Author Topic: New Browser Delay Discussion  (Read 5841 times)

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2022, 03:36:53 pm »
First thing first: Congratulations Mentore!!!

Not a bad idea, just a little cumbersome maybe? Dunno. Maybe it's just me and my somehow schizofrenic way of seeing things: from one side, I'm thinking about building a linux eeePC nettop cluster solution just for fun (I've got six of these little boxes), from the other side I'm still attached to a one-box solution. I'm getting old, it seems  ;D

But yes: it's really an interesting idea IMHO. Also, in the current environment shifting to 64 bit there's not much time left...

Like you, I have never been able to pull myself away from the sheer "natural" way that one can interact with the WPS. Yes, it sure has its ugly side, but all in all it still beats a slew of other options that are out there.

Today I rely on the very option I laid out to get me an up-to-date browser config w/o physically shifting to another machine. I do this only b/c I have a couple of other PCs on the home LAN (they are all Win boxes) so putting one of them to work serving my OS/2 needs only seemed fitting! lol

For those who do not have such an option, one of these micro hardware platforms is absolutely the way to go.

Look, I'm always hoping that we will have something native, but I'd rather not find myself barelling towards the wall at full speed. Instead I'd rather have the option to slam on the brakes and make a turn before the inevitable end comes.


Neil Waldhauer

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2022, 04:26:32 pm »
I tried Dooble on Ubuntu, and it isn't that much more stable than Firefox 45 on OS/2. But it works on modern websites. I'll bet something can be made for our environment that is good enough.

I see a lot of users on the sidelines, looking for a chance to move to an OS/2-based platform. Once we have any kind of reasonable browser, the most important obstacle will be removed for these people to make their move.
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
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Eugene Tucker

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2022, 05:40:24 pm »
Has anyone else tried David Yeo's latest distros of Firefox, Sea Monkey and thunderbird? I can get to NewEgg.com now they are better than the last versions.

ivan

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2022, 12:08:35 am »
As an aside I got round the browser problem by converting one of my older AMD ITX units to Linux Mint 20 and use an HDMI/USB KVM switch to feed the output to my 28 inch monitor or its own 24 inch monitor.  It works for me, but I am thinking of just using the 24 inch monitor for the browser and leave the 28 inch monitor for my work.  Because everything is on my local lan anything from the browser can be used on my main OS/2 machine.

The only beef I have with the newer firefox is their stupid idea of putting the tabs at the top instead of over what they apply to which means messing about with userChrome.css and they seem to change something with each new version which means a new css is required.

Tom

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2022, 12:22:15 am »
I understood it correctly from Dmitry updates of QT 5.X is still supported another for QT webkit updates. Or maybe longer.

You are referring to his observations in https://github.com/bitwiseworks/qt5-os2/issues/16#issue-823359053 and https://github.com/bitwiseworks/qt5-os2/issues/16#issuecomment-791637493 ?

Athough it seems that the Qt Company recently (march 2022) released an opensource version of Qt 5.15.3 :

https://lists.qt-project.org/pipermail/development/2022-March/042262.html

(that is more than one year since releasing version 5.15.2, that dmik ported to OS/2)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2022, 12:24:22 am by Tom »

Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2022, 01:02:28 am »
QT5 itself seems barely buildable on OS/2, here the OS crashes when trying to link I think, somewhat surprising as previous experience shows lack of memory causing wlink to die with a lack of spill memory error.

largely for shits  and giggles,  I'm checking out the source now and will try and build it and see how far I get.

Cheers,

Paul

Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2022, 01:09:12 am »
Hey Roderick,

I did send out a news message via OS/2 VOICE why the browser was delayed. Its because of the events surrounding Ukraine. Dmitry has not been able to work on the browser for close to 6 weeks.

With the greatest  of respect  - if this latest  delay was the first that had been seen,  I don't think anyone would be complaining.

Remember that in November *2020* we heard  that builds were in the hands of beta testers -  yet almost 18 months later there seems to have been little progress beyond this; let alone the original roadmap from April *2018* (4 years ago) that documented an 18 month road  map.

Cheers,

Paul

Dmitriy Kuminov

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2022, 01:09:20 am »
Hey all. I don’t think that using phrases like «doesn’t smell right» is a good way to start a public discussion - I find it provocative and offensive.

