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Temporarily sticking with firefox-52 and tips for firefox-60
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mmogilvi
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Joined: 13 May 2011
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:19 am    Post subject: Temporarily sticking with firefox-52 and tips for firefox-60 Reply with quote

I wanted to hold off on the newly stabilized firefox 60 ESR update on some of my machines for a few more days (try it out on others first, see what's broken, search for workaround, etc), but it is slightly more complicated than just masking the new firefox, so I'll document it here:

In /etc/portage/package.mask, add:
Code:
>=www-client/firefox-60
>=dev-libs/nspr-4.19
>=dev-libs/nss-3.37


If you previously built firefox 52.9.0 with the updated nspr and/or nss, you'll need to rebuild it again after downgrading nss and nspr. revdep-rebuild doesn't seem to catch this.

I wouldn't recommend leaving these masked for long. The ebuilds will probably disappear before long, and even if you keep your own copies in your own overlay, the lack of security updates will probably get you eventually. Bite the bullet and update, or switch to the pale moon overlay, or something.

Bugs/Symptoms I've Seen

  • I was getting weird problems from my cookie exceptions from permissions.sqlite being ignored when using the new nspr and nss with firefox 52.9. All my cookies were being dropped (my default), including ones I had marked as exceptions (leaving me unable to log into slashdot, etc). (Speculation: Maybe other sqlite problems as well?)
  • After downgrading nss and nspr, but before rebuilding 52.9.0 again with the older nss and nspr, the above cookie problem was fixed, but I was getting NS_ERROR_NET_INADEQUATE_SECURITY errors trying to look things up on google. (But oddly, at least some other https sites were working.)


Incomplete, miscellaneous tips for making firefox-60 less painful

  • Stop trying to stick with the original "Releigh" theme on newer versions of gtk-3.0. These days it has way too many little bugs. Start with the new default (Adwaita or something) instead.
  • Add "gtk-primary-button-warps-slider = false" to the "[Settings]" section of /etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini (and comment out any previous attempts to keep "Releigh").
  • Add ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css with:
    Code:
    * {
        -GtkScrollbar-has-backward-stepper: true;
        -GtkScrollbar-has-forward-stepper: true;
        /* -GtkScrollbar-has-secondary-backward-stepper: false; */
        /* -GtkScrollbar-has-secondary-forward-stepper: false; */
    }

  • The noscript extension still works. The menu for tweaking noscript configuration looks/acts a little different, but it is still usable.
  • Right click on the toolbar and do what customization you can. Not as complete as the no-longer-supported "classic theme restorer" extension, but there is still some configurability. Besides customizing the toolbar itself, I've got options for enabling bookmark bar and menu bar, although I'm not sure if they are available on a fresh profile. The "reload" and "stop" buttons were already to the left side of the address bar (instead of inside of it), but maybe that was some vestige of something the classic theme restorer had done earlier (or maybe they restored that in the default UI since they broke it?). There were some blank/wasted spacers on the toolbar, but they were easily removed.
  • https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1184737 has instructions and a link to a .css file that is claimed to restore putting tabs below the toolbar, but I haven't confirmed it it actually works yet. Other links imply lots of UI configurability via css, but I don't know where it is actually documented.
  • Set about:config "browser.urlbar.trimURLs" = false (also relevant to firefox 52).
  • There might be other about:config options also relevant to 52, but that was quite a while ago and I don't remember them off hand.
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Apheus
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Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 411

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Temporarily sticking with firefox-52 and tips for firefo Reply with quote

mmogilvi wrote:
Stop trying to stick with the original "Releigh" theme on newer versions of gtk-3.0. These days it has way too many little bugs. Start with the new default (Adwaita or something) instead.


You can override the theme firefox uses in about:config, independent of the outer desktop:

Code:
widget.content.gtk-theme-override=Adwaita


Quote:
I've got options for enabling bookmark bar and menu bar, although I'm not sure if they are available on a fresh profile.


Yes they are.

Quote:
The "reload" and "stop" buttons were already to the left side of the address bar (instead of inside of it), but maybe that was some vestige of something the classic theme restorer had done earlier.


That's the new default. You can move the button to the right, but not into the address bar. I don't know if "reload" and "stop" can be separated somehow.
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tholin
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the useful info. I've also been struggling with the 60 ESR update and thought I'd share my problems and solutions (workarounds).
  • Sound will likely break unless you use pulseaudio. There is a workaround I wrote about in this thread https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-8259718.html#8259718

  • The new tab page has been remodeled. The new design is optimized for cramming in as many "sponsored stories" (advertisements) as possible. That bullshit can be disabled in the new tab options but if you disable all of it the new tab page looks barren. By setting browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.topSitesRows=6 you get a lot more "top sites" that you can pin to anything you want like in 52.

  • If you open a youtube video in a new tab to have it play in the background it will no longer play unless you give that tab focus first. That feature can be disabled with media.block-autoplay-until-in-foreground=false.

  • Loading URLs from the clipboard with middle click is disabled by default (not a bad idea). If you are aware of the risks and are careful you can re-enable it with middlemouse.contentLoadURL=true.

