back to article Mozilla browser Firefox hits the big 100

The Mozilla Foundation has released version 100 of its flagship web browser Firefox. There's no link in the above paragraph because, strangely, at the time of writing, the new browser is not officially mentioned anywhere on Mozilla's website. However, you can download it from Mozilla: it's already on the foundation's FTP site …

  1. Teejay

    A well worn story.

    Mozilla is a company in which a few woke people at the top (don't they always land there?) drove out many competent people at the base (aren't they always there?). They keep the worms fed by sacrificing the fruit. It's much like with Blackberry.

    1. Teejay

      Re: A well worn story.

      BTW, I use Firefox daily. It's my browser of choice.

      1. Potty Professor Bronze badge
        Boffin

        Re: A well worn story.

        I am still using Firefox, although a very old version, because more up-to-date versions won't run on legacy operating systems such as XP, which I have to keep running for compatibility reasons. I wish that software developers would address this backward compatibility issue, so I don't have to keep multiple machines running different versions of Windows in order to keep both legacy applications and modern stuff happy. Come on, Firefox, it can't be all that difficult to work out which platform is installed and adjust accordingly.

    2. Snake Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: a fool's interjection of politics

      "Mozilla is a company in which a few woke people at the top...

      And what direct association can your unremittingly political rant make between "woke" and "incompetent"??

      None whatsoever, except in your own bias.

      Being "woke" has nothing to do with what can be simply explained by the standard business failures of arrogance, ego and greed. Or are you willing to place "woke" into other business failures such as Enron, Atari and BL?

      Mozilla's management simply doesn't listen to its users, thereby allowing the developers free reign into making whatever changes they want. The changes could be "code-convenience" based, that is it is easier to code the functionality into method (A) rather than give the users their preferred method (B); or the changes could be "preference" based, that the coder(s) like this usage paradigm themselves and couldn't care less about what any other person thinks.

      Either way, Mozilla's market share was theirs to lose and lose it they did, mostly by being completely block headed in terms of listening to anyone else but their own ideas. So users bailed out in droves.

      Note that I am an exclusive Firefox user, on both desktop and mobile. And both are a trial of user patience, each one in its own fashion (with mobile being FAR worse, so bad I waited until v.99 to try it, only to roll back to v.68)

      1. illiad

        Re: a fool's interjection of politics

        well I got sick of the sometimes more than daily 'upgrades' and found a hack to stop them...

        MY browser of choice is Pale moon - like moz before it dumped xpi..

        http://www.palemoon.org/technical.shtml

        I still use FF for those websites dependent on it..

      2. John_3_16
        Unhappy

        Re: a fool's interjection of politics

        I have to agree. Seems like last couple of years Moz has been on a "Chrome Look-alike" campaign. Not sure why. They have an insane desire to fix/change things that work perfectly & are satisfactory to users. Rounded corners & menus you can't read. Download popups for every download. GUI change via update rather than by personal user choice. Printer functions now hidden because new looks/works like Google Chrome.

        I have a secondary browser, Ungoogled-Chrome. I find myself using it more & more as Mozilla continues to tear the arms & legs off of FF. I was alerted to the availability to v100.0 2 days ago. Checking through the changes I noticed they have once again unnecessarily screwed with the menus. Will wait until I find a fix that blocks &/or repairs the updates before downloading it.

        Seems I spend more & more time with each update looking for repairs & patches to reverse updates. Would love to see updates in 2 versions; one for fixes & security patches & a second for Google Chrome aesthetics. Let me stay safe while ignoring the rantings of those at Mozzilla who kneel several times a day on their rugs towards California praying to their cult leader Google.

        How do you find so many skilled people with the dexterity to place their heads inside their anal cavities for long periods at a time? Mystery to me. ¯\_( ツ )_/¯

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A well worn story.

      I presume you use the word "woke" in the same way the MAGA crowd call everything they don't like "communist"?

      1. julian.smith
        Mushroom

        Re: A well worn story.

        The MAGA crowd invented "woke" to replace "politically correct" - it's easier for them to remember with their limited intelligence but just as meaningless.

        "Woke" is now a signal that what follows is mindless nonsense

        1. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

          Re: A well worn story.

          The MAGA crowd stole Woke from its original owners and turned a virtue (being awake to injustice) to a failing and an insult.

          They did this to political correctness, which was originally a term for doing the right thing politically, and instead it's now an insult.

          Your last line is correct and a rule I now follow, as soon as I see the word I stop reading, and if it's on Twitter I mute or block the person who typed it...

      2. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: A well worn story.

        Actually, I think they call everything they don't like "woke".

    4. Piro Silver badge

      Re: A well worn story.

      We can discuss as to whether certain people have had a negative impact on the company, but one of the largest problems lies in the fact that Mozilla is a company without a good business model, propped up, perversely, by Google.

      Then there's the lack of response to user feedback. You'd think the underdog would be responsive to user feedback and would build the ultimate browser, but I feel like ever since they killed the old extensions and neutered the UI, that isn't so. They could readily re-implement features that have been long asked for (like a status bar, and no, HTML injected in to each page is not a substitute.. as so many add-ons have had to do), but they don't.

      The Android version was buggered up many versions ago, and I moved on to Vivaldi. I want real tabs on a phone, and if I can have both address bar and tabs on bottom, then I'm sold. Only Vivaldi has that, although I intensly dislike the search engine lock-in.

