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Next OmniWeb to be based on Safari Engine? 131

Posted by pudge
from the i-want-an-open-source-tabbing-engine dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A MacFixIt article includes a quote from the Omni Group's CEO Ken Case: 'The wonderful news for OmniWeb is that Apple has based it on a fast, compatible (and small!) rendering engine which is tuned for Mac OS X, and which they are making available to the entire Mac OS X development community! [...] This means that we may be able to reach our compatibility and speed goals for OmniWeb much more quickly than when we were working alone, and then return our focus to doing what we do best: providing a rich browsing experience. Thank you, Apple!'"
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Next OmniWeb to be based on Safari Engine?

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  • Re:Errr... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @07:01PM (#5043308)
    Nearly everything you said is wrong.

    1. Yes, Safari is free. No, it is not open source. WebCore (which is KHTML plus some other stuff) and JavaScriptCore (which is KJS, more or less) are open source, and you can download them from here [apple.com]. WebCore is basically a software component, not an application.

    2. OmniGroup is excited because Apple has given the OS X developer community a solid, fast, and very (though not yet perfectly) compliant HTML component. This will allow OmniGroup to write OmniWeb 5 (or whatever) around WebCore and JavaScriptCore-- which takes care of turning HTML into stuff on the screen and handling the JavaScript runtime and whatnot-- so they can spend all of their time and effort on the features. This is basically the story of Mozilla, Chimera, and Phoenix, and others. One rendering component, lots of apps built around it to suit different needs.

    3. OmniWeb has some cool features that frankly don't belong in Safari: built-in regular-expression URL filtering, for just one example. Some kind of MDI ("tabbed") interface could possibly be another.

    4. OmniWeb has never "force fed you banner ads." It's just a browser. You can use it for free, but OmniGroup prefers that you pay for it. No big deal.

    Are we a little more clear now, at least?
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @07:10PM (#5043383)
    The great thing about WebCore is that it's entirely isolated from the browser itself.

    Most of the bugs users have encountered in Safari have been in WebCore-- stuff not rendering properly. As Apple continues to improve WebCore, with community help, the reliability and performance of all WebCore-based browsers will climb. All you have to do to take advantage of a new version of WebCore is to link in the new framework when it becomes available. Then you're done.

    So basically there's no reason for OmniGroup, or anybody else, to wait.
  • Re:I use OmniWeb ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @07:25PM (#5043513)
    Even though I understand the old-style ones, I particularly like their slick error messages. They're written in high-quality, clear language that even a novice is going to have no trouble understanding. For a choice example, try refreshing a page with a submitted form on Safari, and then try doing it with any other browser.

    For those without access to a Mac, here's the error message.
    Are you sure you want to send a form again?

    To reopen this page, the form you completed to open the page the first time must be sent again. This may cause the website to repeat actions it took the first time you sent the form.

    [Cancel] [[Send]]
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @07:55PM (#5043727)
    All you have to do to take advantage of a new version of WebCore is to link in the new framework when it becomes available.

    I feel kinda dirty replying to my own post like this, but I wanted to offer more details on this to anybody who's interested. I've just posted a journal article [slashdot.org] describing how to use custom-built JavaScriptCore and WebCore frameworks with Safari. In addition to being a really cool way to get in there and start playing with the new frameworks, this illustrates just how easy it's going to be for OmniGroup to build their browser.

    At some point in the future, Apple may even choose to ship WebCore.framework and JavaScriptCore.framework as part of the core OS, so anybody can use them to render HTML and handle JavaScript in their Cocoa applications. (WebCore presents an Objective C interface, so it's callable from Cocoa, but not from Carbon. I think.) Of course, thanks to the way packages and frameworks work on OS X, anybody who wants to build their own version of WebCore or JavaScriptCore and ship it with their application is free do to so.

    This is really exciting, y'all. This is the way free software is supposed to work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @08:24PM (#5043862)
    There already are browsers based on IE rendering engine component for Windows without it being open sourced.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @10:24PM (#5044467)
    The really cool thing about this is the potential that Apple would make the WebKit framework (currently inside Safari.app) a public framework. That framework includes cocoa classes that look like they can be embedded anywhere in a cocoa app (e.g., WebView exists and is a subclass of NSView that looks like it supports subviews and a data source model for getting its HTML). The API looks like it has been designed with great care and is cleanly concept-compatible with the rest of Cocoa. Very nice! (I know this from using the class-dump utility that dumps out Objc headers from binary Objc code).

    This would be a big improvement over the current HTML rendering capabilities in cocoa. I can think of about 10 apps I would write with that right now!

    (For now, I'm sticking with Chimera.)
  • Re:WebCore (Score:2, Informative)

    by Teese (89081) <beezel@gmail.cRASPom minus berry> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @11:19PM (#5044761)
    Use the source.

    source code to webcore found at http://developer.apple.com/darwin/projects/webcore /index.html [apple.com]

    I haven't used or downloaded the source - so I'm not entirely sure its what your looking for, but use it for what its worth.

  • Re:WebCore (Score:4, Informative)

    by King Babar (19862) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @11:49PM (#5044868) Homepage
    I can't give you the information you want, but I wanted to let you know that I've appealed to somebody who can. Dave Hyatt works on WebCore (he has a blog [mozillazine.org]) and if anybody can provide a pointer to docs, he probably can.

    Thanks for the link; Hyatt's blog [mozillazine.org] gives some info on what kind of CSS support should be there (much of CSS2 and bits of CSS3), what the status of XML rendering support is (not yet), and that, yes, a bug they just fixed did prevent it from running the CSS1 test suite at w3c.org. Now all I have to do is convince them that the lack of type-ahead-links and type-ahead-find in web pages are truly important shortcomings in Safari...I'm afraid that tabs might be beyond their UI guidelines.

  • Re:WebCore (Score:3, Informative)

    by SandSpider (60727) on Thursday January 09, 2003 @11:14AM (#5047221) Homepage Journal
    The basic gist of the problem is that you don't think tabbed browsing really works well. You list a lot of problems, and give lots of good theoretical reasons why they won't work, but the truth for me and many, many users is that Chimera's tabs work for us so much better than Safari's single windows. Period.


    The advantage of tabs is enormous, and the only complaint I've heard is closing the window will lose many of your tabs. It's something you learn not to do, by and large.


    You claim that no other Apple application uses Tabs, but you might want to load up Project Builder sometime to see that it's not really true. Tabs are useful in certain circumstances, and one of those circumstances is when you have a lot of information that you don't necessarily need side by side. The web is perfect for tabbing.


    The paragraph about 'new views' and such? It means nothing to a user. It may be confusing to program, but so what? It's really, really useful. If you want to know the best way to program it, start with Chimera's implementation.


    Of course, the best thing Apple could do for the success of Chimera is to not add tabbed browsing. Whatever other features, speed, or stability they might add, I and many others will go back to Chimera if Tabbed browsing isn't added to Safari.


    =Brian

  • Re:WebCore (Score:3, Informative)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 09, 2003 @11:41AM (#5047459)
    I completely agree, and one of Omniweb's sweetest features to me is it's ability to open links behind your current window.

    Safari can do this, too. Command-shift-click a link. OmniWeb has the feature in a context menu, unlike Safari, but that's the only difference.

    (I may have mentioned this before. Pardon me if I'm being redundant; I just woke up.)

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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