Firefox 45 ESR is here

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Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby Monsie » June 10th, 2016, 2:01 am

Hi all,

In case you have not checked for updates, the package that converts Iceweasel to Firefox arrived today. The installation went smoothly for me. All I had to do was to move the old Iceweasel shortcut to trash and create a new shortcut for Firefox in my desktop folder.

While I liked Iceweasel, I found in recent weeks that some websites were having issues with this browser, telling me that it was old, unrecognized, and recommending that I install a modern conventional browser... Hmmm, I noticed that Internet Explorer was on that list... :roll:

So, I feel that Firefox for debian is a welcome change and perhaps it signals a change of policy for the debian project in terms of the kinds of software that can be included in a default installation. That said, I am not an expert with the licensing of code, nor am I up to date with debian politics. Hopefully though, this change is seen by most users as a move in the right direction.

Monsie
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby cynwulf » June 13th, 2016, 1:23 pm

Monsie wrote:While I liked Iceweasel, I found in recent weeks that some websites were having issues with this browser, telling me that it was old, unrecognized, and recommending that I install a modern conventional browser...

Most likely down to user agent, I was sure they fixed that years ago by including "like firefox" in the user agent string? Probably since v3.5.x in Debian squeeze or whatever...

Monsie wrote:perhaps it signals a change of policy for the debian project in terms of the kinds of software that can be included in a default installation

It's an old change of policy, unless I'm missing something this is just the removal of the branding so far I can tell?

iceweasel and chromium have been getting major version updates via debian security for quite some time - that's not (historically) the "Debian way", which was to freeze at specific versions and patch from there. So in the past you never got a newer iceweasel unless you used an unofficial repository (or installed binary firefox) - you only got backported patches to the release version.

I don't see this in itself as either good or bad - more so a symptom of changes within the project. My personal opinion is that Debian's old tried and tested approach of putting out a stable system should not have been compromised for some web browsers, but on the plus side, if you like, users get the latest browsers with zero effort......
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby Monsie » June 13th, 2016, 11:43 pm

cynwulf wrote: Monsie wrote:
While I liked Iceweasel, I found in recent weeks that some websites were having issues with this browser, telling me that it was old, unrecognized, and recommending that I install a modern conventional browser...


Most likely down to user agent, I was sure they fixed that years ago by including "like firefox" in the user agent string? Probably since v3.5.x in Debian squeeze or whatever...


Yes, this is what I thought also, but given the issues with website functionality, I tried a couple of user agent plug-ins. While I got some functionality back so that I could use the particular features on the given website(s) I continued to get messages (pop-up or redirection to another page) that my browser was old and should be updated.

The developer of one user agent plug-in I tried indicates here that websites do not use the same algorithms or techniques for browser detection, and further, that some sites will use "non-standard code" and hence switching the user agent will not have the intended effect in terms of rendering a web page like the other given browser(s).

While I can understand there can be differences in code, and setting standards for browsers is an on-going work in progress, I do not understand the issues with Iceweasel since it was version 38 and barely one year old. Meanwhile those same websites do not have an issue with Internet Explorer 11 which is how many years old now?

Just saying,
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby cynwulf » June 14th, 2016, 2:22 pm

Monsie wrote:Yes, this is what I thought also, but given the issues with website functionality, I tried a couple of user agent plug-ins. While I got some functionality back so that I could use the particular features on the given website(s) I continued to get messages (pop-up or redirection to another page) that my browser was old and should be updated.

You can't do a lot about sites which use non standard methods to detect the browser. Those will probably never work with iceweasel nor with any of the more obscure browsers.

Setting "general.useragent.override" to whatever user agent string you want to use in about:config negates the need for such add ons.

Monsie wrote:switching the user agent will not have the intended effect in terms of rendering a web page like the other given browser(s).

That's not really possible anyway. The user agent spoof just gets you past the old/unsupported browser crap and lets your browser have a go at rendering the page. If still fails, you could still get an old/unsupported browser message. And of course if they're using other methods to detect the browser you're still going nowhere.

