Discussion:
Is StartPage OK to hide search from Opera Proxy & ISP??????
(too old to reply)
R Radev
2018-09-01 01:26:10 UTC
Permalink
If I go to https://StartPaqe.com
using a proxy web browser such as Opera
on Windows 7
and then search for "abc def"
and then go to web site https://web1.com

What does each of the peoples see?
~ I think https://web1.com obtain only the Opera Proxy IP Address
~ I think Start Page obtain only the search "abc def"
~ I think Opera Proxy Site Domain only see encryption messes?
~ I think ISP obtain only Opera Proxy IP Address

But is that correct?
What do each of these see?
~ Domain visited from a StartPage click
~ Startpage where the search was run and the link click
~ Opera Proxy Site Domain
~ Local ISP
JJ
2018-09-01 09:07:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by R Radev
If I go to https://StartPaqe.com
using a proxy web browser such as Opera
on Windows 7
and then search for "abc def"
and then go to web site https://web1.com
What does each of the peoples see?
~ I think https://web1.com obtain only the Opera Proxy IP Address
~ I think Start Page obtain only the search "abc def"
~ I think Opera Proxy Site Domain only see encryption messes?
~ I think ISP obtain only Opera Proxy IP Address
But is that correct?
What do each of these see?
~ Domain visited from a StartPage click
~ Startpage where the search was run and the link click
~ Opera Proxy Site Domain
~ Local ISP
As long as you use "https://", Opera proxy will only see you connecting to
that site. They won't know what keywords you used to perform a search, or
which page you're visiting on that site.

Ans as long as you use Opera proxy, your ISP will only see you connected to
Opera proxy server. They won't know which site you're visiting, and which
page you're seeing.
R Radev
2018-09-01 13:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJ
As long as you use "https://", Opera proxy will only see you connecting to
that site. They won't know what keywords you used to perform a search, or
which page you're visiting on that site.
Ans as long as you use Opera proxy, your ISP will only see you connected to
Opera proxy server. They won't know which site you're visiting, and which
page you're seeing.
Thank you. One more detail may I please ask?

If I search for "abc def" on the httpS://StartPage.com, and if the
StartPage.com web site shows three sites in their search (abc.com, def.com,
ghi.com), and if all three sites are "httpS://" sites, if I then VISIT
those three sites by clicking on the StartPage links, then what does Opera
see?

As example:
httpS://abc.com
httpS://def.com
httpS://ghi.com

Does Opera also see that I visited those three httpS sites?
Or does only StartPage see that I visitied those three httpS sites?
JJ
2018-09-02 12:43:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by R Radev
If I search for "abc def" on the httpS://StartPage.com, and if the
StartPage.com web site shows three sites in their search (abc.com, def.com,
ghi.com), and if all three sites are "httpS://" sites, if I then VISIT
those three sites by clicking on the StartPage links, then what does Opera
see?
httpS://abc.com
httpS://def.com
httpS://ghi.com
Does Opera also see that I visited those three httpS sites?
Yes, because you're connecting to those sites with the help of Opera proxy.
Post by R Radev
Or does only StartPage see that I visitied those three httpS sites?
StartPage won't know which sites you'll visit when you click one of the
search result.

Search engine such as Google will know which one you've clicked because the
search results are made to point to Google's redirector page, which in turn
will direct your browser to the chosen site. StartPage doesn't do this,
fortunately.
R Radev
2018-09-02 19:21:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJ
Post by R Radev
Does Opera also see that I visited those three httpS sites?
Yes, because you're connecting to those sites with the help of Opera proxy.
Thank you for explaining that Opera sees every https link in the clear when
I click on those links from the httpS StartPage results.
Post by JJ
Post by R Radev
Or does only StartPage see that I visitied those three httpS sites?
StartPage won't know which sites you'll visit when you click one of the
search result.
Wowee! This is very unexpected information!

I would THINK that StartPage "could" see every link we click on.
Perhaps StartPage is DESIGNED NOT to see (and save) every link we click?
Post by JJ
Search engine such as Google will know which one you've clicked because the
search results are made to point to Google's redirector page, which in turn
will direct your browser to the chosen site. StartPage doesn't do this,
fortunately.
Wowee. I EXPECTED the search engine like DuckDuckGo or StartPage to SEE the
links you clicked on, so it is a PLEASANT suprise that they do not!

I expect Google to track everything which is why, of course, I use
StartPage or DuckDuckGo or epicsearch.in to search instead of Google.

Are all the main "privacy" search engines set up to NOT know what we click?
- EpicSearch.in ?
- StartPage
- DuckDuckGo ?
R.Wieser
2018-09-02 20:47:04 UTC
Permalink
R,
Post by R Radev
Thank you for explaining that Opera sees every https link in the clear
when I click on those links from the httpS StartPage results.
*Ofcourse* it does. Just as you initial request for StartPage whas
automatically redirected thru the Opera proxy, so will all other connections
be. Up until you tell your browser not to use a proxy anymore ofcourse.
Post by R Radev
Wowee! This is very unexpected information!
Not really (read on)
Post by R Radev
I would THINK that StartPage "could" see every link we click on.
How ?

When we ignore the Opera proxy for the moment, clicking on the abc.org link
will connect you to that website, and that one alone*. There is nothing
in that link that tells it to (also) connect to StartPage.com.

*keeping it simple here.

.. Though JJ mentioned a "trick" which Google uses, and that is to construct
the URL in such a way that Google is connected to with a the request for the
actual site attached as an argument. Like this:

www.google.com/url?q=https://www.abc.org

If first goes to www.google.com, which than sees "url/?q=", and as a result
returns the part after that as a redirect instruction to your browser.
Rather sneaky.

StartPage *could* do the same thing, and by it see which sites you choose
from its results to visit.

In FireFox (and I assume most other browsers too) you can put the mouse over
the link to see where it actually points to. A quick peek shows StartPage
doesn't seem to use Googles trick.
Post by R Radev
Perhaps StartPage is DESIGNED NOT to see (and save) every link we click?
Its the other way around: It needs to do extra work to make that Google
trick happen.

And FYI:. there are FireFox plugins available which will scrub Googles
tricky links back to its simple, and direct form.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser
R Radev
2018-09-03 04:50:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by R.Wieser
Post by R Radev
I would THINK that StartPage "could" see every link we click on.
When we ignore the Opera proxy for the moment, clicking on the abc.org link
will connect you to that website, and that one alone*. There is nothing
in that link that tells it to (also) connect to StartPage.com.
I don't understand this stuff so it just seemed "natural" to me that if I
clicked on a link at StartPage, that StartPage would "know" I clicked on
that link.

While the StartPage results are "dynamic", let's assume for a moment that
it's a static web page - so I can explain how I thought it worked.

If Startpage had a static page on their web site (pointing to abc.com), and
I clicked on that link in that static page on the StartPage domain (which
pointed to abc.com), why wouldn't Startpage KNOW that I clicked in their
own link (to abc.com) on their own web page?

That's how I THOUGHT it worked. But that's also why I asked.
Because I didn't know how it works.

So if STartpage does NOT know that I clicked on their own link (to
abc.com), that's great.

So it's only Opera that knows I clicked on a link to abc.com.

The part about the Opera that confuses me is that the link to abc.com is
encrypted, so it's to httpS://abc.com, where I'm not sure what Opera sees.

Do they see just gibberish such that all Opera knows is that I went to the
DOMAIN abc.com? Or does Opera know that I went to the location on
httpS://abc.com that resolves to, oh, let's say
httpS://abc.com/red/polka/dot/sizeXXXL/underwear.txt

Given that the abc.com link is encrypted, how much of that transaction of
buying red polka dot underwear does Opera know about?
Post by R.Wieser
.. Though JJ mentioned a "trick" which Google uses, and that is to construct
the URL in such a way that Google is connected to with a the request for the
www.google.com/url?q=https://www.abc.org
That sucks. Thanks for warning me. I knew Google wasn't to be trusted but I
didn't realize that it's different for StartPage.

Is DuckDuck go like StartPage that way?
(I would hope so.)
Post by R.Wieser
If first goes to www.google.com, which than sees "url/?q=", and as a result
returns the part after that as a redirect instruction to your browser.
Rather sneaky.
That sucks.
By habit, I try to only use Google searches only when all others fail.

What are good privacy based search engines?
I don't know. But I know of only three:
1. StartPage
2. DuckDuckGo
3. EpicPrivacySearch

Any others?
Post by R.Wieser
StartPage *could* do the same thing, and by it see which sites you choose
from its results to visit.
Since StartPage is billed as a "privacy" search engine, let's hope they
don't do what Google does! :)
Post by R.Wieser
In FireFox (and I assume most other browsers too) you can put the mouse over
the link to see where it actually points to. A quick peek shows StartPage
doesn't seem to use Googles trick.
Thanks for checking that out on StartPage.
I just ran this search and that trick on Duckduckgo.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=red+polka+dot+underwear&ia=web

If I ran that test correctly, it seems that DuckDuckGo doesn't do the refer
URL either.

Neither does the Epic Private Search (if I ran the test right).
https://epicsearch.in/search?&q=red+polka+dot+underwear
Post by R.Wieser
Post by R Radev
Perhaps StartPage is DESIGNED NOT to see (and save) every link we click?
Its the other way around: It needs to do extra work to make that Google
trick happen.
On the back end, I'm curious how much Opera sees in an encrypted link.

If I go to httpS://abc.com and buy red polka dot underwear in size XXXXL,
how much of THAT transaction can Opera see in the clear?
Post by R.Wieser
And FYI:. there are FireFox plugins available which will scrub Googles
tricky links back to its simple, and direct form.
This is good to know. Thanks!
R.Wieser
2018-09-03 09:46:31 UTC
Permalink
R,
Post by R Radev
If Startpage had a static page on their web site (pointing to abc.com),
and I clicked on that link in that static page on the StartPage domain
(which pointed to abc.com), why wouldn't Startpage KNOW that I clicked in
their own link (to abc.com) on their own web page?
First of, the trick would not work for dynamic pages, as (AFAIK) your
browser does not want to retrieve dynamic data (XML requests and all that)
from any other domain than the webpages the request is done from (a build-in
security measure).

As for static webpages ? They work alike real-world letters (snailmail):
You ask StartPage and it returns a webpage, which is where your contact with
StartPage ends. Full stop. It has no knowledge what you do with that
information, not even if you are actually reading it.

Only when you click a link on it that points back to StartPage your browser
will again connect to it (the trick Google uses).
Post by R Radev
That's how I THOUGHT it worked. But that's also why I asked. Because I
didn't know how it works.
And as such you asked a good question. Nobody is born with knowledge like
that.
Post by R Radev
So it's only Opera that knows I clicked on a link to abc.com.
Yes, but only because *you* told your browser to use it as a proxy. You
don't *have* to use it.
Post by R Radev
The part about the Opera that confuses me is that the link to abc.com is
encrypted, so it's to httpS://abc.com, where I'm not sure what Opera sees.
Think again of a real-world letter: When you put it into the mail than how
can they deliver it to the intended receipient ? Yep, by way of the addres
you put on the outside of the envelope.

And that (IP) addres is all that the Opera proxy sees - otherwise it does
not know where it needs to go.
Post by R Radev
Do they see just gibberish such that all Opera knows is that I went to the
DOMAIN abc.com?
Yep.
Post by R Radev
Or does Opera know that I went to the location on httpS://abc.com that
resolves to, oh, let's say
httpS://abc.com/red/polka/dot/sizeXXXL/underwear.txt
Nope.

It gets even better: If the website is on a big computer it shares with lots
of other websites than the proxy does not even know which domain you are
visiting, as all it sees is the IP (the front door of a building), not the
domain name (the individual companies entry doors inside the building).
Post by R Radev
Given that the abc.com link is encrypted, how much of that transaction
of buying red polka dot underwear does Opera know about?
Other than that you visited a certain building ? Nothing. Just make
sure that the connection is httpS though.
Post by R Radev
That sucks. Thanks for warning me. I knew Google wasn't to be trusted
Its not really about tracking *you*, but more about them wanting to be able
to generate statistics about how popular certain links are (so they can be
placed higher in the search results).

And mind you, that you clicked that link is *all* they can see: after it
your connection is directly with the intended website.
Post by R Radev
but I didn't realize that it's different for StartPage.
:-) Its rather possible (understatement) that StartPage just queries a big
search engine itself, and than delivers the results back to you.

In other words, the fact that SearchPage is able to display search results
in order of (an) importance is because they (effectivily) leech off of
ranking data others have helped to create, but do not contribute to
themselves...

Ever thought of that (and what would happen if they would get unranked
results back) ?
Post by R Radev
Is DuckDuck go like StartPage that way?
(I would hope so.)
Why do you ask ? You can easily check that yourself (just go there and put
your mouse over the links) ...
Post by R Radev
What are good privacy based search engines?
I don't know.
I have absolutily no idea either.

All I have is what those websites tell about them themselves (they *all* say
they won't screw you over, which therefore means nothing), what others say
about them (based on ... what exactly?), and what I can glean from their
search results.

And none of that means that they could not do nefarious stuff behind the
scenes, as I nor anyone else has any eyes into that.

In short, it all boils down on *assumptions* of what the different companies
will do with data they get from you in the process of doing business with
them (and I explicitily exclude actions that will purposely invade a persons
privacy here, like Evercookie and link-sniffing javascripts).

Also, take the different "we won't" assurances with a bit of salt -
especially the "we won't keep records about you" ones, as those may be
mandated *by Law* (to be able to back-track "terrorrists" and all that).
Post by R Radev
Since StartPage is billed as a "privacy" search engine, let's hope they
don't do what Google does! :)
Exactly that. You may hope, but you have zero certainty for (or against!)
it.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

P.s.
If you are privacy consious (which it certainly looks like :-) ) than also
take a look at which external resources a webpage you are visiting loads.
Spypixels, IFrames and scripts loaded from a plethora of third-party
servers, by which they can see you visiting that page (and with the aid of
cookies or other available methods, even that its a specific individual) ...

In short, (selectivily) blocking those external resources from being loaded
vastly inproves your privacy.
If you're interrested in doing that than FireFox has a plugin named
"RequestPolicy" for it.
R Radev
2018-09-03 12:31:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by R.Wieser
You ask StartPage and it returns a webpage, which is where your contact with
StartPage ends. Full stop. It has no knowledge what you do with that
information, not even if you are actually reading it.
I understand and believe what you say, but there are times when I open a
few web pages with videos in them, and then I click on all the videos since
my Internet connection is slow - and somehow the pages KNOW that I'm not
"focused" on them.

There's SOMETHING they know because the video will only play if I go back
to THAT web page, even though I clicked to play the video a half minute
earlier.

Somehow the web page KNOWS that I don't have that tab "open".
Post by R.Wieser
And that (IP) addres is all that the Opera proxy sees - otherwise it does
not know where it needs to go.
So if I search for, choose, and buy pink polka dot underwear in size XXL,
Opera only sees the URLs that are associated with that transaction.
Post by R.Wieser
It gets even better: If the website is on a big computer it shares with lots
of other websites than the proxy does not even know which domain you are
visiting, as all it sees is the IP (the front door of a building), not the
domain name (the individual companies entry doors inside the building).
That confuses me a bit. Since everything is going through Opera, it has to
see the URLs I think, based on what was said prior.

Is this talking about "cloudshare" stuff?
R.Wieser
2018-09-03 14:47:16 UTC
Permalink
R,
Post by R Radev
There's SOMETHING they know because the video will only play if I go back
to THAT web page, even though I clicked to play the video a half minute
earlier.
Thats easy to explain: Your browser stops retrieving more data, as it
assumes you actually want to see the movie (which is not a file but a
stream: you can't just save it do disk) *without* having to "rewind" to the
position where you switched away from it.
Post by R Radev
Somehow the web page KNOWS that I don't have that tab "open".
Nope, it does not. But it does see that you (your browser) is not asking
for more of the movies data.

