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Old 12. Jul 2009, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lunascape5

So, this is MC's first journey into the unknown.

Having read an interesting thread in our forum from terarus about an established Japanese browser which had just been released with alternative language support I decided to give it a run. Lunascape5 is an apparently successful browser in Japan with over 10 million downloads in the native country.

http://www.lunascape.tv/

At install, having downloaded the original 9MB file I was then presented with first the Gecko plugin at 13MB+, followed by the WebKit plugin at almost another 12MB. There was also a frantic rush between plugins to add the different files into my Outpost settings which initially prevented them starting. I was beginning to think this was an operating system I was downloading, not a browser! At best it felt like a foreign version of Comodo! All of this on a Sunday with my Brazilian broadband giving no better than dial-up speed! As I watch the green bar (slowly) progressing across my screen I'm already beginning to think about how much memory this thing might use, or indeed if I'll have enough hard disk space to put it all in!

Well, having finally put all the pieces of the jigsaw together, what's it like to use? There's a choice to use the Trident (IE), Gecko (Firefox) or WebKit (Safari & Chrome) engines. I chose Gecko. The first impression of the interface is excellent. Everything is clear and sharp and with nearly 200 alternative skins to choose from the customizing possibilities are enough for anyone. Unfortunately this was where the good experience ended because shortly after this I went to their plugins page. Having selected the English filter all that was presented was one for Twitter! After this I only had a brief look through the other settings because to work with TSA there are some features I must have which don't appear to be possible here. Once the availability of plugins in English becomes greater though this could well be a different.

No doubt one of our dedicated team in this area will give Lunascape5 a more professional examination at a later date.

During my brief flirt with Lunascape I liked it a lot but whether there is room for a browser of this weight and complexity in today's market place only you can decide.
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Old 12. Jul 2009, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting experience about your flirting with Lunascape MC .

As it seems from your experience, this software is bloated, and for unnecessary reasons... in my opinion. I would not want such an overweight browser. After downloading a 9 MB setup, I certainly would not want to download the 12 and 13 MB plugins... no sir .

Adobe Reader, Winamp, iTunes... these are all bloated software, and for these reasons, people look for their alternatives. I want a browser... slim, quick, reliable, secure... and there are Opera, Firefox, and others who provide that. Maybe others might think differently, but I am staying away from this.
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Old 12. Jul 2009, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I actually didn't mean to imply that it was "bloated" in the true sense of the word. Yes, it's a large download but so is CIS and a lot of other stuff. There also wasn't much point in my going any further with it considering the speed that dear old Claro has restricted me to today. Any sort of run-times tests with this level of service would have been meaningless.

I'm still keen to look at this in greater detail and disappointed that they've pushed this release without converting more of the plugin options into English. That said, it could be that I wasn't understanding the navigation on their site properly and if I missed something here perhaps someone else can point me in the right direction?
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Old 12. Jul 2009, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This will interest developers more, who develop webpages, and sites, and want to see how their webpages work on different browsers. And also maybe other users, who are interested in having a browser with multiple engines. But, for me, I will consider it bloated, as I do not want to switch between engines.

And sadly yes, CIS has also become bloated a lot

I saw the website, and you are right, they just have one twitter plugin in english. Maybe they will develop more, as the browser gets popular.
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Old 13. Jul 2009, 01:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
I saw the website, and you are right, they just have one twitter plugin in english. Maybe they will develop more, as the browser gets popular.
Yes, this was a huge mistake on their part unless they're targeting the Safari/Opera users more so than Firefox. Despite the complexity it does have a lot going for it and I especially liked the quick control buttons for Script and ActiveX etc. The toolbar customizations on their own would make this worth having for the bells & whistles brigade. Obviously it needs more time than I gave it but it oozes quality and I will definitely re-visit this once it gets more functionality.
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Old 21. Jul 2009, 08:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Please can I make a request here to see if anyone reading this is able to send a message in Japanese? MC doesn't give things up easily and I'm still trying to gain constructive contact with the guys at Lunascape. I did receive one reply in English with a promise of answers to my questions but then nothing else came back despite two more emails. Maybe if I can send in their native language we might get a better response. If anyone is so able please send me a PM, thanks.
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Old 30. Jul 2009, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well it worked (eventually!) and now I have a constructive response from the devs at Lunascape plus the "promise" of more dialogue

These are the questions I asked and their response:

First we would like to know about the safe browsing feature dated 2007 on your website which does not appear to be included yet?

We have a feature that you can delete private information (such as which sites you visited etc.) when you close the browser. We don't have private browsing mode yet and we don't have phishing protection.

Second, how would you classify the general security of Lunascape in comparison to IE8, Firefox and Safari?

As we use nearly identical rendering engine behind each browser, we inherit the goods and bads. For example, if you use Trident engine in Lunascape, you will encounter the same IE security holes, although these will be patched when you do Windows update.

In terms of Gecko, we tweak a bit so it is slightly different from Firefox. As we make sure that we include the most up-to-date Gecko engine anytime, we publish new version of Lunascape whenever Firefox updates theirs.

In terms of Webkit, ours is a bit different from Safari, but again, we immediately include the latest revision whenever security holes are found and fixed.

Last, are there plans to produce more plugin options in English?

Yes. We are planning to publish more and more. We'd like to have a system that anybody can create plug-in and publish, but we just don't have resources to do all that just yet. If you have suggestion as to how to create developers community, I am all ears.
[End]

Lunascape is not the easiest of browsers to work with but the huge amount of options will certainly be of interest to some.

Now that I know these people are alive and kicking I will give it some more air time myself but I'd also like to hear from other users willing to do the same.

Even better if you've been using it for some time and can offer some comments
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Old 30. Jul 2009, 12:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The response certainly looks quite positive. Many people will want to try it out.
BTW, Lunascape had an updated version release few days ago.
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Old 30. Jul 2009, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The response certainly looks quite positive. Many people will want to try it out.
BTW, Lunascape had an updated version release few days ago.
I know - I got it - just need to motivate myself to install it again. It's a real pain after the initial 9MB installer to have to sit and watch it download the other engines too. No doubt I'll get round to it at some point.
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