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Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

If I understand https://arewefenixyet.com/ correctly, being on Norway just landed me in the early Fenix (Firefox on Geckoview on Android) rollout. I had no idea it was coming, and uh I'm not sold on this being finished to the point where they can just quietly move people over and expect everything to go smoothly.

I've had multiple UI freezes (of the close and relaunch Firefox kind), I miss a few add-ons, the add-on author (a friend of mine) has been looking at it but doesn't even understand where to begin debugging why they are "not yet supported", I'm logged out of everything (and have to accept a thousand cookie warnings again), I'm not super sold on the UI changes, and the performance seems better in some places but worse in others; definitely not a clear win. Oh, and someone mentioned about :config and view-source:// don't work right now, and I miss my Top Sites list.

I mean, I understand that this is the right way to move, and in the long run it absolutely for the best - but this feels like they didn't want to bother keeping the old version alive and kicked a beta over the fence.

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Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Yeah, I spent last evening reading bug reports and discussions. They've been incredibly noncommittal so far.

(I also miss holding back for a history list, but that seems to exist in the nightlies now?)

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

At least Ctrl-Shift-T makes some sort of sense as a modification of Ctrl-T.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Huh, a mere three weeks after they started rolling it out, Mozilla have officially published a real announcement and a new codename for Fenix - it's now "Firefox Daylight".

As one of the first to get it, I have a distinct "we only really care about users in the big markets" - feeling.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

The official explanation for about:config is that there are multiple known ways to break Fenix so badly with it that you need to wipe and reinstall to recover, and they don't want that sort of foot-shooting available in the stable browser. The secondary argument is that about:config does less now, since it only configures Geckoview, not the (android-native) UI code - unlike in fennec where gecko drew everything.

It's enabled in beta and nightly, though. (They also claim they want to add more settings in the UI to cover most of the uses people had for a:c.)

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Ihmemies posted:

They booted all their devs

Not really, no. The Gecko/Firefox teams themselves are untouched, though they did fire people working on the devtools, some internal tooling, and some qa/security (after merging a few overlapping groups). Not great, but very different.

They did fire the entire "new browser engine in rust" group, whatever that was called - but the grumblings I saw on twitter suggests that those people were kind of detached and didn't actually deliver that much of practical use; the rust parts that are actually in Firefox took a fair bit of reworking from the normal developers first.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Having their own rendering engine is one of their main reasons for existing - it gives them some clout in designing web standards. Without it, we would be down to Google defining the web as "whatever Google programmers decided to do with Chrome this week". As is, they do at least have to pay some lip service to compatibility and open standards forums.

(Ok, Apple can also take WebKit in their own direction, though I don't know how far they want it to diverge.)

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

At least from my perspective, shaping the future of the web and making sure Google doesn't have a tech monopoly is their reason to exist, and the browser wrapped around their tech is just the means to get there. Giving up the engine to make a better browser would be as counterproductive as green party giving up the environmental policies to get more voters - or peeing their pants to stay warm, as my dad would say.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

dougdrums posted:

having an existential crisis over a web browser itt

It's kind of like when amazon or walmart takes over - you lose something when there is only one real alternative, even if it works well enough.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Fame Douglas posted:

Yeah, wouldn't want to lose the worst rendering engine on the market, what a terrible outcome that would be!

In a contest with two entrants that doesn't really say much.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Webfonts: Just say no.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

There are also the rare cases where the "local" server at the exit node is faster than your actually local one - github in europe springs to mind. Something about data shaping on 4g mobile networks also apparently responds better to the single stream of vpn data, but I suspect that to be mostly theoretical.

But yeah as a rule of thumb, sending all your traffic via a third party will make things slower. The best you can hope for is for it to not be noticeable.

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Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

Both vertical tabs and tab grouping do sound like potentially nice features to support natively, mind.

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