Think of it like someone is handing you goods, and something else is
grabbing your attention. As long as you do not stretch your hands out to
accept more goods the other person won't (try to) hand you more. Its like
he's been put "on hold".
Post by R Radev
So if I search for, choose, and buy pink polka dot underwear in size XXL,
Opera only sees the URLs that are associated with that transaction.
It does not even see that: only the "street address" (the IP), and not even
the name of the person who's living there (the domain name).
Post by R Radev
That confuses me a bit. Since everything is going through Opera, it has to
see the URLs I think, based on what was said prior.
Well, yes and no.

To take the real-world letter (snail mail) again, you can't just send a
letter to "uncle bill" and expect it to arrive. You need to look up in
which country, city, street and number uncle bill lives, and put that on the
envelope (in fact, the aditional "to: uncle bil" on the envelope is not even
needed).

In the Internet world you need to do the same: you need to look up the IP
address of the domain you want to connect to. And that IP address is all
what matters and the Opera proxy sees.

Luckily that "what is the IP for SearchPage ?" is something the browser
silently does for you (using a service called Domain Name Service - DNS for
short).

The "yes and no" question just is if the DNS domain-resolving request *also*
goes thru that Opera proxy or not. Mostly not, but it fully depends on your
conputers/browsers configuration.
Post by R Radev
Is this talking about "cloudshare" stuff?
Nope, not by a long shot. The above is just "simple stuff" in regard to
that. :-)

Regards,
Rudy Wieser
JJ
2018-09-03 11:58:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by R.Wieser
In FireFox (and I assume most other browsers too) you can put the mouse over
the link to see where it actually points to. A quick peek shows StartPage
doesn't seem to use Googles trick.
Google is actually more sneaky than any other search engines which uses
redirector page - if the JavaScript version of the page is used.

When the mouse is pointed to a search result link (e.g. abc.com), the
browser will show the real URL. Google changes the URL only when the link is
clicked. After that, it won't revert to the real URL until the page is
refreshed.

This can be tested by right-clicking the mouse on the link to open the
browser's popup menu, then press ESC or left-click empty space in order to
close the popup menu. Or click-and-drag the link to empty space. Then point
the mouse back to the link. It should now changed to Google's redirector
URL.
R Radev
2018-09-03 12:37:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJ
This can be tested by right-clicking the mouse on the link to open the
browser's popup menu, then press ESC or left-click empty space in order to
close the popup menu. Or click-and-drag the link to empty space. Then point
the mouse back to the link. It should now changed to Google's redirector
URL.
Thank you for pointing that sneaky trick out which I can see happening.
I never knew this redirect stuff.

Do you know how web pages in tabs KNOW that you're focused on them?
Is that just a local thing or is that focus knowledge communicated to a
server?
JJ
2018-09-04 15:31:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by R Radev
Do you know how web pages in tabs KNOW that you're focused on them?
Is that just a local thing or is that focus knowledge communicated to a
server?
That's a local thing by default. It's only possible if JavaScript is
enabled. Events such as tab activation/deactivation, mouse movements/clicks,
keyboard pressess, etc. can be listened by scripts. A server will know those
events only if the scripts specifically send a report to it. IME, some
analytic scripts actually do this.
Mayayana
2018-09-03 14:18:06 UTC
Permalink
"JJ" <***@vfemail.net> wrote

|
| When the mouse is pointed to a search result link (e.g. abc.com), the
| browser will show the real URL. Google changes the URL only when the link
is
| clicked. After that, it won't revert to the real URL until the page is
| refreshed.

Are you talking about the status bar text? Google
doesn't and can't change that unless you allow them
to do it with script. I see the whole seedy mess in
the status bar.
For that reason and others, I avoid Google in general.
When I do use them I often right-click -> Copy Link
Location, then paste that into Notepad and retrieve
the real link, which is between "=" and the first
ampersand:

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://somewhere.com&sa=U&ved=0WWWbllldLGvgs----ttttekkdkkdkDAjcQFggXBBE&usg=AwkqiWKsEtoHGGREciooxnYYVknCEE1Tj

URL: https://somewhere.com

There are sites online that detail the various
tracking codes, like ved, usg, etc, though not
all of them are known.

Also note, R Radev seems to be the latest
pseudonym for Arlen Holder, etc.
R.Wieser
2018-09-03 15:02:55 UTC
Permalink
Mayayana,
Post by Mayayana
Are you talking about the status bar text? Google
doesn't and can't change that unless you allow them
to do it with script.
Most people have JavaScript enabled, which, AFAIK, would make that well
posible.
Post by Mayayana
I see the whole seedy mess in the status bar.
Same here. I do have scripting disabled though.
Post by Mayayana
When I do use them I often right-click -> Copy Link
Location, then paste that into Notepad and retrieve
the real link,
I'm running FireFox with the GreaseMonkey plugin installed, for which I've
written a small script to do it for all Google search page links. That way
I do not forget it. :-)
Post by Mayayana
Also note, R Radev seems to be the latest
pseudonym for Arlen Holder, etc.
Hmmm... that would not be nice, leading us on like that. Thanks for
mentioning the possibility.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser.
Mayayana
2018-09-03 15:59:21 UTC
Permalink
"R.Wieser" <***@not.available> wrote

| > I see the whole seedy mess in the status bar.
|
| Same here. I do have scripting disabled though.
|

There is, actually, a setting to stop that:

dom.disable_window_status_change

A lot of the more sleazy javascript tricks can be
disabled while still enabling script. But of course, one
first needs an extension to make the status bar
visible again in the first place. One step forward,
two steps back, in the Mozilla tradition. :)
R.Wieser
2018-09-03 16:19:01 UTC
Permalink
Mayayana,
I was thinking that it would be an actual change to the involved URL, not
just to what you're seeing : the browser shows you whats in the "href"
portion, but the click gets catched by an JS "onclick" event.