      I use Firefox (on desktop), and will continue to do so (although with a lot of the reporting "features" disabled), but it's a browser and company in decline, which saddens me, as I've used it as my main browser since version 2.

      1. Len
        Holmes

        Re: A well worn story.

        I think the (perceived) lack of response to what a group of very vocal users want can't really be the cause of a smaller market share. Most of those vocal requests are those of power users (like me) who are always a minority.

        If you want Firefox to be successful (as in having enough of a user base that web developers take FF compatibility into account) then you need to do what large amounts of users seem to want. If Chrome is by far the most popular browser among the masses it makes no sense to purposefully make a browser that doesn't look and feel like Chrome. That way irrelevance lies. And for the good of the web I think it's important to have a major alternative browser that's not attached to a big corporation with some times dubious motives. If you don't care about having a mainstream browser (that web developers take into account) then there's always Konqueror or Vivaldi.

        Furthermore, there is a tension between responding to user feedback and progress. We all know the (likely apocryphal) quote by Henry Ford “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Part of the success of Steve Jobs period at Apple was creating a culture of innovation that created products that people didn't know they wanted until they saw it. We're people really asking for iPods? I doubt it. But it did become one of the most successful pieces of consumer electronics (and fashion accessory?) ever.

        On Safari for iOS the URL bar recently moved to the bottom of the screen. Did I ever think that that would work much better? Absolutely not. Would I want it to move back to the top? Absolutely not because it works so much better.

        I have seen so many UI changes since I started using a browser called Phoenix that would be renamed to Firebird and then renamed to Firefox. Every time swathes of people complain, some with valid arguments relating to efficient user of screen real estate, many just because they had trouble getting used to change.

        Remember when people complained about this new ‘Tabs on top’ design? It’s hard to imagine now because ‘Tabs on top’ replaced one of the most moronic people-hating UX flaws where the tabs seem to not be related to what they were displaying at all. There will be extensions that can replicate the old behaviour for luddites but trust me, those extensions usually die out when it turns out too few people really care long enough about the old behaviour. Just for fun, install Firefox 2, Firefox 4 and Firefox 35 and see how much you hate them because so many things in hindsight just didn’t make sense (for instance, why on earth was some many screen real estate taken up by browser controls instead of the actual web site?).

        The power of Firefox should be that it’s not a tool for corporate surveillance like Chrome is. That doesn’t mean that it can’t take UX cues from Chrome. The Chrome team will likely have more data on user behaviour and UX than any other browsers maker ever will, there’s no harm in copying some of those research findings.

        Is looking too much like Chrome the cause of Firefox losing users? I think not. I think this argument often greatly undermined when you see comments such as "I'm moving to Chrome because Firefox has become too much like Chrome"

        Is Mozilla immune to making decisions that were stupid (some times in hindsight)? Absolutely not. Is Firefox without flaws? Absolutely not. Is the fact that Firefox has dropped from 500 million users to 200 million users down to being too much like Chrome or not listening to every single (some times conflicting) user request? Absolutely not.

        1. TheFifth

          Re: A well worn story.

          I'll give you a thumbs up for that. I've read opinion pieces about how Firefox is going to die any second and the reasons they state seem completely alien to me. They complain about removed features that I either didn't know existed or did know about, but never used and didn't see the point of. They claim that all users will hate it because of X, Y and Z and I'm often thinking that I will use it because of X, Y and Z.

          Maybe I'm just different than most users, or maybe I'm the same as a silent majority and it's those who are most vocal that are actually the minority? Who knows! Personally I like things very minimal and simple. With Firefox (and many other modern browsers) I can have the tabs in the title bar and a slimline toolbar with the URL address bar and buttons below it. Minimal clutter and maximum website. I can also install all of the extensions that I need. I know that tabs in the titlebar is one of the things people say will be the death of Firefox, but I've alway liked it. Many, many years ago, long before anyone else did it, there was a Safari beta that had the tabs in the title bar. I loved it as it wasted less screen real estate, but Apple removed it in the final release. I really wanted them back there ever since, so I'm glad other browsers have followed suit.

          Is Firefox perfect? Hell no! Using a bit less memory would be nice (still better than Chrome though, which is the most popular browser out there, so that doesn't seem to matter much to the majority). I could list several more things, but honestly, I could about every other browser too.

          Personally, I spend most of my time developing web apps, so I live in the browser for many hours everyday. I've tried them all and they all have their faults. But for me, the development tools are better in Firefox and having them open for a long time doesn't grind the browser to a halt, which it does with some other browsers (Safari, I'm looking at you!). Just the simple thing of having the 'Styles' always shown and the ability to have the 'Layout' or 'Computed' styles beside them for reference is a massive efficiency gain. You don't have to constantly switch between tabs. Safari has started doing that now too, but I don't really use it for development for the reason mentioned above.

          So for my use case, Firefox is the least bad of all the browsers I've tried. They all have their faults, but for what I specifically do day to day, Firefox annoys me the least. Not a glowing report I know, but that's where I'm at right now.

