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Meet Uzbl — a Web Browser With the Unix Philosophy

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the simple-if-you-know-how dept.

The Internet 318

DigDuality writes "Dieter@be over at Arch Linux forums, a release engineer for Arch Linux, got inspired by this post. The idea? To create a browser based on the Unix philosophy: 'Write programs that do one thing and do it well, programs that work well together, programs to handle text streams because that is a universal interface,' among other points. The result? A fast, low-resource browser named Uzbl, based on WebKit, which passes the Acid3 Test with a perfect score. The browser is controlled (by default) by vim-like keybindings, not too dissimilar to vimperator for Firefox. Things like URL changing, loading/saving of bookmarks, saving history, and downloads are handled through external scripts that you write (though the Uzbl software does come with some nice scripts for you to use). It fits great in a tiling window manager and plays extremely well with dmenu. The learning curve is a bit steep, but once you get used to it, it's smooth sailing. Not bad for alpha software. Though built for Arch, it has been reported to work on Ubuntu."

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Off topic, but this just came up... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326655)

If you dial '0' in the US, can you still talk to an operator? A real person? I understand that it's a quaint idea.... I don't have a landline so I can't try it.

So-called "Editors" Don't Do Jack Shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326765)

but once you get use to it

"but once you get used to it" (oddly, this typo only shows on the Slashdot main page. Clicking on the "view more" link shows a paragraph where this has been corrected).

Thought built for Arch, it has been reporting to work on Ubuntu."

"Though built for Arch, it has been reported to work on Ubuntu."

Anyone with a fucking GED should be able to write better than this. Editors? What a joke. If I could go one week without seeing shit like this, I would consider paying for a subscription.

They shouldn't call them "editors". That word has a specific meaning that is obviously not present here. They should call them "guys who add entries to a database."

Re:So-called "Editors" Don't Do Jack Shit (-1, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 5 years ago | (#29327061)

Anyone with a fucking GED should be able to write better than this. Editors? What a joke. If I could go one week without seeing shit like this, I would consider paying for a subscription.

Why would a lack of typos suddenly be the feature that makes you plunk down the cash?

Re:So-called "Editors" Don't Do Jack Shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327233)

Anyone with a fucking GED should be able to write better than this. Editors? What a joke. If I could go one week without seeing shit like this, I would consider paying for a subscription.

Why would a lack of typos suddenly be the feature that makes you plunk down the cash?

Because to get that right, they would have to care. If they show that they care, then I have no problem showing that I care too, at least enough to invest a little something.

Geeze I'm behind the times (0, Offtopic)

zegebbers (751020) | about 5 years ago | (#29326695)

Thought built for Arch it has been reporting to work on Ubuntu.

I'm still using my computer!

Really fun browser (3, Interesting)

Minozake (1227554) | about 5 years ago | (#29326709)

This is a really fun web browser to tinker with. However, I'd recommend people should use a backup browser until they get it up and functioning to their specific needs. I'm still trying to work around with the cookies scripts, myself.

Re:Really fun browser (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 years ago | (#29326901)

I'm still trying to work around with the cookies scripts, myself.

So, it really doesn't work "very well" yet.

Re:Really fun browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327149)

No it doesn't work "very well" yet. But for how new it is, Uzbl shows a lot of promise.

And the UNIX philosophy is... (5, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | about 5 years ago | (#29326719)

Worse is better!

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29326819)

Even if few people use it, the world's always better when someone writes an interesting app.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326971)

No it isn't. The world is better when more people switch to OS X and get WORK DONE rather than spin their wheels uselessly trying to outdo Apple at their own game. In case you have been asleep the last 5 years, OS X *IS* Unix. No other Unix or Unix-like system matters any more.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (4, Informative)

DigDuality (918867) | about 5 years ago | (#29327115)

what the fuck does OS X have to do with any of this? This was a conversation about browsers, i'm sure uzbl can run on OS X just as well as on Linux. Jesus you Mac tards are fucking assholes who just jump at the fucking chance to jam your feng shui tonka toys down peoples throats whenever you're not sipping on a fucking latte.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327125)

and you linux zealots jump at any chance to smoke cock. Why don't you go fellate a penguin.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327551)

Trolls trolling trolls.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327405)

No other Unix or Unix-like system matters any more.

