37 votes

Opera, Brave, Vivaldi to ignore Chrome's anti-ad-blocker changes, despite shared codebase

27 comments

  1. [4]
    Deimos
    Link
    I think the risk here is that when the relevant API(s) stop getting maintained by Chromium, there may no longer be any common ground on it between the different browsers. That might mean that they...

    I think the risk here is that when the relevant API(s) stop getting maintained by Chromium, there may no longer be any common ground on it between the different browsers. That might mean that they each have to start maintaining their own internal version of it that could have minor differences between browsers, which makes it harder for the extension developers to build something that will work in all the browsers. It could start getting quite messy if some of the future changes to Chromium end up relying on the manifest changes as well, and they have to find a way to try to have both.

    I don't know, maybe the separate browser developers can all collaborate on something developed separately that can be integrated into each of their browsers to keep them all in sync, but that seems like it could be difficult both functionally and organizationally.

    17 votes
    1. lionirdeadman
      Link Parent
      In this context, it's not really needed, the API reference is already existing, they just need to keep it working. And from what I know, upstream is just making it enterprise-only. I do wish they...

      I think the risk here is that when the relevant API(s) stop getting maintained by Chromium, there may no longer be any common ground on it between the different browsers.

      In this context, it's not really needed, the API reference is already existing, they just need to keep it working. And from what I know, upstream is just making it enterprise-only.

      I do wish they would make a fork without Google though. That'd be quite good.

      5 votes
    2. zee
      Link Parent
      It may be difficult but it's the beating heart of open source.

      I don't know, maybe the separate browser developers can all collaborate on something developed separately that can be integrated into each of their browsers to keep them all in sync, but that seems like it could be difficult both functionally and organizationally.

      It may be difficult but it's the beating heart of open source.

      4 votes
    3. panikode
      Link Parent
      The other interesting bit will be how their security models change. One benefit of Chrome/Chromium thus far is how much Google puts into securing it; there’s a reason it’s the browser of choice...

      The other interesting bit will be how their security models change. One benefit of Chrome/Chromium thus far is how much Google puts into securing it; there’s a reason it’s the browser of choice among security researchers.

      By maintaining a diverging codebase you lose that unless you spend quite a bit of time merging and refactoring around Google’s changes to the codebase. (This is already an issue with Chromium-based browsers as they’re only as secure as their update cadence with respect to Chromium’s code. This will aggravate that process).

      2 votes
  2. [18]
    mike10010100
    Link
    Has anyone had any experience with Brave? I'm wondering how it fares when compared to Firefox. I just switched over from Chrome to Firefox after this whole anti-ad-blocker debacle and am curious...

    Has anyone had any experience with Brave? I'm wondering how it fares when compared to Firefox. I just switched over from Chrome to Firefox after this whole anti-ad-blocker debacle and am curious of people's experiences.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      lionirdeadman
      Link Parent
      Brave's business model from my point of view is disgusting in many ways : They want to replace people's ads with their ads They say they give money to the content creators but really, they've not...

      Brave's business model from my point of view is disgusting in many ways :

      • They want to replace people's ads with their ads
      • They say they give money to the content creators but really, they've not asked for their permission and they're taking money even if the person tells them explicitly that they don't want to.

      And also, their model with their cryptocurrency is basically just a monopoly on advertising for their users, I can't really respect it..

      On the other hand, their pro-blocking stance is something I like but they're also on the chromium bandwagon which really just means that websites are more and more made not from web standards but chromium standards in certain cases which is really bad for the web.

      As for the browsing experience, it's what you'd expect from a browser with an adblocker and like... 10 extensions. It's fairly standard, I'd stick to Firefox.

      25 votes
      1. [3]
        mike10010100
        Link Parent
        All right! Glad to see I made a good choice. Yeah the advertising stuff in Brave always felt kinda....squicky. It feels like it's giving people a feel-good option to "give money to content...

        All right! Glad to see I made a good choice. Yeah the advertising stuff in Brave always felt kinda....squicky. It feels like it's giving people a feel-good option to "give money to content producers", but it's really just lining the pockets of the Brave folks. I'd love to see how they even work out giving money to the content creators.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          lionirdeadman
          Link Parent
          It's my understanding they email them telling them how to create a brave wallet for their cryptocurrency then you can turn it back into actual money. The problem is if you say no, they keep taking...