          In terms of why Chrome has such a big market share, I'm not convinced it's because it's any better than the competition. It's objectively worse in some ways - memory usage and privacy for example. Ask my non-tech friends and family why they use Chrome and the answer is normally because they saw a popup when searching on Google that said it would work better, be faster and more secure. Google has massive marketing clout and brand recognition and that's a big part of it. I was surprised in the early days of Chrome when my non-tech family started asking me about it. It wasn't because they'd used it and thought it was better, it was because they'd heard about it most recently. Having the marketing reach of Google goes a long way. I even installed FF on my Mum's computer and changed the shortcut icon to look like Chrome (as that's what she's always clicked - best not mess with things. It took long enough for her to move from the IE icon the Chrome one!). She didn't notice and even my sister, nephew and niece didn't notice when using it either. The browser is just 'The Internet' to them. So I personally think, for an everyday user, it's not a love for Chrome or a dislike of the changes in Firefox that makes them use Chrome. They just use what they're used to or have heard about most recently. My non-tech friends don't even remember the name 'Firefox', whereas they're reminded about Chrome every time they use a different browser to search on Google. It's marketing and mindshare. Not for every user obviously, but many of the non-tech ones.

          Note this is only my very subjective view. And also my personal experience having tried out pretty much every browser for my day to day work. Your personal experiences and views may vary.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A well worn story.

            Fair warning: Opinions inside.

            By and large I don't object to adding *options* for "Just Like Chrome!"isms. What I and many others object to is that any hint of an option to either do things one historic default way or use an addon to modify it however you please has been eroded away to the point where you really do look and say "Why should I bother with this, it's "Just Like Chrome", and *I DON'T LIKE THAT UI LAYOUT*.

            The One True Window Layout For Web Browsers(TM) is title bar, menu bar, navigation buttons[1] and address bar[2], tab bar, page content, status bar.

            Other opinions may differ... but the FF devs have gone out of their way to remove even the option to make this happen without endless tinkering with the (deprecated!!!) userChrome.css.

            [1] One pair of ongoing nuisances I have with nav buttons is that a) "reload" and "stop" have been incorrectly merged, and b) "Stop" is just "pause for half a second until the next Javscript timer triggers". If I click the "Stop" button while viewing a page, *the page MUST NOT load any new content of any kind without an explicit action* - and scrolling the page is not an "action".

            [2] Major headache time. The address bar has two purposes: to display the current page URL, and to enter a specific URL to visit. I get very frustrated with the whole "search engines" thing - I want to NOT have a separate "search" toolbar, AND, I want to NOT do Internet searches based on what I enter in the address bar. If I want to do a search, I visit a search website. To my great frustration this entire concept continues to try to integrate more and more functionality that I absolutely want to NOT do from that location. I may well make use of some components of it, but the address bar is the wrong place.

            1. TheFifth

              Re: A well worn story.

              That's fair enough, each to their own.

              Personally, any UI changes take me about an hour to get used to and then I completely forget about them. What's more important to me is how easy does the browser make my work, or more importantly, how much does the browser not annoy me whilst I work, and on that measure Firefox's dev tools give me a smoother ride.

              It's funny, I hate The One True Window Layout For Web Browsers(TM) as it takes up way too much screen real estate for me. I like a browser's UI to be utterly minimal and 95%+ of the window to be website. As I say though, each to their own.

              I would agree about the combined refresh / stop button. I get the reasoning behind it (you only every need one at a time), but I'd prefer two. Unfortunately all web browsers have gone that way now. Firefox does have two companion extensions though, one that adds a stop button and one that adds a refresh button, so you could add those extensions and remove the combined button from the toolbar. So that's not a reason to ditch Firefox if you don't mind adding a couple of extensions. Can't say I've ever bothered though, it's something I've become used to.

              Outside of work however I do use Safari for general browsing. This is purely because its sync for tabs and bookmarks between devices works way better than anything else I've used. Also, when I used Firefox on my iPad, it kept freezing and had stuttering scrolling, plus the lack of extensions like uBlock on mobile was a show stopper for me. I'll have to revisit and see if it's improved. Safari has too much general weirdness, but I struggle on purely for the convenience of reliable syncing and ad blocking on mobile. Things like the whole thing freezing for seconds when using autocomplete in the URL bar or some sites refusing to work at all with it are annoying to say the least.

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: A well worn story.

          I do not feel that is a correct opinion, that as an alternative you must follow the big player.

          The entire point is to BE an alternative, and if you are only providing the same as the Big Boy with only a few select differences, I feel the vast majority of people will ask themselves "Why bother? I can just use Big Boy and be done with it!".

          And so, they do.

          Almost every time an alternative goes towards the mainstream option, the alternative has DIED because a small difference...is really no difference at all, not enough to bother with dealing with the hassles of moving away from the mainstream.

  2. Andy Non

    The browser can also automatically fill in credit card details for you

    Erm, thanks but no thanks. Sounds like a security disaster waiting to happen.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The browser can also automatically fill in credit card details for you

      Hasn't this feature been around since the Netscape 6 days anyway?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The browser can also automatically fill in credit card details for you ... [disaster!]

      ... that depends whose cc details they are :-)

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: The browser can also automatically fill in credit card details for you

      You can disable that feature

  3. pluraquanta

    version 10^2

    It automatically updated for me. Also, some of the changes were present before (like changing language), they're just turned on by default for clean installs now.

  4. Throgmorton Horatio III

    Long may firefox continue indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and they'll continue longer if they can avoid the cr*p that chrome keeps doing.

  5. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Bit of a waste of time really. There are plenty of more mainstream purposeful browsers out there. Sometimes "being different" isn't worth the bother. It's even less popular than safari. Too much focus on 'your rights' when only a few people truly care. Like the Mozilla Thunderbird project, it's completely lost its relevance.

    1. Doctor Evil
      Pint

      "Like the Mozilla Thunderbird project, it's completely lost its relevance."

