Forum: User Feedback
started by: roberts
Posted by roberts on April 06 2008,17:24Before voting you may wish to try FFv2-gtk1 with your current hardware.
You can test it by using the firefox-2.0-gtk1.uci this is located in the uci section of the MyDSL repository.
Posted by jaapz on April 06 2008,18:20i voted to update firefox! firefox v2 is way better than the v1 and v1.5 series, it would be really cool if it even could be included as a .dsl package
Posted by Jason W on April 06 2008,19:02I use Firefox 1.0.6 daily with DSL and have been for a while and it is fairly light and I have not had any problems with it. Never has it crashed or locked up on me, and if it has I cannot remember. I have only used the Firefox 2.0 extension a couple of times. I also use the latest flock browser when I have gtk2 loaded and am on a machine with the horsepower to pull it. I like them all. But my vote was to remove Firefox from base DSL.
It would free up considerable room to either add additional apps/updates, and would leave a smaller base. Firefox 1.0.6 could be available as an extension just as the other browsers in MyDSL are. The choice can be left to the user. I think a major web browser like Firefox is big enough to be in the extensions area. Experienced users would just add Firefox to their list of extensions to load. And newcomers to DSL could even have a link in the menu to fetch Firefox if it was needed in the transition period, like the early versions of DSL had if I can recall. My vote to remove Firefox does in no way mean I do not like it. I like it and Opera as well, and they both would be nice as extensions. I would be happy with or without Firefox in base DSL. This is just my $.02 on the matter.
Posted by lucky13 on April 06 2008,19:53I agree with Jason. I voted to take it out by balancing that some users will want GTK2 instead of GTK1, Opera instead of Firefox, etc., against the amount of space required to implement Firefox. Dillo is adequate for users to be able to do simple browsing, access the forums, etc. Make all versions of Firefox extension -- 1.0.6 for older hardware, 2 with GTK1 and GTK2, and before too long Firefox 3. Let users decide and then allocate the room it would take up for more modules, more utilities, etc.
FWIW, I'm using the latest Firefox/Bon Echo GTK1 build (see March extensions discussion with newby) about 75% of the time and Firefox 3 beta the rest of the time. The GTK1 build isn't very lightweight, but it's a bit more nimble than the standard Mozilla GTK2 build.
One more option I wish was under consideration if you want to keep the base similar to the status quo is replacing Firefox and Sylpheed with Opera. I know there are issues since their source is closed, but size-wise it would be similar and Opera is faster than Firefox speed-wise.
Posted by spark-o-matic on April 06 2008,20:18
I think this is the perfect solution. I have been using firefox-2.0-gtk1.uci almost from the time I found DSL and on Windows for some time now. I like it a lot better then older versions. I vote to free up the space but make it way too easy to get it if desired.
Posted by jaapz on April 06 2008,20:58actually i agree with jason too! removing firefox will get more space free for other apps that are necessary.
my vote now goes to remove FF from base DSL
Posted by jpeters on April 07 2008,01:45Given the ease of using extensions, there are probably better ways to use the space (not talking about apps, either). Let the big, fat, distros cater to the latest, preloaded, versions of Firefox, Office, etc., etc.
Posted by Juanito on April 07 2008,03:42I downloaded firefox-2.0-gtk1.uci last night but didn't get around to trying it..
I use the opera9 extension on my old desktop due to the memory leak problem with firefox/fluxbox - I like the "start where you left off" option that will open all the tabs that were open at the last shut-down. Maybe firefox has this option, but I didn't find it.
I use the built-in firefox on my laptop booted from usb - since I never have it going more than a few hours, there's no problem with the memory leak but then I use it with 4.2.5 and jwm most of the time anyway.
I'll vote for removing firefox - maybe we could add cups to the space freed up to improve the printing experience?
Posted by stupid_idiot on April 07 2008,09:46I tend to keep Firefox and Opera open at the same time. I use a 15" CRT at 640x480. Some websites are almost impossible to read comfortably without Opera's Fit to Width feature. Firefox does not have this feature, even in Firefox 3.0 (still in beta).
- Opera's tab-opening behaviour used to be a big problem. But it has been fixed in the 9.5 series (still in beta). More info on < this page >.
- Fonts look much better under Opera and Firefox-GTK2 compared to Firefox-GTK1. This is because QT and GTK2 use Xft (font anti-aliasing) while GTK1 doesn't. (I prefer AA because it is easier on my eyes.)
- Opera has a builtin, easy-to-use adblocker.
- Like Firefox-GTK1, Opera supports Flash 7.
I voted for "Remove Firefox from DSL."
