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Camino moving to Webkit?
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Art Vandelay
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Jul 27, 2007, 08:54 PM
 
From Josh Aas' Blog, a Mozilla developer.

On Saturday and Sunday I drove down to the valley during the day to attend the Camino meetup. It was basically a 10-hour presentation/discussion led by Mike Pinkerton, and I think it was pretty productive. I certainly feel more informed about the state of the project and it was great to meet a lot of the newer Camino hackers and community members. Mike Pinkerton announced that he has a 50,000 line patch ready to go that makes Camino use WebKit instead of Gecko, and he’s going to land it next week.
Mike Pinkerton, lead developer of Camino, discusses the pros and cons of Gecko and the possibility of using Webkit.

Anyone else heard anything or can confirm? It's an interesting development if Camino is really moving to Webkit.
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brokenjago
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Jul 28, 2007, 12:00 AM
 
Wouldn't that COMPLETELY defeat the existence of Camino?
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CharlesS
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Jul 28, 2007, 12:20 AM
 
It would make Camino into what Shiira used to be.

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Art Vandelay  (op)
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Jul 28, 2007, 12:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago View Post
Wouldn't that COMPLETELY defeat the existence of Camino?
Not really. This is their mission statement found here.
Camino is an open source web browser developed with a focus on providing the best possible experience for Mac OS X users.
The choice of the engine doesn't change the purpose of Camino.
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besson3c
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Jul 28, 2007, 01:55 AM
 
Camino is already extremely light-weight in features not being able to use the Mozilla add-ons (last I checked). Why would they decide to go head to head against Apple? Perhaps because Firefox 3 will be Aqua rather than XUL (I believe)?

If the Gecko codebase is too messy and complicated, why not focus efforts and resources into addressing this problem rather than switching to a less compatible browser that is directed by Apple?
     
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Jul 28, 2007, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Camino is already extremely light-weight in features not being able to use the Mozilla add-ons (last I checked). Why would they decide to go head to head against Apple? Perhaps because Firefox 3 will be Aqua rather than XUL (I believe)?

If the Gecko codebase is too messy and complicated, why not focus efforts and resources into addressing this problem rather than switching to a less compatible browser that is directed by Apple?
If Windows sucks or is insufficient for certain tasks, why not focus efforts and resources into addressing this problem rather than switching to a less compatible operating system that is directed by the open-source community?'

Some tasks are just damn near impossible. Hyatt realized this, and that's why he started Firefox rather than just working with the Mozilla that existed at the time. This problem is even more fundamental. Realizing this hurdle is nigh insurmountable, Hyatt elected to create WebKit.
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Jul 28, 2007, 04:43 PM
 
Hyatt himself really didn't create either of those projects. He's just one of the main engineers.
     
besson3c
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Jul 28, 2007, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
If Windows sucks or is insufficient for certain tasks, why not focus efforts and resources into addressing this problem rather than switching to a less compatible operating system that is directed by the open-source community?'

Some tasks are just damn near impossible. Hyatt realized this, and that's why he started Firefox rather than just working with the Mozilla that existed at the time. This problem is even more fundamental. Realizing this hurdle is nigh insurmountable, Hyatt elected to create WebKit.

Perhaps... I see your point here, but I often think that Apple chose the wrong horse in going with Webkit.

As ugly as the Gecko codebase may be, websites that don't work properly are a big deal, and we already have the problem where novice users can't distinguish a web browser from the operating system and would be inclined to say that "Mac (or MAC if this person were to express the problem in words) does not work with this website", so this works against Apple's favor. I just don't see this problem as getting much better as we move towards more complicated and richer web applications.

The sticking point has been with Safari's javascript engine. Maybe much of these problems will be solved with 3.0, I don't know.

Firefox has been clawing away at IE's market share, and many web apps are starting to support Gecko as a result of FF's growing usage. However, given that it has taken years and endless swimming against the tide for this change to come about, is there room for a third web browser to have to support? When it comes down to dollars and cents and return on investment, you know that Safari will be the one to get the axe.

Some of this may change with the iPhone and Safari being available on Windows, but we will have to wait and see on that and how the iPhone will change things.
     
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Jul 28, 2007, 07:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Anyone else heard anything or can confirm? It's an interesting development if Camino is really moving to Webkit.
You missed the next line:

Mike Pinkerton announced that he has a 50,000 line patch ready to go that makes Camino use WebKit instead of Gecko, and he’s going to land it next week. I was all like r++++++… Just kidding! Sorry Dave.
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Art Vandelay  (op)
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Jul 28, 2007, 08:02 PM
 
I saw that line. I think I might be misunderstanding it though. Is he saying that he's kidding about Camino moving to Webkit? Or was he saying he's kidding for being all r++++++ (whatever that means)?

