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(Linux) Gstreamer support removed

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Drumbrake

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Post Posted May 4th, 2016, 6:46 am

I don''t even know if this belongs here on in Firefox Features or Support, but why has Gstreamer support been removed altogether from Firefox?
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=GStreamer

Firefox in Linux has been able for a long time to play HTML5 videos without any need for foreign plugins or Cisco spyware or any other assistance thanks exactly to the Gstreamer backend: why on earth did they quietly remove it?

The bug says "it has problems", well I suspect it's the same problems that the plugins.enumerable_names preferences had : almost none in normal use, they pretended it "broke" websites but in fact it didn't. And so we lost a valuable privacy feature in return for nothing.

disallow enumeration of navigator.plugins

Remove unused plugins.enumerable_names whitelist that hides plugins from navigator.plugins enumeration

If anything, Gstreamer support had advantages, such as the nifty trick to download a video from youtube in mp4 format by simply right clicking and then "save as" .

Grumpus

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Post Posted May 5th, 2016, 5:51 am

Checked the Ubuntu Forum and supposedly Firefox and most modern browsers natively support HTML5, without GStreamer.
It could be a login is necessary, hence the privacy consideration of GStreamer, on some sites.
Gstreamer is still active in the Gnome version OS.

Gusar
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2016, 10:41 am

Gstreamer support was removed because it isn't needed anymore, Firefox now interfaces directly with ffmpeg. So nothing has changed regarding HTML5 video.

And just btw, the Cisco plugin is not used for HTML5 video, never was, likely never will. It's used exclusively for WebRTC.

Drumbrake

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Post Posted May 6th, 2016, 4:37 am

Gusar wrote:Gstreamer support was removed because it isn't needed anymore, Firefox now interfaces directly with ffmpeg. So nothing has changed regarding HTML5 video.


Sure enough this has changed:
If anything, Gstreamer support had advantages, such as the nifty trick to download a video from youtube in mp4 format by simply right clicking and then "save as" .

Gusar
 
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Post Posted May 6th, 2016, 8:10 am

Drumbrake wrote:If anything, Gstreamer support had advantages, such as the nifty trick to download a video from youtube in mp4 format by simply right clicking and then "save as" .

Are you sure that was specific to Gstreamer? It seems very weird to me that there would be backend specific features in Firefox.

What I do know is that "save as" is available on videos that use the plain <video> tag instead of providing their own player interface, but youtube has provided their own player since forever. Could also have something to do with MSE. The Firefox versions that used Gstreamer possibly didn't have MSE yet (or if it was there, it was off by default):

Drumbrake

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Post Posted May 26th, 2016, 2:46 am

Gusar wrote:What I do know is that "save as" is available on videos that use the plain <video> tag instead of providing their own player interface, but youtube has provided their own player since forever. Could also have something to do with MSE. The Firefox versions that used Gstreamer possibly didn't have MSE yet (or if it was there, it was off by default):


Yes, I think you are right : this change happened after adding support for MSE, probably as you say the versions using Gstreamer did not support MSE.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to revert this in about:config : I mean I can disable MSE (I think) but meanwhile Gstreamer integration has gone anyways, and so is the ability to save videos natively by simply right-clicking and "save as" .

Makes once again me wonder how may Firefox developers are actually using Linux, seeing how neglected it is in Firefox development : why get rid of such an useful feature, instead of using addons and scripts you could download a video with just 2 clicks and you throw that feature out of the window :roll: ?

Gusar
 
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Post Posted May 27th, 2016, 9:50 am

I can only repeat: Are you sure this "Save as" thingy was tied to Gstreamer? I still have doubts about that. In any case, have you thought about opening a bug at bugzilla, asking the Mozilla devs what the deal is? Devs don't really read these forums.

What was the youtube player before, was it the same player as you see now (the one that's provided by youtube itself), or was it completely different?

Drumbrake

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Post Posted June 1st, 2016, 3:30 am

Gusar wrote:I can only repeat: Are you sure this "Save as" thingy was tied to Gstreamer? I still have doubts about that. In any case, have you thought about opening a bug at bugzilla, asking the Mozilla devs what the deal is? Devs don't really read these forums.

What was the youtube player before, was it the same player as you see now (the one that's provided by youtube itself), or was it completely different?


