Platform issues which disadvantage Firefox compared to first-party browsers

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • standards-positions

  • Mozilla's position on these specs is nicely outlined publicly and transparently as part of their standards-positions project: https://github.com/mozilla/standards-positions/issues/100

    I'm kinda glad it's not implemented in my browser, to be honest, because the whole thing seems like a security nightmare.

    It's a shame it impacts some hobby usecases, but I don't think this outweighs the reasoning set out on the GitHub issue.

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  • firefox-ios

    Firefox for iOS

  • Yeah, Orion's support for Firefox extensions is a big red flag. These 2 issues on the Firefox-iOS tracker[0,1] around extensions and content blockers have long mentioned Orion, but there's no response from Mozilla.

    [0]: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios/issues/7374

    [1]: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios/issues/9155

  • syncthing

    Open Source Continuous File Synchronization

  • My biggest gripe with Firefox on Android is that sometimes I enter a domain in the address bar, press enter and nothing happens.

    This behaviour seems to be erratic and only affects a few websites, such as https://forum.syncthing.net.

    Closing the tab or using a different one doesn't solve the problem. I need to force close the app to fix this.

  • platform-tilt

    Tracking issues which disadvantage Firefox relative to first-party browsers on major software platforms.

  • https://github.com/mozilla/platform-tilt/issues/3

    > JIT Support on iOS

    This has been such an under-commented on factor of the whole "EU is going to force third-party rendering engines on iOS!" bit. Would Apple allow apps to support JIT? A new entitlement browser developers must apply for? It'll be interesting :)

    I doubt it.

  • focus-ios

    Discontinued ⚠️ Firefox Focus (iOS) has moved to a new repository. It is now developed and maintained as part of: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios

  • When Mozilla launched Focus for iOS in 2016, Apple had two WebKit implementations on iOS. Focus was implemented with UIWebView (slower, with more extensive content blocking capabilities), while Firefox was implemented with WKWebView (faster, with limited content blocking capabilities).[1]

    Focus was Mozilla's way of offering Tracking Protection on iOS in some form without slowing down the performance of its main Firefox for iOS app. In addition to blocking ads within the Focus browser itself, Focus also provided iOS content blockers, which ironically (due to iOS content blockers being exclusive to Safari) allowed Focus users to block ads in Safari but not in Firefox for iOS.[2]

    Focus migrated to WKWebView in 2017 after iOS 11 bridged WKWebView's feature gap, allowing Focus to retain its Tracking Protection feature through the transition.[3] With Firefox and Focus both on WKWebView, Mozilla then ported Tracking Protection to Firefox for iOS in 2018.[4] Tracking Protection improved Firefox for iOS, but could not be as comprehensive as the Safari-exclusive content blockers.

    By that time, Mozilla had already launched Focus for Android in 2017 even though Firefox for Android already had the ability to block ads more comprehensively with extensions.[4] As a privacy-focused secondary browser, Focus was a niche app that turned out to be well-received by users, and Mozilla probably did not have a good reason to discontinue it even after Firefox for iOS gained Tracking Protection.

    [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12977855

    [2] https://blog.mozilla.org/en/products/firefox/introducing-fir...

    [3] https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/focus-ios/issues/274

    [4] https://blog.mozilla.org/en/products/firefox/latest-firefox-...

    [5] https://blog.mozilla.org/en/products/firefox/firefox-focus-n...

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NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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