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10 features for a perfect browser

By ELP Fucking Rules in Technology
Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 09:56:23 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

There are some great browsers out there. But they all seem to have some slight niggles, different for each, that make it hard for me to kick back and enjoy them.

While there are some projects out there to make browsers more useful for some specialised purposes or by bolting on handy extensions, wouldn't it be great if these people could come up with a standardised set of nice features like these? A lot of browsers may support one or two, but I'll bet none have them all.

1. Toggle proxies at the touch of a button

As a troll and all round butthole, I use proxies almost all of the time when surfing. This is especially useful for sites such as OSNews which log your IP address when you post. That said, I sometimes try to visit, say, Slashdot only to find that my current proxy is banned. At this point I'd like to be able to push a button or use a keyboard shortcut to just switch the proxy off.

At the moment, in Firefox 0.9 (just as an example) I have to go to the Tools menu, click "Options", click "General", click "Connection Settings..." and select "Direct connection to the Internet". I'd love to be able to just press a button instead. Better still, someone should make a module to cycle through a list of proxies, changing over to the next one in the list when you press the button.

2. Keep it reasonably speedy

I'm looking at you, Firefox. When the latest major version was first released, I and all of the other Firebird-on-Lunix fanboys immediately rushed out, downloaded it, and plonked it in our /opt/ directory. There were improvements all round but for one large annoyance: whenever downloading anything or installing a new module, Firefox freezes for about 30 seconds and acts slow and jerky until the download or install finished. (Or, more likely, cancelled it in frustration.) And that sidebar just still isn't quite snappy enough...

I know I'm bashing the latest versions of Firefox disproportionately much on this subject but I am pissed off that in their drive for the Windows platform they seem to have generally fucked over the Linux version. Oh, well.

3. Invert colours with one click

Time for another fantasy: I'd like a nice button which, when clicked, would rerender the page with all colours inverted. When I'm surfing at 1AM with no lights turned on, I don't want to be browsing a site with a dark background and suddenly being blinded when hopping over to Google or Kuro5hin with their bright white backgrounds. I press the button, and the background goes black. Perfect.

4. Save sessions regardless of crashing

Though there is a session saving plugin for Firefox, it doesn't work when Firefox crashes as it occasionally does. Mozilla, Amaya and Konqueror have no kind of session persistence at all.

The only browser I've used which has done this right is Galeon.

5. Be smart about alternate stylesheets

Konqueror does this right, but I don't think any other browser does. In Konqueror if I visit a site with a choice of multiple stylesheets I can choose which one to use. You can do the same in Firefox. But only Konqueror will continue to use a non-default stylesheet if I follow a hyperlink or change page. In Firefox I have to choose my desired stylesheet on every new page I visit if it isn't the default.

6. Do as I say

In Firefox, I have the "Enable Java" and "Enable JavaScript" turned on. And yet only the simplest JavaScript works; all else does nothing. I'm unable to view sites which use anything more complex. And if I press Escape to stop the page loading, that means stop everything, not "stop downloading any more HTML but carry on loading images and Flash".

Konqueror is slightly better in some respects, but doesn't always follow the semantic information in markup. My copy of Konqueror renders first-level, second-level and third-level headings all at the same font size, for instance.

7. Do it the Unix way

What I mean is:

  1. Store configuration files as simple plain text.
  2. Keep out bloat.
  3. Make it standalone but able to integrate with other useful tools.
Store configuration files as simple plain text

The format of the Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox history data file, while at least being plain text, is damn hard to decipher. The "Netscape format" of cookies.txt is closer in spirit to what I mean. The Internet Explorer model of storing bookmarks as files and bookmark folders as directories appeals to me more than Mozilla's method of storing bookmarks in a single HTML file.

Keep out bloat

This has only really been a problem for Mozilla and possibly Internet Explorer. Putting everything but the core in plugins seems to be a good way to stop excessive spillover and conglomeration.

Make it standalone but able to integrate with other useful tools

No browser really gets this one right. Internet Explorer is far too tightly integrated with the Windows operating system -- it can't be uninstalled. Netscape and Mozilla are big amorphous masses of vaguely similar Internet applications glued together. Konqueror, being part of KDE, doesn't come on its own but in a big bundle with many other programs. More obscure browsers like Amaya, Lynx and links do nothing but browse. Finally, Firefox gives me a "mailto is not a registered protocol" error if I click on a mailto: link, instead of firing up its email counterpart Thunderbird.

8. A Google/Alexa toolbar substitue

This is probably just another pipe dream of mine as the way the Google and Alexa toolbars interface with the backend sites is most likely irretreivably proprietary. But it would be nice to have an open source replacement which is known to be spyware-free.

9. Viewer plugins

There's only two which I want as a matter of urgency: SVG and PDF. There's already pretty good SVG support in Mozilla, but it's not switched on by default for some bizarre reason. Come on, people. And if Internet Explorer can get integrated PDF, surely Konqueror or some such browser with its fancy window-in-window widgets can whack it in there.

Also on the list but as low-priority items:

  • LaTeX
  • PostScript
  • DjVu
  • MS Office and OpenOffice.org documents

Basically, mainstream document preparation formats.

Oh, and regarding SVG, PDF and other vector-based items: I'd very much like to be able to zoom in and change fonts also. Hopefully colours too. It should be not much harder to manipulate than normal text-as-HTML.

Failing that, the browser should recognise external document formats and not just show the binary data in a browser window (as Firefox on Windows is wont to do); it should display the usual save-or-display-in-viewer dialog which it usually shows for other formats.

10. Make plugins seamless

Too often when installing a Firefox plugin it throws up a "install in your profile (OK) or application directory (Cancel)" box twice. This makes me twitchy and paranoid that Firefox has fucked up the install by trying to install the plugin twice. This one isn't all that essential, but it would make installing plugins much less confusing if it didn't throw up spurious dialogs.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Slashdot
o Kuro5hin
o Google
o some
o great
o browser
o some specialised purpose
o bolting on handy extensions
o OSNews
o Slashdot [2]
o session saving plugin
o Amaya
o Konqueror
o Galeon
o Lynx
o links
o Thunderbir d
o Also by ELP Fucking Rules

Display: Sort:
10 features for a perfect browser | 184 comments (152 topical, 32 editorial, 1 hidden)
Good article (2.00 / 3) (#1)
by blackpaw on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 07:19:00 PM EST

I have often growsed about the feature spread between browsers that keeps me flipping , notably between konqueorer and Firefox.

A lot of this could be addressed if there was a common plugin api which every browser adhered too, but thats *really* unlikely.

Another must have which as far as I know is only in Konquorer - integrated spell checking in the edit fields of forms, its brilliant.

Keep this in edit for a while - people may post other usefull tidbits you may want to add.


integrated spell checking in the edit fields (2.00 / 2) (#22)
by Delirium on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 11:56:54 PM EST

growsed --> groused
konqueorer --> konqueror
too --> to
Konquorer --> Konqueror
its --> it's
usefull --> useful

(This version comes with a bit of free homophones-checking too.)

[ Parent ]

Feature Request (1.10 / 10) (#28)
by AnomymousCoward on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 01:43:57 AM EST

(This version comes with a bit of free homophones-checking too.)

Please modify the above text to read:

(This version comes with a bit of free homo-checking too.)

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile
[ Parent ]
Greetings. (none / 0) (#87)
by killmepleez on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:40:06 PM EST

I am a homo. If your john thomas is 7"-10", you may feel free to check me any time.

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
I Posted from work (none / 0) (#90)
by blackpaw on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:58:00 PM EST

Using Firefox, no speel checker as you can see <g>

[ Parent ]
Damn (none / 0) (#91)
by blackpaw on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:58:35 PM EST

"speel", how ironic

[ Parent ]
For a Linux Browser (2.50 / 4) (#5)
by debacle on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 07:38:43 PM EST

Mozilla is kind of dumbed down.

The Windows version of Mozilla makes me feel like a dumb twat. Everything that is automatically "Do not show me this again." in IE is "What was that, I forgot?" in Moz.

It's fucking annoying. And you can't even turn off auto-fillin with a click. You have to go into the fucking settings.


It tastes sweet.

You know (2.33 / 12) (#11)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 08:52:52 PM EST

You list ten problems. Some of them are general to all browsers. Some of them are specific to Open Source browsers. None of them are specific to Internet Explorer.

Conclusion: Switch to IE and you will at least have 2, 6, parts of 7 and 9, and 10 solved.

I love reading about Open Source browsers and seeing stuff like:

  • Crashes
  • just show the binary data in a browser window (as Firefox on Windows is wont to do)"
  • "mailto is not a registered protocol"
  • All of number 6
  • Keep it reasonably speedy

Ain't none of that shit is a problem in IE. Seriously. You have to change a few settings to keep spyware off. If you don't let the automatic patches install you could theoretically get owned. Seems much easier to deal with than the above list of stupid shit.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

*waves hands* (2.50 / 6) (#13)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 09:34:19 PM EST

And yet - still no tabbed browsing! Oh, the humanity!

AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
[ Parent ]
Avant Browser (none / 1) (#17)
by Greener on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 10:30:48 PM EST

Based on IE but with tabbed browsing, tab recovery on crash and a bunch of other firefoxy goodness. It's the only way I use IE.

[ Parent ]
This is nice. (none / 0) (#73)
by misfit13b on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 01:55:27 PM EST

Never heard of it before, but it is nice.  Gonna replace my IE icon with it, but probably still stick with Firefox as my default.  Thanks.

[ Parent ]
try crazy browser (none / 0) (#93)
by white light on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:37:06 PM EST

for de tabs...

..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Hmm? (3.00 / 7) (#46)
by curien on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:42:56 AM EST

I'm quite amused by people that insist IE doesn't crash. It does. It crashes occasionally. I've seen HTML pages (no Javascript) capable of crashing IE (this was in 5.5 -- maybe fixed in 6).

I'd rather have my browser obey the MIME type. If the damn thing says it's text, don't second-guess it. IE doesn't always guess right, though. I can finagle it to display binary data, but even worse, it sometimes displays data that claims it's binary if IE thinks it's really text.

IE will give a similar error if there's no registered mail client. I think this argument has more to do with defaults than anything else.

All of #6, eh? Apparently, you didn't get the joke.

IE's not particularly speedy. You can't really choose not to load IE anymore, but you could with Windows 98 and Win98Lite. The difference between a system with IE and one without is significant. Just because it loads automatically doesn't mean it's not slow.

This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm? (3.00 / 4) (#57)
by sllort on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 10:27:26 AM EST

IE stores its configuration as plaintext? IE is fast?

Your comment is .NET enabled, well done.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

IE does not store configs in plaintext (none / 0) (#75)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:51:19 PM EST

But mailto: does work and the author writes that he prefers the way IE stores bookmarks.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Only 2KB (none / 1) (#102)
by FlipFlop on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 10:36:15 PM EST

mailto in IE is limited to 2KB. It is very annoying. My company has an internal web site in which the user clicks a mailto link to start a new email message. The body of the message is automatically filled in with relavant details. Unfortunately the details get cut off because IE can't handle a URL more than ~2000 bytes long.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

That is sooo Microsoft (none / 0) (#129)
by spasticfraggle on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:35:42 AM EST

Or at least my impression of them - make something that works fine 95% (more like 75%) of the time, and screw the unusual users

They should all have "DO THE RIGHT THING" tattooed on their foreheads.

I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]

No Crashes in IE?? (2.42 / 7) (#67)
by PrezKennedy on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:09:16 PM EST

I've gone to pages with forms that cause IE to freeze and then need a helpful "kill" from the System Manager. I really like when IE takes the rest of the system with it... that one has happened a couple times as well.

IE isn't the answer... and being "theoretically owned" when you don't keep your system up to date with its patches is an understatement. It goes more along the lines of "Y0U W1LL B3 0Wn3D!!"
PrezKennedy.org - Bored stuff...
[ Parent ]

Yeah, but (none / 1) (#119)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 03:38:28 AM EST

I've had Mozilla crash on me too. Pretty regularly. Crashing isn't a problem restricted to MS products. ;)

[ Parent ]
But taking the rest of the system with it often is (none / 0) (#130)
by spasticfraggle on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:37:15 AM EST

No space left to write "nt" in the header.

I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
Still not convinced (none / 1) (#150)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:01:58 PM EST

I've had Mozilla start devouring CPU cycles at 100%, to the point where it took a few minutes to open Task Manager and kill it. I've had IE devour CPU cycles also, but it doesn't seem to do so quite as badly (perhaps Mozilla is spinning in multiple threads, while IE's only spinning in one?), and besides having to restart explorer.exe manually to get the GUI back, it's generally a lot easier to bludgeon it back into functionality.

Now, I'll admit that most people will take "kill the GUI" as a bit more important than "eat CPU cycles", but I don't, because the GUI's easily restartable and the CPU cycles thing can take some time to get around.

I haven't had Explorer do anything worse than that for a few years.

[ Parent ]

Random addition (none / 0) (#170)
by ZorbaTHut on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:11:30 AM EST

I just had to kill Mozilla again, and happened to browse my old comments, and saw this :) As I just remembered the hard way, the *most* annoying thing about Mozilla spinning out of control is that it invariably contains all your windows in a single process, so when you kill it, all your windows go byebye. IE has an option to run different windows in different threads.

[ Parent ]
Reply (3.00 / 3) (#76)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:53:53 PM EST

To the people who said that certain HTML can crash IE.

Yes, it can. However, the discussion here is of the open source browsers crashing on regular pages, not pages designed to crash them.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

IE crashes on a regular basis (none / 0) (#158)
by curien on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 09:05:11 AM EST

IE crashes just as much as Firefox does. In fact, IE crashing was one of the reasons I switched on my work system.

Also, the IE on my work system seems to have forgotten how to prepend "http://" to URLs. If I omit it, it hangs for about two minutes. Damned annoying.

I think it has something to do with some of my mapped drives being invalid. Well, they're only valid some of the time, and the rest of the time, they're unavailable, which fucks with Explorer like you wouldn't believe.

This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

not problems in Mozilla (on Windows, anyway) (3.00 / 3) (#139)
by gregholmes on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:27:55 PM EST

> Crashes
Rare.  Very rare.  I've honestly had as many in IE
on XP, which is to say hardly any.

> just show the binary data in a browser window
>(as Firefox on Windows is wont to do)
I've seen this in IE (I assume you mean PDFs?).  
I've never seen it in Mozilla.

> "mailto is not a registered protocol"
mailto worked just fine, firing up Mozilla mail.  
And now I have my gmail extension that takes me
right into composing a gmail message :)

> All of number 6
Not sure what this is.  Javascript works fine for
me in Mozilla, as long as the developer didn't
use proprietary IE-only objects and methods.

> Keep it reasonably speedy
If there is a speed difference between IE and
Mozilla on Windows, I haven't noticed it.  If
anything, my overall Mozilla experience is
much faster because of the adblocker and Flash
view plugins.

[ Parent ]

Sorry! (1.66 / 3) (#14)
by JackMorris on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 09:35:40 PM EST

I hit the wrong button and voted against! Not what I was trying to do... Decent article, not so sure about the invert colors, I tend to read with a light nearby to keep myself from going blind. I do like most of the other suggestions, and I suppose I'm not opposed to a color inversion, just that I'd never use it.

I'll make up for your vote (2.00 / 3) (#15)
by Ralp on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 09:59:58 PM EST

I was probably going to vote -1, but I'll vote whatever you wanted to vote; just reply and let me know.  THUS, LO, SHALL KARMA BE BROUGHT BACK INTO COSMIC BALANCE!

[ Parent ]
Time Limit Expired (none / 1) (#66)
by Ralp on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:05:06 PM EST

Defaulting to +1 FP

[ Parent ]
OK, so when is the beta version comming? (2.20 / 5) (#16)
by lukme on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 10:05:18 PM EST

It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
Konqueror deserves more credit (2.62 / 8) (#18)
by FlipFlop on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 10:36:14 PM EST

  1. While not quite what you're looking for, Konqueror allows you to turn the proxy support on and off from the menu. There is also an HTML settings button on the toolbar (shut off by default) that, among other things, lets you turn the proxy on and off.

  2. I've never used it, but I believe you can set up your own stylesheet to serve your overall goal of keeping the page dark.

  3. Konqueror has a tool to recover from crashes. It also has a tool to archive entire web pages.

  4. Integration with KDE is the reason Konqueror does so well with number nine.

  5. I've never used the Google toolbar, but you can simply type a search phrase into Konqueror's location bar and it will run a search at your favorite search engine. You can also prefix the search phrase with a code to go to a specific search engine (or other lookup site). For example, "imdb:casablanca" will search for the word "casablanca" at imdb.com.

    Konqueror 3.3 will have a search bar plugin. It will also allow you to select some text, right click and search for the text. The beta is already available. It is scheduled for an offical release tomorrow (but they're usually late).

  6. Konqueror already has two integrated PDF/Postscript viewers. It also has viewers for KOffice. It attempts to convert MS Word documents and view them with KWord but doesn't convert them very well.

    On top of those, Konqueror has built in viewers for text documents (complete with syntax highlighting and code folding), DVI files, archives (tar, zip, gz, bzip2, jar, deb, and others), audio and video files (could use some improvements), man pages, info pages, audio CDs, and quite a few others.

    Support for OpenOffice.org and better MSOffice documents is in the works.

    I've never hear of DjVu. Does anybody use it for anything?

AdTI - The think tank that didn't

DjVu (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by Polverone on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 03:25:59 PM EST

DjVu is a document format designed especially for scanned materials. It contains a very efficient bitonal image compressor, a wavelet image compressor for grayscale and color images, and a general lossless compressor for OCR text and other non-image data. Based on contrast metrics, it segments scanned images into foreground and background. "Foreground" is everything of very high contrast (like line drawings and ordinary text), and it will be converted to a bitonal image and stored at high resolution with excellent compression. "Background" is everything else, and it will be stored at lower resolution, but with full color, and compressed with the wavelet compressor. If OCR text has been inserted "beneath" the scanned images, it will be compressed with the lossless compressor.

