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Old 21. Feb 2010, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default K-Meleon Web Browser

K-Meleon is an open source browser, released under GPL. It is based on the Gecko engine, which is also used by Firefox.

I came to use this browser because of the discussion that went on in this thread :

Firefox problem

I had used K-Meleon long back, but did not look into it deeper that time. This time, I did take out the time to look at it more, with the help of inputs from "whocares", who shared about K-Meleon in the above mentioned thread.

I found K-Meleon to be quite good.

The browser is lightweight, and starts up very quickly, unlike Firefox, which is quite slow to startup.

When I first used K-Meleon, I did not like its original look, and the default placement of various icons. But, K-Meleon is very customizable. There are various skins, and themes to choose from. In addition to that, the toolbars can actually be moved around and can be placed according to your liking. After moving toolbars around, and installing a skin for K-Meleon, I actually now like the look better than Firefox.

When I used K-Meleon earlier, I did not know it supported add-ons, or extensions, as called for K-Meleon. Then, I came to know that K-Meleon does have several extensions. They can be found at :

http://kmext.sourceforge.net/

There are several useful extensions available, if you look around. AdBlockPlus is available for K-Meleon. Several download managers can be intergrated in K-Meleon with their corresponding extensions. I was able to integrate Orbit Download Manager successfully with K-Meleon, and that made me very happy, as that was an important thing for me.

An extension called as K-Meleon Extension Manager(KEM) is available. When installed, it makes the extension installation very easy. With KEM, extensions can be easily installed, uninstalled, and their macros can be edited too. A must have extension for K-Meleon.

There are many useful, and interesting extensions available.

In K-Meleon, the tab close button is not integrated with the tab, but separate new, and close buttons, are given. Although, the tabs can be easily closed by double clicking on the tab itself, but if you are like me, who want a tab close button the tab itself, an extension called Tab Close Button is available.

WOT has been made to work with K-Meleon, but unlike Firefox, it does not provide on the fly rating. You will have to click on the WOT icon, to get the individual ratings for a site. That is a setback for me, otherwise, I would have started using K-Meleon as my alternative browser, besides Firefox.
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Old 21. Feb 2010, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The browser supports three bookmarking system, four actually, if you consider one for K-Meleon itself. K-Meleon supports bookmarks of IE, Opera, and Netscape browsers like Firefox.

For IE bookmarks, the importing was easy. But, it took me some time before I figured out how to import Firefox bookmarks. Maybe it won't be that difficult for other users, but it was for me.

I did not found any option to export the bookmarks though. However, there are extensions available for profile backup, which can backup the bookmarks too, so maybe that can work. I however, did not try it.
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Old 21. Feb 2010, 11:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Apart from importing Firefox bookmarks, there were several other areas, where I found K-Meleon to be quite cryptic, and made me think that this browser was for the geeks, and not general users. Well, that's what my personal opinion is.

In preferences, there are many settings for the browser. Although, these settings make K-Meleon highly configurable, but general users might get a little scared. Anyways, it takes sometime to go through all the settings.

When I selected a theme, there was no prompt from K-Meleon that it required a restart. Firefox requires a restart after applying a theme, and it says to restart. So, I restarted K-Meleon too, and the changed theme was there. A prompt would have been helpful.

When I had gone through the settings, I had turned off the Macros, as I thought I would not be needing them. When I installed KEM, or K-Meleon Extensions Manager, I was not able to get it to work. It took me sometime to figure it out, that I have to turn the Macros on, to make it work. There was nothing that would have helped me figure it out. So, for extensions to work, you have to leave Macros on.

Also, on the KEM install page, it was given to just unzip the contents in the K-Meleon program folder. But, I observed that KEM zip contains some folders with the same name as folders present in K-Meleon program folder. If I had copied the unzipped contents there, they would have replaced the default K-Meleon folders. I had to then, on my thinking, transfer files to the respective folders. There was no help regarding this too.

If you do not install KEM, then installing some extensions with components, can take a bit of manual work. The extension contents have to be unzipped in the root folder of K-Meleon. Then two files from the components directory have to be deleted, so that K-Meleon creates them when restarted, and then it will register the components of that extension. Same goes for plugins with component files. Help for this is available in the install FAQ though.

There were some extensions, which I installed, and then I had to search the menus, from where to activate them. Like, I installed an extension for link preview, which will provide a preview of the link in a bubble, when mouse is placed over the link. I searched all over the menu for a clue to activate the extension, I could not find it. Then, when I right clicked on the webpage, I was able to see the activate button.

Same happened with extension for Tab Close Button. I looked all over the menu, but I found it when I right clicked over the tab. So, things are bit cryptic, and might put off new users.
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Old 21. Feb 2010, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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All in all, K-Meleon is a good browser. It is a different kind of browser, and you have to spend some time with it, to recognize its full capabilities, and use them.

It is lightweight, fast to startup, is extensible through extensions. It is highly configurable, and customizable... again, if you are willing to spend time, and figure out how things work.

The speed is good too... it was quite fast than the previous versions of Firefox, but I found the speed very comparable with Firefox 3.6. FF 3.6 may be a little bit faster... that's what I thought.

So, if you are looking for a different browser, other than the one you were using till now, then give K-Meleon a chance.

For me, WOT is quite important, from a security point of view, and also because it helps me in the moderation work. Unfortunately, that's the only thing now, that is keeping me away from using K-Meleon.
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Old 24. Feb 2010, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just noticed this warning in K-Meleon bookmarks settings :

Quote:
When you make K-Meleon use another browser's bookmarks file(Firefox', for instance), then do not use both browsers at the same time - this may result in a data loss


That's not good. Means, if you use bookmarks system of another browser, you cannot use both browsers at same time. That's a bad design. What if I wanted to use both browsers at same time? If that was the case, then some provision should have been made to import the bookmarks, or, a separate copy of bookmarks should be created. Not good. One workaround I did was to export Firefox bookmarks as HTML, and then copy this HTML file to the K-Meleon folder in Application Data. But, that's a workaround, and it should not call for that.

Another thing, when I open a tab, the focus immediately shifts to the tab that I opened. But, I do not want that, that is so irritating. I could not find any setting in the Preferences to turn that off. There is no such problem with Firefox... it opens the tab in the background, and you can open multiple tabs that way, from a single page, without losing focus.

For the TSA site, K-Meleon asked to remember the password, and I chose yes. But still, when I login to the forum again, the username/password does not show up on login page, neither the option to remember it again. Firefox is quite intelligent in that respect, and I did not face such problem with it.

I also encountered a problem with rendering of site page. Horizontal scroll was there, which I do not get with Firefox.

Tried K-Meleon, but am back to Firefox again because of these problems.
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Old 28. Feb 2010, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is how K-Meleon looks by default :

KMeleonDef.jpg

And this is how it looks, after I adjusted toolbars with Preferences, and by moving them around. The skin is lowfi version blue.
As can be seen, I also installed the tab close button extension, which puts the tab close on tab itself. Icon of Adblock Plus also can be seen.

KMeleonChg.jpg
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