Follow

Google proposes changes to Chromium which would disable uBlock Origin. Meanwhile Firefox doesn't screw their users.
bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/i

@yogthos Firefox screws their users in different ways.

@sungo I've been pretty happy with it myself for the past year. In what way do you find FF screwy?

@yogthos @sungo forced pocket integration, their "experiments" being pretty unethical, the whole dns-over-cloudflare debacle, etc.

@phessler @sungo I mean you can turn pocket off, and I'm somewhat sympathetic with them trying to find a revenue stream by partnering up with some commercial entity. I'm not a fan of it, but I don't think they've really stepped over the line so far.

They've also been fairly transparent and they do listen to the community at least when they overstep. With Google you get whatever Google decides to shove down your throat.

@yogthos @phessler Out of the box, my search data goes to google, yahoo, amazon, because of revenue deals they have. The "snippets" feature was used very recently to "test" sending ads to the new tabs page. Firefox sync will happily send mozilla my history. Out of the box my "interaction data" gets sent up. Out of the box, "recommended by pocket" is driven server-side by my data.

Out of the box, firefox is just as bad as anyone else. Mozilla "listens" when they get caught doing the same shit as everyone else and their use base panics. They fly under the radar because HN and Reddit aren't obsessed with posting about their every detail.

@yogthos @phessler

Two examples. If Mozilla listened to their user base, they wouldn't have implemented encrypted media extensions. Second, Firefox supports HTTP/2 aka SPDY aka that Google-designed protocol that makes dodging accountability super easy. When QUIC becomes HTTP/3, do you think Mozilla will put a fist in the air? Or do you think they'll implement it so they can stay relevant?

@yogthos The problem here is that we've allowed the web to become so fucking complicated that it's impossible to build a spec-compliant browser without an ever-present army of developers and a ton of cash. There is no way for FOSS developers to keep up now, to build something truly free. So we're stuck between evil and willing to sell us out to stay cash-flow-positive.

@yogthos Though to be fair, 'surf' from the suckless project is our stealth companion in all this. They're webkit based with pretty much nothing else, including an interface :) So, not a savior for the masses but an interesting eddy in the current.

@sungo @phessler what's the alternative for them though, Chrome has 70% of the market, and if FF won't support the protocols in common use their market share will plummet.

@yogthos @phessler There isn't an alternative. That's the kick in the teeth, eh? I'm not worried about market share but, as I noted in a followup, the web is now too complicated for a scrappy group of FOSS people to keep up.

@sungo @phessler I think market share is important because more people using the project directly translates into more people contributing.

While the web is complex, I don't think it's more complex than other large open source projects. Gnome or KDE are pretty complex for example.

I also think it's important to have more than one implementation of a web engine. If everything is based on webkit, then we're effectively stuck with what's good for Google.

@yogthos @phessler Gnome and KDE aren't working to someone else's specification. They do not have a standards body saying "This is the UX specification you must adhere to". Anything on the web is implementing to someone else's standard. The javascript folks add something new and you've got to support it. The W3C stamps out a new thing, you get to support it. You're in a race with a company with millions of dollars to throw at the problem, one that has a huge say in the standards body. This is not a race that FOSS can win or even compete with. So we're fucked.

@sungo @phessler they have a similar problem actually, there's a freedesktop.org that creates the standard for interop and most Linux. Both Gnome an KDE follow it.

Web standards aren't in constant flux either. I do agree that keeping up with Google is difficult, but I still think FF does a good job overall, and I don't think Mozilla is inherently bad at this point.

@sungo @phessler @yogthos

My understanding was that Pocket was driven entirely client side. Do you have a source for the server side allegation? And Mozilla owns Pocket, so I'm skeptical that that feature is about money changing hands rather than genuinely trying to be useful to users.

@yogthos
If Mozilla is smart they will use this opportunity to market themselves as the browser that respects user filtering choices, but unfortunately knowing Mozilla as of late they'll probably remove the same interface and say it's to stay competitive with Chrome

@usdcollector yeah this is a huge marketing opportunity for them, I really hope they do the right thing here

@xj9 is there a maintained copy and paste list we could put into our hosts file? Or do you do this manually?

@yogthos I ditched Chrome back in Nov of 2017. I actually like Firefox.

@mindnmotion yeah same I switched early last year I think and haven't looked back.

@yogthos @mindnmotion Do you also use Firefox in mobile? Is the workflow nicely changing from mobile to desktop? Sync and stuff?

@ricard_dev @yogthos Yes, I use Firefox on Android and it works very well.

@mindnmotion @ricard_dev I find it's much better than Chrome on mobile. I like the fact that you can open a link in the background, the fact that it doesn't try to refresh pages it already loaded, and browsing tabs is a lot more natural. The fact that you can have add-ons like uBlock is just icing on the cake. :)

@ricard_dev @yogthos It's very well worth it. Firefox integrates well with Android. I cannot speak to the iPhone however. Despite my gripes with Android, I refuse to join the Apple sheeple.

@yogthos prediction: everybody will still use Chrome.

@boony ad blocking could be the one thing that will make techies switch to firefox en masse. Personally, I can't even imagine browsing without an ad blocker nowadays, I'm sure many others feel the same way.

@yogthos I suppose an argument could be made for when the tech people leave, the normies will follow. Of course, depending on the marketing power of Google, we may end up with IE situation, where it takes many many years to make normies follow.

@boony I think there just needs to be enough of a user base to keep FF viable, 30% or so is still pretty good all things considered. It's much better than the days when IE had 90% dominance. :)

And if Google starts moving in a direction people don't like it'll just bolster FF marketshare further.

@yogthos Yeah, true. but with all the browsers being based on Chromium I think it's more likely a Chromium based alternative will take the lead, rather than Firefox, because of the sheer investment in that engine.

@boony the problem there is that you become constrained by Chromium. Since Google owns it, they ultimately decide how Chromium works and what features it has.

The ad blocking plugins are a good example. If Google disables the API, there's no way to make such plugins anymore. I think this is why it's so important to have an alternative implementations like Firefox.

If Chrome becomes the sole browsing engine Google will own the web.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Follow friends and discover new ones. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. This server is run by the main developers of the Mastodon project. Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!