What's up with Firefox!

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 22
Author Content
penguinist

Mar 02, 2019
4:39 PM EDT
I am really unhappy with Firefox today. On version 65.0 we no longer have a choice to disable automatic updates in the preferences. Also when I look at about:config I can verify that I have app.update.auto set to false. Even with my update option clearly stated, Firefox presents me with this:

"Sorry. We just need to do one small thing to keep going. We have just installed an update in the background. Click Restart Firefox to finish applying it."

To really rub salt in the wound, there is a big "Restart Firefox" button now displayed on every new tab. In other words, not only is Firefox ignoring my explicit preference to not auto update, but they are apparently forcing it. I have no further access to Firefox in this configuration until I consent to a restart/update. I'm boiling....

I hope that I'm missing something here, but it looks to me as if Mozilla is following the lead of Windows 10 where users are force fed the updates with no option to keep control in the hands of the users. In the meantime, my Firefox will stay on the "Restart" screen while I search for a good Firefox replacement.
jdixon

Mar 02, 2019
10:44 PM EDT
There are some good Firefox derivatives out there you might want to look at. The one I use is Palemoon. Brave also seems to be a good browser, but I don't know how many distro's package it, and it's 64 bit only for Linux.
penguinist

Mar 02, 2019
11:12 PM EDT
Thanks so much for the tips, I'll check them out. I'm posting this from Chrome of all things. At least they don't force upgrades, but I'm anxious to get back to the open source world with my browser.
alc

Mar 03, 2019
6:43 AM EDT
I've only played with Palemoon, but it seems pretty nice. At the moment I'm using Brave and I really like it. It is still under development, so it might be missing a few things, but well worth trying.
penguinist

Mar 03, 2019
9:11 AM EDT
Ha! This is fun. I'm posting this by way of the Brave browser. It turns out that Brave is packaged in the Fedora repository (Palemoon wasn't) so Brave is the one I'm checking out first. Browsing through the github codebase, looks like it's a fork of chromium.
jdixon

Mar 03, 2019
2:57 PM EDT
> Browsing through the github codebase, looks like it's a fork of chromium.

It is, but with ad blocking and the option for script blocking built in. I use it on Windows at work, but my home machine is 32 bit, so no Brave for it. :(
the_doctor

Mar 05, 2019
11:21 PM EDT
I replaced the current version of Firefox with the ESR version.

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/

It works so much better.
penguinist

Mar 06, 2019
12:18 PM EDT
Well I've been using Brave for a few days now and I'm liking it a lot so far. This might be my new browser going forward.

@jdixon, it might be interesting to try a source build of Brave to see if you could build your own 32 bit version. Maybe you have already tried that.
jdixon

Mar 07, 2019
3:08 PM EDT
> ...it might be interesting to try a source build of Brave to see if you could build your own 32 bit version.

I've looked at it, but the list of requirements was daunting: https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Linux-Developmen...

In particular, when I looked the nodejs package for Slackware was still 6.x. It's now 8.x, so it might be possible.

NPM still isn't available as a Slackbuild, but yarn is, so if it will build in 4 GB of memory it might work.

Or maybe I should set up a virtual machine with Ubuntu and try it there. :)
penguinist

Mar 07, 2019
5:15 PM EDT
> so if it will build in 4 GB of memory

That comment brings back memories of a time when someone asked me to build R-Studio to run on a raspberry pi. Cross compilation looked difficult, and the memory requirements for the build exceeded the available ram on the rpi. So I just made a really big swap file and ran the build over the weekend.

Three days later I had a perfect runable executable.

Sometimes these builds just need a lot of patience. :)
jdixon

Mar 07, 2019
9:44 PM EDT
> Sometimes these builds just need a lot of patience. :)

Simply installing nodejs and yarn will probably take most of the time I have for one weekend. :) But I'll take a look and see if I can get a working environment set up. Then it can take all week to compile if it wants to.
jdixon

Mar 08, 2019
4:29 PM EDT
Installing yarn and nodejs was easier than I expected and only took about two hours. And the nodejs install seems to include a version of npm, so I don't need to install it.

After cloning the repository both npm and yarn failed in the init phase with a "Cannot find module 'commander'" error, but a quick web search revealed that I had to install the commander module with the command "npm install commander --save".

It's now running in the init phase, which fetches the Chromium source, so it will take a while.
jdixon

Mar 10, 2019
9:14 PM EDT
Sigh, it must be nice having a 100Mbps or faster connection.

"# this takes 30-45 minutes to run # the Chromium source is downloaded which has a large history npm run init"

On my 3Mbps connection:

"1 day, 1:18:04] error: RPC failed; curl 56 OpenSSL SSL_read: SSL_ERROR_SYSCALL, errno 104 fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly"

Yes, that's over 25 hours later.

When I check, the src directory is empty and restarting the command restarts the download over from the beginning. I have no idea where it's putting the downloaded data, but it's not in the src directory or (as far as I can tell) in the tmp directory. I've tried twice, and both times it's dropped the connection around the 24 hour mark.

I've spent over two days on it. It doesn't look like there's anyway to make the process work with a standard DSL connection, so I'm not going to waste any more of my time. When the Brave developers decide they want to support 32 bit Linux, I'll consider it. Until then they apparently don't want me or anyone like me.
penguinist

Mar 10, 2019
10:38 PM EDT
Hmmm, sad that you are having trouble with downloading big files over a small pipe. Wow 3Mbps is a really tiny pipe these days. You must live on a remote mountain top.

I have an idea of how I might help. You probably know already that `wget -c ... ` will download and pick up where it left off if the connection breaks. Tell me what you need and let me package it into a tar.gz for you and you can fetch it at your convenience with wget.

Actually now that I look at the brave github, I see that it pulls chromium also from github. So you should be able to manually fetch chromium with something like:

git clone https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src

Let me know if I can help. With open source, there is always a path to a solution.
jdixon

Mar 11, 2019
8:26 AM EDT
> Hmmm, sad that you are having trouble with downloading big files over a small pipe. Wow 3Mbps is a really tiny pipe these days. You must live on a remote mountain top.

Not all that remote, but DSL is the only option available and 3MBps is the best we can get. There's actually a fair amount of the country that's worse off than that, not that the major ISP's will admit it.

> Actually now that I look at the brave github, I see that it pulls chromium also from github.

That seems to be the problem, yes.

> So you should be able to manually fetch chromium with something like:

I probably could, but without parsing through the scripts I have no idea where they want it. And I've tied up our link enough for now.

> Let me know if I can help. With open source, there is always a path to a solution.

There is, but at this point it's not worth the effort. The Brave team has obviously made the decision they're not going to support 32 bit Linux systems, and has made a build system that can't even be used by anyone on a slow connection. Who am I to argue with them? At at certain point, if people write you off, it's best if you return the favor.
alc

Mar 11, 2019
8:54 AM EDT
' Not all that remote, but DSL is the only option available and 3MBps is the best we can get. There's actually a fair amount of the country that's worse off than that, not that the major ISP's will admit it."

This might be an interesting read for you.

https://newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm
jdixon

Mar 11, 2019
10:17 AM EDT
> This might be an interesting read for you.

Oh, having been a Verizon customer, I'm well aware of how much of a scam that was. We didn't even get DSL till 2006.
penguinist

Mar 15, 2019
11:41 AM EDT
After nearly two weeks of use, I'm pleased to report that Brave is meeting my expectations. It looks like I've found my default browser going forward.
jdixon

Mar 15, 2019
2:51 PM EDT
> After nearly two weeks of use, I'm pleased to report that Brave is meeting my expectations. It looks like I've found my default browser going forward.

I've been fairly happy with it under Windows at work. And eventually I'll migrate to 64 bits, probably with my next machine, so I'll be able to use it then.

It hasn't replaced Palemoon as my default browser, but it's a close second.
alc

Mar 16, 2019
7:28 AM EDT
I started using Firefox back when it was Phoenix. I never thought of changing it, but over time it just seemed to get slow and clunky. I ran across Brave not that long ago and I'm pretty happy with it. I also have it installed on my phone and tablet. Unless some drastic problems come up, it's my default as well.
jdixon

Mar 17, 2019
8:21 AM EDT
> I started using Firefox back when it was Phoenix. I never thought of changing it,

Likewise, but it wasn't just the poor software performance that was the determining factor for me.

For me, it was the firing of Eich for a political contribution in support of California's proposition 8 he had made years earlier. When they did that it was clear that making good software was way down on their priority list, and there was no hope of the browser ever being any good again.

And even if that wasn't the case, did I really want to use the product of an organization that obviously hates Christian doctrine (and therefore hates me), that much? The obvious answer was no. So I switched to Palemoon and haven't looked back. I stopped using Thunderbird at the same time, for the same reason.
alc

Mar 17, 2019
1:06 PM EDT
"For me, it was the firing of Eich for a political contribution in support of California's proposition 8 he had made years earlier."

Him getting fired was pure BS, no doubt. Of course, Brave came from that. https://stream.org/brendan-eich-fired-from-mozilla-for-defen...
jdixon

Mar 17, 2019
2:42 PM EDT
> Of course, Brave came from that.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

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