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Linux: Browser Wars 352

Anderson Silva writes "LinuxToday has an article doing a pretty basic comparison on some of the major linux browsers. Although a nice article, and with a fair result, I still think Opera is the best browser available for Linux." I prefer knoqueror, although recent builds seem to have random hangs on
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Linux: Browser Wars

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  • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @05:22PM (#2194798)
    The author of this article referes to Galeon as "nasty" and "tacky". I'm looking at a Galeon window right now, and it has only six small icons, a URL bar, the throbber, and standard GNOME menubar. I think it looks very minimal and tastful.

    The author says Opera is clean and simple. In my eyes, Opera is horrible. It's default screen is covered with 500 different widgets. When you load a page, they all start whizzing and moving around. It's very distracting. Opera doesn't look at home on GNOME nor KDE, which just adds to its problems. Opera, with its adverts and grotesque widgets, is a visual insult.

  • loading slashdot?... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gkuchta ( 451185 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @05:23PM (#2194809)
    Slashdot uses a lot of tables on the pages which can take a while to render, so what better test for a browser. Obviously this is a pretty extreme test as most pages are nowhere near as big.

    Opera: 127 seconds
    Konqueror: 57 seconds
    Mozilla: 71 seconds
    Galeon: 64 seconds
    Skipstone: 57 seconds (Note: Browser crashed on first attempt.)
    Netscape: 34 seconds
    Winner: Netscape Navigator

    These load times are absurd. Is this guy connected to the internet via a 300-baud phone-coupler attached to a telephone line spliced together with paper clips? I'm on a cablemodem, and it takes less than two-seconds to fully load slashdot. I think it took about 9 or 10 when I was on a dialup. Anyone else think these figures look a little inflated?
  • Galeon Problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Verloc ( 119412 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @05:25PM (#2194815)
    I'm using Galeon to read this right now 0.11.0, and while it's a really nice, clean interface, it does have some problems. htm []

    This is one of them. One of the two pop ups on this page crash it EVERY time. Without fail. I warn you, do not visit this in Galeon (unless there is some way of turning pop-ups off, which is entirely possible, I've never really delved too deep into it's guts.

    But I like it MUCH better than Mozilla and Netscape. It just seems cleaner to me.

    And for those of you visiting that web site in non Galeon browers, I did eventually figure out how to roll a joint without its help :)

  • Gimme a break... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quartz ( 64169 ) <> on Sunday August 19, 2001 @05:30PM (#2194833) Homepage
    From the article: Konqueror: Clean, simple and boring. Perfectly functional, with the bare minimum of fuss. The spinning KDE logo in the corner looks very nice, but of course adds nothing to your browsing experience.

    Konqueror, boring? Gimme a break. It's completely themable and it doesn't even need its own themes like Mozilla, you can use general KDE themes. And it works wonderfully as a file manager (and network browser and PDF and manpage viewer), with smooth icon previews of HTML, ps, pdf, images and text files. You can split the view in however many sub-windows you want, you can even have a shell prompt as a subwindow. It has a full screen mode. Right now, I'm browsing with KDE and Konqueror in "Aqua" theme and it looks, well, let's just say you have to buy an Apple if you want something to look cooler than that.

    And what's up with testing on a ridiculously outdated machine? P166, no MMX, 32 MB RAM? You've gotta be kidding me. If I wanted a browser that worked fast on this configuration, I'd have stuck with Netscape 3.0...
  • by Quazion ( 237706 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @05:30PM (#2194835) Homepage
    IE more stable ? since i use Mozilla 0.9.3 it hasnt yet crashed, but IE 5.5 crashes nearly everyday on my work where i use WinNT4. (nothin a simple kill and restart doesnt fix)

    The only thing i like more about IE over Mozilla is the fast booting and it fast opening of new windows, for everything else Mozilla is a very GOOD browser if you ask me and really good to use for everyday browsing.
  • by mz001b ( 122709 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @06:13PM (#2194965)
    This proves once again, that there still isn't a good browser for Linux. So we have to decide on which one is less crappy, and not which one is better.

    I don't think this proves that at all. I have been happily using Mozilla since version 0.8, and I like 0.93 much better than anything else I've tried. This of course is my opinion, some people like Konquerer (sp?) but I would say that there are good browsers for Linux.

    Mozilla has been very stable for me. I have not had any crashes. I encourage you to evaluate the browsers for yourself.

    Loading time for a browser is a non-issue for me. I load it once and that's it. I don't have to do that again until I reboot. There are other measures that I would have like to see in this comparison, like adherence to the stardards, implementation of different features. One /. page is not the end all of HTML rendering.

  • Re:Explorer? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @06:39PM (#2195047) Homepage Journal

    A German magazine did a similar thing a while ago, only they included MSIE.

    They did? I'd love to see the article. Especially the part how they ran IE under Linux. You did notice that the article is about browsers under Linux, right? Suggesting a browser not available for Linux is as silly as a Windows magazine including reviews of MacOS and Linux software.

  • by imevil ( 260579 ) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @06:59PM (#2195125)
    I had to do a Browser comparison with an application which needed hiding and displaying parts of a web page: depending on what you clicked some different stuff appeared.

    This application uses a lot of features a browser can handle: stylesheets (and the nasty "display" attribute), JavaScript, tables, forms and XML.

