Endless Parentheses

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New in Emacs 25.1: EWW improvements

In the upcoming version, EWW is getting a number of small improvements. This web browser, written by Lars Ingebrigtsen, is something of a new kid on the block, as it just came to life at the very end of the Emacs 24 cycle. Although it’s hard, if not impossible, to reliably render HTML inside an editor that’s 100% line-based, EWW tends to find a reasonable compromise and deserves at least a short post to cherish new features.

HTML can now be rendered using variable-width fonts.

A new command F (eww-toggle-fonts) can be used to toggle whether to use variable-pitch fonts or not.

It goes without saying that this is very good, monospace fonts are not the most appropriate for reading webpages. It might sound like something simple, but this was probably the hardest feature to implement. Filling paragraphs in variable-width fonts is not something Emacs does by default.

A new command R (eww-readable) will try do identify the main textual parts of a web page and display only that, leaving menus and the like off the page.

I just tested this on the round quotes post and it worked well—the buffer correctly hid everything but the post content. Unfortunately, it also hid images that were inside the post.

https pages with valid certificates have headers marked in green, while invalid certificates are marked in red.

Awareness about security is always a good thing.

You can now use several eww buffers in parallel by renaming eww buffers you want to keep separate.

Partial state of the eww buffers (the URIs and the titles of the pages visited) is now preserved in the desktop file.

The new S command will list all eww buffers, and allow managing them.

All of these contribute to giving EWW a more complete browser experience. While we don’t have actual tabs yet, you can have multiple open pages, manage them all with S, and even “remember open tabs” by enabling desktop-mode.

Tags: emacs-25, emacs,

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