Years ago, Firefox WAS my favourite browser. No longer

I am truly sad, and I cannot be silent any longer. Years ago, there was this amazing thing when I used Firefox. But then, Chrome came along - I hate Chrome and IE (and Edge… and Safari… and desktop Opera… and Brave etc.). At that point, when Mozilla felt threatened by the rise of Chrome, what happened? It became more like Chrome every month, and lost the identity that was Firefox. It become ChromeFox, or OrangeChrome if you prefer.

  • I couldn’t use my favourite theme any longer - Bloody Red

  • I couldn’t do this amazing thing anymore: have a 3D rendering of a web page to see how the divs etc. stacked up. That was phenomenal, just OMG phenomenal. The back of my mind screams: “What is the wrong you to have removed this feature?!” Now there is a plugin, called Tilt 3D… a Legacy plugin, which means it won’t be supported in the future.
    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/3D_View

  • I couldn’t use Firebug the same way anymore, it’s just not the same. It’s difficult to use now, even confusing to be honest. I use Firebug on Palemoon, and it’s just better… but it’s the same(?) tool. Or even Chrome’s internal tool is pretty convenient at times.

  • Having the Forward Arrow disappear confused many people. Why remove such a basic feature? At this point, you get distracted by part of the menu shifting. Someone, please help me understand this.

  • Silverlight does not work on Windows 7… An official Microsoft plugin pretty much. Why?

  • AND if I want to allow Flash content, I “need” to allow it temporarily. Have a button for this, with a white list, I beg of you.

  • Apparently, I won’t be able to use Stylish anymore. According to John Duncan, concerning the ‘replacement’ called Stylus, he said, "The most useful feature of Stylish was styling internal browser chrome:// (specifically things like scrollbars which cannot be styled in the userChrome.css or userContent.css files), which is not possible in any of the Chrome/web-extensions add-ons."
    https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/08/10/upcoming-changes-compatibility/

So, I won’t be able to use the most useful feature of a tool that will replace one of my all-time favourite tool? Again, why is Stylish not going to be compatible? You are stripping developer tools that people loved and have loved. I do NOT understand this. Why? Just, why? Instead of having a single build, you have 4 if I am not mistaking. So… more work but less functionality?

When I put these together, Firefox lost its identity by trying to BE Chrome. You’re not Chrome, and never will be. I for one, hate Chrome. As for those who love Chrome, if they want something LIKE Chrome, they will USE Chrome, not Firefox. The moment you understand that, maybe one day I will use Firefox again as a primary browser.

Until Firefox changes to what it should be, I will support Palemoon for as long as I can. Years ago, you were my answer to IE, to Chrome and other browsers. If you want to be OrgangeChrome, fine, but I can’t support that. Nor can I stay silent any longer concerning one of the best browsers that ever existed, and which continuously strips or brings internal changes that affect developer tools, and massively useful plugins likes Silverlight… from Microsoft no less.

If you want to make a browser that is stupid-proof (a.k.a. dummy proof), fine, but count me out. I am aware there is a dev build, but it just doesn’t cut it. It’s not the same as what Firefox was before.

Even though I still use Firefox once in a while, I use Palemoon because it doesn’t try to be like Chrome or Firefox. Once upon a time someone made a fork of Firefox because they wanted to preserve something good, and they knew the fork they had was gonna be lost otherwise. However, since then, they developed their own engine because they wanted to BE Palemoon, while preserving better functionality. I still can’t use Bloody Red, but I found a better replacement, so that’s not a big deal. In any event, the core functionality of Palemoon remains what it should be, and most importantly it doesn’t try emulating Chrome. It tries to be Palemoon.

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I understand that you’re frustrated, it’s a common reaction to change, especially as quickly as it’s happened with Firefox (and continues to do so), but I really encourage you to keep in mind all of the great things that have happened as a result of that change.

We’ve got a few different iterations of Firefox for mobile, it’s light years better than it used to be. Quantum is ridiculously fast, everyone I’ve talked to that uses it absolutely loves it. The design team has really been working hard, as a result the designs are cleaner and more awesome than ever.

I don’t think anyone on the Firefox team woke up in the morning, with the intentions of terrorizing the developers by taking away great functionality for no-reason at all, I’m sure there were some decisive decisions that had to be made for the greater good of Firefox.

I also went to the pale moon website and… is that COMIC SANS MS?

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That’s my point exactly, change. Change can be good, but only if it’s valid and better. Otherwise, the change is not good for the sake of, simply, change. I haven’t used Firefox on a consistent basis. Rather, I have been using PaleMoon for the last 7 years maybe?

