A brand new OmniWeb, coming soon to a dock near you: Upgraded bookmarks, miniaturized sites instead of tabs, history, Search Shortcuts, AutoFill, and a whole new way to work with browser preferences. In the meantime, Apple is hard at work on Safari 1.2 sources said. Elsewhere, a new development version of Epiphany, v1.1.2 was released.
Browser News: OmniWeb 5, Safari 1.2, Epiphany 1.1.2
2003-12-31 Internet 23 Comments
Epiphany totally rocks. It’s what it says it is, a web browser.
OmniWeb looks mighty good! I haven’t really delved into OmniWeb in the past, but I think I’ll have to take a look at it this time around! I prefer the safari brush metal interface, but the features look awesome!
OW 5 looks really good and I for one am glad it does not use BM.
BTW, the miniaturized web pages in a drawer is not a new idea. It was suggested (with full mockups) to both the Safari guy in his blog and to the Camino mailing list many months ago, and both teams shot down the idea because of usability and other problems. I am eager to see how well this will work on OmniWeb and how are they going to go around some usability problems (e.g. what happens when you have many “tabs” open)
Eugenia, when you say the mini web pages in a drawer is not a new idea because it was previously suggested, do you mean that you suggested it? If not, who suggested it to these developers? I’m just curious.
No, not me. Another guy did around last May-June (can’t remember exactly), in an attempt back then to help out Camino. His mockups were discussed in the list and then some people suggested this to the Safari guy too, but both shot down the idea because of some implementation and usability problems.
Interesting. It’s a good idea, I think, if it can be rendered quickly. It’s sort of like minimizing apps in the Dock where you can see a mini version of the app running, or seeing a mini app window using expose. I love both of those features of OS X and adding it to a browser drawer is a good idea. I may have to try out OmniWeb 5 after it comes out.
I for one am not a fan of drawers. (Don’t you hate pants? -Homer Simpson) Anywho, I much prefer feeling that my content is within the bounds of some window. I feel that drawers are best used for containing “More Information.” Sidebars have usually filled the role of controlling the content in the main window, and I feel it is a job that they do well. (I think Outlook 2003’s usage of sidebars is attrocious, though.) Drawers feel too “wishy-washy” to me, and to need to have a drawer open all the time to get anywhere drives me crazy. Look at the new Finder, the iApps, Safari’s bookmark sidebar, Font Book, Address Book, Sherlock, and others to see what I think of as good usage for sidebars, and ask yourself why Mail.app, and others don’t follow the same pattern. I cite obdev.at’s LaunchBar for usage that seems to fit what IIRC was the original intention for drawers. Check the configuration panel. Sorry I can’t post a screenshot anywhere online, I have nowhere to post. And, sorry to those who don’t have MacOS X to see what I mean.
However, this is purely my asthetic sense. It should not be taken for gospel. I just fail to see why many applications would follow what seems to be a good paradigm, and have others that seem to disregard the established metaphors.
Has been done for IE: iRider ( http://www.irider.com ). Makes IE quite interesting. Loved it. If it works the same way, Omniweb will be my browser of choice.
I will say, however, that this looks like a hard nut to crack for the OmniGroup. Say I want to have bookmarks open, and drag a bookmark to make a new tab, or drag a URL from the “tabs” drawer into my bookmarks folder. Bad idea to have two sidebars open. In these cases, citing Address Book, and Finder w/ sidebar, and column view, selecting something from the “grandparent” sidebar limits the content in the parent, which, when something is selected from it, will affect the content of the main window. It would be idiocy to have two sidebars, because bookmarks, and “tabs” for lack of a better word, are mutually exclusive. One does not fit inside the other. Opening a sidebar on the left, then if need be opening a second on the right leads to inconsistency, and confusion. (Not to mention Office 2003itis.) (That, BTW, is a pet peeve of mine, whether the drawer opens on the left or the right is dependent on where the window is on screen.)
