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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > The OmniWeb 5 Public Beta thread.

The OmniWeb 5 Public Beta thread.
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JKT
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:20 AM
 
Better to start a new thread for reviews etc than than to carry on the older one?

Well, it's ready for download now (see here)

I haven't had a chance to try the beta yet, but have been using an alpha version for a few days. All I can say is that OW 5 is definitely the όber-browser to beat. It is the dog's gonads.
     
brutal
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:25 AM
 
Yey!
can't wait to try this baby out! downloading now!

     
BZ
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:27 AM
 
Posting from it now... just came here to post... no other news.



Off to try some tabs.

BZ
     
Chuckit
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:41 AM
 
Originally posted by JKT:
All I can say is that OW 5 is definitely the όber-browser to beat. It is the dog's gonads.
Why would I want to beat a dog's gonads?
Chuck
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JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:45 AM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
Why would I want to beat a dog's gonads?
Because you can
     
speirsfr
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:46 AM
 
I'm finding that the News Feed bookmarks aren't working very well. They keep disappearing on me.
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entrox
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Feb 2, 2004, 08:57 AM
 
Hmm. Why does switching between a page and the bookmarks view need to reload the page?
     
Nebagakid
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:05 AM
 
This is just great, I love it!



It seems like the tabs are a little slow at loading (or just seem sluggish for one reason or another, but I am not shure of that ....)
     
Cadaver
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:15 AM
 
Seems reasonably quick, but then again everything does on my G5.

UI and display still has some visual glitches and inconsistencies (for example, this text box. Odd behaviors with text not displaying correctly and visual artifacts around the blue focus ring).

But... there's hope. Here's hoping beta 2 has less rough edges.
ο£Ώ
     
mac15
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:21 AM
 
It looks nice in movies and pictures but I can't seem get used to everything the app does.

Tabs: This is one of the biggest changes, I love the way tabs look in omniweb but they aren't as funtional as I'd like them to be. Coming from an iMac with a resolution of only 1024x768 I'm not at all happy with how much space the drawer takes up. And not to mention they are incredibly slow loading. Omni needs to provide an alternate, not everyone has a massive resolution.


Speed: The app took off after 6-7 bounces, not bad but then again not good. I'm finding it really hard to get used to Safari's 1.0 rendering engine which is slow as all hell in comparison to Safari 1.1 and pathetic compared to 1.2 which has been seen the recent betas of Mac OS X 10.3.3. I thought omniweb would have jumped on 1.1 form the start, they say they are working on it for a 5.1 release due in a month or so. (in a month, most users will be enjoying all that Safari 1.2 has to offer)

I hate the way it handles ads. The ad should be blocked out, but instead you left with a small indeed and the text source of what the ad should say. I prefer PithHelmets method which blocks the image and leave no space whatsoever. Sure its not a Safari feature but its something both browsers need to tone up on.

In all, its a half way decent browser, for now I'm going to stick with Safari . Its sleeker and alot faster. But it'll be nice to see how this beta expands. And to see if it can surpace Safari as the best OS X browser
     
BZ
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:26 AM
 
So far so good.

I have three different workspaces set up, can zoom in and out of them

So far
- Favicons! YEAH!
- Workspaces have more power than I can understand just yet
- Searches from the toolbar is GOOD!
- Visi-Tabs... very nice.
- Integration with Safari bookmarks (good).
- Very happy with auto filling from keychain.

Lots to get used to, but lots to love. This is just a "Pro" browser, for all us that live and die by surfing.

It feels like a beta, needs some tweaking. Omni will have my money once again!

Off to surf some more.

BZ
     
gorickey
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:26 AM
 
Well, after using Safari v1.2, I am going to stick with that; however, I do see huge potential in OW 5 and will look at further released versions for sure...

Great start!
     
spdemac
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:50 AM
 
Well I am lookin forward to OW5 but it will not run on my machine (17" PBG4 1Ghz, 10.3.2). Any attempt to load a page causes it to crash. (I of course submitted carash reports).

I have installed no additional plugins or addons. Nuked all the preferences. But no joy whatsoever.