Would make sense too, as they than do not need to serve different pages to
people with, and without scripting enabled.
Post by Mayayana
dom.disable_window_status_change
I'm putting that into into my FF notes. Thank you for mentioning it.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser
Mayayana
2018-09-03 17:19:35 UTC
Permalink
"R.Wieser" <***@not.available> wrote

| I was thinking that it would be an actual change to the involved URL, not
| just to what you're seeing : the browser shows you whats in the "href"
| portion, but the click gets catched by an JS "onclick" event.
|

I guess that's possible, but I've never seen it. I do
see an increasing number of links that don't work because
they depend on script. But the scripted ones I've seen
don't have an HREF. The page I see at Google has no script
in the links, but that might be because I have it disabled
and they gave me a noscript version.

On the other hand, if you have HREF="somewhere.com"
while onclick sends you to theotherplace.com, that seems
like a recipe for trouble.

| > dom.disable_window_status_change
|
| I'm putting that into into my FF notes. Thank you for mentioning it.
|

I've posted this before, but in case people
haven't see it:

https://www.jsware.net/jsware/browsertips.php5#mozprefchm

It's a CHM file I compiled with 450+ searchable prefs.
It's more than a year old now, but still contains the
vast majority of settings with explanations. One of
these days I may update it.
R.Wieser
2018-09-03 19:13:04 UTC
Permalink
Mayayana,
Post by Mayayana
On the other hand, if you have HREF="somewhere.com"
while onclick sends you to theotherplace.com, that seems
like a recipe for trouble.
True. And now you mention it, I take it that browser makers would cut that
trick short because of just that. In other words, my idea about JS
rewriting the URL, or even intercepting the click on a link-with-valid-HREF
most likely won't work..
I can't remember having seen it, and have downloaded the zip to take a peek.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser
Monty
2018-09-03 23:46:47 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 3 Sep 2018 13:19:35 -0400, "Mayayana"
Post by Mayayana
| I was thinking that it would be an actual change to the involved URL, not
| just to what you're seeing : the browser shows you whats in the "href"
| portion, but the click gets catched by an JS "onclick" event.
|
I guess that's possible, but I've never seen it. I do
see an increasing number of links that don't work because
they depend on script. But the scripted ones I've seen
don't have an HREF. The page I see at Google has no script
in the links, but that might be because I have it disabled
and they gave me a noscript version.
On the other hand, if you have HREF="somewhere.com"
while onclick sends you to theotherplace.com, that seems
like a recipe for trouble.
| > dom.disable_window_status_change
|
| I'm putting that into into my FF notes. Thank you for mentioning it.
|
I've posted this before, but in case people
https://www.jsware.net/jsware/browsertips.php5#mozprefchm
Many thanks for the repost. I did not see the post one year ago.
Mayayana
2018-09-04 00:24:17 UTC
Permalink
"Monty" <***@home.invalid> wrote

| >https://www.jsware.net/jsware/browsertips.php5#mozprefchm
| >
| Many thanks for the repost. I did not see the post one year ago.
|

Perhaps also worth mentioning is that it's not
too hard for people to decompile a CHM and edit
or add pages as you see fit. You can do your own
updates.

This link will get you the HTML Help Workshop

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21138

It's a very simple, primitive program. One of its
functions is to decompile CHM files. There's just one
catch: The project file, .hhp, which is needed to
recompile, is not in there.
For anyone who wants to make their own version,
you can decompile to a folder, then add a file
aaprefs.hhp containiong the following:

[OPTIONS]
Binary TOC=Yes
Compatibility=1.1 or later
Compiled file=MozPrefs.chm
Contents file=aaMozCont.hhc
Default Font=Tahoma,8,0
Default topic=About.Moz.Prefs.html
Display compile progress=No
Full-text search=Yes
Index file=aaprefs.hhk
Language=0x409 English (United States)
Title=Moz Prefs


[FILES]

Following that, list every file in the project,
alphabetically, one line for each. You then
need to edit the HHK and HHC files to reflect
any new pages. (Those are the index and
contents listings.)
Then just double-click the HHP file to open
it in Help Workshop and compile it.

Most of the work is just in doing the research
and writing the HTML files. It requires a file
for each page. But it pays off. In this case, for
example, I only had to open the CHM file and
search for "status" to find the listing. Much easier
than searching through the hodge podge of pref
docs from Mozilla.
R.Wieser
2018-09-04 07:03:07 UTC
Permalink
Mayayana,
Post by Mayayana
Perhaps also worth mentioning is that it's not
too hard for people to decompile a CHM and edit
or add pages as you see fit. You can do your own
updates.
You must have been reading my mind. :-)

Thanks again.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser
mechanic
2018-09-04 11:28:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mayayana
I've posted this before, but in case people
https://www.jsware.net/jsware/browsertips.php5#mozprefchm
It's a CHM file I compiled with 450+ searchable prefs.
It's more than a year old now, but still contains the
vast majority of settings with explanations. One of
these days I may update it.
Strange that the page referred to refuses to load in MS-Edge
claiming that the browser doesn't follow rules. In fact Edge renders
the Acid3 test perfectly and scores well on the html5test.com page
too. About time people recognised Edge as the default MSFT Windows
browser, and a perfectly competent one too.
Mayayana
2018-09-04 13:24:56 UTC
Permalink
"mechanic" <***@example.net> wrote

| Strange that the page referred to refuses to load in MS-Edge
| claiming that the browser doesn't follow rules. In fact Edge renders
| the Acid3 test perfectly and scores well on the html5test.com page
| too. About time people recognised Edge as the default MSFT Windows
| browser, and a perfectly competent one too.

Sorry. But the page also explains that you can use
*any* other browser, of just about any age, including
IE 5-10. Or IE11 if you set compatibility mode for jsware.
(In that case, IE11 will render as IE7 and will even spoof
the userAgent to look like IE7.)
Since you're using Win10 you also have IE11 pre-installed,
so you don't even need to install a new browser to
render my website.

My error page also explains the problem. But for those
who don't know.....

Historically, Microsoft have made a browser that's not
only incompatible with standards but is also incompatible
with all other versions of itself.

In order to support as widely as possible, with simple,
script-free, lightweight webpages, I created 2 sets of
webpages. One is for IE "quirks mode", which means I
code the page in such a way that all versions of IE will
render it the same way. The other set of pages works
dependably in all other browsers, as far as I know.
(I don't test Safari but have tested WebKit.) And if
you use any non-MS browser then you don't need to
enable script. I only use script to deal with IE problems
in connection with CSS.

So I've already created a duplicate website
just to work with Microsoft's ongoing mess.

Then MS broke everything with IE11/Edge. All of the
functionality that was always part of IE was blocked
in IE11 and removed from Edge! That's why my page
explains that you can set an exception for jsware in
IE11 but that Edge simply won't and can't work. It's
IE with IE stripped out.

There's also another big problem with Edge: It's
not really browser software. Like Safari, it can't be
installed. It's only available by buying a device.
Should I buy a Windows 10 computer and possibly
write a 3rd set of webpages for Edge? Maybe I should
also buy a Mac so I can test Safari? Will Edge handle
the webpages I wrote to work in all non-IE browsers?
I don't know. And it would cost me both time and
money to find out. And actually, very few people are
using Edge. Despite the fact that my site is Windows-
related, few visitors are using Edge. Of those that
do, most come back so fast with Firefox that it's
clear they're using both browsers. So why should I
waste my time?

If I were Amazon and were busy vacuuming cash
from your wallet I might do that. But almost everything
on my site is free. No one is paying me to adapt to
niche products like Edge. And I don't see a reason to.
There are a number of other browsers that are free
and, unlike Edge, are real software that will run on
all Windows versions. And my clean, lean, pages
will load almost instantly in any of them. No ads,
no script muck, no funny business, no Flash, no
autoplay videos. No messages like Google will show
you, saying, "Sorry, buddy, but your browser seems
to be more than 6 months old. Please fix that so you
can see our latest HTML5 razzmatazz."

If you like Edge and find it works well then that's
your choice. But it sounds like you're not finding
that it works well. If it doesn't render sites as well
as Firefox then that's Microsoft's fault. You can keep
using it and complaining, or you can get a browser
that works. I don't have any sympathy and I have no
intention of supporting Edge.

If they make a real browser that installs on Win7 I'll
test my site with it and see if it will work. But at this
point I haven't even been able to get IE11 to install
on my main Win7 computer. That's pretty bad, when
your own software won't work on your own OS.

Paul has suggested in the past that I could download
test versions of IE for free to test my pages. But those
are not actually test versions of IE. They're fullscale
Windows ISOs, each providing the ability to test pages
in one version of IE and useless for any other purpose!
Should I wrangle those monstrosities so that you won't
have to lift your finger and click the IE icon in order to
get something for free? ...Fat chance. :)
JJ
2018-09-04 15:19:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mayayana
Sorry. But the page also explains that you can use
*any* other browser, of just about any age, including
IE 5-10. Or IE11 if you set compatibility mode for jsware.
(In that case, IE11 will render as IE7 and will even spoof
the userAgent to look like IE7.)
Since you're using Win10 you also have IE11 pre-installed,
so you don't even need to install a new browser to
render my website.
My error page also explains the problem.
You mean this?

[quote]
Our menus will not function in IE11 or Edge.
Our webpages are fully functional viewed in any other browser.
[/quote]

Really? I'm curious because you didn't give a chance for anyone to test that
claim. So I opened it on Opera then save the home page (i.e.
https://www.jsware.net/) into my PC. Then opened the saved page using MSIE
v11 (which is set to Edge mode by default).

Lo and behold! It works!! It's a miracle!!!

Loading Image...

Care to explain?
Mayayana
2018-09-04 23:35:39 UTC
Permalink
"JJ" <***@vfemail.net> wrote

| [quote]
| Our menus will not function in IE11 or Edge.
| Our webpages are fully functional viewed in any other browser.
| [/quote]
|
| Really? I'm curious because you didn't give a chance for anyone to test
that
| claim.

| So I opened it on Opera then save the home page (i.e.
| https://www.jsware.net/) into my PC. Then opened the saved page using MSIE
| v11 (which is set to Edge mode by default).
|
| Lo and behold! It works!! It's a miracle!!!
|
| https://i.imgur.com/tnyjZit.png
|
| Care to explain?

