I finally managed to migrate away from Firefox!
Meet the hard core browser that gives you the ultimate control of your surfin’ experience: UZBL
As Firefox and the other Big browsers got bigger and bigger and steadily requiring more resources and becoming more sluggish, my desire to move away from Firefox increased. Until I decided to make a real effort and a final jump. Although I have tested many browsers over the years, I have only been dead serious about a migration in the past two weeks. Having been accustomed to many neat Firefox plugins, it seemed like a tough challenge to find a browser that could match at least my basic requirements:
- It must be fast
- VIM-like key bindings. I want my browser to be modal and act like my favorite text editor.
- Fully customizable key bindings
- Easily configurable and extensible, putting me in the driver’s seat
- Ability to edit text fields with VIM – like I do now, writing this blog post
- Password manager
- Form filler
- Ad blocker
…and with UZBL I get this. And much more. It is dead easy to extend and customize almost every aspect of the browser in the config file or via scripts. And I can write scripts in any language and set uzbl to launch a script via a key binding. I can write scripts in Shell, Ruby or even Raven 🙂
My system is now finally lean & mean with Ubuntu Linux as the OS, i3 as the Window Manager (no Gnome or KDE), Conky as a notifier, Mutt as my mail client, Newsbeuter as RSS reader, VIM for any and all text editing, LaTeX for writing books and articles, ZSH in urxvt, and now UZBL for surfing the Internetz. My perfect setup.
I had to tweak and squeeze the browser to make it behave just like I want it to – small stuff such as hitting “ogs” and then some search words to make the browser open up Google with the search results, or hit “tbi” to open up my blog in a new tab. And more involved stuff like restoring a closed tab by simply hitting “u”.
Firstly, I run “uzbl-tabbed” with this config and this follow-links-style. I changed the undo-tab scripts to this and this (so as to make it run on the latest uzbl version). If you want to try this browser, make sure to check out my config file – it includes some nifty stuff.
Enjoy (as long as you run Linux/*BSD/Unix/Mac OSX)