Like many of you, I try a variety of browsers regularly to see where they are with performance and support of features I think I need. For Mac OS X, I check out Opera which is still beta 4 version 5, Mozilla which is supposed to release .99 at any moment, Chimera is at version 0.1.3 and shows promise (although their web site notes that they excel in performance because all they do right now is performance) iCab at 2.7.1 and others. It’s not that I have anything against IE, I’m from the choice is good school of thought
Code Bitch at Mac Edition regularly comments on browsers and their support (or lack of support) of standards. CB is not a fan of the Omni Group’s browser but I’ve come to use it as my alternate browser and now that the Java support has been fixed and Java Web Start has been added — I may use it even more. Download the latest version of the Omni browser from their sneaky peak page.
Omni has had support for Java for a while, it just didn’t look right. The applet was rendered a bit too high covering up content that used to be above it and leaving a black band in the space where the bottom should have been. Omni said that this was an Apple bug but it was fixed by Omni between updates from Apple. In any case, Java seems to work fine now.
At the MacWorld Expo in SF I stopped by the Omni booth and asked them about support for Java Web Start. There just didn’t seem to be too much involved in this — you have to map the type to the application (already part of the standard install) that handles it. On most browsers you’ll be taken to the Sun page to download the plug-in. Don’t do it — you already have the plug-in. You can, of course, just set files with that file extension to download to your computer and run them from there, but Java Web Start should do this for you seamlessly. The engineer I talked to at the Omni booth looked at the source on the Java Web Start demo page and agreed that this should be an easy fix. In the mean time, they’ve been busy and I’ll admit, the demand for JWS is probably pretty low on their customers’ list of desirable features. Never-the-less, I pinged someone at Omni asking when this support might happen and was told that they could have it in the next sneaky peak. True to their word, it’s there, it works, and I haven’t fired up IE yet today.
The great news is that there are now lots of browsers to choose from on Mac OS X. The selection and feature set continues to improve. Check out the Omni Group offering and see if you like it.
I know browser discussions are religious, what are your thoughts on the state of Mac OS X browsers.