Is the Triple Engine Browser Lunascape Right for You?

lunascapeMany people have never even heard of this browser, despite the massive amount of press it received late last year. I randomly asked about 200 people yesterday what their thoughts are on Lunascape 6.0 ORION – their newest beta version. There were only four people who replied that they have ever tried it, and only two of those who currently use it. Both of those people are, not surprisingly, developers.

Lunascape makes use of all three major web rendering engines: Gecko (Firefox), Trident (Internet Explorer) and WebKit (Safari and Chrome). People who use the browser can instantly switch between the three different engine modes by right-clicking a browser tab or by clicking on the engine switch button that you’ll find at the bottom-left of the screen.

While this makes perfect sense for developers who need to see how their creations render on various browsers, the people behind Lunascape contend that their product is aimed at the general population. Their ultimate goal is to create a “unified browsing system” for everyone who is tired of having difficulties when switching between different browsers.

Let’s say an average computer user has Firefox installed on their home machine. They are comfortable with where they can find everything – from bookmarks to add-ons. When they go to work, they may be forced by the IT department to use a different browser, such as IE or Safari. Those people tend to get upset at having to learn how to use a new browser, where to find everything, and the like. Lunascape is hoping to simplify this process for users of every level – novice to expert.

There aren’t a lot of new features in this latest version. However, you will finally find support for Firefox Add-ons. An included wizard makes it easy for you to transfer all of your add-ons from Firefox to Lunascape. Sadly, there’s no support still for Chrome or Safari plug-ins, but hopefully that will change with the next release.

For those of you who are developers, I definitely recommend trying Lunascape if you haven’t yet. You can use a tab in any kind of window split viewing… comparing any web page you choose, rendered by the three different engines at the same time – within the same browser/window. This can save you a heck of a lot of time when checking your work, for sure!

For the rest of us, I sadly don’t see Lunascape becoming “mainstream” any time soon. I’ve tried it myself, and it works fairly well. There are small bugs, of course, just as with nearly any type of program or software we use these days. It’s fast, and being able to tab between different engines is kind of cool. However, it’s just not something I (as a non-dev) really need to do. I’ll stick with Firefox for now.

Have you tried Lunascape? What are your overall thoughts on the browser? Do you have recommendations as to how it could be better for the general computer user?

  • mike

    Wow great post. I didnt even know people called those browsers Gecko, Trident, and Webkit. Ill try this browser, but isnt it slower than just having firefox? Or Chrome, or I.E. or Safari? I agree with you, I can't see an average person using this browser.

  • mike

    Wow great post. I didnt even know people called those browsers Gecko, Trident, and Webkit. Ill try this browser, but isnt it slower than just having firefox? Or Chrome, or I.E. or Safari? I agree with you, I can't see an average person using this browser.

  • telomere

    I use it, and like mike said it is a bit slower than indiviual browsers(IE,Chrome or firefox)
    and being able to see different windows on the same page(split viewing) is great. I have just started using it...

  • telomere

    I use it, and like mike said it is a bit slower than indiviual browsers(IE,Chrome or firefox)
    and being able to see different windows on the same page(split viewing) is great. I have just started using it...

  • Joyce

    I like lunacape very much. I don't find it slow at all. The only problem I have with it is I like my favorites in alphabetical order and for some reason they won't stay that way when the next time you use it.

    Firefox is too slow and clumsy now that they have done all the upgrades. It keep freezing up on me all the time so I don't use it anymore. Also when I'm using it my computer runs and runs all the time for whatever reason I don't know.

  • Joyce

    I like lunacape very much. I don't find it slow at all. The only problem I have with it is I like my favorites in alphabetical order and for some reason they won't stay that way when the next time you use it.

    Firefox is too slow and clumsy now that they have done all the upgrades. It keep freezing up on me all the time so I don't use it anymore. Also when I'm using it my computer runs and runs all the time for whatever reason I don't know.

  • Both Macromedia and Expression Web allow a developer to view their site in multiple browsers via installed browsers.

    I see Lunascape being a useful development tool, but as a mainstream browser? It really depends on how they manage external development of add-on. Most Firefox users have IETab and/or NoScript installed plus a few other tools (I have Web Developer by Chris Pederick and Firebug which is a site inspection tool).

    Of course, if you are concerned about having three to five browsers installed - all those updates! - then you might try Lunascape.

    I have a concern, though, as to how they deal with security updates. Is Lunascape going to be responsible for sending their users any updates? Or is the consumer responsible for downloading individual engine updates when they are needed?

    I've always been a fan of having the engine separated from the browser so that developments like Lunascape can happen.

    It would be nice for their to be only one or two engines available: a development engine and a production engine for browsers. I don't see that happening because I believe there is a healthy competition between IE Firefox and Safari with Opera waiting to get its share.

    Dino

  • Both Macromedia and Expression Web allow a developer to view their site in multiple browsers via installed browsers.

    I see Lunascape being a useful development tool, but as a mainstream browser? It really depends on how they manage external development of add-on. Most Firefox users have IETab and/or NoScript installed plus a few other tools (I have Web Developer by Chris Pederick and Firebug which is a site inspection tool).

    Of course, if you are concerned about having three to five browsers installed - all those updates! - then you might try Lunascape.

    I have a concern, though, as to how they deal with security updates. Is Lunascape going to be responsible for sending their users any updates? Or is the consumer responsible for downloading individual engine updates when they are needed?

    I've always been a fan of having the engine separated from the browser so that developments like Lunascape can happen.

    It would be nice for their to be only one or two engines available: a development engine and a production engine for browsers. I don't see that happening because I believe there is a healthy competition between IE Firefox and Safari with Opera waiting to get its share.

    Dino

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  • Hello I just search the google and I found out your site. Nice post I am very worth reading it. Thanks!

  • Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your balanced view on our beta release. Just wanted to give you an update that we just released 6.0 as official /stable version. Hope you'd check it out.

    In terms of security, it is engine specific. For trident, we encourage users to run Windows update as often as necessary to keep trident engine current. For Gecko, we try every effort to release minor update version within a week of Firefox'release. For WebKit, it is a similar deal with Gecko.

    Thanks,
    Yuki
    Lunascape, Inc.

  • Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your balanced view on our beta release. Just wanted to give you an update that we just released 6.0 as official /stable version. Hope you'd check it out.

    In terms of security, it is engine specific. For trident, we encourage users to run Windows update as often as necessary to keep trident engine current. For Gecko, we try every effort to release minor update version within a week of Firefox'release. For WebKit, it is a similar deal with Gecko.

    Thanks,
    Yuki
    Lunascape, Inc.

  • Fran Scott

    Installed Lunascape 6.0 and then tried to install the most important plug-in that I use on any browser, which is "LastPass". SnoopFree Privacy Shield 1.0.7 reported: Blocked illegal keyboard hook in 'C:Program FilesLunascapeLunascape6Luna.exe' After that Lunascape stopped working.

    Apparently, Lunascape has a keylogger built-in which means

    LUNASCAPE IS SPY-WARE!!

  • Fran Scott

    Installed Lunascape 6.0 and then tried to install the most important plug-in that I use on any browser, which is "LastPass". SnoopFree Privacy Shield 1.0.7 reported: Blocked illegal keyboard hook in 'C:\Program Files\Lunascape\Lunascape6\Luna.exe' After that Lunascape stopped working.

    Apparently, Lunascape has a keylogger built-in which means

    LUNASCAPE IS SPY-WARE!!