Future of Firefox Australis and LinuxMint

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Future of Firefox Australis and LinuxMint

Postby DaComboMan on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:26 pm

With Qiana and Firefox Asstralis just around the corner... wonder if LinuxMint will keep up its relationship with a browser by a company (Mozilla) that seems to completely ignore its fans? Opera has gone to the dawgs with its Chrome engine and now Firefox (ugh!). :roll:

Did notice Manjaro XFCE 8.9.1 with Midori in its package now instead of the 'usual' Firefox.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:19 am

A little off topic, but SolydXK is going to put the Firefox ESR version in it's repository on it's next Update. This is the one I'll be using for my backup browser in SolydX.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Previous1 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:32 am

A little off topic, but SolydXK is going to put the Firefox ESR version in it's repository on it's next Update.

Every Debian release but Squeeze has 24 ESR now. If you use LMDE easy to switch to Iceweasel.

When is Australis planned anyway? 28 doesn't have it yet.

Opera has gone to the dawgs with its Chrome engine and now Firefox (ugh!).

I got Chromium 33 in today. What did they do to my new tab page. :evil: Damn programmers, always one step forward and two back. :lol:
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Monsta on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:41 am

Previous1 wrote:When is Australis planned anyway? 28 doesn't have it yet.

In 29, according to Phoronix.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:50 am

Well, if some people (and I'm one of them) prefer the old Firefox look of squared tabs, the add-on bar (which will be removed in version 29) the old download window, hide the tab bar with one tab open, etc, etc; they can have it with a new linux browser called Pale Moon and these things don't need an add-on to replace what the FF developers have taken out of FF. They're in there by default. It made it's public release in January about 7 weeks ago. I use linux Pale Moon. The same add-ons which work in Firefox work in Pale Moon too. And you should also be able to view a YouTube video and hear the audio without doing anything extra since I can.

Pale Moon used to be for Windows only, but with the advent of Mozilla going with the the Australis UI change and making it very similar in look and feel to Chrome, some of us on the Pale Moon forum asked the developer of Pale Moon if he would make a linux version of Pale Moon since the Windows only developer of Pale Moon said he will not go with the Australis UI change. He said he didn't have the time since Windows only Pale Moon "fills enough of his plate".

However, he said if any user on the forum wanted to try and make a linux version of Pale Moon, he would help them do so. Someone took him up on his offer starting in August of 2013. If anyone would like to try linux Pale Moon which looks like the old Firefox, it can be downloaded at SourceForge. BTW, both the developers of Windows only Pale Moon and linux Pale Moon said they will NOT switch to the Australis UI change which Mozilla is going with for Firefox.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pm4linux/files/24.4.0/

Very important. Once on the page, look for and left click on the blue colored word "Home" and it will take you to another page where the newest tarball version is (24.4.1). Left click on newest version and it will take you to another page where you pick version 24.4.1 in either 32 or 64 bit. You can try it out "without" installing it since it has the executable file in it.

Download the tarball, extract the palemoon folder from the tarball to where you want it, then left click on the palemoon folder, scroll on down to the subfolder named "palemoon", right click on it and when the box pops open, left click on "execute" and it will run. If you backup your Firefox bookmarks, you can restore them and drop them onto the Pale Moon Bookmarks Toolbar. If you like it, then you can install it by making a menu entry and a launcher for it. If you don't like it, then just delete the main palemoon folder which was extracted from the tarball and everything is gone.

I use the linux Pale Moon browser in both Mint 16 (XFCE) and SolydX. It gives me the old Firefox look and brings back what Mozilla has taken out of Firefox. I've been using Windows only Pale Moon in Windows 7 since version (4.0). In Windows and now in linux, Pale Moon is my default browser.

