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peter@browsex.com

Here are some things that BrowseX  does, which current browsers maybe do not. These are practical reasons why a person might want to switch to BrowseX . Those with stars in front are either unimplemented or in progress.

Uses less memory and quick start ups

It runs in about 1/3 the memory of Netscape Navigator.

Options to disable or control memory-hungry, animated gifs

Animated gifs consume vast amounts of memory, and with some sites can be immensely distracting. Netscape offers only two options: disable images or hitting escape after a page loads. And animated gifs on some pages consume massive amounts of CPU. BrowseX  supports a whole range of configuration options including: no images (not even cached), setting a limit on the number of images, disabling just animated gifs, enabling but limiting max iterations, all the way up to using memory buffers to reduce CPU usage to zero at the expense of RAM. And there is also a rate-variable popup viewer..., well you get the picture.

Option to filter images based on URL

Ads from doubleclick can be banished forever.

Option to filter by URL

Sort of a builtin net-nanny. Still need a way to lock options.

Netscape resizing or back/forward page is slow

Don't know why. Layout engine problem? In BrowseX  its fast.

Auto pre/post-pend of http://www. + .com

Some versions of IE and Netscape are bent on contorting this handy feature whereby typing in a non-local name prepends http://www. and appends .com. BrowseX  supports this, which can save much time and many typos.

Reduced Blank-Screening

Because of network delays, Netscape frequently leaves you staring at a blank screen. This is due to the widespread use of tables to control page layout. But HTML 3.2 Tables requires all html to be downloaded before rendering a table layout. To address this, BrowseX  does not clear the view until the html main page has been downloaded. There is an option enables incremental parsing, but it is still being debugged.

Embedded Script Language

TML.

Download a URL, for which there is no link for

Ok, you go to your web site. You know a file is in a specific directory but there is no link in the index.html file for it. The only way to get it is to add the filename to the URL, let it display, then save-as. BrowseX  has a download menu pick (Save-Link-As in Popup).

View Source provides Find and SaveAs

One of the nits about Linux Netscape is that after using View-Source the only way to do a search is to close the window, use SaveAs from the main menu and then open the file with your editor. The BrowseX  View-Source (and other windows) provide Save/Find functions.

View HTML for a selection

This handy feature allows highlighting a section of a page and viewing the HTML source for just that selection. Thus specific HTML can be identified without a labourious search through thousands of lines of machine generated markup.

Change selection color

Ever try to use find on a page whose background color is the same as the selection background?

Run System Commands

The Edit menu contains an option to run a system command and capture output. When viewing a file: document, the right mouse button can run commands against links (like grep for instance).

Absence of Java related crashes/hangs

As TCL is highly stable and efficient, crashes are uncommon. Why is Tcl efficient? One reason is that Javascript is interpreted, while Java is byte compiled. Tcl is in between: incrementally byte compiled. Tcl also can be extended more easily than nearly any other language.

Eliminate annoying Java(script) pop-up advertising windows

Since Java(script) is not present, those annoying popups will no longer be a problem.

Delete cookies and authorization

The current browsers requires you to exit to clear authorizations or cookies. This feature permits removal of cookies and/or login authentications/passwords without having to exit.

New View Inherits Current View+Paths

In Netscape under Linux, opening a new view goes to your Home URL. With BrowseX  it uses the current view, and copies the click path. Just use go-back and you are at the page you forked from.

Broken links and #Ref links within a document

When is a link with a #Reference in the same document? With browsex, it's when the cursor changes to a fleur (4-way arrow). So you easily know when not to shift-click. Similarly, if the #Reference does not exists, or if it's a file:link that is broken, you get the pirate cursor.

Hyper-Search Shortcut

Hypersearch allows defining shortcuts to your favorite search sites. For example, a deja news group search can be performed in a single web fetch, as opposed to three fetches. Just type the query into the search box and hit enter. Change the current search site with a menu pick and you don't even have to type the search string again.

Native Support for Safe-Tcl

Safe-TCL programs may be run imbedded within web pages.

An Embedded DB Client

BrowseX  supports the Postgres DB client natively.

More Consistent Input Key Bindings

For example, the location and form text entries have the same key bindings so Ctrl-U clears the field in both.

Hide Menu, Location, Status and Toolbar

In addtion to being able to hide the location bar and toolbar, the status and menubar can be hidden. Use Alt-m to reshow the menu.

Auto reload of changed file: documents

This feature is handy when editing a document, and you want it to reload automatically every time you save. Cool when used with TML.

Mouseless support: keyboard shortcuts for menus and links

It can be aggravating that Netscape requires a mouse to access the menus or to follow links. BrowseX  defines keyboard shortcuts for menu entry, and has a feature for selecting hyperlinks from a menu pick.

Report Broken Links

Page Info also summarizes how many and which local/#ref links are broken.

Extracting a URL from a page

Scenario: You want to get at a URL, say to mail it to someone. You move the mouse over a link, and the URL shows on the status line, but you can't cut/paste the status line. Also, may go off the end of the screen. You could click on the link, but sometimes redirects fuzz things up, or it may be offline. You could use view source, but there is no find function (Unix). Maybe save-as, then open an editor ... what was I looking for again?
Ok, with BrowseX  Page Info option shows links and gif names, so you can cut and paste URLs without searching HTML.

Upgrades/fixes are usually miniscule

The download for BrowseX  is under 1.5 Meg The scripts alone, about 1/4 Meg. The self patching feature reduces many upgrades to a few 10's of K.

Web Snapshots: copying pages+images to a directory or zip archive

This useful feature lets you take a snapshot of the currently viewed web-page, and save it to disk for later viewing or modification. All images are copied and the references modified accordingly. An additional function will include following links and rewriting the hrefs so whole web trees can be packaged up into subdirectories and optionally a zip file.

*Add Bookmark To Subtree With Label

To add a bookmark into a bookmark subtree under Netscape requires two operations: Add Bookmark followed by Edit Bookmarks. Moreover, the bookmark label is frequently insufficiently descriptive. Since this is a very common operation and it is usually easier to catagorize and label a bookmark when it is being saved BrowseX  allows adding a bookmark directly to a subtree with label edit.

*View contents of zip archive directly

Once you've packaged up a web tree, this function allows viewing the contents without unpacking the zip archive. Ideal for presentations and documentation, it provides a convenient package format for moving a web tree around as a single object. PDF is often used to fulfill this purpose.

*Save/Restore Current Views

This feature is useful when multiple windows are open and you have to quit the browser but would like to be able to resume all sessions at a later date. This is also useful as a safeguard against crashes or hangs. Nothing is more annoying than having Netscape hang mid-way between a big research session where you have 15 browser windows open. Additionally, you may also choose to preserve the click-paths for each view.

*Selective Cache Filter/Inspector

The cache filter allows filtering objects from being cached based on size and/or domain. The Cache Inspector enables casual inspection of the cache contents. The goal will be to provide sort-by functionalities as well.

*Restart Failed FTP Transfers

When a large ftp file transfer fails, you have the option of deleting or saving and restarting where it left off (uses reget).

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