news of 2004-05-16

Fryke's State of the Browser Speech

So here we are, in the middle of 2004, and things have changed in the Macintosh browser world since the days before Safari Beta 1.

Back then, browsers were slow. Internet Explorer was about the fastest you could get on Mac OS X, but its interface, while 'modern' on Mac OS 9, was 'ugly' on Mac OS X. Its Aqua stripes were faked, apparently, and their choice of appearance themes for IE didn't match Aqua. At all.

Today, we've got three code-bases for browsers on the Mac that are worth mentioning.

1. Internet Explorer 5
It's still the one showing pages that somehow won't work with others, because someone forgot to support the standards. Back when it was first released, it was hands-down the standards-compliant browser - period. For any platform. Today, it's old, ugly and slower than the rest.

2. Mozilla based browsers
Mozilla itself is still available, but no-one in their right mind is using it as their primary browser. FireFox has taken that place. It's come a far way, is adequately nice for a cross-platform application and certainly pleases many out there. There are other Mozilla based browsers, but they lack momentum at the, erh, moment.

3. Safari/WebKit based browsers
First, there's Safari itself. Apple's own browser has won many friends among Mac users, and certainly earns that, too. It's a fast, easy-to-use and complete browser. Its engine being available to other applications, there are now several applications using it., for example. Or help viewer. Or: OmniWeb 4.5 and OmniWeb 5.0. The latter is still in beta, but it's going to be the browser for the power user once it's released. It's not free, but it also has lots more feature than any other browser out there I know of.

Have we forgotten about Opera's Mac browser? No, we haven't. We just don't like to even mention it. While Opera makes great software for other platforms (and their browser has found their way on small-screen devices like the Nokia 6600 I like so much), they once tried to uglify Apple's image by stopping development of the Mac version because of Apple's own browser development, just to start the development again after everyone noticed that they were still around at all. Their browser for the Mac isn't free and it's ugly. 'nuff said.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 22:03 CET ]
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Microsoft Office 2004 shipping

This weekend showed us the first users having installed the retail version of Microsoft Office 2004. Reports are even: No problems installing and running the software. And it looks nice & fast. Good for Microsoft. ;-)

1. A screenshot showing the installation process.

2. Word starting up with more opaqueness (if there's such a thing).

We're waiting for more user reports and will take a closer look at some of the problems that have been reported with the beta version earlier this year (i.e.: worse MS Exchange compatibility than with Office v. X).

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 21:08 CET ]
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Apple patents (?) translucent window behaviour

You'll find the info at this US government page.

Click on 'images' below the referenced article for more information on Apple's intentions with this patent. Apparently, this is about windows slowly becoming translucent after a specified period of time (if no user input or window change occurs). The window would also lose focus after a certain level of translucency has been reached (i.e. user input, like a mouse click, would now 'belong' to the window below the translucent window). Question is whether Apple really _gets_ this patented, as it would probably mean some problems for MS' Longhorn.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-05-16 at 20:33 CET ]
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