marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Last night I decided I was so unhappy with KeePass and that Firefox's performance was so dismal that I gave the same email address I deleted from LastPass last week back to them and (initially) exported my KeePass database back to Lastpass via .csv file. Then I stopped for a while and just read reviews of the top five password managers. I even read the reviews on LastPass's Firefox page again (they continue to suck).

Lifehacker's poll and conclusions last week were decisive for me: when I realized all the glowing praise for KeePass just makes my eyes roll, I knew it was out. KeePass is aspirational: carrying your entire database(s) around on a USB stick in order to make it/them "portable" or so it/they can "sync between devices" is not a good idea...you can lose the stick and with that, everything you ever knew about logging into websites. The tool is stuck in the XP zone style-wise, and I don't need multiple databases though it's kind of a neat idea (separate "vaults", in LP lingo, that can be shared or kept to yourself).

Not to mention I can't count all the database entries that were corrupted after importing them from LastPass...I lost logins on multiple websites wherein my usernames were mysteriously replaced with short strings of numbers or blanked out altogether and passwords went missing or got swapped out for others...which I learned simply by watching my KeePass autofills. I never did get that feature to work; between corrupted entries and KP's inability to remove pre-filled instruction text and usernames from form fields (ie, Outlook.com, eBay) - it would just write my username and password over the pre-filled text, causing Outlook, eBay and other sites to declare wrong user/pass - it was a no-go. I had to use the KeeFox add-on to manually copy/paste user/pass for every website, and it only took a few days of that to burn me off KP.

Which left only Dashlane and LastPass to ponder, since I'm only considering the top three password managers as judged by web reviews, but Dashlane offed itself from the running by allowing you to use it for free on only one device (they're kidding, right...I run LP on pretty much every device I look at, another reason why KeePass could never work; it's free to use on multiple devices, but *you* are what makes it portable, and *you* are how it "syncs" and I just can't even) and by charging $40 per year, which is roughly $25 more than I'm willing to pay.

At that point I decided I had to go back to LastPass. I figured copying/pasting from my Vault was not much worse than copying/pasting from KeeFox (which, strangely enough, wouldn't always offer the hamburger icon to do so, so I'd be left right-clicking on blank space) and that KeeFox's errors - beside all the others, it was also trying to save almost every form field on every web page as a username/password combo, and ignoring the first offer on pages I had to re-load multiple times would just make it offer multiple times, until it really gunked up the works and slowed my work down.

My first KeePass export into LastPass failed, likely because I exported in KP 1x database .csv format, but then I read the instructions on LP's tin and realized they wanted an XML file, so I put that together and had my stuff back in LastPass a few minutes later. Then I spent about an hour manually fixing all the broken database entries from KeePass, deleted tons of log-ins I don't use anymore, but before I even got that far, I uninstalled the 32-bit version of Firefox that was my failed workaround to LastPass's previous issues, did a true Firefox refresh and winnowed down the remaining add-ons in the x64 version, as compared to what was on my list last week. The next step was to see if LastPass would tear itself apart again on browser restart. It didn't.

It was about 3am and I was exhausted, but I was so excited that LastPass didn't disassemble itself I kept restarting Firefox just to watch it not fall apart again. There it was: I could search and not get a frozen panel; I could click "Show matching sites" and get an actual dropdown list of matching sites, not a blank panel. And all those huge favicons! After what I'd been through, they were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. But I didn't trust it, so I shut my laptop down soon after, pretty sure that was the last of a working LastPass in Firefox I'd see again. But lo and behold, I restarted the laptop tonight and it still works!

The only thing I can point to this time is I used LP's Universal Windows Installer, after reading a tip in Firefox reviews that the LP for Applications installer fixed this same, entire mess. They're both "universal", right...And fast? For Firefox, this is blazing, even with LP installed. After the initial "Not Responding" white title bar bottlenecks on first run tonight, which cleared after a minute or two, everything settled right down.

So, whew, close call there, LP...now if Web of Trust would just be 57-compatible, I'd feel like I had Firefox pretty much back together (well, I miss Web Dev, but I can still use it in Chromium or Opera, so not the end of the world. Yet.).

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I wonder if I'll get used to it. My current online project is: "Make Firefox not use so much RAM it stops responding" and boy howdy, has it been a project. I'm still getting two or three (Not Responding) white title bar freeze-ups per start-up and Firefox is taking between a few and 20 minutes to just calm down and be a browser already, but once it does, it goes pretty fast. What I've done to get it that way is almost unreal.

