The OmniGroup has released an update to their popular Web browser built for Mac OS X. OmniWeb 4.0.5 is currently
available for download from the products Web site.
Fixed in this version of the browser is a performance issue affecting users of the Graphite appearance; OmniWeb should now be usable on developer prereleases of Mac OS X 10.1; and some web pages that appeared blank (particularly Chinese and Japanese pages) should now display properly. (The updated browser can now recover from invalid character input when decoding a page.)
OmniWeb 4.0.5 now includes a web server’s port number in the HTTP Host header, improving compatibility with some web sites (particularly those based on the Zope web server); a bug was fixed (introduced in 4.0.1) with the processing of CSS rgb() colors; and the OmniCrashCatcher is now compatible with developer prereleases of 10.1.
According to the OmniGroup, OmniWeb is now available in more languages than any other web browser on Mac OS X, supporting Japanese, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, German and English (with full documentation for Spanish, French, German and English). Compatibility, stability and performance have also been improved with this latest release.
Ken Case, Director of Engineering at The Omni Group also explained today where the OmniGroup will be focusing its efforts in future releases of the browser.
The goal of OmniWeb 4.0 focused on integration, stability and performance and Case feels his organization met those challenges. Looking ahead Case said his group would be working on compatibility and performance in 4.1.
“The focus of OmniWeb 4.1 is compatibility. Specifically, our goals for 4.1 are to ship by the end of summer with complete Netscape 4.5 DOM compatibility (which should make OmniWeb compatible with nearly all web sites), better Java support (this requires 10.1, as 10.0’s Java has some pretty critical bugs), Flash 5 support and improved CSS,” said Case. “We expect that OmniWeb 4.1 will solve remaining compatibility issues with most web sites, though full support of CSS-2 and emerging DOM standards will have to wait for OmniWeb 5.0 since there wasn’t time to implement those (and everything else) for a summer release and we really wanted to fix those basic compatibility issues as soon as possible.
“While performance improvements aren’t our primary goal for 4.1, we do know that it’s important, and I think there are some easy changes we can make to solve a few of the performance problems which people are encountering (like improving the responsiveness of navigating history, or making the application shut down more quickly when you quit) and we will be probably be doing some of those for 4.1. And, of course, Apple will help us out there as well when they ship 10.1,” said Case.
Case is looking at early next year for a release of OmniWeb 5.0. That release will continue to work on compatibility, as well as working on the core engine of the browser.
“Looking a bit further out (probably around 6-9 months), OmniWeb 5 will update the architecture for our rendering engine, enabling us to completely support CSS-2, DOM Level 2, and XML, and should address some performance problems with our current design (especially with respect to large tables), said Case. “I know that web developers are chomping at the bit for us to add this support right now, but our first priority is to make existing commercial sites work so people don’t have to switch to IE to read their web e-mail or bank online.”