I think Opera is better than Firefox-GTK1 (any version), especially the upcoming Opera 9.5.
Posted by jaapz on April 07 2008,13:39@stupid_idiot: but still, opera is a lot heavier than the gtk1 firefox, so it won't really fit into the damn small part of our little linux distro. of course its great that its in the dsl repos, but i dont see opera as default browser in DSL.
Posted by curaga on April 07 2008,13:46I agree with the general opinion of removing Firefox altogether.
I'm also an Opera fan, but I believe the "big" browser should always be an extension, left to the user to decide.
Posted by jpeters on April 08 2008,04:00
16 votes; and this distro is known for its strong following. I suspect most Firefox users have been loading their own for some time now, given that its most important extension, AdBlock Plus, requires ver 1.5 or later.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on April 08 2008,05:16
From running ps and looking at the vsz column, v2 looks like it's running in the 50MiB while the one in the base uses high 30MiB (opened 2 tabs).
I'd rather see that any Firefox version is included in the base, just because web browsing is a huge chunk of computing time (at least for me) and having a standard modern browser is important. I'm making my decision based on the guess that most people who use the livecd will not look at extensions. Even if you could download it, 10MB can take a while... So if DSL remains as a "desktop" livecd, I think it is necessary to keep one version in.
I'll have to see if v2 can run on 64MB of RAM before making my decision on the two though. (What about v1.0.8?)
Personally, I am an Opera user as well. However, due to the licensing (as already pointed out), I would highly doubt this will ever be included.
Posted by roberts on April 08 2008,06:28John did strip ff2gtk1, but mostly in jar files. The runtime is basically the same. The physical size of the stripped version is smaller than the uci. FF2gtk1 does demand much more resources than currently used and hence my suggestion to try the uci.
Posted by jaapz on April 08 2008,13:21i tested v2 with 64mb ram, works well for me! now my default browser
Posted by stupid_idiot on April 08 2008,15:42Fantasy:
Integrate inline image-viewing into < ELinks > -- just like < w3m-img > (< screenshot >)?
If only I could use Hotmail with elinks.
For one and all:
"I, for one, welcome our new text console overlords."
Yes, I know it is everyone's fantasy, so I can't take credit for it.
Posted by lucky13 on April 08 2008,15:48
Posted by Nigadoo on April 08 2008,15:59I voted to take firefox out of the base, but now am having second thoughts...
It's easy enough to burn a base DSL CD, and then use it to create a MYDSL CD with whatever browser of choice. However, that may (or may not) be user-friendly or environmentally friendly (more burned CD's? if it matters...).
Could a base include the latest version of Firefox (that still fits within 50MB and works well with the older computers, thus having a decent web browser built-in) AS A MYDSL extension, that could be removed by users if they do want to create a custom MYDSL CD?
If the option above were available, I'd vote for that. Otherwise, if it's overall better for newbies and others, I think I would prefer change my vote to updating to ff2gtk1, or whatever other version of FF that fits in 50MB.
Cheers and best regards.
Posted by stupid_idiot on April 08 2008,16:02lucky13:
Thanks for the tip! (I've used the "old" interface in gmail previously.)
I wonder if those could be properly presented in a text-based interface using inline image-viewing.
My (very uneducated) guess: "so complicated that it becomes impossible".
Posted by curaga on April 08 2008,16:17s_i: you do know that links has image viewing, in framebuffer console too?
Posted by stupid_idiot on April 08 2008,16:43Yes, but links 2.x uses its own fonts and graphical appearance.
I prefer the "text console" look.
Apart from appearance, ELinks has more features, I think.
- Forward key ("u")
- URI rewriting
For those who don't know about Links:
< Links homepage >
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on April 08 2008,19:26
Is that with any swap?
Posted by kuky on April 08 2008,20:49i vote to jason for president...
i think is better to use a ff.uci with the latest tecno and also translate for diferents languages ( a common procedure its needed)...
i am runing esfirefox2011.uci that is the latest state of the art in dsl (pride of newbys)with a celeron 400 and 128 mb ....i think its necesary to design dsl with a modular grow in function of utility and languages...
the first dsl module or level is the clasic 50 mb, to a basic procedures ,surf the web,mp3, hd recover tools and rescue of old pcs with something broken...(only in english)
the second level is a offimatic solution with OOo firefox and thunderbird and networking,free wireless community included, with programs in diferents languages (kukydsl project) .
the 3 level is to add multimedia and image solutions...
the 4 level is to do a universal cluster with all dsl-maniacs over the world to prevent the war , hungry , climate change and other human-natural disasters...
pdta...my only frustrating problem with dsl is to print .....
