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21 Linux Web Browsers? 174

Posted by Roblimo
from the more-than-you-imagined dept.
brazilian brain writes "There's an interesting article at trix.net called "browsing the browsers". It's a quick review of 21(!) web browsers already available for Linux or being ported for this platform. From Lynx to Communicator, from Amaya to Mozilla, they are tested or briefly commented. Whenever possible, screenshots are provided. It's an original article by Ricardo Y. Igarashi, published by Linux in Brazil and now translated to English in order to share the data with the international Linux community. I hope you enjoy it."
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21 Linux Web Browsers?

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  • When I use the back button in Netscape, I'm almost always taken to the same randomly chosen spot near the top of the previous page, most certainly not the place I was when I clicked on a link.

    This makes keeping track of where you've been reading here a real challenge, and is a big nuisance in general.

    Why has this bug persisted for so long, and is there a cure?
    --
    Why Ah Must Scribble GNU

  • IMHO the browser comparison focuses on the wrong things. Frame support is not important, nor is anim gif support or interlaced gif support.

    Hm, I don't completely agree with you there. First of -- both frame and table support IS important today, when so much of the web actually uses it. Support for graphics on the other hand is just a nice thing to have.

    I'd like to know which render the pages correctly, according to spec. Which support CSS (according to spec)?

    I agree. Those things should be considered carefully. The browser which follows the standards, in addition to having a decent user interface, is the one to go for.

    of course, it should be *small* and *fast* too. :)

    Which allow the user to specify their own style sheets, overriding the pages' layout?

    Is that important? Why?

    Which support content negotiation?

    You mean like multiple language support and so on? Personally I would prefer to have the web in as few languages as possible. Preferably everything in english, and sites that concerns one nation only - in that nations native language.

    As you may have noticed, I'm not natively english / american speaking. I'm sure my english writing / spelling and so on sucks. But that's not the important thing. The important thing is that its a HELL of a task to translate things into an umzillion different languages - only major corps with lots of money to hire translators OR major organizations with many helpers - would be able to translate to "everything".

    The problem here, is that the bigger will get even bigger, and those who cannot cope and translate into enough languages .. will never become 'anything'.


    --
  • Those 5 are;

    Lynx for when you just need something fast and light.

    Konqueror and Mozilla for the future 100% standards compliant and gorgeous colored and flash impregnated sites.

    Netscape because it's the only working browser for a lot of sites now.

    and finally EMacs, because with the Emacspeak add-on You can actually get a voice only interface which is essential for all those blind Linux hackers out there.
  • jon_c wrote:

    I would like to know exactly what IE has that is not part of the [W3C] standard.
    Well, the one that jumps out first, since you use them, is IE's use of SmartQuotes [slashdot.org]. ActiveX is not only completely non-standard, it is a security hole. IE 5.0 does not have complete CSS or DOM implementations even though those standards have been complete for ages. Its XML implementation violates standard namespace conventions. Granted, Netscape 4.0 is no better when it comes to standards compliance, but Mozilla is.

    so from my casual observations, netscape doesn't support as many standards as IE.
    Your casual observations do not support your conclusion. Neither Netscape 4 nor IE 5 fully support standards, your "experts" are merely more used to IE's quirks than Netscape's.

    And if Microsoft's is "bending" standards into the browser, that would seem like a good thing.
    How? Microsoft implementing an IE-only feature only serves to fragment the web into IE and non-IE camps, and helps Microsoft to tie their customers to them more securely. If Microsoft (and Netscape) were to follow the standards better, consumers would have richer web content available to them, with fewer complications. Netscape has repented and is actively working on standards compliance, what is Microsoft doing to better support the standards?

    The W3C page [w3c.org]

    ----
  • A sun Enterprise 10000 server should be about enough to handle MSIE at a reasonable speed.
  • ok, then...

    Nothing will save Mozilla short of a complete rewrite, done quickly in record time.

    the new interface is horrible
  • Did my post mention anything about the merits or lack thereof, of Windows 2000? No. My post was about exclusionary HTML authoring practices.

    Don't bother replying unless you can be on topic.

  • Of course, there isn't much chance of Microsoft ever doing such a thing...

    I'd bet that they already have. It's sitting on a shelf somewhere, or maybe being used on the inside. Will they ever release it? Who knows? If I was in Microsoft Marketing, and I was interested to see if it would be well received by reading a publication like slashdot, a known linux hangout, I'd be scared to even bring up the issue (with how MS is treated here). I sure as hell would use it, not because I like MS, but because my work involved a lot of browsing on the web, and Netscape, my perfered browser, can't handle a damn thing without falling apart. I'm under the assumption that IE 5.x for linux exists in Redmond, but may never exist for us.

    The Good Reverend
  • When are you damn moderators gonna learn what Redundant means... it means the same thing as repetetive, in other words, it's unoriginal and copies off of a previous post... but how could the first post be copying off of a previous post???

  • I work as a web developer, I code client- and serverside.

    If it wasnt for Internet Explorer I would have abondoned my Win* machine for a long time, but since IE is the most used browser on the WWW I have to stick with it. Some might say get Solaris (cause IE works under Solaris). But that isnt the issue.

    Some might say get Opera, it has fully CSS and DHTML support according to W3C. Yes it has, BUT the big but, the most users browsing the web uses IE and IE has its own CSS and DHTML model. Wich always tend to crash Netscape browsers.

    Unfortunately I dont see anything that will change that really, IE for a free OS, dont think so.

    Only alternative for me is to stick with only server-side programming. But that is to runaway from the problem.

    I really hope NS5 and its new rendering engine will change all this. Then I can stick with my FreeBSD and Linux box for good!

    Lost Carrier

  • As a server, Linux still has many places to sit, but on a corporate desktop, I'm sorry to say it's just not ready.

    .. yet ..

    I think the only things we need to make Linux ready for the corporate desktop is:

    - A decent webbrowser. (mozilla / opera coming soon)
    - A decent Email program (hmm.. kMail is usable, but not great)
    - A decent Office suite (kOffice coming soon)

    What more is really needed? *Really* needed? News programs is not that important to the 'big businesses' (i think?), aol instant messagers thingomajigs (or their equivalents) should not be a difficult thing to find, and so on. Quite frankly, I think we'll be ready for the corporate desktop within 6 months.



    --
  • There must be something wrong with your library disposition and configuration.

    I've been using Netscape 4.5 since it was released and it hasn't crashed on me even 5 times. I use it for at least 2 hours a day. I do leave Java turned off, though. It uses too many resources and it does tend to crash Netscape.

    I agree with you that Netscape is inefficient but wanting MSIE for Linux is being way too radical IMHO.

    Try fixing your libs. Good luck :)
  • In the way of IRC clients, if you want the eyecandy, the obvious client to suggest is XChat; in my experience (in its' latest incarnation), it is featureful, stable, and not bad performance wise.

    Personally, I find tkIRC to be very useable in X11, and it has the virtue of being usable with ircII scripts (it essentially being a TK front-end to ircII).

    There is also Zircon, an irc client written entirely in TCL/TK, but I found it had some annoying misfeatures with respect to nicklengths (ircII hard-limits your personal nick-length at 8 without modifying the source, but Zircon refuses to let you op people through the menus without them having a nick of 8 characters or less).

