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Why Mozilla Needs To Go Into Survival Mode

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the bears-are-dangerous dept.

Firefox 464

Crazzaper writes "I have been using Firefox for many years, and the war of the browsers has been around for longer than that. It just so happens that now we have a lot of options out there: IE, FF, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and others. People are always talking about how one browser is going to take down another, but maybe that's not the issue at all. It seems very possible that one browser, like Firefox, can be taken down by multiple browsers at once, whether or not there was any intention to compete specifically with Firefox. I hadn't seen it this way, but I do now."

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Firefox lite. (5, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 4 years ago | (#31793384)

What they need to do is remember why the project started and get back to that.

Themes in 3.6? WTF were they thinking?

Chrome and Safari both have excellent built in Web dev/javascript tools, I don't even miss Web Developer Toolbar.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 4 years ago | (#31793454)

Not themes, personas. Themes have been around for a long long time, but I think the personas as silly & superfluous.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Insightful)

EvilBudMan (588716) | about 4 years ago | (#31793466)

What about Ad Block Plus? That keeps me on Firefox and of course the MASA theme. (Monkeys In Aftermarket Space Administration)

Re:Firefox lite. (1, Insightful)

vipz (1179205) | about 4 years ago | (#31793598)

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793654)

Apparently, the adblockers for chrome still download the ads, they just prevent the ad from displaying

Re:Firefox lite. (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#31794022)

which is why we still use firefox, as the chrome version = security risk.

Meanwhile, firefox's "survival requirement" is nonexistent. They're doing just fine. They need to work on bloat and keep improving firefox, but they're not about to run out of relevance.

The money loss from the google deal ending may or may not be a big deal. It depends on if they keep up the deal again. They most certainly might do so, as google might see it as a smart investment to guarantee competition, basically.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Informative)

gavinchappell (784065) | about 4 years ago | (#31793648)

Chrome has AdThwart. Seems to work almost as well, although I've noticed more "loading then removing" of content with Chrome/AdThwart than I remember from Firefox/AdblockPlus. I think ABP had an option to not load content at all which is probably why I'm seeing the difference but personally as soon as Chrome extensions touched down and AdThwart was written, I uninstalled every instance of Firefox I had so I can't check. It had been on borrowed time for a while but I didn't have a good replacement.

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

will.perdikakis (1074743) | about 4 years ago | (#31793990)

If you think about it, Google Chrome with AdThwart is the one of the greatest contradictions in computing. Only topped by the fact that MS Office is one of the best selling software titles for Mac.

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 4 years ago | (#31793656)

Glimmer blocker [glimmerblocker.org].

It works as a 'proxy' so it works with all browsers.
I can inject javascript into any page (just like GreaseMonkey). Runs in the background. I haven't noticed much RAM or CPU usage.

Only downside is it doesn't do https sites, because the browser decodes those.

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 4 years ago | (#31793816)

There is an ABP extension [chromeextensions.org] for Chrome too. :)

    Actually, the question was silly. Why do you "need" Mozilla to survive? As long as they have something that someone wants, then someone will use it. When they have something that no one wants, then they're just entertaining themselves.

    But, the question of if Mozilla is going to die is just academic at this point. They only brought in $78.6 million dollars in 2008 [arstechnica.com]. Ya, only ... well ...

    $78,600,000 (Mozilla)
  -$ 30,000 (Me)
    $78,570,000 .. a whole lot more than I did, and I think I overestimated my income for last year. Damn, it's been a shitty year.

    But, if Mozilla went away, I'd use a different browser browser. If whoever stops making the OS I like, I'll find another one. If the Internet goes away, I'll find a different job. If the whole world goes away, well, I guess it won't matter much. ;)


Re:Firefox lite. (-1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#31793880)

Really? Ad Block Plus is that important too you? Seriously?

What websites do you visit that are so bad that you have to block the adds for them to be useful? How many websites do you visit that are slower to load because of the ads?

They are so bad that you'll continue to use what has rapidly became a pretty shitty fucking browser just to keep the ability to block them (and ignoring the fact that you can do th exact same thing in both Chrome and IE). Seriously?

How many websites do you actually notice the difference because of Ad Block Plus?

I find it difficult to believe that you care for Ad Block Plus as much as you seem to think you do. There just aren't THAT many ads on websites to justify the irrational fear of not having Ad Block Plus that seems to abound in so many firefox users.

