Discussion:
"Safe" PDF reader?
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(PeteCresswell)
2017-05-29 22:00:21 UTC
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Is there any such thing?

Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
--
Pete Cresswell
T
2017-05-29 22:25:39 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
Not really. It can execute macros.

SumatraPDF is a good sub.

PDF Studio Pro is a paid editor and it is a rare jewel.
s|b
2017-05-30 19:22:27 UTC
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Post by T
SumatraPDF is a good sub.
I use it as well, but it can't be used if the PDF is a form that you
need to fill in or so I've been told. It should work with PDF Xchange
viewer. I've never needed to fill in such a form, so I'm still using
SumatraPDF.
--
s|b
T
2017-05-31 00:12:21 UTC
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Post by s|b
Post by T
SumatraPDF is a good sub.
I use it as well, but it can't be used if the PDF is a form that you
need to fill in or so I've been told. It should work with PDF Xchange
viewer. I've never needed to fill in such a form, so I'm still using
SumatraPDF.
Dynamic XFA (always a mess) won't work in PDF Studio
either. Static works fine, like IRS forms. I like
that I can mark them up and create my own fill in
forms too with PDF Studio

PDF Studio has an unlimited trial. It write trial across
every other page if you save the doc. Some of my
engineering customer use the trial to search through
long technical documents. PDF Studio has a great
search tool and can also do an OCR to help searches.
David E. Ross
2017-05-29 22:26:40 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
After 30+ years as a software tester (and then retired), I know there is
no such thing as a large software package that is totally error-free.

I use Acrobat Reader without any fear.
--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com>

Consider:
* Most state mandate that drivers have liability insurance.
* Employers are mandated to have worker's compensation insurance.
* If you live in a flood zone, flood insurance is mandatory.
* If your home has a mortgage, fire insurance is mandatory.

Why then is mandatory health insurance so bad??
Mayayana
2017-05-29 22:32:53 UTC
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"(PeteCresswell)" <***@y.Invalid> wrote

| Is there any such thing?
|
| Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?

You mean as a browser plugin? that's probably
not so easy to make safe. But most PDF
readers allow you to disable javascript. Sumatra
doesn't even handle javascript. Script is the
risk. I wouldn't touch Adobe Acrobat because
1) it's crazy bloated and 2) it's highly targetted.
pyotr filipivich
2017-05-29 23:35:21 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Is there any such thing?
|
| Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
You mean as a browser plugin? that's probably
not so easy to make safe. But most PDF
readers allow you to disable javascript. Sumatra
doesn't even handle javascript. Script is the
risk. I wouldn't touch Adobe Acrobat because
1) it's crazy bloated and 2) it's highly targetted.
"Bloated" that's what I was trying to recall.
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
VanguardLH
2017-05-30 00:04:43 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
You mean as a browser plugin? that's probably not so easy to make
safe.
Even more difficult nowadays since web browsers dropped support for
plug-ins. Google Chrome blocked all plug-ins by default in Jan 2015,
disabled support in Apr 2015, and removed all NPAPI support in Sep 2015.
Mozilla took a lot longer. Firefox dropped NPAPI plug-in support in
version 52 released in Mar 2017. There was an about:config setting to
reenable plug-in support but it got killed a month later in version 53.

I previously used the plug-in for my PDF viewer. I did not want the
document to display inside the web browser. Instead I wanted the
document passed to the PDF viewer program to open in a separate window
and inside the PDF viewer program.

Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
(which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed to
whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes. The result
is the pass off to the PDF viewer is smooth. In Google Chrome, and
without a plug-in, I have to save the file and click on the downloaded
file to then pass it to the MIME handler for the PDF filetype.
Mayayana
2017-05-30 00:25:05 UTC
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"VanguardLH" <***@nguard.LH> wrote

|
| Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
| behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
| (which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed to
| whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.

I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
Not so? I haven't paid much attention. I dislike the
whole idea of a PDF as webpage and generally, if I
want to see it, I'll probably want to save a copy.
So I like to set it up to ask what to do. Then I
download the file. (Then as often as not I extract
the text for readability and throw away the PDF.)
VanguardLH
2017-05-30 05:07:32 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Post by VanguardLH
Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
(which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed
to whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.
I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
"I did not want the document to display inside the web browser."

I do /not/ want the PDF to get rendered by the inbuilt viewer inside the
web browser. The feature set of those inbuilt PDF viewers is dismal.
They have no security settings but then I suspect they don't support the
robust features (that I disable in the more robust PDF viewer apps) but
I'm not sure about script inside the PDF. It doesn't take long in using
the inbuilt PDF viewer before I soon start researching how to get rid
that lame viewer and use a much better one, and one that has its own
separate window rather than yet another tab inside the web browser.
Steve Hayes
2017-05-31 02:29:36 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
Post by Mayayana
Post by VanguardLH
Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
(which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed
to whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.
I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
"I did not want the document to display inside the web browser."
I do /not/ want the PDF to get rendered by the inbuilt viewer inside the
web browser. The feature set of those inbuilt PDF viewers is dismal.
They have no security settings but then I suspect they don't support the
robust features (that I disable in the more robust PDF viewer apps) but
I'm not sure about script inside the PDF. It doesn't take long in using
the inbuilt PDF viewer before I soon start researching how to get rid
that lame viewer and use a much better one, and one that has its own
separate window rather than yet another tab inside the web browser.
Is that one of the things responsible for browser bloat?

When I click on a PDF file, I want to download it, I don't want to
display it, but Firefox suddenly started displaying them, and made it
hard to download them.

A few years ago Mizilla's Netscape got too bloated, so they split it
into two cleaner apps, Firefox and Thunderbird.

Now Firefoxc has become bloated with unnecessary bells and whistles,
and this pdf viewer seems to be one of them, and there are not enough
pistons and cylinders. It keeps reporting "Not Responding".

Every time I close it normally, it wants to send a crash report, and
then says there was a problem in sending it.

It never wants to send a crash report when it actually crashes, but
automatically tries to reopen all perviously open tabs and windows,
even when I suspect them of causing the crash in the first place.

Isn't Firefox open source?

Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
--
Steve Hayes
http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm
http://khanya.wordpress.com
Zaidy036
2017-05-31 02:50:35 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Post by VanguardLH
Post by Mayayana
Post by VanguardLH
Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
(which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed
to whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.
I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
"I did not want the document to display inside the web browser."
I do /not/ want the PDF to get rendered by the inbuilt viewer inside the
web browser. The feature set of those inbuilt PDF viewers is dismal.
They have no security settings but then I suspect they don't support the
robust features (that I disable in the more robust PDF viewer apps) but
I'm not sure about script inside the PDF. It doesn't take long in using
the inbuilt PDF viewer before I soon start researching how to get rid
that lame viewer and use a much better one, and one that has its own
separate window rather than yet another tab inside the web browser.
Is that one of the things responsible for browser bloat?
When I click on a PDF file, I want to download it, I don't want to
display it, but Firefox suddenly started displaying them, and made it
hard to download them.
A few years ago Mizilla's Netscape got too bloated, so they split it
into two cleaner apps, Firefox and Thunderbird.
Now Firefoxc has become bloated with unnecessary bells and whistles,
and this pdf viewer seems to be one of them, and there are not enough
pistons and cylinders. It keeps reporting "Not Responding".
Every time I close it normally, it wants to send a crash report, and
then says there was a problem in sending it.
It never wants to send a crash report when it actually crashes, but
automatically tries to reopen all perviously open tabs and windows,
even when I suspect them of causing the crash in the first place.
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
use add-on "download them all" for choice on d/l
Paul
2017-05-31 04:20:00 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Post by VanguardLH
Post by Mayayana
Post by VanguardLH
Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
(which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed
to whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.
I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
"I did not want the document to display inside the web browser."
I do /not/ want the PDF to get rendered by the inbuilt viewer inside the
web browser. The feature set of those inbuilt PDF viewers is dismal.
They have no security settings but then I suspect they don't support the
robust features (that I disable in the more robust PDF viewer apps) but
I'm not sure about script inside the PDF. It doesn't take long in using
the inbuilt PDF viewer before I soon start researching how to get rid
that lame viewer and use a much better one, and one that has its own
separate window rather than yet another tab inside the web browser.
Is that one of the things responsible for browser bloat?
When I click on a PDF file, I want to download it, I don't want to
display it, but Firefox suddenly started displaying them, and made it
hard to download them.
A few years ago Mizilla's Netscape got too bloated, so they split it
into two cleaner apps, Firefox and Thunderbird.
Now Firefoxc has become bloated with unnecessary bells and whistles,
and this pdf viewer seems to be one of them, and there are not enough
pistons and cylinders. It keeps reporting "Not Responding".
Every time I close it normally, it wants to send a crash report, and
then says there was a problem in sending it.
It never wants to send a crash report when it actually crashes, but
automatically tries to reopen all perviously open tabs and windows,
even when I suspect them of causing the crash in the first place.
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
The source is available. And I've built it several times
from source. Now you need a 64-bit OS to do that, even when
generating a 32-bit executable. During the linking stage
of stuff like XUL.dll, it can take more than 3GB of RAM.
Which is a little too high to be able to do it on your
32-bit OS.

