Extra Thread for Browser questions. ?.

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  • This topic has 97 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated Jul 16-12:45 pm by Brian Masinick.
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  • #47275
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    ModdIt
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    Hallo Robin, thanks for posting.
    The users with older machines are generaly advised to use a lighter browser than firefox.
    One good choice, Palemoon is lighter, faster and is not misinforming about appropriating user data.

    Even on a fast machine I find firefox uninspiring in as delivered form, after cutting out the
    “user experience Improvements” it is way more responsive also is not sending my data to mothership.
    Google, Apple and others any longer. And has no noticeable lag on even on my oldest eepc.

    Yes you have a switch in settings, does it completely turn off telemetry new tab ping etc – NO.

    Badwolf is another browser growing in popularity, pretty spartan though.
    I also recommend ungoogled chromium. Latter does tend to hold available memory more than palemoon
    but not bog down my computer.
    Nearly forgot: Waterfox is also often used on older machines.

    I have no influence on config for firefox as delivered, others may comment on that.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by ModdIt.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by ModdIt.
    #47278
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    Perhaps a good time to remind that the famiar about:config may be removed from firefox, Mozilla does not wish
    for users to thwart its monetizing changes. It may or may not be possible to change behaviour by using a custom
    chrome CSS entry. Possibly only an Enterprise policy on a special version of the fox.

    Robin mentioned old bugs not fixed by Mozilla. Marked Not fixed, Will not fix is common, can stand next ot bug
    posts for years, ask why a couple of times you will be banned as has happened to many users.

    Take a look in a freshly downloaded latest firefox bundle, in mine experiments, Remote Debugging, an APPLE VPN
    were all enabled. You will find a lot of “Interesting development ongoing, er user Improvements” All are about
    monitising. Mozilla gets money from Google, Cloudflare, Apple and I do not know where for providing data diversions
    allowing those companys to improve profiles and make even more money with your data.

    Take a week off, you will need it to read mozilla privacy policy. For Badwilf less than five minutes even if your
    english is not so good. For Palemoon maximum 15 Minutes, as a slow reader.

    On android Firefox has about:config functionality removed, you can not turn off telemetry in any version which comes
    directly from Mozilla.

    STILL ON ANDROID
    Fennec from F Droid, Privacy Browser, Bromite, Duck Duck Go Browser, on the last one my gut feeling is very mixed.
    I took it off my Google Free Phone.
    Fennec still has accesible about:config, if you want privacy you will need it, default settings can be improved.
    beacons, disable, geolocation, disable plenty more in there.

    Net Guard uses a virtual VPN and gives an additional layer of control.

    But GPS is on even if set to Off, see NSA advisory, if your back end chip is from US company it can and probably
    does have a lot of special functionality.

    I have a non google honor 9x pro, an Xiaomi phone with google still tries to call to 83 sites.
    The Honor found to date total 7.

    I am convinced the Huawei Ban came about because that company refused to install backdoors in their products.

    #47313
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    Brian Masinick
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    From the Palemoon release notes:

    “With CentOS 6 going end-of-life, this version will be the last for which we will be building 32-bit Linux official binaries to download. While your distribution may choose to continue offering 32-bit versions of the browser, built from source by the maintainers, we won’t be offering any further official 32-bit Linux binaries on our website. Please check with your distribution’s package maintainers to know if further 32-bit support will be available on your particular flavor of Linux.”

    (Hopefully either people can build their own versions of Palemoon or possibly it can still be built for 32-bit users on our distribution). If you happen to have a 32-bit system and can volunteer to build it, I’m sure that would be appreciated).

    Also from the General Info:

    “Pale Moon aims to provide a browser with a large degree of freedom in how people want to browse the web, which tools or extensions they wish to use, and which feedback they want to see (“Your browser, Your way”™); efficiency, after all, should not stop at the engine of a browser, but extend to all parts of it, including the user interface by sticking to standard user interface conventions and ergonomics, as well as proper visual integration with the operating system.

    Users will find a tried-and-tested user interface in the Pale Moon browser, which, although very close to older versions of Firefox in the way it looks and operates at first glance, is a different and modern, actively-maintained product. Pale Moon will always aim to keep a very high degree of available user-customization and extensibility, since that has always been the main strength of Firefox in the past, and to keep a consistent and logical look and feel to the browser overall. Extension compatibility with extensions specifically written for Firefox prior to Australis can not be guaranteed since Pale Moon will run these extensions in a limited compatibility mode. Pale Moon has a growing number of exclusive extensions and themes.