The only logical conclusion I can then draw is that people who say 'OMG MUST HAVE AD BLOCK AND NO SCRIPT' are just irrational fanatics who shouldn't be taken seriously anyway since they are clearly disconnected from reality.

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Insightful)

alphax45 (675119) | about 4 years ago | (#31793956)

Some of us just REALLY hate ads and don't want to see them at all. Personally I find that because many ads are now flash based (no - I do not want to punch the monkey and give you my cell phone number for a free iPod) they distract me from viewing the content I went to the site for. I’m also the guy that will go online during the commercials on TV to avoid watching them. I might just be the odd one (or it might be ADD), but I don’t surf the web without Ad Block turned on. (Except at work where I have to use MSIE and not allowed to install other software – but the web is locked down pretty good too so it’s mostly tech news sites.)

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#31793540)

They started the project to develop a browser that was driven by user requirements (as opposed to the Mozilla suite, which was a behemoth driven by whatever developers were working on, all of the developers with check-in privileges).

Web Developer Toolbar? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793554)

Who the hell even uses that? Everyone who does any serious web work is using Firebug.

Re:Web Developer Toolbar? (2, Informative)

SebaSOFT (859957) | about 4 years ago | (#31794026)

Both Plug-ins are useful, Firebug can be quite cumbersome to load, even GMail detects it and give you a warning.

Re:Firefox lite. (3, Informative)

doti (966971) | about 4 years ago | (#31793612)

IIRC, the project started to give people choice.
Their goal was to save the web from a standards-hurting monopoly, not necessarily be the #1 in user base.

Thanks to Mozilla, we have that now.
Firefox can die in peace, the web was saved.

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31793624)

What they need to do is remember why the project started and get back to that.

I know. You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet browser that does nothing but display a web page as fast as possible.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Insightful)

RanCossack (1138431) | about 4 years ago | (#31793724)

I know. You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet browser that does nothing but display a web page as fast as possible.

Better way of phrasing that starts with 'You'd be surprised how few people..."

Let's face it -- Aurora, Midori, and other browsers that do that have been around for years. People don't use them because they want more their browser to do more.

Re:Firefox lite. (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31793770)

People don't use them because they don't know about them. You think Firefox would have taken off if every Geek didn't install it on their mothers computer?

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | about 4 years ago | (#31793740)

You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet that consists of nothing but (X)HTML web pages to be displayed as fast as possible. The internet has grown to be much more complex and the browsers have followed.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | about 4 years ago | (#31793746)

"You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet browser that does nothing but display a web page as fast as possible."

Those are probably the same idiots who want a cell phone that reliably makes phone calls.

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Informative)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 4 years ago | (#31793950)

I really don't see how I'm an idiot for wanting a phone that does 1 thing well and that's make a phone call. I don't care about all the other crap that most phones have. I will agree though that I'm in the minority.

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

Shagg (99693) | about 4 years ago | (#31793848)

You'd also be surprised at how many people claim to want that, but as soon as they get it begin asking... now what about all of the features it's missing. :)

Re:Firefox lite. (2, Insightful)

RajivSLK (398494) | about 4 years ago | (#31794030)

Agreed, a spell check engine could easily be seen as bloat but I wouldn't use a browser without one.. same goes for tabs, an easily accessible search box, plug ins, full screen mode, auto complete, java-script debugger, and I'm sure the list is different for everybody.

Re:Firefox lite. (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | about 4 years ago | (#31794012)

You'd be surprised at the number of people who think that's what they want, but if they got it would then complain that Facebook didn't work properly, or Google mail or maps, etc.

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 4 years ago | (#31793638)

The benefit I found from the new themes thing is that I was able to pick a theme that shaved about 5 pixels off the top by eliminating some of the horizontal lines between the menu bar, address bar, and bookmarks toolbar.

Re:Firefox lite. (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#31793722)

You can drag the address bar up next to the menu bar, that's what I used to do when I used FF.. makes sense on a widescreen monitor. The bookmarks toolbar is also pretty pointless when you have the bookmarks menu.. and at the very least there's probably a keyboard combination to toggle the bookmarks bar (ctrl-b on Chrome, probably the same for FF).

