Firefox (Vimperator) alternatives

15Oct08

I have been trying to replace Firefox for some time now.

On this old laptop, it is extremely laggy. I have a tendency to keep many tabs open at once; perhaps I could go on a tab diet, but it’s annoying to have to remember what you had open before. I also use the Vimperator plugin, which is amazingly useful once you get used to it. Unfortunately it makes switching to another browser more problematic.

I tried:

Opera. I am not very fond of having a QT application amongst the GTK ones. Nonetheless, it does a decent job. It even has a vimperator-like plugin somewhere–Vimperatopera or something. Unfortunately, it isn’t a complete Vimperator replacement. Its QuickHints can only open a link in a new tab, not in the current tab, which I do all the time. Opera is nice, but I want something _even_ lighter if possible.

Kazehakase. This has improved a fair bit since I tried it in the Ubuntu repositories. Nothing like Vimperator here unfortunately. 😦 I should just give up and acknowledge what I am really looking for is a leaner version of Firefox with Vimperator. At least it doesn’t crash as often as it used to.

Seamonkey. I used this in Puppy Linux. First thing that comes to mind: ugly, dated icons. It tries to pack a lot of functionality in one program, though I never use the other facilities. Good for Puppy and the occasional use, not so good for Arch on a daily basis.

Epiphany. This one pulls in some Gnome dependencies. It wasn’t as slow as I expected it to be after reading some forum posts decrying it. I really like how slim and clean you can get it to look by turning off the toolbar with Back, Forward, Home, etc. It also supports extensions, though they are not Firefox-compatible and have to be written in C/Python. That gave me an idea of writing Evimphany as a exercise in learning Python….

Midori. A browser with potential. I find it is quite sparing on the memory, though it is also sparing on features. At this point I would not even mind if there was no way of modifying keyboard shortcuts–the current implementation of Webkit is unable to deal with https: sites, which is a big con. Not really Midori’s problem, from what I can tell; both projects have a long road ahead of them still.

Those are the only browsers which I consider worthy of replacing Firefox with. I didn’t bother with Konqueror given that it draws in the whole KDE gang in with it.

On second thoughts, I should probably have a go at Opera again. Part of the reason I gave up on it was because I had already tried previously to shoehorn it into Firefox’s shoes, back when I first installed Arch on this laptop. I recall I replaced Firefox with it because I wanted to try Vimperator. And then I got stuck on Vimperator. And then I wanted out.

Damn you Vimperator!

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5 Responses to “Firefox (Vimperator) alternatives”

  1. 1 attrap

    conkeror?

  2. 2 mentallaxative

    I thought Conkeror was not being developed anymore. However, I have just checked the AUR, and the pkgbuild for it is relatively new. Perhaps I should have a go at it.

  3. 3 colonelcrayon

    I have the exact same problem. Vimperator is awesome, Firefox isn’t.

  4. 4 molok

    I feel your pain man, I’m looking for something to replace Vimperator, because Firefox is really too fucking slow; I’m using GNOME right now, so the best of all would be and add-on for Epiphany with Vimperator-like keybindings… at least the more basic. Anyway, I’m writing this with w3m (I prefer elinks, but it isn’t installed on this system)

  5. 5 revertTS

    colonelcrayon: I agree. I’ve been looking for something (anything) to fill vimperator’s role on other browsers and have come up with nothing. A similar extension for Epiphany would be great; I might have a go at that eventually.



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