A better browser – The Chimera Project

Chimera is a small Mozilla offshoot project that is rapidly gaining momentum in the open source community. This project is intended to deliver the best possible web browser for the Mac OS X platform.

After using this browser for a few nights, I am gradually finding myself getting more and more addicted to it. It has many performace and UI benefits that put it past MSIE and Mozilla/Fizzilla/Netscape. Chimera uses a Unix backend and a Cocoa front end, instead of MSIE and Fizzilla’s use of the Carbon environment, making it overall a much faster browser. Using Cocoa means that the application behaves like a true Mac OS X application, from the Cocoa GUI elements, smoother native performance, right on down to the Quartz text rendering.

What’s more, the Chimera project has opted to do away with the bloatware and just focus on the browser. So no bundled Mail and Composer apps to suck up your disk space and RAM, and no unused clutter in your user interface. Crisp and clean!

I think that it would be nice to see a Mail client written along these guidelines: Unix/Cocoa, lean, focused application, and possibly even a Composer-like HTML browser one day. All as seperate apps, seperate downloads, seperate preference files.

Chimera, like Mozilla, is an open-source browser, and as such is distributed for free. If you find this interesting and would like to explore Chimera or even possibly contribute, then check out the Chimera web site to get started. I for one have taken a strong interest in this project and am submitting bugs when I find ’em. You can too.

As of this writing, the Chimera browser is at only version 0.2.8. Still, at this early stage, it is quite a good quality browser that supports most of the things we need and does a fairly good job – bugs notwithstanding. By version 1.0, this should be quite a piece of work.