Re:Firefox lite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31794000)

I use the addon "Compact Menu 2" get's rid of the menu bar entirely and replaces it with an Icon on the tool bar.

You also get a 'Compact Bookmarks' icon for easier access to the Bookmarks menu, which can be added to the toolbar / bookmarks bar via the toolbar customistation dialogue.

Re:Firefox lite. (3, Informative)

apoc.famine (621563) | about 4 years ago | (#31794008)

On my little netbook, with the short-but-wide screen, I did as somersault did and put the address bar next to the menu, but also went a step further:

Tree Style Tab

That takes your tabs, puts them on another side, (left, right, top or bottom, actually) and orders them as a tree, with the page you spawned tabs from as the main branch. Since I have widescreen monitors on everything, I set mine to be on the left. That gives me the maximum vertical space, and to be frank, I like the tree style, now that I've gotten used to it. I find it far more sensible than the default of putting them on top next to each other.

That and NoScript keep me stuck on Firefox. I won't choose another browser until I can get something as powerful and easy to use as NoScript for it. Every time I use a computer without it, it kills me. Life is so much better when you control what your browser does.

Re:Firefox lite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31794016)

addon tinymenu allows you to combine the program menu with the address bar-makes it approx the same vertical footprint as chrome (because chrome puts tabs in the titlebar)

Re:Firefox lite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793736)

Chrome and Safari both have excellent built in Web dev/javascript tool

and how does chrome handle viewing source from POST? Last time I checked it was uselessly resending the request sans arguments. Is there a plug-in for proper developers?

How about the crap design that doesn't prevent real adblocker functionality? Pulling in all the shit and then hiding it is useless. You still get stuck on page loading when one stupid file from some unrelated site fails to send it. Chrome feels nice, but real world usage and developer usage leaves a lot to be desired.

Safari crashes way too frequently to be taken seriously, maybe that's OS X's fault?

Re:Firefox lite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793810)

Did you ever use Firebug? Web Developer hasn't been really actively developed in a while.

Re:Firefox lite. (5, Interesting)

uberjack (1311219) | about 4 years ago | (#31793866)

I love Firefox because of its plugins (Firebug alone is the bee's knees), but it's an absolute memory hog. On both my Windows and Linux machines, I have to restart the application every few days - it's not shy about eating up 4-5 GB of RAM easily. In many cases (and if I leave the system running long enough, as I often do) it consumes all of the available memory until the system slows to a crawl. It especially annoys me that it's been this way for the last 2-3 years, and still nothing is being done.

Re:Firefox lite. (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#31793932)

What programmers start talking about making an app 'skinable' or 'themeable' its a good sign you need to run as they've stopped working on the goal and instead are fucking around with code for fun.

Mozilla is slightly different in this respect as it needs some 'skin'ability since it is recreating the widget set for the OS it runs on. However, when you jump to the point that users should be able to reskin your application ... and you invest a bunch of effort into 'making it easier' to skin the application ... you've clearly left your stated mission and again wondered off into that area that is full of OSS programmers who have no focus thanks to the lack of paycheck ... or in this case, because they work for mozilla.

When an app starts adding skinning support, its time to find an alternative. This was true of Mozilla eons ago, this is just a reminder.

Go get your guns? (4, Funny)

EvilBudMan (588716) | about 4 years ago | (#31793386)

So does this mean they have to stock up on rice and firearms and survival gear?

Re:Go get your guns? (4, Interesting)

DieNadel (550271) | about 4 years ago | (#31793530)

This was marked as funny, but I actually would like to know what kind of strategies FF should follow.

What does "survival mode" means in this case? Race in new features?

Re:Go get your guns? (5, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#31793982)

What does "survival mode" means in this case? Race in new features?

Find new money. Before Google pulls the plug.

Extensions (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793398)

Unless, the extensions I use are ported to another browser, I couldn't change from Firefox.

No extensions, no FF killer (1, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 4 years ago | (#31793424)

I'm sorry, but unless and until every browser has the "extensions" feature that FF has (Specifically including Adblock Plus and No Script) then NO browser will EVER be a true "Firefox Killer".

Chrome is OK, but without extensions it's nothing more than a runner-up. The same for Opera and IE#. Safari is nothing more than a side-show.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (2, Informative)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | about 4 years ago | (#31793482)

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793552)

Are extensions enabled in release versions yet, or are they still only enabled in developer builds?

