ihcoyc: Apocalyptic Price (Apocalyptic Price)
If you, like me, switched to Pale Moon from Firefox, and you still have a 24.* version, you are going to want to at least temporarily turn off browser updates, at least for the interim, because you don't want to be frogmarched into version 25. If it happened to you involuntarily, you can get the last good version here.  Be sure to turn off updates as soon as you run it.

One thing that the 'update' does to you involuntarily is that it no longer tells websites that it's a version of Firefox. This breaks many sites, including in all likelihood many banking and credit card sites. It also broke my legal research site. It also broke DeviantArt.

Apparently the old version was "lying" about which browser it was, which breaks Robot's Rules of Order or some such. Now I know that the Firefox user base has been in freefall recently, as a result of arrogant decisions by those programmers forcing detestable changes in the interface, and their arrogant response: "don't like it? Install another add on." I think Firefox jumped the shark when it removed the ability to turn off Javascript. You don't disable a security feature without telling anybody. Their arrogant response then: "Don't like it? Edit your about:config file....Or install another add on." Well, fuck you too.

So I kind of understand Pale Moon's desire to announce itself to the world, and let the dataminers know that its users aren't using Firefox any more. But this breaks the web. I understand that they're going to fix this in another update, but it hasn't been fixed yet.

Any time the browser itself steps between me and what I'm doing, it's broken. I need unchanging, stable reliability from a web browser more than I need updates. Telling me the internet's a scary place just isn't persuasive any more. Whatever dangers lurk for the users of a months-old version are remote and speculative, while the problems letting the updates run are immediate and obvious. I suppose I can eventually go back to an extended maintenance last good version of Firefox, from the time before they decided to take Javascript control within the browser itself out of your hands.

But I don't need to be handed extra chores by browser programmers who decide to change the way the browser works and impose those changes automatically and without explanations before they're allowed to happen. I'm not really all that interested in the details of web browsers. I shouldn't feel the need to monitor the developers to be aware of whatever unwelcome surprises they're planning in future versions. All I want is for the browser to do its job and get out of the way.

One more thing: the 25.* versions of Pale Moon drop support for Windows XP. Their recommendations are typically arrogant: they want you to pay Microsoft for a newer operating system that will run like sludge on your systems specced for XP. What they're eager to tell you not to do is to keep the un-updated version that still works. Do they eat with the same hands that they type that stuff with?

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ihcoyc

December 2016

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