Falkon Web Browser

The Falkon web browser shows promise although development might be slow or stagnant. One obvious design feature of Falkon is the web browser is not a “kitchen sink” tool. Other web browser designers could learn a lesson or two with such an approach.

Nonetheless, some nominal upstream tweaking seems in order.

Missing is fine control with the bane of the web. Currently JavaScript (JS) control is little more than a single off-on switch. The StatusBar Icons extension provides a quick way to toggle JS. Both block and allow lists are supported for cookies. Much the same is needed with JavaScript. The original Konqueror supports JS allow and block lists and migrating that code should be straightforward.

Abusive web design now is common. Every visitor is “the product.” Something like uBlock Origin would be welcomed.

Related is some kind of “reader mode.”

The number of packaged search engines is limited. Other little things could include clearing the search box after completing a search.

More importantly is using the search box should open the results in a new tab rather than the current tab. Likewise with the Location bar and bookmarks. Why bother with tabs if everything is designed to open in the current tab?

The developers might want to look at the original Tab Mix Plus extension for Firefox. Flexible tab support is something Falkon seems to lack. This one extension is still sorely missed by many Firefox users. That extension was popular for good reason. One related feature the Firefox developers refuse to add is dual options for opening links from the link context popup menu. The Opera web browser got this right more than two decades ago with 1) Open in New (Foreground) Tab and 2) Open in Background Tab. No middle click required.

Another missing context menu option is the page context popup menu should always include a Close Tab item.

Additional improvements might include:

  • An option to automatically remove overlays.
  • Ignoring cookie warning banners.
  • Some kind of “local CDN” support to reduce tracking.
  • Toggling the page style sheet for easier reading.
  • A zoom tool to store preferred settings.
  • Referrer header allow and block lists.
  • Open PDFs in an external viewer.
  • A redirect tool (for example, few people like the newer Reddit design)

Last of all, provide a way to disable interface tool tips.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: KDE

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