Midori – A Webkit powered GTK2 Web Browser
I am writing this post from Midori. Currently described as a lightweight web browser. Which I don’t even get at this point, hasn’t every browser since Internet Explorer been a “lightweight.”
In any case, what I feel really makes this different is the fact that unlike most GTK2 browsers, Midori uses Webkit to render web pages. Firefox and Epiphany, the default Gnome browser among many others use the Gecko engine.
As far as Gecko vs Webkit. I haven’t used Webkit/KHTML based browsers enough to really say what makes them different. On both Windows and Linux I use Firefox, on OS X I use Camino. Using Midori I didn’t really run into any noticeable rendering issues. Things like GMail and Google reader worked fine. I checked various sites I visit and it rendered them all without any snags. I did notice however that pages with text entry dialogs are a little buggy. Oh and for those that care, it does render the acid test correctly. Although I did noticed when I scrolled up or down it distorted it. Normally the page in question doesn’t allow you to scroll. So that could be an issue with Midori not Webkit.
I should mention before I get into the more Midori specific aspects of this post. I am using version 0.0.17, a self described “early alpha.” At this point it’s far from daily use ready.
Working right now is the basics. You can bring up pages, search from the search entry box, reload pages, move back for forth, go to a homepage, create new windows and tabs. You can create bookmarks but you create them from scratch. Then they are only accessible in the panel not from the bookmarks menu.
What isn’t working yet? Unable to tab through fields on a page, no support for secure http, no font configuration, the preferences in general is mostly a place holder at the moment, unable to save files, binary files just open in a page, no controls/menus for tabs aside from close, bookmarks very limited.
It’s an interesting project that I’ll have my eye on. While I really like Firefox, I love choices so hopefully this florishes. I also have my eye on Kazehakase, which also plans on letting you choose between Gecko and Webkit.