Waterfox Browser

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by RJM62, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've been using this for a couple of weeks, and it looks promising:

    https://www.waterfoxproject.org/en-US/

    It started as a fork of Firefox 38, but is no longer associated with Mozilla. It focuses on privacy and removes the data-gathering, profiling, and telemetry functions of Firefox, among other capabilities I can live without (for example, Adobe DRM). It also supports the old XUL and XPCOM add-ons that FF no longer supports and allows installation of unsigned add-ons, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on the user's degree of savvy.

    One of the nice things about Waterfox is that because it disables the spyware that Mozilla has baked into recent Firefox versions, it's very fast and responsive. It also doesn't suffer from the slow JavaScript processing that is the one problem I hate about Pale Moon. Using Pale Moon, I frequently have to reload pages that use JavaScript menus in order for them to render properly. I don't have that problem with Waterfox.

    If you're looking for a browser, it's worth checking out.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  2. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Been using Waterfox for a year or so. Don't really have any complaints.

    I did upgrade my Firefox a few weeks ago and found that it disabled almost all of my addons. Not too thrilled about that. If I want to be nannied, I'll get Internet Explorer, or whatever they're calling it now. Fortunately, I don't really use Firefox for much anymore.
     
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  3. Jim Rosenow

    Jim Rosenow Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    The Firefox that came with Linux Mint 18 (57 maybe?) disabled all my add-ons also. Moved to Mint from Ubuntu cause I didn't like the new LTS desktop. I downloaded the latest Firefox (62 maybe?) from the Mozilla site, and the add-ons are back.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Waterfox, Rich....downloaded and ready to install.

    Jim
     
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  4. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was an early adopter and long-time $upporter of Firefox, but in recent years I think it's gone downhill in a big way. The spyware and telemetry bother me the most (although in fairness, most or all of it can be turned off). It also consumes a ridiculous amount of resources for a Web browser, in my opinion. The fact that most of the add-ons I used got disabled also annoyed me. And don't even get me started about how horribly buggy Firefox Sync is.

    Pale Moon is a worthy project and is still my default browser, but it does suffer from that slow JavaScript processing. I personally dislike using JavaScript because I've seen what sick computers can do to it. I use it only when I can't come up with some other way to do what I'm trying to do. But it is ubiquitous enough that a browser should be able to handle it seamlessly.

    Right now, I really can't find anything to complain about with Waterfox. I may make it my default browser soon.

    Rich
     
  5. upstateny

    upstateny Line Up and Wait

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    I've been using Firefox for a while, but found that my disk usage soars when it's opened. (85-95%) Tried Waterfox to see if it would be any better, but got the same results. What setting am I missing to limit the amount of temp files that get stored?

    Thanks
     
  6. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Cached Web Content

    Rich
     
  7. upstateny

    upstateny Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks
     
  8. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    Tried it on my desk top and like it, tried it on my ipad and it was a disaster. I will stick to chrome on the ipad.
     
  9. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's surprising. I installed the Android version and it seems okay so far. It's also one of the few Android apps that has a full five stars at the Play Store with a decent number of ratings. Then again, most third-party Android browsers are such crap that all a browser has to be is stable to get good ratings.

    Rich
     
  10. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I started using Palemoon, probably because you recommended it, but I too am bothered by its nagging, so maybe I'll try Waterfox now too. Agree about JavaScript, I disable it almost universally and use it only when I must, but that seems pretty often.

    For my iPad I just use the default Safari and never do banking or anything sensitive on the iPad, but I am very unhappy with the tracking. I googled one topic one day out of curiosity unrelated to my own life, read one web page on the subject, and now I'm getting YouTube embedded ads for the merchant that runs that webpage non-stop, for weeks.

    Well don't get me started on YouTube in general. If you want to watch something without ads, now you need to subscribe. Look, I understand I'm getting content for "free" and the ads are the price you pay. I would have no problem subscribing if I felt there were competitive alternatives and I was choosing my preferred one. But there doesn't seem to be an alternative, YouTube is where everybody puts their stuff. It feels like a monopoly and I resent that.

