22 Comments

Summary:

Long time readers know that we are unabashed fans of Camino, (or as we like to call it) the smarter browser choice for OS X users. Based on the Mozilla core, Camino behaves much better on OS X than its more universally known elder brother, Firefox. […]

Long time readers know that we are unabashed fans of Camino, (or as we like to call it) the smarter browser choice for OS X users.

caminologo.jpgBased on the Mozilla core, Camino behaves much better on OS X than its more universally known elder brother, Firefox. Camino is optimized and built only for Macs, while Firefox has to please a lot of people.

Well, Camino is about to get a whole lot better…. and brisker of course.

I have been using the nightly latest available release of their upcoming Version 1.1 alpha and have been thrilled with it. The browse-performance seems to be faster, and the resource utilization is smarter. Some of the new features that make the “alpha” so cool: spell checking (already part of Firefox), single window mode, bookmarks back-up, session saving, and the best of them all: portable Camino that you can put on a USB stick and take it to go. (The complete list of new features is on their website.)

Firefox users have enjoyed all these luxuries for a while, and good to see them come to Camino. The spell check feature makes it easy to write blog posts inside of WordPress. [GigaOM readers know my propensity for making frequent spelling mistakes, especially when supply of good coffee runs out :-) ]
Since I was quite impressed with the software, I emailed Camino developers, Samuel Sidler and Mike Pinkerton, congratulating them on the progress they had made. The Camino-ites emailed a reply, letting us know that the beta is around the corner – maybe in a couple of weeks.

“Though we haven’t numbered it this way, I think our 1.1 release is more like a 1.5 release,” Sidler wrote. To this we say, not only it is brisk, its better too! Download the nightly and see it for yourself.

  1. I agree on Camino. I switched from Safari/Saft, and am using CaminoKnight to keep me updated daily on Camino. I am so in love with this fast little browser.

    My only gripe with it, video doesn’t always play nice in it. But that’s a small price to pay.

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  2. MySchizoBuddy Friday, February 2, 2007

    Any idea when Firefox extensions will work in camino.
    They haven’t said anything along those lines, ever.

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  3. Yeah, the only thing that’s keeping me from switching to Camino is not being able to import all my Firefox extensions. I’m also worried at how quickly Camino is being updated. Since Firefox is the major project of Mozilla, we’re sure to have way more updates and improvements.

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  4. Firefox extensions will never work in Camino (not at least for the forseeable future). The Camino chrome or shell or the program that houses the rendering and javascript engines, is written in Cocoa which is a language native to the Mac. Hence the tight integration with the Mac.

    Firefox of course uses the same rendering and javascript engines, but its chrome is written in XUL, a cross platform language that works pretty much everywhere. But the comprise for cross platform is perhaps a reduced ‘nativiness’ on some host platforms – notable Mac (it is however getting much better – Firefox 3 will make some big advances here).

    So … Firefox extensions are run within XUL. No XUL, no extension, hence no extensions on Mac!

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  5. I love Camino as well but also want a few extension to work — like Greasemonkey for my GMail Macros mainly.

    I do really like the Keychain sync and the overall look and feel. Have to get back into nightly mode…

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  6. Well just to let you know that Flashblock will be integrated into the next release of Camino.

    Phil

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  7. Right click in any input window in Safari … or any other Mac program. Spell checking is built in everywhere. Camino’s may or may not be nicer, but all other programs can use the default.

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  8. Om,

    Man, I really love your blog, but sometimes brother, your information is wrong. Let’s be clear:

    THERE IS NO NIGHTLY BUILD OF CAMINO 1.1 ALPHA 2

    For you to write and link to the beta page as if it’s the nightly build page is just wrong and misleading to your readers. No where on the Camino beta is there a reference to a nightly build of the 1.1 Alpha 1 or Alpha 2 release. Those were one time only releases to prepare for the eventual release of the beta.

    On top of that, Camino 1.1 Alpha 2 is by no means perfect. In my mind, it is actually a step backwards from the achievements that they made with Camino 1.0.3:

    1) Whose bright idea was it to chain the address bar and the search bar together? That’s just idiotic and one of the reasons that I don’t use Safari. I should be able to customize the toolbar and place each section where ever I’d like them to be.

    2)For some reason, Camino 1.1 acts horrible whenever there is Flash embedded on a webpage. And it’s not really noticeable until you end up on a page where there is more than two Flash movies embedded on a page. Because of this, YouTube surfing in the Alpha has pretty much become non-existant.

    3)A really bad bug that I’ve come across is that sometimes text, whether in a text box or on a page, becomes unselectable and begins to disappear. This also sometimes has the effect of making an entire page disappear. Very, very bad.

    To be fair, there ARE a lot of great improvements. The native sensing of RSS feeds in a page is great. And yes, Spellcheck has helped me many a time as well. But their still needs to be serious work done. I’m sure that the developers are doing the best job that they can with the resources that they have available (and believe me if i knew Cocoa, I would be trying to help), but I think that it might be a while before we can see a stable, useable 1.1 beta released.

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  9. Frank,

    you are right. i was wrong. it is the latest alpha build and not the nightly. apologies for misleading you and the readers, and please “virtual” spank me for my error.