The build process on Windows, now uses Visual Studio. But, it
doesn't use the IDE. It just manually calls the compiler and
linker at the command line level. And it takes a while.

The source for Version 52.02 is 201MB. That's heavily compressed.
The compression format can probably be opened in 7ZIP, if you care
to try. I usually unpack those on my RAMDisk, just to save wear
on the disk heads. There might be 150,000 files in there by now...

http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/52.0.2/source/

http://www.7-zip.org/

*******

If you use "about:config", there may be a setting in there for
the PDF behavior. Or, the MIME types interface, there should
be an option to do "Save As" for PDF in there. You can fix that.

When a crashed session restarts, it should ask whether you want
to restore, or start "clean". The latter is the most likely answer.
Any time my browser tips over, I don't usually want the
same thing to happen a second time. So the clean session
startup is the one I choose.

And the last time I looked, the Firefox crash reporter used
a third-party open source piece of code to do the reporting.
So they didn't have to write that from scratch (at least
at first).

You might want to research a couple of things.

1) Hardware acceleration setting for Firefox (fonts).
(Hardware acceleration setting for Adobe Flash is separate.)

2) E10S otherwise known as Electrolysis. This was a project
to make Firefox more like Chrome. Firefox uses multiple tasks,
for process isolation purposes. If Adobe Flash crashes, the idea
is that the main browser remains running. Perhaps your symptoms
are related (somehow) to having E10S enabled ? But just as likely,
there is some bad mojo in there, and your browser needs to be
"reset" or something. You may find E10S in "about:config".
I'd probably reset the browser, before changing the E10S setting
and running the browser the "old way" (single process).

HTH,
Paul
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 04:39:18 UTC
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Is [integral PDF viewer] one of the things responsible for browser bloat?
The PDF code is a library that gets compiled into the web browser so,
yes, the integral PDF viewer is yet more bloat. This like when Mozilla
added the code for Pocket inside Firefox which afforded no more features
than the Pocket add-on which users could decide to install or not.
Users had to figure out how to disable Pocket (rather than simply not
choosing to install the add-on); however, that does not remove the code
bloat, just neuter it from humping the user.

For Firefox, its integral PDF viewer comes from:
https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/
(free open source)

For Chromium, the integral PDF viewer is a hidden plug-in. Code is at:
https://pdfium.googlesource.com/
(was 3rd-party non-free closed-source, dumped for open-sourced Foxit)
When I click on a PDF file, I want to download it, I don't want to
display it, but Firefox suddenly started displaying them, and made it
hard to download them.
That depends on how you configure Firefox: Options -> Applications. See
the actions for: PDF File, Portable Document Format (PDF), and any other
PDF-type entries.
Every time I close it normally, it wants to send a crash report, and
then says there was a problem in sending it.
More likely caused by one of those add-ons you installed into Firefox.
What happens when you load Firefox *without* any add-ons and then exit
Firefox? You could define a new profile (which won't have any add-ons)
and load that on starting Firefox or use the -safe-mode command-line
switch to load Firefox in its safe mode which won't load any add-ons.
It never wants to send a crash report when it actually crashes, but
automatically tries to reopen all perviously open tabs and windows,
even when I suspect them of causing the crash in the first place.
I never cared for that. I disabled crash recovery. See:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1007584
Isn't Firefox open source?
Yep.
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
There are many variations (aka forks) based on Firefox, like:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Web_browsers_based_on_Firefox

Anything using the Gecko rendering engine is consider a Firefox fork.
There are some old ones, like Epiphany (but that changed to Web and
stopped using the Gecko engine) ... well, until Mozilla replaces Gecko
with Servo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_browsers#Gecko-based
PeterC
2017-05-31 07:59:45 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
http://www.palemoon.org/
--
Peter.
The gods will stay away
whilst religions hold sway
Paul
2017-05-31 08:28:56 UTC
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Post by PeterC
Post by Steve Hayes
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
http://www.palemoon.org/
Wow, Palemoon has a larger market share than Seamonkey!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Moon_(web_browser)

Paul
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 21:05:08 UTC
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Post by Paul
Post by PeterC
Post by Steve Hayes
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
http://www.palemoon.org/
Wow, Palemoon has a larger market share than Seamonkey!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Moon_(web_browser)
Looks like you read the graph incorrectly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Moon_(web_browser)#Market_share

BOTH Pale Moon and Seamonkey are listed at the bottom as each having a
0.02% market share. They didn't bother to extend the rating down into
the /thousandths/ of *percent* to see if how much a difference there
might be between them.

Go to:
http://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share

Then download their .csv file (so you can actually see the components of
the aggregate Other category in their graph). In the worksheet, you'll
see Pale Moon bounces around 0.01% (0.0001) to 0.02% (0.0002) and the
same for Seamonkey. At a party of 10,000 users, there is a max total of
4 Palemoon and Seamonkey users. Well, if they pay for all the booze
then they'll be super popular.
Steve Hayes
2017-06-01 07:09:31 UTC
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On Wed, 31 May 2017 08:59:45 +0100, PeterC
Post by PeterC
Post by Steve Hayes
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
http://www.palemoon.org/
Version 26.5 was the final version to support Windows XP

That knocks it out for me.
--
Steve Hayes
http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm
http://khanya.wordpress.com
Java Jive
2017-06-01 11:01:41 UTC
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On Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:09:31 +0200, Steve Hayes
Post by Steve Hayes
On Wed, 31 May 2017 08:59:45 +0100, PeterC
Post by PeterC
http://www.palemoon.org/
Version 26.5 was the final version to support Windows XP
That knocks it out for me.
I'm using it quite happily, in fact I've just made it my default
browser, because I'm sick of Firefox hogging so many resources.
--
========================================================
Please always reply to ng as the email in this post's
header does not exist. Or use a contact address at:
http://www.macfh.co.uk/JavaJive/JavaJive.html
http://www.macfh.co.uk/Macfarlane/Macfarlane.html
Mayayana
2017-06-01 12:51:06 UTC
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"Java Jive" <***@evij.com.invalid> wrote

| > Version 26.5 was the final version to support Windows XP
| >
| > That knocks it out for me.
|
| I'm using it quite happily, in fact I've just made it my default
| browser, because I'm sick of Firefox hogging so many resources.

