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Netsurf as native browser?

asked 2020-05-26 17:10:30 +0300

aerique gravatar image

Netsurf just got a new release. It's a lightweight, yet capable browser: http://www.netsurf-browser.org/

Has anyone ever tried to get it running on Sailfish?

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I used it some 15 years ago and it was perfectly usable back then -- but, well ... you know, 15 years ...

Running it on sailfish may be almost easy, but making use of it will be hard. It seems to offer GTK bindings, you would have to implement a kind of Silica/Qt bridge first.

Looking at what they have implemented in this browser shows that (like 15 years ago) it is lacking JavaScript support. Most web sites seem to transform into web applications/PWA, so you'll not be able to see much there.

Maus ( 2020-05-26 17:59:57 +0300 )edit
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What do plan 9 and sailfish os have in common? Answer: they both lack good web browsers . More so in case of plan 9. Recently there is an ongoing effort to port netsurf to plan 9.

But seriously, netsurf does support javascript and the engine is duktape https://duktape.org/

binutzu ( 2020-05-26 22:43:16 +0300 )edit

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answered 2020-05-27 18:49:58 +0300

Maus gravatar image

@aerique I installed it and tested it a bit. It is a lovely piece of software and does a great job, given the memory footprint and overall size of the package. I really loved it, and it would suit most of my own needs.

But it suffers from exactly the same deficiencies as the stock browser, while still lacking features that were available with the stock browser from day one. Just open the Github home page or the Bing home page (sorry, no advertisement intended!) in a recent Netsurf browser to see what I mean. Not even TJC displays properly, these pages display distorted or are even unusable. (Tested here with 3.10).

Let me stress that this is not Netsurf's fault, but the consequence of the abomination that "the web" is these days, where we need rendering engines that eat more memory (and bandwidth!) per displayed page than what was available on my whole computer back when I was really using Netsurf.

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Hi Maus, thanks for your time. Somehow I'm not surprised Microsoft pages do not work well on other browsers ;-)

Kidding aside, it's perhaps good -like you did- to check if Netsurf is any better than the current native browser.

aerique ( 2020-05-28 14:45:28 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2020-05-26 17:10:30 +0300

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Last updated: May 26 '20