I remember when I started using Windows 7 at a trade school, and I was skeptical of using it vs Windows XP. However, I used it on a daily basis to get used to it. In this case, change WAS good. Best OS for far, hands down. As far as Firefox is concerned as a browser, the changes were negative, e.v.e.r.y. singe one of them, over the course of many years. There are sooooooo many plugins either NOT working any longer or that will cease functioning. How is this positive at all?

As for global “skin” of Firefox, it was meant to be a ChromeClone… I was not thrilled at all when I saw that change. It mortified me, and still does to this day. Chrome has a syncing method, let’s copy that. Chrome does not have a real menu, eh let’s get rid of ours. Oh wow, Chrome has some fancy looking developing tool, let’s clone that - not that ours works correctly in the first place. What type of thinking IS this? Bad change after bad change. I activated my menu in Firefox, but normal users don’t know how to do that. Just saying.

As for PaleMoon’s menu, not sure if you’re trying to mock it or not, but I only see a normal font. What I do know is that PaleMoon is a MUCH better browser than what ChromeFox has become.

EDIT: If Firefox was doing as well as it could, it would. But it’s not. The matter of fact that Firefox has changed so much is hindering its progress, ironically. According to zdnet, only 7.4% of users use FF…

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@mades I totally get you are sad about not being able to keep using all features you were used to, but the changes needed to modernize Firefox infrastructure had some implications, and we needed to radically modernize Firefox internally and externally in order to compete in this market we know it’s dominated again by one big player, and that’s terrible for the web.

I would like to invite you to test the new Firefox Quantum for a few days, I’m sure you will notice why this big change was needed and how the new Firefox will make people fall in love with it again.

@nukeador Before you read the following, I have two suggestions for you: replace the pocket sync with a Quantum Sync (find a cool logo for that), and place the menu by default at the top - it barely takes any space.

I understand what you’re saying, and this is exactly my point in terms of the market shares. The more you try to look like Chrome, the more you’re not going to get users to use Firefox. It feels like the Firefox team is desperately trying to be something that it’s not. So, how can I trust that Firefox wants to be the best browser out there when it’s trying to be like another browser? Mozilla, as a company, is losing its credibility by forcing itself to be something it’s not. If I want to use Chrome (if there’s anything you should read more than anything, it’s this sentence): If a person wants to use a browser like Chrome, they WILL use Chrome, not a clone. Google does best at being Google. Mozilla will never beat Google at being Google. Do Mozilla developers not understand this?

A decade ago when Firefox was the browser it was, it got people using because it was better than the competition. The reality is that ever since the person who made the decision that Firefox should be the same bland browser that Chrome is, you lost the battle already with that thinking.

I downloaded the Quantum Browser. So far, the first thing I can say is, thank you for leaving the Forward Arrow in. Hopefully you guys leave it in. It looks alright theme wise, although I really don’t like the fact that, again, you imitate Chrome.

What I find frustrating more than anything is that you guys don’t seem to grasp what I’m saying. I am an extremely particular person, and for me to say that Firefox had a winning formula years ago - that is before the pocket, before the dev code change affecting Firebug, and before the layout change - it is quite something.

My suggestion is for you to change the dev code that affects Firebug the way it does, as well as modifying the arrows (the circle it out of place), as well as removing the pocket (find a different logo representing a “Quantum Sync”, better than your pocket, no?), as well as re-creating the menu how it was before it became a Chrome clone. The fact that you are letting Chrome dictate how YOUR browser should look like speaks volumes about the fact that, as a development team, you don’t care about Firefox being its own unique browser. You want to be Chrome, alright, but you’re gonna lose your browser within a decade if you don’t understand that Google is better than Mozilla at being Google.

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I think we have different perspectives about Firefox’s change. The reality is that Firefox started to lose market-share because we didn’t keep up on speed and performance, users noticed that, and of course because Google invested all the money in the world to advertise their product and bundle it with other apps.

The changes in Firefox Quantum (and release over release in the last year) are focused on that, be back in the competition face to face with other browsers in speed and performance, beta users are already noticing that and I’ve read a lot of them saying now they are ready to come back from Chrome.

Other charges you dislike I feel are more a personal taste (I myself had to get used to quantum rectangular tabs because I was a fan of the previous ones) and these changes will never make 100% of our users happy.

