Category Archives: Web Browsers

New Web Browser: Scleroglossa

For quite a while I’ve wanted to build a web browser based on the Gecko engine by Mozilla, which is what powers Firefox. Until recently I never had the right combination of time and motivation to dig in.

Well, now that I have, here’s the result – the Scleroglossa browser for Windows.

It’s available for download on the Lambda Centauri website.

Cleaner URLs Without Tracking Nonsense

Have you ever seen a link with a bunch of extra stuff on it? Facebook URLS with “fbclid=<big string of letters” or links with a bunch of “utm_medium=<whatever>” or those horrendously long product links you get from Amazon?

They’re used for tracking behavior, and handy for people getting marketing and attribution data. If you don’t mind them, that’s cool. They annoy me a little because I like clean, readable URLs.

There’s a browser extension to get rid of them, called ClearURLs:

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clearurls/lckanjgmijmafbedllaakclkaicjfmnk/related

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clearurls/

I Don’t Care About Cookies

I’m tired of websites showing me cookie warnings that I have to click through to remove some sort of overlay that obscures some portion of the site. I have not nor will I ever care about cookies. They’re a built-in part of the browser that should just work invisibly, and they’re an important part of making apps work.

There’s an extension that’s called, appropriately, “I Don’t Care About Cookies”. Here it is:

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/i-dont-care-about-cookies/

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/i-dont-care-about-cookies/fihnjjcciajhdojfnbdddfaoknhalnja

Windows Software by Lambda Centauri

I’ve written a lot of apps for Windows (and other) PCs. Originally I published everything as Zeta Centauri, but it was a weird combination of audio apps and utilities that didn’t mesh well with audio apps (calculators, word processing, image viewer, browser). I’ve launched a new website for the utility apps to keep them separate from the audio apps.

Check it out here: https://lambdacentauri.com

Opera: My New Favorite Browser

For the longest time Firefox has been my favorite browser, with Internet Explorer second.  Firefox was the most user-friendly and where FF didn’t work very well or crashed, IE was always a reliable fallback.  I don’t mean IE6.  That was an exploding turd.

Other than consuming more memory and CPU, over the past few years Firefox hasn’t really improved at all.  It hasn’t become more user-friendly, more stable, or more fun to use.  That’s not really a problem — it’s always been perfectly usable — but it’s left room for other browsers to pass them up.

Well, not everyone is as inept as the developers of Konqueror.  Doing some memory and CPU benchmarking for work led me to try a few browsers I hadn’t spent any time with before — Opera, Safari, Seamonkey, Aurora, Epiphany, etc.  For the most part they were just your average Webkit-based or Gecko-based cookie-cutter browsers without much going for them.  Except Opera.

I only spent a little while with it, but for the purposes of the project I was working on, it was the most consistent across operating systems (Linux, Windows, MacOS), most consistently standards-compliant , and most reliable.  I used it enough that I got used to the interface, which is nice because it just gets the hell out of the way and leaves plenty of room for the sites its displaying.  Even better, the behavior and options (open in new tab vs. open in new background tab, search bar has ‘paste and go’ option, etc.) cater precisely to the way I want to use the web.

I really like the Internet Explorer 9 beta and it’s better than any IE yet, but it doesn’t make the greatest use of screen real estate.

I’m sold on Opera.  I’ve made it my primary because it’s the best choice if you use multiple operating systems.