back to article Prepare to have your shonky password hygiene shamed by Firefox 76

Third-placed browser Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings with the arrival of version 76, replete with beefed-up password features and tweaks to Picture-in-Picture functionality. Mozilla recently said it intends to maintain release cadence during the pandemic, but will attempt to avoid shipping stuff that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As far as the things FF needs.... er.

    Did they skip the first page or something?

    (User of FF almost exclusively, since v3.0 or so--the transgressions were to Palemoon and other variants.)

    1. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      What does FF need? This is not a rhetorical question. I've used it since before it was Firefox, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot of things, but it's ... fine: it's fast enough, it does video completely fine, everything works, JS is fast enough, I kind of trust them (certainly I trust them hugely more than I trust Google), it looks OK.

      Since I'm a very heavy TiddlyWiki user, I got, to put it mildly, really annoyed when the 'remove half the obscure hacks people relied on to make TW work' release came out, and I looked fairly hard at alternatives -- Brave & Vivaldi -- but they were just not better enough to make me move, and I've got the whole TW stuff sorted enough now. And, probably, those features did mostly need to go in terms of security (because having an essentially random chunk of JS able to write to the filesystem is ... not safe in fact).

      And, in fact, better security features are a big deal: the internet kind of needs more security. Better security features are things, in my opinion, that browsers need.

      Yes, yes, I'm sure Chrome is better, but the price of Chrome is my immortal soul, and that is not a price I am willing to pay, or at least unless I get to trade it to a suspiciously handsome man at a crossroads in exchange for being able to play the guitar really well.

      So, seriously: what are the things FF needs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have to say that having been forced to use Chrome at one site it doesn't seem better to me... just different.

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    Floating video window

    "the existing Picture-in-Picture functionality now enjoys double-click support to toggle the floating video window from small to full-screen and back."

    Anyone know how to disable floating video windows? Google wasn't my friend.

    If I scroll past a video it means I'm don't want to watch it or have seen enough and want to read the rest of the page, not have the video following me and shoved in my face.

    1. Graham 32

      Re: Floating video window

      I think that's the website's own feature. The Firefox's PiP is something you have to click on to activate.

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Floating video window

      For Firefox (on OSX) this may be Preferences / Privacy & Security / Autoplay, and you want to just prevent it for all sites by default.

      The picture-in-picture thing is not related to this.

  3. I am the liquor

    ...will attempt to avoid shipping stuff that might break websites on which users depend

    Well thanks.

  4. jonha
    Thumb Down

    Mozilla FF... dead in the water AFAIC

    Mozilla is a prime example how to lose users. I was an early adopter and more or less went directly from Netscape to Mozilla. But... after one too many updates which AGAIN broke something I was relying on I decided to switch to Pale Moon... that was umpteen years ago (at least it feels like umpteen years :-/)

    I never looked back and I never will. (Yeah, never say never.)

    (Not to talk about their needless UI changes, botched upgrades, installing extensions w/o asking the user, telemetry, etc etc.)

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Mozilla FF... dead in the water AFAIC

      Don't forget the 'whoopsie- we let the SIGNING CERTIFICATE FOR OUR PLUGIN SYSTEM EXPIRE AND BROKE *EVERYONE'S* PLUGINS' incident which was the final nail in the coffin for me, so to speak.

  5. DJV Silver badge

    Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

    How about they stop trying to chase Chrome and give users the ability to easily turn off all the annoying crap they keep inflicting upon us?

    For example, the "revamped" megabar bollocks - I've got FF set to use a separate search field so I DON'T want search and shonky suggestions added to the address bar when all I'm trying to do is enter an address myself!

    I'm already using PaleMoon for more and more regular browsing - Mozilla are beginning to push me fully in that direction.

    Sigh...

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

      "I've got FF set to use a separate search field so I DON'T want search and shonky suggestions added to the address bar when all I'm trying to do is enter an address myself!"

      Does unticking Preferences | Search | Provide Search Suggestions help at all still? I'm on the current ESR one (68.xish). I still get the 'helpful' search suggestions in the separate search box though

      1. Chris Gray 1
        Meh

        Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

        In the search preferences, you can't turn off the "helpful" stuff, but you can tell it to put a separate search bar up there. Then, go back to "customize" and remove it. My URL bar went back to not being the fat thing. Now, how do I get rid of the >> saying I have more bookmarks, when they are actually all shown.....

        1. Chris Gray 1

          Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

          I'll keep my comment there, but, well, it isn't consistent for me. The fat thing comes back if I'm on an empty page (e.g. just started up). The useless ">>" is always there. Gah.

          1. BenDwire Bronze badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

            You've not put something in the overflow menu have you? That creates >> on the top line, just before the hamburger menu.

            If you've got >> on the end of your bookmarks toolbar, then I'd suggest editing some of the icon titles to make them shorter, as you need a fair bit of clear space to prevent the >> from appearing.

            (I'm on FF76 on Debian)

      2. Irongut Silver badge

        Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

        Annoyingly the fatbar ignores the standard user prefs so you will need to use about:config but its quite simple. A quick Google will tell you the values to edit and anyone reading the Reg should be capable of editing about:config.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

      >How about they stop trying to chase Chrome

      It is worse than that.

      With the integration of password management, they are also chasing: the dedicated password manager vendors and all the security suite vendors that now include a password manager.

      Personally, I use LastPass for a reason - its cross-platform, not locked to a specific browser or security suite. I suspect others use other reputable password managers for similar reasons. So this just becomes yet another feature that will be turned off, just as I uninstalled the free version of Kaspersky's password manager that gets included with their security suite.

      Given browsers are becoming an entire containered OS, I suggest it is about time they started having published API's and better support for third-party enhancements. Perhaps this is something the Open Group could resolve and deliver a POSIX standard.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Firefox has sought to arrest its slide in the rankings

      Goodness, I'm glad I suppressed updates after version 71. Why does everything get worse in the name of 'progress'?

  6. Maximum Delfango
    Thumb Up

    I like the pointless stock photo...

    ...though could we have the Eee girl instead?

  7. Snake Silver badge

    LOL, passwords

    So Mozilla is rolling out an integrated password manager.

    On all my Firefox installations, desktop and mobile, the autofill password is borked. Sometimes I get complete autofill; sometimes the fields refuse to get filled in at all; or, more often, I must supply the username first before Firefox decides to complete the rest. Sometimes things work, sometimes it doesn't.

    How about you fix that first, you damn idiots Mozilla, instead of worrying about integrating yet ANOTHER "feature" we may or may not want??!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dunno, maybe i'm special but FF has been fine for me from day one. FF plus NoScript means I am comfortable about browsing, never come across a site that didn't work for me (after fiddling with NoScripts permissions). Chrome will never find a home here, I give enough info to Google on my phone, not going to let them join the dots.

  9. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Questions

    "It will also prompt to update passwords if you have an account on a breached website and have used the same password elsewhere ..."

    You mean it's keeping a record of your password use somewhere within Firefox? No chance of that being a tempting attack target then?

    "Complex, secure passwords can now be generated within the browser ..."

    Secure against what? There's no such thing as universally secure - what threat are they contemplating?

    "Complexity", as normally envisaged by password enthusiasts, is no more than "looks random to me", which means absolutely nothing in terms of real security. After over a quarter of a century of password rule making it's about time the basic principles of randomness got taken on board, including what it really means, when it's useful and when it isn't.

    Apart from which, I don't want my browser vendor to give me guidance or advice, let alone make decisions on my behalf - I want them to give me a stable, reliable and entirely transparent tool within which I can make my own decisions.

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