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Chromium-Based Spinoffs Worth Trying

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the best-of-the-lot dept.

Chrome 185

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp takes an in-depth look at six Chromium-based spinoffs that bring privacy, security, social networking, and other interesting twists to Google's Chrome browser. 'When is it worth ditching Chrome for a Chromium-based remix? Some of the spinoffs are little better than novelties. Some have good ideas implemented in an iffy way. But a few point toward some genuinely new directions for both Chrome and other browsers.'"

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185 comments

F-I-R-S-T (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824991)

The good thing about Chrome is that it doesn't have all that extra crap, unless you choose specific extensions. Browsers with novelties and whimsical features in some poor effort to differentiate themselves are so 2001.

yeah, only a couple gigabytes (1, Interesting)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825037)

of various hodge podge pieces of source code all mashed together in an uncompilable, mountainous sploodge vomit of bizarre perversions of the once innocent C language

Re:F-I-R-S-T (4, Informative)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825447)

Define "extra crap".

Chrome, includes Flash and PDF plugins, no extra functionality, 82M installed.
Mozilla, no Flash, no PDF, no extra functionality, 38M.
Opera, no Flash, no PDF, built-in news reader/mail, URL-based adblocker and a bunch of other stuff commonly installed as extensions on FF/Chrome - fits it all in 35M

Can you spell "b-l-o-a-t"?

How big is SeaMonkey? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825567)

Perhaps the closest comparison to Opera might be SeaMonkey because it has the built-in mail and news client. How big is SeaMonkey installed?

On the other hand, with Google Groups, Facebook, and the like, who uses NNTP for text newsgroups anymore? And with the shutdown of Usenet providers due to rampant copyright infringement in binary groups, who uses binary newsgroups anymore? Facebook and Gmail have even been eating into the SMTP/IMAP market.

Re:How big is SeaMonkey? (2)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825593)

Perhaps the closest comparison to Opera might be SeaMonkey because it has the built-in mail and news client. How big is SeaMonkey installed?

42M. Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't include anything like AdBlock/FlashBlock/NoScript (Opera has URL filter and "load plugins on demand"/"enable Javascript" configurable on site-per-site basis out of the box)

On the other hand, with Google Groups, Facebook, and the like, who uses NNTP for text newsgroups anymore? And with the shutdown of Usenet providers due to rampant copyright infringement in binary groups, who uses binary newsgroups anymore?

Not me, for sure. So much "not me", in fact, that I forgot about NNTP (which Opera handles as well) and referred to RSS reader as "news reader".

Facebook and Gmail have even been eating into the SMTP/IMAP market.

Sure, that's question of preference. Some keep separate program, some are happy with browser tab, I find it convenient to have RSS and mail in browser's sidebar.

Re:F-I-R-S-T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825955)

Hmm. My Opera installation is is 35M (M meaning 2^20 here), but that includes a Flash plugin (8.1M), my list of blocked URL patterns (500K), and the default config files and skins which I could delete (1.5M), so only about 25M. Back in the day I used to delete the mail client as I don't use it, halving the size, but now they have bundled it into the same DLL. There is also a bittorrent client and webserver which can't be deleted.

My FF9 is 47M but that includes 8M Flash and about 4 extensions (I put the flash plugin in both of them as I made my Opera installation portable). The PDF plugin is 101K so it doesn't really matter.

Re:F-I-R-S-T (2)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826161)

Define "extra crap".

Chrome, includes Flash and PDF plugins, no extra functionality, 82M installed. Mozilla, no Flash, no PDF, no extra functionality, 38M. Opera, no Flash, no PDF, built-in news reader/mail, URL-based adblocker and a bunch of other stuff commonly installed as extensions on FF/Chrome - fits it all in 35M

Can you spell "b-l-o-a-t"?

Opera has Unite built in, which includes a web server, file sharing service, chat and other sharing collaboration tools. Opera has always been a excellent browser that is doomed to be forever underrated.

Frankly I'm waiting for a browser with something like Diaspora built in.

Oh boy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824995)

I can't believe it's not a botnet!

Use Firefox or IE9. Microsoft has matured with its browser from the medieval times of IE5.

Avoid Chrome and its forks at all costs.

Thank you

George Takei

sigh (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825071)

Well, this is as good a place to put this as any. Both of you Windows Phone users need to stay away from the Chrome browser for Windows Phone [phonearena.com]. It's a scam.

Re:sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825389)

Oh, MS, you even manage to fuck up building a walled garden.

So, they require $99/year and vet the applications, and still let through stuff like this or this [wpcentral.com].

No wonder WP7 is at stunning 2% market share.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825505)

Microsoft has matured with its browser from the medieval times of IE5.

Um, while that's undeniable, it's only true as a comparison with past IE browsers.

I have to use IE9 at work and can testify that it still stalls, glitches and balks, and is generally irritating to use. It realy doesn't compare to any modern browser.

6 spinoffs (4, Informative)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825023)

6 more goofy names that mean nothing (internet explorer? ok, Netscape Navigator? ok, SRWare Iron, Comodo Dragon, Iceweasel? wtf)

ps here is the print version, so you dont have to wade through 6 ad infested pages

http://www.infoworld.com/print/184923 [infoworld.com]

Re:6 spinoffs (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825243)

Ice Weasel is the result of some sour grapes from some Debian developers over having to either comply with Mozilla's branding requirements or not use Mozilla's trademarks. It was a pretty immature and petty thing to do, but well within their rights.

Re:6 spinoffs (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825349)

It was a pretty immature and petty thing to do, but well within their rights.

They had no choice. Debian, being a free distro, couldn't use Firefox's non-free logo. So they didn't, and Mozilla decided to give them the finger:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation_software_rebranded_by_the_Debian_project#Origins_of_the_issue_and_of_the_Iceweasel_name :

In February 2006, Mike Connor, representing the Mozilla Corporation, wrote to the Debian bug tracker and informed the project that Mozilla did not consider the way in which Debian was using the Firefox name to be acceptable.

Re:6 spinoffs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825681)

More importantly though, Mozilla corp didn't want to let Debian change the source code without seeking approval from Mozilla first for each change. That would have been unworkable, and frankly, not very GPLish.

Re:6 spinoffs (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826003)

Sure it is, if you want to package something that's not Firefox, but just uses 99.9% of the code you typically just fork it. Or you do like Linux Mint and change the name and add a patchset over the top.

I seriously wonder if the Debian guys would be cool if I took their source modified it in a few subtle ways and then released it as "Debian." I could be wrong, but I doubt very much that they would be cool with it, because what I'd be distributing wouldn't be Debian and they'd have to deal with the consequences if things went wrong.

Re:6 spinoffs (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825993)

Sure they did. For one thing they could have chosen a more respectful name. And for a second thing plenty of free software projects are perfectly fine with those terms. It's just that the Debian developers were being self centered assholes.

Additionally, a trademark is not something that the GPL grants you. If they chose to use the trademark, then they had to agree to provide the same Firefox as everybody else. This is normal. When there is a fork there is normally a change of name. Patches are normally sent upstream to the developer.

Where Linux got into a lot of trouble over the years was with subtly incompatible kernel revisions because they weren't all using the same source.

Quite frankly, it's more than a little hypocritical of the Debian guys to use GPL and then bitch about somebody else forcing them to do something. The GPL is based around the notion that people using their code have to be forced to release it.

Re:6 spinoffs (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826045)

The GPL is based around the notion that people using their code have to be forced to release it.

Not people using, people redistributing.

Minor nitpick.

Re:6 spinoffs (1)

Bob The Cowboy (308954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825319)

Seriously. This complaint is so tired.

Excel? PowerPoint? Even "Word" isn't all that informative. Flash, Acrobat, Java, etc, etc. And these are the ones that everyone's mother might have heard of.

If someone cares enough to try an application they aren't familiar with, they'll probably hear about these alternatives and add them to their vocabulary. I've never once overheard someone actually complain or become confused by a name that wasn't in the form of "[Application Domain] [Verb]", *except* on forums.

Next up, lets complain about KDE, Gnome and Apple all putting K, G, or an 'i' in front of all their apps (and conveniently ignore the ones that don't use that convention to appear to make an insightful point.

Re:6 spinoffs (2, Informative)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825535)

I've been wondering when /. would do a story on this. I've been using Iron as my secondary browser for when something doesn't work in Firefox. If you want more stable version of Chromium that protects your privacy better than Chrome Iron is a pretty good option.

6 Chromium-based spinoffs? (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825025)

They must've learned to count from Monte Python.

One, two, FIVE!

Re:6 Chromium-based spinoffs? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825099)

TFA specifies 6 Chrome based spin-offs (Chromium being one). TFS on the other hand is just wrong, but what else would you expect from Slashdot.

