Serpent Web Browser

Discussion in 'Windows XP General Discussion' started by ClippyBeer, May 19, 2019.

  1. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    XP users' choice of web browsers that work properly with modern websites and receive semi-regular updates were very limited - Mostly a few Mozilla forks (New Moon, My Pal, Centaury). There is another little-known Mozilla fork - Serpent. It is an XP fork of Basilisk which is in itself a fork of Firefox. If you are currently using Pale Moon for XP (AKA New Moon) then you are already familiar with Roytam's work - He currently maintains New Moon, Serpent, KM-Goanna and a few others.

    Serpent has 2 virtues above all the other XP Mozilla browsers. Firstly, it has the highest score on http://html5test.com/. It serves as a benchmark for how well your browser supports HTML5 components and attributes - the higher the score, the better. The newest version of Serpent, basilisk55-20190511 scores 474 - Narrowly beating Firefox 52 which scores 471. New Moon and Centaury scored 424 while K-Meleon 75 a paltry 368. Clearly Serpent is going to render your favorite websites better than the rest.

    The second feature is Serpent's experimental support for WebExtensions - this means you can install some of the newest versions of your favorite extensions from https://addons.mozilla.org/ just like on newer versions of Firefox. At the time of this writing Serpent 55 is the only XP browser with both WebExtension and legacy XUL extension support. This means Serpent works with older and some newer extensions.

    Download Serpent 55:
    http://o.rths.cf/basilisk/basilisk55-win32-git-20190511-89eeeb225-xpmod.7z
    64 bit:
    http://o.rths.cf/basilisk/basilisk55-win64-git-20190511-89eeeb225-xpmod.7z

    This does not have an installer - Use 7Zip to extract it. Launch basilisk.exe.

    Serpent is not natively portable but Roytam has coded a portable launcher that works with either New Moon or Serpent. Extract the 2 files and edit portable-loader.txt with notepad

    Simply replace palemoon.exe with basilisk.exe so it looks like this:

    !exec "$EXEDIR\basilisk.exe" -no-remote -profile "$EXEDIR\profile"

    Save it and launch portable-loader.exe. All data will be written to the \profile from where Serpent was launched.

    On first run you will be presented with this dialogue:

    [​IMG]

    Uncheck "Always perform this check when starting Serpent." and click 'Not Now' - remember you can't set this as your default browser using the portable launcher. If you are not using portable you can always go back into settings and set this as your default browser later.

    Before you can download extensions we have to lie to Mozilla and tell it we are using a newer browser by changing the user agent.

    in the URL bar type about:config and you will be presented with a warning:

    [​IMG]

    Click 'I promise to be careful'. On the next screen right-click anywhere on the browser window and select New->String

    [​IMG]

    Copy/Paste this into the 'New String Value' box and hit OK:

    Code:
    general.useragent.override
    [​IMG]

    Copy/Paste this into the 'Enter String Value' box and hit OK:

    Code:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:66.4) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.4
    [​IMG]

    Go to https://www.whatismybrowser.com/. If you entered the user agent correctly you should see this:

    [​IMG]

    Time to saunter over to https://addons.mozilla.org/ and download some extensions!

    Here is a list of the newest extensions I have installed and tested from Mozilla:

    Ublock Origin
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ublock-origin/?src=search

    Adblock Plus
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/?src=search

    Ghostery
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ghostery/?src=search

    Privacy Badger
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/privacy-badger17/?src=search

    Self-Destructing Cookies
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/self-destructing-cookies-webex/?src=search

    Youtube Video Download
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/yvd-youtube-video-download/?src=search

    Nimbus Screen shot and Capture
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/nimbus-screenshot/?src=search

    Whew! Sadly, NoScript wouldn't work - you can install the legacy version which works fine with Serpent.
    http://legacycollector.org/firefox-addons/722/noscript-5.1.8.4.xpi

    Serpent 55 in action on Windows XP SP3 with newest versions of Adblock Plus, Ghostery, Privacy Badger, Self-Destructing Cookies and Video Download Helper:

    [​IMG]

    Test drive Serpent for yourself and compare it with what you're currently using - this is my default browser on WIndows 7 & 8 especially after the fiasco a few weeks ago where all my extensions were automatically disabled in Firefox/Waterfox!
     
    ClippyBeer, May 19, 2019
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  2. ClippyBeer

    Elizabeth23

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    I will give it a shot. :)
     
    Elizabeth23, May 19, 2019
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  3. ClippyBeer

    WindowsXPforever

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    WindowsXPforever, May 20, 2019
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  4. ClippyBeer

    Katie Boundary

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    But does it have the "Ask Me Every Time" setting for blocking cookies?
     