I guess I will have to wait for the next beta to try this out. Too bad as I am looking forward to it.



Lon
     
Targon
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Feb 2, 2004, 09:58 AM
 
nah not for me

1-no ability to set a custom style sheet
2-Max font size setting starts at 24, htf is this gonna be useful? i want min font set to 10 and max font set to 10 so all fonts on ALL pages are the same size.
3-no home page preferences no home icon for toolbar
4-doesnt retains window placement.
5-url auto-complete sux

oh yeah, don't like the drawer :-(

Gimme Safari with more customization options and i'd be satisfied.

ill keep my money thanks, tis a shame, i like the level of customization....it just doesnt cover the most important customizations features i need.

iCab still is light years in front of every browser when it comes to customization....
     
gorickey
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:01 AM
 
Originally posted by Targon:
4-doesnt retains window placement.
OmniWeb/Window/Save Window Size

     
mac15
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:10 AM
 
Originally posted by Targon:
3-no home page preferences no home icon for toolbar

Homepage support is there, Preferences>General>Start Page
     
Cadaver
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:16 AM
 
I actually like the UI and the tab drawer/thumbnail, though I have ample screen real-estate (22" Cinema at home, 17" LCD at work).

For general browsing, so far seems pretty good. One crash this morning going from SSL to non-SSL page. Some rendering issues on VersionTracker. Super slow on SSL secured sites, and has same rendering bug that Safari has (not surprising given WebCore) on my company's Novell GroupWise web access page. Geeko-based browsers render it just fine, however.

I do hope however that Omni moves to the most up-to-date WebCore soon. I know this will produce issues on non-Panther systems, but to stick with essentially a version 1.0 WebCore is bad I think for the long term.
ο£Ώ
     
JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:22 AM
 
Those of you making complaints about the browser need to use it for longer and find out all the ways to tweak the interface and set-up the power options before criticising it. Some of the complaints that have already been made are NOT valid. Some are. This is a beta programme that is designed to help OmniGroup a) find crashing bugs and b) find out UI problems. They have already improved a few things from the initial alpha released to a few select people, but they need to hear feedback from more users I imagine.

The thumbnails drawer can be broadened or made narrower and the thumbnails made into buttons... I have zero problems using it on my iMac - just make it narrower than the default if you need to. You can also do a heck of a lot more with the thumbnails in OW 5 than is even remotely possible with the tabs in Safari, etc. You need to try using it for longer first to see why it is (IMO) far better.

If you are having problems with crashing, try deleting the ~/Library/Caches/com.OmniGroup.OmniWeb5 folder first. Also make sure that you aren't using something like the PDFplugin from Schubert.It (I imagine it will need updating for the new OW as it usually does with each OW release).

OmniGroup will be going straight from the 1.0 to the 1.2 Safari code, no need to do 1.1 - give them a break... they've been working on the UI the most. FWIW, OW 5 is also the only way that people using 10.2.x will be able to get their hands on the updated WebCore when OG gets it into OW 5.x (although not all the new features will be possible owing to absences in 10.2 itself).
     
ctbritt
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:30 AM
 
I've found the bookmark management to be horribly beta. I can't delete any bookmarks that are created. Not a one. And the RSS feed doesn't work well. Text entry -- other than in the swooping, fold-out window -- is slow and often doesn't keep up with typing. Sometimes it just STOPS accepting text until I click in another field and then I see the text I'd been typing. Not so good.
Christopher Allbritton
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JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:36 AM
 
Originally posted by mac15:
I hate the way it handles ads. The ad should be blocked out, but instead you left with a small indeed and the text source of what the ad should say. I prefer PithHelmets method which blocks the image and leave no space whatsoever. Sure its not a Safari feature but its something both browsers need to tone up on.
Actually, Omniweb gets this right - there should be a place holder of the image's dimensions as, for many sites, not having a placeholder will cause other issues with the way the page renders such as text not flowing the way it should.