Are you saying that I should just put the
pages up there without testing them, give the
Gecko/WebKit version to Edge and IE11, and let
visitors decide if they render OK?

I'm guessing you don't have a website or a
business of any kind where you feel responsible for
the product.

What if it doesn't render well and people start
writing to me to complain? Are you volunteering to
answer the email? Or what if it works OK but looks
funky? Would you like to drop off a Win10 computer
for me to test on, so I can make sure it doesn't look
funky? I don't want to have a site that's looking
wrong to a lot of visitors. But if you want to donate
the computer then I'm willing to spend some time
testing. (Though I'm *not* willing to spend time
rewriting for Edge.)

Aside from being a bit purple, your version of
the homepage looks almost right, but it's missing
some background images. That's a set of
images specced to be the background of a DIV,
around the white box. You should have seen that
in Opera.
JJ
2018-09-05 00:51:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mayayana
| [quote]
| Our menus will not function in IE11 or Edge.
| Our webpages are fully functional viewed in any other browser.
| [/quote]
|
| Really? I'm curious because you didn't give a chance for anyone to test
that
| claim.
| So I opened it on Opera then save the home page (i.e.
| https://www.jsware.net/) into my PC. Then opened the saved page using MSIE
| v11 (which is set to Edge mode by default).
|
| Lo and behold! It works!! It's a miracle!!!
|
| https://i.imgur.com/tnyjZit.png
|
| Care to explain?
Are you saying that I should just put the
pages up there without testing them, give the
Gecko/WebKit version to Edge and IE11, and let
visitors decide if they render OK?
No. I'm only saying that the menu works on Edge and IE11, and you don't have
to block visitors when they use Edge/IE11.
Post by Mayayana
What if it doesn't render well and people start
writing to me to complain? Are you volunteering to
answer the email? Or what if it works OK but looks
funky? Would you like to drop off a Win10 computer
for me to test on, so I can make sure it doesn't look
funky? I don't want to have a site that's looking
wrong to a lot of visitors. But if you want to donate
the computer then I'm willing to spend some time
testing. (Though I'm *not* willing to spend time
rewriting for Edge.)
Well, it does render pretty well.

If you don't have Win10 for testing, why did you claim that it won't work on
Edge/IE11?
Post by Mayayana
Aside from being a bit purple, your version of
the homepage looks almost right, but it's missing
some background images. That's a set of
images specced to be the background of a DIV,
around the white box. You should have seen that
in Opera.
That's Opera's fault for failing to include the hometop.jpg file when the
page is saved. It's not Edge/IE11 problem. The background image is also
missing if I open the saved file on Opera, Chrome, or Firefox.
Mayayana
2018-09-05 14:34:43 UTC
Permalink
"JJ" <***@vfemail.net> wrote

| No. I'm only saying that the menu works on Edge and IE11, and you don't
have
| to block visitors when they use Edge/IE11.
|
| If you don't have Win10 for testing, why did you claim that it won't work
on
| Edge/IE11?
|

You sound like a man who's stopped to oversee the
building of a highrise based on his expertise in having
built his own doghouse.

It can't work in the IE version of the webpages.
They use VBScript for the menus and Microsoft
removed VBS support from Edge. So they don't
and can't work. Period. Did you think I was just
making that up for fun? Did it even occur to
you that there might possibly be details here that
you don't know?

Even if the script worked, the IE pages are coded
for IE "quirks mode", which Edge also doesn't support.

So the IE version of my site won't work in Edge.

Could the non-IE version of the webpages work in
Edge? Maybe. But I can't test them. Your posting
of a picture of half of a homepage loaded in IE11
is not testing. Edge would need to render everything
exactly as mainstream browsers do.

Could I rewrite the IE-version menus in javascript?
Yes. But I'm not very good with javascript. It would
take some time and research. And I still have no way to
test whether Edge can display the IE pages properly.
It probably can't.

So this gets back to the original issue: Microsoft
have broken compatibility with their own browser
to make a browser that can't even be installed on
their own OS. That browser has a market share of
2-4% on desktop and virtually none on phones and
tablets, since Win10 phones and tablets are virtually
non-existent. So it's not worth trying to support it.
The sooner Win10 users understand that, the easier
their life will be. Edge is not a mainstream browser.
It never can be unless and until Microsoft create
an actual software program that can actually install
it on computers. (Even then it won't have much
chance unless MS can do what they did with IE --
create a monopoly market and then break compatibility
with the rest of the Web.)

All I can say is that I apologize and that I'm deeply
sorry and, in fact, brimming with remorse that only
2 of the 3 browsers you use will work to download
free stuff from my website.
JJ
2018-09-06 13:14:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mayayana
You sound like a man who's stopped to oversee the
building of a highrise based on his expertise in having
built his own doghouse.
It can't work in the IE version of the webpages.
That's because the menu isn't provided in the IE version of the page.
Post by Mayayana
They use VBScript for the menus and Microsoft
removed VBS support from Edge. So they don't
and can't work.
IE doesn't have only VBScript. IE do have JScript. A mostly-compatible
version of JavaScript. But this has nothing to do with the menu because the
menu doesn't even use any script in order to work.
Post by Mayayana
Even if the script worked, the IE pages are coded
for IE "quirks mode", which Edge also doesn't support.
Avoid the Quirk mode. Specify the document type by inserting below line as
the first line of the HTML.

<!DOCTYPE html>

That'll tell browsers not to switch to Quirk mode.

However, IE6 and older, including all browsers which aren't aware of the
Standard mode, will still be in Quirk mode or their own Quirk-style mode.
This can't be helped, because most of these browsers don't have enough
compatibility with HTML/CSS standards.
Post by Mayayana
Could the non-IE version of the webpages work in
Edge? Maybe. But I can't test them. Your posting
of a picture of half of a homepage loaded in IE11
is not testing. Edge would need to render everything
exactly as mainstream browsers do.
You can test your site from below website. You can choose any OS and
browsers, except Windows XP with IE6.

https://www.browserling.com/
Post by Mayayana
Could I rewrite the IE-version menus in javascript?
Yes. But I'm not very good with javascript. It would
take some time and research. And I still have no way to
test whether Edge can display the IE pages properly.
It probably can't.
A website doesn't require any script in order to provide content. The menu
is a good example for that.
Post by Mayayana
So this gets back to the original issue: Microsoft
have broken compatibility with their own browser
to make a browser that can't even be installed on
their own OS.
The sooner Win10 users understand that, the easier
their life will be. Edge is not a mainstream browser.
It never can be unless and until Microsoft create
an actual software program that can actually install
it on computers. (Even then it won't have much
chance unless MS can do what they did with IE --
create a monopoly market and then break compatibility
with the rest of the Web.)
All I can say is that I apologize and that I'm deeply
sorry and, in fact, brimming with remorse that only
2 of the 3 browsers you use will work to download
free stuff from my website.
That's true for Edge. Even IE starting from version 9, can't be installed
into Windows XP.

But IE starting from version 7, supports Standard mode. It's not perfect,
but it's still usable. An alternative CSS is all it needs to give the exact
same result as Chrome or Firefox.

With IE9, Microsoft forces users to use Windows Vista. And with Edge,
Microsoft forces users to use Windows 10. Even though it's possible for
Microsoft to make Edge/IE9 to work on older Windows.

Won't that mean you did the same thing as Microsoft? Forcing users to use
other browser. Even though it's possible to make a website which works on
older browsers.
Mayayana
2018-09-06 13:35:34 UTC
Permalink
"JJ" <***@vfemail.net> wrote

|
| That's because the menu isn't provided in the IE version of the page.
|

Wrong. You're jumping to mistaken conclusions
based on limited information.

| But this has nothing to do with the menu because the
| menu doesn't even use any script in order to work.
|

Again, you're jumping to mistaken conclusions
based on limited information, yet you're certain you
know more about my webpage code than I do.
I tried to explain it. I'm done.

| Avoid the Quirk mode. Specify the document type by inserting below line as
| the first line of the HTML.
|
| <!DOCTYPE html>
|

Sounds great. Then I can write a different webpage
for each version of IE. Look at any large, commercial
site and that's usually what you'll see. Here's a typical
example, from BBC. It specs different CSS for each IE
version because they're all incompatible with each
other.... unless you use quirks mode:

<!--[if (lt IE 9) & (!IEMobile)]>
<![if (IE 8)]>
<header id="orb-banner" role="banner" class="orb-old-ie orb-ie8"
aria-label="BBC">
<![endif]>

<![if (IE 7)]>
<header id="orb-banner" role="banner" class="orb-old-ie orb-ie7"
aria-label="BBC">
<![endif]>

<![if (IE 6)]>
<header id="orb-banner" role="banner" class="orb-old-ie orb-ie6"
aria-label="BBC">
<![endif]> But if you say it's better not to use quirks mode
then that's OK with me. I'll begin work on your version
of the website as soon as your check clears.

You seem to be a quick thinking genius expert,
and probably the smartest wiseacre at the local
VFW barroom after 9 PM on most nights. Maybe you
should make your own website and then you can
implement all these bright ideas you have. And please
do let us know the URL. I want to try it in Konqueror.

Paul
2018-09-04 13:28:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by mechanic
Post by Mayayana
I've posted this before, but in case people
https://www.jsware.net/jsware/browsertips.php5#mozprefchm
It's a CHM file I compiled with 450+ searchable prefs.
It's more than a year old now, but still contains the
vast majority of settings with explanations. One of
these days I may update it.
Strange that the page referred to refuses to load in MS-Edge
claiming that the browser doesn't follow rules. In fact Edge renders
the Acid3 test perfectly and scores well on the html5test.com page
too. About time people recognised Edge as the default MSFT Windows
browser, and a perfectly competent one too.
You have to admit though, it's pretty funny :-)

Loading Image...

Loading Image...

Especially at the bottom of the second screenshot, where
it says "Do more with Edge" :-) Apparently, not.

Paul
Mayayana
2018-09-04 13:59:47 UTC
Permalink
"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| You have to admit though, it's pretty funny :-)
|
| https://s33.postimg.cc/5pmc8kjdb/browserwars.gif
|
| https://s33.postimg.cc/bdsmzhqan/browserwars2.gif
|
| Especially at the bottom of the second screenshot, where
| it says "Do more with Edge" :-) Apparently, not.
|

Another seemingly funny thing: It looks like
Edge gives you a choice between having a shortcuts
bar or having a bar that tells you that you could
have a shortcuts bar. But no option to just hide
the bar?
JJ
2018-09-04 14:32:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by mechanic
Strange that the page referred to refuses to load in MS-Edge
claiming that the browser doesn't follow rules.
What did the site shows, exactly?
Loading...