    On the other topics, I have not experienced any problems with the browser, and even as an alpha it has worked flawlessly, and as I said, the spell checker is my savior. I am loving it.

    On the You Tube, frankly I have not tested that because I don’t go to youtube that much. The NewTeeVee crew does that, and I will check.

    I agree, lot of work to be done on the browser, but the team is working hard on it. Well hopefully more people can send them feedback.

    I just forwarded your comments to them as well.

    On the mistake, hope you will forgive me this once :-)

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  10. Jonathan, I’d like to introduce you to Geekmonkey, which will run many of the same Greasemonkey scripts in Camino, although, as a bookmarklet.

    http://pimpmycamino.com/parts/geekmonkey

    Stephen, yes all other apps can use a spell checker… well… except Firefox (until 2.0) and Camino (until 1.1). This was a limitation in both browsers due to the core functions. I’ll note, however, that Firefox ships with its own dictionary. Camino, however, uses the Mac OS X one.

    Frank, just to address your points…

    1 was done for both our users and third party developers who wanted a resizable search bar. There was no other way to give them a resizable search bar.

    I haven’t seen #2, but it’s most definitely something that’ll be fixed in Camino 2.0, our release that will be built on the same rendering engine as Firefox 3 (Gecko 1.9) which includes major back-end improvements. You’ll see those improvements in Camino, Firefox, SeaMonkey, and any other browser that chooses to use Gecko.

    3 is an issue you’re seeing because you use the Flip4Mac plugin to play your Window Media. The issue stems from our interaction with the plugin (and visa versa). For some time, we’ve been trying to work with them to solve this — and they’ve been trying to work with us — but we keep missing each other. Again, with all the changes in Gecko 1.9, this is looking like it’ll be vastly improved for Camino 2.0.

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  11. I prefer using Camino as well on the Mac. I use Firefox daily at work on Windows XP, and while I was initially worried about the whole “Firefox extension” thing, I’ve found that as I’ve updated Firefox through the years, I’ve stopped using more and more extensions (esp. as each version temporarily breaks most of them, and I’m too lazy to go update them, and I don’t end up missing them)

    Firefox is nice on the Mac, but Camino shows (at least to me) how important a simple user experience is-Camino just fits into using OS X so nicely, even better in some ways than Safari.

    Now, if only they could get BugmeNot as a right-click…;)

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  12. Wouldn’t Camino energy be better spent optimizing MacFirefox?

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  13. Se7en, I’m glad you enjoy Camino. :) For Bugmenot, feel free to use their bookmarklet. If you use the latest nightlies of Camino, you can even put the bookmarklet in your bookmark bar and use a shortcut key to reach it. We’ve mapped cmd-1 through cmd 9 to the first 9 (non-folder) bookmarks on the bar. That’s almost as good… :)

    pwd: This question comes up often and the answer is always “no”. Firefox for Mac will [probably] always have a XUL interface (see Simon’s comment above), which doesn’t look, feel, or act in the same way a standard Cocoa interface does. Dave Hyatt, the original creator of Camino (then Chimera) and one of the original creators of Firefox (then, Phoenix), said it best:

    “Let 100 browsers bloom. Let 100 schools of thought contend.”

    We all have different ideas and follow different paths. Why should we all use the same browser? :)

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  14. Camino is my browser of choice as well. Unfortuantely it crashes once every couple of days. If I try to play any real audio stuff, it crashes immediately.

    I use it mainly becuse I can search for text using ‘/’ key. Also because, by now, my book mark panel is 5.5 lines long :)

    I’m glad they are adding spell check, although I should’ve known that I can use OSX’s spell check (hey I’m still new to the Mac)

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  15. falcon: The Real Player bug is a known issue. You need to upgrade your version of Real Player. See the first known issue of our release notes:

    http://www.caminobrowser.org/releases/1.0.3.php#issues

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  16. I love Camino, but it tends to hang onto the cache like a pit bull to your throat. To be honest, I should probably be using an RSS reader instead of opening whole folders of tabs at once, but I do regularly see stuff from two weeks previous. But in all other respects, I’m ready for the big C to go 1.1…

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  17. Actually, Camino is the elder brother of Firefox.

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  18. Camino is a wonderful browser. Although Firefox offers me a lot of great tools I use at work, like Firebug and Chris Pederick’s web developer extension, sometimes I just need the simplicity of Camino when I am just browsing around the Net.

    Great to see that Samuel Sidler is taking time to help users out in this thread of comments.

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  19. One nice feature in Camino is that you can turn off web ads (not just popups) in preferences.

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  20. I do remember Steve Jobs on the release of iPhone saying that Safari is the best browser in the world. And now its comfortably overtaken by Firefox. No XUL really disappoints me.

    Nice post. Have based your post in http://www.arunma.com

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  21. [...] of those fans is Om Malik (one of my favourite bloggers and podcasters) who describes himself as an "unabashed" fan of Camino.  I decided to try Camino again (I had it installed on my last hard drive) and installed [...]

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  22. You guys are living in the stone ages, Opera browser is clearly the best of all browsers. Try it out, you’ll never go back to your old browser.

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