back to article Fedora's Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

Fedora's maintainer for the open-source Chromium browser package is recommending users consider switching to Firefox following Google's decision to remove functionality and make it exclusive to its proprietary Chrome browser. The comments refer to a low-key statement Google made just before the release of Chrome 88, saying …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "blocks

    internal requests to Google at runtime" as a failsafe measure.

    Nice !!

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: "blocks

      Can we get an un-Mozilla'd Firefox that doesn't post data to mozilla.org at runtime?

      1. JulieM

        Re: "blocks

        Yes, if you build it yourself that way.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "blocks

        I'll just ask for one WITHOUT AUSTRALIS that uses the Old Firefox interface, as it was before...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "blocks

          The PALE MOON web browser was FORKED from FIREFOX for PRETTY MUCH this REASON.

          There are also OTHER ALTERNATIVES available.

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: "blocks

            My Pale Moon, now on PCLinuxOS after residing for years on Mint ( Mint stopped offering KDE a while ago and I finally jacked it ) has at all times looked like Firefox circa 2012 --- the high point of the Web before the deluge of Flat Style.

            Now if only websites would revert back from the moronic fugliness...

            1. ROC

              Re: "blocks

              Check out SeaMonkey, the Mozilla "classic" web browser/email client that uses FF/TB code base, but keeps the older look.

      3. illiad

        Re: "blocks

        have a try with these... all regularly updated, BTW.. :) I dunno, but you can ask on their brilliant forums! :)

        https://www.palemoon.org/info.shtml - its very like the 'old' FF, with its own addons page

        if you want something with the GOOD parts of the old FF, plus a nicer type of the new, try

        https://www.basilisk-browser.org/

        An Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: "blocks

      I just hope that, for any site that (unfortunately) uses captcha for anything [sometimes even government sites do this, like for renewing your car registration], this new "de-googled" version of chromium doesn't become as *BROKEN* as I perceive Firefox to have become. It has been my experience that the more heinous captchas [like the slow fade-in fade-out ones] nearly always FAIL with Firefox. Whether it is because I'm using a 1.5 year old version of Firefox, or whether the various privacy features in Firefox (even with scripting and cookies enabled) is causing it, I do not know. It is merely an anecdotal observation, along with my bombastic opinion, but I think I'm right about it.

      And the API issue with existing chromium kind of supports what I'm thinking here, that non-google browsers get INFERIOR SUPPORT from google. At least, that's MY take on it...

      Got the bulls (us) by the *WHAT* now???

      [good thing I don't use google things, at least not directly]

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: captcha

        But aren't most captchas now Google Crowdsourcing data for various projects?

        Malicious parasites.

        Self Driving I remember when Self Driving meant hiring a car without a driver.

      2. illiad

        Re: "blocks

        the recent FF (ESR 84.0.2) does not seem to have problems with Captcha..

      3. illiad

        Re: "blocks

        Some confusion?? AFAIK.. (PLEASE correct me!! :) ) 'chrome' is the 'layout engine' in all FF-based browsers ?? Look inside, you will see a 'chrome' folder..

        Also, is 'chromium' a new browser, or is just another name for the 'chrome' browser??

        1. John 110

          Re: "blocks

          The "chrome" in mozilla-style browsers refers to what the actual layout engine builds (page layout, window controls etc). Google appropriated Chrome as the name of their browser when it was already being used as a descriptive term by Mozilla (I believe).

          Chromium is an open-sourced version of Chrome, like Chrome, but not Chrome (if you see what I mean)

        2. illiad

          Re: "blocks

          Ok tested on my galaxy s8 (OS 7), firefox beta (85.0.0.-beta6) - better reviews on gplay..

          set to 'desktop mode'

          logged into my gmail account.

          went to youtube

          checked notifications... all there... :)

          I forget, but I think I did switch OFF 'open links', ext DL manager' ,etc... no adblock, but I dont visit many sites..

          I use 'opera beta' for most of my browsing, it has its own adblock.

          I look in 'wonder' at people happy to use a 2 inch by 5 inch display, for their internet use, when I normally have 10 to 15 pages open on a 32 inch screen, with a proper keyboard and mouse...

      4. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: "blocks

        Whether it is because I'm using a 1.5 year old version of Firefox,

        .

