Flogging “Flock”, My New Favorite Browser

I’ve always been a bit of a browser first-adopter, hasty to try each and every one that came out.  I’ve used most non-IE browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux – from Opera to Konqueror and its KHTML-powered brethren, Safari and Shiira, to just about every Gecko-powered browser out there. K-Meleon, Mozilla, Galeon, Camino, the Netscape suite, Epiphany, I’ve tried them all. I’ve always had a particular soft spot for Galeon, as it was the first one that really Got It Right in re: tabbed browsing, although the Session Saver extension for Firefox goes a long way towards filling that void. I’ve even been known to use ELinks / Lynx on occasions when I’m trapped in a text-only environment. However, there’s a new kid on the block and, although it’s only a “developers’ release” at this point, it’s already leapt to the head of my list.  I’m talking about Flock
At base, Flock is a browser based off of the Firefox 1.5 (beta) code tree, so rendering-, layout- and standards-compliance-wise, you pretty much know what to expect. Since it’s based off of the 1.5 tree, it seems marginally faster than regular Firefox, at least on my Powerbook. It does seem a bit memory-intensive, though, but thankfully it seems to be missing several of the more annoying quirks of its OSX Gecko-based older brother.
So what’s different about Flock, then? Plenty. At base, it’s a browser that’s seeking to change the way people interact with web services. The Flock devs’ summary of Flock’s features is a good place to get started on figuring out where they’re headed with this ambitious project, but to me it seems plain that their goals are fairly simple: to turn the basic tool of Web surfers everywhere into an incredibly easy-to-use collaboration tool. From integrated blogging tools (this post was primarily composed using Flock’s blogging tool) to dead-easy del.icio.us favorites (dig my paltry feed) to browser-wide tagging capabilities to full-text history search, Flock makes it easy to 1) keep track of where you’ve “been” online and 2) share those experiences with others.
So download a copy of Flock, install it, and start your own del.icio.us feeds, fire up the blogging tools and kick the tires in general. I don’t think you’re likely to be disappointed. Me, I’m going to give Flock a whirl as my primary browser.

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