One last note. Firefox and Pale Moon "do not share the same profile" so you can run both browsers at the same time without any problems so you can compare them against each other.
Last edited by Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:47 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby DaComboMan on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:04 am

Excellent write up Night Wing! :wink:
Do hope more devs will take the plunge to help Palemoon good alternative to Fx 29+ on Linux and Windows.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this an implicit move by Mozilla to knock off 'complete themes' too?
Don't know about persona theme devs, but the addon devs that do specialized work like the 'complete themes' are going to have a nightmare for sure! :(
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:23 am

I don't know about full themes since I don't use them. I use the old Persona themes which I think Mozilla now calls "light weight themes". The Persona I use to skin both of my Pale Moon (default) and Firefox (backup) browsers in both Windows and linux and which looks good with my Nvidia graphics card is a solid colored persona named "Hydriel". Easy on my old eyes with it's black text. I don't know how well it looks with an Intel graphics card though.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... el/?src=ss

Once on the page, take your cursor and drop it into the blue color and watch how the color of your browser changes.
Last edited by Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Previous1 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:47 am

As I see it Palemoon is

Firefox 24 ESR
+SSE2 compiler flags
+status4evar, about:config tweaks and a settings manager
-some "unneeded" code/features

For that you get
*No noticeable performance benefits - benchmarks are just an "indication" - in real world (HTML5/Javascript) scenarios FF 28 is probably faster
*Lose support for Athlon XP processors
*No debian or ubuntu-specific patching
*Reliance on a third party for a critical part of your system (the browser)

I don't want to start an attack on this project, especially as I've used it under XP before I switched to SeaMonkey. Just weighing in the benefits and curious on your opinion.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:17 am

I used SeaMonkey in both XP and Windows 7. In fact, when SeaMonkey went with their new Data Manager in version 2.1, I didn't like the change at all so I reverted back and still have as one of my four browsers, SeaMonkey version (2.0.14) which has the old Data Manager I prefer. I basically use this old SeaMonkey browser for the email client in it when I'm using Windows 7.

Now, the Windows only developer of Pale Moon has said he won't be supporting XP any longer because the operating system is very old and it causes him a lot of work to maintain Windows only Pale Moon for XP. He has said he really likes Windows 7 and will support Windows only Pale Moon until the year 2020.

The author of Windows only Pale Moon developed it in 2009 and it was released to the general computing public in 2009 so it isn't a new browser. He has "testers" for it too. If something were to happen to him, one of his testers would take it over. He also said if Australis is in Firefox 31.0 ESR, he will fork Pale Moon from Firefox.

In closing, if people like Firefox, but don't care for Australis and all the collateral damage it will cause and have to use add-ons to get back what they've lost (and there is no guarantee add-on developers will develope better add-ons for Australis and/or maintain present ones), then use Firefox. One note, NoSquint is my number one add-on and its maximum version number for Firefox is 27.0 if you want to look it up.

Or try Pale Moon to keep the old Firefox look without using lots of add-ons and keeping some of the things people like with Firefox and which Mozilla has now removed in Firefox. At least with Pale Moon for both Windows and linux, you've got a choice.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Previous1 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:46 am

He also said if Australis is in Firefox 31.0 ESR, he will fork Pale Moon from Firefox.


Well.. let's hope Mozilla won't give extension developers such a hard time.

Or try Pale Moon to keep the old Firefox look without using lots of add-ons and keeping some of the things people like with Firefox and which Mozilla has now removed in Firefox.


As things stand there's lots of work to make installing PM on Linux easier than adding a few addons. But I assume a PPA or such is on the way.

What strikes me as odd is that in some regards PM follows the GNOME Way just like Mozilla. They also removed the option to disable javascript/images - a decision that made about as much sense as Nautilus removing the split pane in 3.6.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:08 am

I'm not a power user so you're talking way above my head when it comes to GNOME. I'm a non-technical user which means when it comes to a browser, power users make not like Australis and they can go into files and change coding to their liking. I don't have that knowledge.

Starting with Firefox 3.0, it was my default browser in both Windows 7. Pale Moon 4.0 (when I found it for Windows) was my backup browser. But starting with version 12.0 of Firefox, I didn't like the direction Mozilla was going with Firefox since everything, non security wise, they were doing in Firefox seemed to me was to make way for the Australis UI.

This is when Pale Moon version 12.0 became my default browser in Windows 7 and Firefox version 12.0 became my backup browser. When I found Mint and SolydX, I used Firefox since there was no linux Pale Moon. Basically, I'm not married to any browser. I use what I like and if enough changes take place which I don't like, I change browsers. I use the same approach for operating systems too.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby fraxinus_63 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:57 am

I am watching this with concern.

