The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Browser Update

I recently lauded the newly launched Mac Safari browser for Windows. After about a week of use, I have reached some conclusions:

The browser is great, when it works. It is by far the most lightweight browser, and is aesthetically pleasing since it renders pages nicely. However, it has some problems:

1) Memory leak: although Safari starts off by using up no more than about 10-15,000 K of RAM (sometimes less), I found that when I visited certain webpages, my CPU would load like crazy for no apparent reason, which would increase the RAM usage exponentially. This would occur even after the page in question had finished loading.

2) Safari is undoubtedly the least stable browser I have used. Occasionally it will freeze inexplicably or, as mentioned above, load like crazy for no apparent reason.

3) Finally, the browser has compatibility issues. I use my browser for almost every conceivable internet application (videos, blogging, etc), including conducting research. I found that I could search academic databases fine, such as the MLA database, but that for reasons that are unclear, Safari could not open the sites of journals, much less the articles themselves.

As just about every well-known browser has issues, I decided to look into some lesser known candidates. Last night I downloaded two browsers most people have probably never heard of: Avant and K-Meleon, the latter of which I am using right now.

I have only used the two browsers for less than a day, so I will reserve judgment until further trials are conducted. So far, however, both seem quite good, especially K-Meleon. Here are some of its advantages:

1) Lighweight: as I'm typing this, K-Meleon is taking up a mere 28,000 K of RAM, less than half of what Firefox uses.

2) Compatibility: so far I have noticed no compatibility issues. I've been able to browser a vast array of pages without a hitch, and I've also been able to access journal articles online.

3) Built-in features: Firefox's biggest claim to fame, in my opinion, is it's AdBlock add-on, truly a gift from the heavens. K-Meleon has a very simple AdBlock option built in, which works very well, but sometimes too well. That is, it will sometimes block "false positives," pictures or links that it perceives as ads but really are not.
K-Meleon has one amazing feature that not even Firefox has: optional flash blocker. If selected, the browser will stop all flash applications on a web page, which you can activate if you wish. This is great since nine times out of ten, you don't want to see those apps anyway.

Before you conclude that I'm a communist, I'm not: I don't mind unobtrusive ads, but I draw the line when they give me seizures. These types of ads not only ruin the browsing experience but DO slow it down as well.

I have not used Avant as much, but it seems ok so far. It is even more lightweight and does come with a built-in adblocker. However, the latter isn't very effective: I still see those annoying and ubiquitous "get laid tonight" ads in the sidebar.

Lest one thinks that I have flip-flopped, I would like to paraphrase a quote from George Walker's anti-Jacobin novel The Wanderer (1798): To say that my opinion has changed from yesterday only means that I am wiser today than I was yesterday.

On a side note (pun intended), I have added a new application in the sidebar that tells me (and readers) whence people come to this blog. It seems like a huge invasion of privacy, but I can assure both of you that it's merely to satiate my curiosity.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this you?

2:20 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dont you just say it is you

You have a beard and like scorpions

9:55 p.m.  

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