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Topic: Firefox to become adware? (Read 5365 times)

Firefox to become adware?
In a sense, yes. At an undisclosed time, Firefox will begin showing "new" users sponsored tiles on the tabpage. source One poster in the forum argues that Mozilla folks have to eat, too. But they already eat quite well from the money the receive from Google. But the problem for isn't that browser is monetized. This shows a decline in integrity on Mozilla's part.

Now why the quotes around "new?" In the developed world, there aren't too many people without internet. For example, as of Dec 2011, the internet penetration in the US was 78.3% of the population, which is actually less than most of the developed world. How many of the remaining 22.7% are young children or the elderly. The US does have more children as percentage of the population than say, the EU or Japan. I believe the internet penetration of emerging market economies such as Mexico ("officially" only only 29.4% as of Dec 10) is vastly under-reported, with the place being littered with crowded internet cafes and the continued growth of 3 and 4G wireless networks as well more deployment of cable and DSL internet. So again, what new users?

  • krake
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #50
But if they add APIs specifically tailored to the currently most popular extensions they'll lose a lot of innovation potential and developer goodwill.
If they don't, their userbase might shrink, something that could prove even more painful...

They have already lost many users when they moved to that roundish style. That wasn't innovation but plain stupidity.
It would have been even more users ditching Firefox because of that if it weren't the ClassicThemeRestorer extention. It looks like there is no way to rewrite this legacy extension and make a WebExtention out of it, since WebExtensions can't meddle with the GUI.
IMO, Mozilla would be well advised to reintroduce the classic squarish style where you can detach the navigation-arrows.


  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #51
If they don't, their userbase might shrink, something that could prove even more painful...
Eh? But their userbase will shrink. Like you said, something like ClassicThemeRestorer will not work.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #52
Now is the high time for someone to fork The Real Firefox :D just like there was some "Real" thing that came out after Willy Nilly Milli Vanilli went bust.

For me, Firefox was fairly serviceable since v.0.7, still called Firebird at that time, but Opera was always better. These days I keep Seamonkey around for sentimental reasons and Palemoon for great choices made in the interface and sensible conservative policies.

One thing that sets Mozilla-ites apart from other browsers is the ability to impose your desktop theme on the internet. You don't need FF for that, any fork or skin or version will do. Not sure if this is achievable with any other rendering engine.

  • krake
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #53
If they don't, their userbase might shrink, something that could prove even more painful...
Eh? But their userbase will shrink. Like you said, something like ClassicThemeRestorer will not work.
I meant that it will shrink extra because of popular extensions that won't work anymore.
If they would reintroduce the old classic theme, ClassicThemeRestorer would become needless.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #54
For me, Firefox was fairly serviceable since v.0.7, still called Firebird at that time, but Opera was always better. These days I keep Seamonkey around for sentimental reasons and Palemoon for great choices made in the interface and sensible conservative policies.
I never much liked Phoenix (nicknamed "whoops Phoenix was trademarked so let's switched to also trademarked Firebird") but from version 3 or so I thought it was serviceable. By 3.2, 3.5 or 3.6 it was almost good. Then Firefox 4 struck.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #55
(nicknamed "whoops Phoenix was trademarked so let's switched to also trademarked Firebird")
Yes, and Firebird turned out also whoops trademarked, even though they knew it already at the time when they were switching the name from Phoenix. Heck, they knew both Phoenix and Firebird were trademarked already when they were *naming* Phoenix, they just thought they can explain themselves around it.

...but from version 3 or so I thought it was serviceable. By 3.2, 3.5 or 3.6 it was almost good. Then Firefox 4 struck.
The final nail to the coffin came when Ben Goodger (the lead developer of FF) went from Mozilla to design Google Chrome. Look at the first two pics here.



So, the official story goes that at first Ben didn't like an overloaded location bar (address field), but then "...they went on and made it something really compelling." Funny how it never says who "they" are who compel the developers to make the choices, but evidently "they" behind the scenes decide everything. In the same vein, as the lead developer of FF switched ships, the fate of FF was sealed and all complaints are a pointless struggle against force majeure.