      So, because YOU don't find it useful, therefore it's useless for all. Interesting perspective.

      I use Mozilla Thunderbird for archiving POP emails so I can clear my web cache -- and for searching through them for older information (something I did again just yesterday). For my purposes, it's quite a useful tool.

      As a long-time Firefox user (2+ decades), I still appreciate the product even as I realize that it has limitations and that I don't always agree with the direction of current development.

      "Long may it continue."

      Amen to that! Congratulations and have one of these, Firefox development team!

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        So because you find it useful, it has to be relevant?

        And I hardly know anybody who uses Thunderbird. Every time we’ve foisted it on our customers, they’ve complained about it. A lot. I actually express hatred for it. I think I have just one customer who absolutely loves it. But apart from a few edge cases like viewing old pop mails or archiving old mail, it really isn’t a relevant product anymore.

        Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like the alternative is there any good necessarily, especially products that everybody uses like outlook. Nevertheless, outlook is relevant.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Relevant != useful, and vice versa. You are arguing orthogonal cases.

          "Relevant", in particular, is an inherently relative term. Relevant to what, specifically? Without that relationship, it's undefined.

    2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
    3. Updraft102

      Firefox remains the only usable browser on (non-MacOS) desktops and especially laptops, IMO. For all of the damage that has been done to it in the name of making it just as bad as Chrome, it still remains the only one I can stand to use. All the Chromium browsers have such horrible scrolling that stutters and judders all over the place, especially with touchpads, that I end up running right back to Firefox within the hour. I"ve tried to condition myself to Vivaldi, as it seems inevitable that Firefox will one day cross the line and remove something I will not live without, but they're just all so awful. All of the Chromium browsers suffer from this.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Pale Moon is better...

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        I mainly use Firefox (under Xubuntu) but since the big changes last summer there are lots of websites it can't do - both my banks and EasyJet bookings,for example - so I regularly use Chrome too. Haven't had any issues with scrolling at all.

        Edge for Linux (a weird concept) is really nice and seems to work with everything.

    4. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

      Thunderbird

      Thunderbird is still useful as (unlike browser based email) it does NOT open remote sites automatically.

      Emails that trick browsers to run malicious code are unfortunately still common - using Thunderbird stops them dead. It is also easy to view the source of any email where you are uncertain where it came from.

      The ability to keep the email database locally makes it possible to keep emails as long as you like and look at them even if there is no internet connection available.

    5. Piro Silver badge

      Using the same rendering engines.

    6. MJI Silver badge

      Alternative to Thunderbird?

      So what is there?

      There used to be Outlook Express, but TB is great for the job.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Alternative to Thunderbird?

        Evolution is reasonable and, using a plugin, plays nice with Exchange when IMAP is disabled. I quite like Sylpheed as well.

    7. Cuddles Silver badge

      "There are plenty of more mainstream purposeful browsers"

      Are there really? Chrome, Edge, Safari. Firefox may only have a small market share compared to its peak, but it's still the 4th biggest by a long way. Depending on whose stats you look at, it may actually be 3rd overall and 2nd on desktop. You can certainly argue there may be better browsers out there, or whatever you mean by "purposeful", but Firefox is unquestionably one of the very few mainstream browsers.

  6. andy 103
    Stop

    Firefox is dead

    But before you reply or downvote, let's look at some facts.

    When it comes to usage Chrome is in the high 60% region. It dominates and has done for some time.

    Firefox? About 8%

    Safari mainly gets used - once - to download Chrome and it's usage (around 9%) is still higher than Firefox.

    Twats still using IE? There are still some out there, and some people have no choice (*cough* NHS and those using similar intranets designed for IE).

    It's over. Chrome won.

    Facts mind, facts.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Firefox is dead

      Edge has overtaken safari and of course firefox.

      I use safari only out of habit because I use a Mac. I use Chrome too.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Firefox is dead

        By your reasoning, Linux on the desktop is dead too. And all Linux desktop apps are dead. Everybody here should just accept Windows.

        1. andy 103

          Re: Firefox is dead

          Linux on the desktop is dead too. And all Linux desktop apps are dead. Everybody here should just accept Windows.

          Well, by comparison the majority of people are doing exactly that, so...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firefox is dead

        Edge is just a rebadged Chrome.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Firefox is dead

      It's over. Internet Explorer circa 1995 has won. Everyone should give up on this new fangled Web browser nonsense. We all know things never change in computing...

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: Firefox is dead

        Yay! Blackberry is number 1 because you know, things can rise from stone cold dead!

        1. pluraquanta

          Re: Firefox is dead

          Apple did.

          Chrome is popular because Google has money and promote Chrome through Google Search. Internet Explorer was popular because Microsoft had money and promoted it through Windows.

          If Google starts to fall out of favour because of privacy revelations that are bound to come out in the upcoming Epic Games trial, Chrome will go with it.

          1. VoiceOfTruth

            Re: Firefox is dead

            -> Chrome is popular because Google has money and promote Chrome through Google Search.

            That may be so, but Chrome is also a good browser.

          2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: Firefox is dead

            If Google starts to fall out of favour because of privacy revelations that are bound to come out in the upcoming Epic Games trial, Chrome will go with it.

            The overwhelming majority of users don't give a toss about privacy.

            1. VoiceOfTruth

              Re: Firefox is dead

              Unfortunately I agree. It so happens that those who do care like to shout about it, but most people do the bare minimum.

