Zen
The web browser of Your choice

Please note that this project is no longer in development. If you would like to continue or do anything at all with the source code, you are of course welcome to do so, since it is GPL. If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

Zen as a web browser aims at a few things to make it worth creating in this world where web browsers come in plenty. The initial idea when the project was started was to provide a web browser for the Linux framebuffer, using the library named oFBis. That means it should be able to render images without having to run X. From this then came the idea of separating the user interface as much as possible from the rest of the program, and making it possible to have several different user interfaces from which the user can choose from when running Zen.

Modularity in all its glory, the idea of modularizing the parsing of the different tags also came up. This is however not as big an issue and is for now only placed on a mental list of things to implement later.

The name Zen does not have much to do with browsing the web, but rather reflects the state of mind in which the author is trying to put himself in when programming. Zen is a long term project, and will take an unspecified amount of time to write. Time is not relevant in the world of Zen. We all live in all times, moving along slightly different time axis.

The internal structure of Zen is divided into the following parts:

Zen is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. This means it is free of charge, and may be modified and redistributed freely, as long as it stays GPL.

Please take two minutes to think about life.

This project is growing all the time, and is as of yet only at the beginning phase. As it is growing, more features will be supported, and more interfaces will be available for the user.

Zen is written to be portable as a main program, although some interfaces, like the oFBis interface, will only work on specific platforms. Zen has been compiled and tested in Linux and Solaris. If you manage to compile and run Zen on another platform, I am interested in knowing about it. I am also interested in which interfaces you have tested on these platforms.
Zen uses POSIX threads, and shared library support, using libdl, which is currently the main reason for unportability. Alternatives to these might be implemented at a different stage in the development, but it will lower the performance and flexibility.

The latest release of Zen is version 0.2.3 (version numbers do not necessarily have much similarity with real life), and it may be fetched via FTP or HTTP. To see what changes has been made, please read the ChangeLog file associated with the latest release.
If you are interested in this project and would like to follow its progress more closely, the sources are available on our CVS server. There are also nightly snapshots taken from the CVS server. Changes are made almost every day, and it is both bugfixes and new features. You may also browse the CVS tree with our cvsweb page.
Remember, if thou get from CVS, thou must runeth the ./autogen.sh.

Right now, there are three interfaces supported in Zen. These are the plain text dump interface, the oFBis framebuffer interface, and the new GTK+ interface. I have made some screenshots of these two interfaces in action, for your pleasure.
If you think that you would like to make another interface for Zen, you are very welcome to do that, and I will help you as much as I can. To get an overview of the interface API in Zen, I have included a text file in the package, describing what the process of creating a new user interface could look like. The text is placed in the doc/ directory, and you are also able to read it here.
People have expressed their wishes for other graphical interfaces than that which is already implemented. I too have a few wishes, and so I list the currently most wished for interfaces here, in the hopes that someone with enough time, and not enough projects, on her hands, will take this into consideration.

There is now a mailing list dedicated only for the Zen web browser, and its address is zen-list@nocrew.org. To subscribe, see the instructions on our Mailing list page.

Any comment is welcome with delight and treated with respect for nature and its beings. Treat it well, and it will give you much reward.

I was recently happy to see that Zen had won the Davecentral's Best of Linux award on the 25th of October 2000. Many thanks for that. Ironically enough, the page does not look very good in Zen. Sorry, I will have a look at that, and see what it causing it. Most likely the buggy table layouting.


Tomas Skäre - tomas@nocrew.org Accessed 77997 times since July 2008.