    Also, KVirc is meant to be extremely good; I have never used it, however.

    Try http://www.irchelp.org for a list of clients to look at.

    Hope this helps.

    Acronym
    (unrepentant ircII-in-an-eterm user)
  • by RNG (35225) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @02:30AM (#1491123) Homepage
    OK, the (albeight very brief) comparison of the web browsers is nice. What this shows that we have a lot of partial implementations and a few solid good (ie: complete) browsers (at various stages of completion).

    I think it is important that Mozilla eventually becomes a good/solid browser because it is the showcase for what open source can (or can't do). Looking at the usability of the last few mozialla builds, I can say that IMHO it's moving along OK and seems to be more stable everytime I download it. As such, I believe that the mozilla folks will eventually release a good, standards compliant browser. The key question here is: when? We have to run as fast as we can to catch up to MS and deprive them of the opportunity to bend the web to their own designs and currently Mozilla is the showcase product of that.

    While I think the success of the Mozilla project is important for the obvious reasons (visibility, Linux should have an open source implementation of a key technology for the web, etc), I am not all that worried about the availablity of a proper browser under Linux. See, Linux right now has somewhere between 15-20 million users (as far as we can guess) and is doubling every year (even if it's not quite doubling it's growing like crazy). This means, that even should mozilla fail, there will be (in a year or so) a market of about 30-50 million potential users. I think this in itself will attract corporate interest: if you can get 20% of those users to pay you $20 (which is pretty reasonably for a decent browser if you have no alternative), you'd make somewhere in between $120M and $200M. Surely a potential customer base of such a size will continue to attract development efforts (if no decent free implementation is available).

    Opera currently seems poised to become the alternative, commercial Linux browser if what I've heard about them holds true on their upcoming Linux port. I think Linux is big enough to attract software companies which can deliver a browser. Yes, it should be open source and this is where Mozilla comes in. I think however that no matter what happens, Linux will be able to operate on the web.

    Lastly a few comments (responding to other posts):

    • Would I use IE under Linux? No Way in Hell. Unless MS guarantess that they will respect web standards. Knowing MS, this will not happen anytime soon. For me personally, the choice is Just say No!
    • Browser JVM quality: I couldn't care less. IMHO Java on the client/browser is a dead duck ... Java on server is where it's alive and well ... BTW, netscape under Linux is very stable once you turn off Java (although a proper JVM would be nice).
    • Linux in general: the more it grows (and it's use is expanding like crazy) the weight it carries ... already it has long since passed the stage where companies can ignore it. It's weight will only increase. This weight will attract businesses, developers and lots of other folks.
  • Put this in your .profile if you're using bash:

    alias kns="killall -9 netscape ; rm -f ~/.netscape/lock"

    It is sad, but using Netscape nowadays requires preparations like these. (turning off Java helps a lot as well)

  • What libc setup do you have to get such good results? (Although I think you've essentially conceded my point by disabling java because "it does tend to crash Netscape").

    I've run Netscape 2+ across at least a dozen machines with various slackware, debian, and SuSe distros. Netscape has been pretty much awful over all of them.

    The only thing that playing with your libraries seems to offer is a choice of which particular set of bugs you would like to encounter. "How would you like to crash today?".

    At the end of the day, the current distribution of SuSe runs everthing - everything perfectly, except for the latest version of Netscape, which crashes constantly. That's not my problem. It's not even SuSe's problem. It's a Netscape problem. And Mozilla doesn't seem to be making any headway towards fixing this.


  • I recognize a lot in your story, wrt using/ crashing Netscape on Linux.

    However, I'm afraid (and this is really too bad) the frequent crashes and DNS lookup hangs (I thought this is fixed now with the DNS helper process) are limited to Netscape on Unix. On Windows, again I am as sorry about this as the next guy, several Netscape versions are solid as a rock (Netscape 4.51 is a good example).

    So there is no need to port IE to Linux, we just need to port the Netscape of Windows to Linux.
  • First of -- both frame and table support IS important today, when so much of the web actually uses it

    I agree, table support is important. But frame support is not - except that if a browser supports frames, it should allow me to turn that support off. Any site that does not work without frames is broken. The NOFRAMES element is there for a reason.

    Which allow the user to specify their own style sheets, overriding the pages' layout?

    Is that important? Why?

    It is important. It would lower my blood pressure when visiting sites that specify too small fonts or unreadable colours (dark blue on black, anyone?). And it would allow me to specify that I don't like a text line to be much longer than 40 em, and that I prefer to have some margins on a page. To mention a few things.

    You mean like multiple language support and so on? Personally I would prefer to have the web in as few languages as possible.

    Well, I don't agree with you there. I like to read Finnish when I can. Content negotiation is wonderful magic when it is used efficiently.

    The important thing is that its a HELL of a task to translate things into an umzillion different languages

    I know. I translate Debian web pages to Finnish.

    only major corps with lots of money to hire translators OR major organizations with many helpers - would be able to translate to "everything".

    Why would you need to translate everything?

  • What are your top 5 Unix browsers? I am talking about the browsers currently in development, not the ones that stopped development several years ago as this review included. Then a comprehensive review of these browsers can be done, seeing which one supports what standards, available plug-ins, level of png support etc.

    Graphical Browsers

    1. Netscape Communicator 4.7
    2. Mozilla M11 --> Navigator 5 within 6 months(?)
    3. Konqueror (within 2 months)
    4. Opera for Linux (1 year away?)
    5. That SVGAlib browser featured
    Console Browsers
    1. w3c - tables / frames looking very nice
    2. Lynx - the classic powerful text browser
    3. Emacs

    Of course, you might disagree. What should happen then is a good review of the top browsers should be written to compare their features. Not a review of gif support etc, which misses the point completely!

  • Yes, OCAML also has a native code compiler.
    See Chapter 10 [inria.fr] of the documentation [inria.fr].
  • Maybe this person works for Fox Entertainment. Have you tried going to their web page? All I get is a message telling me that I am either using the wrong web browser or the wrong OS and I must change to what they require in order to view their page: http://www.fox.com/require.html [fox.com]

    What idiots they are! I guess I won't be going there to check out what programs they will be showing on their network. It is a good thing there aren't such silly requirements on watching network TV.

    -Jason

  • I don't think anybody else has mentioned this... The Corel File Manager has a build in web browser that seems to work fairly well, although I haven't tested it extensively yet... It brought up Slashdot just fine, and some of the other sites I tried. I have not yet seen anybody mention this feature of the Corel File Manager... or has nobody else tried typing a url in the Corel File Manager?
  • It doesn't work. I download usertool.exe from

    ftp://ftp.sunsite.utk.edu/pub/cygwin/latest/

    --the only ftp site that works. It aint have no cygwin1.dll

    CY
  • Sorry...got a "not responding" the first time and assumed the worst.

    Anyways. Was surprised to see so many linux browsers. I was under the impression there were far fewer than that. Good to see that they're coming along nicely...maybe there'll be some healthy competetion for Mozilla when it comes out. As it stands now, tho, with all but a handful of those on the having no frame support, i think i'll stick to netscape (untill Mozilla, of course).

  • It's really a shame HTML has become some much of a page layout language.