How cute. Our little Macky Wacky boy is in wuv with his operating system.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327103)

Even malware?

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 5 years ago | (#29326827)

how is designing software to do more things badly superior to focusing on creating software thatdoes its one and only job better? The more things software is asked to do the higher the chance that it will do at least some of those things poorly.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1)

Undead NDR (1252916) | about 5 years ago | (#29327111)

I too don't think that "worse is better" is a good synopsis for the Unix philosophy, if that's what you mean. Even though the phrase has been used for ages, it's quite misleading.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 5 years ago | (#29327177)

focusing on creating software thatdoes its one and only job better

I think you agree more with the Unix philosophy than you realize. From the summary:

Unix Philosophy: 'Write programs that do one thing and do it well...'

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327251)

wasn't that his point?

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 5 years ago | (#29327293)

Yes, yes it was. My bad.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29327297)

It's fine to say, "This is a web browser and that's all it should do," but even the first browser written by CERN did more than that. It had back and forwards buttons. It had a dropdown menu. A place to type your next destination.

These Uzbi people are just being anal, and the result is inconvenience and mucking-up the works. Like making a car that you steer with horse commands ("Giddyup!" "Trot!" "Gallop!" "Woah Nelly!" and so on).

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 5 years ago | (#29327353)

if some people want a simple browser as bare bones as this one they can use it, if other people want more than that they can use other browsers.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29327333)

Dude, we're in a world of shitty phones that are also shitty music players, shitty still cameras, shitty video cameras, and shitty PDAs. And you're surprised that people don't understand the idea of a well-designed, single-function device?

It takes more pockets (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29327389)

A single executable that forms part of a UNIX application doesn't take nearly as much physical space as a dedicated device. It takes more pockets to carry a dedicated phone, a Nintendo DS, an MP3 player, etc.

Re:It takes more pockets (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29327441)

And that's great if your goal is to experience shitty phone calls, shitty pictures, shitty video quality, and shitty audio quality. But if your goal is to perform one of those tasks well (like, say, web browsing), then it makes sense to sacrifice convenience for quality.

'course, that isn't most people's goal. But, again, given that, one shouldn't be surprised when someone doesn't understand a philosophy where it is.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (3, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29327413)

how is designing software to do more things badly superior to focusing on creating software thatdoes its one and only job better?

And what's the "one thing" a web browser is doing, exactly? In the last week, I've used a web browser to:
* RSVP to a event invite
* Send/receive email
* Watch TV shows
* Share photos with relatives

A "do one thing and one thing only" philosophy is fundamentally incompatible with the web. Unless you define your "one thing" as "view the web," which is so all-encompassing as to be useless.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 5 years ago | (#29327527)

Because you are dependent on what some designer decides that "one job" should look and behave like? Most of us don't have time to rewrite major portions of the browser, the place where many of us spend a large portion of our time, just to get it to work in a way that is comfortable to us.

That is why even though I still keep Kmeleon and Seamonkey for specific tasks (older machines and banking) and am constantly trying the "new thing" like Safari and Chrome I always come back to Firefox and use it for my day to day tasks. Thanks to its huge extensions catalog, which anyone can write for and which new add-ons seem to be coming out almost every week, I can have my browser MY way, you can have it YOUR way, and the guy down the street can have it HIS way, all with the same base. Just look at how many things have been built using the Gecko engine- Firefox, Seamonkey, Kmeleon, Flock, Songbird, I'm probably missing a few but you get the idea.

And with the hundreds of extensions to choose from I have a truly customized web experience without having to take the time to DIY from scratch. So for me Firefox has ABP/Noscript, Downloadhelper/downloadstatusbar, FEBE(a must have IMHO) for backups, Forecastfox so I can see the wether at a glance and plan my day, Distrust so I don't get a bunch of temp crap dumping in my browser,iMacros for automation, and finally Orbit downloader so I can automate those huge mods I like to download for my games. For you Firefox may be a totally different animal, just by changing which extensions you use.