I'm also using it happily. In part I'm not worried
because I generally disable javascript. But also, I
think people forget that the online risks are not
generally with the browser itself (except for IE).
Flash is by far the biggest problem. Java. Acrobat
Reader. Microsoft Office. Silverlight. Sloppy
configuration. And of course, the thing that makes
it all possible: javascript.
The latest WannaCry problem exploited vulnerabilities
in networked computers that have been common
since the 90s and should already be blocked. (For
instance, DCOM/RPC ports should be blocked on
most machines.) And ironically, WannaCry was using
an install method that just causes XP to crash,
rather than be infected:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/30/15712542/windows-xp-wannacry-protect-ransomware-blue-screen

In addition, many active exploits are 0-day, for
which the latest Firefox update is no help. As we
saw with WannaCry, our taxes dollars are being
spent on hiring techies to work as gov't spooks and
find new 0-days.

How many attacks actually exploit the Gecko
browser? I'm sure there are some, but they're not
top exploits. Anyone allowing script globally and/or
using plugins who thinks it's important to use the
latest browser is putting a chintzy lock on the
front door while they leave all the windows wide
open.

I'm using PM along with Firefox 38. Why 38? Not
really a particular reason. Every once in awhile I
try a newer version that's had time to get the
kinks out. I check to see how many things the
Mozilla people have broken or screwed up in that
version. If I can still use it in the way I like without
needing too many new extensions then I'll update.
I probably won't update to 52+ or whatever the
WebExtensions version is, because Mozilla are
breaking the entire extensions model with that
version. They're blocking extensions from full access
for security and stability reasons. That's a good idea,
up to a point, but it's analogous to Metro apps:
A sandboxed app is secure precisely because its
functionality is crippled.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-06-02 20:44:36 UTC
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In message <ogp2en$vq4$***@dont-email.me>, Mayayana
<***@invalid.nospam> writes:
[]
Post by Mayayana
I'm using PM along with Firefox 38. Why 38? Not
really a particular reason. Every once in awhile I
try a newer version that's had time to get the
kinks out. I check to see how many things the
Mozilla people have broken or screwed up in that
version. If I can still use it in the way I like without
needing too many new extensions then I'll update.
I probably won't update to 52+ or whatever the
WebExtensions version is, because Mozilla are
breaking the entire extensions model with that
version. They're blocking extensions from full access
I believe the ESR version of 32 still allows the old type of plugins.
Post by Mayayana
for security and stability reasons. That's a good idea,
Security/safety is often used as an excuse, though )-:. For example, the
type of automotive repair shop (usually of the "main dealer" variety)
who won't "for safety reasons" let the customer into where they're
actually working on the cars doesn't tend to get my custom.
Post by Mayayana
A sandboxed app is secure precisely because its
functionality is crippled.
That's quotable!
2
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

I've always wanted to be happy, so I decided to be - Neil Baldwin
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-06-02 21:20:21 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by Mayayana
I'm using PM along with Firefox 38. Why 38? Not
really a particular reason. Every once in awhile I
try a newer version that's had time to get the
kinks out. I check to see how many things the
Mozilla people have broken or screwed up in that
version. If I can still use it in the way I like without
needing too many new extensions then I'll update.
I probably won't update to 52+ or whatever the
WebExtensions version is, because Mozilla are
breaking the entire extensions model with that
version. They're blocking extensions from full access
I believe the ESR version of 32 still allows the old type of plugins.
Sorry, I meant the ESR version of 62.

[Still using 26 here!]
[]
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Old soldiers never die - only young ones
Mayayana
2017-06-03 00:54:14 UTC
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"J. P. Gilliver (John)" <G6JPG-***@255soft.uk> wrote

| >I believe the ESR version of 32 still allows the old type of plugins.
|
| Sorry, I meant the ESR version of 62.
|
| [Still using 26 here!]

:) I think you meant 52?
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-06-03 09:56:58 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| >I believe the ESR version of 32 still allows the old type of plugins.
|
| Sorry, I meant the ESR version of 62.
|
| [Still using 26 here!]
:) I think you meant 52?
Yes! Oh dear. And I don't think I can blame the hardware! Anyway, yes, I
think the ESR version of (types carefully) Firefox 52 will still work
with the old type of plugin. 52 is also apparently the last version that
will work with XP. ESR is a sort of more stable version, intended for
institutions and the like, who want not to have to deal with the manic
updating schedule ordinary users have to: the ESR version seems to
change only every five or six normal versions (before ESR 52 was ESR
fortysomething, for example). I think there's sort of support (inasmuch
as there is any support for free software) for the ESR versions, for
longer than there is for the normal ones, i. e. they're supported until
the next ESR up.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

If it ain't broke, don't download updates.
- Al Drake in alt.windows7.general, 2015-4-4
Mayayana
2017-05-31 12:30:15 UTC
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"Steve Hayes" <***@telkomsa.net> wrote

| Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?

I use Pale Moon as my main browser. It's Firefox
with some of the extras removed, and notably faster.
Unfortunately, they dropped support for XP. There's
also K-Meleon. I used that for a long time, but then
it got abandoned. Lately there have been new
versions released, but I haven't tried them. K-Meleon
is somewhat different from Firefox in terms of settings,
so it takes some getting used to, and I'm not sure the
developers can be trusted to keep it going.

It's easy enough to try out some of the other
browsers and see what you think. Pale Moon is identical
to FF. It just doesn't have some extras, like parental
controls, that many people don't need. I like to use
both for convenience. With Pale Moon I disable script,
cookies, frames, 3rd-party files and I use Secret Agent
for privacy. In occasional cases I need more functionality.
Rather than reset all those settings, I just switch to FF,
where I have NoScript, frames enabled, session cookies
enabled and 3rd-party files enabled.
pyotr filipivich
2017-05-31 19:17:34 UTC
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[...]
Post by Steve Hayes
Now Firefoxc has become bloated with unnecessary bells and whistles,
and this pdf viewer seems to be one of them, and there are not enough
pistons and cylinders. It keeps reporting "Not Responding".
Every time I close it normally, it wants to send a crash report, and
then says there was a problem in sending it.
It never wants to send a crash report when it actually crashes, but
automatically tries to reopen all perviously open tabs and windows,
even when I suspect them of causing the crash in the first place.
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
There is PaleMoon, a fork from FF 24 (iirc).
Moonchild productions.
<http://www.moonchildproductions.info/>
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
Mark Blain
2017-05-31 23:12:37 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
Someone has.

https://www.technorms.com/38687/firefox-light-browser-lightening-fast-
performance
Mayayana
2017-06-01 00:40:32 UTC
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"Mark Blain" <***@yahoo.com> wrote

| Someone has.
|
| https://www.technorms.com/38687/firefox-light-browser-lightening-fast-
| performance

They can't spell lightning correctly and a Google
drive account is required to get the browser?
Even at the Google site, the page is virtually
blank without script. And a note that "AMD
CPUs may not work properly". No thanks.
Mayayana
2017-06-01 00:53:22 UTC
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Actually, if anyone wants to try Light Firefox
there are links here:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/lightfirefox/files/48/201607300827_win32/

I can't imagine why you chose to link to the
flaky technorms webpage.

I tried installing it.
Why is it making numerous attempts to contact
my ISP? And how did it get those IPs? I use
Acrylic DNS proxy, which should be getting
the DNS request if Light wants to call out.
PeterC
2017-06-01 16:02:55 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Actually, if anyone wants to try Light Firefox
https://sourceforge.net/projects/lightfirefox/files/48/201607300827_win32/
I can't imagine why you chose to link to the
flaky technorms webpage.
I tried installing it.
Why is it making numerous attempts to contact
my ISP? And how did it get those IPs? I use
Acrylic DNS proxy, which should be getting
the DNS request if Light wants to call out.
Well, I was interested - until I saw this. Perhaps I'll stick with PM.
I used to use Firefox ESR, then swapped to Cyberfox, but the latter is now
EOL as the developer is packing up to go and get a life.

