Firefox is the default web browser installed on most Linux distributions. It is a well-known browser by Mozilla that respects user privacy by design, and
poVoq
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I would say this is due to 2 reasons:

  1. Chromebooks selling well in the US
  2. New Windows PC buyers deciding Edge is good enough and not worth replacing with Chrome or FF.

There is very little Mozilla can do about both, sadly.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Also, Windows S doesn’t allow Firefox. Edge (chromium) only, Microsoft will tell you that it’s for “security” reasons since it’s an “unverified browser engine”, but we all know what the real reason is. Same with Apple and their Webkit engine.

@ajz
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A Mozilla poll on Mastodon seen today (by a tech person with 1.5k followers), more than 1k people. Conclusion : Fediverse needs more variety of people :-) On a more serious note, I think that too many people still have some trust in “do no evil” Google, so people don’t bother with anything else than the default Google Chrome on their Android phones, or find Firefox too slow on mobile. And on Chromebooks there is little choice for non tech users.

@AgreeableLandscape
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I think that too many people still have some trust in “do no evil” Google, so people don’t bother with anything else than the default Google Chrome on their Android phones, or find Firefox too slow on mobile.

Most tech consumers don’t give two shits about things like ethics of a company, or privacy, or things like that. Also, it’s been shown that Google intentionally hampers their site on Firefox (because when you spoof the user agent to say Chrome without changing anything else it magically works fine), and many large sites not only don’t bother to validate web apps for Firefox, they straight up prevent it from running (again, usually until you spoof the user agent). People with a good grasp on tech will look at this and realize what’s actually happening, but to the average person that uses technology but doesn’t necessarily understand technology, and probably have no idea what a user agent is or how it can be changed, this just looks like Firefox is inferior technologically to Chrome, so they use Chrome thinking it’s intrinsically better.

@humanetech
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I agree on your “don’t give 2 shits” observation. Many people I know don’t even use Chrome but the - still much worse - Samsung browser, and saying that FF is better functionally, speedier, etc. and only takes a second to install doesn’t help. They just don’t care. Same with ad-blockers: “You can have an ad-free internet, and all sites load must faster!” --> Reaction: “Meh… [shrug]”.

On the whole I never encounter sites that break significantly, let alone don’t run at all. Maybe I’m just lucky then :)

@AgreeableLandscape
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A lot of the more “advanced” web apps don’t “support” Firefox (though Firefox can usually run them with a user agent spoof). The browser version of Skype for example.

@yogthos
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I think Mozilla really needs to refocus on just making a good browser and they need to start looking for alternate sources of funding instead of being primarily dependent on Google. A lot of people would support that purely for ideological reasons.

@AgreeableLandscape
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And ditch Pocket. My god almost all the articles are either straight up Western propaganda or clickbait time wasters. Maybe don’t display that shit by default on the splash page of your browser.

Dessalines
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Yep pocket and its suggestions are super annoying.

Can’t the suggestions be disabled? Though it is kind of in poor taste that they have it there by default.

I actually like Pocket though, and I’ve been using it since before the Mozilla acquisition. It provides a nice way to keep track of articles I may not have time to read when I come across them. It also provides a “reader” interface similar to Firefox, so it strips out a lot of the extra stuff that appears on many articles. And it syncs with my Kobo, which is a bonus since I like reading on eInk. It’s one of the few cloud services I use, and I have at least a little bit of trust in Mozilla. I never even look at their suggestions since I only ever load it up to read “that article I didn’t get to last week”. I dunno, I guess I’m one of the 24 people who actually like it.

riccardo
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I used Pocket for a long time too, but recently I switched to Wallabag. The only thing I miss about Pocket is their android app (Wallabag for android doesn’t look that nice, although it offers all the features one would expect), but beside that, it has all the features Pocket has without the annoying recommendations and questionable integration into Firefox, plus a couple of additional things like tagging rules and RSS support. Also their API is in my opinion easier to use and, weirdly, far more reliable and predictable. No Kobo support though

