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Linux Web Browsers Compared 432

Posted by michael
from the konqueror-rulez dept.
Rob Valliere writes: "The best Linux Web browsers have dramatically improved in the past few months: they are all stable, standards compliant and loaded with solid feature enhancements and additions. Using Red Hat 7.2 and the KDE desktop, the premier Linux browsers are Galeon 1.0.3, Mozilla 0.9.8 and Opera 6.0 TP3. The best Web downloads and installs were from Opera and Mozilla, which have minimal dependencies. Galeon is a small download but can be difficult to upgrade due to its Mozilla and GNOME dependencies."
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Linux Web Browsers Compared

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  • What about Konqueror (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Starving Artist (233866) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:24AM (#3090132)
    It rocks, except for a few JavaScript nasties.
    • by nick255 (139962) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:26AM (#3090154)
      And the version in KDE 3 betas is even better. It's the only Linux browser I know of which displays the ticker at the top of the BBC News website [bbc.co.uk] correctly. The others don't even try.
      • And the version in KDE 3 betas is even better. It's the only Linux browser I know of which displays the ticker at the top of the BBC News website [bbc.co.uk] correctly. The others don't even try.


        is that the browser's fault, or BBC's? it could easily be BBC's...

        • by Zathrus (232140) on Friday March 01, 2002 @01:08PM (#3091346) Homepage
          In a case where X displays on the majority of browsers, but does not display on browser Y the fault lies with Y, not X.

          This is how the world works. This is how TCP/IP has worked for 20 years (BSD was the standard - if you interfaced properly with BSD, you met the real world standard, since BSD varied from the "official" TCP standard in certain cases).

          For as much whinging as there is about IE, the fact is that it is now the defacto standard for webpage rendering. It's wise to fulfill the official W3C standard. It's smart to then go make sure things work like IE as much as possible (without the random security holes). Where the two contradict each other is the fun part... do you write to the official standard and hope MS fixes things, or do you write to the de facto standard because users don't give a crap about W3C - they just want to see the content.

          And, really, that's what it's about - the content. Being standards compliant means jack if you can't view 20% of the websites out there. I used to run Netscape 1.x-4.x, and then Opera 5.x on Windows. I finally gave up in frustration after too many sites either wouldn't display or hosed Opera. And after much bitching and moaning I started using IE. I'm not happy that I have to use it, but know what? I have to admit that surfing is now easier and more reliable than it was under either NS or Opera. And no, IE doesn't crash constantly anymore. It certainly does so less than either of the aforementioned browsers. Maybe the Linux versions are better about all of this - I don't have a spare box available currently to test with.

          I fully expect this to get modded down for no good reason. Oh well. It's only karma.
    • by RagManX (258563)
      Another vote for Konqueror. I can't get any version of Netscape to run stably on a system at work. Version 6 hangs on a few pages I need to access, while Version 4 segfaults on one X display when another instance is started using a different X server to display. We use a browser to view our IDS logs, and multiple users need to have access. Segfaulting on each new unique display instance makes that hard.

      Opera runs fine, but the display is not as good as Konqueror. I still use Lynx, but for what I use the browser at work, I have to have graphical. Looks like Konqueror is it for me.

      RagManX
    • and it is mentioned heavily in the article. Why don't you people read?
  • by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:25AM (#3090136) Homepage Journal
    What's the best Open Source browser that doesn't have mozilla dependencies? Konqueror? Or something I'm not aware of? I'd like something that can handle most html3 (nothing too crazy mind you) to embed to handle simple display stuff.
    • I was going to suggest Opera, but the fact that you specified Open Source cuts it out of the picture. If you are embedding it for commercial use, Konqueror is probably your best bet as far as licensing. Having worked at an embedded linux company that went with Opera, despite it's proprietary nature, I'm quite biased to it (it's what I use everywhere, everyday, so when I get the funds for a Zaurus, I'll be right at home).

      Anyway, Konqueror is next IMHO.

      -Pride
    • Best open source browser with no Mozilla dependencies? Well, Mozilla, of course! You can always install Mozilla, even if you don't have Mozilla installed already.

      Seriously, I've used most of the browsers out there, and the smoothest experience I've had continues to be Mozilla. It used to be that there were always one or two "gee, that's annoying" bugs for every release. But, since 0.9.6 or so, I've been a happy camper.

      Galeon tries to do a lot cool stuff, but falls down on reliability. I'm hoping their next generation comes on strong, gets stable and takes over my desktop, but for now....

      Konqueror is fine if you only run KDE, but loading the KDE and GNOME libraries really hurts, even on a beefy machine. That said, Evolution virtual mailboxes are even better than VM's (an EMACS-based mail reader), so I cannot possibly switch to KDE exclusively.

      Netscape 6.x is a nicely packaged installation of Mozilla (the best I've seen), but adds in too much junk and too many promotional tie-ins.

      Netscape 4.x was ok in it's day, but the Web is a different world now, and it's just not usable anymore.

      Lynx is my fallback, of course. Good, solid browser with just enough features to get me some google results ;-)
      • 1- Mozilla has no mozilla dependencies? Odd. I thought you had to have mozilla installed in order to run it. ;)

        2- Don't know what your description of a "beefy" machine is, but my Duron 900-off the shelf-Compaq with 300 odd megs of RAM is able to run Konqueror in gnome and Galeon in KDE without any problems or noticeable performance decrease. (This is KDE/Gnome with a theme applied, a .jpg file or four as the background, and multiple other applications running at the time.)

        3-Agreed on the issue of NS6. It's the only browser that has successfully locked/crashed/hung my computer on multiple occasions no matter the OS I'm running it in.

        4- Lynx is fun, but impractical to use too much due to the insanity of contemporary website designers.

        -Sara
    • by starseeker (141897) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:57AM (#3090425) Homepage
      You might take a look at Dillo (http://dillo.sf.net) - it is small, fast, doesn't depend on mozilla, and generally makes a good fast browser. It is under development, but even so for what you describe it should work fine.
    • If what you're searching is an OS HTML rendering engine, you should have a look at TkHtml [hwaci.com]. Altough it's written as a Tk widget, it shouldn't be too difficult to port it to another language since its written in C.
    • Dilo [sourceforge.net] if you don't mind imperfect rendering (doesn't do frames yet).

