Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Epiphany extensions, where art thou?

For the longest time, ever since I started using Debian, Epiphany has always been my favorite web browser. It's always been just a little quicker and less bloated than what Firefox has evolved into and came with a sufficient number of extensions (including the very useful Greasemonkey). However, after version 2.26 of Epiphany they have dropped the Gecko engine (the one used by all of Mozilla's browsers) in favor of WebKit, something I've been pretty excited about. I've been trying to keep up with the latest Epiphany releases which use this engine, and they have worked brilliantly for the most part. One of the big hurdles at the beginning of development seemed to be porting the extensions over to WebKit version, but port them they did. The extensions are available on the PPA for Epiphany WebKit, but I'm not sure why. I can only remember running one version that ever gave me access to the extensions, and the latest (and I fear last) version for Jaunty has once again disabled the Tools menu and I'm no longer able to access them even though I have them installed. This is quite frustrating, as why would you offer an extensions package and not provide access to it? Just doesn't make sense to me. Guess I'll have to wait for Karmic to get a fully functional version of Epiphany, which can't come too soon as I'm growing a little weary of this game of hide and seek. Meanwhile, I find myself using Midori (another Linux WebKit browser) more and more, which seems to be updating at a breakneck pace and adding new features all the time, even for Jaunty users. It's just beyond me why the Epiphany developers are giving us half functional releases. If they're going to do that, then why offer them at all? Perhaps they should be wooing the developer (which is pretty much a one man show) of Midori and tapping him to add some of the cool functionality of that browser into Epiphany, as Midori remains small, fast and simple (like Epiphany) but still provides some niceties that Epiphany WebKit, at least on Ubuntu 9.04, seems to be lacking. At least October is right around the corner......

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