Article seems pretty flawed. Relevance is a vague metric, and the author relies pretty heavily on data related to government site visitation, which seems subject to bias toward certain types of users.

Market share is likely still incredibly low, but Firefox’s relevance should be spiking right now due to Google’s shenanigans with Chromium. The fact that like 90% of revenue for its for-profit wing is from Google is still troubling.

Any alternative views out there?

  • rwhitisissle@beehaw.org
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    7 months ago

    The day Firefox shutters its doors is the day the internet truly dies. Almost every “alternative” browser is chromium under the hood. Google’s next big plan is basically constructing a walled garden around the internet (at least the HTTP part) via complex DRM. Eventually, if you want to access an actual web page, it’ll have to be via a Chromium browser. Hell, even today a shitload of websites I visit on FF just don’t fucking render correctly and I’ll have to fire up a chromium instance just to access them. That’s only going to get worse with time.

    • Poggervania@kbin.social
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      I mean, you can argue that Google actually has a monopoly on web browsers right now. iirc Firefox takes a ton of money from Google, so if the choices are “Google’s proprietary browser” or “a non-Chromium browser backed by Google” (EDIT: unless you’re on Apple hardware and use Safari), then Google comes out on top either way.

      Wish we could get another good browser engine that isn’t Chromium, WebKit, or Quantum.

      • Otter@lemmy.ca
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        Ehh

        There’s a clear difference between accepting money from an entity and letting it control things and make decisions. Pushing for a full and clear separation from any potential conflict of interest (while noble) is how projects die.

        I’d love for Firefox to be fully funded through small anonymous public donations in an ideal world. As it is, I don’t see an issue from taking Google’s money to do something that most users would want anyways.

        If the default search wasn’t google, I’m certain even more users would bail on Firefox. Anyone who does want an alternative search engine is capable of clicking on it during installation.

          • Zworf@beehaw.org
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            They don’t even want our money. They just let you donate to Mozilla foundation, which does other projects.

            Firefox is developed by Mozilla corporation which is funded by the google deal.

            I donate to several FOSS projects including monthly to KDE but I won’t donate to Mozilla until I can actually make sure my money goes to firefox. And ideally not their overpaid CEO either, no.

        • Jack@lemmy.ca
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          a full and clear separation from any potential conflict of interest (while noble) is how projects die.

          There are worse things than death, like being successful by screwing people over and/or making the biosphere unlivable.

      • Nate Cox@programming.dev
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        7 months ago

        I’m fighting the good fight by using Safari to browse and Kagi to search. I have effectively eliminated Google from my life and I could not be happier about it.

        Signed, a former Google fan who got tired of being the product for their ever shittier services.

        • Kalkaline @leminal.space
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          7 months ago

          Apple and Google deserve about the same amount of trust. I don’t know that Safari is any better than Chrome other than keeping a large portion of users in a secondary browser. I guess it all depends on whether uBlock Origin is able to be loaded on it along with other useful extensions. I’m a Firefox fan though.

          • Nate Cox@programming.dev
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            7 months ago

            Apple has their own set of issues for sure, but I don’t think they’re comparable to the spyware advertising conglomerate that is Google.

          • emptyfish@beehaw.org
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            I wouldn’t nominate either one for sainthood, no argument there. I walked away from Google because they are an ad company that makes devices and software - that has become increasingly more apparent in the last several years, I’m sure it was always true but less obvious in the early days.

      • jmp242@sopuli.xyz
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        I’m still sad about the day the real Opera with the presto rendering engine died. And while Vivaldi is getting many of the features and functionality, it’s still a chromium rebuild. I guess it just takes too much money to build your own rendering engine anymore.

        • clgoh@lemmy.ca
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          I guess it just takes too much money to build your own rendering engine anymore.

          Even Microsoft couldn’t do it.

          • barsoap@lemm.ee
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            Heck even Google couldn’t do it, they used Apple’s WebKit. And even Apple couldn’t do it, they used KDE’s KHTML. Speaking of KHTML: Konqueror is still around, though they’ve already decided to get rid of KHTML completely and move to one of the forks, development pretty much stalled since 2016.

        • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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          And it was so fast, awww. And had a built-in BitTorrent client which didn’t suck balls and didn’t feel excessive.

          And all that caching.

    • azdle@news.idlestate.org
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      7 months ago

      The day Firefox shutters its doors is the day the internet truly dies.

      *the web

      The internet has so far been doing a much better job surviving as a proper decentralized system than the web.

