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mamisj

default browser

Unread post by mamisj » 2012-03-27, 09:19

I cannot set portable PaleMoon the default browser (I have read itˇs not possible). Where is the problem when portable firefox can normally do this? Can it be solved via registry? By the way, can I expect differences with the portable version in terms of used memory and speed?

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Re: default browser

Unread post by Moonchild » 2012-03-27, 12:40

mamisj wrote:I cannot set portable PaleMoon the default browser (I have read itˇs not possible). Where is the problem when portable firefox can normally do this? Can it be solved via registry?
The portable isn't designed to be a default browser or to have links with the O.S. it is running on. it is a portable application, designed specifically to be put on a removable medium and to be used in different computers and from different, dynamic, locations (different drive letters, etc).
If you want to use Pale Moon as a desktop browser, with O.S. integration, etc. then you should install the desktop version and not use the portable version.

If you are able to set PM Portable as "default browser" and then remove the medium, e.g. memory stick, what happens to the windows system it ran on? it's left in a broken state. You can manually try to make associations with Palemoon-portable.exe since it will pass any parameters on to the browser app, but you'll have to do this manually for every file type and protocol supported. (http, https, ftp, .htm, .html, etc. etc.)
By the way, can I expect differences with the portable version in terms of used memory and speed?
No, there will be no difference of note - although startup may be a tad slower and by default it doesn't use disk cache.
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mamisj

Re: default browser

Unread post by mamisj » 2012-03-29, 19:52

Many thanks, I have often heard that portable browsers use less memory (you say it´s not true), that´s why I have chosen it. I made easily all those associations in the files options and have portable PaleMoon as the default browser.

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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-15, 21:21

I do NOT want to put Palemoon on a portable Flash Drive that is moved between computers.
I love the idea of Portable applications that can be held permanently on a HDD non-system partition,
and which will survive the inevitable "Windows Whoopsies" that destroy everything in C:\ after an unfortunate Windows Security Patch update :evil:

Since you issued version 8 I have been happily using Palemoon-Portable on non-system partition E:\
Windows continued to consider my installed (and untrustworthy) Firefox as my "Default Browser", but I never gave it a thought.

I chose to avoid installing Palemoon for the benefits of :-
1) a browser that retained my latest settings and did not lose my adjustments when the inevitable "Windows Whoopsies" required me to restore a partition C:\ image backup from a happier past ; and
2) avoiding the massive increase in the size of daily incremental partition C:\ image backups when browser caches and 47 MB urlclassifier3.sqlite are UPDATED, and downloads reside on C:\.
3) Additionally now I have an SSD, I have Windows 7 tweaked to reduce much of the spurious writing that destroys the life of an SSD,
and I do not want any browser to double the destruction rate of an expensive SSD by every *.sqlite and cache update.

N.B. Initially Windows 7 partition C:\ image backup from the HDD was perfectly restored to the SSD and it booted up well,
but for reasons not yet identified some capability of Windows Explorer was crippled,
so a full and fresh installation of Windows 7 was created with a Windows 7 Installation Disc,
and I simply mounted the old HDD image of C:\ to copy across their original desktop links.
I greatly enjoyed the fact that after the new SSD held a new installation of Windows,
all my portable applications on both D:\ and E:\ were fully functional, including Palemoon.

Firefox "Went the way of the DoDo" six weeks ago and is no more.
Two days ago I clicked on a URL desktop link to access the admin control GUI of my NetGear Router,
and Windows tells me it is "Unable to open ..." and "http does not have a registered program".
Now I miss my "Default Browser".

After 2 days contemplating and 2 hours serious research,
and being disappointed that "Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Checknow" would offer to "... make it your default browser" but never performed its promise.
I now have a new and different sort of link that launches Palemoon-Portable and connects to the Router.

In a few weeks I may find stumble across another "thing" that only works with a "default browser".
Then I would like Palemoon to be my "Default Browser".
Do I have to tweak the registry,
or ( is there ) / ( will there be ) some alternative to "installing" Palemoon,
and if I have to instal how can I instal on E:\ and minimize its use of C:\ ?

