Sunday, November 11, 2007

K-Meleon: The Übergeek Find Of The Day

The last few weeks I have been off on this tear trying to get up to speed on the current offerings in the Linux and BSD arenas to see if I can find a computer configuration that, quite honestly, my mother can't break.

So far I haven't been having much luck on the original quest, but what I did stumble across was the fact that the Firefox web browser is based upon a "rendering engine" called Gecko and that there are a handful of other browsers that also used this engine.

One that caught my attention from the description is called K-Meleon - talk about a name that doesn't trip off the tongue. What I read about it is that they wrote it to interface directly with the Windows API instead of going through a middle layer like Firefox does. This, theoretically, should make it noticeably faster than Firefox.

And, oh yes, K-Meleon, so far as I have observed, is WAY faster than Firefox.

Now, keep in mind, a different browser is not going to make your INTERNET connection any faster. What a different browser CAN do, however, is increase the speed at which a web page is RENDERED - tranlated from raw HTML, JavaScript, AJAX, etc., into a viewable web page. And, believe you me, with so many pages as hopelessly bloated as Axinar's out there, rendering speed can be quite important.

Now, what the pages LOOK like are pretty similar to Firefox, because Firefox and K-Meleon use the same rendering engine of course.

K-Meleon doesn't have "tabs" - it has "layers", and, near as I can tell, it defaults to open new links in a whole new process rather than a new "layer", which is cool so that you can Alt-Tab through your open browser window by default.

Ach ... they forgot to put in a button so you can close an open layer!

No - I take that back - it's up toward the upper right. Very strange.

This thing DEFINITELY has some potential though. I highly encourage you other übergeeks to check it out when you get the chance ...

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