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#1 2023-11-21 19:31:23

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 197  

Upcoming browser changes

Both Firefox and Chrome are making some transitions soon.

Firefox is apparently moving towards "Waylund", this new desktop system. Some features that use it will be enabled by default soon. This unnecessary change is a concern because it looks to me like the next systemd. (And it comes from Red Hat like that did...) This makes me wonder if it is present or close to being implemented in Devuan? Does it look like there will be a push by major players in the Linux community to force it to be implemented as we have seen with systemd? There doesn't seem to be any justification for it, again, like systemd, so I hope the "if it ain't broke" principle will hold here, as well. X works fine for any ordinary use cases.

Other than that I see that extensions of WASM are also being pushed. At least those should be easy to disable, being only in the browser itself.

Chrome is about to change how extensions work, apparently in the name of security. One major thing this will affect is ad-blockers. (Quelle surprise...) Given that it is becoming a standard like Internet Exploder used to be, I do sometimes have to use Chrome to access certain sites. So I'm concerned that the functions of ad-blockers will be curtailed by this change. Will the Chromium 'unbranded' version also be forced to follow this new standard? Or could they possibly keep hooks for both types of extensions? I haven't used Chromium much but it's looking more interesting with the possible crippling of ad-blockers in Chrome  itself.

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#2 2023-11-21 21:43:53

ab
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Registered: 2023-07-19
Posts: 4  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Firefox said they'd make Wayland the default window/display in some future release.  That doesn't mean they won't continue to support X11.  There are plenty of long-term distros that will stay around for years (or longer).

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#3 2023-11-22 02:27:45

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 325  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Micronaut wrote:

Does it look like there will be a push by major players in the Linux community to force it to be implemented as we have seen with systemd?

There is already talk of disabling X11 session support (at least by default) in GNOME... But then that's to be expected, it's GNOME. IMO Redhat/systemd/freedesktop/GNOME might as well be considered the same enitity at this point, and the NIH attitude is strong over there.

Micronaut wrote:

There doesn't seem to be any justification for it, again, like systemd, so I hope the "if it ain't broke" principle will hold here, as well. X works fine for any ordinary use cases.

The justification is that X is old, complicated, contains a lot of functionality nobody uses any more, and as usual writing shiny new code is more interesting than fixing and/or maintaining old code.

Personally I'll consider wayland when wayland reaches feature-parity with X, and the majority of applications I need work properly with it. Right now it's still full of bugs and several important features aren't even standardised in the protocol yet... So I expect everyone except GNOME to maintain X support for at least a while longer.

Micronaut wrote:

Given that it is becoming a standard like Internet Exploder used to be, I do sometimes have to use Chrome to access certain sites.

And the only reason it's become (past tense BTW) a "standard" is because people just accept they have to have it for "certain sites" that only work properly with it, instead of complaining to the webmaster concerned that their site is broken... Much the same as in the bad old days of IE.

As of now we really only have one independent (two if you count opera, but that's not FOSS) modern browser engine left that isn't based on (and largely slave to the whims of) google chrome. If you don't like what google is doing, I suggest you use Firefox instead.

Micronaut wrote:

Will the Chromium 'unbranded' version also be forced to follow this new standard? Or could they possibly keep hooks for both types of extensions?

Chromium is really just the open-source build of chrome, without google's proprietary bits. Little else is changed, and I expect they'll follow very close behind everything chrome does.
Some of the more extensive chrome modifications (brave etc.) might hold out a bit longer, but IMO it'll only be a matter of time before everything based on chrome/chromium is manifest v3 only.

Firefox might go down a similar path of course, but as of now that's still a "might", as opposed to chrome/chromium's "will, early next year". Pick your poison.


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#4 2023-11-22 14:51:33

boughtonp
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From: UK
Registered: 2023-01-19
Posts: 196  
Website

Re: Upcoming browser changes

steve_v wrote:

As of now we really only have one independent (two if you count opera, but that's not FOSS) modern browser engine left that isn't based on (and largely slave to the whims of) google chrome. If you don't like what google is doing, I suggest you use Firefox instead.

Except "independent" is arguable given Mozilla is 80-90% funded by Google, and seem happy to mindlessly copy them.

(I can't confirm the amount Google currently pays; there's a couple of references to 86% in 2021, but it's not clear where that number came from - the accounts don't split it out.)

