{June 26, 2007}   konqueror and firefox

so the recent cross-platform debate got sidetracked for a minute or two with a comment on asiego’s blog. the idea of a kde-integrated version of FF is an interesting one. not sure if it’s even possible, but interesting nonetheless. probably not something I’d want though. I’d rather see konq be improved until it’s way better than ff :)

I started writing this post on the weekend, when I was rather pissed off at konq. then reality distracted me with lots of fun, so now I’ve had a bit more time to think about it. I’m still going to rant about lots of stuff, though. ranting is fun.

lately, I’ve really been wishing that konq had some of firefox’s features. konq is still my least-hated browser, and I was actually starting to even like it a bit (never thought the day would come when I would like any browser… normally they all piss me off to some extent). but it’s been extra annoying recently. firefox annoys the heck out of me in a whole different set of ways, but right now it’s only *slightly* more annoying than konq.

first there’s the old ajax problem. fancy javascript and konqueror just do not get along. it seems to be getting better lately, and one bug triggered by wordpress (which I complained about on my blog) was fixed amazingly fast (thanks whoever-that-was), but there’s still a few annoying bugs I run into regularly. gmail seems to be an unending source of problems – sometimes it works fine for months, but eventually they make some change that breaks konq again, and you still have to pretend to be firefox for it to work at all. (really, I don’t get that. why can’t they just send konq the same stuff they send ff? why send something more broken on purpose?! google confuses me sometimes.)

what else bugs me about konq? well, embedded movies still seem a bit of a gamble – some just work, some just don’t. I haven’t investigated enough to have any idea what’s going on there. luckily flash ones are in the ‘works’ category, and lately almost everyone uses flash or offers a download. it’s really just a minor annoyance at this point.

when it comes to proxies, though… well, this is more of a problem with kio itself. socks and kio don’t get along. so you can only use http proxies if you’re using kio. also, while konq has an easy way to switch between proxy and no-proxy, it doesn’t seem to have any way to switch between two different proxies. firefox has that foxyproxy plugin. I was expecting privoxy to solve that problem, since I’m using it to provide a http proxy that goes through my socks proxy… it does have fancy stuff for choosing which proxy to use, but can’t send stuff through a passworded proxy – and that’s what I have to go through to reach the chinese internet. feh. (hmm, I really should submit a bug)
I was planning to dig into the kde4 proxy code, but thiago says he’s going to be ripping it out and doing stuff, so I think I’ll wait a while and see if maybe I can help him make proxying awesome in kde 4.1.

there’s also a cool chinese translation plugin for firefox… not being able to use that in konq really bugged me until I found out about KTranslator, which works for any text, not just the browser :) although there are still some wrinkles there – it seems more designed for european languages. right now I’m getting english translations for chinese stuff, but no pinyin. maybe I just installed the wrong dictionary, though.

so, overall, the two important problems I see with konq are the javascript bugs and the lack of crazy cool plugins. I think it would be really nice if konq could have the kind of cool plugin stuff that firefox has… although both of the cool ff plugins I’ve actually seen have been things that would be better if available to kde as a whole – which makes me wonder if plugins are really as important as I thought. as for javascript… I have no idea why konq has so many problems there. I doubt there’s an easy solution, but I hope some bright programmer can figure something out.

Fela says:

I know that firefox is going to use a new javascript engine for 3.0, the one Flash is based on, it was open sourced by Adobe, maybe Konqueror could use it too?

Fela says:

Oh, I forgot to mention, it is supposed to be very fast

Andersin says:

Regarding the proxy – no proxy thing, there is a HTML Settings icon in the khtmlsettingsplugin Extra Toolbar. Clicking it allows you to turn caches and proxies on and off.

will_in_wi says:

I think that there is a compatability mode in konqueror when it uses the ff useragent.

Sepp says:

What I miss the most in Konq is FF-like cookie handling:
Keep the cookies of a few selected sites and delete the rest at the end of the session.

See this a feature request:

[…] konqueror and firefox so the recent cross-platform debate got sidetracked for a minute or two with a comment on asiego’s blog. the idea […] […]

[…] reply to Chani (I hope it does that trackback […]

Sam says:

Proxy support all around is pretty horrid for KDE. Each individual application should have the ability to use a proxy, not rely on one KDE general setting. I hope that is fixed in KDE 4.

Batiste says:

Yes, gmail is broken again with Konqueror. But in other hand we get google analitycs working with the new interface. Sadly I use gmail a lot more.

Si says:

I found out by accident that there’s a way to get KDE apps to run through a proxy server (socks). I don’t understand why it works but hey it just works :)
1. ssh -X user@localhost
2. proxychains kopete
3. all other KDE apps (KMail, Konqueror etc.) can now go through the proxy server.
BTW proxychains is:

Si says:

Sorry I forgot to mention it only works if you ssh back, won’t work if you directly run kopete proxychains, at least MSN plugin won’t work (can’t remember if other KDE apps still work).

Richard says:

The thing that stops me from using konqueror is all the web developer features available to ff through extensions. Firebug and the Web Developer toolbar are essential in my line of work.

No prizes for guessing what that is.

Chani says:

web developer features… yes, that would be a nice thing to have. I remember making an attempt at debugging some javascript problem back when I was working, and eventually gave up – I had no idea why it worked for ff and ie but not konq, and couldn’t seem to do any meaningful debugging at all.

Kevin says:

Someone wrote a script for switching KDE proxies and put it on

Chani says:

kevin: thanks! :) looks like a useful little thing.

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