Now regarding the matter of the topic (browser delay et al).

I was virtually paralysed when Russia invaded Ukraine and started a war by the end of February. I couldn’t do anything besides thinking on how catastrophic this is for everyone. When I caught my breath I realised that I can’t stand it any longer and need to leave Russia ASAP. It’s not only that it became impossible to do business due to all the sanctions. It’s mostly because I couldn’t tolerate what’s going on. I couldn’t be part of the country that turned into 1930’s Germany (even though I was born there and spent there all my entire life except one year). The least I could do is leave. So I was completely occupied with organising an immediate relocation (with the help of my friends, including some OS/2 folks, as well as some guys from the independent news outlet I also work for).

As I was getting closer to the leave, I got some confidence back and made myself work on the browser a bit between solving numerous move out problems. I don’t understand why this became a subject to criticism as if it were better if hadn’t done this. A few days ago I finally left Russia and plan to stay in Turkey for a while. Currently I’m a person with no home and no residence permit anywhere but Russia (where I’m not going to get back) — and this exposes a huge number of every day problems, starting from inability to have a bank account (and therefore bank cards) to prohibition to stay in a country for more than three months in a row (so I need to move between countries until I get a permit). So until this is solved somehow, my life situation remains volatile and my resources are very limited (in addition to limitations that were already there before the war).

Regarding the overall progress. Our first plan was Otter Browser. We made it to a beta but then decided that it’s not stable enough to be released widely. In parallel, we discovered that there is another Qt-based browser called Dooble. Tests have shown that despite using the very same engine (Chromium) Dooble appears to be more stable than Otter. So we decided to go with Dooble instead. Pretty much simple.

I also want to mention that bww income has dramatically reduced within the last couple of years (mostly because there is not enough parties willing to pay for what we do). I was working full time for bww for many years but last year I realised it can’t go that way anymore because bww just didn’t have enough money to pay me the full salary. I was underpaid for a few months. So I started doing some other stuff in parallel and this of course affected the progress of all our OS/2 projects, including the browsers. Silvan and I were talking about all this more than once. This is the current state of reality.

Regarding updates having «little to do with the browser». This is simply not true. I’m actually surprised Paul is writing such things because he is pretty much capable to understand how things work. Almost everything bww have been doing recently eventually relates to the browser. I’m not talking about small library and tool updates that take little time - I’m talking about updating LIBCn, LIBCx, GCC, Python and a bunch of core tools and libs. All these are needed either for the browser itself or are part of the Qt/Chromium tool chain. In fact, the reason we update them usually is to make Qt/Chromium work.

Also, it’s not true that there is some private source code for the OS/2 versions of Qt/Chromium/Otter/Dooble/whatever. Every single line of code we do is published and every project is buildable from scratch. We (bww) have some private repos but they have nothing to do with the projects we collect money for from the community within the browser campaign. I don’t think that it’s OK to even spread rumours like these without knowing it for sure. It’s certainly a bad attitude.

Another thing worth mentioning is that even Dooble (or simplebrowser) is not 100% stable at the moment. There is a number of known bugs in our port of Chromium that need addressing to make it more stable. There is also a number of technical limitations (like 32 bits) that affect stability and are way more difficult to overcome than fixing bugs. Even if we had a single full time developer assigned to all these tasks, it would not go fast because of the complexity and volume of the code (remember, the original teams working on these projects consist of dozens of skilled developers). But we don’t have even a single one right now. So please don’t expect any outstanding progress in this area. So is the current state of affairs. In my understanding, It’s already a miracle that we got to the point where we are now (having a working Chromium port for OS/2 together with Qt 5).

Porting Qt 6 (as well as fixing Qt/Chromium bugs) is not a problem per se — we have all the tools and all the experience needed for that. What we don’t have (or have not enough) is human resources and money. The best an individual can do here is to either donate what he can, or help with testing and bug reporting, or even help with coding (we accept patches and pull requests since day 1).

I should have more time for OS/2 in the next few days which means that there might be a Dooble RPM for wider testing.

Peace to everyone, I stand for Ukraine.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 01:19:22 am by Dmitriy Kuminov »
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Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2022, 02:18:30 am »
Hi Dmitry,

Glad to hear you made it  out of Russia and that you're safe.

I appreciate your post  and update. My comment about 'doesn't smell right' was specifically in relation to Roderick's last update, where he implies that 'others' were behind the switch to Dooble -  you now seems to have confirmed that you/bww chose  to switch to Dooble.  I'm not sure why Roderick was so unclear. Or perhapsI misread and the development is done by bww and the rpm  by  volunteers?

In relation to "updates having «little to do with the browser»."  I'm clearly not talking about toolchain updates - there have been plenty of non-toolchain updates in recent bww updates (libusb, libuvc as examples  from the most recent bww update).

The fundamental issue is the lack of transparency.  Why not be clear  where things stand? If you read Roderick's post, the browser has been coming in a few weeks for what seems like years  now.  Your post actually sets out some of the technical limitations blocking progress.

Cheers,

Paul

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2022, 03:04:21 am »
Paul, Dmitriy, everyone...

Glad to hear you made it out of Russia and that you're safe....

I cannot overemphasize the importance of this...glad to hear you are OK, things may be a little rough today (believe me, this comes from someone that was a refugee for about 2 yrs. of his life, albeit in a different non-war type of a settings), but with time stability will come as well!

...The fundamental issue is the lack of transparency.  Why not be clear  where things stand? If you read Roderick's post, the browser has been coming in a few weeks for what seems like years  now.  Your post actually sets out some of the technical limitations blocking progress...

Paul hit the proverbial nail on the head with the above statement. The status reporting, the communications, etc. always feel like it's nearly a 3rd or 4th hand message (forget even the regular "2nd hand" moniker). So at least from my perspective, having previously had the pleasure of participating in the Firefox Testing List where I got the chance to see the activities first-hand, there appears to be a giant gap in what's actually taking place "on the ground" and where the plans being communicated suggest things should be.

Dmitriy,
Your post here is, as best as I can tell, the only concise and clear Status Update on where the browser project is today and what the real challenges are.

At this point in time you have far too important matters to take care of than things such as OS/2 projects, especially given the lack of funding that would facilitate your continued employment.

Take care of yourself and don't hesitate to reach out if things get bad!

Roderick Klein

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2022, 09:12:21 am »
Hey Roderick,

I did send out a news message via OS/2 VOICE why the browser was delayed. Its because of the events surrounding Ukraine. Dmitry has not been able to work on the browser for close to 6 weeks.

With the greatest  of respect  - if this latest  delay was the first that had been seen,  I don't think anyone would be complaining.

Remember that in November *2020* we heard  that builds were in the hands of beta testers -  yet almost 18 months later there seems to have been little progress beyond this; let alone the original roadmap from April *2018* (4 years ago) that documented an 18 month road  map.

Cheers,

Paul

Well I provide the newsletter updates on https://articles.os2voice.org where Dmitry and I explained why the project was delayed.
All the newsletters where written by me and reviewed by Dmitry.  With the help of Martin these updates where also refered to on the main page os2world.com.

Roderick

Roderick Klein

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2022, 09:28:47 am »
Hi Dmitry,

Glad to hear you made it  out of Russia and that you're safe.

I appreciate your post  and update. My comment about 'doesn't smell right' was specifically in relation to Roderick's last update, where he implies that 'others' were behind the switch to Dooble -  you now seems to have confirmed that you/bww chose  to switch to Dooble.  I'm not sure why Roderick was so unclear. Or perhapsI misread and the development is done by bww and the rpm  by  volunteers?

In relation to "updates having «little to do with the browser»."  I'm clearly not talking about toolchain updates - there have been plenty of non-toolchain updates in recent bww updates (libusb, libuvc as examples  from the most recent bww update).

The fundamental issue is the lack of transparency.  Why not be clear  where things stand? If you read Roderick's post, the browser has been coming in a few weeks for what seems like years  now.  Your post actually sets out some of the technical limitations blocking progress.

Cheers,

Paul

A lot of the reasons for the delay and some of these technicall blocking limitations where described in the browser updates on https://articles.os2voice.org did you read these over time ?

The Dooble browser was compiled by Elbert Pol orginally. After Dmitry had to get out of Russia I talked to Dmitry via Telegram app to consider doing a RPM file for the Dooble Browser. Gregg Young started working on the RPM package. The text of the last posting I send out was not clear., but the Dooble RPM was discussed with Dmitry. At the time the message was send out it was unclear WHEN Dmitry would be able to do ANY work on Otter or OS/2 even...

