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Alternative Browser Review 164

alfredo_tomato writes: "I would have liked to seen a larger selection, but here are three browsers reviewed: You'd be surprized at who came out on top. The ugliest of the lot won."
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Alternative Browser Review

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  • Cool. I guess it would probably be fast on my K6-2/350 as well, huh? Maybe I'd buy it... but I think It'd be weird paying money for software. That's so early 90's.

    I have to say, Mozilla is starting to feel more solid these days. I download a nightly build at least once a week just to see how things are going. If the last few I've downloaded are any indication, the final product is going to rock when it finally ships... I just hope its not too much longer.

    In addition to my Linux box, I have an NT 4 machine with IE 5.5, and I can say that it provides a 10x better browsing experience than NS4.7 on Linux. Faster rendering, quicker page load times, decent features, and almost rock solid stability, with a huge footprint. This is what I compare the Mozilla builds to, and I would say that they are catching up, and that they are definitely going to give IE some competition sooner or later. They will also go a long way to making Linux a viable desktop platform.

    I really should be sleeping right now.

  • The more configuration options, the better.

    Yeah, you are absolutely right, and I am not denying this. It may well be a cool product.
    I'm just wondering why they think this highly customizable product is cool, while they often say Linux isn't.

    By the way, I haven't used it myself (don't own a Mac :), so I can't judge whether it 'rules' or 'sucks' for myself. So please don't misunderstand me, I didn't say it sucked because it is customizable!

  • I wrote a letter to these freaks of nature. God what morons. I use capalert everyday for my home viewing decisions, just not necessarily the way nature intended.
  • Opera and IE both pay very close attention to more recent standards - HTML 4.0 and CSS come to mind.

    Netscape very definitely *does not*.

    Netscape had minor issues back in the days of HTML 3.2, but they were nothing compared to IE's problems. But nowadays on the web, when more and more people are trying to get closer and closer to standards, Netscape 4.x is getting more and more revealed as the hack piece of crap it's become.

    If a site doesn't work in Netscape, then 99 times out of 100 it's because of Netscape being broken, not the site.

    (Take a look at s/died/article.txt [] for a brief little anecdote by one of the founders of the WaSP [] about Netscape's troubles...)

    -Jo Hunter

  • Oh, but you can load images in lynx. Here's the
    example from /etc/lynx.cfg file:
    VIEWER:image/jpeg:display %s&:XWINDOWS

    display is a viewer that comes with imagemagick.. there's an alternative - xli and zgv - for console. If there's no link for an image, you should hit '*' which reloads page with links for all inline images. Then, you just click on a link and the image will download and display. On a 28.8, this is the best way - i don't *want* to see 99% of images on webpages.
  • >I forgot to say that Opera on Linux is the only
    >browser that manages to max out my puny 56K modem

    Communicator 4.73 seems to say "hello" to every single incoming byte with knetload showing funny mountains and (mostly) valleys with an occasional blackout. But every other version I tried crashes on this computer when closing a browser window! Sigh.

    I'm really looking forward to a non-alpha/beta version of Opera, my browser of choice when I was still using Windows. Mozilla is like the Amiga. It will be famous in the future. Maybe...

    However, at least konqueror looks promising. Lets hope we can get rid of this Netscape-Beast soon.

    Hmm... got a bit off-topic. I just wanted to take this occation to ask if somebody propably has a solution for the mentioned Communicator-"Feature".
  • Pretty skimpy review. And I know that they got a few things wrong about iCab, and I gather from the posts below Opera, as well. Others have mentioned the skins for iCabÕs god-awful basic interface, the cookie management, and that it is still beta. But, I want to add that I think that iCab is pretty damn fast. I havenÕt used another fully-graphcal browser in six months, but I remember when I first tried iCab I noticed that it was much faster than Communicator.

    iCabÕs Java support is getting better, and frankly, any page that it canÕt render is too busy anyway. One of the first things I did when I got my new Mac last December was delete IE and Outlook. IÕve kept a stuffed copy of Navigator on my hard drive just in case iCab fails me on a site I really need to read. But I havenÕt had to unpack it yet. Thanks to iCab IÕve been able to keep my computer completely Microsoft-free.

    I think the best thing about iCab is the image-filtering. Now my browsing isnÕt slowed down by advertising that I donÕt want to see, but I still get the images that are part of a pageÕs content. Guess itÕs time to come up with another business model, dot-commies. The net will never be the cybermall that you want it to be.

    I have no idea why anyone would want an email program integrated into their browser. iCab has a bare-bones send-only e-mail feature in case you click on an email link, but you can also configure it to open your default email program. I think that itÕs too bad that Opera may be going down the bloatware path by adding an fuller email client. Perhaps they could make that optional.

    Lately IÕve begun to use the very simple, text-only browser for Mac called Wannabe. Damn this thing is fast. Pages render instantaneously. IÕve begun using it for times (getting more frequent) when IÕm just looking for information on the net and pictures are superfluous. If I come upon a page that has graphics that I want to see Wannabe has a feature that will open it in the browser of your choice available in a menu.

    IÕll gladly pay the $30 dollars for the final release version of iCab. But IÕm curious to try Opera for Mac, as well.
  • You'd be surprized at who came out on top. The ugliest of the lot won.

    Well, iCab [] may be ugly, but it's still in beta! Sheesh.

    It's been my default browser for a while -- it's great being able to set which sites can use JavaScript and can open new windows, and filtering ads, and all sorts of nifty stuff.


  • Oops - make that "Flash, Director, QuickTime".
  • I use iCab as my main browser (and i have managed to convince several other people to do likewise). It is what a browser should be, no extra crap like mail and news, and that is what makes it small and svelte. (not that a mail client needs, or even should be, all that large).

    The article failed to mention that iCab lets you filter java applets and javascript in mostly the same ways that you can filter images. It also has a built in html checker which is really neat, if the page is "correct", it has a little smily face, if there are errors, there is a frouney face which you can click on to get a list of errors. Double click on one of the errors to highlight the relivent section of the source.