I'm talking about normal youtube pages: if I open one in the current Fx version there is no "Save as" option, the exact same page in an older version will have it.

Since the change happened at the time they removed support for Gstreamer, I'd think that is the reason.

The deal here IMHO is that they wanted to get rid of yet another feature in Firefox, and they did.

Grumpus

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Post Posted June 1st, 2016, 4:52 am

@Drumbrake - could some of this be due to settings being removed.
Have you tried Settings Sanity, puts a lot of stuff back in place and may put the Save as option back in the menu.
I'm thinking the Save As option may be separate.

Gusar
 
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Post Posted June 1st, 2016, 7:46 am

Drumbrake wrote:I'm talking about normal youtube pages: if I open one in the current Fx version there is no "Save as" option, the exact same page in an older version will have it.

I asked *specifically* about the player, not the webpage as a whole. Is the player the same? Because youtube's player never had a "Save as" option, so the only chance that you had it was if your old Firefox used its built-in player instead of youtube's. Which I'd find weird, but the case of the missing "Save as" option would at least make sense this way.

Drumbrake wrote:The deal here IMHO is that they wanted to get rid of yet another feature in Firefox, and they did.

They didn't get rid of a feature, they merely replaced one decoder provider with another one. You're the only one who noticed something fundamentally different with this change. That's why I'm asking specific questions. But it seems you're more interested in ranting against Mozilla than trying to figure out what exactly happened to this feature that only you apparently had.

Romani
 
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Post Posted June 3rd, 2016, 4:46 pm

Drumbrake wrote:
Gusar wrote:I can only repeat: Are you sure this "Save as" thingy was tied to Gstreamer? I still have doubts about that. In any case, have you thought about opening a bug at bugzilla, asking the Mozilla devs what the deal is? Devs don't really read these forums.

What was the youtube player before, was it the same player as you see now (the one that's provided by youtube itself), or was it completely different?


I'm talking about normal youtube pages: if I open one in the current Fx version there is no "Save as" option, the exact same page in an older version will have it.

Since the change happened at the time they removed support for Gstreamer, I'd think that is the reason.

The deal here IMHO is that they wanted to get rid of yet another feature in Firefox, and they did.

You dont need Gstreamer to save videos from Youtube - just use Flashgot with Wget - set wget as download manager, and when watching Youtube rightclick on Media icon on toolbar, choose .mp4 file and click - Wget will save it as you choose.

Drumbrake

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Post Posted June 16th, 2016, 4:55 am

If anything is the opposite: I don't need or want Flashgot or other extensions because Firefox on Linux had the ability to download videos on it own using something that belongs to Linux itself, namely gstreamer.

Grumpus

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Post Posted June 16th, 2016, 6:12 am

@Drumbrake - the reason I suggested Setting Sanity was due to it's returning to the graphic interface some of the "removed" (hidden) settings in some of the right click menus.
Also, was looking in the repos and there's an awful lot of standalone Gstreamer stuff which might be a workaround.
Understanding you just want to download without any chicanery but it may be worth a look since Gstreamer is fairly well supported in Linux.

Drumbrake

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2016, 8:11 am

Well it's been a while, but I think I'm done my homework : by toggling all webm related preferences in about:config I can "force" (much as you can "force" them to do something) youtube to play videos with mp4 encoding as opposed to vp9, but still in newer versions with gstreamer no longer supported there is no "save as" option (it's still greyed out), so my assumption is that all this has to do with Gstreamer.

Drumbrake

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2016, 8:16 am

Gusar wrote:
Drumbrake wrote:I'm talking about normal youtube pages: if I open one in the current Fx version there is no "Save as" option, the exact same page in an older version will have it.

I asked *specifically* about the player, not the webpage as a whole. Is the player the same? Because youtube's player never had a "Save as" option, so the only chance that you had it was if your old Firefox used its built-in player instead of youtube's. Which I'd find weird, but the case of the missing "Save as" option would at least make sense this way.


Frankly I don't know what this Firefox built-in player may be, all I know is that -all other things being equal- I had this "Save as" option working in older releases and not working in the newer releases.
And I mean using the same exact Firefox profile, on the same OS, with different Firefox versions.
Last edited by Drumbrake on August 5th, 2016, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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