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Old 03-17-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
jsmith6
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Firefox 2 has rendering glitches only on Slackware


(I have previously tried to get help from MozillaZine on this issue.)

I am running Firefox 2.0.0.12 (the official patch issued 12 Feb 2008) on Slackware 12 and I am seeing a number of rendering glitches.

I have tried Firefox on this hardware with a number of distributions (including some LiveCDs) and Windows but I haven't met those glitches again. Recently, I swaped graphics cards but there was no difference.

Here are some examples of rendering glitches that I see:

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/g...mith6p/ff2.png (96KB, 1024x768)

It's like pieces of the loaded page and the Firefox UI are shifted a pixel of two. Hovering, clicking, or selecting fluctuates or fixes the issue. Something like this has been mentioned two years ago.



I will try to describe the behavior of the glitches with more detail.

There are two kinds of glitches:

1. the glitches that appear on the webpage that Firefox displays
2. the glitches that appear on Firefox's interface

The webpage glitches appear on text, links, and images. They are random but not a single day of Firefox usage goes through that I will not see a glitch. If it is glitch on link, then clicking or hovering the link will alter the glitch (and sometimes makes the glitch disapear).

If the glitch is on text then selecting the text (for example holding down the mouse button) will fix the glitch. If the glicth is on a picture then scrolling off the visible area and back on (up or down till I cannot see that specific picture) will fix the glitch. Unfortunatelly I haven't caught such a glitch on a screenshot. It seems that whenever I try to bring a terminal to type "import" the image glitch gets corrected.

One steady interface glitch is the close-tab button on tabs. No matter what or how, this glitch is always present: the border above the button gets distorted. The last screenshot presents this glitch.

As far as I understand, Firefox's interface is rendered with XUL so the webpage and interface glitches could be connected.


All glitches appear with a clean profile, meaning no extensions and no plugins are installed. No matter how many times I erase ~/.mozilla, things don't change. I tried uninstalling Firefox completely (removepkg) and then install again (while having removed ~/.mozilla) but the glitches remained.

Installing the Nvidia drivers (from nvidia.com) doesn't change things at all. I haven't tried to enable 3D effects like Compiz, Compiz-Fusion, or Beryl.

The glitches first appeared on vanilla Slackware (meaning I haven't installed any 3rd-party software) and they haven't changed now that I have additional software.



My question is, how do I solve the rendering glitches?



I don't know if this matters but I have another issue with Firefox, it's too slow. Firefox, on it's first boot (meaning with a clean ~/.mozilla profile) with the default page (a Google customized page for Firefox) will crunch 78% of my CPU (as shown by top for firefox-bin). Pressing F5 to reload that same webpage will cause a 15% busy CPU and then a 26% busy CPU.

My system is: Pentium 4 1.5Ghz, FSB at 100MHz, 512MB of RAM, GeForce 2 MX 400 with 32MB of RAM. It is a quite old machine but it still doesn't feel right that a browser is so heavy.

The CPU load issue is secontary but if someone knows if there is anything I can do to lessen the load, I would be very happy to hear.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #2
adriv
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Try FF 3 (beta). Your cpu usage will drop and FF 3* starts a lot faster. Maybe the glitches will be gone too.
If not, leave a comment (and vote) on the bug (as reported in the link you provided).
 
Old 03-17-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
jong357
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I'd try building it from source personally. I'm not certain, but Slackware is probably one of the few distro's that uses the official mozilla binaries.

Building a program specifically against what's on your machine is always a sane idea. It will certainly help you troubleshoot the issue regardless of whether it works or not.

Food for thought.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
shadowsnipes
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weird stuff. Do note that ~/.mozilla/firefox is the default directory for firefox profiles. By deleting ~/.mozilla you are also deleting any default Seamonkey profiles. Speaking of which, how does Seamonkey fair on your machine? Konqueror?

Try starting firefox from the command line and see if any errors show up. Also check the error console within Firefox (under Tools).

Are you sure Firefox is the only application experiencing problems? It almost sounds like a problem with your X configuration. If you checked your other browsers as suggested above we will have a better idea of what is going on.

Assuming Seamonkey isn't broken as well, do give Firefox 3 beta a chance. Just download the official tarball and untar it in a place under your home directory. cd into the directory and run ./firefox. You can open the Profile Manager and create a new profile if you like using the -P switch.

I really don't think you want to bother with compiling Firefox from the source, and I don't think it should be necessary in this case. Most people instead just download a binary compiled for their architecture (such as the swiftfox project). If you look at the official Slackware SlackBuild for Firefox you will see that not even Pat compiles Firefox for slackware- he just repackages and patches the official mozilla binary.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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You know these kind of glitches used to happen a lot for me too, but not anymore and I can't remember how I solved them. Possible solutions include:

1) Update all Slackware packages

2) Use the nvidia driver and set the resolution to 'Auto' in 'nvidia-settings'
 
Old 03-17-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
jong357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsnipes View Post
I really don't think you want to bother with compiling Firefox from the source, and I don't think it should be necessary in this case. Most people instead just download a binary compiled for their architecture (such as the swiftfox project). If you look at the official Slackware SlackBuild for Firefox you will see that not even Pat compiles Firefox for slackware- he just repackages and patches the official mozilla binary.
Well, that's kinda like loosing your car keys and then saying "Well, I don't think they'd be in the bedroom so I'm just not going to look there..."

I agree, sounds like an X problem but who knows what versions of pango/cairo/glib2/gtk2 the official binaries are built against. Maybe they are using older versions and for whatever reason it's causing issues on older boxes...

You can't rule it out until you try it is my point. And again, FC, suse, mandrake et. all compile from source. Slackware is the "black sheep" for using the official binaries and re-packaging..

That fact alone provides a possible link as to why it's working on "other distros" but not Slackware. I would think "most people" use the package that ships with their distribution instead of going straight to the mozilla-firefox site.

Another good test for the OP is to use the official mozilla binaries on one of those "other" distro's that didn't display those glitches. Then you could also determine whether it's a system X problem or not.

Last edited by jong357; 03-17-2008 at 12:17 PM.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #7
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357 View Post
Well, that's kinda like losing your car keys and then saying "Well, I don't think they'd be in the bedroom so I'm just not going to look there..."

I agree, sounds like an X problem but who knows what versions of pango/cairo/glib2/gtk2 the official binaries are built against. Maybe they are using older versions and for whatever reason it's causing issues on older boxes...
This is very unlikely to be the problem unless the OP replaced the stock versions of these packages. I've used the official Mozilla binaries on tons of old and new machines and have never seen this problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357 View Post
You can't rule it out until you try it is my point. And again, FC, suse, mandrake et. all compile from source. Slackware is the "black sheep" for using the official binaries and re-packaging..

That fact alone provides a possible link as to why it's working on "other distros" but not Slackware. I would think "most people" use the package that ships with their distribution instead of going straight to the mozilla-firefox site.
If it is actually Firefox then all those distros are just repackaging as well. I don't think the license for Firefox allows someone to distribute third party builds unless they use different branding (thus the reason for IceWeasel/IceDove/Icecat/GNUzilla or whatever it is called currently). From what I have seen, distros that actually distribute Firefox actually just patch the firefox script and maybe the mailcap file so file associations are in place. This isn't anything really different than what Slackware does. Some distros also have global addons installed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357 View Post
Another good test for the OP is to use the official mozilla binaries on one of those "other" distro's that didn't display those glitches. Then you could also determine whether it's a system X problem or not.
I would go this route before compiling Firefox on Slackware. Still, I would check the other browsers on Slackware before that.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
ak-87
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I had the same problem and fixed it by setting Anti-aliasing to Enabled and Force Fonts DPI to 96 DPI in KDE Control Center > Appereance & Themes > Fonts.

If you use KDE you can set it up like I did, else you will have to add some lines to xorg.conf... I guess.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #9
jong357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsnipes View Post
If it is actually Firefox then all those distros are just repackaging as well.
STOP!!!! Quit it! Make sure you check before you say such things. cooker, rawhide and opensuse svn ALL build from source. There is no pre-packaged binaries involved anywhere. Period.

