The Web Browser thread

I was curious to see how well Epiphany does since last time I used it, and I downloaded it again and will try it for a few days. I'm currently running on Pop!_OS and the package manager already had the latest 42.4 version which is nice, considering the recommended way by Gnome is to use a flatpak.

Some things that immediately stand out after ~20 minutes of use:

  • The UI is extremely clean and respects the system's theme.
  • Very few options on the settings menu with no apparent way to dive into advanced settings.
  • Ad blocker and "Inteligent Tracking Prevention" enabled by default, though unclear what they are actually doing on the background.
  • No extensions or plugins available.
  • No accelerated or smooth scrolling available.
  • Slight defects and irregularities rendering some web pages, particularly related to effects like gradients, transitions and animations.
  • Unable to load videos on YouTube, Invidious or Odysee. But I was able to load audio while using Invidious.

Some of these are good but mostly I'm not quite happy with the experience. I agree with some of the guidelines established by the project, such as aiming for simplicity and built-in functionality. In fact I recall there was a heavily modified Firefox theme that aimed at making it visually identical to Epiphany. A combination of both clean and lean aesthetics, with the ability to customize things further sure would be very welcome.

But I cannot understand why wouldn't I be able to customize a few things further, such as adding filter lists to extend the built-in ad blocker. I also hope they release the ability to use plugins soon. Even if existing ones are not compatible, it'd open the door to let the community contribute much like with things like Gnome Tweaks.

I also just noticed after posting this that font rendering is a little off. I'm not sure if this is clearly visible on the screenshot, but here's a side by side comparison between Epiphany (left) and Firefox (right):