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Chromium/Chrome Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Google Trumpets The Success Of Their Chrome "RenderingNG" Performance Initiative - Phoronix

    For the better part of the past decade Google has been pursuing performance improvements to their Chrome/Chromium web browser as the "RenderingNG" initiative to provide faster web page performance, lower memory consumption, and better battery life. This current work is finally wrapping up in 2021 to great success.

    In a new blog post on Wednesday, Google is talking up "150% or more faster graphics rendering" compared to older versions of Chrome along with a "6x reduction in GPU driver crashes on problematic hardware". Or even with the new Chrome 93 to 94 transition alone they are proclaiming up to 8% more responsive web pages, up to 1400 years of CPU time per day saved, and up to 0.5% improved battery life.

  • DIY compile chromium

    The saga has been going on for a couple of weeks. I am compiling chromium in EasyOS. Each build takes 13 hours, running on a Lenovo PC with Intel 8th gen. i3 CPU, 32GB RAM, swap partition on internal SSD, the source on an external USB3 SSD.

    [...]

    I don't recommend installing in a container, as video playing is choppy, with audio out of sync. I think that the other chromium SFS, the official build, does play OK in a container -- from memory -- but as it runs with the "--no-sandbox" option you get that warning message.
    Note to pup and *dog users. SFSs in EasyOS are a bit different, the SFS won't work for you, as-is. EasyOS has glibc 2.33, and if your pup has an older glibc then it probably won't work. Also, you would need to open it up and modify /usr/bin/chromium script so that it runs as 'spot'. There is folder '.control' that you won't need.
    Very ambivalent about compiling chromium. So many issues, so many patches. Think maybe should just use the official build from Google. I read some comments, some other distro maintainers are thinking the same thing, mostly because of the API keys problem.

  • DMA-BUF Support In WebRTC

    It will be almost three years since we landed initial support for screensharing on Wayland with the use of PipeWire in the WebRTC project. This enabled screensharing support in both major Linux browsers. Last year I implemented support for window sharing, added support for PipeWire 0.3 and added support for DMA-BUF and MemFD buffer types. Problem was, as it turned out, the DMA-BUF support was not implemented in a correct way.

    The original implementation was using mmap() to get the buffer content. This worked correctly for current Intel GPUs, but was terrifically slow on e.g. AMD GPUs. Proper solution is to use OpenGL context to get the content from buffer. However, there were many implementations using mmap() already, including WebRTC and we needed a way how to properly communicate between the server and the client that when the client advertises DMA-BUF support, it means it doesn’t use mmap() and goes through OpenGL context instead.

  • Chrome 96 To Feature Improved WebRTC Code, Better Wayland Screensharing

    Jan Grulich has been working on a new DMA-BUF implementation within the WebRTC code as the original DMA-BUF buffer sharing code was found to be inadequate. In particular, the original DMA-BUF mmap-based approach was found to perform very slow with the AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver and instead this new implementation allows using an OpenGL context to get the context from the buffer. Long story short, after a lot of work that new WebRTC DMA-BUF code is now good to go.

CommaFeed, Read Your Favorite News In One Place Everywhere

Filed under
Software
Web

CommaFeed is an RSS feed reader accessible via web browser and can be used easily everywhere. In short, it is an alternative to Google News. It looks very simple and lightweight, and works fast! User can just subscribe news from websites they like and read them anywhere they go. Registration is free and the software behind is free as in freedom. This simple tutorial explains how to use CommaFeed for first timers. Let's start reading!

[...]

For server admins, CommaFeed allows selfhosting and has ability to work with multiple other RSS clients.

Read more

Web Browsers Monopolisation

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Brave and Firefox to intercept links that force-open in Microsoft Edge

    Microsoft has inadvertently re-heated the web browser wars with the company’s anti-competitive changes to Windows 11. It made it more difficult to change the default web browser and has expanded the use of links that force-opens Edge instead of the default browser.

    The latter issue is something I addressed in 2017 with the release of EdgeDeflector. Instead of using regular https: links, Microsoft began switching out links in the Windows shell and its apps with microsoft-edge: links. Only its Edge browser recognized these links, so it would open regardless of your default browser setting. I created EdgeDeflector to also recognizes them and rewrites them to regular https: links that would then open in your default web browser.

  • What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

    "Browser monoculture" is often bemoaned as a threat to the web. According to Statscounter, which tracks browser use, over 70 per cent of the market is made up of people using Google Chrome or another browser based on the underlying Chromium project.

