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Sunday 5 October 2008

Why use Chrome when you have Arora?

When Google's Chrome came out, I was rather surprised by the move, and was eager to try it. But when I saw it was Windows only, I andandoned the idea even if I could have tried with Wine: I couldn't see any good reason to use a non-native browser. Reading Kris's blog post about his test of Chrome on wine only confirmed my opinion.

I was interested to test a browser with the Webkit engine though, and was surprised there wasn't an open source browser based on Webkit available on my platform of choice (GNU/Linux). The Epiphany developers had announced a switch to webkit some time ago, but it still isn't effective it seems.

A search on the internet returned Midori, build with GTK2. I'm not a fan of GTK, and I was surprised there was no Qt based browser, as Webkit is now integrated to Qt (from Qt4.4). Finally, this week I discovered Arora, which was originally a demo browser integrated to Qt4.4.

Installing Arora was easy once I had installed Qt4.4 from sources. I had originally tried with a Qt4.5 snapshot through git, but it wouldn't compile. Compiling Arora itself was so fast I thought I had forgotten to do something.

And Arora is fast too. Using it is also a good experience (eg I'm writing this blog post with Arora).

I don't think it will replace Firefox as my primary browser just yet, but it will take an important place on my desktop as I expect it to become the fast browser without any plugins or extensions I'll keep running in the corner to access the web-based tools I run continuously. And yes, MyOwnDB runs great in Arora!

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