N.B Under Windows 7 Start I find :-
"Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Default Programs\Set Associations"
.hta,
.htm,
.html
but there is no ".http"

I also looked at
"Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Default Programs\Set Program Access and Computer Defaults"
It looked possible, but when I click help I see
"To appear in Set Program Access and Computer Defaults, programs must be registered in the Windows registry."

So far as I am concerned Windows Registry is the source of all that is evil and pain in Windows.

I would appreciate any advice or hints.
This is not currently an urgent need, but the next 6 weeks could change that :)

Regards
Alan

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Re: default browser

Unread post by Moonchild » 2012-04-15, 22:04

  1. You can install the regular desktop version and during the install, select a path of your choice where to install it. This will have the application folder in a location of your choice. Considering the actual application is mostly static data (except for when you upgrade) this should be fine on your SSD, and I'd actually recommend it for fast loading of the browser. What good is an SSD if you're not using it?
  2. After installing this, open the profile manager of Pale Moon: palemoon.exe -profilemanager
  3. Create a new profile and select a custom profile location on the drive of your choice. You can delete "default" if you wish.
That's it!
Pale Moon can be set as the default browser and you will have your profile data and application in a location of your choice.

Note: You will always have some links with the Windows installation partition when making file/protocol associations. This can't be avoided. Your profiles.ini will be stored on your C:\ drive and since this holds the path to your actual profile on the other drive, it'd be a good idea to back that up (from Application Data\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon)
Note2: SSD life tends to be MANY years with normal use, it really won't wear down like crazy by actually using it. Just avoid "background defragging" and other things that would be extremely I/O heavy. e.g.: SSDLife tells me that my corsair GT 60GB which I have used extensively as my default system drive so far in Win 7 (including having a small swap file on it) has an expected lifetime of up to 2021 somewhere. That's a very long time in computer years.
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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-16, 08:42

Moonchild wrote:What good is an SSD if you're not using it?
Palemoon running in an HDD only takes about 1 second from a quick-launch click before it is ready to take my commands - it is so much faster than standard Firefox.

I do however notice that SSD gives a much faster launch of PortableApps and the OpenOffice suite on the rare occasions I use them, even though these too are still on a HDD.

My everyday benefit from SSD is a much faster start-up of Windows.
My very first computer took about 15 minutes to boot up from a Punched Paper Tape reader that ran at 10 characters per second,
I had a minimal budget 35 years ago :)

I am pleased to note that when Palemoon is installed it still uses profiles.ini.

N.B. SSDFile tells me the SSD is scheduled to become Read-Only by September 2020,
but that is only an estimate that ignores "Murphy's Law".
Even if I do get 8 years, it is a short time in computer years for myself.
I only gave up an 8 year old single core Laptop running XP because my son made an irresistible offer of a nearly new quad core Desktop.

Many thanks for your detailed information.
I am now bookmarking this topic ready for action the next time I have a further need for a "default browser",
and will now resume testing Palemoon-Portable with two profiles

Regards
Alan

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Re: default browser

Unread post by Moonchild » 2012-04-16, 18:00

N.B. SSDFile tells me the SSD is scheduled to become Read-Only by September 2020,
but that is only an estimate that ignores "Murphy's Law".
Even if I do get 8 years, it is a short time in computer years for myself.
If you want a drive that is more resilient and has a much longer lifetime (more write cycles/chip), you can always buy one of the higher-end SSD solutions than the ones that are currently in the consumer grade market.
Compare it with buying a plastic item versus a metal item: It has a shorter lifetime but it's cheaper ;)
If lifetime is more important for the same budget, a mechanical drive is a better solution as magnetic media will simply last and last. Buying a consumer grade SSD you know that the drive very much has a finite life and my approach is to better make full use of the convenience of what you have bought than to try and stretch it. You can prevent unnecessary wear to it, but trying to prevent any larger number of writes will fail - the biggest contributor to the wear on your drive will always be your operating system which, unless you use very specific drivers as are used in embedded solutions, will simply write to your drive a LOT. Think about the registry, temporary files, .NET framework updates recompiling all assemblies, etc. etc. - all your own efforts are not likely going to extend the service life of the drive by more than 1, maybe 2 months.
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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-17, 08:22

Until a few weeks ago I had no SSD, and a Macrium Reflect daily incremental partition image backup of C:\ was typically 30 MB.
Originally it was typically 300 MB per day, but I did some tweaking that cut this down by a factor of 10 without impacting my computer experience.