      If you don't mind having a text only interface, Lynx [isc.org] and Links [mff.cuni.cz] are both good and surprisingly functional.

      Of course fast does not necessarily imply best but it's a welcome addition.
  • Let's hope.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:26AM (#3090148) Homepage
    that now all the major Linux/Cross platform web browsers, and even IE 6 are paying attention to the W3C standards that we will all one day be choosing our browser based on what we like, rather than what web developers like
    • Re:Let's hope.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BurritoWarrior (90481) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:07PM (#3090496)
      Except this is exactly the point of Microsoft's .net initiative. To make the internet (or what most people think is the internet - www) not be HTTP based anymore, but to rely on proprietary extensions/applets/applications built around the .net framework.

      In their eyes 90% of the web will require IE in order for the "web services" to work. And they will leverage things like MS Office to get the ball rolling. No longer will new features be added directly to office, but will be available on the web - provided the user has Windows and is using IE...

      Mod this as flamebait if you want, but that certainly seems to me to be the direction they are heading. Heck, MS execs are even talking about how http's days are coming to an end...
      • proprietary extensions/applets/applications built around the .net framework.

        Isn't the .net framework an ECMA standard now?
        Isn't someone working on a free implementation [go-mono.org] of that standard?
        Are you calling it proprietary just because it comes from billy boy?

        No longer will new features be added directly to office, but will be available on the web - provided the user has Windows and is using IE...

        That sounds to me like it would primarily affect office users, not web surfers, and considering office's main platform is windows, so what if they use windows/ie for web-based updates/upgrades?

        Heck, MS execs are even talking about how http's days are coming to an end...

        You got a link to back that up?

        I'm not necessarily defending microsoft[1], just questioning the statements you present as fact.

        C-X C-S
        [1] Although I don't think they're any more evil than any other money-grubbing corporation.
        Media conglomerates [mpaa.org] and trade groups [riaa.org], now those scare me - they have hundreds of times more governmental influence than billy and friends will ever have.
        • Heck, MS execs are even talking about how http's days are coming to an end...

          You got a link to back that up?


          Try here [slashdot.org]

          What qualifies as a standard is highly debatable. The cli and description of C# have been passed by ECMA, for whatever that is worth, but that is a far cry from say, TCP/IP which is fully open and can be implemented on any platform.

          As for mono, there are other people working on office file formats so that they can be created/read/used on other platforms....that hardly makes them interoperable or cross-platform.

          If you think .net is MS's plan to be the good guy and support "open standards" so that developers can develop on whatever platform they want and users can use whatever platform they like...well, I sugges you take a long look at their history. Either that or give me a call so we can negotiate a price for this nice bridge in Brooklyn i have. :-)
    • I'll second and third that motion.

      I switched from Netscape 4.7x on Solaris to Mozilla 0.9.[i>6] on Linux a while back.

      I love the superior rendering speed, the nice interface, and the fact that it doesn't crash .

      But the RPITA is all the web servers on the corporate internal network that have JavaScript that uses less than latest W3C DOM specification.

      I'm hoping that there will be more convergence and less divergence between browsers as time moves forward, that if the many IE6 browsers work, then Mozilla will also work for that web site.

    • lynx
    • netcat with less
    • vi
    • emacs
    • ed
    • telnet
    Graphics is just for banner ads.
  • by nesneros (214571) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:27AM (#3090162) Homepage
    Having been (in the last year) through Konqueror, Galleon, Netscape (4.whatever), and Mozilla on a Mandrake box, I've found that Mozilla's the only one that consistantly displays pages correctly. The other 3 I found would often screw up font sizes and leave side bars unreadable.
    • Having been (in the last year) through Konqueror, Galleon, Netscape (4.whatever), and Mozilla on a Mandrake box, I've found that Mozilla's the only one that consistantly displays pages correctly. The other 3 I found would often screw up font sizes and leave side bars unreadable.

      Yes, but, seriously, how many of those pages were valid, standards conformant code? For a long time Konqueror was the only browser which displayed all the features of my home page (which is valid code) correctly. Now Mozilla has caught up, and I believe (though I haven't checked myself) later IE6's can display it too. But while Konqi has some deficiencies in its ECMAScript, it's HTML/CSS rendering are highly standards-conformant

      It's not the Konqi team's fault if 90% of the commercial 'Web designers' out there are blithering incompetents who could not write valid code to save their lives.

      • The mantra of the Internet (often explicitly stated by IETF people) has always been to be conservative (that is, strictly standard-conformant) in what you send, and be liberal (that is, try to tolerate deviations and do the right thing) in what you accept. By this principle if a standards-incorrect practice is widespread on the net, a decent, high-quality application has to deal with it (be liberal in what you accept), but professional web designers and tools that produce HTML should produce strictly conformant HTML (be conservative in what you send). The Konqueror team is not doing as good a job as its competition in living up to the first part of this principle, and if it can't catch up people are going to just stop using it. It won't suffice to point out that other people are writing incorrect HTML. After all, Slashdot's HTML is highly non-standard and CmdrTaco doesn't care. IE took off by putting in a lot of work to be bug-compatible with Netscape.

        Similarly, would you use a C or C++ compiler that always aborts when seeing the first minor syntax error? Such a compiler would greatly slow you down, because you'd only be able to find one error at a time.

        Given this, it is the Konqi team's fault if it can't do a decent job of rendering web pages that deviate from the standard. Cry all you want about incompetent Web designers, but someone who purports to provide a Web browser must deal with the web as it is.

        Consider that Slashdot itself does not follow the standards (try to validate a Slashdot page). Would you use a broswer that can't

  • by GSV NegotiableEthics (560121) <autecfmuk001@sneakemail.com> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:29AM (#3090176) Homepage
    Opera used to be my favorite browser, but I switched from that to Mozilla at around Christmas, simply because of one ad campaign that involved an animated gif of human head that waggled from left to right. It was so intrusive that I took to covering the ad area with a gnome-terminal, and looked around for another browser. I told the Opera people about my problems.

