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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Tue, 14 Jun 2016

I used Firefox a bunch

I've been using Firefox version 47 for the past couple of days. And it's been working well. This isn't for my day job, where I beat the hell out of the browser, but for "research" (aka looking things up) while learning programming.

Nothing cost $ .

I should probably give it a try for my real work and see how it holds up.

Update: Firefox did better than I thought but not good enough.

Slow rendering in Google Maps was annoying.

It couldn't handle Tweetdeck at all. Nobody would (or should) argue that Tweetdeck is anything but a mess. It is built with unwieldy amounts of JavaScript and delivers messes (or masses) of data. Trying to run Tweetdeck in Firefox was a parade of "unresponsive script" pop-ups that had me bailing out for Chrome within the hour.

I want Firefox to be competitive. I'd rather have fewer eggs in Google's basket. But my web production workflow is just too many windows of pain.

Fri, 30 Oct 2015

Fix for Firefox dark theme issues in GNOME 3

Hey Linux users, are you using GNOME Tweak Tool to choose the "Dark" theme, making your GTK3 applications dark and causing problems with white-on-white text in the Firefox browser?

I have. Even though I almost never use GNOME 3, I do have it installed, and the GNOME Tweak Tool's "dark theme" switch enables me to turn GTK3 applications like Firefox "dark" in their styling. Except that often you can't read text boxes on web sites because the "dark" theme turns the text white while also leaving the background white.

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Fri, 17 Aug 2012

The Firefox ESR -- aka Extended Support Release -- is what CentOS (and most likely RHEL) is using

Firefox in CentOS (and by extension Stella) right now is version 10.0.x. I wondered why.

Well, it's because those very-long-term support distros are using the Extended Support Release of Firefox. Read more about ESR here, here and here, and if you want to try the ESR version of Firefox, start here.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012

I just installed Iceweasel 13 in Debian Squeeze

I finally got Iceweasel 13 installed out of the Mozilla Debian APT archive on my Debian Squeeze system. For at least a week I've been stuck on Iceweasel/Firefox 12 due to dependency issues. dWhile a Debian Forums article didn't provide the exact solution to my problem, it did give me a clue:

Reinstall Iceweasel.

I did that, and I got the new Iceweasel/Firefox as well as the needed dependencies, and thus far nothing appears to be broken.

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Fri, 13 Apr 2012

Firefox 11 has been crashy enough to get me using Google Chrome

Life is easier when I use Firefox. But lately it's been very crashy in Debian Squeeze. It often just freezes, and I have to wait, let it freeze some more and then finally kill it.

Thus I've been using Google Chrome more and more. It supposedly eats more memory over time, but it's much, much faster, doesn't bog down so early in my session, and pretty much just works.

That's what I need: A browser that doesn't slow down to nothing. I'd like that browser to be Firefox (aka Iceweasel in the Debian world). But now that browser is Google Chrome (and could very well be Chromium when I move to Debian Wheezy).

Thu, 15 Mar 2012

Firefox/Iceweasel 11 a huge improvement? (Answer: No)

I've only been using Firefox 11.0 (known as Iceweasel 11.0 in the world of Debian GNU/Linux) for about a half-hour, but I get the feeling that it's a whole lot faster on the desktop than Firefox 10.

I'll report back when I've been using it for a few hours.

A few hours later: Nope, same old Firefox. After a few hours, it eats enough CPU and memory that you need to quit and restart.

The next day: My first Iceweasel start of the day and the thing hangs. I have to force-quit out of it. Lovely. I'm now using Google Chrome (and will probably be using freer, less-spyish Chromium when I upgrade to Debian Wheezy).

Sun, 24 Jul 2011

Mozilla still (quietly) updating Firefox 3.6.x series

Mozilla is already casting the enterprise market adrift with its stated wish to stop maintaining the Firefox 3.6.x series of the popular web browser in favor of charging through Firefox 4 right into version 5 and coming up on 6 and then who knows what.

Enterprises hate this. They need to build shoddy web-based applications against a browser, and if that browser changes, their apps will likely break.

Hence they need Firefox 3.6.x, if that's what they're building against, to stick around as long as possible.

No, no, NO, says Mozilla. We're in a development frenzy to catch Google Chrome, and we're upsetting the apple cart now for more goodness later.

The enterprise cares nothing for "goodness." It wants sameness, predictability and as little work as possible.

Can't say I blame them.

From a PR standpoint Mozilla is thumbing its nose at any enterprise users who decided to throw in with a browser that isn't Internet Explorer (and for large bases of users, switching browser allegiance isn't something that happens very often — and yes, they are where you, as an individual, were 10 years ago).

Despite all this, I still have updates coming to my remaining Firefox 3.6-running machines (of which there are more than a few, especially because there's not Firefox 4 or 5 for Macintosh PowerPC unless you count TenFourFox).

Yes, they all recently climbed to 3.6.19.

But if you can find the Mozilla Firefox 3.6 page, there is supposedly an end in sight for 3.6.x:

Firefox 3.6.x will be maintained with security and stability updates for a short amount of time. All users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox.

If Mozilla wises up (and I hope they do), they'll continue patching Firefox 3.6.x for security issues for at least the next year if not two.

They don't seem ready or willing to do this, but I bet they're plenty able. Especially if they want to cement (and not rend) its relationship with enterprise users.