[kubuntu-devel] Thoughts on Arora

Harald Sitter apachelogger at ubuntu.com
Sun Aug 2 19:35:58 BST 2009

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM, Jonathan Riddell<jriddell at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Some of these issues are fixed in 0.8.
> On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 04:45:40PM +0200, Harald Sitter wrote:
>> * No icons in context menu... the context menu is considerable crowded
>> (not as much as konqui's, but still), however it does not provide
>> visual guidance (namely icons) to make it more understandable
> There are icons for the actions which have them.

That is jaunty, but I don't suppose this stuff is coming from Qt, also
in general there are still no icons most of the time.

>> * also on netbooks, even though the bookmark bar is to be hidden, it
>> would probably be good to provide default bookmarks to fancy sites
>> such as youtube, facebook and twitter (also, since we probably want a
>> different set of bookmarks for the desktop => unpatchable)
> I tend to think people can find youtube on their own.

Like people find typing superior to clicking, right? :P

>> * homepage needs to be patched to kubuntu.org
> It has a sensible about:home page now

Needs graphical pimping, TBH, I would rather send people to google.com
than use the current default page (+ it does not fit my netbook

> I'm still in favour of Arora by default since I think the most
> important usability in a browser is being able to browse websites and
> there are too many important ones now which Konqueror doesn't.  I seem
> to be outnumbered though, don't you people read slashdot?

I completely agree. Also, since I personally degrade chromes to the
point where they are most efficient in a content-space/functionality
ratio, I wouldn't care about most of the GUI limitations compared to
Konqueror. BUT, not everyone is thinking that way, and a lot of things
just feel way too alien.

Like the download dialog, there is no whatsoever function to that
dialog other than keeping a list of what was downloaded. Now, we
probably could argue about the point of download lists, but why does
it have to be in-your-face-visible-popupish even though it does
nothing more than let you open the file you are download (or possibly
didn't even wanna download but just open)? In firefox you at least
have some basic download management features, but not even those are
available (let alone, once again, lack of icons).

Most important problems I, personally, have at this point are the l10n
bug (we have been bitching about broken kde l10n and now we expose
users willingly to a default application that will not be localized if
you are setting your timezone to australia or canada or austria...)
and of course the migration consideration. Even though the browser
someway is nothing more than a chrome around the website it still does
quite important things, persistent sometimes. I am talking about
cookies, bookmarks and passwords of course. These data are mostly
quite important, really, I always get the creeps when I have to login
somewhere because there is a good chance I forgot the username or
password or both. Anyway, they are important data, and as such
important data they would have to be migrated from Konqueror to Arora,
which is technically quite a PITA and rather undoable, same vice
versa. So, if we consider Arora a temporary workaround (I suppose that
is what it is, since there is no KDE integration and consensus seems
to be that Konqueror is functionality wise superior) then we not only
have to accept the fact that we can not migrate K=>A but also, when
Konqueror gains webkit support the A=>K case. So, we are willingly
accepting that the users loose their browser data twice (!!!!), or at
least have to continue with outdated data once the A=>K case applies.

Especially that last point is IMHO not worth the temporary advantage
of Arora (let me exclude the netbook usecase, because migration might
not apply and because it is much more viable for the product to have a
browser that renders just about everything). We have been living for
years with KHTML's disabilities, they didn't worsen or improve. The
only thing that changed is that there is now a Qt browser that
actually works for the better part of the web. But if we consider that
those who were not happy with Konqueror, probably installed and used
Firefox before, then they (who are actually core target audience of a
browser switch) will not wanna live with the limitations of Arora if
they can as well just stay with Firefox. What does this switch really
change then? Other than get rid of browser data.

Currently the only advantage of Arora is that it renders more sites
than Konqueror, but I suppose once the webkit kpart was pushed far
enough along this advantage will autoresolve? So why bother with a
temporary fix at all?


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