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | about 4 years ago | (#31793606)

I use extensions heavily both on Windows (Chrome 4) and Linux (Chrome 5)... My favorite (and I wish there was a decent version for FF) is chromeTouch. It enables PDF/iPhone style scrolling (just click anywhere on the page, and move the mouse)... There are a few for FF that do it, but they all have problems with selecting text (I've yet to have that issue with chromeTouch)...

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#31793750)

They have Chrome for Linux? I'll have to check ports to see if it's on FreeBSD yet.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | about 4 years ago | (#31793766)

I find it works far better than FF for Linux... It's in Beta, but so far I haven't found any issues with it (Well, except for Flash, but that's not Chrome's fault)...

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 4 years ago | (#31793738)


Both you and abigor point me to two competing chrome extensions pages. Which one is the official one? (Although I'm guessing it's abigor's link)

I was not aware that Chrome had extensions. (I gave up in frustration back in Chrome version 1.5)

Oh, and does it have a proper grownup "Favorites" menu yet, or is it still reliant on that retarded kiddy "bar" concept? (I fucking HATE fav/bookmark bars. I always disable FF's IMMEDIATELY after a fresh install.)

If Chrome has become more grownup I might just give it another try. If it's still using that stupid "blue plastic" style interface with the dumbed-down optionless unconfigurable UI then no thanks, I'll pass.

Serious inquiry re: Adblock (2, Interesting)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 4 years ago | (#31793498)

What does Adblock give you that NoScript doesn't? "filter subscriptions"? Why should I have to worry about a blacklist when NoScript allows me to decide if my "web experience" is less than it should be and THEN unblock something?

Re:Serious inquiry re: Adblock (4, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 4 years ago | (#31793590)

Adblock blocks ads that NoScript doesn't. I may want Java script to generally run on a specific website. So i would whitelist that site in NoScript. Without Adblock I would then get ads while on that site. With both I can allow scripts while still enjoying an ad-free browsing experience.

Re:Serious inquiry re: Adblock (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793782)

You should learn to use NoScript. It's a white list script blocker. It only allows ads that you've approved. Most javascripts that serve ads come from a third party. Don't just allow every domain listed for a site, only allow the domain you are browsing on.

Clean out your allow list, stop being such a user, and start over ;-)

Re:Serious inquiry re: Adblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793790)

Why to you whitelist the whole page? Why not just scripts from that exact page? Most ads run off other scripts you can keep blocked.
Of course, Adblock also blocks simple ad banners and various other stuff Noscript doesn't.

Re:Serious inquiry re: Adblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793986)

agree that no other browser can make the web tolerable at the moment, and it's not just FF extensions. image.animation_mode=none or browser.blink_allowed=false are sorely needed on those other browsers.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (2, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | about 4 years ago | (#31793550)

You are looking at it from your perspective, but do the masses really care about these things? Firefox's position is actually pretty tenuous - it comes largely from geeks telling their friends to use it, but if the geeks get annoyed at Firefox (something that has already started) there could be a mass exodus. Also, Firefox depends largely on Google for its revenue; while Google has not indicated they will stop supporting firefox, they could end their relationship if Firefox becomes weak enough.

BTW, Chrome's adblocking is about as good as firefox's at this point.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793576)

I'm sorry, but unless and until every browser has the "extensions" feature that FF has (Specifically including Adblock Plus and No Script) then NO browser will EVER be a true "Firefox Killer".

Chrome is OK, but without extensions it's nothing more than a runner-up. The same for Opera and IE#. Safari is nothing more than a side-show.

You are aware that extensions the way they are implemented in Firefox is a major activex type security issue? [slashdot.org] And Mozilla is thinking of ditching them? [slashdot.org]

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31793616)

Support for extensions is not a killer feature. No one sensible is going to use a browser because it supports extensions, they are going to switch because extensions give them a feature that they need. If another neither browser supports a feature that you want natively, but one has it as an extension, then that's an advantage. If one supports it natively, and the other requires an extension, that's not an advantage.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 4 years ago | (#31793704)

I think you're seriously overestimating how many people care about extensions at all.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#31793798)

I'm sorry, but you just don't know what other browsers offer.

Since you mentioned Opera with which I'm familiar and few extensions "specifically":
http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/ [fanboy.co.nz] + built in GUI element blocker + js black & whitelisting are all there for a long time

Similarly with...no, not all by a long shot, but...many lists of functionalities people list as "must have" and obviously available only in FF...

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

thsths (31372) | about 4 years ago | (#31793920)

> I'm sorry, but unless and until every browser has the "extensions" feature that FF has (Specifically including Adblock Plus and No Script) then NO browser will EVER be a true "Firefox Killer".

I agree that the extensions are great. I use ABP, NoScript and FlashBlock myself. However, I think it is worth noting that they do not always play along nicely, especially ABP and NoScript, and sometimes they also overlap functionality in the same area. That is of course the basic problem with extensions: you can never guarantee that all combinations will work. Sometimes fewer extensions and more built in features would be a benefit. NoScript and FlashBlock could very well be intergrated in Firefox, although ABP is probably too big and too changing.

And that only adds to the list of problems with Firefox: it is slow, memory hungry, single threaded, quite primitive out of the box, and not 100% standard compatible. Plugins are still a mess (although that may get better soon). Otherwise it is an excellent browser, but it is not flawless.

Chrome on the other hand is more stable, a lot faster, looks better, and brings more features out of the box. In fact it is pretty much perfect, if not for the lack of a few plugins: ABP, NoScript, and GreaseMonkey/Stylish.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 4 years ago | (#31793930)

IE has had extensions for ages. Longer than Firefox. They're just called Toolbars... I've never been able to get a satisfactory explanation of why Firefox extensions are better, except that there happens to be more of them.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | about 4 years ago | (#31794006)

I'm sorry, but unless and until every browser has the "extensions" feature that FF has (Specifically including Adblock Plus and No Script) then NO browser will EVER be a true "Firefox Killer".

Chrome is OK, but without extensions it's nothing more than a runner-up. The same for Opera and IE#. Safari is nothing more than a side-show.

How very true. Firefox has a big thingy going for it; It's been there long enough to appear on the corporate world screens.....If you are the CTO equivalent in any mid sized company, and you lack the resources to assist people using IE, you want something that is a) known, b) it does not crash the operating system with it when it crashes, c) customizable in some way or other.
I have been using Firefox for a longish time now, and while all the non-IE browsers share the most important quality (i.e, they're not in the merciless hands of people who would entagle some rich new feature with some freakish new operating system you would not give free to Osama Bin Laden), only firefox has a sufficiently large installed base to make it a target for some development. More users = more extensions = more users......why go further? it's Apple's App store without Some Apple restricting access. So no, if anything I think Firefox will snowball out of control...
BTW, Here in Italy there's a new ad campaign by Microsoft touting how safe IE8 is......that means MS is already gone in survival mode.

Re:No extensions, no FF killer (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#31794014)

Interestingly enough both Chrome and IE can and do support the extensions you speak of. IE has for ages, and of course chrome much more recently added support for extensions.

Firefox is hardly unique in its 'extensions' ability. What do you think an IE 'toolbar' is? Other than requiring C (or any langauge capable of sourcing a COM object) creating extensions for IE is rather easy.

What I still find amazing is that so many people can't browse the web with any thing other than ad block+ and noscript in firefox.

I do a lot of web browsing and I can find very few places I visit where I would notice a change. Either you guys tend to visit a lot of shady sites or you're REALLY over blowing the need for adb+ and noscript.

I'm going to assume its not the former.

Name recognition? (3, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31793430)

One browser can be taken down by others? I thought they should have been competing on technical excellence instead of name recognition. Nobody was complaining when it was IE being taken down by Firefox! Falling into the trap that I like it so everyone should is just weakening yourself in the long-term. If something better than Firefox appears then the logical choice is bu-bye Firefox! But people are rarely logical and tend to just do what others are doing.

Re:Name recognition? (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | about 4 years ago | (#31793872)

But people are rarely logical and tend to just do what others are doing.

That, or they keep doing what they've always been doing.

Jews (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793434)

How many shekels is a Palestinian life worth to you fucking kikes??

I hope someone invades your country and treats you the same way you treat the dark skinned natives you exterminate.

What they need... (5, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | about 4 years ago | (#31793472)

They really just need to go on a diet.
Hey guys; remember how it was supposed to be a fast browser?

Re:What they need... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 4 years ago | (#31793678)

They really just need to go on a diet.
Hey guys; remember how it was supposed to be a fast browser?

Firefox stresses my machine more than the games I play on it. I know browsers aren't simple pieces of code anymore but goddamn do they eat a ton of resources (said me with twenty tabs open.) Yeah, we're asking them to do a lot but they still fall on their faces quite a bit with memory leaks. Firefox is awful about that, hands down. The next release should be less about doing new things and doing the old things better.

Re:What they need... (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#31794034)

Firefox is really only a memory pig (and they are actually improving there).

I currently have about 30 tabs open and it is only sipping at 1 core (on a Core Duo at 1.66 Ghz). Flash tends to chew up a lot of cycles (so I run flashblock...).

Re:What they need... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31794038)

Hey guys; remember how it was supposed to be a fast browser?

I remember how it was supposed to be, but I don't remember that it ever was. I switched from the Mozilla Suite to Thunderbird and Phoenix, and found that the total RAM footprint went up. Firefox used less memory than the entire suite, but the combination of the two apps used more because they didn't share the core libs (they each came with their own install of all of the XUL/XPCOM stuff). Since then, it got progressively bigger.

I actually have FireFox 3.6 installed at the moment, and it seems quite lightweight in comparison to everything prior to the 3.x series (I didn't try any of them between 2.something and 3.6).

man'kind' almost too late for survival mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793516)

we wouldn't know what to do anyway.

fortunately, our creators went into crisis mode over our plight since it began.

showing their hearts are someplace, they invoked their wwwildly popular newclear powered (kode is bug free, way user friendly & available without any reservations/conditions) planet/population rescue initiative/mandate, which makes possible a better time of it here (no matter what happens), & the possibility of being allowed to participate in the inevitable eternity mode. see you there?

Firefaux (5, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | about 4 years ago | (#31793528)

They should develop another browser, Firefaux, and make it appear to be the biggest threat in the browser wars. Firefox can then team up with Chrome and Opera to take down Firefaux, all the while distracting everyone from the need to take down Firefox instead. Just re-animate Firefaux as needed to keep up the distraction. No one will ever catch on to the connection between Firefox and Firefaux, and world domination will only be inevitable.

No, what needs to happen is: (3, Funny)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | about 4 years ago | (#31793544)

Survivor 10: Internet Edition. Web-browsers battle it our in the toughest of surfing environments: hundreds of tabs, incompatible add-ons, swamps of malware, installs on wristwatches! (Spoiler: In the finale, FireFox and IE team up (gasp!) in a last ditch effort to defeat young upstarts Safari and Chrome!)

just stick to the mission (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793560)

make a great CORE web-browsing experience.

then do what you can to encourage the community of add-ons to keep giving people the freedom to add on/in what they want....OR not.

you actually CAN please everyone at once that way.....if you don't kill the community of add-on developers.

Battle of the Browsers simply isn't what it used (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 years ago | (#31793608)

to be.

Back in the early 1990s, it was seen as a threat by Microsoft to usurp the OS paradigm. They thought whoever controlled the browser market controlls the internet and what it can do -- the tail wagging the dog and it seemed like the future of computing was at stake. And for a while, it succeeded when IE took over and had ridiculously large marketshare.

But now that the ecosystem is more varied, the browser simply does not have this power. Until a browser become so dominant again that they can embrace, extend, extinguish standards, it really doesn't matter that much anymore. Now, the best browser is almost as impotent to change computing as the best picture viewing software (except for maybe data gathering and ad revenue) -- if everything is correctly specced JPGs, PNGs, etcetera -- the picture viewer doesn't matter that much and can be readily interchange with regards to personal preference.

Mobile phones is one exception but also because you can't swap out browsers/rendering engines.

Re:Battle of the Browsers simply isn't what it use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793876)

"Mobile phones is one exception but also because you can't swap out browsers/rendering engines."

I have IE, Opera Mobile, and Fennec all on one phone. You need a better phone.