    If you make a page that makes iCab smile, (like mine []) iCab will put a link to it from their site [] if you email them about it.
  • The C|Net ad server as usual. This article is a whole lot of nothing. A skin vs. a browser, hold me back.
  • I'm not sure where they got the "slow" part. I've personally found it's much faster than Netscape ever was, especially since you don't have to wait for images to load for you to see the text/links, and you don't have to reload the whole damn page every time you resize the window.

    Mostly, CNet is full of crap, as usual.
  • If you're still using lynx, you're really missing out.
    I like w3m, but I still use lynx for most of my browsing. W3m supports tables, and tables are mostly abused on the web. For example, when reading slashdot I'm not interested in the "design" of the page - I just want the content. If I use w3m, there are wasted margins on the side of the terminal caused by the table layout. Also, w3m doesn't display the page until it's completely downloaded. Lynx let's you start reading (and scrolling) when only a small part of the page is downloaded.

    I use w3m mainly for and ebay. These are sites that actually used tables for tabular information, rather than "graphic design" wankery.

  • Another interesting issue is the "sponsor links" at the bottom of the page... there is an advertisement for the neoplanet product, clear as day. Hmmmm.

    Makes ya think don't it?

  • I hope that browser market will grow ... to many people say that their pages don't work in such and such browser. It *could* be errors in the browser itself, but more likely, its errors in the coding. If multiple, quality browsers finally chip away at MSIE's lead, maybe folks who create WYSIWYG editors and people who use them will modify their behavior to fit the standards. Dreamweaver is cool, and fast, I admit, but it doesn't create pages that can be easily maintained or trusted to view as they should.

    Maybe, if these indie browsers finally catch up in quality, so will the Web designers.
  • When I do webpage creation, Opera's the ideal test browser: it renders *to spec* much more thoroughly than any other browser. The developers are extremely intent on creating compliancy with HTML 4, CSS 1 and 2, WAP and supporting XML with CSS. Opera is the standard by which all other render engines can be compared.

    If opera is the only browser that renders your code correctly, what good is designing for it?
  • ... it's hard to really evaluate a software product after a short time of using it as it seems that this reviewer even spent less time than that ...

    when i first downloaded opera (ver 3.5x i believe ...) i found it klunky and was not used to the their interface ... i tried it again at ver 3.62 and gave it the whole 30 days after first printing out the keyboard hotkey reference and briefly perusing it ... i haven't looked back since - the only time i use ns or ms ie is when building sites to see how html looks on all 3 comparitively (ns blows ...) ...

    it will never catch on ... i pimp it all the time but while ms gives theirs away for free, no matter how spectacular a "alternative" browser is in terms of features, options, reliability, and speed ... not many are going to venture to explore that option ...


  • It's that little smiley face in the upper right corner of the browser window. It smiles when a webpage is well formed and fully standards compliant, and it frowns for the vast majority of the web which isn't. If you go to their partial list of pages with a smile [], you'll find that slashdot isn't listed. And with good reason: "Altogether 1765 errors found. Only 25 errors are listed below", is the first line of its status report.
  • So the second set of tables are pictures showing how it should look, right? Is that page in esperanto??

    Latin A displays characters everywhere, but most of them are wrong.
    Latin B is mostly "?" and a few incorrect characters.

    This is on an iCab 2.1, with no i18n settings tweaked (if there are any), running on a standard US MacOS 8.6.
  • They seem to have missed Netscape. :P

    No, I'm serious. It really is somewhat an "other" browser today. I see more and more sites that work correctly with Opera and Exploder but not Netscape. (Oh yeah, Mozilla rocks. I'm talking about Netscape here.)


  • To propogate the myth that the only reasonable choice of browsers is between NS and IE, they toss up a poorly designed (even for cnet standards) review of a butt-ugly browser that's just a wrapper for IE anyways, a browser that's actually a real alternative and has been highly praised, so they lambast it by making a huge issue of its price. And then they actually "recommend" a browser that none of their Windows-using readers could use even if they wanted. (As if any of them know how to find BasiliskII, much less the necessary Macintosh ROM needed to use it.)

    In other words, the review is anti-Opera FUD.
  • Heh, does anyone still use Mosaic []? I keep copies of that and Netscape 1.1 and Netscape 2.02 around just for fun (and testing web pages), and I still use Netscape 3.04 for most things myself (it's what I'm in now), because there are a few key aspects of its interface I prefer to Netscape 4. I fire up that and Mozilla or galeon for testing pages that use stylesheets.

    And what about lynx? Sometimes when I'm at home and want to read a bit /. story I'll use lynx, so only the bits I actually view get transferred over my slow modem.

  • Hey,

    Incompetent fools?

    No, there was mac software in there too, not just Windows.


    ...another comment from Michael Tandy.

  • For some reason, they claim that Opera requires 200MB of hard drive space to install. What?! Oh yeah, and according to the screenshot [], they were using Beta 3 of Opera 4.0. Since then, and it was a long time ago, five new versions have been released, and they have gotten way better since Beta 3.

    Methinks they wrote this a long time ago and were just saving it for the right time...


  • Uh, "Interesting"? Perhaps "Flamebait" but why is the parent moderated up to "Interesting"?
  • If opera is the only browser that renders your code correctly, what good is designing for it?

    i think that the point is that opera adheres more closely to the W3C CSS and DOM specifications, that it is the common denominator when trying to use it - it is where the other browsers are going to go ...

  • You know if you get a copy of Visual Basic 6 with the IE browser control you too can make an Alternative Pretty face browser. :-)

  • Yeah, I know they did, but it doesn't stop the fact that they call it an "Alternative Browser Review". The Neoplanet dig was based mainly at all the no-clues who you hear referring to it as a browser. The dig at the article was the uselessness of it.
  • Everybody seems to be talking about iCab's customizability, so I guess I'm gonna assume that you are too. This does *not* hinder its performance or ability to be a great browser. It's not necessary to spend even one second of time "under the hood" if you don't want. They give you the *ability*, tho, which I am always very happy about. There are some of the coolest features in iCab, and no other browser I've ever seen has them. Anyway, my point is that iCab isn't the least bit difficult to use. I use it almost exclusively, except when I need things it doesn't have. (Btw what were those reviewers smoking, talking about it being slow? It blows the pants off of any other browser for the Mac..)