It is a good idea to have the tabs arranged in the fashion they are proposing, vertically, with a thumbnail, and label. It conveys the maximum information in least amount of time. It would appear that there is a second viewing mode (with a small thumbnail, and text to the right.) I think I would be using that the most. Well, I’m spent. If anyone has any potential solution in regards to this quandry, I’m all ears.
Actually Omni got this idea long before that. The developers post regularly on macnn, and got feedback from users as far back as Sept of 2002.
They got a lot of feedback with mockups from some of the users and how they wanted it to work. This is just the first time we have seen what was done but they have been working on it for well over a year now.
I think that a solution resembling this one is better than conventional tabbed browsing. “Oops, you’ve run out of space on the tab bar, I’m going to put all subsequent tabs in one of those funky double chevron menus.” Or even worse: “Too many tabs? No problem, I’ll make a second row of tabs for ya, whereby visually disconnecting 1/2 of the tabs from their content.”
I applaud the OmniGroup’s efforts thus far. They should be commended for working to make the best. browser. ever.
They more then likely shoot it down because it would make things more complicated then it should be not to mention demand more resources to impeliment. K.I.S.S rule should always be in the minds of developers. Of course I am not saying that this is totally a bad idea but it needs to be done right or not done at all, especially in a browser.
I’ll have to see how the page tabbing feature works, but their other enhancements – particularly relating to shortcuts and searching – are awesome. It’s in line with OmniGroups’ ‘mission statement’ for OmniWeb: “Instead of trying to make your browser into a television, we’ve concentrated on giving you useful features.”.
That’s my favourite addition to Epiphany 1.1.2:
* Make ctrl-click equivalent of middle click on links. Make shift-click save the link. (Christian)
Yeah! I just hate do right-click every time I want to open a link in a new tab.
OmniWeb 5 looks awesome. Its nice to see the engineers at Omni trying out new ideas rather than just reproducing what other browsers have already implemented. Personally, I can’t wait to download it, and it will be well worth $9.95 to me. I hope OmniWeb 5 wins over many users from Safari. The more competition in the Macintosh browser market, the more innovation.
Safari is quite close to a perfect browser for me, but I’d like to see the following improvements:
– Better handling of the tab bar. I’m an extremely heavy tab user (having 20-30 tabs open per window is nothing special for me) and the way Safari handles a large number of tabs is extremely annoying. Mozilla has got this right a long time ago and so has the KDE team in Konqueror 3.2.
– Find-as-you-type a’la Mozilla. Along with Expose, the most revolutionary usability improvement of the past few years.
– Better context menus. With Mozilla, I’ve got used to all kind of small nice things like “save image address to clipboard”.
– More flexible bookmarking options. “Save bookmark group”, importing/exporting from/to various formats, Mozilla quicksearch support.
See the movie and judge it then:
I think it looks interesting and deserves a test drive.
looks really sweet, and I may have to upgrade if the speed on my Cube is acceptable, but I’ve really grown to love Safari, despite some of its deficiencies.
There are a ton of X11 browsers you could compare the browsers that run natively in quartz too but is that a realistic comparison ?
My grandmother will never use an X11 app, of that i am pretty sure but she has been a mac user since the early 80’s. Most of the core users for the Mac are artists and scientists etc.. that buy a Mac because it is a system, the technology gets out of the way. It is a tool for getting things done. Not a train reck of technology like windows or even dare i say Linux.
X11 is anything but user friendly..
Looks f**king bad ass. I’ll get it when it comes out. I think for the first time Mac users have the better apps than their counterparts.
Omiweb5 looks very nice Infact, I think I’ll buy it when I get a mac, this fall. Although I want a to test it first, of course.
I really liked it and I use it whenever I am sitting in front of a Mac. This browser (like Mac OS X itself I find) makes very efficient use of space. It’s very nice. I’ve never used OmniWeb, so I’ll say nothing more about it. I can’t say I liked Epiphany. It seems to be nice and basic, but it doesn’t strike me as being at all (or in any way) spectacular. Not like it’s a biggie though, the GNOME people seem to replace both browsers and window managers every other release, and maybe the next one will be cool.