Oh! Firefox...

Posted on October 14, 2023

Warning: This is a rant post, if you are staunch proponent of Firefox stop right here.

From the time I have been an Internet user I have always been a Firefox user or atleast in some capacity use it. Firefox has always been my default browser even though I love dabbling with different browsers. I have used Opera of the old times, Icecat, midori, uzbl, nyxt, Chrome, Vivaldi, elinks, links, w3m, lynx you name at some point or another would have used it.

But even while trying out all those browsers, I used to still use Firefox in some capacity. One of the reasons was the extensibility. I was a heavy monkey script + no script user. And Firefox was always at the forefront of coming up with new and exciting features only followed by Opera(of those times, that just made me sound like I am a really old hag).

Recently all that has changed, to the point that I actually cringe[^1] when I see Firefox in the dash of Ubuntu. [^1]: The “cringe” is probably an exageration.

It has been a while since I used or even attempted to use Firefox, it is because Firefox is one of the browsers that so far behind the browser feature parity race.

What features Firefox lacks that other browsers offer?

Since my move to the Apple eco-system I have been a huge fan of Safari. It is simple yet has the right amount of features that make them useful. Tab grouping and reading list in particular is something that has now become part of my workflow. And with iOS 17, introduction of the long awaited profiles.

And these features are available in Chrome as well, hence the reason why I use Chrome along side Safari. I need to run Chrome because I am running Ubuntu on my Thinkpad.

Firefox seems to have fallen behind on the features list that other browsers offer. And worst is they don’t seem to work on achieving parity with other browsers letting alone introducing new ones. 1. Read list/Read latrueter list: One can argue isn’t that why we have bookmarks. If you have used read later/read list then it would be your best friend for decluttering your browser with open tabs. 2. Tabs grouping This has lately been a feature that I rely heavily at work to group my project related work organized. Yet another feature that you can’t let go once you start relying on it. 3. Profiles There is a way create and open different profiles but you can’t have multiple profiles open at the same time. This could be compensated by using the containers extension but the fact that it doesn’t have proper profile support that Safari or Chrome has is a bummer.

The sad part is that this was not the case, Firefox was the first to come out with tab grouping albeit it was marred with performance issues. But even though my pc fans would go crazy every time I engaged with tab groups on firefox I used it and kind of liked it until they decided to kill it instead of perfect it.

Browser of choice on my laptop

Chrome is the browser of choice when using my Thinkpad running Ubuntu because it has all the features that I like and use in Safari on iPhone and iPad in some what similar fashion. So right now if you look at the browser scene, kind of all the browsers have feature parity (Chrome, Safari,Vivaldi, Brave, Opera) with the exception of Firefox :(.

Nothing exciting in the Firefox camp for quite sometime. I have been following the releases page, and sadly for quite sometime now I haven’t seen anything that excited me to give it a try. Hopefully that changes but I am not too hopefully.