Starting last week:

  • Completely uninstalled Firefox; removed all personal data, files and folders, reg entries
  • Installed Firefox latest from scratch. Because Mozilla couldn't find an old copy of Firefox, I became a new user, so they kindly gave me the 64-bit version with multiprocess (e10s)
  • Installed add-ons, then kept uninstalling any that weren't e10s compatible (how to tell: the add-on list will show a message saying the browser isn't multiprocess compatible. That means one of the add-ons isn't playing nice)
  • Got rid of LastPass, which by itself was hammering RAM
  • Dropped Web Dev by Chris Pederick (which killed me; it's my favorite add-on besides ABP) and taught myself how to at least find the "Style Editor" in Firefox's Web Dev (there's not another panel in that tool that I know from Adam)
  • Dropped custom themes; am using Firefox's default dark theme

And between all that, I'm still having consistent, repeated browser freezes for the first 5-20 minutes until Firefox finally becomes usable (that's on first run; on any subsequent runs the freeze total is about the same but the wait time to get through them is usually quite a bit less).

Remaining add-ons are:

  • ABP
  • Add-on Compatibility Reporter
  • Archive Url
  • Clean Uninstall
  • FlashDisable - not sure if I need it or if it works - but it doesn't disable the video embedded in the article I linked to in my last linkcatcher post (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • Ghostery - hammers RAM, but I like it
  • Google search link fix - not sure if it works (ETA, 8-28-17: works better than the add-on discussed next) I prefer the version from the guy I worked with on the JS to add to my Google search userscript, but even his doesn't work on topfold, onebox results and isn't e10s compatible
  • gui:config - I could probably scrap it and about:config everything; not what I thought (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • HTTPS Everywhere - another RAM eater, but practically indispensable (don't see why the same tech can't be built into the browser)
  • IP Address and Domain Information - DT Whois add-on replacement
  • KeeFox - LastPass replacement (ETA, 8-28-17: removed; put Lastpass back)
  • TrafficLight - WOT replacement; WOT is e10s ready not e10s ready, and it eats so much RAM. But TrafficLight thinks eBay is a scam or phishing site and blocks pages and tries to whisk you away and just grrrrr
  • WayBack Machine - I used the in-house Firefox experimental of this add-on (I think after being tipped off to it by [personal profile] darkoshi - or was that the other way around?) and wanted it back

In all of that you'll see three of my favorites are conspicuously MIA: Web Dev by Chris Pederick, ColorPicker and MeasureIt. That's because all three add-ons are rolled up into Firefox's native Web Dev. The last time I tried them, MeasureIt no longer worked (blank dialog boxes), ColorPicker was acting pretty janky, and Web Dev wasn't e10s compatible, so I felt like I had no choice but to stop using them if I was going to make Firefox stop crying big, RAM-filled tears.

But native Web Dev is weird. I don't know if you can kill all the extra panels but I hate them. When I'm in their pretentiously named "Style Editor" I don't want a bunch of panels: I want my CSS. The Web Dev add-on did that, and displayed dark-on-light or light-on-dark (I have blurry vision and astigmatism so light on dark is out) but with native Web Dev, the editor color must match browser color. I prefer a dark browser and light editor, so it's forced me into light-on-dark editing.

And in the Web Dev add-on, when you make live CSS changes they "move" into view. In native Web Dev, they "slide", and it makes me feel like my stomach is turning, watching page elements start sliding around. I can't explain it.

The font is also too small and I have no need to work in syntax highlighted code because I generally know what and where things are, so the syntax highlighting is distracting, because I'm probably (not kidding, just not diagnosed yet) a bit ADD.

So from an accessibility standpoint, it seems native Web Dev needs some work. Knowing Mozilla, though: "Oh, that doesn't matter because we're re-writing the engine for that, it'll be ready in 2019!" and I just...grrrrrr.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Update, 8-21-17: the fix below (switching back to 32-bit Firefox) works great until you restart Firefox, then tada, it never works again. So I guess there is no answer short of trying every version of the LastPass add-on - really not a good idea when latest versions are patched for security vulnerabilities and so on and oh, LastPass, how completely unusable you are, let me count the ways.

Since discovering my fix only works until restart I've disabled LastPass and installed KeePass/KeeFox because I had online work to do and wasn't about to keep playing games with a broken password manager. KeePass has its own issues (mainly, when it stores more than one login for a site it tends to autofill the wrong one, leading to a lot of "copy username/copy password" clicking and pasting) but though it's not for the faint of heart (it's sort of an old-school program with about a gajillion options I haven't even glanced at yet) it does seem less batshit fucking insane to deal with, overall.