Adda
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The thing I really do not like about Pocket is the fact there have been years of promises to open-source its code. As far as I know, it is purposely swept away every time (I believe they will never open-source the code because then it would be obvious they sell your data to make profit – all my theory here, have no proof of that). Because of this, I think I cannot trust Pocket and the team behind it. Finding my way around that, I have been using xBrowserSync (Firefox add-on to sync bookmarks) for bookmarking articles to read in the future with adding a special tag (usually todo – general tag for doing something with the bookmark in the future – and article – the bookmark is an article to read – in my case) to the bookmark so every time I feel like reading, I search for that tag in the bookmarks and get my stored articles. The advantage for me this has is having stored articles available on all of my devices (desktop, notebook, phone and tablet – as all my other bookmarks). xBrowserSync works spectacularly for me and because I use it anyway for syncing bookmarks, storing articles is just a great bonus on top of that. Thinking about that, rather than using Pocket, I would use Wallabag if I must choose one, but I find myself content with my current setup, so I have never really paid much attention to these applications as I simply do not need them. Glad Pocket works for you, though.

@yogthos
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Yeah, I really don’t like Mozilla funding model. I wish they’d just focus on crowd funding and building useful services people are willing to pay for. If Mozilla ran a decent mail service with good privacy for example, I’m sure a lot of people would pay for it.

@ajz
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Crowd funding sounds like a great idea to me. Running a paid email service I am not sure about. There is still a lot of “freemail” choices like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, GMX, Zoho and I believe most people will refuse to give up on Gmail or pay for email access. (The tech giants with their “freemail” and their addictive mobile apps have already contributed to turn a lot of people into zombies which is actually very bad. More often than not I see parents who increasingly pay no real attention to their children but are hooked to their mobile phones. This alienation will likely lead to new problems in the future. Children imho need a listening ear, empathy and compassion)

@yogthos
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I could be wrong of course, but I think there’s a market for people who are concerned about privacy and would be willing to pay for services like email from a vendor that was explicitly focused on protecting them. Apple has been successful advertising iOS as a privacy focused platform and seems like that’s working for them. But email is just an example, I’m sure there are other services Mozilla could offer that would be useful.

And I definitely agree that the way we use the internet leads to a lot of alienation. It’s very easy to get sucked into news or social media feeds and become increasingly disconnected from people around you.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Isn’t that what they’re essentially doing with their VPN?

@yogthos
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Yeah think so, not sure how profitable it is.

@linkert
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There’s suggestions?? I use it to send things I want to read to my ereader (Kobo thing).

@AgreeableLandscape
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Yeah. It aggregates articles from various media outlets on your homepage. You get the occasional serious one that is a good read, but a lot of the time they’re either fluff pieces or clearly intended to push an American narrative.

@linkert
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I know how they could sway me to give up a pretty penny. Offer paid hosted alternatives to Google Suite and two-way-file synchronization à Dropbox type thing. FOSS alternatives where I’m not the product. People, even normies are shouting for such services. Their VPN is basically useless as I have a subscription to Mullvad.

I don’t think they have neglected focus on their browser in the slightest nor have little focus on alternative income streams. But something is way off in their ability to assess market needs.

@someone
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I think Mozilla should make Firefox project more modular. Chromium and WebKit give you tons of browsers to choose from, with Firefox it’s mainline or nothing. Making the browser more modular would make it a lot more customizable and useful.

@Ripuli
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Focusing on just the browser and the alternate sources of funding (such as their VPN) go somewhat against each other

@yogthos
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That certainly can be the case, but it’s a problem that Mozilla needs to solve in order to survive. They need some form of sustainable revenue either through crowdfunding or by selling some kind of services people want. What they’re doing now is clearly not working.

@pingveno
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Yeah, Mozilla has been trying to break out of its current model of search engine contract funding browser development for many years without much success. I think part of the problem is that they keep picking areas with well established incumbent players so they never really have a chance.

@linkert
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Idk, I like firefox more now than a year ago. I think it has moved forward as to be expected. I mainly use qutebrowser, but when a site does not work properly in qb or it’s a webapp more suited for a traditional browser it’s Firefox for me.

What sites does not function properly in FF and is that really FF’s fault and not the Chromehead-webdevs fault?

@koalp
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Microsoft teams doesn’t work on firefox 😔

I guess they use some experimental chrome features and developper don’t cares because edge is chrome 🙄

poVoq
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Oh that is new, it used to work fine :( Or maybe it is like Skype Web which is intentionally blocked on Firefox, but once you install a tiny addon that just tells Skype to mind their own business, Firefox works 100% fine :(

@linkert
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Really? I have to check that out. Seems like a major oversight on Mozillas behalf or sabotage on Microsofts part if that’s the case during Covid-times :P

Battlest
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I don’t use firefox but I do use firefox based browsers.

