[svlug] CSS question: use of attribute selectors in userContent.css?
Karsten M. Self
kmself at ix.netcom.com
Fri Jan 21 10:40:06 PST 2005
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on Thu, Jan 20, 2005 at 10:08:44AM -0800, James Sparenberg (james at linuxrebel.us) wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-01-20 at 01:28, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > Galeon 1.2.x is considered by some to be the best-designed power-user
> > browser.
> I just never understood the concept of lightweight often talked about.
> Since it was an additional 3 megs (IIRC) on top of the bloat called
I try not to get distracted by advertising and look to functionality.
Galeon may have been advertised as "Mozilla-lite", but it was mostly
known among its fans as ¨power-user's browser". Single-metric
superlatives largely escaped it. However as a gestalt, it hung together
very well. Particularly in context.
For the browsers of the day (~fall 2000), GNU/Linux had:
- Netscape 4.x/6.x: Crap, and shit that smelled slightly less.
- Mozilla. Complete and standards-compliant, but not particularly
elegant. Kitchen-sink "Internet application" bundling Web, Mail,
- Konqueror. The kind of thing that's liked by people who like that
kind of thing, but not quite my cup of tea.
- Galeon. One of a set of Gecko-based browsers that came out of
nowhere and climed fast.
- Skipstone. Gecko-based. Perhaps holding closer to the "light,
simple" principle, but sadly lagging in development effort. The
first of the mainstream GNU/Linux browsers to offer tabbed browsing
(copied apparently from Opera and almost immediately picked up by
- A handful of other-rans: Dillo, lynx, w3m, links, etc. Either not
very featureful, text-only, or arrested development.
Very simply: I spent (and spend) a lot of time on the Web, and
recognize the value of a browser which puts the Web's power at my
fingertips, while eliminating the annoying crud. Galeon answered that
- Crash recovery. Even when it was only about as stable as Netscape
4/6, Galeon allowed recovering lost sessions. Actually, I think it
was always more stable.
- Bookmarks. The handling and editor were several cuts above
standards for the time.
"Preferences" menu, these could be toggled on or off. In 1.3.x,
they're buried in the the preferences dialogs, not nearly as easy to
- Tabs. IMVAO, Galeon 1.2's tab handling rocks over any other
browser's. It was just plain intelligently thought out, including
placement (user-specifiable -- open left *or* right), color coding
(red == d/l in process, blue == unread, black == read), navigation,
tab width & overflow.
- Preferences dialogs. In general, they just worked. Much faster
response than Mozilla's, then and now.
- Stylesheet chooser. I believe that this is required of a
CSS-compliant browser. Galeon did (and does) extend this by
allowing users to specify local stylesheets which can optionally be
applied to a webpage. Firefox appears to still be lacking this
feature. It's more useful than you'd think, particularly if you use
"corrective" stylesheets to remove brain-dead color and/or
background image bugs, erm, features, from webpages.
1.3.x is _slowly_ recovering most of these capabilities.
Usually at about this point in the discussion, someone jumps up and says
"but Firefox lets you do all of this via extensions".
Yes, it does. Extensions are really neat, flexible, and cool for, well,
extending the browser.
They also have a downside:
- They're hell to manage in a large environment -- multiple users,
multiple systems, and/or multiple OSs. Mozilla/Firefox are
cross platform, with two results: the native management tools need
to accomodate a mix of platforms, and plugin-authors may not be
multi-platform aware. This is getting better, but it's still got a
lot of room for improvement. 0.8x - 0.9x releases were particularly
crufty. Debian's package management assists greatly.
- Plugin interfaces vary. I haven't figured out what the guiding
themes are yet, but it seems pretty grab-bag. I may get any one or
more of: toolbar, a menu item, a status-bar feature, etc.
- Plugin quality varies highly. Some are exquisite. Some are crap.
Most of them lie somewher in between. More to the point: most or
all are outside the core Firefox project.