    If there would just be a good standard set of those link attributes, to indicate things like 'next', 'up', 'home' etc. then you could put key bindings to them in a browser.

    All those HTML message boards (like /. for instance) would work much better if you could just wack keys for 'next message', 'skip thread', 'move up'. No more hunting around with the mouse for all those links and buttons.
  • For what it's worth, I think Netscape runs significantly better under Irix than Linux - it does crash, but it crashes less often.

    I've used Netscape 4.x under Irix for well over a year now, and it's never brought down X. I turn off Java because Java does seem to crash it - but it crashes IE under Windows too.

    However, I do agree that it's pretty horrible in its rate of freezing up the machine for agonizing minutes as it does its DNS lookup.

    As others have mentioned, Mozilla is a complete rewrite, and I think you've explained quite well why that was necessary. Let's just hope it winds up working well.

    D

    ----
  • Personally, I'm waiting for KDE 2.0 and Konqueror. If Konq. can't hack the job, then I'll go for Opera. The commercial non-GPL'd, Norwegian browser. Personally, I think i'll go for Opera in any case, since I really think its the best browser available.

    However, its interesting to see that there are so many browsers available. I didn't know about any except Netscape, Arena, the KDE-thingomajig in addition to lynx.

    Mozilla will sure be interesting. But I have a nagging feeling that I won't like it. I don't like netscape today (even though I use it, because of lack of alternatives.. hmm, maybe I should look closer at these 21 when I get home from work) - and I don't think I'll like mozilla when its released. But we'll see. :)



    --
  • It probably uses KDE's "libkhtmlw" widget library to do the HTML rendering, so it should be just as good as kfm in that regard.

    Do a "ldd `which progyname`" to see what libraries it links to.

  • ...most of the browser are not even close to viable alternatives to the "classics", ie. Netscape and lynx. Most of them render only a subset of html, and/or render what they do understand in odd ways.

    I'd say, wait for Mozilla 5. The M11 release works great on my computer (ie, bombs only about every 15 minutes as long as you stay away from password-protected areas, compared to every 45 seconds of M10). Also, KDE 2.0's browser ought to be interesting.

    But besides that, there's not much out there.

  • When I follow a link I use the middle mouse button to open a new window. The original stays where it was.

  • It is important. It would lower my blood pressure when visiting sites that specify too small fonts or unreadable colours (dark blue on black, anyone?)

    Well, your claimed webpages that doesn't do "noframes" decently (iow display more than "this page require frame-support) is broken. I'll claim that pages with dark blue on black is broken ;)

    But OK, i see your point here, even though we disagree about the frames.

    Well, I don't agree with you there. I like to read Finnish when I can. Content negotiation is wonderful magic when it is used efficiently.

    Even though I'm norwegian, I really prefer to read the web in english. At least when the original site is english. Its the same when I read books. If the author is english, I prefer to read the english books instead of those translated into norwegian. If the author is norwegian, its the other way around.

    I recently found that Debian had suddenly gotten support for norwegian. And that the browser I was using had *shudder* set norwegian as the preferred language. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I screamed 'noooo'. :-) I quickly changed the settings and reloaded.

    I *DONT* want to read debians homepages in norwegian! :-)

    .. And .. I *DO NOT* like to use programs that is translated to norwegian neither. Even though Opera is available in norwegian, I prefer the english version .. when I use windows that is.


    --
  • I've noticed netscape is a lot more stable if you disable its disk cache (set to 0 in prefernces).
  • That's it! LaTeX!

    (Ok, I know. I'm not funny)

  • This comparison is a little dated as they have Netscape 4.5 which is a couple of versions behind the the latest Mozilla is at M11 (nearing 12)where the interface changed quite a bit since M10.

    I will not give an opinion of Mozilla and Netscape here because most of you know how good or bad they really are, but I can comment about Amaya.

    True enough Amaya may be very html compliant, but I found it to be a slow memory hog when trying to work with it. It seemed to have some serious memory leaks, even worse than Netscape.

  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:09AM (#1491156) Homepage Journal
    In a heartbeat. As long as it wasn't the same Internet Explorer monstrousity that Microsoft ported to Solaris and HP/UX. Ever see an Ultra 10 cave under the weight of a web browser? I have, while running MSIE 4.0 and 5.0 on it. My Sparc 5/170 at home can't handle it at any reasonable speed, yet it has no trouble with Netscape 4.x. I think a lot of the problem is that Microsoft basically ported Windows to the Sparc architecture along with Internet Explorer. (Why, for instance, does it come with its own TCP/IP shared libs? Aren't the Solaris standard TCP/IP C library functions simple enough to port to?) It really does feel like you're running some sort of emulator when you run IE on Solaris. Anything faster than a Sparc 10 mod 51 should have no problem running a web browser in X. Yet I've never seen even an Ultra that can handle IE.

    I share your grief on the Netscape issue, though. Its error handling has got to be the worst of any program I've ever seen. I, too, am getting fed up with typing "rm ~/.netscape/lock"; I might as well set up a cron job to do it for me every 30 minutes. The problem, however, is that it's not just Linux that it sucks on. Netscape crashes reliably for me on every OS I've used it on: Irix 6.5, Linux 2.0 and 2.2, FreeBSD (both the native binary and a Linux binary running under emulation), Solaris, Windows 95, 98 and NT, and MacOS. Sometimes it'll take X with it (segmentation fault in the server on Irix), other times it'll cause the entire OS to slow to a crawl (Windows NT) and require a reboot. Other times, it'll just cause the machine to reboot (Mac OS 7). I'm convinced that nothing will save Netscape short of a complete rewrite; its code would simply be too buggy to be of any use without major walkthroughs and audits (which would probably take longer than rewriting the damned thing.)

    I would love it if Microsoft ported IE properly to Linux. If it proved to be better than Netscape -- which it would not have a hard time doing, I daresay -- I'd use it.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Netscape has given me many problems, but the Back button has never been an issue here. I drop in here daily and have never had the back button bring me anywhere but back.

    Mozilla on the other hand does exactly as you describe, if it does not crash first before I have the chance to reach for the Back button.

  • My experience with the Solaris version of Internet Explorer was good for a couple of hours until it started freezing on startup, which it has very consistently done ever since. Rather sad, since it really looks like the Windows version, but right now it performs miserably.

    --
  • It should.

    Get the full tools from Cygnus themselves if usertools doesn't -- I can say with absolute certainty that it does contain that DLL. Also, be sure to start w3m from the Cygwin batch file (bash, etc), which sets the environment variables appropriately (the dll isn't, I believe, put inside the standard Windows search path). If the bash in the usertools (which needs the DLL) runs, so will w3m.
  • When I recently upgraded Netscape Communicator on my Linux machine, I was disappointed to see that not only was it no more stable, perhaps even less so, but also that no real advancements in basic functionality had been made; only bloat driven by the Marketing folks. For example, the Shop button.

