I am a heavy user of the Galeon Web browser. IMHO, it is far and away the best browser available for any platform. Tabs and session support with crash recovery are brilliant features. Not only has Galeon had them for longer than most other browsers, it implements them in a superior way. Not only that, it is quite fast and stable as well. I keep Galeon open all the time with multiple windows open (presently I have 7 open windows, which allow me to ‘categorise’ my tabs), and each window has many tabs (For example, I’ve got over 30 tabs in my ‘main’ window, and over 50 in another). I like my tabs to run down the left side of my window (AFAIK something only Galeon can do), so that more can fit on the screen and I don’t have to scroll through them. It may sound nuts, but I like it that way. And yes, I also use bookmarks: my bookmark collection is extensive. If Galeon crashes (a rare occurrance), or if I want to close it for some reason (another rare occurrance), I can get all my windows and tabs back when I restart it.
As you can see, I am very attached to Galeon’s unique feature set, which makes switching to a new browser difficult to say the least. Before I moved wholesale to Galeon, I would simultaneously run Konqueror and Opera, and sometimes Netscape 4 as well. This was so I could leverage the strengths of each individual browser.
I have been eyeing Galeon2 for a while now, and I finally decided to try it out. If it’s good enough to be included in Mandrake Linux 9.1, then maybe it’s good enough for me. Galeon2 is still undergoing heavy development, so I wasn’t expecting too much. Since the Galeon team is pretty-much rewriting the whole thing from scratch to take advantage of the GNOME2 platform, it would be understandable for it to take a while to reach maturity. My verdict? It is very close to meeting my needs. There are many extra settings hidden in Gconf, and after tweaking these I was able to create a similar setup to what I had in Galeon1. However, some things don’t work yet and a couple are missing.
I had a chat with some Galeon developers a few weeks ago, and they said that they are trying to reach a similar feature set to Galeon1, the difference being that this time they are coding for GNOME2 and its Human Interface Guidelines. Unlike the Galeon splinter project Epiphany, they are not trying to cut out features on a significant scale. A while ago there was much conflict in the Galeon mailing lists (to which I am a subscriber) over whether Galeon should simplify its feature set or continue on its current course. The Galeon founder and maintainer, Marco Pesenti Gritti, left the project, forked the code and used it to create Epiphany. I personally like this dual-pronged approach from the GNOME folks. Most people don’t like unnecessary complexity, and so Epiphany gives a simple, Safari-like interface and experience. For power-users such as myself, Galeon fits the bill brilliantly.
There are some pros to Galeon2 over Galeon1. For one thing, the UI is faster and more responsive. My favourite, though, is the default bookmarks. There aren’t very many, but the ones that are there are great. In the GNU / Linux -> News section, for instance, there are only four entries:
- Desktop Linux
Notice anything special in there? Of the four GNU/Linux news sites chosen by the Galeon team, PCLinuxOnline is one of them!
I forgot to mention one of my other favourite features in Galeon (1 and 2): smart bookmarks. I like them so much that in early April I volunteered to take charge of maintaining the official smart bookmark directory. The Translate to English smart bookmark/bookmarklet in the default Galeon2 bookmarks was made by myself. There are many other bookmarks in the directory which I wrote myself, including some to search PCLinuxOnline (in the News category). I know it’s not much but it’s nice to hear that others appreciate and use your work 🙂