        Doubt it, for many years I ran old versions of Firefox --- with Classic Theme Restorer to avoid the Mozillian insanity --- even blocking the update channel, which was quite a feat, since when you install a new old version of Firefox the fox-fuckers made sure it updates as soon as possible, almost instanter; so one had to close it as soon as launched, go to the update channel hidden in the system, and open it and change the destination to nothing. Then start the browser. Quite wearing; but there's no way I'm having modernist 'clean' [ fewer features, too ] minimalism on any computer of mine.

        At any rate, I never got any viruses or harm from running an old browser, or any other programme: the insistence on updating and 'security' is mainly to have fascist devs impose their latest iron will upon one.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    From Google's PoV anything that isn't Chrome is a security hole.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      "From Google's PoV anything that isn't Chrome is a security hole."

      No, from Google's view anything that is not Chrome is danger to its bottom line.

      Money is the be all and end all as far as Google is concerned and it will do anything and everything to prevent the tiniest amounts slipping out of its clammy grasp.

      I wonder how much money is too much or is it just a way of keeping score when you have more money than you know what to do with?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @nematoad

        Enough... is never enough. - Ferengi rule of acquisition #97

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: @nematoad

          Murphys Golden rule:

          The one with the Gold Makes the rules

          So it seems Jeff just lost the rule rights to Elon

      2. TVU

        "No, from Google's view anything that is not Chrome is danger to its bottom line"

        Indeed, and it only confirms that Google is only just another dubious snake in the grass mega corporation (but we kinda knew that anyway).

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: (but we kinda knew that anyway)

          There's normally plenty of posters on here prepared to rush to Google's defence. Wonder if the time difference means the USAsians haven't read this yet?

      3. Danny 5

        ha

        So much for their vaunted "don't be evil" credo eh?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: ha

          They dropped that some time ago in favour of "don't be mhhhmmmhhmmm HEY LOOK OVER THERE A SQUIRREL"

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I wonder how much money is too much or is it just a way of keeping score when you have more money than you know what to do with?"

        Another part of it is the stock markets insistence on ridiculous valuations based on growth. Just look at how much a company's shares can fall when their massive annual profit declaration is less than the stock markets predicted humongous profits.

        "We predict growth of 20%. OMG!!!! Growth was only 19.9%!! SELL, SELL, SELLLLLLLL!!!!!11!!1!one!1"

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I would have thought that there might also be legal reasons attached to anything that stores data on Google's servers so disabling API key, while it might seem harsh, does make some sense.

      I don't use Chrome myself, but if I wanted a non-Googley Chromium, I would want to keep it non-Googley.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The 'anything' in your sentence is the *user*. It's the *user* that chose to sync their bookmarks with Google via their account, not Chromium. Chromium is just the tool that the user is using. Google is making it so the user cannot use that Google sync feature in a Chromium browser.

        @" but if I wanted a non-Googley Chromium, I would want to keep it non-Googley."

        Oh hell yeh. Disable Google play services, as I do on every tablet I use, and you'll find everything will squark at you to turn on Google Play Services or they won't run.... MAPS, MAIL, GBoard, etc etc, which is odd because I'm not running any of them! Never have run them, never used them, never wanted to run them. Yet here they are, starting up, running automatically, telling me to turn on Google play services.

        Some of those Google apps I cannot disable, I can only mute the Notifications.

        Google spyware is the bane of Android. When you buy a device, you should get the option of not accepting the Google EULA and not having their services enabled or running at all.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          I have near permanent reminders to 'remediate' Google Play services, when you look into the remediation, it is basically switching back on their spyware.

          I use Firefox/Ublock Origin on my pc so now YouTube has blocked me from recieving notifications, commenting and sign-in only lasts for minutes before requiring another sign in.

          Pathetic childish spite that, if anything makes me more resolute, if they block access entirely it will hrdly affect my quality of life so sod'em.

          1. illiad

            using Android?? maybe THAT is the problem?? Or a bad def in Ublock?? ON MY PC, I use FF ESR 84.0.2 with 'adblockultimate.net' and have NO problems with ytube notifications et al..

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              One of my default blocks is for doubleclick.net Recently I've noticed some Youtube videos fail to play with that blocked. And by "fail to play", I mean there is a big blank space on the Youtube page where the video player window should be.

              1. illiad

                If you are using Ytube on android browser it has problems, yes... that is why you use 'vanced' or similar app for it.. :)

                unless you use Fedora... :O :O

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Google spyware is the bane of Android

          Some gadgets have an on/off setting for Google Framework. Your local Google books, comics and audio in Playbooks are inaccessible without it as the Google Playbooks App vanishes along with PlayStore icon. They do come back when it's re-enabled.

