It seems Freespire are doing the right thing after all by renaming their modified version of Firefox to something else. However, I still think there is some inconsistency in their branding. Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony claims that the browser is called Web Browser everywhere but for the actual file name. That is not entirely accurate, since LBrowser is also used to describe the product in the About window, which is where people usually look for product information. Furthermore, the upcoming splash screen just says “browser”, with a lower case b. To summarize, we have Web Browser, LBrowser, and browser, all powered by Firefox! 🙂
Naming issues aside, I haven’t yet found any improvements(1) in Web Browser (let’s call it that) compared to Firefox, but a few things made worse. For example, many shortcuts I use daily are changed. I can no longer middle-click on a tab to close it. I can no longer Ctrl+Tab to cycle through the opened tabs (that instead cycles between the virtual desktops). Maybe this is configurable somewhere, but it’s definitely a degraded initial experience compared to what I’m used to. There are some true bugs as well, such as a flickering mouse cursor, non-working link clicks, slow and lagging keyboard repeating, and a few misaligned pixels in the Gecko rendered output, but that’s probably expected in a beta (although I’ve never experienced problems like this in Ubuntu, beta or not). Maybe it’s KDE issues too. Coming from Gnome, I honestly don’t know.
I’m going to blog more about Freespire in general in the future, I just wanted to sort this out about
LBrowser Web Browser.
(1): Ok, I have found one new feature, but I’m not sure if it’s an improvement. When you hover the mouse over a word, it becomes highlighted in yellow. If you click on it, a tiny (almost illegible) pop-up menu appears with a few somewhat confusing items, such as “Web”, and “News”. Appearantly, if you click on e.g. “Web”, a web search is performed on the highlighted word. It would have been much clearer what the menu item does if it had been labeled e.g. “Web search for [word]”, but the general idea is neat. I think it would fit much better in the normal context sensitive menu though. This yellow menu lookalike hack isn’t exactly accessible.
Update: Here’s a screenshot of the beast: