Etnernal & infernal browser woes

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Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Jyri Hovila [iki]
Dear everyone,

I'm well aware of the bashing potential this message contains, and
kindly ask you not to resort to the usual "offence is the best defence"
strategy. I've been in the scene for a long time (you'll find my first
e-mails to this list almost two decades ago) and I'm well aware of how
operating systems and application software works. I do not need to be
educated about the basics of proper software design, nor the fact that
OpenBSD is developed with different goals in mind than all of the Linux
crap out there.

With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
web browsers can not be solved. Even I, who can easily take long delays
etc. as the cost for having a much more secure system, am about to fry
my poor brain because even the few sites I need to use are just totally
unavailable if I browse them from OpenBSD.

Everyday problems include (but are not limited to): Waiting tens of
seconds to several minutes for a script intensive site like Facebook
(yes, I actually need to use it) or LinkedIn to load. Having the whole
system slow down to a crawl while the browser is trying to do it's
stuff. Having the browser crash (without any error messages) several
times a day -- after I've first waited 30-60 seconds for it to become
responsive.

Now I've spent lots and lots of time getting familiar with OpenBSD in
server environments, so I'm pretty well up to date with what I can do
to optimize the OS. I've been following the discussions that were
around six months ago or so, when there was a patch that relieved the
situation so that at least it became possible to finally watch YouTube
videos -- quite an achievement, considering that was in 2016 when
"everyone else" have had their videos running smoothly for at least a
decade.

I am not blaming anyone here -- I rarely do. I'm not asking anyone to
just fix this issue for me. In fact, I don't even care if it gets fixed
or not; I can always do my browsing on some other platform, even if it
feels insanely stupid. What I am saying is what I already said: Unless
issues like this get solved, OpenBSD will remain pretty much as it is,
which is properly coded, very stable and secure, but (when it comes to
a "normal" user or even an experienced sysadmin) utterly useless when
it comes to doing the stuff everyone does these days -- browsing the
net. Yes, I know many of you are browsing the net with OpenBSD. So am
I. Just to make sure everyone understands what I mean: it is not that
it would be impossible, it is just insanely irritating and slow.

Now, can anyone provide a relatively clear description of what it is
that make the same browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Chrome) that work
fine in Linux, Windows and OS X so ridiculously slow when they are
being run on OpenBSD?

Peace, please.

- Jyri

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Karel Gardas
On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Now, can anyone provide a relatively clear description of what it is
> that make the same browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Chrome) that work
> fine in Linux, Windows and OS X so ridiculously slow when they are
> being run on OpenBSD?
>
> Peace, please.

You ask for peace but your whole post is highly explosive. Honestly
I'm still Solaris 11 user and I can assure you that on this OS
situation with browsers is even worse than on OpenBSD. In fact I'm
really surprised that chromium works on OpenBSD and you may be
surprised that I even use that from time to time over ssh tuneled X11
connection to my testing OpenBSD box. So kudos to all the brave hearts
who are working on browsers issue for OpenBSD!

Back to your topic: if you write "...that work fine in Linux...so
ridiculously slow when there are being run on OpenBSD" -- I'm afraid
for this you would need to provide some hard real benchmark numbers.
To me at least firefox run on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS/14.04 LTS, Solaris 11
and OpenBSD 6.1 more or less sucks in the same way: stupidly high
memory consumption, with a ton of tabs open the browser become less
and less responsive so the only chance is to exit it and rerun again.
So far I blame firefox's javascript compiler since chromium behaves
quite differently -- but this is only on OpenBSD/Linux so not
comparison with Solaris here...

So please provide scientific numbers of let say few page
loads/reloads/program run in of your preferred website on Linux and
OpenBSD on the exactly same hardware and do that in a verifiable way
and post here. Otherwise so far your post is only about psychology and
just your feeling...

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Raul Miller
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
I use OpenBSD because it reliably breaks my code when I have done
something wrong.

Browsers, meanwhile, seem to do a lot of things wrong (look at what is
needed to compile the things, or how people compare browser
functionality). I suspect you would be better off getting a $100..$200
chromebook and wiring that up as a peripheral than trying to optimize
the OS for browser performance. The hardware skills might also give
you insight into other problems, later...

That said, if you want to get into the browser implementations and use
that to identify OS algorithms which merit work, and then move on to
improving that part of the OS - and you can do that without breaking
things, and if you can also accomplish something useful using this
approach - you have my sincere admiration.

Thanks,

--
Raul


On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear everyone,
>
> I'm well aware of the bashing potential this message contains, and
> kindly ask you not to resort to the usual "offence is the best defence"
> strategy. I've been in the scene for a long time (you'll find my first
> e-mails to this list almost two decades ago) and I'm well aware of how
> operating systems and application software works. I do not need to be
> educated about the basics of proper software design, nor the fact that
> OpenBSD is developed with different goals in mind than all of the Linux
> crap out there.
>
> With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
> war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
> a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
> web browsers can not be solved. Even I, who can easily take long delays
> etc. as the cost for having a much more secure system, am about to fry
> my poor brain because even the few sites I need to use are just totally
> unavailable if I browse them from OpenBSD.
>
> Everyday problems include (but are not limited to): Waiting tens of
> seconds to several minutes for a script intensive site like Facebook
> (yes, I actually need to use it) or LinkedIn to load. Having the whole
> system slow down to a crawl while the browser is trying to do it's
> stuff. Having the browser crash (without any error messages) several
> times a day -- after I've first waited 30-60 seconds for it to become
> responsive.
>
> Now I've spent lots and lots of time getting familiar with OpenBSD in
> server environments, so I'm pretty well up to date with what I can do
> to optimize the OS. I've been following the discussions that were
> around six months ago or so, when there was a patch that relieved the
> situation so that at least it became possible to finally watch YouTube
> videos -- quite an achievement, considering that was in 2016 when
> "everyone else" have had their videos running smoothly for at least a
> decade.
>
> I am not blaming anyone here -- I rarely do. I'm not asking anyone to
> just fix this issue for me. In fact, I don't even care if it gets fixed
> or not; I can always do my browsing on some other platform, even if it
> feels insanely stupid. What I am saying is what I already said: Unless
> issues like this get solved, OpenBSD will remain pretty much as it is,
> which is properly coded, very stable and secure, but (when it comes to
> a "normal" user or even an experienced sysadmin) utterly useless when
> it comes to doing the stuff everyone does these days -- browsing the
> net. Yes, I know many of you are browsing the net with OpenBSD. So am
> I. Just to make sure everyone understands what I mean: it is not that
> it would be impossible, it is just insanely irritating and slow.
>
> Now, can anyone provide a relatively clear description of what it is
> that make the same browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Chrome) that work
> fine in Linux, Windows and OS X so ridiculously slow when they are
> being run on OpenBSD?
>
> Peace, please.
>
> - Jyri
>

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Karel Gardas
In reply to this post by Karel Gardas
For testing I would also recommend you to make sure both OSes provide
browser with the same amount of RAM (i.e. unlimit your limits in
/etc/login.conf) and I would also browse ports email list probably and
search for patch limiting amount of RAM which is allocated for firefox
javascript engine. I guess this is not the case on Linux so I would
recommend to revert this and recompile your own package and then do
another comparison.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

David Coppa
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Dear everyone,

> With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
> war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
> a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
> web browsers can not be solved.

Have you properly configured your user?

What I usually do is:

1) be sure my user has the "staff" class:

# grep dcoppa /etc/master.passwd
dcoppa:***:1000:1000:staff:0:0:David Coppa:/home/dcoppa:/bin/ksh

2) I have this at the top of my ~/.profile:

---8<---

# bump limits
ulimit -S -d $(ulimit -H -d)
ulimit -S -n $(ulimit -H -n)
ulimit -S -p $(ulimit -H -p)
ulimit -S -s $(ulimit -H -s)

---8<---

With chromium or iridium it's not as bad as you have described.
Personally I use iridium on a daily basis.

Ciao!
David

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Martin Pieuchot
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
On 28/04/17(Fri) 12:18, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi] wrote:
> [...]
> Now, can anyone provide a relatively clear description of what it is
> that make the same browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Chrome) that work
> fine in Linux, Windows and OS X so ridiculously slow when they are
> being run on OpenBSD?

If you can answer this question you've already done 50% of the work.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

STeve Andre'
In reply to this post by David Coppa


On 04/28/17 09:00, David Coppa wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Dear everyone,
>
>> With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
>> war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
>> a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
>> web browsers can not be solved.
>
> Have you properly configured your user?
>
> What I usually do is:
>
> 1) be sure my user has the "staff" class:
>
> # grep dcoppa /etc/master.passwd
> dcoppa:***:1000:1000:staff:0:0:David Coppa:/home/dcoppa:/bin/ksh
>
> 2) I have this at the top of my ~/.profile:
>
> ---8<---
>
> # bump limits
> ulimit -S -d $(ulimit -H -d)
> ulimit -S -n $(ulimit -H -n)
> ulimit -S -p $(ulimit -H -p)
> ulimit -S -s $(ulimit -H -s)
>
> ---8<---
>
> With chromium or iridium it's not as bad as you have described.
> Personally I use iridium on a daily basis.
>
> Ciao!
> David

I agree with David.  It's manageable.  I switched from Firefox to chrome
some time ago, along with otter and Iridium--the three browser
lifestyle.  Firefox causes my wife to snarl all too often, so it isn't
the case that FF on Windows is so great.

Gone are the days of a 2G web browsing system, mostly.  I have a 32G
thinkpad and make sure limits are ramped up to absurd limits.  Is is
slower?  Sure, but I'll take that over a faster, diseased system any
time.  OpenBSD will improve.  Windows will not.

--STeve Andre'

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Jyri Hovila [iki]
In reply to this post by Karel Gardas
> You ask for peace but your whole post is highly explosive.

No, it is not.

I'm just expressing myself directly -- as us aspergers often do.

Should I keep smiling after every sentence and how would that change
the actual fact, that using a web browser in OpenBSD is and has for a
very long time been virtually impossible?

- Jyri

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Jyri Hovila [iki]
In reply to this post by Martin Pieuchot
> If you can answer this question you've already done 50% of the work.

Exactly. Which is why I'm asking -- not expecting anyone to give a full
answer. I want to know what people who have been working on this issue
have already found out. I assume there is at least some basic
understanding of why browsers are so incredibly sluggish on OpenBSD. Or
is the clearest picture we have this far simply "because the browsers
have been coded wrong"?

- Jyri

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Jyri Hovila [iki]
In reply to this post by David Coppa

> Have you properly configured your user?

As far as I know, raising the ulimit and being in the staff class can
not possibly be the solution. Ulimit has to be raised unless one wants
the browser(s) to constantly crash due to memory exhaustion, and that
I havedone. But really: adding a normal user to staff class just to be
able to run a browser properly is not in line with the secure by default
approach, and should not (in my opinion) affect the performance in any
way. The user account I use is, for other reasons, in the wheel group.

> With chromium or iridium it's not as bad as you have described.
> Personally I use iridium on a daily basis.

They (chromium and iridium) may be slightly faster, but far from a
level that could be considered normal. Also, they eat even more memory
than Firefox.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Martin Pieuchot
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
On 28/04/17(Fri) 14:03, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi] wrote:
> > If you can answer this question you've already done 50% of the work.
>
> Exactly. Which is why I'm asking -- not expecting anyone to give a full
> answer. I want to know what people who have been working on this issue
> have already found out. I assume there is at least some basic
> understanding of why browsers are so incredibly sluggish on OpenBSD. Or
> is the clearest picture we have this far simply "because the browsers
> have been coded wrong"?

I know that our libpthread has some suboptimal code which I'm trying to
improved.  The futex(2) syscall I just committed is the first piece.

I also know that the Xorg/Input/Browser communication could be improved.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Karel Gardas
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 4:01 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> You ask for peace but your whole post is highly explosive.
>
> No, it is not.
>
> I'm just expressing myself directly -- as us aspergers often do.
>

Then as a real asperger come with hard evidence supporting your claim
that browsers suck on OpenBSD while fly (or not so suck) on Linux &
Windows.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Fred
In reply to this post by David Coppa
On 04/28/17 14:00, David Coppa wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Dear everyone,
>
>> With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
>> war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
>> a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
>> web browsers can not be solved.
>
> Have you properly configured your user?
>
> What I usually do is:
>
> 1) be sure my user has the "staff" class:
>
> # grep dcoppa /etc/master.passwd
> dcoppa:***:1000:1000:staff:0:0:David Coppa:/home/dcoppa:/bin/ksh
>
> 2) I have this at the top of my ~/.profile:
>
> ---8<---
>
> # bump limits
> ulimit -S -d $(ulimit -H -d)
> ulimit -S -n $(ulimit -H -n)
> ulimit -S -p $(ulimit -H -p)
> ulimit -S -s $(ulimit -H -s)
>
> ---8<---
>
> With chromium or iridium it's not as bad as you have described.
> Personally I use iridium on a daily basis.
>
> Ciao!
> David
>

