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6:47 AM
popped up in my Google feed today. I give little or no thought to my browsers, except that they eat memory like there is no tomorrow.
 
7:08 AM
Is the UI design completely broken on U&L? Have to scroll vertically. That's borked
 
7:48 AM
Looks like they use html__responsive on other pages, but not U&L. And the non-responsive design has a hardcoded width of minimum 1264px (Which is too wide imo).
 
 
2 hours later…
9:47 AM
Hi all. Anyone knowledgeable in installing kernel modules/drivers ? Need help in installing a tp-link driver in Redhat. unix.stackexchange.com/q/680725/433212
 
As I recall, Debian stable used to backport fixes, so version numbers may be misleading.
But the article claims that the browsers shipped by Debian stable have many unfixed vulnerabilities.
 
10:17 AM
I normally avoid Phoronix but in this instance the article is pretty accurate: Chromium in Debian is unmaintained (or close enough), and Firefox in stable is blocked by a complex chain of updates (which are all individually OK on the face of it, but getting the whole combination working is proving complex).
Regardless of what the article says though, don’t read the forums!
 
@StephenKitt Well, that's unfortunate. What browser do you use on Debian?
 
@FaheemMitha Firefox ESR
 
I do get Chromium updates, though. Or have been.
I use both Chromium and Firefox, so this is not welcome news.
Possibly a suitable question for the site, assuming someone hasn't asked it already.
 
@FaheemMitha the last update was in May :-/
 
@StephenKitt Bugger.
What's the issue? Nobody volunteering for the work? Or some more fundamental problem?
 
10:23 AM
I find it weird that the reader reporting this to Phoronix did so anonymously; all the discussion is public...
@FaheemMitha no Debian developer volunteering to accompany the work.
 
For the record, I don't follow Phoronix and know nothing about it.
Though the name sounds familiar. As in, I've probably read articles there before.
 
Updating Chromium is a ton of effort, there are people volunteering to do some of it but no DD involved enough any more.
 
@StephenKitt OK, so no fundamental issues per se. So the person or persons handling Chromium became inactive?
@StephenKitt I see. Yes, web browser seem nightmarishly complex these days.
 
@FaheemMitha not active enough to keep up with the work involved, at least.
 
@StephenKitt OK.
 
10:25 AM
Basically, it ends up boiling down to “you get what you pay for”, and no one wants to pay to get up-to-date browsers in Debian.
(And yes, there is infrastructure in place to pay people to do stuff in Debian.)
 
And the discussion is on debian-devel or debian-project, or somewhere else?
@StephenKitt Maybe a question for the site would be appropriate. What do you think?
@StephenKitt Up-to-date I don't care about. Security, I do.
 
@StephenKitt That's helpful. Thank you.
 
@FaheemMitha the best questions are those about specific problems the asker is trying to solve; if you can frame it that way, then go for it
 
@StephenKitt I guess my question would go something like - if Chromium is unmaintained on Debian stable, what are my options if I want to continue using Chromium on Debian stable?
 
10:31 AM
@FaheemMitha that sounds fair enough. Note that the big difference here between Chromium and Firefox is that Chromium is unmaintained full stop; Firefox is maintained, but getting current Firefox ESR into stable is proving troublesome.
 
@StephenKitt I understand. I won't ask about Firefox, which appears to be a different situation.
This is all rather unfortunate. There aren't a lot of browser choices out there. And I like to have at least 2 distinct usable browsers available. Though I can well remember the time (Netscape 4.77) where there wasn't even one. I remember Netscape regularly freezing up my system for no reason, which at least does not happen now.
 
there was a fantastic bug in Netscape 4.78 on SunOS which meant that if you logged out without exiting Netscape, it would continue running and consume as much CPU as it could get
that was the main reason for doing Stop+A boot when I was a student
 
@StephenKitt I don't recall that one, but I can remember well what fun it was running Netscape back in the day. You never knew what to expect.
 
10:47 AM
I use proprietary firefox dev edition. Good point about thunderbird, have to replace that too.
 
10:58 AM
@AndrasDeak Thunderbird? I don't follow.
 
11:29 AM
@FaheemMitha that article says thunderbird is all the same.
 
12:24 PM
@AndrasDeak Oh. The Phoronix article? I guess I didn't read it that carefully.
 
yes, the one you seemed to have been talking about afterward
They've changed the profile design from "oh god get me an ice cream scoop so I can gouge my eyes out" to "oh wow this is horrible". Clear improvement.
 
Since, we're on the subject, browsers.stackoverflow.design
Needless to say, Debian stable doesn't have these versions. Not even close.
(That link was just posted in the TeX SE Chat room.)
 
Chromium is unmaintained? You mean the project in general or just the package in Debian, @StephenKitt?
 
This all makes me a bit nostalgic for IRC. Which has had its fair share of brickbats, but at least you don't need version numbers to access it reliably.
 
@terdon the package in Debian
 
12:29 PM
ah, phew!
 
In other news, NZ is planning to drive down tobacco sales.
Are there any other free browsers that I don't know about?
Available and maintained on Debian, that is.
My impression is that the demands are so complex, only big organizations can now compete.
Incidentally, that Debian bug report suggested that the Chrome team isn't inclined to play line with free software packagers.
 
@FaheemMitha aptitude search '?provides(www-browser)'
 
Well, I should have said browsers that work well enough to be useful. Looking at the list, the answer appears to be no.
Though I can't recall if I have ever tried Epiphany.
I remember the GNOME web browser, Galeon. I liked that one. It was my main browser for a while.
I was sad when it went away.
 
12:46 PM
@FaheemMitha Epiphany descends from Galeon
 
I thought epiphanies descended from Mount Sinai?
 
 
6 hours later…
6:52 PM
@StephenKitt Oh. I didn't know that. But why not keep Galeon alive, then?
 

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