On using Epiphany

I am a user who besides usability, like visual consistency on my desktop. When I learned that Firefox will drop XUL support for WebExtensions making most – if not all – of the Firefox UI modification addons, I decided to try Epiphany, GNOME’s WebKit browser.

Epiphany is part of GNOME’s core apps, so it integrates in the desktop, both visually and giving you the option to search the Web from the Overview.

Epiphany integrated on GNOME search feature

It is also lightweight, it requires approximately 10Mb (!!!) – while firefox requires ~90Mb – boots really fast and it does not bloat system resources. A great feature is that you can turn every web page to an active application (Web App) through it, making it searchable, pinnable to the dock and foremost visually integrated on the desktop unlike Chrome’s Apps.

On the downside, Epiphany doesn’t have many – if any – extensions, except the ad-blocker and the pop-up blocker. Personally I can’t say that these lack of addons bugs me much, I’m just a casual user. What really really bugs me, averting me from using it full time, removing Firefox and keeping just one browser (I am also a minimalist…one app for a job – or better one app for multiple jobs), are those 3 major (for me) issues :

  • On Google Apps :
    • Google Docs does not work as expected (changing writing language, letters are not typed (!), etc )
    • Google+ notifications do not load
  • Ebanking site does not login (user / pass ok, reloads login page), for this I have already filed a bug report.
  • Some videos on YouTube and Facebook (probably other sites too) don’t load, while on Firefox they work perfectly.

I am really into using Epiphany and will actively try to help making it better (though I don’t know where to start). Hopefully these kinks will get sorted out at one point, but I will not complain because it is an open source project, maintained and upgraded by volunteers.