          I added FairEmail when I discovered the stock Email client on Android is just a sort of Google Terminal and you are actually telling Google all the email settings.

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    Who the hell would add Google crap back to a (relatively) clean Chromium.

    People use Chromium to get away from as much of Google's shiteware as possible so users will not add it, package maintainers will not add it. Google is basically lying at this point.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: People use Chromium to get away from as much of Google

      This SHOULD be true, or else they might as well use Chrome.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      I have to admit I have Chromium installed only to deal with the odd website - usually official or purchasing sites - that won't work with Firefox/uBlock Origin/NoScript, though I have found one huge google advantage: I'm looking at an awful lot of German estate agent sites at the moment, and the ability to flip between the original German and an English translation is very handy.

      Firefox's approach via translate.google... is somewhat more inconvenient. But it still works, so I won't miss it too much if it disappears from Chromium.

  4. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    Chromium is doomed.

    But Mozilla needs to go back to a distinctly separate desktop GUI and a Mobile GUI, stop dumbing down GUI and settings and stop copying Google.

    Waterfox Classic with Classic theme restorer is what Firefox should be like on the desktop. It should have the like of NoScript, uMatrix or UBlock Origin built in. The mobile version should look somewhat like Brave, but with all the traditional settings.

    You almost don't need AV, if you block all 3rd party and all bad domain by default. Drive by malware via adverts and stupid web design is the big issue. Also block default scripts of ALL SM site buttons and replace them with a simple HTML link.

    Chromium is doomed and can it really be a good idea that MS is basing Edge on Chrome/Chromium. Chrome is really intended to be spyware for Google and allow their adverts to run smoothly. Google are an Advert Agency. As such they should be forced to divest of Chrome, Chromebook and Android at the least. They have proven that they are not trustworthy.

    People should also stop using remote Google APIs, captcha, fonts and Analytics. Install scripts, fonts and images on your own servers!

    Google are the worst sort of parasite.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Chromium is doomed.

      "But Mozilla needs to go back to"

      They need to do more than that. I got a new tablet, put on the latest Firefox for Android and was horrified (horrified, I tell you) to see that the official list of add-ons amounted to a party eleven things. The older stuff? Didn't want to work because long complicated internal changes.

      Since the latest didn't do what I wanted it to do, I pulled an earlier (pre-broken) version from my phone and installed all the add-ons I use (noting that the official site told me repeatedly, incorrectly, that they wouldn't work).

      So, what (Android) browser has a decent set of anti tracking, content blocking, and cookie munching options that isn't broken?

      1. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: Chromium is doomed.

        The Firefox Nightly app, with an annoying workaround, will allow you to install add-ons. You have to create a collection of your preferred add-ons on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/collections/ and then select it in the app. Then, Mozilla will graciously allow you to do what should be possible without all this bother.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Without all the bother

          Or just shut down your auto updates and continue to use your older Firefox.

          Problem solve-ed (Angry Beavers reference).

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: need to do more than that

        I put up with increasing daft Firefox mobile on phone and tablets for years. Had to recently change to Brave (based on Chromium) because Firefox just got too stupid on GUI and also seemed to remove settings.

        You do need to change some defaults on Brave.

        Also I now don't use any site where I have to login on my mobile or tablet, mostly Waterfox on desktop Linux. I have Chromium on Linux to access some Google Services / Accounts and Firefox for maybe two sites so I don't have to remember to use the Cookie Swap plugin on Waterfox.

        And who was the idiot that decided tabs should be separate from the document, above all control interface GUI elements? At least Classic Theme Restorer on Waterfox Classic fixes that. You also need the Classic Plugin Repository plugin on Waterfox since Mozilla purged.

        Brave is less than I want on phone/tablet, but seems better than Android's cut down Chrome called Browser or Firefox mobile.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Chromium is doomed.

      But Mozilla needs to go back to a distinctly separate desktop GUI and a Mobile GUI, stop dumbing down GUI and settings and stop copying Google.

      pre-Australis UI. 3D Skeuomorphic!