      • erwan@lemmy.ml
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        7 months ago

        Really? What’s left of the Internet beyond the web?

        How many people use Usenet today, rather than forums or social media on the web?

        How many people use IRC, rather than Slack? (Either on the web or in a Chromium-backed desktop app)

        How many people use an email client, rather than webmail?

        • flexibeast@beehaw.org
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          Some non-HTTP(S) Internet stuff:

          Email is transferred to its destination (where, sure it might be accessed through a Web UI) via SMTP. Even where things like Slack are used internally, email usage between organisations is still extensive, due to effectively being a federated lowest-common-denominator system that’s not completely at the mercy of a single vendor.

          VoIP, which increasingly underlies telephony/mobile networks, uses things like SIP, RTP and RTCP - even if, again, it might be accessed via a Web UI, it doesn’t have to be, and there are dedicated clients.

          SSH is widely used for remote system administration. SFTP, built on top of SSH, is used to transfer sensitive data, e.g. (in the US) medical records covered by HIPAA.

          SNMP is used for network device management, sometimes doing so via the Internet.

          Don’t confuse certain end-user applications with the Internet more generally.

          • masterspace@lemmy.ca
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            The original comment, was the claim that the internet is doing a lot better than the web.

            In that context, the fact that literally every single one of those services is primarily accessed and managed through the web, makes that claim that the web hasn’t succeeded look a little ridiculous.

        • onlinepersona@programming.dev
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          7 months ago

          Usenet, IRC, mailing lists. and TUI email clients are fading away because they have horrible UX (and UI in most cases). The internet used to be a nerdy space, but now it’s for everybody: from your youngest to your oldest citizens, from the least technically adept to the most technically adept, and everyone in between. You can mourn the death of technologies and solutions written for another era if you wish, but that doesn’t make you better nor right. It just makes you bitter (or salty if that’s what the kids say nowadays).

          CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

          • barsoap@lemm.ee
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            There never has been a better newsreader than pineapple news. That program alone was reason enough to boot up BeOS, fite me irl.

            IRC? Graphical, in particular, hexchat. Also switch the font to proportional you’re not editing text.

            • onlinepersona@programming.dev
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              IRC has no built-in support for replies, media (audio, video, stickers, reactions, custom emoji, etc.), threads, and encryption. It’s barebones text with a bunch of cryptic slash commands on top of it - everything else is done by the client.

              And pineapple news’ UI is from another era. It’s like looking at papyrus when you have Gutenberg’s print.

              To each their own, but the amount of people willing to use such outdated tech is dwindling.

              CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

              • barsoap@lemm.ee
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                IRC has no built-in support for

                And? It’s a chat room, not a forum and emojis are a scourge upon the internet. And you’re certainly more likely to get an answer than on stackoverflow…

                And pineapple news’ UI is from another era. It’s like looking at papyrus when you have Gutenberg’s print.

                It’s BeOS’ default tk, the point is the UX not lack of subpixel font rendering. Windows looked like this back in the days. And no I don’t use it any more, haven’t visited usenet in almost 20 years.

                • onlinepersona@programming.dev
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                  And? It’s a chat room, not a forum and emojis are a scourge upon the internet. And you’re certainly more likely to get an answer than on stackoverflow…

                  Just like not everything that’s new is good, not everything that’s old is good. There’s a time and place for anything. The time and place for IRC is a museum IMO. You may disagree, but I disagree with you probably just as much that “emojis are a scourge upon the internet”.

                  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

          • anotherandrew@lemmy.mixdown.ca
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            I know I’m an outlier, but I prefer text mode IRC, then slack, and then all the other shit (telegram, signal, discord, teams, etc) fall way behind. “Everything is a walled-off app” is a horrible way to communicate. I get why these companies do it, and I also even understand the headache over maintaining useful open APIs, but honestly, they drop that ASAP because it doesn’t make them money.

        • datavoid@lemmy.ml
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          7 months ago

          I have yet to see a usenet post that was both written by a person and not incredibly batshit insane

    • Thymos@lemm.ee
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      Hell, even today a shitload of websites I visit on FF just don’t fucking render correctly and I’ll have to fire up a chromium instance just to access them.

      Can you link to an example? I remember this from years ago, but haven’t encountered it for a long time.

      • Bilb!@lem.monster
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        7 months ago

        I thought Servo was basically dead since the layoffs at Mozilla in 2020, but your comment caused me to look into it and evidently funding was found to resume development on it at the beginning of last year. That’s good news! (to me!)