    I have never intentionally clicked the Shop button beyond that first time out of curiosity. But each time I download a new release, I wish for the Back button to function correctly. I've tried MSIE, and damn the thing, it goes Back to the point you left off. Netscape goes back to some random position in the document. This is unbelievably aggravating, for example, when reading /. comments. I hate hunting for the spot I left off at so much, I tend to middle-click to open a new window for each thread I want to follow and close them when done with the thread! However, with recent releases, this has become more and more problematic - every time, every thread, I have to keep my fingers crossed that Netscape won't crash when I close the window. And much of the time, it does. Less often if I use Alt-w, more often if I use the window manager's close button (WindowMaker). Netscape is virtually unusable. What's wrong with these people? Why are they wasting programmers' time with Shop buttons when there are long-standing bugs to hunt?
  • aye, good points. I didn't even know about the "SmartQuotes" thing until you respond. As for ActiveX I don't see it as fragmenting the browsers as it is only used (99% of the time) in intranets. Personally I think they're pretty darn useful in that situation. for instance Microsoft has a ActiveX control in their ITGweb system for changing your machine name for the internal network.

    -Jon

    p.s. I'm posting this one as good o'l HTML in hope that the quotas come out ok for those "less fortunate" :)

    p.s.s. never mind the p.s. how the hell do I make sure the text doesn't have those nasty Microsoft char's in them?
  • There is no accounting software for Linux.

    Yes there is: Appgen [appgen.com]. And you're right about the "huge cost to redo [them] for Linux" but the cost of maintianing them now is pretty close to the cost of converting them. TCO is so much better with Linux it's scary.


    ---

  • I think the only things we need to make Linux ready for the corporate desktop is:

    - A decent webbrowser. (mozilla / opera coming soon)
    - A decent Email program (hmm.. kMail is usable, but not great)
    - A decent Office suite (kOffice coming soon)

    I completely agree with you about the web browser. The email client point is ify. I still can't find anything better than pine or mutt for email but I'm sure that a GUI client would be good for the masses.

    I will disaree with your point about a good office suite. If you define a "good" office suite by it's capibility and functionality then Linux has two; ApplixWare (which is fantastic) and StarOffice. The problem people have is they define a "good" office suite as being exactlly like MS Office (which is NOT all that great).


    ---

  • Yes, ActiveX is an adequate solution for applets on homogenous, Windows-only, Intel-only intranets. OTOH, few places are like that, most places I've worked have had at least one employee who insisted on having their Mac, and ActiveX doesn't work on the Macintosh's IE version. Also, with all the new non-Windows technology coming out, do you really want to be forced to stay with Windows just to support your legacy ActiveX programming efforts.

    As for preventing IE from using the special characters, I know in Word you can turn off SmartQuotes and other character substitutions, if IE now does SmartQuotes too, I assume you can also turn them off in IE.

    Option 2, use Netscape (and refrain from cutting and pasting from Word, Windows Netscape will pass those special characters right along too).

    Option 3, use a font that's mapped to ISO 8859-1 Latin 1 rather than Windows Code Page 1252 Latin 1. If you open up the most recent version of Charcacter Map to look at a font, it should display the font as seven lines of 32 characters each. A box usually indicates an undefined character. A true ISO 8859 font would have that middle line all boxes, since those codes are reserved for control characters.

    ----
  • This is to correct a factual error in my post. I referred to characters 223 for open curly double quotes, 224 for close curly double quotes and 222 for open curly single quotes. I had forgotten that the method I was using to find out the codes reported the number in octal, not decimal. The real numbers are 147, 148 and 146, respectively.

    As a biproduct, they don't match the German S, Thorn, or accented a; rather, they fall in a block of numbers that is reserved for use as control characters. Under the right circumstances, who knows what a terminal might interpret them as.

    ----
  • You put the .dll either in the programdirectory, or with the rest of the .dlls in \windows\system (or %SYSTEMROOT%\%blahblahblah%... on NT, which is usually \WinNT\System)

    Or maybe \windows\system32.

    It will likely find it in any of those three spots.
  • Hmm. Are you saying your Netscape back button take you to the right place on the page you're returning to? Always? If so, I'd like to know precisely what version you're using because I'm tired of the open-in-new-window style I've had to adopt to get around this annoying and long-standing bug.
    --
  • The Solaris and HP ports of Internet Exploder were horrible, if I remember some posts in earlier threads about this. IE's power lies in the integration with the operating system, which is typically Microsoft. Porting IE to Linux in two days is impossible, and I don't think it will get a big userbase in the open source community.

    In the beginning, IE was developed because of Netscape. The Netscape browser was an attack to Microsofts APIs, as Judge Jackson's Findings state. Microsoft has no reason to release IE for Linux - they won't make money and they won't improve image.

    One offtopic thing: this is one of the messages that always get moderated up as insightful: "Microsoft may seem Enemy #1, but it indeed helps Linux towards standards." While that is a truth we don't always consider, we should take care of problems ourselves instead of begging MS to port IE.
  • I *DONT* want to read debians homepages in norwegian! :-)

    That's your choice. My choice is different.

    Perhaps it'd be good if the ideal browser had a switch that allowed you to turn CN on or off, depending on one's mood ;-)

  • On another note, i didn`t notice Konqueror in the list...

    It seemed to be an older review. It listed kfm, along with, of course, Mozilla M10 and Netscape 4.5.

    -Brent
    --
  • From what I've heard (correct me someone if I'm wrong) XSLT isn't going to happen in mozilla for release. But you can do anything you like within the bounds of CSS + DOM + Javascript (see a long thread about this on xml.com).

    Having said that - I think XSLT will come very quickly after release. There's already (IIRC) IBM and Sun working on implementing XSLT within mozilla, so I suspect a plugin will come fairly soon.
  • Opera is weird. It snobbily renders W3C spec HTML, and as you'll find out very soon, people don't code their pages perfectly. They code them catering to netscape and ie's idiosyncracies. Most of the pages you view on a daily basis (generally commercial sites) will look broken and funky under Opera. Don't believe me? Get it for windows95 and see for yourself.
    Don't get me wrong, I like Opera alot for it's quickness, stability, etc. However I think the designers were a little short-sighted by ignoring specialty tags designed for the Big Two.
  • I am using Netscape Communicator Version 4.7, the whole package not just the browser on a stock RedHat 5.2 system under an older verion of WindowMaker.

    I got my 4.7 version of Netscape(rpm) straight from the 5.2 updates on a Red Hat mirror.

  • I was a heavy lynx user till I discovered w3m. Now it's
    45%/45% (the other 10% being Netscape). w3m handles tables
    very nicely (try reading www.gnome.org on lynx) and
    you can use lynx keybindings if you like. On the other
    hand it doesn't display pages partially while downloading
    but only after it's received everything.
  • Sure, the interface sucks. But that's no reason to throw out a perfectly good HTML engine. Trust me, it's set up so that you could drop it into a standard GTK interface fairly easily.
  • That's not what I meant.

    Lynx and Opera WON'T RENDER unless the code is very standards compliant. Opera occasionally works with really bad code but the layout is just utterly horrid.

    If Lynx didn't parse tables then you would see the tags (or at least fragments of them).

    I haven't tried w3m yet.... But from what I've heard it sounds promising. Personally though with the advent of CSS and enough "bad HTML example pages" I havne't had many problems with graphical pages enough to facilitate the need for a text browser (for other than checking HTML).

    It also renders frames too... :)

    -Erik-
  • In my personal experience, Netscape is the best free industrial strength browser for windows. I definitely prefer it to IE5 for several reasons. Before you get excited and hit the flame button, read all of the paragraphs below.