Everything considered, it represents a considerable advance over even the most modern PDF documents when it comes to compactly representing/distributing scanned materials. However, the company that bought the tech from AT&T (LizardTech) has kept full-featured DjVu tools and licensing very expensive, which also severely limited 3rd party support. They did release a free no-frills encoder that works very well if you don't need OCR. I use technically-inferior PDF for almost all of my scanned documents just because the tools are so much cheaper and widespread, but you can see the substantial size savings on some scanned books here.
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

forgot one (2.85 / 14) (#19)
by UnCivil Liberty on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 10:54:07 PM EST

Not bastardizing W3C recommendations. While they all have some room for improvement, IE really needs to become stricter when it comes to following standards.

Donate: ACLU | EFF
I can't believe people have voted this up (1.91 / 12) (#21)
by xutopia on Mon Aug 16, 2004 at 11:30:59 PM EST

someone whinning that his browser isn't good enough. Haven't we heard enough of these already.

Nice meta-whine (2.20 / 5) (#23)
by SamBC on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:03:05 AM EST

However, it would be more convincing if:

  • The article wasn't actually well-written and constructive
  • You used correct grammar/punctuation

I like the article. There are faults, but would you claim to have written anything perfect? The article is mostly well-grounded and constructive, describing what features could be combined to form an 'ideal' browser. If anything, it'd be nice if browser devs heard about and read this.

[ Parent ]
+1 FP, it pisses off xutopia (2.28 / 7) (#25)
by Enu the Subway Groper on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:16:34 AM EST

But what do I know? I just squeeze womens' asses on the morning train to Osaka.
[ Parent ]
And while easy to do (2.00 / 2) (#51)
by wiredog on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 08:30:41 AM EST

it's always worthwhile.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
The proxy thing (2.75 / 4) (#26)
by Enu the Subway Groper on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:23:57 AM EST

I don't know of a browser extension that will do this right now (mainly because I haven't bothered looking), but with Proxomitron you can just bring up your proxy options with a right click on the icon in the system tray. Of course, it's Windows-only, but the assumption here is that if you're trying to do things efficiently you're going to be using Windows anyway.

But what do I know? I just squeeze womens' asses on the morning train to Osaka.
Invert colors (2.50 / 4) (#27)
by wntd on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:55:11 AM EST

Here is a (n overly simplistic) JavaScript favelet I use that more or less creates a dark background/light text page.
javascript:void( function(){ var e = document.createElement('link'); e.rel='stylesheet'; e.href='data:text/css,body,table,td,tr{background-color:#000; color:#BBB;}a:link{color:#46F;}a:visited{color:#D3C}'; document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(e); }())

favelet? (2.72 / 11) (#30)
by Armin Hardwood on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:04:08 AM EST

I didn't think I'd ever find a word gayer than "bookmarklet"
but here it is
and it means the exact same thing!

Jesus Christ

[ Parent ]

Dynafave? (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by pwhysall on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 03:14:55 AM EST

Its' a dynamic favourite, after all.

/me hangs his head in shame.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

Here's my list of killer features: (2.70 / 10) (#29)
by Armin Hardwood on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:00:11 AM EST

(It's better than yours)
  1. Full DOM + CSS2 Compliance.
  2. Type-ahead find.
  3. Text only (run in a terminal).
  4. Fully customizable keyboard commands.
  5. Fast.
  6. Run from USB drive without installing anything on hard drive.
  7. Support all major scripting languages and content plugins (flash, quicktime, etc.)
  8. Full control over popups, redirects, etc.
  9. Tabbed Browsing.
  10. Good plugin API in case I forgot anything.

I prefer slow browsing... (2.50 / 4) (#48)
by Milo Minderbender on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:58:07 AM EST

Saying that you want your browser to be fast is silly. That's like saying that you like your food to be poison-free.

This comment is for the good of the syndicate.
[ Parent ]
No it's not. (none / 0) (#50)
by grouse on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 08:29:30 AM EST

Poison-free is an nominal attribute. Speed is a ratio-scale attribute. And speed is sometimes available only at the cost of features, memory, or cost.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Except that... (none / 0) (#114)
by Armin Hardwood on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 02:43:17 AM EST

most of the restaurants in town serve poisoned food and people eat it anyways.

[ Parent ]
Okay, but... (none / 0) (#118)
by Milo Minderbender on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 03:34:02 AM EST

People still need to eat.

My point was that it's obvious that everyone wants a fast browser that doesn't crash. Listing two of your requirements as "fast" and "doesn't crash" is stating the obvious.

This comment is for the good of the syndicate.
[ Parent ]
Except... (none / 0) (#142)
by curunir on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:43:38 PM EST

That it shows where the poster believes developer effort should be expended to improve the browser. Developers could either spend time making their browser faster and more stable or they can spend their time developing new features. By listing fast and stable in his wish list instead of some new feature, he's saying that speed and stability are important to him. Others may be willing to tolerate slowness and instability if some feature or set of features is available.

To use your example, some people may choose a restaurant that is poison-free while others may tolerate the poison because the food is low-carb and will help them lose weight. The poster is just saying that he'd rather be healthy and fat than unhealthy and skinny.

[ Parent ]
Order is significant (none / 0) (#159)
by curien on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 09:08:15 AM EST

Would you rather have a fully standards-compliant browser that crashes occasionally, or a rock-solid browser that occasionally jacks up, eg, CSS?

This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
ELinks (none / 1) (#52)
by biggoggs on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 08:52:37 AM EST

1. CSS is currently experimental, DOM support planned
2. Has `Typeahead searches'
3. Text only, w/ ANSI colour & gpm support
4. The `Keybinding manager' can change/create a binding

5. Depends what compiler I guess, but it would run well on a 386
6. ...I guess so
7. Hang on, text only (terminal), but supports Flash (graphics) and Quicktime (movies)...?! I guess you could write an aalib module and put it in ascii...
8. `Full control'? There's plenty of options, and you can open links in...
9. ...tabs!
10. Perl, Lua, Guile, or you could just code the open-source `near-ANSI C' if you wanted.



[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#113)
by Armin Hardwood on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 02:35:09 AM EST

elinks has plenty of good features, but its rendering engine leaves much to be desired and its css support is a joke.

[ Parent ]
How about (1.00 / 7) (#31)
by ksandstr on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:10:53 AM EST

You set about implementing these features, and let us know how you're doing in, say, five years' time?

Fine. (none / 0) (#32)
by ELP Fucking Rules on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:26:57 AM EST

But only if you never bitch about bad traffic, poor product design, low-quality television programming, incomplete flat-pack instructions or draughts in your home in future.


I may disagree with what you have to say but I'll kill you for my right to say that.
[ Parent ]

reverse video (2.33 / 3) (#35)
by dimaq on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 03:58:53 AM EST

I tried setting X resource "reverse video" to get the desired effect of (3) and it worked on then netscape on then irix IIRC. sadly it's not good enough, or more like not good at all - because someone somewhere just has to place a gfx add that has lots of black and is consequently displayed in all white!

what you want instead is a policy-based renderer that looks at what the page is like and your ephemeral prefrences (*giggle*) and changes, say, white to gray and so on.

the whole problem IMO is that white, #ffffff should be banned, at least on crt, because it represents maximum intencity - it's like making your background look like a lit lightbulb!

instead there should be a notion of "background white" which you would set to e.g. #808080 and all the "coloures" would be based on that value, whereas brighter colours would be reserved for special cases - e.g. when someone shines a torch in your face in a computer game or a film.

cheers, dima

p.s. the article is so long I already feel bad for -1'ing it. cause it's a pile. you know :)

re: #1 and #3 (2.66 / 3) (#36)
by reklaw on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 03:59:29 AM EST

They are silly. I don't want open source web browsers to start suffering from the same kind of button-for-everything syndrome that other open source apps tend to. Perhaps the buttons could be an option on the 'customise toolbar' screen, but they'd better not be in my browser by default. I only have six buttons in Firefox, ever: back, forward, stop, reload, home and new tab.

Come to think of it, you could probably do both of those things with an extension, anyway. And for #8, there's already a Firefox Google toolbar replacement.

Home button (2.33 / 3) (#37)
by grouse on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 04:22:19 AM EST

Egad, why?

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#40)
by reklaw on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:45:34 AM EST

I wouldn't need it if the close button worked properly on the last tab (ie. went to a blank page, instead of just closing the damn tabs). As it is, my homepage is set to about:blank, and I use the home button like a reset button.
[ Parent ]
Mouse gestures (none / 0) (#42)
by curien on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:04:05 AM EST

I just use the gesture for "new blank tab". Much quicker than having to click on a button.

This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
I tried mouse gestures (none / 0) (#43)
by grouse on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:17:23 AM EST

I found them pretty hard on my wrists. Gestures are great with a pen—bad with a mouse. IMHO.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Never heard that complaint before (none / 1) (#45)
by curien on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:33:06 AM EST

The gestures in Firefox are a little complicated -- thankfully, you can reconfigure them. Mine are pretty simple (most are just click+direction), and none of them require movement on more than one axis.

Because I don't actually have to move the mouse very much (only a few pixels), this is much easier for me than moving halfway across the screen to click on a specific button. YMMV.

This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

mouse gestures (none / 1) (#127)
by archivis on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:21:41 AM EST

I've got a trackball, and mouse gestures in anything just don't work for me. I've got friends who swear by them, but most are mousers, not trackballers.

[ Parent ]
Why not just go to whatever page you want? (none / 0) (#44)
by grouse on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:18:04 AM EST

What's the need to show a blank page?

Me no understand.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

my home button (none / 1) (#49)
by phred on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 08:12:58 AM EST

goes to my home page, where my bookmarks are. This way my bookmarks are not tied up in any one browser. I haven't bookmarked sites for years.

[ Parent ]
Regarding number one on your list, (2.00 / 3) (#39)
by Harold F Cummingsworth on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:25:33 AM EST

I find SwitchProxy Tool to be slightly helpful. I have recently found myself in the position of being IP-banned from my favourite interweb site, slashdot, and this tool has been valuable in defeating the evil Malda's attempts at censorship. If only the draconian editors had not also implemented an open proxy scanner it would be a godsend.

Catch you later Jimmy!

-1 browser bitching (2.66 / 6) (#41)
by Nursie on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:48:48 AM EST

1. proxy Switching Firefox extension
2. Why not tell the firefox people about your problem or have a go at debugging/fixing this yourself? I don't have the issue.
3. Silly rabbit. Why not write an extension?
4. You've answered your own question, Galeon does it. I'm interested to know what's so important anyway. Also, when was the last time you saw Firefox crash? I haven't since before it was firefox.
5. Firefox Extension
6. Never seen an issue here. Javascript annoys the hell out of me usually anyway.
7. a. Wondering why read them like this when the browser deciphers and displays them.
b. Firefox
c. Firefox (you must have broken something)
8. Firefox has google searching built in and has the capability to use other sites/engines.
9. Firefox does this fine with acrobat under windows, not sure on Linux.
10. so raise a bug, try and fix it, whatever. This is rather pettty.

Basically I think firefox covers your bases fine. This is not to say other browsers can't as well, just I have experience with firefox and not opera/galeon/konqeuror.

Meta Sigs suck.

The problem with firefox, (1.33 / 6) (#47)
by Harold F Cummingsworth on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:45:31 AM EST

is the lacklustre attention to detail paid by the developers. This is particularly regrettable when you look at its security record - for instance this bug was known for over two years before they even deemed to let the OSS community know of its existance. Such a critical flaw should have been flagged at once as requiring atention, and the failure to do so is endemic among free software communities.

As a linux developer, I am fully aware of the problems that this so called "security through obscurity" can cause. It is the one thing that the OSS world needs to improve before we can hope to take on the heavyweights -- companies like Microsoft and AppleCorpTM. One day, we will be there, but not before people start owning up to their mistakes.

[ Parent ]

Endemic? (1.50 / 2) (#88)
by banditoitaliano on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:54:54 PM EST

I disagree that the failure to recognize and deal with problems is "endemic among free software communities". I will grant you that the Mozilla project has a poor track record of dealing openly with security bugs, but many large and influential open source projects believe strongly in full disclosure, and fix their security bugs immediately.

Thats not to say there isn't a problem...not everyone is perfect is this regard, especially because what is perfect is still hotly disputed. I may believe that full disclosure is the best option, but that is far from being accepted as fact. Its just my opinion, and that of some other people.

[ Parent ]

Uh huh. (none / 1) (#160)
by ErikOsterholm on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 11:08:29 AM EST

Ah, the infamous shell exploit...

Some people consider it a bug in Firefox.  I do not.  The reason is that Firefox (and other browsers that aren't IE) ask the operating system how to handle a protocol they don't natively know anything about.  It's obvious behavior.  It makes the browser more usable.  It also, unfortunately, means that any bug in the shell execution of the operating system means that a user of the browser can be exploited, because the browser calls the OS, and the OS calls a program, and the program itself is buggy.

A possibly simpler way of looking at it is thusly:  suppose you have Program A and Library B.  Library B (say, GDK) was not written by the authors of Program A (say, Firefox).  It becomes known that Library B has an exploit that allows the attacker to gain root privs.  Any program which uses a specific function call of Library B could, in theory, be an attack vector.  Is it a bug in Program A, then, that this can happen?  Most people wouldn't say so.  

Certainly it's less secure to rely on other programs to do your job, but without being a completely self-contained program, it's simply not possible to do.  You rely on libraries all the time in any significant project.

So then people cry, "Yes, but Firefox didn't do anything about this for 2 years!"  Well what should they do?  Blacklist all protocols it doesn't know about, effectively crippling a piece of functionality from the browser?  Or just maintain a list of "dangerous" protocols and blacklist those (although they'll still be trailing behind any exploits as they would have to release an updated binary/code).

As a final point, I take umbrage at the insinuation that the OSS world relies on "security through obscurity."  It's actually a fairly uncommon trait, unlike companies like Microsoft who routinely discover bugs but wait for an exploit to occur widely before issuing patches.  coughblastercough.

[ Parent ]

Sigh. (none / 1) (#81)
by ELP Fucking Rules on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 03:52:47 PM EST

  1. Acknowledged.
  2. I'm not familiar enough with the Firefox source code.
  3. OK, link me to the no doubt extensive Firefox extension authoring documentation.
  4. Wow, a feature in a single browser virtually no one uses. I want ONE browser with ALL of these features. Throwing browsers at me that implement an isolated one of these features is idiotic.
  5. Acknowledged.
  6. You've been lucky.
(a) Eh?
(b) Not sufficiently well that it doesn't freeze when I try to download something for 30 seconds.
(c) No, default install doesn't do this.
  1. No, it doesn't have an Alexa toolbar substitute. Reread the article.
  2. Exactly.
  3. Firefox developers don't exactly follow up anything but security holes in a timely fashion.
Well done. Your typical OSS "fix it yourself" attitude helps underline the fact that you've proven nothing.

I may disagree with what you have to say but I'll kill you for my right to say that.
[ Parent ]
Is PDF/Firefox/Linux that hard? (none / 1) (#98)
by Polverone on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 08:28:48 PM EST

A few months back I had a major disk failure and basically reinstalled everything, moving up to a newer Linux distro in the process. Once I magically-somehow, after hours of frustration, got PDF displaying with Acroread within the browser, and got Flash working, and made Java work for web pages, I swore that I wouldn't upgrade my browser unless I really had to. So I'm still using Mozilla 1.5 under Linux, since getting plugins to work right is such a pain in the ass. I'd like to set my browser up to display TIFF and DjVu with as much integration as PDF, and I've seen it done before, but I don't have the patience to screw around with it any more.

I hoped that Firefox might simplify this tomfoolery, but it sounds like it doesn't, if you haven't yet made PDF display in the browser.

No doubt someone now wants to tell me how trivial and enjoyable it was to set up all the above and more on their particular Linux system. It wasn't on mine, though, and I've been using Linux daily for five years. I'd never inflict this operating system on a friend, unless they planned to never install software or change configurations. The working, complete, personalized system is lovely and why I stick with Linux. Getting there is hell and why I don't stay on the leading edge.
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

-1 Too technology-centric NT (1.00 / 10) (#53)
by nlscb on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 09:01:24 AM EST

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

MDI (1.75 / 4) (#54)
by Psychopath on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 09:05:47 AM EST

MDI is most important. And I mean real MDI, not just this "tabbed browsing", which seems to be a buzzword nowadays but not much more.
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
WTF do you mean buzzword? (2.66 / 3) (#55)
by Nursie on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 09:54:28 AM EST

Have you used a tabbed browser like firefox/mozilla?

Tabbed browsing opens seperate documents in seperate tabs, accessible by a tab bar at the top, so what the hell do you mean by "buzzword and not much more"? It's exactly what it says on the tin.

Whether you think it's worthwhile or not is a seperate issue, but to deny it does anythinbg is simply delusional.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Buzzword (none / 0) (#70)
by Psychopath on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:40:31 PM EST

Buzzword like in any modern browser has to list it as feature but it's not good anyway.
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
[ Parent ]
I don't quite get your answer (none / 0) (#74)
by Nursie on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 02:20:35 PM EST

And your original comment implied it was simply a buzzword (like paradigm shift can be) that doesn't mean anything.

Whereas it's actually something that's there, and you can see it.
As I said before, if you want to disagree about its usefulness then do so, but don't deny it is there!