    • Hypx@kbin.social
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      No. This is just a return to the days of the IE-only web. It will be problematic but it won’t be the end of the web.

      • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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        It wasn’t really IE-only. People sort of could use Netscape, and then Mozilla, and then Firefox. And Opera which wasn’t free.

    • ISOmorph@feddit.de
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      7 months ago

      Do you have examples for the sites that don’t render correctly? I’m genuinely curious since I haven’t encountered that issue in like a decade.

    • lloram239@feddit.de
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      The day Firefox shutters its doors is the day the internet truly dies.

      Firefox is little more than just a Chrome clone itself, financed by Google no less. It doesn’t do anything to set itself apport. If they cared about an open Internet they should have put some effort into building it (support RSS, Torrent, IPFS, etc.). If Firefox dies tomorrow, nothing much would change as the rest of the Internet already didn’t care. It might however make room for a browser that actually cares about privacy and an open Internet, instead of just using those words for marketing purpose while still having telemetry by default.

  • flatbield@beehaw.org
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    Firefox is far from irrelevant. Pure stupid click bait. Market share of courses is a sad thing and may lead to irrelevance when most web sites stop supporting. In the late days of Netscape and the early days of Firefox that was the case… lack of website support. I am just starting to see that again.

  • Midnitte@beehaw.org
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    Article seems pretty flawed. Relevance is a vague metric, and the author relies pretty heavily on data related to government site visitation, which seems subject to bias toward certain types of users.

    You mean like government (and business) employees that are forced to use some flavor of Internet Explorer Chromium?

    • sqgl@beehaw.org
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      Employees? I thought OP was talking about visitors and in that case a government site is as neutral as it gets.

      • Midnitte@beehaw.org
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        And a lot of those visitors are people that are forced to use chromium - such as employees that use those governmental services as a part of work. As neutral as it gets, it doesn’t mean it is actually neutral.

        For example, some government websites only work with chromium

  • Fizz@lemmy.nz
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    Is Firefox considered bad? It works well for me and when I use Chrome or edge It feels full of junk features

    • ConstableJelly@beehaw.orgOP
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      I don’t think so. The article claims Firefox lost some of its lead developers to Google when it started developing Chrome and then took a long time to regain its footing around 2017. That sounds about right to my recollection. I had admittedly switched to Chrome myself for a while (I’m not terribly tech-savvy, maybe a little more than average) but switched back to Firefox last year. I am still pretty deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem though in other ways.

    • treadful@lemmy.zip
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      Firefox has been nice to work with on my end. And fast. Even the dev tools are way better than they were a decade ago. Almost all the important extensions work on it.

      I don’t really understand how its market share is so low now.

      • Ilandar@aussie.zone
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        I don’t really understand how its market share is so low now.

        Everyone has a Google account, Chrome comes preinstalled on many web-enabled devices, people don’t realise how bad Chrome is compared to alternatives, people don’t understand they can search with Google on any web browser, etc. Most people are not particularly tech literate and don’t really understand what they are doing. They just use the most popular/advertised product and assume it is the best choice for them. Even in Lemmy privacy communities, where you’d expect users to be more tech literate, I’ve come across many people who don’t even know that browser export/import is a standard feature everywhere, or that other browsers have their own versions of cross device sync. They think they’re locked into Chrome and moving to Firefox would mean completely starting again from nothing.

    • Otter@lemmy.ca
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      7 months ago

      It works for me, as well as family members who aren’t as technical / don’t care about why I picked Firefox

    • tlf@feddit.de
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      I think it’s mostly about convenience. Most people don’t care enough and have only learned how to install chrome (if it isn’t preinstalled)

  • JokeDeity@lemm.ee
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    People are idiots. I’ve used Firefox for nearly 20 years and have zero plans to change.

    • Zworf@beehaw.org
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      Same here, it’s only getting better. Especially lately with mobile firefox finally getting up to scratch. The desktop browser has alwaysbeen great.