    What web advocates worry about when they say this is bad is that Google can effectively determine the future of the web by determining which features to support and which not to. That's a lot of power for a single company that also has an effective monopoly on search and advertising.

    What would happen if Chrome decided to break fundamental features of the web and didn't even feel the need to tell anyone?

    Well, we can answer that question because that's what Chrome did.

    Earlier this year Chrome developers decided that the browser should no longer support JavaScript dialogs and alert windows when they're called by third-party iframes.

Web Browsers: SeaMonkey, Chrome, GNOME Web and Firefox

Filed under
Web
  • EasyOS: SeaMonkey updated to 2.53.9.1

    I have compiled SeaMonkey 2.53.9.1 in EasyOS.
    Really do need to get EasyOS 3.0 out-the-door. The days are rolling by as I play with compiling Chromium.
    Chromium is compiling on this PC right now. If it succeeds, will probably make it into an SFS, and make it available for EasyOS 3.0 users.

  • Another Chrome emergency update to patch 0-day vulnerabilities is now available

    Google released another security update for the company's Google Chrome web browser that brings the version of the browser to 94.0.4606.71. Google Chrome 94.0.4606.71 is a security update that fixes two vulnerabilities that are actively exploited in the wild according to Google. The update is the third update that Google released this month to address 0-day security issues in Google Chrome that are exploited in the wild.

    Google is rolling out the update to all Chrome installations, but users may want to speed up the discovery and installation of the update by loading chrome://settings/help in the browser's address bar, or selecting Menu > Help > About Google Chrome from the menu.

    Chrome displays the installed version on the page that is loaded and will run a check for updates. Updates that are discovered during the check are downloaded and installed automatically. The new Extended Stable channel has been updated as well.

  • Better future? Safari browser extension is preparing for Apple’s ‘post-privacy’ world

    “Better protects you from trackers in Safari on iOS and macOS, where it is available as an app,” Aral Balkan, the developer of Better, told The Daily Swig.
    With some technical knowledge, it can be applied to other browsers as well.
    “You can also use the blocking rules on other platforms (e.g, GNOME Web and Firefox etc) by adding the rules to your browser (in WebKit content blocker format) or to a separate extension like uBlock Origin (in EasyList format),” Balkan said.

    Thomas Reed, director of Mac and mobile at Malwarebytes, who looked at Better, told The Daily Swig: “The app privacy disclosure info on the App Store says that Better does not collect any data, which is great and what I would expect.

Free Software Review: GNOME Web 3.38.2 on Debian GNU/Linux 11. A worthy replacement for your current browser?

Filed under
GNOME
Reviews
Web

With so many web browsers out there to pick from, many of them really aren’t very different from each other, and few take the time to work like the other applications on your desktop.

In Windows, nobody notices this because none of the applications (even from Microsoft) or system settings menus are consistent. They duplicate functionality, have different GUI conventions, and the entire thing is a usability hell. GNOME tries to be a bit “cleaner” than this.

In Windows 11, in fact, Microsoft tried to steal from Chrome OS, GNOME, and the Mac’s “clean” interface design, but reverted to form and immediately crapped it up with the usual junk and ads and trialware, and a store that nobody wanted to use to begin with because there’s still time to repeat that disaster again.

But the point, here, is that GNOME (and to a lesser extent) KDE for various *nix operating systems (they’re portable), try not to confound the user and present them with a giant headache of pointlessness and redundancy and bugs. Which is nice.

That’s where GNOME Web comes in. The development name is Epiphany, because that was the application’s original name, when it started as a project to build a web browser around the Mozilla rendering engine, Gecko. In the late 2000s, Mozilla decided to make it difficult to use their engine in anything but Firefox, forcing the GNOME Web developers to go a different way.

Read more

Also: This change in Google Chrome 94 will make you switch to Firefox - itsfoss.net

Firefox 92 vs. Chrome 94 Browser Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Google
Moz/FF
Web

Given last week's release of Chrome 94, here are some fresh browser benchmarks looking at Firefox 92 stable against Chrome 94 running on Ubuntu Linux.

Just as some quick weekend benchmarks and not running any cross-browser Linux benchmarks since earlier this summer, here are some fresh numbers.

The system this time around is the Intel Core i9 11900K "Rocket Lake" with Radeon VII graphics and using a development snapshot of Ubuntu 21.10 from the default GNOME Shell Wayland session.

Read more

Brave reduces the page load performance cost of its adblocker

Filed under
Web

An adblocker doesn’t necessarily make your web browser load pages faster. The Brave browser introduced a shiny new and more performant adblocking system in late 2019. However, leftovers from its old system have remained in the browser and have quietly held back its performance potential.