    I prefer netscape to ie because imho netscape loads faster, does a much better job of rendering pages, and is much more stable.

    I see a lot of comments regarding the fact that Netscape is slow to load, as opposed to ie, which is fast. To those people, I propose a challenge: remove ie from the windows shell, and then evaluate again. The first thing you will notice is that Windows loads 8-10 seconds faster (on a k6-3 450, 192 MB). The only reason I can think of for this is that Windows is already loading IE when it boots up... 'launching' IE simply shows it on your screen. The equivalent function in netscape would be to open the messenger, then click "New Navigator Window". Instantaneous. MS is fooling you into thinking that ie is fast by hiding the real time it takes to load. (I am probably betraying my ignorance of how it works; feel free to correct me. I am an engineer, not a programmer.) The second thing you notice is that Netscape loads much faster; I would go so far as to say twice as fast. I would be very interested to know why this is, since my computer should not be resource limited in this situation.

    The only real evidence I have that netscape renders faster is anecdotal; I had always used Netscape on my NT box at work (PII 300), until the network people decided to only allow IE5 to access the proxy servers(I don't know how they did this, but we recieved a message saying to switch to ie, then netscape stopped working). Forced to switch, I immediately noticed that anything I did on the network was slowed- pages that used to take 3 seconds to d/l and render (i.e. a slashdot page with 150 comments) now gave me time to go get coffee. Since this happened overnight, I am pretty sure that the browser was the culprit.

    I have also seen a lot of comments saying how unstable Netscape is. I have noticed this on my home computer as well- sort of. Once again, I don't think this is Netscape's fault. My evidence is more interesting this time: I had a nice, stable environment on my machine, with netscape 4.7 and ie5 beta that my Diamond video card installed for me; one day I got bored and decided to upgrade to the new version. Upon upgrading, Netscape suddenly started crashing. Literally every time I accessed a java applet in a seperate window. I changed nothing in my netscape configuration- only my ie setup, yet what was affected was netscape. I removed IE5, reinstalled windows and netscape, and now everything works well again. I haven't had netscape crash since.

    I am not a linux bigot, or even a MS hater- in fact I have been accused of being a MS lackey on this list more than once. My preferred windows browser is actually opera, except it isn't free and I dislike the MDI. I have used Netscape on linux (mandrake 5.1) and unix (IRIX 6.2), and it sucks on both; linux much worse than irix. In fact, the lack of a good linux web browser is keeping me from using linux for anything other than a cheap terminal server when I need to access an sgi from my pc... maybe I will try again when mozilla gets up and running. Or opera. But on Windows it is and has always been superior to IE, and you are fooling yourself if you say it isn't out of some sense of egalitarianism or generosity to MS.

    To borrow Neal Stephenson's OS metaphor and apply it to browsers, the point I have been trying to make here is that if having a Toyota in your garage causes your Ford to run poorly, one answer would be to sell the Toyota. If your garage is currently unable to hold a Toyota and you have a rusty old pickup, it might be better to try and fix the pickup rather than inviting a product of dubious integrity into your home. Or maybe you should buy a porsche from the guys over at Opera.

    Scudder
  • Yes, standard GTK... That sounds good...
  • I can't agree with you on that I think Windows 2000 is memory hog which doesn't merit the upgrade from NT if you are using it as a desktop OS. It may be worthwhile for servers but as we are talking about web browsing I don't feel it's worth considering.
  • If I was currently a moderator, I'd have moderated that last comment back up. It's really only mild flamebait, and there's a strong element of truth.

    It might be "true", but you know very well that the poster only intended it as flaimbait.

    Hopefully, Mozilla/Netscape 5 will fix a lot of these issues. I'm hearing hints from various places that Nav5's XML support won't be as complete as IE5's (anyone know?), and this worries me a little.

    You want to check out the Netscape Standards Challenge [netscape.com].

    -Brent
    --
  • rm ~/.netscape/lock seem a familar command to anyone?

    Oddly, in 4.7, you don't have to, it checks to see if the pid is defunct before asking. It does ask for example if you launch it twice.


    --

  • by Afrosheen (42464) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:52AM (#1491186)
    If you're going to be a web designer for a living, you might want to change that elitist attitude. You've already alienated ALL of your possible unix/linux/freebsd/beos users in one fell swoop, coding only for a browser available for a whopping 2 flavors of Windows. Get a cgi script that records browsers and OS types (hell get a counter from thecounter.com) and watch your stats. That'll give you an idea of who is looking at your pages with what. My personal, measley site has around 800 hits and it's an even split between IE and Netscape. Using code specific to either browser is only cool if you have an index page that javascripticiously snoops the browser type and forwards the user seamlessly to the 'coded for whatever' page.
  • Hmm, you said that we need to get a browser for Linux fast, so that MS won't be able to "bend" Web design towards their products. Although I do agree that Linux needs a good browser, and soon, I don't think that will stop MS from bending Web standards... They're already doing that, and they will continue to do that. (Proof: see the dramatic increase in the number of *annoying* sites that use IE-specific code?) I guess what's important is that they aren't the only ones popular enough on the Web to be noticed in general. If they were, they'd be defining the Web, and then we'll really be in trouble. But if alternative browsers make enough noise out there -- ie., attract enough attention to merit consideration of compatibility by Web designers -- the non-IE websites won't pale into insignificance, and Web designers will think twice before making their sites 100% IE-based.

  • Support for XML itself (the core spec) is trivial. Both Netscape and IE do well there.

    Support for the DOM (the API to XML/HTML used by JavaScript) is harder. I believe both will have mostly equivalent DOM1 support when Mozilla is released.

    Mozilla will do better with CSS/XML integration because they will do better with CSS standards compliance in general.

    Mozilla is supposed to have XSLT support. It doesn't now but the code is under active development. The XSLT engine works standalone but now must be integrated with the browser. If they get this right, then their XSLT support will be one year more modern (read: standards compliant) than Microsoft's.

    Netscape wins in use of XML for "other stuff" like menu customization, news feeds and so forth. That XUL stuff is butt-ugly but it is still XML!

    All in all, I think that the XML picture is pretty positive for Mozilla and will become even better once more cooks get into the kitchen.

    Paul Prescod
  • I don't mean to be nosey, or opinionated or anything. I'm just asking an honest question...

    Do your clients/bosses know you do this? Most business wouldn't be comfortable with losing ~30-40% of the market or having an opinion stated so blantantly. To be perfectly frank, if I saw something like that on a web page... I just wouldn't visit it ever again. I think there are alot of people that agree with me.

    ...that had netscape not tried to keep up with all the features IE had and just kept to HTML standards and did it well like it had in the past people would still be looking at IE as that annoying program microsoft makes you install when you install windows, and not the better choice.

    Again no offense, I'm not flaming or anything...
    However, you should be aware that Netscape is the one that started extending HTML. Sure they worked like the dickens to get their extensions to become part of the HTML standard, but the fact remains that from the begining they did extend html (remember the CENTER tag? or FRAME? or even tr/td where all netscape specific tags in the begining.)