  • No title and menu-bar and the hamburger menu icon are conventions for modern application design, this is not something Google invented and most apps have embraced it.
  • Pocket is a feature a lot of users were asking for (according to our researches), now we own Pocket as organization and if you decide not to use it (you can move the icon away), it doesn’t affect the rest of your browsing experience or performance.
  • Firebug’s learnings and some team members have been developing Firefox Developer Tools as the evolution of Firebug (we have now more features and better performance than the old Firebug). Note you can always change the devtools theme to Firebug under settings, also check this migration guide :slight_smile:

We all want Firefox to be back leading the browser’s market and shaping the web, and I’m confident changes in Firefox Quantum will allow us doing that.

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@nukeador We shall see what happens. Once more, you’re proving what I’ve been saying all along. You are trying to become Google, and that is a losing battle. Google is better and will always be better than Mozilla at being Google. You’re right though, Google could and WILL continue to invest as much money, time and developers to perfect their craft. Unless Mozilla can create this amazing browsing experience and move away from what they are now currently doing, you’re fighting a losing battle. The worst part so far concerning the Quantum Browser is twofold: 3/4 of the plugins aren’t compatible (because devs are tired of continuously having to change their code); secondly, the name Quantum is awesome and that is the only thing Google will be envious about.

In any case, I would at the very least change the pocket to a Quantum Sync - that is a much cooler idea than a pocket, don’t you think? Let’s face it, Quantum Sync is an awesome name… pocket not so much. Just saying. If you’re gonna go out, go out with a bang, no? All I’m saying is that the pocket name is completely out of place with Firefox, but Quantum Sync is cooler and way less out of place. At the very least, consider using Quantum Sync as a name and choose a cool logo for it. That alone would make me have more respect for you guys.

As for the menu, does it matter who invented it? Besides, I wasn’t talking about that. Rather, I was talking about the fact that you copied Google in using it. That’s not so cool. As I said, and keep repeating, if I want Google Chrome, I will use Google Chrome, not a clone. But I won’t either way, because I hate Google Chrome.

As for me, you will see me one of out twenty times I need to use a second browser. For now and the foreseeable future until the PaleMoon browser isn’t updated for whatever reason, I will stick to PaleMoon.

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Note: Most Widely Adopted and Popular add-ons have already been updated and are compatible webextensions.

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Ok, I have only 7 working on 20+. Not sure your argument here is valid. But who’s to say I use better extensions, right?

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It seems you have already made your decision to switch, and I’m not here to change your point of view. I am sorry to hear that you feel so strongly to do so.

In relation to your issues surrounding a purported 13+ add-ons no longer working, perhaps you might share a list with us? Specifics will be very helpful here. We can be making community efforts to improve these where possible.

In some cases the add-on developer has not had resources available to them to complete on time, and we as a community can unite to help. In other cases there may have been decisions made on the axes of browser security, speed, web standards, or other dynamics.

The implemented version of WebExtension seen in Firefox Quantum / 57 is still an early iteration. If you’ve been following the Nightly blog you will have seen consistent updates and improvements to extensions. These happen by listening to concerns from Firefox users and developers, and making further steps where possible. Sadly, not every user can be happy and I absolutely hear you saying these changes are a blocker for you. I wholeheartedly disagree on expressed supposed reasons of their implementation, but respect your personal decision.

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I have to chime in here now - Your assumption is that “change is hard” - no it is not for everyone. This is too easy of a statement to make and not a valid blanket. I do think you may be surprised in the next few weeks and moths to come after Nov. 14th = your optimism is clouded by shiny new stuff, that has lots of “modern” glitz but little substance in comparison. You may well become for a short period of time the renewed kid on the block - but will fall prey again to the same syndrome that made you lose market share in the first place: you had an outstanding, opposing creation with firefox, standing out like a beacon of light to the other dominant browsers.

You did not have to be part of a browser war simply because you were for consumers and developers like manna from heaven. THAT was what made you successful rather immediately. But then you rested on your laurels. You simply let the ship steer itself - ergo you accumulated well over 23 some thousand “addons”. You rested on top of extension authors. For years they did all the work. The oversight you kept was minimal. Then you started waking slowly from your slumber when your market share started to twindle remarkably. Your misguided [as we now in hindsight know] resolution then was to shove updates over updates - serving them up with a rate that most extension authors could hardly keep up with.