    . ._ _ .__. ___ ___ ._ _. _.. _. .. .

  • First off, I have IE5, NetScape 4.7, and iCab 2.1a on my Mac. I have them all, yes.

    What do I use? iCab. Without Question. Unless i have to use Java for some reason, then I use IE5. I really need to de-install NetScape.
    I use iCab for one reason. BLINDING SPEED. It just works faster, and is really more compliant than any other browsers I've seen. Call my nuts, but I like the little thing. As for the ugly comments, C-Net must not have seent he 20 or so skins on the download page along with it. Grab what you like! I'm running and Aqua skin right now.

    And on another note, they used a negative for iCab as "only on the Mac." Well, do they mention negatives like, "only on the PC." Hell no! Once Again, C-Net throws us a bone, and then promptly trips over it. Not everyone is a Win/PC user.
  • Konqueror does indeed have JavaScript support now. You have to explicitly enable it in the options, similar to iCab. You can enable/disable JavaScript on a site-by-site basis, or just turn it on for all or no sites as well.

    - Joe

  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @06:54AM (#809613) Homepage
    Password management sounds to me like nice words for "completely loss of security." The only places I've encountered that require password entry repeatedly are exactly those places you don't want to be automatically logged in: banks and e-stores. Everyone else tosses cookies at me, auto-logging me into Slashdot, NYT, etc.

    Opera isn't strictly for old metal. I run a K62-400 with 96Mb and an ADSL connect. Opera is my exclusive browser.

    Why? Because it's fast. It has superb keyboard controls, which makes me faster.

    It has excellent cookie management, which makes me feel better.

    It lets me toggle in User CSS overrides, which makes it a *lot* easier to read poorly-designed webpages.

    When I do webpage creation, Opera's the ideal test browser: it renders *to spec* much more thoroughly than any other browser. The developers are extremely intent on creating compliancy with HTML 4, CSS 1 and 2, WAP and supporting XML with CSS. Opera is the standard by which all other render engines can be compared.

    I like its print preview, and ability to shrink the render so that I can save a page when the last page has widows on it.

    It's got great bookmarking.

    And I really like the MDI interface. Other than my daily cruise through the newsites, my main use of the web is as a research tool. I'll have my wordprocessing or pagelayout tools up and running... and Opera, doing searches for terms, ideas, clarification, etc. Instead of having to deal with dozens of application windows, I have only one or two. Opera's internal window tabs make it brainless to jump between web windows.

    Best of all, though, is the responsiveness of the Opera programmers. They really care about their product, and they really do respond to suggestions and questions. They're worth paying, because they really do have my best interests at heart: they want my feedback so they can make the software work better for me.

    That's way better than the response I've had from any other software company, and quite a few freeware authors...

    [FOOTNOTE: Biggest challenge to using Opera is getting over one's paradigms. When you're so used to the way Browser X works, it's very difficult to accept any other UI. As a fellow who's used MSIE, NS and Opera all, I say Opera's GUI is rough around the edges, but its keyboard controls are the best, bar none... and the keyboard is now where I spend my browsing time. It's worth getting over the hurdle...]

  • Enigma Homepage []

    For M$ anyway - fast & small - kills popups - hardly any features to speak of.....

    Using it now.


  • Er, disable automatic window creation, and you've disabled the vast majority of pop-up ads. Like they were ever a feature to begin with!

    You pay money, because it saves you money. At least, that's how it works for me: Opera's keyboard controls and support for helping me maximize my efficiency on the web, means that I can spend more of my time doing the work that earns me money.

    It only needs to save me twenty minutes to recoup the costs...

  • Opera supports ECMAScript, which is the standardized Javascript. NS and MSIE being the businesses they are, got into a pissing contest over scripting and worked hard to break it for each other. ECMAScript is an attempt to create a reconciliation.

    Anyway, my suggestion for you is to submit bug reports to Opera. Describe the incorrect behaviour, describe the correct behaviour, attach sample code and try to determine exactly which statement(s) are causing the issues.

    Opera is an unusually responsive company. They're appreciative of feedback and work hard to fix bugs.

    If you're in America, you'll want to use Opera anyway, just to test your CSS 1/2 and HTML coding, both of which can go a long way toward making your pages accessible to the disabled, as required by law (for businesses, not personal pages).

  • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @12:48AM (#809617)
    Opera doesn't actually have its own JVM; however, the downloadable versions for Windows come with a JVM from Sun, in the same download and as part of the same install sequence.

    As for the cost - Opera is particularly good on older hardware (my mother used it on a 486SX/25 with 8 MB RAM and Windows 3.1 for quite a while, and it was a lot better than Netscape, and I used to use it on a slow P200 laptop). So if you can pay $30 to avoid a hardware upgrade, you are way ahead financially.

    Opera is missing a few features such as password management, etc, but its speed and ability to turn off images with one click is enough for me. I'll be registering the Linux version as soon as it gets out of alpha/beta, as it is stunningly fast on my AMD K6-2/350 as well.
  • #telnet mailserver 110
    Trying Connected to localhost.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    +OK QPOP (version 2.x) at vr1-workhorse1 starting.
    user james
    +OK Password required for james.
    pass *******
    +OK james has 7 messages (396563 octets).
    +OK 7 messages (396563 octets)
    1 3042
    2 3712
    3 2371
    4 2708
    5 3443
    6 26040000
    7 2619
    dele 6
    +OK Message 6 has been deleted.
    +OK Pop server at vr1-workhorse1 signing off.
    Connection closed by foreign host.

  • What about the line mode [] web browser?!??

    Who needs silly crap like images, tables and frames!


  • From the CNET Recommends [] page, they prefer iCab for the Mac. Honestly, I'd never heard of it, being too lazy to follow the "indie browsers". So I peeked at their synopsis [] of thier review [], and found:
    The good: Small, 1.3MB download; offers lots of speed and convenience configuration options; filters out ads.
    The bad: Makes plug-in and JavaScript installation difficult; somewhat slow; runs only on a Mac.

    WTF? It offers lots of speed while being somewhat slow? Is there some kind of new slang going on here?

    If you're not wasted, the day is.

  • by rm -rf /etc/* ( 20237 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @07:09AM (#809621) Homepage

    If you do webdesign on a mac, and you're good, you use IE on mac/pc/unix, Netscape on Mac/PC/Unix, Opera on PC/Unix, lynx, iCab, Mozilla, etc etc. That's right, you make damn sure your site works in any browser.

    I'll admit IE5 on the mac is a damn fine browser, however the problem I've had is that while the rendering is blazingly fast, the app itself is not. So, pages draw very quickly, but if you're doing say 5 window browsing, the time it takes for windows to activate and for the app to respond to buttons, etc get's annoying. iCab is still my main mac browser, it doesn't render as fast as IE5 but overall the app has better response speed and I prefer the interface, not to mention the image filtering and per site javascript permissions.
  • by Idaho ( 12907 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @12:51AM (#809622)
    From the CNet Article:
    You'll spend a lot of time under iCab's hood--well, in the Preferences menu--in order to get it working the way you want. For example, you have to turn on InScript, which is iCab's partial implementation of JavaScript, because it's not enabled by default. But all that tinkering is actually the browser's strong suit: you can configure an impressive array of features, including our favorite feature, iCab's image filtering.

    So, they think it is cool because it is 'highly customizable', even though it'll cost you quite some time to set it up (e.g. you have to turn javascript on by yourself etc.)
    Wait a minute, isn't that just the reason people always complain about 'Linux not being ready for the Big Market'???

    So I don't understand why they like this product, while 'Linux still isn't there, blah blah yadda yadda'

  • First off, let me express my unhappiness with that site layout. There was no "normal" link to the other 2 browser reviews. You had to cick on the item in the right side frame. The design of that was VERY poor. As for the reviews. They gave opera a 6? I do not use Opera very often but we all know it is one of the fastest browers out there. This was supposed to be an article about "alternative" browsers and then they start complaining about some of the features and options not availible. I would expect that a very small, very fast "BROWSER" (not a suite like netscape) would have a few less features. They rated NeoPlanet the same. How could they even think about that. Neo Planet is just a big bloated skin for a browser. If you have ever used it before you know what I am talking about. It is nothing but eye candy. I think they should have done a MUCH better job all around!
  • As usual not a single word about i18n. Of the two browsers mentioned in the test (Neoplanet is not a browser, it's just a skin) none has any i18n support worth mentioning (if I'm wrong about iCab, please correct me). Both big browsers have excellent or at least half decent i18 support, and the up-coming Mozilla has brilliant i18n support.

    i18n, and especially Unicode, is a must these days. Unicode is not a nice add-on or special effect, but the most basic of all features of any modern application that deals with text (the main feature of any browser). So non-Unicode, non-i18-n browers are just toys.

    Why didn't they review Konqueror? I've never tested it (I use Windows - mostly because Linux is severly behind on the Unicode side), but they say it has Unicode support, so it's a serious candidate.

  • Yeah, I know. I'm posting way too much to this thread. But I just noticed this in the full review for iCab and had to share.

    "Also, iCab lacks an email program, though it does support sending mail. To receive email, you need a third-party client such as Eudora or Netscape Messenger."


    Uhm... *Netscape*Messenger*??!!!?! What, pray tell, is the point of using an alternative browser if you have to install *another* browser just to read mail?!

    I am now almost convinced that the reviewer a)has no idea what he's talking about and b)is only doing this "review" as FUD.

    Oh, and if you're wondering what else one can use for email on Macs, there's Eudora, Outlook Express, Mailsmith, PowerMail, Mulberry, or the old, discontinued, unsupported, but damn if it still ain't the best, Claris Emailer. (Hey, I hear there are still people who use Cyberdog for mail.)
  • The only thing they recommend is a replacement for the only browser that actually works well near perfectly: ie on the mac.
  • by vr ( 9777 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @01:57AM (#809627)
    First, some of the facts about Opera were wrong:

    1) No Java? Wrong. There are two separate versions of Opera. One with java, and another with Java.

    2) 200Mb of hd space to install? That's just plain bullshit (maybe they counted the space windows uses too? ;). The download is approximatly 1.8Mb.

    Second, it is still very fast in comparison to Netscape and IE. (As someone pointed out, they used a beta..)

    Approx. $30 for a browser is not much, considering you get the best browser available.
  • you might also want to try amaya because i think w3c makes it and they also make the html spec. i think it is slim and compliant with the standards they made, but it doesn't display pages well at all if they aren't "perfect".
  • The Cnet article simply has its facts WRONG!!! It states that only two of the original "rebel" browsers are still under development; Opera and Neoplanet. In fact, Arachne is still being developed and upgraded for both DOS and LINUX. Have a look at their site: And especially have a look at their page about the beta for LINUX It appears that they moved from alpha stage to beta just over a month ago. Their site states that the LINUX version is "still very incomplete" but it really looks like they're actively working on it.
  • You are so right! In fact... Microsoft ought to have to pay people who have used its products. M$ ought to be required to compensate users for all their lost time and money due to crashes, inefficiency, interference with hardware and software standards etc. You're also right, IMHO, about ActiveX. Not to mention DirectX. It appears to me that if M$ would just open its API so that DOS programmers could utilize protected mode then there would be no need for DirectX. AFAIK this would empower PC users to reclaim their PCs from Windows.
  • despite what others are saying Mozilla is separate from Netscape. Yes, it's being developed primarily by Netscape. But it is a true open-source project. The new tech borne from this project is being used in many other apps as we speak.

    An accurate statement would be 'Netscape6 will incorporate the Mozilla browser'. Netscape will basically be putting their logo and name on it when they distribute it.

    And anyone who says Mozilla sucks obviously has not used it in a long while. The Milestone releases suck, yes, but this project is still in development. If you try a nightly build [] you will be impressed with the improvements in stability and speed.

    This post was made from Mozilla BuildID:2000083111 for Linux.

  • I think it stands to reason that K-Meleon is nothing but a simplified interface to the Mozilla renderer, but it got its own Slashdot story...