Posted by jpeters on April 08 2008,22:44Kuky,
You might want to get the printer working somewhere between multimedia and saving the world...
EDIT: ..although the scanner can come later..
Posted by imhennessy on April 13 2008,16:07I voted for removal.
Dillo does almost everything I need, and the firefox/bon echo 2 uci is great.
I'm only mentioning this in this thread because there was a question about anyone having trouble with the uci, and I have had some.
I will gather my info and do a full fledged "Help Me!" soon, but in the mean time I will mention that I made the mistake of loading the Flash plugin for the uci, and immediately all web pages with flash killed firefox, no matter which version I tried. Rebooting did not help.
Further details to be posted in a separate thread.
Posted by jpeters on April 13 2008,16:27
Shouldn't be a problem in DSL ver 5. (prior versions require flash 7).
Posted by lucky13 on April 13 2008,18:00
This isn't a problem with the firefox UCI but a separate Flash issue. The solution is to remove the flash plugin or its link; rebooting with both extensions will load them both and cause the 'problem' to continue. So don't load them both -- remove the flash extension, run base norestore (I don't remember if the flash plugin ends up in ~/.mozilla/firefox/plugins), or just delete the flash plugin. Running without flash and all its security problems is safer anyway.
Posted by jaapz on April 13 2008,20:57
nope, i wanted to do some swap, but then forgot to make a swap partition when i installed dsl xD, should make a swap partition soon though...
anyway, i found out ff2gtk1 is not very stable jet on my 400mhz 64mb ram with no swap laptop, on the heavier websites ff just stuns the whole system, which then needs a "hard" restart (off-button for 5 secs xD), and thats not very cool. maybe when i have swap it would work better... so, now using ff1 again as default...
Posted by bulldozer on April 14 2008,21:19I think the answer depends on what user base you are going after. Those with aging computers or those with fast computers that want a really small OS...
Personally I run Ubuntu on anything with at least 256MB RAM and a decent processor, anything else: its gonna be DSL now that I've gotten familiar with it.
If most people are like me, I'd say ditch firefox and switch to Opera. My experience on a 120MHz, 16MB RAM machine was firefox took 10 minutes to load while filling up the RAM and a quarter of the 64MB swap, while Opera loaded in under a minute and was useable for browsing sites Dillo could not.
That is the Opera in MyDSL, btw.
I haven't checked but what are the footprints of firefox and opera?
I wish Opera luck with what seems to be their new goal of targeting the mobile and embedded market. I hope it is profitable for them.
Posted by roberts on April 14 2008,22:22Given a 2.4 kernel, the answer is the older machines.
I too use and like Opera. However, Opera is not open source.
Wish Dillo Fltk would be an answer to this dilema.
Posted by imhennessy on April 14 2008,22:29lucky13,
thanks. I tracked it down and exterminated it. I'm not worried about security, my computer is really just a toy for me.
Posted by lucky13 on April 14 2008,23:08
Neither are the binaries used in things like ndiswrapper or certain other drivers. Yet those things are either included or related tools are included to enable their use -- ndiswrapper by itself without any binary blob is totally useless, but DSL has it in the base anyway. Go a step further and look at how many distros include Flash and other closed source offerings, including Opera, in default configurations.
I've gone back and forth about where to draw lines when it comes to what should or shouldn't be included with an open source operating system. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need ndiswrapper or Flash or emulation layers like WINE. The world isn't perfect. Users ultimately want things to work with minimal (i.e., zero) fuss. They don't care for the religion of Stallman and his demented, frothing hyperbole about evil except with occasional lip service and petty rants against "winblows." I think most are really only interested in free as in beer; and Opera is free as in beer.
I see modularization as probably the most pragmatic solution because it leaves all the choice of larger, major apps to the user without moralizing about what choice is or isn't acceptable for whatever reason. Want open source Firefox? Fine, mydsl-load it. Want closed source Opera? Do the same thing. Everyone gets to choose without decisions being made for him. That's my definition of "free as in freedom."
I also want to address the 2.4/older machines remark but this is neither the thread nor the time for it.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on April 15 2008,00:16
Posted by lucky13 on April 15 2008,00:53
Paradox -- what good is it on its own? It's a kludge that's only useful with a blob. No blob, no good.