              1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                Re: Firefox is dead

                Or worse than the bare minimum. I can't get worked up by Google knowing what I searched for, but at least I don't actively share. Many people, especially younger ones, seem to find it quite normal to share every forkful of dinner and every thrust and grunt of their sex lives with the world.

            2. pluraquanta

              Re: Firefox is dead

              They like convenience, that's not the same thing.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Firefox is dead

                Google, Apple, and MS, all billion dollar corporations, could make local storage support (backup/sync/storage/contacts/calendar/etc...) as first class as their support for driving people to their own cloud, but they chose not to. Have a guess what is more convenient to use.

                Even Mozilla's at it, they stopped updating their sync examples and documentation and now thanks to changes in the sync protocol and GUI it is impossible to use local-hosted sync.

      2. andy 103
        Facepalm

        Re: Firefox is dead

        @lglethal the point you're missing is that you're talking about the very early days of the web, when there were so many inconsistencies in the way browsers worked. Everyone was crying out for a browser that worked well overall for the majority of people, and that would become the defacto browser. That's happened and it's called Chrome. It's not like anyone cares about this subject anymore when there *is* a browser that does what's required well, and the majority of people are now using it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Firefox is dead

          Everyone was crying out for a browser that worked well overall for the majority of people

          I don't remember customers crying out for a new browser. Post-2004 the web was made for IE and, despite the best efforts of Opera and Mozilla, nobody seemed to care. Chrome didn't really take off until Safari did via the I-Phone. Both companies were keen on a replacement for Flash for multimedia, What was that you were saying about facts?

          I'm big admirer of what Google has achieved with Chrome and how, despite relative dominance, they continue to play reasonably fair in the development of the web. But make no mistake: Chrome is very much a means to an ad-dominated ends.

        2. Piro Silver badge

          Re: Firefox is dead

          "It's not like anyone cares about this subject anymore"

          Patently false, due to this article existing, and lively debate occurring.

    3. pluraquanta

      Re: Firefox is dead

      Internet Explorer had a 70% market share in 2007. It was 30% 5 years later.

      1. Updraft102

        Re: Firefox is dead

        95% in ~2002.

    4. VoiceOfTruth

      Re: Firefox is dead

      It's 20:50 on the 3rd of May. You have 3 up votes and 21 down votes. They voted before they looked at the facts.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Firefox is dead

        "Facts" have nothing to do with it. There is no way that the statement "Firefox is dead" can coherently be called a "fact".

        For one thing, "dead" is a metaphor from the domain of biology. It's not clear what, if anything, it would mean in the context of software. Nor is it clear that "software" is the context the OP is talking about - maybe the applicable domain is "business" or "market share" or something else. But whatever it is, I don't see how Firefox can be called "dead".

        1: this article. New versions are still being released. The software is still in active maintenance.

        2: Firefox's market share is steady at a far from negligible 9%. Opera is lower, and shrinking. Safari is about the same, and rising. Chrome - is actually losing share, very slightly.

        3. Mozilla still very actively participates in web standards and governance, through the W3C and other bodies and initiatives, some of which (like MDN) it leads. It carries weight in these fora solely because of Firefox. Firefox is routinely included in published benchmarks and tests.

        So whatever the domain you're talking about, claims of Firefox's demise are greatly exaggerated.

        1. VoiceOfTruth

          Re: Firefox is dead

          -> There is no way that the statement "Firefox is dead" can coherently be called a "fact".

          OS/2 is not dead, it still has a few users. But in reality it is dead. Wordstar has a few users. In reality it is dead.

          1. Piro Silver badge

            Re: Firefox is dead

            OS/2 lives in the form of ArcaOS. Maintained software that was updated a few months ago isn't dead.

            Is it relevant for most people? Now that's a different question.

          2. pluraquanta

            Re: Firefox is dead

            OS/2 has 200 million users?

    5. Updraft102

      Re: Firefox is dead

      As long as Firefox is maintained and updated, it is not dead. I don't care about market share. I upgraded from an OS that had 90% of the PC market to one that has 2% of the market in 2015, and that OS is by no means "dead."

    6. Len

      Re: Firefox is dead

      Don't forget that percentages only tell half of the story. The total internet population has exploded in the mean time. A 50% share of 1 billion internet users is 500 million, a 15% share of 4 billion internet users is 600 million. A browser could drop from 50% to a 15% share while only increasing its user base.

      At its peak usage Firefox had about 500 million users, now it has about 200 million. The absolute decline is much smaller than it appears.

    7. Dave559 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox is dead

      You say "facts", but may I remind you of the popular saying, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics".

      Yes, Firefox is indeed used by substantially fewer people than Chrome, but, similarly, more people eat at McDo's than at good quality restaurants. Simple 'popularity' contests count for little.

      More to the point, these figures which are often bandied around always seem to refer to dubious 'stat counter' sites, most of which require the loading of third-party content and JavaScript to record any data.

      I'm fairly confident that a significant part of Firefox's user base is made up of quite privacy conscious people, and, like ninjas, we move around the internet mostly silently and unobserved, with an armoury of well-known add-ons (and built-in functionality) hiding our traces. It's not entirely unlikely that the Firefox userbase could be anything up to double these "quoted" figures, but none of us will ever know.

      And if for some reason you are a Chrome fanboy (rather than having just been pestered to install it to replace IE, or having just stuck with the default browser on your phone), here's a little comic book for you

    8. Arty Effem

      Re: Firefox is dead

      Chrome won, its users lost.