Otter looks good and starts in 3s; PM is about 2½s and CF is about 7s. Any
heavily modded Firefox (same extensions as the others, all to get the
behaviour of ProperOpera v12.x) takes around 12 - 14s!
--
Peter.
The gods will stay away
whilst religions hold sway
Mayayana
2017-06-01 23:03:24 UTC
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"PeterC" <***@homecall.co.uk> wrote

| > Why is it making numerous attempts to contact
| > my ISP? And how did it get those IPs? I use
| > Acrylic DNS proxy, which should be getting
| > the DNS request if Light wants to call out.
|
| Well, I was interested - until I saw this. Perhaps I'll stick with PM.

There was a discussion about this in the FF group
awhile back. I don't remember the details now. I
think there have been added functions to call home,
like "heartbeat", but I lost track of the details and
mostly settle for clearing all URLs in about:config.
Mark Blain
2017-06-01 23:05:40 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I can't imagine why you chose to link to the
flaky technorms webpage.
That page best describes what features were removed, which most people
would want to know before deciding whether it's worth a look.
Steve Hayes
2017-06-01 07:14:53 UTC
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Post by Mark Blain
Post by Steve Hayes
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
Someone has.
https://www.technorms.com/38687/firefox-light-browser-lightening-fast-
performance
Nice, but it seems very complicated to get:

"To download this latest, lighter build of Firefox, you’ll need to go
direct to the third-party developer’s page and add the .exe file to
your Google Drive account, which can be found in Google Code here.
Once here, click on the “download” link in the middle of the page."
--
Steve Hayes
http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm
http://khanya.wordpress.com
Paul
2017-06-01 07:24:33 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Post by Mark Blain
Post by Steve Hayes
Isn't Firefox open source?
Can't someone produce a Firefox lite?
Someone has.
https://www.technorms.com/38687/firefox-light-browser-lightening-fast-
performance
"To download this latest, lighter build of Firefox, you’ll need to go
direct to the third-party developer’s page and add the .exe file to
your Google Drive account, which can be found in Google Code here.
Once here, click on the “download” link in the middle of the page."
Mayayana provided a link.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/lightfirefox/files/48/201607300827_win32/

And if you wanted some other version, you could climb up
the link to a higher level.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/lightfirefox/files/

Paul
Paul
2017-05-30 05:59:06 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
|
| Now that both Firefox and Google Chrome dropped plug-in support,
| behavior differs in each web browser. In Firefox, the PDF document
| (which gets downloaded into the web browser's TIF cache) gets passed to
| whatever is the associated MIME handler for PDF filetypes.
I thought they both had built-in PDF viewers now.
Not so? I haven't paid much attention. I dislike the
whole idea of a PDF as webpage and generally, if I
want to see it, I'll probably want to save a copy.
So I like to set it up to ask what to do. Then I
download the file. (Then as often as not I extract
the text for readability and throw away the PDF.)
That's how I've set mine here.

If a PDF mime type shows up, I have any plugins for it
taken out of the picture, and "Save As" used instead.

Then the viewer I want to use, has PDF Javascript disabled,
to make it safer.

While the browser PDF viewer could be done as an out-of-proc
thing, it's just an unnecessary capability. I don't want a software
that doesn't have controls/preferences, to be doing the PDF
viewing.

Paul
Mayayana
2017-05-30 12:09:22 UTC
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"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| While the browser PDF viewer could be done as an out-of-proc
| thing, it's just an unnecessary capability.

And we have Adobe to blame for that. Flash
never had any excuse to live. Nor does PDF
masquerading as a webpage. But Adobe has
pushed both tirelessly. They've tried to own
the medium of the Internet, as much as possible,
and they've had a surprising amount of success
doing that.
pyotr filipivich
2017-05-29 22:35:51 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
Considering that every week, Adobe releases "Yet another Update."
- bleah.

What I most don't like about acrobat is the inability to make
notes on documents. I use Foxit. Real helpful for when I need to
fill out forms.
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
Monty
2017-05-30 00:35:03 UTC
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On Mon, 29 May 2017 15:35:51 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
Considering that every week, Adobe releases "Yet another Update."
- bleah.
What I most don't like about acrobat is the inability to make
notes on documents. I use Foxit. Real helpful for when I need to
fill out forms.
+1
VanguardLH
2017-05-29 23:26:48 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
If you feel compelled to use Adobe Acrobat *READER* (without the Reader
qualifier, you are asking about the huge Acrobat program), make sure to
disable its Javascript. Acrobat Reader has its sandbox feature in which
PDFs are opened. Other PDF viewers don't have a sandbox. I do not
recall an option to disable attachments (or what type are allowed) or
the ability to load a command on load that is specified within a PDF.

I use PDFxchange Editor. You can disable Javascript, opening another
document (which could be an executable), running a command on load of a
PDF document, and what, if any, attachments you allow.

While Adobe updates are well publicized hence why they are well known
for getting updated often, you won't hear about vulnerabilities in other
PDF viewers. That is, you won't know how vulnerable are other PDF
viewers. Just disable all the above mentioned features (unless the PDF
viewer doesn't support them; i.e., it's a neutered viewer).
Jo-Anne
2017-05-29 23:38:21 UTC
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...
Post by VanguardLH
If you feel compelled to use Adobe Acrobat *READER* (without the Reader
qualifier, you are asking about the huge Acrobat program), make sure to
disable its Javascript.
...

Thank you, VanguardLH! I found where to do this in Acrobat Reader--and
did it. In case anyone else is interested, go to Edit | Preferences |
Javascript. Unclick "Enable Acrobat Javascript."
--
Jo-Anne
VanguardLH
2017-05-29 23:49:01 UTC
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Post by Jo-Anne
...
Post by VanguardLH
If you feel compelled to use Adobe Acrobat *READER* (without the Reader
qualifier, you are asking about the huge Acrobat program), make sure to
disable its Javascript.
...
Thank you, VanguardLH! I found where to do this in Acrobat Reader--and
did it. In case anyone else is interested, go to Edit | Preferences |
Javascript. Unclick "Enable Acrobat Javascript."
There are other security options you need to be sure are enabled, too.
I haven't use Reader for so long that I don't remember what they are. I
think one was called Protected Mode.
Jo-Anne
2017-05-30 01:09:15 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
Post by Jo-Anne
...
Post by VanguardLH
If you feel compelled to use Adobe Acrobat *READER* (without the Reader
qualifier, you are asking about the huge Acrobat program), make sure to
disable its Javascript.
...
Thank you, VanguardLH! I found where to do this in Acrobat Reader--and
did it. In case anyone else is interested, go to Edit | Preferences |
Javascript. Unclick "Enable Acrobat Javascript."
There are other security options you need to be sure are enabled, too.
I haven't use Reader for so long that I don't remember what they are. I
think one was called Protected Mode.
Thank you! I checked Preferences, and one category is "Security
(Enhanced)." There are three main elements:

1. Sandbox Protections, with the first default being "Enable Protected
Mode at Startup." I assume that's OK. The second, however, is "Protected
View," and the default is "Off." Should I change it to "All Files"?
(The only other alternative is "Files from potentially unsafe
locations," which strikes me as useless, since I can't tell which
locations are unsafe.)

