I’ve used Firefox as my primary browser pretty much exclusively since it was first released to the world in 2004. I like it.
So I was a bit gutted when I struggled to make Firefox work for my needs.
I’m a pragmatist, first and foremost, and so I will use software which meets my needs, and I switched to Brave but, honestly, I was never that happy with it.
First, I don’t think that the dominance of Chrome, and Chrome-derived, browsers is a good idea. I don’t mind - at all - being in a minority, being a Firefox user.
Second, the wallet / BAT / crypto aspects didn’t thrill me. I want a browser to a browser. Call me boring.
And it wasn’t as privacy-respectful as I was hoping, although the team did look into this very rapidly.
But, performance-wise, it did the job. Video conferencing was fine, and my reveal.js presentation transitions were smooth.
It was such a shame that Firefox can’t match this.
But… it turns out that it can.
The version of Firefox ESR in Debian stable couldn’t.
Firefox and Flatpak
It’s an older version. Of course it is: it’s an ESR release, and it’s in Debian stable. My choice, so my fault.
I’m not a huge fan of Flatpak, but, again, pragmatism, so I installed Firefox via Flatpak, getting the latest version, and… it worked really well.
In-browser video conferencing? Great.
reveal.js presentations? Great - at least, once I’d worked out how to handle Flatpak’s sandboxing, so I could open files from my home dir. (If you’re happy with a GUI, Flatseal works quite well for that.)
So, for now at least, I’m back to Firefox. And I like that.
Update: although I went with flatpak originally, someone (sorry!) told me that the version from the Mozilla website has auto-updates enabled, so I switched to that. Here’s the installation guide.
Firefox and syncing
One thing I’ve yet to sort out is Firefox Sync.
I run a few machines, and I’d like to keep Firefox in sync across them. But I don’t want to use Mozilla’s sync platform, or Mozilla’s account system.
Running my own sync server looks easy enough.
Self-hosting the Mozilla account system looks quite a lot harder.