Browsing the 'Web

The world wide web is only as usable as the browsers used to navigate it. This page is meant as a starting point for referencing various browsers which may help expand your browsing experiences.

Note that there are movements out there which support this concept, but for different reasons.

Graphical browsers

My favourite browser is Opera. It provides for flexible browsing with a wide range of preferences (e.g. turn pop-ups off and on with a click); a "tabbed" browsing environment which greatly reduces window clutter; very speedy loading and rendering; and support for a number of platforms. A major selling point for me is the "mouse gestures" which allow the user to perform actions on the browser windows with a flick of the wrist. This are very addictive, and you may find yourself gesturing outside of Opera. There is a program called StrokeIt which will allow MS Windows users to imitate this feature. See also gestureapp. Opera also supports openness on the web.

The Mozilla project browser is becoming popular since its production release. Mozilla supports a tabbed environment. SeaMonkey is the new name for the integrated suite. A project is under way to allow Mozilla to use mouse gestures. The rendering engine (named Gecko) is being used in other browsers, such as Firefox (previously Pheonix and Firebird) - browser only version of Mozilla, Galeon (The GNOME web browser from which Epiphany was forked), Beonex (Linux/Windows), SkipStone (Gtk+), and K-Meleon (MicroSoft Windows). (Also see the Mozilla page for notes on Chimera for MacOSX [Camino] and AmigaOS. Mozilla is available for several platforms.)
See also: Ghostzilla - quietly using the web and Torpark - a mobile, anonymising browser, based on Firefox.

The most used browser is MS Internet Explorer for MicroSoft Windows. Versions of MS IE were available for UNIX and are available for Macintosh computers. (There are a number of poorly designed web sites which don't perform well with other browsers. Some of these are operated by MicroSoft.)
The following browsers use the MicroSoft IE engine: Avant, Crazy, 4C Vision, NeoPlanet, Oligo, Maxthon (formerly MyIE2), Deep Explorer, PhaseOut, NetCaptor, and Clickgarden (includes filtering proxy). (It appears that if you have to run IE, MyIE2 might be the best option.)

Formerly the most common browser was Netscape. The current 8.x browser is based on the Mozilla project, but also allows the user to use the MicroSoft rendering engine (under Windows). (Older versions)

For the Macintosh user, Apple has released Safari, based on khtml, also used in Konqueror.

Miscellaneous browsers ...

Sun's StarOffice suite also used to be a web browser. (As of version 5.x, anyway.) The freely available Open Office suite allows the user to open a single page at a time, but does not work as a full browser.

Text browsers

There are those who disparage text based browsers, but they are a quick method of getting the information you want, without all the junk that usually comes along with "modern" web sites. Links seems to be the most fully functional text browser. (See also: the SourceForge site.) (And there is a graphical mode version of Links. See Elinks as well.) Of course, the venerable Lynx has persisted in use for many years. The w3m browser is also a good alternative to graphical browsers. There is also the Emacs W3 mode which is older, and has not seen much development of late.

Filtering proxies

Filtering proxies allow you to control the content, formatting, and other input that your browser receives. This can be used to block undesirable content, such as pornography, advertising or pop-up windows.

Browsing under MS Windows is enhanced with the Proxomitron. The original site has gone, but a local mirror is available.

Privoxy is Open Source filtering proxy. It supports many platforms, including AmigaOS, Windows, Linux and UNIX variants. (Privoxy is derived from the Internet Junkbuster Proxy.)
Also available is FilterProxy. See also Python proxies, including WebCleaner.

Not really browsers ... However, these programs can come in handy as well.

Blasts from the past

There is a browser archive for those who are interested in old browsers.

The first web browser I used was the line mode browser. (It was CERN's version back then.) (I also used gopher.) The first graphical browser I found was Viola. It wasn't much compared to today's browsers - this was before images were supported in HTML documents. The size is quite small compared to modern graphical browsers, but at the time, I thought it was huge. At about the same time, there was a Windows browser called Cello. Of course, the browser that really started getting people's attention was NCSA Mosiac. Arena was W3C's graphical testbed. Netsurf for RiscOS

Other lists of browsers: