The Problem. Finally Resolved.

So… there came a time when I needed to move from my old 500Gb Home partition to something bigger, and ordered a new 2Tb Seagate, formatted it and split into two smaller (but still larger, if you see what I mean) partitions, the smaller becoming the new Home partition, and… suddenly, the video freeze is gone. Since installing the new drive, there have been No. Freezes. At. All. Seriously.

This means that the “issue” might have been Vivaldi-related, but has been cured – apparently – by the shift to a new drive – away from the Samsung 500Gb to a Seagate 2Tb, and yet I would doubt that it was a simple change of manufacturer lying at the root of all this. Something has happened; was it the access or transfer speed? Whatever it was, it seems to have dissipated, and now my installation of V. is running fine and not stopping the system dead.

If anyone can explain this, they should share it with everyone else. It might be important!

The Problem. Partially Resolved.

Well, in search of some kind of solution to the thorny issue of Vivaldi apparently crashing KDE when refreshing pages, I tried whatever browsers were available in my distro’s repos and settled (again) for Iceape, which is not perfect but does not seem to have the page refresh problem.

So I now have up to three browsers active on my desktop:

Primary browser was Vivaldi, largely because the Bookmarks were originally imported from Opera (old, very old!) and have developed in situ from there. But the constant crashing may have cost me a Seagate 1Tb drive and all of its contents…

Primary browser now is Iceape, which was originally Seamonkey from Mozilla. Not many extensions but what there is has been useful thus far, especially in terms of UI and web page colour customisation.

Secondary browser is Chromium. The reason for this is a persistent and strange piece of behaviour on the part of Vivaldi, which is that when I want to watch videos from EnigmaTV*, Vivaldi tries to download the file instead of streaming it. This would be in breach of the agreement between myself and Enigma, according to which you pay to watch, not to download…

Finally, on my main machine, Mozilla Firefox is working well but has been configured for use with I2P, and is therefore dedicated, although it runs fine on my other machines and has more extensions than Iceape.

Why Vivaldi should behave this way on this particular machine, I have no idea as it is fine on three others. Presumably there is a library missing, but I am not an expert in that regard, and cannot comment. But this arrangement now is effective and should not lead to further damage.

  • EnigmaTV: http://watch.enigmatv.com/signup

Getting Better…

Here we are again, on a Sunday morning following a week in which I was asked to get documents together to re-apply and interview for (yes, you read that correctly!) my existing job, and after the screen froze again the other night, and I thought: “Aha! Time to share the experience at my Vivaldi blog!”

So here we go…

In the course of researching the “little issue” on the Internet, I discovered that some users had found that by uninstalling the “task-plasma5-minimal” with “task-plasma5”, many “little issues” could be mitigated, and this appears to be true; likewise, as one would expect that the driver for a more recent graphics card would have fewer “little issues”, this has also proven to be true.

However, there have been several “freezes” since the new graphics card was installed last Saturday, and the consistent element seems to be when a web page (in Vivaldi) calls for a refresh; something there causes the whole desktop to freeze, whereas processes such as media playing will continue to operate in the background at least until there is some kind of feedback from the UI (or lack thereof) which brings everything to a silent halt.

Therefore, although everything is generally great (and the improvement in resolution also brought a welcome increase in colour depth), there are still some occasional freezes and they seem to be associated with refresh signals for web pages such as (for example) Facebook and (possibly) YouTube (but there are others).

Does anyone have a solution for this?

Not Many problems, But…

As it’s the Sunday afternoon before Christmas and I am relaxing (or trying to, at least), here’s a little “issue” that just forced me to reboot. Again…

Probably the only annoyance that I have had with Vivaldi (1.x or 2.x) has been that when it is occupying the whole screen (but not in actual full screen mode), some event will take place, and the computer will continue, e.g. playing media, but the screen is frozen and the machine unresponsive.

I am running Mandriva 6.1 (fully up to date) with KDE Plasma (which is where I suspect the trouble lies). Plasma’s latest incarnations seem to have a little “issue” with sounds – the sound will skip for a second when some event takes place. Not just sound events, but other things like notifications to e.g. Facebook and other subscribed sites.

This makes me think that I should try another desktop on this machine, but I thought it would be better to see whether anyone else here has had similar experiences. If I do not expand the browser to full screen, this little mishap seems to be much less prevalent. Is it possible that some library has accidentally not been installed?

Interestingly, I first became aware of it when using an extension for timed page refresh; the refresh would be triggered and suddenly, the screen would freeze and I would have to reboot.

Thoughts, anyone?

Edit: As a follow-up, I was up late Saturday night (yesterday) and suddenly my Plasma5 desktop crashed. I was up all night trying to figure out what caused it, but essentially it was the cartoon widget. I also removed the weather widget while I was at it, and everything seems fine now.

What I had to do was log in and change workspace themes until I found one which brought up the desktop, unlock the widgets and manually remove the offending ones. I now have my Ghost desktop with Deep Sea colour scheme back.

