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What's up with all the browser bloat lately?
Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

<rant>

I installed Slackware 14.2 about a year ago, and never updated anything. I was using Firefox 50 (?) and while there were always a very few web pages that didn't display properly, I got by. Then one of my favorite sites refused to display anything, and it seemed to get worse during the next week. I went to Mozilla and downloaded the latest and greatest, which wouldn't play any audio without pulse audio, which I'd disabled.

So, I put a fresh install of Slack 14.2 on an unused partition and installed all the updates and left pulse audio enabled. Firefox is now at 52.3.0 and tons of pages and videos don't display properly, hell, even YouTube is now full of videos that only show a message "This video format is not supported by your browser". Also, it's slower than molasses in January. I googled, which pretty much suggested to disable all add-ons, but that didn't work either.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that loading "Thread locks too soon" took 10 seconds or so to load and I was thinking the browser locked up, but now the little spinning arc thing that indicates load in progress keeps spinning, but it takes even longer to load that thread.

I'm assuming my old Athlon64 dual core just isn't up to the task anymore, but jeez, really, what the hell are they thinking throwing in all this useless bloat and for what?

</rant>

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

Apparently they will have optimized Firefox quite a bit for version 57 (at the cost of breaking a whole bunch of addons). Have you tried, e.g. chromium?

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

SiegeLord said:

Have you tried, e.g. chromium?

<rant>

I pretty much have to use chromium on my phone because FF crashes every 60 seconds or so whereas chromium only crashes every 5 mins, and I hate it with a passion. I think I tried chromium about 3 years ago on desktop linux to view some sort of animation that flatly stated it wouldn't display in anything else, and once I saw the animation I uninstalled it again. And all the stuff that really bogs down the phone begs me to download some app that does who knows what to view a video or even a simple image. Good ghod, there's png, jpg and gif, mp4 and some text, what else do they need? Well, maybe some php to deliver a personalized webpage maybe showing your bank account.

tl;dr

I just want to see the dancing bunnies in my old age with out all the BS.

</rant>

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

I installed Slackware 14.2 about a year ago, and never updated anything.

Skip to 1:30..

video

Not keeping your system up-to-date is probably a mistake. I mean, I sort of get holding back on browsers because humbug, they're getting worse, but you still require the security fixes to remain somewhat safe..

A few weeks ago I mentioned that loading "Thread locks too soon" took 10 seconds or so to load and I was thinking the browser locked up, but now the little spinning arc thing that indicates load in progress keeps spinning, but it takes even longer to load that thread.

I have a Phenom II x6 with 8 GB of DDR3. That thread would bog down just about any machine. It's a huge Web page if you don't enable paging. I enabled 100 posts per page paging just for that thread like over a year ago, and haven't changed it since it's still active. That helps a lot, and rarely affects other threads.

SiegeLord said:

Apparently they will have optimized Firefox quite a bit for version 57 (at the cost of breaking a whole bunch of addons). Have you tried, e.g. chromium?

Again?! FFS. >:( Those idiots. The only thing Firefox had going for it was the addons. If you break the extensions users might as well switch to Chrome. They already did this once or twice before, and it's the reason for the downfall in popularity. I've already had to force install my favorite extension for 3 years now because most of the developers quit because of the momentous undertaking porting the code was. It barely works anymore (if at all). Extension developers aren't getting paid to maintain these things over breaking changes in the host application... Particularly when fundamental things are changed that make it difficult or impossible to replicate the extension's functionality.

I just want to see the dancing bunnies in my old age with out all the BS.

There are a few new niche browsers on the market that might suite you better these days. I hate to say it, but Firefox is a dying project. The organization/developers seem to have no vision and just keep screwing it up worse and worse. I agree that Chrome/Chromium is a poor choice as well. I haven't settled on a replacement so I mostly still use Firefox, but I've dabbled in "Vivaldi" which doesn't suit me just yet (needs Vim-like keybindings and better privacy options). While I don't think it solves the performance issues, qutebrowser sounds intriguing to me. There's also vise. I haven't really tried either yet. I'm sure there's others..

I'd say start by running a modern distribution and keeping that up to date. Yeah, browsers tend to get worse, but updates also bring bug fixes and security fixes. :) Very important for Internet usage especially.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
avatar

Lately? Welcome to computers, this has always been going on. Not just web browsers either. My computer habits haven't changed much in the last 5 to 10 years, but with as horrid performance I have lately with 3GB RAM and a dual-core Athlon64 X2 4200+, it makes me wonder how I ever worked with a computer that had less than 1GB of RAM and a single-core CPU that was sub-1GHz.

It doesn't help that it's 2017 and browser developers still don't seem to have any idea how video acceleration works, despite the fact that HTML5 video was adopted in part to take better advantage of system resources. And with the introduction of DRM to web standards, it's only going to get worse as more obstacles get between the data and being able to display said data.

--
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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When I have chrome on my computer with a couple of plugins (uBlock and Ghostry), I basically have like 200 MB free for actual pages. And that's with 2 GB of RAM, and running ZRAM which takes 1 GB, compresses it, and gives me "3 GB" total at the expense of slower access speeds. But seeing as how my computer is essentially a glowing brick without ZRAM, it's pretty useful.

Also, I've realized that Chrome's memory manager actually under reports usages compared with:

smem -t -P chrome

which reports 232MB vs 158MB reported inside Chrome for the main process PID. Lying arses!

And that smem value is PSS, which accounts for multiple processes sharing a page.

[edit] Actually, I'm nuking Ghostry from my laptop since it's taking 150MB and uBlock Origin does most features of Ghostry. That's like 3-4 wikipedia tabs I could keep open, or, 1/2 of a Reddit page. >:(

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

beoran
Member #12,636
March 2011

https://surf.suckless.org/

At least some people are fighting the good fight...

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
avatar

Have you tried a different distro? When I installed the different flavours of Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc) I had no problems with Firefox on it.

--
Deluxe Pacman (website now gone)
"I am not ashamed of my belief in God."

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Neil Roy said:

Have you tried a different distro?

It looks like I'll be using Linux Mint from now on instead of Slackware, my geekiness has suffered irreparable harm in the last couple of years and FF on Linux Mint seems to do the job at least somewhat. And there's all those multimedia apps on synaptic, of which maybe %80 work as opposed to Slackware repositories, where the dependencies often lead you down a long path that grinds to a halt with some obscure library that Google hasn't heard of for two or three years (at least for consumer oriented apps).

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

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