The appearance of text in the place holder is a bug, not a feature!
     
larkost
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:43 AM
 
Cadaver: The rendering on VersionTracker is absolutely correct. The bug is on VT's side. They have been aware of it for some time, but it keeps cropping up again and again. It is serving different pages based on browser id string.

If you use OW5's site preferences and set it to identify as Safari for VT, then you will get a correctly rendered page.

Once again: this is VersionTracker's fault, and they have acknowledged the problem, but not corrected it completely .
     
Developer
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:47 AM
 
Problems:

• Where are the site preferences?
• Der Spiegel has RSS, but it doesn't show up in the status bar. Where can I enter the RSS?
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iNeusch
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:50 AM
 
I'm in testing too.
I'll give comments as they come.

I'm sure I'll pay the upgrade fee as it's always good to have two browsers ANyone know where's the page to buy the upgrade btw ?
     
JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 10:59 AM
 
Originally posted by iNeusch:
I'm in testing too.
I'll give comments as they come.

I'm sure I'll pay the upgrade fee as it's always good to have two browsers ANyone know where's the page to buy the upgrade btw ?
I assume that we need to wait for it to go final before we can pay the upgrade fee.

To Developer:

Customise the Navigation Bar (View>Customise Navigation Bar) to add the Site Preferences button to your toolbar. If you don't want that button View>Show>Site Preferences (or press command-option-P). This feature is fantastic.
     
workerbee
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:06 AM
 
Originally posted by Developer:
Problems:

• Where are the site preferences?
• Der Spiegel has RSS, but it doesn't show up in the status bar. Where can I enter the RSS?
Add site preferences in View -> "Customize Navigation Bar" (I had to search for them too)
Spiegel: manually add RSS feed to Bookmarks: http://www.spiegel.de/schlagzeilen/rss/0,5291,,00.xml
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rsh
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:07 AM
 
So far:
I think that the interface is gorgeous. Elegant and tasteful, original ideas executed with the OS X user interface front and center.

It's a bit buggy yet; obviously a beta. Shows promise... keep up the good work, Omnidudes. What I see is here is already enough to merit the upgrade price for me.
     
ctbritt
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:13 AM
 
Update on deleting bookmarks. I can't delete unreachable bookmarks. I can delete good bookmarks fine. (Which isn't THAT useful.) The problem with the text entering remains, however.
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workerbee
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:14 AM
 
Coming from NetNewsWire, I'd really like to see the RSS Bookmarks not open in a separate window -- something like the Site Pref bottom window would work much better for me: see the entire title of the feed, 1 click = preview in top part of the window, or maybe the entire feed. Preview in top part of window and entire feed in new tab would work even better
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Developer
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:15 AM
 
Originally posted by JKT:
View>Show>Site Preferences (or press command-option-P).
Ah, there it hid.
Originally posted by workerbee:
Spiegel: manually add RSS feed to Bookmarks: http://www.spiegel.de/schlagzeilen/rss/0,5291,,00.xml
Where do I enter that URL?
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Gul Banana
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:30 AM
 
The beta appears to be rather buggy. A few things I've noticed:
After restoring a workspace, and occasionally otherwise, every loading page will go into "waiting for available connection" status and do nothing. When this has happened, any attempt to quit the browser will cause it to crash.
The text box here on MacNN just plain doesn't work. I'm typing this post in BBEdit, then posting it into the textbox, then clicking Submit, because the text doesn't appear. OW4.5 also had this problem on Panther; then, I worked around it by using the Text Zoom thingy. That, sadly, doesn't work at all in OW5.
Page load times are alarmingly slow compared to the latest (public, released) version of Safari.
I had a crash when both 4.5 and 5 were open simultaneously. That's probably my fault.
When I clicked on Preview Post, the dreaded "Waiting for available connection" showed up... this is VERY common, and is making it hard to test the browser. Once it's there, I have no recourse but to force quit.
Omniweb also hangs if the Unviewed Content folder is dragged from the Bookmarks window to the Bookmark Bar.
Switching tabs does not always actually work. I have two tabs open, and clicking on the top one does not change what is displayed in the window.

