The end of Iceweasel...

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The end of Iceweasel...

Postby cynwulf » March 22nd, 2016, 3:00 pm

Whatever will they find to argue about now...? ... 175574545/ ... -thaw.html (obligatory random tech press stuff)

As ever the various forums are full of the same kind of pseudo-technical postings and opinion pieces where a given iceweasel version is compared with a completely different firefox version... even this close to it's demise and after the countless words written on the subject on mailing lists and forums, iceweasel will still not be recognised as firefox by many...

What I find interesting is that, according to some at the fdn site, this is just another symptom of Debian becoming more geared towards serving big business. In fact iceweasel and esr was geared towards stable releases - which ultimately benefits enterprise users. Whereas firefox and the rapid release schedule which has been running since v 4.0 was perceived as a big middle finger to businesses (and in fact it was).
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Re: The end of Iceweasel...

Postby nodir » March 22nd, 2016, 6:53 pm

As far it's me that are good news.
If one runs debian or a debian based system and talks to others, one doesn't need to explain what the heck is iceweasel and why it does exist (truth to be told: i neither know nor care why debian forked firefox, at least not from the top of my head).
On the other hand i often simply said firefox when talking in non-debian-communities (or just to people).
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Re: The end of Iceweasel...

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » March 23rd, 2016, 12:08 am

Yet there is a horde of people who have always claimed that they experienced noticeable performance differences between Firefox and Iceweasel! Personally, I did not notice any differences between Iceweasel on Debian and Firefox on Slackware, other than the logos of course. I do not know if it is real or just the way my brain filters memories, but I always noticed the people who claim performance differences also covet the latest of the latest must have version of Firefox and other software. The "version 103.25 is ancient! I cannot live without version 103.27" crowd.

The change will be beneficial in the sense that it will make things easier for the people Linux is and hopes to continue attracting. Those who get confused by more than one name for the same thing and are baffled at the sight of a ncurses installer. For the majority of today's Linux users, a single name for Firefox will make the Linux landscape easier to navigate.
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Re: The end of Iceweasel...

Postby cynwulf » March 23rd, 2016, 1:43 pm

nodir wrote:As far it's me that are good news.

I always equated it to Firefox. Yes it had Debian patches, but so does a lot of other software in the repositories (kind of what Debian stable is all about...). Some other OS also patch firefox and as far as I know, if you distribute firefox built from source, patched and/or for an unsupported platform/architecture, you're not really supposed to call it "firefox".

I've always wondered where the *BSDs stood with their unofficial ports, which are still called firefox? As far as I know only NetBSD sticks to the rules (it distributes with the plain "blue world" icon and as "nightly" (nightly build)).
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Re: The end of Iceweasel...

Postby cynwulf » March 23rd, 2016, 10:35 pm

Randicus Draco Albus wrote:Personally, I did not notice any differences between Iceweasel on Debian and Firefox on Slackware, other than the logos of course

One huge difference is that the iceweasel/firefox compiled for the distribution to use system libraries is very different to the static firefox binaries downloaded from mozilla. Oddly enough we did not see a surge in people downloading static binaries of other packages from upstream instead of installing via the repositories - mostly because such binaries are usually hard to come by and because most of those complaining were utterly focused on the browser and nothing more.

At once point I vaguely remember a spate of cairo related performance issues with iceweasel in testing/unstable. Of course static binary firefox did not have the build flags set to use the system cairo - it's built to be self contained. So the complainers took this as a black and white, "iceweasel slow, firefox fast" scenario. Firefox, built from source even without the Debian patches, but with the system cairo enabled, would have had the same problem. It's also worth noting that other packages were affected by this - e.g. some terminal emulators are built to use cairo - yet not a word about those.

Of course, somewhat ironically, most of the reports/complaints came from those running Debian testing/unstable... stable was unaffected as it used an older cairo version, but then stable had the 'out of date' firefox...

The simple answer of course is that firefox and probably any browser in rapid development, was incompatible with the Debian release model, in cases where the user demands the latest browser version on a stable system. In my opinion the backports from solved much of these problems and those who continued to have problems in recent times were usually those unfamiliar with this repository.
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