          I'd love to see how they even work out giving money to the content creators.

          It's my understanding they email them telling them how to create a brave wallet for their cryptocurrency then you can turn it back into actual money. The problem is if you say no, they keep taking money in your name anyways.

          6 votes
          1. Diff
            Link Parent
            They try to email you, but since you never signed up you don't really have a guaranteed address on file. And they only make that weak attempt to say "hey you have money, come and get it I guess or...

            They try to email you, but since you never signed up you don't really have a guaranteed address on file. And they only make that weak attempt to say "hey you have money, come and get it I guess or don't" after they've managed to slurp away $100.

            8 votes
      2. nothis
        Link Parent
        I saw Brave pop up in recent weeks as a Chrome alternatives but I guess I never read the fine print. If I just got this correctly, this is crazy! Firefox remains the only true alternative.

        I saw Brave pop up in recent weeks as a Chrome alternatives but I guess I never read the fine print. If I just got this correctly, this is crazy!

        Firefox remains the only true alternative.

        3 votes
    2. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Other people have covered criticisms of Brave, so I won't rehash those, but I do think there's one thing it does really well: it brings awareness to the prevalence of tracking and ads online....

      Other people have covered criticisms of Brave, so I won't rehash those, but I do think there's one thing it does really well: it brings awareness to the prevalence of tracking and ads online. Every time you open a new tab it shows you how many ads and trackers it has blocked cumulatively.

      I set up Brave for a family member who is interested in privacy but knows next to nothing about the internet nor technology other than how to use a browser. I told them to use it instead of Chrome for a week and then tell me their numbers. When I checked back in they were floored at the thousands of trackers and ads blocked. They had no idea it was that pervasive!

      As of now, I am comfortable recommending Brave to non-techy people as a foolproof way of improving their privacy. It's a drop-in replacement for Chrome that Just Works with their Google account, bookmarks, and add-ons. It also actively communicates to them just how much they're being tracked and targeted online. It's not the ideal, but I don't want perfect to become the enemy of good, and I think the long game of awareness is better than an abrupt but potentially negative immediate shift that might drive them right back to the comforts of Chrome.

      That said, I feel like Brave is only trustworthy right now, while it's trying to build a userbase. All of their BAT and ad-replacement stuff is still opt-in, which doesn't feel super scummy, but there will definitely come a day when they're turned on by default, and then a further day when you can no longer turn them off. I'll change my recommendation once they start making those moves.

      One thing I think Firefox should steal from Brave is the educational component. It would be great if they too showed regular users just how much they're being watched online. Even better if they show who's doing it! Most people in my circles have no idea how bad it is, and even though Firefox has stepped up its privacy game considerably and now blocks a lot by default, it pretty much does so silently. I feel like a little more noisiness on the issue might go a long way in communicating its severity to users.

      Imagine how powerful it could be if Firefox had something you could click that showed a sort of privacy summary. Something like: "Facebook attempted to track you across 86% of the sites you went to this week." or "We've blocked an average of 6.2 ads per site over the last hour." Continued feedback of this type, however it would be best implemented, could be incredibly beneficial at raising awareness.

      16 votes
    3. Diff
      Link Parent
      The company backing it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Their business model seems to be essentially taking ad revenue from site owners and converting it into their own cryptocurrency. I tried to...

      The company backing it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Their business model seems to be essentially taking ad revenue from site owners and converting it into their own cryptocurrency. I tried to sign up my websites for BAT at one point but creating a wallet and signing up for a cryptocurrency exchange, decided that was all just more effort than it was worth to turn my ads back into something actually usable on my hosting bills.

      I'm a fan of privacy, I'm also a huge fan of enabling advertisement without invading people's private lives. But Brave isn't the way I'd want to do it.

      6 votes
    4. [10]
      synergy
      Link Parent
      I've been using brave for over a year now and like it. Every time I decided to give firefox a chance I've had issues with it and ended up switching back to chrome in the past. From huge memory...

