Sunday, January 30, 2011

Still looking for a fast, lite, full-featured browser in FreeBSD 8.2

I had been using Midori for a few weeks and, while it's reasonably fast, it's not at all in the same category as Stainless that I'm using in OS X. In addition, it's almost impossible to scroll down through the various tweets in Twitter as the scroll bar movement is extremely uneven.
OK, so I went back to Opera 11.0 and installed the linux-opera version from ports without problems (I'm hoping the linux version will allow me to get flash in Opera -- more on that soon).
Now, having been introduced to the concept of favicon-only bookmarklets in Stainless, and having further tried it out with some, but lesser, success, in Midori, I wanted this in Opera too.
And this is in spite of Opera's renowned speeddial which I used to love some years back.
But, progress is inevitable and for me an "over-populated" bookmark bar is the way to go.
Placing the favicons on the bookmark bar was less easy than the drag-and-drop approach of Stainless but still fairly painless.
When you're on the page you want to bookmark, go to Menu>>Appearance>>Buttons>>My Buttons and then drag the bookmark button that will appear to the bookmark bar.
Next, rightclick the button on the bar and hit properties. In the name box, backspace on the highlighted name to make it disappear, click OK and you've got a favicon-only bookmarklet.
However, one problem is that not all webpages and sites have favicons. In this case, you end up with Opera's default favicon which is a white star on a colored background (seems this can be blue, red or gray).
In Stainless, it was very easy to change the default favicon by just downloading a free favicon and dragging it to overwrite the default favicon in the bookmark shelf (that's what it's called in Stainless).
Unfortunately, it's not so easy in Opera but still possible, at least to an extent. What I did it detailed in this forum post.
This blog post provides much background info but deals with Windows systems only and is, IMO, a little over-complicated.
I wanted to make a favicon for one of my bank accounts where the bank did not have a built-in icon.
What I did was simply to open /usr/local/paul/.linux-opera/icons/ in the file manager (Nautilus) and creating a new file (Create Document), named it with the EXACT url that I wanted to open + .idx (for example teh name might be
Then I opened this file in gedit (as user, not as root) and added two lines EXACTLY as they are entered in all of the other .idx files you will find in the same /usr/local/paul/.linux-opera/icons/ folder.
The first line is just the url that you want to open (but with the http:// included at the start) while the second is the name of the favicon.
There are quite a number of "spare" favicons available in the same folder, so I just picked one and shoved it into my new .idx file.
Then just save the file and reboot and you shoudl see your new favicon has replaced the default.
OK, well and good.
However, a big problem with this method is that it can't be used to change the favicon of a javascript bookmarklet and these inevitably use the default favicon. In my case, Post to Delicious (Delicious), Read Later (Instapaper) and Translate to English (Google Translate) are all javascript bookmarklets.
The main problem is that the forward slash cannot be part of a file name. As it seems that the .idx file must have the EXACT url included in the name, and the javascript urls almost always contain forward slashes, you're out of luck.
I tried a lot of options to get around this but without success.
So, the solution was to allow a few words to describe the function of the bookmarklet. Not elegant, but it works.

No comments:

Post a Comment