I still don't understand why you feel Linux should be entirely free. In today's world, hardware and software is getting too advanced for hobbyists to contribute to so if we expect linux to actually be a modern and usable OS, we need the proprietary stuff. I'm not saying that begins with Opera, but it's not exactly freedom if you dictate that the OS must be formed by free products.
I thought "the shift to WebKit [Blink] means more of [Opera Software ASA's] resources can be dedicated to developing new features and the user-friendly solutions that can be expected from a company that invented so many of the features that are today being used by everyone in the browser industry".
I will give them a couple more releases to see if they can make up for lost ground, otherwise Opera will be as relevant as Eudora.
The OS itself? Definitely. This is a whole another ballgame. The OS is too important to be compromised by closed source parts. Especially in times like these, when NSA is trying to spy everyone, governments don't respect human rights, and privacy is something you can't take for granted - it simply comes down to trust: can you afford to trust closed software? For trivial applications, probably, in most cases. Games and such - no big deal. But core parts of the OS - kernel, toolchain, graphics stack, network stack, etc. etc. - it should all be open source. We can't afford to let it be closed, it's too much of a risk these days.
And not just because of privacy and security, but because of control and stability - with closed software, the software is in one corporation's control, and if they decide to cease maintaining it, there's nothing you can do. There's no guarantees in closed software, it's an unsymmetric power relationship - the developer has all the power, and they can do what they want, and you can't help it. With open source, the relationship is more balanced, and we have to demand all of the OS to remain open. Fortunately, that's the general trend anyway - the benefits of the open source model far outweigh those of closed source, so there's no need to dictate anything, open source will win eventually.
Firefox has been the leading non-IE browser for a long time, so it's not surprising you're hearing anti-ff stuff. Just like it's not surprising people are starting to dump on chrome now that it's approaching the same popularity level.
Trust is a big issue for me with software. As a left-wing activist, I would never be dumb enough to use closed software written for money be people like Microsoft who I consider to be direct adversaries. An open program from someone like Google has to exist long enough for third parties to verify it's behavior before I will use it if the code is more than I can check myself. Open-source malware gets "ratted out," as every possible author of every possible program that could be made malicious has adversaries somewhere. Not like a close binary, where the whistleblower has to be either inside the company that wrote the program or possibly inside the NSA.
GIven the state of this world and the use of computers for what can only be considered warfare by all sides, that means people on all sides of all issues need to be able to set up secure machines with only trusted, verified open-source software. OpenGL, gaming, and the ability to use any random wireless card not required. I'm talking about being able to run a browser, photoeditor, and audio editor with zero untrusted code over a nonaccelerated desktop if needed.
I'm not discussing gaming or "normal" office use with the above paragraph , I'm talking about the kinds of situations where Tor, PGP, and encryption keep people off the execution gurney.
For the kind of security needed to say, handle airline reservations for Mr Snowden, I would use Tails. Software like Tails (a Tor-based live disk for ultrasecure browsing) needs to be writable from verifiable open code only. No way in hell a network card requiring even closed firmware could be used. Hell, I don't allow closed firmware for keyboard, mouse, or network on any of my "normal" machines.
People might need closed firmware for most "normal" machines, but that does not mean closed applications need to be run. With careful selection of hardware, closed drivers can also be avoided. An AMD based machine can play most open games with open drivers, and only the microcode that lets one driver talk to dozens of different hardware configurations closed. Intel also is said to have closed firmware-but stored in ROM where it can't be changed, removed, or replaced. With AMD you can leave it out for something like Tails, and run it with the Radeon driver for something like Kdenlive or 0AD. THAT's what freedom means to me!
1. CPU use, incl. startup speed
2. RAM use
3. Native code included in the release doesn't break between releases, addons often do. This point could be solved by designating some addons as official and not releasing until they work, but I don't see Mozilla doing that.
Thanks for the correction, I got the name wrong. The issue with all those combined bars is that what I type as an URL should never be sent anywhere, only what I explicitly intend as a search should be sent. This is only possible with separate fields.The omnibar is google chrome. Firefox has the same "awesomebar" (and separate search toolbar) that its had for years, and it is indeed "awesome" IMO. And out of the box firefox is pretty feature rich. Not as much features as opera had, but its competitive with all the other browsers in the feature department. The only addons I use at the moment are ABP, Downthemall, and styish, pretty much everything I need firefox has out of the box.
FF's awesome bar still defaults to doing searches, and leaking data in the name of suggestions, no? I wouldn't be surprised if the option to disable that entirely is only available in the registry.
Content blocking is one thing that absolutely should be native code. I don't want the string matching of my huge blocklist be in JS.