    3. illiad

      Re: Chromium is doomed.

      or just use Basilisk... see my last post..:P

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge

    It's my ball, and I'm taking it home

    "There are numerous references to the "It's my ball, and I'm taking it home" huffy idiom, including a charming panda. Just don't search for them using my browser APIs. They are mine, and I'm taking them home. " ~ Sundar Pichai

  6. Elledan Silver badge
    Meh

    The browser-as-the-platform endgame

    Over the years, browsers have changed from document viewers to full-blown development targets for applications (JavaScript, WASM, Canvas & other HTML 5 APIs). Not only that, but especially Google seems to be adamant to shuffle as many new features into Chrome as possible to presumably further their own web-based goals. Don't forget that Google also is the force behind ChromeOS, which literally is the very definition of Chrome-as-your-OS.

    Currently, it's a complete pain to make Google's services operate with regular desktop applications, e.g. GMail and the hoops one has to jump through in order to use your own email client (via IMAP) instead of their web-based monstrosity. Not only does one have to explicitly enable IMAP support, one then also has to enable 'allow less secure access' (i.e. IMAP) and retoggle that option every time one uses e.g. K9 on Android to access a GMail account after a barrage of 'security warnings'. How long until even IMAP access is disabled? What recourse would one have but to settle for the GMail Web UI?

    Note that this doesn't just apply for free GMail accounts either: paid 'G Suite' accounts have the same problem.

    For those of us who remember when Microsoft was getting slammed with anti-trust lawsuits, this may feel like we hit the 'Déjà vu' point a couple of years ago and we're now barreling into new & exciting unexplored monopolistic behaviour.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

      >Currently, it's a complete pain to make Google's services operate with regular desktop applications

      Noted how the major web browsers now prefer you to be signed with their account.

      Google has taken this a step further and every attempt to use Google search from within a Chrome incognito window results in a pointless pop-up, that will only go away if you sign in...

      1. trist

        Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

        Wouldn't know about hard it is to use googles services as I haven't used any of them directly since 2012.

        Are ya'll sick of being google's bitches too?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: I haven't used any of them directly since 2012.

          So just allowing them to follow you around the internet with GA then?

          Most sites serve scripts from Google.

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: I haven't used any of them directly since 2012.

            On my forum and any other websites I always block Google Analytics: my members should not be tracked by Google.

            Plus, on my Steve Black's HOSTS file Google Analytics is defined so as not to be allowed on my computer. May not possibly work, considering their determination, but with agile cookie destruction we can deny them their heart's desire as much as possible.

            .

            What beats me is how people can apply to work for Google --- same with spy agencies --- knowing their work is essentially that of the Stasi. Have they no regret ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

      I've had no such issues with android/aquamail/gmail/imap - I've been using it for years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've had no such issues

        That's such a relief! I wonder if we could get all google users who don't have a problem to post a comment. That'd make informative reading.

        Yes, I am being sarcarstic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've had no such issues

          I was pointing out that is perfectly possible to use Gmail's IMAP service without the problems the original poster has experienced.

          Hopefully he'll be able to therefore work out how to do it - it's not impossible as he thought.

          Maybe you don't understand how comment boards work?

          Obviously someone of your intellect wouldn't make such a statement otherwise.

          Yes, I am being sarcarstic.

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

      one then also has to enable 'allow less secure access'

      That is true as long as you use passwords for "Authentication method", not true when you use OAuth2.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

        And who runs and controls OAuth2?

        It's possible to do IMAP or POP3 with Thunderbird (or Android FairEmail) with or without OAuth. However the non-OAuth version needs settings changed in the gmail on webpage and in your actual Google account associated with that.

        Additionally ALL Google services complain if you are not using a Google client for any Google Service and your IP or device is changed. You then have to login to your account and Click Yes it was me.

        TOTAL ABUSIVE MORONS. The whole point of the Internet is using different devices, IPs, Locations for the same services. So I only have a bare minimum of Google stuff I use now.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

          You do know the 'O' in 'OAUTH' stands for 'Open', don't you? It's the standard for how to do authentication, not who it should be done by.

          You are perfectly free to implement your own OAUTH server, although a lot of people choose to use a third-party implementation for convenience, such as Facebook, or Google, because then they don't have to bother with all the detail, they can just choose to trust that implementation when it tells them the user is authenticated and not have to worry about how that authentication takes place.

          Of course, if you do go and build your own solution, you'd better be damn sure you know what you are doing, and get it right, because badly implemented security is worse than no security at all.

