Friday, November 27, 2009

Multi-Platform is the Enemy of the Epiphany Browser

(Aproximated) vectorized version of :Image:Epi...Image via Wikipedia
The GNOME Journal for November was just announced, and it includes an article about Epiphany "from a - not so experienced - user perspective." A important quote from the article is
As I read in the Epiphany Manifesto, Havoc’s “main goal is to be integrated with the GNOME desktop.” For me, it’s interesting that the first priority of people who think and reflect on Epiphany and are behind its development is the exclusive integration with GNOME, and that they don’t feel compelled to make Epiphany usable outside of GNOME. This argument stems from the intuition that “the union of all features anyone’s ever seen in any equivalent application on any other historical platform” is not necessarily the path indicated to a good UI.
Other points in the article:

  • Epiphany is focused on just browsing (in the Unix tradition)
  • It's simple and intuitive
  • It has a private mode. 
GNOME needs more of this. More integration. More specialization. More connections between integrated and specialized desktop apps. GNOME is a desktop environment. It is also a development platform, but the desktop has default applications, and those applications need to move in the direction of integration, specialization, and connection.

Epiphany is in flux right now from Gecko to WebKit ... so it's not particularly featureful but GNOME 2.30 should solve most of the problems. With Tracker-store as the future back-end for Zeitgeist, I'd like to see the Epiphany bookmark storage move into Tracker.


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