Thursday, January 6, 2005

OmniWeb 5.1

I really like most aspects of OmniWeb 5.1. It’s not metal. The rendering is good. The speed is good. It has the only implementation of tabbed browsing that I like. And, of course, there are lots of nifty features that go beyond what Safari can do.

But for a Pro browser, it has some rather odd limitations. First, why is it so hard to view source in an external editor? Unlike in iCab, you can’t just pick the external editor in the preferences. Unlike Safari, you can't use AppleScript to retrieve the source of the frontmost window. As far as I know, the best that can be done is:

tell application "OmniWeb"
    set theURL to the address of browser 1
    set theTitle to name of browser 1
end tell

set pipe to "bbedit --clean --pipe-title " & theTitle's quoted form & " --view-top"
do shell script "curl " & theURL's quoted form & "| " & pipe

This is usually OK, but it requires downloading the page again (slow), and it won’t always work when forms, cookies, etc. are involved.

Second, when anti-aliasing is off, OmniWeb can’t properly space text. It runs the letters together or puts too much space between them. Applications that use WebKit rather than WebCore get this right, as do Carbon browsers like iCab and IE.

Lastly, there’s no way to make the download manager remove entries immediately after they’re complete. I don’t like the window to be cluttered.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

My guess regarding the lack of support for external View Source apps is that they're extra proud of their built-in source editor. It's not just viewing the source code of the current window, it allows you to edit it, live. This is actually a neat trick, and it's helped me once or twice when I want to debug or modify web apps on the fly, while testing them. But more often than not, I'd prefer to view source in BBEdit, of course.

My other similar gripe is that OmniWeb doesn't support external XML feed aggregators. When you click on an RSS URL in OmniWeb, it assumes you want to "subscribe" to the feed in OmniWeb's bookmarks window, and there's no way to specify that you use an app like NetNewsWire or PulpFiction. Annoying.

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