It's not some great feat to get permission from moziila to use official branding. Once you do, it can simply be enabled by using --enable-official-branding in your .mozconfig or as a configure switch. Last time I checked, if you don't enable official branding, it defaulted to deerpark.


Quote:
From what I have seen, distros that actually distribute Firefox actually just patch the firefox script and maybe the mailcap file so file associations are in place.
You've got me interested now in what distro's do this besides Slackware. I honestly can't think of one (besides slackware).

Last edited by jong357; 03-17-2008 at 06:20 PM.
 
Old 03-20-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357 View Post
cooker, rawhide and opensuse svn ALL build from source. There is no pre-packaged binaries involved anywhere. Period.

It's not some great feat to get permission from moziila to use official branding. Once you do, it can simply be enabled by using --enable-official-branding in your .mozconfig or as a configure switch. Last time I checked, if you don't enable official branding, it defaulted to deerpark.
Interesting. I was under the impression before that they were just distributing patched up binaries (patched/additional scripts) and if people wanted to build from source they had to download the sources and run some sort of build script. I've never used cooker, rawhide, and opensuse svn, though. A lot of distros do use the unofficial branding instead of the official branding when making their own builds, but apparently not all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357 View Post
You've got me interested now in what distro's do this besides Slackware. I honestly can't think of one (besides slackware).
Well I guess it's a moot point if they are actually making their own binaries, too, but many distros do patch firefox by adding addons, changing prefs, and the mailcap file. Look at Ubuntu for an example of this.


Have you had any revelations, jsmith6?
 
Old 03-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #11
jsmith6
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First of, a big thank you for replying!

This one ringed the bell:

Quote:
I had the same problem and fixed it by setting Anti-aliasing to Enabled and Force Fonts DPI to 96 DPI in KDE Control Center > Appereance & Themes > Fonts.
The cause of the problem was my ~/.Xresources containing this line:

Code:
Xft.dpi 91
When I switched from Ubuntu to Slackware, I took my Xresources file with me (I also took my vimrc file and a few others). While in Ubuntu that option did managed to change my DPI, in Slackware it messed up Firefox. Seamonkey was much less effected than Firefox, I still don't understand why.

I found a more correct way to configure my DPI by editing xorg.conf:

Code:
Section "Monitor"
	Identifier  "My Monitor"
	HorizSync   30-115
	VertRefresh 50-160
	DisplaySize 285 213
	Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Quote:
Originally Posted by adriv View Post
Try FF 3 (beta). Your cpu usage will drop and FF 3* starts a lot faster. Maybe the glitches will be gone too.
If not, leave a comment (and vote) on the bug (as reported in the link you provided).
At that moment I had already tried it and it behaved just like FF2. This is because it wasn't a problem of FF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsnipes View Post
Speaking of which, how does Seamonkey fair on your machine? Konqueror?
Semonkey was much less effected. Konquerer was not effected at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsnipes View Post
Are you sure Firefox is the only application experiencing problems? It almost sounds like a problem with your X configuration.
Firefox (and Seamonkey somewhat) was the only application that I noticed having these problems. And yes, it a was mis-configuration of X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jong357
Another good test for the OP is to use the official mozilla binaries on one of those "other" distro's that didn't display those glitches. Then you could also determine whether it's a system X problem or not.
Although my problem is fixed, that's indeed an interesting test.
 
Old 03-21-2008, 10:18 AM   #12
shadowsnipes
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jsmith6,

glad it all worked out!

Since you are coming from Ubuntu, you might miss the file associations that its firefox had. Check my post about setting that up in firefox:
Make firefox aware of apps

Also, here is a post about getting Subscribing to RSS feeds in Firefox 2.0 for Akregator

Finally, here is a tip from Ubuntu land about how to get the Print action to open the kprinter dialog instead - this does not work in FF3.0 as far as I can tell (I'll be investigating this in the near future).
 
  


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