- Security. Plugins are third-party software downloaded from
third-party sites. Though there's signing support (judging from the
installer), I've yet to find a signed plugin. One of Microsoft's
paid shill bloggers commented on other issues of Firefox download
- Integration. The really nice thing about Galeon through 1.2.x was
that the application had a sense of a strongly defined design
vision: this is a power-user's browser. Tool selection and
placement was generally sane. Any tool I've used with extensions
has had something of a bolt-on feel to it.
Extensions aren't bad. They *do* provide a nice sandbox for further
development. They take on the positive aspect of free software design:
modularity. Emacs is probably the classic example: it's phenomenally
powerful. But it's also as intuitive as, well, emacs. Within any
GUI framework, you've got a sort of inherent cohesion and coherence
that's desireable. Perhaps some B&D Apple-style usage guidelines might
help, but I've got quibbles with that too.
Ultimately, I think the better extensions should be more tightly
integrated with the core browser, though not fully subsumed. It does
mean though that the Firefox dev team should be prepared to exert _some_
> > Prior to Epiphany's splitting from the Galeon 1.3 branch,
> > Galeon 1.3 was intended to be a fully stripped browser. Since the
> > split, useful features have been added back in, though slowly, with
> > several gross GNOME f*ckups <coff>libbonoboui</coff>, and with a few
> > annoying lapses.
> I've this same cough... ugly sucker isn't it.
The kicker for me was that it cost Galeon over a year's development
effort. That's time you don't get back.
It's also, if you'll pardon my generalizing, somewhat typical of GNOME's
"unwavering commitment of the moment" tendency. My impromptu skit of
this at PicNix was somewhat popular.
I've also noted that several projects (most notably the GIMP) hang
loosely with GNOME, but really don't consider themselves "GNOME apps".
I see this as a good thing. Mind: I generally like the Gtk toolkit's
appearance and such. But it's just that: a toolkit. Not a freakin'
desktop (WMaker played here).
> > Of the major browsers (Mozilla, Firefox, Konqueror, Galeon), I find
> > Galeon 1.3.18 to annoy me the least. Firefox's plugins are neat, but
> > lack in some attention-to-detail aspects that really made Galeon 1.2
> > shine. Mozilla still has some Netscapeisms in its design I dislike
> > (essentially: useful power-user features are lacking). On my system,
> > Mozilla/Firefox are noticeably less snappy than Galeon. If I can figure
> > out how to re-theme Konqueror (it's got some sort of high-tech Aztec
> > look to it) I might give it a bit more of a run-through.
> The "theme" of Konqueror is one of the top vote getting "bugs" I've
> seen with KDE. Others in KDE-Look are adding to the noise as well.
> I've found Konqueror to be the best file manager I've ever used.
> (Fish, man, doc, perldoc, etc protocols great.) Then add in the new
> locate plugin and it's great. OK for browseing.
My preferred file-mangler is bash. I've never really warmed to GUI
file-managers, though I find myself wanting a good photo-browser
mc's also pretty slick.
> > For stripped-down browsing, links2 is pretty interesting. I like w3m
> > hacked to run in a screein session as well.
> Links is the fastest browser out there, bar none IMHO.
For raw rendering speed and time-to-start, dillo's about twice as fast.
It's also less featureful, and does some pretty...um...creative
interpretation of some pages. But yeah: links2 is fast.
> there, ignoring it won't make it go away.) and re-directs it will give
> a lot of the big boys a run for it.
"click-to-play" mode, though that doesn't always seem to work. There's
links to straight HTML (allowing, say: opening links in the same
windows, same tab, new window, new tab, etc.).
1. While he had a couple of fair gripes, his attitude and known bias
shot his credibility to hell. It's also worth pointing out that the
*real* problem he pointed at was the existing system by which
software is typically aquired and installed on legacy MS Windows
systems, and the security inherent in same: effectively none.
Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
Arachnophobia: actively obstructing search-engine spiders:
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