Since I don't know what "r++++++" is, I took it as a put down, since he's a Gecko dev, and that he was kidding and apologizing for putting it down to Hyatt.
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krove
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Jul 28, 2007, 08:41 PM
 
r+ means that a reviewer has approved the code changes.

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Art Vandelay  (op)
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Jul 28, 2007, 08:45 PM
 
Ah, I should have known that. All the plusses threw me off. So, is he kidding about the whole thing or only kidding that he r+ it?
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Thinine
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Jul 28, 2007, 09:43 PM
 
He's clearly kidding about the 50,000 line patch. But he may still be considering moving to WebKit. Who knows.
     
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Jul 28, 2007, 10:01 PM
 
Besson: What are your concerns with WebKit, in particular? Sites or JavaScript features that aren't supported?
     
Art Vandelay  (op)
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Jul 28, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
Yeah, if he had really decided to move to Webkit, I'm sure it would have been announced. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have believed Josh's post at all if it weren't for Mike previously announcing he was considering it.

I guess that's that. Maybe there will be something real to discuss in the future.
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Jul 29, 2007, 09:42 AM
 
As a web dev, I hope it doesn't move to webkit. One of the reasons I use Camino is for Gecko testing without having to use FF.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 29, 2007, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Perhaps... I see your point here, but I often think that Apple chose the wrong horse in going with Webkit.

As ugly as the Gecko codebase may be, websites that don't work properly are a big deal
And it's a problem that's easier to fix with WebKit than with Firefox, isn't it?

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Firefox has been clawing away at IE's market share, and many web apps are starting to support Gecko as a result of FF's growing usage. However, given that it has taken years and endless swimming against the tide for this change to come about, is there room for a third web browser to have to support? When it comes down to dollars and cents and return on investment, you know that Safari will be the one to get the axe.
In general, Web apps that support Gecko also support Safari, because those are two fairly standards-compliant browsers.
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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 09:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
And it's a problem that's easier to fix with WebKit than with Firefox, isn't it?


In general, Web apps that support Gecko also support Safari, because those are two fairly standards-compliant browsers.

In general, but there are tons of exceptions, trust me.

The thing is this: sometimes the "winning" product doesn't have the cleanest code base, but after a certain point it is too difficult to choose another winner. This doesn't mean that people should stop trying, as long as they recognize that their efforts may be futile.

For instance, I understand that Google's algorithms are extremely complicated. I would bet that Google developers don't really have the option to gut the thing and start all over again though. I'm sure that MS Office is the same way, and developers have to work within the same restrictions.

We weren't locked in way back when Safari was announced, but now it really does appear that there is only place for 2 web browsers in the industry as a whole, barring the iPhone and OS X's slowly growing market share.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 30, 2007, 09:49 AM
 
I completely disagree. You might as well have said the same thing about Firefox when it came out. "Oh, come on, everybody. Just use Internet Explorer."
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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I completely disagree. You might as well have said the same thing about Firefox when it came out. "Oh, come on, everybody. Just use Internet Explorer."
I'm not urging anybody to use a particular web browser. The competition is a great thing, I welcome it, it benefits consumers. I'm speaking from a strategic company position. What is in Apple's strategic interests?

When Firefox came out it was definitely a long shot that it would do as well as it has. However, it basically began as an unfunded experiment not managed by a public company with their own strategic interests. At the time, it probably would have been foolish for a money making company to try to compete with IE.
     
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Jul 30, 2007, 12:42 PM
 
It's in Apple's strategic interest to have a lean, fast, portable, easy to maintain rendering engine that can make full use of the system's features and specialities. It's in Apple's strategic interest to control development of this engine. Gecko falls short in those aspects.
     
Big Mac
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Jul 30, 2007, 12:53 PM
 
I'm not going to say Webkit is as compatible as Firefox because it clearly still is not. It is for the vast majority of sites, but there are still some that present problems while being compatible with Firefox. That fact doesn't mean it was a mistake to go that route. Anyone who says "MAC doesn't support X" isn't worth worrying about anyway. Such people are probably using IE 5 rather than Safari because they think IE is teh Internets.

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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
It's in Apple's strategic interest to have a lean, fast, portable, easy to maintain rendering engine that can make full use of the system's features and specialities. It's in Apple's strategic interest to control development of this engine. Gecko falls short in those aspects.
I understand the motivation behind choosing Webkit/KHTML in the first place, I really do. What you have said here makes perfect sense.

However, doesn't this all blow up when major websites don't work with Safari due to Safari specific problems (as opposed to web developer laziness)?

