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Firefox 47 Arrives With Synced Tabs Sidebar, Better YouTube Playback (venturebeat.com) 129

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Mozilla today launched Firefox 47 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The browser has gained a sidebar for synced tabs from other devices, improvements to YouTube playback and HTML5 support, and is seeing the end of support for Android Gingerbread. [If you're logged in with your Firefox Account, the sidebar will show all your open tabs from your smartphone and other computers. The sidebar even lets you search for specific tabs. Next, Firefox 47 supports the open source VP9 video codec on machines with powerful multiprocessors. VP9 is the successor to VP8, both of which fall under Google's WebM project of freeing web codecs from royalty constraints.] Firefox 47 is available for download on Firefox.com, and will be slowly released on Google Play. You can view the full Firefox 47 changelog here. If you're a developer, Firefox 47 for developers offers more details for you.
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Firefox 47 Arrives With Synced Tabs Sidebar, Better YouTube Playback

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  • Does this mean Netflix in Firefox will finally run at 1080p? I almost switched to Chrome for this, but I'm too ingrained into Fx with the UI and my favorite plugins.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @07:11PM (#52271061)

      I looked at the latest browser market share stats [caniuse.com] after hearing about this new version of Firefox.

      Firefox now has only about 6% to 7% of the market. That's across all versions, on desktop and mobile.

      To put that into perspective, Firefox is well behind desktop Chrome, which is over 25%, and Chrome for Android, which is at 18%. Even UC Browser for Android is well above Firefox now, at almost 10% of the market.

      Firefox is about as popular now as Safari for iOS 9.3 and IE 11. That's right, individual versions of non-Chrome browsers that support pretty much just one platform now have roughly the same number of users as Firefox does across all platforms and devices!

      Even Opera Mini nearly has more users than Firefox does!

      This decline in Firefox's market share should be sending shockwaves through Mozilla. Firefox is the only product of theirs that sees any significant use. They basically gave up on Thunderbird, the only other product of theirs that saw much use. Seamonkey never had many users to begin with. Persona and Firefox OS were total failures. Bugzilla is a legacy product. Rust and Servo are going nowhere.

      Why, despite becoming more and more irrelevant each day, do we see such a complete lack of action on the part of Mozilla? Don't they realize that their existence depends on people using Firefox? Why would any company throw money at Mozilla if there aren't any Firefox users to perform searches or otherwise advertise to?

      In any other organization there would be massive changes going on right now. Something is seriously wrong when a product goes from having 30% or more of the market down to 6% within only a few years.

      Yet the best we've seen out of Mozilla has been the rather pointless Rust and Servo. Rust doesn't really improve on C++14, while having a lot of drawbacks (like only one implementation, lots of bugs in that implementation, a limited standard library, a steep learning curve, and lots of dead library projects, among others) that C++14 doesn't have. Servo is decades behind today's browsers, with no obvious hope of catching up any time soon.

      It's so surreal when I look at this situation. The loss of market share and the response to it are unbelievable. But it's no wonder why it's happening. All of the unwanted changes made to Firefox starting with Firefox 4 explain perfectly why Firefox's market share has dropped. Imagine that, if users are treated like shit then they'll move to a competing product!

      • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @07:52PM (#52271289)

        Firefox now has only about 6% to 7% of the market.

        Considering that this includes mobile, where google thanks to being OS vendor has a head start, and where firefox came far too late to the game, and with a far too bad product, this number is quite high. It means millions of users world wide entrust firefox with their data.

        Something is seriously wrong when a product goes from having 30% or more of the market down to 6% within only a few years.

        The market has seen a giant growth (mostly caused by android) in the recent years. Before that, the market share was higher. If you look at absolute numbers, firefox didn't lose that much.

        Rust and Servo are going nowhere.

        I couldn't disagree more. Rust is being adopted by more and more people, although other languages like swift are more popular. And Servo is being improved right this moment, even though its still beta software.