Re:Battle of the Browsers simply isn't what it use (1)

Old97 (1341297) | about 4 years ago | (#31793918)

Sorta, but not completely true. Browsers don't all implement the same standards in the same way. You still need to do quite a bit of testing if you want to support multiple browsers on a non-trivial site. Cross-browser compatibility support built into many libraries typically only support a few (2, 3 maybe 4) of the most popular browsers. So since companies cannot afford to or don't want to support all the browsers out there, the ones with the greatest market share get first priority. Right now Firefox is very well supported because it is available on every major platform - except mobile. Mobile browsers and the dominance of a few mobile devices may end up impacting the entire browser market.

What I find interesting is that Chrome is built on Webkit as is Safari and Google promised full Safari compatibility. Since Safari (iPhone) accounts for 64% of mobile web traffic it is in a great position. Android is probably its most viable competitor at the moment and it runs Chrome. Together they (webkit-based browsers) may achieve market shares equal to IE's in its heyday. Is there a place for Firefox? What about the fact that the PC market is relatively stagnant growth wise relative to the new mobile device markets?

If all the standards were fully supported in the same way be everyone, then maybe this wouldn't be an issue, but that's not happening yet.

Switched to Chrome (1)

mighty7sd (1233176) | about 4 years ago | (#31793620)

I was a die hard Firefox fan for so long putting it on the computers of everyone I know. I just got bogged down with its sluggishness. I miss some extensions like Read It Later, but new extensions in Chrome like Google Voice blow me away.

Should stay simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793640)

Go back to the basic pre 3.0 style themes and just focus on getting all the standards supports right. Then just add a stable add on api and only release security updates until something like HTML6 comes along.

Not buying it (5, Interesting)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | about 4 years ago | (#31793650)

Yes, Firefox has some issues. Yes, the Mozilla team needs to fix them. However, I think this article is being overly sensationalistic (surprise, surprise). In a wonderful bout of irony, the same forces that made long-standing IE users jump to FF are keeping them using FF. Some are averse to learning a new UI/control scheme, others needs certain extensions to remain productive. Then there are a few, like me, who don't see the performance/crashing issues that others report. I'm not saying that they don't exist, just that I haven't experienced them.

Additionally, FF has been approved for use in many businesses, as well as the DoD/DHS to run on their networks. Chrome, AFAIK, hasn't.

With these forces slowing down non-Firefox adoption, the Mozilla team has bought themselves some crucial time in the quest to right some of their browser's weaknesses. Hopefully they'll be able to meet that challenge, and, from reading the various blogs published to Planet Mozilla, I'm fairly confident that they will.

Re:Not buying it (5, Insightful)

shallot (172865) | about 4 years ago | (#31793832)

However, I think this article is being overly sensationalistic (surprise, surprise).

It's not actually so much sensationalist as much as it's pointless. It's a huge laundry list of statistics that don't actually add up to any really worthwhile conclusions on their own merit. And I always hate it when people blow up the graph of a 1-6% change (in this instance Chrome) to the same absolute size as the other graphs where data is tenfold, but the slope is steeper so it looks fantastic. That's just plain silly. A less generic graph would have been one showing changes relative to IE6's graph (decline), or something like that, something that actually paints a picture of what is going on, beyond the obvious. But that would take some real effort...

l4d style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793652)

Survival Mode gold if you are not incapacitated for atleast 10 mins!!!

#1 firefox issue (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 4 years ago | (#31793666)

I can't manage it in a corporate/enterprise environment. Push out updates? Not as a limited user. Push out configuration? Not simply. Push out plugins, or plugin updates? Not simple.

That, more than anything else, will keep firefox out of the enterprise/corporate markets. If that even matters to them, seeing how this is still an issue.

It would be nice to be able to use only one (1)

CodeDragonDM (1570963) | about 4 years ago | (#31793690)

I know my girlfriend only uses Firefox, but on my desktop running Ubunto 8.10 I can't use Firefox for my flash, and Opera doesn't keep the visit history the way I like it. I bounce back between Chrome, Opera, and Firefox on my Eee, too, and that runs Windows XP.

If one of these browsers worked well enough, I'd be happy to only use the one at a time.

FF can be taken down by multiple browsers at once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793700)

You say it as if it was a bad thing..

Google can kill FF; won't beat IE in big orgs. (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 4 years ago | (#31793758)

FTA: "It is believed that Google’s royalties account for about 80-90% of Mozilla’s entire revenues. The royalty contract will end in 2011."

So they can kill FF soon. Although they're already doing a pretty good job feature-wise.

