alternative web browsers reflection...

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alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby mardybear » 2014-07-20 21:02

Two of my home systems use old Ubuntu installs and two Debian Wheezy - i love using them all. Wheezy uses the long term support version of Iceweasel, which i love, but i've upgraded my Ubuntu's to the latest Firefox 30, which utilizes the new but not improved Australis theme. My opinion only, based on years of Firefox experience, Australis sucks. Less configurable, less options...sucks. Can't even move the reload button to a preferred location. Need so use a custom userChrome script to move tabs to the bottom - where they belong. Don't believe me do some quick google research. Yes i'm aware there's a classic theme restore add-on...but this shouldn't be necessary to configure Firefox old school, plus removing configuration options from a geek's favourite browser is just plain wrong.

This got me to thinking. If Wheezy's next long term support Iceweasel is to be based on something like Firefox 31, it will then also likely utilize the Australis theme. Very depressing if this reflects the future of Mozilla's Firefox. So i brewed a decaf coffee, grabbed a gluten free scone and spent most my sunday morning playing with alternative browsers.

Not a fan of Chrome/ium or google in general.

I will never be an Apple fanboy...ever.

Opera is closed source but if i *had* to choose something other than Firefox/Iceweasel i would grit my teeth and get used to using it...i suppose.

The 'fast and lightweight' alternatives, such as midori and arora, lack most of the desired features that i rely on with Firefox, such as bookmark sync and unlimited add-ons. Due to the lack of a noScript type add-on/script control, my old hardware runs these lightweights much slower than a tweaked Firefox/Iceweasel. Hopefully someday soon some of these lightweights will mature into something much more useful. If anyone has a favourite lightweight alternative please let me know...

I've tried using terminal-based browsers on numerous occasions over the years and just couldn't get used to them...so limited. Today i took a closer look at w3m and links2. Script errors, not user friendly or intuitive, poor page 'rendering'. Even logging into gmail or checking out this forum was painful. Can't think of any proper application for terminal browsers except for maybe quick checking something online while using a headless server. Even my 10+ year old desktop hardware can run a basic graphic browser without too much effort.

So my conclusion after some research and playing...yes it was fun. I'll stick with Firefox/Iceweasel...still my favourites...but will work around the Australis-theme as long as possible.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby wayne128 » 2014-07-20 22:33

Can't even move the reload button to a preferred location. Need so use a custom userChrome script to move tabs to the bottom - where they belong. Don't believe me do some quick google research. Yes i'm aware there's a classic theme restore add-on...but this shouldn't be necessary to configure Firefox old school, plus removing configuration options from a geek's favourite browser is just plain wrong.


then, go try out Palemoon linux.
it is based on firefox, pre-version29 thus fully configurable.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pm4linux/files/


you can download its installer, let it do the installation for you, follow wiki.
http://sourceforge.net/p/pm4linux/wiki/ ... tallation/
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby Randicus » 2014-07-20 23:26

mardybear wrote:The 'fast and lightweight' alternatives, such as midori and arora, lack most of the desired features that i rely on with Firefox
Midori has most features many people "rely on." Its problem is still being a little buggy, such as a habit of freezing when clicking links.
such as bookmark sync and unlimited add-ons.

Unlimited add-ons?
1) Many add-ons are bad from a security standpoint.
2) Since Firefox has so many standard features, what need is there for unlimited extras?

If anyone has a favourite lightweight alternative please let me know...

dwb is a really good browser, if you do not mind using the keyboard. However, getting adblock to work is not for the faint-of-heart. It may not even be possible yet.

Luakit is very similar to dwb and apparently features that do not work with dwb, such as adblock, do work. The drawback is that it is much more difficult to use. If you do not know how to edit lua configuration files, you would need to learn. (That is why I do not use Luakit yet. I have not gotten around to figuring out lua.)

There is also xxxterm. It is a nice light-weight browser, but has the same freezing problem that Midori has.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby mardybear » 2014-07-21 00:51

Thanks for the feedback.

wayne128 - Sorry i forgot to mention i already looked into Palemoon. Will probably end up using it unless Mozilla does a quick Australis turn-about, but probably wishful thinking.

Randicus - The deal breakers for me are noScript type script control (not just toggle scripts on/off) and the ability to easily sync bookmarks across all browsers - a combination i have only seen in Firefox (even if Chromium or Apple had these features i wouldn't want them anyway).

I don't use many Firefox add-ons but mostly to improve security or performance: noScript, adblock, etc. I will check out dwb. The other browsers you mentioned i've already looked at and/or if they are known to be buggy definitely not interested. What i really want is a browser that i can get into and hopefully keep using for years to come. Too bad so many of these up and coming browsers are still alpha/beta or buggy or poorly supported or no longer in development...

Came across this Linux browser link if anyone is interested:
http://www.helgefjell.de/browser.php?language=en
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby hakerdefo » 2014-07-21 05:35

I've tried many alternative browsers across different operating systems and I've come to the conclusion that if you want a good cross platform browser you'll have to choose from 'Firefox/Iceweasel-Chrome/Chromium-Opera'.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby Randicus » 2014-07-21 06:12

if you want a good cross platform browser you'll have to choose
whichever browser meets your individual needs, not the needs or desires of someone else.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby hakerdefo » 2014-07-21 09:06

Randicus wrote:whichever browser meets your individual needs, not the needs or desires of someone else.

