Many 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?