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Mozilla Firefox

Firefox Quantum Leader Takes Over All Mozilla Products (cnet.com) 98

CNET reports: Mozilla launched the faster Quantum version of its Firefox browser last fall in a bid to restore the nonprofit's reach and influence. Now, the leader of that effort has been promoted to oversee all Mozilla products. Mark Mayo, formerly senior vice president of Firefox, is now Mozilla's chief product officer, CNET has learned. That means he's taking over more projects, including the Pocket tool and mobile app. Pocket lets people save websites they'd like to revisit, but Mozilla also plans to use the resulting data to help recommend interesting or useful sites to Firefox users. In addition, Mozilla has promoted Denelle Dixon, formerly head of business and legal work, to chief operations officer. She's overseen an effort to diversify Mozilla revenue sources, including through the Pocket acquisition in February 2017.
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Firefox Quantum Leader Takes Over All Mozilla Products

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If he doesn't have a manifesto I'm not even going to get excited.

  • Old add ons (Score:1, Redundant)

    by DarkRookie ( 5030953 )
    Is he going to bring back the old add ons
    If not, who cares.
    I guess his family, but its a pretty small number.
    • Use Firefox ESR [mozilla.org] until the extensions you need are ported?
      • Re:Old add ons (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @08:20PM (#56230797)

        Extensions that are relevant to many are not getting ported. New API is not able to support them in the form and functionality that they were supported on the old one.

        Those of us on ESR waiting for quantum castration of this version are actively looking for replacement browser. There aren't that many choices unfortunately. But if one has to accept crippling limitations of webextensions, one may as well move to chromium-derivative browsers.

        • I know it's not going to be any consolation to you, or anyone else who depends on extensions that are no longer supported, but my own experience of the new Firefox has been quite positive.

          I'm writing a web extension for use in-house at work, with async and await so I don't have to work with promises (or callbacks) explicitly, TypeScript and web-ext-types for type safety, and webextension-polyfill to provide Chrome compatibility (much easier than writing for Chrome directly, and having to use callbacks, I th

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            We all have our needs. One of the best parts of pre-quantum firefox has been that it could be adapted to serve unique needs of each and every user, thanks to the myriad of very powerful addons that could customize the browser in incredible amount of ways.

            With that gone, it's basically worse chromium. Worse web page support, about the same level of customizability. If it works for you, great. You're one of the lucky one's who's needs are sufficiently met by a browser with nothing but webextensions as addon A

            • We all have our needs. One of the best parts of pre-quantum firefox has been that it could be adapted to serve unique needs of each and every user, thanks to the myriad of very powerful addons that could customize the browser in incredible amount of ways.

              With that gone, it's basically worse chromium. ...

              I like Firefox's promise-based API better than Chrome's callback-based one (since it means I can use async functions, and not have to worry about either promises or callbacks). Other than that, this is pro

              • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                The "chromefox" is a meme at this point. Hint: you don't compete with chrome that can be chrome better than you ever will by being more like chrome. You need to differentiate to compete.

                For several years now, firefox team has been doing everything they could to remove differentiators and make firefox look and feel more like chrome. At the exact same time frame, firefox slowly sank from one of the most used browsers in the world with over half of browser market share in some countries, into its current posit

                • As far as the look and feel is concerned, I'm more-or-less inclined to agree with you, although I don't have particularly strong views on it. I do think stability and performance are worthwhile aims, though. I think this is part of what allowed Firefox to compete against MSIE, and it was achieved by rewriting (rather than attempting to iteratively improve) the old Netscape code base. This successful approach is what they are attempting to repeat, with the hope of achieving the same result. In order to f

                  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                    If you have the amputate the only major differentiator between you and the competition, and your goal is "to become about as good as your competition in other spheres", you have already lost. The scenario you present has no win-outcome. Only a loss outcome and evenly matched-outcome.

                    • In terms of stability and performance, their aim is to be better. As I understand it, Chrome uses some multithreading to provide parallelism, to make better use of multicore processors and reduce blocking. Multithreaded code, however, poses challenges for stability, while isolating threads in separate processes to improve stability incurs performance overheads. Mozilla has been working on a very ambitious long-term plan to address this by developing a new language (Rust) to allow low-overhead massively m

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      Is there any evidence at all that "chromium isn't stable enough" for overwhelming majority of users?

                      If there's not, we go back to "amputating useful components to chase potential success in useless sphere", bringing us again to no win-outcome.

                    • Is there any evidence at all that "chromium isn't stable enough" for overwhelming majority of users?

                      You could be right about that. I did say stability and performance though, and performance may be the bigger issue. With clock speeds now apparently stagnant, further gains in performance need to be made through parallelism. This is how Chrome gained an advantage over Firefox in performance, but Chrome isn't well placed to make any further gains in this area without risking sacrificing stability, while Fir

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      Same question for performance. I missed it in the previous post. Mea culpa.