Qoidra
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Waterfox? Something else? What’s your reason?

Adda
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Not asked, but in my case, I use LibreWolf every day because of its hardened and more privacy-friendly nature. Everything I need works in LibreWolf as well, and I have never had any issues with anything due to the hardening. Similarly, I use Mull instead of Firefox on a mobile phone and my tablet. It is practically the same as LibreWolf, just for phones. Last but not least, I like wolves much more than foxes :-)

Qoidra
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I hadn’t heard of LibreWolf before, but it looks like a great Firefox replacement. Thanks for the tip!

Adda
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LibreWolf is simply privacy-friendly pre-configured build of Firefox. Every change LibreWolf introduced can be applied somewhere in Firefox too, as far as I know. But yeah, LibreWolf is awesome and exactly what I wish Firefox would be after a clean install.

Firefox has been in dicline for a looong time. Is it slowing down or speeding up though? 12% of their user base isn’t that bad of a number, if they we’re on a downward trend anyways…

I hope firefox comes back, but I am not sure it’ll happen.

@peppermint
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Because they signed one of the RMS letters, because they are being paid by large companies to promote them or because they have been doing random things with their money and closing a bunch of projects?

riccardo
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None of this stuff have an actual impact on firefox’s userbase. The people who decide to jump to another browser based on the things you listed are probably an irrelevant percentage. According to StatCounter, firefox has a ~7% marketshare in desktop browsers. Although this is a very small percentage compared to chromium-based browser’s market hegemony, in absolute numbers it’s actually a lot of users - who probably don’t care about any of these stuff or most likely don’t even know what you’re talking about if you ask them for their opinion about it. And even among the online firefox community, which is very vocal and critical about ethical decisions (rightfully so, mozilla went through a lot of controversial stuff recently), we can’t assume most of its disgruntled users are going to jump to chrome/edge/brave over these stuff, even if we bring in the controversial redesign

Browsers come bundled in phone, laptops/PC, tvs, whatever has access to the internet. Microsoft has pushed his renewed browser like hell on Windows. The pandemic made tech sales skyrocket, and most devices come with chrome or edge bundled in. Firefox on android has always had to deal with the crumbles left by chrome. It’s not part of an ecosystem, as its competitors are. I’m not surprised at all about its marketshare dropping this much over the past 1.5 year

@peppermint
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I wasn’t thinking, thanks for a detailed reply. Tech sales make a bit more sense.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Firefox’s only hope is for Linux desktops and phones to gain more market share, where Firefox is most commonly the default browser. However, I don’t see Linux (exclusing Android because it’s not relevant in this discussion) becoming a serious competitor in the consumer tech world, because most normal users don’t care about things like privacy, security, or FLOSS, and Linux does not have the R&D or marketing money to compete with proprietary operating systems in the mainstream consumer world. For servers, embedded, and the like, it’s obviously different, but those things are hidden from the average user, and the average user don’t really care to know how those things work anyway.

Even among programmers/developers, more people seem (from my admittedly limited observation, anyway) to use Mac than Linux. The lecture halls in my CS classes are a sea of Macs, some Windows laptops (mostly Surfaces), and like five people using Linux. Even the profs use Mac.

What is libre culture?

Libre culture is all about empowering people. While the general philosophy stems greatly from the free software movement, libre culture is much broader and encompasses other aspects of culture such as music, movies, food, technology, etc.

Some beliefs include but aren’t limited to:

  • That copyright should expire after a certain period of time.
  • That knowledge should be available to people, not locked away.
  • That no entity should have unjust control or possession of others.
  • That mass surveillance is about mass control, not justice.
  • That we can all band together to help liberate each other.

Check out this link for more.

Rules

I’ve looked into the ways other forums handle rules, and I’ve distilled their policies down into two simple ideas.

  • Please show common courtesy: Let’s make this community one that people want to be a part of.

  • Please keep posts generally on topic

  • No NSFW content

  • When sharing a Libre project, please include the name of its license in the title. For example: “Project name and summary (GPL-3.0)”

Libre culture is a very very broad topic, and while it’s perfectly okay for a conversation to stray, I do ask that we keep things generally on topic.

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