posted by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 12th Feb 2009 16:47 UTC
IconLunascape5 Genesis is a feature rich browser that brings the best of everything in the browser world. It is the world's first triple engine browser that gives users the freedom to choose between Trident (IE engine), Gecko or Webkit. The beta version of the browser was released today and it is available for download from their official website. In addition to offering three different rendering engines, the company blog announced that Lunascape5 has emerged as a winner in the SunSpider Javascript benchmark outperforming IE8 (alpha), FF3.1 (beta), Google Chrome and Opera 10 (alpha). We also have a short interview with the CEO of Lunascape Inc, Mr. Hidekazu Kondo.

Highlights

  • Easy to switch between Tirdent, Gecko and Webkit engines.
  • Set a default rendering engine for certain websites. (Auto-Engine Switch)
  • Fastest javascript execution.
    SunSpider Benchmark
  • 100/100 on acid 3 test (using webkit engine).

Features

It has all the default features that one would come to expect in a modern web-browser:
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Crash-recovery
  • Pop-up blocking
  • RSS live bookmarks
  • Plugins architecture
  • Skinnable UI
  • Mouse Gestures
The full list of features can be found from their official website. Lunascape

In my limited testing, I found it to be quite responsive and snappy. The cold-start of the browser was much faster than Firefox. Webpages seem to load faster, but I don't have any numbers to validate their claim as the world's fastest browser. The flash-plugin was installed on the browser by default on all three rendering engines.

Lunascape has the much-needed feature that allows script blocking and java blocking. When the trident engine is chosen, it also provides the option to block activex execution. The script blocking and Java blocking are limited to Gecko and Trident engines, adding that support to webkit engine will be quite useful. I haven't tried any of their plugins since the plugins website was empty. The interface is skinnable and there were a couple of skins that came with the default installation, which weren't too bad. There are more skins online.

Switching of the rendering engine on the fly is a great convenience for web-developers to test their websites. But I am sure end-users can benefit from this feature to view some sites that are specifically targeted for IE.

The browser seemed pretty stable and I didn't encounter any crashes in the two hours that I tested it. Some of the preferences (key bindings and mouse action) stopped working when I switched the rendering engine, which I hope will be fixed in the final version. During the installation of the browser it gives the option to import bookmarks from your choice of browser already installed on the system. There is also an option to set the default key bindings to mimic Firefox and mouse gestures to mimic Opera.

Even though Lunascape is a relatively unknown player in the browser wars, some of its highlighted features make it a pretty strong contender against the moguls of this trade (IE, Firefox, Chrome etc.).

Table of contents
  1. Lunascape 5: World's First Hybrid Engine Browser
  2. Interview
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