Friday, May 31, 2013

The Life and Death of Camino

Jordan Merrick:

Camino was my browser of choice during the early days of OS X and it was an incredible browser. It was the Mac’s first Gecko-driven Cocoa browser as Firefox was Carbon-based right up until 2008. Camino was the Google Chrome of its day - fast, slick and a great looking app.

Thomas Brand:

I am saddened that Camino must die in the effort to save Firefox, a browser that has gotten just a bloated as the Netscape Suite it once replaced. By losing Camino we will not only see the end of a browser that once made the Mac great, but the end of a development community focused solely on the advancement of a great Macintosh application.

Alas, though Chrome and Firefox have good rendering engines, they do not have fully native Mac user interfaces. Safari has both, but its engine has reliability and memory problems.

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Though I am loathe to take lessons about what's "bloated" from someone so madly in love with the Newton to force his readers to stare at that background, he has a point that Firefox has never been about a great Mac product. Colin Barrett has told me of his frustration when working at Mozilla and trying to get anything Mac-like to happen with the codebase they had back then, and though things have improved, they continue prioritizing periodic UI fancies above really getting basic stuff right.

Chrome may be the best non-Safari browser on the Mac in terms of allowing a UI not hollowed out by lowest-common-denominator abstraction. Firefox still feels "like Carbon", in the sense that it's all about yesterday's constraints.

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