they'll FOCUS on the browser and engine for once?

    --
    I know I am not God, because every time I pray to Him, it's because I'm not perfect and thankful for what He's done.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:46AM (2 children)

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:46AM (#1031081) Journal

      Don't hold your breath. There are too many people whose jobs depend on non-technical shit. They're following the HP model - used to be run by engineers, now …

      I'm looking at YOU, Mozilla Foundation!

      --
      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:08AM (#1031094)

        They ousted the CEO they needed and went on to publish "Transition Policy Guidelines" as their software faded into irrelevance.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:14AM (#1031096)

        Diversity initiatives and trans inclusion pogroms are more important than coding a stupid web browser.

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:53AM (9 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @02:53AM (#1031084) Journal

    Found an overlay for Gentoo and am emerging from source as we speak. I notice it has a gtk2 USE flag, meaning "build against GTK2 instead of GTK3/4" and this has me sold instantly. GTK3 has always, always felt clunky and slow and misfeatured. If adblockers and such work right I may stay on Pale Moon for good...

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:29AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:29AM (#1031105)

      This is what killed Pale Moon for me: "NoScript is too complicated for users to understand, and it breaks websites that are trying to use javascript to use and abuse them." Give me the extensions I want, or I will go elsewhere. And never second-guess your users, unless they are chromas, Runaway, or martyb. Oh, or janrinok, but he is currently on the do-not abuse list. Godspeed, janrinok!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04 2020, @04:18AM (#1031131)

        What stops you from using NoScript? Oh wait, nothing. It's just a warning message using Mozilla-provided default text. Unless the scawwy scawwy text scawwed you shitless or something.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 04 2020, @11:08AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 04 2020, @11:08AM (#1031191) Homepage Journal

        Discussion and explanation - https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17294 [palemoon.org]

        https://github.com/JustOff/ca-archive [github.com]

        It's nothing more than an archive of old Firefox extensions, that mostly work with Pale Moon. No guarantees, no promises, no nothing. If you like Pale Moon, and you want extensions not provided by Pale Moon's addons page - play with this.

        Likewise, if you have an old version of Firefox, you can get your addons here.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:26AM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:26AM (#1031171) Journal

      I've been using it full-time for several years, and can attest that uBlock Origins and uMatrix (or the updated PM fork, eMatrix) both work just about perfectly.

    • (Score: 2) by digitalaudiorock on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:08PM (4 children)

      by digitalaudiorock (688) on Tuesday August 04 2020, @08:08PM (#1031383)

      If it's the one you get in layman I'm using that on my ancient 32 bit system. It's been great so far and yes, Adblock Latitude works well. I'm currently running 28.9.3. Unfortunately, changes they made in 28.10.0 require more RAM to complile than I have, so I may end having to use palemoon-bin from that same overlay at some point.

      No way was I using the newer Firefox under Gentoo requiring that Godless piece of shit Rust. The Mozilla devs can't even code a decent browser these days and I'm supposed to trust them with a programming language?...what an over-engineered clusterfuck. It's even more unfortunate that they screwed up Thunderbird with all that same bullshit...just sad.

      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday August 05 2020, @02:36AM (3 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @02:36AM (#1031544) Journal

        For me Palemoon is acting odd and slow on many sites. I've actually just unmerged it (and the thought occurs, i *really* should have quickpkg'd it first..arrrrgh). Am giving NetSurf a try, though it seems even *less* well-equipped to handle the modern WWW, though it's at least speedy as hell.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by digitalaudiorock on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:04PM (2 children)

          by digitalaudiorock (688) on Wednesday August 05 2020, @01:04PM (#1031684)

          This older machine is sometimes quite hopeless on the modern WWW no matter what I use, which I'm sure is primarily the javascript engine and the fact that most sites these days pull in JS from 50 to 100 sites and literally never finish loading...don't even get me started with that. Ironically I have no issues on this machine doing LAMP development, heavy database stuff, you name it.

          I used NoScript for a while but all that did was to totally break 99.9% of the cluster fuck we call the web now so I cut bait...just plain sad. Sometimes I think the only shit that's actually improved since the late 90s are connection speeds.

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday August 07 2020, @03:40AM (1 child)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Friday August 07 2020, @03:40AM (#1032695) Journal

            I'm using Falkon now and it works very well for most things, though I notice it chokes on Reddit (can't scroll more stories in) and its adblocker doesn't work anywhere near as well as uBlock Origin. Still, it's head and shoulders above the competition.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by barbara hudson on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:02AM

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday August 04 2020, @03:02AM (#1031086) Journal

    some fresh numbers in for the desktop browser market

    Most browsing isn't done using a desktop. Been the case for years. Firefox is handy in the mobile space, where you can disable all graphics and save 95%+ of your bandwidth, and you never load those stupid "social media sharing icons " from remote servers, so you don't have to run extensions that suck up cpu - so much better battery life as well, since you're not downloading or rendering any graphics. Also doesn't download any graphic ads. The web is much more usable without all that crap, and the screen reader never claps out on reciting image titles, or failing that, the file name.

    --
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
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