Things I don't like
The new persistent cache: where are the options to control it? I haven't been able to find anything about it in the preferences, or any evidence that it exists at all.
Site preferences should have a menu item, and should be in the toolbar by default. It's too important a feature to hide it away.
My absolute favourite feature is GONE! "Open next changed bookmark". Command-option-C. Absolutely INVALUABLE for reading things like webcomics and blogs.
When selecting "Add link to bookmarks" in the contextual menu, it doesn't give you the same options as pressing command-D when on a page.
It would be nice if Open In New Tab and Open in Background Tab were above the Window equivalents in that menu, since new tabs are more common than new windows.
There are a few too many green ticks around the UI...
I don't think Site Preferences and Page Info should be a pane. Nor should they necessarily be in the same view.

Things I like:
I DO like the tab drawer. In fact, I love it. At 1280*1024, it doesn't take up any space I care about, and it is very useful. It seems to be implemented very well.
Search shortcuts are great, and I'm glad they coexist with the existing in-location-bar method. The POST method support is impressive.
...the "restore workspace on crash" thing WORKED. How did it do that?!? I'd love more information on how exactly this works, and what it's capable of.
The fact that there are so MANY new features, many of which I haven't looked at yet.
The new look and feel created by the subtle UI alterations.
It seems to work with every website in existence.

More as I think of it... for example, I haven't tested Workspaces much yet. They appear to have lots of potential, but they're a bit confusing.
( Last edited by Gul Banana; Feb 2, 2004 at 12:03 PM. )
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iNeusch
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:34 AM
 
Originally posted by Gul Banana:
My absolute favourite feature is GONE! "Open next changed bookmark". Command-option-C. Absolutely INVALUABLE for reading things like webcomics and blogs.
I love that too !!
There must be someting to replace it
     
Judge_Fire
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:34 AM
 
Great feature set and feel to it, but it keeps getting stuck and/or crashing every 5 min. or so...

Lotsa reports filed

J
     
Gee4orce
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:40 AM
 
Originally posted by workerbee:
Coming from NetNewsWire, I'd really like to see the RSS Bookmarks not open in a separate window -- something like the Site Pref bottom window would work much better for me: see the entire title of the feed, 1 click = preview in top part of the window, or maybe the entire feed. Preview in top part of window and entire feed in new tab would work even better
Just double click on the RSS bookmark/folder. Could use a date column though, but apart from that it's a pretty damned good replacement for an RSS reader. If you have an RSS feed in the favourites bar, you can click to get a menu of all the stories, and just select the one you want to read. Neat.

Bookmark management is a bit of a headf*ck - until I realised that the collections panel on the left is more like iTunes playlists than a normal view of folders.

Typing this is also pretty slow - animated gifs maybe ?

Loving it so far though ! Favourite feature - dragging a list of RSS feed items into the tabs draw, and letting the puppies load in the background whist I read the first one...
     
The Jackalope
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:44 AM
 
With the exception of the worst use of tabs on any browser that I have seen, it's really nice.

Unfortunately, the tabs are so bad that until there is an alternative way to use them other than that godawful drawer, I'm not going to bother with this.

Make the drawer just one way of utilizing tabs, not the only way. It is a terrible, terrible use of space, and having to go to the left of the browser all the time to change tabs feels unatural. Not to mention that on a 12" powerbook, you immediately loose a bunch of screen real estate.

I know, it's a neat idea (being able to visually see what is in a tab), but I think making it the only option is terrible.

Sorry, I gave it a whirl.
     
Krypton
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:49 AM
 
Good:
• Lots of features
• Tabs work well

Bad
• New toolbar icons, colours clash and are not crisp. (Bring back the semi shiny blue ones).
• On a 15' screen things are very cramped horizontally, especially with my dock on the left - this also causes my toolbar bookmarks to overflow into a second row, thus diminishing any space saved from having a tab drawer.
• Minimum font size hard to find.
• Some CSS messed up.
     
JangoFett124
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:49 AM
 
A couple of things:

1. The program should remember if a drawer was open and what size it was. I have the window set so that there's empty space on the left where the draw goes, but when i open a new window that draw's always closed.

