Casey Bralla on 6 Apr 2014 06:01:42 -0700

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[PLUG] Alternate Browsers Survey

Here are the non-Mozilla alternative browsers I tried, and the results I got. 
All these  browser are available in the standard Gentoo package library, and 
presumably in all the other major distro libraries. My overall conclusions are 
listed at the end.


Very spartan interface.  Confusing to the layman. This might be a really cool 
browser, but it will take quite a bit of learning to make it work well.


Would not compile on my Gentoo system unless I disabled the cairo graphics 
library.  Produced a very primitive, butt-ugly output that sometimes wildly 
mis-rendered web pages.


A gnome-based browser, so building it on my KDE-Gentoo system pulled in lots 
of extra stuff.  The results were very disappointing.   Maybe I'm missing 
something by not being a gnome fan, but I couldn't even see where to set a 
default opening page.


Not too bad.  Nicely responsive.  Able to open new tabs in home page instead 
of the dreaded "speed dial".  Crashed frequently when opening the settings 
menu item on my ~AMD64 Gentoo system.  (I presume this particular to my Gentoo 
system, and a "normal" distro would not have problems.)

Only downside is that I could not customize the toolbar.


Very quick.  Menu items names (all of them!) were preceded by "gtk", so the 
toolbar listed "gtkFile", "gtkEdit", etc commands).   I did not use this  
browser because it sometimes wildly mis-rendered web pages.  Too bad actually, 
because I liked the responsiveness.

This one is probably worth coming back to to see if I can trouble-shoot the 


Worked great, but closed source.


Very good.  Smaller memory footprint than Mozilla, but just as full-featured.  
I like how I can open a new tab in my home page instead of being forced to 
open "speed dial".  I also liked the ability to change the look with Themes.

CupZilla tended to lock up on me sometimes on my desktop machine.  I presume 
this is a bug in the basic bleeding-edge Webkit-gtk library in Gentoo, but of 
course, don't know for sure.  It has never locked up on another Gentoo Pentium 
3 system I use.

The only drawback I see is that I can't customize the toolbar and rearrange 
things like I could in Mozilla.


Beautiful!  A KDE-friendly browser that is fun, fast, and customizable.   At 
first, I couldn't use it though because all the ads got through!   (Wow, I 
didn't realize how much nicer having an ad-blocker is.)  Then I explored and 
found ad-blocker on the tools.

The only downside is that I would like to have a menu bar, and I can't figure 
out how to enable one in Rekonq.

My current favorite by far!


Makes dwb look luxurious in all it features.  VERY simple, but nice if you 
want absolutely bare bones.

I chose Rekonq for everyday browsing on my main KDE-based desktop (with lots 
of memory, so KDE is fine).  On my older laptops with only 500 MBytes of RAM, I 
use Qupzilla on LXDE.  It's full featured, but doesn't need as much overhead 
as Firefox.

The other thing I noticed was how Firefox was not as innovative as the others.  
Firefox has tons of ad-ons that the others lack, but the basic feature set of 
Firefox was lacking.  Specifically, Firefox forces you to open new tabs in the 
"speed dial" mode, which I detest.  Almost all the others offered speed dial, 
but also offered to allow you to open new tabs in your home page.   Also, the 
others showed page loading progress bars that (as far as I can tell) Firefox 
does not.


Casey Bralla

Chief Nerd in Residence
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