Google no longer serving up Firefox 2 compatible search

It seems as of today Google is no longer serving up search pages that look right in Firefox 2/Seamonkey 1.1.x/Retrozilla. It is still possible to search, but the layout is all crap.

This last month they started messing things up and only served that specifically to Firefox 2.x, so I had to fiddle with user agents in the others. But now even that is doing nothing.



  • Does DuckDuckGo HTML search work?

    Last summer, I spent an evening with seamonkey 1.1.19 (?) and retrozilla on win95 on my PIII-500 box. Out of all of my usual sites (10-15), only four were perfect to slightly broken. I couldn't access winworld's forum from the main page. And the fanciest ones took like a couple minutes to load!

    In the past year, it seems like a lot of sites have suddenly went for super-javascripty versions of themselves with no improvement in functionality and a move to lock everything before the Core 2 Duo out.

  • edited November 25

    Does Google Advanced Search work? It use it with SeaMonkey due to some layout problem.

    Another option is to override the UA for Google to an very old browser, unless they broke search for those browsers too.

  • These javascriptiness is a combination of laziness, ignorance, and a ploy by Google. Javascript was meant to be a tool to help improve web page functionality, never to be the webpage. So when you wind up with daisy chain-loading scripts that daisy chain load other scripts I get poor performance on even modern year or two old machines with Ryzen threadrippers or i9s.

    Which brings to modern browsers. The best browser today isn't who has the best standard support. It's about who can handle dozens and dozens of scripts at once.
    Mixed that with many support scripts being built by Google, you can expect they optimized it for their browser and vice versa.

    But I digress, looks like old systems are being sunset for no purpose. How much space did the nearly pure html version take? Maybe a meg or two?

  • Okay, did some more testing with old versions of browsers:

    Mozilla 1.5 on Windows 10 seems to default to a mobile layout and elements are badly misplaced. I recall seeing something like this if you blocked Google with NoScript.

    IceWeasel 3.0 on Windows 10 seems to have the same problem.

    SeaMonkey 2.9.1 on Windows 2000 seems to have a minor problem. It mostly works, but the actual input box is misaligned with the input box graphic. Later versions of SeaMonkey seem to have the same problem without a UA override.

    Firefox 3.6 on Windows 2000 still defaults to the mobile page, but it does not seem to have the massive layout problems older versions have.

    Firefox 2.0 on Windows NT 4.0 again defaults to the mobile page but seems to work better.

    RetroZilla 2.2 on Windows NT 4.0 has the same result as Firefox 2.0.

    Camino 2.1.2 on Mac OS X 10.6.8 has the same problems as Mozilla 1.5.

    Mosaic-CK 2.7ck11 on Mac OS X 10.6.8 has a bunch of garbage between the input box and the actual results but it actually does seems to work.

    Firefox 10 on Solaris 10 seems to have the same problems newer versions of SeaMonkey do.

    Mozilla 1.7 on Solaris 10 have the same problems Mozilla 1.5 has.

    Lynx 2.8.6 on Mac OS X 10.6.8 gets to the results page, but the actual links to the results do not appear as hyperlinks.

    And Google was once a site that I tested older browsers with. Guess I'll have to find another site to do that.

  • edited November 26

    Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 2000 is also displaying the mobile-like version, and they dropped the SSL requirement. It seems to work okay, but it looks weird. Oddly enough, Google Images still looks normal, at least for right now.

    The mobile site seems to be an improvement for Netscape 4. It previously had the menu bar vertical, over top of the search results, making it useless. Now you can actually click on the search results. It does look terrible, though.

  • I will totally crap myself if/when google forces me to use that retarded grow-to-infinity make-the-scroll-bar-useless version of their image search. Even ignoring compatibility, the "new" stuff just sucks.

    I've even started noticing a lot of sites breaking in NewMoon 27.9 (the one that works on lower SSE and non SSE systems).

    Yea, not very many sites look right in Firefox 2/Seamonkey 1.1.x. There is the vintage computing forum, and

    With a little bit of stuff in the userContent.css, the winworldpc forum is readable, but creating posts does not work well and the post editing menu is not available:

    @-moz-document url-prefix( 
     display:none !important;
     visibility: hidden !important;
     height: 0px !important;
     float: left !important;
  • @SomeGuy

    With my experiences, script-heavy sites crash New Moon on Server 2003 SP2 no matter which version (sse or not).
    Even disabled hardware acceleration.

  • One of the Newmoon builds a month or so ago seemed to have a serious bug that was crashing a lot of sites (the build before it was not crashing). But I'm running 27.9.7 now and those particular sites are working fine now.

  • edited November 28

    I've had crashes with New Moon/MyPal 28/Serpent 52 on sites such as YouTube, MSFN, IBM's login page and Alibaba. The common denominator is a fault at 0x77f87eeb (RtlEnterCriticalSection) in ntdll.dll. But those only happened under Windows 2000 and not XP/2003.

    Unfortunately, BWC wasn't seemingly able to find a solution.

  • Huh, I've not had any problems with Mypal crashing on YouTube or MSFN. I'm on 28.7.2, Windows 2000.

  • Hmmm, in the regular Google search (using NewMoon) it at some point recently started showing me this "...." thing by each entry and clicking on it shows the actual URL and site encryption status. Seeing the actual URL can be useful, but the way it is done just seems like something designed by a committee.

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