I could spend time describing the change with numbers (I do at the end), but let’s look at the bigger picture first. The two flame graphs below show a 475 ms window during a page load with the current stable release build of Brave (top), compared to the new and improved nightly releases (bottom). The colored bars indicate work the browser has to complete to finish the page load. Ignore the minutia of the graphs, just look at the big differences.

Read more

Nitter and other Internet reclamation projects

Filed under
Web

The world wide web has become an annoying, ultra-commercialized space. Many websites today are prioritizing the interests of the company behind the domain, at the expense of the user’s experience and well-being. This has been a frustrating problem for several years, but lately there’s been a heartwarming trend of users fighting back against the corporate web and stepping up to help and serve each other’s needs in spite of them, through what I’ve come to think of as Internet reclamation projects.

I think the first of these which appeared on my radar was Invidious, which scrapes information off of a YouTube page and presents it in a more pleasant, user-first interface— something which NewPipe also does well for Android. These tools pry data out of YouTube’s hands and present it on a simple UI, designed for users first, with no ads or spyware, and with nice features YouTube would never add, like download links, audio mode, and offline viewing. It shows us what users want, but YouTube refuses to give.

Another project which has been particularly successful recently is Nitter, which does something similar for Twitter. Twitter’s increasingly draconian restrictions on who can access what data, and their attitude towards logged-out users in particular, has been a great annoyance to anyone who does not have, and does not want, a Twitter account, but who may still encounter Twitter links around the web. Nitter has been quite helpful in de-crapifying Twitter for these folks. I have set up an automatic redirect in my browser which takes me straight to Nitter, and I never have to see the shitty, user-hostile Twitter interface again.

Read more

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos.

    [...]

    Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself.

    [...]

    For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago.

    On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch.

    Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version.

    The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple.

    New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts."

    There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Chrome, Flow, and Chromium

Filed under
Google
Web
  • 25 Best Chrome Flags You Should Enable To Optimize Your Browsing

    Google Chrome has become the most popular web browser because of its simplicity and speed. Besides, it has lots of excellent features, including some hidden features that boost your browsing experience. Chrome flags are the hidden feature tools that tweak your Chrome UI and performance by changing Chrome settings. This is basically an experimental feature tested on Chrome OS, but it is available in the trial. If you want to learn more techniques about boosting your browsing experience, you need to follow our complete guidelines to enable a flag.

    However, no flag ensures stable performance. Moreover, finding bugs is a widespread occurrence in a flag. Besides, it would be best if you considered that flags are not tested on online security. So it takes a little bit of risk of using a flag. If you want to experience the cutting edge of Chrome by taking small risks, let’s talk with the 25 best Chrome flags.

  • Crank up the volume on that Pixies album: Time to exercise your Raspberry Pi with an... alternative browser

    While browser-makers squabble over standards, privacy and exactly what their User-Agent string should say, Ekioh's clean-room browser, Flow, has continued to quietly advance.

    The Register last looked at Flow over Christmas 2020 and we came away impressed with the work in progress, not least its speed and the lack of data slurpage. There were, however, problems, one of which was that Google's web applications were not entirely happy.

    In a lengthy blog post Ekioh's CEO, Piers Wombwell, explained the hoops that need to be jumped through in order to persuade Google Docs to run acceptably. While a canvas-based approach is inbound, getting the current incarnation up and running necessitated some head-scratching from the Flow team and demanded fixes. Sure – Google Docs seemed to load OK, although there was no word-wrap. But could you type into it? Nope.

  • Another attempt to compile Chromium [Ed: Web browsers have become overly bloated crap that takes away freedom, even when some code is available and liberally licensed]

    Over the years, I have made a few attempts to compile Chromium. One of those, in 2019, I posted about it:

    https://bkhome.org/news/201910/attempted-to-compile-chromium.html

    Yesterday, thought would try again. Tried and tried to download the source from the Chromium project on github, but it kept failing. The download is huge, over 1GB, and when it failed, when unable to continue, a restart from the beginning is required. This is the case when using gn "fetch --nohooks --no-history chromium" or when using wget -- in both cases, cannot continue from the point of failure.

    My contract with Vodafone is 40GB per month (on my phone), a fixed price with unlimited downloads -- but it drops to a considerably slower speed when exceed 40GB. So don't want to have too many 1GB download failures.

    So I downloaded the source from the Arch Linux repo, which was a 991MB tarball, no problem downloading. Version 93.0.4577.82.

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Indie dev finds that Linux users generate more, better bug reports

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