  • Last Edit: 2017-10-01, 13:03:10 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #56
The final nail to the coffin came when Ben Goodger (the lead developer of FF) went from Mozilla to design Google Chrome. Look at the first two pics here.
And yet cnn.com is still @#$@#$@#$ annoying if you want to go to cnnn.com. There's an obvious solution: nicknames.

Google always thinks they can automate things. They can't. I used to be able to tell Google in which language I was going to speak to it on my phone. It was surprisingly useful. Now I've had to disable French and German and even Dutch/English autodetection barely works at all. Anyway, breaking things is expected of Google. It's Microsoft that has been annoyingly more and more Google-like post-Ballmer. (Yeah, who'd have thought I'd one day miss the Ballmer days.)

That second comic makes no sense whatsoever. I suppose he means that "normally" (for some value of normal) separate windows would be separate processes and therefore it'd be harder to drag tabs around between them. But they still had to work around that! Unless all the windows are the same process and all the tabs separate processes? Regardless, they still had to deal with it in some way. He's just indicating there's a problem and they came up with one possible solution to the problem, and somehow that ties into the UI? Wtf?

Also, it's sad/funny how these comics can be summarized as "we looked at Opera, copied much of it and somehow made it worse in the process."

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #57
Also, it's sad/funny how these comics can be summarized as "we looked at Opera, copied much of it and somehow made it worse in the process."
When Chrome 1 appeared, I reviewed it. To me it was clear what was good and what was bad about it. The good: They took Opera's interface and made it simple and common-sense out of the box, with more features gradually to be discovered by user interaction over time. Opera's worst problem was to push too much on the user upon the first launch. The bad with Chrome: They removed all configurability.

The title of my review: Dumbusers have a new default browser.

I suppose he means that "normally" (for some value of normal) separate windows would be separate processes and therefore it'd be harder to drag tabs around between them. But they still had to work around that! Unless all the windows are the same process and all the tabs separate processes? Regardless, they still had to deal with it in some way. He's just indicating there's a problem and they came up with one possible solution to the problem, and somehow that ties into the UI? Wtf?
I suspect that the multi-process architecture tied into the UI, in their minds, the following way. First, they think that the process-per-tab idea is totally awesome. The idea is that a hung-up tab can be killed without affecting the rest of the app. To emphasise the idea for users, they come up with the visually separated tabs in the UI and bypassing DE decorations.

All that would be justified if it were so amazingly revolutionising and mind-blowingly innovative that without those GUI cues the multi-process behaviour would be unintuitive for users. Wrong on all counts. What could be more obvious that I can kill a hung-up tab and it in fact gets killed without crashing the rest of the app? Once the first noob excitement has passed, the GUI just stands out like a sore thumb in the DE.
  • Last Edit: 2017-10-01, 20:44:43 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #58
First, they think that the process-per-tab idea is totally awesome. The idea is that a hung-up tab can be killed without affecting the rest of the app.
There's something to that, but when I tried Chrome tabs were literally crashing left and right.[1] It felt more like the whole thing was so unstable that it was a necessity than some kind of neat addition.

Somewhat less cynically, it does have security advantages to sandbox off tabs more properly both from your system and each other.
I don't mean "literally" as an intensifier. I mean that out of ten tabs, two or three were likely to crash.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #59
Somewhat less cynically, it does have security advantages to sandbox off tabs more properly both from your system and each other.
Yes, it is, but the only effect on the user side is that the *whole* app is less likely to crash. The multi-process architecture seemed to me from the beginning mostly an excuse to make it less stable and more resource hungry.

And the DE titlebars are important to me. Was the option to apply the DE titlebars there from the beginning or was it introduced later? I don't know, because I could not find almost any important options that I tried to look for. Certainly the option to turn off the nagbar to translate webpages was not there from the beginning.

I don't understand what is there in Chrome that makes people use it. It landed in people's computers at first as sneakware, secretly embedded in the installers of other apps. Why wasn't there more noise about this "business practice"? Why didn't people pay attention to untick it? Are people incapable of uninstalling things? Dumbusers all of them.

If there's something in Chrome that you insanely like, is it indeed something not available in Chromium? And what is it about Chrome/-ium that FF must emulate it? I don't see any sensible reason. The only thing that explains the way things have gone is that Ben Goodger changed ships.

