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More platform-specific browser props

Last week I mentioned that I had tried Camino again, and that I was shocked at how fast it was. Since then, I’m a little ashamed to admit it’s nearly become my primary browser on Mac OS X. I’m ashamed because I feel like I should be supporting Firefox , not just because it’s’s current darling, but because it’s cross platform and oh-so-extensible.

That said, I’ve been doing lots of development on my Linux machine this week, and have taken the opportunity to become reacquainted with Galeon . And again, nothing but props. Well, almost nothing (more on that in a second). Galeon has two features that I’ve found particularly kick-ass. First is the implementation of the myportal: view. MyPortal is nothing more than a customized view of your bookmarks, but it manages to display them in a way that I find very useful. More than it’s current usefulness, MyPortal hints at a better, client-side start page: bookmarks, RSS feeds and maybe even your local weather, all in one useful location. The other feature that I think is darn cool is only available in the most recent builds (>= 1.3.17): bookmark vFolders.

Those of you who’ve used [STRIKEOUT:Ximian] Novell Evolution may be familiar with vFolders: “virtual” folders which aggregate content from other folders that meet certain search criteria. A simple idea, but amazingly powerful. So Galeon’s Bookmark vFolders allow you to specify search criteria, and then gather bookmarks from your bookmarks list. This overcomes one of my great frustrations with bookmarking: the maintenance. If you have any quantity of bookmarks, you have to put thought into how you’ll organize them, and maintaining that organization just gets in the way of doing real work. I just want to hit Ctrl-D and move on, thanks. So Bookmark vFolders let me dump all my bookmarks in a big pile, and then slice and dice them later in a variety of ways. Hopefully the idea will catch on and we’ll get Bookmark vFolders as a Firefox extension. Or maybe I’ll have to write it myself…

So what’s my single complaint? Using Firefox and Camino, I’ve become used to pressing Ctrl-L, Tab to get to the Google search box. Since Galeon implements it on a seperate toolbar, that pattern doesn’t work. A small frustration, but muscle memory and habit bring it up frequently. You can’t have it all, I guess.