I’m a firm believer that most of the innovation in browsers is coming from the open-source players. This week brings a number of interesting developments from the browser arena, especially if you use either of the two most popular open source browsers: Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Firefox is slated to come out in a new version 3.6 next week, with several improvements, and I’m hoping it will iron out a few of the instabilities I’ve experienced in Firefox 3.5. Meanwhile, the Google Chrome (s goog) team has announced a new collection of Artist Themes for enhancing your browser’s look. The themes come from a diverse list of well-known designers and artists, ranging from Dolce & Gabanna to pop star Mariah Carey. They’re very slick. And finally, the Arora browser, which is based on the open source WebKit rendering engine,is out in a new, cross-patform version that makes it especially easy to block ads.
The Google Chrome browser’s new Artist Themes are quite eye-popping. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they could make good conversation starters when you’re working around other people. You can get a sense of how they work and look from this OStatic post. The theme seen atop this post was produced by fine artist and poster maven Yulia Brodskaya, while Wes Craven has supplied a spooky theme. To add a theme to Chrome, you just open Chrome and go to the Chrome Theme Gallery, pick one you like, then click “Apply theme.”
While it’s unlikely to become your primary browser, if you have a need for a very lightweight browser, Arora is out in a new version .10. It’s based on the open source WebKit engine, and you can use it on Windows, the Mac, and Linux. Download Squad notes that you can easily enable ad blocking in Arora with one click. I also think it’s lightweight and snappy enough to make sense as a portable browser to carry on a USB flash drive.
Which open-source browser do you use, and why?