Firefox 77 broke color management

Started Jun 4, 2020 | Discussions
Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Firefox 77 broke color management

This was discussed briefly in this thread: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4492965

But that thread was about history display and was kind of hijacked by this color management topic. I wanted to open a separate thread. It's a real PITA for Firefox users on wide gamut monitors.

The link in that thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gf58mr/did_firefox_break_color_management_in_the_latest/) that discusses the problem in the 77 beta version is 27 days old. And Mozilla haven't fixed before releasing. And that discussion had a reply from a Firefox engineer, so they knew about it. Does it mean Firefox is dying?

If anyone finds a solution please post it here.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Pov2 wrote:

This was discussed briefly in this thread: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4492965

But that thread was about history display and was kind of hijacked by this color management topic. I wanted to open a separate thread. It's a real PITA for Firefox users on wide gamut monitors.

I looked at the FF 77 release notes and don't see anything related to color rendering, unless it is WebRender.

What exactly is broken? Reading the monitor profile when gfx.color_management.mode=2 ?

The link in that thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gf58mr/did_firefox_break_color_management_in_the_latest/) that discusses the problem in the 77 beta version is 27 days old. And Mozilla haven't fixed before releasing. And that discussion had a reply from a Firefox engineer, so they knew about it. Does it mean Firefox is dying?

I'd wager the answer is yes. Hard to believe they would release 77 when it was known to be broken a month ago.

Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,101
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management
2

CAcreeks wrote:

Pov2 wrote:

This was discussed briefly in this thread: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4492965

But that thread was about history display and was kind of hijacked by this color management topic. I wanted to open a separate thread. It's a real PITA for Firefox users on wide gamut monitors.

I looked at the FF 77 release notes and don't see anything related to color rendering, unless it is WebRender.

What exactly is broken? Reading the monitor profile when gfx.color_management.mode=2 ?

The link in that thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gf58mr/did_firefox_break_color_management_in_the_latest/) that discusses the problem in the 77 beta version is 27 days old. And Mozilla haven't fixed before releasing. And that discussion had a reply from a Firefox engineer, so they knew about it. Does it mean Firefox is dying?

I'd wager the answer is yes. Hard to believe they would release 77 when it was known to be broken a month ago.

This issue is that the function of about:config option gfx.color_management.mode no longer works. By and large this affects only wide-gamut monitors.

If gfx.color_management.mode is set to 1 then Firefox assumes that untagged images and graphic elements are sRGB (which is what it should do always), but Firefox 77 ignores gfx.color_management.mode. The result is that on wide-gamut monitors, untagged elements (which includes virtually all graphic elements on a typical web page) are massively over-saturated.

To test this, see http://simongarrett.uk/TestColours.htm . On a wide-gamut monitor, the first row of colours, the left and right set should look identical. If the right-hand set is more saturated, then the browser isn't colour managing untagged images. Note: this will be seen only on wide-gamut monitors. If the three rows all look the same, either you are using a standard (narrow) gamut monitor or the browser doesn't colour-manage at all (like IE and Edge).

I see there's a new Firefox 77.0.1, but the release notes don't mention the problem so I'm not inclined to try it.

Edited to say: I just tried 77.0.1, it's still broken.

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Simon

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OP Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Simon Garrett wrote:

If the three rows all look the same, either you are using a standard (narrow) gamut monitor or the browser doesn't colour-manage at all (like IE and Edge).

I see there's a new Firefox 77.0.1, but the release notes don't mention the problem so I'm not inclined to try it.

Edited to say: I just tried 77.0.1, it's still broken.

What's interesting - when I was going crazy about it (I went directly from FF 76 to 77.0.1) I opened Edge for comparison to make sure I was not crazy. The Edge asked me to install the "new Edge", and surprisingly this "new Edge" is color managed out of the box. It passes tests on the two website. I am not going to switch to it yet, but some developers go forward and some - backwards.

I don't know what to do about Firefox. They know about it and chose to ignore...

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Pov2 wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

I see there's a new Firefox 77.0.1, but the release notes don't mention the problem so I'm not inclined to try it. Edited to say: I just tried 77.0.1, it's still broken.

What's interesting - when I was going crazy about it (I went directly from FF 76 to 77.0.1) I opened Edge for comparison to make sure I was not crazy. The Edge asked me to install the "new Edge", and surprisingly this "new Edge" is color managed out of the box. It passes tests on the two website. I am not going to switch to it yet, but some developers go forward and some - backwards.

I don't know what to do about Firefox. They know about it and chose to ignore...

I'll post on Reddit. Other things that have bothered me over the years:

  • Find bar takes up too much space and X to close it is out of reach.*
  • Items are scattered between ... or >> overflow menus and = hamburger menu.
  • Too many uncustomizable keyboard shortcuts that I hit accidentally.
  • (More recently) PDF viewer fails to display items that display in Chrome.

* except on Mac OS X

OP Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Hmm... I found this bug description: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1639574

It has this: "Disable color management for CSS due to issues with canvas". It looks like color management was sacrificed in order to fix some other issue. It doesn't sound good.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Pov2 wrote:

Hmm... I found this bug description: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1639574

It has this: "Disable color management for CSS due to issues with canvas". It looks like color management was sacrificed in order to fix some other issue. It doesn't sound good.