    The interface is half the experience, maybe more. Neoplanet may lack its own renderer, but it /is/ a browser. Besides, the article made it plenty clear that it wasn't a true alternative browser.

    Just my 2
  • I don't think it's just about glibc - I use Netscape 4.75 on glibc 2.1.2, which is the latest for my distro (Mandrake). Netscape crashes so frequently I have a terminal window dedicated to restarting it - mainly when I close one window, or when I do something requiring POP3 or HTTP authentication.
  • I tried iCab on an iMac rev A running 8.1. I surfed a while. It definitely looked sweet. but I tried to copy and paste a URL from iCab's address pane to another application and it crashed, prompting me with an ominous dialog box with a restart button on it. Not good.
  • I sent the following message to their upstream provider, Actually, I'm going to send them another mail, because I forgot to include a link to this article as an example. Please do the same if you're as annoyed as I am with the little critter.

    Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2000 13:13:03 -0300
    From: **********
    Subject: Abuse from one of your clients

    From the output of "traceroute" program, I discovered your company is the upstream provider to

    People on behalf of the aforementioned site have been repeatedly flooding the message boards of (a technology discussions site) with unsolicited advertising to their site (SPAM). I respectfully urge you to take appropriate action.

  • by eap ( 91469 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @07:22AM (#809636) Journal
    I think the main thing holding Lynx back is that it takes way too long to load images.
  • If you do web design and you're good, you run it through the W3C's validator, and if it validates, it's up to browser companies to fix their buggy apps so that their engines render pages correctly. If people always compensate for poor rendering, why should a browser programmer fix the bug?

    "We don't need to fix that bug, no one ever runs across it except in testing. Instead, let's put in colored scroll bars!"

    "I don't want more choice, I just want nicer things!"

  • Definitely agree! Enigma rules!
  • Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2000 13:29:45 -0300
    From: ********
    Subject: More on the abuse from

    At 250&mode=flat

    You'll find a Slashdot article which has been flooded by them. As of
    now, 21 of the 162 messages (almost 13%!!!!) are unsolicited
    advertisement from them. PLEASE do something.

  • So the second set of tables are pictures showing how it should look, right? Is that page in esperanto??

    Latin A displays characters everywhere, but most of them are wrong.

    Latin B is mostly "?" and a few incorrect characters.

    Yes, the second set (images) show how it should look. (And yes, it's in Esperanto).

    The Latin B characters are very exotic, and lack of display there could be just a font issue. A change of font might help. But a display of the wrong character is always a big no-no.

    I'm sorry. Maybe you could give the programmers of iCab a hint...

  • If opera is the only browser that renders your code correctly, what good is designing for it?

    That's exactly the wrong point of view. You're not designing for Opera, you're designing to the spec. And you can use Opera to check whether or not you've interpreted the specs correctly.

    Designing for a browser is the biggest waste of time you can have. Recently, I was updating my website and decided to use CSS. It worked great, except that Netscape 4.72 does not handle textblocks correctly. For instance, the line-height (or whatever it's called, don't feel like looking it up right now) tag is only interpreted correctly if the moon aligns with Mars and the neighbour's cat is pregnant; in other words, its behaviour is quite unpredictable.

    Instead of deciding to forego CSS I decided to leave it like that. After all, I followed the Spec and the text was readable anyhow.

    And yes, lo and behold, I downloaded Netscape 4.75 and the pages render exactly as I wanted them now.

    The moral of this story: do not design for browsers; they are a running target.


  • It was people like you that put africans into christian schools forcing them to believe in what you believe,

    So what? The savages are better for it!

  • Cello? :)
  • I forgot to say that Opera on Linux is the only browser that manages to max out my puny 56K modem connection (as reported by the neat Knetload applet, which graphs throughput). [I've also tried Netscape 4.75 and Mozilla's recent nightly builds, which are horribly slow for some reason. I tried to get Galeon going but ran into .so problems.]

    I think this line efficiency is because you can set it to use a large number of simultaneous connections, which is a bit mean on the website but very efficient for dialup users, whose TCP time-to-connect is quite long due to modem latency. Hopefully the server OSs will evolve to handle this sort of thing efficiently.... Of course this could be HTTP/1.1 pipelining but I doubt it as I am doing all this via Junkbuster ( ad filtering, and Junkbuster requires HTTP/1.1 to be turned off (it only analyses new connections.)

    Quite apart from maxing out the modem, Opera is very fast at rendering pages; it also has good in-memory caching so it *never* goes to the network or disk when you hit the Back button (unlike Netscape).

    More Opera info is at, including a pretty usable tech preview for Linux (i.e. alpha) - crashes and has missing features, but is quite usable, in fact I'm using it now (except that I can't post to Slashdot since the HTTP login stuff is not working...). They also have versions for EPOC (Psion etc), BeOS, OS/2, etc, and hope to support non-Linux Unices as well.

  • the ugliest browser won?

    why do we want an "eye catching" browser anyway, surely we want our attention to be on the actual webpage? incidentally i think iCab is a lot less ugly than most other browsers because of the miminal UI design. no skins or crap like that. just a fast and reliable browser one can fine tune to perfection.

    iCab user and proud!

  • by Cato ( 8296 )
    Hey, this was a review from an American website, why should they care about the 'international' market :)
  • Whereas lynx is the One True Browser.

    If it doesn't display properly on Lynx, it's wrong :)

  • what makes u think we don't use vi on our Macs? or am i the only insane one?
    Not at all. I use vim on my Mac because it's the only editor I've found with syntax highlighting for all the languages I use. I used to use Alpha (a Mac editor which is based on Tcl and vaguely resembles emacs), but found that it wouldn't highlight Inform documents ... and besides, vim is faster.

    (I'm also writing this in iCab, yah ....)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 02, 2000 @02:11AM (#809663)
    Someone mentioned the browser for osX. It's called omniweb, and is in a dev release, just like the os. You can find out about the browser by following the link at []

    Opera is a great browser; the article did not give it enough credit. It supports java just fine. It doesn't support ActiveX which, let's face it, is a good thing. It has the best style-sheet support of all the browsers I've seen, and the latese version supports xml as well. I use it on my pc as a main browser and only fall back to netscape or ie when a page uses javascript that either disables itself if you aren't using ie or netscape (duh!) or uses features not supported by Opera's incomplete implementation.