                      The sentence should have been "is there any evidence at all that chromium isn't stable enough or that firefox too slow for overwhelming majority of users?"

                      Browser usage trends show across the board that FF57 release did absolutely nothing to change the trend of firefox's slide into oblivion in terms of people using it, or Chome as well as Chromium derivatives absorbing those leaving it behind almost entirely.

        • Extensions that are relevant to many

          How many, and which extensions?

        • Those of us on ESR waiting for quantum castration of this version are actively looking for replacement browser. There aren't that many choices unfortunately.

          The only one you need is Pale Moon [palemoon.org]. It will work just like you're used to and support your extensions.

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            Pale Moon nuked the jetpack addons even before Mozilla had its addon apocalypse. It now has dedicated team of people who have to mess around with each addon release just to make it work on Pale Moon. Find out more on addons section of palemoon web page.

        • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

          But if one has to accept crippling limitations of webextensions, one may as well move to chromium-derivative browsers.

          That's a bit of a non-sequitur. Why, I ask? Firefox Quantum is a better browser than Chrome, at least for my uses (haven't used other chromium derivatives). If both browsers have similar extension limitations, the only reason to move to an inferior browser is out of anger/spite. In my experience the extensions on Chrome actually have more limitations than on Firefox. Example being that Video download helper doesn't work for youtube on Chrome because Google doesn't allow it.

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            Firefox is patently worse than chrome when it comes to website compatibility. To claim otherwise is to boldly lie. You yourself confirm this. As a result, by definition firefox is worse than chromium-based derivatives. Just because you state the reason for it does not change this fact for the end user.

            Firefox's only advantage over chromium-based derivatives has been customizability via powerful addon API. This has been amputated from the browser with v57, and chromium-like webextensions has been jury-rigged

            • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

              Hey, first, thanks again for the link on the other thread (geopolitics).

              On the other hand, what is with the harsh responses I've received today on Slashdot? You and PopeRatzo have come out swinging a bit heavy given what I've said. Perhaps I'm not communicating very well today.

              To go point by point:

              Firefox is patently worse than chrome when it comes to website compatibility. To claim otherwise is to boldly lie. You yourself confirm this. As a result, by definition firefox is worse than chromium-based derivatives. Just because you state the reason for it does not change this fact for the end user.

              I never claimed anything regarding website compatibility. Did you perhaps mistake my reply with someone else's? But since you touch on the subject, it's not Firefox' fault that web developers choose not to test ag

              • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                I'll just say that you have more patience with me when it comes to mozilla. Between the gutting of the interface with 4.0, followed by australis, the only reason I found browser even remotely useful was because I could simply mod the interface because to a reasonably functional state.

                With 57, they removed this. All while hiring astroturfing bots to spam every thread about 57 with "how wonderfully quick it is, how I've moved from chrome because of how quick it is, and how this is going to get people to come

                • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

                  Thanks for the reply. I do remember hearing a lot of complaints over the last few years about the direction that the Firefox interface was heading. Fortunately I was personally never too annoyed with the changes, except when it seemed to be copying Chrome too closely, coincidentally.

                  I can understand your feelings and reaction, since you had been relying on those features. I've gone through the frustration of having software that I've used for a long time be "sabotaged" in one way or another.

                  On the other han

                  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                    You guess is as good as mine when it comes to chromium-derivatives. So far I'm looking at Comodo Dragon, Vivaldi and a couple of others as versions that may be able to satisfy my privacy and usability needs. None of them are perfect, but they are infinitely better than Chrome, and apparently on par or better than Firefox in terms of privacy protection. I.e. telemetry, but to a small company that doesn't have Google's reach.

                    • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

                      I will check them out, thanks!

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      When you do not have attention span to read to the last sentence before replying, and end up calling other people names because of your severe problems with attention span, you know you're going to win hearts and minds.

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      Show us on this doll where your teacher touched you, that you didn't even learn to read the entire post you're replying to before defecating all over the text box.

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      It is factually obvious that small company has much less ability to "shit all over your privacy" than a conglomerate like google.

                      If you don't understand this, I can't help you. Mostly because I can't come to your house to help you to tie your shoelaces, and other basic domestic stuff that people this stupid have problems with.

          • Try this test:

            1. Install Firefox Quantum on any GNU/Linux distribution.
            2. Start Firefox Quantum.
            3. Open Slashdot and some other tab.
            4. Log in to your account.
            5. Browse to this comment.
            6. Click "Reply to This" and compose a reply to this comment.
            7. Attempt to press Ctrl+Tab to switch to the other tab in order to do research for your reply, but accidentally press Ctrl+Q instead, which invokes File > Quit. Watch Firefox Quantum close all tabs in all windows.
            8. Restore your previous session and notice that F

            • by Optic7 ( 688717 )

              I get your frustration with loss of functionality, but that specific example seems like a reason to petition the developers to add this as an option or to fix the bug, not to keep a feature that I understand had adverse security and performance implications.