    Katie Boundary, May 22, 2019
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  5. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    It does not - I checked and that feature is extinct in all current Mozilla browsers (New Moon, MyPal, Centaury, Serpent, K-Meleon and Seamonkey.)
     
    ClippyBeer, Jun 3, 2019
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  6. ClippyBeer

    cmccaff1

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    IIRC Firefox 43 was the last version to have the "Ask Me Every Time" feature; this was removed from 44 and hasn't returned since (though the feature can be resurrected by using an addon ["Self-Destructing Cookies," I think], it's more convenient to have it built-in). If you need that feature, either 43 or 38ESR is the way to go.
     
    cmccaff1, Jun 3, 2019
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  7. ClippyBeer

    Katie Boundary

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    Correct. The closest approximation that we can get nowadays is the Cookie Masters addon.
     
    Katie Boundary, Jun 4, 2019
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  8. ClippyBeer

    cmccaff1

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    To ClippyBeer (I hope you will see this): from the bottom of--nah, I'm not going to be that schmaltzy, but you know what I mean--thank you VERY much for the recommendation of the Serpent 55 browser. For anyone who (like me) is familiar with roytam1's INCREDIBLE work over the past few years as far as maintaining solid browsers for XP/Vista and some older OSes, you may know that every week RT issues a new update for Serpent 52. Serpent 55 does not always get updated, but periodically an update will be issued if there are applicable patches.

    There are many significant differences between Serpent 55 and 52; besides the fact that Serpent 55 scores significantly higher on the HTML5 test (474 to Serpent 52's 424, which ties Centaury and New Moon/Mypal 28.x.x), it also does not have the odd bug affecting Centaury/Serpent 52 with regards to Google Translate (when you translate into another language, you must use the 'copy' button on the site to get the translation text, whereas with New Moon/Mypal 28.x.x and Serpent 55 you can just copy the text normally). Based on my testing, Basilisk is affected by the same bug in Windows 7 and later; it is very strange that Moonchild Productions would deprecate a more powerful Basilisk version while continuing to maintain one with inferior HTML5 support & bugs like the aforementioned one. Thankfully roytam1 is still doing what he can to maintain the better Serpent/Basilisk version; though I used to use New Moon 28.x.x as my main browser, I have switched to Serpent 55 & will be using it in XP indefinitely (though if FF Quantum is forked to XP I just might make a switch). As Serpent 55 has a lot of code from FF55 besides the 52ESR codebase, it is by far the most capable Gecko/Goanna-based browser for XP, and in my testing the latest update (2019-05-25) is as stable as a nuclear clock. I'm currently using a very limited number of addons/extensions/plugins--Steven Black's consolidated HOSTS file (a recent if not the latest version), Aris's Classic Theme Restorer (the latest beta from 2019-02-26), QuickJava 2.1.2 (the last version), Secret Agent (last updated in 2016, and fully working in all modern Gecko/Goanna browsers; with apologies to Chris Pederick, it beats the living daylights out of his old UA Switcher), and the newest version of Flash Player (which amazingly still works with no issues in XP; hats off to Adobe for continuing to support such an old OS!) More can and will be added as/if necessary. Thanks again for bringing this to my attention--needless to say, you can't go wrong with anything from roytam1's site, and he is by far a hero for those who still enjoy using Windows XP as we do, but if you're going to take one browser from his page then let it be Serpent 55 (even if it doesn't get updated every week as Serpent 52 does).
     
    cmccaff1, Jun 5, 2019
    #8
  9. ClippyBeer

    trimis

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    When I tried to upgrade Centaury from 52.9.0 to the new one, it no longer played Youtube videos (52.9.0 played them but the sound was screwed up). So I uninstalled it, and went with Serpent. No idea what version it is as neither Comodo Program Manager nor IObit Uninstaller seems to 'see' it. I used the above link:
    http://i430vx.strangled.net/files/XP/RoyTam Browser Installer.exe
    Pretty sure it did not install the current version. Anyway, Youtube video and sound plays. One problem is none of your links work (Time to saunter over to https://addons.mozilla.org/ and download some extensions!), as they claim either the addon requires a later version of Firefox, or the addon is corrupt. Was hoping to get an adblocker to deal with Youtube, and a popup blocker. So far, 'Self-Destructing Cookies' is all I have managed to get. Any ideas?

    Thanks for letting us know about Serpent browser!
     
    trimis, Aug 16, 2019 at 9:37 PM
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  10. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    You need to change the user agent following the instructions I posted. Also not all Webextensions will work - download the versions I tested for best results.
     
    ClippyBeer, Aug 17, 2019 at 2:23 PM
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