So while I give the guy credit for trying a new direction, for many of us we already have a "DIY" browser, without all the hassle of coding it, thanks to the Firefox extensions library. And anyone, even my Luddite 68 year old dad, can customize his browser to do what HE wants, in a few easy steps. To me, even with the extra overhead it is simply worth more to have it my way quickly and easily than to go through all the hassle of trying to customize somebody else's idea of what a browser should be through writing scripts. But if that is how you want to spend your free time, I say have fun. I personally am enjoying having all these choices compared to shitty IE VS shitty Netscape like in the old days.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326869)

Exactly, that's why unix rules the server market, and apache makes IIS look like a toy.

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327315)

richard stallmans hairy ass is a worthless piece of crap, just get over it and move on like the rest of the world has.. seriously, its embarassing that you retards keep insisting that the primary interface of linux should to be fucking punch cards. when the rest of the world moved on to keyboards, it probably was for reason. and no, there will not come a great cosmic event that will vindicate you and punch card users everywhere. not in ten years, not in a million years, not ever. it simply is CRAP! just get it into your fucking fat shit heads you retards!!!! MOVE FUCKING ON!

Re:And the UNIX philosophy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327321)

The Unix philosophy is: One tool, one job. To do complex things, you don't use a complex program. Instead you combine simple programs to do what you want. (Emacs is an OS)

Browser name should be changed (4, Funny)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 5 years ago | (#29326747)

I suggest NUZBL.

Re:Browser name should be changed (1)

Urigeller23 (1481825) | about 5 years ago | (#29326813)

I'd suggest to tack on a few other characters to keep it unpronouceable (that is for western tongues, somewhere in eastern europe this might be an actual word).. UZBLXYGRKT or something like that.
Anyway, I like the approach of this program, especially the vim-styled controls.

Re:Browser name should be changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327097)

Somewhere in Eastern Europe we have smart "spelling" one sign one voice so some letter combinations are still readable.

Re:Browser name should be changed (0, Troll)

o0OSABO0o (937312) | about 5 years ago | (#29326857)

Where do these Linux / Unix people come-up with the dump ass names?!

Re:Browser name should be changed (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 5 years ago | (#29327037)

How about WHARRGARBL [encycloped...matica.com] ?

Re:Browser name should be changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327535)

You mean, GNU/ZBL?

Web Browser? (3, Insightful)

RalphSleigh (899929) | about 5 years ago | (#29326749)

So it's not a web browser, but rather a HTML rendering widget you can use to write a web browser, or use in other programs? I think .NET has one of those based on the I.E engine...

Re:Web Browser? (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#29326887)

It's somewhat in between, like most Unix-style tools. It's usable as-is as a basic web browser (you can browse the web in it). It's also usable as a tool to build other things out of, but in the "app that other apps can talk to" sense, not the .NET or Java "a class library that you can link your apps to" sense.

It's partly a philosophy of general- versus special-purpose end-user programming, monolithic vs. interlocking-parts design, etc. No real right answers, but I see a space for this. In particular, those of us who like a particular window-manager approach, and heavily use its scripting, have long complained that the web is sort of a black box out of our reach--- either you make do with what you can do with wget or links or something, or you've got to relinquish control to Firefox. Sometimes you really do just want a one-window X11 app that renders a modern web page.

In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326781)

It can load up over a thousand web site simultaneously without a slowdown, but if you want to play a full screen Flash video, you're out of luck.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327055)

The latest version can do 4096; besides who uses flash?

Re:In other words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327223)

Only marketroids use Flash for their fucking annoying banner ads that either moves all the time, plays music and sounds or even worst starts playing a fucking video while I'm trying to read the godamn fucking webpage.

Annoying Flash crap = I can't focus on the actual page content = I close the fucking website and never go there again.

Re:In other words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327155)

Actually, I'm runing this on fedora 11 right now, and flash works just fine for me (not extensively tested, just youtube & addictinggames). Sure it's a mite choppy in fullscreen, but about the same as it is on XP/IE [7,8] Actually, uzbl as a whole works just fine for me. It has seriously joined the war between Iron and FF on my system. The lack of uri editing might be a problem, but I'm sure I'll be fine.

