Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 26, 2016, 10:38:41 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce  (Read 1655 times)

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« on: June 27, 2015, 10:23:50 AM »
"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:

Alienforce

Name and theme points!
:Thmbsup:

Basic links:
I found it written up here:
http://www.ilovefree...ree-web-browser.html

Good news(?) - it came from a Sourceforge link:
http://sourceforge.n...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" ... ?!
Alienforce SurfCanyon EarlyResult1.png

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.go...aign=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 itself
http://search.surfca...rowser&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.
aaa111.pngMore Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce

An early SurfCanyon search result - a lot of ads early on.
Alienforce NewTab1.pngMore Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce

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!
------------------------------------------------------------------

FASCINATING THEORY:
(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!
chrome://speeddial/content/alienforce_speed_dial.html

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!?
-------------------------------------------------
Downsides:
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.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 12:31:29 PM by TaoPhoenix »

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Comodo IceDragon
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 12:46:26 PM »
Sorry, this one is very brief!

It looks like a fairly generic copy of Firefox with some more secure DNS servers and stuff.

Anyone want to flesh this one out?

It's a Comodo edition - it still has a New Tab Speed Dial thing (where does it go?) - so does anything still report stuff back to Mozilla? Anyone's thoughts on IceDragon vs PaleMoon?

I'm too tired to do much more on this!

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 10:49:02 PM »
the chrome:// thingy in Firefox is not indicative of a chrome backend, chrome is Firefox's euphemism for add-ons and shiny-shiny (like adding chrome to cars and household appliances). 
https://developer.mo...docs/Glossary/Chrome

For a list of all the current chrome:// URLs, see here:
kb.mozillazine.org/Chrome_URLs


Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 7,642
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2015, 03:04:38 AM »
the chrome:// thingy in Firefox is not indicative of a chrome backend, chrome is Firefox's euphemism for add-ons and shiny-shiny (like adding chrome to cars and household appliances).  
https://developer.mo...docs/Glossary/Chrome

I thought "chrome" was akin to "bare metal" as in the basic program before the add-ons and web sites add shiny-shiny to it.


Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,880
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2015, 02:53:07 PM »
Yeah, I should have been a little clearer.  Basically it's anything part of the browser that's not web content.  Window decorations, icons, fonts, things manipulated by plugins, tab shapes, bookmark colors, etc.  Look through the list of chrome:// urls and get a feel for everything that can be manipulated.  That's chrome.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,400
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2015, 10:32:10 PM »
They should have gone with bling://

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: More Firefox-Clone(ish?) adventures - Alienforce
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 07:26:52 AM »

Watch Microsoft decide to invent Bing://
 :D