    Using X on a small laptop via a fairly powerful firewall machine, I eventually realised that I could run Mozilla on the firewall and put the display on the laptop. Although Mozilla is a rather bigger browser than Opera, it actually runs better in that mode than when I ran Opera on the laptop.

  • by 303 (21429)
    apt-get install galeon :)
    • I recently wiped RedHat off my system and installed Debian at home. Upgrading the system is easy and I don't have to worry about hunting a big batch of RPMs to resolve dependencies when I want to install something new. And I can use alien to put .RPM and binary .tar distributions into the package management system.

      The upshot of all that is I don't have to worry about dependencies or the difficulty of downloading and installing an app and I don't have to worry about keeping it current. That's a pretty big win in my book (I think RedHat has some auto-updater stuff available but I've never been able to locate any documentation about it.)

    • apt-get install galeon :)

      Debian rules for installing a new package.

      He additionally missed
      "Mouse cursor on image. Right click. Block all images from ad.soubleclick.net ?"

      Galeon's ability to customize completely acceptance of cookies and images from IP addresses is incredibly useful. With mozilla you cannot get there by right-clicking on the image (yet, I suspect). With konqueror you cannot either. You have to conditionally block images, and allow the ones you want. With galeon, any image site can be blocked with a single right click.

      You can also config so that pop-up windows automatically go to new tabs in the background.

      What an improvement in browsing !

  • by igiveup (267632)
    You do have to have Gnome and Mozilla installed, but I have not had any extra problems installing Galeon once those two are installed. I would like to see the Gecko rendering engine avaible as an individual library (if it already is, then forgive my ignorance).
  • Using mozilla (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mansoft (371174) <zouave@@@telefonica...net> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:30AM (#3090198) Homepage
    It's curious to see how netscape 4.x isn't even included in that group. Some years ago it was the only browser we could use to decently surf the web.

    I've been using mozilla since the M1x releases, and it has certainly improved its capabilities and stability. However I still find the interface too heavy. Perhaps galeon does it better, though.

    What I still miss in mozilla (now using 0.9.8) is acceptable support for java and flash. When both plugins are installed they give me so many problems that I end up by uninstalling them.

  • I'll go with Opera (Score:4, Informative)

    by Uttles (324447) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selttu}> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:33AM (#3090213) Homepage Journal
    I'm using it on both a Windoze and Linux platform and I have to say that it is extremely fast, just like the slogan says. The program just feels lightweight the way it pops right up and "loads" all your pages instantly (ok so they're not always refreshed, but hey). Anyway, be sure to install the java lib with it under windows or you may have some problems there (at least I do sometimes) but under linux it doesn't seem to matter.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Be prepared for Opera to just disappear (crash) sometimes.

      Also, sometimes when downloading, it will lock up.

      It is fast though. Fast to load and fast to use. I hate that tab completion doesn't work in the URL line though. That alone is enough to not make me use it (although the crashing for no reason doesn't help).

      The somewhat portly Mozilla seems to be the best at this point.
    • by DrSpin (524593)
      I am using Opera 6.0 on FreeBSD and its very good. Shame the mail facility doesnt work though - I could get most of the family to switch to *BSD from Windows if it did!

      I like "open in background" and the "mouse gestures".

      I'd register if it was Native FreeBSD, but its actually the Linux one in compatibilty mode.

  • I'm using Mozilla now, but I love the sheer speed of both Opera and Galeon. I'm using Mdk 8.1 on this machine, and upgrading galeon is something I fear. Last time it took me about an hour to fix png.h errors. I had to go BACK certain lib versions and go back a libpng version. I have my system set up PERFECTLY. So I dont want to upgrade Galeon. I'm afraid If I upgrade Mozilla, it'll break galeon too!
  • KDE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asv108 (141455) <alex@[ ]taudio.org ['pha' in gap]> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:36AM (#3090243) Homepage Journal
    So basically this guy had a grudge against Konqueror because he had trouble upgrading KDE. I wouldn't call this a very objective or informative review. The other weakness he cites with Konqueror is lack of features, but most people don't even use the latest "bells and whistles" offered with a new browser build. Usually those "Features" turn out to be annoyances like sidebars.
    • I am not much of a GNOME user, for some reason or another I always find that I can make KDE run faster and I know exactly how to configure it to match my taste.

      But a week or two ago I decided to upgrade the GNOME in my machine to give it another try. So I launched Red Carpet, subscribed to the Ximian channel, checked every checkbox and let it run. After a couple of unattended hours I had Gnome upgraded. KDE, on the other hand, requires a lot more work.I think that at this point, a piece of software of KDE's importance should really have a very visible and easy to use upgrade utility (as a sidenote, I am still using KDE. GNOME Ximian is good and pretty, but KDE is still better for me).

      As for the features, you may be right about some (like the sidebars, the first thing I make disappear every time I install Mozilla), but I feel that you should not generalize, either we would all be still using Lynx... Tabbed browsing, for instance, is something I can barely live without at this point. When I have to use IE I find it very annoying having to open a new window every time I need to see a new page.

      My two last complains about Mozilla are its loading time (an eternity under Linux compared to the same version in the same machine under Windows 2000) and the fact that I can't save a whole bunch of tabbed URLs under the same bookmark name. Once these are there, I would probably have found my browser forever.
      • But a week or two ago I decided to upgrade the GNOME in my machine to give it another try. So I launched Red Carpet, subscribed to the Ximian channel, checked every checkbox and let it run. After a couple of unattended hours I had Gnome upgraded. KDE, on the other hand, requires a lot more work.I think that at this point, a piece of software of KDE's importance should really have a very visible and easy to use upgrade utility

        A problem with the upgrade tools you have installed.

        I upgraded kde at christmas when I went home and used my parents cable modem. Took about an hour to pgrade my entire system (including KDE), to 2.2 something (IIRC).

        How you ask?
        "apt-get update; apt-get upgrade -y"

        But none of this malarky effects the browser. In most distributions (I believe redhat/suse etc have caught debian up), Installing software is up to the distro.
        • by Pac (9516)
          Mandrake 8.1 have not installed apt-get. I do not know if they don't carry it or just do not install it by default.