  • krake
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #60
Somewhat less cynically, it does have security advantages to sandbox off tabs more properly both from your system and each other.
Hmm, the Java sandbox doesn't automatically makes Java secure.

There's much hype about how secure Chrome is because of its sandboxed tabs.
If there is a critical security flaw in Chrome (and there have been many in the past) the sandbox won't stop remote code execution.
As for the fact that a crashing tab won't affect other tabs - no tab should crash in the first place, period.
If a tab crashes there is a bug that has to be fixed. A multi-process architecture won't fix the problem by magic.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #61
I think you may have misconstrued my remark about sandboxing tabs from each other. I wasn't talking about crashes. Preventing those is merely a nice benefit (or in early Chrome, a necessity  :lol: ). I was referring to something like one tab reading another's cookies or other personal information.

Nothing's magic. Of course tabs are supposed to be sandboxed from either other anyway, but making them separate threads makes it easier to do so because that way the OS already automatically takes care of a fair amount of sandboxing for you.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #62
I think you may have misconstrued my remark about sandboxing tabs from each other. I wasn't talking about crashes. Preventing those is merely a nice benefit (or in early Chrome, a necessity  :lol: ). I was referring to something like one tab reading another's cookies or other personal information.
Yes, I must have misconstrued, because "sandboxing" always sounds to me like kids fooling around, but presumably it's something different.

Talking about the new add-ons crisis - the Tile Tabs extension (in Palemoon) just informed me that it will not work in FF 57 (does this mean a version of Palemoon too?). There's another version of the add-on that has implemented the new APIs and it is available under a slightly different name: Tile Tabs WE. Since it's a different name, I'd say it's a fork. The authors had to fork their own work. You either fork or die.

This basically means tons of legacied and abandoned add-ons and yet another generation of wasted volunteer work. All in the name of a browser made to squeeze more cycles out of your CPU.
  • Last Edit: 2017-10-03, 07:28:36 by ersi

  • krake
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #63
I was referring to something like one tab reading another's cookies or other personal information.
It's nothing wrong with shared cookies among tabs. Sometimes it's a desired feature.
Starting each tab in its own process is waste of resources and serves primarily the chip-industry.
If one wants to isolate cookies so they don't run in the same session, that's what separate windows should be for.
Unfortunately, Gecko won't isolate cookies even among windows. AFAIK there are Firefox extensions for multiple cookie sessions.
Didn't test any of them. In case, I just start another instance of Firefox or fire another browser.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #64
Yes, I must have misconstrued, because "sandboxing" always sounds to me like kids fooling around, but presumably it's something different.
You might want your kids (websites and such) to stay in and around their sandbox.

It's nothing wrong with shared cookies among tabs.
Perhaps it's my fault but why are you interpreting every example so... extremely? :P The site evilsnooper.com shouldn't be able to just get all the info from what I'm doing at privatebanking.com. The specific technology involved isn't terribly relevant to the point.

If one wants to isolate cookies so they don't run in the same session, that's what separate windows should be for.
Unfortunately, Gecko won't isolate cookies even among windows. AFAIK there are Firefox extensions for multiple cookie sessions.
I fail to see why windows and tabs should behave any differently though. :)

  • krake
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #65
The site evilsnooper.com shouldn't be able to just get all the info from what I'm doing at privatebanking.com. The specific technology involved isn't terribly relevant to the point.
If cookies run in the same session, this doesn't mean that evilsnooper.com gets neither your credentials nor other info from what you are doing at privatebanking.com. If this would be the case there wouldn't be online-banking and -purchasing anymore.

On the other hand if browsers and the web are designed to give away as much as possible personal info about the user then no technology can help. This is what I notice lately (since Google is the top tier in the industry).
(A harmless example - if your browser grants access to your clipboard any remote server can snoop there. It won't help even if you visit different sites with different browsers. :) )

I fail to see why windows and tabs should behave any differently though. :)
Then we don't need them both anymore, either tabs or windows. :P

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #66
This example might affect me (not sure) https://grep.be/blog//en/computer/code/Patching_Firefox/

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #67
At work, I help maintain a smartcard middleware that is provided to Belgian citizens who want to use their electronic ID card to, e.g., log on to government websites.
There's similar software for Estonian ID cards too. I have thus far managed to avoid using my ID card for online authentication. Entirely.