BeOS came with a relatively straightforward browser called NetPositive, or Net+ in shorthand. Especially by today’s standards, it can hardly do anything more complicated than rendering basic HTML, so it isn’t of much use. Luckily, Haiku has a successor now, born out of the HaikuLauncher conceptbrowser we talked about earlier: WebPositive.
Development on HaikuLauncher has only accelerated after we first talked about it not too long ago. HaikuLauncher has now once again been reduced to a mere browser shell, and a new codebase has been split off from it called WebPositive – the actual browser.
“Of course my continuous updates to the package I posted in my first article will probably have spoiled most of the surprise, but HaikuLauncher has been reduced again into just a bare browser shell, while a new codebase, WebPositive, has been split off from it,” Stippi writes, “Using WebPositive has become a whole lot more pleasing in the meantime.”
The list of improvements that have gone into the project over the past ten days is staggering: smooth scrolling, auto URL completion, favicon support, a rewritten tab view, a stop button, more keyboard shortcuts an even some mouse actions, and a whole boatload of bug fixes and performance improvements.
“So far, I’ve been working full-time on WebPositive, often from ninish in the morning to about midnight, with some pauses in between of course,” Stippi details, “Except for missing bookmark support and an almost useless browsing history menu (because seemingly unsorted), WebPositive has become quite usable – which makes me very happy of course.”
A lot of work is still ahead, such as context menu support, a way to change application settings, persistence across WebPositive sessions, and more. Beyond those basic features, Stippi wants to look at HTML5 and plugin support.
It’s hrf instead of href on the screenshot link
Thisâ€™ll make or break Haiku. People will be drawn to the platform because the web will work as well as anywhere else, and stay for the native apps.
I would love to see something a bit more radical as far as browser layout though. I feel the browser tabs, location and buttons should go on the _bottom_ of the window. I always thought this was a more natural, obvious place for navigation as it moves content closer to the top of the page, and the location bar also works as a status bar, telling you the current location. I also find it easier to look at the bottom of the screen, below the reading line, than at the top of the screen which is further away.