He is currently (as time permits) working on the Dooble RPM package. As everbody now understands he a lot of stuff to deal with after he left Russia.

Roderick


Dmitriy Kuminov

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2022, 01:08:55 pm »
Hey Paul,

Glad to hear you made it  out of Russia and that you're safe.

Thanks.

Quote
I appreciate your post  and update. My comment about 'doesn't smell right' was specifically in relation to Roderick's last update, where he implies that 'others' were behind the switch to Dooble -  you now seems to have confirmed that you/bww chose  to switch to Dooble.  I'm not sure why Roderick was so unclear. Or perhapsI misread and the development is done by bww and the rpm  by  volunteers?

You mix things here. Dooble itself builds out of the box with Qt 5.12 and its Qt WebEngine on OS/2 and so far it has no OS/2 specific patches except adding `-lssp` (because LIBC doesn't do that on it's own when `-fstack-protector` is given). Anyone can easily build it. Elbert Pol discovered Dooble a while ago and we were considering it as a backup while still targeting Otter. Then we just came to a conclusion to release Doodle instead because it performed better. It was a collective decision (OS/2 Voice + bww). Then Gregg Young volunteered to create a Dooble RPM with the help of Elbert Pol while I was not able to work. This is what Roderick meant by 'others' I guess. Then I eventually found time to take it over in order to provide the usual bww quality in terms of release cycles and such.

Please keep in mind that Dooble (as well as Otter) is essentially a frontend to QtWebEngine (Chromium) with little to no platform-specific code. There are some things that may need attention to make them properly work on OS/2 but these are minor (like spell checking, bookmark importing, desktop integration and so on). The core web rendering functionality belongs to QtWebEngine (i.e. the part I/bww was hardly working on through the last years) and has nothing to do with either Dooble or Otter. My guess is that Otter has more stability problems because it makes a more extensive use of various Chromium APIs to implement its rich features like ad blocking while Dooble is much more light weight.

Quote
In relation to "updates having «little to do with the browser»."  I'm clearly not talking about toolchain updates - there have been plenty of non-toolchain updates in recent bww updates (libusb, libuvc as examples  from the most recent bww update).

As I mentioned - these are mostly simple version bumps and they are mostly done by Silvan (who works for bww for free since the last couple of years, I must remind you). I.e. no Qt/browser campaign money is spent there. Although there are some important things like Python 3 also done by Silvan (with some of my help) and these should not come for free because they are needed for Qt/browser/toolchains as well (again, Silvan doesn't charge for that now but this is not right and should be changed).

Quote
The fundamental issue is the lack of transparency.  Why not be clear  where things stand? If you read Roderick's post, the browser has been coming in a few weeks for what seems like years  now.  Your post actually sets out some of the technical limitations blocking progress.

I understand your concern here but providing detailed status reports is also a job that requires human power and time. As we are on a low budget we don't always have enough resources for that. And OS/2 Voice basically volunteers here too. And this was like that before the war, now it's more complicated until settled at least. But we will keep trying to do our best to keep the community informed. Thanks for understanding.
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Dmitriy Kuminov

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2022, 01:31:34 pm »
Dariusz,

Glad to hear you made it out of Russia and that you're safe...

I cannot overemphasize the importance of this...glad to hear you are OK, things may be a little rough today (believe me, this comes from someone that was a refugee for about 2 yrs. of his life, albeit in a different non-war type of a settings), but with time stability will come as well!

Thank you. Yes, I'm kind of a refugee right now. However, my life situation is still ways better than it is for many Ukrainians. Everyone who can (including me) should definitely show their support to them.

As for the rest, please read my reply to Paul.
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Dmitriy Kuminov

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2022, 02:29:23 pm »
Athough it seems that the Qt Company recently (march 2022) released an opensource version of Qt 5.15.3 :

https://lists.qt-project.org/pipermail/development/2022-March/042262.html

(that is more than one year since releasing version 5.15.2, that dmik ported to OS/2)

That's actually a good news which I overlooked being smashed by the crimes of my country. It should be relatively easy to update the OS/2 port of Qt 5.15.2 to it (which will also update Chromium from version 83.* to 87.* with some patches from 88.* according to the readme — with the top version from Google being 103.*). When it will happen exactly - I don't know. Reasons are above.
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