I used reparse points to relocate "non-essential" but high traffic items from C:\ to another partition,
e.g. The 200+ MB backup copy of the Comodo A.V. signature database,
and the monster Firefox Profiles and caches within each user profile.

My requirement was efficiently hold many images and be able to restore my system to any significant past date to :-
Undo any problem caused by malware - WHICH HAS NEVER YET HAPPENED;
Undo any problem caused by Microsoft Security Updates - TWICE HAPPENED in the first two months of using Windows 7;
Identify the introduction of a recently identified problem - SIDE-BY-SIDE ERROR which I only found when looking in Windows Event logs.

I was hoping that what I have done to minimize the size of the image backups would also benefit the life of the SSD,
but I accept that the Windows 7 operating system is designed to squander not only disc space but also SSD life.

Regards
Alan

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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-24, 22:18

I remain puzzled by the size of urlclassifier3.sqlite

When it is located in a portable profile on drive E:\ it has always been 5120 KB for nearly two months.

When I first used Portable Palemoon I cached to the HDD with
;(enable cache)
browser.cache.disk.enable=false --> Change this to "true"
;(disable XUL cache)
nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache=true --> Change this to "false"
I very quickly found that this resulted in a 20,280 KB urlclassifier3.sqlite at
C:\Users\Alan\AppData\Local\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\Profiles\4qbu47br.default
Due to that I no longer use the above settings.

I have a desktop URL link to http://192.168.2.1/
This used to launch my default browser and access my router.
Now that I had no default browser I had no such access
I tweaked Windows by to make Pale-Moon Portable my default browser, using
http://changedefaultbrowser.com/
Now I have a default browser, it is Palemoon Portable, and now the desktop URL link gives access to my router.
Unfortunately, although Palemoon Portable still uses a 5 MB url* when launched by my standard shortcut,
when I use the special shortcut it is less portable and goes to
C:\Users\Alan\AppData\Local\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\Profiles\4qbu47br.default with a 20 MB url*.
I find that if I delete urlclassifier3.sqlite (and also urlclassifier.pset for a clean start)
then the first time I use the URL link then urlclassifier3.sqlite is created with 5 MB,
and if I repeatedly close the browser and again launch via the URL,
there is a random chance of a very brief fleeting urlclassifier3.sqlite.journal and an extra 5 MB increase to urlclassifier3.sqlite

This default browser is not the good idea I thought it would be.

Observations :-
Installed FirefoxFox coasts along with a 46 MB url*
Palemoon-Portable in the special HDD cached mode uses 20 MB urlclassifier3.sqlite held at
C:\Users\Alan\AppData\Local\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\Profiles\4qbu47br.default
Palemoon-Portable in the downloaded default mode has always had only 5 MB url*
Palemoon-Portable in launched as "Default Browser" by a URL link goes semi-portable, using
C:\Users\Alan\AppData\Local\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\Profiles\4qbu47br.default and reaches 20 MB in 5 MB increments.

Initially I thought that Palemoon allowed far less bloat into urlclassifier3.sqlite than is allowed by Firefox,
and now I see that when launched through a Default Browser mode it becomes semi-portable and allows much more bloat.

I am intrigued and would like to understand.

In my topic "How to set up TWO user profiles on Palemoon"
I was told that the size would be reduced if I disabled safebrowsing.
Have I actually got safebrowsing disabled when in true portable mode ?
and safebrowsing enabled when the same executables have been launched as Default Browser ?

All I can see with my system still in default state is that Options -> Security does not have checked the boxes
"Block Reported attack sites" and
"Block Reported web forgeries"
That seems to be less than the highest level of safety.
Have I actually got safebrowsing disabled by default ?

Regards
Alan

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Re: default browser

Unread post by Moonchild » 2012-04-24, 23:05

If you are not using the profile set up in the portable environment, it will not pick up the preference settings that are made by the portable launcher since it relies on the preference files in the correct profile location (under pale moon portable's own root folder, and not c:\users\*). As a result, your "semi-portable" as you call it will use desktop defaults for safebrowsing (i.e.: enabled, including download of the full urlclassifier database).