  7. mattaw2001

    Its very compatible these days - everything I use works now

    Over the last few years, as Chrome has replaced its non-standard WebRTC for the standard one I no longer have sites I regularly use (GMail etc., office.com, Discord.com, etc.) just work TM.

    It doesn't routinely send strong identifies back to "home base" - Edge, I'm looking at you for hardware IDs, Chrome, I can't remember your latest strategy but I am dead sure Google has you, and that is 90% of the internet.

    I for one am also very glad they flat out refused to implement some insane "Browser is an operating system" standards e.g. the WebUSB standard, which allowed javascript-in-browser drivers to be written, and others (File System Access, which, get this, can enable cross site access to local filesystems, Generic Sensor API, Idle Detection API, Low-level (Raw) Sockets API - this is another hilarious one where javascript in browser could just create and read UDP/TCP packets on adaptors etc., Web Serial, Web Bluetooth, Web NFC, WebHID API, etc. ).

    Then you get the amazing plugins (for example one with local versions of CDN resources such as Icons, Fonts and libraries for speed and to avoid the tracking that comes with Google fonts, etc.) and that

    LocalCDN is the lesser known plugin: https://www.localcdn.org/

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I'd mention all the useful things Mozilla has removed from Firefox, but I don't think El Reg has that much bandwidth.

  9. VoiceOfTruth

    Mozilla and its stupid numbering scheme

    I never thought it was a good idea to have this stupid numbering scheme. Can anyone here tell me the difference between version 100 and version 99 without referring to any notes? I expect a few people can, and I pity them. How about the differences between 100 and 98, or between 100 and 90? In terms of actual new features (I don't include rewrites), Mozilla is at about version 7 or 8, or maybe even 6. It's hardly a bug-free or user-friendly experience either. The fact is has so many plugins is not a good indication - it means after 100 frickin' versions so much is still missing from Firefox.

    -> Version 100 is not an extended support release – the next one of those is currently planned to be version 102 next June

    What is extended support in Mozilla terms? A few weeks until the next version rolls around complete with changes which are mostly invisible to the end user.

    It's sad that Mozilla declined. I had some hopes at the beginning. But those hopes faded away like Mozilla OS. I still have Firefox installed, I update it once in a while. But I use it maybe a couple of times a year. Thunderbird is horrible. How did that ever turn out so bad?

    1. eionmac

      Re: Mozilla and its stupid numbering scheme

      Thunderbird is very useful to me and has been so for many years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mozilla and its stupid numbering scheme

        Thunderbird has been my email client of choice for best part of 20 years. I've run my business on it for 15 years.

        When I see my corporate friends tied to the bloated dirge that is Outlook or mail or whatever it is called these days, my eyes just glaze over. They spend more time fighting with it to get it to do something than actually doing something with it. And that's not even considering the amount of wasted screenspace taken up by meaningless bloat.

        Then, on the other hand I see non-corporate friends trying to use e-mail in a web browser. yee gods, do people really do that? Online and that slow at all times?

        Long live Thunderbird. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Thank god it has not been attacked by the bloat/UI fairies.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mozilla and its stupid numbering scheme

      The difference between Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 was tiny. The difference between 3.5 and 3.6 was quite big. The difference between 3.6 and 4.0 was probably the biggest leap Firefox ever made (Probably bigger than Quantum).

      Are you seriously telling me that in those days you knew about the difference between those arbitrary jumps in version numbers without looking at the changelog?

    3. Doctor Evil

      Re: Mozilla and its stupid numbering scheme

      "The fact is has so many plugins is not a good indication - it means after 100 frickin' versions so much is still missing from Firefox."

      Nope. It means that this product exceeds its competitors in one huge respect: flexibility. If you can easily extend the product to do what you want -- or load something that someone else has written to accomplish that -- then the base product's design is nothing short of brilliant.

      If you look at the plethora of plug-ins available as features that are missing from the browser and try to write them all in, it very quickly leads to a bloated product which is slow to load and clunky to use.

      The way Mozilla has (largely) done it is to allow users to extend or modify the browser's capabilities themselves. That way you don't have to live with it and put up with it if you don't want to -- but you can if you do. I say largely (but not always) because there have been a few missteps along the way, but by and large Mozilla continues to adhere to this philosophy.

      See?

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

    To be honest, I'd be happy if it did the spelling correction in the UK English I have selected, and not US English.

    However, that is not sufficient to drive me to the loving arms of Chrome - though I do keep Chrome around for the odd page that still thinks it's 1995 and that their site should ignore standards and use only a particular browser... though the chrome killer feature is 'translate this page to English' and I wish Firefox did the same.

    Active scroll bars, though? When it's hard to find a display that isn't at least a couple of thousand pixels wide, what genius came up with the idea of hiding the damn scroll bars into a game of hide the pixel? That'll be turned straight off.

    (Apropos of nothing at all, this Mint box seems insistent on using the locale defined by my time and date to display numbers in Libreoffice. I haven't got the the bottom of that yet.)

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

      > When it's hard to find a display that isn't at least a couple of thousand pixels wide, what genius came up with the idea of hiding the damn scroll bars into a game of hide the pixel?

      Well, with 99% of monitors on the market these days being Portrait orientation, it's only logical and sensible that software authors do what they can to make use of the vast amounts of vertical space (Office ribbon, Windows 11 taskbar fixed at the bottom of the screen, etc) and eke every last pixel out of the restricted horizontal space (auto-hiding scrollbars, horizontal not vertical tabs by default). Really, I don't see what your problem is.

