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Browser wars?

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joany
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Browser wars?

#1

Post by joany » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:33 pm

I use Google Drive to upload files that I share with associates and friends. Yesterday I logged into my account, but the web page wouldn't load -- there was just a spinning circle in the middle of the page that went round and round and ...

My web browser of choice is Firefox, and I'm currently using a fairly old version (V39.0). I tried clearing my cache and cookies, but that didn't help. Also, I made sure my Java and Flash plug-ins were updated to the latest versions that are available for Linux/Firefox. That didn't work either. I wondered if it might be some browser issue, so I logged on to Google Drive using Chrome. Sure enough -- the G.D. page opened right up in Chrome. Hmmm ....

Okay, so I fired up the User Agent add-on in Firefox and *pretended* I was using Chrome 44.0. I logged on to Google Drive using Firefox with the User Agent alias set to "Chrome" and the page loaded right up.

My question: Is there some *legitimate* reason why Google Drive stopped working with Firefox, or is this just a clumsy attempt on Google's part to force G.D. users to use Chrome?

BTW, I hate Chrome. Every time I use it, tabs automatically open up displaying pictures of "hot" young women who say they want to "chat" with me. No thank you, I'm NOT interested! That never happens with Firefox.
MX-14; 3.12-0.bpo.1-686-pae kernel using 4GB RAM
2.4GHz AMD Athlon 4600+
NVidia GeForce 6150 LE; 304.121 Display Driver
You didn't slow down because you're old; you're old because you slowed down.

skidoo
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Re: Browser wars?

#2

Post by skidoo » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:10 pm

According to some firefox users, performing a "refresh" will resolve the problem you've described.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/re ... d-settings
Is there some *legitimate* reason why Google Drive stopped working with Firefox, or is this just a clumsy attempt on Google's part to force G.D. users to use Chrome?
If spoofing your user-agent is effective, it's obviously not the former... but I doubt it's the A or B scenario you're painting.

Perhaps, your exact version is able to handle the javascript necessary to render the GoogleDrive pages, but the "checking" code isn't sniffing for exact version (minor version, like 39.0.3)(idunno if there was such a release)... or no problem ever existed for any ff v39.x version under linux but, due to problems tested/reported for ff v39.x on other platforms, the "checking/sniffing" code is playing it safe -- guarding against additional bad user experiences (and additional bug reports) by refusing to attempt pageload for ff v39.x on ANY platform.

FWIW, I don't use GoogleDrive, but I've witnessed the "for no apparent reason" inability to load certain github.com (and other sites) pages until/unless I spoof the user-agent.
Remember when computers were gonna "make our lives easier"? We were gonna have so much extra time to make babies... four (or even 3) day workweek would become the norm...

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Adrian
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Re: Browser wars?

#3

Post by Adrian » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:28 pm

I doubt it's a problem with Firefox in general opening stuff from Google Drive, I used it for that without problems, it's possible some old cookies might create problems, not sure why changing the user agent solve the problem, maybe the cookies were ignored or re-downloaded (another way to check if you have problems with a browser is to try to load the page in the "incognito" mode).
BTW, I hate Chrome. Every time I use it, tabs automatically open up displaying pictures of "hot" young women who say they want to "chat" with me. No thank you, I'm NOT interested! That never happens with Firefox.
You probably need to clear the Chrome profile: Menu -> Settings -> Show advanced (or search for "reset") -> last item "Reset settings". You should probably also add the uBlock Origin extension to avoid this kind of things and speed up things.

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joany
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Re: Browser wars?

#4

Post by joany » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:10 pm

Thanks skidoo for your insight. Using a "checking/sniffing" code to ensure a good user experience would make sense if the web page responded with a message saying "your browser is no good" or something like that. But I don't understand why the web page just fails to load without offering a reason.

Thanks, Adrian. I'll try a "reset" and see if my Chrome experience improves. Another very annoying thing about Chrome is the message at the top of the screen highlighted in yellow saying that my computer will no longer get Chrome updates because Chrome doesn't support my operating system, which ATM is 32-bit Wheezy. I don't need to be reminded that my OS is "out of date" because as far as I'm concerned my OS is just fine. Is there anyway to make that annoying message go away?
MX-14; 3.12-0.bpo.1-686-pae kernel using 4GB RAM
2.4GHz AMD Athlon 4600+
NVidia GeForce 6150 LE; 304.121 Display Driver
You didn't slow down because you're old; you're old because you slowed down.

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Adrian
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:42 am

Re: Browser wars?

#5

Post by Adrian » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:36 pm

I think you need to launch it with "--disable-infobars" try to run google-chrome --disable-infobars from CLI and see if that does it, if it does then you can edit the .desktop file and add that to the command. However since it doesn't get updates it's actually a good idea to switch at some point to 64bit MX if you don't have good reasons against running a 64bit system (a good reason would be if it doesn't run on your computer).

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joany
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:45 pm

Re: Browser wars?

#6

Post by joany » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:28 pm

The problem of accessing Google Drive using Firefox got worse. Switching the browser to Chrome with User Agent also stopped working. It seems the problem was due to a corrupt Firefox profile. The fix was to create fresh profile:

1. Back up preferences, extensions, and bookmarks using the backup option of the FEBE add-on.
2. Close Firefox
3. Rename the profile folder ~/.mozilla/firefox
4. Launch Firefox, which automatically creates a new profile folder
5. Install the FEBE add-on
6. Restore preferences, extensions, and bookmarks using the restore option of the FEBE add-on

Now Google Drive can be accessed from Firefox as before. Also, the new FF profile folder is about 40MB smaller than the old one. It seems that this kind of FF housecleaning is required on a periodic basis.
MX-14; 3.12-0.bpo.1-686-pae kernel using 4GB RAM
2.4GHz AMD Athlon 4600+
NVidia GeForce 6150 LE; 304.121 Display Driver
You didn't slow down because you're old; you're old because you slowed down.

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