So, the LastPass blank dropdown menu and blank search results panel is very annoying. The dev hasn't updated the add-on since June and is responding to exactly zero complaints about this and other issues on his Firefox review page, though there might easily be dozens.

Which came to bite me, too, when Firefox finally let me have their latest multiprocess (e10s), 64-bit compatible version earlier this week (e10s is still automatically disabled if you install any add-on that isn't yet e10s capable); ever since I've had both LastPass problems, and saw others are having them, too [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3].

To fix these issues, just switch back to Firefox 32-bit. It's not even necessary to remove Fx 64-bit. It's actually better if you don't, so Firefox can just poke around in your profile folder and recreate the Firefox you've got in the 32-bit version you're about to get (just be sure to create a shortcut or a target that you can easily tell apart from the 64-bit icon).

32-bit Firefox runs LastPass perfectly, fixes the blank dropdown list of log-ins for each site and fixes search result panels showing up blank.

For everyone leaving bitter reviews [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3] and sharing the version number that allegedly works better [Version 4.1.62a]: I tried it in 64-bit Firefox, but it gave me all the same blank dropdowns as before.

My guess is the problems are not confined to any particular version. After I installed the May 31st version and saw the same issues it became clear the latest version is not at fault - it's 64-bit Firefox - and I'll gander that's no matter which version of LastPass going back to the earliest 56*-capable version you pick.

So if you've got 64-bit Firefox, try going back to 32-bit (here are the 32-bit installers. If you have automatic updates turned off, keep checking the directory for the latest). Run Firefox 32-bit with whatever version of LastPass you have and see if that fixes the problems.

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.

Link'ems

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:54 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Politics

Amazon

  • Amazon now offers reduced fee Prime membership - $5.99 per month for low income earners. "Normal" Prime membership is $99, which in theory would be $8.25 per month, but only if you paid $99 at sign-up to lock in the price, so many people actually pay what I did before "cheaper Prime" came along - $10.99 per month/$131.88 per year - the usual $99 plus a $32.88 Poor People's Poverty Tax.
  • Also check out four more ways to get Prime on the cheap.
  • Amazon ended unlimited cloud storage pretty much the same week I had to jump cloud storage services...*grinds teeth into dust*
  • For cord-cutting Prime members now there's Amazon TV (pick your poison. Yay?).
  • From the email I got, as Amazon has no explainer and Google has nothing indexed: "Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of a game-changing Prime exclusive benefit—Amazon Channels, the first truly a la carte TV service. You can create a lineup you love from over 100 channels, and only pay for the ones you want—no cable required. You get a 7-day free trial of all of our channels, and you can watch anywhere and cancel anytime."
  • About the above - I haven't signed up and will probably be unable to. I also don't know anyone who's signed up. Comcast controls most of the fiber in my area and with them it's cheaper to pay for a TV and Internet package (called the "Double Play") than to just have Internet, so that's mostly what's been stopping me. Will take reviews, though (preferably from people I already know)!

Firefox

  • The search for Goldilocks, indeed. The author says the latest version of Firefox (54) has e10s (multi-process/multi-threaded like Chrome but a max four processes), but it does not have this. I'm using it on an x64 machine with two processors/8GB of RAM, so I can definitively say it has no e10s.
  • Before posting, I found an updated article which says (emphasis mine): "Electrolysis still isn’t on for all users. “Roughly half of Firefox’s user population is using multiple content processes, but Mozilla will be expanding the number over the next few months based on extension compatibility, accessibility support work and other factors,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. To check if you’re in the Electrolysis group, type “about:support” into the URL bar and check to see if it says “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item."
  • While I'm on the topic of Mozilla doing what Mozilla does, and as I made [personal profile] solarbird aware of, standard Firefox add-ons are on their way out, ostensibly to make room for the e10s that they claim exist which for many of us, still don't. People aren't exactly keen on this.
  • Without add-ons as we know them, Firefox basically turns into Opera on Webkit. And though they're killing add-ons as we know them first, a complete browser engine re-write is also on the way. "firefox why u so", indeed!

Invention

  • With this, the author proves he can turn something as ho-hum as a relatively obscure invention into an epic tale that covers everything from original sin to the rise and fall of civilizations to the sad state of mankind's eternal economic Shangri-La. He's also - did I mention this - a great writer.
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.