    Same with Microsnot and Apple too for that matter, I don't even feel like they are in competition with each other; one's as bad as the other, and there's no real third choice.
     
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  11. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    signed in to say thanks, Rich. im liking it so far
     
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  12. Jim Rosenow

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    ^^ What he said....me too! Thanks!

    Jim
     
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  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The only problem I have with Palemoon is that I very often have to reload pages to get the menus to render if the pages use JacaScript menus, which most do these days. It's possible to build responsive menus using only CSS, which is my personal preference; but I guess actually writing code is too much like work for most people nowadays.

    Waterfox seems fine so far. Whatever it's missing, I haven't missed.

    Rich
     
  14. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Better than google chrome? I know nothing about this stuff
     
  15. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't have much basis for comparison. I only use Google Chrome on Google-owned sites, just like I only use Gmail to communicate with Google. I figure if they want to scan mail to which they're a party, or track me while I'm on their own sites, more power to them.

    Rich
     
  16. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    You mean things like having to enable JavaScript to complete a purchase or otherwise interact with a - for lack of a better word - "subroutine" on a page? You mean they could be doing that with CSS but JavaScript is the lazy way out?

    Apologies, I know nothing of programming since my college Fortran days...
     
  17. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm talking specifically about navigation menus. Most responsive sites use JavaScript menus even though they can be written using just relatively simple CSS.

    The other functions you mentioned can also be completed without JS, but in those cases it usually does add some useful functionality that wouldn't be possible without it (for example, live-updating shipping costs or order totals when you add items to or delete items from a shopping cart). It's also useful for some other purposes in those sorts of situations.

    I don't care much for JS in general because I've seen what sick computers can do to it when I was still doing computer repairs and malware removal. But there are times when it makes sense. I just don't think that navigation menus are one of those times. If nothing else, you want the menus to work right.

    I don't think people use JS menus because they're lazy. JS is actually harder to master and use than CSS is, in my opinion. Rather, I think three things are going on:

    Firstly, many "developers" literally don't know how to code at all. They use frameworks into which they paste content and insert widgets. Asking these folks to pore over a stylesheet to make it respond to viewport size would be like asking a dog to expound on Hamlet's Soliloquy. They don't know what a stylesheet is, much less how to build one.

    Secondly, the "@media" attributes in CSS that enable responsive menus to be created without JS are a relatively recent innovation in terms of browser support, especially in IE, which didn't support them until IE9. Sites built before IE < 9 became a rarity couldn't rely on using @media.

    What @media allows the developer to do with regard to navigation menus is set up an additional set of declarations that only come into play when the viewport is wider or narrower than a certain size (among other possibilities). You only have to re-declare those attributes that change when the viewport size changes. If you're using the same backgrounds, fonts, and so forth, those attributes will control the site's rendering regardless of the viewport size. Only re-declared attributes will change.
    Thirdly, a lot of people just use code that others have shared, or outright steal code that other people haven't shared. Because both CSS and JS run on the browser, they're easy to steal. Depending on who wrote the code, when, and their personal preferences, it may use JS, jQuery, or pure CSS. But most of the stuff out there uses JS or jQuery.​

    JS also allows some fancier effects that there's really no other way to accomplish, and I have no problem with that on most of a site as long as it degrades gracefully (meaning that if it doesn't work, it doesn't do ugly things). I don't even have a problem with it on navigation menus if the menus will still work without the effects. But many menus don't work at all without JS, and it is on those sites that Palemoon often has problems.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  18. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I've been using Waterfox for quite a while now, but I think I'm switching back to Chrome. I've run into a few sites -- most notably chase.com -- that simply refuse to work at all with Waterfox. I've also fond some that don't work right, but work fine in Chrome. As much as I hate to switch back the Chrome and fight to try and keep at least some of my data private (good luck with that), Waterfox just isn't working well enough, enough of the time now.
     