    The price tag is a bit steep for what it is and considering the alternatives, but they offer a half price discount to students which was worthwhile. That extends internationally as well.

    For the mac it's very hard to beat IE 4.5 or 5, as saddening as that is. It really is a completely different product from the pc version. Opera are working on a mac version, and hopefully they succeed in making a true mac application, not just a mirror of the pc version on the mac platform.

    I just installed icab... the reviews and subsequently comments on this page were a bit incorrect. The standard default leaves the browser working just fine, with scripting enabled and preferences from the internet control panel imported fully (coveres proxy settings, e-mail, file-handlers etc). Basically it's a perfectly able browser without needing to touch the preferences. Having said that, there are a looot of options there, including customising the contextual menus and button layouts. It also has a convenient HTML compliancy button which shows attributes of the page that are not fully compliant such as not always using quotes for attribute values (we all do that now right?!) and using netscape/ms only enhancements. A handy feature for the web-page designers out there.

    How did slashdot work with icab? Very well. When loading the page using [] it says receiving file "/" which was fitting :) The html warnings came up with quite a few though. Not using quotes for attributes came up lots of times, and using <NOBR> which is a netscape only tag. And the character & should be written as &amp; Pretty good all up!

    Out of interest I loaded Microsofts home page. over 300 HTML warnings, with a good percentage of them being simple typos in tags which are just treated as unsupported attributes. Whoops. :)

    Well this rant isn't going anywhere... as a first time post on slashdot some nice moderating would be appreciated though =-)

  • W3m has support for frames, tables, and colours, just as links does. It also has support for SSL. My favourite part is that the award-winning (OK, my bias is showing :) vi key navigation works, as well as the arrow keys, and you can use it to launch your favorite editor (vi for me, obviously) for HTML text boxes (like Slashdot). If you're using it in X, you can even use a mouse.

    W3m is used by several of the staff for admin work (I normally use netscape, but have used w3m, and it performed admirably...and Daniel and Jeff, who use w3m, do a LOT more than I).

    Tragically, if you are a RedHat user, you will probably have to check around a bit, as it doesn't seem to be a part of their standard distribution (WHY!?). I know that I did find an RPM for it that worked with RedHat. Debian has packages in the usual place, with and without SSL.

    If you're still using lynx, you're really missing out.
  • If something is highly customizable, it's an advantage. But if it's highly customizable AND difficult to use, then it deters users.

    Many people believe that the more customizable software is, the more difficult it is to use. In reality, it's just a case of bad design. You can have software that's customizable AND have an easy-to-use intuitive GUI (nextstep and linux w/ gnome).

    But human beings think in binary terms, so this idea of opposites will persist for a long time. It's progressed so far that people think something HAS to be difficult to use in order for it to be customizable. Sad, isn't it?

  • by puppet10 ( 84610 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @03:28AM (#809668)
    I agree.

    While a separate e-mail program is useful a browser doesn't need it as an integral component.

    This is especially true now that web-based e-mail is easily available for use. If you have a browser you can use a web based e-mail program to send and recieve e-mail for most or all of your correspondance.

    Now a good feature would be for the browser to be able to open a new window at your web e-mail site (specified in options) when mail links are clicked.
  • by The Step Child ( 216708 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @03:29AM (#809670) Homepage
    This review was supposedly posted on 8/31/00, yet they're using an outdated version of Opera. Seems odd, since 4.0x has been out for quite awhile...not only that, but the current versions offer significant improvements over older ones. And 200MB? Even if that was a typo (20MB), my Opera dir is still 10MB.

    What puzzles me more is their love for iCab. Okay, there's only partial Javascript support. Plug-ins don't always work. It can't send mail, and it's only available on the Mac. But look! It's got an elaborate Preferences menu! Blah.
  • my Christian Movie Reviews website! It has lists of movies which are morally damaging

    Christianity is morally damaging. If J.C. came back today, he would not be a Christian.

  • Yeah, and they spent paragraphs swooning over how configurable iCab is, but they only thing they said about Opera's configurability (which is truly impressive) was that you have to look through several pages of preferences before you find the cookie manager. What would you call that, praising with faint damnation? :-)
  • 1) Some of those errors are in user content. Slashdot has no control over it.

    2) Slashdot has to generate defensive HTML to protect against things like links that never close, as well as formatting tags that screw up the whole page layout. The spec was not designed with that in mind. []
  • by vw_bob ( 117531 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @03:51AM (#809685) Homepage
    I downloaded Opera 4 last week and the only thing that kept me from switching was it's Javascript support. I work in Dreamweaver a lot and rather than coding my own Javascript to show or hide layers I tend to use Dreamweavers built in behaviors. (They're easy and the work with IE and NS.)

    The problem I've found is that Neither Mozilla or Opera support this code. I'm not sure if it's not compliant with "standard" Javascript or what. And I haven't had the time to test any of my own code yet.

    What strikes me as the reason not to switch is that I'm not the only developer in the world who uses Dreamweaver. Lots of other pages use this code and it will inhibit my ability to view pages. I don't want to have to switch browsers cause I'm going to a slightly artsyer page.

    Anyone have any input?

  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @04:03AM (#809686) Homepage

    Opera doesn't actually have its own JVM; however, the downloadable versions for Windows come with a JVM from Sun, in the same download and as part of the same install sequence.

    I have never understood why people bitch about it not having Java "bundled." You could always get it if you wanted it. I don't, and I'm quite happy to not have to download crap I don't want.

    Opera is missing a few features such as password management, etc, but its speed and ability to turn off images with one click is enough for me. I'll be registering the Linux version as soon as it gets out of alpha/beta, as it is stunningly fast on my AMD K6-2/350 as well.

    Missing a lot of features? What "features?" It isn't missing anything I want. "Password management?" Oh, yeah, that stupid thing where IE and Netscape want to store all your passwords so you can forget them and be totally screwed when you need to work on a different computer. Or your little sister deletes a file... oops! Come on. I'm glad it doesn't have that so-called feature. You said "features" so you are thinking of more than one?