Its developers want to deny it's an emulator and their faq restates the argument on grounds that it isn't an x86 emulator. That's a red herring (not to mention it ignores the fact that Windows isn't limited to Intel x86 architecture, that's just the de facto standard -- one even Apple has had to migrate). It's a layer that enables emulation of the Windows API for both closed and open source applications right down to C:\ on a different operating system, irrespective of hardware. IOW, it's an emulator.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on April 15 2008,02:49
Posted by lucky13 on April 15 2008,03:12
Didn't realize I was "arguing" for that, especially since I wrote that further modularization helps remove objections either way because it puts all those decisions in the hands of end users instead of developers. When one chooses to use Flash, Opera, or ndiswrapper, one is ultimately choosing to use closed source. The only difference between the three is ndiswrapper is a tool for allowing the use of something *else* that's closed source. If there's any ethical problem with Opera or Flash, it should also apply to anything else that's related to closed source -- directly or indirectly. Obviously, though, it doesn't.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on April 15 2008,04:26
Posted by bulldozer on April 15 2008,16:02
A free beer sounds good to me. Most people don't care about the means to an end, they only care about the end!
I had a lapse of thought and forgot about Opera and open source for a second. Looks like the S[tallman] Inquisition will be out soon for me.
If the license for a blob approves distribution, then I see nothing wrong with blobs if there is no open source alternative. And if someone tries to say including blobs will not inspire people to write an open source replacement, thats just BS.
Of course if the DSL mission (forgive my ignorance, I have not read the mission statement in awhile) is to provide a 100% open source distro, then firefox should stay, and Opera should be in MyDSL where is belongs. Perhaps adding some better directions to Opera for newbs on slow hardware.
Posted by roberts on April 15 2008,17:08It is this that gives us pause to remove/strip DSL.
We now have a better mydsl browser/loader tool with search.
It is now even easier to find and load extensions.
Perhaps a compromise would be to have download script(s) on the menu like there is for gnu-utils and dpkg-restore (Enable Apt)
Posted by jaapz on April 15 2008,20:04Scripts that automatically replace FF for Opera, or FF for FF2 would be a really good idea actually. Then the Stallman Inquisition wont be after RobertS ( ;-) ) cos FF1 is in there and thats open source, and the people with low end PC's (and the guys who love Opera) are also happy cos they can use Opera. And in the end everyone is happy cos even those who want to use FF2 can do that easily!
IOW: downloadscripts are the best compromise!
Posted by lucky13 on April 15 2008,20:23
No need to replace what's not there. Include dillo, add menu entries:
<Menu label="download browser">
<Program label="Firefox 1.06 for vintage hardware">wget URI</Program>
<Program label="Firefox 2 GTK1">wget URI</Program>
<Program label="Firefox 2 GTK2 - requires GTK2 extension!">wget URI</Program>
<Program label="Opera">wget URI</Program>
Posted by bulldozer on April 15 2008,20:44
I am sorry for my comments if you feel they've undermined your accomplishments. Being new to DSL from other distros one can forget what linux was like back in the 2.4 days and overlook all the work a small team has done with DSL and that small team has kept up with what hundreds of developers have done to the mainstream distros.
I forgot that along the way to ease of use the mainstream distros have added tons of bloat and what DSL packs in 50MB (a distro, two window managers, a rather comprehensive package manager, and most software one would need on a daily basis) is amazing.
I forget that linux newbies aren't going to go for DSL because it does not hide the command line from the user. Nor should it. You have provided an asset to the community for serious use and for fun.
I found Opera quickly in mydsl after thinking about possible alternates to firefox. There is no need for better directions, I take back my comments.
Posted by roberts on April 15 2008,20:52The scripts wouldn't be to replace the existing FF v1.06 as that would mean a remaster.
But if I remove FF from the iso, then offer script(s) to download a browser.
The negative of download scripts is that the source will likely change. DSL once used a download script to fetch firefox, then the release would change and the iso became broken. This time, since we are hosting FF in the mydsl repository, that would not be an issue.
The other negative of a download script is the target. If one understands mydsl it is not a problem, but then a download script would not be necessary. Otherwise where to download this large static blob. Not in home/dsl as your backup would take forever and likely break. Besides a large static blob does not belong in home.
Using mydsl's unspecified location of /tmp, means download will be lost upon shutdown. Therefore the download script does not seem the best solution.
Perhaps the "Getting Started" document can better explain using MyDSL in particular howto get a better browser than Dillo and have it persist.
Posted by roberts on April 15 2008,20:54
I don't take it that way. I take this as real honest feedback and food for thought.
Posted by roberts on April 18 2008,19:48I am closing the poll, as I have heard from John today.
Since DSL has always had the goal of being a useful desktop and given the fact that development on DSL v3.x has been stopped. And since the goal of DSL v5 will be a tiny core.
We decided that DSL v4.x should continue the goal of trying to provide a complete desktop. To this end, v4.3 will include an updated the Firefox browser (Gtk1 v2) This is the version that John has worked on to reduce size and still fit within the 50MB image.