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Possible web browsers for inclusion in RULE

General criteria

Following are some features that should be present in all browsers RULE offers, as well as some problems that should be dealt with in some standard way.

  • Our usual package selection criteria apply: no to browsers that may be light in and by themselves, but force installation of many megs of libraries, and/or start and leave around handful of auxiliary processes
    - browser must browse: email, news, etc… belong to external applications. Obviously, all selected browsers should be preconfigured to call such applications automagically, and mail/news clients should call the chosen browser in the same way when a URL is selected.
  • Full useability without the mouse: not really mandatory, but almost so.
  • as said above, modern web sites that do follow web standards should be useable. In this context, we should repeat on each candidate the same tests discussed in a recent article on Linux Journal’s web site (I’ll post the URL asap)
  • An extremely powerful feature to look for is the capability to select any hyperlink, and launch a user-defined script with the underlying URL as its first argument. This allows us to add all the capabilities of the more bloated browsers with a handful of shell scripts, each specialized for one task, for example:
    • Mirror this site for offline browsing
    • extract all the images from this page
    • list all the URLs contained in this page

Candidate browsers

The browsers suggested and packaged by RULE are those in the following table (motivated suggestions are always welcome, of course). The numbers in the second column of the table below are those of use cases just described. When needed, extra comments about a browser are placed after the table. As already said, the current home page nd RPM packages for each browser are listed in the RULE software map. The same holds true for the actual dependencies.

IMPORTANT: in its present form, the table is far from complete, surely contains errors, and is mainly meant to stimulate feedback, tests, and packaging! Any help is welcome!

  Name	Use case 	(T)ext/ (G)raphic 	KB of RAM 	MB on disk 	Tables 	Frames 	Color 	Images 	Cookies 	SSL 	JS
  w3m	2	T	?	?	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	N
  Links	2	T	?	?	Y	Y	Y	N	Y	Y	N
  (e/g)Links	2	T	?	?	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	N
  Dillo	3	G	200?	?	Y	?	Y	Y	?	?	N
  Netraider	3	G	?	?	Y	Y?	Y	Y	?	Y	N?
  Konq-E	3	G	?	?	Y	Y?	Y	Y	?	Y	N?
  Konqueror	4	G	?	?	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y
  Phoenix?	4	G	?	?	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y
  Galeon?	4	G	?	?	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y	Y

  • Links and e/gLinks: there are several forks of this browser: the original one is console only, a-la lynx, but there are the other versions which can also work in GUI mode
  • Dillo:Doesn’t do JavaScript, but opens almost before you have typed it on the command line… ( Is this still the current URL?).
  • Netraider: aka the browser whose developers disappeared. Rumor has it that it was a port of konq-e back to the x386 platform, i.e, konqueror on a desktop without the KDE elephant coming along. Very interesting, if only one could find its developers, any documentation, or up to date code. Unless somebody resuscitates it, it is here only for historical reasons: there used to be an RPM of an early version of it made for RULE by one of the list members (James) who left the project since then.
  • Konq-e: The version they run on handhelds (200 MHz CPU, just a few MB of flash RAM). Not the standard KDE thing. Does anybody have a working Makefile for compiling it on x86 platform?
  • Konqueror: the real one from KDE, but compiled stand alone, and without the most esoteric/mundane extensions (sound support, for example). Making an RPM of such a version is one of mine (Marco’s) main “pet projects for when days will be 72 hours long”. Fancy to make it, anybody?
  • Firebird (temporary name and previously called Phoenix): Mozilla’s code, but only the browsing part, and trimmed as much as possible: it may become, when it is a bit more stable, another interesting exercise for RULE, in the same sense as Konqueror, above.
  • Galeon: it could be perfect if somebody managed to extract from the Gnome/Mozilla mess all and only the code it actually needs, so that you can compile and install a small static binary without several hundred megs of dependencies on disk. I can say that it takes almost more than Mozilla to start on my box (129 MB of RAM, no GNOME (which may partly explain it), no KDE.
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