"Well, it's 2015. Someone else has to be grumpy at Mozilla and doing something..."
So, each of the Big Name browsers creates its own little "Metaverse", where it becomes Big Name vs Variants. This thread is about Firefox-y things.
Sorry for the slightly odd structural layout of the post, there's just so much to cover!
This one I'll concentrate on first is the more mysterious of the two:
Name and theme points!
I found it written up here:http://www.ilovefreesoftw...rce-free-web-browser.html
Good news(?) - it came from a Sourceforge link:http://sourceforge.net/projects/alienforce/
(Dice meddling aside!)
First up, before we can really have fun with the cool theming, is it's sporting all kinds of strange tricks/features/(traps?) that are beyond me to really unravel!
When I start to search (in its version of the Awesomebar?), a screen flashes "powered by Yahoo Search" ... ?!
Then I think the first time I searched, it sent me to Google, because a popup-y thing in the corner showed up "do you want to sign into your account?" that led to this Google page (looks like the standard Google signup page, here offered more as bread-crumbing, see below for the twisty-maze-ness!)https://myaccount.google...._campaign=Privacy_Checkup
But then future searches (performed at this stage with some kind of auto-complete I haven't looked how to turn off), lead to something called FVDSearch by Surf Canyon, such as this result for the browser itselfhttp://search.surfcanyon....e%20Browser&p=fvdffsb
EDIT: Okay, if you are really fast and type and hit enter, it goes to google. It grabs whatever else you're part way typing into Surf Canyon! Okay, so that's annoying! But it's all part of that speed dial thing. Once you make that go away, it SEEMS to revert to regular Firefox-y-something. I'll never know if it's doing back end tracking or something.
I was nervous about Surf Canyon; the Wiki page looks suspicious and people on the Wiki Talk Page for it agree, but what was even fishier is they apparently poisoned an About.com poll to make it the "search engine" to beat out Google. Okay, make that a "To-Do list item" (as of this exact minute of the writeup! That's why it's a multi-layered evolving post!)
An early "New Tab speed dial" before you change it in settings.
An early SurfCanyon search result - a lot of ads early on.
Okay, so let's go look at a couple of add-ons.
First surprise is it comes with a (disabled!) copy of IDM CC Integration Download Manager integration module for Mozilla. I've never heard of that, but it's disabled, so I'll leave that alone for now.
First couple of unclear things:
- Something might be a bit odd with the add-on repository, because it pulled what looks like an older version of AdBlock Plus Signed compared to my (disabled) copy on Pale Moon. I had to fish for the setting and uncheck "allow non-intrusive ads".
- ViewMenu/Toolbar/Customize doesn't seem to behave the same, which is a clue to a big theory later!
(Not counting the Facebook homepage (which I closed, sorry!)), the other homepage (from Tools/Options) is one of those Speed Dial things. So especially with SurfCanyon wandering around, it's not a privacy oriented browser. (Okay, now I got the chrome local url in this post, let's go unhook a few things.)
But look at the URL of that speed dial!
What kind of local protocol is chrome://
Could this thing really be the elusive chrome back end with a Firefox front end (and it's one of the classic ones, with a dark theme, not the Aurora/whatever new ones), and taking (most of?) the Firefox set of add-ons!?
However, it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2012, and though I tried to switch the user agent, but that made things worse! Websites must have, in light of misc security incidents, put other detection code in besides just user strings. And whatever it all is, it breaks a lot of sites!
So, maybe all my work can save someone else the trouble!
Still, I'd luv if someone actively managed a Chrome-engine / FF FrontEnd combo! Did they at least do that?
Next up is Comodo IceDragon.