Google Backtracks on Chrome Modifications That Would Have Crippled Ad Blockers

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
Ad-blocker developers (and users) can rest easy, as Google has decided to revise its collection of changes to the Chrome extensions platform. “Manifest V3” would have killed uBlock, Ghostery, and similar extensions by disallowing them from querying remotely hosted code via traditional APIs, but Google has had a change of heart due to backlash and new data suggesting ad-blocking requests didn’t have a significant effect on browser performance.

Chrome engineers justified the change by citing the performance impact of not having a maximum value for the number of network requests an extension could access. But the Ghostery team disagreed with this assessment. "From the measurements, we do not think this claim holds, as all popular content-blockers are already very efficient and should not incur any noticeable slow-down for users.” Their study found sub-millisecond median decision times per request, showing quite the opposite of what the Chrome team claimed.
 

mkk

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
92
That's something. Not that I would stop expecting the Chrome development team to give us surprises at any instant. They eventually had me give Firefox a chance and I'm surprised to say I'm not going back to Chrome/Chromium any time soon at home as things look so far.
 
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
591
Kind of like bad bills in Congress. The bad stench leaks out of containment, and so the bill can't make it through. But no worries for the evil, another more sophisticated sinister plan is in the works for next time.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,669
The Chrome team has made too many boneheaded changes over the last few years.

I already switched, and I'm not going back.

I do miss some of the features that are not present in Firefox, and overall navigation and scrolling was much smoother and had better usability in Chrome, but I'll deal.

I've had enough of their authoritarian "we're going to change whatever we want and not going to give you an option to opt out, or tease the option for a short period and then take it away" mindset.

It is my computer. I should be the one making the choices.
 

OutOfPhase

2[H]4U
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
3,622
Since Firefox came to its senses and made multi-process browsing a reality along with major performance upgrades, I've felt zero need to use Chrome and company.

I do appreciate the pressure Chrome provided to jolt Firefox out of its "let's ignore the core, and faff about with the UI every release" mentality they had for a few years.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
5,292
That's a shame, I was hoping that people would do a massive exodus to FireFox.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,145
Google does whatever the Google monopoly wants, news at 11. Don't worry, they will try again.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,669
So,

As I mentioned above, I recently switched to Firefox. It required some tweaks up front to get rid of the spyware, and security and other minor annoyances.

My install process went something like this:

My setup went something like this:
  • Install
  • Go to about:config and search for pocket and double click on extensions.pocket.enabled to disable it.
  • Still in about:config search for media.peerconnection.enabled, and double click on it to disable WebRTC
  • Go to settings
  • Disable all telemetry data collection
  • Disable offering to remember passwords
  • Disable asking about site notifications
  • Disable asking about camera/microphone use
  • Disable asking about location
  • Set Content Blocking under Privacy and Security to "strict". It warns about potentially breaking sites, but in 65 I have yet to have this happen to any site I have visited. (in 64 this did break some stuff though, so YMMV)
  • Open new tab.
  • Click settings wheel
  • Uncheck "Recommended by Pocket", "Highlights" and "Snippets"
  • Install uBlock Origin plugin (You absolutely want the "origin", not plain uBlock. This is due to some uninteresting nerd soap operatics, but suffice it to say that uBlock Origin is the legitimate plugin that sees active development.)
  • Install HTTPS Everywhere plugin
Additionally, a friend of mine recommends researching the following plugins as well for privacy purposes:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/umatrix/
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/decentraleyes/
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/smart-referer/

Firefox built in anti-tracking functions have worked so well in 65 for me thus far without breaking any sites, that I am hesitant to install any further plugins like this, but I might if I have some spare time to look into them.


Thus far Firefox has been good. It's WAY faster than Firefox used to be 10 years ago when I switched to Chrome for the performance. I still think current Chrome is a little faster/smoother though, but this may be because of my above average 64GB of RAM.

There are a few thins I don't like though:
  • Scrolling is not as smooth as in Chrome
  • Chrome starts on the screen and in the location it was last used, Firefox alwayus starts maximized on screen #1
  • Rendering at times feels a little slow compared to Chrome, but much faster than in the past
  • Page renders seem a little uglier than WebKit/Blink. Scrollbars and other things like this just feel dated by comparison
  • In page search bar is on the bottom instead of the top, which confuses me every time I use it, because I keep looking for it up top. It doesn't always work as well as in Chrome either.
  • Occasionally scrolling with the mouse wheel gets stuck for me, and I have to grab the scroll bar the old fashioned way. Not sure why this is happening. It never happens in any other software.
  • Navigating webpages with the keyboard (arrow keys, PGUp, PGDn, Home, End) doesn't always work perfectly, especially on forum sites like here. I think this has to do with the cursor getting stuck in text boxes. In the past in Chrome I would always either hold PGup or press Home to go to the top of the page quickly, without needing to move my hand to my mouse. Now I need to first click outside of the text box with the mouse, and then use either PgUp or Home. This slows me down, to have to move my hand to the mouse, instead of being able to stay on the keyboard.
These are - however - small annoyances, I'm sure I will either get used to, or will improve over time. I'd take this over being stuck with Google and their authoritarian bullshit.

All of these observations are in Firefox 65 on Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon Edition. YMMV.
 
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horskh

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
134
I am rather surprised at how much market share Chrome has. I thought more people knew about Firefox. But, looking at the trends, both IE and Firefox fall from their peak as Google Chrome took over. I think part of it includes the rise of mobile web browsing, where Chrome is the default on Android phones. I see that, in the desktop, Firefox isn't quite as tiny a percentage.

Perhaps also Firefox lost a lot of users as someone else pointed out with their frequent UI changes during that XUL period. I just remember each release the preferences were in yet another location. Is it under tools? Is it under edit? Where is it now?
 

exlink

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
5,890
Switched to Firefox when news of this first came out a few weeks ago. I do not miss Chrome one bit.
 
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