Mar 23, 2016

K-Meleon vs QupZilla vs Otter Browser vs Midori - comparison of lightweight web browsers

Apart from the most popular web browsers for Windows - Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, IE and Edge - there are also more lightweight open source web browsers, which deserve more recognition. This time I am testing the latest versions of four of them: K-Meleon 76.0 beta 3 (based on Gecko), Otter Browser 0.9.10 (based both on QtWebKit and on QtWebEngine), QupZilla 1.8.9 (based on QtWebKit) and Midori 0.5.11 (based on WebKitGTK+), on a PC with Windows 8 and 2 GB RAM. In the comparison test I am focusing on HTML5 features, performance and RAM usage at startup and after loading four big websites in tabs.

Here are the results:

K-Meleon Otter QtWebKit Otter QtWebEngine QupZilla Midori
HTML5 Test 467 pts 399 pts 525 pts 400 pts 341 pts
Octane Benchmark 5915 pts 1222 pts 6653 pts 1285 pts 806 pts
BrowserMark 1590 pts 1165 pts 1926 pts 1052 pts 149 pts
RAM at startup 35 MB 12 MB 54 MB 40 MB 40 MB
RAM at 4 tabs 151 MB 335 MB 236 MB 395 MB 271 MB

The best alternative web browser is Otter Browser with QtWebEngine (based on Chromium), made by a Polish developer Emdek. This is the only multi-process web browser out of them and has a really good performance. The second place goes to K-Meleon. That said, QtWebEngine is still in the works, so it may be buggy, and it uses more memory than Gecko engine used in K-Meleon.

Mar 3, 2016

Ziproxy vs Janus vs PageSpeed Module - comparison of compression proxies

Only 27% of the global population has access to a fast internet (over 10 Mbps) and hundreds of millions of people around the world have a limited Internet connection. This is where a data compression proxy (a.k.a. web accelerator) comes to the rescue. It optimizes loading of web pages by minimizing HTML/CSS/JS, enabling gzip compression, re-encoding images, etc.

Some time ago I was comparing proxies in the cloud: Mozilla Janus, Opera Turbo and Google Compression Proxy. Now I am testing open source HTTP forwarding proxies: Ziproxy, Mozilla Janus and Google PageSpeed Module (mod_pagespeed) for Apache with mod_proxy, all installed on my premise. This time the primary factor is not loading time, but total size of various web pages.

Ziproxy Janus PageSpeed Direct
ZDNet 1026 KB 1117 KB 802 KB 1225 KB
TheNextWeb 3768 KB 3638 KB 3672 KB 4156 KB
New Yorker 4528 KB 4872 KB 4782 KB 5357 KB
AntyWeb 1258 KB 2750 KB 1928 KB 3493 KB
iStockPhoto 2905 KB 3699 KB 3444 KB 3756 KB
Total 13485 KB
(25% saved)
16076 KB
(11% saved)
14628 KB
(19% saved)
17987 KB
The best compressing HTTP proxy is Ziproxy with 25% of data savings. The second place goes to Google PageSpeed with 19%. Mozilla Janus was the worst with only 11% saved.

All the proxies were tested with equal image quality settings (60%).