Midori: lightweight browsing

Despite an already crowded browser market Midori promises to be a lightweight alternative to browser bloat

September 18, 2009
Midori: lightweight browsing

Despite an already wide range of browser options available there is always space for one more browser, it seems. Midori is one of the most recent additions to the browser market and bills itself as one of the lightest browsers around. Which is what Firefox billed itself as in the early days of existence, before it became increasingly bloated.

Midori is aimed squarely at the group of users that don’t want every possible feature but want a lightweight but not spartan browser. The result is a clean lightweight package that is all of a 531kB download for Linux.

The Windows version is significantly bigger and includes all the necessary dependencies.

And yet, even though it is lightweight, Midori doesn’t feel any the poorer for it. For one thing it is based on WebKit, the same rendering engine that powers Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari one. Which means it is no slouch in rendering pages, and yet doesn’t consume huge amounts of computer resources. With multiple tabs open in both a Firefox window and a Midori window, Midori consumed hardly any memory, although Firefox did have a couple of extensions running at the time.

Either way Midori is very quick at rendering pages and still has the ability to run multiple tabs at once. So while it’s lightweight Midori is not a second rate browser. Of course it doesn’t have the extensibility of Firefox with its extensions but it is not intended to be a replacement for a full browser like Firefox. Midori with a single tab open uses about half the memory of Firefox with a single tab open.

Features

Although it is lightweight Midori is not a featureless browser. It includes many of the basics that users have come to expect including tabs, session management, bookmarks and theme support. While not all of the features are fully supported yet, there is a framework in place for extensions and other additions to the browser. Midori also includes a sidebar which houses browsing history and, in future, installed extensions. The default search tool is Google which is accessed by simply typing a request in the URL bar.

There is an option to add additional search engines but at this stage adding other engines makes Midori noticeably unstable.

The one nice feature is the small trash can to the right of the URL bar.

This is a browsing history which makes it easy to retrieve recently closed tabs, some of which may have been closed in error.

Whether there is space in the market for yet another browser is debatable but Midori does a good job on its first outing. The one market that may be attracted to the lightweight approach of Midori is the growing Netbook user market that is often looking for ways to reduce power and resource consumption.

Midori browser – comments and views

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