          And I was not really talking about the browser, but about KDE in general.

          I agree it should be up to the distro to upgrade the packages, and Mandrake has its own update tools, but I was really pointing to the fact that Red Carpet is the easiest tool I saw to date (it is rpm based, everything is automated and nicely GUIed).
          • apt-get is for debian and debian based systems, but its similar to red carpet.

            The point it none of it has anything to do with kde, and therefore shouldnt effect a review of a part of kde.
  • by tomRakewell (412572) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:37AM (#3090249)
    Since Mozilla 0.9.8 seems to keep crashing (0.9.6 seemed to me to be the peak of stability for the browser), I've been using Konqueror a lot more.

    It does make me miss good Mozilla things, like tabbed browsing. I've also run into a number of pages that Konqueror does not handle all that well, but I'm not sure if its due to standards violations in those pages or in Konqueror.

    I might be missing it, but I also can't find a way to do a text zoom in Konqueror!

    Konqueror seems to be as fast as Opera at rendering pages (but no in-gui ads!). And, for the paranoid, it handles cookie requests as well as... Lynx!

    And Konqueror doesn't have a ton of dependencies like Galeon or skipstone... (it just depends on the whole of KDE!)

    Best of all, Konqueror is *just* a web browser, which is something all the other browser projects should come to terms with. I am never going to use Mozilla's mail client, their news reader, or their HTML editor. In fact, the inclusion of these items tends to slow me down when I accidentally invoke them.

    Wouldn't these massive browser projects benefit greatly by focusing on only *one thing*, like making a nice, fast, stable, standards-compliant browser? Isn't that hard enough?

    Lately, when I build Mozilla, I choose not to build those components, which speeds up the build process nicely!
    • Ok, i use Galeon, so i will just comment my personal view...

      Since Mozilla 0.9.8 seems to keep crashing

      It's not crashing here (not once), i am using 0.9.7 though (0.9.6 had a bug with javascript and couldn't play yahoo chess :))

      I've also run into a number of pages that Konqueror does not handle all that well...

      That's the single most important problem with Konqueror imho. If i develop with Konqueror i will not know if it looks fine under Windows, so they wouldn't let me use Linux...(at work at least)

      ...but I'm not sure if its due to standards violations in those pages or in Konqueror.

      If things show well on IE, they will not fix the problem. That's a problem. The broser should try it's best to display non conforming HTML as other browers do (not Konquerors fault, but...).

      It does make me miss good Mozilla things, like tabbed browsing.

      Galeon has tabbed browsing before Mozilla (and i find it better than Mozillas built-in). Opera first implemented t.b. though.

      I might be missing it, but I also can't find a way to do a text zoom in Konqueror! Galeon has it...

      Konqueror, for the paranoid, it handles cookie requests as well as... Lynx!

      Cookies management in Galeon is the best i've seen so far. It really has and advanced and flexible cookies database.

      Best of all, Konqueror is *just* a web browser

      Same here :)
    • by kigrwik (462930) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:40PM (#3090926)
      Konqueror is *not* a web browser.

      kHTML is.

      Konqueror is a mostly empty shell that wraps around components that use the KPart architecture to display context-dependent widgets/menuitems, or kio_slaves that provide a filesystem-like display of stuffs.
      Konqueror technically has the ability of embedding mozilla through the kMozilla component.

      But then, you can also view DivX, PS, PDF (through KParts), browse an audio CD (and rip in .ogg or .wav with a simple drag n' drop (including freedb.org querying)), your POP3 account (possibly still in development) in Konqueror, and lots of other things (through KIO).

      Actually, Konqueror is what looks most like the good old Unix philosophy of small tools:
      "cat slashdot.org | kHTML | Konqueror"

      Besides, with anti-aliased fonts, it's truly gorgeous !

    • And, for the paranoid, it handles cookie requests as well as... Lynx!

      Actually, I think Konqueror is the best browser available for cookie handling. One major feature it has that all of the others (I've seen) lack is the ability to look at the cookie before deciding to accept/reject it. In particular I like to look at the expiration date, because cookies that don't last long don't bother me much.

      Looking at those expiration dates inspired me to hack my copy of Konqueror so that I can configure it to automatically accept any cookies of short duration (i.e. expiration not specified or specified to be within one day) on a per-site basis.

      The other thing I want to change but haven't gotten round to, is to give myself the option of rejecting cookies based on the origin server instead of the stated cookie domain.

      You might this this is a lot of bother, but I find that with a few such options in place I can both minimize the number of cookies that are tracking me and avoid having to deal with a lot of "Accept this cookie?" dialog boxes popping up all the time. The "accept short cookies" option was a huge win in achieving a nice balance.

      Oh, and yes I'm going to submit my patches, but they're pretty rough right now -- not something that any maintainer would accept.

    • If you do not want mozilla-mail or editors, just don't install them. It is that easy. All distributions AFAIK split them up into several packages.
      Besides. Konqueror is a file-manager as well as a browser, so it is certainly not "just a web browser".
      Personally I don't mind the integration, but facts are always nice.
    • Konqueror seems to be as fast as Opera at rendering pages (but no in-gui ads!)
      Well, I use Opera and I don't have any in-gui ads. I actually *gasp* paid for it. It's worth it.
      Best of all, Konqueror is *just* a web browser, which is something all the other browser projects should come to terms with.
      Well, when WWW browsers started out, they were intended to be a universal client to access http, ftp, gopher [scn.org], and wais [radix.net] servers. Some even included pop and smtp clients as well as nntp clients.

      While some (you presumably included) may consider a browser hanging onto the client ability for these protocols a burden, I consider it a useful feature. I like that my browser can still access gopher especially.
    • See the little magnifying glass on your toolbar with the (+)? The one with the "Increase Font Sizes" tooltip? Click that.

