Dillo Review

key review info
application features
  • Dillo is a web browser project completely written in C.
  • (3 more, see all...)

Powerful web browsers like Firefox and Opera are well known, but if you have a very old PC it's a certain thing that you will not be able to run smoothly their latest versions. Using that old PC is almost out of discussion even for navigating on the Internet. This is not necessary the case, because there is a browser out there that's amazingly small in size, fast and RAM friendly. It is Dillo!

I should start perhaps by saying what the system requirements are. For running it, you'll need a PC that is able to run X. That's just about any PC. A Pentium with 32 MB RAM can successfully run X and Dillo is so light that will not make much difference even for this kind of PCs. Considering that Dillo can run on this, I think that it would make a great browser for embedded environments. The web browser is a 350Kb file, so I guess this is not heavy on storage.

Secondly, you should know that if you have an acceptable PC you'll not use Dillo as the main browser, because it can't display many web pages correctly. It displays correctly W3C and WDG validated pages. I think it's actually a heavy supporter of these standards, and I think that in this case standards are essential. Frequently, a non standard web page is displayed differently among different browsers, and standardizing the web is the right way, not standardizing the browser. You should spread the word!

One of the greatest features of Dillo is the integrated bug meter. This shows the number of detected bugs inside a web page and with just one left-clicked, you can see the line where they occur. This is a great feature that web designers or site owners should greatly appreciate because it can provide valuable hints. You'll see that the popular errors are the nesting tags errors that are easily fixable in most cases. A web page can also be validated by right-clicking the bug meter, and choosing between the W3C or WDG validation that's actually very similar.

A big downside of Dillo is that it has no support for javascript and https. I think these two features are essential for a web browser. Other downsides include bad support for frames and a poor support for downloading files.

Main features include support for searching the web through Google, an integrated search through the webpage, support for tabs and bookmarks. The search engine's URL can be changed, allowing the use of virtually any search engine. To do this, you should go in the preferences window at the last tab. Managing bookmarks is very interesting in Dillo. It is hone through the browser's window. Sections can be added and deleted, and the functionality is similar to some web interface. I must admit I like it. If options could be also modified in a similar way, it would be even nicer.

The Good

The speed, small size and low dependences requirements make Dillo a good browser for PCs that are considered condemned. The bug meter makes it a useful web designer's tool.

The Bad

Support for javascript and a good downloading is essential for a usable web browser. A lot of websites use javascript for opening links in a pop-up window, for redirecting to another site and for a lot of other things. Dillo hasn't any support for javascript.

The Truth

The truth is that I really like this software, but, unfortunately, it's not practical for using on a daily basis. These days, the web is a lot more than just html code. It has a javascript, flash, stream, secured connections and a lot of nonstandard ones. Dillo can't be used with all this great stuff.

The screenshots below will give you a hint of how rendering is done:

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user interface 3
features 1
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5

final rating 3
Editor's review
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