        Rust doesn't really improve on C++14

        There is one huge improvement C++ never will dare to make: backwards compatibility. Rust is *not* backwards compatible with C, or earlier (and broken) versions of C++. If you don't use modern C++14 consistently, there might be benefits, but the actual potential is unleashed if you use 100% of the modern language. In a language which is backwards compatible to older versions of C++ or C, legacy programs won't likely migrate, or you will accidentially miss some pieces here and there.

        a steep learning curve

        That's where Rust is much better than C++14 at. C++ is a giant mess of trillions of different programming styles and legacy stuff down to pure C. Rust lacks these things.

        only one implementation

        I rather have something where there is one but working implementation of, than five different but non working ones. Also, there is much slower progress if multiple implementors have to find the best way to make a feature. Also consider that Rust is a very young language, and stable for since about one year.

        Last but not least there is no real reason for somebody to start a second implementation. gcc was started because of proprietary compilers. clang was started because apple hated the GPL. If e.g. apple wants to integrate rustc into xcode, nobody stops them, rustc is MIT licensed.

        lots of dead library projects

        C++ has even more! Its the living projects that matter, not the dead ones.

        Why would any company throw money at Mozilla if there aren't any Firefox users to perform searches or otherwise advertise to?

        For now, it has worked out for Mozilla. But I agree, they should really do something about this situation.

        • by Flammon ( 4726 )
          I wish I had mod points to mod you up. Much more accurate then parent. Rust is alive and well. Check this out this app written in Rust: https://ethcore.io/parity.html [ethcore.io] and I can't wait for Servo, it's going to leapfrog all the other browsers in performance and reliability and security. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
        • Last but not least there is no real reason for somebody to start a second implementation.

          Yes there is. A language with only one implementation cannot so easily become a formal International Standard the way C and C++ are. Nor can a language with only one implementation support David A. Wheeler's diverse double-compiling [dwheeler.com], the most practical countermeasure to the "Trusting Trust" attack described by Ken Thompson.

          • Well there was a history of how the Rust compiler was "first" compiled: in the beginning, it was written in OCaml, and then they re-implemented it in Rust, using the OCaml compiler to bootstrap it. Theoretically you could now check out the sources of the OCaml compiler and then compile the Rust compiler with it, step by step. This way you can "bootstrap" the trust from the OCaml compiler.

            • So you choose to bootstrap from OCaml through old Rust to current Rust the way one would bootstrap from a C implementation through old g++ to modern g++. But this just shifts the bottleneck of the trojan origin to the OCaml binary. Is there an implementation of OCaml that is not from INRIA?

              • I'm not 100% certain, but I think one of the two OCaml compilers is written in C. With this you can bootstrap OCaml from a language where multiple compiler vendors exist in order to bootstrap Rust.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Keep in mind that one of the *reasons* to use firefox is because of plugins. Specifically adblock or ublock and noscript. So the 'numbers' may be wildly wrong.

          I have personally been using both chrome and firefox consistently for the past 6 months (I switch every other day). There really is little difference from an end user POV. Chrome from my POV seems a bit janky but that could just be the version I am currently on. It just randomly will not render a page. Close it out come back in and it is fine.

        • Considering that this includes mobile, where google thanks to being OS vendor has a head start, and where firefox came far too late to the game, and with a far too bad product, this number is quite high. It means millions of users world wide entrust firefox with their data.

          The market has seen a giant growth (mostly caused by android) in the recent years. Before that, the market share was higher. If you look at absolute numbers, firefox didn't lose that much.

          You're making excuses for statistics. Firefox has always been behind or late to the game. That didn't stop an incredible rise in popularity and usage years ago, and as such being late to mobile is no excuse either. Remember Google Chrome for mobile is NOT the default mobile browser in most versions of Android.

          The fact that

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ctrlshift ( 2616337 )

            The fact that the growth has been non-Firefox is quite telling too. It means that people don't care too much what browser they use. It means that Firefox has a devoted fan base. It means that Firefox has a poor marketing strategy (go ahead and ask people if Firefox exists on Android and see if anyone knows).

            I'm pretty sure this is god's honest truth. People who are aware of the technical differences between browsers do not swing the great "market share" % points up or down; they're the extreme minority. Most of the clients I encounter who use Chrome originally received it because it was automatically installed with CCleaner or Avast or whatever and they just didn't bother to uncheck the "gimme da bundleware!" box. That box is usually right next to the "Make this my default browser" box and the "Set Google a

            • You're not a linux user then :-)

              But you are right. Aside from Linux and maybe Mozilla / Canonical's own attempts at a mobile OS you don't see Firefox by default anywhere.

