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Ready for Iceweasel 4?

Tomorrow Firefox 4 will be unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and the web will be even more awesome. Here’s my take on upgrading to the Debian equivalent, Iceweasel.

I updated to Iceweasel 4 today which is in the Debian experimental repository.  The update process was as smooth as can be expected.  A few extensions didn’t update, which required looking into why and finding alternatives.

  1. All-in-One Gestures, which I used for the scrollwheel on tabs behavior, wasn’t updated. I opted for Tab Wheel Scroll, which doesn’t have all the extra features I never used.  The author’s description even leads with, “do one thing and do it well,” so I probably should have switched to it earlier.
  2. Firebug needed updating; no big deal.
  3. CS Lite‘s author has apparently stopped updating, which is a shame. For now I’m using Cookie Monster, which is very similar to CS Lite, but I liked the former’s icon.  The latter also currently doesn’t allow repositioning its statusbar button.

I’d like to not show my Add-on bar in Iceweasel 4, since part of the redesign is to get rid of some of the extra chrome.  But for now I’m stuck with it:

  1. As mentioned, Cookie Monster won’t let you move its button.
  2. Same goes for Greasemonkey.
  3. Firebug puts one there, too, but it also allows you to have a regular toolbar button.

So, until Greasemonkey and a good Cookie tool let me move their buttons, I’ll have to see the Add-on bar.

Finally, it appears (see 616353) that the current nVidia driver screws with Iceweasel’s rendering in several places.  So far, that’s only been an annoyance.  I can’t tell which tab is current, and I’ve seen some other rendering glitches too:

  1. The site identity is munged.
  2. I saw an advertisement stick on the screen regardless of which tab I viewed; it persisted after closing the tab that contained it, and even after I restarted the browser.  Lame.

Hopefully a new driver will be available soon, but until then I shall roll with the punches.

The good news:

  1. The browser is faster
  2. It’s prettier even if I’m still in a half-state waiting to turn on all the goodies (no bottom bar; using the one-button menu; the flawless rendering it should have).
  3. Panorama will make workflows easier to manage.
  4. It lays the groundwork for the best that’s yet to come.

Mozilla rocks, and so does glandium for the hard work he’s done in packaging their work for Debian.  And so does Debian for their hard work.  Hell, even the nVidia guys that introduced this annoying rendering bug deserve a pat on the back.

Tomorrow Firefox 4 will be unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and the web will be even more awesome.

Viva la Revolucion!

AMD/ATI and nVidia aren’t getting another cent until they recognize and reform their gross errors toward the linux community.

I’m building a new computer, but it won’t have a graphics card. It’s going to have integrated Intel graphics. Therefore it’s going to have an Intel processor. AMD is losing my business because they didn’t perform up to what I consider to be reasonable expectations. I don’t think nVidia performs all that admirably either.

It’s not merely the spirit of linux, but the development model as well, that requires openness. It makes no damn sense to be throttled by a piece of hardware that is essential to the system because its manufacturer refuses to work with the community.

Furnishing documentation is great, but that’s something that should have been done all along. The pace and scope with which many of the internals of a healthy, modern linux system changes demands flexibility that the two major graphics processor manufacturers are apparently unwilling to provide.

Off with their heads. I’ll be posting soon about how the intel integrated graphics perform, and I’m planning to have a rolling three month deadline for evaluating my discrete graphics card options. If at the end of March, June, etc. there is a victor amongst AMD/ATI and nVidia I’ll actually buy a card for the system. Otherwise I’ll continue to use the integrated graphics. So be it.