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Chromium-based browsers pros and cons

Filed under
Google
Web

How much do you think about your internet browser? Not much, right? If it gets you to your target web destination, that’s all that matters. For most, it’s a choice between Chrome or Firefox, with Edge and Safari coming not far behind.

While most internet users opt for Chrome, many people don’t realize that many of the other leading browsers in the world are not so different from it. They use the Chromium source code.

While Chrome and Chromium are separate projects, one is Google’s proprietary web tool, and the other is open source. But there are a lot of similarities between the two.

Developers love Chromium. It’s easy to work with, has tons of extensions and API kits, and more. You can even swap out Chrome and use Chromium directly instead as your browser.

Read more

Mozilla: Extensions in Firefox 78, uBlock Origin and What UX Writers Can Learn From Poetry

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Extensions in Firefox 78

    In Firefox 78, we’ve done a lot of the changes under the hood. This includes preparation for changes coming up in Firefox 79, improvements to our tests, and improvements to make our code more resilient.

  • UBlock Origin - a powerful Internet purification tool

    Every now and then, I receive an email from a reader asking me why I'm not using uBlock Origin. Or rather, why Adblock Plus and not uBlock Origin? Alas, the question is based on a wrong assumption. I do use it, I use them both (not at the same time), and it's on several of my recommended software lists. But I've never given it a proper review. Time to rectify that.

    The modern Internet is a cesspit. A filthy place with tiny, isolated pockets of goodness. Adblocking isn't there to kill revenue streams for indie websites, it's there to stop nonsense from becoming the dominant force of any and every Web experience. Helping turn the tide are a few brave champions. I've already reviewed uMatrix, and you know my all-time-favorite Noscript. Now, let's have a look at uBlock Origin.

    [...]

    UBlock Origin will only block ads and trackers by default. But you can do more. You can disable Javascript, media files, fonts, as well as popups. Then, you can also pick elements from a loaded page and manually remove (zap) them, if you like. This can be helpful if you encounter annoyances that aren't picked up by your filters, or perhaps you want to get rid of something you consider harmful or silly, but it doesn't fall under any existing category.

    [...]

    All in all, uBlock Origin is a fantastic tool. It's powerful, versatile, robust - and it doesn't cause any browser slowdown. Some extensions can be heavy, but in this case, the impact is minimal. Very refreshing and useful. Then, the simple/advanced mode offers the best of both worlds - ordinary users and nerds alike will find the level of control they need and feel comfortable with. Being able to turn Javascript off is another valuable asset.

    I don't have anything bad to say really - some extra rigor is needed now and then, just to make sure you don't end up with legitimate content being blocked. But from what I've seen - we're talking long testing on multiple systems, over a couple of years, the false positives, when they do occur, are far and few in between and usually related to fonts. Ublock Origin does a great job, and its biggest challenge is making a difficult, complex task even easier to present. Should one deliberately seek drawbacks, the abundance of options stored in a small UI could be its Achilles' Heel. It's not easy creating visual minimalism without sacrificing actual functionality, but at the moment, uBlock Origin might be somewhat daunting to those less tech-savvy. Highly recommended, and I hope this finally answers the myriad emails on this topic. May your Internet be pure.

  • The Poetics of Product Copy: What UX Writers Can Learn From Poetry

    Word nerds make their way into user experience (UX) writing from a variety of professional backgrounds. Some of the more common inroads are journalism and copywriting. Another, perhaps less expected path is poetry.

    I’m a UX content strategist, but I spent many of my academic years studying and writing poetry. As it turns out, those years weren’t just enjoyable — they were useful preparation for designing product copy.

    Poetry and product copy wrestle with similar constraints and considerations. They are each often limited to a small amount of space and thus require an especially thoughtful handling of language that results in a particular kind of grace.

Privacy-oriented alternatives to Google Analytics

Filed under
Google
OSS
Web

Google Analytics is perhaps the analytics platform of our time. But should it be? It’s many features and the free plan is what made it popular, but its invasion of user privacy should not be overlooked. Here are some good alternatives for 2020.

First, I want to mention privacy-oriented self-hosted solutions. Their Open Source nature provides you an option to host them yourself instead of sending the data to someone else. Second, we look at some of the viable closed-source alternatives.

Read more

An open source browser extension to zoom in on images

Filed under
OSS
Web

Have you ever visited a website and wanted to see the images displayed larger? That happens to me all the time, and it isn't always easy to make that happen.

On occasion, I sift through the source code, use Ctrl + F to search for the image, copy the image source address and paste it into a new window in order to see the image at its full-size glory. Or, the other option is to right-click, copy the image address, and paste into a new tab.