Searching on the Internet, it seems that Plasma has always had “problems” with these little add-ons. Some (which you can see here, with the desktop uncrashed) work fine, but some are diabolical; in the case of the weather widget, the source of the information (at Flickr, for crying out loud!!!) keeps changing location. so the problem keeps recurring.

This means that I have to remain alert for any future crashes still being caused by Vivaldi, as Mageia 6.1 is undoubtedly a very “non-standard” version of what would have been Red Hat, from which it is derived, and there may therefore be some little points which need attention.

So far, so good…

Vivaldi 2.0… Praise Jon! (again)

Mid-evening yesterday (Wednesday September 26th), the message came up on my Twitter that the latest version of Vivaldi Stable was available, and it was 2.0. I thought: “I must download and install that!”, and I promptly did so.

Alas, I forgot the usual troubles with video formats, and after uninstalling, reinstalling an earlier version then uninstalling that and reinstalling 2.0, it was essentially working, so I replaced the saved Bookmarks file back into the Default folder and restored a very similar colour scheme to the previous version. I then left it overnight, as it was playing some videos and what was coming up on YouTube seemed to be trouble-free.

Fast forward to today, and I got back home, booted up the computer and set to work. I went to the “Vivaldi browser for Linux” forum and checked the links there. At

https://www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html,

WebM and Ogg Theora seemed to work fine, but not H.264/MP4. I then tried installing additional lib64ffmpeg RPMs (I am running 64-bit Mageia 6), but restarting Vivaldi showed no improvement.

I then went to GitHub:

(https://gist.github.com/ruario/bec42d156d30affef655)

and downloaded the file latest-proprietary-media.sh.

After running the file, and downloading the required proprietary files, I restarted Vivaldi, checking first at Quirksmode, and this time the H.264/MP4 was working fine. I also then checked Twitter, where embedded YouTube video now ran:

YouTube proper also ran normally and several other sites also ran videos without a hitch.

Of course, if I had been a patient person, I could have done all of this last night, but I’m not, so I did all of this tonight instead. But functionality has now all been restored, including the extensions (or most of them that I remember, at least), so we can say that this latest version of Vivaldi is now running as normal, for which I say (finally) “Praise Jon!” (again).

The End of WordPress as We Know It?

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and according to Dr. Roy Schestowitz, some kind of an “end” is coming soon to WordPress due to the fetish for mobile platforms:

https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/wordpress-gutenberg.html

I really hope that whatever the final form of this may be, it can be “tweaked” into a more familiar form to enable continued usefulness. It reminds me very much of the different versions of KDE over the years, and the pain of transitioning from one version to another… it makes me think that organisations such as Vivaldi, who have enabled us to use WordPress on their own platform, should prevail upon the WordPress team not to go down the sad mobile route and stick to the desktop. Hint, hint…

 

Black!

After receiving notice of the updated livery here, I decided to check out my blog. Aarghhh… too bright! So I remembered my dark policy over at my personal (elsewhere) blog and changed the template, with the background totally black and a black header graphic.

Then, the only thing remaining was that silly white main menu. Stylebot (on Vivaldi) fixed that for me, and this is the result:

I’m not the only one who is tired of bright default pages on the Internet and I always remove any element which is like that. When will web site designers realise that they are not using paper, and that brightness is not always a welcome feature?

I have rejected other peoples’ web pages out of hand in the past for precisely this reason – no matter how desirable their content may be, at least until I finally discovered the combination of Chrome engine + Stylebot.

Give me a web of dark, non-eye-straining pages!

Memories of Old Opera…

No, not La Traviata or Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail – memories of starting my journey with the old (version 4.x) of Opera on Windows 98SE (!) when I could have paid for it and avoided the little ads that financed it.

I’ve just been reading an article about the development of Vivaldi over at The Register and I have to admit, now that I live on Linux every day and actually have paid-for software on it for what turned out to be the start of a ground-breaking period for me in terms of familiarisation with a lot of the free stuff there (based at that time on Mandriva 2008), the idea that Vivaldi could be my main browser and that to help finance its long-term development I might consider being a paying customer seems… highly desirable. Contributing financially and directly rather than just leaving it to Jon’s Opera-style business model… yes, I can really see it.

The article is here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/03/vivaldi_browser/ and I agree with those who think that paying for it might be a good idea.

The features I would really like to see are the return of something astonishingly like Opera Unite, and full skin integration with my desktop. I got Flash working (although I would have preferred not to) and I am amazed at how much I am doing with Vivaldi on a daily basis. It makes me a Happy Chappie, I kid you not!

But maybe I should also say that fond memories of Opera with Unite on Linux seemed like a “golden era” for me. Now that I have Vivaldi surgically welded into my Linux desktop, it’s virtually all that I need. I was even able to print PDFs directly from V this week when the usual Okular (we’re talking KDE here) seemed to have problems initiating print jobs with my Epson SP1390 (also a very fine piece of kit). Words fail me; every time I use V, I can feel the love.

So again, I would like to thank Jon and his team, especially as the Mageia repos only seem to have an old version of Opera available. As this becomes increasingly obsolescent, Vivaldi is proving to be a fine replacement.

Seriously. Words fail me!