'Stainless' web browser... good for PPC and worth continuing?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014

    PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    So I was looking around on this PowerMac G5 website, which I am sure some of you guys have seen (http://www.g5center.net/hardware.html). I looked at the browsers this guy recommended, and one in the corner of the page got my attention. The website creator says he has had little success with the ones listed, but I decided to check it out anyway.

    I could already tell the browser was gonna be light, as it took literally about 3 seconds to download the zip and open it... and--why--yes, it IS a very light browser. I used to credit Camino for being so light-weight, but it is long-gone by now. It is pretty bare, but still packs general features that you'd expect in a web browser. For some reason, I haven't had anything as successful as Leopard Webkit, but Stainless sure seems to be doing well and is a very snappy web browser. I have tested this for about 5 min. on my PowerMac G5, and later I'm gonna try it on an older Tiger machine. Check the browser out and see how it does on YOUR machines.

    Now, one thing that was expected, but did sadden me, is the fact that the developer of this browser has stopped working on it. Now, it isn't very out-of-date, but we all know what will happen to it once it is... SO, the developer has made it open-source in case anyone wants to continue the browser. Any devs out there who would be interested in this? I find that this would be a life-saving browser for older Tiger Macs, etc., as it is super light-weight and is pretty fast. We still have TenFourFox, but that is horribly laggy. I found Omniweb to be a good alternative on Tiger, but it is not going to last much longer on PPC. Anyway, if this is also your first time hearing about this browser, check it out and tell me what you think. If I currently had the knowledge the is required to continue this browser, I definitely would!

    EDIT: Found out that Stainless has no web-history-saving feature. xD I sadly could not test this out on an older Tiger machine though, since it appears to be Leopard-or-later.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    Sadly, if it isn't TenFourFox, it's insecure. Some things are very insecure, like Firefox 3.6 or Stainless, others aren't as insecure but still flawed like Leopard/Tiger Webkit.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #3
    Well, I suppose it depends upon the needs of the user and what they are doing on their computer; I'm a student, so I don't normally put confidential information through a web browser. However, I feel this browser has great potential if further-developed. Leopard Webkit is my favorite, although every browser has its downsides. TenFourFox is just WAY too darn slow. Stainless could be the next Camino if someone can take over, as Camino was light and seemed to be pretty safe.

    As for Tiger Webkit, is there some current version out there that I am missing? I downloaded what I thought to have been the latest version, and it's pretty outdated by itself.
     
  4. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    ctmpkmlec4

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    Lyons, KS
    #4
    I think Stainless is a very nice browser. It's fast, and has a neat feature built-in which allows for different user sessions within the same browsing session. I am with you, I would love for it to be updated. However, I find that TFF runs just fine on my PM G4 with Tiger. You say it's laggy for you. What are your machine's specs?
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    Stainless is fast. So is Sunrise. The fastest I've ever encountered is Demeter, which was abandoned way before Stainless and because of being relatively new then has bugs.

    I use both Stainless and Sunrise when I need to do something quick. However, they are not my normal browsers.

    You cannot modify them like you can TenFourFox and since I spend a lot of time in my browsers I prefer to be able to customize them.

    With T4Fx you can do a few things to make it pretty fast. Stock it's not much faster than normal Firefox.

    Have to get around to that write up I've promised. Soon.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    Irregardless of what one is doing in a web browser, insecure ones still leak information and provide holes that any website can exploit to allow full control of the machine. Even setting as simple as check your school email or grades posses a big security problem. Soon all PowerPC browsers except for TenFourFox won't be able to use SSL as the world moves away from the versions that Leopard supports with it's built in SSL libraries.
     