  • Butterbee (She/Her)@beehaw.org
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    Market share doesn’t equal irrelevance as others have said. I use Librewolf and without Firefox it wouldn’t exist. It likely wouldn’t exist at the quality it is without Mozilla taking Google Cash either. But it’s super important to have an alternative even if most people don’t use it. It DOES provide a limited check and balance against google doing whatever they want with the web because if the right people make the right noise then people will move over to something that’s easy, convenient, and free of whatever pain in the butt google puts in chrome that sends people over the edge. See Linux desktop and Valve for an example of how a software with very few users comparatively can force a larger company to play ball. Remember in Windows 8 when MS basically banned 3rd party software stores on the OS… or tried? And Valve made the “Steam Machine” and SteamOS? Everyone says the steam machines failed but they 100% did everything Valve wanted them to do. It was enough to have MS go back on their walled garden and allow Steam to keep operating as it had been. And now we have the steam deck on top of it.

    So, it’s ok if Firefox has a small market share as long as it remains a worthy competitor.

  • Pete Hahnloser@beehaw.org
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    For an article that tries to push a groupthink narrative to work, the people using the “discouraged” product need to believe the “encouraged” one has feature parity with zero downsides.

    I guarantee that no one is accidentally using Firefox because they’re unaware of the alternatives.

  • Quexotic@beehaw.org
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    I will be honest. I didn’t read that article because it’s too click-baity. Using https://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share/ I see that Firefox is about 3% of 5b users. Not insignificant.

    That 3% is about 150mil users. IMO, less than it should be. Google has great security, but terrible privacy. I switched middle of last year, from brave to FF for reasons I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say, they are numerous.

    It truly is troubling that they don’t have independent funding. I, for one would pay $10/y for this service. Maybe I could donate?

    Anyway, it’s a superior product in many ways.

    • barsoap@lemm.ee
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      That’s total browser market. On Desktop it’s 7.61%, in Germany 17.93%, making it second place (though Edge isn’t far behind). Europe is 10.56%, North America pretty much average, Asia and South America are dragging it down.

      It truly is troubling that they don’t have independent funding. I, for one would pay $10/y for this service. Maybe I could donate?

      Firefox is Mozilla’s cash cow, it’s how they’re earning funds for their charitable work. And google btw isn’t the only one paying them, which search engine is the default depends on where you are.

      • Quexotic@beehaw.org
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        Firefox is Mozilla’s cash cow, it’s how they’re earning funds for their charitable work. And google btw isn’t the only one paying them, which search engine is the default depends on where you are.

        Thank you that’s wonderful news! I don’t have the time to keep up on browser news like that so I truly appreciate the information.

    • soggy_kitty@sopuli.xyz
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      I would say a good half of posts on Lemmy are too click-baity for me to actually look at. Every title clearly has picked a side and it’s rare to see something even attempt to be impartial

  • legocorp@reddthat.com
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    I’ve recently moved away from Chrome to Firefox and the transition was so seamless that I’m surprised. The main reason for the change is that Firefox for android now allows addons, serious addons not just the mobile ones. Before I was using a chrome / kiwi browser combo. So happy that now I can sync my desktop and phone :)

      • bitwolf@lemmy.one
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        uBlock, Clean URLs, and “I still don’t care about cookies”

        Are the must haves for me.

        • quirzle@kbin.social
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          Is the last one still useful if you enable the cookies filter under annoyances in uBlock?

          • bitwolf@lemmy.one
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            I didn’t know about that actually. I’ll try it out and remove cookies extension. Thanks!

            Edit: Working well so far!

            • quirzle@kbin.social
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              Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of the annoyances filters active and don’t know if I could browse most websites without them at this point.

      • Not OP but the standard two ones: uBlock origin and NoScript. Added bonus is an addon to continue video view with screen off.

        People constantly crying over the ads in their youtube app. Well i just watch in Firefox and if i want to watch an audiobook video to fall asleep to, i don’t even have to drain my battery.

  • katy ✨@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    the problem with firefox is that chrome’s marketing is just too prevalent among the general population; it’s built into their gmail, their phone, everything that they use.

    as a flutter dev it’s especially frustrating since debugging on the web requires chrome (please help boost this issue in the issue queue: https://github.com/flutter/flutter/issues/55324)

    on the other hand they also reached their goal of over $3m grassroots donations in 2023, which goes a long way to scaling back on the reliance of google donations.

    you also have to remember that web statistics are largely done by third party sources - like google analytics - or through telemetry. in the first case, many firefox users or those with adblockers will disable that. in the second case, this is exactly why i implore people to not disable telemetry in firefox since it’s necessary for bug testing and usability studies but also for determining reach of software.

    personally i prefer firefox but still use a mix of google products, including maps, youtube premium/music, and drive (which i pay for). i also have a monthly donation to mozilla and thunderbird. it’s not much but every little bit helps - even $5