I love Firefox - because of the whole add-on ecosystem (I build websites and several of them are indispensable to me), and because it is not Chrome. The last things that I want are for add-ons to break and for it to end up looking more like Chrome/Opera! Let's see what happens.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:21 am

@fraxinus_63

My next door neighbor owns a computer shop. He loaded up an old laptop with Mint 16 (XFCE) on it. Firefox is the default browser in this operating system. If you looks at page 5 on the Firefox Compatibility Report, you will see NoSquint's maximum version number is 27.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... all&page=5

My neighbor installed NoSquint in version 28 of Firefox and it still works, but he said he wouldn't trust NoSquint to work in version 29 of Firefox which will contain the new Australis UI. I then installed NoSquint for Firefox 28 in Mint 16 and I can confirm it still works. If it didn't work, I would not have kept version 28 of Firefox and reverted back to version 27 with a new profile.

Since Firefox is my backup browser in both Mint 16 and SolydX, I won't be needing the security updates for Firefox anymore since linux Pale Moon is my default browser in both operating systems. With that said, I plan on ignoring the update to version 29 of Firefox and just stay on Firefox 28 and only use it if there is a temporary glitch with Pale Moon.

I value the small amount of add-ons I have installed and which presently work with Firefox 28 and I want to keep it that way for my backup browser. I don't want to load up on add-ons to revert some of the changes I don't like with Australis in version 29 of Firefox and which may break other things in the browser or become unsupported in later versions leaving me stuck with Australis.

I eventually think many add-on developers are going to suffer "burn out" keeping up with Firefox's 6 week rapid release schedule and they won't be upgrading/maintaining their add-ons for Firefox which seems to have happened with the NoSquint developer.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby DaComboMan on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:58 am

Not good news.

Once upon a time... when Opera was supported by ads... i sent the moneys to not only get rid of the ads but to support the browser.
Now look where it's gone...

Why is it so hard to make a browser users our proud and happy to use?
Firefox was our last hope... the most configurable browser on the market is sadly and slowly dying... :cry:
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby RacerBG on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:34 pm

The interface doesn't matter for me if the browser is still the same. The transition to MF 4.0 was the same - tabs on the top, little orange button on the top left and many other things that were unusual back then. But thanksfully Firefox is still Firefox - I can live with the new UI if the browser keeps it's spirit. :)
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby DaComboMan on Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:31 pm

Although its not the end of the world... the addon toolbar is going away.
And, as previously mentioned, NoSquint (popular extension) will not be supported and how many more?
Devs like the one for Classic Compact says he'll have to do a complete re-write on this nice theme.
But how many devs are just going to give up instead of making that extra effort? :oops:

I read on a Mozilla post that Australis is supposed to be much faster!
Do you believe that?
Faster at what?
Kicking out the devs and frustrated Firefox fans maybe...

Palemoon is going to be my temporary workaround.

Maybe is Firefox usage goes down after 29 they'll get the message.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Flemur on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:00 pm

Isn't "Asstralis" supposed to be "Asstrails"?

I tried an FF 30 beta and it wasn't terrible, but the curved tab labels were irritating (IIRC they changed size) and a waste of space for labels if you tend to open lotsa tabs.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Previous1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:04 am

For kicks, I've upgraded from 28 to 29. Essentially Australis is Unity for Firefox ...

... there's things to like, but it fights the user changing it.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Fir ... -on_compat

Personally I use a small (15") LCD, so with the status/add-on bar and small icons gone (besides more icons), I had trouble. Also, you're forced to use the IE-style reload button.

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/classicthemerestorer/
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby Night Wing on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:14 am

DaComboMan wrote:I read on a Mozilla post that Australis is supposed to be much faster!
Do you believe that?
Faster at what?


I don't believe one word of any corporate spin, also known as BS, Mozilla has been spitting out and haven't for a long time now.

The latest corporate spin from Mozilla is their "sponsored content" in the Directory Tiles in the new tab, which is going to be implemented in a future version in Australis, aren't ads. Sponsored content are ads and even the blind can see that.
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Re: Future of Firefox Asstralis and LinuxMint

Postby InkKnife on Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:33 pm

I guess I will wait and see but Australis sure looks like another example of stripping functionality out just like Chrome with it's juvenile and so simple it is complicated as hell UI. Firefox was the last grown-up browser left.
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