I like it anyhow, makes life a whole lot easier than it not being there, plus I think true MDI sucks in most cases.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Buzzword (none / 1) (#110)
by traphicone on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 01:32:46 AM EST

It's like saying, "Any self-respecting car needs an airfoil, rails, and ground effects." Yes, these feautres exist, and some people think they're cool (or even outright necessary), but for the most part they're just cosmetic to totally useless hacks. Tabbed browsing is a cheap hack that gets a few people all riled up, but you don't need it at all to view the web, and in many ways it's just stupid.

"Generally it's a bad idea to try to correct someone's worldview if you want to remain on good terms with them, no matter how skewed it may be." --Delirium
[ Parent ]
Care to elaborate? (none / 1) (#122)
by Nursie on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 05:20:33 AM EST

1. How is tabbed browsing just stupid? (for me it's the one feature that made me switch permamnently from IE to firefox)

2. Not everything you don't absolutely need is stupid. Do you 'need' different fot sizes? no. Hell, let's all use lynx!

3. I still contend that the phrasing of the original post was totally incorrect. he came across as saying that tabbed browsing didn't actually exist or do anything, whereas it clearly does, regardless of whether or not you like it.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
MDI BAD! (3.00 / 4) (#58)
by WWWWolf on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 10:45:58 AM EST

Tabbed browsing is MDI done right - especially if the tabs are detachable to separate windows.

The former MDI itself, however, should die - the sooner the better. There's just too much wrong with MDI. Especially the fact that you can't fit anything inside the big window and you can't move anything off it. The idea of tabbed browsing fixes this: The whole workspace is used efficiently and all tabs are of same size, and if the tabs can be detached, that's always good.

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

[ Parent ]
MDI (none / 1) (#71)
by Psychopath on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:42:04 PM EST

MDI is much more than tabbed browsing. Can you have one maximized window and one in normal state at the same time with tabbed browsing? - no. Can you have one window beside another one and still be able to hide the whole browser with one click? - no.
I just really don't understand why MDI isn't supported more often. People who like tabbed browsing can have the same with MDI - but much more!
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
[ Parent ]
The problem is Windows' app-in-a-window (3.00 / 2) (#72)
by anon 17753 on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 01:20:36 PM EST

The MDI of which you speak is a bad hack to try to emulate the Macintosh windowing system without fixing Windows' broken windowing. In Windows, each application is its own window (sometimes allowing multiple running copies of the same app all in separate windows). To implement MDI, the application's primary window has to encompass all document sub-windows, often resulting in unused screen real estate that hides other applications in the background.

Mac OS places the foreground (active) application in the menu bar at the top of the screen and only allocates windows for documents (and toolbars, which usually disappear when the app is not in the foreground). allowing for placing multiple document windows around the screen. Since each window is free of the application, document windows from multiple apps can be arranged in a wide variety of positions allowing for a user-customizable view of work regardless of application. Preferences allow the user to hide windows from all background apps and even hide items on the desktop if the Finder is in the background. This allows the users to keep their screen as clear or full as they desire.

Yes, MDI is much more than document tabs and is incredibly useful, but the way that Windows' window manager implements MDI is appallingly ugly and inelegant.

[ Parent ]

Re: MDI (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by WWWWolf on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 11:24:12 AM EST

Can you have one maximized window and one in normal state at the same time with tabbed browsing? - no.

Why would I want to do that? The maximized window takes all space anyway. Oh, the smaller window on top of the other one. Um... no thanks. It's hard to read anything with windows on top of them.

Can you have one window beside another one and still be able to hide the whole browser with one click? - no.

I can. Right click on window title bar and select "Hide". Or, I can hit alt+h. Works with every application. Just get yourself a window manager that isn't completely useless.

And therein lies the reason what's bad with MDI: It was a broken solution to the the inadequacies of the window management at the time.

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

[ Parent ]
Tabbs simply don't work for me (1.50 / 2) (#96)
by Pholostan on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 07:07:10 PM EST

I usually have 50-100 windows open in Opera. I don't use tabs, as they are worthless. I use the window menu that lists all my windows and I can easily change between them with the keyboard.

I've tried to open as many windows in Mozilla, obviously it didn't work. Also, Mozilla doesn't remeber my last state as Opera does.

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]

Hmmm (none / 0) (#100)
by white light on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 10:26:33 PM EST

I usually have 50-100 windows open in Opera.

Cool! Hang on, that doesn't seem cool at all. Why?

..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Works for me (none / 0) (#146)
by Pholostan on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 06:56:51 PM EST

I have a bookmark-file that probably have thosands of entries. I have around a hunderd pages that I browse though every day. All from news sites to webcomics. I do alot of searches thorugh Google, and I visit numerous other sites too.

My use of a browser, and probably the internet as a whole, is a bit diffrent from most people. At least that is what I tend to get when I tell about my usuall day.

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]

Categories? (none / 0) (#149)
by Arkaein on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 09:24:13 PM EST

I assume that with this many sites open at once, most probably fit into some kind of category. Have you ever tried keeping, say 5-10 browser windows open with 5-10 tabs each?

I usually use just one Mozilla window, but this is the strategy I use when I do web development (well I use two windows, one for regular browsing and one for development). This kind of browser hierarchy seems more manageable to me, like using a well thought out directory structures instead of throwing everything in one single dir.

The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

Probably (none / 0) (#171)
by Pholostan on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:11:13 PM EST

But I don't want 5-10 browser windows, I want one.
My webbrowsing is nothing like arranging files into directories. It's more like pageing through a book, or something. I don't know how to describe it. Other than that, tabs makes my actual browser window smaller. In opera I can delete the toolbar holding the tabs, I don't think it is possible in mozilla (other than change the source).

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
More... (none / 0) (#172)
by Pholostan on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:25:33 PM EST

I have about 30 pages that I always open. Sites I always read. Same thing at work as at home, but they tend to be fewer of them at work.
Starting opera takes about a minute, but I tend to seldom do that anyway.
- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
How to remove the tab toolbar in Mozilla (none / 0) (#174)
by QuickFox on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:51:57 PM EST

In opera I can delete the toolbar holding the tabs, I don't think it is possible in mozilla

Yes it is. Just click on the "x" at the far right in the tab toolbar. Each click closes one tab (the selected one, the one displayed in the window). When the last tab is closed, the tab toolbar disappears. Next time you open a Mozilla window, it is just the way you want it, it has no tab toolbar.

(The disappearing toolbar is very annoying to me, but probably just what you want.)

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

Ha ha ha (none / 0) (#176)
by Pholostan on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 09:13:48 AM EST

Ofcourse there is no toolbar if there is only one tab. What I mean i that I can have hundreds of "tabs" open in Opera, but no tab toolbar. Not possible AFAIK in Mozilla.
- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
Why. (none / 0) (#152)
by irrevenant on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 02:29:51 AM EST

When I'm reading a page, if I see a link that might interest me, I middle-click it to launch in a new tab to read later.

If you read that way, the number of pages _really_ racks up.

I tend to just leave my browser open at the end of the day...

[ Parent ]

Fair Enough (none / 0) (#164)
by white light on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 07:33:53 PM EST

I do this too (and I imagine most people do), but there comes a point where I need to group those documents (by either saving them, saving them to read later, discarding them, or reading them now).

That point comes well before 100 documents for me.

The work one does or your personal style obviously dictates this.

..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Disagree: Store bookmarks (1.50 / 2) (#64)
by Highlander on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 11:45:04 AM EST

I don't agree that storing bookmarks in the file system the same way as IE is that good. I am not sure how IE decides in what order I want to have the bookmarks sorted. It is cool to have it in the filesystem because under IE, sorting bookmarks in that tiny window is even a bigger pain than sorting under Mozilla.

On some file systems, having 1000s of bookmarks as files in one directory would severly slow down the file system. (Well I guess you could use a better file system, but the browser has to work on all file systems).

I think you could turn the "store bookmarks in file system" idea into something good, but only by extending how the filesystem and the search works, for example including keywords in the file.

As it happens, I just looked at the IE Favorites folder in the file browser and it is both cool and annoying that it tries to give me a preview by actually visiting the web page, maybe downloading shit I don't even know about. Also my computer seems to lag considerably now but maybe for a different reason. Well I'll reboot now.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.

1000s of files vs one really large XML document (none / 1) (#69)
by fortytwo on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 12:31:25 PM EST

You argue that storing 1000s of files in the filesystem might be slow - but storing them in a flat file will always take O(n) at least. The filesystem can access them more quickly if they're in a directory tree at least. Additionally, sort order can be encoded in an index file.

[ Parent ]
I see, file system can be good (none / 0) (#175)
by Highlander on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:41:18 AM EST

Well, the file system can be a good way, because you get a free "editor" for your bookmarks. And I think if you have a filesystem using index trees like ReiserFS it is fast too.

But you'd also have to make sure that the filesystem could work with weird characters like ° and ß, as the other reply pointed out.

So I see why Microsoft chooses the file system because they have full control over the file system, but for someone just creating a browser independent of OS, I think there are reasons to use a file. And just make a decent bookmarks editor yourself.

