[Solved] Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

New features which should be implemented in Porteus; suggestions are welcome. All questions or problems with testing releases (alpha, beta, or rc) should go in their relevant thread here, rather than the Bug Reports section.
nanZor
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[Solved] Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#1 by nanZor » 11 Jun 2019, 08:23

Heh, you asked for suggestions ..

For your consideration - include the Netsurf browser in the iso. Users can download the larger mainstream browsers later using the existing tools for more intensive usage.

Why?

Alien Bob kindly compiled ver 3.7 already. Netsurf's xzm package is only 2.5mb large. Fired up and running, it uses only about 10mb of ram. Hopefully we can still keep the iso no larger than 300mb or so with this addition.

Of course it isn't meant to compete with the mainstream browsers. But for casual use, like visiting the Porteus forum, other linux/unix forums, simpler sites, and even LOCAL files, like the Porteus cheatcodes and others in the docs folder, it does fine.

It works fine like all browsers do by pointing the url to the local storage:

Code: Select all

file:///
Sure, lynx and vi have their place in my heart, but maybe a younger generation expect *some* sort of browser to be relevant in their experience. And we can't make the assumption that use of Porteus will always be online right after install. And oh yeah, all those bookmarks one can make to important docs if they don't remember their way around the filesystem.

Firing up the Porteus faq tries to take one online.
So does issuing a man command for a commandline query at http://man.cx

Both of these might be served by having a simple native included tool like Netsurf instead of Lynx. Those pages sure do look nice and lends to better comprehension.

Future Doc authors:

Adding Netsurf to the iso may also encourage authors from 6 - 60 years old to dabble in creating nice html files / pages. Again, vi and lynx are awesome, but maybe there are those that might prefer the simplicity of mousepad and netsurf as a combo as good enough.

As of now or course one can always download with usm the netsurf xzm module. But I think incorporating it as a mini-browser in the iso itself, might help some get off the ground quicker.

... just a suggestion as asked ...
Last edited by nanZor on 15 Jun 2019, 05:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#2 by Ed_P » 11 Jun 2019, 15:38

It works. Not Firefox but certainly functional. I'm using it to post this.


hmmm It doesn't support signing off!!
Ed

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#3 by n0ctilucient » 11 Jun 2019, 17:38

Sign me up. Netsurf sounds like a winner.
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but I reserve the "right" to tell them what they should "consider".

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#4 by nanZor » 12 Jun 2019, 04:54

Yeah - but the question is what do we need to sacrifice to stay within a 300mb or so iso size?

I browsed the filesystem with links, but only until I used netsurf with the file:/// url locally, did I discover just how much custom scripting from brokenman and fanthom are in there. WOW!

It's a labor of love. Beautiful to look at and a wonder to use. When operating Porteus, and after looking at the script, you see that it is someone's baby, not just yet another live boot.

And I'm not trying to blow smoke up any dev's you-know-what. If Porteus were to close up shop tomorrow, I'd never forget it and use it as long as I reasonably could.

BOOKMARKS and Independence

Forgot - Netsurf being entirely independent means that you have *something* to fall back on in case you bork or otherwise tweak your main browser. Porteus' modularity means you can recover quickly, but Netsurf might be a handy panic-button tool.

Need to have a handy reference to the cheatcodes textfile or other supporting information? Bookmark it in Netsurf!

It may even be possible to custom create the main page / resource file to reflect upon Porteus itself, or have baked-in bookmarks already included for the new user.

One can do these things with other tools obviously, including just soft-links in your home directory. But from an ease-of-use standpoint for those who grew up with browsers, this might be more comfortable until the lightbulb goes off. "What's this ln -s softlink thing .... OH I get it!"
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#5 by Kulle » 12 Jun 2019, 07:53

Hi nanZor,
Include the Netsurf browser in the iso?
Really include in the iso?
I do not like that.
For habit / convenience you always (!) use the same browser (Chromium, Google-Chrome, Firefox)
But you could allocate netsurf.
netsurf.xzm on dl.porteus.org.
Who wants it can use netsurf.
The iso should be as small as possible!

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#6 by nanZor » 12 Jun 2019, 08:30

Heh, I couldn't log off either! Maybe if it was the latest version 3.8? :)

Kulle - the size limitation is always a compromise, and a big time-sink for the devs of what to include or not, so I know what you mean.

[smart-aleck mode on]

Klaus Knopper solved that problem of dropping the cd version, and only offering the 4gb download. If you want it smaller, use the remastering tools. Certainly cut his workload, but made us cd guys cry.

Porteus is *half* of what the Knoppix cd size was, and is to be commended (mainly because I'm on a limited cellular data for my internet access), but if you want small?

Grab TinyCore / 64 with only a kernel, init, and your favorite bootloader and build up. Or slack it by using their prebuilt ones with that and a tiny-x server (Xvesa or Xfbdev), fltk/flwm, aterm, and go to town and starting adding full Xorg and family if you want to go that far. Problem solved.

[smart aleck mode off]

I certainly know where you are coming from and understand. However, I see the time and thought put into Porteus' selection of default applications - it encompasses most *basic* needs without having to go online.

I think netsurf might fill in that missing basic need - even if nothing for offline docs - but maybe it needs just a tad more development to logoff this board. :)
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#7 by Ed_P » 12 Jun 2019, 11:41

nanZor wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 08:30
Heh, I couldn't log off either! Maybe if it was the latest version 3.8? :)
I initially used the 3.7 version from USM. But same problem with the 3.3 version.
Ed

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#8 by Kulle » 13 Jun 2019, 08:14

I like to use "Quick links" in the forum https://forum.porteus.org/
Active topics = Quick Information

I have now tried the browser netsurf.
But if I click on "Quick links" nothing happens!
The same thing with the Dillo browser.

The browsers netsurf and Dillo are therefore only partially usable.
If you offer newcomers (who previously used Windows) such browsers, they will not be thrilled with Linux.
And if you want, you can add Lynx or Dillo or Netsurf later.

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#9 by Ed_P » 13 Jun 2019, 15:56

Netsurf would not be the system's default browser, only a means to allow new users to access the forum and ask questions, and to download modules to get their system up and running. imo

And of course the main question users will ask is how do I upgrade to a different browser. :D
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#10 by Kulle » 13 Jun 2019, 16:53

Visiting the Porteus forum: FAQ, register and login work.
But if I click on "Quick links" nothing happens. (at both netsurf browser and Dillo browser)
How can this be explained?

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#11 by nanZor » 13 Jun 2019, 19:33

They may be relying on html and/or javascript and graphics functionality that is beyond the capabilities of either Dillo or Netsurf.

New users to Linux? Let's not kid ourselves. New users are either already running smartphones, Chromebooks, or perhaps the more "popular" mainstream distros like Ubuntu etc.

In that new-user demographic, there is a very small percentage that will want to "turn the wrenches", like editing porteus.cfg, use savefiles, cheatcodes and the like. Too much effort.

But for that small percentage of users who want to turn the wrenches, they might put up with having to go back to the 90's and edit a .Xresources file, or put up with a browser that isn't meant to be a television in disguise.

Heck, one can get a "how to run Ubuntu" at an airport magazine stand, but things like Porteus and Tinycore - yeah no. :)

Considering today's climate has changed since about 2003 or so, it would be a mistake to design Porteus to be newbie-friendly. It is to a certain extent out of the box, but most newbs would just gravitate to mainstream. Not a criticism, but just honesty.
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#12 by Ed_P » 13 Jun 2019, 23:05

Personally, I think most new users are over 50. People looking to try Linux, learn Linux, a friendly forum for help, and have a slow network so smaller downloads are preferred and minimal disk space.
Ed

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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#13 by nanZor » 14 Jun 2019, 09:04

Maybe we're drifting too far into a separate topic, but I'll disagree a bit.

Maybe back before high speed internet has become the norm, but most people -at least those I meet- only ask me about Linux as an alternative way to get some old hardware able to pump out some 4K cat videos.

Ever try to show an Apple Mac user their terminal? Show them how to use the sort command on a simple few lines of data? Create a herefile? Yeah, no way.

I'm just saying that we may be shooting for a middle-ground that no longer exists - except us hard core users who like turning wrenches.
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#14 by n0ctilucient » 14 Jun 2019, 12:59

Netsurf as an offline browser doesn't seem too problematic.
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Include mini-browser Netsurf in the future

Post#15 by francois » 15 Jun 2019, 01:44

It is not update-netsurf there but:
from jassouza:
[Solved???] Netsurf "framebuffer"
Alienbob has netsurf (slackbuild as well as pkg) here:
http://www.slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/netsurf/

So write it solved or semi-solved. :crazy:
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