    I tried the following browsers (under Windows, since the people who will use it mainly have Windows):

    Netscape 4.x
    Netscape 6.1
    Internet Explorer 5.x
    Opera 5.12
    Amaya 5.1
    Mozilla 0.9.3

    Here are the results:
    - IE kicked ass in everything, and even displayed the XML stuff right.
    - NS 6.1 kicked ass too, but 6 or 7 times slower. Prettier display, but hideously slow (and no XML, but we didn't care). Same thing for Mozilla (duh).
    - NS 4.x sucked. Couldn't handle the "display: none" property properly. No XML.
    - Opera faked kicking ass, but in fact had JavaScript problems... just wouldn't show anything whatever you clicked. No XML.
    -Amaya didn't even fake. I guess it was a JavaScript problem because the display of the object was weird. But it faked some XML. displayed the source as plain text (ohh it's displaying something!! no, it's the source)

    Conclusion: best results on Win: (sniff) IE. Followed by NS6.1 and Mozilla. Then comes Opera.

    Gotta try some browsers under Mac and Linux now too, maybe.

  • by Surak ( 18578 ) <surak AT mailblocks DOT com> on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:54PM (#2195324) Homepage Journal
    This proves once again, that there still isn't a good browser for Linux. So we have to decide on which one is less crappy, and not which one is better.

    I dunno. Tend to think that a lot of software sucks, including web browsers and operating systems. The question actually becomes which sucks less?

    Mozilla sucks because it doesn't render some pages (mostly ones designed with IE in mind) correctly, and its load time is slow. IE sucks because of its tendency to crash and its tendency to bring the rest of the operating system (even on Win2k) down with it. Konqueror sucks because it doesn't render pages with Netscape OR IE in mind.

    But everything is a tradeoff. Mozilla is, bar none, the most second most stable browser on Linux, following Netscape 4.x closely. IE loads fast on Windows because, well, the code for IE is always in memory on a system with ActiveDesktop installed and is fairly stable on WinNT or Win2K. Konqueror is pretty stable, but it loads fast on KDE and isn't a memory hog like Mozilla. Opera is cool, but has a tendency to be slow and not render pages correctly. Plus it costs money.

    Mozilla, Konqueror and Galeon are the three most viable open source browsers on Linux.

    Everything in software is a tradeoff in terms of peformance, size, and functionality. Performance, size, functionality: pick any two.

    Given all of this info, I still prefer Konqueror, but I use Mozilla sometimes. To me Konqueror sucks less, but I tend to lean towards software that is higher performance. (That's one main reason I chose Linux over FreeBSD, Windows, or other operating systems available on my hardware)

    You just need to decide which set of tradeoffs is best for you.

  • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <> on Sunday August 19, 2001 @08:53PM (#2195503)
    I have started to, but let me share some of my experiences:

    Back in the "day", I routinely test with IE 4.0 and NS 4.08. It was only marginally hard to make them both render more or less the same, so long as you broke a few HTML rules along the way, and kept the HTML basic (I often had to code two sets of tags for a single page element - and usually IE ignore the non-IE one and NS ignored the non-NS one).

    A few years back, at the dawn of the IE5 era, I began noticing a huge decrease in NS usuage in my logs. Over the course of a few months, NS usuage went from about 50% to about 5%. Over the next two or three months, bringing us to about January two years previous, the usuage of NS began to form an vertical asymtope with zero. A coupe visitors a day seemed to be using NS, and even that curbed off to a few visitors every couple of weeks.

    At that point I decided that it would save me between 20%-30% of my time to not any longer test, fix, and check for NS, especially when getting into more complex issues involving java, javascripts, dhtml, css et all. I made an effort to write clean HTML, and IE rendered it all with equal medocrity. If an irate NS emailed me, I fixed the problem they mentioned.

    About 6 months ago I started looking at the Mozilla tree again, mainly because I am BeOS closet-user and wanted to see it run in my VMWare BeOS sessions. I believe the version was right after the last milestone release, something like .7.

    I started testing for .7 Mozilla again, and things were good. About three months ago, or whenever .8 came out, I noticed that Mozilla usuage surpassed NS 4 usage. Thank God/Other Diety/Nothingness.

    Then .9 came out, and a whole bunch of stuff started getting whacky. A custom theme I tediously wrote for my customers stopped working. CSS suddenly was acting funny, and CSS2 seemed to just stop. I noticed a few Bugzilla posts that seemed to fit the description of my problems.

    So then one of my main clients tasks me with writing a cross-platform javascript heavy intranet/extranet site "solution". The app really did require alot of interactivity on the page level, so I began writing it, hoping to deploy customized and branded versions of IE5.5 and Mozilla .9.

    I worked on everything long and hard, and it finished up two days before deadline. Then Mozilla .9.2 was released.

    All of the sudden, a key feature, the ability to upload multiple files through the input type=file tag was taken out. The release notes tell me that it was intentional, and that many other browsers do not implement multiple file uploads. IE5.5 does, and it was central to my design. So what has come from it? Its not scheduled to be fixed, no one really cares about it. My options are to continue using older Mozilla builds until I can scarcely find them anymore. Of course, we all know that .9 is nice but exactly "finished". I mean, I can't very well plan on deploying .9 for the next 3-4 years, can I?

    My whole point? Well, I guess its this: Mozilla is a cool project that isn't done yet. Maybe by the time 1.0 rolls around I can use it in standards-compliant environment, but not today, and now two months ago when I really needed.

    So all and all, I guess I am SOL until either I learn enough about the Mozilla source to fix the program myself (not likely, apparently.. have you ever LOOKED at all that source? Just locating the proper section is hard, let alone analyzing it enough to solve the problem) or until IE5.5 gets released/ported into Linux and other OS's.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling