Mozilla updated their Wiki website with a new ‘roadmap’ what the Browser will get in 2018. The list looks like they want to ripp-off certain functions from other Browsers. Mozilla Firefox finally reveals that it has a identity problem with such a list.
Firefox Product Roadmap
The product roadmap can be found here, people which closely watching the changes notice that lots of changes are already integrated in other Browsers, for example the TCP Fast Open mechanism was first introduced in Microsoft Edge. A visualized spreadsheet overview of upcoming changes are available here.
Some examples, based on ‘research‘ of Wikipedia and my own:
- TCP Fast Open – First introduced in Microsoft Edge
- Faster startup first paint – First introduced in Google Chrome
- Out of Process Extensions (for Linux and Mac) – First introduced in Google Chrome
- UTF Parsing – First introduced in Google Chrome
- WebRender to run apps at 60 frames per second – Microsoft Edge (maybe Chrome [unclear])
- Firefox Accounts Multi-factor authentication – MFA was first introduced in Google Chrome, however the account only feature is Firefox ‘improvement’
- Firefox UI language switching – First introduced in Opera
- New Extension APIs – First introduced in Google Chrome
- Interpreter speed improvements – First introduced in Google Chrome
- Tab Warming – First introduced in Google Chrome (pre-load/predict loading cycles)
- Video autoplay toggle – First introduced in Google Chrome but HTML5 blocking was first in Firefox
- Policy Manager – First introduced in Google Chrome, Chrome’s option doesn’t include a gpedit.msc loading but you can manually load preferences from it
- Global permissions management – Google invented the entire Browser permission thingy (based on MacOS ‘permissions idea’)
- Service Workers panel – First introduced in Google Chrome
Transparency is good and I like that Mozilla opens their roadmap for everyone but on the other side it doesn’t show anything new what not already exist in other Browsers, and their so called ‘improvements’ seems to be a big joke for me, more Telemetry and more features copied from other Browsers.
If you had to define Firefox, what would you think of first? What do you get with Firefox that you don’t get with Chrome? How many of those features apply to all browser users?
Copy features from other Browser – Mozilla’s Plan?
People originally used Firefox because it was quite unique, the times seems over and noting of it’s uniqueness is present except that it comes with more and more Bloatware pre-installed. Why? The community is still huge and has good ideas, why isn’t Mozilla not listening or providing an intuitive installer to get a way around it?
My own ideas for Mozilla (some of them):
- Remove ESR version, instead provide an installer which let you choose if the Browser get’s ESR’ed or if you like to install the ‘quantum version’. This would really unique and also reduce download size and server load because there is only one version.
- Provide within the same installer an ‘advance’ option to install the Browser with a pre-configured profile or without certain features and functions like Telemetry, Hello,…
- Provide an integrated mechanism to secure eMail. Most people still use insecure eMail, so provide an ability to fix this circumstances.
- People want themes, bring it back and allow more customization (once again).
- Developers are still angry of the recent extension change. I better compromise here would be to allow both engines to run simultaneously.
I’m not a HowTo-Geeks fan, but sometimes there right. Mozilla simply misses (once again) their opportunities to fill some gaps and needs which some user requests since years.
New features are fine and I get the point that the Browsers need to keep up with each other but don’t sell us an A for a B and call it ‘improvement’ or ‘new’. In other words integrate natively the most used and requested features like uBlock directly (just talk and hire some developers which are willingly) to push the Browser. NoScript, Ad-blocking and functionality could be integrated and provided under one interface, instead Mozilla tries to ‘impress’ us with their anti-fingerprinting mechanism which are worthless because the defaults are pretty much useless.
Mozilla adopted the six-week release cycle from Google, justifying this move by explaining that it could introduce new features when they are ready. Overall, the impact of the rapid release cycle has been largely limited to one major new feature once or twice in a year. Unfortunately, Mozilla has not been reacting fast enough with other features, this has changed now but it results in copy others.
Change can be good, but only if it’s valid and better. Otherwise, the change is not good for the sake of, simply, change.