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Blisk, A New Browser for Developers

| by Abel Avram Follow 9 Followers on Nov 08, 2016. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Blisk is a Chromium-based browser that brings together the performance of Chrome and the developer support found in Firefox Developer Edition.

Blisk comes with emulator for major phones and tablets, synchronization between the page in the browser and the emulator, automatic page refresh when the source changes, cloud storage, the ability to take screenshots and to record the screen useful to document bugs, and page inspector. These tools are added as Chromium extensions. When lacking the internet connection, Blisk saves content locally synchronizing it with the associated cloud storage when the connection is back.

We wanted to find out more details about this browser, so we interviewed the team behind Blisk.

InfoQ: Why Blisk? What does it offer compared to Chrome and Firefox?

Blisk: Unlike other browsers, Blisk is a developer-oriented browser. Blisk aims to make developers more productive, to save time, and to prevent bugs.

Main features in Blisk:

  • Emulations: Preview desktop and mobile simultaneously.
  • Auto-refresh: App refreshes web page automatically every time you save code changes. Try to open IDE in one screen, Blisk - in another and focus on web development.
  • Navigations sync: App synchronizes URL and scroll position for both mobile and desktop. Mobile and desktop follow each other by URL and scroll position.
  • Screenshots: App takes a screenshot of devices or desktop in one click and saves the screenshot in the cloud. You can share screenshots with teammates or attach them to bug reports.
  • Screen recorder: App records your screen and saves recording in the cloud. You can share screen recordings with teammates or attach them to bug reports.
  • Notifications: App shows real-time notifications about resources that failed to load and JS errors. The app shows stack trace of JS errors and searches for the solution on StackOverflow. 
  • Inspector: App enables inspecting in desktop or device view without launching Developer Tools. Inspector shows information about most important CSS properties.
  • Cloud storage: App creates secure cloud storage for screenshots, screen records, reports, etc. Cloud storage powers teamwork and team collaboration. 
  • Page analysis (coming soon): App analyses code quality, cross-browser compatibility, web page speed, web page performance and provides recommendations on how to improve it.
  • Teamwork (coming soon): App provides additional features for team collaboration: notes, chats, and markers. Markers are used to show notes and discussions on top of the web page.
  • Integrations (coming soon): App provides additional integrations with top bug tracking systems and project management tools to boost team performance.
  • Steps report (coming soon): App generates a detailed report with the steps to reproduce bugs. App tracks and generates steps from user actions on the web page.

Advantages:

  • Simultaneous development on desktop and mobile
  • We make developers more productive
  • We provide developer specific features, needed to build the web

In general Chrome and Firefox were created to browse the web, Blisk was created to build the web.

InfoQ: The emulator contains some of the major iOS and Android devices. Is it possible to add new devices or at least a generic device?

Blisk: For now, users cannot add devices. However, we add more and more devices with each release.

InfoQ: How does the auto-refresh feature work? (Do you monitor changes to the file system?)

Blisk: Auto-refresh sets watcher for the selected folders and monitors changes of the files with needed extensions. It also works with CSS preprocessors and module bundlers.

InfoQ: What are Blisk coins, how to get them and what can one spend them on?

Blisk: Blisk coins is an internal currency. Users get Blisk coins once their friends or teammates sign up and start using Blisk. When the user earns 100 Blisk coins, he gets one month of Blisk premium for free.

InfoQ: What is on the roadmap for the future?

Blisk: We need to finish key features: Page Analysis, Teamwork, Integrations and Steps report. We also have plans to improve emulation. When done, we will move to the feature requests from users.

Blisk is free only 30 minutes/12 hours. The paid subscription ($10/month) removes that limitation.

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