    And yeah, the windows version is blisteringly fast. I start up with 4 pages and load them as fast as IE could do any one of them. K6/350 here too. When the Linux version is stable there won't be much reason left to boot windows except for games.

  • by Felinoid ( 16872 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @02:31AM (#809687) Homepage Journal
    The KDE Browser gets top rankings...
    It's fast.. effective and soon to have Java and Javascript.
    Still needs a lot of work but works quite well for most of my browsing...
    It looks like KDE is taking the microsoft approch to browser plugins..
    Let's hope develupers don't plug into the KDE system with wordprocessors or basic and port e-mail viruses over.
    Byond that the KDE browser (and system) is making some nice moves in the area of a user friendly Internet interface...
    The only sad side of course being this won't work on Gnome or WindowMaker...

    Modzilla. Really just Netscapes dev version.. even before it was open sourced...
    It's nice but it's still just the dev browser for Netscapes commertal product. I'm not sure this one will ever be compleatly ready...
    There are some nice ports of this to many platforms. Once it plugs into modern libarys it seems to speed up quite a bit...

    Arachne. This is really a Dos browser.. for XTs... You may scream now.. It's a full pacage just like Netscape only it's a console browser.
    Lacks Java and like Netscape it's free for noncommertal use.
    The nice part of Arachne is it's great for a NetBox.. even if your just making one on your own. Just grab an old computer and put Arachne on it. I recomend at least a 386 and no more than 8 meg ram. Arachne accually gets slower when it has to much memory to play with.
    VGA and a mouse are good...
    This would make a good gift... turns an old PC into a netbox...
    The downside... it's not that fast... it uses the hard disk a lot so you want a fast hard disk.. not a big one.. size not issue.. speed is..
    I last tryed this on an XT years ago but a while back the min requirements slid up from an 8088 XT to an 8086 XT... wow big jump..
    It's safe to say any given XT is a bad move anyway as thies boxes are old enough to have blank BIOS roms.

    Anyway there is a Linux version...
    Windows users can use the Dos version...

    However my recomendation is purely to recycle an old PC and make a NetBox for a famaly member...

    And finnaly there is
    Good old Lynx...
    Fast friendly but not GUI...
    Lynx is an example of how broken the WWW really is.
    Lynx was the second web client.. WWW being the first..
    Lynx has had problems supporting HTML every sence HTML 2 and what appears to be a total abandonment of text browsers...

    Lynx remains the fastest browser when it comes to loading HTML only pages and of course gets faster when visiting graphic pages (By never loading images).
    Obveously Lynx dosn't load banners...
    Lacks Java and Javascript and dosn't support plugins.

    Mosaic.... a decent base for a web browser itself to old... it won't view most pages (even pages Lynx can view) and is basicly to old to be of any use other than base code for annother browser.
    A few updated Mosaics exist however and they are worth using.
    Mosaic is a fast decent browser lacking flash and hype... however it's a HTML 1 browser and needs considerable code added if it's to be usable..

    My recomendation at this time is the KDE browser...
    With the caveot that it needs KDE...
    If you want to use Gnome then you probably should look elsewhere...
    There are some Modzilla projects to port Modzilla to everything under the sun... odds lay good that a GnomeZilla project exists.. the name sounds to cool to pass up... and such a port is likely gona hook into Gnome something sereous resulting in a nice powerful browser.

    One last thing.. I don't nessisarly like KDE I just think it sucks less than Gnome...
    Eventually nither will suck... it's just the suckness level of both provides room for Window Manager wars...
    Anyway... to take the glass house anolog....
    The other camp isn't living in glass houses... they just don't have the walls up yet...
  • by acehole ( 174372 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @12:55AM (#809694) Homepage
    where's good old lynx? ;)
  • This article is pretty useless. One IE skin. One mac browser. And the last one costs far more than i would want to spend one a browser. Who is this comparison aimed to?
  • Didn't some people also complain that JavaScript can bugger things up by being "on" by default? Such as sites opening an endless stream of advertisement windows etc.

    Anyway, the first time I get hold of a new app, whether for Mac, Win, or Linux, I generally have a poke through the options and settings. The more configuration options, the better.
  • Worse, Opera still doesn't include built-in support for common Web tools such as Macromedia Shockwave or Java.

    Then about an inch over to the right are a couple links to, for Opera (Non-Java Enabled) and Opera (Java Enabled)
  • I seriously wish they would say 3 browsers and a shell. NeoPlanet is NOT a browser. NOT a browser. It just adds more bloat onto an already bloated browser.
  • I seriously doubt that CAP is really sending these messages. The message just doesn't sound like them, and besides, they've probably never heard of Slashdot. It could well be some troll trying to give them a bad name.

    Before you launch the missiles, you should check with the Slashdot crew to find out the IP address they're coming from...
  • by solios ( 53048 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @01:02AM (#809702) Homepage
    i've been using the things for three years. And for content creation, there's no point in considering anything else. But they suck when it comes to browsing the web- particularly on OS 8.1 or lower. The speed difference is scary: set up a linux box, a windows box, and a Mac to load a page and the Mac will lose every time, given unweighted test conditions [the fact that the system goes "uh..." when you press the mouse button has something to do with it, I imagine.]


    If you *like* the Big Two, the Mac is STILL the best choice, with IE5/Mac being a browser like no other. Yeah, it may be open source and all, but Mozilla fucking BLOWS in my opinion [last use was M16 and I'm not using it again until there's a final release, period.]

    The Browser Wars concept looks like a pretty grim outcome to me- Mac has the best cut of IE, Windows users are pretty much stuck with shittier versions, and *nix users have Nutscrape/Mozilla. Nice of them to consider the browser that comes with OSX server as an option. [I forget what it's called- all I remember is that it wasn't exaclty satisfactory.]

    Opera isn't even an option, really... when the rest are free, why pay money? [the product's window tiling is more of a severe annoyance than a feature with popup ads and java-traps and so forth running rampant out there.]

    I'd like to see Mozilla get it's act together so that I actually have a CHOICE of web browsers. If you use Mac and design for web, you're using IE5, and that's all there is.
  • Mozilla is definitely past the alpha stage. On Netscape's release schedule there is only one more beta before ship. It will improve a fair bit before Netscape ships, but maybe not enough to satisfy everyone this time around.

    I personally doubt that Mozilla will ever be truly acceptable on the Mac due to the way its XP UI works. What Mozilla and the Mac both need is for someone to build a Galeon-like native UI shell for the Mac that wraps the Mozilla/Gecko engine.

    Anyway, Netscape shipping is not the end of the Mozilla story. It's only the beginning.
  • Does Konqueror support the DOM and dynamic documents yet?

    Do any of these other browsers?
  • Despite what some folks at Mozilla may want you to believe, the apperance of the browser isn't the most important thing to consider ;)
  • by harmonica ( 29841 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @05:13AM (#809717)
    K-Meleon [] is a nice, free browser for Win32 that uses the Gecko rendering engine. Worth a try...
  • by boarderboy ( 117892 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @01:04AM (#809721)
    If you haven't tried konqueror(kde's browser) yet you are in for quite a surprise! It is fast and does a great job of rendering. It supports javascript, ssl, java, and can open just about any type of file for viewing(It also can make use of Netscape plugins such as flash).

    It is now, just in the last few weeks, getting very stable, better than netscape or mozilla. I suggest you give it a try along with the rest of KDE2. It will be out soon :)
  • by lemox ( 126382 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @01:09AM (#809722)

    ... that people keep wanting to call NeoPlanet a "browser". All it is is some prettied up overlay for IE, yet stupid people still insist that it is an "alternative". Seems like Cnet and, in turn, slashdot, is pretty hard of for articles. Anybody can draw up a form in vb, throw a browser control on it and it's a damn alternative browser.

    An article on New Coke vs. Coke Classic would probably be a more useful article than this...

  • This article is pretty useless. One IE skin. One mac browser. And the last one costs far more than i would want to spend one a browser. Who is this comparison aimed to?

    I got Neoplanet ads when I loaded the article. Maybe that would explain why they made chose those particular programs to compare...


  • As far as I know, Opera's support for the DOM is small to nonexistent, which means that even if their ECMAscript support is complete, it's still pretty useless.
  • I strongly suspect that these messages are trolls. After all, we've had LSD and Emily Dickinson, what's left?
  • by cameleon ( 149744 ) <hesselink@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday September 02, 2000 @05:29AM (#809732) Homepage
    Approx. $30 for a browser is not much, considering you get the best browser available. And if you are a student, you can get an educational version for about 50% of the normal price.
  • If you thinks Lynx is good, a patched version of Links is amazing. I suggest you try it out, and subscribe to the mailing list. I have patches here for persistent cookies, SSL, and a few other goodies(key-binding functions and such). I've made the switch from Netscape/Mozilla to Links. It's great :)
  • by adamsc ( 985 ) on Saturday September 02, 2000 @10:50AM (#809736) Homepage
    Worse, Opera still doesn't include built-in support for common Web tools such as Macromedia Shockwave or Java. Some Netscape plug-ins work with Opera, but they're tricky to install.
    As others have commented, Opera does support Java and there's even a single download which includes Opera and Sun's JVM for the people who don't have it. As for that difficult plugin installation process, it consists of going into the preferences panel and clicking on "Find plugins", which configured every plugin on my system. Flash, Shockwave, QuickTime - you name it, it works. Neither Netscape or IE make plugin installation that easy (although ActiveX makes this less of an issue for IE).

    Based on the comments about Java and plugins, I'm increasingly suspicious that the author actually used Opera 4 extensively for the review. The situation he describes is suspiciously like Opera 3.6.

    Opera 4 compares quite favorably to Netscape 4.7 or IE5; it's significantly faster, more stable and gives the user better ways of coping with shoddy sites (e.g. the zoom and user-stylesheet settings). I certainly have had no problems making Opera my primary browser and I'm a web developer, so I've got Opera and Textpad running >8 hours a day.

  • They make it clear [] that it is not a 'true alternate browser' and that it is just a 'browser within a browser' and some other stuff like that.


  • I have to agree that adding an email client is less important than having a portable browser. There are too many web interfaces that let you retrieve email that I never worry about not accessing my email so long as I can access the web.

    But there are many instances when I am faced with a computer that doesn't have a browser installed, which I then have to consider if I want to ftp one or give up. If I could carry a browse on disk (not burned to a cd) then I would be two steps ahead.

  • The reason iCab doesn't enable scripting by default is because it is still about 60% broken. The "2.1" version number is deceptive as iCab has never had an official, non-beta release.

    And I take issue with the comment about iCab being the "ugliest of the lot". iCab is actually has my favorite interface of any browser simply because it adds only a button bar. No panes, no popup menus, no gizmos cluttering up your screen. This was especially welcome when I first started using it on a measly 640x480 screen -- try using Mozilla with that little real estate.

    But the real reason to applaud iCab is that it's just done right. Between the plethora of options (the reviewer seemed to not notice the cookie filtering), utter lack of bloat, and an impressive level of support for MacOS technologies (drag-and-drop, contextual menus, data detectors, keychain, internet config). But also, even though that page only provided a PPC download link, iCab runs marvelously on 68k Macs. I can't comment on the speed though, since my Mac is only 25MHz (and Basilisk ain't much better). But I suspect the fault is more that of MacOS than iCab.

    Incidentally, I think they should've recommended Opera. As I said before, iCab is still only pre-release. And it seems they only faulted Opera for costing money. Well, the iCab guys have all but promised that they will be charging for the full release. iCab still has a lot that needs to improve, such as scripting and plug-ins. Meanwhile Opera has a more-than-competent scripting support and handles email and news, and of course a larger audience (including nascent Mac support).

    Seems like the reviewer spent too much time fiddling with preferences to notice that iCab is incomplete. I agree that all other browsers could learn a lot from iCab. (Hey Mozilla guys! You've got filtering in there, but what's the point if I can't edit the filtering rules?) But it's not that good form to recommend a beta product for Macintosh to an audience that's looking for a full-featured release product on Windows.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern