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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Browsing

Dec 20, 2000, 13:53 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

"Like many of us, I've spent the majority of my online time in the last 10 years in Netscape. And like many of us, I've developed impressions of the Web that are often impressions of Netscape instead. Web sites, ftp sites--all were seen through Netscape's eyes. It took the atrocity that is Netscape 6 to finally shake me awake. Yes, I'd played around a little with alternatives over the years. There was that ridiculous thing that IBM shipped for awhile with OS/2. There was the browser built into StarOffice. I tried browsing with KFM, the KDE-1.x ancestor of Konqueror (a great ftp client but not a full-featured browser). I even had--still have, in fact, though it doesn't work here anymore--QTMozilla, a stunt that the people at TrollTech did a few years ago, the idea being to port Netscape Navigator to QT in one man month, an experiment that was successful. I have and occasionally use Lynx, though it is limited by its text interface to use only in emergencies where I've injured X and need to find the cure. In the foggy past there was Mosaic, and Amaya still resides here...."

"Konqueror, as mentioned, is very promising. I've built the KDE2 CVS every couple of weeks for more than a year now, and have watched Konqueror become increasingly capable. (I haven't been able to build it for awhile now because the kdelibs build blows up over a GL issue that popped up last week and that refuses to go away despite a new build of Mesa. I have no idea what it's about. I asked and was told that it was because my Mesa was built using a different compiler and different glibc than the ones being used to build KDE2, but that's not the case.)..."

"Another alternative I've grown to like more and more is the succession of betas of Opera 4.0. Like Konqueror, it is not fully populated with features yet. It is built against QT, meaning that it's nicely at home on a KDE2 desktop. Like Netscape 6, it wants to "help you" with the left quarter of the screen populated by a complicated -- no, goofy -- batch of bookmarks. These are easily gotten rid of by dragging that frame closed. Unfortunately, they are the only place I've found where one can find one's existing Netscape bookmarks. (There's a workaround: I navigated to my ~/netscape/bookmarks.html in Opera and opened that page -- and then bookmarked it. Now I can go there and simply follow the links. The bookmarks I wish to keep I can then open and bookmark in Opera. Getting rid of their bookmark structure and its hundreds of provided links and imposing mine instead will take a little more work.) Likewise, there is a line at the bottom of the screen populated by menus of bookmarks that, too, come with the product. I guess that there are people who have never been on the Web and need these to get themselves started, but then again, the rest of us struggled through somehow. I haven't figured out how to get rid of these or, better, to populate them with my own bookmarks, but I haven't devoted a lot of time to the effort, either."

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