Reinvent the browser again? (1, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | about 5 years ago | (#29326789)

Novel ideas usually don't live on by themselves unless they become useful. The worst thing the developers did (besides the name) was create a "steep learning curve" for the common web browser. The best thing the developers could do is work with an existing product that already has market share and works great like Chrome (also based on Webkit) and make their additions to it in support of better key bindings.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 5 years ago | (#29326839)

I think it's pretty clear the creators are not much into this "common sense" thing when they decided to make "a web browser with the Unix philosophy".

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29326847)

The goal isn't to gain popular market share.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#29326963)

Mod +1 informative. Why do people seem to think the only reason developers create something is to get market share? Seems about as sensible as bashing an artist's work because "it will never become as famous as the Mona Lisa"

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327521)

Why do people seem to think the only reason developers create something is to get market share?

Because they come from the world of proprietary software, where market share is always the goal.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

icepick72 (834363) | about 5 years ago | (#29326983)

However popular market share often brings other side-effects and benefits like project longevity, involvement and significance. I wouldn't mind running Uzbl's awesome features on any platform that (for example) Chrome runs on, and I likely won't use two browsers at the same time to get both sets of features.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 5 years ago | (#29327207)

Well, Arch [archlinux.org] has a very active developer/user group of exactly the type of people who would use this browser. I think they have a majority of a very solid niche market.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (3, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about 5 years ago | (#29326855)

I don't think they're looking for standard users, and kind of the whole point was to create a learning curve. This implies that it's targeted at powerusers and developers. With the script-integration, this could be useful for quickly churning out a limited-use kiosk with a few helper apps or something (e.g. a novelty photo booth with web integration).

Anyway, the price is right.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 years ago | (#29326871)

Yes, but you could say the same about the Chrome developers - the best thing they could have done is work with an existing product that already had market share and works great like Firefox.

and I guess we could say the same about Firefox..

No, if this has some additional features that makes it better, like being as tiny as you can get, drivable through a text stream API, being able to fit it into windows so you can have your web browsing embedded into your desktop window manager, then it might yet become a better Chrome/ChromeOS than Chrome!

Now that said, vi bindings were a terrible, dreadful, incomprehensible mistake :)

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

icepick72 (834363) | about 5 years ago | (#29326939)

...with the exception that Chrome and Firefox are similar browsers whereas Uzbl is comparatively obtuse. I'd suggest Uzbl work with an existing "normal" (may I use that word?) browser because it seems they provide an addition/enhancement/supplement to the rendered browsing experience. Firefox and Chrome were meant to compete not enhance.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (4, Informative)

s4m7 (519684) | about 5 years ago | (#29327005)

but you could say the same about the Chrome developers

Ahem. Chrome was based on webkit which was derived from the Konqueror browser for KDE. Maybe not a huge market share but probably in the hundreds of thousands of users globally at the time.

and I guess we could say the same about Firefox..

Firefox was based on mozilla which was the open sourced version of the venerable and at one time market-dominating Netscape Navigator.

No, it doesn't matter if the browser has useful features to YOU. it matters if they are useful to someone. And apparently someone out there wanted a modular browser with vi keybindings out there bad enough to write the damn thing. If it's not for you? Don't use it.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#29326937)

Novel ideas usually don't live on by themselves unless they become useful. The worst thing the developers did (besides the name) was create a "steep learning curve" for the common web browser. The best thing the developers could do is work with an existing product that already has market share and works great like Chrome (also based on Webkit) and make their additions to it in support of better key bindings.

That depends on whether the goal is to obtain the largest possible marketshare. If that is the goal, or if that is your sole definition of "useful," then what you say does apply. If they don't give a damn about competing head-on with the likes of IE or Firefox then what you say is completely irrelevant. What I don't understand is the (usually) unstated assumption that marketshare numbers are the only reason why anyone creates any piece of software. While it's important in terms of attracting developers and, in the case of browsers, for putting pressure on Microsoft to make IE more standards-compliant, there are many reasons why someone might write a browser and this includes reasons that wouldn't personally motivate you.

