I am a MS hater. Well okay, by MS I mean Microsoft and not MouthShut. There are a lot of things that I hate about MS. But the thing that I hate the most is Internet Explorer. I have been at my wits end in my search to find the best alternative for Internet Explorer. My search led me to Firefox. It was good, in fact extremely good. But somehow, it refused to work on my computer. Then my search took me to Opera. It too was good and I slowly adapted myself to it. I simply love it for its speed, customization, colours and the fact that it turned free! I was literally in love with Opera. Internet was incomplete for me without Opera. But then I found K-Meleon.
What is K-Meleon?
K-Meleon is a Mozilla based internet browser that can be regarded as one good replacement for Internet Explorer. The browser project was started way back in August 2000 by Christophe Thibault when he released the first version of K-Meleon after just one day of coding. The first ever version didn’t even have some of the basic features of a web browser that we now take for granted like history, context menu, cookie management, MIME types among others. What set it apart from the alternate browsers of that time was that it was based on the Mozilla Foundation’s Gecko browsing engine instead of the older and error-prone IE engine. In other words, it was developed using the Gecko html engine instead of the one that was used by Internet Explorer. As the development of K-Meleon picked up, newer versions were released with an alarming speed, and by 2002 the browser had already been updated 7 times!
The current version of K-Meleon, released on Jan 10, 2006, is based on the Mozilla 1.7.12 code and is largely an improvement on the same keeping in view the security concerns of the end-users. K-Meleon is built under the GNU General Public Licence which means that the developers can access the complete source code if they want to build on the browser.
Lower Resource Usage
One of the most important feature that sets it apart from other browsers is it’s comparatively lower memory usage making it a very lightweight component while running under Windows. At the same time I noticed that it was using some of its features very efficiently.
This is one feature that is taken for granted in most modern day browsers. I heard that even IE’s next release will have tabbed browsing. In the case of K-Meleon though, the tabs are called layers.
Built-in search functions
The browser has a built-in search function wherein by pressing CTRL+G, you are presented with a dialogue box that will automatically query Google and give you the appropriate results. Additionally, there are a lot of other search engines added to it.
The browser comes with 4 customizable skins and more are available for download through their homepage.
Another feature that is now taken for granted in most browsers is the RSS feed-reader. RSS feeds keep you updated about the latest happenings on your favourite websites.
The pop-up blocker is available though still a lot needs to be done on it. I found that it was not able to close many pop-up windows.
Again one feature that is almost taken for granted. This is very useful though I believe that Opera takes the edge in this respect as it is more user-friendly.
Tired of viewing pesky text ads on web pages? Here is the solution. One of the features that is not suitably highlighted on K-Meleon’s homepage is that it has a built-in code that can help block banner and text ads in a jiffy. Whats more, you don’t need to do anything to activate the ad-blocker since it is already turned on!
While Opera lays claim to being the fastest browser but K-Meleon leaves it miles behind. I noticed that it worked faster than both Opera and Firefox. Of course Internet Explorer is simply no competition at all.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
As already said, the pop-up blocker needs to be worked on. It can be quite disconcerting for the user to see an entire webpage load in front of the one he intends to view.
K-Meleon simply opens your default email client if you click on the email icon. It can however do well with introducing its own email program on the lines of Mozilla Suite or Opera browser. It can be kept as an optional tool.
Many keyboard shortcuts like those for opening new layers or to go back and forward are still missing from the browser
This has a lot of scope for improvement as there is virtually no support for broken downloads.
Since most Gecko based browsers will remain in a state of improvement for the time being, I guess more and more improvements will be made to this browser as well. I can vouch for this browser for its speed and security. Rest assured, I can sit back, relax and enjoy my browsing experience.
You can download this browser from download.com or from their homepage