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NetSurf Web Browser (netsurf-browser.org)
72 points by tosh 68 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments



This is a cool project with some nice modularized components (CSS is a separate library, for example). We used some of it to bootstrap Servo in the early days until we had the Rust bits filled in.


For those having issues please can you try our CI builds from https://ci.netsurf-browser.org/builds/ and if you are still experiencing problems a bug report on https://bugs.netsurf-browser.org would be appreciated.

The browser is a little limited in its javascript support (and hence rendering of a lot of modern sites) but it should not crash in general operation.


Are you looking at adding JavaScript, SVG or TTF?

Why do animated gifs stutter and flicker on Win!

I'm really so tired of Chrome and it's two day compile times, this is great!


As I mentioned elsewhere, we have no windows frontend maintainer so feature development specific to windows does not currently happen.

The win port uses windows 2000 compatible GDI calls and I imagine this is the cause for GIF flickering, SVG not rendering and truetype fonts not being used.

The core browser functionality does support javascript, however there are thousands of DOM bindings and our progress in implementing them all is slow.


Ok, I'll test on linux tonight, I'm going to follow the progress and hopefully I'll be able to help before it becomes too bloated! ;)

Does it run well on Raspberry Pi?


@kylikki Would it be possible to get a recent build with Cocoa frontend?


We are a very small team and rely on maintainers to actively look after a frontend. For example Chris does a brilliant job keeping the Amiga frontend in shape and I keep GTK going. Other frontends like Windows, RISC OS and Atari lack a maintainer altogether and are kept going purely through inertia.

Unfortunately the Mac OS X frontend became unmaintained some time ago and eventually stopped working altogether which resulted in its removal from the master branch and hence releases.

There was some activity by Sven earlier in the year ( http://source.netsurf-browser.org/netsurf.git/log/?h=svenw/c... ) but it was not ready to be included and I think he lost interest again.


I was wondering if one could build an alternative Electron with Duktape and Netsurf's rendering engine and what the memory footprint would be? Most Electron apps don't even use animations and they could be "backported" to HTML4 and CSS2 :-) Webviews are kind of great for portability, but having full blown HTML5 is overkill for most of the apps.


I did it with Sciter as a UI layer of Node.js (I am an author of Sciter)

Sciter.Node.js takes 30 Mb or RAM in minimal configuration. It adds 4mb (sciter.dll/so) to original Node.js distribution.

It runs all windows in single UI thread - main thread of Node.js so there is no need for marshalling between multiple processes as in Electron case.

In fact sciter.dll is a "node.js" by its own - it contains script VM and libuv - the same as Node.js itself uses.

I am considering the option to make strip down version of sciter for Node.js. That version will not have any scripting but will rather use JavaScript and libuv from Node.js.


Sciter targets this use case specifically: https://sciter.com


It crashed after my first try to enter a website. Seems it needs a few more years to be used.


Sent from NetSurf on OpenBSD. Seems to work well on this platform, or at least as well as something that does not support javascript can...


> at least as well as something that does not support javascript can

Not related to Netsurf (which I learned about yesterday while reading about Duktape — a HN coincidence), but recently I went back to using Firefox with JS off as default (using uBlock Origin in advanced user mode) and it's... surprisingly OK? I remember having more trouble in the past.

- Less websites are breaking. Maybe I now have better browsing habits and a better instinct for when a website needs special treatment?

- Enabling JS for an specific website feels easier than doing in same in pre-WebExtensions API NoScript ever felt.


I think one part of it is that HTML(5) and CSS have become much more powerful.

In the past, if you wanted fancy animations or even just moving parts on your webpage, you needed to script that.

Heck, you needed to embed Flash for any video or the like.

Nowadays, even responsive webpages are no problem with just HTML+CSS.


This response is from Chrome on Android, but I've been using NetSurf for many years on Linux and I've never had a crash so far as I remember.



"NetSurf is running out of memory. Please free some memory and try again." with 16GB of RAM free.


must be that it's running chrome as the engine lol


It is not. It uses its own, which is what makes it unique.


For linux, my experience with netsurf was really poor due to constant crashes (bet that's why buntu removed it from their repo since 18.04).

Again for some of my linux boxes, my need for framebuffer browser capable of rendering js and css like X11 browser has been made possible using browsh.


Strange to see others having trouble running netsurf; I've used it for years as a "super-light but renders slightly better than dillo" option, and I don't recall ever having any significant problems with it, aside that its interface was written with slightly different interaction models that I'm used to.


What’s the browser’s security reputation? Is the project’s approach to security documented anywhere?




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