      • Using Firefox ESR 52 works for about five more months, after which point the only supported Firefox ESR version (namely Firefox ESR 60) will support only WebExtensions. And unless Firefox ESR 60 includes a fix for [commands] Explicit support for overriding built-in keyboard shortcuts by WebExtensions (bug 1325692) [mozilla.org], there will be a lot of angry users.

  • Can only improve (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nwf ( 25607 )

    Seriously, their management can only get better. I finally had to abandon FF on my development PC because just so slow and buggy anymore. Launching FF on my relatively new PC will solid state drive takes 10 seconds. Chrome is instantaneous.

    Inspecting elements on the page is painfully slow in FF and instant in Chrome. Both suck in regard to memory usage, though.

    I really do hope they can right the ship and be relevant again, but they've lost ground. We really need competition in the browser market. Safari was

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @06:47PM (#56230229)

    I still remember when castrated version of firefox came out, for about a month every single story about mozilla had a bunch of accounts that had the exact same marketing talking points they kept spamming. How it's so fast, and how these users migrated back to firefox from chrome because of it and how happy they are with the outcome.

    A few months after, seems that the astroturfing bots are no longer on contract. Threads about "oh so fast new firefox quantum and how I migrated from chrome to it and am so happy" are all but dead, with maybe a couple of actual users who actually use it.

    On the even more sad side, I still haven't picked what browser to migrate to after ESR gets the quantum castration too.

    • I migrated from Chrome back to Firefox when Quantum came out, and I absolutely do not regret it at all. It's finally a fantastic browser again. And no, I'm not a bot nor a paid astroturfer or whatever.

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        Fun detail. I stated above "and a couple of actual users who actually use it".

        Both of you replied to this post. But the massive bot presence that was here a few months ago producing in excess of ten such posts is gone.

        • It's almost cute how you detractors try to frame it as if no one likes or wants FF57+, but by all accounts it's been an absolutely massive success.

          Quantum (and all of the related improvements) is a gigantic step forward for Firefox, and one that should have happened years ago.

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            Gotta say, if going by current metrics of browser usage you label the dip that happened after FF57 release a "success", I guess firefox's days as a browser with any significant webpage support are truly numbered.

            • That is not specifically related to FF57, if you look at the statistics it simply follows the regrettable trend of Chrome gaining ground: https://www.w3schools.com/brow... [w3schools.com]

              • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                I agree completely, which is why I cited these statistics. Now consider the context of this thread. The entire point of quantum remake was to reverse that trend. Instead it continues. And Firefox fan above said that this is an "absolutely massive success".

                So if the "absolutely massive success" is continuation of downward trend to oblivion, Firefox's days are truly numbered.

                • Blatant Chrome fanboyism and shilling on display. You don't just reverse a downward trend instantly. It takes time.

                  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                    Did you seriously miss the "absolutely massive success" post I was replying to? Yes/no?

                    I'm FF ESR user. Looking for something to switch to after ESR axes XUL. If you even remotely think me a fanboy, much less a fanboy for chrome, you need to reconsider your logical processes that lead you to this conclusion. Something has gone awfully wrong with them.

                    • XUL was a good idea at the time, but it was also a horrible roadblock for performance and especially security. Something needed to be done, and FF did so.

                    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                      It was also the main roadblock for people migrating to other browsers.

                      Good thing it was removed, so that migration from firefox continued unabated, isn't it?

                    • You're welcome to keep using an inherently insecure browser with extremely limited support for multithreading.

    • I still remember when castrated version of firefox came out, for about a month every single story about mozilla had a bunch of accounts that had the exact same marketing talking points they kept spamming. [...] A few months after, seems that the astroturfing bots are no longer on contract.

      It's not just astroturfing bots, it's also full-on paid advertisements. If you donate money to these assholes, they will spend it on false advertising. Therefore, if you give money to them, you are also an asshole. I'm using Pale Moon now, because they seem to actually care what the users want. I have no plans to go back to Firefox... ever, unless the management of Pale Moon develops as much hubris as the management of Firefox.

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        My experience with Pale Moon as a multi-year user, and with Moonchild as the head dev in particular is that he doesn't just not care what users want. At all. He will actively tell you to go fuck yourself in no uncertain words when you have a problem with things like compatibility "because it's not my responsibility to make web pages work when they don't strictly conform to web standards". Usually followed with "this is my project, and I'm working on it for myself".

        This was used as a "final word" in at least

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday March 08, 2018 @06:56PM (#56230287) Homepage Journal

    So this is a guy at Mozilla who can actually navigate the politics there are get shit done? Great, I say, about effing time.

    If Electrolysis had happened fifteen years ago when users were asking for it and Mozilla was getting $350M/yr. from Google, Chrome would never have handed it its ass. I know, a billion here a billion there doesn't go as far as you'd like, and process isolation is so much more than a billion dollar project. /s

    Mozilla claims to care about user privacy, but through mismanagement actually handed the dominant market share position to Google, which makes its revenues by piercing the very veil of privacy that Mozilla claimed to value.

    Quantum is the best thing Mozilla has done in years, so let's see what happens. I'd love to have the Mozilla (.org) back that spun off from Netscape.

    • Mozilla claims to care about user privacy, but through mismanagement actually handed the dominant market share position to Google, which makes its revenues by piercing the very veil of privacy that Mozilla claimed to value.

      It seems to me that users bear responsibility here, and there's not much Mozilla could have done. Any user who wants to complain about proprietary software not respecting their privacy but chooses non-free software can't be taken terribly seriously on their claim of desiring privacy. Perh

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's a pain to run on Windows or OSX, but it is readily available in and auto-updates our of the Linux repos. Open source, no proprietary Google code, but still has all the security benefits of Google engineering.

        I wish someone would create a repo-like auto-updated version of Chromium on Windows and Mac, like hosted at EFF or the Open Source Initiative or somewhere as a public service. Basically doing the work of what is done by a Linux repo so that Windows/Mac users can download Chromium and know that it w

      • It seems to me that users bear responsibility here, and there's not much Mozilla could have done.

        BULL SHIT. That is victim-blaming cockery. The users had two choices; use Firefox, or use Chrome. The option "complain about Firefox's problems so they are addressed" was taken away from them by the Firefox devs, who simply ignored any and all user input. They have continually added bloat and jerked around the userbase. WebExtensions won't do everything that classic XUL extensions will, and they shouldn't have been implemented until they would. But no, the users clearly know fuck-all, and they'll do whateve

  • Thunderbird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imidan ( 559239 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @07:52PM (#56230627)
    Just please don't fuck up Thunderbird. It could probably use a few updates here and there, but it's been basically done and stable for years now, I've got my plugins that just keep on working right, and most importantly I can send and receive mail using SMTP, POP, and IMAP. I worry about the day they decide to "improve" Thunderbird with a major overhaul.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Having to install ancient versions of Thunderbird to import other mail clients like Outlook or Eudora sucks; I don't understand why they can't get those working again but I'd strongly prefer to see Thunderbird get much better migration from other clients over a Quantum makeover. I can't push people over to Thunderbird as easily when I have to do their migration work for them.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Many people will not put up with having to scroll sideways for each line to be able to read it. there is a desperate need to be able to reflow columns of text to the size that you have zoomed in to make small text readable

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Many people don't want to join up with some cloud service just to save their bookmarks. it would be great to be able to simply save your bookmarks as a file on your phone and then be able to copy these to another phone and import them that way

    • You do have one option in Firefox and that is run your own syncserver. It's badly documented and not well packaged. But not so bad to setup. Unlike chrome/chromium you can do this at all, only Google with them.

      I didn't bother to setup the Auth server for the syncserver, that is even worse documented. But you can use their Auth against your own syncserver, I hide mine behind a VPN so no real danger of data leak with this approach.

  • by malditaenvidia ( 4015209 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @09:30PM (#56231151)
    Can we have the mozilla suite back, please? This "lightweight" firebird/fox side project clearly was a terrible idea. Or at least revive the old Opera.
    • Re:Mozilla suite (Score:5, Informative)

      by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @11:22PM (#56231591)
      The Mozilla suite never went away. It became SeaMonkey [seamonkey-project.org], an "all-in-one internet application suite". The old Mozilla suite is still here, using right now the Firefox 52.6 ESR core/platform, so it is mostly up-to-date.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Of course if you just want the old Firefox and think Quantum sucks dead dogs balls and who fucking cares how fast it sucks them, there is always https://www.waterfoxproject.or... [waterfoxproject.org]. After fighting with mulefox (stubborn lot) for months it was such a relief to switch to waterfox.

        Ahh the pleasures of FOSS and the freedom of choice it provides. How stubborn am I about my tabs being below the address bar, end of time maties, end of fucking time ;D.

  • So, for disclosure, i use PaleMoon, Waterfox, FF-ESR, FFQ, for various browsing activities. Yes, i have chromium, chrome, opera and even several IE browsers (in virtual boxxen) for testing purposes; hell i even have the arcane wonder songbird fork nightingale (i think it is still the best music library for most use cases - except for the slimp3/squeezebox scenario)... But i digress. I see quite a bit of trouble brewing in and around the browser; and while I'm not bothered by the task of using various brow

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