• @fpslem
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    13721 days ago

    tab grouping

    Sure, okay.

    vertical tabs

    To each their own.

    profile management

    Whatever, it’s fine.

    and local AI features

    HOLLUP

    • @elliot_crane
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      18021 days ago

      We’re looking at how we can use local, on-device AI models – i.e., more private – to enhance your browsing experience further. One feature we’re starting with next quarter is AI-generated alt-text for images inserted into PDFs, which makes it more accessible to visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities. The alt text is then processed on your device and saved locally instead of cloud services, ensuring that enhancements like these are done with your privacy in mind.

      IMO if everything’s going to have AI ham fisted into it, this is probably the least shitty way to do so. With Firefox being open source, the code can also be audited to ensure they’re actually keeping their word about it being local-only.

      • @PseudorandomNoise
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        1221 days ago

        Don’t you need specific CPUs for these AI features? If so, how is this going to work on the machines that don’t support it?

        • sacredbirdman
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          5921 days ago

          Nope, they can use your NPU, GPU or CPU whatever you have… the performance will vary quite a bit though. Also, the larger the model the more memory it needs to run well.

        • @elliot_crane
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          4221 days ago

          With it being local it’s probably a small and limited model. I took a couple courses on machine learning years ago (before it got rebranded as “AI”), and you’d be surprised at how well a basic image recognition model can run on the lowest-spec macbook from 2012.

          • ferret
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            2821 days ago

            Tbh the inversion of typical intuition that is LLMs taking orders of magnitudes more memory than computer vision can mess people unfamiliar up on estimates of the hardware required

        • lemmyvore
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          2121 days ago

          You only need lots of precessing power to train the models. Using the models can be done on regular hardware.

        • @[email protected]
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          621 days ago

          Running AI models isn’t that resource intensive. Training the models is the difficult part.

        • @KISSmyOSFeddit
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          321 days ago

          The feature will obviously just be disabled on machines that don’t support it.

    • @[email protected]
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      21 days ago

      While I dislike corporate ai as much as the next guy I am quite interested in open source, local models. If i can run it on my machine, with the absolute certainty that it is my llm, working for my benefit, that’s pretty cool. And not feeding every miniscule detail about me to corporate.

      • @[email protected]
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        2321 days ago

        I mean that’s that thing. They’re kind of black boxes so it can be hard to tell what they’re doing, but yeah local hardware is the absolute minimum. I guess places like huggingface are at least working to try and apply some sort of standard measures to the LLM space at least through testing…

        • @grue
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          2421 days ago

          I mean, as long as you can tell it’s not opening up any network connections (e.g. by not giving the process network permission), it’s fine.

          'Course, being built into a web browser might not make that easy…

          • @[email protected]
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            521 days ago

            Sums up my thoughts nicely. I am by no means able to make sense of the inner workings of an llm anyway, even if I can look at its code. At best i would be able to learn how to tweak its results to my needs or maybe provide it with additional datasets over time.

            I simply trust that an open source model that is able to run offline, and doesnt call home somewhere with telemetry, has been vetted for trustworthiness by far more qualified people than me.

          • @[email protected]
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            121 days ago

            I’m not interested in AI, but if it’s not touching the network, I might leave it enabled. We’ll see.

            All I want from Firefox is to keep up on web standards, implement security features, and improve performance. I don’t particularly care about most of the rest of the browser features they throw in.

    • @[email protected]
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      1021 days ago

      I tried one of their test builds. Seems like the AI part just means the browser can integrate with llamafile (Mozilla’s open source solution for running open source llm’s with just one file on any platform)

    • @afraid_of_zombies
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      521 days ago

      I wonder when tech companies are going to start calling AI something different to deal with the luddites. Like skyscrapers whose floors are labeled 12 and 14.

  • @ClamDrinker
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    21 days ago

    If you’re here because of the AI headline, this is important to read.

    We’re looking at how we can use local, on-device AI models – i.e., more private – to enhance your browsing experience further. One feature we’re starting with next quarter is AI-generated alt-text for images inserted into PDFs, which makes it more accessible to visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities.

