For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: Eugen Mezei
Date: February 18, 2008 11:39PM

I am playing around with an older laptop I inherited with the final wish to get it to an usefull piece of hardware on which you still can work today.

Ofcourse I choosed KM as it claims to be a lightweight, fast browser for old hardware. Normally you don't notice it, as we use to have our monitors set on at least 16K colors, but it hit me on this laptop: besides having a good LCD panel wiht 1024x786 pixels (that was very advanced for its days) it can only represent 256 colors. So it hit me that KM uses for all his icons more than 256 colors.
Who needs this? Is it really necessary that every tiny button has thousands of colours? 256 would be more than enough, I would say 16 colors is exactly right, but ofcourse most of the buttonicons could be drawed with 4 colours also.

I don't know if fever colors will make the browser faster, but it for sure it will make it usable on some old hardware.
Can it be done by myself to change the buttons with colorreduced (16 colors) ones?

Another thing I noticed: After downgrading to IE 4.0 (originally an IE 5.5 was installed on this Win95 laptop) I had some problems with KM. After striping IE completly from the laptop (with the 98lite tool), even more problems occured, so that at the moment KM is practically unusable. How tihgt is KM tied to parts of IE?

Greetings,

Eugen

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: Fred
Date: February 19, 2008 01:34AM

To reduce the color depth of the buttons to 256 or 16 colors
you can use for example the free program IrfanView.
Copy for example the folder Phoenity from skins to a
different place in order to experiment with the buttons
in it.
Open a bitmap in IrfanView and go to the menu "Image".
There select the entry "Reduce color depth" and select
256 or 16 colors. I am not sure about the exact menu names,
as I have the german version. There it is "Bild" and
"Farbtiefe aendern".
Save the new picture as a bitmap into a second folder
Phoenity and do that for all the bitmaps. There is also a
batch converter included.
After having finished your work for all pictures,
replace the original skin folder in K-Meleon by your new one.
Rename the old one first to for example Phoenity-original
in order not to lose it.
I don't think that reducing color depth makes sense normally,
but is only acceptable in special cases for very old
computers.
As for your other question I don'have a clue. IE should not
influence K-Meleon usability.

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: kko
Date: February 19, 2008 01:57AM

Quote
Eugen Mezei
So it hit me that KM uses for all his icons more than 256 colors.

The number of used colors depends on the particular skin (as Fred mentioned). You may find fitting skins in the K-Meleon Themes Wiki.


Quote
Eugen Mezei
Who needs this? Is it really necessary that every tiny button has thousands of colours? 256 would be more than enough, I would say 16 colors is exactly right, but ofcourse most of the buttonicons could be drawed with 4 colours also.

Excuse me. Who is still using 256 color displays today?
Why should the majority - namely those who are using half-way state of the art hardware and OS versions - live with limitations just to ensure compatibility with ancient hardware/OSs that practically nobody is using anymore? When you are using ancient hardware or OS versions, then you have to make compromises. Everything has it's price...

And the skins won't be your only problem, see the FAQ.


Quote
Eugen Mezei
After striping IE completly from the laptop (with the 98lite tool), even more problems occured, so that at the moment KM is practically unusable. How tihgt is KM tied to parts of IE?

Don't forget the system requirements!
K-Meleon does not require IE/components to run. But it requires some system libraries that were introduced into Win9X together with IE. When you didn't install IE, your system will be in lack of these libraries.
You will experience similar problems with other applications. Everything has it's price...

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: desga_2
Date: February 19, 2008 04:48AM

@ Eugen Mezei:
You haven't old hardware, you have an ancient hardware. surprised smiley

You must remember that if you reduce your resolution (1024x786 pixels) to 800x600 or less you can hight your color depht form 256 colors (8bits) grinning smiley to 16 bits (65000 colors) or 24 bits (True color, 16 millons of colors).