  • In 60 ESR it's webextensions or nothing. XUL/XPCOM based extensions won't work. The biggest fallout for me was that my mouse gesture extension, firegestures, didn't work. The best replacement I've found is foxy gestures but it requires firefox-61 and the ESR branch is 60. Webextensions only work on webpages so gestures won't work on setting pages or the new tab page. It's impossible to make a proper mouse gesture extention with webextensions with the current limitations.

    The ugly workaround I use is to use x11-misc/easystroke to recognize gestures and inject keypresses to the browser. This limits me to functionality available as keyboard shortcuts but it's good enough for me. Easystroke is abandonware and really bitrotten. It segfaults all the time when changing configuration and have a lot of other glitches with the gui. I couldn't find anything better.

    The benefit of easystroke is that the gestures work on all browser even without extension support. That means one less, potentially dangerous, extension. Extensions have become one of the biggest threats to secure browsing. I don't want to base the security of my browser on the assumption that some mouse gesture developer use strong passwords.
    https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/browser-extensions-are-they-worth-the-risk/
    https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/07/14/183237/popular-chrome-extension-sold-to-new-dev-who-immediately-turns-it-into-adware
    https://it.slashdot.org/story/16/04/04/1730259/chrome-extension-caught-hijacking-users-browsers
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/03/12/2328254/google-chrome-extension-caught-stealing-bitcoin-from-users

  • The webextensions version of NoScript was a downgrade. Lots of options disappeared. I decided to say goodbye to NoScript and try out uMatrix instead. uMatrix is a lot more powerful and complicated. It's not obvious how to use it without reading the manual. https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix/wiki/The-popup-panel is the most important info for how to use it but all the other pages on the wiki are also useful. Once I've learned how it works it both better and easier to use than NoScript.

  • On every major update it's a good idea to look through the list here and disable all the bullshit. https://github.com/pyllyukko/user.js
    Pay extra attention to the "Firefox (anti-)features" sections. The sad truth is that Mozilla can't be trusted anymore:

    https://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/web/MozillaBetraysFirefoxUsers

    https://blog.mozilla.org/press-uk/2017/10/06/testing-cliqz-in-firefox/
    "This experiment also includes the data collection tool Cliqz uses to build its recommendation engine. Users who receive a version of Firefox with Cliqz will have their browsing activity sent to Cliqz servers, including the URLs of pages they visit."

    https://blog.mozilla.org/advancingcontent/2014/11/13/announcing-firefox-tiles-going-live-today/
    "Tiles are our first iteration on starting to solve these problems. They create a more useful, attractive and dynamic new tab page. Tiles also represent an important part of our efforts to create new communications, content and advertising experiences over which Firefox users maintain control."
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josephg
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Joined: 10 Jan 2016
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmogilvi wrote:
I wanted to hold off on the newly stabilized firefox 60 ESR update on some of my machines for a few more days (try it out on others first, see what's broken, search for workaround, etc), but it is slightly more complicated than just masking the new firefox

firefox-60 emerge failed continuously and after a few attempts, i couldn't be bothered. esr-52 works fine atmo. i only masked firefox-60, as i seem to have no issues with updated nspr or nss.

tholin wrote:
The benefit of easystroke is that the gestures work on all browser even without extension support. That means one less, potentially dangerous, extension. Extensions have become one of the biggest threats to secure browsing. I don't want to base the security of my browser on the assumption that some mouse gesture developer use strong passwords.
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/browser-extensions-are-they-worth-the-risk/
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/07/14/183237/popular-chrome-extension-sold-to-new-dev-who-immediately-turns-it-into-adware
https://it.slashdot.org/story/16/04/04/1730259/chrome-extension-caught-hijacking-users-browsers
https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/03/12/2328254/google-chrome-extension-caught-stealing-bitcoin-from-users

i got used to not having gestures, after i moved away from opera. perhaps it's time to try again. i looked at your easystroke. it's keyworded unstable, and pulls in too many dependencies. i found another similar package x11-misc/xstroke, which is stable and has no other dependencies.

tholin wrote:
[*]On every major update it's a good idea to look through the list here and disable all the bullshit. https://github.com/pyllyukko/user.js
Pay extra attention to the "Firefox (anti-)features" sections. The sad truth is that Mozilla can't be trusted anymore:

https://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/web/MozillaBetraysFirefoxUsers

https://blog.mozilla.org/press-uk/2017/10/06/testing-cliqz-in-firefox/
"This experiment also includes the data collection tool Cliqz uses to build its recommendation engine. Users who receive a version of Firefox with Cliqz will have their browsing activity sent to Cliqz servers, including the URLs of pages they visit."

https://blog.mozilla.org/advancingcontent/2014/11/13/announcing-firefox-tiles-going-live-today/
"Tiles are our first iteration on starting to solve these problems. They create a more useful, attractive and dynamic new tab page. Tiles also represent an important part of our efforts to create new communications, content and advertising experiences over which Firefox users maintain control."
[/list]

thanks for these reminders. i've been wondering if it was just me, or has firefox lost it's way somewhere along with some corporate takeover or something? google chrome/chromium has become too big/bloated for me, and i moved away. not many alternatives sadly :(
i've revived my user.js again. hadn't touched it for a few years.
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