Read more

Top 6 Free and Open Source Video Conferencing Solutions for Education

Filed under
Web

Video conferencing plays a vital role to ease the educational process for learners. Although Video conferencing tools were used on large scale for many years ago, their usage increased in the last few months because of COVID-19 and curfew in most of the countries. These tools minimize the distance, time and cost of the meetings. Many universities and educational centers activate the use of Video conferencing tools to provide the students and learners with the benefit of learning process even if they are staying at home especially in remote places. We are going to discuss many free video conferencing tools that will ease your learning process:

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Vivaldi 3.1 Arrives with Full-Page Notes Manager, Configurable Menus, and Faster Startup

Filed under
Web

Based on the latest Chromium 83 open-source web browser, Vivaldi 3.1 is here to introduce a brand-new version of its built-in Notes feature called Notes Manager, which offers a full-page notes editor with visual editing via a text formatting toolbar.

Vivaldi’s note-taking capabilities are getting to a new level, becoming more like word processing capabilities, something no other web browser currently offers, at least not by default.

Accessible from the Start Page, the new Notes Manager features a WYSIWYG editor, text formatting, word count, the ability to add new notes via Quick Commands or from a web page selection via the right-click context menu, the ability to search text in notes and search through notes, as well as to attach images.

Read more

Also: The Vivaldi Browser Now Has a, Er, Word Processor?

Nextcloud Hub 19

Filed under
Server
OSS
Web
  • Michael Meeks: Making Collabora Online trivial to setup

    Today we release a big step in improving Collabora Online installability for home users. Collabora has typically focused on supporting our enterprise users who pay the bills: most of whom are familiar with getting certificates, configuring web server proxies, port numbers, and so on (with our help). The problem is that this has left home-users, eager to take advantage of our privacy and ease of use, with a large barrier to entry. We set about adding easy-to-setup Demo Servers for users - but of course, people want to use their own hardware and not let their documents out of their site. So - today we've released a new way to do that - using a new PHP proxying protocol and app-image bundled into a single-click installable Nextcloud app (we will be bringing this to other PHP solutions soon too). This is a quick write-up of how this works.

  • Michael Meeks: 2020-06-02 Tuesday

    Mail; admin, wrote up the Nextcloud proxy pieces.

  • Collabora Online as default in Nextcloud Hub

    Collabora Online has been available as integrated solution for many productivity use cases for more than three years. However, feedback from home users and the community showed an increasing need for a much easier way to setup LibreOffice online. Users found configuring separate certificates, ports, docker images, and so on too complex, so Collabora created a totally new way to deploy Collabora Online using an innovative PHP proxy and a new custom protocol. With the release of NC 19, this work is ready to use: the new app “Collabora Online: built-in CODE server” can be installed and activated with a single click.

    The new app is the same fully functional productivity solution that people already know, with the same feature richness, easy collaboration and excellent interoperability as a normal CODE – Collabora Online Development Edition – installation. Naturally it has its limitations in performance and scalability that are provided by a normal server installation.
    This makes it much easier for people to make the right choice, with an open standards based, solution built on fully open source code that respects their privacy. It has never been easier for users to work and collaborate on office documents online, on their own hardware.

  • Nextcloud Hub 19 Brings Passwordless Authentication, Collabora Online as Default Office App

    Nextcloud GmbH announced today the general availability of Nextcloud Hub 19, a major release of their popular and open-source self-hosted on-premises collaboration platform.

    With Nextcloud Hub 19, the file sharing and collaboration platform introduces much-needed features for people who are forced to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, including passwordless authentication with support for security keys. This implementation not only makes Nextcloud logins painless, but also strengthens them through the use of hardware keys, and the first to be supported is Nitrokey.

    New security measures are also in place to make it easier for administrators to secure the accounts of remote workers. These include password expiration features, password reuse limitations, automatic locking of account after multiple failed login attempts, as well as optional automatic logout.

Chrome, Mozilla and Firefox Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chrome 84 Beta: Web OTP, Web Animations, New Origin Trials and More

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 84 is beta as of May 28, 2020.

  • Chrome 84 Beta Brings Better Web Animations API, Experimental WebAssembly SIMD

    Following the recent Chrome 83 release, Chrome 84 has now been promoted to beta.

    The Chrome 84 Beta is bringing Web OTP API (SMS Receiver API) support on Android, significant improvements to its Web Animations API implementation, WebAssembly SIMD support with a 128-bit value type is now available via the Origin trials (experimental functionality) along with a Cookie Store API, Idle Detection API, and other trial features.

  • Should you buy a Chromebook?

    With more and more people buying laptops to work or learn from home, a lot of folks are probably looking into the prospect of switching to a lighter, cheaper Chromebook instead of a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. Chromebooks come at a wide range of price points and with a variety of features, but the big question for most people is about Chrome OS itself. How hard is it to switch? What are Android apps like? Does Linux support really work, and how well? Do Chromebooks make good tablets? Can I use Firefox on one? We'll cover as much of that as we can in this post.

  • Firefox features for remote school (that can also be used for just about anything)

    Helping kids with school work can be challenging in the best of times (“new” math anyone?) let alone during a worldwide pandemic. These Firefox features can help make managing school work, and remote summer classes if those are on your horizon, a little easier.

  • The influence of hardware on Firefox build times

    I recently upgraded my aging “fast” build machine. Back when I assembled the machine, it could do a full clobber build of Firefox in about 10 minutes. That was slightly more than 10 years ago. This upgrade, and the build times I’m getting on the brand new machine (now 6 months old) and other machines led me to look at how some parameters influence build times.

    [...]

    The XPS13 being old, it is subject to thermal throttling, making it slower than it should be, but it wouldn’t beat the 10 years old desktop anyway. Macbook Pros tend to get into these thermal issues after a while too.

    I’ve relied on laptops for a long time. My previous laptop before this XPS was another XPS, that is now about 6 to 7 years old, and while the newer one had more RAM, it was barely getting better build times compared to the older one when I switched. The evolution of laptop performance has been underwelming for a long time, but things finally changed last year. At long last.

    I wish I had numbers with a more recent laptop under the same OS as the XPS for fairer comparison. Or with the more recent larger laptops that sport even more cores, especially the fancy ones with Ryzen processors.

  • Writing inside organizations

    My team keeps snippets, which kinda-sorta feels like a blog-like interface for sharing context. We keep our snippets in a google doc largely because it has a low barrier to entry and it's a fast solution. However, I find that keeping snippets in a doc really limits the value I personally get from keeping a weekly log. Ostensibly, the value to writing snippets is keeping my team up to date on my work. However, I find that the secondary personal benefits are the ones that keep me motivated to write updates.

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: May 2020 Edition

    IMPORTANT: Firefox 78 is the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version. That’s a more stable version designed for enterprises, but also used in some Linux distributions, and it remains supported for about a year. Once Firefox 78 moves to release, that content will remain frozen until that version becomes unsupported (about 15 months), so it’s important to ship the best localization possible.

  • Mozilla’s journey to environmental sustainability

    The programme may be new, but the process has been shaping for years: In March 2020, Mozilla officially launched a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Programme, and I am proud and excited to be stewarding our efforts.

    Since we launched, the world has been held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic. People occasionally ask me, “Is this really the time to build up and invest in such a large-scale, ambitious programme?” My answer is clear: Absolutely.

  • Mozilla Privacy Blog: An opportunity for openness and user agency in the proposed Facebook-Giphy merger

    Facebook is squarely in the crosshairs of global competition regulators, but despite that scrutiny, is moving to acquire Giphy, a popular platform that lets users share images on social platforms, such as Facebook, or messaging applications, such as WhatsApp. This merger – how it is reviewed, whether it is approved, and if approved under what sort of conditions – will set a precedent that will influence not only future mergers, but also the shape of legislative reforms being actively developed all around the world. It is crucial that antitrust agencies incorporate into their processes a deep understanding of the nature of the open internet and how it promotes competition, how data flows between integrated services, and in particular the role played by interoperability.

    Currently Giphy is integrated with numerous independent social messaging services, including, for example, Slack, Signal, and Twitter. A combined Facebook-Giphy would be in a position to restrict access by those companies, whether to preserve their exclusivity or to get leverage for some other reason. This would bring clear harm to users who would suddenly lose the capabilities they currently enjoy, and make it harder for other companies to compete.

Beaker Browser 1.0 Beta

Filed under
OSS
Web

I recently reviewed the Beaker Browser. About a week after that review was published, the devs released Beaker 1.0 Beta. And that changes almost everything I had observed in the previous article.

This made me do an entire article on the new Beaker Browser.Here’s what’s been changed!

One of the most significant changes to Beaker is the introduction of a new protocol. Up to now, Beaker has used the Dat protocol to distribute content. Beta 1.0 replaces Dat with Hypercore.

One of the components is Hyperdrive version 10, which was released the same days as Beaker. Hyperdrive is “a POSIX-like filesystem implementation, written in Node.js, that’s designed to be the storage layer for fast, scalable, and secure peer-to-peer applications.”