    Pale Moon is a middle road, cutting away support for particularly old hardware and operating systems to achieve a significant speed and efficiency increase, but not trying to squeeze the last few percent more out of it by limiting the range of systems it will run on even more. Pale Moon aims to deliver above all a stable and smooth browsing experience, and does not intend to or aim for high scoring in synthetic tests, as those are invariably not a good representation of typical use of a web browser in the real world.”

    I’ll see what write-ups I can find on a few other browser alternatives.

    Brian Masinick

    #47318
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    Brian Masinick
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    Using Firefox 83.0 (64-bit) in the Distro: MX-19.3_x64 patito feo, Firefox is using 3262M of Virtual Memory, 428M of Resident Memory and 217M of Shared Memory according to the output of htop. Palemoon was slightly less, but pretty close to these numbers. Firefox 83.0 appears to be following the recent methods used by Chromium, Chrome, and other browsers from that family in the sense that they all tend to grab a lot of memory, if available, to put as much content into memory as possible for speed; I suspect they’ll release memory sooner, and possibly not use as much if it’s not available, but then response time performance suffers.

    I recall, about a decade and a half when both Google and the Chrome browser were much newer and simpler that they had a very simple interface, so their initial invocation, both the search engine and the browser, were quite fast for their time. They’ve since added a LOT of features, and they are still pretty fast, but only if you happen to have enough memory to keep the cache, images, etc, in memory; Firefox and the majority of the mainstream browsers have done the same thing.

    As of Firefox 83.0, about:config remains available. I will check Firefox Beta and Firefox Nightly; I have both available, so I can see if these features are still available.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.

    Brian Masinick

    #47324
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    Brian Masinick
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    Firefox Nightly 85.0a1 (2020-12-13) (64-bit) still has about:config available, so it looks like the capability will be present at least up to Version 84, and since it’s still in this preview of V85, it’ll probably be there too.

    Brian Masinick

    #47325
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    about:config was planned to only be removed from firefox android/mobile version. Nobody said anything about the desktop version. Everything else is speculation.

    #47328
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    Brian Masinick
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    about:config was planned to only be removed from firefox android/mobile version. Nobody said anything about the desktop version. Everything else is speculation.

    Using today’s Android Firefox Nightly and about:confog works now on Android.

    Brian Masinick

    #47331
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    Brian Masinick
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    I don’t know if anyone here uses the Brave Web Browser or Vivaldi; I have both on my computer and my phone.
    On my computer at the moment, Brave uses a lot of virtual memory, currently 4581M, but resident memory usage is 174M and shared memory is 98M, these two are considerably lower numbers than the ones I captured with Firefox earlier today. Vivaldi might be somewhere in between, but closer to Brave in numbers. If it is not pretty close to Brave and closer to Firefox, I’ll note the numbers, otherwise I’ll look at some other browsers.

    Brian Masinick

    #47334
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    Brian Masinick
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    Vivaldi 3.5.2115.81 (Stable channel) (64-bit): 4642M Virtual Memory, 174M Resident Memory & 100M Shared Memory.
    I’m trying to keep conditions “similar”, but they may not be 100% identical, so the numbers can fluctuate slightly, but what I’ve recorded so far at least provides enough consistency to rank the memory usage between these browsers with two tabs open; it might be quite a bit different under other conditions.

    All measurements should be in megabit (just in case I forget or use the wrong typed label).

    Brian Masinick

    #47336
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    Brian Masinick
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    Chromium Version 83.0.4103.116 (Developer Build) built on Debian 10.4, running on Debian 10.7 (64-bit)
    5748M Virtual Memory
    264M Resident Memory
    112M Shared Memory

    Brian Masinick

    #47338
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    Brian Masinick
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    So far it looks like Firefox is the biggest user of Resident Memory and Shared Memory while Chromium is the largest user of Virtual Memory and 2nd in the other memory resources.

