19 votes

Project Code Rush - The Beginnings of Netscape/Mozilla

14 comments

  1. [13]
    CrazyOtter
    Link
    This is one of my favorite technical documentaries. It follows a group of coders at Netscape for a year as they try to save the company from being crushed by Microsoft. With the news here that...

    This is one of my favorite technical documentaries. It follows a group of coders at Netscape for a year as they try to save the company from being crushed by Microsoft.

    With the news here that Microsoft are moving to a browser based off Chromium it looks like we're seeing history repeat itself except instead of Netscape vs Microsoft it's now Mozilla vs Google.

    How many of you use Firefox? If not any particular reasons why?

    p.s. I'm fully aware of the unfortunate fact that this documentary is hosted on Google's infrastructure!

    5 votes
    1. Tardigrade
      Link Parent
      I use it because I like the customisability and also mainly that it's not google or microsoft

      I use it because I like the customisability and also mainly that it's not google or microsoft

      5 votes
    2. [6]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      I haven't watched the video yet, but I can comment on this bit. I previously used Chrome and then Chromium for a long time and I still notice a difference between its speed and Firefox's when I...

      How many of you use Firefox? If not any particular reasons why?

      I haven't watched the video yet, but I can comment on this bit.

      I previously used Chrome and then Chromium for a long time and I still notice a difference between its speed and Firefox's when I have all of my extensions installed, but Chromium lacks several key features to make me switch back, though I have been tempted.

      Let me start off by re-stating what I just said:

      I have about twelve extensions installed in Firefox that I consider to be really important. All of them are also available for Chrome, which is nice, and a few of them I have installed in Firefox actually don't have Firefox versions, I had to convert and install them manually myself.

      When I have all of these extensions installed and enabled in both Firefox and Chromium, I notice that Firefox definitely performs worse than Chromium. It takes it longer to load pages, the JavaScript execution is slower, and Firefox's UI becomes sluggish or unresponsive under heavy load, whereas Chromium's does not. Firefox also uses considerably more memory up until about the 50 tab mark, when Chromium starts using more.

      With zero extensions installed on a fresh profile, I actually cannot tell that much of a difference between Firefox and Chromium, but that isn't how I browse the web.

      So why am I sacrificing so much performance to use Firefox?

      • I use a lot of tabs, so Firefox typically ends up costing me less memory overall than Chromium would.

      • Chromium doesn't have scrolling tabs. You know how if you open a ton of tabs in Chrome, they actually get smaller and smaller, to the point that you eventually cannot even see the website's favicon? That's a problem for someone who uses a lot of tabs. Firefox, after a certain point, stops reducing the size of the tabs and just loads the rest of them in a list off-screen instead. This makes browsing through open tabs very nice and easy.

      • Chromium's UI for browsing and interacting with history and bookmarks is awful. In Firefox, I can search my history for a domain, such as dwarffortresswiki.com and see all 1000+ results or whatever. I can click the top one, hold shift, click a result somewhere below it, and select all the results between. I can hold ctrl and cherry pick multiple results as well, then I can right click and open each of the selected results, or even bookmark those results to a folder. I can do the shift based list selection or the ctrl based cherry picking in Chromium's history tab, but my options are to... delete or cancel? Seriously? I cannot even open all of those links at the same time. I still have to click each one manually.

      • Firefox and Chrome both suck for detecting duplicate bookmarks, and when you have thousands of bookmarks like I do, that becomes important. Firefox though, actually has extensions to help manage this. As far as I know, Chromium does not.

      • Firefox is also vastly more customizable than Chromium, and supports more exotic extensions like Tree Tabs. (Or Tree Style Tab)

      I have definitely been tempted to go back to Chromium, even in this past week alone I've almost done it, because it really does perform better than Firefox in some pretty crucial ways, when you load both browsers down with extensions like I do.

      Overall though, Chromium does, like pretty much every Google product, suffer from awful, pointlessly minimal UI that constrains functionality for style, to the point of not being usable. If they would finally implement tab scrolling (an issue that's been on the table for the browser since 2008), then I might actually switch back and just swallow the worse bookmarks/history functionality, but right now they don't seem to be interested in doing anything to solve these issues.

      Ideally, Firefox will implement per-tab processes in the future, as well as allow extensions to run in their own process, like Chromium does now, and then Firefox could actually be faster than Chromium, but between Google not giving us scrolling tabs for eight years and Mozilla forever playing catch up in terms of speed, I think the simple reality is that the web sucks, web browsers suck, and it's only going to get worse. Thanks for reading.

