Custom home/start/newtab pages

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TheWindBringeth, May 23, 2016.

  1. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Elsewhere the subject of custom home/start/newtab pages came up. I thought I'd start a new thread in case someone is interested in this specific subject. Some initial thoughts of my own...

    Option 1) Fairly simple start page, stored on the local filesystem, with links to websites you might want to visit and maybe interfaces to initiate searches at sites you might want to search. This is rather easy to do if you are somewhat familiar with, or willing to learn, web development. You could also use just about any website generation tools to do it if you didn't want to code it by hand. However, if you determine you want embedded gadget/widget functionality that shows content from remote sites on that local start page, you will run into cross-origin issues. There are potential work arounds for that issue, but it can get involved and you may end up hitting a wall. Some browser/platform combos may not like the idea of a local start page and there might be syncing issues. So the local file start page approach won't be for everyone.

    Option 2) Same idea as above but served by your own server, which could even be a localhost/private-network server. The server can work around any cross-origin issues and/or make your page inherently available to multiple browsers/clients. Too much work for many, but surely not for some here.

    Option 3) Use an extension that customizes/replaces the browser's new tab page. Selection will depend on browser, so you'd want to search for "new tab replacement" and similar phrases at the appropriate addons site and see what is available. An extension can get around cross-origin issues and embed/display content fetched from remote sites. Depending on the design of said extension, it may directly pull from specific sources of interest or it may pull from and be tied to the developer's server/cloud and an account there.

    Option 4) Use a fully online/cloud-based solution which is virtually certain to require an account.

    I've always liked options 1 & 2 and thus can't recommend any in the #3 or #4 categories. However, check out http://newtabalternatives.com/summary-of-homepages/ and search for other ideas. Have any of you come across something you really like, or do you have any other tips for someone wanting to consider this path?
     
  2. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    I'm not sure which of the above options this counts as, but I really am liking Protopage. I've tried numerous home/start webpages and this is the one that I like the most.
     
  3. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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  4. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    After little playing around, here is my first result:

    upload_2016-5-23_20-31-47.png

    So far I like it :)
     
  5. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    I like that you added Chrome internal pages. Some useful ones in there, I understand. Of course, the REALLY IMPORTANT question would be: does it fit in a data uri? Ha ha.
     
  6. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Hehe, I guess it would.
    Though I had to remove Chrome links - script would't run chrome://... links and I don't know JS to modify it. Otherwise it runs great, I specially like keybindings.
     
  7. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Hmmm. Come to think of it, if you attempt to load privileged browser internal pages from untrusted content pages you could run into a security issue. I just tried loading about:config from a local webpage in Firefox and got the browser console msg: Security Error: Content at file:///XXXXXX may not load or link to about:config. Might you be running into that type of issue?

    I don't know Chrome/Chromium and whether there is a way to override that in a narrow fashion (limit the exception to only your homepage file, so you don't weaken other contexts). If not, perhaps you would have to leverage an extension or some other trick if you insisted on being able to open such URLs from that start page.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  8. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Yes you're right. It seems to be the problem with permissions and Chrome internal urls can't be launched like this.
     
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