    They are implementing AI how it should be. Don’t let all the shitty companies blind you to the fact what we call AI has positive sides.

    • @UnderpantsWeevil
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      1420 days ago

      They are implementing AI how it should be.

      The term is so overused and abused that I’m not clear what they’re even promising. Are they localizing a LLM? Are they providing some kind of very fancy macroing? Are they linking up with ChatGPT somehow or integrating with Co-pilot? There’s no way to tell from the verbage.

      And that’s not even really Mozilla’s fault. It’s just how the term AI can mean anything from “overhyped javascript” to “multi-billion dollar datacenter full of fake Scarlett Johansson voice patterns”.

      • @chrash0
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        1520 days ago

        there are language models that are quite feasible to run locally for easier tasks like this. “local” rules out both ChatGPT and Co-pilot since those models are enormous. AI generally means machine learned neural networks these days, even if a pile of if-else used to pass in the past.

        not sure how they’re going to handle low-resource machines, but as far as AI integrations go this one is rather tame

        • @UnderpantsWeevil
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          020 days ago

          AI generally means machine learned neural networks these days

          Right, but a neural network traditionally rules out using a single local machine. Hell, we have entire chip architecture that revolves around neural net optimization. I can’t imagine needing that kind of configuration for my internet browser.

          not sure how they’re going to handle low-resource machines

          One of the perks of Firefox is its relative thinness. Chrome was a shameless resource hog even in its best days, and IE wasn’t any better. Do I really want Firefox chewing hundreds of MB of memory so it can… what? Simulate a 600 processor cluster doing weird finger art?

          • @chrash0
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            1020 days ago

            i mean, i’ve worked in neural networks for embedded systems, and it’s definitely possible. i share you skepticism about overhead, but i’ll eat my shoes if it isn’t opt in

            • @UnderpantsWeevil
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              020 days ago

              I don’t doubt it’s possible. I’m just not sure how it would be useful.

          • @iopq
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            720 days ago

            I use my local machine for neutral networks just fine

    • @AusatKeyboardPremi
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      820 days ago

      There are a lot of knee jerk reactions in the comments. I hope few of those commenters have read the article or, at the least, your comment.

      • Clot
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        320 days ago

        thats most of the internet, just reacting to headlines.

    • arthurpizza
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      420 days ago

      We’re also using machine learning for the local site translation. The AI buzzword is doing more damage than good PR.

    • @[email protected]
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      20 days ago

      AI has become truly meaningless term for everything and nothing.

      Not to mention all the justified hate it received. It’s probably time to kill it once again and delegate it to the future like usual every 10 years or so starting with Deep Blue

  • Vitaly
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    10621 days ago

    People that wanted vertical tabs must be really excited

    • FiveMacs
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      5721 days ago

      Anything to fill all that absolute wasted space from every website formatting things to fit phones and not desktops. Ultra wide really sucks ass for a lot of things.

      • @grue
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        21 days ago

        IMO that’s mostly a window-management problem, not an app layout problem. The point of an ultra wide monitor setup (other than flight sims or something) is to be able to view a bunch of different things side-by-side.

        Edit: speaking of which, now that we’ve come almost full-circle from no tab support, to multiple tabs in the same process, to one process per tab, it seems to me that tabs themselves ought to be part of the window decoration, not the app. I mean, they’re useful for almost everything you might want to have multiples of (editors, file managers, terminals, etc.) so why force every app maker to implement them over and over again?

        • Madis
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          21 days ago

          tabs themselves ought to be part of the window decoration, not the app

          Well, Windows did try that. It sounds cool as an idea, but it also severely limits what the tabs can do, as most programs don’t need tabs that are as advanced as browsers’, and even browsers’ implementations of tabs vary widely.

        • @[email protected]
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          121 days ago

          Exactly. I have an ultrawide at work, and I just have three things open side-by-side. I have a dual-monitor setup at home, and I have two things on the larger one (27") one and one on the other (24"). My workflow is nearly equivalent between them, the main difference is bezels.

