Free Browsers on OS X

15 Comments

The latest issue (number 10) of Free Software Magazine is out. You can go straight to Issue 10 through this link.

I thought TAB readers might be interested in the review piece on Free/Open Source Browsers available for the Mac, written, yes, by me.

You can download my article Free browsers for Mac OS X, but anybody with an interest in free software should probably take a look at the whole magazine.

To get an idea of the content, I’ll quote Tony Mobily (editor and creator of FSM):

In Free Software Magazine’s 10th issue Eddy Macnaghten helps to make X a little less unknown and “MC” Brown browses the browsers for Mac OS X. On a more political note: David Sugar talks about how free software is freeing Venezuela and Tom Chance reveals how the internet is beginning to aid in political campaigning. And more…

15 Comments

Helenka

Operaaa :-)
I use the same “setting’s” files on my w2k (at work), debian (home-desktop) and iBook, it’s great only copy it and no need to configure ;-)

Martin MC Brown

Glenn: True, but then I don’t talk about popups in any of the browsers either…

Also, Safari is given only a quick view because although the HTML engine is open source, the rest of the Safari product is not.

Glenn Henshaw

I think that the feature description for Safari is also a little out of date. IIRC, popup blocking has been available since Tiger (10.4) was released last spring.

Martin MC Brown

I’m not pissed about Shiira – I fully admitted in the very first response that I made a mistake there.

I am pissed about all the browsers that people are listing that were not in the original spec for the article, or where, even in the article, I have made specific exceptions.

Brian Dash

Shiira didn’t make it to many areas (including both VersionTracker and MAcUpdate) until December with v1.2.

Huh? Strangely enough, prior to Shiira 1.2 there was Shiira … 1.1! It was listed on VersionTracker in August, and on MacUpdate at around the same time.

I can only write an article based on the information available at the time – the fact that other information and options have become available in the two months between me writing the article and it being published is not my fault.

As has been clearly demonstrated, the information was available at the time. You failed to do sufficient research into the subject matter and are now pissed that you’re being called on it.

Martin MC Brown

To identify the oen browser that I missed, for which I have already apologized for omitting.

I did actually search for FOSS browsers before writing the article, and I found quite a few which had been started and had died.

The article was originally written in November – Shiira didn’t make it to many areas (including both VersionTracker and MAcUpdate) until December with v1.2. It only hit the mainstream blogs and other sites fairly recently.

I can only write an article based on the information available at the time – the fact that other information and options have become available in the two months between me writing the article and it being published is not my fault.

Brian Dash

Perhaps you could’ve spent a little time doing research into the available open source browsers before you wrote the article? That would probably have made a lot of people happy.

Martin MC Brown

What do you expect when neither Safari or OmniWeb are free software?

Based on the free software products that are in the article, what other comment was I supposed to make?

I know, perhaps what I should have done is feature three FOSS browsers (Firefox/Mozilla/Camino) and then suggested that we all pay Microsoft to update Internet Explorer?

Would that make you happy?

Martin MC Brown

I fully accept Shiira should have been in there.

As to mentioning OmniWeb, it’s there because it uses the same core WebKit as Safari and is there really for comparison. No, it’s not free, but if you read the article, you’d see that I explain the reason for its inclusion as the closest thing to a FOSS browser that isn’t Mozilla since it *is* based on FOSS technology.

The article is about GUI browsers, which is excludes Lynx and others. Flock is not a release product – Free Software Magazine rules on these articles exclude software which is not in an official released state.

Fl0ffy

uhm,

Opera has been free for quite a while now. It ain’t open-source, but it’s been free since late september last year. And thats before you wrote your article. Now, I’m not a avid opera supporter but your article should have included Opera since they have their own rendering engine and thus offer a third option for OS X

Christopher Forsythe

Shiira is well almost 2 years old. It’s not that new. Shiira Mini, the web browser widget, now that is pretty new. Deskbrowse? Ya, pretty new. But Shiira? That’s been around for a pretty long time.

You mentioned nothing about Flock.

The article claims to be about open source browsers, but then mentions omniweb?! If you are mentioning Omniweb you should have mentioned iCab and Opera too, both are classics. And what about Netscape and IE?

You didn’t mention RAFBrowser. But you mentioned Omniweb. No mention of the innovative SunriseBrowser. And SunriseBrowser is open source, and has been out since August.

What about all those great cli browsers? w3m, links, lynx? I see no mention of them at all, and they are quite useful. Heck, you can even view images in w3m.

Now, had this been “Nice, mainstream browsers” instead of the advertised “FOSS browsers!”, I think it would have been a lot more accurate of a title.

Martin MC Brown

Shiira is comparatively new (I only found out about it last week, and the article was originally written in November).

Beyond Shiira, and the Mozilla browsers, there is very little.

Remember the definition has to be that the browser is free software (which also implies open source) rather than simply downloadable for free.

I could hardly include Lynx (which is text only), other solutions are either very simple (Dillo) and not really a comparison, or not free software (Opera).

If you can suggest any other free, open source, browser available for OS X that can compete with the functionality of the offerings of Mozilla (except Shiira, which I’ll happily except was omitted, but which I was also completely unaware of), I’ll happily review them.

Mark Rowe

s/Free Browsers on OS X/Mozilla Browsers on OS X/g. There are more quality open source browsers out there than those from mozilla.org. It’s pretty weak that none were included in your review. Shiira (http://hmdt-web.net/shiira/en) would have been a perfect candidate.

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