Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


K-Meleon is a web browser I haven’t tried yet, and, seeing as version 0.8 was released yesterday, I thought I’d give it a spin.
K-Meleon is tecnhically a Mozilla-derivitive, since it uses the Gecko rendering engine to display pages. However, unlike Firebird, Mozilla and Netscape it has a native Windows interface rather than one that is generated using XUL. It’s not the only browser to do this – Camino does it on Mac OS X, and Galeon and Epiphany do it in Linux. The theory is that by using a native interface, not only does it look like a proper Windows app, but it should be faster since it doesn’t need to use the rendering engine to render everything, just the pages.
Alas, that isn’t the case. K-Meleon is in fact slower on my machine than the entirely XUL-based Firebird. It’s also rather ugly – the look is very much like IE 3.0, complete with the strange squiggly toolbar background. It looks terrible in Windows XP as a result.
There are some advantages however; it’s a smaller download than Firebird and is much more customisable, and it comes with an installer, which until last week Firebird was lacking. But I much, much prefer Firebird to K-Meleon.
Had Firebird not been around, I could have maybe lived with these shortfalls. But with FB development having progressed so well I’m afraid K-Meleon just doesn’t cut it anymore. That said, a more Luna-friendly interface and a few speed enhancements and I may not be so critical of it.
Meanwhile, while on the subject of Mozilla-related thingamibobs, there’s a new Thunderbird build out for Windows. It’s so new that mscott has yet to post to the MozillaZine forums about it, but it seems to run okay.


  1. Before I tried Phoenix, I used K-Meleon. But then development seemed to stall. It was a beta product and I thought it was much better than Mozilla. But then Firebird came around and I fell in love.
    While I admire the goal of K-Meleon, it has not kept up with the fast pace of the GRE.

  2. Try version 8.1 versoin 8.0 was buggy and the previous was better. They just released 8.1 and I find it faster than firebird.