Monday, February 2, 2004

OmniWeb 5 Beta

OmniWeb 5 is looking much better.

It finally adopts the Internet Explorer history model, by which I mean that it has a persistent, global history that’s organized chronologically. You can view it in the browser window, like in Safari, or in a separate window—and it’s searchable. So OmniWeb has gone from the back of the pack to the front in this regard.

At last you can see the URL at the bottom of the window when you roll over a link.

It has the best implementation of tabs that I’ve seen. I may actually use them. The modifier keys aren’t as nice as in Safari, though.

It still supports the Shortcuts feature that I’m so fond of.

Downloading is still weird. You can’t download links by Option-clicking them, and the Downloads window won’t automatically hide files after they’ve been downloaded.

Character spacing is still horrible when font smoothing is off—unlike Safari.

More from Robb Beal and Christopher Clark.

3 Comments

John Gruber likes OmniWeb 5, particularly the workspace and per-site preferences, which I neglected to mention. I like them, too, although I feel obligated to point out that per-site preferences appeared in iCab first. It’s easy to make fun of iCab for its ancient rendering engine, but it’s amazing how much Clauss and company have innovated in other areas. Sure, their interfaces could use some work, but a lot of the cool features in today’s browsers appeared in iCab first.

I started a thread on the marginal benes of workspaces/sessions over bookmark collections (with auto-tabs).

http://www.usercreations.com/weblog/2004/02/03.html#a460

My initial conclusion is that a single transparent session + bookmark collections is the design sweet spot.

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