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Slow, Boring Firefox ESR... NOT Anymore!


V.T. Eric Layton
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V.T. Eric Layton

When thinking of browser development, you have to pull back for the larger view of the terrain to fully understand things. Browser capability and software do NOT determine how web sites are coded or how they work. Way back in the early days, this might have been, but nowadays, it's the websites that determine the direction of the browser development.

 

For example, if you booted up a Win 98 system using Internet Explorer, it probably wouldn't render even 10% of the webpages currently out there on the Internet... same for an old Mozilla browser. Using a more current example: while fixing up an old Dell laptop for someone recently, I found that I could easily get the Ubuntu OS to install and run fine on the system (those days are twilighting rapidly - no 32 bit arch support from many Linuxes). However, when using the browser (Firefox) to access the Internet, I found that the resources necessary to view even a simple modern webpage were beyond the limits of this little Dell computer (Pentium M w/ 4 Gig Ram). The browser would basically lock the CPU up trying to render a page.

 

Websites are vastly more complicated and resource demanding than they were 20 years ago. As long as website developers continue to make "improvements" and enhancements in webpage coding, browser coders will have to tag along and be constantly adapting/changing their browser software to work on newer webpages.

 

I have a question for you to think about, @sunrat... you said above that there have been no new features in FF in 10 years or so. My question is this: what more would you want a browser to do? For me, they do everything necessary to view and interact with current webpages. Isn't that their purpose? I mean, do we want browsers to be email clients, office software, image software, audio/video editors, and so on? I sure as heck don't. I just want the darn thing to show me that webpage I'm trying to load. ;)

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V.T. Eric Layton

Vivaldi = Chromium-based

 

Gets us back to Sunrat's comments of a couple weeks back... do we want a monolithic browser foundation... all based on Chrome/Chromium? Or wouldn't it be better to have diversity in browsers?

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securitybreach
31 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

How about Vivaldi? Just installed it in Arch on my old Toshiba. Seems responsive enough.

 

It's ok but its also a chromium based browser.

 

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Well you can definitely look at Webkit browsers like Midori and Otter Browser then. Call me a conformist, but I don't see the problem if you take a FOSS engine like Chromium and put in your own privacy and sync controls. That is what Vivaldi has done. Webkit uses Safari based code so I guess that is pandering to Apple.

Note: I use Firefox all the time both in Windows and Linux.

https://vivaldi.com/blog/vivaldi-browser-vs-google-chrome/

Edited by raymac46
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V.T. Eric Layton

Oh, I wasn't making any slurs against Chromium, particularly Vivaldi, which seems to have been well thought out by its developer.

 

Now, Chrome or Chrome-based... hmm... not for me. Too many Google tentacles involved.

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Wow, I had a problem with FF 89 in Fluxbox (in one of my Arch installations), sounds like what the OP saw in Openbox and reported in this thread: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=267158

 

I replied in that thread ("MALsPa", post #3). I hope the "fix" that worked for me also works for the OP. However, FF 89 rendered fine for me in Openbox. This is weird.

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I agree that it's good to have browser diversity and I know my wife really likes Firefox so we'll continue to use it. One could argue that Microsoft helped strengthen the Web standards for page rendering by moving to Edge from IE, even though Edge is also based on Chromium. Not that I want to open another can of worms...:oops:

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8 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

I have a question for you to think about, @sunrat... you said above that there have been no new features in FF in 10 years or so.

 

That's not what I said:

Quote

There are virtually no new features in Firefox in the last 10 years that I would care if they never existed

I was thinking mainly of Pocket and Forget-me-Not. Not useful to me. Pocket I'm not even sure what it does - I already know how to save bookmarks, and FMN I already have cookie manager add-ons. Was a bit of a throwaway line. 😏

But certainly I expect devs to keep up with and improve rendering particularly if HTML etc. standards change.

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@Eric for better or worse many folks DO want the browser to be email client, office (cloud) application, collaborative software and much more. Just ask my grandkids who use Google Workspace or a Chromebook.

