Thoughts on current available browsers? Both for Trisquel, and for android/replicant

21 respuestas [Último envío]
GrevenGull
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/18/2017

Anybody got any profound thoughts or recommendations on the browser front?
I've been trying to follow the threads on browsers to the best of my ability, but there hasn't been anyone lately, so I figured I could initiate a thread myself.
What I gathered from past posts is that the general popular web is unfortunately (?) being developed for Chrome and extensive use of javascript.
There has also been issued concerns regarding Mozilla's "path" the recent years.
I personally know nothing about the technicalities of the situation.
Like for example I have no idea how serious this is for the future of for example Tor Browser (which to me seems to be the most "important" browser freedomwise).

When I browse the internet, there are certain activities that I like to do "un-tor'd".
I do use Android, and I browse the F-Droid from time to time. I haven't tried every browser out there, but I have tried monocles, FOSS browser and Privacy Browser.
These browsers have different aspects/features. Like Monocles seem very fast to me. And privacy browser seem to have a lot of options for increasing privacy.

Monocles also seem to have their own independent search engine, does anyone know anything about this?:)

And also what do ppl feel about Brave search?:)

I have a lot of questions, but no answers =D

Cheers fellow freedomfans

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Abrowser by the Trisquel project is the best browser for Trisquel by far. It's basically Icecat, but kept constantly updated against the latest Firefox version, and is open to your choice of extensions. If you need a chromium-based browser, ungoogled-chromium is the most libre one that I know of. Seems to work well.

From Fdroid, I use the "Mull" browser - it's Firefox (or "Fennec" or whatever Firefox is called on mobile) with some added privacy settings from the Arkenfox project. Works great. Similar default privacy settings to Abrowser. I've heard that there are other good mobile browsers but I haven't tried any others for a bit over a year and don't know their names to recommend them to you.

As far as search, SearX seems the most libre and gives you the most options. I've tried Brave search but the few times I tried it I did not get good search results for some reason. It's probably being upgraded constantly, so I would assume it will end up being good. I don't know whether or not it uses libre software.

Sasaki
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/11/2014

There has also been issued concerns regarding Mozilla's "path" the recent years.
I personally know nothing about the technicalities of the situation.

The latest thing I heard about is that Mozilla will implement manifest v3 in firefox, following chrome's update for cross-browser compatibility reasons. This could -as far as I understand- prevent a bunch of addons like ublock or ad nauseam to work properly. Firefox will still offer the ability to users to use manifest v2.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/12/chrome-users-beware-manifest-v3-deceitful-and-threatening

PublicLewdness
Desconectado/a
se unió: 03/15/2020

I have really grown to love Abrowser to the point that if there was ever any one thing keeping me on Trisquel it would be Abrowser. It is basically very much how I would configure Firefox except all of the work done for me already. I add in uBlock Orign; Privacy Badger; LibRedirect as well as sometimes Jshelter and LibreJS except that those last two prevent certain sites I need from working so I don't always use them. I use SearX for searching. As for mobile browsers I can get by with Fennec when I used to be on Android based systems but I can't say I have found a mobile browser that I like very much. I actually like that in distros for the Pinephone they use the desktop version of browsers.

Sasaki
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/11/2014

I see this manual page is quite outdated

https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/tweak-your-browser-enhance-security-and-privacy

It could be a good move to update it with new plugin recommendations, like lib redirect wich didn't exist back in time, some more about:config tweaks, and recent informations about privacy good practices. Maybe doing this would involve opening a discussion thread about which plugins to recommend though.

Urbancowboy
Desconectado/a
se unió: 10/14/2022

I been using privacy browser on Replicant OS. It works great so far. I tried Mull and Fennec, it won't load anything. I use Mull and IceRaven with my old Moto running Divest OS. Those are the best in my opinion.

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

I have read that privacy browser is actually using the web engine from android. In the case of replicant, this is a pretty old version so it would be good to entirely disable javascript, unless to access your own web servers.

I use icecat available from F-Droid archive, but it is also very old, so I only use it to acces my own web servers and a page for weather forecast that works with javascript disabled.

twotouchkick
Desconectado/a
se unió: 11/03/2022

Hey aren’t you the jackass that commented this:
> how kids used to play acoustic guitars
instead of candy crush

“This is a grotesque generalization without roots in reality.

Yes more kids are playing candy crush today compared to whatever time period you refer to, most likely because whatever time period you're referring to didn't contain Candy Crash or Smartphones. That's like saying "ahh there's so many more people today flying airplanes than in 1721, I wonder why...".

And there are plenty of kids today that plays acoustic guitars.

Feel free to be nostalgic about the past and whine about "what's wrong with the world" (even though I think the majority of the world's population would agree the world is becoming a gradually better place to live, all of this is subjective of course.
But I just got "an urge" to point out that "what's wrong with world" maybe has something to do with you and your perspective about things plus maybe you're getting older and getting depressed about that, and then you're projecting the problem which is in yourself up upon "the world".

It’s amazing how butthurt you got at the other guys response, even though what he said was completely true (that’s obviously why it stuck a nerve, because it attacked your insecure beliefs).

twotouchkick
Desconectado/a
se unió: 11/03/2022

“And there are plenty of kids today that plays acoustic guitars” Thanks Captain Obvious, but that wasn’t the point. The point is that there are so many more losers in the world today compared to back then because they spend their time doing lower-level activities such as viewing cringe shit on TiKTok and playing brain dead games like Candy Crush. Duh, of course there are still “plenty of kids today that plays acoustic guitars” but there are also plenty that don’t.

But the problem isn’t specific to playing acoustic guitars, you could replace that with any activity that’s actually useful and productive. It’s all about useful vs useless.

“even though I think the majority of the world’s population would agree the world is becoming a gradually better place to live, all of this is subjective of course.)”. No they wouldn’t, and also, this is exactly what is wrong with this world. This loser viewpoint of thinking that everything is “subjective” has given idiots a safe bubble of bullshit to e.g. have shit taste (*cough *cough Justin Bieber!), do shit activities (e.g. playing Goat Simulator. Gamers are so dumb and stupid that they actually made a freaking Goat Simulator popular enough to have not just 1 but 2 sequels! That right there says everything.) etc.

Fact is that everything is actually objective, the only thing I can think of that isn’t is preference in food, and even then within the same dish, there’s still objectivity (that’s why judging competitions exist of course).

strypey
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/14/2015

I don't think any of the major browser vendors can be fully trusted to respect user interests, because they all get their revenue from datafarming the people using their platforms. This includes Mozilla, who get the majority of their dev funding from datafarming search companies like Goggle and Boohoo. Also, the governing bodies of the Mozilla project have been slowly stacked with corporate carpetbaggers, who are happy to engage in ruinous compromises in pursuit of financial goals. You can see the corrupting effects of this in a wide range of Mozilla decisions that impact negatively on users;

* adding proprietary EME module made by Adobe to Firefox

* the Pocket acquisition

* the Sync function that makes stores people's complete browsing history etc on servers controlled by Mozilla

... and many more. It also seems to be having a corrosive effect on the quality of some of the code being shipped in Mozilla projects, leading to problems like the persistent freeze-ups we're experiencing in downstream projects like Abrowser: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/abrowser-freezing-randomly

So what's to be done? There are basically three options; fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency (just kidding, Monty Python joke ;)

But seriously...

One, a robust evaluation of all the minor browser vendors. Is there one with sufficient commitment to user freedom that we could all rally behind? One problem here is that many of the lesser known browsers are rebranded versions of the free code bits of a major browser, which totally depend on the upstream browser vendor for the ongoing maintenance of most of their code. Some of these are even proprietary, despite being parasitic on free code (eg Opera).

Two, a coordinated campaign to roll the carpetbaggers out of Mozilla governance and replace them with people committed to user freedom. This will be a hard slog, and potentially open up anyone involved to a campaign of ritual defamation, like the one that targeted RMS. It may be more trouble than it's worth.

Three, start a new browser project. This could begin as a fork of an existing browser, but would aim to become totally independent of the upstream. Realistically this would be a big project. It would need to find sustainable sources of revenue to pay fulltime developers. To do that, it would need to be under the umbrella of a legal entity with solid governance and a fanatical devotion to the principles of user freedom. Is this something the FSF has the capacity to do?

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

* the Sync function that makes stores people's complete browsing history etc on servers controlled by Mozilla

By design, Mozilla cannot read any of those data (unlike Google with Chrome's equivalent feature): https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/11/firefox-sync-privacy/

It also seems to be having a corrosive effect on the quality of some of the code being shipped in Mozilla projects, leading to problems like the persistent freeze-ups we're experiencing in downstream projects like Abrowser: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/abrowser-freezing-randomly

Not "we", but "IBM1130 and you". And, in both cases, it is not clear at all that the problem actually deals with Abrowser. We will probably never know: you apparently refuse to test your RAM, an alternative possible reason for the problem you face (there are more: a bad combination of extensions, a bad configuration, etc.).

Abrowser proposes DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, disables EME, Pocket, telemetry, etc.

strypey
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/14/2015

Hi Magic Banana. I'm not really clear on the purpose of this reply in the context of the discussion. You seem to be trying to correct me on points I didn't actually make, all of which are tangential to the main point of my message, even had I made them.

> Mozilla cannot read any of those data

Please quote the part of my post where I claimed it can.

Does Mozilla supply the source code for the Sync server under a free license, so that it can be self-hosted? If I activate the Sync function in vanilla Firefox, does it give me the choice to use a server I host or one hosted by someone I know and trust? If not, then it is what F-Droid would describe as an "anti-feature". Bundling a "nonfree network service" into an "open source" browser is a ruinous compromise, like the bundling of Ubuntu One in Ubuntu and other ruinous compromises which were among the things that drove me away from Ubuntu and towards using Trisquel. It's hardly a one-off for Mozilla either. There were two more examples of Mozilla doing this in my message (Pocket, nonfree services as default search engines) and I'm happy to supply more if you don't think those are enough to support the point.

> you apparently refuse to test your RAM

Until I saw the reasons you gave for why Abrowser would be uniquely affected by a hardware problem, it seemed more likely to me that the blame for a persistent software problem was being shifted onto my hardware. If I was wrong about this, then it's a poor example of the point I was making. But over the last few years I have seen more and more complaints about the technical quality of recent versions of Firefox. Am I really alone in this?

> Abrowser proposes DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, disables EME, Pocket, telemetry, etc.

These are all good measure. However, they all support the overall point I was making. A user-respecting upstream browser would not require this level of modification for use in Trisquel.

What your reply leaves completely unclear is your view on this point; that relying on Mozilla as an upstream is no more a viable long term solution for maintaining a user-respecting web browser for Trisquel than relying on Chromium. I'm interested in your thoughts on this, if you're willing to share them.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Does Mozilla supply the source code for the Sync server under a free license, so that it can be self-hosted?

Yes, it does: https://mozilla-services.readthedocs.io/en/latest/howtos/run-sync-1.5.html

The code is distributed under the terms of the Mozilla Public License 2.0, which is a free software license: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mozilla-services/syncserver/master/LICENSE

As I already mentioned, whoever runs the sync server cannot read the user data. In the end, it makes little sense to me to mention Firefox Sync to criticize Mozilla. On the other hand, the implementation of EME in Firefox and, to a lesser extent, the integration of Pocket (notice that the integration in the browser is free software) are definitely good reasons to criticize Mozilla.

But over the last few years I have seen more and more complaints about the technical quality of recent versions of Firefox. Am I really alone in this?

Alone, certainly not. A majority, I doubt, but a study would be needed. I actually tend to believe that the performance improvements the Quantum project have brought since 2017 are much praised.

A user-respecting upstream browser would not require this level of modification for use in Trisquel.

The package helper turning Firefox into Abrowser is few hundreds lines of code: https://gitlab.trisquel.org/trisquel/package-helpers/-/raw/nabia/helpers/make-firefox

Simple code. For instance EME is disabled by adding the option --disable-eme to a single configuration file.

In contrast, developing a Web browser from scratch would be extremely hard nowadays. For a descent result, I would say it probably takes hundreds of thousands of lines of code, years of effort for a skilled and reasonably-sized team (say, 10 developers) working full-time.

What your reply leaves completely unclear is your view on this point; that relying on Mozilla as an upstream is no more a viable long term solution for maintaining a user-respecting web browser for Trisquel than relying on Chromium.

Firefox' problems are easy to fix, unlike Google's chromium, because Google does not care about the freedoms of its "useds". As far as I understand, ungoogled-chromium is best to remove from Chromium its many dependencies to Google's services, its blobs, and its anti-privacy features. It apparently takes thousands of lines of Python to do so: https://github.com/ungoogled-software/ungoogled-chromium (in devutils and in utils). That does not include the removal of the synchronization feature, which is a true privacy nightmare. It is not removed... because it is now absent from Chromium: https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2021/01/chromium-sync-google-api-removed

Google indeed wants people to use Chrome, not Chromium's derivatives. It wants to harvest personal data. It is its whole business model. Building on top of Chromium means fighting against Google, which does not want derivatives, just developers working at no cost. It is the same story as with Android: Google has gradually moved its developments from the so-called "open-source project" to proprietary software: Chrome itself, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Photos, etc.

In contrast, the Mozilla manifesto still guides the Mozilla Foundation: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/manifesto/details/

Mozilla remains sympathetic to the free-software movement. In particular, it includes no blob and does not fight against derivatives. Mozilla still values privacy. The design of Firefox Sync is an example of that.

If Mozilla goes wrong, the solution will be to fork Firefox. Probably with the help of many of its developers, as happened with OpenOffice. Starting from scratch a Web browser is just too much work.

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

>https://mozilla-services.readthedocs.io/en/latest/howtos/run-sync-1.5.html

There seems to be two separate components:
- the sync server
- the Firefox accounts server

The documentation says:

>You can safely use the Mozilla-hosted Firefox Accounts server in combination with a self-hosted sync storage server. [...].
>Alternatively, you can also Run your own Firefox Accounts Server to control all aspects of the system. The process for doing so is currently very experimental and not well documented.

So it looks difficult to have a fully self-hosted solution.

However, it may be possible to use any general file synchronization tool (syncthing, seafile, nextcloud, whatever) to replicate the ~/.mozilla folder accross several computers and remember to close abrowser on one computer before using it on another one.

I don't know whether anyone tried.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

>"By design, Mozilla cannot read any of those data (unlike Google with Chrome's equivalent feature): https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/11/firefox-sync-privacy/"

Not sure what you are arguing here, but handing all your browsing data over to untrusted 3rd parties for "safe keeping" is nearly always a horrible idea that frequently ends up in catastrophe when those systems get hacked and breached.

>"Not "we", but "IBM1130 and you"."

Mozilla literally just released 3 or 4 point releases to fix freeze ups and breakage on various systems. I wasn't even part of that thread you are referring to, but I know about them scrambling to fix all the recent screw-ups.

Please, troll better MB. Prospero and I have set a high standard around here. We don't need you ruining our trolling reputation.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Not sure what you are arguing here, but handing all your browsing data over to untrusted 3rd parties for "safe keeping" is nearly always a horrible idea that frequently ends up in catastrophe when those systems get hacked and breached.

If the data is locally encrypted with a strong-enough cypher, it is not horrible. There is a risk though. If you do not want to take it, you can setup your own sync server: https://mozilla-services.readthedocs.io/en/latest/howtos/run-sync-1.5.html

Or simply not use Firefox Sync. It is not like you are forced to use Firefox Sync or even to have a Firefox account.

Mozilla literally just released 3 or 4 point releases to fix freeze ups and breakage on various systems.

Could you give links? The descriptions of those issues may actually match strypey's.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

October 20th - Firefox 106.0.1 fixes a crash on certain AMD systems - https://www.ghacks.net/2022/10/20/firefox-106-0-1-fixes-a-crash-on-certain-amd-systems/
October 26th - Firefox 106.0.2 fixes a freeze, opening issue and more - https://www.ghacks.net/2022/10/26/firefox-106-0-2-fixes-a-freeze-opening-issue-and-more/
October 31st - Firefox 106.0.3 fixes a crash and hangs on Windows - https://www.ghacks.net/2022/10/31/firefox-106-0-3-fixes-a-crash-and-hangs-on-windows/
November 3rd - Firefox 106.0.4 fixes browser crashes - https://www.ghacks.net/2022/11/03/firefox-106-0-4-fixes-crashes-in-the-browser/
November 5th - Firefox 106.0.5 fixes a crash on certain Intel systems - https://www.ghacks.net/2022/11/05/firefox-106-0-5-fixes-a-crash-on-certain-intel-systems/

Version 106 was a huge mess.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Thank you. I took a look. As far as I can see, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1793748 is, among those, the only issue creating freezes (actually not really a freeze, as https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1793748#c10 explains, but... billions of iterations of a loop). Since that issue only affected versions 106.0 and 106.0.1, the question for strypey is: "have you gone though freezes since you have started using a more recent version (Trisquel now has version 107)?".

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

I agree with MB that some tend to blame Mozilla a bit too fast for the general brokenness of the web. I have no recollection of Abrowser ever freezing (that does not mean it never did, but so infrequently that I just forgot about it), which means years of smooth browsing since about 2017. I must add I have been accessing much more text or audio content than video.

I have also been doing all my Jitsi Meet activities through Abrowser for a couple of years, after some originally blocking problem was solved. See https://trisquel.info/en/forum/abrowser-and-zoom#comment-152577.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

> To do that, it would need to be under the umbrella of a legal entity with solid governance and a fanatical devotion to the principles of user freedom. Is this something the FSF has the capacity to do?

What do you mean by "user freedom"? The FSF is focused - and busy enough - specifically on software freedom. The other freedoms are to be fought for by the users themselves, they are mostly economic freedom and cannot be solved by an organization that already has its hands full with the League of Ugly Blobs.

You have Links2 if you want to try a viable alternative browser and mull over plans to improve it.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Yes!!! links2 for the win!!!

links2 is your new 2022 World Cup Champion!!!

Urbancowboy
Desconectado/a
se unió: 10/14/2022

For my laptops - Abrowser, Gnu Icecat

Phone / Tablet - Privacy Browser and Mull. I like bromite, but it sometimes misses ads.

Brave had a few controversy's with crypto and some information leaks with Tor. I look at them like another fake privacy service.

Peep this about Brave - https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/brave.html