doofy wrote: ↑
I don't understand ff fanbois.
I mean - I s'pose I was an ff fanboi from the start until sometime in ff52+. But then ff started moving away, and so did I.
Why attach to a piece of software? It either does what you want or it doesn't.
I imagine nostalgia or warm associations with things like names and logos plays a role (Which both just naturally happen without much thought sometimes). That's part of the human condition, really- not that everyone feels that way, but that there are always going to be a percentage of people who do.
Think of all the Android versus Apple stuff, for example, or PC vs. Mac. Some of that is actually about something tangible (Customizability, price, features, hardware, etc.), but other parts of it are about your first smartphone or your first computer, what you had in high school or college, what you used to communicate to your lost love with, what you played your favorite games or wrote your first novel on, what you're used to, and so forth. A not insignificant number of older users of Linux are probably using it in part because they started with Unix instead of DOS back in the days before operating systems had graphical user interfaces.
I remember right before AIM shut down, I still accessed it regularly through Pidgin (A third-party open-source client for AIM and similar Instant Message services), along with a small number of fellow stragglers. They all seemed bummed out, so I suggested we just all switch to Jabber and use Pidigin to access that. I even found a guy who would give us all accounts on his server (Which was otherwise closed to new registrations) for free. It'd have been in practical terms the exact same thing- we used Pidgin for AIM, we'd just use Pidgin for Jabber and keep doing what we were doing (Probably with the same or similar screen names). No one agreed to do it- I signed on every day for months in case anyone changed their mind, but no one did, despite wailing and nashing of teeth on their parts when they heard AIM was shutting down and a big to-do about how they would lose touch with people, etc.. I guess they literally just wanted AIM- exactly AIM, not even the same exact type of service with the exact same software and people where the service simply had a different name.
It goes further than that, too- people take a rooting interest in things like Coke vs. Pepsi soft drinks, Chevy vs Ford trucks, etc.. Nevermind that the tangible pros and cons of one brand truck relative to the other brand of truck probably change by the decade and even at times the model year- some people have been loyal to one brand or another since before they could drive and buy hats and t-shirts and whatever. The companies of course don't really recipercate that love, generally- I've heard of loyalty credits for car owners who trade in an old car that's the same brand as the new car they buy in the same transaction, but I've also heard of bonuses for first time buyers of a given car brand. Cell phone carriers in the US perversely tend to give you their best deals when you switch to them instead of rewarding you for staying put.
But it is what it is. We like our symbols and our nostalgia and having a team. That's part of why watching sports is popular (Note how teams usually represent a city and/or are associated with a certain image- they get tribal association points with people who live or used to live or had ancestors who lived in a place, and also people who identify with the team's image who don't necessarily have any connection with where they're from). Heck, the tendency to romanticize affiliations and take sides even when we know we're wrong or where things no longer stand for what they used to, but we refuse to understand that in our guts, has probably been responsible for more wars, bar fights , etc. than we'd like to admit over the centuries.
Not that all that stuff is always bad.
Anyway, I think part of the deal with browsers is that they are actually are fundamentally a lot alike. People perceive that they all can access almost all the web pages they want to visit and allow them to do roughly the same things on the pages. So, they are more apt to just pick a side and dig in and argue endlessly because in the end making the "wrong" choice may have relatively little effect on their lives or the lives of people they persuade. It generally isn't going to come back and bite them.
There's also the idea that things can stand for stuff in people's heads that is the result of marketing or the way things used to be that doesn't really reflect present day reality, but gives people a basis for making a choice and feeling good about it.
For example, is Firefox more private and customizeable than Chrome? It certainly used to be. Maybe it still is, maybe it isn't (Maybe its just complicated and depends on exactly what metrics one uses to measure such things, metrics that may themselves include a level of subjectivity). But people perceive a difference as being there. So, in a way, maybe some people pick Firefox because they like the symbolism and the reality doesn't really matter in a way that they will ever tangibly experience. Even though Mozilla the corporation probably is essentially running the show, the fact that Mozilla the non-profit is even there is a value signifier for people- Microsoft and Google are only corporations.
Similarly, I'll bet a lot of people use Chrome over Firefox because they think its speedier and more innovative. My guess is that at least on FF versions 57 and onward, there is not a speed difference most people will perceive except if they happen to have particular hardware or particular ways of using or configuring their firmware, operating systems, and software, or visit particular sites with particular usage patterns. My guess is that Firefox sometimes winds up being faster on PCs with lower hardware specs because it includes multiple tabs per process (Fewer resources tied up), but Chrome sometimee winds up being faster on the real top end computers because it has one tab per process (Ties up more resources, but on computers that have tons of resources to spare, one hanging site won't pull down or slow down whatever else is in that process, because its only that.).
There's also the question of whether one identifies more with the idea of backing the independent upstart or wants to fit in with whatever everyone else is doing or whatever the cool kids are doing.
These days, Firefox might be attracting some support just because people see Google's Chrome and Chromium products with Blink, and browsers based on them that are a little different but don't have the ability to not stick with Google's decisions on some things because doing so would be too resource intensive for them or undermine their other goals.
I could imagine someone who has no particular attachment or sees no particular advantage to Chrome over Firefox or Firefox over Chrome choosing Firefox because they don't like monopolies and feel like whatever flaws Firefox has that it is the last browser with its own rendering engine that they perceive as having enough marketshare to try to limit how far Google can go in leveraging its monopoly. They might see value in just having something that isn't the other ones, but is mainstream enough that there is no friction or practical inconvience created relative to using Chrome.