      • DarkThoughts
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        721 days ago

        To be honest, it’s not just for phones. The wider the monitor, the more I’d need to move my head if a website uses the whole space, instead of keeping it centered. Obviously it shouldn’t be too slim but you can’t really just fill an entire monitor or align your content to the left of the screen anymore nowadays.

    • @9tr6gyp3
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      1621 days ago

      Its honestly the only reason i use brave and edge over Firefox. Can fully commit to FF now.

      • @yildolw
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        2321 days ago

        The TreeStyleTab extension for Firefox has added vertical tabs for a decade

        • @[email protected]
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          1021 days ago

          The way tree style tabs worked after they broke it was never very good. Floorp is what to use if you wanted side tabs on Firefox.

          That said I still went back to Vivaldi after trying to use Floorp because of stupid little ux issues like pinned tabs not being protected from closing, and broken session saving.

            • @[email protected]
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              121 days ago

              The issue is that because they broke the UI customization that allowed for it all the extensions are just a kludge to add a panel to the side without actually getting rid of the top tabs.

        • @9tr6gyp3
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          621 days ago

          Yes, but you have to have a custom user.js file or whatever to remove the tabs on top.

            • @9tr6gyp3
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              220 days ago

              It removes the close/maximize/minimize buttons though. Not ideal.

              • @[email protected]
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                120 days ago

                I remember back in the day (FF 4?) I had the window buttons, tabs, back/forward, URL bar, etc all on one row, which was pretty cool. So it was something like this, from left to right:

                1. Firefox menu - was Firefox, but now would be the hamberger menu
                2. back/forward buttons
                3. extension butons
                4. URL bar
                5. tabs

                It worked pretty well. It would be nice to do that again.

                • @9tr6gyp3
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                  320 days ago

                  I’m sure you’re right lol I just don’t know it and its more work than it needs to be.

            • @[email protected]
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              120 days ago

              I have been running vertical tabs for a while now and it’s broken about 3 times, once every few months. Currently, I’ve had no min/maximise/close buttons for about a week because I can’t be bothered to fix it. Far from “one and done”.

    • @[email protected]
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      119 days ago

      would be cool if it’s smooth like how arc does it, would instantly switch back to Firefox if they manage that. arc is still buggy on many things or when i use some websites.

    • @[email protected]
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      120 days ago

      I am, specially after seeing how well it was implemented in the nightly version. It can’t be compared to an extension that enables the same capability.

    • @Cornelius_Wangenheim
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      -121 days ago

      Anyone who really cared was already using an extension that did these things.

      • @mke
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        1221 days ago

        That’s unnecessarily dismissive. Unfortunately, even the best extensions have their downsides. Some used a browser that suited their preferences better instead, which is a shame for both Firefox and the user, in my opinion.

        Mozilla recognizes this and is finally taking action to integrate highly requested features into Firefox. Many “who really care” are glad for this, because it is a good thing.

      • @[email protected]
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        -121 days ago

        What’s extra funny is that those extensions are made by Mozilla already

        At least tab grouping and vert tabs were last I looked

  • @[email protected]
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    9121 days ago

    This is what Mozilla should have done a LONG time ago - focussed on browser features, ease of use, compatibility and speed. Make a better browser if you want to win a browser war.

    • @tabular
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      2921 days ago

      Maybe they should, but focusing on adding new features endlessly is how we ended up with this state of internet browsers. The most complex app running on a desktop are too big, it’s basically impossible to create a new one. (Yes you can fork but that’s just adding toppings to ice cream). The browser war ends only one way.

      If we break up the do-everything application into significant parts then a healthy “war” can exist. Why does a browser need to play video, you already have an app for that.

      • @[email protected]
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        21 days ago

        I definitely don’t want them to continually add more feature cruft. When I said “focussed on features” I simply meant “make sure what they’ve got is second to none”.

    • @eating3645
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      521 days ago

      Agreed, really hoping they stick to refocusing on the browser.

    • VådFisk
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      521 days ago

      Forcing useless features or features that are useless to most users is more or less what windows is doing. Why the double standars?

      Especially when Firefox could have included those features as optional modules (even as preinstalled extensions) that we could simply remove if we dont want them?