Both Opera and Vivaldi are Chromium+Blink based, so are not independent irrespective of software license.

I'm really hoping Ladybird browser succeeds.

Last edited by boughtonp (2023-11-22 14:53:23)


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#5 2023-11-22 18:03:18

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 197  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

The feedback here is not encouraging. There is a multi-pronged effort underway to capture FOSS into the standard 'mainstream' tech revenue channels and there doesn't seem to be much push-back.

Thoughts:

* Firefox has been dying, in large part due to complacency by Mozilla as well as Google's machination to make Chrome dominant. Could this push to cripple ad-blockers be a possible 'big break' for Mozilla and Firefox? When millions of people who have gotten used to browsing without constant ad-spam find they are forced to see ads, will there be a mass movement back to Firefox?

* If this does not occur, it may be 'fork time' again. Someone ought to copy the Firefox code base and start a new project to have a browser genuinely free of corporate control.

* The Wayland/X thing is more abstruse. It's about an underlying layer of the system, not a user-facing program. The concept "mature product" just doesn't seem to mean anything anymore. Change for the sake of change (and for the sake of revenue) is now so normalized that most people don't see the problem, and there probably won't a a single major event like the upcoming ad-blockalypse on Chrome to galvanize resistance. But there will be a larger, long-term price if the reports of the bugginess of Wayland are true. Can "we" (the common users of Linux who are not infrastructure techies) apply some sort of pressure on desktop developers to always keep backwards compatibility with X? I see that even XFCE has been making plans to adopt Wayland. This is the last major desktop to not already have been ruined by 'featurism'. If it gets sucked into the bloat wave I dunno what I could use. Maybe it would be time to fork that also? Cinnamon and Mate have worked out relatively well.

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#6 2023-11-22 18:13:06

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 3,109  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

If Xfce becomes unusable, there are always window managers . . .

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#7 2023-11-22 19:03:15

swanson
Member
Registered: 2020-04-22
Posts: 85  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

"ad-blockalypse " is the word! I've just these couple of weeks changed to Firefox from Chrome on my main Devuan machines. This thread is really interesting and I'll follow it closely. I really really hope some open source will survive Big Tech and their shiny new clothes.

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#8 2023-11-22 19:19:01

golinux
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Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 3,109  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

swanson wrote:

I really really hope some open source will survive Big Tech and their shiny new clothes.

Their shinny new shackles might be more appropriate . . .

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#9 2023-11-23 04:01:26

swanson
Member
Registered: 2020-04-22
Posts: 85  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

golinux wrote:

Their shinny new shackles might be more appropriate . . .

smile

It might be time to read George Orwell's "1984" again...

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#10 2023-12-05 23:57:31

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 197  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

And now... plans emerge to exploit Google leverage over the user community yet in another way.

https://arstechnica.com/google/2023/12/ … n-updates/

Chrome’s next weapon in the War on Ad Blockers: Slower extension updates

Google's war on ad blockers is just gearing up, with YouTube doing its best to detect and block ad blockers and Chrome aiming to roll out the ad block-limiting Manifest V3 extension platform in June 2024. A new article from Engadget detailing the "arms race" over ad blocking brings up an interesting point regarding the power that YouTube and Chrome have in this battle: a dramatic update advantage over the ad blockers.

In addition to hamstringing Chrome's extension platform with no real user-centric justifications, Manifest V3 will also put roadblocks up before extension updates, which will delay an extension developer's ability to quickly respond to changes. YouTube can instantly switch up its ad delivery system, but once Manifest V3 becomes mandatory, that won't be true for extension developers. If ad blocking is a cat-and-mouse game of updates and counter-updates, then Google will force the mouse to slow down

...

Never mind that slowing down updates will increase the exposure to security vulnerabilities for any and all extensions that happen to have them. There are 'potential profits' not being made, so the interference in profit-making has to be choked off. This is looking more and more like an opportunity for Firefox to surge back.

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#11 2023-12-06 10:25:44

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 406  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

I could never get on with Chrome/Chromium, so have always used Firefox, occasionally Dillo, & have tried to use text browsers too, the internet has become an advertising space for corporations, far removed from its original purpose...

I stopped using Youtube when forced to watch adverts, & only returned to it when we could block them - so if everyone did so, they'd soon lose all their revenues..

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#12 2023-12-06 16:51:54

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 470  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

I finished my search for “the best” and returned to my Debian roots.
Yesterday I installed Chromium from the repository, downloaded the uBlock Origin and TWP translator archive files, and installed them.
Works without problems, no advertising on YouTube, etc.

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#13 2023-12-06 17:37:17

The-Amnesiac-Philosopher
Member
Registered: 2023-08-24
Posts: 237  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Uncle aluma,

I wish you hadn't mentioned the name of the ad-blocker. I use it too.

However, I fear the YouTube Police will find out about it, and send the YouTube Swat Team in to annihilate "said name of ad-blocker".

Shhhhhhh...

smile

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#14 2023-12-06 18:16:55

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 470  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

I put ashes on one's head ! smile

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#15 2023-12-06 23:14:00

boughtonp
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From: UK
Registered: 2023-01-19
Posts: 196  
Website

Re: Upcoming browser changes

YouTube is not monitoring the forums of random Debian derivatives, but - even if they were - uBlock Origin is currently installed on over FIFTY MILLION browsers. It is far from a secret.

It is almost certainly the case that YouTube have known about uBlock Origin for most of its nine year life; there are very likely YouTube developers who started using it back in 2015 when it first became popular.

Manifest V3 is already Google's attempt to block such extensions, but - so long as we have non Google-controlled browsers - their success will be limited to those who use Google-controlled browsers.

And, even if Mozilla cave in and the efforts of Raymond Hill and others fail, there's still Invidious and yt-dlp and other options for viewing YouTube videos without being subjected to Google's adverts.


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#16 2023-12-11 17:34:01

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 470  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

There is no particular cause for concern.
https://support.ublock.org/hc/en-us/art … ock-Users-

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#17 2023-12-11 19:03:15

boughtonp
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2023-01-19
Posts: 196  
Website

Re: Upcoming browser changes

The domain ublock.org IS NOT uBlock Origin, and never has been.

uBlock Origin is from Raymond Hill who is at //github.com/gorhill - that's "go" followed by "rhill" - the initial and surname of the author.

YouTube videos aside, Manifest V3 is absolutely a bad thing, and part of Google's efforts to take over the Internet.

The easiest way to combat Google's increasing dominance is to stop using Google-controlled browsers, like Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Edge, Vivaldi, etc.


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#18 2023-12-11 21:05:19

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 470  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Fanaticism is blind.
I think you can read it
https://habr.com/ru/sandbox/138904/

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#19 2023-12-12 00:57:07

zapper
Member
Registered: 2017-05-29
Posts: 820  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

The-Amnesiac-Philosopher wrote:

Uncle aluma,

I wish you hadn't mentioned the name of the ad-blocker. I use it too.

However, I fear the YouTube Police will find out about it, and send the YouTube Swat Team in to annihilate "said name of ad-blocker".

Shhhhhhh...

smile

Security by obscurity doesn't mean diddily. They will try to annihilate all ad blockers not just that one!

Smh...

#Moronic


Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. Feelings are not facts
If you wish to be humbled, try to exalt yourself long term  If you wish to be exalted, try to humble yourself long term
Favourite operating systems: Hyperbola Devuan OpenBSD
Peace Be With us All!

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#20 2023-12-14 22:58:51

fanderal
Member
Registered: 2017-01-14
Posts: 53  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Watched a recent video about Wayland and, assuming the assessment is reasonably accurate (Switched to Linux), the problems appear endless for Wayland-only distros both now and down the road. Lotsa bandwagon hype but not a lot of substance.

As I understand it, each DE will have to choose one of 40+ compositors to support, and app devs and maintainers will have to adapt to that choice. If an independent app like Firefox adapts to Sway and the DE only supports Wayfire, Firefox may or may not work.

Wayland Woes
December 11, 2023
24:11
https://odysee.com/@switchedtolinux:0/wayland-woes:9

Example at the Xfce forums on 2023-12-04:
Whisker menu removed the ability to resize in realtime with edge grabs
https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=17137

OP

I recently updated my Whisker menu to version 2.8.0 and have discovered that one of the features that I am fond of and very used to using has now been decided to be removed?

2nd post

This is because it's not supported on Wayland and the developer doesn't want to maintain two different code paths for Wayland and X11, see https://gitlab.xfce.org/panel-plugins/x … issues/112

44 Best Wayland compositors as of 2023
https://www.slant.co/topics/11023/~wayland-compositors

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#21 2023-12-19 18:30:49

greenjeans
Member
Registered: 2017-04-07
Posts: 505  
Website

Re: Upcoming browser changes

Micronaut wrote:

* If this does not occur, it may be 'fork time' again. Someone ought to copy the Firefox code base and start a new project to have a browser genuinely free of corporate control.