You are right.
The OP wants a reliable and stable browser with the availability of add-ons to extend browser's functionality and I'm unaware of any browser apart from 'Firefox/Iceweasel-Chrome/Chromium-Opera' that fits the bill.
Midori and QupZilla are often touted as alternatives but they are buggy, crash prone and don't have many add-ons so I can't and won't recommend them as the main system browser. If someone is aware of a browser that is stable and has extensions to enhance it's functionalities I would also be interested in it.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby andre@home » 2014-07-21 09:26

Is this an option to avoid the Australian theme?
https://addons.mozilla.org/nl/firefox/addon/mx4/
Tried it myself recently to avoid the new terrible/unpractical look.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby Randicus » 2014-07-21 09:36

hakerdefo wrote:If someone is aware of a browser that is stable and has extensions to enhance it's functionalities I would also be interested in it.

Luakit is stable and supports ad-ons. The trick is learning how to use it.

Aurora is fairly good browser. It did not hook my attention, because it is qt-based, and therefore, looked ugly on my gtk-based UI. If I do not care about aesthetics, I can use dwb, which I prefer over Aurora anyway.

The OP wants a reliable and stable browser with the availability of add-ons to extend browser's functionality and I'm unaware of any browser apart from 'Firefox/Iceweasel-Chrome/Chromium-Opera' that fits the bill.

I took issue with your post, because of the way it was worded. (Or the tone if you prefer.) You did not state, "In my experience, the best browsers are ..." Your post stated "the best" matter-of-factly. That is why I wanted to clarify that the best depends on individual use.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby hakerdefo » 2014-07-21 10:44

Randicus wrote:Luakit is stable and supports ad-ons. The trick is learning how to use it.

Well it will be not easy to use for sure cause the homepage of Luakit says,
It is primarily targeted at power users, developers and any people with too much time on their hands...

And I think you need to have knowledge of Lua if you want to extend it's functionality cause there doesn't seem many add-ons available.
Randicus wrote:Aurora is fairly good browser...

You have me confused here as Aurora is an experimental version of Firefox and not a different browser.
There used to a browser named arora but it is not being developed any longer. Last release was in 2010.
Randicus wrote:I took issue with your post, because of the way it was worded. (Or the tone if you prefer.)

Words can be interpreted any which way we want.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby thanatos_incarnate » 2014-07-21 10:54

It really depends on your individual needs.

The alternative browsers are great for casual surfing or lean websites. I've used luakit on a daily basis and it just chokes on js heavy sites or even if you just want a lot of tabs. I've also yet to discover a way to spell check my text input. dwb is better, but the version in stable is very buggy and a lot of plug ins just don't work as intended. A work around for luakit choking is to use the mobile version of websites, which a lot of the big ones often have. Midori is just too buggy for me, although very interesting.

In short: I use luakit or elinks if I just want to quickly view a simple website or html doc file. In this case the CPU/memory consumption is less. For everything heavy and for extensive browsing with loads of tabs, I use Iceweasel. Adblocking also seems to work better on Iceweasel, it also offers additional plug ins to clean up sites like Facebook whose ads and phishing stuff Adblock can't do anything against.

The Australis tabs look awful to me, I really hope there will be plug ins to change that soon.
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby andre@home » 2014-07-21 11:36

thanatos_incarnate wrote:The Australis tabs look awful to me, I really hope there will be plug ins to change that soon.
This one:
https://addons.mozilla.org/nl/firefox/addon/mx4/
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby mardybear » 2014-07-22 04:01

Thanks again all for your feedback. Definitely still sticking with Iceweasel. IMO nothing seems to even come close.

The goto add-on most Australis theme haters seem to be using is called Classic Theme Restorer:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/

Still don't think long time users should need to install add-ons to run Iceweasel old school. Classic Theme Restorer notes also indicate:
It is recommended to switch to a new clean profile (or at least delete 'localstore.rdf' from profile folder) to avoid UI issues after upgrading from Firefox 28 (and older) to Firefox 29 (and newer).
>> Profile Switcher <<
Note: Hitting "Restore Defaults" in customizing mode (Firefox 29+) is (almost) equal to deleting 'localstore.rdf' and much easier to perform.

...always a hitch :(
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby thanatos_incarnate » 2014-07-22 12:22

Thanks a lot for the tips! The mx4 tabs look much better. :)
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Re: alternative web browsers reflection...

Postby mardybear » 2014-07-23 01:07

Just updated to the new release Firefox 31 today.

Mostly minor changes from version 30 but came across this on:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.tabs.closeButtons

Browser.tabs.closeButtons
Obsolete
This preference will be removed in Firefox 31. An Add-on restoring its functionality is Classic Theme Restorer. An add-on restoring the behavior of value=2 only is No Close Buttons.

What gives? Why keep removing features and options. Now Mozilla is even directing users to specific add-ons to restore lost features...makes no sense to me whatsoever :(
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