      I've been using brave for over a year now and like it. Every time I decided to give firefox a chance I've had issues with it and ended up switching back to chrome in the past. From huge memory leak issues from many years ago(fixed now) to certain flash content not loading, to certain extensions not working properly. I agree with the concerns that other people had with their business model, but I think it's the lesser of all the evils out there right now while still enjoying the user interface.

      I'm also not a fan of some of the more recent things Mozzila has done. Like the looking glass controversy, pocket integration and forcing Brendan Eich to resign.

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        What website still uses Flash? Did you report it to the extension maker? It seems like it's on their side? I think pushing other chromium-based browsers is just pushing Chrome mono-culture...

        to certain flash content not loading

        What website still uses Flash?

        to certain extensions not working properly

        Did you report it to the extension maker? It seems like it's on their side?

        but I think it's the lesser of all the evils out there right now while still enjoying the user interface.

        I think pushing other chromium-based browsers is just pushing Chrome mono-culture further. It's an evil that other browsers have fallen for because they're scared of going on their own and because of Google's killing grip on the web.

        6 votes
        1. hamstergeddon
          Link Parent
          You'd be surprised. Some still use it for video playback, it's useful for copy/paste functionality (eg, auto-copying a URL), and I'm sure there are other niche uses out there. Nobody's creating...

          What website still uses Flash?

          You'd be surprised. Some still use it for video playback, it's useful for copy/paste functionality (eg, auto-copying a URL), and I'm sure there are other niche uses out there. Nobody's creating entire sites out of it anymore, but it's still used for smaller features here and there. Which is silly because there are flash-free solutions to the problems I mentioned. One example of a larger site still using it would be Comcast's online streaming.

          5 votes
        2. [7]
          synergy
          Link Parent
          like I said this was over the years like when chrome first came out I switched to chrome due to firefox's memory leak issues. the flash thing is obviously a non issue anymore. yep they either tell...

          What website still uses Flash?

          like I said this was over the years like when chrome first came out I switched to chrome due to firefox's memory leak issues. the flash thing is obviously a non issue anymore.

          Did you report it to the extension maker? It seems like it's on their side?

          yep they either tell me to use chrome or the problem is extensions dont exist in firefox.

          I think pushing other chromium-based browsers is just pushing Chrome mono-culture further. It's an evil that other browsers have fallen for because they're scared of going on their own and because of Google's killing grip on the web.

          I agree but none of the other browsers have a good enough user experience for me right now to accept the down sides. I spend so much time on a browser I'm not willing to over compromise on the user experience. Brave strikes a balance on privacy, ad blocking, and user experience for me. I don't have room to worry about their business model ethics too now.

          1. [6]
            lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            When was that? That doesn't make any sense. What parts of the Firefox experience have been bad to you? (Other than flash and that extension issue which makes no sense at all)

            yep they either tell me to use chrome or the problem is extensions dont exist in firefox.

            When was that? That doesn't make any sense.

            I agree but none of the other browsers have a good enough user experience for me right now to accept the down sides.

            What parts of the Firefox experience have been bad to you? (Other than flash and that extension issue which makes no sense at all)

            1. [5]
              synergy
              Link Parent
              I don't remember, but the one that stands out to me was some youtube video downloading extension many years ago. This was a while back. chrome came out in 2008, before that firefox was my main...

              I don't remember, but the one that stands out to me was some youtube video downloading extension many years ago. This was a while back. chrome came out in 2008, before that firefox was my main browser. Extensions lose support and I have to add/remove extensions all the time since then. (eg. adblock to adblock plus, to ublock to ublock origin etc) I don't remember every single issue / extension that I used from 10+ years ago.

              What parts of the Firefox experience have been bad to you?

              The two that I remember the most cause it was such a pain was the memory leak which caused my browser to crash all the time (has been fixed years ago) and how horrible the bookmark manager was. More recently, firefox lacked the features for tab sync and bookmark sync with my phone. I think that has been added though(not sure), I haven't tried recently since I've switched to brave and have been happy with it.

              1. [2]
                Diff
                Link Parent
                I'm pretty sure Firefox has had those features longer than Brave has existed as a browser but don't quote me on that.