P.S.; Can you see this colored icons tongue sticking out smiley ?
grinning smiley

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: Eugen Mezei
Date: February 19, 2008 06:16AM

Fred:
Ja, mit Irfan kenne ich mich bestens aus, mal sehen was es so an Konvertierungsqualität bei den Ikons rausholt, manchmal macht er recht komische Sachen bei der Farbrunterrechnung.
Ich habe eher gefragt, weil ich dachte die Icons seien irgendwie im Programm oder in den Skins eingebunden. Mein Fehler, ich hätte suchen sollen.
Andrerseits sollte die Frage auch eine prinzipielle Einstellung aufwerfen. (Ist ein Button in 16k Farben ein nützlicherer als einer mit 4 oder 16?) Dazu aber mehr in der Antwort an kko.
Habe mir die Icons angesehen, bei den kleinen Maßen (wenige Pixel) glaube ich wird Irfan keine gute Arbeit leisten, vermutlich wird hier eine komplette Neuzeichnung nötig.

kko:
Excuse me, I am the one who uses 256 colors. ;-)
My understanding of KM is -correct me if I am wrong- that it was written to be a lightweight browser for older hardware. If the "majority is using newer hardware" is an argument, than it is no need to reinvent the weel, we have plenty of browsers running on newer hardware, doing it mostly more confortable. So I think an argument for KM is that you don't need to throw your old (and btw. perfectly working, doing flawlessly texediting, etc.) equipment away and not to move on with the crowd and upgrade your hardware. Sure, I can nor will I impose my needs to the majority, but what is the point to develop a new browser if this majority is perfectly happy with what other, existing browsers already offer?

About the system libraries. It is exactly my intention to discover which this libraries are and install them without reinstalling IE. (I presume we talk mostly about dlls here.) But before discovering I ask, maybe I don't need to rediscover something already known.

desga_2:
Hmm.. maybe being around too long in de.alt.folklore.computer changed my view about what is old and new. You see, just a matter of viewing point. Yes, this laptop is my newest.
The point is, why to throw it away? I can mail with it, I can edit texts on it, I can print with it. And although not too fast and with weird looking graphics I can surf sufficiently with it to extract needed information from the net.

My point is: Is a 16k button a better button? At least I don't use to admire buttons like in an art exhibition. I just push it and for that the only requirement is that it is different from the buttons next to him so I can differentiate them. That is all and for that 4 colors will suffice.

Interesting thing about this laptop is, that it does 32k at 1024x768 on an external monitor and that by reducing the resolution to 800x600 it stays still at 256 colors on the LCD.

Yes, I can see the icons, although not all shades of green. It looks like a green dot with different shades of green but not with a smooth transition between the tonalities. And than some perky red pixels.

Eugen

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: kko
Date: February 20, 2008 12:04AM

Quote
Eugen Mezei
Excuse me, I am the one who uses 256 colors. ;-)

Congrats! I don't remember having met anybody else in the three years I'm around here.


Quote
Eugen Mezei
My understanding of KM is -correct me if I am wrong- that it was written to be a lightweight browser for older hardware.

I fear, you misunderstood something.


Quote
Eugen Mezei
what is the point to develop a new browser if this majority is perfectly happy with what other, existing browsers already offer?

You cannot imagine that? Well, where would we be today when...
- Netscape had never developed their Navigator because the majority was perfectly happy with NCSA Mosaic?
- Microsoft had never developed their Internet Explorer because the majority was perfectly happy with Netscape Navigator?
- Opera had never developed their Opera browser because the majority was perfectly happy with either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer?
- Netscape had never founded the Mozilla project because the majority was perfectly happy with Microsoft Internet Explorer?
- ...
I guess, we would still be perfectly happy with NCSA Mosaic - sitting in front of our 256 colors screens.


Quote
Eugen Mezei
About the system libraries. It is exactly my intention to discover which this libraries are and install them without reinstalling IE.

Good luck! (this one might be helpful)

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: 666
Date: April 22, 2008 02:10AM

Quote
Eugen Mezei
My understanding of KM is -correct me if I am wrong- that it was written to be a lightweight browser for older hardware.

K-Meleon is not targeted at a single group. If you want K-Meleon to be a minimalist browser that can work on ancient hardware from the days of Windows 95, that's possible. If you want a luxury version of K-Meleon with all the bells and whistles, that's also possible. If you want K-Meleon to be something in between those two extremes, you can configure it to be just the way you want.

Re: For who is the plentitude of colors?
Posted by: JamesD
Date: April 27, 2008 11:29PM

I agree with 666. K-Meleon can be, within limits, just the browser you want it to be. For instance I use the Klassic skin but I change the back.bmp to a color I like better that the one which ships with the skin. I have an extra button on the bar for the redo function. I can just see me trying to fix IE. Heck, I can't even use IE. It does not have the buttons that I expect and need. If your hardware requires less colors then choose you skin and make the changes. Keep a copy of your changes and install them behind any new version of KM that you choose. That is what I do.

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