  7. Member2010 macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #7
    Eclipse

    Firefox scare tactics are overrated. Leopard WebKit is just fine and has probably eclipsed TFF by now.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    They are valid concerns. Leopard Webkit is also becoming fairly insecure. Go look at Apple's/Google's security merges into the Webkit source. You'll see that there are some nasty bugs and exploits in there. Even then, it relies on Leopards built in SSL libraries that are vulnerable to some high priority CVEs. Don't forget that Tobias has also mentioned that Leopard Webkit is quickly nearing its end as the Webkit 1 source will very soon no longer be updated.

    Here are two sites where you can test your browser's SSL abilities: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html and https://www.howsmyssl.com/. Leopard Wekit does poorly, because of the outdated Leopard SSL libraries. TenFourFox does very well, because of its own NSS libraries. Some of the flaws in the Leopard SSL libraries include supporting a maximum encryption level of TLS v1.0 as well as still allowing SSLv3, being vulnerable to BEAST attacks, supports only insecure cipher suites, vulnerable to POODLE attacks, and has poor mixed content handling.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Maybe. But you got an alternative for people, such as myself, who hate Webkit in ALL of it's forms, on all of the platforms it runs on?

    Webkit's great and it has it's uses. But I HATE it with a WHITE HOT PASSION because it's is so DAMNED impossible to theme it, customize it, or otherwise make it look the way I want it to. Short of being a programmer I cannot make it my own.

    Firefox/TenFourFox on the other hand has access to lots of skins/themes, addons and other stuff.

    So, while lots of people like to toot Leopard Webkit's horn I will stick with T4FX.
     
  10. Member2010 macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #10
    Security

    I understand where you are coming from I use a firefox-based browser on every other computer (except my phone). I eventually gave up on TenFourFox after version 17 because it just went down the toilet in terms of, well everything. Leopard Webkit wins by default, not because I particularly like it; it's just all that's left.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    Me thinks you didn't even read what I wrote past the first few sentences. Even an older version of TenFourFox is more secure than Leopard Webkit.
     
  12. Member2010 macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #12
    Risk

    What are the odds of something actually going wrong just because someone used Leopard Webkit web browser though? If they are the same as or less than the odds of getting struck by lighting or getting hurt in an auto accident, those are risks I and countless others accept every day and just deal with. Can we actually quantify this terrible "security risk"?
     
  13. stewart1981 macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2014
    #13
    I've used Stainless and it does work well for me, but in the knowledge it isn't updated I am careful as to what I use it for. Anything that requires username/password/private info goes through TenFourFox only. However for light browsing it has been very handy. Then again I have just about every PowerPC browser I can find on my machine.

    I do tend to keep coming back to TFF But if I want say BBC online radio I've found Omniweb works better. You just need to beat in mind if you want took anything serious use a secure browser. Yes I know the arguments for insecurities but frankly any machine is susceptible to hacking if it comes up against expertly written malware etc.

    I do like WebKit as I was a Safari lover but Leopard Webkit just doesn't work for me. If someone took Stainless on it would be a great addition even if only medium term.
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #14
    Every day the chances of ones machine being exploited increase. As of late, they've been increasing at a rapid pace.
     
  15. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #15
    Attacks are difficult to quantify, but I think most people vastly underestimate how often they happen. Most people running Windows and OS X have mostly updated software that prevents most attacks from succeeding. They don't even realize they happen. If you routinely run an outdated, insecure browser on an outdated, insecure OS, you might find that there is a lot more bad stuff out there than it seemed.

    Here's a live map of attacks happening right now: http://map.ipviking.com/

    (Note: do NOT click that link if you are on a PowerPC because it will slaughter it with Javascript. It even bogged down my i7-2620M).

    That map shows live, active attacks against honeypots set up by Norse Corp. The thing to remember here is that this is a miniscule sliver of the total threats out there. It only includes attacks against that company's honeypots and it only covers active attacks, not passive ones. It doesn't include malicious websites, malicious attachments, malicious advertising on legitimate websites, TLS attacks, etc.
     
  16. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #16
    I find that TFF isn't as fast as Leopard Webkit even on my DP 2.0Ghz/8GB RAM PowerMac G5. Anywhere under that, it's pretty bad. On their homepage, they show an iBook G3 running TFF, when that would realistically be insanely slow.

