Lunascape Browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer And Chrome All-In-One

November 27, 2008

Lunascape is a new web browser that handles all three major web rendering engines — Firefox’s Gecko, Internet Explorer’s Trident and WebKit (which is used by Safari and Chrome).

Lunascape 5 Alpha is Windows-only and the first English version of the browser.

This is how Lunascape works: Users can toggle between rendering engines by either right-clicking tabs or by clicking on the engine switcher button on the bottom left of the screen. If you have figured out which engine works best for a page, Lunascape lets you force the page to use that engine for future visits via a pull down menu.

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I will get our PLDs here to do some testing and it might help us in developing better websites.

read more here.


Safari on PC. Windows Review. Includes speed test and other comparisons.

March 25, 2008

Here’s a screen shot of Safari, the Apple browser in action on a Windows PC released on Mar 18 2008. The first thing I noticed is the way fonts are rendered, even down to a small point size. Being used to IE and Firefox it all seemed a bit fuzzy to me. I looked for an option to turn font smoothing off but could only alter the intensity of anti-aliasing. Have a look at the images at the bottom of the article and compare the difference.

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So which Windows Browser is fastest? Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox?
What surprised me was the speed of Safari in several rendering tests I ran in which it outperformed the two big guns by a big margin. For this I downloaded a CSS benchmark test created by nontroppo. I then tried some script tests here from CelticKane.

  Firefox IE Safari
CSS render 285ms 574ms 51ms
Script Test 859ms 1209ms 257ms

Putting this into layman’s terms – a blink of the eye is roughly 50-80 ms so when you start to compare the above then you realise the time differences we’re talking about are very visible even to the untrained eye. In the real world when I visited some heavier html/css websites in Safari they seemed visibly to load faster.

Font rendering comparisons from the three browsers:
Notice the Safari rendering on the right is quite different…

image image image
Firefox IE Safari

So what’s the downside?
Well Firefox and IE are very well supported by the development community. Plugins like PicLens do not work yet (I tried) so basically it’s good for browsing, not much else at this stage. Having said that the speed of browsing makes it worth a look (if you can bear the fuzzy fonts).

Interestingly the default search engines include only Google and Yahoo. Hmm is the omission of Live Search a subtle poke at Microsoft?

Note: Tests were completed running on a Centrino Duo Inspiron 1720 with Vista Ultimate.


InstantAction pioneers near-console quality in-browser gaming

November 29, 2007

InstantAction and GarageGames are launching a service that enables users to play single- and multiplayer fully hardware accelerated games in-browser across both PC and Mac platforms. Seems a bit primitive at the moment as it’s still in development, but it’s set to go live (not sure if that’s beta or the real thing) in January ’08. Looks like a few Xbox Live Arcade titles are set to be included in the launch, as well as a team-based online first person shooter in the vein of Dynamix’ Starsiege: Tribes, plus a number of as-yet-unannouced titles from both major and indie developers.

http://www.instantaction.com/

Not much real info on the site yet, but there’s a Gamespot interview here that explains the system in greater detail.