    4. Lorribot Silver badge

      Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

      Simple fix here is to not use GMail.

      Either you like Google and use all its services at the price they charge (all your data and personal information to do with as they please) or you don't. There are 100s of other email options.

      1. Elledan Silver badge

        Re: The browser-as-the-platform endgame

        In the case of a G Suite email address, it's very likely provided by an employer or similar, and you get no say in whether you get to use it or not.

        My personal GMail account isn't my primary email address, I got a custom domain and hosting for that.

  7. FIA Silver badge

    Heh, I was going to cut and paste a bad joke about AWS becoming the new Microsoft (with suitable s/AWS/Google/g of course), but it's so common these days I can't be arsed.

    It's a good job no-one's looking at any of these big cloud companies too hard for things like anti competative behaviour!

    If they were then actions like this could be seen as hubris, perhaps even arrogence! That wouldn't look good, would it?

  8. Chris Hills

    Another reason to use Firefox, run your own sync server

    Firefox makes it easy to use your own sync server (https://github.com/mozilla-services/syncserver) so you are not reliant on a third party. Simply change the config item identity.sync.tokenserver.uri to https://example.com/token/1.0/sync/1.5. OK it might not be *easy* easy but it's a lot easier than doing so for Chrome for which AFAIK there is no public sync server implementation available, nor can you easily change the sync service in Chrome.

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Another reason to use Firefox, run your own sync server

      They could at least have ported it to Python 3.0

  9. ChemEng

    My Grandson's primary school has started to use Google Classrooms to set and collect remote classwork during locdown. I don't know if it costs the school anything but users need to have a Google account or similar to log in. It also needs at least Chromium to function in anything like a useable way. Once in, there is a labyrinth of extra Google services that can be signed up for to make usage more convenient.

    I've had a couple of remote hospital consultations recently which will also only function on Chromium.

    In a few months my family have changed from dedicated Googlephobes to apparently enthusiastic regular users.

    Services provided to the community by Google during lockdown have grown Chromium to the point where it has now become big enough to harvest/cull/shaft, pick your own metaphor.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      re: It also needs at least Chromium to function in anything like a useable way

      And here we have the answer to why Google have shut those APIs down.

      Sounds like you're going to be switching to Chrome or homeschooling.

  10. Kreaninw
    Meh

    Well, they're suggesting a browser that performs worse that Chromium on ever aspects(HTML5 supported features, performance as can be seen on any benchmark site, especially on BaseMark where it scores only half of any Chrom/Chromium built) as an alternative???

    Why not suggesting a Chromium built browser, Brave for example. It would be a lot better as an alternative than Firefox.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      [citation needed]

      1. Kreaninw
        Happy

        Why don't you benchmark them yourself then? It's pretty easy. You can test HTML5 features on HTML5test, and the browser performance on BaseMark as I already pointed out.

        Well, a lot of reviews already pointed out that Firefox is nowhere near Chrome/Chromium's performance, as shown even on the Linux channel on YouTube, The Linux Experiment. Recently, Gamefromscratch reviewed OperaGX, the gaming browser from Opera, where the guy benchmarked every browser. You can check it out. It's pure fact, no fanboy.

        I am interested that there're so many downvotes. Is it because I stated the fact???

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Maybe many people aren't that interested in HTML5 and will prefer a lesser browser -- not necessarily Firefox --- that just shows web pages.

          I've barred Brave simply because it starts the noisome GVFS, which instances I never allow.

          1. illiad

            LOL, and then they complain that it will not do some web pages they want to load... EG THIS website!! :) :P

            but then if they use Dillo or Lynx, they most likely don't bother...

        2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Maybe the downvotes are because people disagree with you. Try these three sources, for example, which I found after only a brief search.

          1. Kreaninw
            Meh

            I am not sure about these 3 sources you provided, as it barely counters my arguments regarding HTML5 features support or the performance in which they could've provided us in real number instead of some personal thought. Moreover, they're quite old and outdated comparison that belonged to the last year. I have no idea why would anyone believe these when they can just simply test the result themself on a lot of available benchmark sites.

            Well, I know that people downvoted me because they didn't agree with me. However, I expected more feedback, constructive feedback like you do, even though it may be inaccurate/unviable like the one you had provided.

            By saying something without any number, I can also say that based on my experiences, Chrome/Chromium is 10x faster than Firefox since that's what I felt regardless of any viable benchmarks. It's the same when someone told you that Firefox is faster than Chrome. It's nothing more than a false/unprovable claim.