  19. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Have you tried chromium?
     
  20. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Can't speak about the other sites, but I had the same problem with Chase. I installed the following add-on and fooled their website into thinking I was using a different browser...

    https://gitlab.com/ntninja/user-agent-switcher
     
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  21. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've encountered the occasional site that complains about Waterfox, but none to the point of refusing to allow access with it. They just pop up a warning and a button that basically says "proceed at your own risk." The agent switcher that Andy linked to should solve the problem if I ever come across the site that vomits with gusto at Waterfox.

    Rich
     
  22. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Seamonkey and Iceweasel/IceApe here. Don't really use them much more since I am boycotting Mozilla.. Opera seems to be much better nowadays, too.
     
  23. Jim Rosenow

    Jim Rosenow Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Been using Waterfox on Linux since last June with no 'site' issues..... Did I mention 'on Linux'? :=)

    Jim
     
  24. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No Waterfox issues on any websites I use. Sounds like a reason to dump Chase.
     
  25. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Yes, it would make complete sense to drop a company with whom we have had a relationship for nearly two decades because they don't support an obscure browser to which I have no particular attachment.

    :rolleyes:
     
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  26. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    All I have with Chase is a credit card. I was thinking of doing exactly that until I found the work around.

    It's a company with a poor IT department that forces you to use a particular browser. Makes me wonder where else they're being lazy.

    The only other organization I can think of that has that issue is the Federal Government.
     
  27. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    A bit more recent than that, but I hear you. This has been a great thread, but most of it has gone over my head. And I retired after 20 years with Intel. I guess I'm more of a hardware type (electromagnetic compatibility). FORTRAN dates back to high school, college and aerospace days. We programmed the lab in HP BASIC back in the 1980s and early 1990s. HP calling that language BASIC was insulting their tool. Yes, you could run BASIC commands, but it went so far beyond that. IF/THEN/ELSE was supported. True independent variables in subroutines (like FORTRAN). I don't recall what the limit was in the number of characters allowed in variable names, so they could be truly descriptive. Self-documenting code wasn't hard to write at all. Couple that with instruments that had understandable commands and life was good.
     
  28. EdFred

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    Does the credit card company feel the same way about your relationship? :D
     
  29. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Beats me. I dumped Chase Bank over 15 years ago when they didn't do right by me. They're still in business, so I guess I didn't hurt them too much. :D
     
  30. Palmpilot

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    So after three months, are you still having good luck with Waterfox?
     
  31. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No problems to speak of lately, including no recent "unsupported browser" errors on financial sites. I've had a few that ran quick encryption tests before letting me log in, but none that refused access.

    Rich
     
  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thanks!
     
  33. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My pleasure. And by the way, I'm now using Waterfox as my default browser.

    Rich
     
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  34. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    As am I now. I'm surprised how fast it is compared to chrome. Mac Mojave
     
  35. EdFred

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    Been using Waterfox for a while now and ran into one issue. Which is also an issue with Firefox, but not Edge or Chrome. I have a couple panoramic photos on a website, about 45MB in size, and 12-16,000 pixels wide. Neither WF nor FF will display the photos. Chrome and Edge do. Tried adjusting image cache size in about:config to no avail.
     
  36. RJM62

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    I haven't noticed that. But then again, if they're not rendering, I suppose I wouldn't notice unless I knew they were supposed to be there.

    Rich
     
  37. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It displays the broken image....uh....image.
     
  38. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What's the file type?
     
  39. EdFred

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    file type is a jpg just like a nearly 600 others on the site. The only difference is while most of them are in the 4-5MB size range and 4000ish x 3000ish the ones that don't show are in the 40-50MB range and 12-16,000 x 2000ish
     
  40. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm holding out for Earthfox or Windfox. ;)
     
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