Firefox and Firefox Containers

Some time ago, Firefox released Facebook container add-on, and seems that after quite a lot of fans, since it has been downloaded over 250,000 times!

I’ve been testing how it works in reality, and I have been impressed. The containers have been existing as an extension for almost a year now, lately entering the main branch. Finally, there’s no need to use multiple browsers (work, personal, other projects).

Firefox

Firefox has matured greatly as a browser since I last tried it about a year ago. It looks so much more better, works fast and does not hog so much memory as before. Developer tools are about as good as in Chrome. Even Vue.js developer tools extension is available and works.

One thing I could not find from Firefox is “send url/page…” on OS X (e.g. add to TODO, email, etc).

Some other things that didn’t work was Add to Pocket (which is strange since it’s owned by Mozilla and integrated to Firefox) and Evernote web clipper, probably because of the containers and requiring login. However, you can just have the web/app open and paste urls there.

Overall, Firefox looks and feels very nice and polished. Over about 1-2 months, I have had Firefox crash maybe 3-4 times, when developing resource intensive page. Impressive.

And even more so with containers.

Containers

The containers implement a simple idea: Your session runs in a container, that does not share cookies or any other data with other containers. This makes cross site tracking difficult, but not impossible (IP-based tracking combined with user agent, screen size, css tricks is still possible). Basically you can have a persistent private session, that still runs inside same window.

At first I created very many, but settled having couple of types of containers, default (most things), facebook, work (useful for separating google accounts), personal (gmail etc), and some shopping sites. And then sometimes short lived containers or private windows.

Some ways I wish containers would still be improved:

  1. Open links from specified domains automatically on container X
  2. Shortcut key, and command line option for opening in specific container tab
  3. Per container addons (no adblocker etc for certain container, different user agent or screen size hacks)
  4. Per-container settings for cookie retention policy (e.g. delete on closing last container tab, default settings for dev container)
  5. Per-container language settings (I use english normally, but for certain sites would like to have Japanese)
  6. Per-container VPN/proxy settings (different IP for every container)
  7. Ordering and more colors/names/icons to make containers more noticeable

Since this is still newly released feature, I think many of those will be implemented in near future.

If you haven’t, you should give containers (and Firefox) a try! I switched to Firefox as my main browser almost 2 months ago, and haven’t looked back.

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