Last month’s SLUG meet­ing (Fri­day 28 July) was an inter­est­ing one for me. The SLUG­lets top­ic was Web browsers, so I decided to volun­teer my ser­vices to give a demon­stra­tion of my favour­ite, Gale­on. Its philo­sophy of “The Web, only the Web” felt extremely refresh­ing back in 2000 when the world was dom­in­ated by Web browsers that were either integ­rated into some form of soft­ware suite or even into the oper­at­ing sys­tem itself. Its pos­i­tion as a top-dog Web browser has since been usurped by its off­spring, Epi­phany, and its par­ent, Fire­fox, both of which have been clearly inspired by Gale­on. Nev­er­the­less, the slick­ness and func­tion­al­ity of Gale­on has left it cemen­ted as my Web browser of choice.

One thing I was not pre­pared for was a fair num­ber of my co-work­ers to be present. That in itself was no sur­prise, giv­en the SLUG-friend­li­ness of my work­place. The effect of their heck­ling was anoth­er mat­ter. Their light-hearted dis­trac­tions may have dimin­ished the qual­ity of my talk, but they also made it much more enjoy­able for every­one, includ­ing myself. This inform­al­ity is a clear defin­ing char­ac­ter­ist­ic of SLUG­lets as opposed to the Spe­cial Interest Talks, which are nor­mally quite ser­i­ous and intellectual.

I had also offered to give a “Privoxy in Under Five Minutes” talk as well, but unfor­tu­nately we ran out of time. Per­haps anoth­er time.

All in all, I am mostly happy with how things went. Sure, my talk could have been slick­er, but nobody expects a pro­fes­sion­al present­a­tion in SLUG­lets. The fact that I was try­ing to demon­strate a Web browser without Inter­net access didn’t help either, nor did the time con­straint. This was the first time I have done some­thing like this, so I couldn’t have expec­ted it to be flawless.

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