      (Oh, and sorry if the "extreme bitter sarcasm" tag I used above isn't supported on your browser. It's 24 hours after this story was posted, so I'm already on the latest Firefox version 104... hang on I just got an update notification to v107...)

      1. Updraft102

        Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

        99% of monitors?

        Phones are not monitors. They're also not 99% of web users.

        The last time I tried to use a phone to browse, it was held the correct way, landscape.

        1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

          Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

          I think the "bitter sarcasm" tag was unrecognised by your browser too.

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

            Yes, my apologies if my lowest-form-of-wit post went over the heads of some - that's my fault.

            I'm a little distracted at the moment. My wife went out to the garden center yesterday to buy a rake and a hoe, and came back with - as one does, easy mistake to make, do it myself all the time, don't we all - half a dozen 4-day-old Indian runner ducks. Which are now cheeping and drinking and eating non-stop under a heatlamp in an improvised incubator in an unused bedroom.

            Still need to ask my wife if she'll bring me a hoe. That'll be an interesting conversation. And no word on the rake's progress either...

          2. Updraft102

            Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

            Indeed it did. It was too close to what a lot of others have argued to immediately be recognized as such. Surely you've seen these people who think that the web should cater to their tiny handheld toys. But yes, you're right, I didn't read the message very carefully.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Firefox 100 also detects if your OS is set to a different language

      For anything that appears to require Chrome, I use and recommend Vivaldi

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Enjoy?

    Linux users get to enjoy GTK overlay scrollbars by default,

    Excuse me whilst I go find a hammer to hit my thumb with - that's bound to be more enjoyable than the overlay scrollbars.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Enjoy?

      You forget that these days the entire field of Human-Computer Interaction, and its decades of accumulated best-practice wisdom about good UI design, have been replaced by the simple rule "What looks good to the designer?"

      Grrr.

      Join me in a very bitter pint. Possibly of bitter.

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Enjoy?

        [Article author here]

        I think you're at least half right there, and I've been talking to people and trying to work out why.

        I suspect, but cannot prove, that part of the problem is that an awful lot of people don't know how to use conventional UIs effectively. Since they do not know how to do fancy stuff, they don't do it; therefore, for them, the fancy features are irrelevant; therefore they are cruft, and should be removed in the cause of streamlining and simplifying the UI.

        After all, phones and tablets don't have this stuff.

        The result is that desktop UIs get progressively crippled, while phone and tablet ones get more and more cluttered.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Enjoy?

          Apparently the source of vanishing scrollbars is Google, who introduced the change in ChromeOS back in 2014 (sadly, I cannot currently find the article which told me this, so feel free to add grains of salt as needed), and the change was then rolled into Chrome, and then other UI designers jumped on the shitty UI bandwagon, and the rest is history.

        2. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: Enjoy?

          ...an awful lot of people don't know how to use conventional UIs effectively. Since they do not know how to do fancy stuff, they don't do it...

          Or that an awful lot of people don't need that fancy stuff most developers push down our throats packed in a single program.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enjoy?

      I can't help but think that "a very thin scrollbar until you put the mouse pointer over it" creates some sort of nontrivial accessibility issue.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Enjoy?

        In my experience, it's a nightmare when accessing a desktop system remotely via a touch interface - e.g. VNC'ing from my phone to my NAS. Define "when you mouse over the scrollbar" in the context of a touch-only interface!

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Enjoy?

        "A very thin scrollbar" is *explicitly* saying "there is no scrollbar, there is no more content than is currently visible in the window".

        If you have to *active* *seek* to discover if there is additional content, the prsentation is biorked beyond comprehension.

  12. bofh1961

    Web browsers are like televisions

    They've all improved enormously over recent decades but the content they deliver is more important and, unfortunately, that content hasn't improved as much.

  13. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Recently Firefox has updated itself and borked everything. I've recently had to uninstall it and re-install it from scratch, and then re-install all my extensions. And then find out how to get it to display the bookmarks and previous drop-downs correctly spaced so that all the entries are still on screen instead of having to scroll all the way down to the carpet. And fix the toolbar - which still seems wrong, my muscle memory keeps taking me to the wrong place. And loads of other borkage that I'm too tired to try to remember, having spent a whole day getting everything working again.

  14. david 12 Silver badge

    KB4474419

    KB4474419 was SHA-2 code sign support.

    Presumably, required because Firefox is signed with a SHA-2 signiture.

    KB4474419 broke some things in some versions of Windows. They never explain these things: , maybe it messed up the defaults, or maybe it included some other secret stuff

  15. Sleep deprived
    Unhappy

    Moving from good to bad

    Version 100 auto-detecting OS language? Incredible! Now, can the Android version drop tab offloading/reloading and re-enable more useful plugins such as Cookie Autodelete, that got disabled after version 68? Until then, I'll keep the auto-update checkbox off.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Moving from good to bad

      Ha, they fucked up Cookie Autodelete. Working fine in 99 and bam, update to 100 and not working anymore.

  16. fnusnu

    Good bye good riddance

    Moved to Opera on both Windows and Android. Miss nothing about Firefox. Won't bother to go back to even try Firefox on Android until it does zoom and reflow like Opera.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good bye good riddance

      But you need different browsers for different uses.

      Firefox: Used for work

      Chrome: Used for Google stuff like maps etc. and if I'm forced to use FB.

