(artwork by DeeKay@Dribbble)
With the news about Edge switching to a foundation using Chromium a lot of the conversation has centered on browser engines slipping into something of a monoculture. I believe these fears are coming from a good place – a monoculture certainly is not desirable, and a persistent challenge from competitors keeps tech at its best. Compounding this news was also a link floating around stating that Mozilla Firefox was staring at a market share of below 9%. What gives me pause, however, is that much of the advocacy for Firefox seems to stem from the fact that it’s not Chrome. The pure logic of such a strategy is clear, but is it particularly convincing as a technique?
Speaking more broadly for a moment, we as a society apply a lot of pressure on people to do stuff – to save the planet, and make the world a better place, and all the rest of it. Much of it is advocated through what I would describe as almost ‘fear-based’ language – kind of “do x or y will happen” type scenarios. To be fair, much of it is set up that way. There’s no real selfish benefit to e.g recycling, its pretty much about the altruism. In fact, if you read the news, the stakes are pretty high it would seem. For me, the conversation around Firefox strays too close to these heavy ultimatums. I think this kind of conversation is naturally fatiguing, and creates a particularly negative means of ushering new users into the platform – almost as hostages, rather than excited participants.
It’s time we analyse what Firefox does better than Chrome, and sing those praises. For instance, it’s arguably easier to avoid tracking with Firefox if that’s your speed. I’m sure there are other things – does Firefox beat Chrome out for speed? Or is it better featured in some areas? Perhaps Firefox is lacking things; I’ve been using WebSockets a lot recently, and Chrome’s frame-by-frame view of a WebSocket connection is invaluable. As far as I’m aware, Firefox doesn’t have this (yet). These aren’t concrete suggestions, but maybe ideas of where the conversation can go.
I think about Chrome’s usurping of Internet Explorer (IE), and I wonder (antitrust and all aside) would Chrome have usurped IE if it wasn’t for IE stagnating? I remember when I was younger and jumped ship to Chrome – personally, it wasn’t about using Chrome because it wasn’t IE, it was about Chrome beating IE in a foot race and offering me a clean user experience.
Firefox is a fantastic browser, and the need to grow its market share is more pressing than ever. By making people excited to use Firefox rather than wary of using Chrome, I believe we can more effectively galvanise support for Firefox, and improve the health of the browser ‘market’ all round.
So if you live in Vietnam and use Grab, you’re probably aware that they recently ditched GrabPay (their internal payment gateway) for a 3rd party, Vietnamese based solution. While that didn’t come as a surprise since they were pressured by our government for a while already, what did come as a surprise is their choice of provider: Moca.I thought for sure they were misspelling Momo or something, as it stands they are the largest digital wallet app in Vietnam as we speak, and is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a service like that. Surely Grab, a multi billion dollar company wouldn’t choose a non established name right? But nah, they gonna go with Moca, a name most people have never even heard before in their life. But that’s ok, competition is always good for the end users, provided that the competition is, well, competitive. Let’s go ahead and check them out. A quick google search bring me to their homepage: Ok that’s a little alarming. But surely you can’t judge a mobile app by the absolutely pitiful look of their desktop website. So let’s fire up Grab and check out the real thing: Sorry for this rant again. I’m okay with beta software being buggy, I’m very much not ok with production software that millions people use on a daily basis being buggy.
So recently I sent an email to Grinding Gear Games regarding recovering an old guild that me and my friends created 4 years ago. It was a lengthy email explaining my situation. I was very disappointed when it was declined, not because my request wasn’t granted, but because the response I got was a generic response that was most likely generated by a bot. Back in the old days, any request sent to their support address was handled by actual human beings, and the whole experience feel human.
Now all I got are these trashy, automated responses
I used to think being bought out by Tencent was actually good for GGG’s future, boy, was I wrong. No wonder why people call this game Path of Chinos these days
One of my main gripe when switching from Windows to Linux is that my favorite web browser Firefox doesn’t behave exactly the same way it does on Windows. Specifically, 2 things that bother me the most are:
- The Backspace button doesn’t go back to the previous page
- Clicking on the url address bar doesn’t automatically highlight the entire line.
Fortunately, it’s possible to change those behaviors simply by fiddling around with the settings a little bit. You’d want to go to your about:config page and change the following values:
- Find browser.backspace_action and set the value to 0 (default is 2 or something). This will make the backspace button behave as it does in Windows.
- Find browser.urlbar.clickSelectAll and set the value to True
And that’s about it. Personally I can’t understand why the developer would choose to keep these little annoyances. If it was just for a versions or two then we could accept it as bug but it’s been many years since these behaviors were implemented. The fact they’re still there mean that they are intended. Maybe they were made by Mozilla devs who are actually Microsoft moles who want to low-key diminish the user experience in Linux, I guess we’ll probably never know.
To be honest, I thought turning 30 would be a bigger milestone, for me personally at least.
I mean, I don’t have anything to complain about my current situation per se, I have a job that I enjoy, a wife that I love, a house. Honestly this is as good as any 30er would get. But is that all there is? I mean is this going to be like this for the rest of my life. Like that old saying, you know? “Some people are dead by 30, but never buried until they’re 75″.
(to be continued)
That’s what we are sometimes called, the generation of late 80s, early 90s kids (or adults, as we all should be by now). Indeed it wouldn’t be uncommon to find someone from this generation reminiscing about ‘the past’, a mere decade or two ago, as if they were centuries. But there’s a reason for that.
Lately I feel like we’ve reached a point in our life where everything just come to a stand still, as if we’ve literally become just another cog in the machine. I recall the early days when pretty much anything and everything was new and exciting to us. Nowadays they merely seem like annoyances that you’d do your best to avoid and carry on with your ordinary, uninteresting life.
We need a change
But what? I do not know, like the rest of this generation, we have more questions than answer. We got exceptionally good at finding out what is wrong, but excruciatingly poor at solving it.
This is a generation that is doomed to fail, and like it or not, I’m a part of it.