            IMHO, Firefox should at least support the open standard(HTML5) that everyone agreed to implement. This should be on par(if not better) with Chrome/Chromium since it's their mission to ensure that the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. However, they fail. They're not the #1 browser to support HTML5. Yet, someone said people aren't that interested in HTML5...

            Back to the point of my first post, I will make it clear that suggesting a much inferior web browser to the users is not a good idea. Considering that web browser is the most used application in the world, I can see that most users (technical and non-technical) will notice a downgrade experience.

            Aside from a performance degraded which leads to experiencing half of the speed they get within Chromium-based browsers, they will have to face many issues that are usually not occurred otherwise. For instance, many websites may render incorrectly due to incomplete HTML5 features available in Firefox (significantly lower market share aside). And for anyone/enterprise who uses PDF, unfortunately, Firefox won't let you work with PDF form flawlessly because it doesn't run scripts in PDF file, thus making it impossible for the user to clear their PDF form. Both of these cases affect many people in general.

            I don't know, IMO I don't see Firefox is up to the task. Each to their own, if someone's happily using a much inferior browser, that's fine. But I just don't think it's a good experience for a non-bias user.

            1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

              For someone insisting you're giving "pure fact, no fanboy", you seem awfully committed. The websites I linked to were to point out that people have different opinions from you. Okay, I'll briefly address your specific points (other than your suggestion that market share is relevant, which it is not), then I'll go away because I'm bored, and you're clearly pretty knuckled down on this because this seems to be the only article you've ever posted on.

              1. Chrome supports only 14 more HTML5 features (out of 555) than Firefox (528 vs 514), according to my results on html5test.com. Moreover, this means Chrome still fails on 27 points. In any case, I'm sure I'm going to really struggle without "ping attribute on the a element" of the "autofocus attribute" of a form field (which, to be honest, sounds annoying anyway). There are also some of these tests which FF passes and Chrome fails. In short, both support the vast majority of HTML5, and, as noted earlier: nobody cares. This is not a thing that affects daily usage, and there is only very little difference between the two anyway.

              2. I just ran synthetic benchmarks on both browsers on my machine, and found that yes, on that one benchmark (browserbench speedometer – I couldn't be bothered to try others, though I'm sure I'd've found one where the opposite was true) Chrome was around 30% faster. Big wow. Synthetic benchmarks are purely that: just look at the ones Intel uses to pretend it's beating AMD. So moving away from the onanism of benchmarks, personally, I find in normal usage, FF is not slow. Even if the benchmark reflects the real-world (which they usually don't), 30% is a long way from the 1000% or even the 100% you note. This is certainly not "much inferior". Which brings me to the point that:

              3. I am willing to sacrifice a small amount of performance if it means I can actually have control over what my browser does. In FF, I can install whatever ad-blocking extensions I want, and I never have to let it report back to Google (or even to Mozilla, if I were so inclined).

              In summary: I base my browser choice on my real-world experience (i.e. that there is no noticeable speed difference for me and no discernible rendering differences at all) and the fact that I can block all the ads, Javascript, and tracking that I want to, without being limited by the requirements of Google's profit margins. Firefox is not perfect, and I feel no need to defend it to the death – it just fits my current personal criteria the best of all the available options. If something better comes along, then I'll use it. For now, it's what I'm using. So, you do you, and if Chrome makes you happy, then off you go laughing.

              1. Kreaninw
                Happy

                I am sorry if it seems that I was awfully committed to pointing out the fact. Anyway, I am OK if people have different opinions than mine. I have never said that it's wrong. However, I considered it to be a false/unprovable claim since they could've shown the result in number to get their bias away. Well, I will address your point also as follows:

                1. I have never said that Chrome is perfect. What I said was "Firefox should at least support the open standard(HTML5) that everyone agreed to implement. This should be on par(if not better) with Chrome/Chromium". However, I am surprised that there are people who advocate Firefox for what they think it is, yet they do not care about how Firefox should be the leader/representative to support the open standard than anyone else. And this is my point all along. Firefox should not fall short when compared to any proprietary browser in this regard whether it's the feature that sounds annoying to you, it's completely not relevant. However, what's relevant seems to be Firefox's market share(which you said it's not). Well, when comparing around nearly 70% of Chromium-based market share, Firefox has only around 3%, it's by no surprise that many websites could've blocked/not support Firefox. Anyway, I think it's not fair to accuse Firefox on this point even though their worse performance in maintaining the project and their marketing effort defiantly were to be blamed. Nevertheless, it's still relevant as far as user experiences go. I personally have no problem with Firefox's market share, but rather their much inferior technical-wise.

