In search for perfection (yeah, tech stuff)

Only a short while after having settled with dwb as my browser of choice, it was announced that it was unmaintained. Development had stopped and it was left in limbo. Again I was out hunting for The Browser. Revisiting Luakit and Uzbl, I discovered Vimb that seemed promising – but it had a few snags that ended up prolonging my quest. I hang around in the IRC chat channels of several tech projects, including a handful browsers. Got chatting with the main developer (“The Compiler”) of a new browser on the block just before X-mas – and it turned out that his qutebrowser served well as a Christmas present.

Qutebrowser uses a different underlying technology (QtWebKit), written in Python, has a very clean configuration, extensible and actively maintained.

It still lacks a few features like a form filler, session management and support for AdBlocks “easylist” (although it has a more rudimentary adblocker). But these are on the roadmap, and with the pace of development, I am sure these and many other neat features are not far away.

One thing that bugged me was how QtWebKit rendered fonts. Fonts were noticeably slimmer rendering web pages less readable. After some hours of tinkering, I solved the issue by first getting a better font setup for my system (here), then installing the Ubuntu package called “texlive-fonts-extra” and setting the font “Lato Heavy” for the following font settings in qutebrowser: “web-family-standard”, “web-family-serif”, “web-family-sans-serif”, “web-family-cursive” and “web-family-fantasy” (and the font “Droid Sans Mono” for “web-family-fixed”). Now fonts are beautiful and very readable.

After wading through more than a dozen browsers, qutebrowser fits the bill quite nicely.

9 thoughts on “In search for perfection (yeah, tech stuff)

  1. I know it’s a bit off topic, but may I ask please what’s your opinion about Presto engine? I’m a big fan of Opera but they dropped Presto in favour of Webkit if I’m right. My former beloved Opera is looking now like Google Chrome. Thanks.

    1. Given the momentum of html5 and the usage of css and javascript etc, it’s hard to keep the momentum going on proprietary web engines. Webkit has momentum 🙂

  2. “[Qutebrowser] still lacks a few features like a form filler, session management and support for AdBlocks “easylist” (although it has a more rudimentary adblocker). But these are on the roadmap, and with the pace of development, I am sure these and many other neat features are not far away.”

    So right now it’s basically Internet Explorer running under Windows XP?

    Alanzo

      1. “Oh soooo far from it. It’s entirely keyboard driven. No need for a mouse at all. And thus efficient as hell.

        Wow. I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

        That’s a link to its keyboard cheatsheet on Github.

        Learning this would rewire all the pathways in my brain.

        I might end up retarded.

        Alanzo

  3. Because I use the PC mostly for browsing and games, I haven’t gotten into linux, due to compatibility issues. I know there are windows emulators but I don’t expect them to work as fast as windows. Maybe I will try Mint some time. For the moment, because I use some lappy with a very weak GPU now days, do you know any browser that would make graphics faster?

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