              • Oh but I AM a linux user! Gentoo masochist, through and through :-P
                But yeah you're right; Firefox is the default for many distros, even if they have to call it Iceweasel or some such.
                Of course, then its competition is Chromium, rather than the heavily branded and marketed Chrome. I wonder how big the Chromium user base is...
            • People who are aware of the technical differences between browsers do not swing the great "market share" % points up or down; they're the extreme minority

              They are the minority, but they're also usually the free tech support guy for friends and family. In the past, I used to aggressively push Firefox to anybody I could, but I wouldn't do that for the current Firefox.

              Given that Firefox doesn't have much else in the way of marketing, I wonder how big an impact the deliberate loss/disenfranchisement of their technical user base is having.

      • by roca ( 43122 )

        You say there is a "complete lack of action" at Mozilla but you just have to look at the source repo, or the public forums, or blogs, to see that that's far from the case. So you clearly haven't looked at all.

        Claiming "Rust doesn't really improve on C++14" shows that you don't understand the important innovations in Rust (e.g. strong ownership invariants and memory safety guarantees).

        Claiming "all of the unwanted changes made to Firefox starting with Firefox 4" are a complete explanation for loss of market

      • Why, despite becoming more and more irrelevant each day, do we see such a complete lack of action on the part of Mozilla?

        One of Mozilla's greatest assets (far more so than other browser developers) is its user community. What are you doing to ensure their products' continued survival? Personally, I evangelize Thunderbird and SeaMonkey to my friends and coworkers, at least when my advice is solicited or would be otherwise welcome, and at work I make sure our wiki contains instructions on getting Thunderbir

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        To put that into perspective, Firefox is well behind desktop Chrome, which is over 25%, and Chrome for Android, which is at 18%. Even UC Browser for Android is well above Firefox now, at almost 10% of the market.

        This has nothing, nothing I tell you to competing with a browser backed by the world's largest advertiser who also happens to own the world's largest mobile platform and isn't above abusing that to suppress competition.

        For example: on my phone now the google search bar ALWAYS opens links in chrome,

      • Yet the best we've seen out of Mozilla has been the rather pointless Rust and Servo.

        Speak for yourself. Currently I use Chrome on desktop. Once most of Firefox has been redone in Rust, I'll switch to it. Why? Because if it's written in Rust, it's secure by design -- that's something I won't pass up, even if Chrome is faster or some pages don't work in FF.

      • I think the best thing that could possibly happen to Firefox would be for Mozilla to just die out, full stop. Then, it could be continued as a more traditional open source project, rather than the design-by-committee "let's copy everything chrome does" mess.
    • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @09:58PM (#52271921)

      Does this mean Netflix in Firefox will finally run at 1080p? I almost switched to Chrome for this, but I'm too ingrained into Fx with the UI and my favorite plugins.

      Why not just use both? Can't you just use Chrome for Netflix and Firefox for the rest? These are browers, not religions.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "If you're logged in with your Firefox Account, the sidebar will show all your open tabs from your smartphone and other computers"

    That seems useful. Get hacked on all your devices at once. If it will speed the luddite uprising, I'm for it.

  • Glad for YouTube fix (Score:2, Informative)

    by meadow ( 1495769 )

    Without knowing the exact details, am really glad for the YouTube fix. Was having a *lot* of issues and sometimes multiple-daily crashes when playing YouTube videos in FF recently to the extent that I dedicated Chrome browser to being the YouTube viewer. There definitely was something going on, although I wish they had mentioned more about the details in their blog post today.

    Is amazing what Firefox has evolved into - what web browsers themselves have evolved into - and Firefox is really at the forefront

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, Firefox is at the forefront of copying everything that the Chrome developers do.

    • by donaldm ( 919619 )

      Without knowing the exact details, am really glad for the YouTube fix. Was having a *lot* of issues and sometimes multiple-daily crashes when playing YouTube videos in FF recently to the extent that I dedicated Chrome browser to being the YouTube viewer. There definitely was something going on, although I wish they had mentioned more about the details in their blog post today.

