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Software The Internet Build

Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
sfcrazy writes The Raspberry Pi team has announced a new browser for Raspberry Pi. They had worked with Collabora to create an HTML5-capable, modern browser for Pi users. While announcing the new browser, Eben Upton said, "Eight months and a lot of hard work later, we're finally ready. Epiphany on Pi is now a plausible alternative to a desktop browser for all but the most JavaScript-heavy sites."
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Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser

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  • So because they insisted on using a crappy 12-year-old design ARM11 CPU, they need a custom browser to compensate.

    Why not make a Raspberry Pi model C, with a Cortex based CPU? If they used a modern A17 at 1.4Ghz, it would be just as low-power and have ~8x more performance.

    • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090) on Monday September 01, 2014 @03:45PM (#47802431) Journal

      So because they insisted on using a crappy 12-year-old design ARM11 CPU, they need a custom browser to compensate.

      Why not make a Raspberry Pi model C, with a Cortex based CPU? If they used a modern A17 at 1.4Ghz, it would be just as low-power and have ~8x more performance.

      Because they like to sell their the Pi's at or below $35?

      • Considering you can buy [aliexpress.com] a 7" tablet with a 1.5GHz dual core Cortex A7 with 512MB ram and 8GB flash for $38, I don't see why the Raspberry Pi, with no flash, no battery and no screen couldn't be even cheaper than $35 with a different SOC.

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Made in China vs made in UK?

          • At least the first 10,000 Raspberry Pi's were made in China.
            They didn't even start manufacturing in UK until September 2012.
            They were still manufacturing in China in December 2012.

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Well I bought 3 things from Aliexpress:

          A 32gb SD card which craps out if you copy more than 2gb on it.
          A set of 3w garden lights which draw just over 1.5w at full power and burn out if you even slightly raise the voltage.
          A Bluetooth speaker with the beats logo which has approximately 10 min battery life.

          So yes you can make anything for any price, but I'd rather buy something which works rather than something unrealistically cheap.

      • by fnj (64210)

        That's not an answer. That just says they made a stupid choice. Face it. Anybody with half a brain buys the BeagleBone anyway. What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

        • What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

          Maybe I'd rather have the pizzas than waste money on something that I don't need?

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          What's an extra $10-20?

          More than half the price of another raspberry pi.

          People with brains buy a system to suit their needs. People with really good brains optimise that system to get maximum performance. Everybody else needlessly spends money on something more powerful than they need.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

          (a) For me, $10-$20 is no big deal, especially since I don't need many small board computers. What about a school district that is buying Pi's in bulk? A very poor school district?

          If the BeagleBone is a better deal for you, then buy that. I plan to buy that (BeagleBone Black, thank you very much). But I don't think the RPi guys are "stupid" or "made a stupid choice".

          (b) If you look at the history of how the RPi got made, it was always going to be a Broadcom SOC

          • by Anonymous Coward

            It has its place and it's not a "stupid" thing at all.

            Keep in mind that this is Slashdot. As long as a product doesn't meet that autistic need for every little factor to be 100% compliant with one's personal tastes, it's a stupid waste of time.

          • by Nimey (114278)

            But he's clearly smarter than everybody who spent years thinking of and designing an enormously successful product.

            Nah, he's really a fuckwit but thanks to Dunning-Kruger he doesn't know it.

        • by jandrese (485)
          Having used both the Beaglebone and a Pi, I actually prefer the Pi. There is just more developer support and thinks work better. The BBB has a bunch of annoyances, like Angstrom Linux (blows), and that the on-board memory is just too damn small (2GB is not enough). Booting off of external SD works, but you have to go through this annoying contortion of holding down a button while plugging it in to make it work. Even once you get Debian booted off of the SD, it is missing stuff that the Pi has, like Goog
          • by SIGBUS (8236)

            Recent versions of the BeagleBone Black have 4 GB of internal flash and come with Debian pre-installed.

            That being said, I have a RPi, mainly for use as a media center (one of the best uses for it).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's a good thing.

      Code of this lighter, faster browser for the Pi may end up in mainstream browsers, which will then be able to handle heavier, more complex, and more poorly-designed websites, which will in turn lead to an even faster, more efficient browser for the Pi.

      The result after all this effort is that the Web will still be at least as slow as before, just the way we grumpy old gits like it.

    • by Zeio (325157)

      Agree. I think there should be something between Intel NUC and R-Pi. I think R-Pi has merit in that its just enough compute and memory to do almost everything, but I think in 2014 that more can be done with $35-$50.

    • by savuporo (658486)

      Like this MIPS attempt ? http://www.pcworld.com/article... [pcworld.com]
      Or any other or wannabe rpi competitors.

  • An improvement (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rootbear (9274) on Monday September 01, 2014 @04:08PM (#47802557) Homepage

    I'm actually using Epiphany, the new browser, to post this. Slashdot was one of the first sites I visited and co-incidentally there was an article about it right at the top! So far, it does seem to be a nice upgrade to the previous Midori browser, which I found essentially unusable.

    • by colfer (619105)

      Seems WebKit will have a place after Chrome and Opera's split to Blink. (This new Pi browser is Webkit)

      • by Nimey (114278)

        It's unlikely Apple will go anywhere; Safari will keep using WebKit and it's a pretty good fraction of the mobile market.

    • I installed and used it and it's still slow as hell, Youtube doesn't work at all, the CPU still maxes out.
      On a side note, I do have the 256mb rasb-pi, so maybe it requires the 512mb version to work well?

      Oh well, I just went back to playing MAME and beat "The Punisher" arcade game instead :p
    • by jandrese (485)
      No doubt that Midori was horribly out of date and mostly worthless, but Pis have had Google Chrome in the repo forever now and it works just fine. Can you compare Chrome and Epiphany for functionality and speed? I do most of the browsing on the Pi with Chrome and other than needing a couple of seconds to render most pages it works just fine.
  • Rasome. (As in, Jhon Carter movie)
  • It's no longer called "Epiphany". In what seems like an epiphany, the GNOME developers decided that it's much, much, easier to search for help for a browser called "Web". Great idea, there, guys. Was this intentional, to prevent intelligible bug reports from less sophisticated users?

    One wonders whether they actually "eat their own dog food", or if they do, if they understand that the average user of GNOME isn't a GNOME developer.

  • by ssam (2723487) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @02:36AM (#47804857)

    People and programmers have been spoilt by multi-GHz multi-core CPUs. People used to edit video, design space ships, simulate physics, ray trace liquid metal and just about everything else on far weaker machines. It good to see that some people can achieve good performance on limited hardware. The raspberrypi foundation are funding work all over the free software stack, which will benifit plenty of people who have never seen or used a pi.

    • The raspberrypi foundation are funding work all over the free software stack, which will benifit plenty of people who have never seen or used a pi.

      Just a shame they dont promote C++. Instead, they choose Python and Scratch and blog it over everything else.

      So they can optimize the OS for the Pi now, but 10 years down the line when the kids have grown up, its all for nothing.

      And yes, i do agree with you, the Pi isnt slow. We are spoilt with high performance CPUs and choose to run programs made in Java/Python by amateurs who tell you that a i7 is needed.
      We live in a world where simple and slow programming languages are the choice, instead of C++ and a li

      • by Shados (741919)

        We live in a world where there aren't enough "experts", and amateurs work for 125k/year on average in the big tech hubs.

        At that point you end up having to do simple math. Is it worth it hiring the guy at 180k+/year who could do this in a way that it can run on modest hardware, or you hire the peanut gallery, who'll write maintainable code, but will do so with hardware requirements of $1000 instead of $100.

        In that situation, the i7 cpu looks like a bargain.

      • by ssam (2723487)

        Having kids that can program at all is a very good thing. I think its good to teach programming concepts in simple languages instead of throwing them in at the deep end with C/C++.

    • by jandrese (485)
      For what its worth, I've been doing work where I have to run Wireshark, Libreoffice, and Chrome on a Pi all at once and it handles the job admirably. Everything is a little pokey like you might expect, but it's really quite usable. One thing I cannot recommend enough: Make sure you go back to the raspi-config program and make sure your board is configured for "max factory OC", which allows it to run at 1Ghz instead of the stock 700Mhz. My board has remained rock solid, and thanks to the OC also bumping
  • Anyone else having trouble with it being slower than an infected IE running on a 386? Fast doesn't come to mind with a two-minute initial startup time and minute long page loads for Google searches. I'm running raspbian with a medium overclock.

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