Is that not what Palemoon has already done? Installed the latest version last night, working better than current Firefox does on my machine.


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#22 2023-12-22 00:39:18

zapper
Member
Registered: 2017-05-29
Posts: 820  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

greenjeans wrote:
Micronaut wrote:

* If this does not occur, it may be 'fork time' again. Someone ought to copy the Firefox code base and start a new project to have a browser genuinely free of corporate control.

Is that not what Palemoon has already done? Installed the latest version last night, working better than current Firefox does on my machine.

Agree with the above.

What is probably needed, is more people should contribute to palemoon. Best of all, since the drama dev is gone, palemoon is led by Moonchild only. And he is perfectly sane. Can't say the same for the dev who used to lead with him.

My only qualm and it is a very tiny one, is that dbus is still required to run the web browser as is unless you compile yourself, etc...

Beyond that? Nothing at all.

BTW MASSIVE THING TO MENTION:

https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30655

Apparently, he might be having funding issues at the moment. Just a heads up!

Last edited by zapper (2023-12-22 00:42:27)


Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. Feelings are not facts
If you wish to be humbled, try to exalt yourself long term  If you wish to be exalted, try to humble yourself long term
Favourite operating systems: Hyperbola Devuan OpenBSD
Peace Be With us All!

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#23 2023-12-22 17:23:24

quickfur
Member
Registered: 2023-12-14
Posts: 145  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

What about Librewolf and other FF derivatives/forks?  Do they also suffer from upstream bogonity?

The thing about completely independent browsers is that the browsers of today are no longer merely some app, they are an OS unto themselves (for better or for worse). That means a one-person dev team isn't gonna cut it. Current web standards are huge, there are tons and tons of "standard" specs and de facto standard features that websites simply assume to exist.  If it were up to me, I'd stay away from browsers completely... but it's no longer possible because nowadays just about everything depends on it -- online banking, paying bills, etc., all require browser access of some sort.  And while I usually browse with JS turned off (IMO allowing arbitrary Turing-complete code written by arbitrary online personae of unknown trustworthiness to run locally is a horrible idea), some critical sites like banks simply don't work without it. So I have to enable JS at least for those sites.  And many of those sites depend on bleeding-edge features that break in subtle ways when you're not using Chromium or FF's JS engine. Some sites outright don't work on FF, you have to use Chrome/Chromium.

It's a horrible situation, and I'm not sure what we can do about it. Perhaps sandbox the browser itself and use separate instances per website that share no data with each other?  That's an idea. But again, an independent browser project is a very big one, that needs a lot of resources to pull off.  The good ole days when anybody could write a HTML parser that renders some semblance of a page on-screen are long gone.

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#24 2023-12-22 20:01:52

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 470  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

quickfur wrote:

The thing about completely independent browsers is that the browsers of today are no longer merely some app, they are an OS unto themselves (for better or for worse). That means a one-person dev team isn't gonna cut it.

I don't know if you wrote this with Pale Moon in mind, but the "nay-sayers" have been saying this about Pale Moon for at least as long as I've been using it, which is about 12 years now.

quickfur wrote:

Some sites outright don't work on FF, you have to use Chrome/Chromium.

Unfortunately this is true, and more so for Pale Moon, which is why one should always have a secondary browser anyway.

Last edited by Ron (2023-12-22 20:04:44)

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#25 2023-12-22 20:26:26

quickfur
Member
Registered: 2023-12-14
Posts: 145  

Re: Upcoming browser changes

I'm not naysaying Pale Moon; in fact, I wish it will succeed so that we don't have to be bound to commercially-driven browsers like FF or Chrome/Chromium anymore. Unfortunately, it's a long uphill battle. A browser is not built in a day.

And yeah, I keep Chromium around for those few sites that refuse to work without it, which in my case fortunately is only a small handful. (I can live without the rest.)  I used to be a big Opera fan until they sold out and switched to a Chrome engine.  But over time my own tastes have also shifted; these days I prefer keyboard-driven UIs than anything that requires the rodent.  My dream is that one day I can use a browser completely rodent-free... alas, I don't think that dream will come true in my lifetime.

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