    Personally I disagree with you I've used IE3-5(mac(only to 4.5)/win), Netscape(mac/win/linux) and Opera(win)... and I still perfer Netscape. Sure there are standards that it doesn't support, and it crashes alot but it has two huge advantages over the others don't:

    1) A very simple UI. Compared with the last few releases of IE, netscapes UI is very simple and efficient.

    2) As you can see I use a mix of OS's, and having to deal with a consistent (mostly) UI across all three is really nice. (there are big diffs between IE4&5 and IE4.5 for the mac, btw).

    Granted the above is just my opinion, and you are perfectly free to disagree....

    RobK
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the early/mid 90's bill stated that he would port MS software to any platform that had more than X users.

    Statement was in response to a question asking if ms would continue to support Word on the Mac platform. Hint was that if Mac dropped below X users, than no more mac sw from microsoft.

    I'm sure Linux has more users than the mac in the early 90's. Would really like to find that quote.....

    Oh, almost forgot, I agree NS on linux totally sucks. Features are fine, great IMAP4 client but crashes are totally unacceptable. I think the "just turn off java" people don't realize how much this hurts Linux. I for one will not deploy Linux on any desktops at my workplace until there is a stable browser available.

    I often tell people that Netscape is Linux's greatest Enemy.

  • I agree, table support is important. But frame support is not - except that if a browser supports frames, it should allow me to turn that support off. Any site that does not work
    without frames is broken. The NOFRAMES element is there for a reason.

    Rubbish - many sites require frames for very good reasons. I personally try and ensure my sites are at least mainly usable without them, and I have some sites with no frames at all, but to say that sites using a standard, accepted tag are "broken" is way over the top. Why do people get in such a flap about frames anyway? Most mainstream browsers support them fine, navigation has been fixed (early Netscape frames nav was a mess), and they help provide a consistent interface without constant reloading of static elements.

    If you are unable to access a site because it uses tags you don't *LIKE* you are free to ask the webmaster to do a version just for you....but if s/he doesn't then it's like it or lump it time IMHO.

  • Re:Internet Explorer on Windows 2000 Professional (Score:1) by oki900 on 14:33 01 December 1999 FST (#64) (User Info) I have to agree that IE is soo much better than anything in linux for web browsing. I design web pages and they are designed with IE in mind and anyone using something else is unlikely to be able to even access the pages at all. My disclaimer that pops up for netscape

    WARRING: you are using netscape, a now inferior browser due to it's desier to try to compete with microsoft instead of doing what it did best. It was crushed and hasn't worked properly since version 3. Please change your browser as soon as possible.

    I design websites for a living, and have been for what, over 3 years maybe? And I find this utterly ridiculous. There is no reason to do this. It requires just a little bit more effort on the designer's part, but it's not like you would need to spend months of it. I think this is totally unnecessary.


    --

  • I find it somewhat appalling that this is still an issue.

    SSL management should get pushed out to an SSL proxy, so that there would be common support for SSL for all browsers, whether they natively "do SSL" or not.

    The point here is that by doing a proxy right, once, this eliminates the need to tightly integrate crypto into all of the web browsers.

  • This is going to sound weird but if I login as user A netscape is unstable and crashes very easily. Yet if I login in as user B and connect to the same pages it's stable. I've already fixed the fonts problem that was causing the jvm to crash so I no longer have that problem. Do a dejanews search, something along the lines of java causes netscape to crash. Search the comp.os.linux.* newsgroups.

    BTW I've tried isolating the ENV and moved directories, tried cleaning out the .netscape directory, etc. etc. . I also do not use the wrappper file, though I have tried it.
  • I would like to know exactly what IE has that is not part of the WC3 standard.

    Those annoying question marks in place of apostrophes, for starters.

    netscape doesn?t support as many standards as IE. And if Microsoft?s is ?bending? standards into the browser, that would seem like a good thing
    Uh huh. Your sad little post about "standards" pretty much speaks for itself, doesn't it? How ironic.
  • you are using netscape, a now inferior browser
    the worst thing I'm finding with netscape is the older versions that a lot of our clients are using (.gov, madated to use only netscape) is that sites using certificates to authenticate are failing.

    while MS has a stranglehold on the windows desktop, corporate users will continue use IE.

    from a development point of view this is good, but from a technological standpoint I'd like to see a real competitor. It's worth noting there's a lot of wintel/ie users out there and it's difficult for competitors (free or otherwise) to break into this market.
  • I use lynx on win32 a lot. Then I hread w3m and download the zip file. I couldn't run it because I need "cygwin1.dll" (something like that, I am not at home right now.)

    Search "cgywin1.dll" on google reveal tons of "cygwin-19991123-.dll" type of stuff. I have no idea what it is. The only entry I think I understand is about cygnus library for emacs. Searching cygwin1.dll on cygnus.com reveal nothing worth a damn. I think this is *nix users' trendy discrimination toward window users. (Even if I have the .dll file, where do I put it huh? The fabulous helps files come with w3m don't say nothing.)

    If this is the document standard for a decent non-commercial program, I think I'll stick with windos for a while. (I use cheap $20 winmodem and Netzero, and I don't even have a cd-rom for a laptop Yeah call me a window cheap bastard.)
  • The Squeak [squeak.org] Smalltalk system is available for many different platforms, including Linux. I use its included browser, called Scamper, when I want to look at sites with Flash. It doesn't handle tables or frames, but I expect that to change soon.

    Squeak, including Scamper, is 100% open source

  • Opera's main advantage comes from the Windows platform, where it was:
    a) Not IE,
    b) not Netscape,
    c) still reasonably fast and full functioned.

    This was enough to win it some die-hard fans, especially among people who didn't like the alternatives, but were forced to use Win32 in the office.

    Not a bad little product, and it catered exactly to what people were looking for: a change from the alternatives.

  • You're nuts and hurting your customers. Netscape still has a significant percentage of the market. Yeah it sucks not to have the major browsers properly support the most fundemental standars (HTML4 and CSS, and boy do I want CSS; IE5 still doesn't support fully like Mozilla) but you can't ignore Netscape users.

    BTW, Mozilla has not hit beta yet. But it is looking good.

    "patiently" waiting for mozilla.

    narbey
  • I'm convinced that nothing will save Netscape short of a complete rewrite

    Where have you been? Mozilla [mozilla.org] is doing exactly that.

  • Can someone explain to me why everyone is so gaga over opera? I don't mean this as a flame, I just think there is something I missed.

    I downloaded it, played with it, and I found the UI to be confusing (the back and forward buttons are on the top menu, not on the window that it refers to, for example), and not well designed for how I browse the web. (I usually browse durning breaks of concentration, and flip back and forth between an IDE and a specific webpage... opera with it's mdi doesn't allow that easily.)

    Sure it's small, but for the $30, I could get more memory, and sure it's fast, but even on my t1 at work the render time is swamped by the download time.

    I mean honestly, could someone explain to me, I want to know what I missed!
  • I've been tracking MS IE development on
    Solaris - there isn't any.
    When a new version of IE comes out they
    release a solaris version, but its so buggy
    you've only got a 50/50 chance of even opening
    the front page - it always dies within 2 minutes
    of browsing for me (Solaris 2.6, recent patches).
    Even with these problems I keep downloading from
    the MS site and guess what... the file I download
    doesn't change - between April and November 1999
    the same unusable buggy IE5 was available.

