|Introduction: xxxterm Web Browser|
|By special contributor ddc_ on 2011-12-05 17:33:58|
|There are a lot of browsers these days, some being bloated with features, others serving the bare minimum of web browsing tasks. Marco Peerboom began developing his minimalist web browser xxxterm for OpenBSD in 2010. Within a year the browser became popular enough in the OpenBSD community to find its ways to major Linux repositories. And here's why.
The minimalist web browser landscape
Regardless of the overall amount of browsers, the really minimalist ones are rare. The most notable ones in this category are:
There are also Conkeror and Firefox with Vimperator extension which feel lightweight in their behavior, but is there still anybody who really believes that the words Gecko and lightweight belong in the same sentence?
The UNIX minimum pack
xxxterm provides a basic feature set. It supports bookmarks, tabbed browsing and location, search and status bars.
Beyond that it provides a gVim-like interface and vi-like controls including command and insert modes, a plaintext configuration file with the options in "option = value" format and links hinting (highlighting and numbering links, so that they can be followed by typing their numbers).
And like the other OpenBSD software it doesn't require touching mouse.
The goal the development of xxxterm effectively served, was to provide a lightweight yet secure alternative to major web browsers (like Firefox). While the "lightweight" part was achieved by dropping everything the developers didn't want, the "secure" part was addressed more specifically.
xxxterm feels home in minimalist setups. Its spartan UI won't fit well into XFCE or GNOME (which is saddled with Firefox as the default browser for unknown reason these days), but will find its place among the xterm windows with 1 pixel borders. If your desktop looks like that, maybe you're already reading this from xxxterm?