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#1 2021-01-28 00:53

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

What do you think?

Starting on March 15th, Google said it will limit access to many Chrome application programming interfaces (API) inside Chromium. This means users using the Chromium web browser or any other web browser based on its open-source codebase won't be able to use most Google-specific API-enabled services. This includes the ability to sync Chrome bookmarks, check your spelling, find your contacts, translate text, and on and on.

Read the whole thing:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-dis … trictions/

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#2 2021-01-28 03:32

crosscourt
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Its a proprietary decision to favor Chrome so it is what it is. Many are already advocating users switch to Firefox. I doubt there is a huge number of Chromium users trying to access Chrome features and some are already running Chrome on their Linux systems.


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#3 2021-01-28 15:20

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

I never use Chrome/ium if I have a choice. When I do run a Chrome-based browser, I usually choose Vivaldi, which can be run in 'stand-alone' mode.

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#4 2021-01-28 16:08

crosscourt
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

I rarely use Chrome or Chromium as I prefer Firefox.


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#5 2021-01-28 17:21

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Midas wrote:

I never use Chrome/ium if I have a choice. When I do run a Chrome-based browser, I usually choose Vivaldi, which can be run in 'stand-alone' mode.

This affects Vivaldi and any other Chromium-based browser as well.

Its a proprietary decision to favor Chrome so it is what it is. Many are already advocating users switch to Firefox. I doubt there is a huge number of Chromium users trying to access Chrome features and some are already running Chrome on their Linux systems.

I rarely use Chrome or Chromium as I prefer Firefox.

My experience with Firefox has always been disappointing. I've tried many browsers over the years, and the reason I use chromium is because of the custom search engines feature, which no others offer, at least not in the same fashion, I have dozens of those.

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#6 2021-01-28 18:02

crosscourt
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Have you tried Firefox recently, 85 just came out. There are also variants of Firefox with unique features you might find useful.


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#7 2021-01-28 22:40

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

crosscourt wrote:

Have you tried Firefox recently, 85 just came out. There are also variants of Firefox with unique features you might find useful.

No, not really. Maybe I will, however, like I said before, neither Firefox nor any other browser I've tried, provides such a feature as chrome/chromium do; create custom search engines for pretty much any website, at least not as easy and OOTB; to achieve that in FF, you have to install an add-on. And it isn't just me https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1234118

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#8 2021-01-28 23:44

crosscourt
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Wasnt suggesting Firefox as a replacement, only that it does have many new features that suit a variety of users. I use a variety of browsers to keep up with various features.


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#9 2021-01-29 15:39

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Tolkem wrote:

This affects Vivaldi and any other Chromium-based browser as well.

I know. Sad, really...


Tolkem wrote:

My experience with Firefox has always been disappointing. I've tried many browsers over the years, and the reason I use chromium is because of the custom search engines feature, which no others offer, at least not in the same fashion, I have dozens of those.

Never been a problem for me. You'd be surprised if you dug a little deeper: e.g., https://mycroftproject.com/. wink

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#10 2021-01-29 21:08

crosscourt
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Thanks for the link, Midas

Last edited by crosscourt (2021-01-30 00:39)


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#11 2021-01-29 23:32

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Midas wrote:
Tolkem wrote:

This affects Vivaldi and any other Chromium-based browser as well.

I know. Sad, really...


Tolkem wrote:

My experience with Firefox has always been disappointing. I've tried many browsers over the years, and the reason I use chromium is because of the custom search engines feature, which no others offer, at least not in the same fashion, I have dozens of those.

Never been a problem for me. You'd be surprised if you dug a little deeper: e.g., https://mycroftproject.com/. wink

Yeah, exactly; it's not a native feature you can use OOTB unless you use some 3rd party thing, in chrome/chromium it's built-in the browser. I know there are some plugins, add-ons that can provide a similar feature, and yet they're not as good; not many sites can be made into a "search-engine" by just typing a keyword, pressing space, entering the query search, hit enter and voilà! You're there!   

By typing sfg, I can run a search on Sourceforge site:
8NF2NIc.png

ocqchdT.png

By typing pkg,  I can look for any pkg in pkgs.org :
QCmsIaB.png

rftYd62.png

By typing pyt, I can search python docs database when needed:
l4ztiBn.png

NP7QImL.png

I have dozens more. None of those plugins I've tried in any of those non-chromium based browsers; Firefox, Palemoon, Seamonkey, Slimjet and others do the same, at least not in the same fashion; simple, useful and easy. No need for extra stuff to do it. I can believe none of those browsers can provide such a useful feature without having to install an add-on/plugin and/or by using an external service and even then, it's still behind lacking on functionality.