I see the same sentiment shown when some people discuss Linux as though its only purpose is to compete with Windows. They then act like Linux is a complete and utter failure if it doesn't bust up the Windows desktop monopoly. I disagree with this; Linux just "is." If it happens to displace Windows, that's great. If it doesn't, that's fine with me too. Though I have happily introduced folks to Linux who showed an interest in it, I'm not out to win converts; I just want something that works for me. There are those of us for whom Linux is a good solution, who have no dependency on any Microsoft products, and who are able to do our computing completely aloof from Microsoft, unaffected by any decision Microsoft makes. It's abundantly possible that this is intended to be a niche browser, designed for the relatively small number of users who are technically inclined and willing to tinker with something like a Web browser and its supporting scripts.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#29326943)

The issue isn't better key bindings, but the external controllability and API. Some proportion of us don't like the monolithic black-box approach, where the web browser is this big thing that does everything internally, and if you want to automate or customize anything, you have to do it via the browser's own internal scripting or customization hooks. Some of us like the idea of doing things at the WM and CLI scripting levels.

This is admittedly a sort of radical approach to that. It's possible there are in-between approaches that could be produced by having more traditional web browsers expose a more full-featured external API controllable from a CLI tool--- currently Firefox supports a very limited set of commands, basically the bare minimum to allow other programs to pass through links with "please open this URL in a new tab".

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

icepick72 (834363) | about 5 years ago | (#29327009)

But wouldn't it be nice to have the full-featured and expected GUI browser experience with these additions? With Uzbl the choice it using it for advanced features, a second browser for ease-of-use (full GUI) but most users will choose one and not bother running both. Personally I'd like to see the Uzbl features made available as advancements to existing browsers instead of creating a new one which has inherent GUI limitations. Regular users won't ever see this programmable browser and yet we as developers would like to cause them to benefit from it.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327247)

It is much easier to build a GUI around a bare-bones browser that supports extensibility than it is to reverse-engineer extensibility from a GUI. You can't 'advance' an existing browser to the perks of uzbl without rewriting the whole thing into a hack. Would you rather rewrite Firefox/Chrome to outsource their bookmarking, or would you rather let everybody else write their own because all wrote is:

 

system("exec "+macro_db[key_pressed])
#at least, I think that's valid python...

(PS captcha is 'optimize.' *smirk*)

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

Hiro2k (264020) | about 5 years ago | (#29326965)

Novel ideas usually don't live on by themselves unless they become useful.

The guy had an itch and he scratched it, there is nothing wrong in that. Not everything that is made has to be useful.

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (-1, Troll)

julian67 (1022593) | about 5 years ago | (#29327085)

"The guy had an itch and he scratched it, there is nothing wrong in that. Not everything that is made has to be useful."

That's true, and so is the fact that Uzbl is about as attractive and useful as a dirty stranger scratching an itch.

A www browser controlled by vim-like key bindings? Well that isn't unique, there are other browsers which do that already, in fact you can do that even with Firefox or Opera, as well as some of the console based browsers. It's the kind of throwback 'feature' that excites impressionable students, idiots, and people who write desperately bad distro/free software reviews where they claim they "fall in love" with "wonderful" "awesome" "elegant" "smooth" "integrated" applications and distros (visit LXer.com for acres of that kind of inane verbiage).

And the UNIX philosophy is "do one thing and do it well", not "duplicate something badly for no useful purpose" (c'mon, everyone knows that's the Arch philosophy).

Re:Reinvent the browser again? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | about 5 years ago | (#29327269)

The worst thing the developers did (besides the name) was create a "steep learning curve" for the common web browser.

Except this fits into the whole unix philosophy bit: unix tools tend to have a steep learning curve but be extremely easy and fast to use once you know a certain number of arbitrary assignments. I know "steep learning curve" isn't part of the philosophy, it just tends to be part of how things play out. Examples: vi, sed, hell even the switches for something like ls.

New name (1)

fearlezz (594718) | about 5 years ago | (#29326815)

They really really need a new name. There's no way that thing is going to be marketed successfully. Not even if the software itself was able to power web4.0 apps, skipping web3.0 alltogether.

Re:New name (1)

Gonoff (88518) | about 5 years ago | (#29327443)

Like everyone else is saying. maybe they don't want to market it at all.
It sounds like 'blue sky' development. I imagine someone wondering "What if I just..."
The more of that happens, the more things are tried out and the advantage od OSS is that everyone can find out how it is done and nobody can stop others from improving on it - apart from by saying it's a stupid idea.
Of course, it could also be the result of using mind altering chemicals - which is also not always a bad thing

vi? (4, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#29326821)

I'm very tempted to try it, but it has those nauseating, voodoo-like vi keybindings. What's wrong with using the sweet and pure emacs keybindings? Well, I'm going to go take a look now and see if that's configurable.
MODERATOR HINT: I'm guilty of attempted humor, not flamebait.