      Edge: Sometimes I'm forced to access M$ websites

      IE: Why won't it just die already, sometimes websites only with IE (a customers VPN, yeah I'm looking at you... oh a few of the customers internal security pages Ha!)

      Opera: NSFW

      It's just easier to separate them into different browsers. It reduces cross talk.

  17. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    I am more of a Netscape person...

    I use FireFox because deep down underneath lurks the spirit of Netscape...

    Sure, I hate tabbed browsing because I think nested windows are just plain wrong, so I open each website in a seperate window...

    I have never liked Chrome, because Google is now the Evil Empire Microsoft used to be, Edge is just weird, and I am forced to use Internet Explorer to get to my iLO cards...

    I do not browse the internet on Android or Apple devices, and although I had work iPhones, I have never used them for anything other then voice or text...

    So, for lack of better options, FireFox it is, until someone makes a browser that has no tabs...

    1. DanceMan
      Thumb Up

      Re: I open each website in a seperate window...

      Each page in a new tab via Tab Mix Plus

  18. Dave559 Silver badge

    Scrollbars?

    I am genuinely a bit bemused by all the scrollbar-related comments here. Does anybody actually still use scrollbars for scrolling these days? That's surely what your mouse scrollwheel, or multi-touch trackpad gesture, or finger swipe on your phone or tablet is for?

    The only thing I use scrollbars for these days is as a visual indicator of where in a document I am positioned, and I am perfectly happy for the scrollbars to be invisible until I start scrolling, although I do agree that when they do appear they should probably be more visible (wider) than they often are. However, the specific appearance of the scrollbars, and whether they are permanently visible or normally invisible, should probably be preferences in the OS / desktop environment Theme and Accessibility settings respectively, rather than app-specific.

    1. egbert

      Re: Scrollbars?

      Yes, I use them.

      1. It's faster to scroll down a long page/document looking for something. Both the scroll wheel and trackpad gesture end up with you repeating the same action over an over. RSI is the result.

      2. As you say, visible scroll bars tell you when there is something else to see, and how much of it there is. When first using the dreadful modern Windows "settings" abomination, I frequently could not find a control for what I wanted because I failed to notice the wafer-thin "scroll bar" on the right that indicated there was more off the bottom of the screen. I say "scroll bar" because it looks more like just the edge of the window. All this was not helped, of course, by the fact that all the controls were in new, unfamiliar places and many control were actually not there at al (and existed only in the legacy control panel items).

      Now you can argue:

      - There are other ways to find something in a long document. But why remove something that worked?

      - You can move the mouse over to the right hand edge to expand the scroll bar so that it is visible. This only works if you suspect that there might be something there. The thin scroll bar leads you to think there isn't.

      - The settings app has been accumulating more controls so that what you want is probably actually there. Great until they add more controls that you didn't know exist.

      A theme/style selection can allow the user to force the bars to always appear just unbreaks a broken interface design.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scrollbars?

      > your mouse scrollwheel

      But scroll wheels are orientated wrongly. By having a horizontal axle you don't get infinite scroll without constantly moving your finger off the wheel surface and starting again.

      The earliest wheel input device I used from the HP 9826 used a vertical axle wheel so you can just keep spinning without the on off motion required on a mouse.

      Using a scroll bar you can easily access the whole range of document in one movement.

      Scroll bars should also have an up and down arrow widget at their ends to allow single click small movements.

      P.S. My laptop doesn't have a scroll wheel.

      P.P.S Please can laptop top designed have a look at the above mentioned keyboard. PLEASE.

  19. Licensed_Radio_Nerd
    Linux

    Linux desktop user here!

    I am a long-time Firefox and Thunderbird user; and each major update to the Extended Support Release annoys me when my favourite add-ons are borked. Changing the folder colours in Thunderbird used to be a breeze with an add-on. That was borked with the Quantum upgrade and the dev gave up. Now you have to change each folder manually, which is annoying! A lot of the themes were also lost in the upgrade to Quantum - and again, the developers of those have given up.

    +1 for wanting the bottom status bar back. I used to dock NoScript, uBlock Origin, and others on the status bar - providing you could override the height and stop it taking up a tonne of space! The pop-up bar gets in the way when websites use the full length of the window for their menu. The latest annoyance is changing "Delete" to "Remove Bookmark" and putting it high up the menu. As others have said, the muscle memory keeps going to the wrong place!

    It appears Mozilla are trying to kill-off the userChrome.css function I use to set a blank dark grey background on each new tab. I suspect they want everyone to use their crappy home page to drive revenue to Google! I have news for Moz - all of your Home features are disabled on my browsers!

    As other have commented, tracking sites will struggle with my browsing. NoScript, uBlock Origin, and an in-house upstream DNS blocker all do their bit to stealth my browsing.

    @Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds) - HPE have updated iLO 4 and the remote console can now be accessed with HTML5. Linux users are finally free of the hassle of trying to install Java Runtime that works with iLO. I cannot comment on whether they have updated iLO3 or 2...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a peaceful soul I swear it

    meaning a very thin scrollbar until you put the mouse pointer over it.

    With due acknowledgement to Rick Wakeman & Tim Rice

    I'm a peaceful soul I swear it

    I don't wish no human ill

    But let me at those that hide thier scrollbars

    AND I'D KILL

    At least it seems they'll let you turn them off

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm a peaceful soul I swear it

      Sorry I'd somehow missed the discussion of invisible scrollbars above, not sure how.

      Seems I'm not alone in detesting them.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022