      • Kayn
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        821 days ago

        How are they being forced upon you?

        • VådFisk
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          -421 days ago

          They are adding them as features to the browser, making it heavier and slower, instead of adding them as optional extensions so that they are only there for the ones who wish them.

          • Kayn
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            1421 days ago

            How do you know the features are making the browser slower?

            How are you quantifying the increase in weight?

          • lastweakness
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            921 days ago

            Just disable them. It’s not like unused code paths consume resources usually.

          • @ilinamorato
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            220 days ago

            They are adding them as features to the browser, making it heavier and slower, instead of adding them as optional extensions so that they are only there for the ones who wish them.

            Whoa, you’ve already seen the features and already know how they are implemented? Tell me, what’s the future like?

      • @[email protected]
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        20 days ago

        I definitely don’t believe Mozilla should continue to add features. But I like them focussing on the ones they’ve got.

        Edit: Changed this comment to better reflect what I actually meant.

        • VådFisk
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          421 days ago

          It might be me and in that case i apologize

          …focussed on browser features, ease of use …

          It just sounds like you think its good that they added all these featueas

            • @[email protected]
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              321 days ago

              My apologies. I definitely wasn’t meaning to come across indignant. I guess it’s just one of those things of things sounding perfectly clear in your head and not perfectly clear in the receiver’s ear. Hope you have a good day going forward.

        • Chaotic Entropy
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          If that’s what you’re trying to express then I kind of feel like you miswrote your comment. You want them to focus on browser features but not continue to add features? You don’t feel like there’s any room for confusion there?

    • @[email protected]
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      I do not know why browser makers like Opera or Brave(and now apparently Firefox) is going hey ho over AI. I don’t see a proper benefit of integration of local AI for most people as of now.

      As for vertical tabs, Waterfox got it just now. It is basically a fork of Tree Style Tabs and very basically implemented. I am honestly happy with TST on Firefox and while a native integration might be a bit faster(my browser takes just that few extra seconds to load the right TST panel on my slow laptop), it’ll likely be feature incomplete when compared to TST.

      • @FooBarrington
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        3221 days ago

        It depends. I really liked Mozillas initiative for local translation - much better for data privacy than remote services. But conversational/generative AI, no thank you.

        • @[email protected]
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          21 days ago

          AI-generated alt-text for images inserted into PDFs

          Sounds more like classification so far. Things like summarising web-pages would be properly generative, LLMs in general could be useful to interrogate your browsing history. Doing feature extraction on it, sorting it into a graph of categories not by links, but concepts could be useful. And heck if a conversational interface falls out of that I’m not exactly opposed, unlike the stuff you see on the net it’s bound to quote its sources, it’s going to tell you right-away that “a cat licking you is trying to see whether you’re fit for consumption” doesn’t come from the gazillion of cat behaviour sites you’ve visited, but reddit. Firefox doesn’t have an incentive to keep you in the AI interface and out of some random webpage.

          • @douglasg14b
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            220 days ago

            Mozilla actually had a project for that: https://memorycache.ai//

            They just suck at naming things, and unfortunately it’s not getting much of the necessary dev time it needs to get out of the POC stage.

            The biggest thing I want is local only models that use my activity & browsing history as a way for me to recall or contextualize events and information.

  • @grue
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    21 days ago

    I want fewer built-in features, not more of them. All of these things should be extensions, not built into the browser core.

    I mean, I’d be perfectly happy for said extensions and more to be shipped by default – it would be good for Firefox to come “batteries included” even with adblocking and such, and that’s most likely the way I would use it. But I just want it to be modular and removable as a matter of principle.

    I remember how monolithic Mozilla SeaMonkey got too top-heavy and forced Mozilla to start over more-or-less from scratch with Phoenix Firebird Firefox, and I want it to stick close to those roots so they don’t have to do it again.

    • @[email protected]
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      They are probably extensions, just like pip, pocket, screenshot upload, languages, search engines, themes, etc.

      Shipped by default, handled like extensions internally but not exposed to the user. You see it in the extension*.json files in your profile folder.

