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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Sunday March 21, 2004
05:37 AM

Browser Betas

[ #17991 ]

Except in the fossilised world of Microsoft, browser innovation is alive and well.

Apple injected cash into the khtml core producing the jolly good Safari browser, and in the process improved Konqueror. A lot of people with Macs seem very proud of this browser, and the KDE community seem equally proud of their much improved Konqueror.

Opera is also moving ahead. After a long hiatus the 7.5 version (currently at beta 3) will also run on the Mac as well as Linux, BSD, Solaris and Windows. The existing 7.x version is a very good browser, small and fast, and the 6.x version is very popular on mobile phones and other small devices. The Opera Browser may not be open source, but it's a fine standard compliant browser family, and it's presence does help to stimulate innovation.

The Mozilla Foundation have been busy of late too, Firefox continues to evolve and innovate, and this week it's more sedate parent, The Mozilla Browser Suite had another beta release.

I feel really sorry for the great "unwashed" masses stumbling about the Internet with their primitive, buggy, non-compliant, insecure Microsoft Internet Explorer. I also feel sorry for me, I have to take my nice clean designs, and then hack and patch them to death to get them to work on this dinosaur of a product.

I'm well aware that there are other Mozilla Gecko based and other independent browsers as well, but I don't know enough about them to comment. I gather some of these are also very good.

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  • I wish any browser would completely support HTTP, (X)HTML, CSS, ECMAScript, DOM, or Unicode: The Browser Dereliction Report [].

    In the meantime, an ActiveX "drive-by" installer (of the kind used by so much spyware) needs to be developed to replace IE with Firefox. I'd really like to see someone found a militant wing of the now too-conciliatory WaSP []. Maybe there should be an International Crash IE day?

    • Good actual support for standards would be very useful, though it is fair to say that other than IE - which is quite antiquated, the other browsers are pretty good, and getting better all the time. I don't hold out much hope that when MS launch their update to IE, it will be much better.

      Installing a proper rendering engine into IE via ActiveX is something I've wished for before []. Apparently you can put gecko into an ActiveX component, but so far no one seems to have put it inside IE - well a quick search w

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
      • I haven't used it before, but this Mozilla ActiveX page [] seems to indicate that replacing IE's rendering engine with Gecko is a simple matter of running a program to replace the object IDs:

        IEPatcher is a tool to scan an executable or DLL and patch it to replace instances of the IE control with the Mozilla control. Since both controls are binary compatible, this is just a matter of replacing the CLSID_WebBrowser with CLSID_MozillaBrowser. If you have built the Mozilla browser, try running the patcher on an

        • I'd seen this ActiveX control before, but I didn't realise that it would actually replace IE's Trident rendering engine with Mozilla's Gecko, and apparently so simply! Now all we have to do is get people to upgrade their copies of IE...

          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."