Re:6 Chromium-based spinoffs? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825627)

Except that calling chromium a chrome spinoff would be like calling your engine a car spinoff. Chrome IS chromium, it just has some bits tacked on.

Re:6 Chromium-based spinoffs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825249)

Three, Sir

SRWare Iron (0)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825053)

The real reason to use SRWare Iron is so you can use Fanboy's adblock.ini file to stop the browser from loading ads. Then you can combine that with an additional element hider.

Re:SRWare Iron (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825201)

Is Iron a Scam? Yes [hybridsource.org]

Outdated blog: Re:SRWare Iron (2)

guidryp (702488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825695)

First point:

Just because there were only minor changes, doesn't make it a scam.

Second point:

This is based on some blog back when it was based on vers 5 of chrome sources. It is currently based on vers 16.. This is wildly out of date.

I use Iron Portable ver 16 as a backup browser and it does exactly what it should. Installs nothing in your system, except in the install directory, doesn't call home like Googles version and is a perfectly good alternative browser.

It is not a scam, because some outdated blog says so.

Re:SRWare Iron (2)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825321)

Wow, people are still falling for the SRWare scam???
And what's wrong with the many adblock extensions available for Chrome??

Re:SRWare Iron (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826051)

I asked this the last time it came up:

Do the adblock extensions actively stop the URLs from being accessed, or do they simply hide the images/kill accesses in progress?

Great idea ... (1, Flamebait)

hweimer (709734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825067)

... now we can have the same security bugs as Chrome/Chromium but without any timely fixes!

Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825083)

Dunder, Mifflin, people, places, personality!

And... (0)

goodgod43 (1993368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825117)

Who cares? It's as bad as a Linux desktop. At the end of the day, what works for you works for you. Add in all the goofy names and no average user will ever even know about them. Obscurity by obscurity.

"Odd Anecdote"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825127)

I like how a post that points out that SRWare Iron is a scam with zero additional privacy is reduced to an "odd anecdote" by the article.

Trusting random binaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825133)

Say what you want about Google not respecting your privacy, but at least you know they won't steal your credit card information.

And none with a decent interface. (4, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825169)

The interface is what ruins Chrome, how come no one bothers to fix it? A good interface is consistent, internally and externally: the app must belong with the operating system around it. Chrome is alien in any system, it does not have the same window borders, menu bar, or anything else as every other app. That's tolerable from a tiny indie team, like jDownloader, but from a megacorporation like Google this is simply cringeworthy.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (5, Interesting)

scialex (1283788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825283)

But OTOH it is consistently inconsistent. On any OS/platform you can be fairly certain that if you fire up chrome/chromium it will look almost exactly the same.
Furthermore the fact is that chrome's ui is quickly becoming the standard browser ui. Both IE 9 and Firefox whatever the hell version they are at now look very similar to it.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (4, Insightful)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825803)

Chrome's UI is not the most intuitive but I like how minimalistic it is, and how it saves the most amount of screen space for the actual task at hand: viewing web pages.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825991)

When my screen is 1920x1080, I don't really care.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825365)

Chrome sacrifices operating-system paradigms to build Google's brand; you are meant to look at the shiny colors and think 'yay google! google google google.'.

Operating-system-style widgets and the like make sense for users, but Google makes Chrome for the benefit of Google first and users second.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38826163)

I don't see Chromium UI really screaming anything. It has back, forward, reload/stop and settings buttons, address bar and tabs on top of those. Enough to view web pages what is that web browser is actually supposed to do.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (1)

petman (619526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825401)

Chrome is alien in any system, it does not have the same window borders, menu bar, or anything else as every other app.

I can say the exact same thing about MS Office 2010.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825439)

And one more thing they have in common is that they're both ugly.
I just can't wrap my head around it. Why make your browser uglier than the default system theme? What about people who install their own themes?
Why make your browser themeable in a very limited and stunted way when the operating already provides excellent theme support? Why make more work for yourself only to create a botch job?

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825443)

And, for that matter, IE9

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825503)

Give MS some time. They dont change everything overnight. But historically the Office team leads the GUI...