Of course since that was not a “real” growth remedy, you had to decide to finally pull up the sleeves and construct firefox anew. Yes, change is good, if it is also usable and relevant. For whom are you now building this browser, that is hardly recognizable anymore. You show a preview of the new web extensions, say that it is comprised of what gets voted in -

I do not question the “hard work” everyone has already put in to this new browser. Am certain that everyone is convinced that this is the best new vehicle for Firefox. But you now are on the road every other browser travels. If the whole world walks that road, that does not necessarily make it the right road. The difference Firefox made in the first place is no longer there. The only “vital” difference from all other browsers. You now dismiss by conforming to the average of other browsers.

I beg to differ: you throw the baby out with the bathwater starting to look like Chrome.
One question: to “whom” do you cater now?
It does not seem that it is considered for the consumer or the developer. As a consumer, I appreciated the freedom of customization, as a developer I had everything I needed with firebug and fire finder. - As far as I can see right now - there is zero equivalency present right now for either group - looking at on November 12th - 2 days away from release.

I have used both Firefox from the day of it’s first release, and over the past year or so also Waterfox. I use relatively few “addons”, and have been loyal to lesser known ones that were providing solid basic functions that never were build-in to the browser.

I have to agree with Sami Chori - why strip out completely what was good versus integrate it to the core of Firefox. You already had to re-write everything, why dismiss the so obvious: not just developers but also consumers like at least some control over the tool they are using. And a browser is like driving a car. And I don;t want to drive Chrome or any other, I liked driving Firefox.

But nor you are telling me, well, it’s still firefox but a different car under the hood… your steering wheel is now rigid [you can no longer adjust it], the color is predetermined, and oh yeah, you don’t need to worry about the speed anymore, we have automated it at a steady 55 mph. Welcome to the new showroom.
This is my impression right now of what I see so far.

I am around a long time too, since 1993, I earn my living by knowing what consumers want and need, accurately predict consumer trends, and keep abreast with daily technology development [not just internet, since it is but a small part of our future, that changes daily].

I am sticking around to see what FF Quantum brings - but right now not holding my breath just yet. I welcome change, change is necessary - but only if it is better than the past. For right now I see a chrome play unfolding. Am just not sure at this point to whom you will appeal most? Of course - granted there are always still newbies coming online looking for a browser.

I will see what is left over from what was until not too long ago my daily and most important tool - Firefox. If it is better [other than speed/that I can get from Waterfox] than what it was [am not talking about the last few months] before when it still was better than any other browser out there. I never used IE, or chrome etc. - yes I have them all installed but only for testing during project development phases. Primary browser always was and still currently is Firefox. Will see if it remains as that.

If you ever read the book or watched “Who moved my Cheese…” then you know that change is good, but it still has to serve up the same solid brand of cheese… :slight_smile:

Thanks for your opinion @mediapuck, yes I have an optimistic view here because I think this is the right move. In fact, I’m going to write to all my contacts on Tuesday to explain why I think this new Firefox is important and why some of them should consider return back.

  • Speed: We are now competing face to face with Chrome here, no reason to say Firefox is slower any more. And this is just the first Quantum iteration, more to come.
  • Privacy: Anti-tracking protection can be now enabled for all sites. Privacy protection and huge speed boost. (differentiator factor)
  • Customization: We are still a very customizable browser compared with others, and the changes coming to the themes api will improve this.
  • We are still the only browser developed by a non-profit with thousands of volunteers around the world with no hidden agenda. (differentiator factor)
  • We don’t collect personal information to sell to advertisers (differentiator factor)
  • Superior developer tools. This is my impression as webdev compared with other browsers.

And I agree with you, we need show a differentiator factor for users to choose Firefox. I think we already have in some fields and we need to explain it, but we need to be more bold with our values and put them into the browser (tracking protection, fingerprinting, sandboxing…)

Cheers.

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The decision to make these changes was openly discussed at length from around 2.5-3 years ago. There’s not a great lot that any of us can do at this final stage of the roll-out. Our time for input would have been more useful in 2014. I personally did not become switched onto this issue until 2016. On research it does appear it was not some hierarchical organisational overarching decision made but an open ‘we need to fix this or be stuck, defined by our legacy’. And not a decision that was taken lightly.

Optimism is a positive of course and it needs to be a major factor - if you don’t believe in your own project, no one else will :slight_smile: - my point was and is to wait and see if the new version has been able to retain the original values. The shiny new coat will definitely appeal to the “now” generation and probably a younger age group too.

You will have a win-situation if you are able to keep up with whatever ‘Facebook’ does with new implementations [I personally am not a Facebook fan :)] To me it always seems that FB wants to do it all, including what is a browsers job :).