    • Best of all, Konqueror is *just* a web browser

      Then why am I able to use it to copy, rename, move, and delete files on my local system? Konquerer knows damn little about web browsing -- that's KHTML's job, which is simply embedded as a component in konquerer. Konquerer is a component-based generic browser, not just a web browser. It's what MS tried to do with its explorer integration, and actually didn't pull off -- the problem with IE on windows is that it's not integrated enough. If it were seamlessly integrated, it wouldn't rearrange menus ("hey, View:Folder Options just got moved to Tools:Internet Options!"), it would let me drag and drop multiple files from ftp onto the desktop, and developers would be able to write shell extensions that worked on URL's instead of targeting a completely different API. Now that XP has the Win2k kernel, and thus reparse points, maybe this will start to happen... Doubt it, they're still foisting drive letters on us even though they've outlived their usefulness.

      Back to the point, if you think konquerer is "just a web browser" when you're using it as such, then it's accomplished its goal of fooling you into believing that ;)
      • Actually, just as sort of a side note to this whole discussion, drive letters haven't quite "outlived their usefulness" yet. They're still needed, as long as people want to use DOS batch files without breaking anything.

        If it wasn't for the need for "backwards compatibility", then you wouldn't see drive letters in Windows by now. Unfortunately, MS never really spent time replacing the DOS batch file language with an updated/more powerful replacement and gave people a clear set of instructions for editing existing batch files to work under the new system.
  • by ihatelisp (529132) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:37AM (#3090252)

    Come on, the test only briefly mentioned about testing with graphics, CSS, and Javascript. Any modern browser can handle that so easily, it's not even worth testing.

    When car magzines do a car review, they floor the gas pedal to get the fastest 0-60mph time. They cut corners much faster than street driving speed to test the suspension and handling characteristics of the car. What I don't understand is, why does this browser review treat these browsers like babies? Throw in some DOM2/3, CSS2/3, bidi text, DHTML, and XHTML! Let the best engineered browser shine, instead of fixating on those performance numbers!

    • Edge [meyerweb.com].

      That sorts the men from the boys - CSS-wise anyway.
    • by pointwood (14018) <jramskov@@@gmail...com> on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:23PM (#3090666) Homepage

      That is not something you just do - that takes a lot of work I believe. However, here is a pretty good overview of the browsers support for the W3C recommendations: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ppk/js/index.html?/~ppk/js/b rowsers.html [xs4all.nl].

    • When car magzines do a car review, they floor the gas pedal to get the fastest 0-60mph time. They cut corners much faster than street driving speed to test the suspension and handling characteristics of the car. What I don't understand is, why does this browser review treat these browsers like babies?

      Well, car enthusiast magazines do that, but when I read reviews I'm more interested in issues that relate to my real-world driving: comfort, reliability, performance under normal conditions.

      Same thing for browsers -- I'm always reading how this or that browser doesn't work on half the sites the complainer visits. For the sites I read, Konqueror, Galeon and Mac IE all render fine. I'm more interested in how well browsers support the use that I actually make of them, not whether I can use them on some crazy-ass JavaScript site. Online banking is the hardest task I give my browser.

      Both types of review have their place.

  • by Dante'sPrayer (534726) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:41AM (#3090291)

    I found the hability of displaying images with a transparent background and smooth borders a big plus. Right now, the only browsers I know of fully supporting the alpha channel on .png images are Mozilla and Opera 6; Konqueror trims the borders of the image. I don't know if Galeon support png/alpha channel, but given that it uses the Mozilla renderer (Gecko) it maybe does.

    That is the biggest grip that I have about Konqueror; some effects on my home page display somewhat broken.

  • by ThinkingGuy (551764) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:42AM (#3090295) Homepage
    I surf a lot of pages in Japanese. While I've found Netscape sufficient for viewing Japanese (and other double-byte character set) language pages, I've often had trouble getting things like web forms to work (this is on the Linux version).
    One of my biggest disappointments with Opera (which I last tried out about a year ago) was its lack of support for far eastern languages. I hear this has been resolved in newer versions.
    BeOS's NetPositive actually worked the best for me as far as displaying and inputting Japanese.

    Anyway, it would be nice if more of these "browser comparison" articles included internationalization (i18n) along with "speed," "standards compliance," "ease of installation", etc. as one of the features tested.
  • by Admiral Llama (2826) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:43AM (#3090307)
    One area where IE simply trashes Netscape and Mozilla is rendering huge tables. I'm talking about the 1 meg of text variety. Has anyone tried putting the various browers through the paces on this kind of test?
    • One area where IE simply trashes Netscape and Mozilla is rendering huge tables. I'm talking about the 1 meg of text variety. Has anyone tried putting the various browers through the paces on this kind of test?

      If you've got 1 meg of text in a table, you've solved the wrong problem. That's more than a full-length novel.

  • Dependencies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tempest303 (259600) <jensknutson@RABB ... minus herbivore> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:44AM (#3090310) Homepage
    If one uses Ximian Gnome, keeping up with all those "horrible" dependencies is a snap. I understand why it can seem like a pain, but what does the reviewer want? STATIC builds of everything? Screw that. I'll just pop open Red Carpet and grab it all at once, thanks...
  • I recently switched from Netscape to Opera on my Windows platform, and I LOVE it. The tabbed windows, the ability to block pop-up windows, and the mouse gestures ROCK. So naturally I downloaded it for my Linux machine (Redhat 7.2). Snooze. I had to switch back to Mozilla in 5 minutes. The features just aren't there. I switched from Netscape 4.7.2, so I am used to not having a robust browser, but Opera on Linux just didn't do it for me. I do most of my browsing on Windows, because Opera on that platform is awesome. They really need to have the same features available in the Linux version.

    • What features are you referring to? All the features you mentioned are in Opera 6 for Linux (and others are even exclusive to the Linux version).

      I'm using my web browser 10 h a day (work & play), and for me there's simply *nothing* which even remotely compares to the usability and robustness of Opera (yes, I do have the whole bunch installed).
      It's the only program on Linux I ever bought a license for, and looking at the current selection, it likely will hold that position.

      Let's go through them:

      Konqueror: No tabbed browsing. Nuff said. I usually have about ten browser windows open ...

      Mozilla, Netscape & Galeon: I'm an editor in a webboard and that f*cking textarea input bug makes it hardly bearable to use it for that.
      It just shouldn't be that a browser in this day and age inserts text where *it* wants and not where *I* want.
      Cut and paste ... Need I say more? I *have* to use C-c and C-v? Even when cut & pasting from one tab to another? No thanks.