Well who knows, maybe Microsoft will come out with an fully-indexed filesystem that will make both Google and this discussion obsolete.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Bookmarks without names (3.00 / 2) (#85)
by aderusha on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:26:18 PM EST

with the continuing adaptation of favicon.ico being used at many sites, most of my "links" toolbar bookmarks in firefox don't have a name - their favicon is enough to tell me what site it is, so i can stuff more of them in the bar. IE's insistance on having a) a valid filename, and b) using it for the button text removes a lot of flexibility that storing the information in a single monolithic file allows. it also lets you use non-filesystem-friendly characters for bookmark names, such as "/." for slashdot.

[ Parent ]
You have 1000s of bookmarks? OMGWTFBBQ -nt (none / 1) (#161)
by ErikOsterholm on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 11:16:30 AM EST

[ Parent ]
hmm on fonts... (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by urdine on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 11:55:18 AM EST

It should be possible to right click on a page and have a "Change font..." option - which will change any appearance of that <FONT> tag or CSS entry to the font and size of your choice for that page/session or even forever when you visit that site, basically a CSS/FONT override.

Aside from a few morons voting up (2.37 / 8) (#84)
by xutopia on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 04:44:19 PM EST

supposedly because it "pisses Xutopia off" I see no point to this article. This site's subtitle will need to be "Trolling technology and culture, From the trenches" if this is the type of crap content we vote up. Sad.

Crap vs. Troll (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by Armin Hardwood on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 03:03:53 AM EST

I beg your pardon Sir, but not every crappy article is a troll. Some of us really are idiots. Please try to be a little more understanding. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
FYI (none / 0) (#123)
by momocrome on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 07:53:05 AM EST

I voted this story up as soon as I came across your miserable intolerance in the guise of a post.

some of us might want to discuss browser features, even if you may already have all the answers or feel that anything not meeting your needs is 'sad' trolling.

posts like yours... that's what's sad.

"Give a wide berth to all that foam and spray." - - Lucian, The Way to Write History
[ Parent ]

For crying out loud !!! .... (2.75 / 4) (#89)
by adharma on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 05:57:45 PM EST

In fact, Opera exists. Opera is fast, deals with multiple styles with ease of switching between them. Plugins, toolbar, human readable config files, integratable... it's all there except for the proxy part, ahem, troll. You're obviously on a *nix box, so just wait. Emacs will do all of that before long. Hell, I posit that Emacs will be the first machine aware AI. -1 You are a craptard. -xn

F12, x is the proxy toggle in Opera (3.00 / 3) (#101)
by finite automaton on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 10:34:21 PM EST

it's all there except for the proxy part
Can't do single key / single button proxy toggling in Opera, but F12, x should be close enough.

[ Parent ]
You can change any keybinding in Opera (none / 1) (#103)
by exotron on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 11:22:07 PM EST

Unlike Firefox/Mozilla/IE, so it's as simple as adding en entry in hat key config dialog.

[ Parent ]
Er (none / 0) (#104)
by exotron on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 11:22:42 PM EST

Okay, I think I typed that too fast. You get the idea, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Here we go (none / 0) (#105)
by exotron on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 11:29:50 PM EST

Just add this to your keybindings:

p shift
Enable proxy servers | Disable proxy servers

Works perfectly. Can add the quickpreference checkbox to your main toolbar for a visual indication too.

[ Parent ]

I hate learning new things (none / 0) (#145)
by finite automaton on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 05:30:42 PM EST

It's nice that I know almost everything so that hardly ever happens. I guess I can live with it this one time. Thanks for the tip.

[ Parent ]
elipsis (none / 0) (#107)
by adharma on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:20:11 AM EST

Why thank you. I stand corrected. One more reason to love my browser. -xn

[ Parent ]
Truly Blessed (1.75 / 4) (#95)
by calumny on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 06:55:54 PM EST

These ten commandments will revolutionize browser design, thank you electronic moses for your technological manna.

One for each finger!

yet another list for browsers (2.00 / 3) (#99)
by AaronPeterson on Tue Aug 17, 2004 at 09:16:51 PM EST

I'm pretty satisfied with Firefox, and plugins should take care of your needs... and firefox takes care of most of my needs because it has autoscroll and sane middle mouse behavior (although insane middle mouse behavior is now default -- at least on unix...)

here's my killer feature list... Aaron's HIG
and here's my should be killed feature list... Kitten's_HIG
Firefox has an annoying overwrite file feature in it's save as dialog now... bug 255602 and so does KDE... bug.cgi?id=69676 and so does windows!

jesus (none / 1) (#117)
by reklaw on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 03:16:24 AM EST

I read that Bugzilla bug... and you're just an idiot, aren't you? Just because you were stupid enough to manage to overwrite a file in a Save As dialog, you think people should cripple their dialogs to make it nearly impossible. Here's an idea: how about you check the filename in the box before you click save. Idiot.
[ Parent ]
No, Jesus wouldn't be that dumb. (3.00 / 2) (#121)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 04:59:36 AM EST

He would never overwrite an existing file! Take a page out of his book, and check your dialogue boxes carefully.

AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
[ Parent ]
Niggles? (1.11 / 9) (#108)
by cuz on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:28:33 AM EST


racist [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#115)
by reklaw on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 02:53:41 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Proxies and plugins (3.00 / 2) (#109)
by First Victim on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:47:18 AM EST

I'm not a troll (and I approve of this message?), but the "toggle proxy" has another useful market: those of us who use a proxy to access electronic periodicals through our university proxy. I'm not sure I care to broadcast to my alma mater my every move on the Web (autopr0n, I'm looking at you).

Also, something useful (especially on Linux/BSD) would be an option to download (for instance) a QuickTime movie when I don't have the appropriate plugin, instead of "usefully" informing me that I don't have the plugin. Mplayer-plugin is nice and everything, but maybe I'd like to save the file or something.

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
choices for windows (none / 0) (#131)
by rpresser on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 11:04:21 AM EST

Avant Browser, a shell around IE, has a Proxy menu item. Select a configured proxy with two clicks.

Proxomitron likewise lets you configure a bunch of external proxies. Choosing which one to use right now isn't just a click, but you can set up filters to always use proxy X on website Y.
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

You forgot Firefox and Opera -nt (none / 0) (#138)
by MrLarch on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:24:34 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Please make fewer assumptions (none / 0) (#151)
by rpresser on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:21:06 PM EST

I didn't forget them. I offered the two choices that I myself have chosen. (I have tried Opera and Firefox and been dissatisfied.) I did not purport to give all options.

Now that I've been sufficiently prickly, I will be gracious and grant that yes, Opera and Firefox are options on Windows and many people (other than myself) seem to be happy with them.
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

hey!! (1.14 / 7) (#111)
by Van Halen Fucking Sucks on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 01:37:33 AM EST

i voted my own story up!

That proxy changer (none / 1) (#120)
by Harold F Cummingsworth on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 04:30:32 AM EST

coming in handy?

[ Parent ]
You know... (none / 1) (#126)
by Wiggy on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:21:11 AM EST

This isn't the best site around to post this article. The site in the sig gives a clue.

HOSTS file (none / 1) (#128)
by CivisHumanus on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 10:26:24 AM EST

I have a HOSTS file containing entries for a lot of sites serving popup ads in an effort to block popups. It seems to work for a lot of sites but there are a few pesky and stubborn ones (like www.cnn.com) that always popup a window on my screen even though their ad server entry in my HOSTS file points to Anyone know whats going on ?

OPERA. (3.00 / 7) (#132)
by skermit on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 11:10:23 AM EST

Wow I wish I'd read this draft before it got submitted, almost ALL of the topics you've "wished" for are available in the latest build of Opera. Fast, multiple style sheets at a click of a button, session saving, proxy handling, etc. Geez, you really missed the ball on this one.
-Super Kermit


Boy you ain't kiddin'. (3.00 / 3) (#143)
by Desco on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:56:20 PM EST

I was reading through this article thinking to myself "Gee, he's mentioning Mozilla/Firefox, Amaya, Konqueror, and Galeon, but never Opera... And yet, every feature he's asking for is partially if-not fully implemented in Opera." but then I realised I was slightly wrong-- he DOES link to opera.com near the beginning of the article... Perhaps because a lot of the features aren't immediately apparent on the interface, but lets face it-- if a browser put every feature that people wanted right on the front of the interface by default, there'd be no room left to display webpages. Opera (finally) has fully customizable toolbars, so you can add things like the cookies toggle, proxy config, and virtually everything else you wanted.
[ Parent ]
Random Notes (2.66 / 3) (#134)
by hardburn on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 11:31:29 AM EST

Store configuration files as simple plain text

Honestly, the Unix way isn't necessarily the best around. As always, there are tradeoffs involved:

The good

  • You can play with the config using simple text-manipulation tools (grep, sed, awk, perl, etc.)
  • You can pick any random file in /etc, type in man filename and have a reasonable expectation that you'll get some decent documentation
  • Changes are localized; you'll probably never have to worry about total corruption of all config data, as the Windows Registry is villified for.

