Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jun 2009 10:45 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives With Google Summer of Code underway for the Haiku project, the first results start coming in. The most exciting so far is the work being done on a native multi-process WebKit browser, worked on by Ryan Leavengood and GSoC student Maxime Simon. They've got an interface, and they've got most of WebKit to build.
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What is a 'native browser'?
by jjezabek on Mon 22nd Jun 2009 12:35 UTC
jjezabek
Member since:
2005-08-07

Or what is a non-native browser? A browser needing a JVM or CLR to run? Or one that runs inside an emulated OS (but why would it be called a Haiku browser in the first place)?

Please do not abuse the word 'native'. It really turns off technical people. 'Native' means just that a program runs on a processor without emulation. Somehow I am pretty sure that it's not what the author means. It might mean that it has been written specifically for Haiku, or that it uses Haiku's default graphics toolkit, or that it is well integrated (file associations, etc.), or that it is 'quick and snappy' as opposed to 'slow and bloated', or that it just has a cool yellow tab at the top. The word 'native' has become a catch-all phrase here at OSnews lately and could mean anything from the above list or nothing at all. Wouldn't it be more informative to say 'dedicated', 'having a platform-specific look and feel', 'well integrated', etc.?

I know that the 'nativeness' comes from the linked article. Still it is an article in its own right on OSnews (as opposed to a simple page 2 link), so I would expect the term to be either dropped or explained.

Reply Score: 2

abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

Just want to add that there seem to be only 4 or 5 tickets left on their todo list before they will begin the progress of finally releasing the Haiku Alpha LiveCD =)

Edit: (damn I always press Reply instead of Post Comment)

Edited 2009-06-22 13:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

FreeGamer Member since:
2007-04-13

There have been 4 or 5 tickets for some months. 5 months before Christmas 2009 it was 7 left. They are not simple issues, it seems.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: What is a 'native browser'?
by geleto on Mon 22nd Jun 2009 13:18 in reply to "What is a 'native browser'?"
geleto Member since:
2005-07-06

Native means that it will make an extensive use of the Haiku API.
Opening images, sending BMessages between processes, GUI/widgets, threading, networking - there are cross-platform APIs that can do all this. Or you can take the do-it-yourself path and implement your own GUI(like Mozilla did) or message passing between processes(like Chrome).
A true native Haiku browser should use the native APIs to implement these tasks - resulting in less bloat and better integration.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, English has many different definitions of words. Its not be used incorrectly, nor is that obscure of usage. Any "technical" person should have no trouble understanding the context the word is used in.

Reply Parent Score: 2

neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

No, English has many different definitions of words. Its not be used incorrectly, nor is that obscure of usage. Any "technical" person should have no trouble understanding the context the word is used in.


Correct. This is from a linguistics major. (clapping)

Reply Parent Score: 1

jjezabek Member since:
2005-08-07

First of all - my initial post was a bit to inflammatory, sorry about that.

No, English has many different definitions of words. Its not be used incorrectly, nor is that obscure of usage. Any "technical" person should have no trouble understanding the context the word is used in.

That's true, and not only with English. But the problem is that a word with a precise meaning in this context (native ~ running without run-time translation) gets other unrelated meanings. Obviously this makes things harder to understand.
In this case you're right - most browsers are compiled to machine code for speed anyway (that's also true for Mozilla, regardless of XUL), so one can figure out that 'native' needs to mean something else here. But the problem can get more complicated. For example - is Tomboy 'native'? After all it's part of the GNOME project, uses a typical UI, is well integrated. Quoting BluenoseJake:
It might mean that it has been written specifically for Haiku, or that it uses Haiku's default graphics toolkit

Bingo. That's why "native" fits in this context.

So you could say that Tomboy is as native as it gets. But then it's also not native - it requires a CLR and thus it is not even available for all of the platforms supported by GNOME. Don't you agree that the word 'native' can cause confusion here?
Btw. it seems that there are no major 'native' Windows browsers. Firefox/Seamonkey use their own theming engines, same for Opera and Chrome. IE uses custom widgets starting with at least version 4 (resizable toolbars). The most 'native' browser seems to be K-meleon, and that also seems to have changed lately. But honestly: how many Windows users care about K-Meleon? ;)

Edited 2009-06-23 11:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It might mean that it has been written specifically for Haiku, or that it uses Haiku's default graphics toolkit


Bingo. That's why "native" fits in this context.

Reply Parent Score: 2