marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I've used this browser for roughly 12 years, about the same length of time I used Photobucket before deciding I'll have to dump it, too (only halfway through that process; I've already deleted one account - though after the two day wait they impose to delete it, they still haven't, so I'll probably have to slug that out with them sometime soon - but I haven't worked with already-downloaded pictures yet from the other).

But between Firefox turning into Chrome, Photobucket turning into a high-priced art gallery and LJ turning into a Soviet spy weapon (that I was never going back to anyway, but forgive me while I indulge my sentimentality) and all the sites I've used or hung out at that either morphed into some alien form or went down or out of business over the years, the web as I once knew it increasingly no longer exists. I mean, I hate Wordpress, so that doesn't even count (but another 12 years, intermittently, wasted on it.)

But Firefox, above all else, is killlllling me. The other night I said WP's "PHP-from-hell backend" slowed Firefox to a crawl? Yeah. Until it was like steering an 18 wheeler uphill with no automatic transmission in the snow for seven hours (my arms actually hurt from this when it was all said and done; even my stomach muscles got a workout): I couldn't scroll without pulling and pulling down, couldn't copy and paste without waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for each tiny operation to complete, and I'm making hundreds of them as I'm working with literally hundreds of pictures and it's not even occurring to me to switch to another browser because I automatically blamed Wordpress. Because Wordpress.

If the world ended tomorrow? Wordpress. And it actually is the only site I'm on that changes Firefox from merely "slow and dodgy, uncooperative, stubborn, too difficult to use" into "just impossible, this is ridiculous".

So I got on tonight and Firefox was acting the same way while loading up and then while using Google and then while checking my email as it was on Wordpress the other night and I'm like, wait a second...it's not Wordpress, I'm not even logged in, their page is not even open in my browser, so it must be fucking Firefox. I checked my add-ons and had five "not compatible with multiprocess" messages when my browser won't even run multiprocess (e10s) because Mozilla has disabled it. Fucking hell.

So I flat out removed two of the offending add-ons, which lost me one of my favorites - DT Whois - and MeasureIt, which stopped working when e10s rolled out about a month ago, so that was no loss because Firefox has already killed it. I restarted Firefox and while it still feels slow by say, Chromium standards, which are insane (as is my connection, but that's impossible to tell if my browser isn't fast enough) I'm using it. And not being tormented by it. Yet.

But I had to be tormented for hours the other night over another site ransoming my images. Then it turned out the site I was being tormented on was not at fault, it was Firefox, and the reason Firefox was tormenting me was over add-ons incompatible with e10s, when my browser doesn't even support e10s, which has already led to the untimely death of one of my favorite add-ons because Firefox is killing compatibility on purpose in order to turn itself into Google Chrome. Does that even make any sense? Yet that's how it all went down. It's just...

I was not prepared to make the rant above until I actually did; the whole reason I even opened this window was to post the following image with the comment that Firefox has literally thrown itself at Google's feet to make the switch from their style of browser to the competition's:

Firefox uses web dialog boxes to bow and scrape toward Google

The full text of the web dialog box I got at The Add-On Bar Restored (another incompatible add-on) with emphasis mine:

Some add-ons ask for permission to perform certain functions. Since you’re in control of your Firefox, the choice to grant or deny these requests is yours.

Please note this add-on uses legacy technology, which gives it access to all browser functions and data without requesting your permission.

No, motherfuckers, you've got that all wrong, so let me fix it for you: It uses your technology which you never coded to ask for our permission, which you then chose to abandon instead of improving it - and in doing so abandoned us as well - for the great white locked-down Google way.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Firefox actually has the weirdest performance in some areas:

  • clearing comment forms on entry pages (the whitespace between entry and form works as it should in _every_other_browser_; in Firefox the form doesn't clear by more than a few pixels unless I about triple the top margin).
  • arranging cell space on comment forms under 360px width on mobile is not going very well (our comment forms are actually tables nested within tables, which doesn't make it any easier)
  • displaying padding in text fields (for example, the search box in the navigation bar above the header is the wrong shape/size in _every_other_browser_ because Firefox)
  • certain CSS properties/values work in Firefox but in no other browser, which led to this thing today where my comment forms looked like someone shook all my pages really hard and let the form fields land where they would. Such fun.

I think I'd need about a thousand hacks for every possible browser/OS/device configuration to work around some of this, or to simply hack Firefox to allow better display in other browsers. And I could hack Firefox, because there are hacks for it.

The other thing is how needless it is to test page display on multiple versions of modern Webkit (only speaking of Windows browsers). If you check a web page in Chromium or Google Chrome, it seems you've checked it in every modern Webkit browser including Safari for Windows - which stopped at v.5 some years ago - except modern (non-Presto) Opera, which has its own ideas about CSS.

I'm not sure if this applies to Chrome on Android, as well, but as far as desktop testing goes, yeah, it does seem that way.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I can't believe more people don't know you can run Chromium on Windows without having to peruse the dev channels or do funny packaging things to builds or whatever. It was a surprise to me too, and one that I stumbled upon quite by accident.

About ten minutes ago, while I was looking through several weeks worth of change logs on Chromium.org to see why Google Chrome runs just fine now after you delete every Google Update file and folder on your computer (normally Google Chrome won't even start if you delete those) I decided to download the mini_installer.exe out of abject curiosity, and lo and behold, I got a stripped-down version of Google Chrome that runs on Windows - without the Google Updater and spyware-like Google usage statistics collection.

It's just like SRWare Iron, as far as I can tell: no Google Update executables or folders, but unlike SRWare Iron, there are no preloaded German start pages in the Speed Dial window.

Of course, Chromium is pure Google source code no matter how you cut it. So is SRWare Iron; Google Chrome wouldn't be Google Chrome without Chromium source code, unfortunately.

Looking on the Web, I see only one reference to using the mini_installer.exe to install Chromium on Windows, and it's on Lifehacker, which in turn references the Google System blog, and it's tacked to the end of a very long post on how to customize Google Chrome. I don't know why everyone seems to want to keep a non-privacy-invading, non-auto-updating version of Chrome such a secret.

ETA: OK, never mind...Chromium seems to be missing the Google Update features, but not the snooping features. Using SRWare's comparison page as a guide on what to look for, I typed a non-existent URL into Chromium and got a Google Chrome error page, indicating Chromium might be sending DNS errors to Google just as Chrome does. And of course Chromium defaults to the Google home page, just as Chrome does. The other things to look for you can't look for, really, because Google performs those tasks in the background. On the plus side, Chromium doesn't add itself to the Windows Task Scheduler like Google Chrome does, but if you're after privacy you're still much better off using SRWare Iron, after all.

ETA 2: And of course, since Chromium doesn't include Google Update software, reading change logs on Chromium.org doesn't tell me anything, anyway. So now I'm trying to find the version of the code (I mean, the _exact_ version) that Google uses for Chrome, and I can't. I don't know if I'm missing something really obvious, but the latest build of this otherwise craptastic browser is now removing all the Google Update files and folders at uninstall that I talked about it leaving behind in my last post. And I can't find older builds now to compare the latest build against.

ETA 3: File Hippo, of all places, archives all of the old Chrome versions. (http://www.filehippo.com/download_google_chrome/) Back to studying this crappy browser...