Netsurf revisited

Wonder if anyone is working on a Netsurf-3.x port for Haiku?

Many programmers these days are going the minimalist route. Big software projects have become suspect in many people’s minds. I’ve heard or read somewhere that (even) Richard Stallman may sometimes use text mode stuff to utilize the internet. I think that may have something to do with Javascript vs software freedom. Anyway, I find myself leaning to the minimalist viewpoint. So, I often use text mode browsers. I knew that Netsurf had a framebuffer version, and that seemed very minimalist. So, I compiled it for the Linux framebuffer. I’m hooked! It’s way faster than my text mode browsers, and looks way better!

I’m logged in now with netsurf-fb/linux. On Haiku, I don’t suppose it’d be any faster than the regular version of Netsurf. Or not? How would it interface?

Edit: Yes - this is probably a dev IRC question.

Why would it be faster? There is no direct framebuffer access in Haiku, so you won’t win anything, and you’ll loose the ability to use standard BeAPI controls to build the interface. Anyway, NetSurf 3.2 is already available, with a native UI, in HaikuDepot. It can certainly be made more complete but it already works reasonably well.

Stallman apparently uses a script to fetch the web page he wants to view and then it is emailed to him. Talk about paranoid…


Well, there are times when I do want to use a nicer browser. I use Webpositive for some things. But - if all I want to do is catch the latest news, I’m likely to fire up a text mode browser or (now) Netsurf/Linux. The framebuffer browser appears instantly on my screen, and I don’t have to wait for X to load. After I start using it, each page appears instantly - there is literally no perceivable wait time - even for really long pages such as one might see on

I think that the layout engine must be far superior to the text mode browsers I had been using. It seems faster than them, even though it’s running in a graphical mode.

Another thing that weighs into the scenario is that the computer I often use to check the news is a real slow one hobbled by low resources. So - its X performance is poor anyway. I suspect that on decent hardware, the framebuffer-netsurf advantage would go away.

Ok, far superior is perhaps a bit of an exageration. But - it certainly feels faster to me, especially since it’s loading all those nice pictures that the text mode programs can’t.

BTW PulkoMandy - Thanks for the info on the framebuffer situation relative to Haiku, AND for your great work on the Haiku WP graphical browser.