Removing Upstream Non-Free Anti-feature from Ceno Browser

Hey F-Droid!

I am the developer of Ceno Browser. I am regularly questioned as to why the Ceno Browser on F-Droid has the “Upstream Non-Free” anti-feature. I chose to include this because my implementation of the F-Droid build for Ceno is a fork of @relan’s Fennec, which also includes this anti-feature. Though, Ceno is not a fork of Firefox for Android, rather it is a bespoke browser built from the same libraries as Firefox. So, I would like to understand if I really need this anti-feature or is I could avoid it somehow. Some questions along this line is,

  • What should I consider my upstream source? Only the Ceno Browser repo? Or also the mozilla libraries which I fork and patch?
  • If I were to build all the mozilla libraries from scratch with non-free blobs removed for the official (play store) release of Ceno, would that allow me to remove the anti-feature?
  • Or is it hopeless because I’m using mozilla’s libraries, which include some non-free blobs in their upstream releases, so I can’t honestly remove the anti-feature?

I hope I am asking the right question in the right place. I’m just looking for clarification on this anti-feature and to deflect responsibility for including this anti-feature from myself :slight_smile:

Thank you!
-grant (@paidforby)

Firefox itself is non-free and contains proprietary libraries, so this holds label holds true.

But yes, many people think it means the app itself in question is non-free and takes many minutes to explain and even then people will still be weary. :person_shrugging:

fennecbuild already removes these, are you not using the same build for Play?
but that wouldn’t change the label.

Thanks for the quick reply @SkewedZeppelin, it’s good (or maybe sad?) to hear that you struggle with the same question. We’ve added some text to the app description that attempts to explain the situation as I understood it, which seems to be the correct understanding, but people rarely read the whole description :frowning:

It is true that we do not use the same build for the play store release. This is mostly because of how long and complicated is it to build for f-droid. Instead, I actually publish patched forks of the required libraries (geckoview + android-components) to our sonatype so that our developers can more easily build, test, and iterate. I was considering that it might be worth it to unify the play store and f-droid release (and make the builds reproducible), but one key motivation would have been to get rid of the anti-feature. Without that benefit it’s hard to justify the time/effort it would require to develop and maintain identical, reproducible builds for both app stores.

Add your voice to UpstreamNonFree AF - clarify state (#2481) · Issues · F-Droid / Data · GitLab :wink:

Add the reason in metadata/ie.equalit.ceno.yml · master · F-Droid / Data · GitLab

    en-US: Ceno is a fork of Firefox which has non-free deps. Those libs are removed in Ceno.
1 Like

@linsui, thanks for the tip. I was aware of this field, though this doesn’t show up when viewing the listing in a browser, but only in the app. Hence why I put it an explanation the description, but I should probably put it in both places.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.