So many older folks I want to help say "can't get my email" but when I ask which browser they use for it they don't know. Do they even think about the fact that they use webmail, or how it differs from a real email client? Right now Bell Internet is migrating everyone over from a Bell Mail app to their mail website.

Edited by raymac46
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6 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Here is a nice guide for removing pocket and hardening firefox

Yet Another Firefox Hardening Guide

My guide to improving security and privacy in Firefox without sacrificing convenience.

https://chrisx.xyz/blog/yet-another-firefox-hardening-guide/

 

Nice, easy-to-follow guide. I had most of those implemented already but added a couple of ones new to me. I use Privacy Badger instead of Decentraleyes.

Anyone here use that Bitwarden password manager recommended there?

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securitybreach
2 hours ago, sunrat said:

Anyone here use that bitwarden password manager recommended there?


I've been using Bitwarden for a few years now and 100% suggest it.

 

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V.T. Eric Layton

Well, bottom line to all this is...

 

Nothing stays the same. The only sure thing in the Universe is CHANGE.

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V.T. Eric Layton
13 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Here is a nice guide for removing pocket and hardening firefox

 

 

 

 

Interesting... @1050hrs EDT, I'm getting a 522 error on that webpage. Error @ host -> chrisx.xyz. :(

 

I'll try again later...

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23 hours ago, saturnian said:

Wow, I had a problem with FF 89 in Fluxbox (in one of my Arch installations), sounds like what the OP saw in Openbox and reported in this thread: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=267158

 

I replied in that thread ("MALsPa", post #3). I hope the "fix" that worked for me also works for the OP. However, FF 89 rendered fine for me in Openbox. This is weird.

 

Following up on this, the OP in the other thread finally realized it was Fluxbox, not Openbox. And the about:config tweak did fix the FF 89 window for that person. Excellent. Also I learned about a tool called xwininfo:

 

$ pacman -Ss xwininfo
extra/xorg-xwininfo 1.1.5-2 (xorg-apps xorg) [installed]
    Command-line utility to print information about windows on an X server

 

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6 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

 

Interesting... @1050hrs EDT, I'm getting a 522 error on that webpage. Error @ host -> chrisx.xyz. :(

 

I'll try again later...

 

It's back up

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securitybreach
3 minutes ago, abarbarian said:

Comparison_of_web_browsers

 

All this talk of FF and Chrome, what about some of the other browsers ? 🥵

 

Actually most of those are based on chrome and firefox. Gecko is the mozilla engine and blink is the chromium one.

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securitybreach

Basically every one of those is based on either chromium's Blink, mozilla's Gecko, microsoft's Trident or apple's Webkit engine.

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2 hours ago, abarbarian said:

Comparison_of_web_browsers

 

All this talk of FF and Chrome, what about some of the other browsers ? 🥵

 

Thank you very much for that link! Wow, the more I look at that page, the more I feel like I should just stick with Firefox.

 



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22 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Well, bottom line to all this is...

 

Nothing stays the same. The only sure thing in the Universe is CHANGE.

 

In one of my classes back in high school, first day of the school year, the teacher wrote this on the board: "The only permanent thing in Life is Change." [I probably shouldn't open this can o' worms, but  sadly that particular instructor almost certainly would not be allowed to teach in public schools under the current political climate. Well, in that moment in time, he gave me a gift that I've carried with me ever since.]

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There are likely to be only a handful of browser engines at any one time. It takes deep pockets to build one from scratch, they all have to do the same thing at the end of the day, and you have to give the browser away anyway. Mozilla is stuck trying to coexist with giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft. Trident is now dead, and tiny browsers like NetSurf are pretty primitive.

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Quote

"The only permanent thing in Life is Change."

At least he didn't write: "There are two Universal elements - Hydrogen and Stupidity. (Frank Zappa.)"

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Hedon James
22 hours ago, raymac46 said:

At least he didn't write: "There are two Universal elements - Hydrogen and Stupidity. (Frank Zappa.)"

haha....another one of Frank's "truisms".  Considered collectively, we ARE "dumb all over", and maybe even a little ugly on the side...

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