Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Midori and Rekonq, Lightweight Subtitutes for Firefox

I used to wonder why Midori and Rekonq existed. That was before Firefox crashed on me while I was composing on Blogspot. Midori for Xfce and Rekonq for KDE are excellent browsers that can navigate hairy sites like Blogspot without breaking a sweat.

The most obvious missing element in Midori is the Home Page icon. Contemporary browser design suggests that home pages are falling out of fashion a bit. Mine has evolved over many years to be quite adept at saving me time. I require an icon to return to my home page at all times. In Midori, I found one can adjust settings by clicking the right-most icon resembling pen and paper. Then there is the simple matter of going to Preferences | Customizations and installing the "Toolbar Editor", which allows one to customize the toolbar in much the same way that Firefox does. I do the same thing in Firefox and Midori whenever I customize my browser.

Firefox gives short shrift to the home page. New tabs, by default, open a page with nine or more windows crammed together. The user is supposed to select one. The developers assume users want to visit pages they have recently visited. I don't know why anyone would be interested in looking at that mess. It is a very puzzling design choice. After installing Firefox, the first thing I always do is go to about:config and change the newtab page to be my home page. Thus creating a newtab is lightning-fast on my rig, and I can access the sites I really want, rather than what Firefox's primitive AI thinks I want. They may be making progress in the area of artificial intelligence, but I think during my lifetime I will know better than Firefox about which sites I want to visit.

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