    This indicates that either no-one uses IE5 on
    Solaris, or haven't logged any faults or that
    MS don't care. Probably a bit of each.
  • There's almost indefinately something wrong with your tables then.

    Lynx & Opera have to be the 2 most anal web browsers on the earth (and that's a GOOD thing). Use them to test your HTML, then verify through W3C afterwards just to make sure. Everything will render on every page just right for almost everything after that. :)

    -Erik-
  • what the [expletive] are you talking about? my post doesn't have question marks in place of apostrophes.

    Try viewing it in a browser other then MSIE on MS Windows.

    MSIE uses non-standard Microsoft codes in place of the apostrophe and quotation marks. They look fine to you, but anyone not using MSIE or not using Windows is laughing at you.
  • by Billy Bo Bob (87919) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @04:31AM (#1491216)
    OK, I am really tired of Netscape, both on Windows and Linux. It is too big, slow and buggy. I want a fast light browser that does all of HTML/common graphics (png, jpeg, gif?) and takes (not comes with!) the common plug-ins, has optional Java support, has Java Script, does SSL and does nothing more. No mail, news, whats related, zillions of button bars, nothing. OK, maybe bookmarks.

    I had hope for Mozilla, but it looks just as bad. I have hope for Opera, but it is not out. Can't we get some of these browser writers together to write a browser and not a full apps suite? And maybe the memory footprint won't be totally silly ...

  • Run it under Wine. Last I checked, I could get IE 3.0 for Win 3.1 to run under Wine. I can't get IE 4.0 or 5.0 to install with the stupid network installer, so I don't know if Wine will run the current crop of Internet Explorer versions, but it'd be fun to try.

    And heck, if it doesn't work, and you want it that badly, post to the newsgroup, or try to fix it yourself...

    I guarantee you, if MS ported IE with Wine, it'd run better on Linux than it does on Solaris or HP/UX, easily. And it'd probably have some advantages over the Windows version. (stability--if IE crashes, it doesn't bring down Linux :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by etherised (72853) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @01:17AM (#1491224) Journal
    i have, at one time or another, tried most of the browsers mentioned in the article, and dropped them all -- all but netscape. why? with all its quirks, netscape is still the one with the features, the one where the menus actually work, the one that i trust when i'm doing my banking or trading stocks thru. i really really wish that the mosaic people hadn't stopped development on THE original graphical browser, but oh well. i eagerly await the finished version of either Mozilla or Opera. i am willing to pay (!) for a good fast browser that won't suck up my limited resources (but not too much!! :)
  • Exactly. There are 4 browsers you might want or need at the moment:
    • Netscsape for all the pages that just won't work (yet) on any of the alternatives.
    • Lynx for fast and easy browsing and actually getting some information instead of eye-candy. And of course whenever all you have is the console or a telnet login.
    • KDE's browser to drag-n-drop downloads and to use a pretty okay graphical browser for the simple stuff.
    • Mozilla to test your own HTML4.0/CSS and for fun and giggles.
    I use all four of these, depending on my mood, task.. Mozilla and Konqueror (the browser in KDE2) will replace Netscape some day but even though both projects look great and are quite useable already, they're not exactly there yet. And Lynx will always be around.

    As for the other 17 browsers... Opera might get a nice niche market, StarOffice's internal browser is okay.. I haven't tried the rest recently so I don't have an opinion on those other than that I hope we will go to a situation with many different browsers and functionality/integration and only a few rendering engines.

  • Obviously you need to have a secure path between your web browser and the proxy, as the proxy is going to store private data, so on your own computer is the answer to that, of course.

    As for the Spamazon thing; consider:

    • There is some art to choosing passwords. Choosing badly is a bad idea.

      Happily, these days there are tools that are reasonably good at storing things you can't possibly remember. I pick formally random passwords, and cut/paste between a semi-secure application and the web browser.

    • The extent of the exposure to exploit at Spamazon is somewhat limited.
      • If you make interesting changes, such as to address, you are required to enter the credit card number.
      • They don't report back the credit card number.
      • They tend to send you email messages concerning impending orders.

      This all adds up to there being pretty limited room for dramatic, not-readily-cancelled, harvestable credit exploits.

    Is that to say that they are provably providing a real secure system? No. But it's not more insecure than you giving a waiter/waitress your credit card to charge a restaurant bill.

    For more secure, take a look at American Express' Blue, [americanexpress.com] which requires that for online sales, you have the credit card handy, and actually have it interact with one's PC. Win32-only, at this point...

  • It's a sad state of affairs, but it seems the HTML "spec" is almost irrelevant. For every site which serves proper, compliant HTML, there are 3 which do not, and to be considered usable, a browser has to handle whatever shit is thrown at it.

    Ever since I got involved (about 1993), the Web has been based on "it seems to work, it'll do" - and Mosaic and Netscape are partly responsible, by being so liberal with the HTML they were willing to accept and (attempt to) render.

    Don't blame Tim Berners-Lee, his HTML was designed for a specific type of structured document. Tables, frames, BODY BACKGROUND=, these were all snuck in by Netscape, whereupon the W3C had their hand forced into including these features in later HTML specs.

    I remember early CERN documents, which discussed the attribute=value pairs within an HTML tag. (to paraphrase) it said "In future, the <A$gt; tag might have an attribute which indicates whether the link is the next page, a footnote, an image, a reference to another part of the document, etc. A browser would do certain things with these attributes, whereas an application printing the document would use the information in a different way."

    Has the HTML standard fulfilled that kind of promise? Nope. It's been shoehorned into a layout language, which is something it was never intended to do.

    Here's hoping that XML fulfills its promise, and once again structure and layout are properly separated.

    In the meantime, though -- formal "standards" don't matter one jot in the current browser market. While there's so much non-standard-compliant junk being spewed out by http servers, to succeed in the marketplace a browser has to accept it. Since a de-facto standard is no standard at all, I guess we have no standard.

    (My apologies to the few sites still using pure, W3C compliant HTML. I salute you.)
    --
  • Who cares?

    I want to know about png support. After all, we burned all our gifs, didn't we. Didn't we? Oh, if we are slashdot, then we didn't.

    (Actually, I'm seeing about 9% failure rate amongst users from a broad cross section of society coming to my site unable to view png's. Most are Win3.1 or Mac+IE users. Upgrade options are Opera or Netscape4.5/Mozilla respectively.)

    It was an interesting roundup though.
  • by Roundeye (16278) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @05:20AM (#1491246) Homepage
    It's a Netscape problem. And Mozilla doesn't seem to be making any headway towards fixing this.

    I almost thought you weren't ignorant. For the umpteenth time: Mozilla is not Netscape. In fact, there is virtually 0 shared code between the two. Additionally, Mozilla (which should be considered a completely new application) is still in a pre-alpha state -- probably will be "alpha" in a couple of weeks -- and crashes about as much as Communicator 4.7 (a ".7" release of a RELEASED product).

    I agree that Communicator is garbage. I don't agree that Mozilla is. Mozilla may not be a panacea, but it will expose Communicator and IE as the worthless crap they are.

