Saturday, April 14, 2018

TenFourFox FPR7b2 available

Despite being currently in the grip of my annual case of bronchitis, in which I sweat and secrete more foul cloudy phlegm than Jabba the Hutt, TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 beta 2 is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes).

The reason for beta 2 was to fix a serious regression caused by issue 495. Since I was issuing a second beta anyway, I took the opportunity to make a few more fixes, including a glitch with image layout that manifested on the MorphOS site, fixing SourceForge's tendency to corrupt our pulldown menus with unrenderable icons, and adding support for TLS SHA-384 ciphers to fix an issue with HTTP/2 sites. There are also some security fixes for testing and instead of changing the fx shorthand UA template to Firefox 60, I just added a new fx60 one as well as a user agent for Internet Explorer 11. This means users whose sites incorrectly sniff them and are using the current Firefox 52 impersonation won't unexpectedly get Fx60 features enabled that the browser can't handle right now (this is particularly an issue for Gmail).

As a result, I'm going to rework the user agent support in TenFourFoxBox, meaning version 1.1 will not get an official release (I'll be going to 1.2). Yes, this will include allowing custom agent strings, though you'll need to do that from the command line. It will be left up at the old URL until the new one is completed.

Meanwhile, my excitement over the Talos systems finally shipping cannot be contained by my mucus. It looks like motherboard orders are being fulfilled and are already out in the public. The system depicted there, however, is not the Talos II as shipped. On the other hand, however, Phoronix actually did get access to a confirmed Talos II, pitted the POWER9 versus AMD Epyx Epyc and Intel Xeon, and came away very impressed. Especially when we consider that the software packages in question were in no way optimized for POWER9 (and are for x86_64), the Talos has very competitive performance even pitted against non-libre systems. I haven't heard that the full workstations are shipping yet, but given that the rest of the components are all off-the-shelf, it shouldn't take long.

2005 called, folks. They want their PowerPC performance jokes back.