2. Enhanced Security, with the default being "Enable Enhanced Security."
Again, I assume this is OK.

3. Privileged Locations, which has two elements. The first,
"Automatically trust documents with valid certification," is unchecked.
The second, "Automatically trust sites from my Win OS security zones,"
is checked. Should I uncheck it?
--
Thank you once again,
Jo-Anne



Finally, under this element is "Enhanced Security," and the default is
"Enable Enhanced Security," which I assume is what I want.
VanguardLH
2017-05-30 05:10:08 UTC
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Post by Jo-Anne
Post by VanguardLH
Post by Jo-Anne
...
Post by VanguardLH
If you feel compelled to use Adobe Acrobat *READER* (without the Reader
qualifier, you are asking about the huge Acrobat program), make sure to
disable its Javascript.
...
Thank you, VanguardLH! I found where to do this in Acrobat Reader--and
did it. In case anyone else is interested, go to Edit | Preferences |
Javascript. Unclick "Enable Acrobat Javascript."
There are other security options you need to be sure are enabled, too.
I haven't use Reader for so long that I don't remember what they are. I
think one was called Protected Mode.
Thank you! I checked Preferences, and one category is "Security
1. Sandbox Protections, with the first default being "Enable Protected
Mode at Startup." I assume that's OK. The second, however, is "Protected
View," and the default is "Off." Should I change it to "All Files"?
(The only other alternative is "Files from potentially unsafe
locations," which strikes me as useless, since I can't tell which
locations are unsafe.)
2. Enhanced Security, with the default being "Enable Enhanced Security."
Again, I assume this is OK.
3. Privileged Locations, which has two elements. The first,
"Automatically trust documents with valid certification," is unchecked.
The second, "Automatically trust sites from my Win OS security zones,"
is checked. Should I uncheck it?
At one time, Adobe's sandbox was incompatible with other sandboxes, like
those used by some anti-virus progams. Case in point, you either use
Adobe's sandbox (just to view PDFs) or you use Avast's sandbox but you
couldn't use both. Back then, I was using Acrobat Reader and decided to
use Avast's sandbox instead of Adobes, so I disabled it in Acrobat
Reader. They resolved the issue awhile back for Avast & Acrobat Reader
but I don't know about other sandbox conflicts (e.g., running Acrobat
Reader inside of Sandboxie).
Paul in Houston TX
2017-05-30 00:40:25 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Yes. Turn off JS, don't open in a browser window, turn off all the phone home parts,
upgrade manually, if at all.
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
No. Acrobat is bloatware. 10x times the size of other viewers/editors.
No telling what it actually does.
VanguardLH
2017-05-30 05:18:10 UTC
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Post by Paul in Houston TX
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Yes. Turn off JS, don't open in a browser window, turn off all the phone home parts,
upgrade manually, if at all.
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
No. Acrobat is bloatware. 10x times the size of other viewers/editors.
No telling what it actually does.
Part of that bloat is Adobe's viewer can render PDF documents that are
very old. PDF has gone through multiple major versions with features
dropped later and even changes in formatting. The result is that some
non-Adobe viewers cannot show those really old PDFs. The bloat for file
format compatibility code means non-Adobe viewers can be a lot smaller.

I have not run across anyone using Acrobat formatting older than 1.5
(Acrobat 6.x) so I can pick any PDF viewer app. However, companies may
have to keep records for decades so they need software that can support
old file formats, like PDF file formats 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4. This is
one reason why Adobe Acrobat Reader still is pervasive in deployments to
workstations within a company.

Here's a summary of features as they accrued in each version:
https://www.prepressure.com/pdf/basics/version
Paul in Houston TX
2017-05-30 06:05:23 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
Post by Paul in Houston TX
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Yes. Turn off JS, don't open in a browser window, turn off all the phone home parts,
upgrade manually, if at all.
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
No. Acrobat is bloatware. 10x times the size of other viewers/editors.
No telling what it actually does.
Part of that bloat is Adobe's viewer can render PDF documents that are
very old. PDF has gone through multiple major versions with features
dropped later and even changes in formatting. The result is that some
non-Adobe viewers cannot show those really old PDFs. The bloat for file
format compatibility code means non-Adobe viewers can be a lot smaller.
I have not run across anyone using Acrobat formatting older than 1.5
(Acrobat 6.x) so I can pick any PDF viewer app. However, companies may
have to keep records for decades so they need software that can support
old file formats, like PDF file formats 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4. This is
one reason why Adobe Acrobat Reader still is pervasive in deployments to
workstations within a company.
https://www.prepressure.com/pdf/basics/version
I had not thought of that. Thanks Vanguard.
My employer and therefore me live by PDF's. Tens per day for me.
I use old paid Foxit v2.2 build 2129 about 95% of the time because I like the
toolbar layout, and free PDFEx 2.5 build 316.1 for newer PDF's that Foxit won't open.
PDFEx is great but I have difficulty seeing the small toolbar icons and have not
put the time into hacking it to make it bigger.
I also have access to the full blown & updated Adobe on the company's servers if
neither of mine will open the file, which happened only once in the last 10 years.
Mayayana
2017-05-30 12:36:28 UTC
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"VanguardLH" <***@nguard.LH> wrote

| Part of that bloat is Adobe's viewer can render PDF documents that are
| very old. ....
| I have not run across anyone using Acrobat formatting older than 1.5
| (Acrobat 6.x) so I can pick any PDF viewer app.

?? I have lots of PDFs in v. 1.2 or 1.3. The very simple
Sumatra has no trouble showing them. It's less than
10 MB installed. Acrobat Reader
may have more functionality than some, but the bloat
is *way* beyond what that could justify. And actually,
Reader probably has less functionality than many.
(Though I haven't actually used Acrobat Reader for
probably 10-15 years, so I don't know what the recent
versions include.
Last I saw, Reader was about 75 MB for the installer
and something like 150 MB for the install. All that just
to read a PDF. PDF XChange Viewer 2.5 is less than 20
MB installed and it allows me to do extra functions like
writing custom notes and filling in US federal tax forms.
VanguardLH
2017-05-30 18:33:54 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Part of that bloat is Adobe's viewer can render PDF documents that are
| very old. ....
| I have not run across anyone using Acrobat formatting older than 1.5
| (Acrobat 6.x) so I can pick any PDF viewer app.
?? I have lots of PDFs in v. 1.2 or 1.3. The very simple
Sumatra has no trouble showing them. It's less than
10 MB installed. Acrobat Reader
may have more functionality than some, but the bloat
is *way* beyond what that could justify. And actually,
Reader probably has less functionality than many.
(Though I haven't actually used Acrobat Reader for
probably 10-15 years, so I don't know what the recent
versions include.
Last I saw, Reader was about 75 MB for the installer
and something like 150 MB for the install. All that just
to read a PDF. PDF XChange Viewer 2.5 is less than 20
MB installed and it allows me to do extra functions like
writing custom notes and filling in US federal tax forms.
The last time (Aug 2015) I checked on memory footprints, Adobe Acrobat
Reader and PDF-xchange Editor were very close. Back then, picking
PDF-xchange Editor was a choice regarding features, not a small
difference in memory footprint between it and Adobe Acrobat Reader. I
didn't give gnat's fart about differences in disk footprint since I
built my boxes with drives that far exceed my expected capacity for many
many years. Alas, I don't remember if my compare was before or after
the DC (Direct Cloud) version in 2015.

Although I chose PDF-xchange Editor (originally started with their
Viewer app and waited until they added the same security options to
Editor which took a long time), Adobe does have their sandbox. Although
POCs have shown the sandbox can be breached, so can every anti-virus
program but I still use one. I asked Tracker about adding a sandbox to
PDF-xchange Editor but got the typical polite brush off. I was thinking
of using Sandboxie but their free version but that is lureware due to
the monthly nags. Besides, the free version doesn't sandbox a program
whose process is called by another, like when clicking on a link to a
.pdf which then uses the MIME filetype association. With the free
version, processes are only sandboxed for those you start using a
shortcut.

2010 was when they added Protected Mode in version 10 but I think it was
version 9 when the memory footprint went down. Despite reducing their
memory footprint, folklore still get proliferated based on ancient data
(which is not helped with blogs posing as news that do not state a
timestamp). Those citing "this is fatter than that" do not have their
own memory benchmarks nor recite anyone else's testing. The disk
footprint is not the same as the memory footprint. Citing the filesize
of an executable does NOT equate to the memory image size, and if a user
has to decide between Summatra at 7 MB and Adobe at 90 MB, they have
capacity issues since drives nowadays are measured in terabytes. Do you
know of any sites reporting benchmarks, including memory footprints, for
PDF viewers?

There is also the issue of rendering. Back when I compared several PDF
viewers, I could see differences in quality of rendering. Fidelity was
sometimes noticeably poorer in some PDF viewers. Even Adobe Acrobat
Reader and PDF-Xchange Editor did not have identical rendering. They
were very close by Adobe was a wee bit better. Foxit was worse with
than those 2, like irregular weighting of strokes for characters within
a word (almost the same artifact you see if you don't run an LCD monitor
at its native resolution so extrapolation gets used), especially for
small text. Here's one guy comparing Adobe to Foxit back in 2016:

https://www.pretentiousname.com/adobe_pdf_x64_fix/pdf_comparison/

Although that user was using an old version of Foxit (according to the
titlebar shown for Foxit), I saw noticeable differences in fidelity in
rendering a PDF document using different PDF viewers. In my eyes, Adobe
was better but PDF-Xchange was close enough. Both were easy on the eyes
to read. Of those that I tried, Adobe and PDFxchange were the top two
for rendering quality. Some others were horrible, like the difference
between reading a document printed with a laser printer versus a dot
matrix printer or an inkjet running lower on ink. If you're just
sporadically skimming over a PDF, or two, then rendering quality might
not be so important. If you have to read dozens of them per day, your
eyes will appreciate better rendering quality.
Ken Blake
2017-05-30 19:54:58 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
There is also the issue of rendering. Back when I compared several PDF
viewers, I could see differences in quality of rendering. Fidelity was
sometimes noticeably poorer in some PDF viewers. Even Adobe Acrobat
Reader and PDF-Xchange Editor did not have identical rendering. They
were very close by Adobe was a wee bit better. Foxit was worse with
than those 2, like irregular weighting of strokes for characters within
a word (almost the same artifact you see if you don't run an LCD monitor
at its native resolution so extrapolation gets used), especially for
small text.
Out of curiosity, I just compared the two I currently have available:
Foxit Version: 8.2.1.6871 and Sumatra V3.1.2, which I currently use
almost all the time. If there's a difference in rendering, it's very
slight.
Mayayana
2017-05-30 23:18:28 UTC
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"Ken Blake" <***@invalid.news.com> wrote
Out of curiosity, I just compared the two I currently have available:
Foxit Version: 8.2.1.6871 and Sumatra V3.1.2, which I currently use
almost all the time. If there's a difference in rendering, it's very
slight.
I've never noticed any difference, either. They always
seem fine to me. But I dislike the format in general, as
a format for reading. It's fine for things like manuals
with lots of diagrams. For mostly text I don't want it in
a PDF in the first place.
I'm guessing Vanguard LH must have some *very* high
quality porn if he sees such differences. :)
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 01:36:31 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Foxit Version: 8.2.1.6871 and Sumatra V3.1.2, which I currently use
almost all the time. If there's a difference in rendering, it's very
slight.
I've never noticed any difference, either. They always
seem fine to me. But I dislike the format in general, as
a format for reading. It's fine for things like manuals
with lots of diagrams. For mostly text I don't want it in
a PDF in the first place.
I'm guessing Vanguard LH must have some *very* high
quality porn if he sees such differences. :)
Porn comes [as images embedded] in PDFs? I supposed that could happen.
Not sure why, though. Like zipping an already zipped file resulting in
enlarging the file size due to overhead of the format headers.

Comparing PDF viewers that had low rendering quality is not much of a
comparison. Okay, so the rendering is not so bad as to make the
document impossible to read. I did not say the content was unreadable.
I said quality differed. Side-by-side comparisons have Adobe on top
with others having lesser quality (even the one that I picked which is
PDF-xchange). Some have some noticeable artifacts. Measures of
readability do not account for quality in rendering. Here's a bruised
apple but compared to another bruised apple this one looks the same.
Well, then go have fun eating your bruised apples.

https://www.ghacks.net/2010/07/02/pdf-reader-rendering-quality-comparison-which-is-the-best/

Here's another pictorial in the differences in rendering quality. Alas,
it is an old article. Either users don't care about rendering quality
or perhaps later versions of the PDF viewers got better at their
rendering quality.

If someone has a rendering comparison for review that is, say, under a
year old then I'd like to see which PDF viewer has the best quality.
Unlike Foxit or other PDF viewer users defending their choice to salve
their ego, I'd really like to see a good comparison of rendering quality
of the different free PDF viewers, not just "it's okay for me" reviews.

Something like rendering quality has a huge bias on the person doing the
comparison. Some PDF viewers are obviously much better than others.
I'm not much interested in saving a few megabytes of memory or a
gigabyte of disk space considering those are cheap and most boxes have
plenty of each. I look for the features that I want and, in this case
where we're talking about viewing content, would also consider how good
the document looks. I can read very fast since I don't have to
pronounce the words in my head as I read. The more legible the text the
faster I can read. I'd rather not pause to determine if that was a
faint "i" with tinging artifact and light stroke or an "l".
Mayayana
2017-05-31 13:14:41 UTC
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"VanguardLH" <***@nguard.LH> wrote

| Porn comes [as images embedded] in PDFs? I supposed that could happen.

Sorry. Over your head. It's known as a joke.

| Side-by-side comparisons have Adobe on top
| with others having lesser quality (even the one that I picked which is
| PDF-xchange). Some have some noticeable artifacts. Measures of
| readability do not account for quality in rendering. Here's a bruised
| apple but compared to another bruised apple this one looks the same.
| Well, then go have fun eating your bruised apples.
|
|
https://www.ghacks.net/2010/07/02/pdf-reader-rendering-quality-comparison-which-is-the-best/
|

I don't see it. That article looks glib, at best,
to me. And I don't agree with his conclusions.
Does he accept ads from Adobe, I wonder? Was
he desperate to come up with an idea for an article?
There's no shortage of glib articles making dubious
product comparisons for profit. Consumer Reports
is full of them. (Clean-up ratings for house paint?)

What I see is an article telling me that if I accept
the extreme bloat, security risk and probable spyware
of Acrobat Reader, I'll get a bolder, larger, default
text size. But that's adjustable, so what difference
does it make? And why is bolder necessarily better?

The author takes screenshots at 100%
and from that rates PDF readers. He starts out with
the question of whether PDF rendering varies. Does
he study close-ups of text at the same size? Does
he study layout differences or image rendering? No.
He just takes screenshots of heavily seriffed text in
different sizes.
By the end he's conflated that with overall product
quality. It's just a page full of fuzzy-headedness.
What about bloat, security and features
as factors? PDF XChange Viewer provides editing
functionality that most others don't. Doesn't that
count for something? No, implies our expert! How
about the security risk of the Adobe reader? Our expert
couldn't care less. For him, PDF reader quality is all
about how heavily seriffed text looks at 100% size.

What I see is a good example of what passes for
journalism online these days. Imagine paying $5 for
a computer magazine and reading that article. Do
you suppose you'd still come up with $5 next month
for a study of the dirt-resistance of pink iPhone
cases?

