OmniWeb 5

OmniWeb 5 iconPrompted by Tommy, I’ve been checking out the beta of OmniWeb 5 this morning. First of all, I should stress the word beta. There’s a fair chance it’ll hang or crash (as it did for me a couple of times), but it’s well worth a test drive to evaluate some of it’s impressive features. I’ve noted down some initial feedback ˇ

Rendering Speed & Accuracy
Pretty damn good, though being based on the same KDE KHTML engine as Safari, this is not surprising. This is a excellent move as previous version of OmniWeb have been plagued by slightly dodgy CSS support.
Tabs
It’s tabs, but not as we know them Jim. OmniWeb stores little thumbnails of each tab you create. Although taking up a bit more screen real estate than Mozilla/Camino/Safari tabs, it’s useful to immediately see the webpages you’ve opened up. Live updating of the thumbnails is a cute feature too, allowing you to open a page up in a tab, switch to another while it loads, then switch back when the thumbnail has fully rendered. Others may prefer just to have titles rather than thumbnails (and you can switch to this behaviour if you like), but sometimes web designers carelessly forget to use the HTML title tag correctly, so in this respect visual cues are much more useful.
Workspaces
A ingenious idea that rethinks the whole bookmarking idea. You can open up several tabs, with customised windows and preferences, then if nature calls or you have to catch your bus, save your workspace. When you return, you simply restore your workspace and you’re straight back into your session with all your tabs, window positions and preferences back. Sweet.
Form Editor
An icon appears next to a textarea which, when clicked, pops up a window with a editable window allowing you to format your text for input in the form. Useful if the textarea specified is very small or you prefer more accurate keyboard control than HTML forms allow. The feature also provides the ability to import text from a local file, saving you launching another app and performing a copy/paste routine.

There are other great little features, such as the Javascript Console, the Error Log and auto-detecting RSS feeds. The key question though is ˇ when you already have fine browsers for Mac such as Camino and Safari ˇwhich are freeˇ why pay $30 for Omniweb? In fairness to the developers, they’ve put a lot of work into building features that are useful and enhance the functionality of the app, and I personally think it’s worth the extra moolah.

Posted 10 years, 2 months ago

Mr Gruber has also reviewed it over at Daring Fireball - http://daringfireball.net/2004/02/omniweb_5_public_beta

Matt · www · 10 years, 2 months ago

Just testing this cookie thing. Ignore me ;-)

Phil · www · 10 years, 2 months ago

You’ve just reminded to resurrect that on my site as well.

Matt · www · 10 years, 2 months ago