Lunascape Is Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer Rolled Into One

Lunascape is a web browser capable of running any of the three major web rendering engines�Gecko (Firefox), WebKit (Safari/Chrome), and Trident (Internet Explorer). That means that each time you open a new tab or follow a link, you can tell Lunascape which engine you want to use to render the page. The idea, in theory, is that Lunascape gives you the benefits of each popular browser in one. For example, Lunascape gives you IE support for the few IE-only sites still out there and no-nonsense speed from WebKit or Gecko.

You can switch which engine is rendering the current tab at any time by right-clicking the tab and selecting the engine you want. The browser itself supports plug-ins, but from what I can tell it doesn't support just any Firefox extension, which is unfortunate. Despite the indisputably cool feature set (namely the whole three-browsers-in-one hook), Lunascape is a little unwieldy and very cluttered. To be fair, though, it's currently an alpha release, which means you should expect a lot of rough edges.

If you're a web developer and you want to quickly check how a site will look in each engine Lunascape might be a winner, but I can't picture very broad adoption of this kitchen sink browser as is. Lunascape is a free download, Windows only. If you give it a try, let's hear what you think in the comments.

News source: Lifehacker

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

GTA IV available on Steam to pre-order

Next Story

Win $6000 of gadgets in the HP Magic Giveaway

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

ok so i've tested this out and it's like someone took a thousand features and stuck them on the screen at once. I cannot get the IE renderer to work on our internal network, despite providing the exact same settings as i did for the gecko proxy.
You don't appear to be able to use native ff plugins either, there's a small amount of plugs available but they aren't much use.
The interface is a bit clunky with panels sliding in from every angle.
I'm struggling to find a reason why we needed this product. Does anyone find it genuinely useful?

At this point, you've petty much proved my point above.

But who knows, it might improve. It's only an Alpha release.

For some reason, this concept reminds me of Neoplanet. I don't know why, because the GUI looks nothing like that. I guess it's just the "other, other, other" browser feeling I get when I read about it. I guess it's a pretty cool idea, though: three different rendering engines within one browser. But how will memory management be? More importantly, what about security flaws? Will this thing require patches for each engine or just those for the browser itself?

Gundamdriver said,
Windows-only again... Where is Lunascape for Mac? Where is Google Chrome for Mac? Why things always lag behind in Mac?

Most apps are released for Windows first, unless specifically made for OS X. It's a wider market. Google will very likely release an OS X version.

There are OS X-only browsers as well, such as Camino, Omniweb, etc.

TBH, a lot of what is released for Windows first and then ported to Mac really isn't all that compelling. OS X-only or Mac-based solutions are usually better (as in, they perform better on OS X.) Nothing beats native apps. There are a few exceptions, such as Firefox, but many former Windows users have stuck with that.

Plus, you can run any browser/application you like on a Mac. Just use Bootcamp to run Windows.

LTD said,
TBH, a lot of what is released for Windows first and then ported to Mac really isn't all that compelling. OS X-only or Mac-based solutions are usually better (as in, they perform better on OS X.) Nothing beats native apps. There are a few exceptions, such as Firefox, but many former Windows users have stuck with that.

LOL
You do realise that apps moved from windows->mac will require recoding to a mac osx language unless its C based (or java naturally) as most mac apps use coca or some other for its higher level language. This means they are *native* apps, windows just does the job better (aka photoshop on windows is faster then photoshop on mac esp thanks to 64bit support)
I dont know how windows ports are less *native* then mac apps. Yeh some apps are better on either OS but its usually down to poor coding/political issues (look at itunes on windows for a crap port).

ZeroHour said,
LOL
You do realise that apps moved from windows->mac will require recoding to a mac osx language unless its C based (or java naturally) as most mac apps use coca or some other for its higher level language. This means they are *native* apps, windows just does the job better (aka photoshop on windows is faster then photoshop on mac esp thanks to 64bit support)
I dont know how windows ports are less *native* then mac apps. Yeh some apps are better on either OS but its usually down to poor coding/political issues (look at itunes on windows for a crap port).

True native OS X is Cocoa.

Apps written otherwise will still run on OS X, and might even maintain some of the look and feel of OS X. But by developing with the Cocoa frameworks, applications are written the same way that Mac OS X itself is written, with complete access to the full power of the operating system, including the signature Mac look and feel.

Funnily enough, the Finder is still tied to the Carbon environment. It runs on OS X, looks and feels like OS X, but is still not truly native. Snow Leopard will feature a Cocoa-based Finder, entirely rewritten.

Apple has been encouraging developers over the last few years to switch to Cocoa. Quite soon you won't be able to write 64-bit applications in Carbon.

one of the biggest arguments for PC over mac is fact that there is an abundance of useful software. The "ease of use" angle that mac's have works directly against your requirement for what is essentially an advanced bit of software, traditionally (and in line with apples direction) you would want a really easy to use browser with 1 engine that your gran could use. You are completely contradicting everything Mac. you bought the mac, now enjoy it's dumbed down software selection

ZombieFly said,
one of the biggest arguments for PC over mac is fact that there is an abundance of useful software. The "ease of use" angle that mac's have works directly against your requirement for what is essentially an advanced bit of software, traditionally (and in line with apples direction) you would want a really easy to use browser with 1 engine that your gran could use. You are completely contradicting everything Mac. you bought the mac, now enjoy it's dumbed down software selection

I'll agree that there is less software for OS X . But "dumbed down" it certainly isn't. User interfaces, however, are meant to conform to Apple's HIG standards. They're meant to be unobtrusive, well-organized, and very clean.