This has been discussed on /. before. Will "don't be evil" be enough to stop them killing a strategic competitor?
Anyways, as shown by the article, for the moment IE, (in all its versions) remains the one to catch.
How many corporations, (some still stuck with ActiveX shitware and IE6, remember), would accept Google's 'forced upgrade' policy for Chrome?

Whats the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793760)

After reading about three paragraphs explaining variations in estimates of market share, I gave up on this article's original thesis. WTF exactly is the condition FF should be watching out for?

Yes, but ... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#31793778)

All observations made by the submitter notwithstanding, I really think there is no reason to drag concepts like "survival mode" in here. What Mozilla needs to do for Firefox to survive is to make it compelling. Compelling enough that people will want to use it in preference to other browsers. I don't think there is much more to it than that.

Mind controlled firefox (4, Funny)

Veramocor (262800) | about 4 years ago | (#31793788)

They are actually working on a mind controlled version of Firefox. Unfortunately it only works if you think in Russian.

HTML5, Web 3.0 (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 years ago | (#31793874)

The thing that concerns me the most is the issue with HTML5 video codecs. Microsoft, Google and Apple all want Flash to die. Apple's latest licensing change with iPhone OS 4.0 is a full-out declaration of war against Adobe.

HTML5, SVG, hyper-optimized Javascript and the embedded video tag will make Flash redundant. If Firefox cannot stay on the bleeding edge of these advancements then it does not stand a chance.

So I suggest less bells and whistles (skinning / themes, for example), and more concentration on HTML5 - especially the video codec licensing / patent issue.

Re:HTML5, Web 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31793998)

Mozilla can certainly afford the $5m cap on H.264 licensing fees given that they get over ten times that annually from Google alone.

Theora cannot compete at any level with H.264; not in compression ratio, availability of hardware support, market share or industry support. The longer Mozilla decries H.264 as evil and patent-encumbered technology while at the same time offering almost automated installs for Flash, the more users will migrate to browsers that do support H.264 as websites are already starting to migrate for the iPad.

Does it seem a bit odd to anyone else that Apple of all companies is more-or-less leading the charge against Flash?

Not big on Chrome and IE9 won't do it for me, but- (2, Interesting)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | about 4 years ago | (#31793878)

Mozilla/FF should focus on making it the best place to develop plugins and making the browser fast and stable. I don't care about anything else really.

I agree with the summary. (2, Interesting)

QJimbo (779370) | about 4 years ago | (#31793890)

Me and my colleague were using the spreadsheet app on google docs last night whilst on the phone. I made a remark that we should probably be using chrome instead of firefox due to the faster javascript. He decides to go with it then suddenly says to me "In the time it takes firefox to load, I've installed chrome, launched it and I'm back on google docs."

Firefox needs to get it's act together to keep up basically.

theora = suicide (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 4 years ago | (#31793924)

I hope Mozilla gets a clue about their video tag implementation while they still have a chance. It is quite obvious that sites want HTML5 but they also want to stream h264. If Mozilla doesn't provide a way to do this, the browser is going to get sidelined.

My Firefox needs to go on suicide watch (1)

rayzat (733303) | about 4 years ago | (#31793968)

For browsing general webpages Firefox seems to work quite well, however a lot of the webpages I browse for work, low volume behind corporate firewall type pages FF dies a horrible death constantly. IE seems to be the only browser that works reliably on some companies private pages probably because they were initially designed with and for the IE hegemony. Because of this I tend to switch between IE and FF fairly frequently and I really have to say while FF does tend to be faster, IE is by far more stable. Also what happen to FF not being a memory resource hog. My FF browser, just viewing slashdot consume near 300MB of memory while IE consume about 30MB, I know memory consumption numbers from task manager need to be taken with a grain of salt, especially when MSFT is involved but it's a big diff. I have pretty much the same plugins on each, nothing special. It almost seems that from some standpoints IE and FF have flopped.

Chrome is the future (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 years ago | (#31793980)

Chrome is the future because what could go wrong with giving one company complete domination of the Internet?
I don't have anything against Google, but the thought of them having the browser market share that IE currently has scares me. It is not unreasonable to think that it might happen. Google is already the overwhelmingly dominant search engine. They have been fairly successful at most of the things they have worked at.
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