Monsie wrote:While I can understand there can be differences in code, and setting standards for browsers is an on-going work in progress, I do not understand the issues with Iceweasel since it was version 38 and barely one year old. Meanwhile those same websites do not have an issue with Internet Explorer 11 which is how many years old now?

Well IE 11 is current, edge is the next generation MS browser. I believe you need Windows 10 for edge.
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby ixe » July 15th, 2016, 1:39 am

Setting "general.useragent.override" to whatever user agent string you want to use in about:config negates the need for such add

No, changing a string value in prefs does not negate the need...

Within one, or several, of the blog posts here
ghacks.net/category/firefox
you can read an explanation of why further steps are required.
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby CiaW » July 30th, 2016, 2:31 pm

Apparently my upgrade didn't go as smoothly as it should have. When I did an update a couple of weeks ago, I saw the firefox-esr package come in, but I don't see it on any of my menus. I use chromium most of the time, so I didn't pay much attention. But I'd like this to work. I'm on the lxde desktop (mate was having issues I didn't want to try to figure out...).

Would someone either point me to a good resource or briefly tell me how to get Firefox on my menu? And, if I go to launch firefox in a terminal window under the non-root user, it brings up iceweasel. So I guess there's a link that needs to be broken so firefox will launch firefox-esr instead of iceweasel. If I try firefox-esr in my terminal, it says command not found.

I did find a reddit page that says something about preferences under /etc/iceweasel/prefs will need to be moved to /etc/firefox-esr, and the firefox-esr folder didn't exist under /etc, so I created it. The iceweasel folder didn't have a prefs folder, but it did have a pref folder, so I copied the one iceweasel file over there, and copied other stuff from /etc/iceweasel to /etc/firefox-esr. As I recall, most of the preferences will be under my home folder, but the only likely folder I found there was .mozilla, and nothing there about firefox-esr.

I also tried, in a root terminal, "man firefox-esr" and it found nothing. Help, please.
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby Monsie » July 31st, 2016, 7:31 am

Hi CiaW,

CiaW wrote:If I try firefox-esr in my terminal, it says command not found...... I also tried, in a root terminal, "man firefox-esr" and it found nothing.

This suggests to me that Firefox did not install properly on your system, --if at all. Is firefox-esr package listed as installed in Synaptic? If it is, then I would try a re-install of the browser. If it is not listed, then I would do another update search at the terminal.

I run Gnome as my desktop, so I do not know much about LXDE and its menu setup. That said, regardless of the desktop in place, if Firefox ESR is installed on your computer, then you should be able to copy your Firefox ESR.desktop file to your Desktop directory and get a link that will show up on your screen.

Hope this helps,
Monsie
My username is pronounced: "Munsee" and is based on my nick name in High School.
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby CiaW » August 3rd, 2016, 1:04 pm

I just looked, and didn't find it in synaptic. Then I looked back at my /var/log/apt/history.log back to mid May, and no firefox. I thought I saw it come in during a large update, but it's not on the apt log either. When I search for firefox in synaptic, it just comes up with iceweasel packages. When I search for firefox-esr, I get nothing. Do you know what repo it's in? I have main contrib and nonfree enabled for Jessie. This is very odd.
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby cynwulf » August 3rd, 2016, 1:18 pm

Code: Select all
# apt-get update && apt-cache search firefox
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Re: Firefox 45 ESR is here

Postby CiaW » August 4th, 2016, 12:48 pm

cynwulf wrote:
Code: Select all
# apt-get update && apt-cache search firefox

Thanks for that. I ran that, and got a bunch of iceweasel hits (language packs), as well as some xul-extensions, but no actual firefox or firefox-esl packages.

So, I went to the Debian packages site, and searched for firefox (https://packages.debian.org/search?sear ... e&arch=any) and guess what, no firefox. Just iceweasel. I then searched for firefox-esr and got no results. Ok, I searched for package name firefox-esr and got a hit.

Apparently it's part of the security updates repo, so here's the line I'm adding to my sources.list:
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security jessie/updates main

After adding that line, I'm pulling in lots of updates. I'll report back.
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