      And no browser I know compares to Opera when it comes to bookmark management, especially with the new search function in 6.0.
      My 2c

      b.
      • OK, looks like I need to make sure I have the latest version of Opera for Linux.

        Another thing I like about the mouse gestures in combination with tabbed windows is being able to open a link in another window in the background. (right click on link, move mouse down, up, release button). For reading /., this is great, as I can open up the stories I want to read in their own windows as I am browsing, then go back and read them.

    • Why do people like tabbed Windows?

      Is your window manager not managing Windows well enough?
      • Well, I don't believe it's a case of the window manager not working well enough, but it just not being the right tool for the job -- in Opera, I always have at least eight different pages open, sometimes upwards of a dozen. If these were all shown in the taskbar, the rest of my programs would be crowded into obscurity.

        Not to mention that Opera's one instance in the taskbar function kinda like a control for all of the tabs -- if I suddenly decide I want Opera minimized so I can do something on the desktop, I just click the minimize button. If I have eight pages open in a non-tabbed browser, though, that's eight times I have to click minimize.

        It also makes it very easy to close everything at once -- when I want to shut down a non-tabbed browser, I've got to close every window individually, while I can do it all at once in Opera.

        There's also one other thing I love about Opera that Mozilla can't do yet -- start up with multiple pages. Typically whenever I sit down at the computer, the first thing I'm going to do is quickly check those eight pages. As soon as Opera opens, it begins loading all of them, and I can switch through the tabs at my leisure. In every other browser I'm aware of, though, I have to load them one at a time. (While this is only a small saving grace on a high-bandwidth connection, think about how long you'd have to wait for each individual page to load on a modem...)
        • Well, I don't believe it's a case of the window manager not working well enough, but it just not being the right tool for the job -- in Opera, I always have at least eight different pages open, sometimes upwards of a dozen. If these were all shown in the taskbar, the rest of my programs would be crowded into obscurity.

          This means your window manager/taskbar is not doing its job properly.
          I just place my browsing windows in one desktop, and my taskbar in that desktop is equivalent to your browser tab. In other desktops, those windows are not visible.

          Not to mention that Opera's one instance in the taskbar function kinda like a control for all of the tabs -- if I suddenly decide I want Opera minimized so I can do something on the desktop, I just click the minimize button. If I have eight pages open in a non-tabbed browser, though, that's eight times I have to click minimize.

          Why don't you just switch desktops? Its at least as easy..

          It also makes it very easy to close everything at once -- when I want to shut down a non-tabbed browser, I've got to close every window individually, while I can do it all at once in Opera.

          This is an interesting function for window managers: Close all of current desktop's windows.
          This is a lack of functionality in all window managers, more than it is a good feature of a specific application.

          There's also one other thing I love about Opera that Mozilla can't do yet -- start up with multiple pages. Typically whenever I sit down at the computer, the first thing I'm going to do is quickly check those eight pages. As soon as Opera opens, it begins loading all of them, and I can switch through the tabs at my leisure. In every other browser I'm aware of, though, I have to load them one at a time. (While this is only a small saving grace on a high-bandwidth connection, think about how long you'd have to wait for each individual page to load on a modem...)

          Having a persistent environment of documents is an interesting feature, but its not really associated with tabbed browsing.

          I'm not sure, but wouldn't "Saving the session" in KDE re-load all the Konqueror windows in the same pages they were?

          What I mean to say here is, tabbed-windows is just an attempt to implement some features that really belong in your window manager, where all apps can enjoy them.

          In the Window manager, you can also associate documents/windows of any type and function together, rather than of one specific application.
  • by keithmoore (106078) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:45AM (#3090324) Homepage
    it's pure text-based, but it supports tables and a mouse (in xterm, anyway). and it's *fast*.

    no java, javascript, cookies, or any of that crap. so it's not good for everything, but when you just want fast access to stuff that is mostly text, or if you're trying to read a site that is too busy (maybe because it's slashdotted), it's a winner.

    http://artax.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~mikulas/links/

  • by TheViffer (128272) on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:50AM (#3090359)
    may not be the best, but with there latest security options, it makes live nice.

    Go into

    Edit>Preferences>Advanced>Scripts & Windows

    and uncheck "open unrequested windows"

    The pop-up nightmare has ended!

    Not saying other browsers cant do this, but if they can't, they will be real soon.

    Now I am just waiting for the "block these sites" style of entry which can be seeded by a downloaded file to block ad servers.

  • by Snowfox (34467) <snowfox&snowfox,net> on Friday March 01, 2002 @11:53AM (#3090390) Homepage
    The author stated that attempting to install Konqueror required that he install all of the KDE environment, and that it damaged his machine.

    Does Redhat not package the KDE environment in pieces? If not - why not?

    With other distributions, it's been possible to install Konqueror and just the base KDE libraries for quite a long time. You should be able to fit all that you need on a handful of floppies - not a tens-of-megs RPM as the author claims.

    • Does Redhat not package the KDE environment in pieces? If not - why not?

      We do. kdelibs+kdebase is enough to run Konqueror.
      We aren't splitting things up even more (like, maybe, splitting kcontrol off kdebase) mostly to keep a "ls *.rpm" tree you can bear to look at, and also to save translation cost for package descriptions.
  • New Opera (Score:2, Informative)

    by srichman (231122)
    the premier Linux browsers are Galeon 1.0.3, Mozilla 0.9.8 and Opera 6.0 TP3
    FYI, Technology Preview 3 is no longer the current version of Opera for Linux. They recently released 6.0 Beta 1 [opera.com].
  • missing pieces (Score:3, Interesting)

    by futuresheep (531366) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:00PM (#3090440) Journal
    What about 128-bit support for online transactions? Ease of installing plugins?
  • by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:01PM (#3090449) Homepage
    There was a linuxjournal article last month comparing many browsers and their ability to handle ssl, printing, etc. I don't think this is the same article (can anyone verify that?).

    Anyway, on to my flamebait of a title. Most geeks are developers of some sort, and need to see 'under the hood'. Yeah, you've got source code, but if you're a webmonkey, you need to see the source of the page you're one. That's usually not possible in Mozilla or Netscape if you've POSTed stuff. As much as I'd like to use Mozilla for everything all the time (once it speeds up just a bit more!) I can't - I have to use something else (IE, Konqueror, depending on platform). Why the heck isn't this fixed YET? I see we can get MathML builds, but something as basic as this STILL isn't addressed.

    "Go code it yourself" is an answer I feel coming on from someone, but you and I both know it's not a realistic solution. :)
    • by cjpez (148000)
      I've been using Mozilla since M18, and I've never had any problems viewing page source . . . Back then it wasn't colorized, but it worked. So what's broken?
      • When it's showing the result of many scripts that have been POSTed to, the source from 'view source' does not match up with what you're seeing on the screen.
        It's a known issue and has been for going on 2 years I think.
        • by cjpez (148000)
          Hm, interesting. I suppose I've just been lucky then. Ah, well. I still love you, Mozilla!
    • I agree whole heartedly. The problem seems to be that when you do view source that Moz reloads the page without the posted material... I can't understand why it doesn't just show what it just parsed like NS 4 does.

      Thats the sad thing. I still keep NS4 around, even though it renders like crap it can show me the full output of my CGI scripts, syntax highlighted and detection of some HTML errors.
  • I have but one question...

    Will ANY of these browsers render the Shacknews comments system (in threaded mode) correctly? There's no way I can use anything but IE so long as that's the only browser that Shacks correctly...

    Yes I realize it's as much a problem with the 'shack as it is with these browsers, but that makes no practical difference.
  • I've yet to be able to make a complete build of Mozilla, and the binaries don't seem to like my glibc versions. I suppose if one has the latest/greatest version of RH, Mozilla is fantastic. But shouldn't I be able to build Mozilla on any Linux platform (such as my heavily-modified SuSE box), given the prerequisite libs are present?

    There still seem to be serious issues with the Mozilla build tree for some of us. I realize for every one of me, there will be a you who sez "Hey, luser, Mozilla builds just fine for me." Thing here is that Mozilla should build fine for everyone.
  • Yes Konqueror is used as a webbrowser, but the renderer is called khtml. Konqueror is the pane that the different kparts embed into. It is possible, has been done, and isn't a bad idea to use mozilla inside of konqueror to render webpages (now there are some benchmarks I would like to see.)

  • The best damn browser is still Lynx, hands down! Why not live in the fast lane?
  • by pointwood (14018) <jramskov@@@gmail...com> on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:15PM (#3090550) Homepage

    As can be read in the KDE3 beta2 announcement, Konqueror in KDE3 should be a lot better than the KDE2 version. Here is the quote:

    "One of the major improvements brought by KDE 3.0 over KDE 2.2 is the Javascript/DHTML support in Konqueror," stated David Faure, a Konqueror and KOffice developer. "The DOM 2 model, used to render an HTML page, is now mostly implemented, and changes to the DOM tree are handled much better. The Javascript bindings and support is almost complete, faster and more stable than in KDE 2. These changes result in a much-improved rendering of dynamic websites and is something users will immediately appreciate."

    IIRC, the tabbed browsing feature is planned for KDE 3.1.

  • While I haven't tried too many different browsers, I like Konqueror just great!

    Most of all, I like its completely customizeable (?) cookie settings, so that I can choose to accept, deny, ask and remember those settings just about any damn way I please. Great for seeing who's asking for what when you visit their sites...
  • Here's mine (with Mozilla):

    Sometimes, when there are multiple "submit" buttons on a page, if I click one, it will submit a different one! It's a huge problem with one of the websites I visit regularly!

    The problem is new with 0.9.7 or 0.9.8. I went straight from 0.9.6 to 0.9.8, and have had problems every since then.

    Netscape 6.2.1 does not have this problem. Netscape 6.0 freaked me out so much, I thought I'd never come back, but 6.2.1 (which incorporates many mozilla features) works much better. Mozilla bugs (such as the wrong submit button, or double return when enter is pressed in a form) haven't carried over. I only miss the "block all images from this server" option!

    Netscape 6.2.1 people, here's a quick tip:
    If you don't like pop-up windows, install Mozilla, and change permissions for scripts (as others have suggested). Now exit Mozilla, and start up Netscape 6.2.1. The preference will carry over!
  • by John Goerzen (2781) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:30PM (#3090785) Homepage
    This review was done very poorly. First, he confuses problems with his distribution with problems with the browser. The fact that he either does not know how to use modern packaging tools or is unwilling to is not the fault of any browser. On Debian, installing all three is exactly this easy:

    apt-get install mozilla konqueror galeon

    Frankly, I don't care that the RedHat 7.2 KDE upgrade didn't work for him. How is that relevant to a web browser review? His immediate dismissal of Konqueror because of his own distribution is silly. Let's look at some more useful comparisons:

    Desktop environment integration is useful. If you're running Gnome, use a browser that is Gnome-based. If you're running KDE, use Konqueror. There is much utility in being able to drag URLs straight to your desktop or folders, to having a unified interface. One nice feature of Konqueror is its Web Archive Pages are just tar.gz files with a .war extension. Click on a .war file in any folder, and it'll pop up in the browser exactly as it was shown originally.

    JavaScript support. Mozilla/Galeon are doing quite well here. The Konqueror in KDE 2 has trouble with a lot of site's more complex JavaScript code. Rumor has it that the Konq in KDE 3 will be a lot better; they've apparently rewritten the JavaScript engine. I use Konqueror mainly, but fall back to Netscape for some of these sites.

    Crypto. All of them support SSL. How configurable are they regarding sites with self-signed certs? They'll all do OK in that situation. Konqueror has an added feature where you can pick exactly which ciphers you'll allow it to speak, and refuse to allow it to speak the insecure ones.

    Search engine integration. This is a great feature of Mozilla/Galeon that is missing from Konqueror. Basically, it'll realize when you've done a search at a popular place and put the results in a little box for you. No more "Back" button clicking to check out the other hits, or dealing with multiple open windows.

