October 16, 2006

From the Fox to my Galeon

Category: Academic,F/OSS,Tech,Uncategorized — Biella @ 6:15 pm

Mozilla/Firefox in a lot of ways was/is the poster child of free software… I mean do you know how many times I was talking to a certain non-technologically-inclined-person who claimed to not know a thing about open source, and then after I asked what browser they were using and when they said Mozilla, I would let them in on the dirty little secret that they were, in fact, in its very bosom, cradled in and by the rhythm of freedom. And they would gleefully respond with some excited variation of “I had NO idea and I love it… those tabs, those plug ins, that speed….blah blah.” I just loved inducing that reaction.

But for me my love affair with Firefox is officially over. For many years it was a happy, fulfilling relationship but lately, the little red fox has let me down, acting way too erratic, crashing during those inopportune moments, like when opening a pdf, which would cause the whole apparatus to come crashing down, and all those lovely open tabs, with all that information, would be gone in an instant.

For the last 4 months, every time this disdainful event occurred, I would just bemoan and bitch a lot, especially on IRC. Part of me was a loyalist but a bigger part of me was just very very very lazy. With all my bookmarks, with my tool bar, with all my passwords configured JUST RIGHT, I felt enduring the crashes and loss of data was worth it. But no more (admittedly my IRC compatriots were sick of hearing me complain and pretty much demanded that I change).

So now I am going to “rediscover the web” but with Galeon. It is up and running and I have transfered a good chunk of my settings over and over the course of the next few weeks I will make the transition. So far so good though there is work to be done, to be sure, to make Galeon into my new love(ly), web browser.


  1. It may be a simple case of “good Firefox, bad plugin”. Firefox doesn’t even try to understand PDFs; if you’ve got them opening in a Firefox tab, that’ll be because of a separate, non-Mozilla-team plugin. No need to throw out Firefox just because of a bad plugin.

    I have PDFs open in a separate Evince window, and all works fine.

    Comment by bignose — October 16, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  2. I wish it was just a PDF problem but it crashes during other random times, for example if I get new mail in my U of Alberta address, I get a pop up window and about 2 in 3 times it crashes when I click on that. There are about 2-3 other different situations

    under which this happens. Perhaps it could be a bad plug in..But you know if you have to rely on “bad plugins” then perhaps better to switch to a different broweser than have to deal with flaky plug ins.

    Comment by Biella — October 16, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

  3. I haven’t had any problems with Firefox stability-wise, but the recent spate of nonsense from the good people at Mozilla (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=354622) has convinced me to look for a different browser. How’s Epiphany looking these days?

    Comment by Johan — October 16, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

  4. You may want to play with other alternatives as well before you decide on one. Galeon is pretty much dead now, I think, as about a year ago its developers announced they’d stop working on it, and add Galeon functionality to Epiphany as extensions.

    Comment by thebluesgnr — October 16, 2006 @ 10:44 pm

  5. I re-installed Galeon yesterday too, but not because I experienced crashes but simply because I cannot support either side in the Firefox-Iceweasel fight going on. So I decided for myself to go back to Galeon, and I already feel very much at home (Firefox’ GNOME integration is still not too good)

    By the way, I can’t see what I wrote in the name, mail and website input fields above, text and background are both white. Maybe you want to change that (Galeon 2.0.2, Mozilla

    Comment by Matthias — October 16, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

  6. If you’re switching to Galeon you should be aware that the medium/long-term plan for GNOME web browsing seems to be to move Galeon’s extra functionality into Epiphany extensions, and move development to Epiphany.

    Comment by smcv — October 17, 2006 @ 12:47 am

  7. I (heart) the Session Saver extension.

    Comment by Ben Hutchings — October 17, 2006 @ 1:33 am

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