The Bad

  • Doing complex manipulations automatically is potentially error-prone
  • Processing text can be slow
  • Making a change to the config usually means restarting the associated program (which may or may not be true of a binary config like the Windows Registry).

There are probably other things that can be added to this list, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.

The Internet Explorer model of storing bookmarks as files and bookmark folders as directories appeals to me more than Mozilla's method of storing bookmarks in a single HTML file.

I agree that the IE model is appealing, but the single-HTML model also has it's advantages: it's easier to take those bookmarks to another system.

And if Internet Explorer can get integrated PDF, surely Konqueror or some such browser with its fancy window-in-window widgets can whack it in there.

Konqueror does integrated PDF/PS documents for me.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

Booooooooooooooooooo! (3.00 / 10) (#135)
by sethadam1 on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 11:37:22 AM EST

Nearly all of that can be done with extensions, and frankly, SHOULD be done with extensions.  

How many people need a proxy switcher? How many need to invert colors? Those are non-essentials, and if you need them, you should need a plugin, cause I don't want to waste my bandwidth downloading that crap.  There are much better features to bitch about, like say, STANDARDS COMPLIANCE!

"Bloat" (3.00 / 3) (#144)
by WhiteBandit on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 04:25:22 PM EST

This is what has always annoyed me when people start talking about "bloat" in an application. People have different ideas on what they want, and use applications in different ways.

 None of the  suggestions he mentioned (aside from session saving) are useful to me. I consider most of his suggestions bloat.

One person's bloat is another person's treasure... (or something).

[ Parent ]

The perfect browser is already here: (2.75 / 4) (#136)
by theantix on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:00:49 PM EST


It's quick, light, and supports .xpi extensions, so most of the suggestions that people have offered you for firefox will work with Epiphany as well.  Like Galeon, it handles crashed X sessions gracefully, and integrates perfectly with the Gnome desktop environment (if you're using it.  It also stores its configuration info in a XML file, which I'm not sure if you'll consider that simple enough but it's pretty easy to work with that, or gconf-editor if the traditional preferences dialogs fail you.

You sir, are worse than Hitler!

A file for every bookmark? (2.66 / 3) (#137)
by awgsilyari on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:11:36 PM EST

At least on my filesystem (I run Linux, duh), the block size is 4 kilobytes. While it seems nice to keep bookmarks organized in a directory structure on disk, I don't think it's sensible to sacrifice 4 kilobytes per bookmark.

The same goes for all other directory-hierarchical configuration schemes. Good in theory, not in practice.

Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com

tail-packing (none / 1) (#140)
by Eivind on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:31:15 PM EST

Modern filesystems frequently feature tail-packing.

What this means is that under-blocksize files or parts of files can share a block.

For example, with 4K blocks, normally 4 files each 5K would consume 8K each, so 32K. With tailpacking the last 1K of each file can share one 4K block and so the total works out to 20K.

Reiser and JFS has this, I think ext3 too, but I'm not sure.

[ Parent ]

tail-packing? Sicko! [nt] (none / 0) (#153)
by dufflebunk on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 02:38:17 AM EST

[ Parent ]
It's easy to solve this problem (1.66 / 3) (#141)
by Anonymous Brave on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 12:38:51 PM EST

Just read The C Programming Language, by Kernighan & Ritchie and Programming Windows, by Charles Petzold and you can make your browser a reality.

Firefox does most of this (none / 0) (#147)
by magefile on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 08:09:06 PM EST

I use (on a regular basis) Firefox (Windows and Linux), IE (Win & Mac), Konqueror and Safari.  My favorite is Firefox, although Safari comes close.  This comment will be directed at Firefox.

1.) Write a plugin.  Or just edit your config file to bind a hotkey to the proxy switching function.
2.) There are several "fixes" for your config files on the web.  Should be defaults, but ... oh well.  And I haven't had the download crash issue you have.
3.) I think this exists; if not, write a plugin.  If a plugin exists, but isn't hotkeyed, do as in #1.
4.) Works for me after crashes ... my only issue is when I crash on a Goatse, in which case the home button (F5, I think) does the trick.
5.) No argument here.
6.) I haven't experienced the Esc button thing yet, but Java/JavaScript work fine for me, 85% of the time (which is as good as any other browser).
7.) This has been covered by others, and I somewhat agree with you ... but as far as mailto links, there's a good reason for this, and there's an easy fix in your window manager.  Look it up.
8.) Exists.  Even better is how you can assign keywords (I have it setup so that "g foo" for a google search, "gl foo" for I'm Feeling Lucky, etc.)  Next, please?
9.) Agreed.  I think the problem here is licensing stuff.  But better documentation on how to add it would be nice.
10.) Yes, totally.  And sometimes only one (profile or root) works.

Blaming the browser for server misconfiguration ? (none / 1) (#148)
by ConsoleCowboy on Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 09:22:11 PM EST

Failing that, the browser should recognise external document formats and not just show the binary data in a browser window (as Firefox on Windows is wont to do); it should display the usual save-or-display-in-viewer dialog which it usually shows for other formats.

Most probably the servers served the document as being text/plain (or whatever) and FireFox assumed the server is right. If the server admin fix his config to make the document being served with the right MIME type, your problem will go away. IIRC, IE ignore MIME type announced by the server and rely on the file extension; technically, this is wrong but it make file with known extensions handled properly.

I agree (none / 0) (#167)
by zakalwe on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:48:22 AM EST

Guessing content type from the content is just wrong, and just leads to slightly different problems - only now they're the browsers fault. Its far too easy to guess wrong. I don't want the tags vanishing and formatting screwing up when the server says its sending plain text, but the browser interprets it as html because it happens to be describing tags, or treating text as binary because it has 8 bit characters.

[ Parent ]
Speaking of OK (profile) / Cancel (application)... (none / 0) (#154)
by woofles on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 02:40:37 AM EST

...it's stupid.

Couldn't they just label the buttons "Profile" and "Application Directory"? OK and Cancel have no association with these functions whatsoever.

Even worse, some plugins have them the other way around, so as soon as you get in the habbit of pushing one button, you screw up and put the plugin in the wrong place.

And as if that wasn't inconsistent enough, some plugins don't offer you the choice at all.

It's just plain vanilla Javascript (none / 0) (#165)
by miken32 on Sat Aug 21, 2004 at 11:20:59 PM EST

The problem is that it's a standard JavaScript dialog. One just like this: javascript:confirm('blah blah');
I guess that's one of the drawbacks of building a browser using XUL and Javascript. There is an effort to correct this problem though.

[ Parent ]
Invert colours with one click (none / 0) (#155)
by boxed on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 05:02:04 AM EST

I have an alternative suggestion: be able to have a "user mode" like in opera (or "user style sheet" in IE). This means you ignore any color commands from the page and applies your own stylesheet. A handy button or hotkey to turn this on/off globally would be perfect. This is what stops me from using firefox on CRT screens in fact.

Inverting Colors (none / 0) (#156)
by bugmaster on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 05:03:29 AM EST

Actually, Opera has an even better feature: the Usr Mode. The button instantly changes the look of the page to match your custom style: black font, white background by default. You can toggle it back and forth with a click. The icon looks like a little document with a blob in it; I think it's on the toolbar by default, next to the zoom and the security icon.
Bookmarklet (none / 0) (#166)
by zakalwe on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:40:13 AM EST

You can do much the same in Firefox and IE with bookmarklets. eg. a very simple version for white on black would be:

White on Black

(K5 Seems to filter javascript links, so drag that to the toolbar and replace "javascript_:" with "javascript_:") and it should work (Tested on firefox). A more sophisticated version that substitutes a specific style sheet should also be possible, and almost certainly exists already. Googling shows several links.

[ Parent ]

Most used bookmarks (3.00 / 2) (#157)
by bob6 on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 08:21:28 AM EST

After some years working with computers and internet, my bookmarks growed a lot. In order to access one, I often have to go through a subcategory and a subsubcategory (and sometimes a subsubsubcategory).

However from time to time I spend a week or two entirely on one single task that only requires a subset of my bookmarks. For instance, if I'm in a report/article writing month I use a lot: LaTeX related links (CTAN), bibliography sites (citeseer), etc. For another instance, database scripting phases frequently require perldoc.com, postgresql.org, etc.

Accessing to these links normally and frequently is irritating. So the feature I always wanted is a browser that logs my bookmarks access and give me a quick access to the links I'm following a lot lately.

My 0.02

Ha Ha Ha (3.00 / 3) (#162)
by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 12:42:48 PM EST

It amuses me that you want a browser without 'bloat' and yet at the same time buttons for:

o swapping your proxy


o inverting the color scheme

Favorite features (none / 1) (#168)
by A55M0NKEY on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:10:22 AM EST

I agree. The story author has his own set of features they would endow their 'perfect browser' with, but the specific features themselves are not universally wanted or useful.

For instance, I would never use a proxy switcher button, or a color inverter button. I would rather have the screen real estate for viewing the page. Text files for config are a bad idea, because they invite the riff raff into your innards and make changing the format of said files in later versions hairy, and prone to break things.

I also hate tabbed browsing. I never want a new tab to be created under any circumstances. And the fact that ( at least Firefox 0.7 ) isn't smart enough to detect that when I open it while it is running, what I really want is another window with a blank page. It just gives me a warning that Firefox is already running, and I have to go into the file menu and select New Window.

Because everyone has their own idea of what the ideal browser should be, what is needed is a truely customizable browser. A browser that doesn't ever get in your way, and which can be used by OTHER applications the way that IE and Konqueror are used by Windows and KDE.

  • The browser itself would have no buttons or menus. All would do is display web pages, and it would do that well. It would be mainly an API, with some spartan but completely overridable behavior built in for demo purposes. It would come with maybe a thin address bar and the four essential buttons, stop, reload, up, and back. It would also, by default, generate a scroll bar for long pages, the appearance, and behavior of which would be completely overrideable by custom extentions.
  • Most of the browser's functionality, and configurability would be unavailable without third party extensions. These would be more than plugins which operate within the page display area of the window. These extensions could effect or override any aspect of the browser's functionality within a framework that would let multiple extentions interoperate. You don't get a file menu without third party extensions. You don't even have the ability to set a proxy except perhaps at install time without an UI extension that deals with that.
  • It should be easy to create custom ui scripts. A LIGHTWEIGHT ( no java ) crossplatform interpreted scripting language should be provided with the browser for people to use to write the extensions. Guile seems appropriate. Other languages should not be prohibited, but any external language dependencies beyond Guile which would come with the browser would be the responsibility of the extension writer. Users that don't want to install the additional crap could choose not to use the extension. ( Nobody wants to wait for 25 megs of java to download so they can have a menu ) And since the extensions are 'trusted' there is no need to box them in, security wise.
  • HTML and javascript should be available to custom ui builders to create their interfaces with. A special kind of URL would make sending of form data to the extensions possible.
  • It should be possible to create packages of extensions that use the same base code, but have different configurations. This would let you have a javascript enabled browser to do online shopping with, and a javascript/popup blocked browser to look at porn with.

Hopefully, then users could pick and choose the features they wanted. If there was something that didn't exist, they could create it themselves and release it to the world. By pasting this stuff together, everyone could create their own perfect browser.

[ Parent ]

NOT a racist term, fyi (none / 1) (#163)
by ebonkyre on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 04:29:45 PM EST

"niggle" isn't a racist term, any more than "Indian Red" was a racist crayon color.

Mildly poofy British slang, maybe, but it has nothing to do with the dreaded "N-word"...

The truth hurts sometimes... Nothing beats a nice fat cock. ShiftyStoner
My most desired browser features (none / 0) (#169)
by ocrow on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:54:39 AM EST

I humbly submit my top ten desired browser features. These should mostly be implemented as extensions to keep down unnecessary clutter for those not interested in such things.
  1. User configurable multi-column text. The page would automatically be flowed into columns, to take advantage of the width of the computer screen without making lines illegibly long.
  2. User configurable line spacing, again to improve legibility. (I know you can probably do this with CSS, but without a UI to make adjustments, it's not very useful).
  3. Web based bookmarks - automatically send my updated bookmarks to a WebDAV server. Retrieve the bookmarks at the beginning of each session. Do this in the background, so I don't have to wait if for some reason the server is not available.
  4. Page-diff. Automatic side-by side diff viewer for two HTML pages, with synchronised scrolling. User can browse in each pane to select the page to diff against.
  5. Page version access - a standardized selector tool to allow you to see historical versions of the content for a page. Obviously this would require some server support, and perhaps an enhancement of the HTTP protocol, to allow for querying of available versions and selecting specific versions.
  6. Keyboard navigation of page links. Tab and shift-tab doesn't count. Full arrow key support, plus accelerated 'jump five' commands.
  7. In the browser history, display the date and time each page was last visited.
  8. Backlinks. Select "backlinks" for this page, to get a list of pages that link here. Just as with search selecting a search-engine service to use for generating the list of backlinks should be a user option.
  9. Persistent form data - when I revisit a form, provide a function to automatically fill in all the values that were in that form when I last closed that page. Even if I never sent the form to the server, or the browser crashed. Undo should be page specific. If I go to another page, then return to the form, I should still be able to undo editing operations in that form.
  10. Federated authentication - not some half-arsed cookie based scheme (ahem, passport, ahem), but a tool by which each website can access secure encrypted authentication tokens stored in the browser by a recognized authentication service. Open protocols, so anyone can setup an authentication service, and each site can choose which services it trusts to set authentication tokens.
Please let me know if any of these exist already.

backlinks (none / 0) (#180)
by metalotus on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:11:12 PM EST

For example, backlinks, AKA, Two-way links are a feature that would make browsers better for just about everyone on the internet.

So if you are visiting a page, you can see the other pages that link to it.

That would be fun & useful!

sidenote: google tries this with its "link to" search. But it misses most backlinks most of the time.

[ Parent ]
Google backlinks (none / 0) (#181)
by ocrow on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 06:36:01 PM EST

<quote>sidenote: google tries this with its "link to" search. But it misses most backlinks most of the time. </quote> Is that just because it's database doesn't cover a large proportion of all web pages? I would think that services like Google that have to spider the whole web would be in a good position to implement backlinks.

[ Parent ]
Google backlinks (none / 1) (#182)
by ocrow on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 06:36:32 PM EST

sidenote: google tries this with its "link to" search. But it misses most backlinks most of the time.

Is that just because it's database doesn't cover a large proportion of all web pages? I would think that services like Google that have to spider the whole web would be in a good position to implement backlinks.

[ Parent ]

Right-click option: Open link in this window (none / 0) (#173)
by QuickFox on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:46:48 PM EST

When I right-click on a link I'd like an option "Open link in this window", in addition to the existing "Open link in new window" and "Open link in new tab" (Mozilla example).

The new option "Open link in this window" would let you override page authors who make their links create new windows.

This override should occur only when a link would create a new window, not when it would open in a different frame in the current window.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi

Firefox (none / 0) (#183)
by Pxtl on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 01:51:33 PM EST

I have similar tabbing tastes, and I've heard there's a firefox plugin that disallows the "open in new window" function that websites often use. I forget what its called, but it doesn't support 1.0pr.

[ Parent ]
The Answer? (none / 0) (#177)
by SoEasy on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 05:02:25 AM EST

Okay, so I didn't go and check every single item you listed, but for almost 2 years I've been using MYIE2 (now renamed Maxthon for some godawful reason... probably a legal one, but its still a crappy name), and I've yet to find something that it WON'T do.

The earlier versions often crashed or spooled out of control. The latest ones, though, are pretty stable... considering I usually have 10 to 15 tabs open at a time.

There are plug-ins for just about anything you want, an awesome sidebar, fully configurable external utilities, etc.etc. (including an automated remove "float ad" feature).

It's built on the IE engine, but they have also just enabled the use of the Gecko engine.

I'm really surprised that more hasn't been written about it (or the other like browsers: GreenBrowser or AvantBrowser -- but I like Maxthon the best of the three).

Would be interested in your feedback.

"Everything I know I learned from Google."

by the way... (none / 0) (#178)
by SoEasy on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 05:09:56 AM EST

As an example... forget your "Invert Colors with one click".  Maxthon has an "Auto Set Background Color" feature which will fix bright backgrounds on the fly!

(for those who don't have Maxthon, and can't just highlight a word on this page and drag it to automatically start a Google search on that word... here's the link:  www.maxthon.com)

FireFox crawls... (none / 0) (#179)
by Pkchukiss on Sat Sep 04, 2004 at 01:00:44 AM EST

Even up till now, I am still trying to find out the true problem. It might be my computer refusing to do tango with FireFox, but it seems to respond sluggishly.

Whenever I load a web page, the "Loading" animation is super-accelerated, as if it were on super time. Then whenever I had to deal with FireFox's dialog boxes, they took a long time (about 20 seconds) to react to any mouse click. That is not to say that it "isn't responding". When I click on any of the buttons, it goes into the same depressed state, and pops back up. There will then be a lag before the program reacts.

For now, I would just have to bear with Internet Explorer (I am using Maxthon as the front end).

Ignorant no more
My blog

bookmarks (none / 0) (#184)
by fatalfury on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 12:38:17 AM EST

I would like to see an import bookmarks feature that will import from all browsers (mozilla, ie, firefox, opera, whatever else is out there). perhaps we would just need the browser to do a quick search for all .html pages? this would be useful when more than one person uses a computer and each person prefers a different browser. or if certain sites are browser-specific and you bookmark it in that browser but use a different one the rest of the time, then you just forget about the site. or if you simple prefer to spice up your life with variety.

10 features for a perfect browser | 184 comments (152 topical, 32 editorial, 1 hidden)
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