Gnome Web (Epiphany) is a misjudged and underestimated project when web-browsers are the most popular and significant software in any OS. The reasons? The two powerful open source alternatives, Chromium and Firefox, but also the bad quality and poor in features Web.
Well, Web 360 has the ambition to change all these and join the club of mightiest!
There are many cool patches that will be introduced -hopefully- in Web 360, but that wasn’t the case in version 353, as nothing important exists here yet. Everything seem pretty much as 340 and my guess is that we’ll the new features a week after GUADEC Conference is over, in August 08 at version 355. Anyway I did some screenshots just to verify :)
Web works fine with all Google services I tried it, plus you can join YouTube, with HTML 5. There is some way to link Adobe Flash with Web but I never tried it.
There is a bug in language selection which I don’t know if it is Web faults or Google’s. I have selected English as display language but YouTube insists to show my Greeks. Also Web uses amazing more less resources than RAM hungry Chromium and Firefox. And is very fast at rendering also! I would say faster than the others but this is might due the less resources that consumes which feels normal without having the dozen features of the others.
These are currently the two menus of Web. From Application Menu we can open a new Window but we cannot open a new Tab, and from Window Menu we can open a new Tab but no new window. How much confusing is this?
Also if there are two Web Windows opened and I click on Quit from Application Menu, they both closed!?!? And the joke continues, as if I open again Web, it opens both the two windows I shut down before! Anyway, it is a software under heavy development :)
The “Save As Web Application” option saves the page as an App in the Shell Apps and we can relaunching from there with Web in an App mode, which removes the address bar. An issue here is the icon that is used. What Web does is to crop a square image from top-left corner in web-sites and place this as App Icon. Very bad practice with awful results!
Because favicons are bad quality, what they can do here is just to get the image from “header” tag, or the first image from top-left, or an image named as logo, or something like that.. anyway..
This is a totally mess, there are two kind of bookmarks for each of Web’s menus! Just watch!
Menu Bookmarks Opened
Application Bookmarks Opened
I have no words to describe the chaos here! I really don’t know what they were thinking when they were doing this. And this of course isn’t some bug as it applies for the stable Web 340. To understand the magnificence of inconsistency here -other the awful usability- I printed the next screen..
..oh YES! App Menu Bookmarks have their very own version modal and we can open both at the same time just to make sure that Bookmars are up to date with Web! .. Truly awful! By the way Web353 uses Webkit 1.9.3.
Web Shell Overview
Another nice bug here. Shell informs you about the windows (which is normally just one) but not for the tabs that you really care! Ok, this is Gnome Shell bug and it might get fixed when they merge the jump lists.
What’s coming next?
I’ll save the words and let the figures talk, I included an old Epiphany version to watch and compare the size of changes!
This is not a tentative art, the patches already exist and were actually to be included in Gnome 340, but Gnome postponed them for 360. You can watch an old demo.
Which makes a nice show-off of the GTK’s embedded Clutter ;)
I know that is hard for Web to follow the competition but it would be nice if at least give a try. Web can achieve things that a non Gnome integrated browser cannot, such as integration with GOA, Contacts, etc. Also Web 360 will get an Anti-Phishing and Sync mechanism (Bookmarks & History most luckily).
We’ll make a full review when version 390 (3.90 beta) is out!