Chimera Continues to Challenge IE on Mac OS X

by Derrick Story

As far as I'm concerned, one of the most delightful projects to come out of the Mozilla effort is the Chimera browser. I've been using it since 0.5, and the latest stable version, 0.6, is even better.

What do I like about this Gecko-based browser? Here are just a few of my favorite features:

  • Speed: Chimera loads and scrolls fast.

  • Beauty: Its Cocoa roots are apparent as soon as you open it.

  • Tabbed interface: Once you've had it, it's hard to go back.

  • Popup blocking: Eliminates those bothersome unrequested popups that some sites inflict upon us.

  • Keychain enabled: Makes password management much easier.

  • Sidebar: Didn't think I'd use it much, but I've grown attached to the sidebar drawer.

  • It's not bloated!: The engineers have created a beautiful, trim browser here; can they show the discipline to keep it lean?

I still use the OmniWeb and IE in certain situations. But when I'm in the mood to zip about the Internet for research or pleasure, Chimera is hard to beat.


2002-11-07 20:35:23
What challenge ?
There is no way I can compare Chimera to any other browser on any platform.

It simply rocks !

2002-11-07 23:59:34
What challenge ?
Mozilla ? Phoenix ?

Chimera is free just add an apple :)


2002-11-08 12:58:33
I Agree, Chimera is the best!
And I hope that it may well be the source for Apple's iBrowse!
2002-11-08 13:51:59
It's really nice but...
I like it as a browser, but the interface is not a real cocoa interface and it doesn't support services (which means among other things no spell check in forms). It is a simulated interface (e.g. buttons don't throb when they're associated with forms).
OmniWeb, is a full cocoa application, with full access to services. I don't know if it's a Cocoa issue at all, but even though Chimera renders the pages faster and "better" (more accurately - better support for standards), I personally prefer the way text looks in OmniWeb. The text is always anti-aliased and is easier on the eyes.

Darian J. DeFalco

2002-11-08 14:27:45
Except: Hyperactive URL autocomplete
I agree. I love the Chimera browser, and I use it as the main browser on OS X. And 0.6 has fixed some of the problems with 0.5 (like allowing you to turn the pop-up suppression feature on and off within preferences.

Only one thing still galls me about it: Its hyperactive URL autocomplete. I love that whe I start to type in a URL, it completes it for me. But it won't let me change it. If the last or only page still in its history is a deep URL, that's the one it wants to go to. If you delete everything after the .com in a URL to go to the root page of the site, Chimera reinserts the path to the last page you visited when you hit the go button or the return key. The only way to circomvent it is to copy the path, go to a different site, open the preferences, delete the history. paste your URL, delete the extraneous part of the path, then hit Go or Return. It shouldn't take that many steps to get the site root URL.

But this is the sort of minor annoyance you deal with when using a beta piece of software. I'm sure the Chimera engineers will iron out this sort of detail before 1.0 is released.

2002-11-08 16:18:19
It's ability to continuously organize bookmarks in the sidebar is my favorite feature, as is simple toolbar "make text big/small" buttons.
2002-11-08 17:27:12
It's really nice but...
One thing I really miss in Chimera that I have when working in OmniWeb is spell checking. Since much of our publishing is filling out Web forms, like this TalkBack, having a speller enabled is a great help. And I agree too that OmniWeb renders beautiful pages.

But I gotta tell you ... browsing from site to site in Chimera is fun.


2002-11-08 19:17:23
I won't use Chimera until I can choose where the web cache is stored, preferably on my ramdisk. I did recently copy a method of setting the preference so that no cache was stored (best for high speed connections). Perhaps I'll use that method, but I'd like it to be a GUI preference of Chimera. I don't like my system files to be fragmented by cache or my hard drive over-worked.

Disable the Chimera disk cache
Thu, Nov 7 '02 at 09:35AM • from: davidcrickett
If you have broadband, you have no use for the Chimera cache, and the way its inflating like a balloon. So instead of clicking Preferences, clicking Navigation, clicking the tab 'History', and clicking 'clear disk cache' to clear the disk cache one time, put the following in the ~/Library -> Application Support -> Chimera -> Profiles -> Default -> 12345.slt -> prefs.js file:
user_pref("browser.cache.disk.enable", false);
Voila! The trick of the week! I got it from Rahmcoff (Peter of the Norse) over at the Chimera board. Note that the "12345.slt" folder will actually be named something else on your machine; you want the folder that ends in .slt ... and you may have a folder with your username instead of "Default."

[Editor's note: I haven't tried this one myself yet, and I would assume the option to disable disk cache will eventually make its way into the normal Chimera Preferences panel.]

2002-11-08 19:24:59
Just found a bunch more info of how to manually set prefs at:

I think I'll wait, though. I'm pleased with iCab.

2002-11-08 19:57:26
IE's Scrapbook
IE's scrapbook is a godsend. Until chimera or any other browser employs that, i think i'll with IE
2002-11-10 05:36:50
major problem for me the extremely lame performance of the flash-plugIn in mozilla and chimera.

there are sites out there, where heavy stuff is going on in flash-movies. this brings mozilla/chimera to a complete stand-still, and i've to kill the browser with ESC-ALT-CMD.

but other than that, chimera is becoming nice and nicer. i'm using chimeraknight to get the latest nightly builds...

2002-11-10 05:38:28
IE's Scrapbook
how about "save as", option "HTML complete"?

it's saving the whole page with images. okay, it's saving the page outside the browser (not inside a "pane" like the IE-scrapbook).

2002-11-10 12:54:19
CPU bug...
Still a major bug: when my iBook wakes from sleep, if I had any Chimera windows open, it will suck all available CPU. This *is* a problem because I often run other tasks in the background, and they slow down.

(Fortunately, the UI is pretty resistant to these problems.)

2002-11-10 18:29:56
my new default browser
Chimera 0.6 is awesome. I am so sick of having IE incompletely redraw every other page, but Opera never won me over. Please use Chimera and report any bugs so that we get the best possible final release.

< pixelguru >

2002-11-12 09:42:39
Page length limited?
Is it only me? I use a high definition monitor, and all pages are sliced horizontally at some point..... Didn't see any way to change this. My favourite is still OmniWeb.
2002-12-30 01:10:10
RAM disk cache
Thanks for the tip. Obviously, I've become interested with Chimera; I use it as my default browser now: I like it's speed (particularly when used in conjunction with SpeedChimera) and I like the interface modifications (with ChimeraIcons).

I'm using your tip of not using cache with a high speed hookup - works great. I removed my cashe-ing by the old method that seems to work with most all browers: change the cache folder to an Alias. The Cashe folder for Chimera (as you say) is in:

/Users/YOURNAME/Library/Application Support/Chimera/Profiles/default/WHATEVER.slt

Thanks again ....

2004-11-13 12:33:24
IE's Scrapbook
I just found reference to a Mozilla scrapbook extention. I admit when I saw it on IE for Mac's I thought that was great. Just saving receipts from online purchases alone is worth having this.