Author Archives: stephen.cheng

Both XP and Vista users will be supported on Slimjet 10 branch

After spending a lot of time trying to get Slimjet 12 compatible with Vista, we have decided to give up on that effort. Although we have managed to get Slimjet 12 to run and browse sites properly under Vista, it is not able to load any plugins under vista, most importantly, the flash plugin. That means you will not be able to watch any videos since Slimjet doesn’t have h.264 codec support on Vista. With the pace the chrome guys at Google is quickly introducing vista-incompatible features and API calls, it will be a losing fight for us to hunt out their changes from the huge code base and find a workaround for each of them.

Therefore, we have decided not to continue Vista support in Slimjet 12. Since it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to create a separate branch just for Vista users, we have decided to continue both XP and Vista support on the Slimjet 10 branch. Slimjet has the best support of all the legacy features, including Java and NPAPI.

If you are visiting the download page of Slimjet from an XP or Vista PC, you will be automatically redirected to the download page of Slimjet 10. If you do want to try Slimjet 11 or 12 on Vista, you can get it from the Slimjet version archive. Slimjet 11 works just fine on Vista. Slimjet 12 can’t load any pepper plugins on Vista. 

Thanks a lot for your understanding.

Windows XP users should stay with Slimjet 10 for best experience

Despite our efforts, Slimjet 11 still has compatibility issues with Windows XP that we are not able to fix so far due to widespread changes made by the Chrome team to make it incompatible with XP. The issues we are aware of are these:

1. Can’t view PDF with the internal pdf viewer.
2. Can’t install any extensions from the web store.

If these issues don’t bother you, you can stay on Slimjet 11. Otherwise, please install Slimjet 10 instead from this archive directory: http://www.slimjet.com/release/archive/10.0.8.0/ . From now on, when users visit Slimjet.com with a Windows XP PC, they will be automatically redirected to the download page of Slimjet 10. We will continue to fix bugs for Windows XP users on the Slimjet 10 branch.

XP support will be dropped in Slimjet 12

We managed to support Windows XP in Slimjet 11 with significant efforts invested. However, based on the way the Chrome team has been quickly introducing more and more XP-incompatible code into the Chromium code base, it doesn’t make sense for us to spend a lot of time every time to find every little changes and undo them in order to support XP. Therefore, we have decided to stop supporting XP when we migrate to Slimjet 12 running on Chromium 52.

XP users can continue to download Slimjet 11 from the early version archive. If there is a critical security issue with Slimjet 11, we will update it into the Slimjet 11 branch.

As for Vista support, based on the current estimate, supporting Vista takes much less effort. However, I guess much fewer people use Vista anyway.

Thanks a lot for your understanding and support.

Regarding support for Windows XP-Vista and 32-bit Linux

Google’s Chrome team has announced that they will pull the plug on the support of Windows XP and Vista starting from April 2016. We will continue to support XP & Vista for the Slimjet project until the Chrome team injects too much code incompatible with XP and Vista into the Chromium project.

Meanwhile, Chrome has stopped releasing 32-bit version for linux. Slimjet will continue to release 32-bit version for Linux for the foreseeable future despite the fact that there is only a small percentage people who are still using a 32-bit processor these days. It’s quite unlikely that the Chrome team will make the source code not compilable for 32-bit linux.

We don’t want to leave any people behind unless it’s really unavoidable.

Save memory by automatically unloading idle tabs when the number of tabs reaches the limit

Do you have too many tabs open in your browser and fear your browser might exhaust your system memory? We have a solution for you now. Sometimes you open far too many tabs and just forget to close them even if you no longer need them. Well, Slimjet now offers an option to help save memory in such cases. It does that by automatically unloading idle tabs when the number of tabs reaches the specified limit. The unloaded tab remains a dummy tab but its underlying rendering process has been destroyed. Therefore, the unloaded tab doesn’t consume any memory at all. Whenever you click on an unloaded tab, the original web page will reloaded from the cache.

The option is called “Automatically unload idle tabs when the number of tabs reaches the limit”, located under the “Memory Management” section of the settings page. This option will be useful for you if your computer has limited memory and you have a habit of leaving too many tabs open while your surf the web.

 

 

Privacy issue associated with hot word detection in Chrome

A few Slimjet users has expressed concerns over the privacy issue when the voice search based on hot word detection is enabled in Chrome. They would like to know if such issue applies to Slimjet as well. We will explain what is going on with the voice search feature, what we think of it and how it affects Slimjet.

When the voice search feature is enabled in Chrome, it lets user activate voice search by speaking the hot word “Ok, Google”. The voice search is only enabled in the New Tab page and when you are visiting google.com website. To achieve this goal, the browser would have to constantly monitor what the user is saying in order to detect the hot word. Because Google’s voice recognition engine is cloud-based, that means whatever you say will be transmitted to Google’s server for analysis even if you are not really using the voice search feature. That does get a little creepy in my opinion. Users might not even be aware of the fact their entire speech is constantly being transferred to Google’s server when they have a new tab page or Google.com page open in their Chrome browser. We can’t be 100% sure what Google does exactly about those speech data, or if the government will want to tap those data to monitor the general public in some day.

If you are using the Nexus 5 phone, the hot word detection is enabled by default. But it clearly makes more sense in a mobile phone where voice search is much more convenient than clicking on the tiny keyword with your index finger. And it is only enabled when the home screen is visible. Therefore, its impact is much more limited. On a desktop computer, voice-search is not really a better way to input the keywords compared with your regular keyboard, considering the fact that voice recognition is still far from perfect nowadays. We believe it makes more sense to leave voice search as a manually activated feature with a mouse click.

In Slimjet, there is currently no support of hot word detection. You can only activate voice search in the New Tab page by clicking on the blue microphone icon at the right end of the search box as shown below,

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Therefore, in Slimjet, your speech won’t be transferred to Google’s voice recognition server unless you have manually activated voice search.

If you have any more concerns, please feel free to comment. The Slimjet team here is always committed to maximizing the privacy protection for our users.