hv3 – light Tcl/Tk-based web browser

Thanks to an article on freesoftwaremagazine by Gary Richmond, I learned of hv3 (and the tkhtml3 and tclsee widgets it’s based on), a very lightweight browser based on Tcl/Tk with Javascript rendering capability (which is important, as most very light browsers can’t do JS). It has a somewhat messy structure and buildsystem and relies on some obscure stuff, but with a couple of hours work I got it building nicely. It actually works rather well – as the article mentions, it’s much better than Dillo at rendering complex pages. It managed passable cuts at engadget, CNN, and Blue’s News in some quick tests I threw at it – impressive. In a quick test – launching and openly a moderately complex test page (Distrowatch) – hv3 took 20MB of RAM, while Midori took 60MB (plus, of course, whatever GTK+ uses). I like those numbers.

The package will land in Cooker and 2009 backports once I’m done with my big Tcl/Tk 8.6 migration project, as it depends on some macros and conventions that are only being introduced with that version. Take a look at it then. Until then, here’s a pretty picture!

Hv3, showing Mandriva's site

On a side note, I’m incredibly grateful for all the kind comments people have made in all sorts of places – here, OS News, Distrowatch, Linux Format forums, Mandrivausers, MCNL, MandrivaBrasil, mandrivaclub.de, just to name a few – in response to my contract being terminated. It really means a lot to me, and you guys are amazing, as Vincent said so well.

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