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Compatibility: an increasing number of websites and features do not work in Firefox on Linux

I believe everyone has a right to choose the browser and operating system they use. I choose to use Firefox because I care about my privacy, and because of features like … (read more)

I believe everyone has a right to choose the browser and operating system they use. I choose to use Firefox because I care about my privacy, and because of features like multi-account containers - as a software developer these are non-negotiable. I choose to use Linux for similar reasons, and many Linux distributions come with Firefox preinstalled as a default browser. In light of recent changes to Google's data collection through Chrome, I am more than ever committed to using Firefox as my only browser.

However over the last year or so, I have noticed an increasing number of websites or features on websites have stopped working in Firefox on Linux, forcing me to use Chrome against my wishes. Examples include the entirety of the Australian government's MyGov website; the phone call feature in Slack; and Google Meet meetings (no audio). I know people who use Firefox on other operating systems and they have not had these problems, so I can only assume that the issue is specific to Firefox on Linux.

I am not trying to suggest that Mozilla is responsible for this in any way - if Google or Slack or the government refuse to support Firefox on Linux, that's their responsibility, not Mozilla's. However, I am not convinced that the lack of support is intentional, or that it isn't a quirk of the particular Linux distribution I use or the version of Firefox included in the package manager. Any advice would be appreciated.

My Firefox version is 84.0.1, and my Linux distribution is KDE Neon User Edition 5.21 which uses Ubuntu 20.04 under the hood.

Asked by loathgrim 1 week ago

Last reply by loathgrim 4 days ago

Page source is sometimes incomplete

Here's how I discovered this issue. PayPal has a page on which the user selects a method for having money withdrawn from one's PayPal account to one's bank. I've found th… (read more)

Here's how I discovered this issue.

PayPal has a page on which the user selects a method for having money withdrawn from one's PayPal account to one's bank. I've found that this page's "Next" button works correctly (that is, it loads the page on which the user would then indicate the amount to be transferred) on Firefox 40.0.2, but it works incorrectly (that is, it only underlines the word "Next" and does not load a new page) on Firefox 52.9.0 and Firefox 87.0.2. (My internet access in each case is dialup.)

After pursuing various leads on the possible cause, it occurred to me to inspect the page source for the "withdraw" page for each of those versions of Firefox. And I discovered that the page source displayed by Firefox 40.0.2 contained content that was absent from the page source displayed by either of the other two Firefox versions. Some of this content appeared to define a function that returns content to the server when "Next" was clicked. If true, this could certainly account for why clicking the button didn't do what it should.

I noticed that the page source uses as many as 12 nested levels of <div>-</div> elements, which seems counter to the advice I read at an HTML standards page (at whatwg.org). But I don't know whether this could be a factor in the behavior I described.

I've copied the page source for each Firefox version and pasted them into text files, but I wasn't sure it would be appropriate to post them publicly. I would be glad to provide them offline.

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Asked by dhlevin 5 days ago

Last reply by dhlevin 4 days ago