Back to Lunascape: if there is enough demand for it, it'll be released for OS X. And likely Linux as well. Not sure what they'll do about the IE engine, since that's Windows-only. LOL.

There are some very powerful tools available for OS X:

Toast Titanium
Pro series apps (Final Cut, Logic, all industry standards)
Transmission
Aperture
FileMaker Pro
Pixelmator
The entire Adobe Creative Suite (granted, not made by Apple)
iTunes (works brilliantly on OS X)
Mellel
Scrivener
Transmit

Etc.,etc.

I don't think you've got much experience with OS X apps, native or otherwise. You're just assuming things.

Consider that computer platform 'A' has got 10 choices of a particular type of software, only 2 of which are any good, and platform 'B' has only got 3 choices, all of which are good. Which computer platform has the better range of software?

That's just a hypothetical illustration that quantity doesn't tell the whole story. Granted, choice is good, but having hundreds of choices when only few work well, is not an advantage; it's a hindrance. An overwhelmingly confusing hindrance if you don't know exactly what it is you need.

What Apple does, and this has always been a top priority, is to make powerful tools easy to use.

http://www.apple.com/pro/

http://www.apple.com/education/

http://www.apple.com/science/

http://www.apple.com/business/

http://www.apple.com/itpro/

http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/coretech/?sr=hotnews

Faisal Islam said,
Again Windows :P

Not sure what you mean by that.

"Again Windows", because a Mac is the only computer that allows you to install *any* OS and thus run *any* application you like.

So if you have a Mac, you've also got access to Windows software if you must have it.

But we were originally talking about OS X native apps and successful ports.

ZombieFly said,
one of the biggest arguments for PC over mac is fact that there is an abundance of useful software. The "ease of use" angle that mac's have works directly against your requirement for what is essentially an advanced bit of software, traditionally (and in line with apples direction) you would want a really easy to use browser with 1 engine that your gran could use. You are completely contradicting everything Mac. you bought the mac, now enjoy it's dumbed down software selection

For the most part you are correct. However, there are some applications I have found for Mac OS X that I can find nothing near the capability available for Windows. ControllerMate is an amazing graphical programming tool that allows you to perform tasks using a gamepad. Unison is a USENET newsreader that redefines how you can use USENET, and quite frankly blows every news reader in Windows out of the water.

So just to refute your argument. I can find awesome, well featured programs on Mac OS X where there are only crappy simplified alternatives for Windows :P.

LTD said,
Not sure what you mean by that.

"Again Windows", because a Mac is the only computer that allows you to install *any* OS and thus run *any* application you like.

So if you have a Mac, you've also got access to Windows software if you must have it.

But we were originally talking about OS X native apps and successful ports.


Since when do PCs (the same hardware used in Macs) not let you run any software you chose?

Last time I checked the only OS that can't run on a "PC" is Mac OS and that is due to Apple's rules moreso than the hardware itself...

Frazell Thomas said,

Since when do PCs (the same hardware used in Macs) not let you run any software you chose?

Last time I checked the only OS that can't run on a "PC" is Mac OS and that is due to Apple's rules moreso than the hardware itself...

osx86.

It's a fun experiment, but nowhere as easy as using Bootcamp. And yes, there are those rules to consider as well.

LTD said,

osx86.

It's a fun experiment, but nowhere as easy as using Bootcamp. And yes, there are those rules to consider as well.

It is actually pretty dang easy to setup. It had a rocky beginning, but these Mac OS X "distros" (if you will) are getting pretty smart with their installers.

I wonder if Apple is going to start to take legal actions against anyone. But this is all getting very OT.

LTD said,
Not sure what you mean by that.

"Again Windows", because a Mac is the only computer that allows you to install *any* OS and thus run *any* application you like.

And why is it that Mac is the only computer that can? Ah yes, because Apple locks the OS down in that manner to prevent it being run on other computers.

There is IE Tab, which embeds Trident directly in the browser, much like Netscape did. Then there's IEView and OperaView (and SafariView for the Mac), which open a new instance of that browser with the page that you were viewing. Honestly, they probably built their custom browser because existing ones can't handle things like "OperaTab". Otherwise, such an extension probably would have been created already.

This is a good idea, but it's rubbish to people who want the features of Firefox. They should have made a Firefox extension for this. There is IE-Tab but there isn't one for Webkit or Presto (Opera's engine). Also, I don't like the way IE's icon is placed in the favicon when using IE-Tab

I know what you mean, there's IE Tab and stuff... Obviously though it's still being developed so hopefully it'll get better.