- Apr 24, 2016
Every company out there becomes a self-feeding organism at some point. This affects smaller companies with a single product even more acutely than the giants. While big organizations can sort of play the game of innovation music chairs while burning their reserves, the small ones don't have that luxury. Case in point, Mozilla. Say Firefox is a complete product. Oh, noes. What now? People go home?
Well, the answer is neverending development until the Universe explodes, the whole "agile" thing. Which is why browsers keep getting more and more useless features and constant visual tweaks, although they don't need them, because every browser has only one function, and that's to show some Web pages. That means most companies need far fewer developers than they have, and far more testing, maintaining, bug fixing. Y'know, the boring stuff. Surely not more development. But development is so hot right now. We're in 2021, but we're acting like it's 1999.
Actually no. Unlike 1999, there's another twist today. The modern software world has become a bureaucracy. And like any bureaucracy worldwide, bureaucracy's primary goal is to protect itself, and so it invents processes to make it exist, continue and thrive. This means, every software product must be evolved until it looks nothing like the original thing. Australis, Quantum, Proton. Whats the point? How do any of these make the browser better? How do these make a difference compared to what Firefox did in the 3.6 era?
Now, the bitter paradox. People who care about constant visual refreshes all the time - common users. But common users AREN'T the people who love and use Firefox! It's the nerds - the very people Mozilla pushed Chrome's way back in the day, and is now trying to win them back. That won't work. Techies don't care about bling, they care about functionality and efficiency. When you make their search box almost indistinguishable from the background, they care. When they need extra mouse clicks to find a desired option, they care. The average mouthbreather out there? They couldn't care less. Developing tools for idiots is wrong.
Proton has nothing magical or cool about it to sway the common users. It has nothing of essence to retain the veterans. It's unnecessary noise. Sad noise. I like the security and privacy improvements, I like the extra speed on the phone. But these could have been achieved without Proton - or at least without low-contrast Proton that we have today. I hope Mozilla will tweak the new UI in a meaningful way. Because this doesn't help its case. This makes me sad and worried. Even so, even with Proton, Firefox still remains my primary browser. Even with Proton, it's still better than the competition. I don't want to think about the awful future when we only have one browser engine. But it's the day I will laugh at all those nerds who abandoned Firefox. The end.
Review of Firefox 89 with the new Proton UI refresh, including look and feel on three different desktops, numerous problems in the new design - low constrast, reduced visibility and navigation, and hidden options, some improvement in browser speed and responsiveness, how to disable Proton...