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
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
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
their bright white backgrounds. I press the button, and the background goes
4. Save sessions regardless of crashing
Though there is a
saving plugin for Firefox, it doesn't work when Firefox crashes as it
occasionally does. Mozilla,
Konqueror have no kind of session
persistence at all.
The only browser I've used which has done this right is
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
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,
7. Do it the Unix way
What I mean is:
Store configuration files as simple plain text
- Store configuration files as simple plain text.
- Keep out bloat.
- Make it standalone but able to integrate with other useful tools.
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,
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
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:
- 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