2. The address bar needs some improvements. When autocomplete-ing, it should span the entire window to show more text. WIth my small monitor, right now it only shows "forum." and the beginning of the site names for all my forums, making it hard to read. Also, the bar should show the url in the bar that is currently hilighted, so that the whole address can be seen. Lastly, i would like it to work like safari: the first thing to hilite should be the most visited. Maybe that can be a preference for those who would like a different function. (whoa, i just found the separate address bar. that makes things better, but i still think the improvements would be useful)

3. The status indicator takes up a lot of space when it shouldn't have to. Maybe it can be moved to the bottom bar of the window on the left.

4. save site icons to the bookmark draw so they're shown in the bookmarks menu
     
Krypton
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Feb 2, 2004, 11:53 AM
 
More bad:
• Rendering speed slower than Safari.
• Loading images as image wells just looks plain odd.
     
JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:04 PM
 
Originally posted by The Jackalope:
With the exception of the worst use of tabs on any browser that I have seen, it's really nice.

Unfortunately, the tabs are so bad that until there is an alternative way to use them other than that godawful drawer, I'm not going to bother with this.

Make the drawer just one way of utilizing tabs, not the only way. It is a terrible, terrible use of space, and having to go to the left of the browser all the time to change tabs feels unatural. Not to mention that on a 12" powerbook, you immediately loose a bunch of screen real estate.

I know, it's a neat idea (being able to visually see what is in a tab), but I think making it the only option is terrible.

Sorry, I gave it a whirl.
Just for the benefit of everyone else, please take a look at the preferences - you can move the thumbnail drawer to the right side if you prefer.

Also note that OmniGroup know how to do drawers the right way - if you make your window fullscreen opening and closing the thumbnail drawer will resize the main browser window both ways so that it fits the screen. You can also make the drawer much narrower - drag the side of it.

I think people really need to use the drawer for more than just a few minutes to realise how good it actually is. Have any of you bothered to try re-ordering the thumbnails yet? Dragging them from one window's drawer to another window's drawer? Etc.

P.S. For the unviewed content - show your bookmarks, click the "Unviewed Content" collection (if you don't have it displayed, select it from the hammer and spanner menu at the bottom left of the bookmarks window). You can now select unviewed content to be opened as a new window/tab, or if you want to open them all at once, drag/drop them to an open thumbnail drawer.
     
Truepop
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:09 PM
 
A few thoughts I have:

Page Marking doesn't seem to work for me. I tried doing a bunch of google searches and follow websites down until there was nothing to follow and it seemed to me that page marking and forward/backward was exactly the same. no matter if I pressed the mark page or not.

News Feed isn't what I thought it would be. I think it would be you can set a bookmark to also have a feed and would tell you what is new (as it does) and when you clicked the top-level of the feed (the bookmark you told to check the feed) it would take you to that website and the feed would be marked as viewed.

Bookmark Sidebar keeps disappearing on me and sometimes the History is down twice and sometimes the newsfeed as no icon and is unclickable yet is there.

Also I think the bookmark info panel that shoots up from the bottom should be pref'd to be either attached to the bookmark windows as it is now or open in a floating window. like the View Options window is on the finder.

Back news feeds. RSS feeds are updated more than once a day. is there any way to change that to say 30 minutes like netnewswire?
     
me
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:10 PM
 
How about a d/l link that hasn't been run under?
     
Truepop
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:12 PM
 
sorry I forgot the ads

I haven't used OmniWeb since 4.2 when I had a license for it and the safari came out so it has been a while.

what is the point of blocking ads in webpages if instead it shows a huge gray unattractive box?
     
JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:41 PM
 
Originally posted by Truepop:
sorry I forgot the ads

I haven't used OmniWeb since 4.2 when I had a license for it and the safari came out so it has been a while.

what is the point of blocking ads in webpages if instead it shows a huge gray unattractive box?
The purpose of the placeholder sized at the image dimensions is to retain the page layout. If you don't have a placeholder, then at many, many sites you will get horrible rendering due to text flow being screwed up.