It might be interesting to see an analysis of
what goes on underneath. Are they all using the
same display window? Or does each interpret the
PDF code in its own way and paint the result to
the screen? Or something in between? I don't
know. But half-baked "scientific comparisons"
based on nothing much are not very informative.

In actual practice, I can't remember the last time
I actually did a lot of reading of a PDF. I sometimes
download things like magazine articles, but with those
I generally extract the text and read it in Notepad,
using Verdana. Why? Because serif text is difficult to
read on a screen. And dual columns on a page don't
work very well onscreen. PDF was designed to faithfully
convert between digital and print. In most cases, the
PDf as-is is mostly useful only for printing. TXT or HTML
are far better suited for reading onscreen.
If a PDF reader allowed me to change the font face
I'd regard that as a very important feature. But as
far as I know, none of them allow that. Why? Because
PDF is not a format for onscreen viewing. *It's a format
for the printing of images of printed works.*

If I want to write something like a manual I use
CHM format. And these days most browsers support
embedded images, base-64 encoded, up to something
like 100 KB. Which means that a single HTML file
could be used to produce things like hardware manuals
with diagrams that would be far more readable (and
editable) than PDF. If you have to read lots of PDF
text for your job then you have my sympathy. Most
of us don't do that. If I were you I'd consider finding
or writing a tool to convert them to HTML. Then you
could still pick your font size but have a more readable
font.
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 21:41:02 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Post by VanguardLH
Porn comes [as images embedded] in PDFs? I supposed that could happen.
Sorry. Over your head. It's known as a joke.
Pretending not to know it was a joke is how to illustrate it was a bad
joke, so bad that it doesn't qualify as a joke.
Post by Mayayana
https://www.ghacks.net/2010/07/02/pdf-reader-rendering-quality-comparison-which-is-the-best/
I don't see it. That article looks glib, at best, to me. And I don't
agree with his conclusions. Does he accept ads from Adobe, I wonder?
Was he desperate to come up with an idea for an article? There's no
shortage of glib articles making dubious product comparisons for
profit. Consumer Reports is full of them. (Clean-up ratings for house
paint?)
Oh, so you're calling the author a liar because you need to salvage your
choice of PDF viewer. Uh huh. And just what are those "conclusions"
the author made? Yeah, none. He just showed how the different PDF
viewers render differently. I don't even have to load the image and
zoom in to see there are differences in rendering. If you cannot see
the differences in rendering quality then it's you that is the liar. Or
your eyes are so bad that you need another layer of pop bottle bottoms.
Post by Mayayana
What I see is an article telling me that if I accept the extreme
bloat, security risk and probable spyware of Acrobat Reader,
All of which is not relevant to the argument about which has better
rendering quality. Those are OTHER considerations.
Post by Mayayana
I'll get a bolder, larger, default text size. But that's adjustable,
so what difference does it make? And why is bolder necessarily
better?
Heavier weighting of strokes does not necessarily equate to bolder.
Neither is better extrapolation for smooting a function of bolding.

You can take a low resolution monitor and up its brightness and contrast
but that does nothing to substitute for higher resolution to provide
smoother text.
Post by Mayayana
The author takes screenshots at 100% and from that rates PDF readers.
He starts out with the question of whether PDF rendering varies. Does
he study close-ups of text at the same size?
Can't be bothered to read the article, I see. What does the author say
about his first screenshot? Yeah, that different PDF viewers default to
using different font sizes. Guess you couldn't afford to look at the
other screenshots where font sizes were the same.
Post by Mayayana
Does he study layout differences or image rendering?
I remember reading another article that discussed image quality and
there was little discernable difference. Wow, I didn't realize you
"read" images. You can go on that tangent if you wish. I was talking
about rendering of the text. I don't bother reading comic books in PDF
or any other format. I graduated from picture books a LONG time ago.

Does the author mention layout differences? He used a sample document
and showed the rendering differences. Do YOU see any layout
differences?

Have YOU even bothered to install multiple PDF viewers to do your own
comparison? I did and realized that Adobe was better; however, I wanted
the features and security in PDFxchange (but which Adobe later added).
Post by Mayayana
By the end he's conflated that with overall product quality. It's just
a page full of fuzzy-headedness. What about bloat, security and
features as factors? PDF XChange Viewer provides editing
functionality that most others don't.
Again going tangent to the discussion about rendering quality. You must
think I'm some Adobe fanboy. Did I say that I use Adobe? What did I
say for what I picked as my PDF viewer, huh? However, my choice doesn't
make me blind to its deficiencies. I'm not loyal to any PDF viewer,
especially since I only use the free ones so there's no financial burden
in changing my choice.
Post by Mayayana
What I see is a good example of what passes for journalism online
these days. Imagine paying $5 for a computer magazine and reading
that article. Do you suppose you'd still come up with $5 next month
for a study of the dirt-resistance of pink iPhone cases?
You had to pay for the article? You had to pay to access the ghacks
site? Just more straw man arguments (aka feminine logic - if losing,
bring in other unrelated arguments) to distract from the issue of
rendering quality.
Post by Mayayana
It might be interesting to see an analysis of what goes on underneath.
Are they all using the same display window? Or does each interpret
the PDF code in its own way and paint the result to the screen? Or
something in between? I don't know. But half-baked "scientific
comparisons" based on nothing much are not very informative.
Here's are a couple of wall posters. Which looks clearer to you? No,
instead you start wondering as to what paint was used, what material the
canvas was made of, the painter's motivation, if they'd look different
under other lighting, is the glass covering one more cloudy than the
glass over the other, yadda yadda yadda yadda -- all to avoid answering
the original question.

Okay, Mr. Genius of expansive testing and analysis, just where is your
review of rendering quality? Yeah, you don't have one. Any that happen
to pan your choice must mean they aren't valid. Not even my choice has
the best rendering quality but I picked it for issues that are separate
of this subtopic about rendering quality.
Paul
2017-05-31 02:01:41 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Foxit Version: 8.2.1.6871 and Sumatra V3.1.2, which I currently use
almost all the time. If there's a difference in rendering, it's very
slight.
I've never noticed any difference, either. They always
seem fine to me. But I dislike the format in general, as
a format for reading. It's fine for things like manuals
with lots of diagrams. For mostly text I don't want it in
a PDF in the first place.
I'm guessing Vanguard LH must have some *very* high
quality porn if he sees such differences. :)
At one time, there were significant differences in
the rendering of fonts.

PDFs now, come with a subset (not all letters of the font),
stored right in the document. Using a subset is intended
to make it harder to "steal" fonts.

Back in the day, Adobe had a copy of ATM (Adobe Type Manager) Lite
in Acrobat, and it would synthesize fonts in response to standard
names. Other tools, like maybe GhostScript, had to make do with
whatever free fonts could be poured into the install folder.

Although there can still be calls for "standard" fonts which
were not stored as a subset, and those might screw up in
one PDF viewer and not the other.

If you have Acrobat Reader, you can use the Properties thing
to check the properties of the document you have open. And it
will say whether there are subsetted fonts in there or not.
At one time, a careful desktop publisher would review
that properties page, to ensure there were no "land mines"
planted in a document, that would trip up a recipient.

Another area they could differ, is on Asian fonts. If the tool
you're using lacks those, it can actually malfunction. Say for
example, you have a document which is almost all English, except
for a caption on something that had an Asian font. The parser might
not show any content for that page, and might behave strangely if
you page back and forth. Even Adobe makes you run off and download
the add-on package which covers those fonts better. One thing
that helped with, was when I was doing the thumbnail generation
experiments on Windows 10. There are still a few documents in
my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.

