Thursday, 20 May 2010

Review - Midori Web Browser

"Midori is a lightweight and portable web browser based on Gtk+. The interface is designed to be intuitive yet powerful."
I took up version 0.2.2 from the Lubuntu repositories,  surprised at how fast it is, how light it is, and how good is the media/Flash support.

It gets you away from Gecko engines (Mozilla, Firefox) and onto Webkit (the Chromium variety not Apple). The browser is plain and uncluttered, so far it's stable and a sound choice for users not looking for extensions and other whizz-bang features.

Midori is Japanese for 'green.' The logo is supposed to be 'the paw of a green cat.' I'm struggling to see the relevance myself.

It's a lightweight web browser, with a GTK+2 front-end, fast rendering with WebKit, tabs, windows and session management; versions 0.2.2 and now 0.2.5 bringing user scripts, user styles support and extensions, of which currently there are very few (coded in 'C'); simple bookmark management and a basic automatic ad-blocker. It will properly render pages marked-up as 'Internet Explorer-only.'

What can I say, it's a web-browser; it has the standard components: menubar, navigation bar, page pane, a slightly eccentric sidepanel and a status bar.

On the ancient Compaq Evo on Linux Mint, it opens and renders somewhat faster than Firefox (without extensions) and nip-and-tuck compared to Chromium depending on what pages you load up.

In use, it's fairly responsive, but after the first hour of trials, I hit a couple of issues.
  • Midori has a download tray, with icons depending on what you want to do with the download, however, hitting the icon for a .deb package launches the package installer, which looks like it's installing, but Midori triggers no prompt for root access so it doesn't install anything!
  • Rendering – Midori renders very fast and mostly successfully; exceptions included the Google search results page which left bits of iGoogle sidebars floating horribly over the top left corner of the page, obscuring the top results as well as being itself completely unclickable! See the screenshot. I suspect this isn't a problem on hi-res monitors with plenty of real-estate, but I'm running 1024 by 768 and that's my limit on the laptop.
Midori is passing usable for everyday use, but as I have bookmark synch in Firefox through UbuntuOne and Chromium reliably renders any page you throw at it, I'm not sure where it's going to fit in my browsing habits.  RC

UPDATE:
Thanks to my Anon contributor below, the Midori bug in summary:
"Since an update by google, a few days ago, it doesn't display correctly anymore. I've added a screenshot to show what I mean. Midori identifies as "Midori". Changing this to Firefox will display the site better, but then again, this ain't Firefox :-)."

Put another way it's Google (and a couple of other sites) dealing poorly with browser identification, so the rendering issue is strictly not Midori's fault.  RC

2 comments:

  1. first of all: update du current git

    the google-image is not a midori issue.
    have a look at:
    http://www.twotoasts.de/bugs/index.php?do=details&task_id=837
    http://www.twotoasts.de/bugs/index.php?do=details&task_id=845

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this; post updated as per. RC

    ReplyDelete

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