Read more

WWW: Curl, Mozilla Phoning Home, LMS for WordPress and Libre Graphic Meeting/Webstream

Filed under
Web
  • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –socks5

    --socks5 was added to curl back in 7.18.0. It takes an argument and that argument is the host name (and port number) of your SOCKS5 proxy server. There is no short option version.

  • How does the Glean SDK send gzipped pings

    Within the Glean SDK, the glean-core Rust component does not provide any specific implementation to perform the upload of pings. This means that either the language bindings (e.g. Glean APIs for Android in Kotlin) or the product itself (e.g. Fenix) have to provide a way to transport data from the client to the telemetry endpoint.

    Before our recent changes (by Beatriz Rizental and Jan-Erik) to the ping upload system, the language bindings needed to understand the format with which pings were persisted to disk in order to read and finally upload them. This is not the case anymore: glean-core will provide language bindings with the headers and the data (ping payload!) of the request they need to upload.

    The new upload API empowers the SDK to provide a single place in which to compress the payload to be uploaded: glean-core, right before serving upload requests to the language bindings.

  • Create interactive content in WordPress with the H5P plugin

    WordPress is best known as a website content management system, but it also a great learning management system (LMS) for delivering online courses. If that is what you are looking for out of WordPress, then H5P should be the top plugin on your list.

    H5P is a way to create and share interactive HTML5 content, including presentations, games, quizzes, forms, and more, in a browser. You can download a wide variety of content types from H5P's Examples and Downloads page, or you can create unique content to embed in your WordPress site.

    H5P provides plugins and integrations for WordPress, Moodle, Drupal, Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard, and more. In this article, I will show how to use H5P in WordPress to create a reading comprehension quiz for students.

  • Libre Graphic Meeting online 2020 Livestream

    After Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil and more; the famous Libre Graphic Meeting 2020 was finally happening in France! But unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, the in real life event was canceled. The event was then converted into an online event and I decided to contribute with offering a livestreaming session: a Krita digital painting workshop. I'll share on this one some step by step for my speedpainting technique; the theme: "Here be dragons".

    If you want to participate, connect to the program page on Friday 29 May, 15h00 (Paris Time); a "LIVE" button will be available on the top to access the video stream and you'll get also documentation on how to chat to interact with me during the livestream. It's free, open access, and the content of the video will be shared later under an open license.

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More in Tux Machines

Septor 2020.5

Tor Browser is fully installed (10.0.2) System upgrade from Debian Buster repos as of October 21, 2020 Update Linux Kernel to 5.9.0-1 Update Thunderbird to 78.3.1-2 Update Tor to 0.4.4.5 Update Youtube-dl to 2020.09.20 Read more

Incremental backup with Butterfly Backup

This article explains how to make incremental or differential backups, with a catalog available to restore (or export) at the point you want, with Butterfly Backup. Read more

Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards

Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and AMD

  • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Driver Beta With Fragment Shading Rate Control - Phoronix

    This week's Vulkan 1.2.158 spec release brought the fragment shading rate extension to control the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. This can be useful similar to OpenGL and Direct3D support for helping to allow different, less important areas of the screen be shaded less than areas requiring greater detail/focus. NVIDIA on Tuesday released the 455.26.02 Linux driver (and 457.00 version for Windows) that adds this fragment shading rate extension.

  • Intel Begins Adding Alder Lake Graphics Support To Their Linux Driver - Phoronix

    Intel has begun adding support for Alderlake-S to their open-source Linux kernel graphics driver. An initial set of 18 patches amounting to just around 300 lines of new kernel code was sent out today for beginning the hardware enablement work on Alderlake-S from the graphics side. Yes, it's only a few hundred lines of new driver code due to Alder Lake leveraging the existing Gen12/Tigerlake support. The Alder Lake driver patches similarly re-use some of the same workarounds and changes as set for the 14nm Rocket Lake processors with Gen12 graphics coming out in Q1.

  • AMD Linux Driver Preparing For A Navi "Blockchain" Graphics Card - Phoronix

    While all eyes are on the AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards set to be announced next week, it also looks like AMD is preparing for a Navi 1x "Blockchain" graphics card offering given the latest work in their open-source Linux driver. Patches posted today provide support for a new Navi graphics card referred to as the "navi10 blockchain SKU." The Navi 10 part has a device ID of 0x731E. From the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver perspective, the only difference from the existing Navi 10 GPU support is these patches disable the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) support with this new SKU not having any display support.