PDFs can store a really high resolution image, and scale
it down to paper size. It makes printing easier, as generally,
WYSIWYG on your printer output. A lot of other print methods,
you'll waste at least one sheet of paper doing a "test print"
(as you cannot figure out what scale to use, or maybe the
"fit to page" malfunctions. So it does have that going for it,
a slight saving on paper on average, compared to other print
methods.

When you embed a really high resolution image in a PDF document,
it means if the recipient needs to view a detail, the detail
is there for them to enjoy. Yet, when it's printed, or when
it's viewed at 100%, the tool takes care of the details for you.
Other methods require more manual intervention. It's certainly
better than some "Macintosh disaster", where typically pictures
were stored at 72DPI inside the document, and looked like shit.
So back in the day, you had better odds of delivering a superior
quality document to someone. (And this is apparently not
something that a lot of document preparation people care about,
as I see mis-adjusted Distiller settings all the time - the
prefs on Distiller are *not* set to ideal values when you get it.)
Try getting a motherboard user manual some time, were all the
BIOS UEFI screens are a blur. And the document is still 30MB
in size. Careless people.

Paul
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 04:47:05 UTC
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Post by Paul
There are still a few documents in
my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.
You sure PDF files don't have meta-data that contains the thumbnail? No
matter how you edit the document, if you do regen the meta-data then you
keep using the old thumbnail. Irfanview has that problem when you edit
an image file but configure it to reuse the old meta-data.

https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/pdf-properties-metadata.html
(mentions thumbnails in the meta-data aka document properties)
Paul
2017-05-31 05:15:52 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
Post by Paul
There are still a few documents in
my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.
You sure PDF files don't have meta-data that contains the thumbnail? No
matter how you edit the document, if you do regen the meta-data then you
keep using the old thumbnail. Irfanview has that problem when you edit
an image file but configure it to reuse the old meta-data.
https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/pdf-properties-metadata.html
(mentions thumbnails in the meta-data aka document properties)
PostScript has an option to have a Preview built into it.
This could be considered metadata I suppose.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encapsulated_PostScript
Paul
2017-05-31 05:16:35 UTC
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Post by Paul
Post by VanguardLH
Post by Paul
There are still a few documents in
my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.
You sure PDF files don't have meta-data that contains the thumbnail? No
matter how you edit the document, if you do regen the meta-data then you
keep using the old thumbnail. Irfanview has that problem when you edit
an image file but configure it to reuse the old meta-data.
https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/pdf-properties-metadata.html
(mentions thumbnails in the meta-data aka document properties)
PostScript has an option to have a Preview built into it.
This could be considered metadata I suppose.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encapsulated_PostScript
But I don't know what happens to that if you Distill it to PDF.

Paul
VanguardLH
2017-05-31 05:37:01 UTC
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Post by VanguardLH
Post by Paul
There are still a few documents in
my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.
You sure PDF files don't have meta-data that contains the thumbnail? No
matter how you edit the document, if you do regen the meta-data then you
keep using the old thumbnail. ...
Arg! Should've been "if you don't regen the meta-data".
^^^
Mayayana
2017-05-31 13:20:24 UTC
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"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| when I was doing the thumbnail generation
| experiments on Windows 10. There are still a few documents in
| my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
| generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.

Personally I don't consider thumbnails a plus.
It's just a resource-wasting, time-wasting gimmick.
Even with images I don't use thumbnail view in
folders. That's what file names are for. :)
Paul
2017-05-31 17:50:39 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| when I was doing the thumbnail generation
| experiments on Windows 10. There are still a few documents in
| my test collection, which for some reason, Acrobat still won't
| generate a thumbnail. Even after I poured in more fonts.
Personally I don't consider thumbnails a plus.
It's just a resource-wasting, time-wasting gimmick.
Even with images I don't use thumbnail view in
folders. That's what file names are for. :)
It was the weirdness of the failure.

On the Asian font documents, if you open them the
regular way, a dialog pops up saying you need to
download Asian fonts. It's easy to understand why the
Thumbnail generator interface, would not produce anything
in that case.

However, the remaining failures, the document opens,
without any dialog boxes or anything. So page 1 is on
my screen. Yet it cannot make a thumbnail from that
(which should just require scaling/smoothing).

I don't know what else it would be looking for.

Both companies have been kinda slow, when it comes
to PDF. It took Adobe a couple of years, to fix a
small problem with the thumbnail generator (so it
would run on x64 systems). Microsoft added a PDF
plugin to MSEdge, yet didn't add PDF support itself
to its existing thumbnail generator. The OS has
JPG and TIF thumbnail generators built-in, and
with the framework that must exist, and the PDF
plugin, it should be (relatively) trivial to take
a pixmap from one, into the other, and just do it.

I'm not arguing that the feature is useless. I don't
run my system that way. It's just the clunky nature
of the implementation that makes you "weep for
CS graduates". If I was the developer in charge
of thumbnails, I think I'd quit and open a
flower shop. They've done multiple implementations
over the years, and it still sucks. Maybe they're
using a random trial strategy, where eventually
(by accident), they make a good one.

Paul
Paul
2017-05-30 06:09:30 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
The only way it could be safe, is if Adobe hadn't
added Javascript internal capabilities in the first place.

*******

The one I use occasionally, is MuPDF. It has no user controls
as such, so navigation is just terrible. But it is fast at
page rendering. The "gl" version is presumably using OpenGL,
and your video card usually has a driver for that. I presume
the version has been bumped since the last time I was here.

http://ghostscript.com/download/

http://mupdf.com/downloads/mupdf-1.9a-windows.zip

mutool, mupdf, mupdf-gl

*******

Mutool can "clean" modern PDF files, so they can run
in your older PDF tools.

usage: mutool <command> [options]
draw -- convert document
run -- run javascript
clean -- rewrite pdf file
extract -- extract font and image resources
info -- show information about pdf resources
pages -- show information about pdf pages
poster -- split large page into many tiles
show -- show internal pdf objects
create -- create pdf document
merge -- merge pages from multiple pdf sources into a new pdf

mutool clean input.pdf output.pdf

The person doing that work, seems to know little about
how to add human conveniences to the tools. But the
tools themselves are great (with regard to messing
with PDFs). For example, if you were using a
"merge" function, you'd probably prefer the tool
could handle "*.pdf" on the command line. Which
it doesn't. It's almost like an attempt to make the
tools cross-platform, by doing as little as possible
that might need platform support. You could probably
build cross-platform decorations using Qt5, but few seem
to be interested in that, and it does make the download
larger.

HTH,
Paul
Ammammata
2017-05-30 07:22:08 UTC
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Il giorno Tue 30 May 2017 12:00:21a, *(PeteCresswell)* ha inviato su
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
I'm not sure whether it is safe(r) or not, but I prefer PDF Xchange viewer:
it's drawing tools are mandatory to highlight parts of the document
--
/-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ T /-\
-=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- - -=-
Post by (PeteCresswell)
http://www.bb2002.it :) <<<<<
........... [ al lavoro ] ...........
Good Guy
2017-05-30 20:08:53 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Is there any such thing?
Do you feel comfortable with Acrobat?
I am pretty much comfortable with Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. I
have yet to be infected opening a pdf file in either of these two Apps.

Security is an attitude of mind. If you are too careless opening
anything that is sent to you then I have to say that it is your fault.

All I can say is use whatever you want but also train your mind not to
be tempted to open anything sent to you just because you are curious
about something. You have to ask, was I expecting this file to be sent
to me? If the answer is no then you should not open it and instead send
it back to whoever sent you to double check that they intended the file
to be sent to people on the internet. If the sender is unknown to you
then you don't have to do anything but to put the message in a folder
which you can decide to read when you have gone through a careful
thought process.

Common sense is the only thing that is required these days;
--
With over 500 million devices now running Windows 10, customer
satisfaction is higher than any previous version of windows.
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