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Browser Guide

A guide to the features of different Web Browsers

How to browse the Internet using the Mozilla 1.x and Mozilla Firefox browsersHow to browse the Internet using the Mozilla 1.x and Mozilla Firefox browsers
Learn how you can browse effectively using the keyboard, filter away advertisements, make the fonts look nicer, ensure your privacy is not violated and more. Read on to discover the hidden secrets features of Mozilla 1.6+ and Firefox 9.x.
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  1. Browser Feature Guide
  2. The Best Browser
  3. The Mozilla Based browsers
  4. Konqueror
  5. The Fast browsers
  6. Text Mode Browsers
  7. General Browser Tips

1. Browser Feature Guide

Mozilla Firefox Epiphany Links Opera Konqueror Galeon
Rendering speed :-) :-/ :-) :-D :-D :-) :-)
Pop-Up window blocking X X X X X X
Pr. site (3rd party) image blocking X X
Coockie management X X X
Security Certificates X X
Plugin support (Java/Flash/etc) X X X X X X
Javascript support X X X X X X X
Javascript access control X X
Bookmark import/export X X import X X X X
Nice fonts by default :-) :-) :-/ :-/ :-( :-D :-/
Startup time (first window) :-( :-( :-/ :-D :-) :-/ :-(
Proper mime type handeling by default :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-) :-/
libpr0n X

Security Certificates does work in Mozilla Firebird (Mozilla Firefox v0.7), but does not work in Firefox v0.8)

Popups are annoying and should never appear unless you request one.

Coockies are used to track you and your behavour and should be deleted immidiately when the connection to its origin is closed. The browser should give you the option of keeping coockies longer.

Java and javascript are very annoying, but some sites require it. A browser should support javascript, but should be able to control and restrict what the scripts are allowed to do.

2. The Best Browser

There is no "best browser", but Mozilla or Mozilla Firefox may come close depending on your taste in GUIs. Most people claim Mozilla Firefox is the best all round browser.

Konqueror is the best all round browser/everything tool. It is a totally great web browser, but lacks the 99.9% perfect rendering magic of Mozilla. Konqueror is much more than a web browser, it is your everything tool. It can mange your files, preview .pdf and .doc and even make you breakfeast.

If your box is more than 3 years old your no #1 browser choice is named Opera. It ownez all when it comes to performance. Opera is the rabbit, Mozilla Firefox is the.. whatever animal is really big and horribly slow. Turtle?

If your box is more than 10 years old then you really should consider buying a new box. In the meantime, use Links or Dillo. Links works great with svgalib if you want a GUI brosewr on a 486.

3. The Mozilla Based browsers

The Mozilla rendering engine has become something of a standard. There are dozens of browsers with various interfaces based on it:

Epiphany :-/
Galeon :-)
Mozilla 1.x :-)
Mozilla Firefox :-D

Though some of these claim to be faster than others you can assume all of them use ages starting as they all depend on the same engine.

Note that one of the reasons the standalone Mozila Browser is slow is because it comes with a irc client, a composer, a xml termianl and a mail client! Try to get a package with only standalone Mozilla for performance speed. On Gentoo Linux you can compile Mozilla using:

  USE="-mozcalendar -mozxmlterm +moznoirc +moznomail +moznocompose" emerge mozilla

for optimal performance. This makes sure you do not build the calendar / xmlterm / irc / mail / composer features. This does not speed up work performance, only startup loading speed.

4. Konqueror

Konqueror is KDEs tool-for-everything: It's a web-browser, a filemanager and it does much more.

With KDE 3.1, Konqueror now supports tabbed browsing. If you want to use Konqueror, then you will want to use KDE 3.2, or atleast 3.1. Not that the Konqueror versions included in KDE 2.2 and KDE 3.0.x are bad, it's just that the new version is both better and faster.

Konqueror does not have the best rendering engine or the best css support, but it does the job more than good enough. If you use KDE you will probably use Konqueror for alot of your browser needs simply because you probably got atleast one open at all times.

5. The Fast browsers

For slow or old boxes, a fast browser is probably preferred to a slow big engine (=mozillabased) that renders nicer.

5.1. Opera

Opera is a very nice QT based browser. It is not free :-( but keys are available at your friendly local neightbourhood p2p network.

Opera has all the features you expect from an advanced modern browser. It starts very fast and renders pages even faster.

The default font setup is so ugly it hurts, don't even think about surfing the web without changeing the font settings.

5.2. dillo

Dillo is a simple and very fast X11 based browser. Links > dillo, although dillo is super fast it can't even read slashdot correctly.

5.3. links

Links is a light and fast browser you can use on any old hardware, even i486. It does not require an X11 server, it can be used with any of these display methods:

  • text mode console
  • direct framebuffer
  • svgalib (console based library for screen rendering)
  • X11/XFree

Other features:

Links does not support:

  • css/stylesheets (makes many "modern"/poorly made pages render wrong)
  • certificates for banks etc.

Links is perfect for surfing the net using GUI on a Pentium 75 MHz with 16 MB RAM (using svgalib). Some ways you can run links:

links http://my.url/ Opens a textconsole links
links2 http://my.url/ Opens a textconsole links
links2 -g Opens Links in a X window, if support is compiled.
links2 -g -mode 640x480x32K Opens a svgalib fullscreen links in 640x480, if support is compiled.

Note that svgalib has it's own configuration file. Even if links2 works fine with gpm in textmode, the mouse will only work in graphical mode when the svgalib configuration file is set correct. Basically it's the same thing as XF86Config for XFree.

svgalibs configuration file can be found at:

  • /etc/vga/libvga.config (default)
  • /etc/svgalib/libvga.config (Gentoo)

You probably need to set the mouse device, turn off the mouse power acceleration and set the vga card type and modelines.

6. Text Mode Browsers

6.1. lynx

  • simple commonly used text based browser
  • nice for a quick peak
  • does not support frames or tables (displays them in the order they are read)

6.2. links

  • simple yet advanced text and gui browser. supports frames, but not css. Look above for a detailed description.

7. General Browser Tips

For faster page-loading:

  • Uninstall/remove flash-support from atleast one of your browsers (uninstall 'netscape-flash' or remove the symlinks in the browsers plugin-folder). Half the net now uses flash for advertisments.
  • Surfing with no images at all gives the best performance. You can also use the "Only load images from originating webserver" to block many advertisments.
  • In Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird, you can rightclick any image and select "Block Images From This Site". Usefull for blocking advertismentservers used by commercial sites.
  • Turn off Java globally as some sites use java-applets for advertisments, and these both load slow and use cpu cycles.

Check the page Tips and Tricks : Mozilla and Firefox tips for more clues.

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