Firefox Announces New 'Quantum' Browser With 2X Faster Speeds, Coming November...

When compared to Chrome – which Firefox directly compared itself to in a new video – Quantum is said to be faster than Google’s browser, “while consuming roughly 30 percent less RAM.”

Definitely buzz-wordy, but I am all for less RAM usage!

I have weird mixed feelings about quantum.

I mean im looking forward to it, ive been using Firefox since before it was called Firefox (Phoenix was it’s launch name before the Firefox rebrand) and it’s exciting stuff. I believe in Mozilla and the Open Web and I think Mozilla is still one of the few major forces clearly on the side of good in web standards and web browser development.

However I get depressed that Mozilla just can’t compete with Chrome on technical merit. Not that they can’t win benchmarks. They have before, they have with Quantum they will again when Chrome catches up to them.

Its just that winning at performance and resources doesn’t seem to net them back any lost users.

Chrome has a lot of network strength being tied in with the rest of Google’s ecosystem; and I fear for Firefox everytime they innovate and people act like it’s going to be a game changer for them. As historically it doesn’t move the needle that much for them.

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Well, it is a Mac Rumors piece… :slight_smile:

This is a general reply to your whole post @trashHeap, but I only quoted that one line. It is an important line!

I read about a journey through many operating systems, and if I wrote a similar piece about web browsers, Firefox would be the city that all roads lead to. I started using Firefox, and sometimes I use other browsers in addition to it, but Firefox is my jam.

And for years I’ve been super conflicted about the project.

I have loved every person I’ve met from Mozilla, as well as every person I know associated with Mozilla. But over the years my feelings have been hurt multiple times, mostly by the Corporation, but also just weird decisions they make.

And yet, an Earth-circling fox spirit and a dinosaur head are the only stickers that consistently rock my laptops.

I feel like Mozilla projects have been sabotaged by the very nature of competing with the other projects, of attempting to find the mass market appeal in order to protect and empower the most people, they end up compromising along the way.

And so I throw my hat behind Firefox (derivatives, really, thanks trademarks and creepy defaults!), because it is the most sophisticated HTML document interface that isn’t completely adversarial by default.

The W3C/DRM thing bothers a lot of folks, because it feels institutional, corruption built into the soul of the web. But I am having a crisis of faith in the web at all. When I look around, at the race to the bottom for so many web publishers, to hand over our lives to corporation, and to sell our their fellow web users for a quick and incredibly small buck… I am not excited by Firefox anymore. I am just disappointed in humans. Some of them use Firefox, some don’t.

Ha! Sorry that sounded so dramatic! It is just a very important part of my life. In fact, my transition into adulthood was marked by my ability to communicate on the web. Hmmm… will have to write about that.


Also, how many damn versions of mainline Firefox are there?! Quantum, Klar, Focus? I think I am forgetting another one I spotted, had no idea about. And I checked! All these are official! Who knows which ones are not?!

I feel like a lot of this has been their own sort of dance between the idealism of wanting to fight for user freedom, and needing the pragmatic realities of needing market-share to be an effective lever at the W3C for the same goals.

I think people also don’t consider how carefully considered and how sour that bow to pragmatism was for them. The climate with a lot of Mozillians is that they had tried to fight that sort of thing one to many times before and lost, each time loosing more marketshare and having less of a voice at the W3C.

Remember when google stood beside them to promote webm and patent free standards for HTML5? How google claimed they were converting all of youtube to webm … and then didn’t. Leaving Firefox depedent on flash for youtube for years, while Chrome natively rendered patent encumbered H264.

Time and time again Mozilla tried, failed and lost users because of it. Each time they lost users their voice got smaller.

That is a weird tight rope to walk.

Unfortunately I feel like the Web is kind of where alternate operating systems were in the late 90s early 2000s. The more experimental and less corporate you are, the more you are muscled out of the market. Three or four big players will eat up 90% of the marketshare and drive the future regardless of technical merit.

Browsers much like OSes also represent such a massive technology stack now, getting in on the ground floor from scratch to compete is near impossible.

Patch sets against existing rendering engines dropping these evils. are just going to make you look like a less capable browser to the lay man.

I don’t think necessarily the fight is over. I tend to think most fights of this nature are pendulum swings.

But I dont think any browser is going to excite for a while because of it.

When the space shuttles were being decommissioned I expressed a kind of sadness to a friend of mine who said something to the effect of:

“Well, the space shuttles were not efficient enough for what we were doing.”

And I replied and said I thought that it was more our failing for not using them for more imaginative and daring missions than we did.

I feel similarly here. I feel like people are failing the openweb.

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