  • From what I've heard, IE 3.0 for Win 3.1 is the last version of IE that runs under Wine. Anything later is too integrated with the OS. When I tried to run IE 4.0 under Wine, it thought I was reinstalling Windows...
    In these unusual circumstances, Linux sputtered and died, but everything (of course) worked fine after the reboot and fsck were done, and interestingly enough, the Network Neighborhood icon in Windows got un-broken when I did that.

    There's some weird kind of trend here. Whenever I do things that I'm supposed to do with my computer (like install new software or recompile the kernel) it starts working worse, but when I do something completely moronic, things work better afterward.
    --
  • I believe that Opera started in Norwegian and was translated to English, which kinda goes against your argument.
    --
  • What more is really needed? *Really* needed?

    A whole lot, I am afraid. Lots of businesses use internal software developed under VB that would represent a huge cost to redo for Linux. There is no accounting software for Linux. Many AS400 applications have Windows clients, but no Linux clients. There is no HR software for Linux.

    The list of missing pieces is long and imposing.

  • First let me say that I love Linux and use it exclusively at home and have started to introduce it at work too. It's a great, well engineered, solid software platform. But when it comes to web browsing, it frankly sucks.

    Netscape is just so full of bugs it's unreal. It crashes a lot. Every time a page contains a java applet or attempts to use a plugin you're sitting there with fingers crossed wondering if Netscape's going to crash.. again.

    rm ~/.netscape/lock seem a familar command to anyone? And why does Even when it works, it's dog slow. It's table rendering takes forever. The java VM is so slow as to be unusable. And it really would be nice if the entire Netscape program (i.e. all the windows it might have open) didn't freeze up while it's waiting for a DNS lookup.

    The fact is that Netscape is an embarassment to the Linux world. We tell people about this solid, reliable, crash-free computing environment, which it is, and then we sit them down in front of Netscape. And it crashes. And they give us strange looks, and decide to stick with Windows.

    I would like to see Internet Explorer for Linux. IE is a fine web browser. It's not perfect, but it's vastly more stable than Netscape, and very much faster. And there are already Solaris and HP versions, so porting it to Linux would be the work of a few days.

    Just think of the good publicity Microsoft would get if they released it. All us die-hard geeks would have to pause for a second and reconsider our feelings towards them. It would help in the ongoing anti-trust case. And people would use it.

    Of course, there isn't much chance of Microsoft ever doing such a thing... which is exactly why they should. They should do it to prove that attitude wrong. If it is wrong of course...

  • If I was currently a moderator, I'd have moderated that last comment back up. It's really only mild flamebait, and there's a strong element of truth.

    Navigator is "good enough" for me, and since I need xterms, bash, vi, cron, mutt, etc to get my job done efficiently, I stick with Linux and therefore Navigator.

    However, this means I have to put up with frequent hangs and crashes and "killall -KILL netscape; rm ~/.netscape/lock"s, when the Java VM ain't up to scratch. And this is on content that I *should* be able to view. I can do without ActiveX etc, since usually if the site requires ActiveX, it's of no interest to me anyway.

    Browsing using IE *is* faster than Nav4.7, more reliable, and altogether an easier and more pleasurable experience (once you turn off that dreadful smooth scrolling).

    Hopefully, Mozilla/Netscape 5 will fix a lot of these issues. I'm hearing hints from various places that Nav5's XML support won't be as complete as IE5's (anyone know?), and this worries me a little.

    Two (almost opposite) things I hope happen:
    1. Mozilla/Nav5 are success, and prove that Free Software can be good GUI software for non-nerd end users.
    2. A surge in the popularity of dumbed-down browsers (e.g. mobile phones, web TV, "games machines", palmtops) lead to more content which
      does not rely on Java/Flash/DHTML/etc.


    Perhaps browsers should have a button in the corner which automatically brings up a form email adressed to the current page's maintainer, making it easy for the irritated Dreamcast user (for example) to send "Dear GamesIsUs, I attempted to reach your Web site using the Dreamcast's browser, because I was eager to buy $300 worth of goods online. However, I was informed that the site required IE4 or greater and that I needed to upgrade my browser. Since there is no browser upgrade available, I was forced to order the goods from another company over the phone".

    Enough letters like that ought to wake a few Webmonkeys up. BTW http://special.reserve.co.uk has already done the right (ish) thing and launched a sister site with the same content optimised for 640x480 TV screens.
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  • by slim (1652)
    There's no such thing as a "Spectrum ZX81". The ZX81 was the precursor to the ZX Spectrum.

    I doubt there's the browser for either, but I'm sure I recall mention somewhere of a TCP/IP stack and a WWW browser for the Commodore 64, the Spectrum's main rival. So you're not making as funny a joke as you thought you were :P
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  • > Have you ever tried Opera btw? In that case, for how long? Did you give it more than an hour
    > chance? When you just start using it, you .. ohwell, you get hooked. :) it's .. *great*. :)

    Yes, I have tried Opera. It looked really good, but unfortunately is completely useless for this office environment since it doesn't support NTLM proxy authentication. Like it or not, this is a requirement for many businesses.

    On the other hand, I don't use any kind of proxy at home, so when the Linux version emerges I will certainly be buying a copy (it can't be worse than Netscape, right?)

  • It might be "true", but you know very well that the poster only intended it as flaimbait.

    Isn't it nice to see a different opinion every once in a while? If I wasn't posting comments, I'd moderate him up. Someone's got to be the devil's advocate.
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  • I wonder what I do wrong... StarOffice eats up ALL my memory. It takes 3 minutes to start on my (admittedly obsolete) P166, under GNOME and Enlightenment.
    --
  • Uh, here's a clue. Lynx is great and everything, but you obviously don't use it, because it doesn't do tables. It complies with standards for the features that it supports, but checking your tables with Lynx makes about as much sense as checking your image alignment with it. :)

    If you want nice layout in text, try w3m. w3m's table support is impressive, so it's too bad it crashes so much.
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  • The problem is a two parter, Microsoft produces non-standard (as per ISO 8859-1) characters in their output, and most non-windows browsers expect standard characters. Netscape on NT generally uses Windows' non-standard fonts as its default, and that is why you have no problem seeing the characters. Try switching to another OS, or even a standard ISO mapped font on Windows, and you'll see the problem.

    Most recent Microsoft products use a feature called "Smart Quotes", which converts normal apostrophies, single quotes and double quotes to non-standard characters supposed to represent curly single and double quotes. If you view his post carefully, you will see that it does not use ISO 8859-1 characters, nor does it use the entity names. It uses character #223 for open curly double quotes, character #224 for close curly double quotes, character #222 for apostrophies. According to the list you referenced, those should be the German sharp S, lowercase a with an accent grave, and a capital Thorn, respectively.

    If Microsoft were following the standards, it would have either:
    * Left the quotes and apostrophies alone; or
    * Used the HTML 4.0 tags , , and , as needed.

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  • by ajk (944) <gaia@iki.fi> on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @02:09AM (#1491275) Homepage
    IMHO the browser comparison focuses on the wrong things. Frame support is not important, nor is anim gif support or interlaced gif support.

    I'd like to know which render the pages correctly, according to spec. Which support CSS (according to spec)? Which allow the user to specify their own style sheets, overriding the pages' layout? Which support content negotiation? These are the questions I'd like to see answered, since those are the things that are important for the advancement of the Web.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

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