Re:And none with a decent interface. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825469)

Chrome's interface is why I use it. It takes up less space and gets the bullshit out of my way. There is no reason to devote the entire top of my screen to the name of the application and the minimize, maximize, close buttons, when the only name I care about is the title of the website I'm currently looking at, and I have all these tabs I need to have displayed. Chromes interface makes sense

Re:And none with a decent interface. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825517)

I don't understand where this notion comes from. Our environment isn't monotonous consistent, nor do we choose to surround ourselves with identical objects. Why, then, is an attractive, functional, intuitive UI that diverges from the platform's interface guidelines inferior to a perfectly consistent UI that slavishly adheres to them? This makes very little sense to me, particularly in the case of something like chrome, which *does* in fact nod to the basic UI elements of the platform it's running on (uses the theming engine, uses the right close/minimize/maximize button, uses native widgets). What's wrong with uniqueness and originality so long as it's understated and functional?

Re:And none with a decent interface. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825773)

It's the ethos of the easy to use GUI. Without consistency and sameness of operation, the main argument of GUI proponents, that WIMP interfaces are superior to CLIs, is untenable.

If you have to hunt and peck for hidden menus and separately learn how each app you want to use works, then you might as well use more powerful command line and terminal apps straightaway. They are just as heterogeneous, but the programmers didn't waste 80% of their development time contorting the functionality into an outdated office paradigm.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825553)

The interface is what ruins Chrome, how come no one bothers to fix it? A good interface is consistent, internally and externally: the app must belong with the operating system around it. Chrome is alien in any system, it does not have the same window borders, menu bar, or anything else as every other app. That's tolerable from a tiny indie team, like jDownloader, but from a megacorporation like Google this is simply cringeworthy.

Chrome ignoring the system's window decorations to build its own isn't just annoying, it's an accessibility and usability nightmare. If a user is disabled and needs, for example, larger close/minimise/etc buttons, Chrome's custom decorations still draw at their own size regardless of system setting. It also puts the window control buttons in the same place regardless of how your system is set up, so a user with motor control problems is going to be more likely to hit the wrong button by mistake due to the close placement and small size.. Since it ignores colour scheme, too, that means users that need high-contrast themes are screwed there, too.

These problems are especially obvious in KDE, because Kwin allows you to change button placement and decoration size. Even for a user without disabilities, the fact that Chrome and Chromium completely override your settings and does what it wants is a usability killer. I have custom window decoration placement, size, and a dark theme, so Chromium is absolutely horrible to look at by default.

Luckily, Chromium has two useful appearance options under the "Personal Stuff" section that mitigates this. You can choose "Use GTK+ theme" to get your system colours, and "Use system title bar and borders" to put your window manager back in control. No idea if it works in Windows, but it was a huge improvement for me in Debian.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825663)

Ever used Chrome on a Mac? It fits right in as far as I can tell. Appearance wise, the only thing that sets it apart is the fact that it doesn't have "Google Chrome" at the top of the window.

Also, what you said is kind of funny, since pretty much every popular web browser is playing with window borders, hiding menu bars, and such. Not to mention if Google is at fault for not conforming to standard UI conventions according to you, then Adobe, Mozilla, Valve, and even Microsoft themselves share the blame.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825687)

I don't get this gripe. The interface was big part of why I switched, and why I won't go back to firefox even if people do tell me they've fixed the 3.6 suck. It's clean, small, and the fuck out of the way.

Re:And none with a decent interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825715)

You can change the settings in Chromium to use the System Borders. I'm not sure about Chrome since I'm not using Windows, but I would imagine there is an option in the settings to change it as well.

And I thought.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825275)

... this was an upbeat science article about the benefits of a new vitamin supplement. Oh well.

Oops. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825281)

InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp takes an in-depth look at six Chromium-based spinoffs that bring privacy

I read that as "piracy". Too much news on the same topic, I suppose.

Only one feature I care about (1)

hockpatooie (312212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825293)

Do any of them let you map forward-slash to searching within the page?

Re:Only one feature I care about (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825353)

How is forward-slash so much easier than Ctrl+F to the point where it determines your choice of browser?

Re:Only one feature I care about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825485)

Muscle memory's a funny thing, though listing it as "Only one feature I care about" does seem a bit extreme.. For tablet PCs, though, it's an even bigger difference than that -- one reason my U820 doesn't run chromium.

Re:Only one feature I care about (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825543)

For tablets, wouldn't you want a dedicated search button, where a long press switches from "search the web" to "find on this page"?

Re:Only one feature I care about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825579)

Well, on a normal US keyboard, assuming the user actually types somewhat properly, the / key is in easy reach, while the control keys require either more strain to reach, or removing the hand from the home row. That means, for someone with their hands on the home row as intended, you can easily type "/search text here" and start to get results

You could argue that Ctrl+F only needs the left hand, allowing you to leave the right on the mouse, but unless you're going to type the search one-handed*, it's not really beneficial.

It's arguably not a big enough difference to base your entire browsing experience on, but the browsers are close enough in features and speed right now that it's as good a reason as any, really.

* I know, I know, this is Slashdot.

Re:Only one feature I care about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825671)

I've recently switched back to Firefox for when I'm not using a mouse after discovering the Pentadactyl (vim style controls) plugin for this very reason. I find it so much more usable to be able to just use single buttons for things rather than stretching my hands all over the place or bending my wrists at funny angles to hit combinations of them. It's also so much easier (for me) to type things like :san[tab] -host someporn.site than to dick around in a bunch of menus to cover my tracks.

I just wish it would use vim text editing commands in text boxes :(

Customization (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825341)

The one thing that keeps me from switching to Chrome is the lack of customization. With Firefox I have the wonderful about:config, but Chrome has no such feature. Even basic settings like moving where the tabs are or fine-grained privacy settings are missing from Chrome and most Chrome derived browsers.

Until Firefox somehow becomes totally unusable or Chrome actually lets me change basic settings, I'm sticking with Firefox.

Re:Customization (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825473)

It will never happen. Look into the behavior of people like ben@chromium.org in response to the threads addressing the "close last tab, close chromium" complaints. Its his way or NOTHING, not even a cogent explantation. you'll never get menu options in chrome/ium, ever. They actively want to disrupt long held useage patterns and break your spirit so you dont want the ability to change settings anymore. Even goddamn Autoscroll on middle click is permanantly active, even though no fucking person on this earth uses autoscroll mode.

If only the wankers at firefox werent so complicit in burning down their browser at the same time. I'll be stuck with 3.0.19 forever.

Re:Customization (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825497)

agreed. Chrome is my favorite second browser when my Firefox session needs to be isolated. Also the security holes is chrome OS are significant due to its low customizations and the fact that most users must compile their own release for a full fledged terminal. One well executed exploit could potentially render many machines compromised. If the Os gets it functionality from the web (and chromium gets widely adopted) I still won't use it out of concern for man-in-middle attacks

I just want a sensible UI (2)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825361)

I would love Chrome if it had a status bar instead of a status popup that covers page elements and a URL bar that either shows the http or doesn't include it when you copy and paste the URL (what kind of moronic...).

So, basically a browser that doesn't go out of its way to annoy me. Is there a version of Chrome like THAT?

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825569)

The heck is with you status bar fetishists? I don't feel compelled to burn ~20 precious vertical pixels, displaying nothing, just in case I might hover over a link.

Between you and the "every program must have a file menu" guys, you'd double the amount of chrome in Chrome and gain exactly zero functionality.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825635)

May be you don't. For others, 20 pixels out of >1200 is not precious, but status bar flashing in and out and showing incomplete link URL is distracting and annoying.

Why not just make it configurable?

Re:I just want a sensible UI (0)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825727)

Because it isn't worth having to test yet another code path just to placate an exceptionally whiny 1%.

Put another way: It's yet another bug report that amounts to "Chrome isn't Firefox 3.6." If Henry Ford had a bug tracker, it'd be filled with "this car is not a horse," "I don't like the color black," and "implement vim key bindings."

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825801)

Sure, if it's actually 1%.

But yeah, your attitude is exactly what's wrong with UI designers. "Requests? Configurability? Fuck you, exceptionally whiny bitches, you'll eat what I spit out and like it! Now excuse me while I try more Revolutionary Design Changes".

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825857)

Yes, it's 1%. Back in 2009, there were ~270 million [mozillazine.org] Firefox users. Only 150 thousand [mozilla.org] of them care about the status bar.

Given that not even 1% of Firefox users care about the status bar, I think the UI designers are entirely correct to say to say, quote, "fuck you, you exceptionally whiny bitches."

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825967)

You mean "only 150 thousand use that extension". That's different

First, 17% of FF users are still on 3.6 - sure, not everyone of them does that due to UI changes, but a sizable part of them cares.

Second, not everyone who cares cares and knows enough to find that extension. Some just try to get used, others change browsers.

So, yep, my point still stands, that's UI designers who don't care. User 1: "Meh, I'll hold on this version", User 2: "Meh, if they make it look like $otherproduct, why not just switch to fucking $otherproduct then?", Dev team (disregarding slowly melting userbase): "Hah! See, nobody cares"

In the same vein, we've yet to see how Win8 will help iOS and Android adoption.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826013)

Are you telling me Firefox users have problems finding extensions, especially when they're linked directly from the "what happened to the status bar" help topic [mozilla.org]? If they don't care enough to google "Firefox status bar", they don't count towards the "number of people who care about the status bar" statistic.

Even if you assume that every Firefox 3.6 user is on 3.6 solely because of the status bar, that means no more than six percent [arstechnica.com] of web users actually care.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826071)

Why, we went from "whiny 1%" to "6 percent of web users" already - and 6 percent of web users is "whiny hundred million people". And then, what matters in decision to support/don't support a feature is not percentage of _web_ users, but percentage of _this program_ users. For FF it makes "whiny every one of five".

Same for Ubuntu and Unity, seems like they had "whiny every next one" [pingdom.com].

Because UI designers know better and users are just whiny.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (0)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826117)

Only 156,000 people care enough to restore the old behavior. Unless you can provide better figures, that's 0.058% that care about the status bar, not 6%.

As for your take on Unity or UX designers, I couldn't care less. I'm not a UX designer, my Linuces don't have GUIs, and none of that has anything to do with why Google should pander to an exceptionally small number of toxic users.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825901)

The heck is with you status bar fetishists? I don't feel compelled to burn ~20 precious vertical pixels, displaying nothing, just in case I might hover over a link.

Between you and the "every program must have a file menu" guys, you'd double the amount of chrome in Chrome and gain exactly zero functionality.

The heck is it with you minimalist UX people? I don't feel compelled to take away ~20 perfectly functional vertical pixels, displaying something useful, just in case I might be using a device with fewer pixels than the 14" 640x480 VGA monitor I had in 1987.

Between you and the "no menu options" guys, you'd triple the amount of work for those of us who have enough trouble getting our parents to understand all they have to do is hit View->Status Bar to toggle the status bar on, so we can ask them whether the page successfully loaded but didn't render, ("Done"), or if it's hung up because the web server is slow ("transferring data from..."), or if it's stuck trying to do a DNS lookup ("Looking up... / Connecting to..."), and lose that functionality just so you UX folks can brag on your CV to your next employer about how trendy your designs are.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (0)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825933)

o we can ask them whether the page successfully loaded but didn't render, ("Done"), or if it's hung up because the web server is slow ("transferring data from..."), or if it's stuck trying to do a DNS lookup ("Looking up... / Connecting to...")

Chrome somehow manages to do just that [dropbox.com]. It's only autists that have problems using software without "Ready" or "Num Caps Ins Scr" permanently burned on the bottom of their screen.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826095)

Yeah, that's just wonderful until it displays while there is a viewable page, covering up elements at the bottom.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826145)

Yeah, that's just wonderful until it displays while there is a viewable page, covering up elements at the bottom.

Which you also would not have seen with your always-on status bar.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826101)

I love it when I can reclaim some screen space (stuff the menus away where ever!). I don't love it when it comes at the expense of functionality.

Like status popups covering up part of a web page I'm trying to read. Which happens ALL THE %^@^% TIME.

Re:I just want a sensible UI (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826127)

Like status popups covering up part of a web page I'm trying to read. Which happens ALL THE %^@^% TIME.

If you had the always-on status bar, you wouldn't have been able to those 20 pixels in the bottom left-hand corner anyway.

Propaganda in Dragon against domain-validated SSL (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825363)

Page 3 reviews Comodo Dragon [infoworld.com]. What it doesn't mention is that if an HTTPS site uses a certificate that's domain validated, Dragon raises a warning [netcraft.com] "that the organization operating it may not have undergone trusted third-party validation that it is a legitimate business." Might this just be a way to threaten small-time webmasters, especially those who only started offering HTTPS to join EFF's HTTPS Everywhere initiative [eff.org] or to offer user accounts without running the risk of getting Firesheeped [pineight.com], into buying pricier EV certificates?

Re:Propaganda in Dragon against domain-validated S (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825461)

It's probably not some nefarious plot to sell certs, HTTPS is a good thing, but I agree that raising a warning for domain validated sites is a mistake. Any site that I trust enough to visit, I trust enough to use their certs.

Or, if you are going to start requiring user approval, do it for every site, instead of having a huge list of "legitamate businesses" who pay to be trusted by the browser automatically. I have never really understood why a trusted third-party is necessary.

Phishing Philter (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825541)

Any site that I trust enough to visit, I trust enough to use their certs.

How do you know whether you trust a site enough to visit it? The cert could be for PayPaI.com (capital i looks like lowercase L) or xn--itibank-xjg.com (appears as citibank.com, though using a C-shaped Cyrillic s). Comodo could explain this away as part of Dragon's phishing filter.

Re:Propaganda in Dragon against domain-validated S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825911)

Comodo is a certificate authority; that is, they sell EV certificates (among other sorts of certificates). That should explain everything for you.

blablabla in 3.. 2... 1... GET OVER IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825379)

The days of the browser or the two browsers are over.

Everyone can crap out a browser based on one of plenty different engines.

People here who think they are arguing about more than just their personal taste in browsers should get a life.

Iron? Really? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825487)

Iron is a known scam [hybridsource.org]. If there is a reason to use Iron, it is not for its privacy related offerings. You're better off just using Chromium.

Re:Iron? Really? (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825601)

I've seen that page many times already. Maybe the complaints were valid for an earlier version of the browser, but Iron is different enough than stock Chromium now. It leaves out the part about Iron successfully implementing adblock.ini. While there are other extensions for blocking ads, you're left with trying to find out which extension is the real one which stops them from loading, and not just an element hider. Then there are performance problems with some of the extensions, they simply can't handle a large database of websites. Adblock.ini just works, even if you need to add an element hider on top of that for best results.

Also, why is a fork or alternative build of an open-source program automatically a scam? Is Palemoon a scam?

That said, I don't really use Chromium/Iron that much.
I was having problems when lots of tabs were open. Some tabs would become unresponsive to scrolling or clicks, but would still display when the tab had become the selected tab. You'd need to wait about 10 seconds for the tab to be able to scroll and click on links. Firefox doesn't develop this kind of problem, so I stick with Firefox. Yes, I know that Chromium downright smokes Firefox in a few rendering performance tests (Try the "Katamari" bookmarklet for example), but Firefox doesn't have unresponsive zombie tabs.

"Worth trying" ?? (1)

ettusyphax (1155197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825587)

If you RTFA (I know, it's tough) the author comes to the conclusion that none of them are special at all and are at worst scam marketing gimmicks.

It's going to take... (2)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825599)

... more then just a browser to get people to change. I've often wondered why TOR developers don't integrate something like bit-torrent like protocol combined with an anonymity service like onion routing and a browser all in one, anyone who is using the browser and wants to keep their privacy automatically becomes part of an anonymity swarm instead of having separate packages just have it all integrated and take the end user out of the loop. For most people that will do. For the power users they can download custom stuff like what is available now.

With all the bs going on with corporations owning the governments of the world and trying to take away peoples rights it's about time someone actually did something about it in terms of combining all the features into one complete package that grows more powerful/useful as people use it.

Re:It's going to take... (2)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825611)

Tried "Torbrowser"? It's a pack that lets you run a "Portable App" preconfigured custom build of Firefox Aurora 9, which automatically logs you into Tor before you use the browser. Really easy to use.

Re:It's going to take... (2)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825661)

I'm thinking of something for the masses - the masses dont want hassle at all, they want something like chrome that just hides in the background and auto-updates without fuss. Tor still has 'barriers to entry' in terms of it's use. You have to download it, start it up, then you have to 'manually' turn on whether you become a node or not. For just private browsing that's still too many steps for the masses. You want to take all the decisions completely out of the loop and have custom stuff like you talk about for power users, even though it is 'simple' by our standards the point is to have a system default to being on without counting on the end user, since most are lazy/indifferent and hence it prevents things from becoming useful. Most people are stupid and I've learned over the years there is wisdom in taking them out of the loop for casual browsing.

Re:It's going to take... (2)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825709)

The "Torbrowser" package from eff.org I mentioned does not manually require starting Tor, you just run something called "Start Tor Browser.exe", and it does everything for you, you just run it and start browsing. No need to "Start up tor", or "manually turn on" anything. It's a separate profile from your main Firefox profile.
But it doesn't auto-update. Some people think that's a privacy risk, so they exclude those kind of features.

Vidalia still starts up in the background, but it shuts down when you close the browser.

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