                2. I am not sure which way you're counting the result. In most cases, Chrome/Chromium would be twice as fast or Firefox would be at around half (50%) performance when compared to Chrome/Chromium. Benchmarks will likely vary depending on a machine basis. To clarify my previous statement, I didn't actually mean that Chrome/Chromium is 10x faster than Firefox. I bought up an example when someone told anything based on their experiences without providing any number which can be used to support their claim. It seems you misunderstand this point. And another point worth mentioning is that, if you're sure that you could have found any benchmark suggesting that Firefox is faster than Chrome/Chromium, please share. I didn't find any in existence. In fact, Firefox is far slower than Chrome on my machine on its own developed benchmark, the Kraken JavaScript Benchmark, by about 30%, not just by small margin differences. Or at MotionMark where Chrome is 4x faster than Firefox on my machine... If you want to say this is not by much, then that's fine. But according to my definition, Firefox is much inferior to any Chromium-based browser in this regard. And together with its incomplete features as explained in my previous post also, that's why I think Brave is much more suitable as a vanilla Chromium's alternative than Firefox.

                3. It's your preference to choose to sacrifice a small amount(in your opinion, unprovable claim) of performance. However, I am saying in place of the fact as can be proven. I do not have any problem with other people's choices.

                And don't forget that Firefox survived because of Google's profit margins(nearly all of Mozilla's revenues came from Google). Therefore by using Firefox, you're supporting Google in a way since Google paid Firefox because they think they could get benefit out of it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good riddance

    I switched from Firefox to Chromium due to speed and memory concerns (that computer's pretty old). Looking at the list of removed features in the article - "sync, spelling, translation, Google Maps geolocation, Google Cloud Storage, safe browsing, and more" - good riddance. Ok, spelling might be nice. As for the rest, no thanks, I don't use or want them anyway.

    Got any good tips on running Netflix through Chromium?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Good riddance

      Firefox does a better job on memory economy than Chrome manages, last time I looked. Chrome opens up a whole new Chrome process per tab. Firefox has a much lighter weight process per tab. Plus their increasing use of Rust is beginning to make good improvements in the memory correctness of their code, so there's far fewer memory leaks than in the past. And it's speeded up CSS processing no end.

      I'm on Firefoxat the momentand have very few complaints.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good riddance

        It may well have changed since I switched that computer to Chromium - it's been several years. At the time, Firefox consumed MUCH more memory than Chromium, and was noticeably slower.

    2. illiad

      Re: Good riddance

      er, 'Chromium' is the tech *behind* chrome, AFAICS..

      Search 'Chromium' gives you a page asking 'Chrome browser' or 'chrome OS'..

      or is Fedora trying **another* * way to call a 'chrome-like' browser??

      yet more confusion..

    3. Jaap Aap

      Re: Good riddance

      Netflix? You might be able to find it here: https://chromium.woolyss.com/

      I just install the widevine drm components and leave it at that. (don't have a netflix account)

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    With more competition from browsers based on Chromium I suspect Google will move more and more stuff into Chrome proprietary builds and not include them in Chromium as things go forward, just like they do already on Android with Google Play Services.

  13. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Google

    "Don't be evil"

  14. Palpy

    Do these changes in the API --

    -- have downstream consequences for Brave, Opera, and other Chromium-based browsers? I use both Brave and Opera, but only for edge-case browsing, so I am quite ignorant whether they currently incorporate the features which Google is restricting.

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      Re: Do these changes in the API --

      Opera has its own synching service. No idea on the rest but I don't "think" it'll be a problem. Google only gets spoken to in Edge, along with all the other advertising driven crap. Locked down Opera is my preferred browser platform.

      1. Palpy

        Re: Thanks

        Firefox locked-down is my usual horse, but I'm glad to have a few other nags in the stable, so your info is welcome.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three only reason I can see for using Chromium is that you don't want Google getting their hands on your data. So quote why you'd want to use Chromium with Google sync or geolocation turned in is beyond me.