Re:vi? (5, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#29326919)

Oh wow, now I've gone and looked at it and it's really cool! It's a collection of python scripts, so it should run on pretty much anything. And yes, keybndings (and most everything else) are easily reconfigured -- if you know python.

Re:vi? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327083)

Great! Anyone in on a Emacs port?

Re:vi? (2, Funny)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#29327179)

I'd be happy to help, but AC, you have an annoying fickleness. I'm not really sure I can trust you to follow through.

Re:vi? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327173)

There's no constraint that says you need to use python. You can you /any/ programming language that can read/write text files.

Re:vi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327069)

conkeror

UZBL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29326823)

it should be called WHARRGARBL

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Qyqu3EmtMgM/SLNFEcR6nZI/AAAAAAAAAE0/ezZhK5pfyKY/s400/dog.jpg

Could use a better name (1)

Todrael (601100) | about 5 years ago | (#29326829)

The Unix philosophy is to name things as if you were throwing up? *UZBL* *wipes mouth*

Re:Could use a better name (3, Interesting)

Bambi Dee (611786) | about 5 years ago | (#29327003)

It's pronounced "useable", I suppose?

Re:Could use a better name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327045)

What kind of person throws up with the noise "UZBL"? (oozbil, oozbul, oozbel, uzbil, blah blah etc all included)
I've never heard anyone use a Z sound in vomiting, only sleeping, loud loud Zs, and COBRAS, OH COBRAS

About damn time (1, Interesting)

the_kanzure (1100087) | about 5 years ago | (#29326849)

About damn time, I say. For the past few years I have browsed the web with hundreds of tabs at a time. Firefox tends to crash after 50 tabs. Opera tends to crash at about 450 tabs. Some of this varies with RAM, but we're all familiar with the firefox single-thread issues, which really puts a downer on things. Let the window manager do its job: tabbing is for losers. Also what's with the insistence on keeping all tabs in RAM anyway?

I've been working on some scripts to use with uzbl .. in particular, I hate the web, surfraw is great, if it only worked. Web scraping utilities don't always work because webmasters insist on changing layouts, templates, HTML, and don't understand how to make long-term APIs for their content. So, my plan is to make something like xpather (from firefox) that allows a user to select elements on a page and figure out the xpath to retrieve the data. This can be dumped into a standard scraper definition file format or something, and then uzbl only has to pop up whenever some idiot changes a web page. Until then, these scrapers harvest data for me.

Then all of us web-haters can send these xpath scraper template files around and live in harmony, or something.

50 tabs? (2, Funny)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 5 years ago | (#29327091)

What are you doing that requires 450 or even 50 tabs for that matter? You sound like an RMS nutjob.

Re:50 tabs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327341)

Wikipedia, TV Tropes, or the like.

Re:About damn time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327099)

450 tabs!? Wow didnt even think of ever doing that. But then you turn around and say let the OS handle it. Have you ever had a few hundred applications open at once like that? It doesnt work there either. I will wait while you try it in unix or windows with say paint. You will quickly see what I mean.

As for your bitch about web layout changes I hear ya. However the real problem is a bit lower than that. It is the fact the data is embedded in the html/javascript itself instead of in another form that can be scrapped easily (such as sql/xml/flat text.

Re:About damn time (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29327239)

For the past few years I have browsed the web with hundreds of tabs at a time. Firefox tends to crash after 50 tabs. Opera tends to crash at about 450 tabs.

No offense, but that's truly idiotic. Seriously. As the doctor once said, if it hurts to do that, *don't do that*.

Honestly, let me introduce you to two concepts: Bookmarks, and Read It Later [readitlaterlist.com] .

System Resources (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29327445)

Let the window manager do its job: tabbing is for losers.

Firefox became popular back when Windows 98 was still supported. In Windows 98, there was a concept of "System Resources", involving two 65,536-byte heaps called "user" and "gdi". A new window took a lot more out of each heap than a new tab.

Yes, but (2, Interesting)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 5 years ago | (#29326885)

Does it run on Windows?

"The Unix Philosophy" (4)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29326903)

The learning curve is a bit steep...

Yup, say no more - that's the Unix philosophy in spades.

Re:"The Unix Philosophy" (4, Insightful)

DigDuality (918867) | about 5 years ago | (#29326973)

it has been my experience that everything regarding steep learning curves in *nix, ends up revealing benefits those who never try will never know of. Try explaining to the average windows user how vim is better than notepad vs watching someone learn vim and having their face light up everytime they figure out they can do something very quickly that's impossible in a standard text editor

Nitpicks (4, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 5 years ago | (#29327013)

I like the idea, and I'd love to play with it a bit, but there are a few stupid design decisions:

Why don't you just use a reasonable config by default?

There really is no excuse for this. I mean, yes, I can understand where not everyone would want that "reasonable default", but that's why it's a default.

We don't want to store anything "automagically" in the users home. Some people prefer different file/directory layouts

Uhm... ~/.uzbl? How difficult is that? And if you don't like it, rm -rf ~/.uzbl!

Or just create an example script that sets up the default config, and put it in your FAQ.

We considered the option of having a global '/etc/uzbl' which user specific ones could override but that would overcomplicate things.

I'm sorry, but even mplayer is officially friendlier than uzbl. How the fuck is it "complicated" to read one config file, then another?

Uzbl itself doesn't use much gtk stuff (only the statusbar) so we could do without gtk. But Webkit needs a widget toolkit to create widgets (think javascript popups, html forms etc). Officially, it also supports QT and wxwigdets.

So, why doesn't uzbl also support these options? I'm using KDE, so Qt makes sense.

Uzbl.run( )
command is any uzbl command as defined above
return value: a string, either empty or containing the output of the command. Very few commands return their output currently, including js, script, and print.

They obviously realize that JS runs in a single thread. So the obvious implementation here would be to use a callback, not a return value, so you don't block the entire page while you run that script.

I mean, I want to like it, but that's a number of facepalms right off the bat, so I think I'll stick with Chrome until I have time to fix them.

Re:Nitpicks (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 5 years ago | (#29327131)

Oh, and probably the strangest one: Suggesting a proxy-based adblocker.

Ok, I get that it's practical, for now. However, they seem to be saying this would be preferable to an adblocker built in to the browser, which makes no sense. Being able to right-click on an ad and figure out how to block it is not going to be replaced by editing some obscure config file in privoxy.

Re:Nitpicks (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 5 years ago | (#29327549)

It *is* preferable to have a separate ad-blocker, that should be a no-brainer within the unix philosophy. What you're thinking of is a client/server model where right clicking the ad in the UI (which UI? Maybe there could be several to choose from) should initiate a conversation with the ad-blocker daemon.

Re:Nitpicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327187)

don't complain, just reprogram

Re:Nitpicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327241)

Uhm... ~/.uzbl? How difficult is that? And if you don't like it, rm -rf ~/.uzbl!

Or just create an example script that sets up the default config, and put it in your FAQ.

The default is: ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}uzbl/config
According to freedesktop.org if $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set it defaults to: ~/.config/

So your default is ~/.config/uzbl/config and you just need to copy the example config from /usr/share/uzbl/examples/

Re:Nitpicks (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 5 years ago | (#29327505)

you just need to copy the example config from /usr/share/uzbl/examples/

Yeah... Why do I need to do that?

Re:Nitpicks (1)

pbaer (833011) | about 5 years ago | (#29327407)

Especially since if you don't like the config files being in the home directory you can just write some symbolic links, and you're good to go. At least that way, it's fairly obvious where they are the first time you look for them.

Saw the thread in the arch forums (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327049)

It's a toy.

As noted in the summary, there's a firefox extension for vim-like keybindings. Arora already provides a lightweight QTWebKit based browser and we already have lynx, links and w3m. WebKit is C++ and not exactly what I'd call lightweight. NetSurf [netsurf-browser.org] OTH is lightweight, written in C and modular. Dillo switched to fltk, but I assume their backend code is still in C? These codebases would lend themselves better to creating a unix-like browser; one using separate processes interconnected via IPC. Why anybody would want to do such a thing is an exercise left to the reader.