    ----------

    Yeah, I would definitely appreciate a little guide on the best speed-optimizing settings for TFF. Currently TFF is not as fast as Leopard Webkit on even my PowerMac G5.
     
  17. L Oquence macrumors regular

    L Oquence

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    Jul 10, 2014
    #17
    If the code is really open source, someone starting up a new browser for PowerPC aside from our last two options: Roccat and TfX would actually be wonderful.
     
  18. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    Jul 12, 2011
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    Ireland
    #18
    In terms of usage, I've found Stainless to be my favourite PPC browser. Its simple, light and really fast. It feels like modern chrome on my G5.

    TenFourFox has all the best security and support, but man is it slooowwwww. Even on my dual core 2.0 GHz G5 is it notably slower than others, never mind performance on my 800MHz iMac G4, even with maxed out RAM. I get internet-explorer-like stress anytime I click it by accident, having to wait before I can close it again.

    For light browsing I find myself using the old Safari or Stainless when on my Quicksilver running Tiger. TenFourFox is just too sluggish unless I absolutely need it for a specific task.

    Side note: This is my 1000th post! 65816 here I am :D
     
  19. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #19
    From the source, Stainless is just a reskin of the existing PPC Safari. It's just using the copy of Webkit that's installed on the OS.
     
  20. NathanJHill macrumors member

    NathanJHill

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #20
    Thanks for linking to the site, Power Mac G4 MDD.

    I like Stainless a lot as a concept, but this is the truth. The reason why that it is so small is because it just links to the built-in webkit version. Granted, you could use LeopardWebkit's included applescripts to relink it or replace the older webkit with it. That will make it somewhat/maybe (?) more secure.

    I imagine Webkit would be faster if you dumped the frameworks for adding extensions, slimmed down the history and bookmarks, and got rid of everything else. But in the end, you would almost need someone to port Webkit2 back to PPC and then do a serious security rewrite.

    If you want to read more about Safari/Webkit's security issues, TenFourFox's blog really nails it. Read it here.
     
  21. stewart1981 macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2014
    #21
    As you all rightly point out Stainless is based on the built in, now rather elderly Webkit that Safari is built on and I doubt few would want to take on porting the newer versions of that backwards. Of course in doing so you may as well start to encounter the performance issues on TenFourFox on some machines.

    The sad reality is that to keep our machines secure online we have to accept that we are going to see slow down in comparison to new machines as they aren't as quick. Even the quad core is showing it's age these days compares to the newest machines. It is a compromise to me that is worth having as long as it is useable. Ethernet does help speed up though.
     
  22. B-G macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    #22
    Download Leopard-Webkit and copy the application bundle on your HD (you don't need to install using the included install script). In Stainless preferences enable:
    Advanced -> Load frameworks from WebKit nightly build
    Stainless will now use the Webkit frameworks included in Leopard-Webkit instead of the old ones that came with Safari 5.0.6. To check if it's working go to http://whatsmyuseragent.com/ . You should see a reference to the Webkit release you got with L-W.
    The nice thing is that when you download a new release of L-W, Stainless will use it automatically. No need to install anything.
     
  23. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #23
    There is still a very critical part flaw of Stainless that Leopard WebKit cannot fix, it uses Leopard's SSL libraries. Those built in libraries are not very secure anymore and will soon be obsoleted by the internet at large.
     
  24. B-G macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #24
    Very true, even if it's still better than using the old Safari.
    Personally, I use both L-W and TFF on my eMac. With the right setup i don't find TFF to be slow, and it's more secure. Perfect for those situations when security is an absolute must. Also, incredibly versatile thanks to its many powerful add-ons. Webkit is smoother and overall better with media. Some sites are better in TFF, others in L-W. I often have both browser open at the same time.
     
  25. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

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    #25
    What does this mean?
     

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