Last edited by Tolkem (2021-01-30 00:42)

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#12 2021-02-01 14:54

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

I don't doubt your workflow is streamlined to using Chromium -- it's alright.

But it is just not true that you can't easily add search engines to Firefox without the help of any extension. It is in fact Firefox default behavior, as illustrated in my screenshot below.

Please stop spreading erroneous info about software you don't use yourself.

FF-add-search.png

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#13 2021-02-01 15:39

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Please stop spreading erroneous info about software you don't use yourself.

I'm not. Sorry, but that it's not the same feature; you can't just add whatever site you want/need. I just tried adding Sourceforge and I couldn't.

mC1hqiY.png

It seems this only works in certain sites/domains.

GyhD3Ke.png

As you can see I get the option to add "Firefox add-ons" site but not Sourceforge, which I can in Chrome/Chromium, so no, I'm not "spreading false information".

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#14 2021-02-01 16:14

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

So I added "Firefox add-ons" just to see how this feature works. I then went to check the settings, turns out I can't do anything with it; edit the entry and add my own keyword for "Firefox add-ons" site, so if I want to search some add-on, say uBlock Origin, like I do in chromium; just type that keyword, press space, hit enter and be redirected to it. The only available option is delete/remove.

KDNEZMa.png

Once the "custom search engine" is added, I have to explicitly select it from the list, by clicking on it, (I barely use my mouse since I'm a keyboard user and have configured KDE to work that way, I use Vimium add-on in chromium, which is available in FF too) otherwise Firefox will use the default, google.

I5Q62nb.png

So sorry, but no, this isn't even close to what chrome/chromium offers.

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#15 2021-02-02 15:55

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

You are right about Sourceforge, this feature depends on the format of the search field, I'm afraid. I was able to add pkgs.org, OTOH.

You're also right about the inability to edit added search engines through the "Options" dialog -- StackExchange suggests that you might be able to do so via the Bookmarks sidebar, something I didn't test (see https://superuser.com/questions/1269805/). What you can do there is set the default search engine to any one you've added before. To use a newly added search engine to perform a search, just select it from the drop down, as you've shown.

This used to be a lot easier and straightforward when search engines were stored in XML files in your profile folder -- you could readily access them by going "about:support", click on the "Open Folder" button in the "Profile Folder" field and proceed to directly edit the files, adding the one letter shortcuts you mention and so forth.

Sadly, they are now stored in a compressed JSON file ('search.json.mozlz4') in the same location and editing requires prior decompression (cf http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=14708933; you may use this online tool to decompress said file: https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/searchjson.html).

To sum it up, looks like Mozilla is following Google's suit in the obfuscation of useful functions from its users... sad

Last edited by Midas (2021-02-02 16:05)

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#16 2021-02-02 16:25

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Thanks for the links, appreciated. I still wonder why is it that FF or any other non Chromium-based browser can't have such a feature, could it be some proprietary thing? Like google APIs and stuff, so they can't use the code to do it? It might as well be that, who knows. I mean, this script will search Sourceforge site in FF:

#!/bin/bash
url="https://sourceforge.net/directory/?q="
value="$*"
encoded_value=$(python -c "import urllib; print urllib.quote('''$value''')")
firefox "${url}${encoded_value}"

after making it executable, just open konsole and run it against some query search

./fsearch.sh q4os

EsZcd2m.png

By changing the variable for url, you can search whatever other site you want/need to. I'm aware it's probably not as simple as this but then again, is it?

Last edited by Tolkem (2021-02-02 16:28)

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#17 2021-02-03 13:56

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

@Midas I tried the bookmark approach as explained in the link you shared, though it didn't really say how to add a "custom search engine" which is actually a bookmark. I learned that after reading here https://itectec.com/superuser/how-to-ad … o-firefox/ and the process is as follows:
1. Go to a website you'd like to have/create a "shortcut" for, i.e. Sourceforge: sourceforge.net
2. Once in the site, place the mouse cursor in the search box, right-click on it and from the context menu select  "Add a Keyword for this Search

s2Bn3mm.png

3. A box will pop up for you to edit the bookmark's properties; title, bookmark's location(bookmarks bar, custom folder), URL and keyword. Once you're finished, click on save.

jExaEcj.png 

5. Try your newly created "custom search engine" by typing the keyword followed by a query search and press enter.

JQBpnLK.png

6. Firefox should show the results

fNn92wp.png

And that's it. I've already added a few

xnLn3g8.png

And they all work fine. While this isn't exactly the same thing chrome/chromium offer; search engines are automatically added, you just have to edit them, it works. Have yet to confirm whether I can add every single one but this does the job, so thank you.  smile

Last edited by Tolkem (2021-02-03 13:58)

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#18 2021-02-03 15:56

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Thanks for the detailed explanation -- although I'm not a heavy user of this functionality it is much appreciated. smile

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#19 2021-02-03 21:00

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

I've been "importing" search engines into FF and so far most work while others won't, still it's nice to have an alternative. By the way, I'm using FF latest version, 85, and have to say it's improved a lot since last time I used it which was some 70 something version; seems a bit faster(though chromium is faster, IMO) and not a resource hog like it used to, it seems to be on par with chromium on that side give or take. The one thing I don't like is the fact that since FF isn't really saving those as "search engines" but rather bookmarks, so they're on a folder in the bookmark's bar and whenever I type something I get the list which is a bit...odd...don't know, guess I'm just used the way chromium works. On the other hand, since they're just bookmarks, it's a lot easier to save them for later import/export, and that it's nice. In chromium, I had to type down each and every single one in a .txt file, which I haven't finished doing. Also, I found this https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2021/01/chr … pi-removed and according to that post, Vivaldi won't be affected:

Not every Chromium-based browser will be affected by the API change. Vivaldi, which is based on Chromium, uses its own sync engine, as does Microsoft Edge (though Edge for Linux currently lacks support for it).

Here's the post from Chromium blog https://blog.chromium.org/2021/01/limit … ty-in.html and it says

For users who accessed Google features (like Chrome sync) through a third-party Chromium based browser, their data will continue to be available in their Google Account, and data that they have stored locally will continue to be available locally.

I don't know if when the time comes, I'll switch to FF or any other browser, even Chrome, for now I'll keep exploring; have already tried a few ones in a VM, dooble, edge and brave.

Last edited by Tolkem (2021-02-03 21:01)

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#20 2021-02-05 14:26

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 145

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Vivaldi is precisely my current goto when I need to use anything Chromium. smile

And it just doesn't feel right to me when any browser engine owns over 80% of web traffic... especially if it comes from a house that is showing growing tics of autocracy.

Even in the worst days of Internet Explorer (i.e., Trident) dominance, we still had plenty of Gecko, Presto, and Webkit based browsers.

Nowadays, it's Blink all the way, with some miserly crumbs left to Quantum and Webkit (which, BTW is what Blink was forked off).

Last edited by Midas (2021-02-05 14:33)

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#21 2021-02-06 00:55

crosscourt
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Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,773
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Glad you tried FF Tolkem as it has changed hugely since the 70s. Its an excellent browser but right now there are many.

Ive used Vivaldi with Feren OS as its the default browser but always end up back on FF.

Agree with Midas, Chrome/Chromium is far too dominant.


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#22 2021-02-06 02:44

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Well, I've been using it like for 3 days now and is working great. One thing I did notice is that I don't get the option to install PWA(progressive web apps)in sites with such apps like I do in Chrome/Chromium, yes, you can install/create them but you have to explicitly do it by clicking the 3 dots next to Pocket's icon in FF's address bar, and from the context menu select Use This Site in App Mode, the app will be then available in FF's menu, click on it, then click on Sites in App Mode and finally click on the PWA to launch it, a new window will pop-op with the site in "app mode". In Chrome/Chromium whenever you visit a site with that option, a small icon will appear on the address bar; a "+" symbol, if you click on it, the WPA is installed on Chrome/Chromium and you get an icon on the desktop for it as well. It is listed in the DE Menu as a Chrome/Chromium App too.

x5vcPM1.png

izMrCoM.png

DHtKtmf.png

LM35EQs.png

jXWW9Er.png

M5ZuMG8.png

That being said, in Chrome/Chromium I can only use this feature in certain sites, like Codecademy Forums, while in FF seems it is possible to use it with every site you need/want to, for instance, I can do it with Q4OS forum in FF but not in Chromium, since it doesn't have that option. This feels more like adding a shortcut in your desktop like you can in Chrome/Chromium by selecting the URL and from the menu > more tools > create a shortcut on the desktop.

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#23 2021-02-09 16:10

crosscourt
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Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,773
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

Thanks for all the details but Im not a user of this feature but hopefully this will clue in others.


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#24 2021-02-09 19:45

Tolkem
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Registered: 2019-10-06
Posts: 485

Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

crosscourt wrote:

Thanks for all the details but Im not a user of this feature but hopefully this will clue in others.

You're welcome! smile Well, just thought of sharing my findings as I go. Haven't used Chromium for a few days now and really enjoying FF performance. I've found a few "shortcomings" but nothing out of the ordinary. Still in "testing mode" and so far so good smile

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#25 2021-02-09 21:35

crosscourt
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Posts: 1,773
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Re: Google changed the rules on the Chromium browser's APIs

I think FF performs better than Chromium and thats why I stuck with it plus I like not being tied to Google. Enjoy!


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