I know you'd like to understand every single contingency you can think of, but this is as far as I'm willing to go in terms of time and support for hacking the portable to do non-standard things. Once more: the portable is NOT designed to be set as a system default browser. For what you want to do it may be better and simpler to use the desktop install, and create profiles in the locations you want from the built-in profile manager or by using command-line options (and shortcuts to that effect). You can set it as default, you can control all parameters from within the browser, and you don't have to battle the settings in the portable shell since you are trying to go against what it sets out to do.
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Re: default browser

Unread post by Greenboyb1 » 2012-04-25, 01:56

Moonchild wrote:This is as far as I'm willing to go in terms of time and support for hacking the portable to do non-standard things.
Can the community help :?: There would be no official support for it of course. :)

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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-25, 09:02

I am reaching the end of my "experimental phase" with PaleMoon-Portable and will very probably change to a fully installed version of Palemoon.

Before I encountered PaleMoon-Portable I only used Installed Firefox,
When I performed a daily incremental backup of partition C:\ it was obvious to me if my daughter had logged in during the day,
because the new backup file would be 70 MB larger than normal due to her use of her FF profile which altered her 50 MB urlclassifier3.sqlite + other caches and stuff.
That all changed when I used Reparse points to relocate from C:\ to drive E:\ all the profile folders (hers and mine) that held urlclassifier3.sqlite.

PaleMoon-Portable gives me the same benefit without technical trickery, but lack of a Default Browser is inconvenient,
so I intend reverting to technical trickery or Reparse Points - but this time with proper installed Palemoon.

I am still interested in why urlclassifier3.sqlite can remain stable at 5 MB when fully portable, and otherwise increase up to 50 MB,
Is it, as I begin to suspect, the result of the use of UN-Safe Browsing when fully portable, but SAFE Browsing in default NON-Portable mode ?

But PLEASE tell me how to know if SafeBrowsing is enabled or disabled.
Is it simply the checkboxes for "Block Reported attack sites" and "Block Reported web forgeries",
or do I have to risk my sanity by typing "about:config" in the address bar.

EDIT - INSERTION
Upon re-reading the portion of the reply
(i.e.: enabled, including download of the full urlclassifier database)
This increases my concern that the full urlclassifier database is NOT downloaded when in true Portable mode,
and suggests that all this time and without knowing it I had SafeBrowsing disabled.
When I search for SAFE in about:config I find
browser.safebrowsing.enabled
and that has the boolean value "false".
I think this means I have been Browsing dangerously since using Palemoon-Portable,
and I am wondering what extra risks I have been running.

Regards
Alan

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Re: default browser

Unread post by Moonchild » 2012-04-25, 10:03

Safebrowsing only checks some sites to begin with.
From the safebrowsing website: "When you visit a site that we think could be a phishing or malware site, your browser will send Google a hashed, partial copy of the site's URL so that we can send more information to your browser." I.e.: it doesn't do a lookup for everything you visit.
Also, a local database is provided for a quick lookup of known sites, and any other lookups are done online.
So, if you enable safebrowsing in the .ini file, even if you only download a partial local database, you will still be just as safe because other lookups are done online.

As you yourself indicated: the urlclassifier database is both large and frequently updated, which would inherently kill the medium like a memory stick much faster than it needs to. That is another reason it is disabled by default (right along with disk caching).
Is it simply the checkboxes for "Block Reported attack sites" and "Block Reported web forgeries",
Yes, it is. Simply checking those boxes enables Google Safebrowsing

EDIT: If you aren't sure about a site, you can manually check it online in the Safebrowsing API by putting the following in your address bar:

Code: Select all

http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site={{URL}}
e.g.: http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http://www.palemoon.org
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Re: default browser

Unread post by alan9182 » 2012-04-25, 10:21

Moonchild wrote:Safebrowsing only checks some sites to begin with.
As you yourself indicated: the urlclassifier database is both large and frequently updated, which would inherently kill the medium like a memory stick much faster than it needs to.
That which kills Flash memory Sticks will not be doing any favors to my SSD either.
Reparse Points will save the day :D

Many thanks for the explanation.
I am much happier now that I know I was still safe browsing.

Regards
Alan

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