      • @grue
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        1421 days ago

        In that case, I want them exposed just like user-installed extensions, so it’s more obvious how to get rid of them if you want.

        • @[email protected]
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          120 days ago

          Yeah, me too. I made once a pacman hook that empties the respective folder in /usr on update/install. I have no use for all of them and picture-in-picture is annoying to me.

          Btw, i think it’s mentioned somewhere in about:support too?

    • Facni
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      1821 days ago

      We need modular browsers. It is hard for Mozilla to keep the track to the W3C and all the nonstandard stuff that Google, Microsoft and Apple add to their browsers. If those elements were modules, it would be easier for people to collaborate and for Google and Microsoft to be obligated to add support for other browsers.

      • @grue
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        You’re talking about a modular rendering engine, which is a different thing than what I’m talking about. I’m talking about stripping down the UI until it resembles XUL Runner, then adding the functionality back as extensions.

        You’re not wrong that it’s important for the engine’s code to be organized well for developers’ benefit (and ideally for the engine as a whole to be self-contained – it’d be great if Gecko were as easily-embeddable as Blink), but I’m not so sure that users need to be able to add or remove pieces of it in a way similar to what I’m talking about for UI features.


        More concretely:

        I think Firefox should ship by default with all the functionality it currently has, plus uBlock Origin and some other things. But I want it to be designed such that if you went into the extensions manager and disabled everything, things like tab support, bookmarks, history, and maybe even the address bar and back button would be gone. It would still be capable of fully rendering a web page, though.

        • @[email protected]
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          421 days ago

          If they do that, normies will start yelling that Firefox has removed their beloved features and will immediately download Chrome. I have a strong suspicion that a majority of people don’t use extensions at all.

          • @grue
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            221 days ago

            Did you miss this part of my previous comment?

            I think Firefox should ship by default with all the functionality it currently has, plus uBlock Origin and some other things.

            • @[email protected]
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              321 days ago

              Okay. Replace core features as extensions. Kind of like the suckless philosophy.

              While it’s a good idea, I think extensions are purposefully made weaker, that is, they don’t/can’t have the same capabilities of core features. It will require a huge rework which I just don’t see happening.

    • @ilinamorato
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      520 days ago

      The default experience when people Google “install Firefox” should absolutely provide as much feature parity with other major browsers as possible. 99% of users will want them or not mind them. And for that last 1%, I guess I’m not sure if it’s worth the development headaches for them to bake in a configuration change that power users could get by forking the codebase anyway.

    • @[email protected]
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      221 days ago

      Something like a deeper integration of an addOn/extension would be nice.
      Modularity could be a way to do it.

  • @Larry
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    3721 days ago

    Local AI sounds nice. One reason I’m cynical about the current state of AI is because of how many send all your data to another company

    • @[email protected]
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      Eh, I don’t particularly care too much either way. It seems to be solving problems with the 80/20 approach: 80% of the benefit for 20% of the effort. However, getting that last 20% is probably way more difficult than just building purpose-built solutions from the start.

      So I’m guessing we’ll see a lot more “decent but not quite there” products, and they’ll never “get there.”

      So it might be fun to play with, but it’s not something I’m interested in using day-to-day. Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong and it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but as someone who has worked on very basid NLP projects in the past (distantly related to modern LLMs), I just find it hard to look past the limitations.

    • MacN'Cheezus
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      320 days ago

      It is. Unfortunately it does tend to use up a lot of RAM and requires either a fairly fast CPU or better yet, a decent graphics card. This means it’s at least somewhat problematic for use on lower spec or ultraportable laptops, especially while on battery power.

  • @micka190
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    Profile management

    Fucking finally!

    The fact that you had to use external applications or manually go to an internal Firefox menu to change from one to another sucked!

    • @cor315
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      120 days ago

      Finally I can have a personal profile, a work profile, and a porn profile!

    • morriscox
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      120 days ago

      -P -no-remote works great for me.

    • @ilinamorato
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      120 days ago

      I just bookmarked the settings page for profiles, which made it work pretty well. But it was definitely more janky than something native.