    For reading simple text – such as our help pages here and similar classic, OLD style pages, Dillo is the way to go, though versions of Dillo that I have used are not able to handle things like cascading style sheets and other advanced features, and almost certainly not HTML5 unless there is a very recent update that I am not aware of. Some of the other browsers that people may look at, if they are based on the rendering engines created at Mozilla (home of Firefox and Seamonkey, such as Waterfox and Palemoon) ought to have at least the rendering features that are reasonably up-to-date; likewise for browsers based on Chrome, Chromium, and probably Opera derivatives too.

    The more the browser differs from rendering engines found in the major browsers, the more difficult it will be for those teams to keep up; Apple’s Safari would be another base that would be fairly current; I do not know if there are any Linux-based browsers based on their rendering engines or not, but unless it’s something from the BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution) or something similar, I doubt that a browser could easily emulate Safari, given Apple’s tight control over everything (all proprietary except for bits and pieces taken from a BSD-based distribution).

    Brian Masinick

    #47339
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    Slimjet Version 28.0.3.0 (based on Chromium 85.0.4183.69) (Official Build) (64-bit)
    Virtual Memory: 4661M
    Resident Memory: 195M
    Shared Memory: 106M

    Virtual Memory has nearly doubled for a while to 8765M, though total memory actually used only briefly increases, so it looks like Flashpeak Slimjet is a very active, yet cautious user of virtual memory. It would *appear* that it uses a lot of it if it is available but it also appears to have a more robust and active memory trimming algorithm. I’ve not witnessed any “performance hit” from any of this; in fact, Slimjet is one of the better performing browsers in terms of page response, so if you have ample memory, this looks like a good option, at least for browser capability and performance.

    Brian Masinick

    #47341
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    First apologys to robin.

    was very much off track on 32 bit, only waterfox offers that in my useless for you post.

    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Firefox for android, about config was removed in stable. Stayed in nightly but telemetry on compiled in so a
    no go area for me.

    Mozilla announced a move to userchrome CSS in a company conference and it was repeated in insiders.
    The shitstorm was massive on places like G Hacks site so maybe about:config will stay. Fact is nobody knows.
    Mozilla makes changes with total disregard to users, often without warning. That affects LTS much less than the latest
    with monthly release schedule. Often rapid bug fix releases in between too.
    In 83 The option is still accesible,user chrome css still working. policys are stated not on the chopping block as
    intended for managed provisioning.

    Show about config may well remain a compile option, for sure that and the usage of userjs is disturbing some of mozillas
    plans. You can only really turn off telemetry in the config for example. The normal setup tick box is insufficient.
    All searches go to google, in a standard setup through cloudflare.

    I use vivaldi on computer 64 Bit for access to some PSA vehicle manuals. Seems pretty good.
    A 32 bit deb is also available.

    Mostly badwolf, for more comfort palemoon, for some sites ungoogled chromium. Two sites Firefox, only edge safari and fox work.
    To foil ad blocker blocks and Geoblocking for some magazines and news I use Tor Browser.

    I have pretty efficient ad blocking, that has a marked effect on memory usage for all browsers. Firefox is returned as far as possible
    to being just a browser. Not a reccomendations (advertising) machine. That needed a lot of changes in user.js on top of the now
    Thorin Oakenpants template from Git Hub. A user chrome css to get rid of the awesome bar, I dislike it intensly. And a policys to
    mitigate some other wonderful features. I just want a browser to browse, nothing more and fox is moving ever further away from that.

    #47343
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    Brian Masinick
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    Regarding about:config, after reading the comments and checking out various details, here is what I found out:

    about:config is definitely NOT going away for computer-based instances of Firefox.

    For some reason, maybe they WERE going to get rid of about:config on Android, but it has caused enough problems that they are bringing it back on Firefox Nightly. I’m not yet certain if you ALWAYS have to use Firefox Nightly to use about:config, or just until the RELEASE version catches up with the current Nightly (which is Firefox 85).

    Here is the relevant information I did find: https://support.mozilla.org/lt/questions/1300502

    It looks like only the released version of Firefox for Android (which is badly in need of an update, fails to work with about:config, and the cause of the problem appears to be a certificate issue. The release is OLD – not at Release 83 or higher, but Beta and Nightly have the fix now. So that is the story; the Android version of Firefox had a defect that hasn’t made it to the released version because the current release is 3-4 versions OLD (and LATE) on Android! If you use Firefox at all on Android, use Beta or Nightly.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Brian Masinick.

    Brian Masinick

    #47345
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick
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