Fwd: what is the reason for not making epiphany the default browser?

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Tue Jan 10 02:26:04 GMT 2006

On 1/8/06, MadMan2k <madman2k at gmx.de> wrote:
> please remember that this is not about what might fit best your need but
> the needs of a new and unexperienced user.
> The solution should be neither bloated nor confusing.
> And if the user gains more experience he will be also install more
> advanced applications to fit his grown demand over synaptic...
> David Bain wrote:
> > The webdeveloper extension is the biggest reason why I keep coming back
> > to firefox. I like epiphany... but if I had to choose just one, it's
> > going to be firefox.

I just gave Epiphany another try and have to say it's "nice", but it's
_definitely_ inferior to FireFox (and, I do propose that one of the
criteria for replacing FF with Epiphany ought to be that Epiphany does
a _better_ job of browsing the web than FF for the majority of users).

Here's a short list of issues, some less important than others:

1. The lack of a Google bar (or, heaven forbid, another search engine)
is a show stopper! Nearly every web browser worth its salt now has the
search bar smack dab beside the URL bar!

2. And, re-arrangeable tabs. What's up with that? Yeah, it's a neat
gimmick and, perhaps with time I could find a use for them, BUT, BUT,
BUT how is *that* going to make web browsing easier for a newbie, or
for the _majority_ of users?

Tabs are a bizarre paradox in Epiphany. They're going for simplicity
(purportedly) but they throw in a pretty obscure interface hack that
is bound to confuse the issue and make browsing the web a more
frustrating experience for someone learning how to use tabs for the
very first time (and, every other implementation of tabs in
non-browser apps (aside from some bizarre moving MS preferences panes
which drove me bonkers because the tabs kept moving around on me) uses
_fixed_ tabs).

3. Menu entries are poorly labelled.

I know web browsers like the back of my hand (and their preferences
settings) and I couldn't guess what "View:Popup Windows" was supposed
to do. If I select it does it bring up a popup window of sorts? Does
it _allow_ or _disallow_ popup windows?

More appropriate would be "Prevent Popup Windows". A check mark would
signify that popup windows are being prevented. No check mark would
mean they're allowed.

Likewise, "Edit:Toolbars". What does that do? Display _more_ toolbars
(because of the plural)? Customize Toolbars would be more appropriate!

4. Toolbar icons are pretty amateurish. Not a major issue but they do
look like they were thrown together in a few minutes in GIMP.

5. What WOULD be useful (that FF doesn't have) for Epiphany to have is
toolbar icons for zoom in/out (text size up/down). This is something
simple users could use without getting confused.

It's a pretty straightforward concept that doesn't require the sort of
fiddling that movable tabs do. I use this feature all the time in
Safari (Apple's KHTML-based browser) but unfortunately none of my
Ubuntu or Linux Gecko-based browsers* have this toolbar feature, yet
(FF, Epiphany, Konq**).

*IIRC Camino (the first major browser-only offshoot of Gecko...
predated FF by about a year (maybe more)) does have font size up/down.

**Konquerer has a rudimentary enlarge/shrink text, unfortunately it's
not available to the "Location toolbar" (you have to have the main
toolbar active to access it).


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