I struggle to see how uzbl is unix-like when a single monolithic program (WebKit) handles the parsing, layout and rendering for the whole thing. Of course, the "unix like" paradigm never applied to desktop applications (there's a reason so few people run Plan9).

dupe! (3, Interesting)

CODiNE (27417) | about 5 years ago | (#29327105)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=98/02/24/114700 [slashdot.org]

11 year old dupe article.

Hmmm... as an aside... wonder why no posts there.

Re:dupe! (2, Informative)

armanox (826486) | about 5 years ago | (#29327167)

Because the discussion system didn't exist back then on Slashdot?

Hacker Playground (1)

fatalGlory (1060870) | about 5 years ago | (#29327211)

It seems to me that this uzbl thing is basically a page-rendering widget, based on webkit, that is made to allow interested hackers to quickly develop their own, totally customized user interface. They give you the "browser", but you are pretty much left to design and create your own systems for cookie management, bookmarks, history, navigation, etc.

Sounds like I might have fun doing that if I ever had that much spare time. More likely, I would find myself using it as a convenient way to embed Webkit rendering into some app I was developing.

It's Webkit (4, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | about 5 years ago | (#29327221)

This browser is simply a wrapper around Webkit - so things like passing Acid3 with a 100/100 score is something that it inherits by default. It's not like the developers of this project did anything in particular, other than chose to use Webkit, to make it pass Acid3 or be standards compliant in other areas...

As mentioned above, Webkit isn't the most unix-like unix software being a big, monolithic program written in C++ .

All this project does is wrap a purposely obtuse front-end around a popular, open source browser engine.

Re:It's Webkit (1)

hduff (570443) | about 5 years ago | (#29327469)

All this project does is wrap a purposely obtuse front-end around a popular, open source browser engine.

MS Windows was a purposely obtuse front-end wrapped around a popular, fast CLI operating system and look at how that has done.

Re:It's Webkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29327503)

This browser is simply a wrapper around Webkit - so things like passing Acid3 with a 100/100 score is something that it inherits by default.

Okay, I'm going to have to call minor, minor, shenanigans on this one. I've got the latest Iron (Chrome variant if you haven't heard of it), and it almost passes acid3. 100/100, but the x in the corner still stays. With uzbl, the x vanishes. Notably, however, the 'A' in acidtests is clickable with Iron, but not with uzbl. Go figure.

Re:It's Webkit (1, Informative)

petrus4 (213815) | about 5 years ago | (#29327533)

As mentioned above, Webkit isn't the most unix-like unix software being a big, monolithic program written in C++ .

I was starting to think that I was the only person left who still cared about UNIX design philosophy, anywayz. Ubuntu's developers are all convinced they know better, and the single reason why is because the distro's end users never, for one single second, stop screaming about wanting system complexity to be entirely on the implementation, rather than interface side.

So the interface for Ubuntu which the end-user immediately sees is really slick, sure; but going even a few milimeters under that exterior, exposes a Titanic mountain of scribble which makes XP look like a marvel of well-partitioned, transparent modularity by comparison.

That is the exact opposite of how UNIX software was originally designed. The internal implementation is designed simply, and if the user doesn't like the resulting complexity of the interface, the proper response is to tell them to shut up; because interface complexity is the only expendable kind. If you have implementation complexity, it won't matter how pretty your interface is, NOTHING about the entire system will work.

That's why Ubuntu still has the proverbial black screen of death as an epidemic; because its' developers really do have absolutely no idea whatsoever what they're doing.

Programs have to be complex on either one side of the fence or the other; and the tradeoff always exists, no matter what you do. There is no avoiding it. You either have a stable program with a relatively complex interface, or an absolutely garbage program internally, but with an interface that any drooling idiot can use.

Guess which one of those two Windows, and now Ubuntu, has? The earlier UNIX philosophy had it right, too; but we're losing that, because the only thing any Linux developer cares about now is satisfying the Windows refugees, in order to get them into Stallman's Hell-spawned cult.

wget? (2, Interesting)

Joe Mucchiello (1030) | about 5 years ago | (#29327539)

If it does more than wget, doesn't that mean it already has too many features?

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