    Browsing experience. Konqueror has a nice feature to block JavaScript popups entirely or ask you before running them. This is a great way to get rid of those annoying pop-up or pop-behind ads without completely disabling JavaScript. Konq also has a user agent configurator. This tells Konqueror to lie about its identity to certain sites that refuse access if they detect you're not running Netscape or IE. It lets Konqueror work very well with a number of sites like that.

    Stability. All these browsers crash sometimes. They seem to have different crash cases -- most of them relating to complex JavaScript. Sometimes Konq takes quite a long time to render pages with lots of graphics or lots of javascript (the "sell this item" page on Ebay is just such a place.)

    Printing. Printing from Konq is a pain -- it always want to print things really tiny. I use Mozilla for printing webpages.

    So, look at what's important for you. If you don't use Gnome or KDE, then desktop integration is going to be irrelevant. There's no "one size fits all" browser, and don't let this article scare you. Installing a browser is easy in any modern distro.

    • This review was done very poorly. First, he confuses problems with his distribution with problems with the browser. The fact that he either does not know how to use modern packaging tools or is unwilling to is not the fault of any browser. On Debian, installing all three is exactly this easy: apt-get install mozilla konqueror galeon Frankly, I don't care that the RedHat 7.2 KDE upgrade didn't work for him. How is that relevant to a web browser review? His immediate dismissal of Konqueror because of his own distribution is silly.
      Oh sure, the developers shouldn't be at all concerned with whether or not their users can actually install the software! No, they should just leave that to someone else to figure out.

      Just because the installation went smoothly for you doesn't mean it will for everyone under all circumstances. Even those running debian with the method you described. Too many things can go wrong and apparently in the authors case something did.
      • No, installing, upgrading, and uninstalling applications is a distributions concern. If KDE is easily installed on Debian, but not some other distro X... then distro X has some work to do. Should the KDE developers really worry about every distribution out there? What about Redhat, what about Debian, what about Gentoo, what about Slackware, etc, etc, etc...

        What about the BSDs (there ain't just one ya know)?

        What about the Solarises (similarly)?

        Yeah, this could go on forever! Maybe you are starting to get the point?

        Distributions do have a purpose you know, and its not just to shrink wrap CDs of Linux software and sell them. Their purpose is to bring various pieces of software together into one coherent system, usually called an operating system. If such concerns are the KDE developer's, then what the hell are distros for?

        It just seems like another case of people that have only used Redhat Linux, as opposed to using many other *nixes... Redhat != Linux. There are better ways to do certain things.
  • by AirP (99063) on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:47PM (#3091023)
    Opera has a few features that I think that sets it apart from the other browsers(I may be wrong though...). Mouse Gestures... I sometimes get tired of having to go hit the back button, the forward button and so on and so on... I can hold the Right Mouse Button and then hit the Left Button and I go back, I do the opposite to go forward. I can go over a link, right click and pull downward and it opens the link in a new window. The Bookmark Shortcuts... You can give a bookmark a shortcut name so now, instead of going into bookmarks, you could just put your shortcut name for the url. These are 2 features I'm amazed that no one else has done yet and something that I think sets Opera apart from the rest.
  • Hrm (Score:2, Informative)

    by Etriaph (16235)
    Ok, I don't want to get upset and this guy did do a decent comparison, but I have to argue with his evaluation of Konqueror. He talked about some problems/bugs in Konqueror under the RedHat 7.2 install. I totally agree with him, RedHat packaged it wrong. The KDE 2.2.1 RPMs for RedHat 7.2 (and even the updated 2.2.2 RPMs for 7.2) had problems. KHTML would just crash now and again (well, kio_http) for whatever reason. So I went and compiled KDE 2.2.2 on my system, and it's fine. Konqueror is perfectly normal. I have run tests on my own PIII 800EB w/256MB of RAM and have noticed something significant: Galeon does not run *faster* than Konqueror. I'm not sure how other people are getting this result.

    Granted, Galeon is light years ahead of Mozilla in speed (Mozilla is after all based on the Netscape browser that everyone loves to hate) but it's not faster than Konqueror. I don't even want to think about how fast Konq/KHTML will be under 3.0 which is due in a couple of weeks. Another thing that bugs me is he went to all the trouble to download a copy of everything else but didn't even think to get a recent version of Konqueror. I'm not sure if his comparison was very objective.

  • Advantages (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fdsa (78632)
    I find it really hard to decide on which browser to use, most having a feature that I don't really want to live without:
    • Konqueror: I really love the "web shortcuts". For instance, entering imdb:brazil in the location bar will directly search imdb for brazil for me.
    • Opera: Speed. And, of course, mouse gestures. Very nice. And speed.
    • Galeon: Tabbed browsing. And it has a very fast, reduced feel to it.


    Mozilla is missing here, although it really shouldn't be. After all, no Galeon without Mozilla. So what's it killer feature?


    And if anybody can tell me how to do the "web shortcuts" with galeon, I'd be very grateful.

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday March 01, 2002 @01:58PM (#3091928)
    Despite what people say about Konqueror, you haven't really made it in the open source browser world until you have a fork like Pornzilla [netscape.com] that's truly devoted to surfing the forgotten 20% of the traffic on the internet.
  • by anti11es (167289) on Friday March 01, 2002 @06:25PM (#3094574)
    I've been using Opera since the 3.x days, back when it was only offered on Windows. Now it is my main browser for linux, and it works for 95% of the sites that I visit. Opera is one of the very few programs I'm willing to pay money for, in fact I am grateful that they actually made the effort to port their browser to so many different platforms.

    Three are a few things I just can't live without in a browser now:
    1. Mouse gesters. Once you learn them you will *NEVER* go back. In fact, whenever I'm using one of those other browsers I end up trying the mouse gesters (which of course does nothing).
    2. Tabbed windows (I know most of the browsers offer this now, but Opera has always had it).
    3. All those cool search boxes/quick links you can customize and put into your personal bar.
    4. The main search box (deafaul google of course but it can be anything you want).

    I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch. My only gripe is that Opera sometimes crashes, although the newest version 6.0 B1 hasn't crashed on me once yet (although it has only been released a few days ago).

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