It also helps to inform you that an image has indeed been blocked, thus allowing you to mouse over it and find out what that image was. If you then want to open it, you can.
     
cpac
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:42 PM
 
woo hoo!

I have the deleting unreachable bookmarks problem (even marking as reachable doesn't fix the problem.

Also, i see the weird text entry things as I'm typing this reply - might be related to the fact that forum pages never seem to load completely.

Also, my favicons got lost between launchings of OmniWeb - are they retained for others?

GREAT BROWSER though, (love it now, once the bugs are squashed and then (later) once we upgrade to the latest webcore....)
cpac
     
JKT  (op)
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Feb 2, 2004, 12:51 PM
 
Text entry and favicon issues are in the list of known issues in the release notes.

The inability to delete unreachable bookmarks was also present in the alpha, so I guess it hasn't yet been fixed.
     
Cadaver
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:06 PM
 
Not to barrage the Omni-guys with tons of complaints, but I must say that despite some of the (sometimes harsh) criticism posted, I for one really like the design of OW 5 and can't wait for the next & final releases.

When OW 4 was under development, the Omni guys were very good about posting updated builds. I hope they continue to do this with the OW 5 beta program.

I own an OW 4 license, and I will buy an OW 5 license as well.

Plus, I give OmniGroup a round of applause for using a proper Aqua interface and not brushed metal.
ο£Ώ
     
Developer
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:17 PM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
I give OmniGroup a round of applause for using a proper Aqua interface and not brushed metal.
Tho if they'd follow the Aqua Human Interface Guidelines they should use it in the bookmarks window, because it has a playlist. In the normal tab view they only get away because the tabs are in a draw. If they were in a pane (like the Mozilla or IE sidebar) they also could be considered a playlist and the window would have to be brushed metal.
Nasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side: "Hey! how do I get across?" "You are across!" Nasrudin shouted back.
     
BZ
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:26 PM
 
This is a preferences problem. I had it as well, went in and deleted all of the "OmniWeb5" preferences and folders, restarted OW5 and it went back to normal.

BZ

Originally posted by cpac:
woo hoo!

I have the deleting unreachable bookmarks problem (even marking as reachable doesn't fix the problem.

Also, i see the weird text entry things as I'm typing this reply - might be related to the fact that forum pages never seem to load completely.

Also, my favicons got lost between launchings of OmniWeb - are they retained for others?

GREAT BROWSER though, (love it now, once the bugs are squashed and then (later) once we upgrade to the latest webcore....)
     
monkeybrain
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:27 PM
 
I think there may be some conflict if you've installed the latest Safari (1.2) with the webkit webcore stuff.
Omniweb will spin alot and generally be quite slow.
     
mudmonkey
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:27 PM
 
Originally posted by Krypton:
More bad:
• Rendering speed slower than Safari.
• Loading images as image wells just looks plain odd.
Agreed. I did a number of repeating tests to average out any times, and Safari 1.1 is over 3x faster loading pages than OW5 for me on my machine (PB G4 667).

The painful speed of OW5 is dissappointing to me because I was looking forward to their implementation of tabs (which I love) and workspaces.
Meh
     
entrox
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Feb 2, 2004, 01:42 PM
 
Generally, I like the direction OmniWeb is heading with the exception of the butt-ugly icons (but they will be fixed). But this beta is still way too buggy to be usable for day-to-day surfing. It reminds me of the very first sneaky-peak of 4.5. Here's a small list of the things I encountered, which are not in the release notes:
  • Toggling between a page and the bookmark pane does a reload every time. This should happen instantly.
  • Page layout often gets torn apart while scrolling.
  • Favicons get lost after quitting.
  • Way too aggressive caching - I always had to hit reload explicitly on the forum to get new content.
  • The loading indicator sometimes spins forever, because it failed to load some items. Bringing up the activity window shows a lot of 'orphans', which cannot be removed.
  • General slowness. I think this can be attributed to the beta status.
As a registered user I like it, but I'm waiting for 5.1 ;-)
     
 
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