Keep up with their trend, you should regain your market share in no time. [I only mention FB because they make it the most difficult for any browser] to either capture or download/specifically video].

I have always promoted within my global circle for anyone to use Firefox, and will continue to do so, when 14th rolls out and I still recognize the the core of Firefox.

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@mediapuck Thank you for your responses. I feel you are truly the only one who understands what I’ve seen and experienced through the years using Firefox. It truly sat atop the mountain, while developers created & developed, and maintained great applications. Now, I can only imagine how many of the devs are going to give up. The only ones I see truly making sure it always works alright are people behind such plugins as the noscript team or the adblock one.

As for Firefox itself, the browser became something it was never meant to be. And for someone to say that people spoke about it means little (referring to David Ross’ statement). The reality is that most people don’t visit forums, especially if they don’t know they exist, or it hard to find (believe it or not, the discourse platform is hard to find), while others don’t have the time to waste reading and responding etc. etc. Usually something called school or family.

For heaven’s sake, there are a countless amount of subforums - it’s stupidly unrealistic @sw1ayfe to assume anyone would even know where to look!!! For the links that David Ross shared, it’s in a Google Group? What? As in the creator of Chrome? Who in their right mind would randomly wander off in a Google group? For a Mozilla browser no less. The last place I would EVER look at for anything Mozilla related would be in a Google application.

@mediapuck The most hypocritical thing about this mess is the fact that most people who use it, and are affected by this, have zero voice in this matter. I came to this discourse platform because I needed to state my immense discontent and the ones of millions of others. @sw1ayfe I find this highly hypocritical to state that Mozilla had this massive discourse and plastered many discussions inside Google Groups. That’s the LAST place I would ever look into for anything Mozilla related. The fact that you stated that there were discussions, and shared links to a Google Group, infuriates me so much. The hypocrisy in this is mind boggling.

@nukeador:

  • Speed: Good I guess? But, Chrome is very slow when it opens up. So speed was never an issue imo in relation to Firefox.
  • Privacy: Thank you.
  • Customization: You did not just say that… that is false. You have emulated Chrome and made it less customizable in terms of themes, and now plugins.
  • Non-profit: Thank you for being a non-profit. Definitely better than Chrome in that respect.
  • Personal information: False, but not your fault. Here is why - Google does, and most people use Google. Therefore, you provide Google with the capability to collect more information because of the fact that you have a browser without a proprietary search engine like the Google Search Engine which Google possesses. Without even speaking about their email system that every single person with a computer uses.
  • Dev tools: I prefer the versions off of Palemoon (they are bounds and leagues better). The FF one is buggy, where I often cannot see the information, it’s just not there where it should be. At worst, I use the Google one, which is decent.
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Let’s keep the tone of this conversation civic, please.

Google Groups is an interface to the newsgroups Mozilla has been historically been using since 1998.

In the last years some of us have been advocating for moving discussions to a single Mozilla-owned platform here at discourse, and most new discussions have been happening over here.

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But we’re not talking about that here @nukeador, but rather about discussions that happened years ago, not the ones happening here. Although since you are bringing it up, there is literally 40 categories. Do you honestly expect most people to take a look at 40 categories to see what’s new, what’s different and what’s going on? Be honest.

I am trying to advocate for a real, honest Firefox, not a clone. So, if I am having a massively difficult time getting my point across, then I cannot imagine how you feel if you are trying to make something happen but are failing at doing so. You are on the council, the council, and you seem to be saying you are having difficulty convincing others to bring everything here. If this is what is happening, I truly and sincerely feel bad for you.

Man, if I had to create categories, I would have the following ten (with subcategories for the language forums):

  • Mozilla - languages / اللغات / 语言 / kielet / Sprachen
  • Mozillians
  • Student Empowerment
  • World Community
  • Suggestions
  • Firefox Nightly (Beta Build)
  • Bugs
  • Development, Tools and Plugins
  • Linux / Mac / PC Versions
  • Meta

I fail to understand why there are 40 categories. It boggles my mind to believe that anyone would find what they are looking for within such a vast array of forums. Having a massive array of them is a great way to isolate so many individuals who turn back once they see 40 categories. I almost turned back, but for the greater cause, I persevered and was hoping to make some people see reason, and most importantly for them to see the perspective of an outsider.

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Mozilla goes well beyond Firefox and regional communities. We’re trying new things like tagging to organize discussion better but we really do have lots of different communities who do very different things.

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It’s more like 200.

247 to be exact, but a fair few of them are archived.

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That’s… even worse…