  16. Ozan

    And firefox to save our asses again. Anyway, I use firefox so it won't affect me but I hope it will open some people's eyes for closed nature of Google projects.

    1. illiad

      well only 5% of the population has no clue anyway...

  17. keithpeter Silver badge
    Windows

    alienbob

    https://alien.slackbook.org/blog/google-muzzles-all-chromium-browsers-on-15-march-2021/

    Alienbob (aka Eric Hameleers) provides a Chromium slackbuild for Slackware.

    His blog post above has some further detail on the api key thing. Does indeed look as if the little people in Chromium dev team simply provided a bit of a work around to allow the affected services to function when asked for the binary builds of the various linux distros (and, I presume, the *BSD based OSes) on a package maintainer by maintainer basis...

    Now the bigger cheeses have decided that this should not continue...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would:

    sudo apt-mark hold chromium-browser

    keep me safe on ubuntu, or is sync traffic blocked server side? Am asking as I am too lazy to update my big book of passwords!

    Yet another reason to hate google, and their less than generous founders.

    1. Vincent Ballard

      It seems that Google is going to revoke the API keys, which would mean that the traffic would start to be blocked server-side.

  19. Lorribot Silver badge

    Best thing Google could do is pull all the Google services code from Chromium and leave some connectors so you could chose what service you wanted to use in yoru Chromium browser.

    Would initially be a pain as no free ones would exist, but people would quickly realise that either web based alternatives or other providers or open source solutions would step up, or they woudldn't and it would be left to MS and Google to use Chromium browsers and Mozilla to provide the third way with all teh independants jumping to Mozilla based browsers.

    1. Ozan

      That's why Google won't do that. It would help people to understand how google is shit at most things it is famous for.

  20. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    So people use Chromium as they don't want to use the full fat Chrome and send lots of data to Google.

    Then they complain when Google remove the right for the Chromium browser to use some of Google's services - which involve sending your browsing data to Google.

    Have I missed anything here?

    1. illiad

      you may have missed that 'chromium' is only on Fedora repository, or you have to compile it yourself...

      1. CRConrad

        Huh? You seem to have missed quite a lot.

        First, that "chromium" is the collective name for the technology, the code behind Chrome-like browsers. There are a lot of those published under various names (among others, AIUI, the Brave browser mentioned repeatedly in this discussion), so I'm sure nearly all distros have at least one chromium implementation in their repositories.

        And second, if they don't you can change or add to the repository/ies your system gets software from, so if yours doesn't have what you want, get it from somewhere else -- from Fedora's repo, if you want.

        Third, there's stuff like Snap and so on to download and install -- so you certainly don't have to "compile it yourself".

        Fourth, for a poster here -- constantly bragging about how they're "hacking" config files and stuff -- what's so horrible about a simple compile?

        Stop sounding like Steve Ballmer ca 2002.

  21. ecofeco Silver badge
    Holmes

    As I was saying

    Told ya so.

  22. thatrandomtechie

    Old News

    You're kinda late to the party.... Firefox has ALWAYS been the common sense browser to use. Now that it matches Chrome's speed and features superior privacy/security features/add-ons, there's never truly been a reason to use Chrome other than Chrome shipping with a seemingly simple interface. People conflate the appearance of Chrome's UI and assume "oh, must be really simple" except for the fact that they still have to learn how to use it. I've come to find certain things not being as intuitive to enable/disable on Chrome when compared to Firefox simply because Chrome makes it's stupid app child-proof for some stupid reason. It assumes, just like Apple, that we're idiots and can't do advanced things. Firefox's UI is arguably much better and for better or for worse has made itself follow Chrome against the wishes of it's users. Firefox is always going to be the better browser because it actually lets the user do what they need to do without being chained to anti-privacy business practices.

    1. thejynxed

      Re: Old News

      Except on mobile, where Firefox is a complete trash heap and one of the worst browsers you can make yourself miserable trying to use.

  23. Ygvb

    Hippies are so funny

    Hippies are so funny. They want to remove all evil and advocate for purely open and free hardware/software, but as soon as that really happens, they cry because that becomes unusable.

    Why do you complain that Google pulls out from Chromium? It's a feature!

    If you want a similar feature set in Chromium, just build it with open and free APIs that don't rely on for-profit companies.

    If you want a usable browser, go with Google Chrome or Firefox.

    Otherwise stick to Chromium and thank them for removing Google stuff from it.

    // Sent from Firefox Mobile

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