I have to agree with David - here I used chrome on a daily basis with a
minimum of two chrome windows with at least 4 tabs in each - and I do
not see the issues you describe, my laptop is coming up for 4 years old,
with some info from dmesg shown at [1].

Cheers

Fred

PS I have been a happy OpenBSD desktop user since July 2001 :~)

[1]
port:fred ~> dmesg|head -4; dmesg|grep i5-2520
OpenBSD 6.1-current (GENERIC.MP) #67: Mon Apr 17 15:22:46 MDT 2017
     [hidden email]:/usr/src/sys/arch/amd64/compile/GENERIC.MP
real mem = 17037066240 (16247MB)
avail mem = 16516042752 (15750MB)
cpu0: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2492.23 MHz
cpu1: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2491.90 MHz
cpu2: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2491.90 MHz
cpu3: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2491.90 MHz


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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Raul Miller
In reply to this post by Karel Gardas
On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:11 AM, Karel Gardas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 4:01 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> You ask for peace but your whole post is highly explosive.
>>
>> No, it is not.
>>
>> I'm just expressing myself directly -- as us aspergers often do.
>>
>
> Then as a real asperger come with hard evidence supporting your claim
> that browsers suck on OpenBSD while fly (or not so suck) on Linux &
> Windows.

For the same hardware, please.

Thanks,

--
Raul

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Anders Andersson
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 4:09 PM, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>> Have you properly configured your user?
>
> As far as I know, raising the ulimit and being in the staff class can
> not possibly be the solution. Ulimit has to be raised unless one wants
> the browser(s) to constantly crash due to memory exhaustion, and that
> I havedone. But really: adding a normal user to staff class just to be
> able to run a browser properly is not in line with the secure by default
> approach, and should not (in my opinion) affect the performance in any
> way.

From what I read, it seems as if the problems are mostly from when you
try websites which are heavy on javascript. Let me butt in as a grumpy
not-so-old man and point out that there's nothing even remotely
"secure by default" by even allowing javascript, considering its
horrible track record.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the disinterest with browser performance?

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Martin Pieuchot
On 28/04/17(Fri) 16:20, Anders Andersson wrote:
> [...]
> From what I read, it seems as if the problems are mostly from when you
> try websites which are heavy on javascript.

If javascript was the problem others OSes would suffer as well.

>                                             Let me butt in as a grumpy
> not-so-old man and point out that there's nothing even remotely
> "secure by default" by even allowing javascript, considering its
> horrible track record.

So better run javascript on your phone or any other OS, right?

> Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the disinterest with browser performance?

No.  The reason is always the same: somebody has to do the work.  It's
not easy, it takes time and we all have other things to do.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Kamil Cholewiński
In reply to this post by Anders Andersson
On Fri, 28 Apr 2017, Anders Andersson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> From what I read, it seems as if the problems are mostly from when you
> try websites which are heavy on javascript. Let me butt in as a grumpy
> not-so-old man and point out that there's nothing even remotely
> "secure by default" by even allowing javascript, considering its
> horrible track record.
>
> Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the disinterest with browser performance?

I for one would recommend the following:

- Implement a TLS-enabled, cross-platform, secure Gopher server and client

- Start pressuring website maintainers and web companies to deliver
  content and expose services over Gopher

- Uninstall all web browsers

Seems like wins all around.

<3,K.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

Allan Streib-2
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
"Jyri Hovila [iki.fi]" <[hidden email]> writes:

> Exactly. Which is why I'm asking -- not expecting anyone to give a full
> answer. I want to know what people who have been working on this issue
> have already found out. I assume there is at least some basic
> understanding of why browsers are so incredibly sluggish on OpenBSD. Or
> is the clearest picture we have this far simply "because the browsers
> have been coded wrong"?

Something is wrong on your system. What you say does not correspond to
my experience at all.

I use Firefox and Chromium from packages all day every day at work and
have no problems. I don't use Facebook or LinkedIn but I do use Google
Docs, Sheets, Gmail, etc. which are all heavy javascript and they all
work fine.

At home I run on a 10+ year old MacPro1,1 and browser performance is
"acceptable" there also, i.e. similar to what I remember from when the
machine ran MacOS.

Allan

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

trondd-2
In reply to this post by Fred
On Fri, April 28, 2017 10:17 am, Fred wrote:
> I have to agree with David - here I used chrome on a daily basis with a
> minimum of two chrome windows with at least 4 tabs in each

I don't want to get into the conversation, but I thought this was funny.

I am a heavy tabs user.  I currently have firefox running with 134 tabs
open.  It's been running since I last updated -current last weekend.  That
number is actually small because I just went through my tabs and closed a
bunch of older or redundent ones.

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Re: Etnernal & infernal browser woes

George
In reply to this post by Jyri Hovila [iki]
Whats your hardware? Are you running openbsd 6.1?
I had alot of problems with my firefox and chrome a couple of months
ago. (OpenBSD 6.0).
I couldnt play videos on firefox. Not even youtube. I could play videos
on iridium but i had to clear browsing data etc almost every day
otherwise the browser was becoming slow. I send a couple emails to misc
and some people suggested that the problems were due to my CPU (skylake)
I uninstalled openBSD and installed it a couple of weeks ago.  Most of
the problems are solved although as far as i know OpenBSD still doesnt
support skylake.

ps. I think openbsd should try to attract desktop users. In the long
term it could lead to better hardware support.

On 04/28/17 15:18, Jyri Hovila [iki.fi] wrote:

> Dear everyone,
>
> I'm well aware of the bashing potential this message contains, and
> kindly ask you not to resort to the usual "offence is the best defence"
> strategy. I've been in the scene for a long time (you'll find my first
> e-mails to this list almost two decades ago) and I'm well aware of how
> operating systems and application software works. I do not need to be
> educated about the basics of proper software design, nor the fact that
> OpenBSD is developed with different goals in mind than all of the Linux
> crap out there.
>
> With the above disclaimer said, and still knowing the potential for a
> war, I must say this: There is not much hope for OpenBSD to ever become
> a desktop (or laptop) OS if the nightmarish sluggishness of ALL modern
> web browsers can not be solved. Even I, who can easily take long delays
> etc. as the cost for having a much more secure system, am about to fry
> my poor brain because even the few sites I need to use are just totally
> unavailable if I browse them from OpenBSD.
>
> Everyday problems include (but are not limited to): Waiting tens of
> seconds to several minutes for a script intensive site like Facebook
> (yes, I actually need to use it) or LinkedIn to load. Having the whole
> system slow down to a crawl while the browser is trying to do it's
> stuff. Having the browser crash (without any error messages) several
> times a day -- after I've first waited 30-60 seconds for it to become
> responsive.
>
> Now I've spent lots and lots of time getting familiar with OpenBSD in
> server environments, so I'm pretty well up to date with what I can do
> to optimize the OS. I've been following the discussions that were
> around six months ago or so, when there was a patch that relieved the
> situation so that at least it became possible to finally watch YouTube
> videos -- quite an achievement, considering that was in 2016 when
> "everyone else" have had their videos running smoothly for at least a
> decade.
>
> I am not blaming anyone here -- I rarely do. I'm not asking anyone to
> just fix this issue for me. In fact, I don't even care if it gets fixed
> or not; I can always do my browsing on some other platform, even if it
> feels insanely stupid. What I am saying is what I already said: Unless
> issues like this get solved, OpenBSD will remain pretty much as it is,
> which is properly coded, very stable and secure, but (when it comes to
> a "normal" user or even an experienced sysadmin) utterly useless when
> it comes to doing the stuff everyone does these days -- browsing the
> net. Yes, I know many of you are browsing the net with OpenBSD. So am
> I. Just to make sure everyone understands what I mean: it is not that
> it would be impossible, it is just insanely irritating and slow.
>
> Now, can anyone provide a relatively clear description of what it is
> that make the same browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Chrome) that work
> fine in Linux, Windows and OS X so ridiculously slow when they are
> being run on OpenBSD?
>
> Peace, please.
>
> - Jyri
>

12