Apple could control the development of Gecko if it wanted to, just by forking it - the same way they did with Zeroconf, Webkit, possibly CUPS in the future, and whatever else I may have missed. Don't forget that Webkit began as an open source project just like Gecko is - there is no difference here. Of course, Webkit still is open source.
     
besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm not going to say Webkit is as compatible as Firefox because it clearly still is not. It is for the vast majority of sites, but there are still some that present problems while being compatible with Firefox. That fact doesn't mean it was a mistake to go that route. Anyone who says "MAC doesn't support X" isn't worth worrying about anyway. Such people are probably using IE 5 rather than Safari because they think IE is teh Internets.
Apple worries about them though, because novice users that just want everything to be easy and simply work are one of Apple's key, core markets.
     
CharlesS
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm not urging anybody to use a particular web browser. The competition is a great thing, I welcome it, it benefits consumers. I'm speaking from a strategic company position. What is in Apple's strategic interests?

When Firefox came out it was definitely a long shot that it would do as well as it has. However, it basically began as an unfunded experiment not managed by a public company with their own strategic interests.
Yeah it was. Didn't AOL buy Netscape way back in the Communicator days?

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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Yeah it was. Didn't AOL buy Netscape way back in the Communicator days?
I think it was AOL that did this, but then somehow some dudes got permission to startup Mozilla, and eventually Netscape pretty much became a mere artifact of history.

Speaking of strategic interests, I have no f-ing clue why Netscape (whomever it is controlled by today) is trying to revive itself.
     
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Jul 30, 2007, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
It's in Apple's strategic interest to have a lean, fast, portable, easy to maintain rendering engine that can make full use of the system's features and specialities. It's in Apple's strategic interest to control development of this engine. Gecko falls short in those aspects.
Now if only safari/webkit wouldn't use such insane amounts of memory!!!
     
Big Mac
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think it was AOL that did this, but then somehow some dudes got permission to startup Mozilla, and eventually Netscape pretty much became a mere artifact of history.
It wasn't some dudes. AOL started the Mozilla open source project as a way to revive interest in Netscape.

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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:18 PM
 
So, how did both Mozilla and Firefox manage to fork off and become bigger than Netscape? Wouldn't this be something AOL would have tried to control?

I'm not disputing your historical account here, just wondering... Perhaps I should refresh my memory when I have a moment
     
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:30 PM
 
Why would AOL have tried to mess with Mozilla if it was doing exactly what they wanted?
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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:51 PM
 
Oh, are you referring to the possibility that by "reviving interest" Big Mac meant popularity? I was thinking he meant interest in terms of Netscape itself as a company, which at the time had a few products (such as Netscape Directory Server) as well as its news website...

I guess this makes sense. Boosting Mozilla was an indirect way to get people to support AOL, since AOL had a stake in Netscape.
     
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Jul 30, 2007, 05:55 PM
 
Mozilla didn't "fork off". It was Netscape's open source project (somewhat like WebKit is Apple's open source rendering engine project). It became bigger than Netscape because AOL dissolved the company after they purchased it.

Some insight (albeit somewhat boring):

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besson3c
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Jul 30, 2007, 06:00 PM
 
So it sounds like Netscape/AOL basically sort of tossed the project away, hoping somebody other than them would pick it up after Netscape was dissolved? How big was Mozilla at the time of the Netscape dissolve?
     
CharlesS
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Jul 30, 2007, 11:58 PM
 
You'd think Mr. Open Source would know more about Mozilla's history. Ahem.

As I recall, the Netscape browser was made open-source by Netscape before AOL bought them - it was kind of their dying gasp. Communicator sucked, though, so the open-source guys working on Mozilla decided to start over and build their own browser from the ground up instead, which led to the creation of Gecko.

I didn't know about the disbanding of Netscape, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, and apparently that didn't happen until 2003, by which time the Mozilla project was well underway and the Netscape company was pretty much vestigial.

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besson3c
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Jul 31, 2007, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You'd think Mr. Open Source would know more about Mozilla's history. Ahem.
I wasn't really into computers as much back then, and for some reason I have a really hard time retaining any historical events and their time line whether it is in computer tech or not.

I didn't know about the disbanding of Netscape, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, and apparently that didn't happen until 2003, by which time the Mozilla project was well underway and the Netscape company was pretty much vestigial.
Cool... I was meaning on poking around at the Wikipedia just as you did myself, but thanks for passing this on.
     
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Jul 31, 2007, 07:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
As I recall, the Netscape browser was made open-source by Netscape before AOL bought them - it was kind of their dying gasp. Communicator sucked, though, so the open-source guys working on Mozilla decided to start over and build their own browser from the ground up instead, which led to the creation of Gecko.
Communicator sucked, but it wasn't the open-source community that decided to switch to Gecko. It was Netscape management that did after they purchased a company with the Gecko code. That is according to Pinkerton's speech I linked to above.
And by the way, Pinkerton also explains the reasoning for XUL, as well as the reasoning why Camino does not make use of it. Maybe if besson3c watched it he might understand why some people prefer Camino over Firefox.
     
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Jul 31, 2007, 10:28 AM
 
TETENAL: Your sig is making me blind.....job well done.

     
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Jul 31, 2007, 10:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I often think that Apple chose the wrong horse in going with Webkit. .
Why do you keep saying that. I've only heard complaints with gecko and even now this company may give it the heave ho.

I'm sure some pretty smart people looked at number of engines before settling in on the webkit.

as for pointing to firefoxe's increasing marketshare as evidence of a superior engine is wrong. I think firefox on the pc has increased not because its better as much as IE was worse and not being updated and had serious security issues inherit in the design. Now that IE7 is out we may see those numbers flatten out.

Heck me and my wife stopped using firefox on the pc because of its own issues (cpu racing with flash content) now that IE7 is out.

I'm not trying to flame you or anything, I'm really curious as to why you think gecko is better.
     
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Jul 31, 2007, 11:43 AM
 
If Camino decides to go towards WebKit, then I would have to use Firefox for my online banking service. It only accepts Firefox or any Gecko browser that spoofes as Firefox - like I have Camino do right now. I use Camino instead of Firefox for my online banking service only because I feel that Firefox is too massive to start up, even though it only takes a second or two. I tried having Safari2 and 3beta to spoof as Mozilla but Safari couldn't get past the "https://" URL. I could get it by doing some trickery by switching between spoofing as Netscape or Mozilla at any given time, but I really hated to go through all sort of hoops to get to use my online banking service.

They(the bank) started to use ActiveX, of all things, by claiming it was more secure. Before I could just spoof as IE 5 and get in, but when I do that now then the site insists on downloading an ActiveX plugin for my browser, haha.

a long story, short;
I will have to use Firefox if Camino switches to WebKit since I believe I would have the same problems with Camino as I do with Safari.
( Last edited by Visualize; Jul 31, 2007 at 11:51 AM. )
     
Big Mac
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Jul 31, 2007, 01:56 PM
 
I thought European banks were more "with it" than that.

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auxlepli
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Jul 31, 2007, 02:03 PM
 
So as a Camino fan and user what does this mean to me in laymans terms?
I happen to really like Camino and hope this proposed change doesn't affect it adversely.
     
Big Mac
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Jul 31, 2007, 02:09 PM
 
I really have to doubt that this is being contemplated. There's little need for another WebKit based browser. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Jul 31, 2007, 02:12 PM
 
It shouldn't affect Camino users very much if this happens, I'd expect. A few pages might not work as well, and some would work better, but by and large you probably wouldn't notice a huge difference.
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Jul 31, 2007, 04:07 PM
 
I sometimes wonder what are the differences between the different versions of the Firefox (for windows and for mac). Before Firefox 2 I could login to my bank on a windows pc but not with my mac when using firefox. Firefox may also be more "compatible" than Safari but I have still in the last year or so come across a handful or sites where even firefox 2 (at least on the mac) renders strangely.
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Visualize
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Jul 31, 2007, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I thought European banks were more "with it" than that.
Well, there's an ongoing debate here in Denmark on which bank to choose if you're a Mac user and favors Safari. Let's just say that I chose poorly. I'm switching to Danske Bank when I have the chance - they seem to have the most Mac-friendly online banking service.
     
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Jul 31, 2007, 05:53 PM
 
"The sticking point has been with Safari's javascript engine. Maybe much of these problems will be solved with 3.0, I don't know. "

Oh yes that Javascript engine thats at Internet Explorer speeds and makes firefox look dog slow. Such a massive problem

50,000 lines of code for this?
surely it would just be take the camino nibs and stick a webkit view in the middle of one, i mean take away the gecko and whats the point?
Its only there for people who insist safari doesnt work on all sites (god knows what sites they're always on about)
     
besson3c
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Jul 31, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by sushiism View Post
Oh yes that Javascript engine thats at Internet Explorer speeds and makes firefox look dog slow. Such a massive problem

It is a problem, but not because of performance.

I'm also tracking down the cause of Safari incompatibility with the AtMail webmail client. Safari is having difficulty parsing/interpreting the straight XML that works just fine with a Gecko browser. Mind you, not too many people serve up pages with straight XML, but it is indeed a spec that should be fully supported under Safari if it isn't already.

I'm not completely certain that this is the cause just yet though, I'm looking into it. The other wildly acknowledged problem prior to Safari 3 beta was with the TinyMCE WYSIWYG Javascript toolbar that is used in a ton of CMSes and blogging software.
     
   
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