Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software

FOSSPicks

Article from Issue 194/2017
Author(s):

Graham tears himself away from updating Arch Linux to search for the best new free software.

Web Browser

QupZilla 2.0.1

Mozilla Firefox does a wonderful job, and it's a fundamental part of the future of the open web, but that doesn't mean you can't look at alternatives. Chromium, for example, is a legitimate open source version of Google's Chrome, even when Google's motivations toward the web are uncertain, and I'm happy to see Gnome's Epiphany is now being actively developed again. My current favorite is Qutebrowser, because navigating the web with Vim shortcuts is both addictive and productive. The only hitch with Qutebrowser is that the switch to the superior QtWebEngine rendering engine is still in development – Qutebrowser's lead developer has just started a Computer Science course at the University of Applied Sciences in Rapperswil, Switzerland, which means that until the release of Qutebrowser 1.0, we're still looking for the perfect QtWebEngine browser. And QupZilla is a major contender.

What I really like about QupZilla is that it integrates so well with your chosen desktop, whatever that may be. It adopts themes and icons and provides native notification, helping it to feel just like a Gnome, KDE, or Xfce desktop application. This is particularly important for KDE users, because there's not a particularly strong Qt-based browser that can compete with the GTK-based Firefox. QupZilla gets very close.

There is a very capable bookmarks manager, an overly comprehensive preferences pane, a full history overview, and even built-in adblock. Extensions include the wonderful Greasemonkey, KWallet, mouse gestures, and Flash cookie management. Although I don't want to emphasize this feature, it also includes Flash support for those vestiges of the Internet that still need this ancient artifact. I even appreciate the way the developer has defaulted to Duck Duck Go by default and the inclusion of a speed dial for quick web access.

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