More information here, including that bug ID and another one.

https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gwnjnt/color_management_still_broken_in_7701/

I do not have a wide gamut monitor, and FF 77 has not yet reached Linux Mint.

Patco Forum Pro • Posts: 15,230
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

CAcreeks wrote:

I do not have a wide gamut monitor, and FF 77 has not yet reached Linux Mint.

Hmm... it was updated to 77 on MX Linux yesterday.

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Patco
A photograph is more than a bunch of pixels.

Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 2,001
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Patco wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

I do not have a wide gamut monitor, and FF 77 has not yet reached Linux Mint.

Hmm... it was updated to 77 on MX Linux yesterday.

FWIW I just got 77.0.1 when I checked updates on my Ubuntu Budgie installation.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Patco wrote:

... it was updated to 77 on MX Linux yesterday.

Do you have gfx.color_management.enablev4 = true?

I don't because, basically, who cares.

I'm not gonna update to FF 77 for the nonce, whatever nonce is. It's easy to uncheck.

Patco Forum Pro • Posts: 15,230
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

CAcreeks wrote:

Patco wrote:

... it was updated to 77 on MX Linux yesterday.

Do you have gfx.color_management.enablev4 = true?

Well, that works.

I don't because, basically, who cares.

I'm not gonna update to FF 77 for the nonce, whatever nonce is. It's easy to uncheck.

-- hide signature --

Patco
A photograph is more than a bunch of pixels.

OP Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management
1

CAcreeks wrote:

Pov2 wrote:

Hmm... I found this bug description: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1639574

It has this: "Disable color management for CSS due to issues with canvas". It looks like color management was sacrificed in order to fix some other issue. It doesn't sound good.

More information here, including that bug ID and another one.

https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gwnjnt/color_management_still_broken_in_7701/

I do not have a wide gamut monitor, and FF 77 has not yet reached Linux Mint.

Unfortunately, there is no more information on reddit. Bug numbers? Who cares? There is no ETA to fix it. As someone mentioned it not fixed in the 79 beta. Whether gfx.color_management.mode = 1 or 2 doesn't make any difference on a wide gamut monitor. I reverted back to 76.0.1 (if anyone does it, delete the compatibility.ini file in the profile or it won't let you start it). Before I reverted I believe the browser passed this test: https://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/ It showed ICC v2 and v4 profiles supported but images were oversaturated and the part "How does your browser interpret untagged images? sRGB untagged vs. sRGB image" wasn't right. It looks like a bug.

This plus the new bar will help switch many people to other browsers.

I want to give Firefox a chance. I am staying with 76.0.1 and disabled updates per https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-firefox-63-above/

sankos Senior Member • Posts: 2,378
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

In the meantime, the new Chromium-based Edge appears to be colour-managed now, as opposed to the previous versions (and Internet Explorer). It reads the embedded tags and profiles, also respecting the display profile:

http://displaycal.net/icc-color-management-test/

I got used to Firefox, having used it all these years, but if they don't address colour-management soon, I'll completely transition to Edge on my PC.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Pov2 wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no more information on reddit. Bug numbers? Who cares? There is no ETA to fix it. As someone mentioned it not fixed in the 79 beta. Whether gfx.color_management.mode = 1 or 2 doesn't make any difference on a wide gamut monitor.

Where did you hear about 79 beta?

I reverted back to 76.0.1 (if anyone does it, delete the compatibility.ini file in the profile or it won't let you start it). Before I reverted I believe the browser passed this test: https://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/ It showed ICC v2 and v4 profiles supported but images were oversaturated and the part "How does your browser interpret untagged images? sRGB untagged vs. sRGB image" wasn't right. It looks like a bug.

Yes it does. Thanks for the info about color management mode 1 or 2.

This plus the new bar will help switch many people to other browsers.

Yikes! I just read about this. It can be disabled with some effort, but there are already too many things that must be customized. It takes me less time to customize a Linux Mint VM than it does to customize Firefox, which is pitiful. Wrong defaults all over.

I want to give Firefox a chance. I am staying with 76.0.1 and disabled updates per https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-firefox-63-above/

Firefox is still in 3rd place with shrinking 4.5% market share, but that won't last.

Do any other browsers allow font override? I dislike sans serif and substitute Palatino. Google Chrome has a plug-in for this, but the best font I found is Merriweather.

From the Brave browser wikipedia page:

A February 2020 research report published by the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin found Brave to be the most private browser in terms of phoning home: "In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex."

Patco Forum Pro • Posts: 15,230
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

CAcreeks wrote:

A February 2020 research report published by the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin found Brave to be the most private browser in terms of phoning home: "In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex."

In that report did they test the original Edge, or the new Edge based on Chromium ?
That could make a difference in the findings.

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Patco
A photograph is more than a bunch of pixels.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Patco wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

A February 2020 research report published by the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin found Brave to be the most private browser in terms of phoning home: "In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex."

In that report did they test the original Edge, or the new Edge based on Chromium ?
That could make a difference in the findings.

New version, looks like. This was footnote 37 in the wikipedia article.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/brave-deemed-most-private-browser-in-terms-of-phoning-home/

I thought Yandex is a search engine, not a browser. Opera was not studied but I assume the Chinese Army is listening. No opinion about UC browser.

Patco Forum Pro • Posts: 15,230
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management
1

CAcreeks wrote:

I thought Yandex is a search engine, not a browser. Opera was not studied but I assume the Chinese Army is listening. No opinion about UC browser.

DuckDuckGo, a desktop browser search engine, also has a browser for Android & iOS.

https://www.wired.com/story/privacy-browsers-duckduckgo-ghostery-brave/

"DuckDuckGo (Android, iOS, browser extension)

You might know DuckDuckGo as the anti-Google search engine, but it's also branched out to make its own mobile browsers for Android and iOS. Not only do they keep you better protected online, they give you plenty of information about what they're blocking."

https://www.slant.co/versus/547/16094/~duckduckgo_vs_brave

"When comparing DuckDuckGo vs Brave, the Slant community recommends DuckDuckGo for most people. In the question “What are the best Android web browsers?” DuckDuckGo is ranked 2nd while Brave is ranked 4th."

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Patco
A photograph is more than a bunch of pixels.

OP Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management
1

CAcreeks wrote:

Pov2 wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no more information on reddit. Bug numbers? Who cares? There is no ETA to fix it. As someone mentioned it not fixed in the 79 beta. Whether gfx.color_management.mode = 1 or 2 doesn't make any difference on a wide gamut monitor.

Where did you hear about 79 beta?

Sorry, it's alpha not beta. In the reddit post you linked: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gwnjnt/color_management_still_broken_in_7701/

Someone wrote "I've been using this utility to test color management accross browsers and Firefox 79.0a1 also fails."

I reverted back to 76.0.1 (if anyone does it, delete the compatibility.ini file in the profile or it won't let you start it). Before I reverted I believe the browser passed this test: https://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/ It showed ICC v2 and v4 profiles supported but images were oversaturated and the part "How does your browser interpret untagged images? sRGB untagged vs. sRGB image" wasn't right. It looks like a bug.

Yes it does. Thanks for the info about color management mode 1 or 2.

This plus the new bar will help switch many people to other browsers.

Yikes! I just read about this. It can be disabled with some effort, but there are already too many things that must be customized. It takes me less time to customize a Linux Mint VM than it does to customize Firefox, which is pitiful. Wrong defaults all over.

Yes, I had to deal with that bar in FF 76. A different fix that didn't work for 77. But the fix that worked for 77 works for 76 (.css file). But you are absolutely right - time taken to "fix" things is becoming not worth it.

I want to give Firefox a chance. I am staying with 76.0.1 and disabled updates per https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-firefox-63-above/

Firefox is still in 3rd place with shrinking 4.5% market share, but that won't last.

Do any other browsers allow font override? I dislike sans serif and substitute Palatino. Google Chrome has a plug-in for this, but the best font I found is Merriweather.

From the Brave browser wikipedia page:

A February 2020 research report published by the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin found Brave to be the most private browser in terms of phoning home: "In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex."

Interesting... I would think Chrome would be the most phoning home. It even runs some kind of software reporting utility that installs quietly, scans all your software and very hard to get rid of, it reappears on it's own.

"The Chrome Software Reporter Tool runs once a week and reports the scan results to Chrome. To be precise, the tool scans the system to examine unnecessary software applications that might interfere with Chrome's browsing experience." Link: https://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmagic/disable-software-reporter-tool.html

"The Software Reporter Tool scans the computer's drive and reports these scans to Google." Link: https://www.ghacks.net/2018/01/20/how-to-block-the-chrome-software-reporter-tool-software_reporter_tool-exe/

I don't know how that didn't put Chrome in the most phoning home. I like Firefox because Mozilla doesn't seem to be connected to any big corporations of governments, so it likely has no interest to "phone home".

OP Pov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,115
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

CAcreeks wrote:

I thought Yandex is a search engine, not a browser.

I guess like Google used to be a search engine, now it has a browser.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,805
Re: Firefox 77 broke color management

Patco wrote:

DuckDuckGo, a desktop browser search engine, also has a browser for Android & iOS.

Thanks, I did not know.

You might know DuckDuckGo as the anti-Google search engine, but it's also branched out to make its own mobile browsers for Android and iOS. Not only do they keep you better protected online, they give you plenty of information about what they're blocking."

So does uBlock Origin, if you are curious.

https://www.slant.co/versus/547/16094/~duckduckgo_vs_brave

"When comparing DuckDuckGo vs Brave, the Slant community recommends DuckDuckGo for most people. In the question “What are the best Android web browsers?” DuckDuckGo is ranked 2nd while Brave is ranked 4th."

What is ranked 1st? It is difficult to tell from their website. Evidently they have different rankings for Android, OS X, Linux, and WIndows. If #1 on Android is Firefox, I tend to doubt their judg(e)ment.

I'm gonna install Brave browser on Mac OS X to see if I like it on the desktop.

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