      5 votes
      1. dblohm7
        Link Parent
        We're going to do better than that: We're going for full site isolation.

        Ideally, Firefox will implement per-tab processes in the future

        We're going to do better than that: We're going for full site isolation.

        3 votes
      2. [3]
        loto
        Link Parent
        Actually, extensions run in their own process now on Firefox Nightly - I don't notice a /huge/ difference as I only use 4ish extensions, but its definitely there!

        Actually, extensions run in their own process now on Firefox Nightly - I don't notice a /huge/ difference as I only use 4ish extensions, but its definitely there!

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          I probably should have worded that part better. What I meant was, it would be good for Firefox extensions to each get their own process, or at least, have more than one process for all of the...

          I probably should have worded that part better. What I meant was, it would be good for Firefox extensions to each get their own process, or at least, have more than one process for all of the extensions.

          Unless that's already the case. My understanding is that it is something Mozilla is currently working on, but has not implemented yet, but if I am wrong about that, please let me know.

          1 vote
          1. loto
            Link Parent
            I remember reading about it a while back, but this (https://www.ghacks.net/2018/08/02/firefox-63-linux-out-of-process-extensions/) was all I could find on it now. If I fire up htop though, firefox...

            I remember reading about it a while back, but this (https://www.ghacks.net/2018/08/02/firefox-63-linux-out-of-process-extensions/) was all I could find on it now. If I fire up htop though, firefox has a few more processes than it used to, so I think it may already implemented in nightly (seems to be 1 process for all extensions though if I understood the article right).

            1 vote
      3. unknown user
        Link Parent
        I believe there's ongoing work in Chromium to improve the situation when many tabs are open, though I don't know exactly what form it's taking. e.g. there are several active bugs relating to "tab...

        but right now they don't seem to be interested in doing anything to solve these issues.

        I believe there's ongoing work in Chromium to improve the situation when many tabs are open, though I don't know exactly what form it's taking. e.g. there are several active bugs relating to "tab groups"; a few related commits landed recently, so I might check to see if there's any user-visible behaviour yet.

    3. [2]
      smores
      Link Parent
      I primarily use Safari. As a general rule I really respect and trust Apple's approach to privacy, and Safari has a lot of things I like (such as not upgrading browser versions in headers in an...

      I primarily use Safari. As a general rule I really respect and trust Apple's approach to privacy, and Safari has a lot of things I like (such as not upgrading browser versions in headers in an attempt to limit the power of browser fingerprinting, and blocking third-party trackers by default). Apple's keychain is also incredibly user friendly and easy to use with apps, websites, etc.

      There are some things that simply don't work on Safari (I'm looking at you, new Google Meets), and when that happens I switch over to Firefox, but that's a pretty rare occurrence.

      3 votes
      1. CrazyOtter
        Link Parent
        It's been a while since I've used Safari but I remember how usable that browser was back then. I guess this due to Apple being a hardware/software company rather than an advertising based company...

        It's been a while since I've used Safari but I remember how usable that browser was back then.

        I guess this due to Apple being a hardware/software company rather than an advertising based company like Google. They don't have the same financial incentives to milk every last bit of data from users.

        1 vote
    4. StellarV
      Link Parent
      I've actually been pretty loyal to Firefox ever since it was first released as Firebird. I've always preferred it because of it being open source, secure, and highly customizable.

      I've actually been pretty loyal to Firefox ever since it was first released as Firebird. I've always preferred it because of it being open source, secure, and highly customizable.

      3 votes
    5. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I use Firefox on all of my devices (even at work - I'm the one defiant guy who uses a non-supported browser, we technically only support Chrome). It's FOSS It's ran by a company that respects...

      I use Firefox on all of my devices (even at work - I'm the one defiant guy who uses a non-supported browser, we technically only support Chrome).

      1. It's FOSS
      2. It's ran by a company that respects privacy
      3. It has a pretty good built-in password manager. Considering it's not really meant to be a legit password manager, it's actually very secure and convenient.
      1 vote
  2. hook
    Link
    Talking about Firefox vs Chrome/ium, it is important to point out the history of WebKit – its origins go back beyond Google and beyond Apple way back to KDE.

    Talking about Firefox vs Chrome/ium, it is important to point out the history of WebKit – its origins go back beyond Google and beyond Apple way back to KDE.

    4 votes