Monday, September 7, 2009

Conkeror: Emacs-like browser

While a long-time user of Firefox, I'm always ready to have a look at the alternatives. Firefox works well, but it's too heavy. Some time ago I found a new Firefox extension called Conkeror, which added Emacs-like keybindings to Firefox. It was too unusual for me at that time and I ditched it. Since then I switched to tiling window managers (first Ion, now Stumpwm) and I thought that Conkeror might fit my new style of work.

It turns out that the new Conkeror is not an extension anymore, but a standalone browser packed with features. It's fully customizable (in JavaScript), extensible (in Python, AFAIU) and, of course, keybound all the way through.

Below is the initialization file I compiled on the very first day with Conkeror:

// shortcuts for Google Reader and Gmail:
define_webjump("gread", "");
define_webjump("gmail", "");

// keybindings to open links in new buffer and new window
define_key(content_buffer_normal_keymap, "F", "follow-new-buffer-background");
define_key(content_buffer_normal_keymap, "C-f", "follow-new-buffer");
define_key(content_buffer_normal_keymap, "d", "follow-new-window");

// show history items when typing URL:
url_completion_use_bookmarks = false;
url_completion_use_history = true;

// use my delicious:
add_delicious_webjumps ("minaev");

// allow installation of addons from any URL:
session_pref("xpinstall.whitelist.required", false);

// show Firefox-like tabs:
user_pref("", 1);

There's a lot of things to borrow from other RC files, but the first steps were made.

I started by installing Conkeror packaged with Ubuntu 9.04, version 080629. This version could not find the location of the Conkeror init file till I explicitly pointed at the file in<profile>/prefs.js, where I added a new line:

user_pref('conkeror.rcfile', '/home/minaev/.conkerorrc');

The Ubuntu version did not support tabs, so I had to grab a Debian package from the Conkeror web site, version 090624.

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