                More recently, firefox lacked the features for tab sync and bookmark sync with my phone. I think that has been added though(not sure)

                I'm pretty sure Firefox has had those features longer than Brave has existed as a browser but don't quote me on that.

                2 votes
                1. synergy
                  Link Parent
                  it probably did but I was using chrome at the time and went from chrome to brave. brave's UI is also close enough to chrome that the transition was easy.

                  it probably did but I was using chrome at the time and went from chrome to brave. brave's UI is also close enough to chrome that the transition was easy.

              2. [2]
                lionirdeadman
                Link Parent
                Yeah, that's definitely changed if you're talking about that long ago, lol. That's been a feature for years now. I think you should give it another shot.

                I don't remember, but the one that stands out to me was some youtube video downloading extension many years ago. This was a while back. chrome came out in 2008, before that firefox was my main browser. Extensions lose support and I have to add/remove extensions all the time since then. (eg. adblock to adblock plus, to ublock to ublock origin etc) I don't remember every single issue / extension that I used from 10+ years ago.

                Yeah, that's definitely changed if you're talking about that long ago, lol.

                More recently, firefox lacked the features for tab sync and bookmark sync with my phone. I think that has been added though(not sure), I haven't tried recently since I've switched to brave and have been happy with it.

                That's been a feature for years now. I think you should give it another shot.

                1 vote
                1. synergy
                  Link Parent
                  every time I tried to switch it was a huge hassle and there is an adjusting period. I like brave just fine. I don't have any incentive to switch. And the issues I have with mozilla are still a...

                  every time I tried to switch it was a huge hassle and there is an adjusting period. I like brave just fine. I don't have any incentive to switch. And the issues I have with mozilla are still a problem for me.

  3. [3]
    cos
    Link
    With the release of Firefox Quantum, it no longer makes sense to use any of the Chromium browsers. Firefox is faster, safer, more efficient, and more private than all of them. On top of that,...

    With the release of Firefox Quantum, it no longer makes sense to use any of the Chromium browsers. Firefox is faster, safer, more efficient, and more private than all of them. On top of that, using Firefox helps protect against the growing Chromium monoculture which threatens to undermine the open web.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      panikode
      Link Parent
      Unfortunately—and I say this as a Firefox fan—it’s not as safe as Chrome, even post-quantum. You can see some info here on the economics of Chrome exploits vs Firefox (Chrome exploits are worth...

      Unfortunately—and I say this as a Firefox fan—it’s not as safe as Chrome, even post-quantum. You can see some info here on the economics of Chrome exploits vs Firefox (Chrome exploits are worth more due to both a larger user base and higher “perceived security” (as that’s hard to quantify))

      1 vote
      1. andre
        Link Parent
        As a fellow fan with a deep desire to switch to Firefox, it's also not as fast or as efficient as Chrome. It uses about 4x the CPU as Chrome with the same tabs open and idle, which has a...

        As a fellow fan with a deep desire to switch to Firefox, it's also not as fast or as efficient as Chrome. It uses about 4x the CPU as Chrome with the same tabs open and idle, which has a significant battery impact on a laptop.

        It's also glitchy when rendering CSS position: sticky (with and without WebRender), and scrolling is noticeably slower than Chrome (again, with and without WebRender).

        I anxiously await the day it's a legitimately more performant browser.

        2 votes
  4. [2]
    cyanide
    Link
    I wish a company like Opera (although they're not the same people that started the company) moves to using Gecko. Mozilla needs as much ammunition as it can get; and getting companies to use Gecko...

    I wish a company like Opera (although they're not the same people that started the company) moves to using Gecko. Mozilla needs as much ammunition as it can get; and getting companies to use Gecko would be the best way to have more pawns in the fight.

    4 votes
    1. ruspaceni
      Link Parent
      The Vivaldi guys are the same guys from the start of Opera. Someone correct me if remembering wrong, but it certainly felt like a spiritual successor when I gave it a bash.

      The Vivaldi guys are the same guys from the start of Opera.

      Someone correct me if remembering wrong, but it certainly felt like a spiritual successor when I gave it a bash.

      4 votes