      Is amazing what Firefox has evolved into - what web browsers themselves have evolved into - and Firefox is really at the forefront of this in good ways although I wish it was more stable.

      I have not had an issue with Firefox displaying YouTube videos although I did have a problem with a Chrome update a few months ago and changing one of my Chrome setting which in turn resulted in a strange display of YouTube videos. I did fix the issue since it was a configuration setup in Chrome but having a browser to drop back on enabled me to pinpoint the problem so much quicker.

      On my PC I have access to multiple browsers and although I predominately use Chrome I have don't have any issue with using Fi

  • I upgraded to FF47 and found that the zoom stopped working
    both buttons in the toolbar and the CNTRL + key

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      It's working for me, perhaps a plugin conflict

      • by rossdee ( 243626 )

        Looks that way, I turned off a few extensions and Zoom works again
        Now I just https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/06/07/2055235/firefox-47-arrives-with-synced-tabs-sidebar-better-youtube-playback#have to narrow it down to which add-on is the problem...

        It looks like Classic Theme Restorer
        I had v1.52 installed
        wonder if theres an update

        • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

          I have that,(classic theme..) not causing probs for me, possibly a setting. Talking of improving youtube, they havent, it can take 5-10 seconds for the interface to respond to clicks for me, might be ghostery or noscript though.

    • Maybe nobody was working on that code in a while so they removed the feature?

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @07:19PM (#52271117) Journal

    Does it include other Windows Firefox versions? (example my desktop, laptop and work machine? not just tablets / phones) so I can see what's open on what PC?

    Can I "switch to" my work tab listing - without losing my home tab listing? Then switch back to home?

    This finally sounds like an Ok feature, (for a change!)
    I've recently found some plugins to FINALLY make Chrome a little more usable. (Refined tab control, closing order, opening position etc) - those Chrome features work on Sync too.

    I've always been super hesitant about using Sync, just feels very much like a tracking and privacy concern - but the functionality of it in Chrome, means that every time I use chrome (and sign in) it's actually a "usable" browser to me now AND all the idiot stuff I need to do, to make Chrome usable, follows me.

    Should I be considering this for Firefox too?

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @07:58PM (#52271335)

      Firefox encrypts the synced data on the client side, the plaintext content never reaches the mothership. Chrome, coming from google, obviously does not.

    • You can setup Firefox to use whatever server you want for syncing. e.g. your local machine, or a $5 Digital Ocean droplet. It takes a little bit to set up - afterwards though, you could point all your various browsers to your own server for syncing any of your FF data.
  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @08:12PM (#52271401)

    I did a comparison. A 1080p 60fps youtube video (HTML5) used 28-44% of my quad-core in Firefox 46 (usually around 33%). Upgraded to Firefox 47, and it only used 4-6%. I turned off Firefox's hardware acceleration and it still only used 22-25%. I know my friend with a core 2 duo was having trouble with HD youtube videos on Firefox.

    • by jddj ( 1085169 )

      YouTube chokes less for me (Core2Duo, OS X), but it's still astonishingly difficult to get it to pause, switch back from full screen (takes 30 seconds or so), or return control of the browser.

      Why is this so hard for Firefox? Seems like Chrome gets it right...

      • by bogie ( 31020 )

        On a Core2Duo you should be using Safari with ClickToFlash. That and max out mem with an SSD if you haven't already.

    • I haven't had any playback issues but I've noticed it runs my laptop pretty hot. Does this get resolved as well or is this entirely different?

  • by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @08:42PM (#52271559) Journal

    For the curious, sanity continues to prevail: mandatory addon signing [mozilla.org] has been pushed back again and xpinstall.signatures.required continues to function. Originally planned for version 46 it's now sitting at a possible version 48 release. With any luck the entire idea will be scrapped, but I encourage anyone who disagrees with this horrible signing policy to voice their opinion [mozilla.org].

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @09:45PM (#52271861)
    And hopefully better video playback, in general. (I was told that) watching porn on Chrome gives a better experience than on FF.
  • "...and will be slowly released on Google Play."

    What does that mean?

    How does something get "slowly released"? Does that mean only certain people will see it available for download, or...?

  • They still haven't fixed the scrollbar problem for Ubuntu dark themes they introduced in 46. Back to 45 for me again.

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